Monday, December 28, 2009

The Holidays

The holidays are almost over.  We've eaten too much and had some wonderful visits with friends and family members.  It's time to start putting away the decorations..maybe New Year's Day.  We had a wonderful family get together at my daughter's home.  I was given many wonderful gifts and the big suprise was the apron my granddaughter, Kimberly, made in school.  I thought she was going to give it to her mother, but she decided she wanted to gift it to me!  I love it.  I had given her three fabrics from my stash to choose from as it really didn't make sense for her to go to the store to buy fabric when I have so much right here.  I'll be wearing this when making next year's Christmas Cookies instead or wiping my hands on the sides of my jeans while baking.
Looking forward to a full and fun New Year!
Here I am posing with my new apron.
Please post comments, I love to read them.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas To All!

It's Christmas Day and I'm still making cookies for our family get together tomorrow. 
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookie Time!

Well the countdown is here. My shopping is almost completed so now I'm focusing on the cookies.  I read a friend's blog yesterday and she posted a recipe for Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies.  So I gave them a try.  My dough was not holding together well so I added about 1 TB of cold water.  My first batch I took out of the oven at 10 min. to check them and the centers weren't cooked.  They just needed a bit more time. 17 minutes seemed to work with my oven.  I'm a chocolate lover so I drizzled melted cho. chips over the cookies when they had cooled.  Thanks Rayna for the Recipe!
Give 'em a try, they are delicious and easy!

1 Cup soft butter
1/2 Cup brown sugar (I used light, she uses dark.  Either will work)
2 1/2 Cups sifted flour
1 TB cold water-I added this as my dough was not holding together well.

Beat butter and sugar till fluffy, stir in flour till smooth.  Divide dough in half and refrigerate till ready to roll out.  Roll out first half of dough on floured surface, quite thin, cut w/ cookie cutter of your choice.  
Bake 15-20 min at 300 (or 325) or until lightly golden brown.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Dinner and Craft Time with Friends

I had some friends over last week for my annual Holiday Dinner at Diane's.  I wish I had a larger home with a nice dining room so I could invite everyone, but I'm thankful to have my home and it is big enough for me most of the year.  I thought of adding a room off the kitchen several years ago so I'd have a nice dining space to have family and friends over.  It never happened, mostly due to finances.

I think the dinner went well.  I used some recipes from Better Homes and Gardens December  issue.  I made the stuffed pork loin, string beans, roasted potatoes and a fruit plate my friend Donna brought to the dinner.  Everyone said the meal was delicious and I know I liked it.  I'll cook the pork and green beans again soon!  The green beans were especially easy to prepare so I thought I'd post the recipe here if anyone would like to give it a try.
"Sauteed Green Beans with Shallot Crisps"
Prep time 20 min.  Cook time 14 min.
Serves 8, each serving 100 calories

1/3 C cooking oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
5-6 shallots, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

1. In a small skillet heat oil over medium high heat.  Add half the shallots.  Fry 3-4 minutes, until crisp and dark golden brown.  Remove from oil; drain on double-thickness of paper towels.  Cook remaining shallots.  Set aside.
2. Cook beans in a large pot, covered, in enough boiling water to cover for 6-8 minutes until crisp-tender.  Drain and submerse in ice water to cool quickly; drain well.
3.  Heat a 12" skillet over medium high heat.  Add butter and oil, swirling to coat skillet.  Add beans.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until beans are heated through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a serving bowl and top with shallot crisps.
MAKE AHEAD:  Shallots may be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.

I had requests for this recipe it was soooo good.  A great way to enjoy green vegetables!
After dinner we had some wonderful apple pie one of my friends brought over. 
When we finished dessert, it was craft time!
My friend Bonnie supplied the plaid flannel for the snowmen, thanks Bonnie!  We also made a "test" piece at her house a few days before the party.  I wanted to make little "kits" for each person, but ran out of time so I just handed them out to them.  I sewed the snowmen and their coats on my little singer.  They did the rest.
Here's a picture of the ornaments each person made.  They enjoyed hand sewing, stuffing the snowman, and dressing him.  Some sewed a small bell to the end of his cap.  Sharing the holidays with friends is such fun!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Middle School Arts Project

Friday night the 6th grade Franklin Middle School students did a presentation that included singing a song they wrote about Franklin, calling square dances and square dancing themselves.  The beautiful quilts along the front of the stage are the results of the blocks each of the children made during the project.  Many volunteers from the the community were involved and it was a success!  The quilts will be donated to local charities.

