sew grateful, update

Two grands came to visit and brought their parents along for the trip.  We had a marvelous time.  Hiking, laughing, Legos, soccer, bike riding, Ladder Ball, BBQ, reading books, collecting bugs, meeting the chickens and collecting eggs, rocking babies on the porch.

I sincerely hope you have grands to rock and ride bikes with.  How lucky are we??

I did not stitch a lick while they were visiting and the week after they went home, I moped.  Prior to them arriving, I spent time stitching and have 3 finished items to share

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Teresa from kitten stitcher/Shakespeare Peddler gently encouraged us to take our pictures with some of our finished samplers or pieces.  Maybe add the pictures to the back for future generations.  It doesn’t have to be formal, or fancy.  Add a swipe of lipstick if that makes you smile brighter.  Apron on or off, just take the picture!   https://www.kittenstitcher.com/

This piece is the Jane Pattison sampler by Kitten Stitcher.  I changed it into the Georgina Thomson family sampler.  It turned out lovely.  I am very pleased.

20190608_140748This is the “Coffee Saves Lives” sampler by Heartstring Samplery.  28 count linen and it hangs in between my kitchen and dining room.  Makes me happy to have her fully finished.

20190606_210115This next one is by Heart in Hand Design.  Tall Tree Sampler.  I finished it into a hanging piece.  I backed it with tie fabric from a no-longer-needed tie of Mr. Right.  I love how it turned out and the added tie fabric is a very nice way to use old tie fabric.

Today is a very warm day here in Washington state.  An ice cream kind of day.  Homemade, creamy, dreamy, vegan Chocolate ice cream kind of day!  That’s right.  No dairy, no eggs, no gluten…would you like to know the secret ingredient?  A baked Sweet Potato!

The recipe is from Brandi at The Vegan 8.  https://thevegan8.com/4-ingredient-vegan-chocolate-ice-cream/

I am not a fan of sweet potatoes.  Honestly, in this recipe, I will volunteer to be a banner waving fool to support the local sweet potato farmers!  This is AMAZING!

Here’s to a lovely beginning of a healthy summer!

Sitting on the front porch, licking ice cream off my fingers……

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

dessert, yes, please!

Several years ago, Mr. Right built our coffee table.  She is a beauty.  It is square with two generous drawers.  One for display and one drawer to hide goodies in.  It is topped with a thick, substantial, beautiful beveled piece of glass.

You can tell when the Grands come to visit.  Mr. Right removes the piece of glass and in its place 20160413_144534-1inserts a piece of wood painted as a chalkboard.  It is BRILLIANT.  We put out the chalk and the kids get to create and draw whatever pleases them.  On occasion, the parents join in and draw as well.

While creativity is wonderful, the main reason we switch from glass to chalkboard is so that the Grandparents don’t ever have to say, NO.

Please don’t beat your toys on the glass.  Please don’t scrap your cars across the glass.  Please don’t put stickers on the glass.  You get the idea.   Also, their parents aren’t jumpy and nervous.  Everyone can get behind the idea of a chalkboard.

Wait for it,  this year, another BRILLIANT idea to share………. a successful idea these Grandparents came up with.

The parents of our grandsons try to avoid giving the kids sugar.  So that means after they finish their dinner,  this Granny doesn’t have glorious desserts baked and ready to shower her grands with.  I did not bake chocolate chip cookies or make Rice Krispie squares, no lollipops, and so forth.

After dinner when they are clean plate club members…… I had nothing to give them! 

GASP! 

So, I invented the Dessert Basket!  After each dinner, if you have used good manners, eaten most of your meal (or not, I’m the granny, I make the rules about the dessert basket)……. You get to choose one item from the basket.

I bought an inexpensive plastic, colorful basket.  I filled it with Hot Wheels cars, and finger puppets, mini dinosaurs, plastic sharks, squeezie bathtub toys, stickers, eyeballs, paddle and ball toy, and more.  Nothing was wrapped, everything in plain sight.  The little person who was done with dinner got to choose a dessert.  Once chosen, the basket went out of sight until the next day.  20190526_220348

One day, while bike riding, the four-year-old asked me, “what do you think I should choose from the dessert basket tonight?”

Um, I think I love this idea.

  1. Parents are happy. no sugar.  check.

2. Grandparents are thrilled to give goodies to their grands.  check.

3. The grands seem to like the idea.  check

The only downside?  When the basket is empty, the glass is back in the coffee table ………….that means the little people have gone home.20190603_112059

Guess I need to get busy and start refilling the dessert basket for next time.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

rise & shine, glory glory

Years ago, I remember hearing my sister-in-law talk about getting up at 3:15 am to make breakfast for my brother-in-law.  Yes, tough Army guys need a good breakfast to be ready  & raring to take charge of their troops.

