Monday, April 30, 2012

Camomile Tea

Isn't my new teapot and cup sweet?!  I saw it on a sale shelf and the Mister bought it for me and I just love it!  I've been enjoying my Chai while crafting and having a warm cup next to me as I craft.   It also goes perfectly with the current House Mouse and Friends Monday challenge blog theme Grab some tea for an anything goes challenge.

I finished the inside of the card with a sweet teacup stamp and sentiment from the Stampin' Up! set called "Morning Cup."  The sentiments reads, " Tea'rific." 
Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Stampabilities "Camomile Tea" and Sentiment inside is Stampin' Up! "Morning Cup"
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Antique Linen and Ancient Page Flannel Cray
Paper:  October Afternoon The Thrift Shop
Embellishments: Offray Ribbon, Stampin' Up! Doilie Punch, Martha Stewart Eyelet Punch, Button and Teapot charm from my crafting supply box, Machine Stitching, Stickles glitter (diamond).  Image colored with Copic Markers and Prismacolor pencils

If you haven't already done so, there is still time to enter your card using any House Mouse, Gruffie or Happy Hopper for the current challenge.  As always, super prizes are awarded. 

Until next time,


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tying one on for Charity

An apron, cover, pinafore, shield, smock or even a matter what you like to call them, I've been having just the best time making some new ones!  

This Robert Kaufman fabric is beautiful and colorful and just all around fun!  The contrast collar fabric is Michael Miller design.

And what is more fun than to tie one on for a good cause, eh?  These are aprons that I am donating to a charity event to be put up for auction to raise money for a very important cause.

And above is another one I'll be donating.  I really like this one too. 

What do you like to call them and more importantly, do you wear them?  I find I do my best housework, cleaning and especially baking when I'm wearing a pretty pinny!

Until next time,


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Flowers

Oooohhh, if only it was warm enough for me to dip my toes in a spring like Mummu is!  We've had the strangest weather this past week.  SNOW!  Yes!!   Snow and freezing rain and generally very UN-springlike weather.

The challenge theme this week on Mo Manning's Digital challenge blog is FLOWERS!  I just love all of the Mummu images and this one, titled Mummu in Summer, suites the theme quite well.  I used some floral paper from Making Memories from the stack called "English Garden" and then embellished with lots of Prima flower accents.  Image is colored with Copic Markers and some machine stitching to finish it off.

Speaking of flowers, due to our miserable weather and that my spring flowers were just beginning to bloom, I decided to go out and save this bouquet of hyacinth from the snow and freezing rain.   If only we had the ability to share scent via the computer.  I just know you'd enjoy the sweet perfume of these pink hyacinth.  MMmmmmmm.....   :-)
Hope you are enjoying a much more seasonable spring day where you are.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Carrot Harvest

It's time for a carrot harvest! At least it appears to be for these cute little House Mouse critters and their Happy Hopper friend.  The challenge this week on House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge blog is "Your cup of tea and anything goes."  Well, gardening is my cup of tea so I chose this gardening themed House Mouse stamp titled, "Carrot Harvest."
Aren't they cute? So serious about their harvesting duties. I love the detail of this stamp. Even a cute ladybug climbs the green of the carrots. Do you see her?
I finished the inside of the card with the sentiment, "It's always spring in a gardener's heart." So true!
Stamps: Stampabilities "Carrot Harvest" and sentiment from The Stamp Barn
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Stazon Pumpkin, image colored with Copic markers
Cardstock and Designer Paper: Stampin' Up!
Embellishments: Martha Stewart lattice border punch, Machine Stitching, Tiny spool carrot ribbon from Michaels, Grosgrain ribbon from Stampin' Up!, Making Memories Brads, Stickles glitter glue, Machine stitching.

