Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I’m pooped! But I had to share that my wicked awesome daughter got me a Keurig “Elite” coffee maker and a ton of assorted accessories!  I’m so excited- I can’t wait to try it tomorrow am.

I hope everyone has had a marvelous day with family and/or friends. Thanks for  visiting and all the wonderful comments you leave- I truly appreciate them all!

keurig elite

(Image from the Green Mountain Coffee website)

I made an apron for her:

apron skull side apron floral side

It’s reversible- “evil” side and “good” side.

I also finished this pillow, and made a second:

2 pillows

I have to get a bigger form for the top pillow.

I made this for Michelle at the barn:

barnyard hanger

“Barn Yard” by Bent Creek I think. Here’s the back and a 3/4 side shot to show the thickness:

back barnyard side barnyard

The horse I tried to emulate Molly, the horse Michelle rides. She’s a chestnut Appaloosa, although the only white spot is low on her belly on the left side, and she has two white socks on the rear.

Off to the couch for me. Merry Christmas and good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Almost there…

I finished this for my barn owner:


Here’s the backing fabric:


I think my obligatory cooking is done. I made this:cheesecake 2011

- a cheesecake for Tom. It came out perfect!


almond poppy loaves

Almond Poppy Seed Breads from Our Best Bites

and this, from Joanne of Thursday Stitching group:

white choc popcorn2

White Chocolate Popcorn with Craisins. So easy! Pop 3 bags of salted-only microwave popcorn. Pour into a huge bowl. Melt one 12 –oz. bag of white chocolate chips- 2 to 2-1/2 minutes on high at 30 second intervals should do it, stirring each interval. Pour chocolate over popcorn and mix to coat evenly. Add one 5-oz bag of craisins and mix again. Spread out on baking sheets to set for an hour or so if you’re packing it up for gifts or start eating- your done! I melted about a 1/4 cup of semisweet chips (the same microwave method) and drizzled that over the spread out popcorn.

Tomorrow I have to brine my turkey, and make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, and a batch of chocolate chip cookies because I’m out. Almost all those cookies I made last weekend are gone. I’ve gone thru 5 lbs of sugar, a dozen eggs, and 3 lbs of butter. So far.

Time to wash dishes and have supper and finish another stitchy gift.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why do I do this to myself???

Every year!! Craft projects right up to the last minute! One down, 5 more to go (that I can think of right now):

Meet LaLa:

IMG_0764 IMG_0765

The pattern came from Riley Blake Designs, but I realized on my way to work this morning that her pattern is for a two-legged elephant. What 2-year-old wants a two-legged elephant????

So flying by the seat of my pants, I made my own gusset for the belly. While I can now see where my gusset design went awry, it does allow for LaLa (as opposed to Layla) to stand upright on her own. So I suppose I’m somewhat successful.

Five different types of cookies have been baked, a batch of chili on Saturday and a batch of beef stew on Sunday. My feet are killing me! Two batches of baklava, some white chocolate & craisin popcorn, a cheesecake, and possibly almond poppy seed loaves left to do. Plus the craft projects….

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time is Getting away from me….

We had our annual Stitching group Christmas party last Thursday. We went to an Italian restaurant called The Chateau. I had a combo plate of chicken parm, fried ravioli, and a meatball. It was so yummy I ate almost all of it! Then we went to Jeanne’s house for dessert.   I wish I hadn’t eaten 2 slices of Scali bread!

Joanne had brought Cupcake Charlie’s (of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!) 


Berry Champagne flavor and Chocolate Candy Cane:


Jeanne baked the Pecan Tassies in the foreground- so delicious!


She also baked Surprise Cookies; they are in the back beyond the plate of tassies.


Here’s Deborah, of Cranberry Samplings, taking my picture while I took hers. Check out her latest blog post for more of our merry shenanigans.

Jeanne pulled out all the stops when it came to decorating her house. Just get a look at her Christmas Village display:

 IMG_0742IMG_0741 IMG_0743 IMG_0744  IMG_0746

Two tables’ worth! Her husband wires all the houses so it’s entirely lit. It’s just stunning.

