Archive for the ‘Tea time’ Category

And so the Holidays begin!

 Fall Foliage 2013

The Fall foliage was breathtaking this year.  Looking out from my porch this was my view by end of October. The yellows were vibrant.  Reds were beautiful! Even the little peach tree’s orange was sweet.  I was so excited about Fall and it’s colors that somehow I missed Halloween in a sense!  And for me that is the real start of the Holidays! I love Halloween. I enjoy decorating for Halloween and that didn’t happen until the very last minute when I realized my ornament tree wasn’t decorated so I put up a few Halloween ornaments.  I had even started stitching a Halloween ornament at the end of September and this was the result of that endeavor. Witchy Mermaid This Witchy Mermaid took me a month to stitch up.  The pumpkins share my sentiments exactly!  Too long to work on a cool underwater witch. <sigh> And still it sits waiting to be created into an ornament for next year now.

I keep thinking this crazy snowstorm we had in the middle of October really side tracked me.  Big fluffy snowflakes, snow covering the ground and me with visions of snowmen dancing in my head. October 2013 Snow I did however recover enough to bake Halloween Muffins at my house.  I used my favorite chocolate chip muffin recipe and mixed in the orange and semi sweet chocolate chips. Was festive and felt more like Halloween with it’s colors. Not to mention they were yummy too.

Halloween Muffins

Now I can’t believe November zoomed by and I’m really behind on everything!  Where did the month go?  I’m planning my Thanksgiving menu.  My favorite cooking and baking time of year.  But it does feels like it crept up on me without warning.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, my broccoli quiche, corn, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce a must, apple and pumpkin pies too.  Need to bake a cake as well.  Something pumpkin, perhaps a pumpkin roll.  Love the cream cheese filling! We celebrate our family Thanksgiving on Wednesday with the kids and their significant others.  So on Thanksgiving Day we go to the in laws and I bake my pumpkin sheet cake frosted with cream cheese frosting to bring to the feast. Maybe I’ll even get to stitch with my sister in law for a bit. Hmmmm, better find something small to stitch on that day. But Thanksgiving evening I so look forward to a cold turkey sandwich with heated up leftover sides. What are you cooking for Thanksgiving and what do you look forward to the most?

Which now brings us to that stitchy time of year. . . Christmas Ornaments!!  Christmas is around the corner and my homemade gifts aren’t near completion.  Some aren’t even begun!  Guess I’ll be kitting together a Christmas ornament to stitch on at the in laws with Shannon. How many years did I promise myself I’d get started early on ornaments and every year it’s the same story, later and later I start my xmas gifts for family and friends. 

Speaking of Christmas ornaments, I was so excited to see my Snowman’s Quaker Christmas stitched up on Facebook by Erica Parsons. She did such a beautiful finish too. erica parson'sErica stitched the little guy up on plastic canvas then glued them to colorful felt adding sequins and beads.  She then trimmed the felt with her pinking shears. It never ceases to amaze me how this little snowman gets around.  Snowman’s Quaker Christmas is such a fun ornament to stitch and works up quickly too.  If anyone else has stitched him and would like to share their pic of the ornament or fob or however you finished the snowman please email me so that I can share it here on my blog.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you create wonderful memories this holiday season with your family and friends. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.


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Hey everyone!  I need my blog mojo back.  I’m hoping we can catch up together, since my last post, and once again I’ve got the pics to prove I thought about blogging, just never got to the loft to post on my computer.  I’ve got a cup of green tea by me and ready to visit with you!

This was the scene just ten days after my last post.  Yes, mother nature remembered we didn’t really have a winter and finally gave us a beautiful snowfall.  February is still good for a good snowstorm and goodness knows we needed the moisture after two years of drought.

