Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! We hope you're having a wonderful holiday season full of health, happiness and love!

Big Hugs,
Jenny, John, Cassi, Daisy, Bailey, Emma and Sammy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flower Sugar

Everyone....this is Flower Sugar. Flower Sugar.....I'd like to introduce you to everyone!

Huge boxes from Japan arrived last week full of these gorgeous fabrics by Lecien. Unfortunately, at the time I was still too sick to open them so they just sat there....and sat there.....and sat there. I was staring at them and they were staring right back at me. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and dragged myself off the sofa to dig into those boxes full of fabric that were calling my name! It was love at first sight!!! Oh Flower Sugar.....where have you been my whole life???
Each bolt I pulled out seemed to be prettier than the last. But I'm really, really, reallllllyyyyy fond of the Polka Dot Roses in Green.....
And Polka Dot Roses in Pink. You know I love anything pink!!!
And as I was cutting the Fat Quarter Bundles my mind kept wandering away.....In my mind this is the story of these fabrics.....I've just walked into a beautiful seaside cottage that I'm renting for the summer and it has white beadboard walls, wood floors and French doors opening out onto a huge porch overlooking the ocean. There's a pitcher of pink lemonade and seashells on the table and a beautiful vintage quilt made with these fabrics is draped over the sofa. And I think I should be wearing a sundress made with one of the Polka Dot Rose fabrics that I love so much, right? Are you still with me? Or has my mind wandered too far yet again???
Anyway.....back to reality now. The most important point I'm trying to make here is that we now have the entire Flower Sugar Collection in the shop! I hope you love it! And I hope it makes your mind wander to a happy place too!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cocoa, Canines and Cookies

So how's your Christmas prep coming along? I'm so happy to say that I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping, Christmas cards and all that other anxiety inducing prep work! And because I'm really trying to simplify my life this year I decided I was going to cut back on the massive amounts of homemade Christmas cookies that I normally make to give as gifts and try to do something a little different: Hot cocoa mixes in pretty jars.
After much taste-testing (it was a rough job but somebodies gotta do it) and recipe tweaking I finally found what I consider to be the perfect cocoa mix. Here it is:

-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 cup powdered milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
-1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

You layer all of the ingredients in a pretty jar, tie it with a bow and attach a tag with the directions.
This recipe was supposed to fit in a 1 quart jar but for some reason it wouldn't fit in the 1 quart jars that I bought. I'm reallllyyyyy glad I did a test jar before I started my assembly line of cocoa jars! I would have had a major cocoa-tastrophe if I hadn't tested things first! So, for the remaining jars I just reduced the amount of each ingredient a little bit but kept the proportions the same. For my jars, I had to remove 1 tablespoon for each 1/2 cup of ingredient in the mix.

I downloaded some cute, free tags here, printed them on cardstock and wrote "Classic Hot Cocoa Mix" on the front and the directions on the back:
-Mix contents together in large bowl
-For each serving place 1/4 cup of mix and 1 cup water in saucepan and whisk together
-Heat over med-high heat for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally
-Store remaining mix in jar
You can also make this in the microwave. You just have to stir 1/4 cup mix and 1 cup water together in a mug. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir well, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir for another minute after microwaving. It takes a while for all those mini chocolate chips to melt!

I DO NOT recommend placing the mix in a mug and pouring hot water into the mug. It turned out pretty gross and chunky when I tried it that way. It's definitely better when the mix and water are combined before heating.
And voila! I now have a bunch of adorable, semi-homemade gifts to give out. But a few warnings if you're going to attempt to do will most likely get COVERED in cocoa powder as you make these! That stuff was not agreeable about going into the jars and I had to "funnel" it in using a baggie with a corner snipped off. And if you have a Golden Retriever, please lock him/her up while you make this. Otherwise you will be pulling marshmallows out of their fur for DAYS!

And now it's time to start making some sugar cookies. I said I was cutting back on the cookie making.....not eliminating it. I haven't gone completely mad! A girls gotta have some homemade Christmas cookies every year!

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Staycation, Sinuses and Sewing

Hey there! How've you been? I've been up, down and all around......First, I had my Staycation which was AMAZING! It was absolutely heavenly to take a few days to relax, recharge my brain and just veg-out. The only rule was to do whatever I felt like doing at that moment. And eat lots of wonderful food. On my first night of Staycation I made a new dish which I'll call "Lobster a la Jenny." It was lobster tail on sushi rice with spinach and beurre blanc sauce. Mmmmm.....
And then my afternoon snack on most days of the Staycation looked like this......
Fancy cheeses with a drizzle of honey and a glass of champagne. And while we're on the subject of champagne, I want to thank whoever started putting wine and champagne in those little single serving bottles. It's pure genius!

And I had to make one of my all time favorite dinners for my last night of Staycation.....The Cowboy Roll. It's a sushi roll made with Filet Mignon (which I cooked first of course!), avocado and that slightly spicy Japanese sauce that you make by mixing mayo with sriracha until it tastes right to you....
And I actually finished piecing the quilt top for the Living Room Quilt....
If you've been following along you know I started making this very simple quilt about 6 months ago....and it's still not done! I'm great at starting projects.....but finishing them is another matter entirely!

And after a few days of "catch up" work after the Staycation I came down with a wicked, evil, mean and nasty sinus infection/flu type thing. It's now 10 days later and I'm just starting to feel normal again. Whew. Being sick is no fun! I'm actually looking forward to doing laundry, ironing and dishes simply because I feel good enough to get off the sofa!

I hope you're having a healthy and happy holiday season so far! Be back soon....

Happy Sewing,

P.S. I have a confession to make.....I may have started watching The Vampire Diaries on NetFlix while I was sick. I may have spent a few days watching it I may be having strange dreams involving vampires these days. Do you think less of me now? If you do, just pretend I didn't say that. I actually meant to say that I was watching a Masterpiece Theater marathon, o.k.?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Giveaway - Pam Kitty Morning

We Have A Winner!
The winner is Digital Michelle who said "My mother won a sewing contest when I was 8ish. The White Mini Roses reminds me so much of the fabric she used to make the matching dresses for my younger sister and I. The Blue Floral makes me drool. Thanks for this giveaway! :)" Congratulations Michelle. Please send me an e-mail so I can send your Fat Quarter Bundle to you!
Happy December! This month we're giving away a super, duper adorable Pam Kitty Morning Fat Quarter Bundle. I'm absolutely in love with this collection and can't wait to grab some for myself and start sewing. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. I'd love to hear what you'd like to make with it or which one is your favorite print from the collection. Please leave your comment by December 31, 2011. We'll pick a winner on January 1, 2012.....well.....let's just say I'll pick the winner on January 2 to be safe!

And if you're wondering.....I have two favorite prints from this collection. I can't get enough of the Pink Bouquets.....
And the Blue Big Dots make me smile....
And I think I'd like to make either a Bitsy Button & Friends Quilt....
Or a State Fair Quilt.....
Or how cute would this fabric be in the Hooterville Quilt. I haven't even finished the Hooterville Quilt I'm working on right now and I already want to make another. But Pam Kitty Morning + Hooterville = Too Cute For Words!!!
And if you're wondering about last months Love It or Leave It here are the collections that came out on top.....
-Apple Of My Eye by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Fabrics
-Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics
-California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics
-Sweet Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics
-Sunny Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics

Thanks to everyone who left a vote/comment on the Love It or Leave It and good luck to everyone who's entering this month's Giveaway!

Happy Sewing,