When you hear that “the Army does more before 9:00 am than most folks do all day”….they aren’t kidding.  That also means some of their wives were up prior to that getting them going on the right path.

I asked Mr. Right, do you want me to get up and make you breakfast?  He said in the nicest, kindest way….sweetheart, no one wants to eat what you cook at 3:15 am.

That pretty much sums up my abilities in the early hours of the day.  I am not very creative or cheerful or thinking straight …I’ll just say what everyone is thinking, I am not a morning person.

20190517_165425Recently, on my latest youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnjZZpUledU I asked folks to tell me how they started their day. I asked what kind of rituals they do to set themselves up on the right path.

It has been lovely to read everyone’s routines.  Many different, so many the same.  From scratching their dogs’ belly to listening to uplifting music, prayer, breakfast, and devotionals,  the glorious coffee/tea seemed to be a repeated necessity.

Since so many shared, I thought I had best jump on here and share how my day begins.

I have found that routine helps me navigate the early morning hours.

The moment, I wake, I say thank you.  I am grateful for another day.  I start the day with light ankle/leg stretches.  I put on my walking clothes and somehow manage to corral my beautiful, huge, “joyful” hair into/under a baseball cap. Brushing my teeth and putting on lip gloss is next as is drinking one glass of water.

Five days a week, (4 weeks a month, 12 months a year) I read my letter.  Yes, Mr. Right leaves me a note.  Stickers, stick figure drawings, always an excellent, kind comment about last nights’ dinner, bread or dessert.  Sometimes he writes a poem, a joke, leaves a pun, a count down to something fun we are planning.

Yes, every workday morning, I read and keep my love notes. 20190525_073806

I make my bed.  Yes.  Every single day.  When my sisters and I were little, our mother 20171018_141746-1_resizedwould say we were not allowed to go to school unless our beds were made.  Oh my, to think we couldn’t go to school!  Geesh. The habit has remained with me.

I take our Sweet Liberty outside.  Now, that she is elderly, she no longer joins me for my walk.  She relaxes at home and gets an extra wink or two of beauty sleep.

I make her breakfast, give her fresh water, brush her every morning. (Yes, a girl needs to have a daily comb out.)

If I don’t walk, I ride my indoor bike.Rise and Shine

During biking, I read The Upper Room and  The Christian Science Reading Daily Lift scripture and thoughts.  My morning devotionals last for 3 miles, about 22 minutes.

I use my Rebound-air for 9 minutes.  (Here is the goodness:  2 minutes on my Rebound-Air equals 6 minutes of running or 10 minutes of swimming or 22 minutes of walking.)

Boy Howdy, it’s fun, helps my lymphatic system & makes me happy.  I can listen to music or a video or let my brain swirl.  When jumping, so I don’t slip,  I use socks with little rubber nibs on the bottom.  They even have a powerful message for me each morning!

20180214_204856My morning juice is already made (the night before by Mr. Right) and chilling in the refrigerator, six days a week.  It is 4 carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 orange, and 1/2 lemon. (fyi, our jars are from the Love Bomb company in Oregon.  It’s a great company & we love our jars!)  https://www.thelovebombcompany.com/

Some mornings I sail through my routine, other days, with my eye on the prize, I stumble each step of the way.

The prize you ask?  Oh, I think you already know.

A beautiful cup of coffee.

Dark Italian Roast freshly ground beans.  I add some coconut sugar and a splash of 20180830_074754coconut/almond creamer.  Depending on my need, I choose a beautiful cup or a comfortable Polish pottery mug.  Once in a while, when the day calls for a big, bold choice, an overly large mug, with a big handle and the perfect curve of the lip, fits the bill.

Whether you jump start your day like a military person on a mission or you ease into the morning slightly slower….

I hope you set yourself on a path of gratitude.  Grace and glory will surely follow.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

Fancy floss tube follow up

In November of 2018, I put on my snazzy red cowgirl boots and gathered up some courage and made my first floss tube video.

My mission?  Meet and Make new friends.  Boy Howdy, I hit the Jackpot.  I have met the kindness, nicest folks.

My stitching friends have bathed me in Grace and Goodness and I feel so lucky.

Here are a couple photos of some of the pieces I spoke about today.

First, here is the cardboard pattern I made to create the sachets.

I used DMC  208, 209, 211, 469, 471 and 550.  It is what I had on hand.
I made the template out of a piece of cardboard.  It is 4 inches wide, 5.5 inches tall and I rounded the top corners.
 I used a 1/4″ seam to sew together.  Also, I cut a piece of ribbon 8 ” long and put it in between the fabric before stitching.  I sewed together, turned, rolled out edges, clipped corners and ironed.  I added between 1/3 and 1/2 cup dried lavender prior to my hand stitching closed.
I added some beads and a charm to the top, right under the ribbon.  On the back, I stitched on a tassel.
I used Summer House Stitch Works, Rebecca’s Primer for the upper case letters I stitched for certain people.  Or I left them off, still looks nice.
I used 100% cotton fabric for the backing.  The mystery linen (most likely 28 count)  I used is leftover pieces of this and that from projects I have done.

