Vintage Chritmas Wrapping

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white dresses, with blue satin sashes
Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
Like silver white winters that melt into springs
And then I don’t feel so bad
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I simply adore this song.  I love hearing it come on the radio this time of year, recalling memories so vivid they instandly bring a smile to my face.  One line that always stood out to me was Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String.  I just love packages wrapped in bown paper, even as a little girl I would cut open paper grocery bags and steal my moms cooking twine to wrap my gifts under the tree, I was always an odd duck.  My husband, knowing me all too well, now wraps all my gifts up with twine and brown paper.  Even though it’s so simple, there is something so beautiful about it.  It’s classic, and nostalgic, and, well perfectly, perfect.  They seem to come from another time.  With this nostalgic idea in mind I set out this year to put a spin on that idea, upping my game from simple brown paper and string, to a package looking like it’s been delievered striaght from the North Pole .  With just a few tools you too can put a fun and festive twist on an old classic this holiday.
I love vintage stamps and finding them is half the fun.  For this craft I scoured Etsy finding old gorgeous holiday stamps to slap onto the gifts.  It’s so fun to see the stamps of Holidays past.  Just add a little festive baking twine, some adorable stamps, (these found on Amazon) a few retro stickers and you have a package fit for St. Nick’s sleigh.   These gifts are charming and sure to make the recipiant smile from ear to ear; after all the wrapping is part of the gift giving process! Not to mention it will save you more than a few pennies not to buy all that fancy shiny wrapping paper.  I bought a large ream of this brown paper at my local hardware store in the painting department for $10 and I didn’t even make a dent in it this holiday season.  This is also adorable on envelopes too! Imagine receiving a card in the mail looking like it has been delievered from another time.
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You will need
  • Brown paper
  • Baking twine
  • Stamps and stickers
  • Siccors
  • Pen
How to
  • Wrap
  • Tape
  • Tie
  • Decorate
  • Give
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Wrap it up!
Marcella  Rose

Creamed Lion’s Mane Mushroom on Conchiglie

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November is here. We’ve had a rough start to the month as the Chestnut Cottage on B Street lost our Box Elder Tree. We are renting, so we didn’t have much say in the matter, but our landlord (being amazing) did all they could to save the tree and in their defense, one of its giant trunks came crashing into the neighbors yard during a windstorm a few months ago. Six arborists later, the conclusion was that this lovely tree had to come down for the safety of all. To be honest I was a mess, sobbing like a small child who has lost their first pet goldfish. Of course I went out and purchased a nice bottle of pink champagne to toast the tree. My husband (also being ever amazing) left the lights wrapped around it for that final night, waking up at 4 am, donning a headlamp to take them off in the foggy-fall Oregon morning before they came to take her down.

As I have been mourning the tree, I realize how thankful I am for the gifts it gave us; the shade it provided, the cocoon of safety her spreading branches gave our little house, her branches giving support for the patio lights that strung across our yard. As I was giving thanks to the tree for its gifts, I started noticing the other gifts that had come my way. My parents, as badass and rad as they come, came up for our annual Halloween Soirée. My mom handed me a bunch of fresh sage as beautiful and fragrant as any floral bouquet. My father gave me a bottle of perhaps the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever had in my possession. My sweet in-laws had gifted us some stellar onions, fresh from the black earth of Idaho. Then there are the neighbors, this band of supreme human beings, who constantly make our lives ever so much better. Living in Oregon, I have noticed there are two types of friends, there are friends, and then there are friends who give you mushrooms; these neighbors are the latter.   Yesterday they stopped by with a box full of magic, a lion’s mane mushroom so full and beautiful it looked like a creature from the sea. As I sat on the porch gazing sadly at the stump left from our beloved tree, a recipe came to me; celebrating the gifts that I had been given and turning my attitude of loss to one of thankfulness, seemingly perfect for the season.

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I created this recipe full of gifts, Creamed Lion’s Mane Mushroom on Conchiglie. As these mushrooms are rare, you can substitute with your favorite fungi, be it chanterelles, portabellas, or even the humble button mushroom. Whenever making pasta, choose your noodle based on sauce; Conchiglie is perfect for this thick mushroom sauce as the little shells scoop up the puree and hold it tight delivering sheer joy to your lips.

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You will need

1-pound mushrooms – rough chopped

4-tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion – diced

4 cloves garlic – minced

1-cup white wine – only cook with wine you would drink so make it good

1-cup cream, plus more for thinning

16-ounces of your favorite pasta – I used Conchiglie

¼-cup chopped sage

Salt and pepper to taste

How To:

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat

Add onions and cook until light brown

Toss in garlic and sage and stir until fragrant – about one minute

Add more butter to the mushrooms if needed, turning down the heat to medium

Allow the mushrooms to brown for 2 minutes and flip

Begin to boil water for your pasta

Add the wine to the sauté pan and bring to a boil until the wine is absorbed into the mushrooms

Turn down the heat to medium, adding the cream

Add pasta to boiling salted water

Once the cream has begun to thicken, remove ½ of the mixture to your blender

Blend and add back to the remaining half of your sauce

Strain your pasta and toss with Parmesan and fresh sage and serve

I wish that I could give you something….

but I have nothing left.

I am just an old stump.

I am sorry….”

“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.

“just a quiet place to sit and rest.

I am very tired.”

“Well,” said the tree, straightening

herself up as much as she could,

“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting

Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy”

– Shel Silverstien

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In gratitude and thanks for this giving tree,

Marcella Rose

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Marcella Rose’s top 5 hostess gifts

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I am frequently asked what I bring as host/hostess gifts.  Let me tell you, I love to answer this question!  I enjoy nothing more than preparing a little something special for a host or hostess.  Here are my current absolute favorite gifts to bear for every type of host and every type of party:

1. For the host that you are just getting to know:

– Williams Sonoma have these seasonal Essential Oils Deluxe Hand Soap & Lotion Gift Sets.  They are so luxurious!  This gift is a little something that will last months; it will bring a smile to your face and delight senses.  It turns the simple act of washing your hands into a spa-like experience.  Not to mention, it’s something every home needs and having a back up is nothing short of genius! Image

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2. For the quirky host who’s kitchen is her favorite room in the house:

-Oh Anthropolgie, how I love thee!  You can walk into any of their stores and anything you pick out will be amazing.  My current favorite are these adorable little fruit baskets that are full of even more adorable dish towels.  I like to pair these with the dining room measuring spoons that are as much art as they are function.

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3. For the classy modern host:

-This is a great gift for either host or hostess! Bringing a bottle of bubbly or vino is a sure way to please at a dinner party.  Bringing something extra special with two modern flutes for the hosts to have a quiet romantic moment to celebrate after the party or for that much needed mimosa in the morning is practically perfect in every way!  I love the modern style of Crate and Barrel’s Edge Sparkling Wine Glasses.

 

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4. For the host that loves to host:

– Ask any one that loves to host and they will tell you that a cheese board is one of the best gifts to give and receive and there is no such thing as having too many serving plates or boards.  This is one of my absolute favorites since you can actually write on the board and cheeses really pop against the dark background the slate gives.

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5. For the host that loves to cook:

– There are so many amazing cookbooks and new ones come out every single day! My current favorite to give is by a fellow blogger Smitten Kitchen.  It’s so innovative and fun and the recipes are to die for! I like to wrap this gift in a pretty silk bow and tie one of these stunning heart shaped wooden spoons on top with the bow.  Simply wonderful and a gift that is sure to please for months after the party is long over.

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ImageI hope these favorites of mine with get your creativity flowing to create some truly perfect hostess and host gifts for the next party you attend!
Love, love, love
Marcella Rose
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