Saturday, October 31, 2015

day is done . . .

Can you believe it?  The last day of October, already!!  October 31 marks the end of pumpkin month, but more importantly, it's All Hallow's Eve . . . and even MORE importantly, it's the birthday of one June Madelyn!!
Today she celebrated the big THREE!!  Sweet baby girl.  We had a fun time celebrating her birthday this morning!
I love those last two with the girls and their babies in the strollers.  Aren't they precious?!?

My stash report again remains unchanged . . .
Zippo in and zappo out! Week 44 . . . that means there are only EIGHT weeks to 2016.  What in the world?!?  

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!  I have one more pumpkin project up my sleeve.  A sweet little embroidery project I found on Martha Pullen's website.  She shares full blown instructions for creating a darling, lace-trimmed hand towel with a pumpkin stitchery . . .
Photo Credits:  Martha Pullen Company
Darling, non?  Of course, I wanted to use materials I had on hand, and that included neither the appropriate towel or lace.  So I settled for a pretty, autumn colored striped towel.  First thing I did was get the pumpkin template transfered to my towel:
For this project, I used my Aunt Martha's red transfer pencil and traced the template. A quick press with a hot iron and my design is boo-yoootiful!
I haven't finished this one, but I'm thinking this will make a nice little hostess gift for Thanksgiving dinner (which is being hosted by Jocelyn).  
After all, pumpkins work nicely through the end of November, right?!?  Plus, this will make for a fun day's slow stitching!

Okay, so that's it for me.  If  you're still up, don't forget you've got an extra hour to stitch tomorrow . . .  
Daylight savings time ends at 2:oo a.m.!!

Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Adios October!  Greetings, November!! Happy Sunday!!!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

stuffed pumpkin history . . .

Literally *and* figuratively!  I figured I'd done quite a number of crafty things featuring pumpkins to date, perhaps it was time to do a little baking/cooking.  So I did . . . not just one thing, but four!  Aren't we all lucky?!

First, I did a little research on the pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie is generally a favorite of mine, and one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats!  But seeing as how pie crust was not around during pre-colonial days, chances are pretty good that pumpkin pie was not on the menu.  At first, the early Pilgrim settlers turned their noses up at pumpkins, but as winter came on and they were hungry and dealing with scurvy, pumpkins started looking pretty good!  One dish they probably enjoyed (which later evolved into our pumpkin pie), was a custard type dish that was baked in a hollowed out pumpkin shell, then cooked in the cooking fire ashes!  I read about it here and here, and modified this set of instructions/recipe  and this recipe to come up with this . . .
Fun stuff!

Next up, I saw this recipe of Paula Deen's for Spice Caramel Corn.  But in my infinite wisdom (and quest to change every recipe/tutorial/set of instructions I come upon), I subbed out the cinnamon and added pumpkin pie spice instead . . .
May I just say YUMMY?!!

Then there were some sugar cookies.  No recipe, no link.  Just sugar cookies, frosted with orange tinted buttercream, sprinkled with autumn sugar sprinkles and topped with a candy corn stem . . .
And I had help!  Both in the making *and* the eating!
Sweet kiddos!

And finally, another favorite of the season.  No link or recipe, though.  Since I had to scoop out the pumpkin innards for the custard, I thought I might as well roast the pumpkin seeds!  I separate them from the 'mush' and rinse them thoroughly.
I then soak them in salted water (about 2 teaspoons per quart of water) for at least two hours.  After soaking, I pour off the water and pat them dry.  Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix well.  Lay them flat on a cookie sheet (rimmed, if possible) and bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crunchy!
I have a hard time allowing these to cool before grabbing a handful!!

In other news, my stash report for Week #42 is unchanged from last week. Not one iota.  Still holding strong at 19 yards net used.  I can't recall a time in my life since I started quilted when my purchase yardage was under 10.  Craziness!

And for my Slow Sunday Stitching, I thought I'd work on stitching together a few of my birthday chrysanthemums!
Although it seems kinda odd to have all these purples and blues in what's solidly an orange post!

Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts today. And at some point I'll enjoy a cup of pumpkin spiced tea . . . and some pumpkin-y treats, too!  


Sunday, October 18, 2015

little pumpkins everywhere . . .

So . . . even though this is only the third weekend in October, I believe this is actually Week 4 of the pumpkin fall festivities, seeing as how I shared the free pumpkin coloring page on the last weekend in September.  
Which, after spending several hours with assorted grandchildren, coloring, looks like this now:
I do love coloring . . . there's something intrinsically soothing and calming about it.  It makes my mind work better.  No, seriously!  ;)

Last week I gave a tiny little sneak peek of this week's craft . . .
So now it's time to give you full view:
Pumpkin Pins!  So darling!  Another very easy, super-fast little project to help get you in the pumpkin swing of things . . . found over at Wild Olive (another project found *for* me by my good friend (and Queen of Hexiecology) Sarah, over at sarah did it!).

You may notice that my little fellow is *slightly* different from the one at Wild Olive . . . I definitely desired a face on mine . . . but the back side, for post-Halloween wearing, is still quite festive (which means I didn't stitch a pin on the back)! 
Especially since I used fabric that *sparkles*!!  (Of course I did!)  And since I was already filling it with a little hexie-shaped batting, I did just the tiniest bit of quilting on it.  Because I can't leave well enough alone!! For the faces, instead of embroidery or teeny-tiny applique, I used my splendiferous gel pens. I free-handed the outlines and colored them in with black, then outlined them in orange (or yellow) to give them a little dimension.  
Overall, I'm very pleased with this little project . . . and they were so easy, we (my mom and I) were able to whip up enough for all the ladies to wear one this weekend!
Five little pumpkins sitting on a dash . . .
Today's slow-stitching involves non-pumpkin work . . . in fact, this Lucy POTC block is looking decidedly patriotic, instead!
I haven't quite decided the direction for next week's pumpkin focus, hence no sneaky peeky! 

