Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Boxing Day!

I love Christmas. Wholeheartedly, unabashedly.
I don't mince words here, folks. Whatever YOU celebrate, I hope it was/is the best ever. 

I'm always kinda sad when The Day is all over.
I mean, any excuse to sew, bake and knit for days on end, really. Laugh.
We had a wonderful Christmas, full of family and food and really nice times.

And Boxing Day....what the heck is's certainly become VERY commercialized with crazy deals & sales goin' on. 

(For you Americans, it's like our Black Friday.)
Not too long ago actually, it was illegal for stores to be open, everyone had TWO days off over Christmas. No longer so.

Traditionally, "Boxing Day" was named so for the tradition of the wealthier families 'boxing up' their leftovers from the Christmas feast, and all their cast off garments, furniture, etc to bring to the leser fortunate in their area.

So I'm away this week, and am taking a break from many things Electronic related.
Enjoy your holidays, and travel safely...see you soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cozy Cottage progress!

Last week Mr. J. brought up a very good point.
All my quilts are, well, girly.
So, maybe there IS a lot
But what's wrong with that??

Well this week I have thought about what would make a quilt more

Should it be pine-scented?


Vintage Car themed?

 Sewn whilst wearing a white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up covered in grease?
Ain't he a cutie!! But...I digress.

 So I did some research; and while I generally don't like gender-specific roles/colour palettes....I noticed that 'masculine' in the colour world means navy, burgundy, hunter green, etc etc. 

(Not my personal opinion I think PINK is for everyone and so are pastels. But I digress.)
 So I thought.... Aha! COTTAGE Themed!! 

For me that means rich browns, deep reds, and deep forest greens.

The basic square-in-a-square block; with a layout that is Vamp approved.

Editor's note: Whilst sewing the blocks together, I was experiencing serious tension issues.

 The machine. Not me. I'm pretty mellow. Anyway.

As you can see, the blocks are showing the exposed seams. I have had to RE-sew ALL the seams. Le sigh.

I will post updated photos as the week progresses!




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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fancy'in Up The House! Pillow Tutorial

 I've said it before and I'll say it again.

 I love to decorate and bake and give and sit in the sparkle.
 Decorating the house is a lot of fun....and I found the easiest, most funnest, super simplest tutorial that looks AMAZING when they're done..... SPROCKET PILLOWS!!!

I made a few for gifts last year, and when I pulled out mine to add to our festive decor, I *knew* I had to share the joy of making them. Even if you're not a strong in the sewing area; this is a super easy project to make.
This tutorial is courtesy of the AMAZING Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.
Her photos and step by step instructions make everything easy and understandable.

The bottom centre one is Mine. :)

Happy Sewing & Decorating!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Handmade Homemade Christmas Traditions Pt 2

I love to do a handmade Christmas.

 I mean, let's face it. We all of us mostly have everything we need.
And these days, if we need something, usually, we can just run down to the nearest big box and grab it.
And handmade or homemade gifts, well, they're just that extra special touch for the holidays.

I remember as kids; my next door neighbours always made trays of cookies, treats and  handmade ornaments for the trees for us.
And I remember 'helpin' in the kitchen as Mom made up her homemade gifts for the neighbours & church Christmas bazaars.

 So these past few years, I have tried to make a few homemade items to mix in with my storebought treasures.

NONE of these recipes require anything fancier than you can get in your own local grocery store!!

Here are a few of my Go-To Holiday recipes, treats & tricks from some of the coolest Bloggers out there. All the below recipes I have made and had great results. Again; read everything through before starting!!

Homemade Salted Caramels: Tried and true recipe at "Inspired Treats. A great recipe with video. Patience pays off for these melt in your mouth treats.

Macarons - ......Read THIS first. Oh gosh. They're tricky but again, take your time. Patience pays off!

Candy Cane Whoopie Pies - My teenaged nephew inhaled these. They're pretty darn good!

