Thursday, December 31, 2009

One of My Christmas Presents

Look what Paige made me for Christmas. Isn't it beautiful? She has been working on this for 2-3 years during college breaks and it was my Christmas present. I opened the box and saw this picture and yes, I cried a bit. All that hard work and it was for me. I have put away all my other Christmas decorations but not this. I want to admire it for a few more weeks. Paige has started on a second one of these and it is for her. She does the most amazing cross stitch. I had a hard time getting a good picture with the reflections.

Off to finish a birthday cake, Erin is 20 tomorrow and then finish cleaning house for a small New Year's Eve Party.

I wish you a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reindeer Pops

Have you ever visited Bakerella? I found this site about a year ago and since then Kaitlyn has been fascinated by her creations. Today, Kaitlyn decided to try the reindeer pops. It is quite the undertaking but in the end they turned out very cute.

First we had quite a few mishaps.

*Two pops ended up on the floor while the chocolate was still wet
*Kaitlyn burned one batch of chocolate bark
*Then you are suppose to make the cake balls the size of a quarter. Kaitlyn always likes bigger, think golf ball size. Good for eating, I don't have a problem with bigger but the pops and the sticks have a problem with bigger.

Here are the cake pops on the sticks drying.

Bad photo but this is what happens when the pops are too big. The weight of the chocolate coating is just too much and plop goes the reindeer.

So Kaitlyn ditched the sticks and just put the pops on a large plate. These turned out very cute and will taste just the same.

This will be my last post for a few days, Christmas celebrations start tomorrow for our family. I can't wait to see all my family.

To you and yours Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Yesterday was the day for baking cookies and candy, I believe it was 12 different kinds at last count. I started in the morning and the twins joined me later in the afternoon (after basketball practice and another school commitment).

Here is a sampling of a few of the cookies. These are going to a dear friend's house tonight, we always have a Christmas celebration with them. My girls love going to their home, it is so warm and cheerful with wonderful food and company. Truth be told, my girls love the presents, my friend does too much for my girls but she thinks about each girl as she purchases the present and it is so perfect for them.

Now here is the best cookie ever, a recipe from a friend 15 years ago. I only make these at Christmas and then put them right in the freezer so I don't eat the entire batch!

Here is the recipe

Cinnamon Nut Crescents
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 egg yolk
Cut butter into flour. Add sour cream and egg yolk. Stir until moistened. Cover and refrigerate several hours.
While dough is refrigerating, mix together and set aside:
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (I usually add much more)
Divide dough into 5 equal portions. Roll out one portion into an 8" circle. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Cut the 8" circle into eighths, they will be crescent shapes. Roll up and place (point down) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue with rest of dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from pan and place on wax paper (makes for easier clean-up).
Mix the following and drizzle on the cookies:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T. milk (or more for the right consistency)
I usually store these in the refrigerator with the milk in the icing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hurray - I Finished It!

The birthdays are over, did I mention in addition to the twins on the 11th, hubby's is on the 12th, so we had a weekend of birthdays. I can't believe Christmas is only 8 days away but I finished son-in-law's stocking two days ago. I have made the felt stockings, from kits for everyone in the family (several years ago), so Jesse needed one of these. I bought this kit at an after-Christmas sale with the intention of working on it a little at a time. What do they say about good intentions? Anyway, I have worked diligently the last week on the stocking and nothing else, my hard work paid off.

Here it is and yes, he has a motorcycle, so this stocking is perfect.

Now I can get back to sewing on my winter coat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday!

My twins are 15 today and I am taking them to get their driver's permit. They are so excited and thrilled. Me? It seems like yesterday they were born, 5-1/2 weeks early, 4 pounds and beautiful. We were so blessed, they stayed in the hospital 4 days and we were able to bring them home.

I made those coats they are wearing. Ordered two kits from the Australian Smocking magazine, and it was quite the splurge. I have to say these might be my most favorite garments ever made, so well worth the cost. Don't they look darling? Kaitlyn is on the left and Meredith is on the right.

Basement Makeover

This is what took up most my time in November and thanks to Mike (hubby) it went smoothly, plus he added some great ideas for his man cave.

You can see the great man cave here and he really had the place to himself, the girls and I didn't like going down into the dark paneled room.

So I give you the befores - the south end, the TV viewing area:

Heading down the stairs, just off the kitchen

Looking up the stairs, the carpet looks very bad, it has been down way too long

A full view of the TV - sectional area:

The landing of the stairs - the door leads to the laundry - sewing room

See where we had to patch the carpet?

