Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Now, MY Project

I originally scheduled last weekend's trip to Angel Quilters in order to get some advice from the very creative & knowledgeable women who work there.  As you know from my last post, we accomplished some shopping for my daughter too!  I was able to spend a few minutes with the gals, and got my questions answered.

Yesterday, I began my project.  It started with old fabric samples that I used in my redecorating business.  I have about 20 books and rings of these swatches, all color coordinated.  Doesn't this look like a project just waiting to happen?

I spent most f the afternoon, laying and re-laying the swatches into a design that I thought was just right.  The future recipient of this soon-to-be "throw" decorates with lots of green, so I mostly used those swatches, adding in rosy-pinks & some blues. 

I am telling you, this was definitely the hardest part!  First, I am a very novice quilter.  I have made clothing for myself, sewed slipcovers & drapes, pillows, etc.  Laying out a "crazy quilt" is another thing entirely!  I'll have to add several rows & columns as I get the swatches cut to remove the metal ring and stiff paper at each end.  Then, there will be more editing of the colors/layout.

When I finally quit working on it after supper, it looked like this. 

Guess how I am spending my day? :)  I am actually having fun with this, and who knows what I might think of to use the rest of the swatches!

Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade; From the Heart!

Sunday, I spent a very pleasant afternoon helping my daughter make a Christmas gift!  She is an accomplished knitter, painter of pottery & quite a good cook.  Seamstress, not so much! 

I posted previously about visiting my favorite Quilt Shop for some project supplies.  Melissa decided to ride along.  While we were in the shop, she saw an apron that she loved.  She decided she could make these as gifts that would be useful and pretty.  "Will you help me Mom?" 

How could I resist?  It was fun to coach her through the process.  Way back when, she took sewing in school, and has made a couple of things through the years.  So, I really only needed to be nearby to answer questions and help her get familiar with my sewing machine.

I love the fabric she chose, and the the apron turned out very well, don't you think? 

Now, I'd better get busy on my project before she walks in with the fabric for more aprons!  The 'ole sewing machine is gonna get a workout this Christmas!  :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What On Earth...?

(No photos, no links today.  You've no doubt heard and seen it all!)

I simply cannot believe it!  Turn on the TV or log on to the computer this weekend, and you are assaulted with pictures and stories of unprecedented greed! 

Just a few hours after a day dedicated to thanksgiving for our true abundance, we hear about near-riots over $2 toasters, and of a woman who used pepper spray to keep fellow shoppers from grabbing the game console she coveted!  Shoppers have been shot, trampled, and mugged in parking lots as the head home with their spoil. 

Today, one of the online headlines asked, "Has Black Friday Gone Too Far?".  Do we really need to ask that question?  Is it not obvious?

Look, I realize that things are tough economically.  I lost my full time job last May.  I hardly see that as an excuse to endanger myself & my fellow humans in order to shop!  I have determined that we will give within our budget, and that is going to require some creativity on my part.  I accept that challenge.

I am just so distressed by this stuff!  I need to tune out most of the media for now.  Christmas music...yeah, that's the idea! 

I'm glad it's Sunday.  Heading for church in a couple of hours will help me to regain my joy, and to worship the "giver of all good things"!  I need it!

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15 NIV

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let the Decorating Begin!

Daughter & I are off to my favorite Quilt Shop for supplies to start a project.  More on that to follow in a day or two...

Our afternoon will be spent stowing the Fall decor and starting the Christmas decorating!  I enjoy doing it, and I love sitting in the glow of the results!

I've added a few vintage images of holiday decorating to get us all in the mood!

First, in comes the tree!  Is your tree "real" or "everlasting"?

Next, you decorate it with treasured ornaments!

LOVE this one!

Then, the garlands and wreaths are placed, just so.

Finish the day with a cup of hot cocoa! Spiked or not...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.   Psalm 100:4


"May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!"

I'm wishing you all the blessings of this special day;
family, friends, good food & plenty to be thankful about!

Birthday Dinner

My wonderful daughter always cooks my birthday dinner, since I really prefer to celebrate at home.  (I'm not fond of being serenaded by bored wait staff, or wearing the silly birthday hat!)  As always, it was delicious!  Just as I sat down, I remembered I should take a photo.  My camera was in the office, but my cell phone was near by.  Unfortunately, the color is rather washed out.  The salmon was really pink & the green beans were much brighter...

The menu?

  • Lime & Tarragon Salmon
  • Browned Butter Rice
  • Sauteed Green Beans with Pecans
  • Chocolate Decadence Cupcakes

It was all accompanied by a very good Chardonnay.  Yum!