In a previous post there is more information on the project if you missed it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Snowstorm and Beautiful Birds

We had quite a good snowstorm today.  It started early A.M. and continued for most of the day.  They closed the office I work at on Wed. so I've been cleaning and decorating the house all day.  The tree looks pretty good, especially when I found the rest of the lights that needed to go on it.  UPS delivered my order from LLBean today, quick delivery!!  Now I have to wrap presents.  So much to do.

I was sitting eating lunch this afternoon and looked across out the window to see a beautiful Cardinal!!  I love them !  I grabbed my camera and took lots of shots.  Most of them came out pretty terrible, out of focus etc. probably because it was snowing so hard (I think the auto focus got confused).  But I like this one and a couple of others.  I'll be making cards from them and listing on my Etsy Shop.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Art Quilt Challenge

Today we got the news! The theme for the 1st quilt challenge is the word, COMFORT. I have a lot of ideas swimming around in my head but don't want to over think it. One of my good friends is a Health and Hospice nurse so that comes to mind as one idea. Many others, so I'll see where it takes me. I can't post it here until I've finished it and posted it to the challenge site. We will be making a 12" x 12" mini quilt every other month so this is due in February.

Snow arrived last night! It was so beautiful, large, fluffy flakes, great to make snowballs. Yes, I had my first snowball fight of the season. It wasn't too serious and a lot of fun. I'm having a difficult time posting pictures to my blog, so I'll have to get that figured out pretty soon so I can share more pictures with you.

I had a good time yesterday going to some nice little shops with my daughters and two of my grandkids. My good friend Muffie was able to come over from the coast to join us. We went to a farm that had the funniest goats. They look like they have smiles on their faces. I didn't have my camera so didn't get any shots of them. The kids fed them some bread, and it was all so cute with the snow falling around them.

Off to see if I can find some partridge berries with my sister so we can make some berry bowls. We'll have to check under the snow!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Everyday Stuff

New England is in a warming trend I think. Today it has been in the 60 degree range and were in the month of December!! Boy I'll bet when the snow decides to show up, it will really hit us.

My granddaughter "made" the basketball team today. Last night she told me they had to cut one more girl so she couldn't say for sure she would be on the team. I really never doubted she would be on the team. She's a very dedicated player and loves the sport. She's almost teenager but hasn't gotten the attitude that goes along with that yet. My other granddaughter will be a teenager in January and thankfully she's a good kid. Sometimes she can get pretty loud when her older brother bothers her...sometime by just breathing on her food? Got to love 'em!

I found a professional photo lab that I'm happy with so I think now I'll send out pictures I sell to them. They do a wonderful job and since one of my printers is acting up, it's good to have a backup plan. I've listed some specials on my Etsy site, buy two 5x7 note cards, get one free. I've also listed some note card packets on specific subjects i.e. Nature, Show Cars, Holiday cards. I also have available now 5x7 and 8x10 prints. I'm hoping this all works out. I've had so many people over the years comment in a positive way about some of my photographs, that I thought I'd give this a try.

I'm looking forward to this weekend when I'll be joined by my two daughters and my best friend for a day of Christmas Fairs/shopping.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Some Days

You know how some days just don't see to go very smoothly. Well, today was one of those days for me. I think it's just from Food Shock! I didn't get much accomplished today but I did add a couple of new photos to Etsy. I downloaded my pictures from Thankgiving Day and I'll share some. Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful dinner, the turkey was perfect.  I used the Reynolds Wrap directions for the most part.  I don't line the pan with foil because I make gravy from the drippings.  We had too much food but that's kind of what it's all about isn't it?  There were enough left-overs so everyone could take some home.  A happy and sleepy group once dinner was over.  Now on to Christmas decorating and planning my dinner party for Dec. 10.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Art Quilt Challenge

