Sunday, December 29, 2019

Cross-stitching and crocheting

Now that Christmas has passed and I have a month off from my university duties, I can get back to crafting. I started working on "Jingle as ye enter, Jingle as ye go" again. I am adding some snowflakes at the top left. I am not sure why the picture is so dark.
I also bought another skein of the pretty lavender yarn that I am using to make a scarf. I decided to make the matching hat first. 
When it is completed I will use the rest of the yarn to finish the scarf. It is a little too short for my liking.

Hubby and I had a wonderful Christmas celebration with our son, daughter, son-in-law and Ruby (our daughter and son-in-law's pup). Our annual picture on Christmas Eve in front of the tree included our son-in-law and Ruby.
My mother celebrated with us.
 As did my mother-in-law.
It was great to have the newlyweds with us also.
There were lots of gifts.....
and treats after dinner. I made a variety of cookies 
 and a Buche de Noel.
I received some very nice gifts including these two books. 
I love to peruse Country decorating books for ideas to incorporate in my home. There are several projects in the knitting book that have really caught my eye. I can't wait to get started on them. First I need to clear some WIPs though.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I think I will work on Jingle today.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Virtual Cookie Exchange

Welcome to the Virtual Cookie Exchange and blog hop hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. I am excited to share a favorite Christmas cookie recipe that I make each and every year with all of you. Part of this exchange is to share a family tradition and quilt too.

Since this exchange is right at the beginning of December, the family tradition that I will share is our Advent Calendar. I bought this magnetic calendar from a catalog years ago. 
When my two children were little one of them got to add a magnet on the even days and one on the odd. We alternated each year and Santa was always the last magnet put on the tree. Now Hubby and I put the magnets on each day. Looks like I need to add one for today.

The quilt that I am sharing is actually a set of placemats. 
I made these several years ago and they have been well used. I love the fabrics if I do say so myself.
Now the cookies. Each year I make Raspberry Walnut Thumbprint Cookies. I have been making this recipe since I was a kid and I have continued the tradition with my now grown children. My son tells me it is his favorite Christmas time cookie. The recipe was originally found in a local church cookbook. I have been know to double the batch (it's a necessity at Christmas time) and make one half with apricot preserves or strawberry jam instead of raspberry jam.

Here are some pictures to show the process followed by the complete recipe.

Gather all the ingredients and the mixer.
 Separate the egg.
 Mix everything together.
Gather all the dough together and wrap in waxed paper.
 Now it is ready to chill in the fridge.
Once the dough is well chilled. Beat the egg-white a little bit and chop the walnuts. I use this handy dandy grater (I think it is for cheese, but I have always used it for nuts). 
I grate the nuts on the finest setting. 
Roll the dough into little balls, then roll the balls in the beaten egg white followed by the grated walnuts.
Place the little balls on your cookie sheet and make a thumbprint. I use the end of a small whisk covered in plastic wrap as I have longish nails. The cookies do not spread.
Next fill each indentation with jam and bake.
Don't they look delicious!

Here's the recipe:

Raspberry Walnut Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened  
                     1/3 cup sugar
                     1/4 tsp salt
                     1/2 tsp vanilla
                     1 egg, separated (keep the egg white for later)
                     1 cup flour
                     3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
                     Seedless raspberry jam (or apricot preserves  
                                                        or strawberry jam)

Directions: Cream the butter. Add the next 3 ingredients and the egg yolk. Beat until light. Add flour and stir until well blended. Wrap dough in waxed paper. Chill well, at least one hour. 

                 Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Shape dough into balls about 3/4 inch. Dip balls into slightly beaten egg white, then into nuts (roll the balls around in the nuts). Put on ungreased cookie sheet or Silpat. Press the center of each cookie with a forefinger. Fill indentation with jam. Bake 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store airtight in a cool place. These can be frozen. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Be sure to visit all the other blogs that are participating in this Virtual Cookie Exchange.

December 2nd
Cathie's Craftworks (that's me!)

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

I hope you enjoyed your stroll through these wonderful blogs. I know I will be collecting some new and delicious cookie recipes to make this year and in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Recent Happenings

I haven't been posting much lately just because life has been getting in the way.  I did manage to finally make the cording for my Halloween Topiary and glue it on. 
 The Bucilla rope floss that I inherited from my Aunt Gerri worked out beautifully. I never knew what I could use it for, but I saved it nonetheless.
I am so pleased with the final result and I found a way to use some stash.

Recently Hubby and I took a short overnight trip to visit our son in Pennsylvania. While we were there we visited Longwood Gardens. There were some pretty fall colors outside.

Most of the loveliness was in the Conservatory though. This first picture is a single chrysanthemum that has many blooms and has been trained into this shape using a cage-like device.
There were gorgeous hanging plants.
As well as floral displays.
Each display included bamboo in some way.
Hubby had me pose next to one of them.
There was also a few larger bamboo sculptures. The photo does not do this immense sculpture justice.
Look at these beautiful flowers! 
Above and below are spider mums.
The colors were fabulous.

There were also bonsai displays.
Isn't the color of the leaves on this tree just gorgeous?
And then there are the mums.
They are getting ready for the holiday season by stringing light displays throughout the gardens.
There is also a topiary garden, but it was closed for the season. Hubby took a picture of my son and I just outside of it. The weather that day was absolutely wonderful.
The next day we went on a short hike in Valley Forge National Historic Park. It is only a few minutes drive from our son's apartment.  I took a picture of my two favorite guys as we were hiking up the mountain.
Here is a look back up the mountain.
Our hike ended on a trail along a river. Aren't the fall colors beautiful.
Right at the end was a covered bridge.
I did manage to complete another little craft item. Do you remember the tulle bows that I made for my daughter's shower?
Well, I took them apart and decided to use the tulle to make dish scrubbies for my daughter. I followed the instructions on this YouTube video and ended up with this. 
I gave it to my daughter this past weekend when she visited and she thought it was a great way to recycle the tulle. I will make a few more from the rest of the blue tulle as well as the white.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I am hoping to get some knitting in today in between grading a class of homework assignments. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Just in time

I finished stitching my Halloween Topiary last weekend. Yesterday, I made a trip to ACMoore for mat board and found a fat quarter fabric there that was perfect for my flatfold finish. When I got home I just had to get to it and cut the board and fabric and do all the gluing. 
Here is the almost finished Halloween Topiary just in time for Halloween.
Don't you just love it? I am so happy that I chose to make this piece.
 I have to put some sort of edging around it still, but I can't decide. I would love your comments. Below are two slightly different yarns that I thought would look great on it, but Hubby thinks they look too elementary school. I was leaning toward the one on the right.
Either one goes with the fabric that I used. Isn't that fabric perfect?! 
I could make cording out of this Ecru perle cotton that I have. The pattern called for cording made out of a bright orange perle cotton, but I don't want to have to buy something when I have so many options in my stash.
I could also make a cording out of this vintage orange rope floss that I inherited.
Or I could make cording out of a combination of flosses.
I am not sure what to do. Please comment. 

Now I want to concentrate on getting more knitting done on my sweater. 

I think I might go back to working on the Advent Calendar that has been languishing since last October.
I am not sure I will be able to work on this all that much with my arthritic thumb, but I do want to finish it. 

I may alternate that with "Jingle as ye come, jingle as ye go". I am almost one-fourth finished with it.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. She is dealing with some thumb issues herself. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. It is going to be a miserably rainy day here on Long Island, so I will be working on one of those projects that I mentioned above.

Thanks for stopping by!