She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grandma's Quilts

Well my mom has been busy again sewing up some quilts for the family. Last year, Colton was the lucky recipient of one of Grandma's handmade quilts. This year Luke and Aaron each received their quilts at Christmas.

Mom, Luke and Dad

Mom, Nephew Aaron and Dad

Mom lovingly hand-appliques each piece, and her quilts are so colorful and beautiful. She even designed the Tennessee Volunteer quilt to match the bedrooms of my nephews while she made Farmer Boy quilts for each of my boys. I just love how she added the little footballs, don't you? And all those little "T's" at the corners ... each hand-appliqued! Amazing ...

And for my upcoming Springtime birthday, Mom has created the most amazing yellow & white flower quilt for me. Yellow is one of my favorite colors, but I don't have a yellow thing around. So this spring, our bedroom is getting a springtime makeover with all yellows and whites.

Here's a sneak peek at my quilt that I'm not allowed to use until April!

Isn't is so pretty? The flowers are blue & purple & green & pink & all the shades of wildflowers. So I'm shopping the Goodwill now for a white duster and curtains to give my room a cheerful springtime feel ~ lots of lace and linens! There's not a primitive thing about it, but I love it just the same. Thank you, Mom!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Ginger & Spice Muffins

I found a new recipe in my 2008 Gooseberry Patch Daybook. They turned out so good and the house smells delightful! You can also mix only the dry ingredients of the recipe to give as a gift in a pretty jar or decorative bag.

Ginger & Spice Muffin Mix
1 & 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Place in an airtight container; attach gift tag with instructions.

To make these yummy muffins, add:
1/4 C melted butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1 C milk

Combine muffin mix, 1/4 c melted butter, 1 egg, 1 t vanilla extract, 1 c milk. Do not overmix; batter should be really thick. Fill lightly greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes about 14 muffins.

Both Jase & Luke gave them a raving review this morning!

And for you Gooseberry Patch lovers, they are having a tremendous sale right now. They have a bunch of lovely items ~ some up to 85% off. Usually this sale is reserved for July but now they're running it until January 4th. It's a nice time to shop for birthdays and mother's day!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Let It Snow on Your Blog!

Thank you, Cousin Debbie, for this sweet graphic ~ I love it!

Isn't the falling snow just lovely? I thought so, too, so I asked Debbie of Ribbonwood Cottage how to make it snow here, and she kindly pointed me in the right direction. (Thank you so much, Debbie!)

Now many of you have asked me to help you make it snow on your blog, so let me pass along Debbie's secret. I know she won't mind!

Just click here ~ SNOW ~ and follow the simple instructions. Before you know it, your blog will be snowing too!

If you need help, just let me know ~ I'll be glad to help you out.

Have fun,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lovely & Frugal Christmas Gift Idea

As our extended family has continued to grow with our nieces marrying and having children of their own, we felt a need to change the way we gift at Christmas so we began to focus our gift budget primarily on the little ones. Yet, we still wanted to remember everyone with a little token of our love.

In past years, I've made hand mixes cocoas in mugs and homemade stockings filled with fruit and nuts. This Christmas, I decided to make gifts around a soup theme. Throughout the year, I've shopped for pretty baskets and mugs to fill.

In each basket or mug, I put a box of Lipton instant soups, a bag of oyster crackers tied with pretty curly ribbon, several little single size candy bars and some peppermint sticks as well as a little Christmas figurine which I purchased at last year's after Christmas sales.

Finally, I wrapped each gift all up in pretty cellophane paper and tied them with colorful ribbon.

I think they turned out so pretty. And though frugal, it is a gift that I'm pleased to share with friends and family knowing that some cold afternoon this winter, they'll enjoy a nice simple lunch and know that we love them.

~ * ~

I know so many have left me nice notes and awards, but I haven't been able to get over to visit. My son's lap top is in the repair shop for 3 weeks and my table top is malfunctioning and shutting down every few minutes! Please know that I appreciate your thoughts and I'll be by to catch up as soon as I can.

Christmas blessings,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Santa's Cookies Apron Giveaway

Are you ready for a giveaway? Seems I am "behinder" than ever this year but finally its ready to go! I made this Christmas apron to help a special someone make some sweet holiday memories. It comes with a sugar cookie recipe, cookie cutters and sprinkles! (You can click on the photo to see it close up.)