Here’s a view across the kitchen island back towards the breakfast area:


And this is so cute- it’s a glass block filled with mini lights. Jeanne changes the adornment for each holiday throughout the year.


Here’s the tree:


It’s actually very straight, despite the photo. I promise it’s NOT because I was drinking! I wish I could decorate my tree like this. It seems it’s a skill I was born without. My tree always looks like I threw the ornaments on from across the room.


An Anna-Lea (?) doll- a lamb knitting a sweater!

Jeanne gave me 2 wonderful gifts- I can’t wait to use them both:

magnetic measuring spoons


And Joanne Chang’s cookbook “Flour”


I want to make EVERYTHING in this book! The recipes look easy, with in-your-cupboard-already ingredients. Plus a lot of the recipes have a stop-here-and-refrigerate-for-when-you-have-more-time-to-finish steps. Awesome for those of us who have places to go & things to do every day after work.

If you click on the pictures they should enlarge.

Thanks to Jeanne and Joanne for a fantastic evening!

HaHa! Another video!

I didn’t have my sound on (at work- shhh!) so I don’t know how noisy this is. I found it on this blog, which looks interesting.  It was a Blogger Blog-of-Note back in November.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Impressions of a Night Before Christmas…

Yet Another Give-Away!

Nancy at Victoria Motto Sampler Shoppe must have gone temporarily insane- too many candy canes or too much eggnog - she's having ANOTHER give-away! Click here to enter!
Drawing is Christmas Day. For those of you who just celebrate generic "Holiday", that would be December 25th.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Give Away Alert!!!

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is having a give away of her beautiful hand-dyed floss.

But you’re not suppose to enter so that I may win! (Just kidding!!!)

Hurry- drawing is December 17th- just in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011


for lack of a better post  title.

I stitched on Beacon House yesterday:


As you can see, I finished the main portion of the house, and started the roof. This design tickles my soul- I’m very happy to work on it.

I also worked a tad on the CaHRH ornament:

CoHRH Sq 10 3

It’s not very much, is it? It’s hard to tell, but it’s over one…

For supper tonight I had the anti-turkey:

anti turkey

For a store-bought freezer pizza, this one wasn’t bad- rising crust with 3 meats: pepperoni, Italian sausage, and Canadian bacon. Plus having the oven on warmed my house a bit!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

At Last!!!

Last day of NaBloPoMo!

last turkey sandwich:


That’s on Portuguese bread, with a light  smear of mayo, some cranberry sauce, some Havarti cheese and a bit of stuffing for the flavor, toasted.

Last bowl of soup:


With carrots, onions, celery and corn and fresh thyme, and egg noodles. (actually I still have a least a bowl left).

I didn’t have the soup with the sandwich- they were separate meals.

I managed to post every day, and one day I even made two posts! Congratulations to all my fellow NaBlo-wers (as Stitch Bitch calls us!)

And thanks to all who visited and put up with some very lame writing, and special thanks to all the encouraging comments!

And I’d like to thank the academy….oh! wrong acceptance speech!

I’m SO done!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And she stitched….

CoHRH Sq 10 2

More Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow Square 10.

An hour’s worth of work listening to my forgotten Spotify playlist. Fun!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Celebrities in Stitches….

taken to a whole new level:

Totally Severe

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time Flies….

When you’re putting up Christmas lights on a deadline. I’d show a picture except I started off with a partial outage on one string, and I had to plan the layout of my 3 strands along my gutter  so that the bad section would be at the easiest place to take down when (if) I get the replacement strand. I had to go out to a last minute birthday party invitation, so I plugged everything in, admired my 2-3/4 strings of lights on my way out, and when I came home, a second strand had a partial outage. Before I started hanging these up, I literally unplugged every bulb in the bad 3-foot section and tested with a spare. I found one bulb with a bad filament, and replaced that too, but to no avail.  The futility of trying to find the bad bulb is making me think I should just get new lights, possibly just a straight string, rather than the icicle type I have now. Do you know that not all icicle lights look the same when lit? So I may as well start fresh with a new look. Or maybe I should just skip it. I could get LED’s- energy efficient! Or colored lights!

