Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beautiful Heart By A Talented Woman

I received a very unexpected surprise in the mail from CathyB. She sent me the most gorgeous Heart Ornament that was made by her Mom; I see where Cathy gets her talent. I only wish that I was skilled at Tatting, maybe I should put that on my long list of "Things to do in 2009" ~ learn Tatting! Thank you to Cathy and her Mom for the beautiful heart, I will treasure this forever.

Heart Ornament
From CathyB
Tatting by Cathy's Mom

I was able to finish two Personalized Name Trees for Christmas. M Design Name Trees are one of my all time favorite ornaments. I have name tree patterns for both of my sons but I have not started them. They are now on that growing list, you know “Things To Do In 2009”~

Vonna Personalized Name Tree

Jerryann Personalized Name Tree

I happened upon a freebie Tote Bag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs that I though I would share with you. This too will get added to my "Things to do in 2009" list. :)

Well, I just said good-bye to both of my sons who are venturing out for the evening. One is heading to NYC with his girlfriend to ring in the New Year and the other is ringing in the New Year at a party in the next town. I shall retire to the couch, pick up a my stitching, and stay warm while I view the ball drop on television. I should point out that I will almost certainly be heading out (in the freezing cold) in the wee hours of the morning to pick my son up from the train station upon his return from the city...the benefit of being a night owl.

Thank you for popping in periodically throughout the year to read my blog. I wish each of you a very happy and healthy New Year~

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SBBC Birthday Gift, Holiday Recipes

I participated in the Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club and I received my birthday exchange from Judith. Apparently she is aware of how much I like Halloween designs because she selected this great design and finished it as a long skinny pillow, how cute. Judith also stitched a floss caddy using some wonderful Moda fabric. Thank you Judith for the wonderful surprise.

SBBC: Birthday Gift from Judith

Do you need a side dish recipe for your holiday dinner??? I like this one because it taste great, and looks so festive on the table.

Festive Side Dish Recipe

Green Beans and Pearl Onions with Tarragon Vinaigrette
Serves: 8-10

1 red bell pepper

12-14 oz pearl onions, about 3/4" in diameter, unpeeled

1 T salt, plus a pinch of salt

2 lbs green beans

1-2 T tarragon white wine vinegar

2 T olive oil

freshly ground pepper


Cut red pepper into thin strips and saute in 2 T of olive oil until tender. Set aside.

Fill a saucepan 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add onions and 1 T of salt and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, cover partially for 2-3 minutes; drain and plunge into cold water.

Cut off the root ends; slip off skin and set the onions aside.

Trim the stems from the green beans and cut beans into 3/4 inch lengths. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook, uncovered, until just tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. Drain again and set aside.

Just before serving, combine 1 T of the vinegar and the pinch of salt in a small bowl, then add pepper to taste and whisk together. Pour into a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onions and beans and toss until heated through, 1 minute. Taste for seasoning, adding more vinegar or salt if needed.

Here is one of my very favorite salad recipes:

Orange-Avocado Salad
Yield: 8-10

3 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 C honey, mild flavored
3/4 lb baby spinach salad, washed and trimmed
fresh pepper
1/2 C olive oil
2-3 ripe avocados
2 T minced sweet red onion
1/2 t salt
1/2 t minced fresh mint or 1 t crushed dried mint
4-5 oranges

Wash spinach and wrap in clean, damp kitchen towel . Place in refrigerator for at least 2-3 hrs to chill/crisp.
Cut avocados in half, remove pit, peel, cut lengthwise into thin strips; set aside.
Peel orange, remove white membrane; cut crosswise into thin slices, remove seeds; set aside.
In small bowl stir lemon juice + salt until dissolved. Whisk in honey and a little pepper, then whisk in olive oil, onion, mint. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
To assemble:Arrange chilled spinach on individual plates. Top w/avocado slices and orange slices. Whisk dressing again and drizzle on salad.

I do hope that you all enjoy the holidays!!!

