Sunday, August 29, 2010

~*Grape Jam*~

Hello Dear Friends! Today I decided to try my hand at making Grape Jam. We have lived in this home for four years now... and it seems about time we get some use from the wonderful Concord Grapes that grow in the backyard. One year I did try to make some jam, but it was a bust. The other years, we have given the grapes away for someone else to use them. We were treated in return to a few tasty jars... but with a kiddo that could eat PB&J for every meal if we let him... a larger supply could be used.

So, I started to read up on how to do it and find what was needed. My sweet MIL gave me a Ball Blue Book several years ago. It is so informative! I also found this darling video on You Tube. Plus, this simple recipe on

I was set!

Tony helped along the way... and started by gathering the grapes for me while I gathered pots, pans, and other utensils needed. I quickly discovered he is a smart man! (Well, I already knew that... but he proved it again today.) He said we needed to let the grapes sit in a vat of water before taking them in the house. If we didn't... and I didn't at first... we would have spiders and other bugs in the kitchen. Thankfully I agreed with him soon and the spiders didn't take over!

It took a little time... but grapes were cleaned and plucked from the stem... and sugar was added...

We were able to fill 2-3 pint size jars with the juice of 8 cups of grapes & 6 cups of sugar. We did several batches. Then processed the jars...

Our yield was 12 3/4 jars! We still have more grapes on the vine, but are out of sugar. It seemed a good stopping point. We will give the rest of the grapes away to share the harvest.

Now, keep your fingers crossed for us. I'm always so worried about the processing. I guess though, if the jars don't seal right, we can share them now for immediate use... or have PB&J for the next several meals.

Licking the bowl was pretty tasty!

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Friday, August 27, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! Well, there aren't any crafty finishes to share this week... and, sadly, it has been a totally 'craftless' week for me... but it has been a good week and I will get to pick up the needle & hook this weekend. There are a couple of 'finishes' to share though. My kiddo has 'finished' being 7 years old. His 8th birthday was yesterday. Also, Summer Vacation is 'finished' now too. School started this morning. So... it has been a 'craftless' week for good reason... we have been busy playing!

Trinity opened his presents at the big Birthday Bash last weekend. His 'big' present was a metal detector. He really really really wanted one! So far he hasn't found a hidden treasure chest, but has picked up a few coins... and lots of aluminum can tops. We have scouted the yard, bleachers at the fair grounds, and the beach at Council Grove Lake. He seems to love the adventure of the hunt! While at the lake, we spotted a tree struck by a beaver. I had to take advantage of the photo op...

He takes the treasure hunting seriously... just look at the concentration...

He was sure the metal bar he found was gold. I told him they might be from Captain Hook's pirate ship. In Kansas? Well, we have imagination! lol

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Friday, August 20, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! Oh goodness... the day is getting away from me. Would you believe I almost forgot it was Friday? We have been busy making preparations for the big, family August Birthday Bash. This Sunday we will have nearly 50 family members here for a day of fun ~ birthday celebrations, swimming, go karts, eating, giggling, and just plain FUN! We will have extended family here from both sides & celebrating at least 7 birthdays. With the birthday fun, comes the planning... and cleaning... and well, we have just been in chaotic prep~mode. I'm sure it will be worth it. We always have a great time with the family.

Anyway... let me share some fabulous, ~*Friday Finishes*~ with you... a couple of crows & a wicked work... all are just stunning!

From Dora...

Dora finished this into a pinkeep backed with some dark brown calico
fabric. It is stitched on 30 count natural fabric, 2 over 2. Flosses used
were DMC 3371 and WDW Havana. The pinkeep is embellished with
1.5" sheer ribbon that she randomly twisted around the edges. The ribbon
is secured with tiny pins. I just adore how she added the ribbon, don't you?

From Kathy...

Kathy didn't give fiber info, but I do especially love how she finished both pinkeeps. I like how they are finished longer on each side... giving plenty of room for pins, buttons, & keys... leaving the stitches showing without anything getting in the way. Excellent!

