Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
First, I must tell you about this cute little bag that I received in the mail. It's a gift from Pat at ArtfullyOoglebloops. She was having a little giveaway recently and anyone who signed up to be a follower got a chance in the drawing for this little tea filled gift tote. I couldn't believe it when she e-mailed me that I had won!! The tote was filled with her own tea blends, a little charm and the darling little teapot tea strainer! And then she made a little pincushion that I can add to my collection. I am saving the tea for later on this fall when I'll be having some friends over and we can sample it together. Thank you so much, Pat!!
Another tea-themed package arrived in the mail one day last week when I was totally in the grasp of the flu. It really cheered my up because it was unexpected and held many surprises. The package came from my Aunt Loretta and it contained a cookbook and the letters and photos you see below..........
The cookbook - titled "Economy in Cooking" - belonged to my Grandma Goldie (mother to my Aunt Loretta. Written inside are the lines "give to Loretta when I'm gone". My grandma passed away in 1994 and so the book went to Loretta. But now Loretta is selling her home and down-sizing and she decided it was time to pass the cookbook on to the next family member who will care for it........me. You can see why this really cheered me up. I didn't know the cookbook was "out there" and that it came to me was a real treasure, a real gift! Written on the inside cover of the cookbook is a cookie recipe for "Sultanas" and it says it was a favorite of Loretta's. I thought about making some today but I did not have the right raisins for the job. I need the golden ones and the grocery store downtown only had regular raisins. There were letters (one is written on birchbark!), recipes, newspaper clippings and photos in the package, too. In the photos on the lower right, you can find my Grandma in the center (3rd one from the left) and the photos on the left are pictures of me at Christmas when I was about 3 years old. I am so glad that Loretta passed this on to me so that I can care for it and then pass it on, too. :-)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Yesterday, August 25th, was my mother's birthday ( go here to see her picture). We will celebrate the next time I go home to visit in a month or so. In the meantime, I thought I would bake up one of the things that we (my brother, sister and I) would request as a treat for our birthdays. While her chocolate mayonnaise cake was delicious, for me and my brother, nothing could beat her CHOCOLATE GOOP!! Yes, I know it doesn't sound very elegant but the taste is rich, chocolaty and scrumptious!! It was a recipe from a 1950's cookbook and was called Butter Crunch Crust but we always called it Chocolate Goop. I have no memory of how it got that name. I only remember the taste. ;-)
I haven't made this in several years because when I make it, I generally eat the whole thing. That's not good as it makes a 9 x 13" pan of Goop. But today was Tea Time so I wanted a special treat. Plus, I need a dessert for our crazy quilting meeting tomorrow night so unless I get totally out-of-hand with my Goop cravings, there should be plenty left for tomorrow night!!
This afternoon, I sat down with a good-sized portion and my favorite cup of tea. I added a good book and some fabric for inspiration. What could be better? Hmmm, another slice of Goop!! Hee hee!! Seriously, though, there is nothing quite so good as a favorite piece of pie or cake or a cookie that recalls good times and good folks!!
Speaking of good times and good folks, you will find that in the book you see in the photo. My friend Arlis gave me the book "Aprons on the Line" for my birthday and it is a lovely story of an elderly lady named Virginia who learns to see life anew after a stroke. I highly recommend it. And interestingly, author Traci DePree is a Minnesotan and has other titles that are just as good. Be sure to check it out at your local library.
There's one final charming item in this photo and it's that pack of fabrics, Charm squares by Moda. Instead of a project this month I thought I would offer up a little prize. Several weeks ago, I bought two of these packs at Firefly Quilt Shop and I'm keeping one for me and the other one................will be won by one of you reading this post. Summer's coming to an end and I thought "why not give away a sort-of Last Rose of Summer" and that's what this fabric represents. All you have to do to win is leave your name (make sure your comment links back to your e-mail address or include it in your comment) and tell me what your favorite cup of tea is. And if you want more than one chance to win, then tell me what my favorite tea is and you'll get your name in the drawing twice! Comments must be left on this post and a winner will be announced on Friday at 6:00 p.m. August 28th.
Edit: It's Friday night and my husband has drawn the lucky winner........and it is.........Anett!! Congrats, Anett and thank you all for joining me for tea!
And in case you haven't heard enough about Goop, then read on.........because, you see, when my kids were small, we had this old book and in it was this poem..........
The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops, they lick their knives,
They spill their broth on the tablecloth,
Oh!, they lead disgusting lives!
