Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Decorating

I'm at work today trying to recuperate from Easter weekend. It was wonderful but exhausting. I had 20 for Easter dinner and the kids egg hunt. One of my favorite parts of hosting holiday dinners is the decorating, (keeping fun ideas for kids in mind).
I started with the candle for the table, a cute idea I found on "Pinterest", A glass vase, the bottom filled with jelly beans, marshmallow Peep rabbits surround a candle set in the middle.

I set it in the center of my cake stand,

surrounded by hot-rod rabbits made from Twinkies, pretzel steering wheels, and Life Saver car wheels (another idea from Pinterest). For the gluten-free kids I made a chocolate cake and cut out a few car shapes. They loved them.


Sitting on the (finally shut off)  wood stove in an antique pink dish (that was my husband's great-grandma's) was a rabbit my girlfriend made me years ago..

Somehow it worked even with the neon yellow grass!

Outside to greet everyone I changed out my flower pot by taking out some of the winter greens and berries, adding in fresh pussy willows and eggs. Soon I'll be replacing all with flowers for the summer. I can't wait. 

Last week at quilt bee my friend showed her quilt she just finished for her grandsons high school graduation, made with his favorite sports t-shirts and some pictures of him playing sports transferred to fabric. Keeping this idea in mind for my grandsons, luckily quite a few years away.

Tomorrows my birthday and Earth day so I will be celebrating (a little after work) in the studio natural dyeing with some flowers my husband bought me. See you soon and have a great day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I missed seeing the Blood Moon in all it's glory but this morning there was the full moon reflecting off the ice in the bird bath. At 24 degrees we have a lot of ice patches still around.

The past 2 weeks I have spent every minute of my free time Spring cleaning the house and outdoors raking the yard. By Saturday hubby and I will be finished and ready to enjoy summer.
I also spent a little time cleaning this quilt I made a few years ago called "The Florida We Know". Every winter for the past 30 years we've taken the our kids vacationing in Florida. We spent most of our time at different beaches swimming, snorkeling and of course collection shells. I made this piece using some of  the shells.
I still had a few more pieces that the grandkids collected that needed to be sewed on.

Horseshoe crabs and a blue crab. Before stitching them on I coated them with a thick coat of white glue, inside and out.

The crabs are so fragile and this seems to give them a little more strength.

They dry clear.

The grandkids also found sharks teeth along the beach near their old home.
(I didn't coat the teeth)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quilt Guild with Kim Diehl

Last night at Quilt Guild our guest speaker was Kim Diehl from Utah. She taught classes for 2 days and put on a beautiful trunk show last night of  her quilts.  Kim has written several quilt books and designed several lines of fabric.
The following are a just a few of her own design quilts she showed (patterns are available in her books).

Starting with this beautiful heavily appliqued and pieced quilt.

This is just a simple pieced quilt with great applique boarders that turn it into a great piece .

Her applique designs are beautiful.

A intricate pieced center with applique boarders. Love the corner treatments.

Another applique boarder, wonderful on black fabric.

This quilt was so much fun with the great color choices and applique running all through the blocks.

I never would have picked this background color but wow it is sharp.

I believe this was one of the classes she taught, one way done all in cottons.

and another way done in cotton with wool applique.
I love the use of both fabrics.

Another quilt pieced with cotton fabric and appliqued with wool.

I'm not a big pink person but this is a beautiful "Summer" piece in muted colors.

A little Americana.

More pieced with cotton and appliqued with wool.

This was one of the guild members work. A cute Easter quilt with great paisley fabric boarders. I believe this is a commercial pattern.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spa Night at Quilt Bee

Last night was my turn to host my "once a month" quilt bee. We take turns at each other houses always starting with a wonderful dinner. Since there are 6 of us it works out nice, you host it twice a year. I decided to make it a "spa night" for my friends also.
I started the day before infusing a rose/lavender spritzer. I put organic rose petals and lavender in a jar and poured boiling distilled water over and left it for a 24 hours.

The petals infused all their goodness into the water.
After it was finished I added a few drops of rose essential oil to it and poured into a spray bottle.

Off went my St. Patrick's day table cloth and on my spa night table cloth.
An oil cloth from Moda with one of their Sea Side Rose fabrics printed on. (Moda is a very popular fabric manufacturer for quilters).

Spa ingredients for our center piece.

After dinner we put rose petals and lavender in our bowls and poured boiling water over the top.

It was relaxing and a hoot all at the same time.
After steaming our faces we sprayed them with the spritzer then tried out different face creams. I had two commercial ones from the health food store and my grape seed oil I infused a couple of weeks ago, they overwhelming loved my grape seed oil. I think some almost took a bath in it!

Next (ahead of time) I made this hand/nail soak. Oh my gosh this is the best recipe! I made each about one cup.

