Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 
 
Ho Ho Ho! Meeerrrryyyy Christmas!

Blessings to you and your family! See ya next year!

Take care,

Missie

 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Put Your Baking Caps ON!!

I'm just now getting back to baking for the holidays. I usually use my Memaw's Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe, but since I tried the Nutella cookies the other day, I decided to do an experiment. It worked! You must know that I am not a good cook! I try, but many times if given the option, my family will choose cereal if given the choice when I get creative in the kitchen! LOL

These cookies turned out wonderful! Even dear Hubs said so! So, here's the recipe!

Memaw's Peanut Butter Cookies

Preheat oven to 375*

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter (or Nutella!)

Cream together and then add

1 egg

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

A little salt

Mix well. Use a cookie scoop or teaspoon to make a ball and put on cookie sheet. Press the cookie to flatten slightly. ( I used an egg separator for the snowflake shape, but you can use the method with forks or any other press)

We did a taste test and made a cookie with white chocolate chips, pecans, a bit of peanut butter and plain as described above. The cookie with the white chocolate chips won hands down! Mmm...so, I added about a cup of white chocolate chips and baked. The test with just Nutella and pecans was also good, but skip the test to add peanut butter to the Nutella version. Choose one nut or the other!

Bake 10-12 minutes at 375*

Enjoy!!

Here they are before baking...




And here they are after baking...

And here they are after cooling!!!

YUMM!!

Take care, and don't eat too many!

Missie

 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside!

We had a little blizzard last night! Dean Martin is crooning the song Baby It's Cold Outside in my head this morning...it's one of my favorite holiday/winter songs. I am thankful to have electricity this morning as I see the electric clocks are blank this morning. That means the electricity was off for a while at least! The snow does not look very deep on the porch railing you see below, but we did get about 12" of snow and it blew all night! The wind has given us drifts about 4' high out front. Hubs is working hard to clear the driveway this morning...not that we can get out of our street anyway! You should have seen poor little Ginger outside in the blowing, drifting, snowy wind this morning. She was quick about her business! Thank goodness cause I was out there with her!

This is the tree that stays in my kitchen window all year long. I switch it up with the seasons, decorating it with Christmas, Snowmen, Easter Eggs, Bees, Halloween and general Primitive style tiny ornaments.

 

 

It's got crystals, glass ornaments and country ornaments on it now...

We never got the ladder out to put the star on to of the tree, so it is shining from the mantle this year.

This is my favorite Santa Ornament! He's too heavy for the tree, so we put him on the mantle too, for safe keeping.

 

This is another older Christmas quilt done in the mid 90’s. it has appliqué attached with fusible webbing. I put it away each year very carefully because I didn't even stitch the pieces down! What was I thinking?!? One of these years I will go to hang it and the pieces will fall off I am sure. The heavy fusible glue is so stiff it can't be sewn through or I would have fixed it years ago.

 

The detail is very tiny...the blocks are about 6"x 8". That's a lot if tiny pieces! I remember I held the candle flames with tweezers to place them on the fabric...they are about 2mm tall.

 

That's about all I have for you today! I am finishing up Christmas gifts and staying indoors today because...

Baby It's Cold Outside! I'm still singing..

Take care, stay warm and have a great day!

Missie

 

For the Mobile Device users Who Prefer the Web View...

If you use a mobile device like an iPad and prefer to see the blog posts in the old version, the Web Version, I have found another option instead of scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking "web version". Thanks to a post in the blogger help area, this idea may be a bit easier for some.

Click on the end of the address, erase the ”1” at the end and replace with ”0" or even an "o" ( the letter o"). It worked for me! By doing this it loads the web view.

Her is the link to the suggestion for Google Blogger Help if you wish to leave a polite comment.

http://productforums.google.com/forum/m/#!categories/blogger/feature-suggestions--feedback

Good luck with this little tip and let me know what you think!

Take care,

Missie

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Help with my Blogger Dashboard?? And some sewing activity...