You know me, I love snow and it was depressing I couldn’t “play” in it this year.  It’d only been five months since my back surgery and I wasn’t able to get out there and help clean up, build a snowman, or just pop hubby with a good snowball. hehe  But it was pretty coming down.  woods in snow

Hubby was plowing our driveway and taking some wonderful pictures for me to share with you.gate in snow

Before he plowed this was what the driveway looked like with the cedars heavy with snow.  Always looks so magical after a snowfall doesn’t it? Cedars

When it’s chilly out, snow on the ground, doesn’t it make you think “time to bake something wonderful”?  It did me but of all times the oven finally decided it was time to die.  Stove semi worked but the oven was finished.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, or something like that, and I found a dense chocolate cake to make in the crock pot. Yes, it had to be chocolate!crock pot choc cake

And when served, hot warm from the crock pot with vanilla ice cream it was heavenly.  We couldn’t get over what an awesome dense chocolate cake it was.  Full of semi sweet chocolate chips too I might add.  Yum!  About now that would go great with my cup of tea.  Another new favorite from the crock pot was fruit cobblers made with pie filling.cake a la mode

You never realize how much you use an oven until it’s gone.  Not only baking but cooking meals.  I had to rethink what to make cooking on a stove for dinner.  Talk about getting creative!  But a few weeks later the new stove arrived and it was amazing to realize how long I must have baked/cooked with an oven that was malfunctioning. Those of you that know me well can imagine my first meal with the new stove.  Yup, a pot of homemade sauce with my garlicy meatballs and homemade foccacia!  The bread being one of the most important parts of the meal. Comfort food!! Breakfast the next day were my chocolate chip muffins. More yum!


March and April brought us ice storms. It seemed like every couple of weeks it was warm days with the promise of spring and then more of Winter.  At one point I know it was both snow and ice.  Our red bud tree never bloomed after one of these ice storms.  I thought I’d lost all the flowers at one point. ice storm

March  was also a fun month as my Guild had a retreat at Maple Memories in McPherson.  These are always so much fun.  Great comraderie, wonderful meals prepared by Marietta and Connie (neither have a  blog), and stitching from Monday afternoon to Wednesday noon.  I managed to finish up a Blackbird Design piece for my Bird Block Exchange. Yes I’ve actually been stitching some too.  And started BBD’s May Basket while there which is almost finished but it’s been set aside for a bit with finishing up a RR piece. Five of us are doing LaDDa’s Live Laugh Love.  It’s a fun Round Robin. bird block

Luckily nature was good to us even if she couldn’t figure out her hot and cold flashes as I had some gorgeous lilacs and irises this time around. We had snow in April and yes even early May! We’re pretty certain now it’s Spring for sure as we  had the Spring storms to prove it this past weekend. purple and white iriseslilacs 

With the warmer weather I’ve been spending alot of time on my front porch.  I have a stitching spot with table and chairs that just happens to be by an electrical socket for my table top magnifying light!  The picture of my outdoor stitching spot was taken earlier in the year on a warm day as I worked on finishing up my model. And the other side of the porch beckons to snuggle with a book and read.  The songs of different birds, hammering of the woodpeckers, gobbling of the wild turkeys, and occasional deer stepping out to eat or coyote running through in the early morning mist add a peacefulness to the porch. In the evening watching a sunset with the hooting of the owls is magical made even more special when we see them fly by in search of their night time adventures. Hubby and I like to take breakfast out on the porch during weekends and dinner on the deck in the evenings to enjoy the nice weather before the heat of summer. ???????????????????porch









Speaking of stitching a few paragraphs above, I had joined in on a Mystery Exchange that was so much fun.  The partner I had loved Spring and Bunnies.  I stitched up this cute bunny freebie, it had to be something she didn’t have yet because Nita owns every bunny chart there is I think, and added some little extras as well.  She loved it and hadn’t seen that freebie as yet.  Mission accomplished.  And while I’m sharing that pic I’ll also add BBD’s Dear Friend that I finally finished and had framed.  Love the antique feel to this frame.  Mystery ExchangeBBD Dear Friend








My cup of tea is long gone.  I managed to overload on pics but so wanted to share what’s been happening.  I left you with a teaser on my porch stitching of a model which hopefully will be releasing later this week.  Can’t wait to share that pic with you. It’s A Prairie Schoolgirl’s Sampler and would make a nice companion piece to A Prairie Girl’s Sampler. Thanks for the visit and enjoy your evening!  I leave you with a picture of  Hunter, who if you remember was the miracle cat that survived, looking robust and healthy.  Until later. . . Hunter 2013

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!! 

Wishing you all a very special day full of loving surprises!

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Happy Memorial Day!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! At this time of the year everyone thinks  getting together with family and friends.  Many visit our loved ones in the cemeteries and leave our tokens on their graves. It is also a time to reflect, and to keep soldiers, past and present, in our prayers. Thank you for keeping our country safe.

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In memory. . .