After soaking and massaging a while they rinsed their hands in their left over facial water.
Our hands felt heavenly!

After the long, long cold winter we've had this night was needed in more than one way.

Last Saturday we went to a Pow Wow, a welcoming Spring celebration. The grand kids love playing the drum and sang and played for 3 hours.

My friend Garth was there selling his sweet grass and sage he grows.

Also some of his heirloom bean seeds.

I bought a couple packages to try this summer with the boys, Seneca Bear beans, a pole bean with red flowers that humming birds love.
Also Ukrainian Comrades because some of my ancestors came from there.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patricks Day and Full Worm Moon

Every year for the past 40 years we have had a big St. Patrick's Day dinner with corned beef, red potatoes, cabbage and carrots meal at my in laws. My mother in law started it and we haven't missed a year. Now, none of us has any Irish in them but you know what they say "on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish".  So I continue the tradition and yesterday had 11 for dinner. Before I filled the table with dishes I took a picture of my cute vintage table cloth.

with clover embroidery on every corner. I bought this years ago, second hand somewhere.
Along with all the food my sons girlfriend brought along her violin and played Irish music for us. We all were enchanted.

This morning we were up early and the Full Moon was still visible in the sky.
This moon was know to Native Americans as the "worm moon" for this time of year the earth worms were beginning to move about and soon it would be time to plant the crops. This year I don't know if anything is moving the temperature this morning was 3 degrees.

So the kids and I jumped in the car and off we went to find a good place to photograph the moon before it was gone. (They had their winter coats on but took them off  for a St. Patrick's Day picture in their new green shirts mommy bought them).

Last week the day after the herb conference I started a medicinal herb infused dry skin oil. In a stainless steel double boiler I placed in a cup of organic rose petals, calendula  petals, lavender flowers and rosemary.  I poured grape seed oil over all.

In a double boiler I simmered the pot for 4 days, (after an hour on the stove I moved it to our wood stove) keep it covered, stirring once in a while.
Dr. Oz recommends grape seed oil for dry skin. After learning how to make this flowers/herbs infusion I couldn't wait to try.

After simmering 4 days I strained the herbs out (twice), added a little rose water and it was ready to test. My little helper and I love it as now does my daughter and the rest of the family. I store the large one in the refrigerator and the little one near the shower. It's best to put on before you dry off completely.

Speaking of Dr. Oz a week ago on his show he said everyone over the age of 40 should be taking these supplements:

Bacopa 300 mg. per day.   Brain Food

Baby Aspirin 2 daily.  To help fight against cancer

Krill oil  1-3 grams daily.  Heart

Like all supplements check with your Dr. before starting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Herb Conference

Last weekend it looked like Spring and I was in Heaven!! As we walked into the conference we were greeted with lots and lots of green.

Plants for sale,

many different Artemisia (2014 herb of the year), some edible like tarragon and some for beauty in your garden and for drying for wreaths and crafts. Also, some special Artemisia are used by Native Americans for smudging (purifying themselves and their surroundings).

One of my favorite vendors with herbal topiaries was there,

another with hypertufa planters and garden accents.

This was a new vendor selling her handcrafted jewelry made from organic, rare heirloom seeds.

A lot of different styles,

using lots of different seeds.


Another vendor selling spices, teas and gifts from around the world. These small animal print containers were made out of animal hoofs from a small co-op in Africa.

She also sold these lamps made from chunks of  Himalayan crystal  salt.

Along with great lectures were a lot of educational displays. This one about having an herbal spa day.

With lots of good recipes for making your own natural spa cleansers, creams etc.


A medicinal display for colds and flu.

This is the recipe, I'm not sure you can read it, I'll write it out next week, also with a herbal body oil for dry skin I'm making as we speak. I learned so much this year about flowers and herbs and their chemical make up for medicinal use. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing some with you.

This display was on Heirloom seeds.

One on different teas and their medicinal qualities.


And my favorite two attendees who always make some wonderful wool accessories for the conference.

This year was this wonderful felted wool poppy purse with buds hanging on the side. They also made a matching wool poppy pin for their sweaters.

This was cute a long wooden crate filled with different lettuces.

A new type of herb garden container made for herbs instead of the usual strawberry pot with too small of openings.

This was a beautiful woven watering can filled with herbs.

I love these vintage spoons made into herb garden markers. This is a project will be on my hubby's project list for this summer.

At our banquet for centerpieces they had these pretty lanterns surrounded by different Artemisia.

OK my favorite attendees again, while we were all at the banquet they stayed in their hotel room and made theses cute yo-yo necklaces. I wouldn't wanted to miss the banquet but I would have liked to have been there!

I hope your didn't get tired of all my pictures, I edited them way down, there is just so much going on at the conference this is just a small sample. Someday maybe you will be able to attend too, there's lots of room and everyone's welcome.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo