Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I fell in love with this pincushion when I first saw the pattern! Last fall I decided to tackle it. Chasing down the pattern was a challenge - it was on the Better Homes and Gardens website, but the sizing was all wrong. I found the original magazine that it was in, so I'd have the correct dimensions. The pincushion ended up being a bit challenging for a newbie sewer like me - although what I had the hardest time with was sewing that button through the pincushion! Even with a long needle and such.
Anyway, today I noticed that Heather Bailey has the tutorial available on her website (www.heatherbailey.typepad.com - I'd insert the text in html but blogger has decided to be cranky and not do that today) which reminded me I wanted to post my photo on my blog!
I absolutely love the retro fabric I chose for this, too. If anyone has any great tips for how to sew that button through the cushion easier, I might make another one.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I made these cute cloth napkins to go with Audrey's apron! Sorry the picture isn't the greatest - the lighting isn't the best; I took the pictures in the late evening when the sun was setting. I just wanted to get the pictures done so I can get this wrapped up and sent off to Audrey this week.
Anyway, they turned out waaaay cute. I hope she likes them!
All wrapped up with a pretty bow!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I've been stitching this for what seems like eons... okay, it has been quite a few years now. I love to cross-stitch, and have done some other beautiful pieces by this same designer. But, in recent years I've found that when I spend a lot of time stitching, I start to have problems with carpal tunnel syndrome.
This summer I've managed quite a lot of stitching on The Quiltmaker before my wrists started acting up. I am hoping to just stitch right through it, though, and maybe have her finished by the end of the year. Blogging about it should give me some motivation to make some noticeable progress on a regular basis, I hope!
Monday, July 21, 2008
My little sister Audrey graduated from college in May. I had a hard time deciding what to give her as a gift. Money seemed so impersonal. In some sort of stroke of brilliance (I hope!) I decided to make her a cute apron and some matching cloth napkins, since she likes to cook.
The apron pattern is from The Apron Lady and I decided to make the half-apron pattern. I agonized over the fabric choice (as several people could tell you!) but ultimately decided I had to get my hands on some Alexander Henry apples and pears fabric - I just love it.
The apron is reversible, and this is the other side:
I still have to make the cloth napkins - I'm going to use the apple and pear fabric for those - but pretty soon this will be on its merry way to Audrey! (A little late, but I hope it is worth it!)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
My family is from upstate New York; the Finger Lakes area, to be precise. I spent a lot of summers visiting my grandparents, hanging out on the farm, enjoying the joys of summer in the country.... cherries fresh-picked from the cherry tree out in the field, blackberries from across the road, tomatoes from grandma's garden....
and Black and Whites from the grocery store bakery!
Except in that part of New York, they're called Half-moon cookies. They are a big, cakey cookie (chocolate cookie being my favorite variety), with half the top frosted in white frosting, half the top frosted in chocolate. My biggest dilemma was, did I eat the vanilla side first, thereby leaving the wonderful, chocolatey goodness (the best part!) for last? Or did I go for the chocolate while I was still salivating for the delicious experience of a Half-moon, and then eat the vanilla once my tastebuds got some initial satisfaction?
Most if the time, I'd save the chocolate side for last! Delayed gratification and all that.
Anyway, I don't live in New York anymore, and I've long wanted to replicate Half-moon cookies at home. I'm now aware that these cookies aren't just popular in western New York, but the rest of the state as well, and they're actually called Black and Whites in New York City.
I recently bought a cookie cookbook by Martha Stewart, and lo and behold, there is a recipe for mini Black and Whites! I made them last night, and I have to say: not bad, Martha, not bad. I'm not overly fond of the lemony taste to the white icing. And I have no idea how Martha so skillfully gets the icing in neat half circles. Still, these are de-lish!!!
But, oh the broccoli!
Isn't it beautiful! Broccoli is my favorite veggie.
I harvested the first little bunch of broccoli yesterday, and made a nice little sautee of red onion, red pepper, yellow zucchini (none from my own garden, unfortunately), and my broccoli. Olive oil, a little garlic, served over Barilla Plus pasta with a little balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.
A little bit of heaven!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Berries were on sale at the grocery store yesterday.... I was having visions of yet another berry pie (heaven!) but I decided I really wanted to try something different with the berries.
Something new, something that didn't require baking. So, I thought, freezer jam! I went to Target and found Ball pectin packets for making freezer jam.
I used 2 little packages (6oz) of raspberries, 2 packages (6oz again) of blackberries, and a pint of blueberries. The only thing I did differently versus the packet instructions was that I simmered the crushed fruit for a few minutes, because I'm allergic to fresh raspberries and blackberries. (I can eat them if they're cooked, though).
This jam is just heavenly! It's not as sweet as store-bought jam, but - of course! - tastes fresher. This was super easy to make, too!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
A few weeks ago we returned from our first trip out to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and Yellowstone National Park. It was truly an incredible trip. This was our first time out there. We drove out to the Black Hills area (of course stopping at Wall Drug!) and spent several days there.
We toured Mt. Rushmore, drove the Iron Mountain Road, drove through the Wildlife Loop Road at Custer State Park, toured Jewel Cave, the Mammoth Dig site, drove the Needles highway, and walked around Sylvan Lake.
Then we headed to Cody, Wyoming, stopping at Devil's Tower National Monument on the way. There isn't much to see in most of Wyoming (it seems pretty desolate, yet beautiful), but the drive wasn't bad. I got a little nervous (okay, maybe a lot nervous) when we drove over the Big Horn Mountains, but I really enjoyed being at the top - there was snow in June! It was about 65 degrees outside, but there was snow on the ground.
We drove on to Cody, which was our destination, our "home base" while touring Yellowstone. We drove the lower loop of Yellowstone in one incredible day. Yellowstone is so beautiful, but I really think the way to see it is to stay in a lodge in the park. The drive in and out between Yellowstone and Cody was a bit tiring, especially with kids.
While we were in Cody we also toured the Buffalo Bill historical center, saw the Cody Gunfighters in front of the Irma Hotel, and went to the Cody Nite Rodeo.
We stopped in Rapid City again on our way home and stayed a few days. We toured the South Dakota School of Mines Museum of Geology, Bear Country USA, the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, and went to Watiki water park.
On the last day of our trip, we drove through the Badlands National Park. The Badlands is beautiful, but I think we would have been more impressed with the scenery had we seen it on the way out instead of the way back.
I am so glad that we took this vacation and gave the girls (and us!) and opportunity to see all these interesting and beautiful sites.
So, why the name Periwinkle Prairie? Have you tried to name a blog lately? LOL You have to get pretty creative to come up with a name no one else is using. I started writing down words that I just like the sound of, or like the meaning or association of. Like periwinkle. And dragonfly. And daisy. DH suggested prairie, and somehow "periwinkle prairie" just clicked. Yea, I know, there are no periwinkles or prairies in my current blog header, but oh well! Enjoy!