Yesterday the stitching world found out that Lisa of the Primitive Needle passed away under tragic circumstances.  My heart and prayers go out to her family.  She was a special person who will be missed and her memory will live on in her designs. 

Here Lies Thy Needle is a Market design of Lisa’s that caught my eye.  I pulled it out today to stitch in her memory.  Stitching mends the soul so I’m off to pull the threads and put my first stitch in.

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The Big Meltdown. . .


Pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa while I catch you up on all the snowstorms that came through here in the last few weeks! 

This one was from mid January and disappeared as quickly as it showed up.  Two weeks ago we had quite the ice storm with about six inches of snow on top of the freezing rain, drizzle, mist, that turned pretty slick.  It was the ice that stranded us for a bit.  We even lost power for a while!  Remembering the four days without electricity a few years ago we stoked up that fireplace pretty quickly.  So we kept the house from getting too cold.  And since this happened in the night, Dad never even woke up or knew that there was no power!!  Thank goodness for small favors.  He was surprised enough as it was when he woke up to the wintery storm.  By then it was blowing sideways with white out conditions that lasted all day.  

Then last week was the BIG blizzard after a spring like weekend with very warm temps!!  We officially got 19″ of snow.  Gorgeous flakes that were like the energizer bunny, they just kept coming.  

By midday this is what it looked like and already pretty deep.  It was becoming quite evident the storm that was suppose to be six to ten inches was already deeper and still swirling down in big fluffy flakes! My husband said in all his years he’d never seen a snowstorm like this one in Kansas!

By Wednesday morning this is what the driveway looked like with drifts waist high in some spots and my poor car buried in a big drift.  It was a winter wonderland but what a challenge clearing it all.  I had tried to keep up with the front porch so I could feed the critters in their little cat hut.  But even that had looked like an igloo by late Tuesday night.  So I tackled the porch and cleared some of the deck while Vince worked on clearing the driveway with the bobcat since the tractor wouldn’t start.  The piles of snow just kept building up as you can see on the left of the pic.  It took him over an hour to clear the length of our driveway to the road which is beyond the tree row you see at the top of the pic and all on his lunch break.  A second week in a row that we weren’t getting out for a couple of days.  I can tell you my hubby definitely had quite the work out clearing paths, the cement driveway the vehicles were on and patio and deck out back after work.  Yup, I stuck to the porch, front steps, and promptly got stuck in too deep of snow to continue through the sidewalk so I retreated.  LOL  Baked Banana Apricot Cranberry Nut Bread instead to compliment the steaming cup of coffee I had ready for him when he came in. 

Here’s a shot of the lacy tree branches in snow out back.  Looked so pretty!

By this past weekend the weather had warmed up enough that the meltdown had begun.  Much needed moisture in our area.  I’m seeing robins and red winged blackbirds coming to eat the seed we’ve put out for the birds so am hoping it means that spring like weather will hold and this was the last hurrah for winter.

I took this shot late afternoon yesterday to give you an idea of how much of a meltdown we’ve had in the last three days!  Wow!

And can this next pic really be the driveway that was so deep in snow less than a week ago?  It’s crazy! 

It’s been years since I’ve seen such a big snowstorm.  And it was really pretty to watch. 

But I’m looking forward to my flower beds and am enjoying the morning songs from the birds again. 

And on that note. . .

Enjoy your day everyone!!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I started the family’s day off with crepes for breakfast.  Know I need to bake something chocolatey but not sure what yet.  Leaning towards brownies I think!  What’s everyone else doing for today? 

Last time we chatted I was on a search for a chocolate block and here’s what I ended up stitching for that exchange.  CEC’s Cup of Cocoa Mitten.  I just love her mittens and can’t wait to start her new freebie, Mitten Cakes.  I also have another Cup of Cocoa (for me this time), S’Mores, and Baby It’s Cold Outside kitted up because I really want to get more mittens stitched up this year.   I’ve even managed to enable two dear friends into stitching up mittens now too.  Maybe I should kit up the Shamrock Mitten since St Patty’s Day is around the corner.


 This is my progress on Blackbird Designs Clara Ellen of Anniversaries of the Heart.  Probably not as much as I’d hoped for by this time but happy none the less.  I just love this piece and especially the colors.  I have played around with different threads for the house though.  Will keep you posted on that.

Wishing you all a very special day!  Thanks for stopping by! 