The big front pocket says:
Santa's Cookies
One cup of chuckles
Three sugarplums (finely chopped)
Several toasted kisses
A pinch of pixiedust (sifted)
One teaspoon of love
A bowl full of jelly
Lots of fresh nutmeg
Mix well and repeat after me: Ho Ho Ho

It's really simple to put your name in the cookie jar ~ Just leave me a note and that's it. No need to post my giveaway on your blog, and you don't even need to sign up for my newsletter. (Actually I don't have a newsletter! LOL) Just stop in and say hello!

My dear Colton will draw a winner on Wednesday night, December 17th. If you don't have a blog, please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if your name is drawn.

Thank you all again for your sweet comments and prayers. Christmas preparations have been keeping me busy and though I haven't had time to visit with everyone, know that I appreciate every sweet word and thought that you've sent my way!

Wishing you Christmas Blessings,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Aprons for a Cure

This year for Christmas, I created some sweet half aprons for my mom, sister, niece and myself. We chose some lovely pink ribbon fabric that incorporates teapots and lace and all things pretty & feminine. I made each one a little bit different and added some vintage linens for pockets. I like how the pink polka dots add a little whimsy and fun.

On Thanksgiving, we each wore our aprons in support of those dear ladies in our lives who have fought and are still fighting the battle with breast cancer. I wore mine in honor of my dear friend Cora, Cousin Wilma, my sister-in-law Teresa and Deena. You are always in my prayers!

Mom, Me, Kaila and Angie
Notice how Angie & I are the tallest in the group? We're only 5 feet tall! LOL

Finally, thank you all so much for your kindness and prayers for me and my cousin Mickey's family. They are still in such need of your prayer support.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trash to Treasure ~ My Repurposed Kitchen Sampler

I just adore hand-stitched alphabet samplers. One of these days I am determined to fill a wall with them ... but until I have all that extra time to stitch, I'm always on the scout for them at second hand shops or yard sales.

While on our trip home this weekend, I just couldn't resist stopping at one of my favorite Goodwill shops along the way. Did I tell you that I have them all mapped out from here to there? To my husband's great dismay, I really do!

Well Cookeville seemed a perfectly practical stop for lunch ... and it just happens to have one of the largest Goodwill stores I've ever seen! So the boys ate and I happily browsed through the discarded treasures at Goodwill. And for a mere $1.50, I found a lovely hand cross-stitched ABC sampler. Okay, so it wasn't exactly prim but rather stitched up in lavendar and pink ... but I thought with a little dye it just might work in my home.

Oh how I wish I had taken a BEFORE photo. The wooden frame was severely damaged and the sampler was matted in two-toned purple ~ very pretty but not exactly me. So I pulled it all apart to find one of the finest pieces of stitchery that I've seen. The stitches were perfect, and it was obvious that someone took great care with their handwork.

After dying the piece, I scrounged through the attic and my endless supply of old frames to find just the right one. And now this sweet little sampler hangs in my kitchen right beside my sink where I can enjoy its beauty often.

Isn't it sweet? I can see that I missed a spot with my dye. I'll have to go back and fix that. The antique stoneware bowl was a gift from Mom during our recent trip. Thanks, Mom ~ I think its wonderful! I have a little coffee soap in it. And the book is another Goodwill find called "Grandma's Kitchen". It is an old book that is a combination fictional story and cookbook all rolled up into one. I'll have to share more about it sometime.

Here is my special place at the kitchen sink. I love how God changes the picture in that window for me with each season! Right now, the trees are bare but there is a special beauty even about the winter ~ maybe it's the promise of new life in the springtime. Two of the largest old fruit jars were found buried on our property near the site of the old homestead. Can you imagine the story they have to tell? And that sweet little pumpkin was a gift from my friend Paula of October*Moon. It bears our family verse: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Thank you, again, Paula!

This is another crock that I bought this summer at a local yard sale for $1.00! Love the chicken, don't you? I keep Colton's meds in it.

And finally, though these kitties don't exactly fit into my decor, I couldn't resist their folk art charm for $6.00 for the entire set. They make me smile.

I hadn't exactly planned to share all of those things, but once I got started snapping photos I just couldn't stop! LOL

Wishing you joy,