Sunday, January 27, 2013

Crinkle Tops

AppleJack has been requesting cookies for several weeks.  At Christmas, a dear friend had molasses cookies--they were delicious.

Searching through my files, I have recipes for many cookies but not molasses cookies.  I called up my go-to girl--Sis.  Sis is a wonderful cook and has made enough cookies to feed an army.  Once again, Sis came to my rescue and shared the recipe for Crinkle Tops.

Crinkle Tops

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg beaten
4 tablespoons dark molasses (1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups flour (us Southern girls use White Lily)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Cream together shortening, sugar and egg until smooth
Add remaining ingredients and mix
Form into walnut sized balls and roll them in granulated sugar before placing them on an ungreased cookie sheet
Allow room for the cookies to spread,  Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, being careful not to over bake.  (They will not be chewy if over baked).

AppleJack gave crinkle tops a thumbs up--this means the recipe is a keeper.  Thanks Sis for coming to my rescue.  The fresh ginger gave the cookies a delightful flavor and I did not over bake--the cookies are indeed nice and chewy.

Now off to sew some HST for the Jo Morton Broken Dishes quilt.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Day

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a newspaper column called My Day.  She wrote issues about women and key events like Pearl Harbor.  Daily life and my days at Thistle Manor are not as worldly as Mrs. Roosevelt.  Days at Thistle Manor go like this.


Am so thankful for cuddleduds, thermals and layers of clothing.  Temps have dipped into the teens and freezing rain is forecast for Friday.  This means Music City traffic will be more insane than usual.

New Cookie Recipe

AppleJack has been requesting home made cookies.  Sis has once again come to my rescue and shared a molasses cookie recipe with me.  Ahh, the thoughts of cookies baking makes the house feel warmer.

Rose Rosette Disease

While raking leaves on Saturday and cleaning out the Lenten Rose bed, I discovered my New Dawn rose has fallen victim to Rose Rosette disease.  After talking to my gardening mentor, I have been directed to dig up the infected rose and dispose of it and wait several months before replanting any other plant.  Will be meeting with my gardening center guy to talk about a replacement and direction on preventing the disease from spreading to the other roses. 

Half Square Triangle Paper

My HST paper arrived and work on the Jo Morton broken dish quilt will begin.  I also have plans to make a HST quilt and maybe a pinwheel, endless possibilities

Hooked Flag Quilt

Jan, my rug hooking friend, has once again come to my rescue and is helping me complete my flag quilt.  With her help, the rug might be ready for President's Day.  No pressure Jan.

Scarlet Letter Hannah Breed

Two of the five alphabets are complete.  Am going to work on the over one alphabet and eyelet alphabet at the same time.  We'll see how this works.

Adele 21

Download onto iPhone

Not as worldly as Mrs. Roosevelt's day, but a typical day at Thistle Manor with AppleJack and Miss Callie Mae.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Full Circle

I have come full circle.  Earlier in the week I was reminding the snowmen to think snow and today I was gardening in Next Year (the garden).  Am still hoping for snow at Thistle Manor before winter yields to spring and am still encouraging the snowmen to think snow.

Winter in Tennessee is a mixed bag.  One day it is in the seventies and I'm searching for tank tops.  During the night the temps will drop to the low thirties and I'm searching for my thermals.  As Grandmother Bessie taught me "take one day at a time and enjoy it for what it is."

Since today is a sunny, beautiful winter day, I decided to locate the gardening rake and clean the leaves out of the Lenten Rose bed.  This gardening job should have been done late last fall but the neglectful gardener never completed this chore.

The Lenten Rose bed full of leaves.

Minus a few leaves

The leaf pile!  Whew!  Brown material off to the compost pile.

Lenten Rose, one of my favorites, bringing color to the garden in the dead of winter.

Next Year is not thinking snow, Next Year is thinking spring!

Our neighbors lawn.  

The weatherman is saying the temps will drop during the night and we will have an Arctic blast! An excellent reason to stay inside and stitch on Hannah Breed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Valentine (Freebie)
30 ct Primitive Hare hand dyed linen
Stitched with Lancaster Red

Look what I picked up this afternoon at my LNS.  Yes, Betty the finisher has once again worked her magic.  I think Great-Great-Great-Great-Great- Grandfather Johan Velten "Valentine" Shultz would be pleased his grandchildren remember him.  (His other Granddaughter Lydia, also thinks he's pretty swell, she's been waiting for him).

Valentine has arrived in time to join the beginning of red decorations for Valentine's Day.


It's hard to live in Music City (Nashville) and not watch the television show Nashville.  Fess up: whose watching?  Deacon is one of my favorites--he's easy on the eyes.  I will admit it is not as good as Downton Abbey, but some interesting characters and plot twists and the music isn't bad either.

House of Blues’ Nashville plans could be just the ticket for live music scene

Just down the street from the LNS is the House of Blues.  You guessed it, an upcoming scene for Nashville was being filmed.  A trip to the LNS is always exciting, sometimes more exciting than others.
Now, time to plant myself in the stitching chair, pick up Hannah Breed and catch up on Nashville. 


Monday, January 14, 2013

Think Snow

Remember these guys?  They are suppose to be thinking snow!

Snow is rare in Music City.  For those of you who don't live in the south here are some facts about snow:

  1. The mere mention of snow in the forecast is enough for school to be closed.  
  2. With the fall of the first snow flake, there is a run on the grocery stores for milk and bread.
  3. Double your driving time if snow has been sighted within a fifty mile radius.

