Friday, December 31, 2010

Tea Cozy and Crackers

The dawn of the last day of the year. The soft glow was wonderful for moments, when the earth was hanging on to the last little bit of night, then bursting into dazzling sunshine. We woke to shivery chrystals of ice and sun. We haven't seen much sun for the last few weeks. What a welcome sight!
One of the projects I was working on for gifts was another tea cozy. With space for handle and spout, tea can be poured without removing the cozy. Made of washed recycled wool, hand appliqued, cotton batting to hold warmth, lined with cotton, and trimmed with bias cotton.

I made it for my sister. We have been enjoying tea time lately.

I tried a new cracker recipe for a party last night.

I used some of my own milled whole wheat flour. They have a rich nutty taste. They are not too heavy or cardboardy tasting, as sometimes happens with whole wheat.
I roll the chilled dough out to about 1/8th" thick. Then I brushed on a little melted butter infused with garlic, rosemary, and fresh cracked pepper. Cut to the size of a tea bag. Then baked for 9 minutes.
Mmmmm. Served plain or with fresh farmers or goat cheese.......yum.

Thank you for your wonderful inspiration and thoughts this past year. You all are amazing. May you treasure the memories of this past year, and experience true joy in the new year.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jingle Bell Tassels

I enjoy a few tassels around. Most tassels are a little fancy. I made some last year using old glass door knobs for the top.

A few look good juxtaposed against my more primitive decor. Last night I was hanging some jingle bell garlands that I made, and had an idea for a bell tassel using a few left over bells.

First I cut a fringe from a scrap of black wool and some homespun cotton.

I tied the bells with some knit cord, and stained the candle cup.

I threaded a loop of cord through the hole in the bottom of the candle cup for hanging. Then placed the grouped end of cording on the fabric and rolled. After placing a generous amount of hot glue in the candle cup I shoved the rolled end in and waited.......How will this look????? while the glue cooled and dried.

Finished! A Primitive jungle bell tassel.

I hope you are enjoying yourself in the hurry of the season. Much of the time we rush about, as I have been doing, and neglect to ponder or appreciate the meaning of this season. Is it a duty? What family and friends expect? I want to be joyful and share the love that God has shown me (even during some hard times) with those I love and others I cross paths with day by day and on occasion. May you experience peace this day.


Monday, December 13, 2010

No Show and Tell

What Pictures can I show you? Show and tell is hard to do right now, because everything I have been working on are presents. I would hate to ruin a surprise. There are a few people who will stop by and see what I'm wrapping up to give to them. Sooooooo....instead, I'll show you one or two things around the house.
I love the old world Father Christmas. He sets the tone for the long ago Christmas flavor we try to keep in our home. Lots of greens and garlands. Old Christmas theme stitchery, jungle bells, and candles everywhere.

One example of a candle arrangement is: a wooden bowl, old silver that I have bent to hang and hold a small candle, a hurricane, and spices.

I put the hurricane in the bowl, added star anise, allspice, rose hips, cinnamon sticks and cloves. around the outside of the hurricane. I hooked the twisted silver spoons on the edge of the hurricane and set the candle on the bowl of the large serving spoon. It sets next to an angel and a old wooden cake pedestal holding orange and clove pomanders, covered with a old wire dome. All draped with a wool garland proclaiming "Joy to the World".

During the dark time of the year I hate to get out of bed and have all the lights in the house on. It seems so intrusive all the lights blazing. I like to wake up gently. I use candles and oil lamps in the mornings while I make the morning coffee (cocoa for me), breakfasts, and lunches.

My husband comes down to join me for a candlelight breakfast. It's a quiet and intimate time, starting the day together in the soft glow, watching the light grow out the windows. It helps keep a relaxed atmosphere, a time when we don't have to rush.

I hope you are enjoying this season. These special times spent with family and friends are a time apart from the everyday. A time for memories to be made.
Thank you for letting me share with you,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall, Tea, and Comfort Food

The leaves are still here, gorgeous, falling. I love the fogy mornings, the earth wearing a mantel of shrouded mystery. Soon the color will be gone, .....on the ground for me to rake. Fall......
it's time for comfort meals, cozy quilts, hot chocolate, spiced cider, crackling fires, and tea with friends.

