I Found These Stuffed in the Chimney

I swore I wasn’t going to do this.  I shouldn’t be doing this.  I need a rest.  A full, week long rest.

But here I am doing it.  Posting … a post.  Granted it isn’t a thing of beauty.  Just a couple of pictures of what I got for Christmas.  But still.

I swore I wasn’t going to do this.

I just like these things so much. These aren’t all of my presents, but a select few of my favourite things.   Plus they were the things that were easiest to photograph on the kitchen counter.   So if you bought me a present and don’t see it here … it’s not because I didn’t love it.  It’s because it didn’t photograph well on the kitchen counter.

French Butter Dish

I didn’t even know this product existed until a few months ago.  You pack your butter inside an inverted dish which then goes inside the main bowl which has an inch or so of water in it.  It’s brilliant.  It keeps butter spreadable even in the coldest kitchens, plus it keeps it fresh longer on the counter.

I love my french butter dish.

Cast Iron Mortar and Pestle

All these years I’ve been using a hammer.

Pressure cooker/canner

I still haven’t committed to this Mirro canner.  I’ve heard great things about it, but I’ve also heard great things about All American canners.

I want to jar soup.  Right now.

But I can’t because I’ve started writing this stupid post.

Seriously.  Just one week off.  That’s all I was striving for.

Onward …

Pink Pig Pen

His nose lights up and he oinks when you press the top down.

I’ve named him Pigpen.

Surprise Gift Basket found on my porch!

This was one of my favourite presents because it was such a surprise to find this on my porch Boxing Day.

It comes from Art of Doing Stuff reader Maggie (and possibly her sister Marilyn too)

I know these folks so it wasn’t creepy to find they had dropped something on my front porch.

I brought it inside and took a look.

All the makings for a pancake breakfast.  Or dinner … depending on your preference.

Blueberries, a couple of wooden spoons, a spatula, Buttermilk pancake mix and organic maple syrup.

I wish I were the sort of person who did this for other people.

Chamba Pot

These pots are all handmade in,  Columbia.  Hence the incredibly organic look to it.  And it’s black with a beautiful sheen to it.

It can go either in the oven or directly on the stove.

I LOVE just looking at this pot so it can only get better once it’s filled with food.

Amy Sedaris’ latest book

“Simple Times.  Crafts for Poor People”

Um, the title kindda says it all.  How could I not love this book?  How could anyone not love this book?

K Ring made with Antique Typewriter Key

My boyfriend discovered Etsy.

I got a lot of fun Etsy jewellery but this is my favourite.

It’s from Little Angels Jewelry

My sister gave me the wood ring holder.

I’m sorry … I’m having trouble concentrating.  You would NOT believe the squeaky snoring coming out of my Siamese cat at the moment.

As I said there were more presents.  A cardboard box full of wood for example.  (it’s for my birthday smoker)  2 beautiful tops.  A whack more cooking stuff including an ice cube tray that makes ice cubes that look like dentures.  And of course who can forget the bags of Starbucks Christmas blend coffee.  Not me.

It was a good Christmas and it continues to be a good holiday week.  I’ve stayed in my pajamas for 3 days now and my hair resembles something you’d see on a Chuckie doll that’s been shoved under a bed for the past 25 years.

And I’m fine with that.

See you in the New Year.  I swear.


  1. Jamieson says:

    Denture ice cube molds: check!
    Amy Sedaris book: check! (I ordered it the day it came out because I read the last one from cover to cover!)
    French butter dish: really really need this.
    Love the K ring too.
    Happy new year & enjoy your week off! I’ll be in Key West watching Sushi the drag queen sitting in a giant red high heel shoe lowered at midnight:
    Just like in days of yore.

  2. Laura says:

    I love the chapter on Crafting for Jesus in Amy’s book.

  3. Pam'a says:

    I’d post something, but since you’re off all week it’d just be old and stale by the time you read it. Heh.


  4. Amy Schmucker says:

    You inspire me. I don’t do any of the crafts, or make any of the food, but you still inspire me. I love to write. I write about silliness. Thing, weird things happen to me, and I write about them. Its fun, or funny. I love reading your posts with my coffee, in my pj’s and maybe one day I will inspire you. Probably not.. but maybe.

    Have the butter dish, and make sure you change the water every couple of days. Did you know butter can go bad??? and the smell is not good. There hope your inspired to change the water now.

    • Karen says:

      Amy ~ Consider me inspired. I’m turning on the tap as we speak. No I’m not. I’m typing. But once I’m done .. I’ll change the water. ~ karen

  5. Amy demonstrated some crafts on Colbert back before the holidays. Worth checking out on the Colbert Nation site.

  6. marilyn says:

    hey karen, glad your christmas was so wonderful! ours was amazing too. i am also glad you liked your surprise. it was all maggie this time.i only made the bow…i am the official bow maker in my family.and my sister is the type to do those kinds of things for people..all the time. she is very thoughtful and kind. happy new year to you and yours from me and mine xo

  7. Jan says:

    Merry happy to ya, Karen! Thanks for making me smile each day. Hope your holidays continue to be as fab as mine. Well to be candid, I don’t wish you a dog named Turnip who poohs on the basement carpet within 24 hours of layment…or a teenager who just got her driving learner’s permit and seems oblivious to those red hexagons with the letters S-T-O-P prominently displayed. But I do wish you snow, cookie dough, naps, fires (only in the fireplace!) and someone to clean up the mess you’ve undoubtedly made in the last few days!!

