Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trim A Tree Thursday Part 3

Trim a Tree Thursday continues this week courtesy of The Southern Hostess. I have really had a lot of fun participating in this home Christmas tour. Thank you Brett!

Last Christmas we purchased a skinny tree for the living room. It fits the room very well. The ornaments on this tree have been bought over the years of my married life. I noticed that the skinny tree needs more help. Something to add a bit of sparkle. After Christmas I will shop the sales to find the right bead garland for 50 perfect off.

This ornament is one of the very first ones I bought as a young wife in the 1980's.

The angel graces the top of my skinny tree. It's hard to find the right top for your tree. I have gone through several. They all seem to break or the lights go out and there is no way to fix it. I bought this angel from Pier One.

I always put my manger scene on the entertainment center. Everyone can see the beauty and true meaning of Christmas. Jim Shore is the artist.

This fold up ornament tree sits on top of our corn burning stove in the dining room. I can adjust the limbs so we can still pour the corn into the hopper.

The ornaments are all hand blown and hand painted from the inside of the piece! This is one of my favorites.

More Jim Shore. The detail is amazing. Santa makes a statement placed on the dining room table.

This is the view from here this morning. It's my day off and I have to finish up the Christmas shopping. I better get moving. We are expecting another snow storm this evening. I hope I can get everything finished and be home before the snow flies!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trim A Tree Thursday Part 2

Today is Trim A Tree Thursday hosted by Brett at the Southern Hostess. Come on in and have a peek at a few of my decorations. The dining room is my Christmas of old. I decorate the entire room with colored lights. Old World ornaments hang on the garland. Also a few mercury glass ornaments decorate the pine boughs. The tree could be called a Charlie Brown tree. I remember my Great Grandmothers tree looking like this one. Lots of tinsel hanging on the branches to hide the large gaps. A vintage 1950's Santa sits on top of the charlie brown tree.

The tree skirt is an old grandmothers flower garden quilt. The quilt is tattered and torn and has a lot of holes in it. It has new life underneath the Christmas tree. I used to play with this wooden manger music box when I was a kid. Each Christmas at Grandma's I would wind up the box and listen to silent night. Great memories!

Just before I got married my Grandmother gave me all of her old Christmas ornaments. She questioned why I would want all of "that old junk". I felt very lucky to get all of that old junk and other "junky" treasures too! I was 21 and didn't know anything about antiques, decorating or anything else for that part.

As she handed me a box of Shiny Brite ornaments I was hooked. I loved the cool old ornaments. Silly me even admired the box they came it. I package them away very carefully each year. They are so fragile. Some of the ornaments have broken over time. Every year when I take the boxes out I think of my Grandma and smile. I'm so grateful that she saved her "junk" just for me.

I was a small child in the 1960's. During that time several of our family members had silver tinsel trees with big red ornaments. This tree pays homage to that era. My foofy girly green and pink tinsel tree has the added glitz of pink boa's! You would never catch me dead wearing a boa. It works on this tree. I got the idea of adding feather boa's from Kathleen. Great idea Kathleen!

I purchased these vintage 1960's pink and green polka dot ornaments from an E-bay auction 5 years ago. The original price tag on the box read 97 cents.

This is the view from here this morning. My peach trees are twinkling with ice. It's so pretty. Make sure to drop by next week. I have a few more things to share. Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trim A Tree Thursday

During the holiday season one of my joys is decorating. I have so many gifts given to me through the years that I put on display. The Southern Hostess has inspired me to "Trim a Tree on Thursdays". For me it's a great push to dig through all of my boxes and put out my Christmas decorations. I have slacked off the past couple years and a lot of my decorations have not seen the light of day until this year. In my living room I like to use all of my handmade ornaments and quilts too. This room has more of a primitive look to it.

I get in the mood with a little help from my friends. That is classic Christmas DVD's and wonderful music. After a few Lindt truffles and a nice cup of tea I'm ready to go adorn my home.