If you get some time to craft I hope you'll get out whatever is your "cup of tea" to create with for the current House Mouse and Friends Monday challenge blog theme because ANYTHING GOES!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Something Sweet - Chocolate Truffles

This happy Gruffie appears to be in the lap of luxury with his box of chocolate Truffles, a pillow and a very full tummy.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Stampabilities "Beary full of Truffles",  Sentiment stamp of unknown origin
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black and Versafine Vintage Sepia
Image colored with Prismacolor Pencils
Designer Paper:  Reminisce 
Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, Clear glossy effects on truffle candies,

The current challenge at House Mouse and Friends is to create a card with House Mouse, Happy Hopper or Gruffies images and the theme is SOMETHING SWEET! This challenge will run until Saturday, April 21st at 8PM EST when I'll use the random number indicator to choose a winner. 
Until next time,


Thursday, April 12, 2012

A quilt in progress

Isn't it fun how some projects come about due to another project that is being worked on?   It is sort of along the lines of when you paint a room and you suddenly decide it needs new furniture or draperies to go with the new paint.  That is kind of what happened to me.  I'm refinishing and reupholstering a rocking chair that belonged to my grandparents, passed on to my parents and then on to me.  I've had the upholstery fabric for a couple of years, but finally got the gumption to get started on it. 
And what does the refinishing of a rocking chair have to do with quilt blocks and quilt pieces?  I knew I wanted a nice throw or small quilt to go with the rocker and while browsing a quilting magazine I spied exactly the quilt pattern that I wanted to make.  The pattern is called "Ohio Star" and I found a perfect array of fabrics for the quilt blocks to complement the upholstery fabric for my rocker.
So, for the past two days I've been busily cutting and piecing, matching and rearranging colors and now am just getting started putting blocks of the quilt together.  This little throw has 25 blocks.  I have two blocks completed.  The sashing is all cut and the smaller blocks are ready and waiting.  Yes...I have a long way to go.
And what about the rocker?  Well.....ummm.....I still need to get working on it.  I 'spose it should have been finished first and then the throw, eh?  Perhaps this weekend I'll work on it. 
Photos will follow of both projects completed.  I'm posting this post to let  you be my witness that I've begun a project and must not put it aside until I'm finished.  You'll help keep me on track, right?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby bib + apron = Bapron

Bapron, you ask?   Yes!   This is a BAPRON, which is a baby apron. It's a bib but covers more of your little one and works better than a bib and more like an apron.

Isn't it sweet?  Below is the back side.  I used a cheery Cosmo Cricket print on the front and a soft pale yellow terry cloth for the underside.

And I liked the first one so much that I grabbed another pretty fat quarter and made a second bapron in pink.

This time I used a white terry cloth for the inside. 

About a year ago I saw these darling and very practical baby-aprons on Jess's blog Craftiness is not optional blog.  Jess has fabulous patterns, ideas and tutorials.  This is just one. 

I'm sure you've already guessed that I made these for our newest grandgirl, Lilly.  If you have a little one in your life I urge you to check out the link and make one...or two or three or four.  They take very little time at all to make.  So little, in fact, that I think I might have spent one hour total in making BOTH of these from cutting to finish.   They are so practical and cute too.

I'm living up to my title of being "the Needlewoman" this week.  I have a lot of sewing projects going on right now.  But making things for the grandchildren has been so much fun and the projects that were on my front burners, so to speak.

Until next time,


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alexis's Tricycle Basket / Bucket