(I don't have blog info for either gal.)

Ladies, thank you so much for stitching & sharing! Keep 'em coming!

Well, it is time to get to the store to pick up some food goodies for the party.

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

~*Tweet Sweet Swap Goodies*~

Hello Dear Friends! In yesterday's mail, there was a big box of goodies! My buddy Debbie made & gifted me some really awesome treasures! She received my name in the Anniversary Swap for AAPG (an online prim group). Let me just tell ya ~ I was TICKLED and grinning from ear to ear! Trinity was too!

This is a close~up of my new birdie mat...

Can you believe all these treasures?

Besides the birdie mat, there were birdie ornies, a really sweet birdie on a punkin', a White Ironstone dish for my collection, a lovely Fall stitchery pillow, a sweet mini~hornbook, and some yummy scented tarts...

And that's not all! Wool and a charming, vintage pincushion...

Some close~ups...because I know you will wanna see 'em better...

And I told ya Trinity was smiling too. Well, she sent him a box of these small, ceramic animal critters. He is always telling me, when he grows up, that he is going to build a mansion in our backyard (like it would fit! lol). Around the mansion, he wants all sorts of wild animals. He says this will keep keep him safe. When asked how he will get out to go to town... well, that is simple... he says he will take a helicopter. The things kids say! Well, Trinity has a 'fort' that we brought home from an auction. It is a handmade toy & he just LOVES it. He is now pretending that this is his mansion. Notice the animals spread around... and the Hotwheels scattered about...

Kids! Ya just gotta love 'em & their imagination!

Debbie, thank you for the treasures ~ mine and Trinity's... and thank you too for bringing my lil'guy some joy and a smile that always brightens my day!

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Sunday, August 15, 2010

~*Weekend Works*~

Hello Dear Friends! I hope your weekend has been good so far. We did finally get a little bit of rain & some cooler temperatures. We were at 6 days in a row of 100 plus heat... and it was doing me in for sure. I am so thankful to see the numbers much lower today. In fact, right now it is a beautiful 73 degrees. Hmmm... maybe I should get away from the computer and head outside?

Well, before I do... I would like to share these with you. Things that kept me busy the past couple of days...

This old washing machine was an auction goody that Tony & I picked up a few weeks ago. The bidding war was on for this too. Another gal & myself really wanted it... but with the encouragement of my sweetheart, I was able to win. We picked up a few mums for it yesterday. I transplanted one of my smaller ferns to fill some of the space too. The washer is sitting in front of our barn. We have a circle drive that wraps around & swings by the barn, so the washer display is a welcoming decoration. A little cheery I think. I do just LOVE the green of the washer bowl! Don't you? I plan to fill it with a small evergreen for Christmas & winter and some bright red geraniums next summer.

I took a slight break from hooking on my pony rug. I plan to get back at it today & as you can see, I don't have too much left to hook on it. It will be nice to take it outside to work under the shade trees today...

The sampler that I stitched for my sister is framed. This frame was a headache in the making. It is a thrift store frame. It was very sturdy, but stark white ~ and enamel-like paint finish too. Because the white paint was so slick & I was too lazy to try to sand it... I sprayed it with an ivory paint. It still wasn't what I wanted. My Mom had given me a tube of Rub & Buff a few years ago. I thought that might do the trick... but it looked too silver then. So, I finally grabbed my shoe polish and went to town on it. This is the finished product. My sister's decorating style is a mix of country 'barn' and shabby chic. Maybe this will fit. I was going to give it to her for her birthday, but am not sure I want to wait until November. It will probably be a 'just because' gift. Emma is my niece's name & the year 1877 is 100 years before my sister's birth year. I like to do things like that with names & dates.

My Mom does have a birthday next weekend. This is her gift. The box is from the box of 'trash to treasure' goodies sent to my by Joanne. (Thank you again Joanne!) I painted the box a deep red, sanded, and shoe polished it. The cross stitch for the top was stitched on prairie cloth... with my Momma's initials. I glued it to the top of the box, trimmed the edge of the box with a little grosgrain ribbon, lined the bottom of the box with an antique music page, re-did the pincushion under the lid with some wool, and made a woolly strawberry (from a Stacy Nash pattern). It doesn't look like the same box anymore. (You can see the before in this post.)...

