Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Three completed projects

Well, hello there everyone! Yup, it's been a while, hasn't it? I finally have something to post, though. I finished the Cozy Cottages BOM from Shabby Fabrics yesterday! OK I do have to add a label but otherwise it's done. I took some photos this morning that I'd love to share with you.
I almost bound it in a green print, but then I got a yard of this aqua fabric from Sharon and I thought it went better. You can sort of see it better in the next pic.

Here are a few more pics just for fun!

I also made a few wool felt candle mats from Penny Lane Primitives. In my last post, I showed you the images from the website, as well as the patterns and bundle that I received. Don't you just love her patterns?? I find handwork so relaxing. Plus working with wool is doesn't unravel, and it just takes embroidery floss so well. Know what I mean? Anyway, here's the first one...the pattern is called "Spring." I bought the kit for this one since I didn't really have lighter-color wools. Colonial Crafts was very generous with the amount of wool felt they sent...I had plenty left over. The following pictures are mine:

And the second one is called "Penny Sheep." I didn't buy the kit but I did buy a bundle of primitive-color felt bundle.

Now I'm starting another embroidery project I got from Sharon. I'll be sure to show you when it's finished! Have a wonderful day!

♥ Jen

Monday, February 25, 2013

Happily crafting

Hi and thank you for visiting me! How are you doing? All's well here...the kids had last week off for February Break. There's a question around here as to why this break is was started in the 70s during the energy crisis, to try to save the schools money. But 40 years later, the break still goes on. It just seems like it's unnecessary and interrupts the learning process. But hey, ask the kids and you get a different answer!
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I finished blocks 11 and 12 from the house quilt, yaay! Here they are, November and December:
I am really digging November's block. I love the colors, and the mix of cottons and wool!
I wanted to do something different than the expected red and green. These go better with the whole quilt, anyway.

And here are all of them, laid out together:
I'm pleased with the way they've turned out. Trying to figure out my favorite. I keep looking at November!
Here's a closer look at the first six...
...and the last six.

I have some fabrics picked out for the sashing, borders, and cornerstones. I forgot to take a picture of them but they're pinks, yellows and blues. I think it will look nice. I couldn't decide when to add the embellishments...after it's all quilted? But then you'll see the threads on the back. After the top is all sewn together? Then it's bulky and a pain to work with. So I'm sewing them on now, pre-put together. I may regret this later but I really didn't know what the perfect solution would be. What do you do?
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I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to Spring. I've been eyeing this candle mat kit on the Colonial Crafts website for a year...
image borrowed from Colonial Crafts website
...when I got a coupon code for 15% off (sorry, it's expired now), I pulled the trigger and ordered it. I also got a few other things. What can I say, I love Colonial Crafts!
This is a closeup of the wools included in the bunny candle mat kit.
And here's a closeup of the separate wool felt bundle. I thought these colors would be nice in the sheep candle mat.
image borrowed from Colonial Crafts website
They have the best wool felt bundles and coordinating patterns. Service is super fast too! My aunt used to go to their store when she travelled in New England, but I think they just have an online business now. It's wonderful, check it out when you get a chance!

Take care my to do some housework.

♥ Jen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Hi folks! How's everyone been? I've been crafty lately, believe it or not! It's funny, I went into Joann's a week or so ago and the manager said, "Wow, we haven't seen you in a while!" LOL Anyway it's nice to have some time to get some crafting done. I've missed it!
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I've been trying to catch up on my Country Cottages BOM. I got August through October done (minus the embellishments, of course).
If you see some blue pen marks, I'm having a heck of a time getting them to erase and STAY erased. I'm not going to buy this brand of "disappearing" pen anymore, that's for sure.

By the way, if you're interested in doing this BOM, I think they're leaving it up til March on their website. After that the patterns will be for sale. I printed all the final months/finishing instructions out already.

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I also got the cutest purse pattern and couldn't wait to make it. It's called "To Market," from This & That Patterns. This is a picture from their website.
Isn't it adorable? Plus I had gotten the purse handles from Sharon a while ago and I needed a project to go with them. Here's the one that I made:
I'm not an experienced purse-maker, but this was definitely NOT easy. I've done lots of zippers before but this one was the hardest. Plus, the last part of the instructions made no sense so I had to rely on my past-bag-making knowledge (ha!). But I got it done. Will I ever make another one? Most likely not!
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As you might be able to see in the above picture, I'm trying to decide on a new paint color for our downstairs. The little strip of light color around the outlet is the old color; I want to go a bit darker this time. There are two swatches on the wall...I think I'm leaning toward the one on the left. What do you think?  They're pretty similar, I admit.

I hope you have a great day! Thanks for stopping by.

♥ Jen

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas is coming!

