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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Braised Lamb Shanks

Not my picture, I will replace with my picture as soon as the dish is complete!


Ingredients
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flour
4 lamb shanks (about 8 ounces each)
2 cups medium diced onions
1 cup medium diced carrots
1 cup medium diced celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup red wine
1 pound new potatoes, quartered
2 quarts lamb or dark stock
1/4 cup parsley
1 tblsp. Essence

Recipe for Emerils Essence:
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.Yield: 2/3 cupRecipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Directions
In a large stock pot or braising pot, add the olive oil. Season the lamb shankswith salt and pepper. Season the flour with Essence. Dredge the lambshanks in the seasoned flour, coating each side completely. When the oil ishot, sear the shanks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until very brown onall sides. Remove the shanks and set aside. Add the onions to the pan andsaute for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and continue to saute for 1minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping thebottom and sides to loosen the browned particles. Add the potatoes andstock. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the lambshanks and continue to cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting the shanksoften, or until the sauce is stew­like and the meat starts to fall of the bone.Season with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Pound Cake


This is the best chocolate pound cake recipe I have ever made.  Very moist as long as you do not over cook it.

2 1/2 cups of Sugar
1 Cup of vegetable oil (not olive oil)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter milk
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups regular flour
1/2 cup a good quality cocoa powder
1 cup very hot strong coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Mix oil, sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla in a large bowl or your mixer bowl.
In another small bowl mix the cocoa and flour together,
In a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl mix the buttermilk and the baking soda together well.  It will foam up a bit.
Now, adding alternately the cocoa and flower mixture and the buttermilk baking soda mixture to the oil, sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla mixture. ( I.E.  add some of the dry mixture then some of the buttermilk mixture and mix well in between each addition ending with the buttermilk mixture.)
Once the above mixture is mixed well add the very hot or boiling coffee to the bowl and start by mixing on slow speed and gradually increase the speed.  This is so you don't get doused with hot coffee.
Pour into your prepared bundt pan. and bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cake is meant to be moist.
Let cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar or hot fudge and serve.


Monday, December 8, 2014

More ATC's to share

I just realized I hadn't shared these yet and I can't let that go.  :)  I love to share my art for you to see and for me to go back and look at for inspiration and to see if I'm getting any better or not.  :)
So here are a few more I've not shared.




Saturday, December 6, 2014

The raffle bird house another update

I'm not sure about you but I LOVE seeing what happens to my creations.  I get updates from all over the world about many things I've made and sold or given away.  My little sack boy has been around the world twice and I've watched him every step of the way.  People that are so kind to send updates are just the best people to know!  Well, I've gotten another update on the little quilt shop bird house I made for the 2014 Tri-County Quilt Guild Quilt Show.  Bankie, who won the little bird house (remember the picture I posted of her and how excited she was, MY FAVORITE ALL TIME PHOTO) has sent me an update today.  She keeps it at her vacation home on it's own special shelf.  WELL, she's decorated it for Christmas, can you believe it.  WOW she's done a great job and I am so tickled to see it. I'm so tickled that she won it!  (Now to get her to come decorate my house :) )
Anyway without further adieu....

We Bee Quilters House Block Swap

If you have not joined your local guild yet you should.  It is a great way to have fun and fellowship with like minded people.  And of course you make lots of friends.  Guilds have little groups called Bee's.  I'm in the "We Bee Quilters" bee and we have done a block swap for the last two years.  I didn't have time to do it last year cause I was doing the quilt show boutique and of course that took up lots of my time.
Anyway, our block swap theme this year is house blocks.  Now mind you my block is a school house and at first the blocks were suppose to be all houses.  Then people started asking questions about doing barns, churches and shops.  Well I decided a neighborhood needs a school so that is why I choose a school house.  Mind you we need more houses than businesses so most of the swapper's will be making houses.  I have ordered my backing fabric already and am excited to get all the blocks this coming Wednesday!  I have a picture in my mind of what my quilt is going to look like.  I am so excited about being able to join in.
So here are my 21 blocks all finished.  Of course I left this till the last possible moment and wanted to had lots of details such as the hand applique flag, the school name, the bell and smoke coming out of the chimney.  But I got it done and that is all that matters right!