Today I did it!  I joined an art quilt challenge group.  There will be about 16 of us from around the country.  We've committed to making a small quilt 12"x12" every other month.  We will each have a chance to choose a theme so this could get very interesting.  I plan on using my hand dyed and discharged fabric and I'll post to this site as the challenge progresses.  It should be great fun and I hope you'll check back to see how I'm doing. 
Busy today preparing for Thanksgiving.  I have to make sure the tablecloth is ironed and all my serving dishes are ready for all that wonderful food.  The turkey is thawing out in refrigerator (16lbs).  Should be enough for 8 people, don't you think?  Of course I want some leftovers to give to my kids to take back to their homes and I'd like a hot turkey sandwich  myself sometime later after the big feast.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Local Crafts, Holiday Shopping

My cold is gone and I'm feeling pretty good now.  While I wasn't feeling very well, I surfed the net, read other's Blogs and enjoyed looking at other's Etsy Shops.  Many wonderful locally handmade things out there, let's not buy Made in China this holiday season.  You can go to the Etsy site and click on Shop Local.  Type in New Hampshire and there you go.  An Arts and Crafts Fair brought right into your home.  Save on gas and avoid long lines.

Of course I have to go out and do some holiday shopping.  It's become a Tradition for me, my daughters and best friend to make a plan and head out to some local shops.  We especially like going to Cobblestone Design in Concord, NH.  I believe their open house is the first weekend of December. (no affiliation, just like them).  They decorate their shop with many, many Decorated Christmas Trees and thousands of ornaments to look at and purchase.  Oh yes, they have wonderful goodies to eat for their open house too, can't forget that.  A nice snack while on your shopping trip!

I've added a link to an Etsy Shop that is having a contest.  I thought you might like to Check It Out!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yard Work

Unfortunately I have caught a cold.  It was bound to happen being around so many children at the school as well as others who have had them.  But it's not the FLU!  Two grandchildren came to visit yesterday since they had the day off from school.  I set them to work raking and leaf blowing the yard.  Later on the other two joined them and they worked and had a good time.  I still have many many more leaves and pine needles in the yard, but this was a start.  I baked them some cookies (oatmeal and chocolate chip) to enjoy when they came inside.  Good kids and a nice day for me too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas is Coming FAST

I'm offering a special at my Etsy Shop for the month of November to help folks with their holiday shopping. 
The 5x7" Note Cards are Buy 2 get 1 Free!
Also, the package of 12 note cards make a gift that most everyone appreciates.  You choose 2 of six photographs that you want included in your package.  It will be custom made for you.

Tomorrow I'm off to the middle school again to assist with the Arts Program.  I think I'll be helping the children with sewing their blocks together.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Integrated Arts Project at School

 There is a project going on now at the Franklin Middle School called: "Square Roots & Eight Hands Around" and it is an Integrated Arts Project.  The 6th grade students will be designing and making quilts, learning about square dancing, old time music and quilting bees and the colonial era along with math and other skills.  They will then donate their quilts to a worthy cause of their choice.  The program will culminate with a square dance and quilting bee at the Franklin Opera House in December.

This past Thursday I volunteered at the Franklin Middle School and did a presention on Quilt History to five classes.  Yes, I was tired by the end of the day, but enjoyed it.
The 6th grade children attended five classes during the day where they read the story book  "Eight Hands Around" and learned about quilts, music and math. 

The boys appeared to be as eager to learn about the subject as the girls were.  The children had some wonderful questions and ideas of what some of the quilt blocks I showed them might be called.  I told them people looked around them and named the quilts by the things familiar to them such as Barn Door, Monkey Wrench and Log Cabin.  I asked if a quilt block was designed and named today, what might they name the blocks?  They came up with, Star Wars, IPod, Shooting Star, several said the names of Star Wars characters such as Darth Vadar and R2D2.  I brought along one of my antique quilts (1878) to let them see what a scrap quilt from over 100 years ago looked and felt like up close.  I showed them the stitching and we discussed the shape of the block (Thimble or Tumbler).  They came up with some other names such as Triangle, and one I particularly liked, Cow Bell!  I've included a picture that was taken during my presentation where the teacher is helping me hold up the quilt.  I'm on the left, the teacher is over by the flag on the right.  It was a pleasure being in her class and teaching the children a little bit about quilts and their history.