Well, that poem is 100 years old and if you want to learn more about the poem, it's author, minding your manners and more, then check out TheGOOPS. I think you'll enjoy the visit. :-)
Now would you like the recipe for Chocolate Goop............here it is..................
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Let it cool a bit and then chop it up with a spoon and fill one cup of mixture in a measuring cup. You will use this mixture for top of pudding.
Next step is to press the crust back down in the pan and pour in the pudding.
Spread the pudding across the entire crust, then with your hands, sprinkle the cup of crust crumbs over the top of the pudding mixture.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
one, is that I am reading that lovely book that my friend, Barb gave me titled "Time for Tea - Tea and Conversation with Thirteen English Women" - and I love it! It's such a relaxing "read" and it makes me wish I was in England. If you go to my stitchingblog you will see Barb and how she delivered this lovely little gift. :-)
Now, the very best cup of tea I ever had was in a little tea garden in the English countryside. I was a lucky girl. My husband's job took him overseas a great deal and as airline miles accumulated, I would get to go along about once a year. I have some lovely photos that I should share of those trips. That means unpacking photo boxes so it could be winter before I get anything posted. That will give you something to look forward to.
Second thing, is that I have had a link on my sidebar to "TheTeaGuy" ever since I started this blog. There are wonderful links there to other tea sites, too, and many things to check out while you are also sitting down with a favorite cup of tea. But what I really enjoyed over at the "TheTeaGuy" this morning was the videos he shares. I do not recall ever hearing Paul McCartney and the English Tea song. It was too cute! Check it out!
Now it's time to get back to relaxing with my morning "cuppa". Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend wherever you are!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I went to the doctor early this morning and he was amazed at how well I was doing. And he was right as I am doing really well considering where I was a few days ago. But long story short, and if you want the details go here, I will be going for a cortisone shot next week and perhaps that really will give me complete relief from pain.
Actually, I was feeling almost no pain at all about 4:00 this afternoon when I took to the front porch and my favorite plastic lawn chair. Instead of hot tea, I chose iced tea today and I enjoyed it with cookies, not the "Chocolate Goop" that I promised. I'll share that concoction in August when I am sure I will be doing a lot better.
That cheap plastic lawn chair is so comfortable that I have thought of bringing it into the house! Instead, since it was a beautiful summer day, although pretty windy, I gathered up my basket of sewing, a glass of cold iced tea and some strawberries and a couple of cookies. They were yummy. The local grocery store carries this macaroon sandwich cookie that is really good and I dressed it up a bit like this.................
There was no leftover vanilla frosting in the fridge, so I opened a new container and put some in a bowl, warmed it up and drizzled it across the cookies. Let set until frosting hardens. Wash the strawberries while you wait. :-)
Soak up the sun while you enjoy the iced tea and every last bite of the cookies and strawberries!
This idea came to me pre-pain and so a few weeks ago, I picked up (yes, I paid for them) several dishtowels at the Dollar Tree store.
I realize that I missed taking a photo or two that might have made this easier to explain. I stitched this up yesterday and did it in a hurry while I was feeling good. Took me less than an hour to do. I want a pretty towel for each season or holiday so I will be sure to post what I do with the rest of those towels. :-)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Pleasant memories of how much fun it was to play in the rain and then follow that with making mud pies and it didn't get any better. Because we lived in a river town, there was one particular spot on our sidewalk where the soft silt collected and I remember how fun it was to feel the mud between your toes. And I remember little pans filled with mud pies that dried in the sun. I'm sure my mother did the same thing as a child and I know my kids did. With those thoughts in mind, I sketched this design a few years ago. It is, of course, reminiscent of Sunbonnet designs but I drew the sketch thinking of my daughter and her kindergarten friend. It's an 8 1/2" by 11" design and I have shown it in three needlework examples..........
First there is Redwork and I loved it when I finished it in Redwork on muslin.
And then I combined embroidery and colored pencils on muslin and I really like this one. To get the pattern, you can copy the Redwork design to your computer and then print it out. I will be posting the PDF file for this to my Seasons Yahoo Group later on this week.
And now it's time to fix a cup of tea. Back soon.....
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I scanned the framed photo with my samples so you can clearly see the colors and designs.