This is now what my iPad looks like when I click on someone's new post on my blogger dashboard. It used to take me right to the web version of the blog...now, when I click on these links shown below, it brings up the post with much smaller pictures that I can not zoom in on the pictures to see good! I want my old version back! Has this happened to anyone else and do you know how to change this view? There is a button to click on at the bottom of the page to see the web version, but it's a pain! Does anyone have some help for this new blogger??

Thanks!!!

On another note, I did some baking today. First, that yummy toffee with crackers and chocolate! Here they are before the chocolate and Oreo Sprinkles...

And here they are after....mmmm good!

And then I tried a new Nutella cookie I saw on Pinterest...it turned out really good! We'll see if they last til company comes on Saturday...we might need to make more of these! They were a bit less trouble than Chocolate Crackles, which are one of our faves for Christmas, but the recipe didn't make as many cookies. We might need the Crackles after all! Tomorrow will be sugar cookie day...our Very Favorite!

 

In the sewing room, I got 9 blocks of Pennies From Heaven ready to stitch.

I rarely seem to follow a pattern all the way, so I think I will be rearranging the quilt a bit. Nothing against Gretchen Gibbons...that's just how I do things! For now my plan is to do these 9 blocks shown below ... I have the wool on cotton that looks like wool. I hope the brown fabric looks like wool too. I was going for a rug hooked look. It's a really nice looking brown fabric. I used up many of my textured red and green wools...looks like I need a shopping trip!

And I like the applique triangle blocks ( I guess you could call it the inner border?). I may make square blocks like this in between the blocks above...we'll see what I end up with in the end! I have a certain wall I need it to fit on, so that's why I am changing it up a bit!

Cheryl from So Many Quilts, So Little Time blog got me inspired and asked if i would like to work along with her on these blocks. Mine have a Christmas feel and hers are bright and pretty like the book cover!

I have a special Thank You to Michelle from The Raspberry Rabbits! She sent me this darling pin cushion and bunny scissors after I complimented her scissors...what a sweetheart! We both collect bunnies and we've become good blogging buddies! She has a pretty cute blog...check it out and enjoy her talents!

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Take care,

Missie

 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What's Happening at My House Today!

MMMM Good! My family loves soups...hearty thick soups! We are headed to a potluck Christmas Party tonight and I thought this soup would be something different to offer. It is Cheeseburger Soup. If you have not had Cheeseburger Soup before, you really must try it! You can make it thick or thin; whatever your tastes are.

 

Start off with browning some ground beef. I used prepared frozen meatballs today, browned and chopped into tiny pieces. Then add an onion, chopped, and a few carrots, chopped. When the veggies are a bit soft, add some salt and pepper to taste. Go easy on the salt as the cheese and broth cubes, added later, are salty too. Add a few teaspoons of Italian Spices. I purchase mine pre-mixed. Next, add about 4-6 cups of water and chicken broth cubes and bring to a soft boil. Then add the Velveeta. I use half of a block. Turn the heat down to medium so the cheese does not burn. Add 1.5 cups of milk while the cheese melts. Sometimes I like to add potatoes to soups. You can add chopped potatoes when you add the water and boil a little longer, or if you are in a rush like I usually am, you can add leftover mashed potatoes or frozen potatoes of some sort. Hash browns work great because they are so small. Otherwise, chop up what you have after microwaving a few minutes. This makes the soup much thicker and fills the big boys up! This Cheeseburger Soup is so good alone, or with a sandwich on the side! Give it a try!!

I have been working on my hexies recently. I think I am in love with the starch method of prepping them! Yes, it takes time on the front side with the little iron before you stitch, but I like the trade off of where my time is spent. The picture above shows how nice it looks after it's sewn and the picture below shows how easy it is to hold while stitching...soft and bendable rather than stiff and hard to hold! I like it!

I highly suggest you try this also!