Until next time...

Gorgeous Ornament

I am so excited to have received such a wonderful ornament from Valerie! She tells me that this is her first pillow finish, hard to believe seeing as it is so nicely finished. The design is from the November 2008 Gift of Stitching ~ I recognized it immediately since it tops my list of projects from this issue! Valerie stitched the ornament on 32ct Lakeside Linen Vintage Light Examplar using Crescent Colors (Cupid). It is perfect and I love what she did on the reverse side, take a look...

In addition I was treated to this lovely array of extras.

HOE Ornament Exchange from Valerie

Many thanks Valerie for this wonderful exchange, you certainly made my day!

My friend just had her very first grand baby (a baby girl) and here is the baby quilt that I made.

Khloe's Baby Quilt

My younger son arrived home from college and I am anxiously awaiting the return of my older son who is busy with finals. He is expected home on Friday, that is if the weather holds out. We are expecting icy conditions but nothing like what those in MA, NH, and parts of VT are dealing with~that is truly dreadful!

I was watching Martha Stewart prepare this potato recipe and I have decided that I will include it in our holiday meal this year. What I like about it is you can prepare it ahead of time and bake it later. The recipe is courtesy of chef Emeril Lagasse and can be found in his cookbook, "Emeril's Potluck."

Potatoes a la Boulangere
Yield: 10-12 servings

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups thinly sliced onions
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 pounds red bliss or Yukon

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer onions to a large bowl and let cool.

3) In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat, and cook a quarter of the potatoes until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a platter and let cool. Repeat process three more times with remaining butter, potatoes, salt, and pepper.

4) Arrange a quarter of the cooled potatoes in a slightly overlapping single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with a third of the onions and sprinkle 1 teaspoon thyme over the dish. Layer another quarter of the potatoes over onions and thyme and top with another third of the onions and 1 teaspoon of thyme. Repeat process and finish with a layer of potatoes.

5) Pour chicken stock over potatoes and transfer baking dish to oven. If you like you can refrigerate until ready to bake...

6) Bake for 25 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking until potatoes are golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

I know that you are all quite busy so I thank you for taking the time to stop by ~ I do hope that you are able to find a few minutes to sit and stitch!

Until next time...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Exchanges Sent and Received

Life has kept me busy and I am finding it difficult to set aside time to blog but I must take a minute to share pictures of a number of exchange pieces that I received and sent...

This is what I stitched for Carol R for the HOE Ornament Exchange:

HOE Ornament
Stitched for Carol R

I participated in an ornament exchange with the Prairie Schooler group and received a wonderful exchange from Cyndi. Thanks so much Cyndi, I just love my new ornament and look forward to hanging it on our tree. Thanks for the wonderful extras that you included.

PS Ornament Exchange from Cyndi

And here is what I stitched for Cyndi:

PS Exchange

Stitched for Cyndi

Below are three of the latest Fair and Square exchange pieces that I received. Many thanks to Nicky, Melissa, and Sue!


F&S Round #9 from Nicky

F&S Holiday Round from Melissa

F&S Round 10 from Sue

And here are two of the F&S Exchanges that I sent out:

Fair & Square Round #9 For Nicky

F&S Holiday for Melissa

I must wait until Sue receives her F&S round #10 before posting a picture.

Since returning from Texas I have been busy trying to finish some Quilting UFO's! I guess you could say that attending the Quilt Festival served to spark my passion for quilting. I have completed the top to my Flannel quilt, which is quite a large quilt (98" x 112"), and I picked up the Baby Quilt from the quilter and have put the binding on. I will show pictures of both in a later post.

As for stitching I have spent the last two days trying to organize my pattern stash. A visit to Staples yesterday left me organizing until about 3AM but I did get quite a bit accomplished ~yahoo!

It is hard to believe that I have no more exchanges due in 2008. I am keeping busy stitching a few Christmas gifts for friends and spending Friday nights stitching on VOHRH with the Let's Stitch Group.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time...