Don't disappoint me Snowmen, Thistle Manor is beautiful with a blanket of snow and I have my long johns ready and waiting!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Needlework Police is Knocking

Hannah Breed has languished in my stitch stash for years!  One of the reasons Hannah has languished in the stash is because I was afraid to start her!  Fear #1 has been faced--Hannah has been started.  My second fear and reason Hannah has been so long in waiting is because of the Queen stitches!  Darlene O'Steen in her book The Proper Stitch says this about the Queen stitch.

Queen stitch, also known as rococo stitch, though time consuming, is one of the loveliest stitches found on works from the seventeenth century.  When Queen stitch is pulled, a lacy effect is achieved, creating a stitch "fit for a queen."  The resulting pattern of the Queen stitch is a diamond shape with center tacking stitches.

Before I tackled the Queen stitches on Hannah Breed, I got out my trusty, old faithful, doodle practice piece of linen and gave the Queen stitch the old college try.  The first ones looked terrible!  Since Hannah was nine years old when she stitched this sampler, I was not willing to concede defeat and continued stitching.  Admittedly, the more stitches I made, the better looking they became.  As is the case with most needlework, I believe the secret to the Queen stitch is the correct amount of tension.  I will agree with Darlene the stitch is time consuming and uses lots of fiber. 

I had big plans for the weekend up to and including cleaning out the leaves from the hellebore (Lenten Rose) bed.  Mother Nature had other plans which included heavy rain and tornado warnings. 

Am selecting fibers and linen for Stacy Nash's Christmas at Hollyberry Farm.  I am changing the fibers from Gentle Arts Sampler threads to Needlepoint Silks, (because I enjoy stitching with Needlepoint Silks).  I will be stitching Hollyberry on Weeks 35 count straw.  I am determined to have a Christmas sampler for 2013!

Got to run, the doorbell is ringing, I suspect it is the Needlework Police coming to inspect my Queen stitches.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thistle Manor

“‘I’ve told you before, if we’re mad enough to take on the Crawley girls, we have to stick together.’” (Matthew Crawley to Tom Branson)

Well. . . I would like to report that life at Thistle Manor is not as exciting, or as glamorous or as dramatic as life at Downtown Abbey.  Like millions of others, I was glued to the television set on Sunday night to watch the wedding of Lady Mary and Matthew and all the other shenanigans.  One of my favorite scenes and lines is when Matthew Crawley says to Tom Branson:  "I've told you before, if we are mad enought to take on the Crawley girls, we have to stick together."  Ahh, I think this has the beginnings of a good friendship. 

This weekend I have plans of planting myself in the stitching chair with Hannah Breed and making progress on the alphabets, while watching Downtown Abbey reruns.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Charm Packs

Is everyone enjoying a good belly laugh?  Everyone who knows me knows my least favorite color is pink!  I was one of those children who did not have hair until I was about four so I was dressed in pink.    Mother thought if people saw me wearing pink they would think I was a girl instead of a boy.

Knowing my aversion to pink why the pink quilt?  I am blaming it on my addiction to charm packs.  My love for charm packs far out weighs the dislike for pink.  One of the many reasons I love charm packs is because of the great variety of fabric, design and colors.  However, there is usually one color in the charm pack which does not sing to me.  You guessed it, it is usually the pink one.

Being a creature of habit, I bring the charm packs home, allow my eyes and fingers to enjoy and start thinking of projects and choosing my favorite ones.  Almost immediately, if there are any pink ones in the pack, they get discarded to the pink pile.  Over the years as my collection of charm packs has grown so grew the pink pile.  In my goal to reduce my fabric stash, I came across the pinks and the growing number!  Sewing the 5" charm squares together and setting them on point seemed like a simple and quick way to eliminate to reduce the pink stash.

While purchasing fabric for the sashings/borders, the kind ladies at the quilt shop told me the quilt was not pink.  They said:  it is the pink family of red.  They were as convincing as Mother dressing me in pink so people would think I was a girl.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Life is Good

How many of you have seen the Life is Good tee shirts?  AppleJack and I have a few and we both believe Life is Good.  Take today for instance, I received a telephone call from the LNS.

Pineberry Lane
Lydia Emaline Shults Tudor

And the frame, nice and primitive just the way I like.

Waiting at the post office was a package from Country Sampler, Spring Green, Wisconsin

Inside the package--Broken Dishes by Jo Morton

and if that was enough goodness, the LNS had Christmas at Hollyberry Farm.

Life is Good!  Congratulations to Nicola and grandson, Archie William--Life is Good, really good!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Scarlet Letter--Hannah Breed

It is a rainy, overcast winter day at Thistle Manor and the perfect day to make stitching progress on Hannah Breed.  Am so appreciative to Nicola for challenging everyone with her red letter year of The Scarlet Letter. The Hannah Breed sampler has been languishing in my stash for years.

Hannah is being stitched on 32 count vintage examplar liner by Lakeside.  (am still having anguish over the R & R 18 Century Brown).  Am using Kreinik Soie d' Alger silks.  My second challenge with Hannah (the first being the linen) is two of the silk colors.  The colors were so light, when stitched onto the linen, they were lost.  I wanted to stay as true to Hannah's original sampler as I could, but made the decision to use a darker color.  The colors for Hannah range from very pastel to bright blues and reds.  Am thinking Hannah used the fibers she had or perhaps borrowed fibers from someone else.

Several years ago, friends were visiting with their young daughter.  I remember the daughter asking her Mother if I was learning my ABC's because there was an ABC chart is every room!  Well, Hannah must have been learning her ABC's because she has stitched five sets of alphabets into her sampler.

Am waiting for a couple of fibers to fill in the missing letters of the alphabet.  Was so anxious to get started stitching on Hannah, I started before all the fibers arrived.

As we enter 2013 I will leave with the words from one of my favorite prayers;
May the roads rise to meet you, may the winds be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.