  8. I love my Chamba pot. You can heat it in the oven and it stays hot for ages so that you can heat buns on it – right on the table. Or use it like a hot plate, put your hot casserole right on top of it and it will keep everything warm on the table throughout the meal. Have fun!

  9. Kate C says:

    The denture ice tray is wonderful. We made a bunch to use in drinks at a milestone birthday party, and it went over quite well (same sick sense of humor, these friends of ours). Hours of fun, really. So glad you posted, a daily dose of your humor is always welcome!

  10. Terri-Lynn says:

    You’re lucky I don’t think my gift would have look good on the kitchen counter 🙂

  11. kasia says:

    Love the gifts – you lucky girl!! I do however, want to know where your sister (I think you said, too lazy to scroll back up and check!) bought the ring holder. I need one, and that one is perfect!
    Happy holidays to you!!!! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Kasia – Sorry it took so long to get back to you. My sister tells me she got the ringholder from a small store in Ottawa, Ontario. It’s handmade but she doesn’t remember the name of the store. 🙁 ~ karen

  12. Gina says:

    I thought a chamba pot was something you peed in during the night when you didn’t want to run to the out house. Forgive me but I am just 2 generations away from being a hillbilly.

  13. sera says:

    How did I not know that Amy Sedaris had a new book??? Was I living under a rock? oh wait, I think I was.
    Okay, so I’m dying to find out just how long butter does last on the counter before going rancid, in a regular butter dish or a french butter dish. hmm.

  14. Michelle says:

    i have the same butter crock! love it as well.
    Amy sedaris’ book looks amazing, i love crafting, especially when it’s cheap! if you love etsy (which i do) you need to check out regretsy.. funniest blog about the horrible things on etsy. my sister bought me the book, so funny.

  15. Bill Grigg says:

    It’s amazing the stuff I find out about on this site. The French Butter Dish for instance. I didn’t even know butter could go bad. Who has butter that goes rancid? Not in my house! Not even in the dog days of August.

    Like the other day I was shopping and looking at the grapes, another shopper remarked that they were really good, and lasted up to two weeks. Grapes last between 24 and 48 hours in my house. I just stared at her in amazement thinking about grapes that could last even a week.

  16. sundeep @ designwali says:

    Lovely goodies! Happy holidays!

  17. Karen M says:

    I’d love to know where you got that French butter dish. I love the idea but all the ones I can find online have fru fru patterns.

  18. Jill@BarrioAdjacent says:

    When I saw this I thought it was really something you found stuffed in the chimney. Kinda like the leg from the basement.

  19. Erin says:

    I love your motor and pestle. I have a collection of them – mostly different stone ones and some ceramic and have yet to see a cast iron one. Any idea where it came from?

    • Karen says:

      Erin – The cast iron mortar and pestle came from The Casual Gourmet in Hamilton, Ont. The St. Lawrence Market in Toronto also carries a favourite of mine which is a small one where the pestle is short and squat and it fits exactly inside the mortar. It’s made out of Carrera marble. I’m sure you could find it most kitchen stores! ~ karen

  20. Barry says:

    And when you’re done with the syrup, the bottle turns into a bong! lol

  21. Pam says:

    Hi Karen,
    I felt I needed to point out that if the chamba pot comes from South America, that country should be spelled Colombia. I know this because we have a Columbia in Tennessee and the spelling not the same.

  22. Love your blog! Just ordered the little french butter dish – pretty and functional!
    You have me addicted to sheepskin throws – your style is wonderful!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Stephanie. 🙂 Make sure you follow along with my kitchen renovation then. Which I’m hating every second of by the way. 🙂 ~ karen!

  23. Valerie says:

    Ok, I have never ever read blogs before, mostly ’cause I never found one that I liked. And I always wanted to make one, started a couple, but never kept up with them and forgot passwords when I did remember I had made one months ago haha 😀
    Anywho, (I also thought it was awesome that I wasn’t the only one who said that word) I just wasted about half my day reading your blog. I somehow wound up on a post from 2010. I just kept reading ’cause it was so awesome!!! You are hilarious and I’m a lot like you in a few aspects (like the fact that I love skulls and sharp objects as well. And we have similar styles and tastes. And while you collect mason jars, I collect plain glass bottles of all sizes and shapes, including mason jars. and fire. I really like fire…) so I believe I shall be keeping up with your blog. Thanks and keep up the coolness!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Valerie! I think it’s very admirable that you choose to keep up with me as opposed to the Kardashians. But you’d best hurry up. You have a few years to catch up on and a LOT has happened in that time. ~ karen!

  24. Valerie says:

    Oh, i started from somewhere in the middle and then went to 2014 and worked backwards and there were a few twists and turns and loopty-loops and so basically, I’ve just been jumping around haha 🙂

  25. William Harper says:




    THANK YOU!!!!!!

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