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Needleworker’s Sampler by Brenda Gervais.  I am stitching on 28 count linen with the called for colors.  I began this piece on May 6, 2019, my birthday.  It is a pleasure to stitch and the colors are lovely.

Today’s scrumptious snack was a berry smoothie and savory hummus.  Please, no eating in the sewing room.  That berry smoothie could cause havoc.

 

I finished Awake my soul and Sing by La-D-Da.  28 count linen.  It was blue to begin with.  Once it was stitched, I did not care for it.  I tea and coffee dyed it and then baked for 20 minutes.  I pinned and this was my first time using double-sided tape.  I used a frame that I already had.

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Thanks kindly for stopping by.  I appreciate you being in my sewing circle.

To think we are all connected by thread is humbling. 

In this together,

Chat soon.

What do you eat?

20190514_181701“What do you eat”?  Oh yes, I get that question a LOT.

We eat plant rich, nutrient-dense food.  Yes, that does mean, on occasion, we will eat fish.

I got the feeling that our friend didn’t want all the details.  She needed and wanted help fast.

Our friend was panicked.  Their granddaughter was coming to visit and their beautiful, intelligent teenager has bravely announced to the world that she has decided to be a vegetarian.

What do we feed her?

My answer:  food

Seriously, what do you eat?

So, I offered a few suggestions and good news, the granddaughter came to visit, brought some of her own food and everyone lived to tell the tale.

I decided for a week or two, I would share what we eat.  I would send my friend pictures, offer recipes if she asked.  I didn’t go into too much detail.  I wanted her to know that we eat pretty much what she eats minus the grilled steaks.

One time years ago we hosted a graduation party.  At the time, our youngest son was a vegan.  I made myself crazy by making vegan gravy and non-vegan gravy.  I made vegan dishes and non-vegan dishes.  I made vegan desserts and non-vegan…you get the idea.  I put pretty little signs in all the dishes to designate which was which. 

Stick a Fork in Me.

I was D-U-N.  Done!

Like NASA has a mission statement?  I needed a mission statement.    While cleaning up and doing twice as many dishes, I decided to make some changes.   My new mission statement:

  Make/bake excellent quality food with exceptional taste. 

I want my food to be so good that I don’t have to qualify what it is.  I don’t have to say: this is dairy free or gluten-free or sugar-free.  I don’t have to say, these crab cakes are made with Jack Fruit.  I don’t have to say this is vegan.  I decided to make and serve exceptional food.

When you come to my house and enjoy a Chocolate Chip Cookie, I won’t have to explain that they are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan…blah, blah, blah .   If you try my chicken nuggets, I won’t have to tell you there is no chicken involved.  Nor will I have to explain that my donuts are non-dairy, non-gluten, etc.

 

 

I will only have to answer you when you ask if there is more.

YES, THAT GOOD!

 

Homemade pasta and sauce so savory and filled with flavor (and blended veggies) that you will ask for seconds.

 

Stuffed shells worthy of a birthday dinner!  Oh, did I mention homemade ricotta “cheese” made from almonds?

 

We eat “Crab Cakes” with or without sauce.  These beauties are perfect small appetizers or larger for part of a meal.  Did I mention they are made with Jack Fruit?

 

Falafel & Hummus so good, so full of rich, bold flavors you will for sure be a clean plate club member.

What should you feed your granddaughter?  Excellent food.

In this together,

Chat soon

soup+bread=comfort

I woke up to pouring rain and 46*.  It was dark and dreary.  There was a chill in the air.  I was walking barefoot across my yard.  (grounding, it works)  I slipped on my boots to go tend to my chickens.  As I fed them and gave them treats and fresh water, I told them how it seemed like a soup and bread kind of day.  They all chatted back in agreement.  It sure doesn’t feel like the middle of May.

 

I knew I was going to bake bread.  I try and do one tricky thing and one or two super simple dinner ideas. Each packed full of nutrients and flavor, always lots and lots of flavors.

The soup was an easy peasy choice and you can start to finish have this soup on the table in about 30 minutes.  Not much effort for brilliant results.  I used Brandi of The Vegan 8 fame recipe.  https://thevegan8.com/2018/01/25/tomato-vegetable-soup/

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While flipping through a couple of my bread books, I happily stumbled upon Onion Rosemary bread.  This is a good one.  The recipe calls for one LARGE loaf.  I prefer to make two smaller loaves.  A couple of reasons.  1.   I can keep one and give one to a neighbor.  2.   there are only two of us.  We get tired of the same bread over and over and over.  Now and then, I prefer to divide the recipe in half.  We are able to devour a small loaf of bread in 2 or 3 days.

