Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cozy Bedroom

     My quilt is done! I made up the pillow shams too.
I love the way it came out. There are quite a few mistakes in it, but I'm not fussy. This is only my second full sized quilt. I am very happy I finally got to make something for ME (well, for US) in MY favorite colors:)

     The whole set cost under $20. (the price of the fuzzy blanket I bought as a backing) All of the material I used for the quilt top was from my stash, most was given to me by people who knew I liked to sew.
     Some of the material came from old clothes and sheets that I "recycled". Quite a lot of it is vintage sack cloth  that I was given from my Dad. I LOVE the way it has turned out, and It goes with our new curtains (only $10 a window) very well! My Valentine Rose themed bedroom in coming together quite well, and I am pleased. My hubby said he loves it too. I am very happy he doesnt mind in the least if we have a mostly pink bed:)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


     I finished putting the binding on the quilt last night. I did the last bit of late night sewing with some Dr Who season 2 while it was raining outside. It was quite cozy:) Today I want to start, and hopefully finish a couple of pillow shams to match. Then I can finally have the joy of making up the bed! It won't be finished yet though,,, oh no! I want to collect some hand embroidered white pillow cases, or embroider some myself. I am also going to look for some crocheted lace trimmed pillowcases at thrift shops and antique stores this summer. I am even going to keep an eye out for some hand embroidered hankies to make into throw pillows. Oh, and also some crocheted doilies too, I have a lovely pattern for beautiful lacy throw pillows using doilies:) I am SO excited! Do you ever get a "vision" of the way you want things to be, and then get a thrill of joy as they start coming together just right? I do so LOVE this! Keeping house, and decorating, and making a cozy nest, that brings so much joy into my life!
     I hope you have something that brings this much happiness to you. I hope, you, like me, get satisfaction from simple things, and working with your hands, and creating loveliness. So often in this world people just go out and buy things, and there is no time or care taken in anything anymore. I think that kind of life leaves so much behind. Our grand and great grandmothers knew the joy and pride in workmanship and artistry that we can only dream of for the most part today. I cannot create some of the things that they used to, though I can do my best to learn as much as I can without a teacher. What I can do though is look for and preserve some little "treasures" of thier work. I might not know the lady who made the item, but I know the feeling that drove her to devote hours into creating something beautiful, and that makes us sisters:)
       So create away, in what ever pallet works best for you. Be it baking, or sewing, or gardening, take comfort that every time you do something the "hard" way the people that came before us are smiling down, knowing that the skills they had are not being lost to "convienence" but remembered with love:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hearts for Home 4/11/11

     I am joining Gae once again in her Hearts for Home weekly list:) It really does help me keep my mind focused on extra little tasks that make the home more "Home-ier".

     1. I will try and finish up the last few touches on my quilt, then see if I can whip up a couple of pillow shams to match with the leftover squares. I am looking forward to searching for vintage hand sewn and trimmed white and pink pillow cases this summer, to make a truly old fassioned romantic place to lay our heads at night!
     2. We finally bought the matching nightstands that go with our bed (we have waited for about 4 years!) and I saved one of the large boxes that they came in. I am going to turn it into a little playhouse for my friends 3 year old for when he comes over with his mother to visit. I use to LOVE cardboard box houses when I was little, and sometimes in the winter my Dad would stop into the local appliance store to pick us up one to decorate as a little house in the basement:)
     3. I want to bake and freeze some sugar cookies, and use my new Easter cookie cutters, for the family Easter party and egg hunt later this month. I might also make up and freeze the 2 or 3 dozen rolls I want to bring. The less I have to do last minute the more I am able to enjoy the day. Not to mention, getting all stressed out is not good, I tend to be more apt to snap at my loving Poot, and I don't like it when I do that:(
     4. I am going to make Poot one of his favorite kinds of cake, just because. A chocolate cake with cool whip for icing. He is not a "frosting" man, and very much prefers cool whip, and he deserves a treat!
     So, with those things to keep me busy, I should have a pretty productive week! I look forward to the feeling I get, knowing I have done some nice work for my home:)
                                                                                   God Bless, and have a lovely week!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quilting Away!