Hi everyone! Boy the excitement sure is building, isn't it? Today is my kids' last day of school before Christmas vacation. I got a few last minute things done this morning, so this weekend I can spend with my family and get ready for some happy Christmas travellers. I made my bi-annual trip to the Polish deli to get kielbasa for Christmas morning. We always have that for breakfast, along with eggs, coffee cake and oranges that the kids get in their stockings.
What's for Christmas dinner? We're having a replay of Thanksgiving, pretty much...turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. I was going to make roast beef, but the children don't like it so I'd have to make something else for them. This way everyone will enjoy it. My husband and I went "gluten-free" so it's a little more challenging cooking...not too bad though. We've really seen health benefits from it so it's definitely been worth the change!
I printed out all the months I didn't get to in Shabby Fabric's Country Cottages BOM. After the holidays I plan to finish those and get that quilt made. I'd also like to get some table runners and candle mats done...stuff for around the house. I have the fabric for my next quilt all ready to go...isn't this the cutest line? It's called "Posy."
I just love Aneela Hoey's style. Now to find a pattern to go with it!
Merry Christmas friends...and peace to you and your families.

♥ Jen

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Uh, hi.

I feel really bad that I haven't posted in months! Hello, friends! I hope you are all doing well. I just hadn't had much to post, to tell you the truth. But I recently finished a quilt and I thought you might like to see it. It's a Christmas gift for a certain little girl, I can't say who until after December 25!
The pattern I used is Jelly-Filled by Thimble Blossoms. I also used Camille's fabric for the center of the quilt...a Marmalade jelly roll. I just fell in love with the colors! So here it is:
The red polka dot is from Lakehouse, and the aqua outer border is another favorite from Carrie's from her Fresh Palette line. I used another Fresh Palette fabric for the backing.
This quilt was fun to put together. I did some in-the-ditch and criss-cross quilting in the middle; then meandered in the outer border.

I also made stacks of potholders to include in teachers' gifts. They were soooo fun to make! And super-duper easy, especially if you start off with a layer cake like I did. Thanks to Jen for sending me the link to the tutorial!
Well, I hope you liked checking out my latest projects. Again, I apologize for not being around more often. I hate it when bloggers that I follow disappear! I will post more often, I promise. Take care and Merry Christmas!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gooseberry Patch cookbook WINNER!

First of all, thanks to everyone who entered the drawing! I'm so glad you're loving "101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes." My daughter picked a random number, and the winner is...

JENNIFER (nice name, by the way!)! Jennifer said,

"Looks like I got in just under the wire - Phew! I only own a couple of Gooseberry patch cookbooks but have enjoyed many of the recipes from them - the are so fun and cheery to use, too! I sure would love to win this cookbook this cookbook for my bed & breakfast! I just told Mr. Innkeeper (aka hubby, aka Mark) that I am hoping to win this and he says to give you a message for him..."Pick me"!"

Congratulations! I will email you so that I can get your mailing address. Thanks again for everyone's entries!

♥ Jen

Friday, August 10, 2012

"101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes" review and giveaway!

It's time for another Early Bird review of Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook!
This one is called 101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes. It's from their Photo Series of cookbooks, so each recipe has a beautiful color picture. I love the format!
The nice folks at Gooseberry Patch sent me two to review, and one to give away to a reader. So read on and find out how you could win! But first, I tried three of the recipes that I'd like to share with you!
The first one (and my favorite) is called "Hashbrown Quiche."
3 Cups frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
1/4 Cup butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 Cup half-and-half
3/4 Cup cooked hame, diced
1/2 Cup green onions, chopped
1 Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In an ungreased 9" pie plate, combine hashbrowns and butter. Press hashbrowns into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Pour mixture over hashbrowns.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 30 minutes, or until quiche is golden and set. Serves 4 to 6.
VERDICT: This is deeeeeeelicious. The hashbrowns crust is genius! One of my all-time favorite GP recipes now. The combination of potatoes, cheese, eggs, ham and green onions is to die for. We had this for dinner along with a salad and some crusty bread. Yum!
Recipe #2 is "PB&J Breakfast Bars."
1-1/2 Cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsps. butter, melted
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 Cup favorite-flavor jam

In a bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix until crumbs form. Reserve 1/2 cup of oat mixture for topping; firmly spread remaining mixture in a lightly greased, parchment paper-lined 8"x8" baking pan.
My helper!
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden. In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, egg and remaining salt.
Spread cream cheese mixture over baked crust; spread with jam. Top with reserved oat mixture.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until topping is golden; cool. Refrigerate for one hour, or until fully set. Cut into bars. Makes 12 to 15.
VERDICT: Pretty good! The peanut butter/cream cheese layer is a bit too cream cheese-heavy for me; if I make these again, I will only use half the amount of cream cheese. The oats layer is very yummy.
OK, now for the final recipe in this review! This one is short and sweet and it's called, "Feel-Good Shake."

2 bananas, sliced
2 Cups milk
2 Cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 Cup pineapple juice
1 Tbsp. honey

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Serve immediately. Makes one serving.
VERDICT: The serving size printed in the book is incorrect, unless you want to drink one huge smoothie! I cut the recipe in half and I still had enough for four 8-oz. servings. But besides that, this is a very good recipe. I love smoothies and the flavors of this one blend really well together.
I hope you decide to make these and tell me what you think! For a chance to win your own copy of this book, please leave me a comment on this post with your email address. I will not consider your entry if there is no way to get in touch with you. A random winner will be chosen on Tuesday, August 21st. If you can't wait and want to purchase a copy of "101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes," you can do so here.
Best of luck and thanks for visiting!

♥ Jen