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

20190525_094351

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.

 

 

 

 

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/

20190515_153259

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

flosstube notes of goodness

Hi Friends,

20180710_132418-1_resized_1Today’s blog is slightly different and happy.

I started making video’s on YouTube in November 2018 and today I made my 9th video.  After some very kind suggestions, I think every now and then I will use this blog to share notes from the videos.  I will also share pictures of some of the stitching that I talked about.

My channel name is Sew Grateful.  I have 1,070 new friends to talk stitching with.  That makes me very happy and yes, SEW GRATEFUL to have found a circle of folks with similar interests.

If you have a moment, please stop by my video and have a look.  You are more than welcome.  https://youtu.be/A8okw

In today’s video, I talked about my mother in law’s recipe for Banana Bread.  A slice with a nice hot cup of coffee was the perfect thing on this drizzly day.  Come to think about it, I have been baking this bread for over 36 years.  I am now calling it “my” banana bread recipe.  🙂

20190404_092356-1Banana Bread

3 large, ripe, bananas, mashed, 3/4 cup brown sugar (I use coconut sugar), 1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance) Mix together and add:  2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter flour mix, gluten-free), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt.  (here you can add chopped nuts if you fancy)  Place in a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Cover with foil or a lid and continue baking 10 additional minutes.  If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.  Now the waiting…………..cooling…….cool some more….then slice and enjoy!

20190405_094919-1I talked about my current work in progress, the Jane Pattison Scottish Sampler.  I will now be calling it the Georgina Thomson Sampler.  As her name is now stitched and the year she was born.  Georgina Thomson is Mr. Right’s grandmother.  I will be including initials of her children, her husband and 8 Ord Street, Scotland where the family home is located. 20190405_094938-1

 

I shared a small moth cross stitch.  I will include the blog post where I first shared about this.  It is a pattern from  The Cricket Collection.  Here is more information if I piqued your interest.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/wip-wednesday/

20180710_132258-1_resized_1

At the end of my videos, I like to share some things I am Grateful for.  In today’s line up, I mentioned that I am mighty grateful for homemade Ketchup!!!!  YUM.  You are just four minutes away from tasty goodness!  Oh look, there are some homemade buns as well.  Delightfully good.

https://thevegan8.com/2019/03/28/easy-homemade-ketchup-10-minutes/

Before I sign off, thank you again for all your kind wishes, prayers, good karma and thoughtful questions regarding my sis in law, Janis.  She is on the mend and doing better every single day.  Our family is mighty GRATEFUL for your concern and help.

Oh, maybe, just maybe it was the pillowcase I made her to help her feel better?  “Hope you are feeling chipper soon”.  (laughter is indeed the best medicine)

 

Thanks for stopping by today,

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

two anniversaries

I bet you were thinking I was going to talk about being married 37 years and how we celebrated?  Think again, my dear friend.

(Of course, I will share.   I promise to share how we celebrated and will include snazzy pictures to boot!)

First I want to talk about yesterday.  Our one year anniversary of owning two (not one, TWO) beautiful off WHITE sofas.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I wanted/lusted over/had to have/saved up for/cut out pictures/printed pictures of the perfect, plush, white sofas.

We were previous owners of a beautiful, well-built, lovely legs, navy BLUE sofa.  Actually, we are still guardians of a dark moss-green sofa which still lives in our library.

Our youngest boy went away to college 14 years ago.

It was time.  We could pretend to be grown-ups.  We could actually have a white sofa or two.  Oh, yes we could. 

They were delivered to our home exactly one year ago yesterday.  I know this because I wrote the magnificent date on our calendar.

I will graciously save you all the conversations/smart-aleck remarks/comments that Mr. Right made prior to bringing these beauties home.  Please, don’t come crying to me when you get “fill in the blank” on your new WHITE sofas.

We have the sofas in the great room.  They get used.  I sit and read and yes, drink coffee.  Glorious brown liquid.  I have actually used an orange highlighter pen while reading.  Don’t get the vapors…..I’ve actually enjoyed a glass of Green juice while sitting on the sofa.  The grands have used chalk on the chalkboard covered coffee table and there may or may not have been a “dusting” of chalk on said sofas.

Also, we do indeed have a 14.5-year-old beautiful, extremely hairy (we call dog hair, love) Golden Retriever, named Sweet Liberty.  While she is sweet she is also quite generous in sharing her love.  So, weekly, I am wiping down said white sofas of beautiful golden hair.

However, for the most part, these sofas have not had any major spills or issues.

Until, last night.

The 365th day.

I was in the spa taking a luxurious bath.  A two-hour, salt lamps plugged in (on the counter), bath salts, a lit beeswax candle, steam, organic bubbles swirling, lovely jets of warm water kind of spa.  Weird, I thought I could smell toast…

I had made rustic sesame bread and toasted was amazing.  It did smell like toast.  Um, maybe after my bath I should have a slice of toast?

When I came padding out to the kitchen, all wrapped in a fluffy white robe, I saw the toaster on the counter.  Yum.  Toast sounded perfect.

Mr. Right proceeded to tell me “the” story.  An excellent novel + PEANUT BUTTER toast….. you KNOW where this is going.……………………  reading, relaxing, moved just right and somehow the toast flipped upside down (of course) and SPLAT right on one of the WHITE cushions.

I felt bad for him.   He felt horrible for being the one to flip his toast onto the sofa.

Surprisingly, I was relieved.  We have been waiting for 365 days of when the “Big Spill” would happen.  We both could exhale.  The Grace period for spills had ended.  We could breathe again.

*(Housekeeping note)   Come to find out water and a sponge (and panic and more water and more panic) did an amazingly good job.  The cushion looks pretty darn good this morning.  If when the sunshine comes out to play, in the brighter light, we may need to remove the cover and have it professionally cleaned we can certainly do that.

Oh, and by the way, our other anniversary…..our wedding anniversary was a hoot.  While we usually take in a museum exhibit & fancy dinner or a nice trip or a quiet walk with a lovely seaside lunch………….this year was neither quiet or fancy or stuffy.

 

We went underwater bowling and by golly was it a HOOT.  It was so fun and well-appointed.  The place was spotless.  Other patrons had a great time.  We laughed and had fun. We even ate lunch in the bowling alley bar.  It was surprisingly good & tasty.  The people were so friendly and happy.

 

 

With the exception of the dreadfully unflattering sad bowling shoes, it was a MARVELOUS way to celebrate our favorite day of the year.

I highly recommend it.  (the bowling and marriage)

Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day. Barbara De Angelis

Here’s to great marriages and beautiful, glorious white sofas!

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

PS.  Seriously folks………….while bowling, one CANNOT avoid dreadful……..uninspiring……….not one bit snazzy….. sad bowling shoes.   And another thing………..who came up with the less than stellar idea of printing the shoe size on the outside of said shoes????

I am GRATEFUL that in the everyday world we choose not to print shoe sizes on the outside of our shoes.   See?  Something to be grateful for every single day of our lives.