Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sleeve Ironing Boards and a Pincushion

 Some time ago I shared the story of my vintage sleeve ironing board. Since then Adam has witnessed just how much I use my sleeve ironing board, and was inspired to try making one. It turned out so nicely he decided to make another.
A sleeve ironing board is extremely handy when sewing baby clothes, doll clothes and for pressing hard to reach seams, such as a sleeve seams. Over the years I have learned that ironing is a very important part of sewing and has a great impact on the outcome of the finished garment.
  Both sleeve boards are available to purchase through my Etsy shop. The sleeve board pictured above is available through this listing, while the board with the unbleached muslin cover is available here.
  I had just enough of the calico left to sew a matching pincushion. When my mom and I first started our business my mom made several pincushions in this style. They were always a well loved item. The size is very convenient for a number of pins and needles.
  The pincushion is embellished with hand embroidered rose bullions and leaves.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

African Violets

I have many fond memories from my youth of my grandma growing African violets. She took great pleasure in showing us her violets as they bloomed and thrived in her kitchen window. There were a few times grandma gave us violets she had propagated from her own plants, unfortunately they never lived very long in our home due to our cats. My sisters and I had 1-2 cats each!
Last winter I purchased two African violets in addition to a Christmas cactus. I was pleasantly surprised to see all three plants thrive in my kitchen window! Since then I have added two more African violets to my collection.
Throughout the cold winter months it gives me such joy to see flowers blossoming in my kitchen! Just to see some green this time of green is a blessing! : ) Some of the plants in this picture are blossoming now; they all seem to stagger a bit in their flowering cycle.

We have been surprised with an unseasonably warm weekend. All of the snow has melted and we have enjoyed spending time outside. We are brimming with excitement dreaming of spring coming just around the corner, hopefully!

" He hath made every thing beautiful in His time." Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Monday, February 13, 2017

Stuffed Pepper Soup

 Throughout the winter months I usually make a batch of soup every week. Some of my favorite recipes over the past few years have been chicken soup, cabbage soup and cheeseburger soup. This year my sister Rachel shared one of her new favorite recipes- stuffed pepper soup. Last fall I had given my sister a couple jars of my homemade spaghetti sauce. Rachel used the spaghetti sauce in her stuffed pepper soup, in fact she said that  homemade spaghetti sauce made the soup even  more delicious. Since I had several bags of frozen peppers in my freezer, and jars of spaghetti sauce and tomatoes in my pantry I thought it would be a great recipe to try!

Stuffed Pepper Soup:

  • 1 cup rice (prepare with water amount recommended) 
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups frozen chopped green peppers, thawed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained 
  • 1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the beef, green peppers and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, broth and prepared rice; heat through. 

As you can see this is a super fast and easy recipe to prepare! You may use white, brown or long grain rice; they all taste great in this soup. I sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top of the soup before serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have! Do you have a favorite soup recipe you have prepared this winter? 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"Little House" Birthday

Over the past year and a half Jemimah Rose has discovered the charm of Laura Ingalls Wilder's beautiful "Little House" books. One day while shopping at a local Mennonite store I purchased one of the "Little House" picture books for Jemimah. She was immediately captivated.
Last summer while shopping at a quilting store I found some lovely "Little House" fabric designed by Andover. I purchased it with a special plan in mind. In September Jemimah turned two and my gift to her was her own pioneer dress, bonnet and pinafore. The dress and bonnet were both sewn from the "Little House" fabric I had purchased earlier in the year.
I hand embroidered the pinafore yoke and added purple ric-rac to the collar. I noticed while watching the "Little House" T.V. series that they often used ric-rac.
Jemimah was delighted when she opened up her special outfit and new "Little House" picture book! It gave me such joy to see my little darling run about the yard on her birthday wearing the outfit I had sewn. For many years my mom and I have sewn pioneer outfits for little girls all over the world through our business The Scarlet Thread. It was a wonderful feeling to see my own daughter enjoying something I have enjoyed for so many years.
 I have so many grand memories of my mom reading the "Little House" series to my sisters and me by the warmth of the wood stove on a winter day. One year she made all three of us pioneer dresses when we attended a one room school house for a day. We were so excited to prepare our own "pioneer" lunch of homemade bread, cheese, meat and homemade butter. We took great delight in making the butter. Mom had a cassette tape of "Little House" fiddle music. We filled canning jars with cream, a pinch of salt and a clothes pin. We had such fun dancing around the table shaking our jars of cream to the fiddle music.
I am grateful to share and create such sweet memories with my own little girl. And I am so pleased to have a fellow "Little House" fan! : )
"This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16a

