Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter is almost here.  Are you into dying eggs or examining your spirituality?  Or both, certainly. 

I loved Easter baskets when I was a kid.  I also enjoyed the tradition of getting decked out in a new outfit for church on Easter Sunday.  That is what Easter meant to me for many years and it is probably what I passed on to my daughter. 

Although I, in my own way, observe Lent, I'm not even sure I will attend church on Easter.  Perhaps Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.  I have been seriously struggling with my church relationship and spirituality.  My little church has been involved in a sex abuse scandal for several years and there has been a sort of frantic attempt to close ranks that actually became a house divided.  There are those who refuse to accept reality and those who are appalled that it was allowed to happen when there was clear evidence that an unhealthy situation existed.  Local cases remain in the hands of authorities waiting for the local DA to determine if he wants a trial.  Meanwhile, the perpetrator has been banished from the church in the area where he now lives and is getting older every day.  I sometimes wonder if the local thinking is if we let it go long enough he will pass away and we don't have to bring the scandal home.  I seldom go to church anymore. 

So, no need to get new clothes for dressing up - not that I did that anyway as an adult.  However!  I think I will make myself an Easter basket.  I may even dye eggs.  I think there is a farm around here that sells the Martha Stewart colored eggs.  Perhaps a collection of those? 

Finding beauties such as these would preclude the Paas procedure.  Not having looked for a while I have no idea what packaged products are out there for dying.  I loved the little transfers but seldom was successful at applying one.  Is vinegar still a requirement?  I have huge bottle of apple cider vinegar left over from my failed attempt to use vinegar as a diet aid.

Having learned recently that a neighbor of mine is raising chickens and having read so much about how wonderful a truly fresh egg can be, I've wondered about raising chickens.  I wasn't looking for that information as I looked for a photo of the naturally colored eggs but I found this great blog that is all about chickens.

The photo above is from poultry blog since Google didn't cough up a legitimate photo of Martha's eggs.  The kindness extended, though, to a full page of Martha Stewart links to decorating eggs like these:

Don't you like the edgy look of these?  I wanted to say non-traditional. 

Here's the link:
I think I will sign off since Blogger keeps telling my attempt to save has failed.  I haven't tried until now.  Let's see how that goes.
I hope you and those you love find all the best eggs. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Are you a shaker or a muffineer?

A couple of years ago we were doing an auction that included a silver plate muffineer.  I mentioned that I liked it during set up and when the auction was over, it was mine.  One of our staff was the only bidder and he handed it to me.  It has set with two silver candlesticks and a cloisonné bowl on my kitchen island since.

Sugar shakers or muffineers were once an integral part of a table setting along with the salt cellar or vinegar bottle.  I've never known why powdered sugar was considered a staple.  Perhaps that is a study for another day. 

I have made my own determination that the difference in a sugar shaker and a muffineer is cost or value.  Once I had my first one I decided I might collect a few.  That was soon shot down when I discovered that most of the ones I liked were above what I would pay for a casual collection.  Here are some of the pretties I have seen.

This beautiful etched amber glass muffineer would add elegance to any table setting. 
Beautiful turquoise lattice glass.  This one might be either a muffineer or sugar shaker since it may have lived on a slightly more modest table.  Likely in the South. 
Definitely a sugar shaker in Martha Stewart glass.  We have laughingly referred to Jadeite that way since Martha promoted it so heavily on her show and in her magazine.  I am still considering the direction my collection will go and I have liked quite a few of the kitchen ones.  
This one is shown on Etsy as a sugar or flour shaker.  I think the design on the top is a good indication it was for sugar.  I am a fan of tin so I like this one.  Wonder how many tin ones I could find?
We have run the gamut here from extreme elegance to simple tin.  I like them all and find the materials other than silver more interesting.  
There are lots of sugar dispensers listed on the 'net as sugar shakers. 
I think it is a misnomer.  The sugar dispensers were for granulated sugar, not powdered.  I found one of those at the flea market yesterday that is a bit unusual.  It is a beautiful deep turquoise in color.  It will go in my booth at Sutton's and I hope someone appreciates it. 
I leave you with this beauty that sold for over $3,000. at a convention of folks who appreciate shakers.  It is definitely a Muffineer.  Note the capital M.  Here is a link to the site.
Maybe you want to pay more attention to shakers!!