Friday, November 25, 2011

Like a Big Foofy Petticoat.

One of my favorite things to do, when I have the time, is to wander about Pinterest. You can find the most amazing things on there! Like this little gem offered by Little Miss Momma:


Ah, finally a use for coffee filters that does not require coffee! I chose this as my Thanksgiving craft for this year. Usually there is lots of family here to gather and make a craft after dinner. Not this year, so it was just Ainslie and I who started on our craft project together. A tired baby cut our session short so I made mine tonight. Here it is hanging in  my living room window.


And a little closer.


I used a little over two 160 count packages of coffee filters to make mine. I found them at the Dollar Tree. The 12 inch wreath form came from Wal Mart and was $4.50. That and a little hot glue (well, maybe a lot of hot glue) made this a very inexpensive project done in about 2 1/2 hours. A very inexpensive gorgeous project!
This is the kind of craft my grandmother liked to do- transforming the most humble objects into something extraordinary. I think she would have loved making this wreath. I know I did.
Now to find an excuse to make another one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rolling Along.

No self-respecting Thanksgiving preparation day would be complete without the making of pies. It's a tradition I have carried on for the last 30 years, when I first ventured into the pie baking world. The past 20 years I have done so with the help of my great-grandmother's rolling pin.


Her name was Lottie Collins until she married my great-grandfather, then she became Lottie Asquith. Lottie had two daughters, Margaret and Bernice, my grandmother. I don't remember Lottie at all. But this rolling pin connects me to her and, in a way, I know her because of it. Her hands held those handles. smoothed flour onto the pin, rolled out pastry that would cradle apples and hold hearty meat fillings.


My grandmother, Bernice, carried on that tradition. She made the best apple pies. Truly. I can still picture her standing in our kitchen carefully peeling each apple, slicing it with a paring knife towards her thumb. I slice mine the same way, probably from watching Grammy doing it for so many years. She never cut herself and neither have I. Which is a bit of a miracle because I am somewhat of a klutz! Grammy's pastry was superb- light and flaky and delicious. There is no recipe for me to replicate it- she never measured anything. It was all done by eye. You can't compete with that. My mom was able to make her apple pies just like her mother's. I did not inherit that talent.


So, I put my own twist on this family classic. I peel and slice my apples, put them in a heavy-bottomed pan and add butter, sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, a little salt and, my secret weapon- a little ground black pepper. It adds that little something that causes you to think about what you are eating. A nice little surprise that you can't quite put your finger on. The apples cook until just fork tender and then I put them in the shell. My pie dough recipe? Betty Crocker pie crust mix in a box. Don't judge me. The result is the same- a yummy apple pie. That's all that matters.


I love using the tools that were used by my family. I love that my hands fit where their hands did. I love that the traditions that they started are still being done today and will, hopefully, be carried on for generations to come. 
I also really love apple pie.

I hope all of you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

National Tie One On Day!

I wear an apron every single day. If I'm at home, I have one on while I hang the laundry, cook our meals or wash the dishes. If I'm at work, I wear my gray apron with the big pockets so I can stuff them full of tiny things that might get lost. You don't want to lose tiny things in a quilt shop. Trust me. So, when I received a message from my friend, EllynAnne, letting me know about this year's Tie One On event, I had to jump on over and see what she had in store for this year. Well, it's so awesome!

 What do you do on NTOOD? Well, you grab your favorite apron, tie it behind your back and whip up some kitchen magic for someone who needs a little lift. Wrap your offering in an apron (homemade, store bought or vintage) and deliver it with a smile and a whole lot of love. That's it! Simple, huh? Head on over to EllynAnne's blog to read all about some fabulous things that are tied to this event. I think you will be very happy when you do. 
Now, go tie one on! An apron, of course!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Starry-eyed.

What a trip! I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun I had at market- even though it was some pretty hard work! Here's a shot of a portion of the floor looking through one of the huge round windows in the convention center. It does not do this bit of craziness justice! Picture it- Row after row of quilts, fabrics, patterns, accessories, software, notions and everything else you could think of laid out before you. Crazy. The rows were numbered 100-2200, if that helps you envision the enormity of the whole shebang. Good night above.

One of my favorite things was to meet the women that I have "conversed" with over the past couple of years through their blogs. Two of my favorite people happened to be at market:


Like Anna, from Thimbleanna, whose blog is one I make sure to read, every day.. I actually got to meet her at sample spree (pretty much a madhouse!) and we had matching, wrinkle brown paper bags for each other. Not just paper bags, but paper bags with treats inside. We're kindred spirits, that girl and I. And, obviously, connoisseurs of wrapping supplies! I'll have to share what she gave me when my camera battery recovers!


The other girl I had to meet was Pam Viera-McGinnis from PamKittyMorning. She is adorable! If you don't read her blog, you should! She has such a fun outlook on things and she makes the most adorable stuff in her sewing room- from quilts, to bags to pot holders. You name it, she makes it. The girl is a genius! I just loved getting to chat with her.
Once I sort through my photos, I'll share more. There was just so much to see and do. Schoolhouse on Friday, with classes from 9:00-6:00 with some of the most creative people, walking through the market floor for 3 days and trying to look professional (ha!), eating kolaches every morning we were there and loving every bite, spending time with some of the best people I know- Karen, Wendy and Angela, and soaking in every bit of creativity I could find. 
Houston, you were a blast!