I am a daughter, my mother is Mary and as most of you know she taught me to sew and only last week we were sharing quilt talk. I am sister to Judy and to my brother, Doug. And I am mother to daughter, Collette, and son, Devlin, and I am also grandma to grandson, Jacob. :-)
I liked being a mother. That sounds silly because I am still a mother, it's just my kids are grown and on their own now. My Grandma Goldie reminded me when she was 88 and my dad was in the hospital and she was so worried about him, that you are always a mother if you have kids because you are always worried about them if you don't know they are doing well. My kids are doing well and I am fortunate that they both live within an hour of me. Thinking back to the years when they were young, I didn't have to think very hard to know that one of their favorite cookies that I would bake was chocolate chip cookies. It is still one of their favorites and mine. :-)
When my son was about ten, he was playing with a labelmaker and he typed out the phrase you see in the photo......."Mom is the best cook". I think it was because I was a good cookie baker. :-) I put that label sticker in my recipe box and have kept it there all these years.
When my daughter was little and I would bake cookies, she and her friends would start singing that chocolate chip cookie song........"Chocolate chip cookies gotta have more.......you can bake 'em in the oven or buy them at the store", etc. She can still sing that song and if you want the words just go here......... TheChocolateChipCookieSong!
It became obvious that the cookie for today would be Chocolate Chip Cookies. My recipe is the one on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips package. It works everytime. I like it made with mini chips but also use regular ones and sometimes I add peanut butter ones, too. No mint ones for me, though. I am not a mint chocolate fan. I use real butter or Butter Flavor Crisco and always get good cookies. Here they are almost ready to take from the oven.
This is my mom's new oven and I was testing it for her when I visited last week. Plus my niece, Sue Ellen, helped me mix them as they were Grandpa's favorite cookie so we talked of him while we mixed and baked. My mom and I then took most of the cookies to the Care Center where my dad had been and residents really enjoyed the homemade cookies. I used disposable cookie sheets and noticed that each cookie came out perfectly round. Then when I baked the cookies at home and that you see in the picture below, I just used my real cookie sheets and the cookies are not so nice and round. That's okay as I eat chocolate chip cookies in any shape!
P.S. Look at the little gifties I found for my mother at a nearby gift shop. It is going out of business and I found everything but the fabric and it all made a perfect package to send off to my mother. Jean, if you're reading this, don't tell her what's coming. :-) That fabric corsage package will show up on my Stitches blog in a day or two as I bought one for me, too, and I'll tell you about the shop I found it at along with a lot more than the two fat quarters that I went in to buy!!! LOL!!!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I am sure many of you have made cupcakes and topped them with icing, then coconut and jelly beans so I don't need to take you through the steps for that recipe. Just in case, though, here are the steps to delicious Easter cupcakes. Start with your favorite cupcakes. I baked up a batch from Pillsbury's German Chocolate Cake mix (my mother, of course, did not use a mix and I will offer up her chocolate cake recipe for a post later this year) and then frosted them with Pillsbury's Chocolate Fudge frosting. I added green food coloring to Baker's coconut and mixed it up really well, then dipped the frosted cupcakes in the coconut mix (same way I did for my white Snowball cupcakes in January). Then I added old-fashioned jelly beans. Didn't want any fancy flavors or colors. I was going for great taste with a dash of 1950's memories tossed in!! I was not dissappointed!! Oh, they were yummy!! Just so you know, I did not eat the entire plate full of cupcakes. They are a treat for the Easter weekend. :-)
The tea I chose for today was a sample packet I had in the cupboard and I thought I would give it a try. It's Lipton's White Tea with Island Mango & Peach Flavors. Oh, did it smell delicious. But oh, it did not taste delicious. Sorry but it was a dissapointment. To my tastebuds, it seemed a bit tart and I like my tea more sweet. I think I am very happy with my Irish Breakfast tea or Earl Grey blends and will probably not stray again.
The cake is a plastic bunny that I covered in glue and then rolled in glitter to make it look like a coconut bunny. The little eggs are made from Fimo clay and if you click and enlarge the photos, you can see that I painted Happy Easter on the egg that is sitting on the table. The tiny basket is made from needlepoint canvas and the bunny is just made from pink pom-poms.