Anyway, I got this chart when I was shopping the other day:

ByGone Stitches Quaker Christmas II

I have to research alternate color combinations. The called-for threads are GAST “Currant” and “Blue Spruce”, not that you can tell by the model picture, which seems faded. I think I want at least some gold in there, if not blues and violets and emerald green. I don’t intend to start it anytime soon, so I have time to decide.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Five More Days...

I mean posts, before I can hop off this bus to crazy town. I didn’t even make it thru one episode of Hawaii Five-O last night before I crashed. I never even saw who done it. I’ll try to stay awake for more tonight- I have the last episode of Fringe, several CSI’s, a Glee or 2, and a bunch of Prime Suspects. I have to get it all under control before The Closer starts Monday. I LOVE that show!

Absolutely stellar weather today in Massachusetts- about 63 degrees, partly sunny, little to no breeze. I went for a little ride on Axe this afternoon around the barn property. We can open all the gates and 2-1/2  laps around all the paddocks is about 40 minutes. it’s like a mini trail ride without going on the trails.

I didn’t get to my x-mas lights- tomorrow is supposed to be marvelous too. Barn chores this morning as well as tomorrow morning, plus seeing Bob, and a couple of household chores. I gave Bob most of my apple pie- the chocolate cake is wreaking havoc with my waistline, but I’m NOT giving it up!

Mom’s birthday is today- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday….

No, I didn’t go shopping. I did go to work for the morning. Came home, walked Chicken numerous times and watched a couple of episodes of ‘Kitchen Impossible” starring Coni Spinster’s hunk of a specimen of a man, Robert Irvine, went to the barn to help bring in the ponies, whereupon I learned it was a good day to not do barn chores in the morning due to feisty horse and pony. Then I came home, turned on the computer, went back out to the supermarket in search of another Marvel frozen turkey to stick in the freezer for Christmas, found an unfamiliar substitute, which I did not buy, then came home and just finished re-heating leftovers.  Now to sit in front of the TV and watch all the shows I’ve been too tired to watch for the last 3 weeks.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Again!

Here’s my de-luscious bird:


It came out perfect, if I do say so myself.

Dinner for one:

dinner for 1

I packed up about half of everything for Bob, who had day-surgery yesterday on his elbow & didn’t feel up to traveling.

Dessert (round one):

pnutbtter choc cake

Sorry about the smudges- I had to roll the slice upright. But it tasted good!

Happy leftovers!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Google Turkey doodle

Click on the picture and it re-mixes itself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes…

This makes a great weekend breakfast treat (hint for those who have house guests this weekend!)

Cinnamon Swirled Bread (for the bread machine)

Makes one 4” x 9” loaf


  • 1 egg plus enough water to equal 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 TBSP butter, softened
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp yeast (bread machine or quick active dry)


  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup Demerara sugar (you can substitute brown sugar) mixed with
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Place all ingredients for bread in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select “Dough” cycle. When machine cycle ends, turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and cover with a clean towel and rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Then gently roll dough to approximately 9” x 15”. Spread with ¼ cup of softened butter leaving a ½” margin clean around the perimeter.
  3. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar. Roll dough tightly into a log 9” wide, pinching along ending seam to close.
  4. Place log into greased 4” x 9” loaf pan, gently tucking in ends as necessary, seam-side down.
  5. Cover with clean towel, and let rise about 1 hour in warm, draft-free space, until dough reaches top of pan or is roughly doubled in size.
  6. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Top should be golden brown, and bottom should sound hollow when tapped, or get an instant read thermometer which should read 190 to 200 degrees to be done.

cinnamon swirl bread

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Never write an obligatory post when you’re tired..

Because you get what happened yesterday. I apologize.

So my chocolate cake is baked and cooling; my brine is boiled and also cooling. Tomorrow I have to do stalls in the morning, then bake a flat apple pie, cook the squash OH! and brine the turkey stupid! And bake a loaf of  oatmeal bread for some good leftover turkey sandwiches. And then clean my house to an inch of its life in case Bob & his son come up for dinner instead of me schlepping it down to them. I’ll be making this stuffing too. At some point, maybe I’ll have time to stitch.

