Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blackberry Peach Cobbler

Everyday is still "blackberry" day here!   I made a blackberry peach cobbler! As much as I love blackberries, I love peaches even more and they are ready here in Texas!
My favorite part of the cobbler is the crust, so I put crust in the bottom of the pan to be sure there was enough!
Lattice on top...cook...
then enjoy (Blue Bell ice cream on top)!

Till tomorrow....
debi

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Projects and Clothespin dolls

Where does the time go? 

I started a new job recently and have been so busy getting the office set up, (acquiring furniture, and office items), and getting adjusted to the newness of the job and the people...it has been exciting. 

In the meanwhile...I have also been collecting items to begin some new projects. 
I bought these cute baby shoes and this tablespoon holder at an antique store on a recent weekend get away.
I have a few ideas in my mind of how these will end up.

I also hit the jack pot this weekend when my girlfriend cleaned out her linen closet.  She decided she didn't need all of 'Granny's' pillow cases.  I am on idea overload with what all these can become!  Each set is more lovely than the last.  Someone spent a lot of time and love on each one of these pillow cases...and they are all crisply ironed!  My sweet girlfriend was VERY generous, so I have a "return" on investment gift idea for her!  There's something to be said about de-cluttering...
I've also been working on creating an instruction sheet for making clothespin dolls.
I used to make clothespin dolls in the early 1980's and had forgotten all about them...until recently.
I have some new ideas and am working on creating some new girls to share with you.

I'll keep you posted as I get closer to completing the worksheet! It will be fun!
Till tomorrow...
debi

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Thoughts



A Child of the King

My Father is rich in houses and lands,

He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.

Refrain:
I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His, when He comes by and by.

I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.

A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King.
Harriet E. Buell, 1877

"And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering."
Romans 8:17

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Thoughts - Father's Day


Faith of our Fathers

Faith of our fathers, living still,

In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious Word!

Refrain:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.

Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.

Frederick W. Faber, pub.1849

v. 3 by Anonymous/Unknown
ref. by James G. Walton, 1874

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

For by it the men of old gained approval."  Hebrews 11:1-2

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sewing Celebration!



Hurray!  Emily's cushions are complete!  All 10 cushions have been recovered and I am soooo ready to move on to new projects!  Emily took the cushions home, but I'll get some pictures of them "in place" as soon as I get over to her house.  I still have the kitchen curtains to finish, but they don't feel as urgent (she doesn't need them to enjoy watching TV!)
With the completion of the cushions I decided to totally do something for myself.
I purchased this pattern awhile back (when they were on sale.)  As soon as I saw the pattern I had an idea of what I wanted to do.
The red fabric was left over from another project.  There was just enough of it to cut the blouse pieces.  I also knew I wanted to use this small embroidered tablecloth.  It's one of those pieces I bought, despite the fact it is in bad shape in the middle of the cloth. There are a few small holes and some really bad stains that just won't come out, but I still love all the embroidery. 

I cut the good edges of the tablecloth that were usable and sewed it in as the yoke of the blouse. 
I still have the placket to complete. I want to put decorative snaps down the front instead of buttons ...so that will require a trip to the store!
I'm working on lots of new ideas...so till tomorrow...
debi

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pillow Project

I began work on this pillow about a week ago.  I started with the cowgirl picture I downloaded from Just Something I Made.   Cathe Holden has some amazing designs, and they are all free for you to use for whatever your brain can dream up.  She also offers some great ideas, in case you're in a funk and can't think of a thing to do!

I printed my cowgirl onto a sheet of the T-shirt iron on material.  I wanted to use some "vintage fabric" and liked the idea of using a white tea towel.  I have several with a variety of colored trim, but this was just a simple red and white and I knew the cowgirl would stand out best on the white background. This also had the cleanest white background of all the old tea towels.
 I cut the tea towel in half (still have the other half for whatever I can think up!) and trimmed down the picture.

I also had some cute cowgirl material to use for the back and the ruffles.  I have been saving this piece for just the right project...and this would be it!
Stuff in a small feather pillow! TAA! DAA! Finished!
I'll just add it to my little cowgirls bedroom and see if she notices a new cowgirl pillow!

  Because some of you have asked...yes, I am enjoying my blackberry sherbet.
I think tomorrow I'm going to make some blackberry "sauce".  I'll let you know.  Still lots more to pick and I need to get out there before that Devil Mockingbird gets them!

Till tomorrow...
debi

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day

Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.



I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Thoughts



Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,

Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Refrain:
Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou are calling,
Do not pass me by.


Let me at a throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief.

Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee,
Whom in Heav’n but Thee.

Frances J. Crosby, 1868

"My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. "
Genesis 18:3

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blackberry Sherbet

It's that time of year again...making something with blackberries every other day!  I'm picking at least this in the morning and half again as many at night.  Someone needs to start eating!
They are really big this year...and I have to save them from the "devil" Mockingbird.  He likes poking his little beak into everyone of them...this makes him happy!
I try to get out early in the morning before the sun comes up to beat Mr. Devil!

Tonight I am making Blackberry Sherbet.  I've had several requests lately so I'll begin the process with 4 cups of blackberries covered with two cups of sugar.  Let that rest for about 30 minutes.


Next I process the blackberry mixture in my small food processor until smooth.  I pour the whole mixture through my chinoise (a conical sieve with an extremely fine mesh) and let that drip into a pan.

