Saturday, April 9, 2016

Scraps become a shower curtain

Had a bunch of scrap pieces left over from pillow projects and thought about it for a while.
What did I want to do?  Another quilt? More pillows? Place mats maybe?
Or a bigger project out of my comfort zone?  Yes, that one please.
I hesitated through each step making this one project last over the course of a week.
I'm always afraid I'll mess up a bunch of beautiful fabrics by delving into something I've never done before,  It "always" looks super - D - duper in my head and almost never matches the outcome.

This one however came out really nice.  I'll be making another for sure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Finding time for both and a new home

Work, create.
Eat, Sleep, Repeat....
If we are lucky, such is life.
We moved recently, into a new home and it took every dime and penny we had to do so.   Finding money to fund my creative side had to be put onto the back burner.
(Luckily we have a couple of those now and one is vintage and absolutely splendid!)  Look at what the basement had along one of it's walls that made me turn to Stephen and say (put an offer down) in a low whisper on the front porch out of ear shot of the realtor - you know, so as not to look TOO excited!!!

Another kitchen!  And Vintage Stove (squeeee)

The top metal portion is actually blue.  I'll need to get an oven thermometer because I don't think the temp reading is correct.

It gets a bit colder in that basement than the rest of the house in these cold months for sure!
I put on a sweater and space heater and sew until I can feel my toes and fingers go a little numb.
Well worth it to have the space though!

You know, on the "about me" page when I first started this blog I wrote what my cousin said about life.
It has a funny way of getting in the way of living.  Crazy but turns out, very much correct.

So I've struggled with letting this blog go because of my lack of upkeep and schedule now that I also work.   I think I'm keeping it and am making a personal inward pledge to take better care of posting regularly.

With that, I give you a couple of things I've dipped my chapped Winterized hands into since making my jams (which buy the way took home best in show and blue ribbons across the board at the county fair! Woo Hoo)  
Got me some fabulous bright coordinating fabrics from fellow sellers on Etsy along with some other prints from local shops and stores and had a great time making tons of new pillow slip covers, tried a basket, storage bin - fun - will be making more for sure.

I've been working on lots of little projects for my Etsy shop to try and offset some of the house costs and bills.  I've landed a part time job as well so I'm finding my groove so to speak.
And though sales may be slow, my love for creating and vision for the upcoming Spring and Summer in this new place are just gearing up.

Available in my Etsy Store now =)  

I'm headed to my "shop" to finish the curtain I started yesterday
I'll post if it turns out as I hope - and if not - well I'll post it anyway.

Friday, September 11, 2015

"We Be jaMMin! Muscadines at their prime and apple pie filling jam...

I've longed to can something - anything, for years now and like the cowardly lion, never mustered up the courage to do so.
      I guess I thought it to be beyond the scope of my capabilities and if at 50, I had not already mastered the art, why jump in?

Then my husband bursts through the back door, grabs me by the hand and says "you have to see this!"

Turns out the black walnut tree out back had a hitch-hiker that we'd not noticed until he pulled into the driveway from the opposite direction than he usually does...

These were purple and not green like the ones on the little bush that he and our kids would eat from every year further down the drive.  They were bursting at the peak of ripeness and for one vine, the abundance was impressive.  Wild Muscadines, who could resist?
   Pluck we did and ended up with two full quarts.
He sighed that it would be a shame not to do something wonderful with them only to watch half go to waste by aging in a bowl.

Thus I was thrust into the world of canning.
Thank you Google.
Hmmm, Muscadines, 2 quarts...

sugar,  (5 cups) recipe called for 6 but we wanted to taste the fruit too...

canning jars, lids and rings

And a water bath canner & strainer

Not so intimidating after all, soo we squeezed each grape's innards into one pan and the skins into another...    One by one, took a while - VERY arduous task.

(that isn't water in with the innards, that is all juice!)

After this was completed (whew)  we put enough water in with the skins to almost cover them but not quite.   And boiled the contents of each pan, the innards for about 15 minutes (at which time we cooled it a little and completely strained out all of the pulp and liquid leaving only the seeds behind.  See the bowl with the spatula?  No seeds ;)

 While doing that, the skins cooked on for a total of about 20 to 25 minutes.

My husband stirring vigilantly...

 When tender they were cooled a bit as well and put into a blender on puree for a few pulses.

Then we combined contents of both pots together along with the sugar and cooked down to a nice thicker consistency.
  All that lovely stuff (no picture, sorry - we wanted to get it right into the jars ;)
 went into the waiting jars to about a 1/4" from the top full.
Lids went on clean rims and then the rings (not too tight)

Into simmering water bath which was then brought to a boil, covered and left to boil for at least 10 minutes.

When the timer went off, the jars were lifted out of their bath and they were set to rest on wire cooling (cookie) racks.

All that was left to do (at about one in the morning) - were the sticky pots and utensils

And the next day?

We had the most divine toast with our coffee!

That was quite a night!
Credit:  To learn how to even begin to can Muscadine Jam, we searched You Tube and found a great two part video with excellent step by step instructions here:

So I've since made the jam you see in the top picture (and the one just below) which is an apple pie filling jam and I myself love it HOT!  This would be awesome on pancakes, ice cream, oatmeal...
Doing the Homer drool...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day cooking and finishing another chalk paint project

So the Macaroni is boiling for Mom's macaroni salad and I've just finished sealing the last coat of chalk paint on this latest project so that I can start weaving a fabric seat.

I bought this at a consignment shop a few weeks back for about 6 dollars.

This little rocker is wider than the average  just under 2 feet tall.
Really it looks like a planter and not something that even a toddler could sit on.
The seat was crusted with years of dust and it was very brittle.

So after stripping and cleaning it, I painted it a pale sunny yellow like one of my earlier ladder back chairs.

Now that the paint and sealer have been applied, it is ready for the new fabric seat.
First however, the cooking must continue ;)

Thanks to all of those who serve and have served to keep our nation free.
Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Cookout: Pulled Chicken

Memorial Day weekend and I'm preparing a few dishes with mothers in mind.
My mother: I'll be making her macaroni salad (recipe to come shortly)
Mother in law: I'll be making her slaw (recipe to come shortly)
and pulled chicken. That one's mine and I'm a mother who's sharing it with you right now.
  Wicked easy (yankee term)

In your crock pot place 2/3 to a whole bag (3lb bag) of frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
3 Tablespoons of Stubbs Hickory Liquid Smoke
2 heaping Tablespoons of minced garlic in olive oil
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 chicken bullion cubes
and just enough water to cover the chicken.
Set on low and slow cook overnight or for at least 12 hours.
*(if using fresh or unfrozen chicken you can drop that cook time down as needed)

Drain and shred, store covered or serve while warm.
By itself or on a bun, with or without bbq or hot sauce.