On another note:

As we rush headlong into Black Friday, Super Saturday and Cyber Monday, I want to encourage everyone to "SHOP SMALL".  One of the best things we can do for our economy is to shop our Local Small Businesses.  And, don't forget the Independent Direct Sellers.  Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Sallee Peterson Art (my sister),  Connie McLennan Fine Art, Gold Canyon CandlesWild Tree, Uppercase Living, Paperly, to name a few.  I've linked to the sites of a few of my friends in business, just to give you a taste of what you can find out there!

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thoughts on Being 63 Years Old

Today is my 63rd birthday. 
Next year, I am going to grow up!

Probably not...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

After the Feast Soup

I saw this product on the Crate & Barrel website, and thought what a wonderful gift this would be for a Thanksgiving host. 

Then, I decided that I could make a gift like this myself.  I have several recipes for those "soup in a jar" mixes.  You know, the ones where you layer ingredients in a mason jar and attache preparation instruction

Chris' Holiday Leftover Soup

1 (2.75 ounce) package country gravy mix (regular or no-fat)
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons dried celery flakes
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dried mushrooms
(shiitake, chanterelle or oyster)
    2 cups chopped or shredded turkey; to be added at cooking time

Pour gravy mix into wide-mouth pint jar. In small bowl, stir together bouillon granules, onion, celery and parsley. Pour into jar to make second layer. Add layers of wild rice, white rice and mushrooms. Seal with lid. Attach gift tag (below) and decorate jar as desired.

Attach a gift tag with the following instructions:

Holiday Leftover Soup:

Empty contents of jar into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add 7 cups water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Add leftover turkey to just warm through. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Makes 6 servings.

I made something similar last year. It's good to have a few around for those unexpected, drop-in guests who bring gifts!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winnerfest and a recipe!

In the Tupperware world, there's been Springfest, Summerfest, Fallfest and Winterfest. Four times a year, several Tupperware organizations from Northern California & Nevada get together for a night of recognition, celebration & training.  T

These events help us to launch the upcoming selling season, by showing us new product & catalogs, the gifts for hosts, consumer specials, and (fun, fun, fun!) the trips, and gifts that we as consultants can earn.

Because our new motto for 2012 in "WIN", Work It Now, this event was renamed Winnerfest. :)

Last night, I had the privilege of being a trainer and host of a "Discovery Table".  I thought you might like to see a few photos.

My table theme was : 

I am very aware that our Hosts "gift" us with time in their homes and by inviting their friends.  It is important to me that I return value to them.  My party demo is my gift in return.  Tupperware sells itself.  If  folks come to a party, they are likely expecting to buy.  I want to give hints, tips & recipes using our products and systems that can really make a difference in their kitchens.  Save them time, or money or both...

So, my table was all about taking the products that are featured in the current sale flyer, and showing how we can add value to our demos by featuring them. 

One of my favorite products on the table is the Heat 'N Serve.  These containers go from the fridge or freezer, right to the microwave for reheating.  There is a automatic venting system that prevents blowout!  Ever have something explode all over the nuker?  Yuck!  The containers are also attractive enough to set on the table for serving.

Using these containers, you can create a basic beef or basic chicken mix, in your microwave or on the stove top, that can be turned into 8 different meals.  Stick 'em in the fridge or freezer and you've got quick dinners for 8 of your busiest day in December!  The demo includes a cookbook with both basic mixes and recipes for using them.

I think of all the ideas I taught, this was the favorite.  Except for the Holiday Cranberry Salsa recipe.  This is really delicious.  Eat it with cinnamon tortilla chips, pour it over a block of cream cheese to serve with crackers, or use it as your cranberry dish for Holiday meals.  I do all three! 

I've "gifted" you with that recipe below!

Micro Pitcher = microwaveable pitcher
Quick Chef = food processor
Chopper Machine = food processor

Thanks for allowing me to share some of my career with you!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Sermon

"Trust God. Sounds corny, works every time"
~Ellen Brenneman

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.
amd a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105 KJV

Wishing you a happy & blessed Sunday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Melissa!

"A daughter is a bundle of firsts that excite and delight,
giggles that come from deep inside and are always contagious,
everything wonderful and precious and your love for her knows no bounds."
-- Barbara Cage

I am SO blessed to have this sweet young woman as my daughter! 

God had just the right girl to bring joy and companionship into the lean, and lonely years; to thrive and be thankful with, for the abundance now in our lives!  Always loving, always lifting me up, and always my best friend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day - 2011

"Freedom is never free."
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Does Your Grocery Have One of These?

Last time I was in my local grocery store, I picked up their magazine.  I love this thing!  I eagerly await its appearance each month, or is it each quarter?  Hmmm, I can't remember...