And my stash report changed just enough to reflect all my hexie pumpkins (7, in all) and my stuffed pumpkin last week . . . 
For total usage of a fat quarter, which I'll take!

So I'll be linking up to Patchwork Times for the stash report (maybe), Kathy's Quilts for the Slow Sunday Stitching, *and* since both my pumpkin project *and* my hand-work for today involve English Paper Piecing, I'll be linking up with Sarah's HeLP for Hexie-aholics, too!!

Enjoy a peaceful, lovely Sunday!


Sunday, October 11, 2015

and this week . . .

It's the birthday pumpkin edition!  Yay!!  I've had a marvelous birthday weekend, so far, involving grandbabies, sleepovers, family, eating out, crafting, friends, touring Amish country, and Tate Farms, my favorite *pumpkin* place!!  
How can you worry about being a year older when all of these fun things are taking place?! It's been a totally 10/10 time! At Tate Farms, the favorite 'station' for all the grands was the corn crib. Oh. My. Goodness.  Even the littlest of the littles didn't want to get out! The big kids all wanted to be buried in it, though . . .
Sawyer wanted to try it first.
Ellie wanted to give it a go!
June's up for the challenge!
Olivia decided she'd lay on top of the corn!
Everley wanted to be on top too . . . on top of Ellie!!
It was such a fun afternoon -- I really do look forward to the Tate Farm visit most of all in the month of October -- each year the group enjoys it more and more!

Last week I gave a little pumpkin teaser about this week's pumpkin craft . . .
Are you ready for full disclosure?  Haha! 
It's a stuffed pumpkin, which is not really a 'new' idea -- not even to me (see this post) -- but I loved the look of these sweet little pumpkins crafted up by Martha Pullen Company, and went for a little re-creation!  I thought for sure I had a small spool of thread to top it off with (you know, from one of those little travel kits or something), but I didn't, so I settled for a cinnamon stick and the floral wire for twine.  I used a slip of wool with some embellishment for the little stem cap.  And of course the hand work I was doing in my sneak peek was the vine stitching on the pumpkin itself, which is a little hard to see!

For next week I'm already working on a cute and super fast and easy project . . .
Which is once again doubling up as my slow Sunday stitching!

My stash remains unchanged.  I used a little for the pumpkin, but not enough to justify a change! Maybe by next week?
I did get some darling *birthday chrysanthemums* in the mail from the gals in the Birthday Hexie Club!!  Just look at all this purple/teal gorgeousness -- there are 19 ladies in the club, so there are about 18 packets of chrysanthemums just waiting to be stitched!  
Well, 19, actually, because the darling blogger (Sarah, the Hexie Queen of sarah did it!) who so graciously allowed me to be a part of their local club, stitched up an extra set for me, *and* mailed them all, *and* sent along the darling green hexie napkins!!  I suppose I'll be doing some hand-stitching coming up soon with these (the chrysanthemums, not the hexie napkins)!  Ps...I didn't count the chrysanthemums in as stash because they came to me as "finished pieces".  

All righty then . . . I'm linking up today with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts. And I'm off to enjoy a post-birthday breakfast (which is pretty similar to my birthday breakfast, truth be told):

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, October 03, 2015

pumpkin month . . .

Y'all.  It's OCTOBER!  You know what that means for me, right? 




And even though October, for some crazy reason, thinks it's March (coming in like a lion, all blustery and wet), I've got my comfy slippers on and am perched with some favorite things . . . 
A TeaTime Magazine (LOL -- the Christmas special publication), a pot of pumpkin spice tea, and a fire in the fireplace!  And I'm all full of Roll Tide Roll happiness, too.  What more could a girl ask for?!

A pumpkin craft, that's what!

I thought it would be fun to share a pumpkin craft that I'm working on each weekend.  Last week I shared a pumpkin coloring page so you could get your adult coloring on.  This week I thought I'd share darling twine pumpkins created from a tutorial my sister found by Simply Sarah, from several years ago.
Aren't they precious?! You may note that one of mine is not made of twine. That is because I had a hard time finding colored twine that I felt was pumpkin-suitable.  I found this roll wandering the aisles at Michael's:
But I like variety (spice of life and all), so I went and wandered in the yarns to see if I could find anything.  I had a skein picked out when I stumbled across this pretty little autumnal-looking skein:
And so I ventured to give it a go.  It was definitely not as stiff as the twine, but I think it worked out fairly nicely.  In retrospect, I could have been heavier handed with the glue on the yarn one.  And been a bit more patient with the drying process, for both of them! When she says in the tutorial that you need to let the twine (or yarn, ahem, as the case may be) DRY COMPLETELY.  Ah well, hindsight it 20/20, right?

Also, being the instruction rebel that I am, I used clear glue instead of white glue.
And I used floral wire to curl (around the end of a meat thermometer) to give me the curly cue vines.
Overall I'm pleased with them and they now occupy a place of honor in my "Ode to Pumpkin" vignette.
And here's a sneak peek at next week's Pumpkin Project . . .
Which will double as this week's Slow Sunday Stitching!

And for my stash report, nothing in and nothing out.
The story of my life this year. I went back and looked at my numbers for this same time last year and found I had a net of -16.25 (36.5 out and 56.75 in).  So I feel like I've been good about NOT buying fabric just for fabric's sake.  (I'm patting myself on the back, here!) Still wish I could push up my usage numbers -- and actually MAKE something quilty!  Ah well, there's always next week, right?

I'm linking up this post with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts. Y'all have a happy Saturday evening and a happier, blessing-filled Sunday!