Saturday, November 22, 2014

In the Spring there is a flower. . .

As Buffalo, New York digs out from 7' (seven feet) of snow and prepares for rain and flooding, I have been preparing Next Year, the garden for spring 2015.

There have been leaves to rake.

Spirea which was long past due on a good hard pruning.

Our vegetable garden is due for a double dig and addition of compost.

Perennials to deadhead.

and bulbs to be planted.

One way I try to work off some of the Thanksgiving calories is fall gardening.  I'm sure I consume many more calories than I burn.  One of my favorite gardening activities is planting spring bulbs.  Grandmother Bessie would say "they won't bloom in the package."  I sure hope my gardening legs hold out for all the bulbs I have purchased which need to be planted.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Carmel Crispix Mix

6 cups Crispix cereal
4 cups pretzels (checkerboard style or heart shaped)
2 cups mixed nuts
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons Karo syrup

Mix cereal, pretzels and nuts together

Place butter, brown sugar and Karo syrup in a microwave bowl or use a sauce pan on the stove.  Heat and bring to a boil for one (1) minute.

Pour over the dry mix and stir to coat evenly.  (Use two 9 x 13 pans)

Bake at 250 for 20 minutes (stir once)

Let cool and break apart

Eat up!  Yum Yum

AppleJack is my official taster and he gives this recipe a thumbs up.  It is super easy to make and delicious. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homespun Gathering Reunion

When my favorite needlework store and my favorite shop in the whole wide world closed in 2005, the girls could just not accept not gathering with each other as they had done for years. 

 So. . . they put their heads together and came up with the idea of having a reunion.  Several times a year (between four and five) the girls gather together and do all the fun things they did at Homespun. 

The public library has a large meeting room with a kitchen and space can be reserved. 

                       There is always an air of excitement.

 The room is often filled with ooohhh's and aahh's and squeals as a beautifully finished piece of needlework, or a quilt, a hooked rug or a needle punch is shared.

 Ideas abound with talk of designs and linen choices and fiber colors are discussed.  I am always amazed at the creativity and skill in the finished projects.

For me, the Gathering is so much more.  This group of women has known each other for years and have shared the good and not so good of their lives:  marriages/divorces, births/deaths, loss of a job and new jobs, travels, antics of their four legged fur children and embarrassing moments.

 Delicious food and recipe sharing abounds.   The room is filled with laughter sometimes tears, hugs and words of encouragement.  AppleJack says it's the best therapy.  The group is well traveled and knowledgeable of current and world events but find discussing retreats, and upcoming markets and designs much more productive.

               Gathering Reunions--let the good times roll! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grandmother/Mother's Cornbread Dressing

4 cups cornbread
3 cups lightly toasted bread
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 -1 chopped onion
1 stick butter
1-2 teaspoons sage or poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 cups broth
Saute onion and celery in butter until onions are clear
Coarsely crumble cornbread and cube bread
Combine all ingredients
Cook in 350 degree oven until lightly browned
Grandmother and Mother prepared this recipe for their family for many years.  It was always a hit.

When Mother was sharing this recipe with me she said, "it's a very easy recipe to double or triple."  Coming from a large family and a farm family, Mother and Grandmother were accustomed to cooking for large numbers of people.  When the family gathered together, the numbers were in the high twenties or thirties. 

During harvest times (cutting hay or tobacco, picking corn) or when we were working cattle, Mother and Grandmother prepared meals for the farm hands (laborers).  The farm hands consisted of six to eight men with voracious appetites.  Food was consumed by the gallons.  In order to prepare enough food, Mother and Grandmother would begin cooking early in the morning as soon as the men left to work.  The men ate huge portions and often asked for seconds.  Dad never had difficulty finding willing workers for the farm.  The workers would often say:  Yes, I'll come and work for you because I know I am going to be fed well."  This recipe has stood the test of time and gained the approved of hard working men.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Easy Stitching

The Goode Huswife
Currants Coxcomb and Rose
36 ct WDW Havana Linen (I think)
NPI silks

The polar vortex has made its way south.  Sunday afternoon I raked leaves in the sunshine with temps nearing the seventies, the high today is forecast near forty with temps dropping into the twenties tonight.  It is times like this when Miss Callie Mae and I find our warm blanket and snuggle comfortably into the stitch chair for some mindless television and stitching.

Currants, Coxcomb and Rose is an oldie but goodie from The Goode Huswife (the chart is marked 2001).  The model was stitched with Birds of a Feather Wren.  Two of my favorite things:  a Goode Huswife design and Birds of a Feather linen.

The five remaining spaces in the design will be filled with a fan/feather design.  I call these designs easy stitching or mindless stitching--a repetitive design using the same colors of fibers.  I haven't decided how to finish--a pincushion, a box top, a huswife? 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Alphabetically, numerically, color family

The last couple of times I have been together with the stitching girls there has been discussion about fiber organization.  From the looks of this photo, my fibers are looking for some organization.

How do you sort/file your fibers:   alphabetically, numerically or by color family?  Just like filing my charts and stash, I file using all three methods.

For my Needlepoint Silks and Au ver a soie, I file numerically using Floss Away bags, grouping or dividing them together by number in hopes they will be easier to locate.  (I have wasted an inordinate amount of time searching for fibers)

The Gentle Arts, Weeks, and Cresent Colors are filed alphabetically.  One of the stitch girls (who happens to be a designer) organizes hers by color families.  WOW!  The fibers look beautiful organized this way, but for a stitcher (me) this system did not work because it took me forever to locate the called for color in a design.

When I am choosing/pulling fibers for a design, I often select either lighter or darker values of a color--sometimes because I like the lighter/darker color better and sometimes because I do not have the specific color but a lighter or darker version and sometimes the color gets lost on the linen.  Confused?

The Old Mercantile's photo.

My last visit to The Old Mercantile, I ordered a cabinet which will house my fibers.  Shh don't tell AppleJack but this is his Christmas present to me, I took the liberty of helping him with his shopping. 

One of my goals for 2015 is fiber maintenance.  ALL my fibers are going to be stored in the cabinet--no more kitting, no more sitting aside fibers for projects.  Am hoping this organization will result in more stitch time and  much less frantically searching swearing I have that fiber time.