Friday, February 24, 2012

Time For A Cuppa

Hello, Sweet Friends. I've finished stitching another tea towel and wanted to share it with you before I send it off to my favorite auntie! (Won't it look cute next to her yellow kitchen aid mixer?!) I love these vintage anthropomorphic images. They've got so much whimsy, and they're super easy to stitch.

Oh-- and I love that this silly teapot has a pair of spiffy red shoes! She's stylin'.

I hope that you all enjoy the rest of the weekend... I'm spending time with friends tomorrow, and looking forward to doing some more stitchin' on Sunday! I've been embroidering a lot of tea towels lately, and will be catching up on posting them soon~


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Swap, Part 2

Hello, Sweet Friends. I've been so excited to share Part 2 of this Valentine Heart Swap, hosted by the marvelous Marsha of The Tattered Chick!

**(Please click HERE if you missed Part 1~ believe me, you don't want to miss it!)

Kate, from the blog Crazy Purple Mom was the recipient of this little valentine heart that I created. As you can guess, her favorite color is purple, so I decided to stitch a heart in a soft shade of periwinkle/lavender. I love periwinkle. I've always thought of it as the perfect shade of purplie-blue. (Yes, another new vocabulary word for you all!)

This was my first real attempt at stitching with felt, and I loved it. I may be hooked. I wish that I could stitch a valentine heart for each of you! I've always been inspired by the beautiful and whimsical stitched felt creations of Elizabeth and Paulette, and have always wanted to try my hand at it. This heart swap was the perfect opportunity to stretch my stitchin' wings! I sent this little heart in the felt envelope above, addressed to Kate...

... and even sealed the envelope with a tiny stitched "xox"! I stitched the back of the heart with a little flower, a "J", and a little stitched heart. As they say, "love is in the details"-- right?

This was also one of my first attempts at beading. Don't you love these little pearl beads? They're so teeny tiny-- it took a bit of time to get the hang of handling them. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this sweet little valentine, and hope that it makes Kate's heart happy. I know that having the opportunity to stitch it for her made my heart happy!
Happy Valentine's Day, Sweet Friends!


PS: Please visit Marsha's blog for links to see a fun variety of hearts from this Valentine's Day Swap!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Swap, Part 1

A few weeks ago I took a leap and decided to join Marsha's Valentine Swap. I knew who I was to create a heart for, however I did not know who I was going to receive a heart from. Little did I know that I would receive an envelope all the way from The Netherlands~ from the lovely Lisette from Liszha's Scrappy World! She created this adorable polka dot pink stitched heart, and I love it! And as if that wasn't sweet enough, she included even more wonderful goodies:

Isn't this fun??!! Lisette is so generous~ and so creative!
I instantly fell in love with this adorable dangly heart key fob! She used my current favorite color combination-- pink, red, and turquoise. Looking at all the little details, it's so evident that she made this with me in mind.

Lisette is also a very talented paper crafter. She created this absolutely gorgeous tag for me using a variety of materials-- it's so beautiful! I've always admired people that can bring together several elements and materials so perfectly. It's a skill that does not come naturally to me, so I'm always so in awe of people who seem to have a natural knack for it.

Oh-- and she included this rubber stamp and some fun, sparklie di-cut tags also! This was such a fun envelope to open, so full of fun surprises! Thank you so much, Lisette, for the beautiful heart and all these wonderful, thoughtful goodies!


PS: Please don't forget to come back tomorrow for Part 2~ I can't wait to share the heart that I created for Kate!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Little Magpie Valentine's Cheer

Hello, Sweet Friends. It's Valentine's month, and I decided to treat myself to one new Valentine's Day decoration this year! (Okay, maybe two...) I've long been a fan of Laurie's whimsical creations over at her blog Magpie Ethel, and when I spotted this adorable vintage heart jello mold creation, I knew it was meant to be mine!

I love how Laurie works her magic with her vintage findings, found at various estate sales. She finds the greatest goodies and shares them on her blog each week. I eagerly await her "Estate Sale Friday" posts each week, and am never disappointed with her knack for finding unique and nostalgic vintage goodness!

I love this sweet little cupid heart, Laurie-- it will have a place of honor in my little home!


PS: Thanks for the extra little surprise~ that "Wanted" badge is so clever and cute!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cookie Factory

Hello, Sweet Friends. It's been a cookie factory around here! Last weekend I baked one of my favorite cookies-- sugar cookies!! I never was able to get my fix at Christmas, so with Valentine's Day around the corner, I figured I could break out the rolling pin, and have at it.

Yeah... and it's an excuse to break out the sprinkles too. I love these jimmies-- don't the colors just make you happy? Color in the winter makes me happy. Making things in the winter makes me happy too, so this was the perfect combination of happy.

This recipe has been in the family ever since my sister-in-law, Monica, joined the family and shared it with the rest of us. I'm so glad she joined the family. The girl can bake, and these are the best sugar cookies ever. They are rolled out thick and they're really cake-ety. (Yes, that's a real word. At least among my friends, it is. It's usually used in a sentence as in "Mmmm... I love chocolatey cake-ety".)
I don't usually do tutorials or recipes on my blog, but I know that you are going to ask for this fabulous recipe. Therefore, I will share it with you. Yes, I will take the time to type a recipe out. I guess it is less tedious than having to write it out, so I won't complain. Here it is:

Yummy Cake-ety Sugar Cookies

(This recipe is easy to roll out and makes wonderful Valentine and Christmas cookies!)

1 Cup Shortening*

2 Cups Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

4 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 5 cups flour

* In some countries shortening is called "white vegetable fat", in case the word "shortening" sounds foreign to you. Yes, it's that ingredient that I try to avoid thinking about when I'm eating one of these yummy cookies! (Thanks Susan, for asking! I wondered if anything in the recipe would be "lost in translation" for my friends abroad!)

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. Refrigerate for about one hour. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut in desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Bake on ungreased baking sheet. (I bake them on parchment paper.) Let cookies cool, then frost and decorate!

These are a fun cookie to decorate~ the possibilities are limitless! I made this batch of cookies to bring to Lisa's Creativi-Tea, so I decided to back stitch them! Yes, those are jimmies. No, it was not as tedious as it looks, but I would only go to the trouble for something special. It helps to have a friend come over and help. Beverages help. My friend Kathy and I often get together on Friday nights for an "Artist Date". We try to do something or go somewhere creatively inspiring to kick-off the weekend. Sometimes we go to an art gallery. Sometimes we play with clay. Sometimes we go vintage shopping. Sometimes we get pedicures. We try to go to restaurants we haven't been to-- or sometimes we just "picnic". We love our "picnics". Our picnics are simple and usually consist of yummy cheeses, fruit, olives, a good crusty bread, and beverages. Our picnics involve no cooking, and we can get right to playing.

Since I made part of this batch as a hostess gift for Lisa (and Sean, her hubby who loves sugar cookies), I made a little tag for the container. I made a "belly wrap" for the container using shelf liner that I bought to line my dresser drawers and shelves. It worked out great because I could just slice a strip to the length I needed. Then I just used a simple di-cut, and some of my Cath Kidston labels to embellish. Viola! Ready to gift.

I also used part of the batch of cookies to give to my sweet next door neighbors to thank them for helping me out when I locked myself out of the house. I used my special valentine sprinkles for these. Damn, I love sprinkles. Lovelovelove them!

Well, I hope this post wasn't too long and rambly. (Yes, that is a real word-- in my vocabulary!). I'm trying to be better this year about posting about projects and the crafty shenanigans that I've been up to. I hope that you can try out this cookie recipe sometime, and enjoy it's yummy, cake-ety goodness for yourself!