These are the handmade ornaments that hang on the living room garland. I have made a few. I can't say which one is my favorite. I love them all. Most of the ornaments were gifts from friends.

I never realized how hard it is to take good pictures of things with tiny lights on them. I have taken at least 50 pictures between last night and this morning. I am so grateful for digital camera's. Remember the old days(just a few years ago) when you had no idea how your pictures were going to come out? O.K. so please excuse my lousy shots. If you have any idea's please share! Anyway click on the picture to get a better view.

I usually keep the garland up all year and decorate it for the different seasons. Because I have so many snowmen I will keep them displayed for the next few months.

A snowman and his wife sit on top of the quilt rack.

I put up two trees in this room. This tree sits in an old crock that my in-laws made sauerkraut in many, many years ago.

I am a Jim Shore collector and show them off on this tree.

For all of my warm weather friends this is the view from my living room window. Snow!! Not very much. Just enough to make it feel like Christmas time. I better get back to the basement. The Christmas boxes are calling my name. I have so much to show you the next few weeks. I better get busy. Have a wonderful day. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cozy Comfort

Flirtaion cozy is finished! Here are the details:

Pattern: Flirtation cozy.
Needle size: size 8
Yarn: SWS by Patons
Colorway: Natural Garden

This pattern kept my attention. One wrong glance and poof, it's time to rip. I must have ripped at least 10 different times. I do like how it looks. The warm colors of the SWS by Patons made this cozy. Anyone for some hot chocolate?

It's been snowing here all day. The weather report is very vague. They are calling for 3-8 inches. That's quite a large range. I noticed my horses bucking and jumping in the snow. I ran inside to get my camera to get some action shots.

By the time I raced back outside the action was over. Just searching for green grass.

Before the snow covered the ground I needed to pick up as many pine cones as I could. One of the young ladies at church is getting married next month and needs pine cones for decorations. I have plenty of them. As I walked around picking up all of the large beautiful cones I was surprised by these.

I found several of these tiny pine cones. I added a quarter to the bowl so you could see how small they are. These are so cute. I have to find something to do with them. Any idea's?

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Measurable Snow

We have had our very first measurable snow of the season. The snow comes as a surprise to our area. The weather forecasters didn't predict the snowfall until last evening. Yesterday our temperatures was in the mid 40's. I found it hard to believe that it would snow overnight. The snow is pretty.

Let's go out and take a look at the garden. I love the footprints in the snow.

The lettuce is still under cover. I checked on it yesterday and it's looking good. I'm not worried about the wet snow covering the greens. I'm still praying for my Thanksgiving salad. I think I'll make it!!

I love the way the snow covers this tiny pine tree. I would love to walk around my property taking pictures of the snow laden branches. I'm on a work time crunch so I can't lolly around this morning.

Sam the snowman is in all of his glory. He has his hat and scarf on and is ready for the day! Enjoy yours!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's a Cold One

It's a cold one here today. The wind had been howling and racing across the fields. It's rare that I can hear the wind when I'm all snug inside my home. I live in an old farmhouse that dates back to 1858. If you would drive by where I live you would never know that my house is that old. It has been updated again and again. The silver lining in the changes in our home is that our walls are almost a foot thick. If the doors and windows are closed you don't hear anything. No wind or rain. That is unless it's gale force wind. The loud wind has been raging stongly from the nothwest all day and into the evening. With the wind came snow flurries. The snow didn't stick. The cold and snow got me in the mood for snowmen. I read through my Wool Pets book by Laurie Sharp to get some idea's. You can check out Lauries site here. I took a chance at making my own little snowman. Isn't this little guy cute? Because I am new to needle felting I don't have a lot of supplies. As a matter of fact I have only one needle. I broke my needle before I could finish Sam the snowman. I need to finish and attach Sam's top hat. A snowman has to have a hat. I am also making a little i-cord for Sam's scarf. A snowman must have a scarf to go with his hat.

