Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lambing in Montana

My dear friend LaVonne is struggling with her lambing season in Montana. She has lost three little ones and it's still snowing there. My heart just hurts for her. I'm praying that God will help her get through this soon! It's the only way I can help my friend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Teacup Thursday #6

I love Chintz-fabric and china. I took a small class once at a tea shoppe but really don't know a great deal about it. This is one of my very favorite teacups and it's just so like spring, I thought it was time to feature it for Miss Spenser's Teacup Thursday. It's by Hammersley and Company. I was doing a bit of research but couldn't find the name of the pattern. I know you ladies are so knowledgeable so any idea? It was interesting to read the progression of the company.
The little cream and sugar was an Easter gift from my husband last weekend. It's a James Kent and I know it's the Du Barry pattern. Isn't it the sweetest little set? I have a bit of Chintz, but it just got so spendy, I had to stop collecting it.
I woke up early this morning so I may have to take a nap so I can get up at 1 am PDT to watch the royal wedding.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday-midweek aready.

Here it is Wednesday already. I've been working on my upcoming quilt retreat. This one is at our new hotel in Washougal, so I'm a bit nervous. We have a nice group of ladies who I know will be understanding as we work our way through the weekend. I'll be working Mother's Day Weekend May 6-May 8th. We like to have a theme, so Busy Bees it is. Such a fun subject to work up little pampering gifts. I don't think any of the ladies coming look at my blog, so I can post some pictures of my work.We give each lady a pincushion at each retreat~it's become our signature gift. I glued little bee buttons onto quilting pins so the bee hives would have some bees!
I went to lunch with my dear friend Lynda today. We are meeting once a month for chatting and we are doing a bible study and reading a book together. We've known each other for many years, so this is just a pleasure and a blessing. I needed to be sharing a study with someone.
Jim is off fishing with his friend today at the Deschutes so he will be home late tonight.
I need to do a bit of bookwork for the retreat but think I'll go to bed early.
April is almost over. I'll have to review my list from the New Year to see what my focus will be this month for my year of JOY.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Woke up way before sunrise and was remembering when I was young and my mom and I would get up very early and go to the Easter Sunrise church service. Special memories
Here's a picture of some more treats I was given for Easter. My dear friend Nancy gave me a gardener's basket filled with gardening tools, an azalea and seeds. Kristen sent a bunny Pez and flower. My friend Sha sent a wonderful book all about tulips (sadly, I didn't get it into my picture) and LaVonne sent the most adorable felted chick in an ceramic egg. It's just the cutest cutest cutest thing! I love it. Thank you to my dear friends. I am so blessed to have such kind friends.
Jim and I went out to eat at Edgefield for dinner. It's the first time I haven't cooked an Easter dinner and it felt a bit odd, but it was so delicious and we actually had a great time together. Hummm....I might even learn to like this! A very pleasant day.
Happy Easter to you and yours.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

A day to be still and reflect~
Romans 5:8
"But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blarney Stones or Easter Cakes...

Every Easter our family makes Blarney Stones for Easter. A Blarney Stone is actually a cupcake that's frosted all around with icing and then rolled in coconut or chopped pecans. My grandmother Smith used to make green ones for St. Patrick's Day. She would bake a sheet cake and cut it up into squares. It was difficult to handle so my mom decided to bake cupcakes and we iced them with pastel icing for Easter. They look like Easter eggs actually.
Here's some pictures of the process. It's messy and takes some time to frost the cupcake on all sides, but they are worth the effort. I've make them in mini muffin pans for showers and they're really sweet. We originally used walnuts but now I like pecans better.
A lady who worked for us at one of our drug stores was from Australia. She told me that she made them with white frosting and coconut and called them Lambingtons.
I have to leave them uncovered for about 12 hours as they need to "dry" a bit. Here's the other funny thing...they have to be stored in individual little plastic baggies, the type that fold over so the air can get in a bit. NO Ziploc baggies!
Time for tea and a Blarney Stone? Yum.