The desk - bar area

The bar with just an old light fixture

Now the after - a few gallons of primer and paint and the place looks so much better

The desk area

The sectional area, I have purchased 5 poster size frames from Joann's and plan on taking pictures from our farm to put in the frames. I have one leaning on the sofa to think about this. I am thinking black and white prints, what do you think?

The stairs going up. Mike purchased oak treads from Home Depot and stained them, they look so wonderful

Looking down, we replaced the landing carpet with a floating tile floor from Home Depot. I would really like to do the entire basement. Mike wanted to put a bit of the floor down and see how it holds up. Another good idea.

The walls look white heading down the stairs but it is a tannish-cream, if that makes sense. All the paint came from our local True Value, except the primer, we used Gripper from Home Depot.

Here is a better shot of the landing and one of the treads. I stained the unfinished side of the basement floor, you can see that at the top of the picture.

The bar after - we changed out the light. The wiring was not center above the bar, so the fixture is a more to the left but I can live with that, it is so much better than the old one.

Now only one problem, the man cave doesn't look so cave-ish any more and we tend to watch TV down there more.

So if the girls and I are going to be down there, we need a tree. I found this one at Hobby Lobby, we added some floral picks and balls.

Here is a picture with the flash so you can see the ornaments

No Flash:


A few gallons of paint, a bit of flooring and the oak treds made an incredible difference in this room. Now my question, "Why didn't we do this sooner?"

I am linking this post to:


Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Barbara , if you are reading this can you email me at I have a question about your address and then I can get you magazine in the mail. Thanks.

A picture now, this is a small tree in our basement, which is known as the man cave!

Monday, December 07, 2009


I struggle decorating our big table but not this year thanks to Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas 2009 magazine. There was an article on Family Traditions and they had a beautful table and on pages 72-73 they show you how to create the look. Sorry, I can't find a picture of the magazine on the internet.

Their table has a beautiful tablecloth and the china set for the dinner, which makes it stunning. My table is just decorated but I really like the look.

The small trees came from Joann's after Thanksgiving at 75% off for a big package. The two reindeer from Pier 1. I had all the candlesticks and table runner.

My busy morning:

I just finished cleaning up water in our basement - the water softener decided to empty its entire contents on the basement floor. The shop vac and I became very acquainted this morning! Now to finish the clean up and it is back to the McCall's coat muslin.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

One Yard Wonders - Apron

My niece has gotten into cooking and has been taking classes at her local grocery store in the city. My sister-in-law suggested her own cooking or baking supplies and then I suggested an apron. So out came my new book:

And it a short time, I had this for her present, it is such a cute apron and easy and quick. I measured my 18" doll form (American Girl doll size) and made an apron for her doll. She still really likes her dolls and whenever I make her something I always make something for the


Here is a close-up of the doll apron.

Now to clean house and then I am sewing a muslin for this, minus the ruffle (McCall's 5717)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Trees All Over the Place

The girls and I have been busy decorating several trees and we have been thoroughly enjoying it. I thought I would share them with you.

Here is the tree we cut last Sunday, Meredith picked it out and we all agreed it was a great tree. Dad was the voice of reason and said, "Meredith, it is a big tree and will fill up our room." Meredith didn't think he was right and really wanted this tree. So, timber, down the tree came and into our home. Meredith walks by it everyday and states, "I didn't think it was that big out in the field!"

We used every ornament we had and it still needs more. The tree topper is one I made 25+ years ago, does that make it an antique? I made the tree skirt, several years ago, too.

It is big, isn't it?

Here are the white trees purchased from Dollar General for the twins' rooms. Meredith went with a purple, bright blue, orange and hot pink theme. Yes, this is the same girl who makes those sunglasses required quilts.

With the flash and she used some of her bright fabric yardage for the tree skirt:

Without the flash:

The bright ornaments and ribbons

Kaitlyn's room has aqua walls, which she picked but her favorite color is red. So the white tree has all red ornaments and garland (pom-pom from Dollar General)
Without the flash:

The tree sits in her dormer window, I have moved an ornament to the middle of the tree, see that bare spot? Now a picture with the flash:

a close-up of her red:

We have an artificial tree in the living room but I have put pictures up previously, so I won't bore you with that one. It has ornaments on it I was given growing up, it is so fun to pull out the ornaments and remember who gave them to me and where they bought them.
Sewing yes, I am doing that. I am working on an apron for my niece's Christmas, it is from the book One-Yard Wonders.
Also, I bought a McCall's pattern tonight for my wool. I can't wait to start that project.