     I was a very busy girl last week! I got my quilt layers together, and pinned (with about 150 safety pins, and 10 now very sore fingers) and have finished about 3/4 of the quilting! A few more hours of sewing and I will have the quilting all done! WOOO HOOO, machine quilting, once I figured out how to do it, is BY FAR so much easier than doing it by hand! When quilting's done I will trim the edges and sew on the trim/binder. I think I want to add some eyelet lace around the edge too. That will need to wait though, our Walmart looks as if a bomb has gone off, and absolutely NOTHING is where it used to be before. They say they are redecorating and making it easier for the costumers, I THINK they just want to trap us for hours, wandering like lost treasure hunters through darkest jungles. I mean golly goodness, I tried finding a seam ripper there the other day, For those of you who dont sew, they are about two and a half inches long, about the size of you average crayon,,,,, did I say something about haystacks,,,, and NEEDLES?! Needless to say, by the time I found it (with near hysterical giggles of joy) I vowed never to set foot in a Walmart again! Well,,,,, being a crafter,,,,, and and seeing as THEY are the only dealer in that OH so addictive good knows as FABRIC,,,,, well, lets just say its a love hate relationship, and leave it at that:)
     So here are a few photo's from last week, see if you can spot my little "helper"

     She just can't wait till (her) its all finished! She wasn't even scared off by the noise of the sewing machine, which is VERY unusual, my cats are scared of EVERYTHING! Well, we take risks for love, and my Battie LOVES mommy-made blankets :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to throw a Bridal Tea!

Get your pretty self into the kitchen,

                                                            and start baking up a storm!

Make up some dainty finger sandwiches,

and bake up some pretty cakes,

                                                   Lay out a beautiful buffet for your guests,

Set the tables
Make sure to have a pretty centerpiece
Lay out your collection of teacups, mismatched is OK, it adds to the charm!
                                    Use your crafty finger to make some elegant, lacy favors.
Be sure to wear your favorite frilly frock, and a lovely hat too!
And for silly fun, have a paper bride contest!
                                                           Have fun Ladies, and Pinkies Up!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Sun Is Out!

     Isn't it amazing how how much more cheerful one feels when the sun is shining?  It has been quite gloomy for day, and when I woke up to sunshine I instantly felt more ambitious! I am going to get the chores done and then maybe work on my quilt. I think I am going to just use the nice new fuzzy blanket as a backing, and forgo adding a third layer of cotton sheet. The fuzzy felt will be very cuddly against the skin when next winter rolls around.
     Spring is still flirting with winter here, but today it is quite nice out. I'd love to go for a walk, I just wish we lived on a less busy road. The speed that people drive on this road makes me nervous, I lost two cousins by them getting hit by cars, so I have a little bit of a complex when it comes to walking near moving vehicles!
     Tonight, as a treat, I am going to be making bangers and mas. While visiting Freeports wonderful brittish imports shop I found that they had a fully stocked freezer of brittish goods. I can't wait! Last night I made some cookie bars by using a chocolate chip cookie recipe and substituting the regular dark chocolate bits with some white chocolate, toffee, and chopped walnuts. They are DEVINE! I wish I could have you all over for a cup of tea and a cookie.:)
       Have a wonderful afternoon, and may God bless you and your housholds with sunshine and peace!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hearts for Home 4/5/11

     This week's Hearts for Home will be a little less ambitious. I have had a clingy cold for a little more than a week now. I really can't complain, as this is the only cold I have had this season, and it isn't even a very nasty one. But it is a tiring one, so I am going to keep taking things slow and getting lots of rest. Thank the Lord, Poot hasn't caught it, though if he did I wouldn't lie, I would love to have him home for me pamper and nurse:)
     So, the list.
     1. I picked up a few candles in lovely spring scents, I am going to make a point of  lighting candles in the evenings, to make a cozy atmosphere.This spring so far has consisted mostly of slushy snow and freezing rain, so warm, flowery scents go a long way to brightening dark nights.
     2. I really hope my cold improves in the next day or two, because I really need and  want to make some more bread. We have had to get a loaf or two from the store, and after having homemade bread for so long, store bought really does not seem worth eating at all. Plus, with homemade, you get the added benefit of that indescribably delicious aroma, the one people always get a smile on thier faces while remembering. Absolutely nothing beats the smell of baking bread for the "homeyness" award!
     3. I would also like to put my quilt layers together,
    The quilt top is finished, and now I am just debating on how I want to go about  finishing it, weather I want to have three layers, or just use a nice fleece blanket as a backing and tie it off. I'll keep thinking on it for another day or two, I don't want to have to take it apart again!
     4. I am also going to need to give the apartment a good scrubbing. I have been doing bare minimum cleaning for the past week or so, and we are in no means living in filth, but I know what needs to be done and what hasn't been done, and its bugging me:) Thankfully, this past weekend my sister came over and brought her very nice vacuum cleaner and carpet shampooer. She and Poot gave the floors a good cleaning, and I am confident NOW the pesky sinus problems I have been having all winter will finally end! What a blessing that will be!
     5. And, I think, since my Poot has been so good to me and he has been doing ALL the cooking (well, bringing home takeout:) I will make him something special. Maybe a batch of his favorite peanut butter balls, using his grandma's recipe. Every now and then you have to spoil you man, especially if he deserves it:)
     Well, thats it for tonight, God Bless, and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Frugal Cooking, what to do with 20lbs of Turkey!