Here is what you knead (get it, a joke…knead…need, Come on, that was a good one!):  1/4 cup butter (you know I use Earth Balance, vegan butter) 2 cups of onions, chopped finely, 1 envelope of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use coconut or date sugar), 1 cup warm water, 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan salt and please for the love of good flavor, measure the salt), 1 HEAPING Tablespoon of finely chopped Fresh Rosemary (fresh makes a ginormous difference).

rosemary*side note suggestion:  At our previous home, I could not for the life of me get my Rosemary to grow well.  I have a friend who was hacking her Rosemary bush back constantly.  So one day, I said, I will trade you fresh Rosemary for a loaf of bread.  She gave me a GROCERY BAG full!  haha.  I did bake a couple of loaves for her and gave her two other recipes to use.  It was a beautiful barter.  I am SURE you have something you can barter with a neighbor in exchange for a handful of their fresh Rosemary?  

Melt the butter on medium/low and toss in those beautiful fragrant onions.  Cook for about 20 minutes until they are golden.  You know they are done when you want to sneak one for a taste.

While those are cooking, in your mixing bowl, combine half the flour, sugar, water and yeast. Let sit until bubbly, takes about 20 minutes.

Next add your remaining flour, salt (measured) and Rosemary.  Mix well with a wooden spoon (if you have or want big arm muscles) or just turn on the Kitchen-Aid.  Gradually add the onion/butter mixture.  This will form a slightly sticky dough.

Use your dough hook and let it do it’s magic for 10 minutes.  Or if you are upset about something or fretting, toss that dough on the counter with a little flour and work it out.  Knead the dough for 10 minutes.  It is a rather satisfying feeling.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  Arrange the dough in a slightly flattened circle.  Cover with a damp tea towel.  (here is where I set the whole cookie sheet on a medium warm heating pad) Let rise for 45-50 minutes.

Bake 400* for 30 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack and brush with melted butter.  I save a pinch of rosemary and add that to the butter.  The aroma of freshly baked onion bread and rosemary is divine. 20190515_152011

The table is set with big soup bowls, oversized linen napkins, the bread is on a board, sliced & ready to choose your perfect slice…..you sit down………………say Grace and pick up your soup spoon, gingerly take that first small sip.  Oh, my.  Another larger spoonful….and the conversation begins………….

that my friend is comfort, pure and simple.

 

In this together,

Chat soon.

PS.  Printed on the soffit above my kitchen, I have a quote,

“they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46

Sweet Pea and Georgina

20190423_115536-1Today on my Youtube video, entitled, Sew Grateful, I shared a couple of finishes.  The idea of sharing them on this blog is to give a bit closer up photos of the projects.

Yes, I have crocheted baby blankets, however, never a big girl blanket.  Lucy at attic24 changed that.  https://attic24.typepad.com/

I will say, the final product is quite pleasing to the eye, the colors fall into the next.  My brain swirled & fell in love with the colors so passionately, I’ve since planted half a flower bed with sweet pea seeds.  Fingers crossed I will be bathed in Grace & colors & sweet scents in a couple months.  Until then, I can wrap the colors around me and dream.

Side note:  Good news, Mr. Right used it to take a nap and he said it works well.

 

Next project, The Georgina Thomson 1895 Sampler. She turned out beautiful and is now complete.  We will be taking to the framers this weekend.  Mr. Right’s grandmother is Georgina.  Listed in the Sampler is her home address where she grew up in Scotland, her name, her birth year, the initials of her 6 children and in the lower case letters, the initials of her 13 Grandchildren.

Finished scottish sampler

I began this piece on March 2, 2019, and completed today, April 26, 2019.  It was stitched on 28 count linen, the color called, White Chocolate.  I used overdyed threads.

Once framed, there will be a written family history explaining the family names, dates, places as well as the information regarding the linen and pattern…placed on the back of the piece.

I shared one other smaller scale project.  My lavender sachets.  I grew and dried the lavender.  Using up bits of leftover linen and thread, I stitch the sachets and add some beads and ribbon as adornment.  I give them as small tuck in gifts or add to a wrapped gift.  Some, I personalize with an initial.

The picture below is the window in my sewing room.  I use lavender as the “curtain”.

20160920_151104_resized_2lavender bundlesHere are some bits and pieces of my sachet making.

It was a pleasure to share my projects today.  Thanks so much for taking an interest in my hobbies.

I will leave you with some backyard spring flowers.

Happy Spring.

In this together, chat soon.

Daleen