Comfort foods aplenty here. The Oregonian featured this Bacon, Onion, Upside down Cornbread last week. Baked in a cast iron pan.

Very yummy! And pares well with soup. I made a Split Pea soup.

I started a new project. Using recycled wool, wool and cotton scraps. In the style of Maggie Bonanomi, who designs 19th century-inspired primitive projects, I made a Tea Cozy.

I made openings on each side of the cozy. One for the spout, and one for the handle. Tea may be poured without removing the cozy and losing heat.
There is a different design on each side.

I'm also spending time snuggling with my newest granddaughter, Emery Abigail.

Looking at the beautiful, bright warm tones of leaves gently swirling to the ground, I'm reminded of how rich and warm life is. I hope you are enjoying your fall.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Simple Pleasure of Hydrangeas

One of my daughters has two beautiful hydrangea bushes. When the nights turned cool, she harvested a box full of blooms and brought them over.
With a salvaged straw wreath and some hot glue, I fashioned this wreath to enjoy till we see the new blooms next season. Simple pleasures.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Fruit" From the Waiting Room

What do you do in a waiting room? From what I have seen the last several years, most people read, talk to other people waiting, watch T.V., or knit. I've done my share of reading. I mostly do a lot of handwork. This summer, just before Father's Day I started on a table runner. When I knew I would be hours in hospital waiting rooms and doctors offices, I grabbed the project, thankful that I had something started. I finally finished. I kind of like it on the back of the couch (the couch is another story and soon to be recovered).
The base fabric is natural linen. Old washed wool scraps were appliqued on in an overhand stitch.

Bound in homespun cotton. Here and there some embroidery stitches are worked into the design.
A reminder of warm summer days.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Break Is Over

Summer has been crazy! I know.....summer has been over for several weeks.....I'm not sure.......Well, it's Fall now, but let me tell you some of what summer was for me. The biggest news is our new grand baby. Emery is a little doll. Grandma gets a little spoiling time two afternoons a week, while mommy is at school. Lucky me!
I told you about Gerry breaking his ankle on Fathers Day. He is still walking with a brace because of nerve damage, (still trying to figure out how that happened....), so I have to drive him everywhere. Because of the driving time, about one hour to the office, an hour back, then again in the afternoon or evening to pick him up,I didn't have much gardening time.
Despite the neglect, the dahlias are gorgeous. We have had a cooler summer in the northwest, so many flowers have had a much longer bloom time. The veggies have taken much longer to arrive also. I'm really glad the corn season has been longer or I would have missed out. I was finally able to get some today. Yum!

Luscious organic corn, grown on a historic farm near our home.

We will enjoy this summer sunshine all winter.

Hopefully, I'm back to blogging now. I'm starting to be able to reclaim some time for myself. I've enjoyed visiting your sites for some relaxing moments. Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us out here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Really??? Today???? Oh yeah! It birthday. Family came over last Saturday. We had a fine celebration. So, I kind of just forgot about it. My mind has been centered more on doctors appointments and pain medication (that doesn't seem to be helping much) for my husband. In between that I was harvesting some broccoli that was starting to bolt.
Finding the last of the season's rhubarb.
Chopping it up for the freezer.

Mmmm....pies, crisp, jam, chutney........what about roasting some for a savory sauce?......

Taking a walk in the garden for a few moments.......breath.............

Marveling at the first raspberries.

Being amazed with the hydrangea bush. Last year this bush grew 3 blooms. This year......Well, whatever liked it!

Then pausing to look back, just a quick glance, before I go back to thinking about those things crowding my life right now. It is a happy birthday.....It's my life. Sometimes unfortunate things happen. But in the middle of it all I am blessed. I thank God the the last of the rhubarb, the first amazing luscious raspberries, and for special people who bring me garden fresh flowers.