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March 2008

February 2008

Flippery Cards


I saw these wonderful button note-cards at How About Orange. You just download the PDF for the card, print it up and add the buttons. But I thoughts some baby yo-yos would be great. I also rounded the edges of the card. Now I have sweet cards to send to you lucky readers who win a book xoxox

Also I wanted to take you for all your wonderful advice and prayers for Cynthia and her cancer. I just wanted to let you know she is doing well. She did have a mastectomy. But they feel they got all the cancer and she will have chemo. But it is only a precautionary measure. Her spirits are high and she looks wonderful.

Another Winner


I know it is still winter, but Easter is only a month away. So I thought I should post a new spring banner. I am slowly bringing out spring items. I set out our Easter decorations. I have been sewing new cushions for the couch, I will share them soon. I have chosen pink, red and robin's egg blue for my colors. I am trying to enjoy the process and not rush it. Also a thank you to Sandra Evertson, for her wonderful Weddings book. I used some of her images in my new banner, which I LOVE.

Well, congratulations to La-Te-Dah you are winner of The Book Of Colors. I will e-mail you xoxox

This weeks book is Easter, A Spring Celebration by Tessa Evelegh. I picked this book because like I said Easter is coming soon and thought you readers might enjoy the inspiration. This book is full of beautiful photos, fun crafts and yummy recipes. Good luck !!!

I hope you dear readers are enjoying the last days of Febuary and are not to down with the lingering winter weather. I know we are all dreaming of sun, flower, walking barefoot in the grass. I think we should all go make some homemade lemonaid xoxoxox

Menu Of The Week


Wondering what I eat on just a plain-old week day for dinner? Well this meal is exactly the type of basic meal I eat all the time. (I just had it last Wednesday and it was good). I LOVE one bowl pasta dishes. They are amazing, easy and veryyyyyy budget friendly. If you have any leftover meat, you could chop it up and added it. But you do get protein from the nuts and cheese. I often have my hubby grill an extra steak or chop for this very type of thing.

I also love this type of dish because I can do most of my work earlier in the day. I might be the only one, but by dinner time I am dragging. I like to cook what I can earlier. At noon (right after lunch) I do all the roasting. I just keep the green beans in the large bowl I am serving them in on the counter. 

And yes, this is a "budget" dish IF you get a deal on your cheese and nuts. Also if you picked raspberries in the summer and filled up your freezer, then the dessert is a good deal too.

Budget tips:

I buy Romano cheese instead of Parmigiano-Rggiano. First, it is usually cheaper. It also has more bang-for-your-buck and a much more intense, salty flavor. Since I can not afford the good stuff, the Romano's intensity helps. I love this cheese sooo much, a small wedge of this with some dried figs is my idea of heaven.

Buy nuts when on sale and store in freezer !!!!!


Roasted Garlic/Green Bean Pasta

1 pound frozen green beans, (I like the thin, french ones)

1 head of garlic, roasted

1/3 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1  pound cooked pasta

To roast green beans:

Pre-heat oven 375. Toss green beans, still frozen in 4 TBL. or so of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Oil will freeze, but it will be fine. Spread beans out on a large cookie tray. Roast to your liking. At lest 1/2 hour or more (if you like them supper crispy like me).

While cooking beans toast nuts and roast garlic. Just wrap you pre-pared garlic in a square of foil and set off to the side of the oven to roast.

When ready to eat, toss beans with cheese, garlic, 1/8 cup olive oil, another tsp. of salt, pepper and hot cooked pasta. If pasta still looks dry add more oil. Serve with fresh Romano cheese


Silken Raspberry Mousse

(with some bittersweet chocolate-chips on the side xoxoxox)



Warning: this is a braggy mom post !!

When I was working on Miss. Poppy, Chloe was busy needle felting Opille"us" (O-pill-e-us). He is a dragon from the series of books Chloe is writing called 'The New World'. I think Opille"us" is pretty amazing. Especially since he is needle-felted. Needle-felting makes me bonkers (not to mention all the sore fingers I have). I am amazed what Chloe can do with a bit of roving and felting needle.

