Thursday, August 25, 2016

Return to the Pumpkin Patch



I love the first signs of fall. . . . . . that first day after many hot humid days where the air feels dry and even a bit chilly. It happened this past weekend. We were away moving my daughter out of her summer dorm and into her dorm for the school year. (Her senior year!) It was hot in RI where she goes to school but when we arrived home early in the evening, it was chilly. I had to find warmer pj's and put on slippers. Well, anyways, I love days and nights like that! Yup, slept like a baby with blankets and all!

This kind of weather makes me want to run around and open every window in the house. It reminds me of pumpkins, turning leaves and baking anything with apples, pumpkin and cinnamon. And I love it! So it is not surprising that I was called to my pumpkin patch to stitch up some orange pumpkins and some smaller gourds in browns and olive green.


Wouldn't these look sweet and festive placed on dinner plates for fall festivities, Halloween, Thanksgiving? The handmade and hand stitched tags are blank so that guests' names can be added. Everyone will know their places at the table and each guest gets to take home a sweet little gourd. They also look cute placed on a windowsill, a small table or in any fall vignette.


I cut several of these pumpkins out of an orange/rust and brown leaf print fabric and stitched up a few already. I used some crocheted doilies on the pumpkins and the small gourds to add some vintage charm and of course some natural elements:  raffia and Spanish moss. I spend the year collecting wine corks to use as stems. Buttons with orange embroidery thread stitches further embellish the raffia bow and the hand stitched tag.


Tomorrow I will stitch up the rest of the remaining orange pumpkins and then head to the fabric stores to see what other fabrics are available for pumpkin and gourd making.



I hope to get an entire set of small gourds to use on my Thanksgiving table this year. I am reminded that last Thanksgiving we spent the holiday having dinner in a nursing home where my mom was rehabbing. They did a wonderful job putting on a full spread which included wine, cheese and appetizers before the meal. Much to be thankful for this year.....


.....and a few more photos of the pumpkin patch!





There....but before I close I have one last fall project that I made to add some fall color to my kitchen.


It's a magnet that I made by recycling a CD. So as you can see, it is a pretty large kitchen magnet and holds up a lot of stuff!


.....and here it is on my fridge! For photo op purposes, it is not holding anything up but I assure you, I have put it to good use! (that reflection to the left of the magnet is a cluster of maple trees as seen outside my kitchen window, in case you were wondering!)

I love fall......just about everything about it....except for what comes next but I'm not even going there right now! I'm just going to savor the sights, sounds and flavors of my favorite season!

Anyone else seeing signs that fall is right around the corner? Do you love fall as much as I do or are you hanging onto summer for dear life?

"Autumn,
the year's last loveliest smile."
William Cullen Bryant


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oodles of Zoodles!


A couple of weeks ago I finally decided to follow my youngest daughter's advice. She told me I should get a "VEGGETTI" and make some zucchini and summer squash noodles. Coincidentally at our Weight Watcher's meeting that same week, everyone was talking about how much they loved zucchini noodles.
 
I ran to Bed, Bath and Beyond and purchased my Veggetti (rhymes with spaghetti, same G sound) It cost $9.99 and it was the best investment I have made in a very long time. It is my new diet BFF and I may have already consumed a bushel basket of zucchini and summer squash all by myself. No matter how I prepare it, I love it! I had a plate for dinner tonight!


This is prepared with just sautéed garlic in olive oil, chopped tomatoe,s kale and spinach. I added pesto and it was delicious! I have prepared this for three evening meals in the past couple of weeks. My husband also loves it so I consider that an added bonus!


Another night I only used olive oil, garlic, parsley.


Added some grated parmesan cheese and it was delicious!

You cannot go wrong with these noodles. I have used shrimp and marinara sauce. Love mushrooms? Throw some in! I literally throw in what I have on hand and it makes a delicious meal every time. A friend of mine cooked up some ground turkey and spices with hers and she said her family loved it. I can't wait to try that as well.

The best part is that it is very filling and as satisfying as eating a large plate of pasta! Now that is some good news if you are watching your waistline!

While we were away for a couple of days, I saw a cold, beet noodle and feta cheese salad on a menu at a restaurant we were at. I would love to try it but I am not sure that I can use my veggetti! I will be looking around for other vegetable noodle makers so I can vary the vegetables that I use though I highly doubt that I will get sick of these zoodles any time soon. I can't believe I waited this long to try it. I guess I figured "how great can they really be?" Well the answer is, they are really, really great! And I love coming up with new ways to prepare them! My husband is a fan too....how do I know? He came through the door the other day with a giant zucchini and summer squash! He was quite proud of himself! LOL!