Teacup Thursday #5

Most of my teacups are decorated in spring colors and flowers, so it's difficult to decide which one to share at this time of the year. I love pansies and since I made a pansy pillow at my retreat, I chose my pansy cup and saucer. I think I picked this one up years ago at a thrift store.
I made the pillow out of a vintage pansy doily and I am pleased with the results.
The cup is stamped Royal Standard on the bottom.
The sweet little bunny was part of my Tasha Tudor Easter exchange gift and just hopped right into the cup!
The lovely pink doily was an Easter gift made by another Tasha friend-Janice. I love the color.
I missed Miss Spenser's Teacup Thursday last week so I am anxious to see what everyone has to share this week.
I think spring has finally found it's way to Oregon, however, it seems that everything is about three weeks behind. We have a tulip festival about 30 miles from my home and I just read that they are extending it until Mother's Day. Usually, they are pretty much done by now.
I am wishing everyone a very blessed Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Handmade exchange

In January I agreed to make a handmade items for 5 people who signed up on my Facebook Page. I agreed to make an item sometime before the end of the year.You must then open it up to your friends and in turn, make five items for 5 more people.
My sister Alisa is on my list, so I decided to make her this cute bunny penny mat. I made one for myself a few years ago. I hope she doesn't peek at my blog-she's been pretty busy lately, so I don't think she's been following me.
I used a combination of regular felt and wool felt. I love wool felt, but didn't have all the colors I needed and I'm really trying to use up what I have this year. I cut out all the pieces and was able to get it done watching movies last night. Of course, I stayed up really late. I really enjoy handwork~especially embroidery work.
I'm boiling eggs now to dye. Jim has to have his deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches this Easter season! I wish I lived closer to LaVonne so I could enjoy her farm fresh eggs. Tomorrow I will be baking so I can make a family Easter tradition....Blarney Stones. I'll have to explain that one!There's not enough days left in this week to squeeze all my blog posts in!
Tomorrow is Teacup Thursday, so I need to decide which one to feature this week.
I never got all of my Easter decorations up this year. Our daughters won't be home for the first time ever and it just doesn't quite feel like Easter. I need to remember the real meaning of this week and focus on the remaining days of Holy Week.
The weather has been a bit better. I enjoyed working outside yesterday and made some progress with the flower beds. It froze again last night, so it's just not quite time to plant yet. I have to make myself wait for May. I just hope this May is warmer and dryer than last year. The weather man isn't too encouraging with his long range forecast. Hummm....I guess I'll just hope for the best.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tasha Tudor Easter Exchange!

While I was on my retreat, a very sweet package arrived from my Tasha friend Melinda who lives in Vermont.She had my name for the exchange we did this spring. She sent me a darling ornament and a handmade Peter Rabbit ornament...lovely.
Well, yesterday, the postman delivered another package from her and oh my! I now have my own Easter basket with my name on it. It was filled with yummy treats, a little wall hanging, a little white bunny, a charming packet of fairy seeds, but best of all, tiny treats for Annabelle from Annabelle of VT. Melinda is a true miniaturist and I am always amazed at the fine detail she uses when she creates such tiny treasures.
How do you really say thank you for such thoughtful gifts?
I recently have been given so many gifts from friends...that's so fun, is it not?
Anyway, thank you, thank you sweet Melinda. I miss you and hope to see you sometime in 2012.
These exchanges make me miss all of my Tasha friends.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Home again....

I'm home again and trying to get back to normal. It was a very fun quilting retreat and I had a great time. I was able to finish up several projects, worked on some Easter gifts and Lisa and I really started our "retreat quilt" which we are enjoying working on little by little at each retreat. We are going slowly and are being very careful. I am hoping it will be worthy of quilting when I get done. The next stage has some applique work, so Lisa will be teaching me some hand applique.
I met a new quilter-Nancy-who lives fairly close to me, so we must have coffee soon. Our apartment gang enjoyed staying up late and waking up late. We enjoyed our talks over drinks at night and coffee in the morning. I think the five of us did well as roommates!
Melissa came to visit with her new little two month old baby-the only boy allowed. Of course, we all mothered him to death.
On Wednesday, I took Lisa, Debra and Nancy up to Tillamook for a trip to Jane's Quilt shop and a quick visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was the only day we had a break from the terrible rain and wind.Road trip!!!!
A wonderful bunny magically appeared at my workspace! I finally figured out that Gloria was the guilty one. I love my bunny.
Roberta gifted me with a lovely little night light for my tea room.
I hope to finish up my bunny quilt this season. All those bunnies need a face and some embellishments!
Thanks to all who made my trip so special. I'm glad to be home, but what a grand time!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Off to the quilting retreat