Also soon we are going to have a wedding here. Gleim (Chloe's dragon) is marring his fair Saphira (Elizabeth, Chloe's best friend) dragon. It is quite a wedding planed. They have been busy making a wedding veil and suit for the groom. Refreshments, topper for the chocolate cake and decorations. I hear they will be honeymooning in a quite corner of our forest. We are hoping for  sunny day so they can have an outdoor wedding !!!! 



Jennifer Murphy Bunnies


Well I have been meaning to make a Jennifer Murphy bunny for a while. I am soooo in-love with this bunny. I think it is the cup-cake skirt I love the most. I made Miss. Poppy a bit more fluffy and fat then Jennifer's because she has been munching lots of chocolate and jelly beans, just like me ;-) I needle-felted her some wool eyes and used horse hair for her whiskers. I glued Miss. Poppy on a vintage jello mold. Just perfect !!!!! Oh you can learn to make your bunny here. 

PS. someone keeps leaving very sweet comments, but leaves no name or address. So I can not say thank you. Whoever you are thank you and I will try to stopping eating chocolate and getting working on the baking issue xoxoxox


A Winner and An Egg


I just sold another copy of my egg issue and although most of you know about it. I thought I should write about it, as we are entering spring. Some thought it was an Easter theme but it is not. Although it is perfect for Easter, it is more just a spring issue. I choose the theme of eggs because to me they symbolize spring. There is crafts, a menu, recipes, poem, ect. all having to do with the egg (or nest) theme. I am posting the contents and you can read more about it here. I am very red with embarrassed that it is almost a year later and I have no new petite-magazine to share with you. I am writing a baking issue and trying to finish it. Life is to fast and my days are too short, but I am trying.


We have a winner Manuela at   The Feathered Nest. Congratulations. I will e-mail you xoxox

Our new book to win this week is Book Of Colors by Alexandra Stoddard. I choose this book, because with Alexandra being the author-of-the-year for Victoria magazine , I think we are all going back with renewed interest in her writings. This book is about discovering the joy of color in your everyday life. Also color is suppose to be in this year, so she is with the trends ;-) Again next week I will list the winner and a new book. Leave your name and good luck xoxoxox

A Bag


I have been wanting to make some bags for shopping. I have heavy plastic-coated ones for groceries but they are too bulky for the mall and such. I had several ideas then, I saw Debbie's market sacks. What a brilliant idea and she inspired me. Mine is a little different from Debbie's. I put a inverted-box pleat in on each side and added a firm bottom. I like wide bags, because it makes it nice to really see what in in your bag. I am still hoping to make one I can fold up and carry in my purse. Thank you Debbie for the inspiration xoxox      


Whirlwind Week


What a whirlwind week I have had. First there was my mothers birthday. I have been helping her redecorate her craft room (I will show pictures soon). Then my husbands birthday. He always want the same thing, a relaxing day not doing much and a yummy dinner. He grilled elk steaks. I made creamed spinach (add fresh grated nutmeg to it !!!) , baked potatoes with saute mushroom and the most yummy stout ice-cream float. I made espresso chocolate sauce and covered vanilla ice cream with it and then poured stout over the whole thing. It was veryyyyyyyyy good. We spend the eveing peeing our pants with laughter watching Tim Hawkins youtubes. Our favorite is Cleates Take The Reel !!!!


The next day was Valentines days. David took us to breakfast in Port Townsend. I had an amazing omelet with prime-rib, roasted garlic, roasted peppers, mushrooms and fontana cheese. I got some fun goodies new salad spoons, amazing vintage red velvet trim (at Edge-to-Edge, I adore that shop), lots of chocolate and this oh-so charming Black Apple print. I love Emily's work and have been wanting a print for quite some time. When I saw this one, I knew this was the one I wanted. Now I am looking for the perfect frame. Thank you Emily. Chloe gave me a homemade card and Aubern'e made me a pillow. It is not quite done, when it is, I will share it.