Or, you can do as I am in the photo above and cut out the basket, bunny and egg pieces and trace to cotton fabrics backed with fusible web and press to backing fabric. I am going to use some of the new threads that I received from TheGentleArt. I love the names of the threads. The brown thread that I will use for the chocolate bunny is appropriately titled "Dark Chocolate"! The lighter brown that I'll outline the basket with is called "Maple Syrup". Makes me think that since we live on Maple Ridge that perhaps there are some trees we should be tapping for syrup! The colors that I will use for the eggs are Butternut Squash, Blue Jay, Rhubarb, Grape Leaf and Punchberry. Most of them sound good enough to eat except that Blue Jay. I would think that pretty soon there will be a few Blue Jays in our backyard. This morning I could hear the Cardinals singing some spring love songs so little birdies are coming soon. :-) Even the black has a cool name - Black crow. There are always a lot of them around as there is a marsh area across the street and they love sit in the tall grasses out there. Instead of cotton fabrics, you could also do this piece in wool or woolfelt. Just get creative!! And if all you want to do is color the picture, that's all right to!! Print it out for the kids and keep them busy while you are cooking for the Easter weekend.
Here's a little update on previous projects..............the snowman couple are still in progress although the Tea Time heart stitchery is finished. I am almost finished stitching the Irish Blessing and now here I am starting this one!! I will probably finish both of them this weekend but the Snowman couple will continue to be a "work in progress". All of these designs could be placed in an 8 x 10 frame so I am on the look-out for a really cool frame where I could change out the design each month. I'll bet I'll find something at spring garage sales or the next thrift shop stop I make. LOL!!
Now it's time to post tea and goodies...........Yum!!!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I have a little surprise........ I hosted a giveaway and you didn't even know it. And here is the prize I prepared for one lucky person who has commented here on "Tea and Stitches". I gave you a clue at tea last week when I showed the little book "Tea and Friendship" and said I would draw a winner from those who had commented from January through March and that there might be just "a little bit of green fabric that will come along with it, too. " And here it is............
This little bear is bringing someone a cup filled with three lucky green fat quarters! I selected the tea cup from my box of favorite thrift shop finds and then cut the three fat quarters from my St. Pat's fabric stash. I tied a piece of vintage green ribbon about the little bear's neck and place him upon his very own little doily mat. He will be on his way to a lucky someone and who would that be................
Well, I printed out all the comments posted up to March 16 and I cut and tossed them into this little pincushion box (more on that in a minute). Then I drew out the name .......... and it was "Quilting Nana" (go here for her blog)!! Now she already knows she won because as soon as I drew her name, I e-mailed her that she was a winner. I decided to do a giveaway in this fashion because I wanted to show appreciation to those who leave comments and regularly stop by. I so appreciate your comments because they let me know if I should continue sharing my thoughts and projects. So right here and now, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who visit here (and my other blogs, too). I will be doing this again, but I won't announce when I'll be doing a giveaway. It'll just happen. And that's a special treat for all of you who stop by to read and comment. :-)
Now to that pincushion box. I was needing to do something totally creative to release some stress. I wanted a box to put the comments in because only the winner's name was removed and the rest of the names are there for the next time I do a giveaway. So I had this paper mache box that I had rubbed with walnut stain and thought........hmmmm.........and then I had this little teacup Christmas ornament that I used to hold my tape measure............and an idea was born. I took some woolfelt that I also colored with walnut stain (I have a whole pile of multicolored woolfelt that I have dyed with all sorts of stuff) and cut a circle, sewed a running stitch around the edge and then stuffed with polyfil. I secured the stitches with a knot and then left some thread that I could use for the string for the tea bag. I went to the Twinings website and printed out a page (actually two for a front and back) with Earl Grey tea on it. Then I cut little squares of it for the tea bag and glued a piece of fluff between the layers, then glued the "bag" to the little bit of thread for a tea bag. Then I added a dollop of glue to the bottom of the felt ball that simulates tea (and looks more like hot chocolate). I found a scrap doily and glued it to the box lid, the glued the tea cup to that and there it is.........a pincushion on top and a place for your comments inside the box!!
Congratulations to Kathleen of Quilting Nana and good luck to the rest of you whose names are in the box. And here's a little perk.........if you've commented more than once here on "Tea and Stitches", your name is in the box with each of your comments so your luck is doubled, tripled, etc. So may the "luck 'o the Irish be with ye" when I decide to host another surprise giveaway. :-)
Hope you all have a great St. Patrick's Day!!
A little stitching poem.........
For Bailey Anne . . . .
When this you see, think of me.
Sit down and have a cup of tea.
Then place your quilt upon your lap,
begin to stitch . . . no time to nap!
Stitch patiently and you will see . . .
how fine a quilter you can be!
©1999-2008 Sandra E. Andersen