Saturday, October 5, 2013

 I have been faithfully working on 'Mary Tillinghast,' but I am itching to start something new. This is partly because I received the Fall SANQ, and partly because to get more of the one-over-one done now instead of saving it for last.

Last night at church we had the Blessing of the Animals for St. Francis' Day. Three sweet pups turned up to be blessed. Nutmeg and Buttercup are holding on to Hektor.

 Here are a couple of random shots . There is not much to say except they are precious snapshots of my everyday life.


Monday, September 23, 2013

 Here is a quick update on 'Mary Tillinghast.' I managed to get in quite a bit of stitching this weekend while listening to an audio book of The Fellowship of the Rings. I have read the series many times over the years, but it really makes a difference to hear it read aloud. The sounds of the words are really beautiful. I have to wait until Oct. 14 to get a new Audible credit, so I am going to listen to an audiobook of The Silmarillion I already have.

Louisiana Man won the wall debate, and suggested we add something under the sampler instead of lowering it. I suppose is will do for now.

I will be making roasted cauliflower dip again today - I have gotten a little obsessed with it. Cauliflower sounds like a crazy thing to crave, but there is almost as much dairy as veggie in this fabulous recipe!


Thursday, September 19, 2013


 Good Morning, all! I thought I would ease back into blogging with some evidence that I have actually been stitching this summer!

My mom had a few pieces framed for me, and I hung one on an existing hanger in our front room. I told Louisiana Man it needed to be hung a bit lower. Louisiana Man hates making nail holes in the wall - or rather, he hates me making nail holes in the wall. He tends to mutter something about it "compromising the structural integrity of the house." o.O

 I have great plans every year to stitch Prairie Schooler designs every month. I finished two March designs I have been working on and off for a year or two.

I also finished the 'Dutch Alphabet' design by Sheepish Designs that I searched high and low for. It's long. Long and skinny. It will definitely break up a grouping of upright rectangle frames!

Yesterday, I was out of sorts. I really think it is just the beginning of this season's seasonal allergies. I self-medicated by starting a new sampler: 'Mary Tillinghast' by Sheepish Antiques (Sheepish Designs).
The peach colors in this sampler looked a bit washed out to my eye, so I bumped the colors up: instead of 950 (dark) and 543 (light), I used 407/3773 (dark) and 950 (light). I am happy with the change so far. Today I will be searching for new yellows. The yellow flowers seem so bright and happy; 3045 and 3046 are not going to cut it.

I shopped Tanya the Sampler Girl's fabulous stash sale, and acquired this gem: Prairie Schooler 12 Days of Christmas! I was so excited to find the non-Santa version. I'm not a big Santa person - I know, that is heresy in the cross stitch world. I might as well come clean and say I am not a snowman person either - do I have any readers left? Santas and snowmen have a bit of the clown-scare-factor to my taste. Don't hate me! lol I have this brilliant plan wherein I stitch two complete sets of the 12 Days - one with blond people and one with brunettes. Then I can lovingly present the appropriate set to my daughters. I may be on a 10-year plan here!

Homeschool is all systems go here - can't you tell? ;)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

That Dessert

My late grandmother used to make a dessert she called Chocolate Torte. It goes by many names: Chocolate Sin, Chocolate Delight, but they all have in common a pecan shortbread crust, a cream cheese-C%l Whip layer, and a layer of chocolate pudding. I loved it!

Louisiana Man hates pecans, and Buttercup is SEVERELY allergic (and my parents live in a pecan grove - yikes!), so I haven't made that dessert in years!

There is another popular C%l Whip-pudding dessert that is layered with graham crackers. I decided to combine the two, and I want to share it with you. I have made 4 in the past....4 weeks? maybe 3 weeks?...ahem. We like it. We really like it. We refer to it, casually, as That Dessert.

And did I mention I doubled the layers? ;)

Brace yourselves!

1 box chocolate graham crackers
2 boxes 1/3 reduced cream cheese (it makes me feel a tiny bit better to uses reduced)
1 8 oz tub C%l Whip (by all means whip the cream yourself if you are inclined)
1 cup powdered sugar (this is a double layer remember!)
chocolate pudding made with 4 cups of milk (use your recipe or boxed, or mine)

Here is the chocolate pudding recipe we use. It is not the worst for you, nor is it meant to be diet-friendly. You have been warned.

This is doubled. I make it single for just pudding, or make it single with 1 3/4 c milk instead of 2 and pour it in a graham cracker pie crust.

1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c cocoa powder
4 Tbs cornstarch
4 Tbs All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
 4 c milk (I use 2% because my girls will not drink skim)
4 egg yolks (I cook the whites in the microwave, and feed them to the dog and cats)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 single serve of instant coffee (I used Folgers classic decaf)

Combine all pudding ingredients EXCEPT vanilla and instant coffee. Heat over medium heat. ***Medium! It will burn, and the whole thing will taste like burned milk, and you will spend the afternoon scraping burned pudding off the bottom of the pot - ask me how I know.***

 So it will take awhile, and you will be stirring with a whisk until you think your arm will fall off. You will begin to think you are no longer capable of stirring when you realize - lo and behold! - the pudding is thickening!! I do not let it boil - that is the quickest way to pudding burned on the bottom of the pot.