Speaking of chocolate I had quite the chocolate experience. I treated myself to a Vosegs chocolate bacon bar. Wow, I tell you this is sooo interesting. It is bacony, it is salty and chocolatey all at the same time. It sounds bizarre but baby it works. If you ever get a chance to try it please do. Very unique. Thank you for sharing what you favorite chocolate is, it was so fun to read xoxoxo

Happy Valentine Giveaway


Happy Valentine my dear readers. I have a lot of loves in my life, but you readers one of them. Anyone of you who has a blog understands what I mean. But if you do not have a blog, I do not think you understand just how much your support, your comments, you cheering on means. I feel so blessed to be able to have a blog, to be able to share what is in my heart and for you to take the time from your busy day, to stop by neck of the woods. Thank you !!!!!!

Oh I had such big plans. The prettiest Valentine's I was going to make. I have all the supplies, it all laid out in my head. I was going to surprise so many of you with such yummy mail. But sadly this month has been against me. Between travel, three birthdays, Valentines for my girls and not feeling well. Well, nothing happened. I feel soooooo bad. I really did have the best intentions. So in-lieu of Valentine's I am going to have a book giveaway. For the next four weeks (or maybe more weeks), once a week I will have a book giveaway. This week's book is Linens and Lace by Trica Foley. A week from now I will announce a winner and a new book. Remember to tell me what your favorite chocolate is too, or if you hate chocolate, we will come up with something else. There is nothing on a cold winter day like a yummy book and a piece for chocolate.

PS. Thank you to those who sent me the most wonderful Valentines. I have them up around my house and think of you when I see them. You were much to kind to me xoxoxoxo


A Request


Hello, I have a request from my dear friend Angie. Her sister (who is also a dear friend of mine. She is one of the first friends I made when I moved to WA 17 years ago) has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Angie is looking for ways to support her sister through this time. She is looking for cool ideas for head coverings. She thought some of you reader might have gone through this and have some fun, interesting head covering ideas. Also if you think of it please say a prayer for Cynthia. Thank you xoxoxoxo

Menu Of The Week


Did you know you could bake ravioli's, I mean instead of boiling them. I did not and I think it is really cool. It all started because I was looking for an easy dish for Chloe to make. I am focusing on teaching Chloe some recipes for dinner, that she can make all by herself and does not need me. I saw this idea and thought it would be so simple for Chloe. I got one of those big bags of frozen cheese ravioli's at Costco. We used jarred red sauce but next time I am going to teach her how to make a simple meat sauce. All we did was layer some sauce, then the ravioli's still frozen, some cheese and sauce again, till we ran out of ravioli's.

The reason I am posting this, is because I think it is pretty brilliant. Maybe it is only me, but when I boil ravioli's, tortellini's, ect. sure enough some break, I get filling floating in my water, ect, yuck !!! By baking them, they cooked beautifully without the boiling, without the breaking pasta, without the mess.

We also made these wonderful apricot marzipan bars. I was able to unmold them because I used one of those silicone baking pans. If you do not have those, you can just cut them into bars.

Baked Ravioli's

1 large package fresh, not dried (can be frozen and not defrosted) cheese ravioli's

Sauce and cheese    

Preheat oven to 350

In a large deep baking dish pour some sauce, then a layer of ravioli's, then some cheese, repeat again till you run out of ravioli's. Cover with a heavy lid or wrap tight with foil. Bake 35 minutes or if ravioli's are still frozen 60 minutes.

Apricot Marzipan Bars
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soft butter

3/4 cup almond paste or marzipan

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

8-ounce jar apricot jam

1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" pan.

Beat the butter, sugar and almond paste until blended. Add the extracts. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder. The dough will be crumbly. Add the egg and mix until blended. Reserve 1/3 of dough, then use the remaining to line the bottom of the greased pan.

Spread jam over the dough. Crumble the reserved dough over the jam. Sprinkle with almonds and sparkling sugar.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, till they're golden brown and the jam is bubbly. Remove from the oven, cool for 30 minutes, then cut into bars or unmold if using silicone pan.

Coco, Tea or Me !!


The NW is gray and drizzly a lot, but I find that February and March are really long, hard months. The holidays are over, there is much going on, it is too cold to go outside and the weather really can get to you. I am always looking for little ways to entertain and brighten these days. Since we drink so much tea and coco, I thought I would make it a bit more special. I set up a little tray in my kitchen, I got a fun, cheery cup-cake towel at Target. I added our coco mix, tea, strainer, a mini-tea pot, sweetener, mini-marshmallows, a scoop, spoons and cups.

