observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guest Blogger....Lydia Tavoletti

Hi everybody this is Jenn's daughter Lydia and this is a picture of me making a mouse because today is bring your kids to work day.

It was hard but easy because I haven't sewn anything since I was little.  It was really fun and I'm going to help her more by stuffing animals & dolls if she lets me. [she better pay me]

I took this picture of the mouse I made.  The dandelion was a good touch right?

Hope you have a great day, from Lydia.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Have a Beautiful Easter

So far on Easter break Lydia and I:  

1. shopped for Easter presents and both found the cutest spring sandals!

2. bought a giant Easter ham, recipe here.

3. dyed pretty eggs

4. dyed yucky roots.  I'll spare you a picture
     "....gonna wash that gray right outta my hair"

5. saw Hop the movie (our cuz Jason Petrocelli was a lead animator)

6. decorated the porch (pics later....I'm still working on a tablecloth!)

7. planted pretty pink flowers everywhere.

Look who else was visiting us while I was taking pictures.  The Easter bunny?  No only Petunia bunny!  She's been around here since last year.  Think she might be getting fatter hmmmm.

And it's only Friday.

What are you working on this holiday weekend?

lovely spring table by "Raised in Cotton"

I wanted to wish you a Happy Easter.  Bigs hugs to you all and thank you for visiting me, I really appreciate it.

Have a lovely holiday weekend.  I'm hoping for joyful family time and (please) some sunshine!  See you next week :)


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..."
-Peter 1:3 
beautiful centerpiece created by blomsterverkstad

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I have been totally obsessed with this new app that I joined a few weeks ago.  I'm always the latecomer in these things so I'm sure you've heard of it.....pinterest  

I have folders and folders of inspiration from the web just taking up space on my hard drive.  With pinterest you don't need to talk up all that space.  It's wonderful!!  Anything you find on the internet that inspires you....cooking, decorating, gardens.... you bookmark them aka "pin" them onto your own board. 

It is SO organized and so pretty to see all your things right there.  

I really have been trying to control myself because I do need to get dressed and eat sometime.  Not mentioning my family that wants a little attention every now and then :-) 

So if you'd like to join me...I'd love it.  Beware of pinning for hours on end and don't say I didn't warn ya!

Have a great night!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

April Offerings for the Primitive Gathering Group

Mouse is sold ~ thank you!
Here we are at the 15th of the month again.
Rabbit is sold ~ thank you!
Time for a new update on the Primitive Gatherings.

I've got three new offerings this month.  A few little wee creatures on pincushion made from vintage quilts.  If you have a moment, click on over and check them out.  The Primitive Gatherings Update for April

Sheep is Sold ~ Thank you!

Have a happy weekend my friends!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can't believe it's been a week!

Where did the last week go?  Seems like it was just yesterday that I posted that granola recipe.  I've been catching up on orders and knitting here.  I finished my scarf....woo hoo!  I'm now working on a summer shawl, which I'm sure I'll get to wear sometime neeexxt summer!

If you have a few minutes go check out my knitting groups blog....Dyed in the Wool.  My friend Jess posted a story for them about a GORGEOUS skirt she knitted.  You've gotta go, even just to look at the pictures....it's beautiful!!!  She's beautiful!!!

We had such a miserable day yesterday with bone-chilling cold rain ~yuck!  The only hope was looking out my kitchen door at all the spring bulbs and flowering trees blooming away.  I gave up trying to work and ended up cooking and baking the day away....a few muffins for the old muffin top!

Mr. & Mrs. Chickadee kept me company by cleaning out the feeder all day long.

This was the first time I made this soup.  It's from one of my favorite cook books "The New Best Recipe".  I had the ingredients so I went for it.  This stock makes so much delicious beef that I was able to freeze some for next time.  Loved this recipe.  Served with crusty bread, it was perfect for cheering up the day!