  This is a Community Building Program brought to you by the Middle New Hampshire Arts & Entertainment Center at the Franklin Opera House. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cards on Etsy

I have listed some note cards featuring my original photographs for sale on Etsy.  I hope you'll check it out.  I'm in the Showcase on Saturday.  If you visit, please make my site one of your Favorites!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nice Quilts and Hooked Rugs

Yesterday I went to the Sandwich Fair.  No, it's not a fair with sandwiches!  It's an agricultural fair in beautiful Northern New England. It was a beautiful sunny day and the leaves on the trees were bright with their fall colors.  This fair had a very nice display of some beautiful quilts and hooked rugs as well as other quality crafts.  I was very impressed with one of the applique quilts on display and I'll share a photo with you of that one and others.

I'm working on my Esty shop that will feature my photographs in quality note cards.  I also have a goal of getting my own web site up and running soon.  It's in progress.  That site will feature the note cards with photographs as well as some of my art quilts, etc.

Off to paint some fabric.  Until next time, stay warm!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Storage Shelves and Pumpkin Dessert

Finally I have shelves in what is supposed to be a coat closet.  I never used it for that and have thought for over a year how I would like to use that space to store all my Craft and Quilting Magazines.  Today was the day and I'm so pleased with it.
It was cloudy and chilly out today perfect for baking so I made some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!  Delicious Dessert!!  Almost too good.  I'm hoping to go to the Sandwich Fair this weekend, maybe tomorrow if it doesn't rain.  They have a nice car show along with all the usual fair stuff.
Today I got a package in the mail from ProChem so I'll be busy painting some fabric soon.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NH Country Fair and Quilt Show

Friday I went to the Deerfield Fair and had a very nice time.  The weather was perfect.  I took a few pictures of the animals, pumpkins and displays.  On Saturday I went to the Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild Fall Quilt Show.  Many lovely quilts to admire and of course the vendors.  It was a rainy and cool day with not much else to do, so I was glad they had their show this weekend.  I stopped at JoAnn's and bought a collage book with my 50% off coupon before it expired.  I'm hoping to do some collage again shortly and I will share a picture when I have made something.  Have a positive and happy week ahead.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Generations Wall Hanging

It's almost finished!  I have just a little hand quilting I want to do on the piece.  I've named it Generations #1, and it measures 15" x 20 1/2".  I'd like to do a series.

Technique: I printed the pictures of my maternal grandmother and two great-grandmothers, a baby picture of myself and a dragonfly onto silk organza . I rubber stamped fabric and I did raw edge piecing of the background and machine and hand quilted the top.

Fabric:  Commercial Batiks, Silk Organza, Discharged Cotton and Screen Printed Cotton.  Two vintage buttons are sewn on near the top.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Over Painted Fabric Today

Today I played around with some fabric I had screen printed.  I hadn't been very happy with the results so today I took some liquid fabric paint and overpainted it.  Here is the result with the fabric wet.  I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what it really looks like.  Probably a bit lighter which is ok with me.  The yellow on the fabric isn't as saturated as it looks in the picture.  I'm still working on my small wallhanging with my grandmother and greatgrandmother's pictures using some fabric I screen printed previously.  I'll take photos soon of the finished piece.
Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Trip

I had a nice trip to the White Mountains today.  It was so beautiful with a bright blue sky.  I didn't get any dyeing/sewing etc. done today but I'll get back to that soon.  I have to take advantage of the good weather while it lasts.  It's Fall now and we know what comes after that in New England!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quilt Care

I received an e-mail from a Quilt Study group in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Their site,  has some very good questions and answers with regards to quilt care and I thought I'd share them with you.  If you click on the word "site" it will bring up their address.

I'm a member of the NH Quilt Documentation Project Phase II and many people who come to have their quilts documented ask us how they should care for them.  If you have a quilt documented through the project, you receive a small booklet with some helpful quilt care information as well as a photograph and write-up on your quilt.  All this for just a $5.00 donation. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Almost Fall

Tomorrow night is the first of Fall.  I love the crisp, fresh air and beautiful blue sky this time of the year.  The other day I noticed some Bittersweet vine from my neighbors yard was creeping up one of my trees.  I cut down the bittersweet and today I made a wreath for my shed door.  I also did some screen printing but I'm not too pleased with it.  I don't like the paint I used.  I had better luck with wreath.  I'll try again!