We have over 15 different types of tea. So each morning I set out a new tea and have a little tag in the bowl saying what tea it is. All day I keep a thermos filled with hot watter and I plan once a week to change a treat for the coco. Maybe candy canes, chopped chocolate, cinnamon, ect. It is inviting to see everything all set out and ready to go. A cheery spot on these not so cheery days.

Hot Chocolate Mix

I have looked at a lot of coco mixes but the problem with a lot of them is they use produces like chocolate drink mix, pudding mix or non-dairy creamer. These items have a lot of things in them I do not want to give to my family. So I decided to just keep it simple. Dried milk, coco powder, sweetener and a pinch of salt. Salt always makes it taste sweeter. I wish I could afford organic dried milk, but at this point I am still looking for an affordable option.

1 cup dried powdered milk

1/4 cup coco powder

1/3-1/2 (depending on your taste) cup vanilla sugar or plain sugar, I use evaporated cane

good pinch of salt

Mix and store in a air-tight container, I make at lest 3 times this amount at a time.

To make coco, add 1/4 cup of mix to 1 cup of hot water.


Coral Love


Well since I had success with my Rubblework scarf, I thought I would take the same concept and make a table runner for Valentines. All I did was make a pieced top, add rick-rack to the edge and then a back side fabric. I did not add any filler or quilt it, I wanted it to lay totally flat. Thanks to Michele, I found a brilliant idea, 9 patch. Since the part I hate is all the cutting out of little pieces and putting them together, this was perfect for me. Thank you Michele. It is SO easy, you have to check it out !!!!!!!! My colors for my living-room this spring are soft reds, coral pinks and light turquoise. For the hearts I potato stamped them, I am pretty happy with the runner. The fabrics did not come together like I envisioned. I can see I need to develop more of a quilters eye. As usual I learned a few more things. With each project I do there are mistakes, but then there are lessoned learned. I have to say Kathy's tips in her Rubblework scarf pattern really helped me with the runner xoxoxox


What An Adventure


I had a lovely time in OR. Although it was very stormy and we could not do much. I was thrilled though, we went to an outlet-mall and they have a Le Creuset seconds shop. I have been wanting a 9 qt. Le Creuset for such a long time. My mother taught me it is better to have less kitchen equipment but the best you can buy. It is a life-time investment. My Le Creuset lovely deep blue-green. Another blessing there is no tax in OR !!!!!!

But I wanted to tell you about my little linens adventure. My MIL (who knows me so well) was talking with my FIL's barber and he was telling her how the trunk in his shop was full of linens, made by his mother and had not been opened for years. While visiting she said she wanted to stop by the barbershop and unbeknownst to me, she asked him if he was interested in selling any of the linens. He was and the next night I went over. Now this trunk is huge and has big leather straps around it. As he opened the trunk, there was this beautiful smaller wooden box on top with a picture of a lady with an amazing hat. He lifted the box and the trunk was stuffed with linens. It was like Christmas morning but better. It would have taken me an hour to really go through it but I only had a few minutes. It was so much fun and a bit awkward, going through someone's family history. I kept asking are you sure you want to sell. Actually I think it is sad none of his children did not want any. I could have taken piles but did not want to seem greedy. I just picked out a few really beautiful pieces. My favorite is this child's apron. I love how the ladies frilly skirts are the pockets. I need to find a special way to show it off.

Then he proceeded to take me in the back-room full of boxes, old tables, chairs, ect. He tells me all those boxes are full of china. I thought I would die. I so wish I could just rent a u-hail and clean out his store room for him  :- ) maybe if I am lucky, next time I visit he will want to sell more.

I also loaded up on Sisboom Mod Girl fabric, old vintage lace, 10 yards of hand embroidered linen trim for $2.00. I need to do some sewing now. Speaking of sewing, wait till you see my Valentine runner. Thank you for all well wishes and glad you had yummy oatmeal xoxoxox