Here are all the swapped blocks I received this past Wednesday.  I am so happy with them.  There is only one that is not the correct size so either I will not use it or I'll try and make it bigger and make three more blocks to complete my house quilt.  


and my backing fabric arrived! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa




Friday, December 5, 2014

All I've made for Christmas

I haven't done much of anything in the way of making Christmas decorations this year but these cute little guy's.  This is a Gingermelon pattern from Etsy.
Her patterns are the cutest and I've purchased many of these.  Most of the time I've reduced the pattern sizes so they can be used as 3D ATC cards.  :)  Yeah crazy right!  But these I left the original size and sent them out as gifts to some awesome artists I trade ATC's with.
I think they turned out great.  I didn't use felt but I purchase wool fabric from here at RubyMountainDyeWorks on Etsy and I found the natural wool fabric in cream at JoAnn's.  I spend the extra money cause I wanted these to be special little gifts.  I hope they love them as much as I did making them.





Merry Christmas!



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two UFO's Quilted and binding on....

I've been working on these for some time, maybe two years.  The first quilt is a pattern kit I purchased on Connecting Threads website and the pattern is called Chubby Chicks.  This one I had to do the satin stitch on my sewing machine.  I'm am not the best at the satin stitch!  The second quilt is one I designed after I purchased and embroidery file from BunnyCup  Embroidery site called Here Birdy (Still available on their site).  So I named this one Here Birdy Birdy after the design.  The fabric is a Moda line that is a mock homespun.  I had purchased a huge charm pack (100 charms) oh between 10 and 15 years ago. Then about two years ago decided to finally use it on this quilt. Of course this fabric is no longer carried and I needed a backing fabric.  Well to my surprise the quilt shop in Spring that carries all Moda fabric (some are very old lines of fabric) had two of the fabrics from this line on the bolt.  Yaaaaaaaaaa for me.  I purchased enough of one for the backing and another yard of the other for the binding.  I just lucked out with this and trust me I looked and looked for fabrics that I thought would go well with this line and couldn't find anything I liked.  So checking out your local quilt shops can bring surprises!
I did the FMQ on both of these and while they are not professional looking they are done!  Now if I ever get those grandchildren I've been hoping for all will be grand in my little world.


Chubby Chicks



Here Birdy Birdy






Friday, November 14, 2014

From an Artist to a Pattern designer!

Like you, I too have many talented friends, trust me when I say way more talent than I could dream of having.  So...... there are a couple of these friends that their drawings when I see them I see a future quilt block or mug rug or something awesome in fabric. And of course these are their works of art so I can't just turn it into something for me can I?   I look at their drawings and wish I could have come up with that!

Anyway, one of those friends KD Sams is one of the friends I just spoke about that when they create their paintings my eyes always see it in fabric.  Her drawings are quirky and I can see bright colors of candy fabric floating around in my head after viewing her art.  So finally I told her this, and to my surprise she liked that I thought her art would translate well into a quilt block.  Now mind you she's an artist, not a seamstress but I told her that if she could use the heat and bond lite she could create the block and pattern without ever having to use a sewing machine.  Then she would have her art in fabric form to take pictures of for that perfect pattern.  Well to get her excited about the process I made one of her girls into a little quilt.  Mind you I did rush it so it's not perfect but I think now she see's what I see.

I created a quilt block and the pattern for her girl "Maddie" to show her just how easy it is  (and to get her motivated to create this quilt I have in my head, hehehe).  I sent the pattern to her so she can see the process, (and improve on it I'm sure).  I hope that she posts it for sale, I think she will be surprised by the response she will get from quilters.  I'm hoping for 11 more of her quirky girls to make a quilt with.  I think she could do a block of the month and people would be anxiously waiting for the next block!

I'm going to send her this Maddie quilt block once I get the binding on it and a hanger for the back but I will be making one for me too <<<<grinning.  I think I'll use needle turned applique on the one for me because I'm not so good at the raw edge applique.  My satin stitches look like Shat.  :)

Here is KD Sams first pattern from her original art.  What do you think of her?  I'm going to put the binding on today after some weaving tool orders I have to complete.  :)
I hope she is excited as I am about her work!



Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Texas Snowman Mug Rug


My new mug rug design, he's a Texas snow man. Now if you've never made a snow man in Texas then this information will come in handy.
To make a snowman in Texas you have to have at least 1/2 inch of snow fall on the ground. You must have a wagon so you can collect all the snow from all your neighbors yard. Once you have collected all the snow from your neighbors yards you must rush home and have the entire family help you quickly build your snowman while your mom complains about all the trash, dirt and grass in the snow you collected. And your dad is upset cause you insisted on using his cowboy hat! You must take a picture right away because he will be completely melted in 30 minutes to an hour... but what the heck, you had fun and you got your Christmas card picture!!!

This mug rug is for a mug rug swap I'm in... I hope who ever gets this one loves it as much as I do!
You can find this pattern HERE.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Little Lamb Quilt Block



Here is my newest creation.  I finished the design of the main block, this little ragged edged lamb.  Now to decide on the quilt.  I think it will be a square quilt with 3 blocks across and 3 blocks down. I will make 4 lambs and 5 - 3D pinwheels with inside sashing and 2 outside borders.
Once I get the top made I can sit down and write the  instructions while it's fresh in my head.   I'll show you the finished top in the next couple days.  I love the way this block turned out!  Wish me luck on getting this one done!  You can get this pattern HERE.











Monday, October 20, 2014

Birds of a feather block or mug rug

I'm so excited about this new design.  I love the bright colors and of course I'm a huge fan of ragged edges.  Since I love birds and bright colors this one is the perfect design for me.
I'm calling it Birds Of A Ragged Feather Flock Together.  This is going to be one of the blocks for my block of the month pattern but of course I want to test it out before I settled on this design as one of the block.  Well a mug rug is the perfect way to test out a block design I think and a of course a girl can't have too many mug rugs!
Here it is, I hope you love it as much as I do.  You can find this pattern HERE.



Friday, October 10, 2014

The Fox Tangle



I want to design a block of the month quilt.  This is my center block and I have started the design for 3 more (much easier) blocks.  This one I rushed a bit so I don't have the tangle part as perfect as it should be but I love it anyway.  Today I got it all hand appliqued into place on the back ground.  Tomorrow I will audition centers for the Dresden plate.  I'm thinking either gold/yellow or pink/purple or green.  I will decide this tomorrow and get it sewn into place.  I think I will make this one into a wall hanging so that it can also be a stand alone design or can be block one of 12 blocks.
I am happy with this design, I have always been fond of Celtic designs.
You really have to pin and glue the Celtic design into place before you begin hand sewing because the bias tape goes over and under itself in several locations which is what makes the design appealing to me.  Someone suggested I call this block the Fox Tangle or Fox Tango which I think is so cute.  I might just consider the Fox Tangle... :)
Here is some of my process on this block so far.





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sweetest little sewing caddy

Here is my newest project.  This one took me most of the day to get the shape right.  It's is now the perfect size.  One side I can put my latest work in progress in and the other I can put all my sewing tools in and of course there is a pin cushion on top (this is going to save the arm of my chair were there is probably 20 needles lost inside of).  I'm pleased with my color choice for this one.  I used lace down the middle and tea stained it to look old.  I did a search for J&P Coat advertising and found the perfect one for the pin cushion.   This one I'm going to sell so now I'm off to make myself one.  I think I'll make mine in some sweet teal fabric.  (I love that color).
You can find this one HERE










Saturday, October 4, 2014

Chiwawa Pot Holder

My newest pot holder creation.  This little guy was so much fun to make.  Isn't she the cutest little fellow you've ever seen.  I fashion her after our little Penelope "Penny" for short.  We love our dogs so of course we love doggy pot holders too!
Here she is,  she's made from some old denim jeans I had lying around the house so this cutie didn't cost hardly a thing to make.  You can get this pattern HERE

Friday, October 3, 2014

"The Artist" Collectible Mohair Piggy

Here is my newest creation.  He's an artist just like I want to be called, but he really is!  He is sporting artist clothing designed just for him.  His beret has a hand cut filigree design on the top and his matching cape is made from a tweed black and red wool.  He sits at 8 inches tall and is made from mohair from Germany.  He is completely made by hand and is cotter pin jointed.  Hes facial features and hooves are felted by hand.  He is the cutest little thing right down to his curly tail!
I truly enjoyed making him and hope he finds a good home soon.

You can find this cutie in my Etsy online shop Here