Friday, April 25, 2014

Look what I got in the Royal Mail...........

A little while ago, I was the fortunate winner of a drawing held by Helen Philipps 
I was ecstatic!  If you are familiar with her work you already know how talented she is and an artist at heart.  She has written books on cross stitch and quilting projects and is regularly published in Cross Stitch magazine.  So, now you see why I was so excited and still am!  I was afraid it had gotten lost in the mail and so was Helen but it arrived today!  Okay, I'll show you first and then write my heartfelt thank you to Helen.
First, look at how sweetly wrapped they are.  She has magic in her fingers as everything she touches turns into something beautiful.
 Gingham tissue paper...where can I get some?  If we can import cars and all sorts of mundane stuff why can't we get "the pretties"?  And sweet little flower stickers and washi tape.....
 Are you ready?  Oh my is all so infinitely precious........ can you believe it?  I mean really?
I was jumping with Joy except she wasn't even here! (Joy, that!)
Helen made the the little pink flowered bird and the heart and then sent me some cute polka dot ribbon from Cath Kidston and a little sewing kit from CK also.  Check them out.....

I told you she was talented!
And then some gorgeous Springtime fabrics.......
I am "over the moon" with all of it and my photos are on "cuteness overload"! 
  I have been trying to make Friday nights a creative evening with no television which isn't hard because there is nothing on t.v. on Friday nights and I seriously want to create something every day but we'll see.  I also need to clean everyday, landscape everyday, cook every day and organize everyday! But tonight I am definitely going to get out Helen's books and grab that fabric and sewing kit and C R E A T E !

Dear Helen,
    I cannot thank you enough for the lovely and beautiful items you included in your drawing.  They are very special to me especially the bird and the heart that you made yourself.  I will always treasure them.  You made my day, my week and I think the year so far!  If I sleep with the heart and bird under my pillow do you think maybe just a teensy bit of your talent might rub off on me?  You are such a lovely lady and not only hugely talented but with an extremely generous heart also!

Keep an "eye on the sky" this weekend as severe weather is expected Sunday and Monday and maybe even Tuesday across the middle of the U.S.  Happy Trails! 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lemon bar recipe and more.......

I made some whole wheat bread yesterday and then discovered it doesn't rise like white flour so I will adjust my recipe next time
I figured out how to knit "inside-out" and "inside right" thanks to some Ravelry friends and switch between the 2 without any damage....Woo Hoo!
I'm walking daily again and lo and behold I'm in better shape than the girls!  Nitty and Annie are just wiped when we get back and start slowing down and panting.  But then again, while I've been working around the house they've just been cat napping all winter so I guess it's to be expected.  They're "floor potatoes". 
This tree was just glowing in the actually looked like someone had strung lights on it

It was the bright green buds with the sun hitting them....Mother Nature's way of  decorating for Spring
Some other trees/bushes have blossomed and smell so good.....I'm not sure what this is but maybe a spirea?  Does anyone know?  Connie, you're the plant be the judge.
Lots of other Spring flowers are popping up too....these are all wild in the woods.

We have lots of moss here too which I love and it is coming back to life.....
this is just one type
i had to put in a dogwood picture as they won't be here forever and they are just filling up the woods with their white light.......
Here's the recipe for the lemon bars from Mary Emmerling's American Country Cooking cookbook from back when I was a young mother...sometimes it seems like yesterday and other times it seems like that must have been someone else's life.  Enjoy!

Tart Lemon Squares (Carol Bade from the Texas Hill Country)

6 tablespoons or 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3 T is for later) all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
grated rind of 1/2 a lemon
confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a  food processor or with an electric mixer, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup of the flour.
Gently pat the dough into a 9-inch square baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix together the granulated sugar and the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour and add them to the eggs.  Stir in the lemon juice and lemon rind.
When the crust has baked for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and pour the lemon mixture on top.  Bake for 15 or 20 minutes, or until the mixture appears firm. 
Remove the pan to a wire rack and dust lightly while still hot with confectioners' sugar.  Use a spatula to loosen the edges from the sides of the  pan and allow to cool to room temperature.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and serve.   Makes 3 dozen.

Okay, Carol might have been drinking when she gave that recipe to Mary because first of all 1 1/2 inches is more like the size of a piece of candy.....I get 9 bars and sometimes go back for a second one.  Also, I always doubled this recipe because I had a big family and I used a 9 inch by 13 inch pan and that worked but for some reason the 9 inch pan makes the lemon filling a little sparse, I think.   I'm doubling the filling next time so I can have as much "lemony goodness" as possible...I'm just sayin'.  Try it and see what you is the most requested dessert of my family when they come to visit and even when they don't. LOL! 

Happy Trails!

Monday, April 21, 2014

YOP Monday

I's supposed to be YOP Sunday but I am behind per usual...and after my "too many pictures blog" on Friday, I am keeping this short and sweet.  Aren't you glad?

 The sock is coming along but that is the inside of it.  I don't remember this from before but that's because I made the cuff and then the body of the sock on circulars?  It looks good inside but one of my big mistakes last time was that I casually turned it so it was right side out and that is how I messed up because naturally then my knit stitches were backwards.......knitting is so much like life, you are constantly learning.  Some of the biggest lessons come when you actually think you know what you're doing.

 I was trying to take a picture of another project but Grace was just sure I was there to take her I did.
This is a new wash cloth pattern which I need to measure and it has an edging that needs to go around it.  I'm not sure what this stitch is called but I really like it.  I have a printed off pattern but I'll see if I can find it on Ravelry. 
Easter here was quiet and gorgeous but I changed sheets, did laundry and ironed and took calls from the family which was nice.  I fixed ham salad and some lemon bars........
An old favorite cookbook I've had since my children were small and I still love it.  The lemon bar recipe comes from this cookbook. 
And what a nice Easter surprise........I got hands and nose on some lilacs which I adore.
I hope you all had a nice Easter and Passover.  
Happy Trails!