I have been sampling a new pattern that I would like to make for gifts. On the needles I am knitting a mug cozy. This is my second attempt at the pattern. I was plotting away on attempt number one and was almost half way finished when I thought I made a mistake. Notice the word thought. I ripped the entire cozy and re-knit the cozy and realized it was right all along. The self striping yarn messed with my eyes. Or was it the lateness of the evening?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quilted Postcards and Gardening Update

These are the quilted postcards I made for our fall swap on Ravelry. This is my third postcard swap. Our group exchanged cards with 13 swappers. I challenged myself to only use a stack of 8" squares left over from a quilt I made a few years ago.

I cheated and added a 1/4 of a yard from my fabric stash. Here is a close up of one of the cards. I ended up stitching 22 quilted postcards in all. If you remember my post a couple weeks ago here I showed you some beautiful fabric. The batik leaf print was so totally gorgeous that I knew I had to fussy cut them out and applique them to my pieced backgrounds. Then I used a variegated gold embroidery thread to compliment the vein in the leaves. I really enjoy sewing these cute cards. I also make sure to send a few to some friends and relatives. My great aunt who is 85 loves getting mail. I am so honored that she enjoys my quilted post cards.

These are the cards I have received so far. I love them all! My plan is to decorate my sewing room with all of the postcards. I have a vision for a quilted postcard border.

This is what I sewed with the rest of the pretty fabric I showed earlier. Wildflower pincushion is the pattern. I will admit that my sewing skills are little rusty. It took me several reads of the pattern to figure it out. I wanted the pincushion to look like a pumpkin. What do you think? It's so cute.

The fall lettuce crop is still growing. Even after a few very cold nights in the low 20's! After one especially frigid night I waited for the sun to rise to check and see what survived. I had everything covered with the floating row covers. I put my hand under the covers and could feel crunchy leaves. I thought for sure that all was lost.

I am so grateful for the warm weather that we have enjoyed for the last few days. It seemed to revive the garden. Nothing was lost! Maybe I will be able to harvest some baby spinach!

The arugula is still producing many wonderful leaves. I have lots of spicy, nutty leaves to share. I am amazed that my garden is still growing on November 14. Awesome!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Roasted Potimarron Soup

I have a rare vegetable that grew in my garden this year. It's called a Potimarron pumpkin. It's also know as a Hokkaido squash and Kuri pumpkin. The color is an intense orange that is almost red. I couldn't find a lot of information on the potimarron. That is information in English. It seems as though this pumpkin is popular in french cooking. The potimarron is known for it's sweet and savory taste with a touch of chestnut. Sounds good right?!

I did some searching on line to find a good recipe. I found this blog with a nice post about the potimarron. I cut the pumpkin in half and roasted it in the oven cut side down for 1 hour at 375 degrees. After the pumpkin has cooled scoop out the flesh. Saute a chopped onion in pan with olive oil. Add your pumpkin flesh to the onion with 3 cups of milk. Also make sure to add salt to taste. I always use Kosher salt. I love the way it tastes. Cook until it boils very gently. If you have a hand blender put it to use and blend your soup right in your pan. I don't have a hand blender so I used my regular blender. The recipe calls for creme fraiche. I didn't have any so I used a very small amount of sour cream. The soup is very thick and creamy.

The pumpkin has quite a few seeds. I carefully went through the seeds to save them for next year.

I simply placed the seeds on a paper towel to dry. Don't you love planning for the future?! If you are interested in growing this unique pumpkin please let me know. I always love to share.

If you decide to make this soup don't leave out the sage browned butter. The sage browned butter added another layer of flavor to the soup. It was very simple to make. In a small pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add a few fresh sage leaves. Cook the butter until it starts to foam and then brown. It's so good!

The soup is fantastic! It was a huge hit at my house. I'm sure you could make the same recipe with any pumpkin or squash. This is the perfect soup for a cold fall evening.