Not long ago I hinted that I'd be doing some special things having to do with bicycles. Here is one of my surprises that I made for my darling grand-girl, Alexis. It is a TRICYCLE BASKET/BUCKET.   I included it in her Easter basket yesterday along with her stuffed Elmo the Elephant and Alexis was delighted!
The design of this tricycle basket is not my own.  I discovered it on Noodlehead blog and you can find a tutorial to make it HERE
If you decide to make one, be sure to check out the handlebars on the tricycle you are making this for.  On the original pattern it is designed to go on a tricycle that has a straight bar between the handles.  Not all trikes are made that way.  Alexis has two tricycles and one has sloping handlebars with no middle bar.  Therefore, I tweeked the pattern and added two velcro strips at angles to clasp to the sloping handlebars.  This way it will clasp either a tricycle with or without the bar.
This (above) is how the back attaches to this trike.  With the two grips it will also attach to a bar-less trike. Alexis wanted to take her Elmo the Elephant for a ride on her tricycle so we packed him in.  She also has some Easter candy in the bottom...just in case she needs to "refuel" while riding!  :-) 
I know you are wondering about this positively adorable fabric.  Don't you just love it?!!  I was very fortunate to have purchased a couple of fat quarter pieces of Anna Wight's original designed fabric.  If you look inside the tricycle basket you'll see the contrasting blue chicken fabric.  These prints are (I think so anyway) Anna's signature trademark designs.  You can check out Anna's inspirational blog, Sassy and Sweet HERE.
Again you can see how the bucket attaches to the tricycle in this rear view of the basket.  (Above)
This little project went together very quickly!  Imagine the variety of fun prints, contrasts and patterns one can use to make these up in for their special little tricycle riders.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this for Alexis and I hope she'll collect all kinds of interesting rocks, sticks and flowers and will be sure to carry along a juice box and treat and maybe a stuffed animal too while she is outside riding.



I'm sharing this post with:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sending you chocolate...

"So Sweet" is the theme for the new House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge blog challenge and I'm the hostess this week. I'd love to see you create cards with chocolate or your favorite sweet in the design. Get out your House Mouse stamps and create a card with a yummy chocolate or anything sweet theme.
Do you think this is how the Easter Bunny celebrates after delivering baskets of Easter candy?

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Stampabilities "Chocolate Decadence" #HMKR1025, Sentiment is Stampa Rosa # D 11-2315
Ink:   Memento Tuxedo Black, Image colored with Copic Markers
Paper: Stampin' Up! Cardstock and Basic Grey designer paper
Accessories: Cuttlebug circles embossing folder, Stampin' Up! Grosgrain ribbon, Stampin' Up! scalloped border punch (on inside) Stampin' Up! bakers twine, button is also Stampin' Up!, Pink and white Liquid Pearls on the candy, pop dots to pop up several candies on the card and Glossy Effects dimensional glaze.
The inside sentiment is a stamp of an unknown maker but I thought it was perfect for this card and I know just who I'm sending this card to.  She is a supreme chocolate lover and I know she'll get a kick out of this card.
Our Sponsors for the fabulous prizes this week are:
Simon Says Stamp offering a $25 Gift Cert to Simon Says Stamp
Sweet Stamp Store offering a $10 Gift Cert to Sweet Stamp Store

Don't forget, you can also submit your House-Mouse, Gruffies and Happy Hoppers creations directly to the Official House-Mouse Designs site found HERE!   Just look for this "HMD By Me Gallery" logo on the HMD site and follow the steps to add your projects!

And one more helpful hint for us to find your card if you load it to an online gallery, please enter as the keyword HMFMC117 .

Hop on over to House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge blog to see all of the great cards my sister meece design team members have created and then be sure to enter your SWEET creation.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Elephants: Elmo and Emily

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring! We are just getting ready to have brunch and spend the afternoon with the Grandgirls, Alexis and Lilly. Before we leave, I want to show you their Easter treats that I made for them.
Have you ever heard of an Easter Elephant? Nope? Me neither! But, this year I made Alexis and Lilly their own soft toy Elephant to include with their sweet treats.

This floral Elephant I've named Emily. I love this delicate flower print fabric. I can't tell you the maker of the fabric because it was a fat quarter piece that has been in my fabric stash forever, but I thought it made up into a darling elephant with contrasting tail and ears. Emily Elephant is going to go to baby Lilly. Lilly just turned 6 months old and think this will be easy for her to grab and hold and chew on Emily Elephants nose during this time of teething.
And this elephant I've named Elmo Elephant.  I just love this Cosmo Cricket fabric and I think he made up into a darling little fellow.  Alexis loves all animals and I have a feeling she can add this to her playroom where she keeps her other stuffed animals .  Soon she'll have a regular zoo!
The pattern for these Elephants came from Retro Mama's etsy site and if you're interested in making your own elephants for some little ones in your life you can find Retro Mama's etsy sale site HERE.
It is time for me to change my clothes and so see my little grandgirls now.  I've filled their Easter buckets with just a few sweet treats and Elmo and Emily elephant for the girls.  I hope they'll enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them for them!

