Monday, November 28, 2011

Handmade Jellies

This weekend we went to our favorite Oak Shade Farm to cut a local Christmas tree (later we recycle them as chips for the garden).  In the barn were old time toys, baby bunnies to hold, cookies and cider, homegrown honey and candles, handwoven wraps and hand-hooked rugs, and these beautiful jams and jellies.

What bounty!

Friday, November 25, 2011


I did it!  Thank you heat and bond.

Now, I feel the need to make a turkey sandwich with the leftovers.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry-Apricot Compote

As I sit down today to make this, I thought I'd repost it for the holiday.  It looks beautiful, tastes great, and takes about 20 min to make.  This year I used 2C of cranberries (a whole package) and port instead of red wine.  It is SO GOOD.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

(2010) From our local Cheesecake Farms Food Blog - very easy, very very yummy.

Here's my version, makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups of delish relish

1c packaged cranberries (about half a package)
1/4 c dried apricots, quartered
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c water
1/4 c red wine

*Wash and drain the cranberries, quarter the apricots
*put sugar, water and wine into a medium pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar
*add cranberries and apricots and cook about 5 min, until cranberries pop open
*remove fruit and set aside
*bring juices back to a simmering boil, stirring frequently, for about 10 min or until reduced by half - it will appear syrup-y when dripped off the spoon
*pour over the cooked fruit and stir gently to coat
*cool to room temperature (about 1 hour) then either refrigerate (in a covered container) or serve!

Will keep about a week if you can keep it that long. This makes about 1 1/2 cups.

I can't really tell you how delicious this was. Will definitely be adding it to our holiday staples and probably adapt it next summer to spoon on biscuits. Thank you Karla of Cheesecake Farms!
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Summer Flower Hat

 Well, there's been so much making here, and so much of it is hush hush, but I found these photos from the summer that somehow escaped posting but can elude me no longer.  This was a sweet bucket hat for a friend of ours who requested purple and blue.  The fabric is African hand tie dyed cloth, a kind of thick brocade so I didn't interface it. 
 Aside from the petal brim, it really just kind of needed ... something.  A gigantic flower, perhaps?
Now that I'm knitting hats to warm heads it is fun to look back at hats just meant to keep the sun off.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lavender Leaf Vest - WIP

Find all my notes on Ravelry. This is really coming along - a row or two at night while the kids fall asleep and we talk about their days.. an inch or two in the car on the way to a camping weekend. From the Leaf and Picot Cardigan from Interweave Knits - just knit in the round and minus the sleeves. Which should make it take what, half the time? Why didn't I think of this before? Next sweater, I'm only knitting the back.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Wall Art and Coasters

Remember the weird plate covered hole in the chimney?  I had an hour in the sewing room last weekend (thanks Mr. Sycamore!) and created this quick hanging with fall colors from my scraps box and a little cut up left over sheet.  
The next step is to get the littles to help me cut out and glue down "THANKS" in cream colored wool.  But I couldn't wait to hang it up because who knows if that will even be this year!
With left overs I put together these quick coasters, backed with some black felt purchased a while back on sale. I love the pink bits with chocolate and yellow.  Yum.

Happy Fall everyone!  Hope you like the new apple-y banner.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Handmade Winter Scarf : Project 2

Of course! For a girl who loves pink. And big floppy flowers. Ravelry notes here. This was basically a made up pattern beginning with the "easy mistake stitch" scarf from Purlbee, but it turned out lovely.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yum. Yarn.

The rest of the story.... It started with a trip to Richmond ...

I couldn't resist the Yarn Lounge (I usually can't). I came away with this fabulously soft Rowan Alpaca Cotton - charcoal brown and grey - for a cowl for me. All the kids are wearing them, right?

Update: After completion, this cowl was too big. Even too big to photograph. But since it only took an hour or two I frogged it completely and started over with a contrasting color - and half the stitches.

I love it. Deliciously warm and cosy, and by redoing the cowl I have enough Rowan left for a hat to match. Yum.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Crafts Wrap Up 2011

1. Halloween food,Whipped cream ghost in a jar of orange jello (this was a big hit - as much fun to make with toddlers as to eat). Marshmallow skull cupcake topper with chocolate chip eyes. Jack-o-Lantern Clementine.
2. Halloween food prep, To make the whipped cream ghost in a jar (via Modern Parents Messy Kids), tape a wide straw onto spray whipped cream. Put the straw end all the way down near a side of the jar and spray. Push chocolate chips into place with a drinking straw. For the skull (via Martha Stewart) cut a large marshmallow in half with scissors. Pinch part to make a jaw, then cut with a knife to make mouth opening. Push chocolate chips in as eyes. Stick the cut back of the marshmallow to a cookie or cupcake. For clementine jack-o-lantern (via Household 6 Diva) draw on face with a sharpie. All these foods were super easy and big kid hits in our house.
3. Halloween Paper Plate Spider,
4. Halloween paper plate jack-o-lantern,
5. Halloween skeletons, Print out skeletons, then cut out and punch holes to attach limbs with paper fasteners. This was an easy craft and we needed to use our big "Human Body" book to make sure we put the joints in the right order. Fun.
6. Halloween Milk Jug Skeleton for Outdoors, Via Craptastic Crafts
Save 6 white milk jugs, then cut them up for head, chest, hips, shoulders, and limbs. Jugs cut well with craft scissors and sturdy knife. Poked holes with skewers to attach and used fishing twine. sssspooky! NB this is not really a toddler craft, except to help direct you to put it together, since it requires a sharp knife and tough work with the scissors.
7. Halloween Q-tip Skeleton picture, via Crafts for All Seasons This was mommy's version, the toddlers got bored. I think in future I'd draw the skeleton in glue then let them pick cut-up q-tip pieces to complete the man as they liked. But hey, I enjoyed it!
8. Halloween Many-eyed Ghost, I drew the picture and expected the toddlers to glue on two googly eyes ($1 store purchase). When I turned around - voila. VERY scary :)
9. Halloween Scuba Jack, 10. Halloween Pirate Jack, 11. Halloween Many Eyed Ghost, 12. Halloween Jack-o-lantern Treat Bag My very first blog post and still going strong.
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