Monday, February 20, 2012

Vintage


Today is our day! Welcome!


My assignment is to show you something vintage from my closet....something that I love and have had for a long time. You are to guess what it is in the comment section here on my blog...if you guess right you have an opportunity to win a layer cake of our fabrics.

I hope you know that anything vintage from my closet wouldn't fit over my hips anymore...so sad but true. Sob.....The item above is one of my new favorites. Barb and I traveled to New York City recently to see the Betty Ring collection of samplers before they were auctioned off  at Sotheby's....I found this at a small shop as we were walking to Central Park. Now when I wear it, I'm reminded of our lovely trip. It's stylish and goes with just about anything.

Barb and I love vintage! We include walks through antique shops with each trip we take. Some of the items I'm always on the lookout for are:

 Old cookie cutters....I love the fluted edges.

 Old crocks...I love the cracked glazes and flower motifs.

 Fabrics and quilts....I just found this table runner. The seller cut it this old quilt into 4 table runners. It was just too worn to use on a bed any longer. I love it!

Old travel journals....the maps are marvelous. I'm always dreaming of places to visit.

 Anytime I find an old nature book, I snatch it up. Mostly I find them about birds, but sometimes you can find ones about flowers, trees or bugs too. I'm not too picky as you can see. I get them all. Their small size and lovely old pictures are sweet.


 And of course, you know I'm a sucker for vintage buttons and sewing supplies.

Don't forget to visit our friend Kate tomorrow!

Tuesday 2/21 – Kate Spain
Wednesday 2/22 – Sandy Gervais
Thursday 2/23 – Bonnie & Camille
Friday 2/24 – Fig Tree Quilts
Monday 2/27 – Minick & Simpson
Tuesday 2/28 – Cosmo Cricket
Wed 2/29 – Sweetwater
Thurs 3/1 – Fat Quarter Shop – Grand Prize Entry Post
Fri 3/2 – Fat Quarter Shop – Winners Post

Leave your guess in the comment section to win! Good luck.

Until later,

Alma

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Designer Mystery Blog Hop

There's a mystery afoot and we are participating! Go over to Fat Quarter Shop's blog site for all the details.
I've been told there are plenty of prizes too.

Here's the list of designers and the dates they will be posting for the hop. Today's the day to visit Anne at Bunny Hill Designs. The links and dates are listed below.

Tuesday 2/14 – Bunny Hill Designs
Wednesday 2/15 – Primitive Gatherings
Thursday 2/16 – Me and My Sister Designs
Friday 2/17 – Aneela Hoey
Monday 2/20 – Blackbird Designs
Tuesday 2/21 – Kate Spain
Wednesday 2/22 – Sandy Gervais
Thursday 2/23 – Bonnie & Camille
Friday 2/24 – Fig Tree Quilts
Monday 2/27 – Minick & Simpson
Tuesday 2/28 – Cosmo Cricket
Wed 2/29 – Sweetwater
Thurs 3/1 – Fat Quarter Shop – Grand Prize Entry Post
Fri 3/2 – Fat Quarter Shop – Winners Post



The fun part of the whole blog hop is the wonderful quilt shown above. It's made from the fabric line Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. The quilt is Fat Quarter Shop's block of the month. Each designer in the blog hop has designed a pieced block for the quilt....12 blocks in all. We have seen our blocks...but not the entire quilt. We only get a peek here but it looks marvelous! I can hardly wait to see the whole quilt.




Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you day is sweet.


Until later,


Alma

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Going to Market

Barb and I are working hard to get everything ready for market. Our newest book goes to the printer tomorrow. The book has 12 projects. Most are cross stitch, but there are several other fun things to make or bake.

Barb and I can hardly wait to go to market. We love getting in the car for a long drive. There are antique shops to visit and lots for us to talk about. We just hope the weather is good. Some of our worst weather has been on the way to cross stitch market. We are keeping our fingers crossed.


Here's a peek at the back cover of the book. Barb's wonderful Love One Another sampler is one I would like to do. Don't you think it would make a perfect wedding sampler? The sweet piece on the lower left of the back cover is placed on a paper mache box. It would be great framed too.

We are still working on several other patterns for market. Soooooo back to work!

Until later,

Alma

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sugar Hearts


Cross stitch market is quickly approaching! Barb and I are busy to say the least. Our newest book is almost ready to go to the printer. This recipe is in the book, but I wanted to share this cookie now because it's so good and just right for Valentine's Day. I've done these in several colors. The pink is nice....but these look great in blue too.


 

First I purchased several heart shape cookie cutters. The one on the upper left shows the original shape. (Actually, the one above is for another cookie recipe in the book....but you get the idea of how to remold the cutter from the picture. I used a 3" cutter for the sugar heart recipe.) These cookie cutters can be changed into a whimsical, one-of-a-kind, heart shape. The soft metal is easily remolded when pressed firmly with your fingers. I moved the sides in a bit to narrow the heart and pressed the concave “V” shape of the cutter down, making a deeper cut into the top of the heart. Take care to keep the top convex curves of the heart shape rounded. The picture above shows the new shape of the cookie cutter.

 The cookie spreads a bit after baking, so I cut each one out again with the cookie cutter while they were still warm to get the perfect shape. I know that seems a bit obsessive....but I wanted them all to be exact. Not to worry about the excess portions of the cookie....think of them like "cookie fries."


Gather all the bits of cookie left over.


Put them into a cute container. Add frosting, and they will be the perfect treat. (Just want you to know....no cookie bits are wasted here!!!)



I made a template of the cookie cutter using plastic template material. (You can purchase the plastic at your local quilt shop.)



Next, I drew a 1/2" grid on the plastic template with a pencil. Where the lines intersected I punched a hole with my handy hole punch. Set the template aside until you are ready for frosting.

The frosting is a powdered sugar glaze. I spread it on with a flat paint brush. While the frosting is still wet,
 I held the template over the cookie and sprinkled the nonpareils from a spoon. It felt like I had more control over their distribution....although who can really control nonpareils? The glaze dries and you are left with cookies that look designed. I love the look of these!!!


The nonpareil placement isn't perfect....but they still are sweet.

Two tips before starting the recipe.

1. Scoop up your flour with a tablespoon and fill the measuring cup. Scrape away the excess flour with a straight edge. This will prevent using too much flour and making your cookies dry.

2. Roll the cookies out between parchment paper. No need to add extra flour to prevent sticking.


Sugar Hearts

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1 cup Land O’Lakes butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Frosting Ingredients

1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons half and half (more if needed to get the right consistency)
1 drop of food coloring (soft gel paste - AmeriColor #164 Electric Pink)
Tiny nonpareils - white

Instructions:

-Mix the sugar and butter. Add the egg and flavorings. Mix thoroughly with your electric mixer.
-Stir the dry ingredients together and add to the mixer 1 cup at a time.
-Gather the dough into a ball. Half the dough and form each half into a disk. Place the disks into a plastic bag and refrigerate for 4 hours or until the dough is chilled.
-Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
-Place 1/2 of a chilled disk between two pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough out to 3/16” thick. Keep the remainder of cookie dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Remove the top parchment paper and use your cookie cutter to cut out the heart shapes. Place the hearts on parchment covered cookie sheets. Gather the remaining dough and roll again for more hearts.
-Bake until the cookie begins to lightly brown on the edges, about 15 minutes. Cut the cookies again with the cookie cutter while the cookies are warm for a perfect heart shape. Remove the extra bits of dough from the cookie. Slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Allow the cookie frosting to dry and then package in a airtight container. These will last about 15 minutes.

Until later sweet hearts!

Alma