LITTLE STITCHES

This summer I have been doing some hand work, specifically, a couple of embroidery pieces for Ella’s room at their cabin.  She has this sweet little space that has been outfitted with two antique twin beds, comforters, quilts, pillows and a tiny dresser tucked under the window. The teddybear is outfitted in a sweater I knitted for Ella when she was a baby and grew out of in and instant.   I found two darling designs on NeedleCrafter.com in their free design collection and they were perfect for her room.  There isn’t much wall space as you can see so these little framed pieces of stitchery added the right touch.  Most importantly, she was thrilled with them.

Taylor was very interested in what I was doing for Ella’s room so he and I discussed what I could stitch up for his room.  He decided he would like a combination of his favorite animal (tiger) and his favorite sport (football).  So, I turned to my wool felt stash and embroidery floss to whip up this little treasure for him.  He was thrilled.  This might be my last shot of stitching something he will be excited to have.  He displays it on his nightstand by his bed, which obviously makes grandma feel really good.

Recently we entertained a group of friends and thought I would share a couple of the recipes I made for the evening that really work nicely for buffet service and a large group. Best thing is, both could be made ahead of time, which is always an important part of entertaining for me.  It takes all the stress out of that last minute rush that happens when everyone has arrived.

For my table decor, I used my antique McCoy flower vases filled with zinnias I picked up at the farmer’s Market earlier in the day.  Nothing says summer like these brightly colored flowers.  I made the runner from scraps of cotton and linen canvas from the Cotton+Steel collection.  The strips are cut between 4, 5 and 6 inches and randomly pieced together with the same print at each end.  This piecing was the best for the fabric…no need for complicated piecing.  It was also completed in a jiffy…perfect for when you have a few minutes and you want to sew a little and get something done fast. I thought it was a perfect complement to the flowers and vases.

For the main course, I served a salad, garlic bread and baked spaghetti and meatballs.  I found a recipe in a recent Southern Celebrations Autumn magazine (which, by the way, has a lot of great recipes in it as well as fall decorating inspiration…worth picking up), I altered the recipe a bit knowing a few of my guests object to both green peppers and mushrooms. I also doubled the meatball recipe because half the crowd was men. It was very tasty and a hit with everyone.  I made two casseroles for my group and everyone was happy.  I stopped in at our local farmer’s market earlier in the day to pick up all the fresh ingredients for a hearty salad and we were all set.

SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS CASSEROLE RECIPE

For dessert, I made a strawberry shortcake trifle.  This should be made at least 8 hours in advance, which is why I always turn to it for a dinner party.  Also, guests can serve themselves which makes it even easier when you are busy with everything else going on.  I do make my own bundt cake for the trifle, but a purchased pound cake also works well.  A tall glass bowl works well for a trifle both for presentation and the height allows for many layers of cream and berries.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE TRIFLE RECIPE

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GARDEN TOUR

July flew by and I guess I have spent the whole month in the garden and at the cabin.  I did work on some fun stitching projects for Ella and Taylor’s rooms that should be ready to share with you next time.

I have little to show you from my sewing room, but did take snapshots of my yard last week. July is the peak for most of the plants in my garden. Some early blooming plants are lingering and the late summer blooms have arrived. Take a few minutes and “stroll” through my garden (more…)

LONG GONE

I think the category of “out-of-print patterns and books”, most specifically, past Block of the Month patterns is the most requested information I receive.    Next is the category of “out-of-print fabrics”. In many cases, consumers are looking for items from ten to fifteen years ago and I just do not have resources for those items any longer.  I understand many of you are (more…)

CATCHING UP

I can tell summer activities have consumed me.  Between yard work here at the house and the cabin as well as kitchen duty, the summer is flying by and I haven’t kept up on my blogging.   In my last post I think I included a picture of one of my pots that I was planting.  Well, here it is a month later.  It has survived 4 hail storms, some high winds and some unseasonal cold temps but is thriving.  I like having the pictures…it comes in handy when deciding what to plant next spring.  Above is the pot the end of May, and here it is now. 

This is one of my favorite views of my back yard.   (more…)

IT IS TIME….

This week found me outside everyday.  We had one of those weeks of weather that makes a gardener go crazy.  We call it Minnesota beautiful.  That means sunny, no wind, a high of 70° and no humidity.  It was perfect for everything…work and leisure.  I have learned over the years that I generally need two to three trips to the nursery. (more…)

Spring Spruce Up

Each season always brings a renewed effort to spruce up the house and garden.  It is always fun to change things up a bit without major investments.  The first thing I turn to is moving my accessories from room to room and changing up the combination of items. This exercise always makes things look fresh again and each time I do it I think I have found the right combination. But soon, it will change again. The space above my china cupboard in my dining room is always the first place I start and is the most fun to do.  I know have shared  this view a number of times, but items are a new combination.

I have been dabbling a bit painting with acrylics and this past month did two new paintings for spots in my house that needed a change of pace.   (more…)

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