I'm leaving tomorrow for the Oregon coast for a quilting retreat, so will have to leave my blog behind for a few days.
I have lots of projects ready to go and I hope I get some UFO's finished.
I'll have to miss Teacup Thursday this week too.
See ya on Friday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Teacup Thursday #4

I'm still hoping for spring and the weatherman just doesn't want to join in! So cold and wet again. I picked a soft pink floral cup for Miss Spenser's Teacup Thursday. My pictures aren't the best but the name on the cup is Salisbury. I don't remember when I got this teacup but I really like it. I love pink. Joining this group has given me a new appreciation for the cup and saucers I have collected over the years. I like this little book with the bunnies having tea. My friend in Vermont has a little bunny named Flora. Her kind friend gave it to her when her father passed away recently and they have become very good pals. We had rabbits when our daughters were little. My husband "rented" a bunny one Easter from the pet shoppe next to our pharmacy. Well, of course the girls fell in love with Honey Bunny and I was at the shoppe that Monday morning buying the bunny and all the supplies. He was the best bunny ever.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Finished project-now on to quilting!!

Spent most of yesterday finishing up my Easter exchange projects and today I will be moving on to my quilt retreat prep work. Hummmmm....UFO's or a new project? My friend Lisa from California called this morning and we chatted about a project we are going to work on together this year. Of course, the fabric is still in the bag at both homes, so I guess it's time to tackle that.
Off to the post office.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mr. Bunny

Isn't he cute? He's a hand puppet I found a few weeks ago at a sale. The lady said he was made in Poland. I just love him. He looks like he has a secret...what could it be?
The sun is trying to escape the clouds! Wouldn't that be nice! Jim is still sick, so I plan to continue to do some crafting. I will be going to the Oregon coast next week for a quilt retreat. I have fabric to cut and projects to get ready. It would be grand to get that done before the last minute. I'm really enjoying the new bloggers I have found through Miss Spenser's blog.Bloggers are so encouraging and just fun to share the little things in life that make me happy......another JOY and another BLESSING!"Bee happy" (you can find her on my list of favorite blogs) is having a darling give away. I love her blog~anything with bees is like honey-right?

Monday, April 4, 2011

JOY in the month of April

I was looking through my posts for January and saw that I'm looking for JOY this month with my crafting! Well, how can one be sad with the rain and lack of garden time if time is spent on crafting? I need to finish up my Tasha Tudor exchange goodies for Robin. Actually, I'm done with that, but like to remember my other friends with little treats. Most of us have an Easter Egg tree as Tasha Tudor had, so it's very fun to come up with an ornament for my friends to add to their tree. We started out mailing to all on the group, but it was too much for most of our members, so now we do a one on one exchange. I have a tree that only holds my Tasha ornaments and it's so fun to pull them out every year-good memories. Of course, Annabelle has to have an Easter tree too. Annabelle of MT sent her one a few years back.
So,I got out all my supplies and started working on my little remembrances for this year. Clarice at Storybook Woods actually came up with a very similar idea and posted a tutorial on her blog.
Here's some pix of the start of my JOYFUL crafting. I hope to finish them up today so I can get them posted soon.
Yes, it's another wet spring day and Jim is still sick.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I once was lost, but now I'm found...

I'm borrowing from one of my favorite hymns good old Brown Betty teapot was lost for a few years. I've been sorting through tubs and tubs of things and it's amazing how much I have found! It's like treasure hunting.
I also found this little wooden bunny. She sits on a egg with her skirt. I was just given the little boy and knew I had a mama bunny somewhere! The have carved heads and little hands. I don't know anything about them or where they come from. Maybe someone will share some information with me.
I have a busy week ahead.