Beef Noodle Soup

part 1
Rich Beef Stock
1-2 TBSP Canola Oil
6 pounds beef shanks, meat cut from the bones
1 large onion, halved
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 quarts boiling water
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil in dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high; brown the meat, bones and onion halves on all sides in batches.  Add extra oil if needed.  Set aside all contents.

Add red wine to empty pot; cook until reduced to a syrup, 1-2 minutes. 

Return all meat, bones and onions to the pot.  Reduce heat to low, then cover and sweat the meat and onion until they release about 3/4 cup dark, very intensely flavored liquid, about 20 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and add the water and salt; bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to very low, partially covered, and barely simmer until the meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Strain the stock, discarding the bones and onion, set meat aside, reserving half of the meat for another use.

Let stock stand until fat rises to the top; skim and discard.  When meat is cool, shred into bite-size pieces for use in soup.

part 2
The Soup
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
1 celery rib, chopped medium
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
2 quarts beef stock, plus 2 cups shredded beef (from above)
2 cups home-style egg noodles (uncooked)
1/4 minced fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery.  Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the thyme, tomatoes, stock, and meat.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the flavors meld, 15 minutes.

Stir in the noodles and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Simple Delicious Homemade Granola


This has always been a favorite for us.  We mostly snack on it instead of having it for breakfast.  It's also great on yogurt!  The taste is so much better than store bought plus I think its much cheaper.  The ingredients are always in the pantry and I like knowing exactly what is going into it.

One thing, make sure you use the old-fashioned oats.  Quick oats make the texture powdery, not crisp, and it tastes like raw starch (blah)

Please send sunshine soon hugs ~

Homemade Granola
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup nuts chopped coarse (I use slivered raw almonds.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried fruits (I use dried cherries)

Preheat oven to 300° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray lightly with oil instead)

In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, nuts of choice, and salt.

In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup, honey, and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the butter mixture.

Spread onto the baking sheet and bake on center rack for 25 minutes.  Stir and then bake about 10 minutes more until golden brown.

Do not stir and let cool.  The granola will still be a little sticky when you remove it from the oven but it becomes crisp as it cools and if you don't stir it until it cools you will get some nice little yummy chunks.

Once the granola has completely cooled stir in your choice of dried fruits if desired.

Store in an airtight container or plastic bag. It will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Website Updated This Evening

All day I have been wanting to write this post...better late than never!  If you have a moment stop by and check out my website, I've added lots of new spring time items tonight.

 Also, I wanted to do a little "spring cleaning" on my site to make things a bit easier.  All items are now listed on one tab called "New Updates for April".  In that tab you will see thumbnail pictures and prices.  Almost every price listed has shipping already included in it.  Only a few made to order pieces don't.  If you are an international friend, I will adjust the price so that it is the actual shipping cost you are paying overseas.  When you click on the picture, you will find more pics and the description inside.  Hope this is a little bit simpler to view....let me know what you think.

Happy Monday ~ Happy week!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Treats

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

 The date says it's Spring but Mother Nature is sure saying it ain't so.  Let's go already!!

My new offerings for Earlywork Mercantile this April are a "Spring~Thyme Sewing Keep Box" and "Basil the Bunny".  Visit them here for more. (Both sold ~ thank you!!)

Remember that healthy muffin recipe I told you about?  The one I was suppose to post on Wednesday?? Here it is, better late than never.  I wasn't feeling so hot on Wednesday but am fine now.  Perhaps I over-indulged a bit on the muffins...I only had 3 left for the picture!

Addicting and delightful recipe from my friend Rita at knitting class ~ enjoy!!

Rita's Cinnamon Flax Mini Muffins
1 cup organic flour (I used regular unbleached flour)
¼ cup organic whole grain graham flour (I didn't have this and used regular flour)
¼ ground flaxseed meal
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 TBSP. cinnamon (I only used 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon)
1 egg, beaten
½ cup skim milk
½ cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, and then combine. 
Coat a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Bake 9-11 minutes.  (Mine bake in 9)
Makes 24 mini muffins.

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