If you have already tried veggie noodles I would love to hear how you have prepared them. If you haven't tried it, you really should! You won't be disappointed!

Have a great week friends!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Turkey Teriyaki Burgers



Hello folks! Tonight we made turkey teriyaki burgers for supper. They are so easy and so delicious that I thought I would share this very easy recipe with you while we still have some grilling days left this summer.

First make your patties from ground turkey. Marinate for a half hour or longer if you have time in your favorite teriyaki marinade. I only marinated for the 1/2 hour and I found it plenty flavorful. While marinating, slice onion, green peppers, garlic and baby portobello mushrooms and saute them in some olive oil. I like my veggies still a bit crispy so I did not overcook.


 Once done, add a little marinade to the vegetables and keep on low heat while burgers are grilling.


When burgers are done, add a slice of swiss cheese and melt. Remove from grill, put on a bun and top with the veggies.



Enjoy! So delicious! I used a light bread instead of a hamburg bun. I am presently following the Weight Watcher's diet plan and I cheat enough as it is so I saved 40 calories by using the reduced calorie bread.

I joined Weight Watcher's because I never lost the winter weight I gained two winters ago....yes two winters ago! We had the winter from h-e-l-l and it pretty much lasted half a year so I kept on cooking comfort foods and followed all my blogging friends' delicious recipes. I know, you didn't force me to try your recipes but if you flaunt an easy peasy, ooey gooey caramel recipe in front of me, you just  know that I'm going to try it.

Let me tell you Weight Watcher's is not as easy to follow or lose weight with as it was 20 years ago. It has been a struggle for me but I am happy to report that I have lost 7 lbs. I've been on the diet for 7 weeks. Twenty years ago I lost 7 lbs the very first week!  So while I am not losing the weight nearly as fast, it is finally coming off very slowly and hey.....I'm not gaining!

In other news......I have been working on some new angels for my Etsy shop. I thought I would try a little color for a change. I wasn't sure I was going to like them but I did and now that is all I can think about.......angels in every color....


I made a lavender angel first. I had a fat quarter that really wasn't enough to make anything else with so I decided to use that fabric first. It came out really, really cute! So I made two more and used up most of that fat quarter! I fell in love with my little lavender angels.


Next came the kiwi lime angels. They turned out pretty cute too. I made five of them! Then I stitched up a little gift tag and embellished it with lace, fabric, ribbon etc. The tag adds a "boutiquey" touch for a sweet presentation as a gift.


I took a break from the colored angels today and stitched/crafted a larger version of my angel ornament in ivory. I found a package of two doll pins with a larger head at a craft store but haven't seen any since. They were pretty pricey considering there were only two in a package so I will have to research a source to find them because I really do like the larger size.


I used some cotton lace that I found in an antique shop. It was flat lace but I gathered it on the sewing machine and it worked very well.


I added tulle under her bow and a couple of pearl beads.


Her wings are two layer of tulle with a top layer of lace.


I photographed her before I added a little cream bow to the right corner of her dress, just above her lace ruffle.


Overall, she is a bit wider and taller and of course has a larger head. She is very sweet!


Well, that's all for tonight friends! Hope everyone's week started off on a positive note! Mine sure did, it was a gorgeous day here in NH, sunny, warm and no humidity--just my kind of day. Hoping tomorrow is the same......

Monday, July 25, 2016

Shabby Angel Garland


Angel Garland hanging on my hutch

Happy Monday everyone! I confess to not getting a whole lot of sleep last night so pardon me if I seem a little loopy. I stayed up late putting this angel garland together and then when I finally went to bed, (close to midnight) I did not sleep well. I was wide awake at 3:45 am and at 4:00 am I decided I was just going to get up. So I did. According to my fit bit, I got about 4 hours and 34 minutes of sleep. Yawn.....

So you can understand my frustration when my fit bit asked me if I wanted to take it for a walk early this morning. My first thought was;  "yes, let's walk to the nearest cliff and toss you over!" Of course I didn't and it is safely wrapped around my wrist.

Back to my angel garland.....


I have wanted to try a garland using my angel ornaments for a long time. I decided last night that I was just going to give it a try......At first I had less strips and more twine showing but it wasn't doing anything for me. Then I added more strips of torn fabric, tulle, lace and silk sari ribbon and shirred it all together much closer to the angels. Then my garland and I finally made that love connection! I took it all over my house and hung it here and there and it looked sweet everywhere that I hung it.


The two angels are identical or as identical as handmade can be.....





I especially loved the look after I added some wide lace to the other fabric strips....a little texture goes a long way!