Stir in vanilla and instant coffee (add another packet if you want a stronger coffee flavor), and let it cool.

Then  combine the C%l Whip and powdered sugar and cream cheese.

Lay the graham crackers in a layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Spread 1/2 C%l Whip-cream cheese mixture over crackers. It will not be easy. I drop spoonfuls all over then gently spread them out with an offset knife.

Layer 1/2 the COOLED pudding.

Another layer of Graham Crackers, C%l Whip-cream cheese, pudding and you are finished! Let chill. The graham crackers will soften and be very cake-y.

*I have an extra layer of C%l Whip because someone bought a 16-oz tub. I used the whole thing, and it was way too much! Really!

I hope you enjoy it, and please share any variations or tweaks!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Will I ever....

Will I ever blog again? Yes
Will I ever cross stitch again? Yes
Will I ever do that give-away? Yes
Will I finish this year of homeschool? Yes

But right now, there are roses...



 'Clementina Carbonieri'

'Fisherman's Friend'



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Stitching Progress

I made a bit of stitching progress this week, stitching in the car while my children had dance and music lessons.

First up is a finish from the CHS 'Mr. and Mrs. Abbot' chart.

 Then there was some work done on 'The Cottage Girl.'

And finally a new start: 'Dutch Alphabet' by Sheepish Designs.

This is a design I looked for FOR YEARS! I searched and searched until it finally came up on e$ay at a reasonable price. Have you ever noticed on e$ay that you search for years for a hard to find chart (usually a Sheepish Designs, Birds of a Feather, or Goode Huswife ) and then suddenly e$ay is inundated with the designer's charts? I wonder how often the people selling a chart for $99 actually make a sale?

I am toying with the idea of spending the day alternating between completing an alphabet/crown motif and doing a chore around the house. I'll keep considering my options while I finish my coffee. ;)


Monday, February 4, 2013

Birthday Giveaway!

I turn 40 next month.


I am sure you all will help me through it, right?

I am putting together a little giveaway of charts to celebrate the Big Day. Some will be oldies, all will be goodies.


Leave a comment on this post telling me something great about being 40.

 A winner will be drawn at random.

I will update later with hints about the chosen charts- helpful hints such as "baaa-baaa" and the like. ;)

Anyone is welcome to enter. You don't need to be a "follower," although it would be good for my aging ego... ;)


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wednesday the tornado sirens were going off, and today big, fluffy flakes are falling from the sky! That means it is almost spring in North Georgia! I may dig out Tanya the Sampler Girl's "Snow Day" chart for some afternoon stitching. I actually finished this Mary Beale piece this morning while listening to Mansfield Park on  

 I have been listening to it for several days, so it is no surprise that I chose 'Mr. and Mrs. Abbott and Daughters' by Carriage House Samplings as my reward for a finish. This looks like a perfect addition to any Jane Austen-themed stitching collection.  

 I am really enjoying Mansfield more this time than any other time I have read it. Jerry and I also have been watching an old 'Barchester Towers' mini-series. All my frustration with the two novels The Warden and Barchester Towers is coming back! Jane Austen novels are about the only ones I can read and not get frustrated. The good guys are lovable, and the and guys are too ridiculous to get upset about! I am still working away on 'Pennsylvania Bird.'

This morning I sketched in my initials, and now I need to work on a 2013. Then it will just be "filling in." Buttercup and Hektor are anxious to get out into the snow! I was only tempted out to take a 10-second video, and will be parking myself in my stitching corner with a coffee for the foreseeable future! 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hello, Stitching Friends! Is it freez-y cold where you are? We have had several winter storm warnings, but only a bit of ice and not a single flake! The winds are cold coming off the mountains, and I have been stitching or playing Settlers of Catan with the family. Hektor has not been happy that he alone must go out into the cold to do his business.

This week I started "A Pennsylvania Bird" by Elizabeth's Garden. I had no idea about this designer until I saw the charts pop up on e$ay while searching for Carriage House Samplings.

I have not quite finished the Mary Beale I was working on - I just really do not want to do that last wing on the angel. Maybe I can force myself to work on it sometime this weekend. After all, the reward for finishing a piece is to start a couple new ones, right? ;)


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Glory of the Lord

I still have not fixed the wonkiness on this blog, so please bear with me. I did start a new blog which focuses on preparations for my Sunday School class. Today's post is about making felt and wood saints for Bible story presentations.

I really have not been stitching much since the first week or so of December. I may have finished a few more ornaments, but that was it. Last night I picked up the Mary Beale piece I started before Christmas, and the needle felt odd in my hand!! I am going to do what I can to get "back in shape" with a long afternoon of stitching! LOL