Here are a couple of pictures showing the tree, supplies and completed wreath.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vermont Country Fair

Today I went to the Tunbridge World's Fair in Tunbridge, Vermont!  Never been there and it was a nice ride.  This fair has apparently been around for years and years!  I'll post a few pictures on Flickr for you to check out, but I don't think I'll be going to this fair again.  Too much carnival and not enough fair for me.  They had some quilts but they were poorly displayed and there weren't very many.  They did have a building with a good display of antique everyday items.  That's all for now.  I hope to get back to some fiber work Friday afternoon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blueberry Pie

I went to the coast (East Coast) to visit with my oldest brother and his wife last week.  It was his birthday  so I brought him a little gift.  He has a wonderful garden each year and I left with tomatoes, zuchinni and carrots.  He has two large blueberry bushes that are still producing.  He gave me two large containers of freshly picked blueberries!  I decided I had to make a blueberry pie today.  I referred to my Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe and while it is very good, I would use less sugar next time, probably 3/4 C. instead of 1 Cup.  Daughters and grandchildren visited me today before I had to leave for work.  We had a fun pizza lunch then we had some pie.  So as you can see there's not much left, but a berry pie is very easy to make and very satisfying this time of the year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall Weather/Fall Apple Recipe

I found this recipe last year on one of my favorite links,  I made this last year and had a request for it again this year.  I made it today and thought I'd post the recipe for others to consider. My picture of it doesn't do it justice, but it is yummy!

Cheddar Apple Pizza

Pastry for a single crust pie
4 large baking apples, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices (about 5 cups)
1/2 C. shredded cheddar, mozzarella or Swiss cheese...I used cheddar, sharp recommended
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 TBS cold butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll pastry to fit a greased 12" pizza pan (I used a cooking sheet), flute edges and
Bake pastry for 10 mins.  Remove from oven.

Arrange apples in a single layer in a circular pattern to completely cover pastry.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Combine brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over cheese. (Or reverse order and put cheese on last if you wish.)

Cut butter into small pieces and dot top of pizza.

Bake for 20 minutes or until apples are tender.  Cut into wedges; serve warm.

Wonderful with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on the side.

Yield:  12 servings

Monday, September 7, 2009


If you are interested in seeing a video of deconstructed screen printing go to Kerr G's site listed on my Links.  She has a video on You Tube.  I'm working on the small Generations wallhanging and I'll post some pictures of progress soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Another Agricultural Fair

    Yesterday I went to another agricultural fair, The Lancaster Fair.  It was a perfect day it was a real old fashioned country fair.  They had the traditional cow barn, sheep and goat barn, horses and more.  They had a wonderful exhibit of quilts, mostly traditional patterns. They had a large 4H exhibit and I was impressed with what the kids have been doing.  Some very good photography, baking, sewing and other crafts.  I took several pictures and enjoyed some "fair food" before heading home.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fair Days

Today I enjoyed the Hopkinton Fair.  It was a beautiful day and not busy there at all because it was opening day.  This is an agricultural fair and I enjoy seeing the fruits, vegetables and flowers kids and others grow.  So I took a few pictures to share.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Discharge Fabric with Bleach

Today I discharged  fabric with bleach, namely Soft Scrub.  I used an inexpensive stamp to make the leaf design.  I'll play with this stuff again sometime.  The interesting thing about this is, you never know what color it will discharge to.  The green fabric became orange where I stamped, the black fabric was a darker orange and the blue fabric came out with a brownish color once rinsed.  The photos I have were taken during the process so the bleach is still on the fabric.  I'll post more pics later.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Work in Progress

Today I worked with some of the fabric I have dyed, screen printed and painted.  I've also used some commercial batiks from my stash.  This is what I have up on my design wall right now.  I printed some ancestors on silk organza and will probably include those too.  Not sure the dragonfly will stay but we'll see.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Discharge Paste on Black Commercial Fabric

Today I tried using discharge paste on black fabric.  The results are pretty much what I expected.  You just never know what color it will discharge to, this time it was tan on one and a slight green on the one with a little print.  I liked doing the process although using a respirator wasn't that fun.  I'll probably cut up the fabric and make a small wallhanging.  We'll see.  Double click on picture to see larger image.