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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration!  We did a movie marathon and I made my Clam Bake dip, hubby made his dried beef dip, and there were some other snacks too.  Despite this upper respiratory infection for the second time in a month, and a sinus infection as well,  I actually managed to stay up past midnight! 

Iced Tea is a finish that my friend Marilyn F shared with me awhile back.  I thought it was a perfect start to the New Year!  So pour yourself a cup of tea and let’s try and catch up!  I started the family’s day with fresh baked cinnamon rolls.  The sun popped out and despite the frightfully cold temps 2011 feels good!

I really have been stitching but nothing I have taken a pic of as some are gifts that haven’t hit the post office yet.  Currently I need to come up with a Chocolate Block for the block exchange and trying to decide what hits me.  I promised myself this year I would get back into the block swap on STO.

Blackbird Designs Clara Ellen is my WIP.  I haven’t been stitching on it too long and think when I can really settle into it Clara will be a quick finish.  I decided to do this series separately rather than on one piece of fabric.  Although am kicking around taking four that feel seasonal and doing them all together.  I managed three BBD Stockings last year.  Hope to work on more this year.  Really looking forward to their class project book. 

So my stitching New Year’s resolutions are my models, blocks for the exchange, year long SAL’s, Blackbird projects, and stitching ornaments the year through.  I’ve jotted it down for all to see so I hope I can keep this resolution. 

It’s definitely been a rough end of year for a couple of my furry kids.  In November Hunter stayed out a whole night (coldest night of the year at that point) and came home deadly sick.  The vets are calling him the miracle cat because he was on death’s door with a fever over 107 degrees, dehydrated, and not responsive at all.  It took alot of care, round the clock feedings, meds, almost daily visits to the vet, and bloodwork but he survived and is now a house baby.  We will never know what happened but he is one stoic cat.  Our Mama Cat evidently tangled with a coyote and needed stitches from her ear down to her shoulder.  That has been hard as well since she needs to be kept bandaged or we’ll be taking a third trip to the vet restitching her.  Never a dull.  This is a picture of Hunter taken shortly before his “adventure”.  He’s on the right and that is Bear on the left.

That’s about it for now.  Market count down has started and I’m excited about the designs I’ll have to offer in February.  I leave you with a pic of Merlin.  He was trying to block me from going up the stairs to the loft one day.  Couldn’t resist the shot!  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope 2011 is good to all of us!

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Merry Christmas!


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

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Hey!  I know, this is the big “thud” heard round the world.  I can not believe it’s been months since I blogged.  Pick yourselves back up onto your desk chairs and pour yourselves a cup of tea (iced or hot) and let’s catch up!  Funny, I’ve taken pics for months to share so you’ll go through several seasons, several animals pics, and whatever else was in my camera because darn it, I’m sharing it all.  If I took the pic you’re going to see it!  haha  And yes, that is Merlin staring down from my office loft!  He is a little over a year old now and he and his brother Gandalf turned out to be gentle giants always ready with a purr.  Both have awesome personalities and my husband says they’re so big they’re on the verge of lionhood.  Oh they are definitely on the verge of something.  LOL 

I promised Mary Kathryn I’d post my Blueberry Crumb Cake recipe.  As you well know, blueberries come into season and it’s pancakes, muffins, cobblers, crumb cakes, and anything else I can put blueberries into!  Love them.  This crumb cake is an old favorite.  I gave Mary Kathryn this recipe and the picture she posted got alot of requests for the recipe.  I snitched her picture of the cake too, mine never lasts long enough. 

Blueberry Crumb Cake 


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, softened 

Blend together to form a crumb topping and set aside. 

Now Mix Thoroughly:

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

2 eggs 

Then Stir In:

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla 

Sift together and then add:

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt 

Fold in 2 cups blueberries. Pour into a greased square pan and then crumble topping over the top of it.  Bake at 375 for about 40 mins or more.  Test this one with a cake tester until it comes out clean in the center.  Enjoy!

Now onto life. . .  this was my profound realization in recent months, life really changes when a parent comes to live with you that needs care and Liann’s senior year in high school was beyond busy.  Add to the fact that she’s a music major and life was 24/7 concerts, quartets, Youth Symphony, and gigs.  Not to mention normal high school senior activity!  ACK! 