Well... the nice weather is calling me. Time to head outside for the day.

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Friday, August 13, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~

Hello Dear Friends! Hey! It is FRIDAY! You know what that means.... ~*Friday Finishes*~!

My buddy, Doris, has punched up the ~*Christmas Kitty*~ freebie doodle... but with a charming Halloween twist...

Don't you just love the Jack~O~Lantern?! I think it is just too cute! The colors are wonderful too. I am so ready for Fall. This finish just makes me yearn for cooler days, pumpkins on the porch, and watching the magical change of leaves on the trees as they fade from green to gold, orange, and tan.

Thank you, Doris, for punching and sharing. Your works are always a pleasure to see.

I've been working on assembling patterns and addressing envelopes. Thank you to those of you that have ordered the recent release. They will be in the mail in just a few minutes.

What do I do when my fingers should be stitching? Well... I hook. This is a rug I wanted to work on a few weeks ago, but just started cutting wool and pulling loops last night. Yes, I just started this last night. I was able to get the pony hooked before calling it quiets for the evening and look for my pillow.

This is my ~*Antique Cookie Cutter Pony*~ doodle. I have sized it to be about 15 by 20 inches. As you can see by the scribbles on the linen, I was going to make it as a round chair pad and add the words 'My Pony'... but I nixed that idea & went with the doodle as posted.

Now, I have a confession to make... I think horses are beautiful and I admire them from a distance... but truth be told, I'm actually very scared of them. Why am I hooking a pony then? Well, they are still beautiful creatures... and I love the Folk Art charm they add to a room too.

Wishing you all warm smiles and happy craftin'!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

~*New SPOOKY Release!*~

Hello Dear Friends! Yes, I've been a tad bit quiet... trying to stay out of the wicked heat. You think I would be on the computer playing around. Instead I've been cleaning house and... STITCHING! Here is my latest release...

titled... ~*Wicked Notions*~ Sewing Book

Spooky play on words?

here is the inside...

The pattern is $10 with free shipping. If you are interested, you can order it directly from me, on my Etsy shoppe, or from your local needlework shop. (It will be stocked with my distributors soon.)

I've got more patterns in the works... and am off to pick up my needle & thread now.

Wishing you all warm smiles!


Friday, August 6, 2010

~*Friday Finishes*~... and some sneak peeks

Hello Dear Friends! It is Friday & I have a dandy to show ya!

Becky has stitched up the ~*Crow*~ Freebie... and finished it so wonderfully! The stitching was done with brown Valdani floss on 22 count Hardanger. When she was finished with the stitching, she mounted it to a board with the candles. How primitive-charming is that?

Thank you again, Becky, for stitching & sharing!

As for stitches from my hands... well, here are a few sneak peeks...

The top three pieces of fabric are stitches I've been working on for pattern releases. The stitches are set... now I need to get to the finishing. More will be shared soon. *wink* The bottom one is a sampler I've stitched up as a gift. Once I sort through my collection of 8 by 10 frames to choose the best one... I'll share it here with you. The gift receiver isn't on the computer much... so I'm sure she won't see it too soon.

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Monday, August 2, 2010

~*Antique Cookie Cutter Pony*~

Hello Dear Friends! I thought it would be nice to share this with you...

This pony is inspired by an antique cookie cutter. I thought it would make a very cool rug... or needlepunch or stitchery... and also thought it would be great to share with you.

I just love the short, stumpy legs! Don't you?

Feel free to change up the background to your liking. I thought simple and scrappy spots would be nice with the 'oldness' for the rug envisioned in my head. My buddy, Lori, gifted me a beautiful piece of antique brown wool in a recent exchange that would be perfect for my pony. Now... off to hookin'!

Wishing you all warm smiles,