 

My Katie is making comfort teddies to sell at her Etsy Store. She makes a pouch of rice to put in the microwave or freezer to make the teddy warm or cool and cuddly. Scents of lavender are soothing and relaxing. I love that she is creative and a bit of an entrepreneur at her young age.

One of my works in progress, well actually just begun, is Pennies From Heaven. I worked on my Christmas version a bit this week at the wool club in the local store, Creekside Quilting. It was a small group of us, but we had a great time. I am looking forward to the monthly gathering to keep me working on wool projects!

I may change thread colors...it bothers me that I can see the thread on some pieces, but not all of them. Maybe I will use a light and a dark...we'll see after I stitch a bit more. These wool pieces are being sewn onto a nice thick cotton that I hope looks like wool.

I've finished the little smocked dress for my niece, but still need to finish the little shirt. I am making it button at the legs so it will be like little bloomer panties under her dress as well as a shirt. She could also wear it with some pants and tuck it in with a cute belt! Using measurements from her Mama, I made this to fit. It looks sooooo tiny and brings back so many memories of smocking for my girls.

With these updates, I will head down to my sewing room to finish that little shirt and quilt her quilt also! Sure would be nice if I could get it done today!!

Before I sign off, I just wanted to mention the families involved in the terrible incident Friday. What a tragedy...my thoughts and prayers are with those touched by this. Kiss your babies and grand babies near and far and be sure your loved ones know you love them!

God Bless and Take Care,

Missie

 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cute As Can Bee!

Thank goodness I finally felt well enough to get something done in the sewing room today! I've been coughing for about a MONTH and am finally kicking this bug. I have slept well for 3 whole nights and my energy is coming back! Good thing because I have a Christmas party to go to on Tuesday, so needed to get my gift done. I started this little Bee quilt last night and finished it up just now. It was fun to make and simple simple. Can't wait to give it to my Secret Pal! ( She does not follow my blog, so the secret is safe!) It turned out about 10" square. The center is punched of course...! This is the quilt group called "Rather Bees", short for "I'd Rather Be Quilting", now shortened to "Bees". This group started more than 25 years ago and most of us have a bit of a Bee collection!

Ginger is napping on this little rug like it's a pillow! I couldn't resist a pic next to this little quilt. She seems to be a little better, but still has much healing to do before she is back to normal. She even did a bit of playing today!
Have a wonderful week! Take care,

Missie

 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Woman's Junk Is Another Woman's Treasure! Let's Get Organized!

 

I have a pattern I designed for keeping my projects organized which I have used and loved using for years!

It's called the Sewing Bee Binder and you can purchase it from my store Hallbrook Designs or use the link to the left if you wish. I have made several different sizes...large, medium and small. You can see one of them in use here while riding in the car. When you go on a trip or to a quilting group to stitch and don't have a table, it works really good because the binder sides are stiff and allow you to have a little flat space to use as a table while sitting in a straight chair. Then when it's time to go home or get out of the car, all you do is zip it shut! They have been used ALOT! But now, I have so many different projects going, I have piles of projects laying here and there to stitch on now and then. I need to make a few more binders to keep projects in, but there just isn't time for me right now!

Taryn at Repro Quilt Lover was so sweet to send me a cute little sandwich box to take with me to keep my purse safe! I mentioned to her that my scissors cut through one of my nice purses! It was an extra for her and is now my treasure! You can see it here. It is working great to take to the Doctors office every few days! (Allergy shots with 30 minute waiting time after)

Even my own junk is a new treasure for me!! I needed a bandaid this morning and went in search of the right size...couldn't find a safety kit with any bandaids left so gathered a few to throw away. As I was getting the last health goodies we have not used out of the cases, I realized these cases could be used and used WELL! Look at this great divider in this big case!


And here it is in action!

It has a perfect slot for my glasses, thimble and thread and two larger sections for unused pieces and the block I am stitching on! I'm excited!

The labels are coming of easy peaty on this one! I think I have a new treasure!

