Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Do You Ever Wonder????

Do you ever wonder - if the Moda fabric designers could have a super power, what would it be? Or maybe what is in their refigerators, or who has infulenced them the most?
If so, find the answers by going to the Moda home page to watch a video of each of the designers.

If you do not care to know the answers to any of these question but care about new fabric, go to the Moda website to see all of the new lines of fabric that will be shipping to stores on Janurary 10th. There are TEN new lines including my new line Nautical and Nice. Check it out.

#479 High Tide
(Turnover Pattern)

#478 Regatta
(Layer Cake pattern)

#477 Meteor Shower
(Jelly Roll pattern)

#476 Anchors Away
(Charm Pack pattern)
Fat Quarters Shop is offering this as a kit.

#475 Nautical and Nice
(Panel pattern)

These patterns will be posted on our website after January 10th.

From my heart,


Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa Came!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.
We must have been nice because Santa left these packages.

Abby's color scheme was Kermit the Frog green and red.

Puffball bow. Instructions below.

Cut 7 circles out of wool felt.

Cut two slits in each circle

String circles onto ribbon
You can either leave them like this or

Pull the circles up tight and tie a knot in the ribbon
to make a puffball bow.

Simply glue a Styrofoam ball onto top of package.

Use an old antique belt buckle.

Anthony's color scheme was brown, green and red.
Since I was very late shopping for my gift wrap the good "guy"
wrap was all gone so I had to be creative.

I used my markers to add blue, red and brown dots to the green paper.
Just simple ribbon wrapped around the package - no bow.
This is nice if you have to pack or mail the gifts - no bows to get crushed.

Again, no bow - just ribbon and a pinecone.

Add a bright shiny bulb.

I thought I was being pretty creative however, I think son Anthony might have outdone me.
He wrapped his presents in fabric. Lord knows we all have plenty.

Note from Anthony:
Spray starch fabric first.
Duck tape is the only tape that sticks to fabric.
If you cut the duck tape right the ribbon will cover it.
Iron edges and ends for a crisp finish.
Have your mom add ribbons and adornment.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

From my heart,


Thursday, December 24, 2009

It Pays to Blog!

While participating in the Cross Country Quilt Designers Blog Hop this November, I blogged about my Grammie's green plaid dishes. (See older post Blog Hop Day 2)

A couple of days later I received a package in the mail.
What could it be? It was from Laurie Simpson of Minick and Simpson fame.

It was these wonderful plaid dishes.
The day after Laurie read my blog
she walked into a thrift store and there they were - on the sale table.
The best part - there are TWO serving bowls.
I did not have any serving bowls to go with my partial set of plaid dishes.

The fabric is my Christmas line for next year - Adoring.
The sales reps will be showing this to you shop owners starting January 4th.

A couple of days ago another package arrived.
This one from Terry Adkinson of Adkinson Designs fame
What could this be???

A whole pile of plates and one soup bowl.
One might ask whatever will you do with one soup bowl???
I will add it to my 3 soup bowls.
Now I have FOUR soup bowls, one for each of us!

Tonight when I use my green plaid dishes, not only will I think of my Grammie but Laurie and Terry too.
Thanks girls for thinking of me.

See it really does pay to blog.

From my heart,


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Anthony

Monday the 21st was our son's birthday.
His due date was Christmas day but he arrived a few days early.

We brought him home Christmas Eve morning
and placed the blessed child under the Christmas tree.
What a wonderful Christmas.

His is now 30 - Yikes!
Daughter Abby on the left and girlfriend Deb on the right.

Happy Birthday Anthony.

Mom and Dad

Monday, December 21, 2009

You Are Invited to Lunch

You are cordially invited to attend lunch at my house. (Well maybe it will have to be a virtual lunch.)

Ding dong

Please come in.

This year I hung my fresh apple wreath in my entryway.

Please sit down and relax.
I made the snowflake wreath out of old sheet music.

I saw the idea in the Pottery Barn catalog.

They were not for sale - just d├ęcor in the room setting.

I find the things I like the best in the Pottery Barn catalog are never for sale.

Would you like a cup of hot cranberry drink?

Let's sit and take in all of the sights and sounds of Christmas

(Pretend you are listening to Christmas music)

I was too lazy to carry my Yelloware bowls down the basement
so I set them on a chair
put some Christmas berries around a ceramic pear
and called it Christmas.

I spotted this bowl at an antique shop.
I thought long and hard for about 1 second before I bought it.

Bruce found this piece in a print shop.
(He has a great eye for great finds.)
It is missing some drawers but that is what I like about it.
I change the items in the missing drawers as the seasons change.

Bruce built this faux fireplace.
(I think I will keep him.)
We copied it from one that we saw in a real house in either
Country Home or Country living magazine.

One of my patterns you could make to enjoy the rest of the long winter.

#256 Winter Follies

#258 Cranberry Christmas
Probably not enough time to finish this one by this Christmas.
But Christmas comes every year.

I spotted this hatbox in an antique shop while on a Moda retreat.
Everyone kept asking me what I was going to do with it.
To me it was obvious.
Fill it with greens at Christmas time.


Lunch is ready.
Please take a seat at the table.

I will be serving:
My favorite Christmas fruit salad.

Anise Fruit Bowl
And oh so easy to make.

Chicken and Rice Casserole -
or hotdish as we people who originate for Minnesooota call a one dish meal.