Liann won second place in the Wichita Symphony Youth Talent and played her solo with the Repertory Orchestra.  Click on the link and you can hear her piece!  The orchestra is comprised of young musicians from middle school to high school!  What incredible talent!  She brought tears to my eyes that night!  It was months of practicing and rehearsing for the final Wichita Youth Symphony Concert in March!  This was her last year with Youth Symphony as well.  We were so proud of her!  She’s continuing her music in college with a double major in music education and music performance. 

She graduated High School last month.  That was another addition to my stress level with doing a graduation party for her. 

Oh but I’m missing Senior Prom and goodness that was alot of fun.

This is a picture of Liann in front of the Red Bud.  Gosh the blooms on trees and flower beds were profuse this year!  Must have been all the rain and snow earlier on in the year.  We were waiting for her date to get here so I was taking some solo pics!

Once Steven arrived we promptly  got pics of them in front of the lilacs.  They had a blast!  Several of them came back to our house after prom and I had set out several different appetizers and snacks that I had made.  I was amazed everyone’s favorite dip was the Baked Clam Dip!  It’s always been my favorite but who knew the kids would devour it too.

So that was a quick trip through Liann’s last few months, Regional Solos in March after the Youth Symphony Concert, State Solos in April.  Prom and then graduation back to back.  It was a whirl wind. 

During Regional Solos we had a bad scare as Dad collapsed right there in the hallway as we were waiting on scores.  That was horrible.  Fire Dept arrived before the ambulance and you know, I was honestly scared when we realized his blood pressure had bottomed out and heart rate was way too low.  We believe he had another heart attack, but we never found out for sure, but Dad was in the hospital for several days.  As it was not in our area we “commuted” for a few days to spend time with him and keep up his spirits.  Afterwards was the round of doctors appointments and trying to strenghten him up.  He’s doing fine now but life did take another change.  I am thankful he’s with us and we hear all the neat old stories.  And he still makes pierogies for us with our help.  Yum!

Ok, flash back. . . let’s address the cold, snowy winter we had here in the midwest.  I took some great pics to share and if it’s as hot there as it is here you’ll appreciate the coolness of the snow shots! 

These were cardinals that I caught with my camera in the branches.  It snowed pretty hard that day.

Another shot of the same snowstorm.  I loved all the snow just not the bitter cold this past winter. 

Rain followed the winter storms and we certainly had some torrential rain this year.

From my loft window you are looking at a completely flooded horse pasture.  It was horrible.  Just when you thought things were finally going to dry out it started pouring again.  Of course I’m sure that is the reason for the gorgeous showing of flowers we had this year.

The Red Bud bloomed better than we’d ever seen it in the five years we’ve lived here.  Our lilacs didn’t even bloom last year if you remember and this is the same bush this year!

I would say this was a quick review of the last six months that I’ve been absent from my blog.  Okay, I missed mentioning after I got my Dad well my own health went downhill but think I’ve finally got that managed now as well.  My thyroid was overlooked for quite a while now and sure enough it was a culprit. 

My models went to the side of my desk.  Several in the works but I never managed to find time to keep up with stitching on them. 

I will say I am finally back into stitching as of last month.  I worked on a Blackbird Designs piece for my Patriotic Block.

Last year I stitched up a March Stocking and decided after going to a stitch in last month that I wanted to  stitch another Blackbird Design stocking and from the October booklet this time. 

I didn’t use the color nor fabric called for.  I instead used a piece of cream 30 ct murano and GAST Apple Cider. 

Now it’s back to model stitching.  I need to get back to my designing and get them all stitched up. 

Liann is done with music camp and while she was gone it was amazing what I did manage to get done.  There’s hope!  College is around the corner.  And she’s not that far away! 

Hoping I am finally back to blogging.  I thought of it, you can see by the pics I took that it was on my mind.  It just never got further than my camera!  I am pretty sure I shared anything you might have missed.  There might be some music camp pics on my phone but I can do that later in the week. 

I don’t think Merlin realizes he’s gotten too big for sleeping in this cat scrathy thingy.

Gandalf certainly doesn’t look comfortable in that chair any longer.  Cats really crack me up because it doesn’t seem to phase them where they fall asleep!

Off to stitch on a project.  Glad I’m back and hope to update the gallery this week as well.  Goodness knows I am backed up with alot of stitcher’s wonderful finishes that I want to share with all of you!

Enjoy your day and chat again soon!

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