You can see the lace better in this photo.



Although I love the way my garland turned out, I think I may add a few more strips of tulle and lace to each section to add a bit more fullness.

There, now that I have completed the design of my garland, I can move on to making the next one. The first one always takes the longest and in this case I lost sleep over it too. No worries, I'll make up for it tonight......Have a great week!


UPDATE: 7/26/2016

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to add more strips of lace, tulle, etc to my garland.


So I added an additional strip of lace, tulle and torn cotton to each section until I was satisfied with the fullness.


Next I added a torn cotton strip bow to each end of the garland. I made certain to leave plenty of extra twine at the ends for hanging.


There, now I am completely satisfied. It is now as I imagined it.


Linking up with:



Apple Apricot's Simply Neutrals #28

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gift Sets Galore


Hello friends! Thought I would post some photos of some fun projects that I have been working on. So I'll "talk" and you'll scroll and hopefully I won't run out of pictures before I run out of words.... It started out when a friend needed a gift for a friend.....and well, it appears to have become my latest thing! 


When I was getting ready to make the first set, I knew I wanted to make my usual flat zippered bag set but I also wanted a flat-bottomed bag that would stand on it's own. I sat down to draft a pattern and though I knew what I wanted it to look like, I had to enlist the help of my husband to help me with the angles and the actual pattern. I will totally confess and own my spacial relations problem, I have a similar problem with directions. You say east or west, I hear blah, blah, blah....but you say right or left and I'm there!


Anyways, this purple gift set was the first set I made . I ended up making another for my ETSY shop because I loved the fabric so much.


I made a little heart package tie-on to coordinate with the gift set. OK, that was really fun!.....and really where this all began!


My personal favorite is this pink, gray and white set. I fell in love with gray a couple of years ago and I have always loved pale pink. So it's a winning color combination as far as I am concerned! I used some silk sari ribbon and pale pink tulle for the bow on the heart.



All of the inside linings coordinate nicely with the outside fabrics. This little gray and white dot print fabric looks sweet with the chevron and anchor print fabric.


The last one I will show you tonight (though I have more but it is too dark to photograph them) is this gray and white chevron print tote bag lined with a yellow and gray chevron print. I did a mix and match set of zippered bags for the tote. I love this set too.....


I stitched up a heart ornament from the yellow chevron to "tie it all together." ....added a gray bow and a cute little yellow satin flower.


I like the pop of yellow on these gray bags! 

I have really enjoyed creating these little gift sets.... and I have several other sets cut out and ready to stitch up.

Well it appears that I have run out of photos before running out of words so I will let you go for now. I have a very busy week ahead. My youngest daughter is coming home midweek for a very quick visit and I am really looking forward to that! She's turning 21 at the end of the month. I don't know where the time has gone.....

Before I let you go, I would like to ask that you please keep all of our law enforcement officers in your thoughts and prayers. It's been another heartbreaking day.......goodnight friends!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Burlap and Lace Bookmarks


Hello friends! How are you? It feels like it's been ages since I was last here but it really wasn't all that long ago! Honestly the 4th of July seems like distant history to me and it was only a week ago today!

Last night I created a bookmark and I liked it so well that I decided to make few more today!  They are literally multiplying out on my back porch as I type. The first bookmark that I made last night was "Imagine." Imagine was followed by "dream", "read" and "blessings." "Hope" is still in progress...


I started this project last night because I wanted to enclose a little extra something in a card that I am sending off.....you know....when you send a card but it just doesn't seem like enough.....



These little bookmarks are a perfect enclosure item and they are remarkably very sturdy. I stitched together two layers of ivory burlap and zig-zagged all the sides. I added the vertical lace, then the tiny ivory edging at the very top. Next I folded a piece of sari ribbon unevenly and secured it to the top of the bookmark by sewing a button on it.


I hand-stamped a word on a scrap of heavy unbleached cotton, trimmed it with pinking shears and stitched it in a random direction over the sari ribbon. Then it was all about making tiny x's in the buttons with ecru embroidery floss and attaching them to the bookmark. (not my favorite part but it adds some sweet detail)


The first one turned out so sweet that I made several more today. Some are almost done, some are completely in pieces. I think they would look so cute in a journal or in any book for that matter....

All this talk about bookmarks has me thinking about reading a new book. I did pick up my old copy of Pride and Prejudice and started rereading it--I love that book and will probably read it many more times.

Have you read any good books this summer? Any that you would recommend? I'm feeling the urge to escape into the world of a good novel! Feel free to leave a book title or two in my comment section.

Thanks and have a great week!