Broccoli Cranberry Salad (forgot to take a picture)

Biscuits brushed with dill butter and sea salt (forgot to take a picture)

Almond Cake with Cherry sauce.

I will post the recipes below.
If you are interested keep scrolling.
If not my luncheon ends here.

I actually did have lunch at my house for my seamstresses and my graphic artist.
(However, I forgot to take a picture of the gals)

My decorating is finished.
Now on to gift wrapping - I love to wrap gifts.
Christmas baking is something that I do not like to do and I never do.

My graphic artist Sarah gave me this quote - Do most what you do best.
Baking is not what I do best - so I do very little baking. Mom’s popcorn balls are about the extent of my holiday baking. (If you can call popcorn balls baking - kind of a stretch.)

Stay tuned for some Christmas wrapping.

From my heart,


Hot Spice Cranberry Punch
1 (64 fluid ounce) pineapple juice
1 (64 fluid ounce cranberry juice cocktail
4 1/2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons whole cloves
4 (4 inch) cinnamon sticks, broken
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peeling of one orange

Pour the pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and water into a clean, well-washed coffee percolator.
Place the brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, orange peeling and salt in the basket of the percolator, and assemble the coffee percolator.
Cover and perk. Serve hot.
Float an orange slice in each cup.

Anise Fruit Bowl
2 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons anise seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 cups assorted fresh fruit

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, aniseed and salt.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Strain syrup; discard aniseed.
Place fruit in a large bowl; add syrup and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 package Uncle Ben wild rice (original - not fast cooking)
Add celery and onion to Uncle Ben's rice before cooking rice.
Prepare rice according to directions on package.
When rice is done add:
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 jar pimento
1 cup cashews
1 can water chestnuts diced.
Mix all together and pour half of the mixture in an 9 X 13 glass cake pan sprayed with Pam.
Season 1 lb. chicken tenders with lemon pepper and Lawry salt.
Lightly brown tenders in butter.
Place chicken on top of rice.
Top with the remaining rice.
Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes
Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and the cornflake/butter mixture.
Bake for 15 more minutes.
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Scandinavian Almond Cake
Beat well;
1 1/4 Cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2/3 Cup milk
1 1/4 Cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick melted margarine
Mix well.
Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.
Edges must be golden brown.
Cool in pan before removing.
Cake will break if removed too soon.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cherry Sauce
1 can pitted red tart cherries
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. almond extract
Red food coloring
Drain juice from cherries and place juice in a pan.
Add sugar, almond extract and cornstarch.
Heat until it thickens to a glaze.
Add red food coloring.
Gently stir in cherries.
Cool to room temperature.
Cut cake in slices and spoon sauce over slices.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making Progress

I'm slowly making progress on my Christmas Decorating. Someone asked if my home is a new Victorian. No it is an old Victorian, it was built in 1890.

The first weekend in December my sister Brenda and I met in Des Moines to attend the

Old Crow Junk Farm sale. This is a couple who find old "things" and repurpose them into cool "things".

I bought this metal tree screen. I'm not sure what it's original purpose was, but I thought it was cool.

And this was before I knew I was going to have a very short Christmas tree.
Sure does cover up the fact that my tree is actually setting on bricks.

The finished tree.

I bought some of these large pinecones at Bachman's and wired them to my tree.

The post office door is finished.

Frosty the snowman has just settled in after an ice skating outing.

This little corner is finished.
I bought the window/wheel at another one of my favorite spots,
The Painted Porch in Medford Minnesota.

I'm off to do more decorating.

Stay tuned for more.

From my heart,


Monday, December 14, 2009

A Trip to Bachman's

Over the past weekend I went to my favorite Christmas destination. Bachman’s in Minneapolis. A company that has been in business since 1885. A Minneapolis icon oozing with creativity.

I always travel to Bachman’s (3 hours away) because no one in our area carries "natural" Balsam trees. (Natural means - just like they grow naturally - no trimming involved - branches sticking out everywhere - truly a Charlie Brown tree.)
I also prefer Cedar roping - cannot find this in the area either.

However, due to a very busy schedule and a snowstorm
my trip to Bachman’s was delayed.

When I arrived at the tree lot, I went directly to the Natural Balsam section. I was stunned - not a tree to be found. I asked the somewhat frozen stiff guy working outdoors if they had any natural Balsams - no they were all gone. ALL GONE - CAN’T BE. Whatever shall I do.? I finally settled on an 8 foot natural Frasier Fur. We have 10 foot ceilings so I was very sad to have to settle for an 8 foot tree. An eight foot tree in a ten foot room looks very small. Also NO CEDAR ROPING!

Bachman's also has a wonderful place to eat right there in the green house among the poinsettias. But after my no tree/roping discovery I was so distraught I forgot about eating. Nor did I take any pictures of the yummy pastries or the beautiful poinsettias. Here are a few of the pictures that I did manage to snap.

As you can see a trip to Bachman's puts you in a Christmas mood.
All of the 3 hour drive home I tried to figure out how I could make my 8 foot tree look like a ten foot tree.

This is the only solution I could come up with.
Hmmm, how am I going to make it look like the tree is not setting on bricks
Check back later to find how I conceal the bricks.

Although I am still working on the inside of the house the outside is done.
Just a few snapshots of the outside.

I will be decorating the inside of my house all week - I will be blogging along the way so check back often.

Happy Decorating! (Although I am sure everyone is done decorating except me.)

From my heart,