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies  - One of my favourite Bloggers of all time; Sally @ Sally's Baking Addiction. So many recipes, So little time! She has an awesome cookbook too. It's on my wish list.

Crisp & Chewy Molasses Cookies - I like this one, also a favourite is Moravian Molasses Thins.

Homemade Spice Rub - My own Creation! Great on chicken, pork & beef!

Classic Chocolate Chip - I use the same batter, just double or triple the recipe, divide it up and then  switch out the chips; I change out Peppermint Chips, Butterscotch Chips & Peanut Butter Chips to make a super easy master recipe. 
 (I have to confess that Sally's recipe has replaced my Grandma's recipe. Ssh. Don't tell.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Home Made Spice Rub!

Here's a little sumthin' that I like to whip up for the cooks in my life.

Super easy, VERY affordable, and looks great when you're done.

Head to your nearest Bulk Barn or equivalent - any Bulk food store will do.
Next trip, any local Dollar store to pick up fancy labels and jars.

Similar ones to this were THREE for $1.25

You can get fancy labels to peel & stick, too! 45 for 1.25! 
Photo credit: Spruce Up Organization

This is the mix I use, and the approximate amounts of each. You can adjust and tweak away to suit your tastes! The entire take home price was just under $20.00 for all the below ingredients.
You can do gifts for almost 8 people (depending on size of the jar) for less than $30.00!!


Chili Power, Ancho Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, Kosher Salt, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Cumin & Turmeric.

Uses: Use as a dry rub for chicken, beef & pork. Slather on your favourite BBQ sauce overtop for an extra yummy bonus. Great as a marinade, just add lemon juice!

In a big bowl, I mix: 

1 Cup each of:  Chili Power, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Half Cup each of: Ancho chili powder, black pepper

Quarter Cup each of: Kosher salt, basil, oregano, Cumin, Turmeric

2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
3 Tbsp Flour (Can be omitted)

Using a  wooden spoon, mix up all your spices. Taste test and adjust accordingly.
Spoon into glass jars, add some ribbon or trim, and voila. 
Cute, functional and affordable Christmas gifts.

Different ideas for how to wrap!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Traditions.. Life!

The older we get, the more 'traditions' become important to us.
Everyone has theirs...what are yours?

Recently, I've had a lot of changes in my world.
Moving countries, moving cities, ailing parent, career changes... you name it.
So, traditions ... now.... with all the changes, everything that WAS is now...Different.
SO, time to create NEW traditions!!!!

 In my NEW home! 

With my NEW Fiance!!! ( Well, he's not new. But being engaged sure is. :) )

Me an' Mr.J go out to skate in the park, and drive around and look at the lights.
We put on the Firelog station (we don't have a real fireplace) and play "Charlie Brown Christmas" on the stereo.
We drag up the bins from the basement, and get to it.

I love Christmas, I love to decorate!!

Step One

Step Two

Step Three!

 ONE major holiday tradition that will NEVER change for me....

I remember the cookies. And the treats. And the baking.
And I continue that tradition.

Yep. Holiday prep 2014. Heh.

 Next blog post is going to be ALL about the homemade handmade stuff ANYONE can do to make Christmas even more personal. And more better. Heh. 

Stay tuned for Some AMAZING recipes from equally AMAZING bloggers out there.
Easy recipes that are super yummy and solid to follow.

What're some of YOUR favourites??

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Black and White and....Red!

 I found this amazing wax-printed cotton fabric at my favourite shop earlier this summer,
and it is black and white and gorgeous.
 It's what I've been using as my go-to backing fabric on most of my quilts this year.

So many people commented on THIS fabric:

That I realized......
I should make a quilt WITH this fabric.

I have posted the process in earlier entries this week; but here is the finished beauty.
A wee bit delayed; had to take My Precious into the shop....but here it is.


The back.

And of course, it's Muffin approved.

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