I then discard the solids (all those pesky seeds that like to get stuck in your teeth);

Next...stir in buttermilk. 


Cover and freeze 8 hours.
Once it's been in the freezer for about 8 hours I break the frozen mixture into chunks, and place it in a bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. The whole lot gets returned to the pan; it's covered and put back into the freezer for about 3 more hours (or until firm.)

At this point I scrape it all out of the pan and put it into a plastic container (lasts longer...as long as no one else knows it's in the freezer.)  Keep a few fresh blackberries to garnish your sherbet.
This is a very refreshing dessert for this time of year (considering we hit 105 degrees with the heat index today!)
Now...I only have to wait 8+ hours to eat it!


Here's the complete recipe.
Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk
Garnish: fresh blackberries

Directions:
Stir together 4 cups blackberries and sugar in a bowl; let mixture stand 30 minutes.

Process blackberry mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 9-inch square pan, discarding solids; stir in buttermilk. Cover and freeze 8 hours.

Break frozen mixture into chunks, and place in a bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Return to pan; cover and freeze 3 hours or until firm. Garnish, if desired.

* 2 (14-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, thawed, may be substituted for fresh blackberries.

You can double the ingredient amounts and combine blackberry juice and buttermilk in the freezer container of a 4-quart electric freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack freezer with additional ice and rock salt, and let stand 1 hour before serving.

Yield:  1 quart

Until tomorrow...Happy eating...
debi

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)

16-18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.


Day by Day

Day by day, and with each passing moment,

Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Karolina W. Sandell-Berg, 1865

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday


One of the things I love about my "small town" is the downtown area.  Even though we have grown way too fast for my liking...the downtown area still has a small town feel.
This restaurant is called "Spoons" and they serve a great breakfast.  I love that they have outside seating.  It's pleasant in the early morning and fully shaded in the afternoon.  Even on 100 degree days, there's a nice breeze blowing.


McKinney is getting ready for a "Ride the Bricks" bicycle race, so a lot of the businesses downtown have decorated a bike in honor of the bike event next weekend. I think Spoon's did a great job.
As we sat outside enjoying the breeze and drinking our coffee I glanced down the street to see a shop owner preparing for the busy Saturday business.  She was sweeping the sidewalk and cleaning the area in front of her store. Reinforced the small town feel!  We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before a very busy day helping the girls with their various projects.

I've completed the cushions for the love seat...and all the seating cushions for the larger couch.  Only three more back cushions and I'm done!  I'm hoping this week to get the rest of them sewed up and over to Emily's.  She'll be happy to have all her couches with cushions!
I'm also working on some new pillows for my granddaughters cowgirl room.  I found this "old" tea towel and want to use it for the front of the pillow.  Haven't decided on all the details, but I'm sure if I look at it long enough something will come to me!
This cowgirl is a Cathe Holden design from Just Something I Made.  You can find this cowgirl to download here.

If you are EVER at a loss for great ideas, check out her website. It will get your creative juices flowing!
Till tomorrow,
debi

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Surprises - Count your Blessings

My niece loves the phrase, "Happy Accident." She is an artist (a very good one) and it is so appropriate, especially working in conjunction with many art mediums. There are so many "Happy Accidents" to be discovered along the way!

Reflecting on "Happy Accident" thoughts also make me think of other words that describe “coincidences”.

There's the word Synchronicity.  According to Wikipedia: Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner.

What about "Serendipity", which is a propensity for making fortuitous discoveries while looking for something unrelated.” (Wikipedia)

But...are they really "Happy Accidents"? Is it really "synchronicity" or "serendipity" at work in the background of our lives? Do you think it’s just a coincidence when unrelated things happen?

When I consider the highlights of my life I can see a series of surprises —“Happy Surprises”, from the hand of a very generous God. Isn’t that amazing? Not really! It seems to me that God delights in surprising us. The truth is that I serve a God of "Happy Surprises." However, upon further introspection, I doubt that I reflect on those happy surprises as often and as thoughtfully as I should.

There are many important moments in my life that can illustrate this truth of “Happy Surprises.” I think of how He delights in me! How He loves to surprise me!  The enjoyment He has when I pray for a solution so He can show me how HE will provide…and it’s always in ways I didn’t even consider!!!

God has some “God-sized dreams” for me that began in His heart and then He placed them in mine. Yet…so many times I wonder (doubt) at God's hand in the "what if's" of my life.

"What if" I do this?
"What if" I choose that"?
"What if" I go this way?
“Is this Your Way”?

God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; and I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8 NIV).

I can trust Him. I can follow Him. I can thank Him!

I love the old hymn, "Count your blessings—name them one by one—and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

God is a God of  Happy Surprises and I give thanks for His unrestrained love...and all the generous surprises He has lavished on me!

"Be filled with the Spirit … always giving thanks to God the Father for everything" (Eph. 5:18, 20).

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him … and overflowing with thankfulness" (Col. 2:6–7).

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:18).

For now I’ll leave you with the complete words to the song "Count Your Blessings".  (Yep...this song will be stuck in your head all day)…but it’s a good reminder to “Count your blessings!”

   1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

o Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]

   2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
   3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
   4. So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Johnson Oatman, Jr., pub.1897

Till tomorrow...count your blessings,
debi