Again, I hope you have a very happy day!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mangia, mangia!

My sweet friend, Luciano, recently told my husband, "Your wife is now an official honorary member of the ITALIAN community :) very good!!"   I had made and sent this card along with the pizzelle and cannoli that I made last weekend to work with the mister.  Luciano had recently done a big favor for me and had found some illusive ingredients I had been wanting for baking, so his pronouncement made my day and I wanted to thank him for his help.

This image is called Muumu's nissu and is from  Mo Manning.  You can find it for sale HERE.  The card is quite simple but I think it was a fun thank you card to send to Luc, hopefully reminding him of his mother baking when he was a lad in Italy.

Card Recipe:
Stamp:  Mo Manning
Ink:  Colored with copic markers
Paper: Making Memories
Accessories: Machine stitching, Red grosgrain ribbon, lace and gingham ribbon from my stash, buttons from the button jar.  That's all there is to it!



Monday, April 2, 2012

Cannelloni ! Some assembly required.

Yesterday was a cold, snowy/rainy stay-in-the-house kind of day.  Since we didn't feel like leaving the house, I thought I'd play in my kitchen with some new kitchen toys.   I got new pizzelli maker and had been eager to make pizzelli and cannoli and fun desserts with it.  More about the desserts later, though, because first I want to share a wonderful recipe for Cannelloni that I received years ago and hadn't made in ages and thought it would be the perfect dinner to go with our dessert. 

So, if you would like to join us, come into my kitchen and join us for Cannelloni, spinach/strawberry salad and pizzelli and cannoli for dessert.

Join me in my kitchen (yes, I know I'm sloppy with sauce splashes) as I assemble to cannelloni:

If you'd like the complete recipe, feel free to copy it:

Cannelloni Recipe:

2 Tblsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 10 ounce pkg. frozen chopped spinach: defrosted, squeezed dry OR use fresh spinach
2 Tblsp. butter
1 lb. Italian sausage or you can use ground beef if you prefer
5 Tblsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated if you have it
2 Tblsp. heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. of dried oregano - crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in skillet and add onions and garlic cooking over moderate heat and stirring frequently until they are soft but NOT brown. Stir in spinach and cook stirring constantly. When all of the moisture boils away, transferto a large bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and brown sausage meat: add the meat to the spinach-onion mixture. Add parmesan cheese, cream, eggs and oregano. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4 Tblsp. butter
4 Tblsp. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In heavy pan melt butter over moderate heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in flour. Pour in mild and cream all at once, whisking constantly until four partially dissolves. Return pan to heat (high) and cook, stirring constantly. When sauce comes to boil and is smooth, reduce heat. Simmer, still stirring, for2 - 3 minutes until sauce is thick enough to coat the whisk heavily. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

3 cups tomato sauce
4 Tblsp. paremesan cheese
2 Tblsp. butter cut in small pieces.
Assembling and baking:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill cooked pasta shells with filling. Pour film of tomato sauce into the baking dish and then lay cannelloni side by side in one layer on tomato sacue. Pour besciamell over the pasta ad spoon the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Scatter 4 Tbsp of cheese and dot with butter. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.



And now for the fun desserts!  I mentioned I recently got a pizzelle maker.  It looks similar to a waffle iron and embosses the treats with pretty patterns.  You can serve pizzelle in a multitude of ways.  First I made flat ones, flavored with pure anise oil and dusted with powdered sugar (icing sugar). 

You can also make cannoli from the pizzelli.  As I removed the pizzelle from the machine I rolled the shell while it was hot around a large wooden dowel.   ( your fingers!  it is hot).  Once it has cooled it holds its cone shape then I filled them with ricotta/icing sugar mixture and chopped cherries and minature chocolate chips.  Then dusted them with icing sugar too. 

I think we'll have great fun with the pizzelle maker this summer when we can make waffle cones from it and fill them with homemade ice cream.  I know our grandgirls will have fun with that!

Until next time,