Anyhoo, this issue is jam-packed with great recipes.  It also has a lot of advertisements, but I really don't mind since the other content is so great, and it's FREE.

I thought you might enjoy browsing through it too! I have placed the link to the on-line copy HERE and under the photo. 

Speaking of the photo, isn't that mug cute?  It's filled with Peppermint Cream Cheese Ice Cream (!), and you'll find that recipe at the bottom of page 6.
Link to Digital Copy

You can use the " Go to Page" feature to land at specific pages as listed below.  You can also use the magnifying glass icon to hover over the recipes so that you can read them.
Here are some other recipes that I want to try:
  • Rosemary and Sea Salt Walnuts - page 35
  • Gingersnap Crusted Yams - page 56
  • Baked Corn and Bacon Pudding - page 58
  • Pear, Beet & Arugula Salad - page 60
  • Bolshoi Punch - page74
  • Chocolate Mint Meringue Bites - page 85

Does your grocery have a similar magazine?  Is there a way to share it with us?

Please let us know if you try any of the recipes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Cellarette

Once, when I visited Filoli, I was curious about something I saw in the dining room.  Standing on the floor, near the dining table, was a beautiful chest/box of some sort.  I asked the docent about it.  She said it was a "cellarette" for wine and champagne.  I managed to get a half-decent photo of it from behind the velvet rope.  I'm glad I did since it hasn't been on display in any visit since!  I love the shape, the carvings & brass fittings on this one.  In fact, I'd like to own one!

Filoli Cellarette
The top of the cellarette is barely visible next to gold dish.

The Encyclopedia Britannica describes a cellarette as:

"cellarette, small, movable wine cooler and, later, also a deep, metal-lined tray with compartments for holding bottles in a sideboard. Most portable cellarettes were made of mahogany, and designs were varied, the shape governed to some degree by the shapes of wine bottles. Early wine bottles were short and squat, but in the late 18th century they became progressively taller, a trend that was reflected in the depth of cellarettes.

Common varieties were circular or oval, hooped with brass bands, and provided with tapered, fluted legs with castors. Usually kept under the centre of a sideboard or side table, they were rolled out for use. Under the influence of the classical revival in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, sarcophagus shapes were popular. The movable cellarette continued in use after sideboards with built-in wine coolers were introduced in the 18th century and until the introduction of the refrigerator in the 20th century."

I've searched the internet, and discovered that I only really like the antique cellarettes, and they are way out of my budget!  So, I'll be content to admire them from afar!

You can click HERE to read brief description from Encyclopedia Britannica.

Here are a few links to some beautiful examples!

English - William IV Period Cellarette - $14,000...yikes!

Early 19th Century Cellarette

George III Mahogany Inlaid Cellarette

19th Century Regency Mahogany Cellarette - $15,000 - $16,000...double yikes!

Here's a circa 1965 Cellarette - I could afford, but it's just not the same, ya know?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Sermon

"God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea,
and He's even put a 'no fishing' sign over the spot."
-D.L. Moody

Have a blessed new week!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New Collection?

Okay, I'll admit it!  I am a collector of stuff.  I have collections that have cost me a few bucks.  Blown-glass pumpkins, red transferware, teapots, depression glass, finials, roosters & hens (decorative types), Santas.  None absolutely priceless, but there has been some investment over time.  I love them, and I will continue to collect them. 


Lately, I have been drawn to a very inexpensive, easily sought & found item.  What is this highly collectible item you ask?

Paper Napkins.  Yes, I said, "Paper Napkins"!  Not your everyday white, buy in bulk at Costco paper napkins either!

I started buying them to use for quick wipe ups out on the deck or take on picnics.  How that all changed, I'm not sure.

Might have been the one below, found at Sur La Table.  I actually laughed out loud in the middle of the store!  You would have to know my family to understand why, but it is all good, I promise. 

Just a few days ago, I found this one.  Seasonally appropriate, don't you think?

This photo shows what is currently in my kitchen drawer.

I almost bought another package yesterday.  Somehow, I resisted, but it was hilarious, and I'll probably go back for it.

Is it possible I am entering my dotage?  I hope I'm just a collector who likes to have fun!

Question for today: Do you collect anything slightly weird?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Deviled Egg Day!

According to my Gallo Family Calendar, today is November 2nd, and today National Deviled Egg Day!

Who doesn't love a good Deviled Egg? 

To help you celebrate this wonderful day, I've gathered and posted the links to several recipes that I spotted around the foodie websites.  I hope there's a deviled egg in your day! :)
And last, maybe least:

If you're a real novice, here's a TUTORIAL about Deviled Eggs!