About Me

My Photo
Wife, Mother, Mimi, lover of all things creative... sewing, embroidery, painting, collage... God and family are the most important things in my life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Handmade Gifts for Christmas Could be a Possibility

There is only one drawback to having a large family, at least in my book, and that is the fact that it is almost impossible to finish a handmade gift for everyone by Christmas, especially if you are a procrastinator!   Here is a peek at the beginning of what may be Christmas gifts, but could very well end up being birthday gifts instead. 



If that ends up being the case I probably should have started in order of birth months, which, of course, I did not.  (sigh)


I guess that's all the more incentive to get on the ball....ummm....yeah, right after I decorate and clean the house, make goodies for all the Christmas parties, and do the rest of my shopping.   Oh, yeah!  I got this,  really I do.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Gone Old School

Our Thanksgiving celebration was quite different than what we usually do.  My husband decided we should try having it outdoors this year.  Thankfully, we live in a climate where it was possible to pull that off.  He decided to cook the turkey over a fire, and then really began to get excited.  He said,  “Let’s tell the kids they can dress up like pilgrims or indians if they would like, and I’ll roast corn on the fire, and cook collards in the big pot.  You can cook something in the Dutch ovens.  We can play some sort of games.  They will really get a kick out of that!”  

My very own mountain man
We soon started planning and things just kept growing to the point that Wednesday he was constructing a corn hole game, while I sewed up bean bags and made 8 pilgrim skirts and three indian shirts, all while trying to also put together our part of the meal. In the beginning he shunned any idea of food cooked indoors.  He kept saying,  "Did the pilgrims do it that way?”  When I politely pointed out that the pilgrims probably didn’t have a motorized rotisserie, he conceded and let me continue with some of the dishes that are traditional for our family.
The little pinecone turkey was made by Thumper.



Angel Eyes preferred to wear her Little House on the Prairie dress instead of a pilgrim skirt.  She lives and breathes Little House.  I am not exaggerating when I say she has read the whole series at least 20 times.  She completely wore out one set of books, and the set she got for Christmas last year are well for the wear too.
















Nothing taste quite as good as fire roasted corn!






Although things were a little different than usual there were plenty of similarities too.  We all ate too much, we enjoyed being together, and we couldn’t get a few certain people to even consider playing a board game with us.  

  
















Standing in line for their great-grandpa to cut them a piece of sugar cane



Staring into the sun, trying to hurry before some have to leave, very imperfect-perfect picture





Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday.  It revolves around the things that are dear to me faith and family.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thinking of Gifts

It is that time of year when minds turn to gift giving.  Because my mind was headed in that direction this morning, I remembered that I had never shared the gift I put together for my daughter's birthday last spring.



After seeing this darling tea tray above from Martha Stewart's website she decided she would love to have one like it.

Since I've collected ceramic and pottery planters for years, this request delighted me to no end.  Most of my planters are shaped like animals or people.  They are mostly whimsical.

I started collecting them for nostalgic reasons.  My mom had two that I remember growing up.  One of the was a little duck and it was in our bathroom.  She told me it was the first thing she bought when she had her first job and made her first money.  Now I'm probably the most sentimental person you know.  So every time I see those little planters something about them connects me to my sweet momma.

I have never really gotten into the little rectangle planters, but I saw them everywhere when I shopped for the other kind.  They were usually very plentiful and a good bit less expensive than the kind I was looking for, so naturally, I thought this was going to be a breeze to put together.

I'm thinking everyone else must have come across Martha's ingenious  use for these little gems, because the moment I began to look it seemed they were nowhere to be found.  When I did find one they were a lot more expensive than I remembered.  Not outlandish at all, but still 2 to 4 times what I remembered previously seeing them priced.

I began searching antique shops, thrift stores,  Etsy, and Ebay all looking for pieces to make it work.
Finally, I found enough to put it together.  I wanted to use all green planters, but believe it or not, I couldn't find enough green ones before her birthday.
I improvised with a yellow planning to switch it out for a green later, but honestly, I didn't think about it again until I saw this picture.  I think I need to remedy that.

My daughter was really pleased with her gift, and we had a little tea party with the children that very afternoon.

One particular little one had a hard time waiting until I took the pictures.  Those cookies and sugar cubes were calling her name! Notice the little hand in all of the pictures, always close to the cookies?



Finally, she could resist no longer.  There she goes right in the middle of the snap!

By the way, I have started a new collection.  This one makes me think of my precious daughter.  Can you guess what it is?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Enjoying Fall

Summer days are finally past, and it has been cool enough to get outside and do a little outdoor cooking.

We really enjoy trying new Dutch oven recipes when we get a chance.

This particular night we tried an onion dip, Cowboy Cornbread, and Hornet's Nest Cake (pictured above).  The cake taste a lot like pecan pie.  I posted the recipe below.  I found it on Every Day Dutch Oven blog.  

On this night we made Skillet Apple Pie,  meatloaf,  baked potatoes, turnip greens and cornbread.  


We plan to cook most of our Thanksgiving meal outside this year. Here's the mister and Thumper giving a turkey a trial run.  It was delish!


All of this outdoor cooking may have been inspired by my husband's cast iron collection. 

If you have a Dutch Oven give this recipe a try.  It's really easy and is probably different than your usual DO dessert.  If you have any unique Dutch oven recipes, by all means, leave one in the comments!


Dutch Oven Hornet's Nest Cake


Note:  (I would recommend only using 3/4 to 1/2 of the package of butterscotch chips. It was a little too sweet for me with the whole package in there. )

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 18 oz package plain yellow cake mix
    • 1 11 oz package butterscotch chips
    • 1 cup chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
    2. Mix pudding and milk in large bowl according to package directions.
    3. Add cake mix, stir until well combined, there will be a few lumps in the batter.
    4. Pour batter into prepared dutch oven, smooth evenly with spatula.
    5. Sprinkle batter completely with butterscotch chips.
    6. Sprinkle chips with chopped pecans.
    7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until tester in center comes out clean.
    8. Cool in dutch oven for 30 minutes before lifting out with parchment paper.
    9. Cut into small pieces, cake is very rich.