     I don't know about you, but I like to buy meat when its on sale. We just can't afford  it otherwise! At Thanksgiving every year, when turkeys go on sale at a loss (which was harder to find this past year, and might not happen at all next year!) we always buy two turkeys. One for Christmas, and one to keep in the freezer for later. Well, its later! Winter is almost over, and spring is in the air. Pretty soon it will be too hot to be roasting ANYTHING for five hours in the oven, so I though I would cook up the massive 20lb bird, freeing up some much missed freezer space and making future meals a snap.
I let him defrost for a week in my fridge, best do this in the roasting pan, or you WILL have a mess on your hands!
@  $.49 a lb, you can't go wrong.
     I roasted the bird at 325', plain (unseasoned) unstuffed and untrussed for about five hours, until the meat thermometers little arrow pointed to poultry. I covered it with foil for the first 3 -1/2 to 4 hours, then uncovered for the rest of the roasting so it would golden up. This isn't necessary though, unless your planning on serving the bird right away, because your just going to pull it to bits anyway. I let it rest and cool about 30 min, then removed all the meat from the carcass.

     I then put all the bones into the crock pot with a sliced onion and some wrinkled carrots from the root veg drawer in the bottom of the fridge. Throw in some celery too, especially the tops, if you have some. I didnt, but no bother, I can add some to any soup I make with the stock later on. Also, celery seed is a great (and cheep) way of adding celery flavor when no fresh celery is on hand. You can also add any number of herbs, I like bay and rosemary and parsley. I didn't add them this time though, as I wanted to keep it simple so I could use this stock in multiple ways.
    Add water to cover and set on high, and then I (literally) forgot about it for about 10 hours.

     I'm glad I forgot about it, as I now have some of the richest turkey stock I have ever made! I don't put skin into my stock, in fact, skin and globs of fatty gristle are the only parts of the bird I discard outright. The rest I use! I had a LOT of pan juices left in the roasting pan. I poured them through a fine sieve into a clear jug and popped it into the fridge to separate and firm up. Once its cool you will have a layer of creamy fat and a jelly layer of protein rich broth. I scooped off and saved the layer of fat to use for making rue balls for future gravies and white sauces, (mix equal parts *1c+1c* of fat and flour together, then freeze in ice cube tray, convenient ready to go gravy and sauce starter!) I am also going to try freezing this fat in ice cube trays, and using the cubes instead of marge or butter for sauteing veg and other things. Its funny, how our culture shuns natural fats, and does everything they can to avoid and discard them, then buys tons and tons of highly processed (and highly unhealthy) fats like margarine and vegetable shortening. Our great grandmothers would have told us its foolish to throw away "free" fat then go and pay for some other kind of fat!
     Now, by the time you have the stock started your plate of meat should have cooled enough to start further processing. I go through, pull off skin and slimy membranes, and weed out the rest of the bones (adding them to the pot) then I separate the white meat from the dark and bag in sandwich baggies, then wrap in foil and mark the outside with W Turkey of D Turkey accordingly.
     I wraped up nine packages of about one pound each boneless -ready to go into a recipe- meat. I also got a little more then 4c pan juices (shown before cooled and separated) and about 5 quarts of rich stock, not to mention about a cup or so of nice turkey drippings. I can make at LEAST a dozen meals from the meat, with about four servings each meal. Not too shabby for less than $10 and an afternoon of easy work! Not to mention a home that smelled like Christmas all day!
     Meal Ideas;
       turkey enchiladas
       creamed turkey over noodles
       turkey curry (many variations of this!)
       turkey salad sandwiches
       pulled BBQ turkey sandwiches
       turkey and ham (or bacon) casserole
       turkey pot pie
       turkey shepherds pie
       turkey Alfredo
       turkey and stuffing *cakes*
       cream of turkey soup
       turkey a la king on biscuits
     and many, many more. Turkey is interchangeable in any recipe that calls for chicken, and even in some that call for canned tuna, so get creative! Don't let small household size put you off getting the biggest bird you can find, once cooked you can freeze the meat in manageable sized packages like I have done, OR, if your mare ambitious you can even make yourself up a dozen meals to pop in your freazer, ready to reheat any time you want a quick dinner:) Use your imagination!
 Now I am signing off, I'm going to go turn some of that lovely stock into some turkey and dumpling soup to fight off this dratted cold! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday:)