I keep my buttons all nice an organized in floss caddies. Have not really used my buttons too much since I stopped smocking years and years ago, so recently I decided I could reuse this caddy. My Valdani floss is forever rolling away on the floor when I pull to get more length. I discovered this old floss box works wonderful for the balls of floss! I pull a length, leaving the ball in the box, close the lid and keep pulling while the lid is closed! No balls falling off my lap and rolling across the carpet catching dog hairs! Yeah! This caddy was pretty much junk sitting on the shelf for at least 10 years...now it's a new treasure!

 

I can keep all my floss colors for the project I am working on in the caddy, ready to find easily! Instead of getting snagged in a basket or lost under the end table. I also have a habit of forgetting to write down the colors I am using for a Punchneedle project, then spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out what exact colors I used for the pattern. With my floss all packed away neatly in this box, I have an easy way to know exactly what colors I used!

Life's getting easier with these little (junky) treasures! I could show you a few more, but you get the idea...

What do you use to keep organized??

Have a great day and take care,

Missie

 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Tree's Up!

Now it feels like Christmas!

 

Last week we put up our very small tree since Ginger is still needing to be kenneled at night. That kennel takes up lots of room! It did not feel like Christmas since we could barely see the tree. Our youngest begged Daddy to get the big tree out. So today they made room and NOW it feels like Christmas! The next thing we need to fix is the weather...it is 61* this evening!

 

We have not gotten the ladder out to put the star on top yet...maybe tomorrow. You can see that Ginger is posing for you with a happy look on her face. She is doing well after the accident, but still has a long way to go.

 

I don't have many recent Christmas quilts. This on is from the early to mid 90‘s and looks a bit old fashioned to me today. The gold lame' really dates it, but I have enjoyed it over the years. We had our tiny tree sitting on it last week. It made a nice tree skirt.

The kids' stockings are full of sparkle from cequins and beads. I made a stocking like this for myself in the 8th grade. It was destroyed by a mouse long ago. When I saw these in a hobby store I had to get a few for our family. Hubs and I used to share the one on the left, but now it is the one we use for our son in law. And I suppose I will need to add some for grand kids one of these years in the future! These kits are made by the same company that mine was made by all those years ago was...Bucella...felt and cequins kits. My Middle daughter made two of these in Jr. High, so the tradition was carried on!

Have you decorated yet? We know some folks that wait until Christmas Eve to get a tree up and decorated. We love to get the tree up as soon as possible, but we always take it down on New Year's Day, wishing we could leave it up longer...

Happy Holidays to my blogging friends!

Take Care,

Missie

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Lane Blog Hop!!

It's my turn to show you my Holiday Lane pillow from the Blog Hop! It was a fun pillow to make, easy peasy and very cute pattern! Thank you Jill at Jillily Studio for designing the pattern, Madam Sam at Sew We Quilt for coming up with the hop idea, and to Pauline at Quilt N Queen for hosting the hop and keeping us organized! We couldn't do it without each of you!

I decided to make my pillow a winter theme rather than a Christmas theme. I love to use winter decorations through February. I hope you like my fabric choices to make it feel wintery...

It's a nice big pillow, stretching across a whole width of a couch cushion. Looks good for a nice nap!

I did simple raw edge appliqué, hoping for a little raggedy fraying to happen over time. I added a few more doors and windows and stars to go along with the evening look of the sky. Nice and cozy! I also left off the flange since I wanted to keep it country and minimal in appearance. This was a fun project!

Be sure to go take a look at the other hoppers today! Their links are below.

Thursday November 22

Apple Avenue Quilting

Hill Valley Quilter

Celtic Thistle Stitches

Quilt Doodle Doodles

Louzeekreativ

Tink's Mom

I Piece 2-Mary

Beaquilter

Ninis Patchwork

Hallbrook Designs (you are here!)

Have a great time at the blog hop, Holiday Lane!

Happy Thanksgiving to those in America! I am so thankful to have blessings in my life...my lovely family, my pup, my nieces and nephew, my home, my wonderful quilting friends and more...the list goes on and on.

Take care,

Missie