Excuse me while I go get a paper towel to wipe the snort off my monitor.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Complaint Department…

If you don’t like whining & complaining, then don’t continue reading:

Google mail needs a filter to sort by senders so one may delete en masse.

Verizon needs to treat their 25+ year customers a little bit better. Why do new customers get the good deals and existing customers get bubkiss?

People walking their big dogs need to pick up after them when they defecate on my lawn. My dog doesn’t poop on your lawn. One of these days I’ll follow you home so I can return your dog’s poop.

What’s with the rash of telemarketers calling & texting my cellphone- which has been on the Do Not Call Registry since day one???

My local supermarket, Hannafords, needs to stop raising prices every single week. Their own brand English muffins, have gone from 99 cents (for as long as I can remember) up to $1.59 just last week. And they are out of their brand peanut butter, too.

The tattoo guy needs to stop living in his store.

Airlines need to quit it with the fees. A story on the news this morning said they’ve made billions-with-a-“B” on fees this past year (what do they think they are- oil companies??)

Seriously, the Occupiers need to go home. And stay there. I fail to see what political agenda they are trying to serve by pooping on police cars. When you start yelling at little kids walking to school, or preventing waitresses from getting to their jobs, while letting Michael Fatso Moore get away with insisting he’s “not in the 1%”, you’re not helping your “cause”.

And hey FLOTUS: if I want to eat  a cheeseburger with mayo and salt on it, it’s none of your business. I don’t bitch at you when you stuff your face with Kobe beef and lobster, on MY dime.

And now that I’ve regressed to political sniping, it’s time to call it a day.

God will this month EVER end……..

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Abstract Art?

I started this today:

CoHRH Sq 10 1

On 30ct. linen over one, I’m stitching Square 10 from Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow as an ornament.

Call me crazy….

Maybe elves will sneak into my house at night to finish this for me? What attracts elves- candy canes, maple syrup and what else? I’ll have to dig out my Elf DVD.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Spring Chicken

Chicken got a much needed grooming earlier this month.
Hairy Chickie:

Groomed Chickie:

Friday, November 18, 2011


the only part about moving my computer back into the computer room is not having this next to me while I blog:


Please pardon the kitty scratches on my couch.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Under Construction…

More Beacon House tonight:


We had a full house at Joanne’s tonight- everyone showed up despite the rainy cold weather. We made plans for our Christmas party: we’re going to an Italian restaurant called The Chateau. It’s supposed to be fabulous- I can’t wait!

After discussion with Linda (no blog) and Deborah, I’m going to keep the 2 trees I’ve already stitched and stitch a mix of  the correct colors & incorrect for the following 4 trees.

Chicken was glad to see me when I got home.


Delilah I’m not too sure:


What a puff ball!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

Do you remember Vanilla Cupcakes for 2? Here’s the chocolate cake for one (well, 2). The cake is a bit brownie-like, but it has peanut butter cream filling!

From Picky Palate:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake for Two

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray 2 mini bundt pans with non stick cooking spray . Or you can recycle a 12.5 ounce can, such as the type cooked chicken comes in, washed & dried thoroughly.

2. Place flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda, egg, oil and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until smooth. Pour into bowl and mix all ingredients until well combined.

3. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until baked through. Check with a toothpick for moist crumbs. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan by flipping over firmly. Let cool completely then cut in half lengthwise.

4. Place peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk into a small bowl and mix until smooth. If mixture suddenly turns dry, add a bit more milk. Spread over bottom cake and place second cake on top.

5. Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second intervals until smooth. Place butter and powdered sugar in small bowl, mixing to combine and add melted chocolate, mixing until combined. Spread evenly over cake and top with sprinkles if desired.


Please pardon my deficient frosting skillz.

And the inside:


My peanut butter filling needed that tiny bit more milk.

But it sure tasted good!