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
 Luke 2:8-12

                      May you all have a blessed Christmas filled with the joy and peace of Jesus!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Night of Great Joy

Mary Engelbreit presents A Night of Great Joy, a delightful picture book that celebrates the joyful season of Christmas. This book tells the story of the nativity through the performance of a children’s Christmas pageant. With adorable illustrations and simple storytelling, Engelbreit paints a wonderful picture of the night that Jesus was born.
A Night of Great Joy recalls that fateful night with wonder and awe. From the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem to the gathering of many before the baby Jesus, this holiday treasure leads children through the tale of the birth of Jesus, guiding them with the star of Bethlehem.

 "A Night of Great Joy"
Mary Engelbreit

Over the years I have enjoyed the whimsical charm of Mary Engelbriet's artwork. So when I saw this book available for review I was very excited to place a copy on reserve for my own collection.

Upon the arrival of this book my daughter was thrilled. The cover is colorful and even shimmers with a touch of glitter. "A Night of Great Joy" is a hard cover book, complete with a dust jacket. Each page is filled with beautiful illustrations that will instantly draw your little one into the story.

The idea of retelling the story of the birth of Jesus through a children's Christmas pageant is very cute. Some of the characters are even dressed in costumes to represent the different animals in the stable. Through the illustrations we see the mistakes and pleasures of the little children as they perform their Christmas pageant.

Overall it is a charming book. But not one that I would wholeheartedly recommend. My concern centers around the fact that in the pageant, the baby Jesus was depicted as a "Raggedy Andy" doll. It felt irreverent to me.

*I received a complimentary copy of
"A Night of Great Joy" from Book Look Blogger in exchange for my honest review*

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

The past three days have proven to be the coldest and rainiest days we have seen in our area in months.  As I look out my kitchen window all is gray and wet. The beautiful leaves have fallen and are filling our driveway. The hens are tucked away in their cozy coop, although I sense they are not completely pleased with the rain or being kept in. They have all grown to love roaming around the yard! Inside our home all is warm and cheering. A cozy fire blazes in the stove; Adam and Jemimah have enjoyed listing to records on Adam's old phonograph while I bake cookies.

This particular cookie recipe has been a family favorite for many years now. The soft cookie and cinnamon frosting are a terrific combination. The spicy fragrance of cinnamon filling the air makes the dark day cozy. And what could be better than the excitement of my little Jemimah as she saw the cookies baking in the oven? She danced about the kitchen yelling "cookies!" and then enjoyed eating a cookie straight from the oven without frosting.
Frosted Pumpkin Cookies-

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening (I used coconut oil)
1 cup canned pumpkin ( I used fresh pumpkin puree)
1 egg
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions: In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin and egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Allow to completely cool before frosting.

Cinnamon Frosting-
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 butter softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3-4 Tbsp. milk (or enough to achieve desired consistency)

Combine all four ingredients and mix until smooth. Frost cooled cookies.
 And just for fun I am adding a picture I took of our hens earlier this week. While we finished stacking our fire wood for the season, they enjoyed taking dirt baths in my flower bed. Oh well, at least it is the end of the flower season!

I hope you are enjoying a pleasant weekend! Are you baking anything special to keep your home cozy and autumnal?

"This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24