Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Antidote for a dreary day...

... a batch of my mother's fabulously comforting rice pudding!

You will need:
3 cups of cooked rice
4 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 

Pour the milk, sugar, and salt into the saucepan with the cooked rice. Stir the rice occasionally to keep from scorching until the soupy mixture begins to boil. Then, lower the heat to a happy simmer. Now, you are ready to add the vanilla (I always let the first teaspoon overflow a bit). Continue to simmer for the next 20-30 minutes until most of the milk has absorbed and it is a consistency you enjoy. Serve warm (although it can be yummy cold, too) sprinkled with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or nutmeg. Snuggle up on the couch under a fuzzy blanket and relish every ounce of the comforting elixer. Guaranteed to fend off grumbling tummies, frowny faces, and cold shivers. Best when taken with equal doses of hot tea and a good book. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My new favorite use for...

... yarn scraps!

Click here for the pattern. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

A dear friend tagged me for this me-me. I have never done one on a blog before, so this should be fun =) 

1.Do you have a favorite love song that makes you feel warm and fuzzy?

Definitely "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat 

2.Do you remember the first time you really felt God tugging at your heart? 

When I was 8 years old, I remember beginning to realize that God was more than a story. He was real. He wanted to be my friend. When I was 11, I began seeking Him out for myself and a wonderful romance has thus ensued for the past 14 years. I love reading His love letters to me on a daily basis. =) 

3.Do you remember a particular time when someone encouraged or complimented you and it changed your whole attitude, giving you a better day?

Just last Sunday morning at church, one of my former Sunday school students came up to me and told me I am still her favorite Sunday school teacher and that she loves how joyful I am. That is high praise coming from such a young one's mouth. I had tears in my eyes as she gave me a huge hug. I have worked in Sunday school for 7 years now and you can never be sure what kind of impact you have. But last Sunday, I found out I have made a difference in at least one young person's life. And to me.. that is priceless. 

4.What is/was your very favorite subject in school and why?

READING! I have always been a voracious bookworm and now love having the opportunity to introduce students to some of my favorite books! 

5.What is your preference of a pet - dog, cat, fish, or none?

A resounding NONE! Too many allergies to be able to enjoy a pet thoroughly I am afraid. 

6.Name one thing that you really like about your personality.

Hmmm... I like my creativity. I enjoy sharing ideas with others. That is why I love to blog! I get to be inspired by others while sharing my creations, too =)

7.Name one thing that you would like to improve about yourself.

I need to be able to go with the flow better. Working as a teacher, I have learned to be flexible in that environment, but have found my self-over compensating in my home environment. I like there to be "a place for everything and everything in its place" as the saying goes to the point that not only am I a neat freak, but I am also very careful over what calendar engagements I get involved with. If a friend wants to do something spur of the moment, it is really hard for me to adjust to that ~ even though I know I will have a fun time. Gotta work on this! 

8.Name one thing that you are very thankful for and can't imagine living without.

My amazingly kind, sweet, witty, and thoughtful fiance!

Such Pretty Things!

So a box arrived in the mail that absolutely brightened 
my whole Saturday morning!

Only the weekend before had I made the happy discovery that Jessica Enig (of the blog Such Pretty Things) had opened an online shop

Vintage ephemera of the finest quality in glorious abundance! I was dazzled and had to be careful to stay within my budget. I definitely plan to frequent this sweetest of little shops!

And just look at this lovely calling card! 
If you want a smile, stop by her store. You won't regret it!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I've been playing around with crochet motifs.

Thanks in large part to this marvelous book by Edie Eckman. I love how she peppers this beautifully printed, spiral-bound book with wisdom only a crocheter of great experience and a proper attention to detail could fully understand. Better yet, Ms. Eckman has the amazing ability to also convey her knowledge in a very clear, easy to read manner. 

I am still playing around with color schemes and that most dreaded word... gauge!

This one brings me happy thoughts of Christmas time.

While this one just makes me laugh! I am partial to evenings filled with the warm glow of candles and the enchantment of twinkle lights. Others have chided me that I should crochet with better lighting, but I always retort that my eyes can see quite fine. I am eating humble pie now, though. Imagine how startled I was to pull this motif out of my basket and realize that it had been worked in palest pink and antique beige as opposed to the palest pink and soft lavender I had thought I had been fingering the night before!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Creativity runs in my family

My Mimsie is so ingenious. She purchased these adorable, fall-coloured leaflets at the CL fair the other day and immediately came home to find a nifty purpose for them. I am so inspired by her! 

She simply cut a smidge off the end of a plain straight pin and popped it into the wax candle, thus affixing the leaf onto the candle.  Mimsie wasn't sure about the shiny pinhead, but I like it. I think it adds a small sparkle to each candle that is endearing. 

Some might say that I am over-romanticizing about relatively piddly things... a ball of wax, a sliver of metal and a piece of faux fabric. Perhaps I am. But isn't life about taking joy in the simple, often unnoticed things? To me, turning the most mundane aspects of life into something warm, cozy, and dare I say magical, is a sincerely gracious act of love and care for others. With the coming holidays, these next three months are a much-anticipated, annual decorating extravaganza for me and my family. I treasure each tiny detail recognizing the depth of thought that was put into it. That truly means something to me. What makes a gift is not the amount of money spent, but the thought and resourcefulness the giver heartily poured into the endeavor. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally done!

I had worked on this ghan for 10 months! I normally whip out crochet projects in a couple weeks or less... NEVER months! But I had developed some health issues last fall that prevented my hook from flying through the yarn as swiftly as it is used to doing. Thankfully, I have recovered and am back to enjoying the craft I so love. Most recently, I have been working various motifs which I will be sharing pictures of by week's end. 
~ Till then, happy crocheting to you all! ~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Country Living Fair 
   a second look

No trip would be complete without a stop by Miss Parolee's to chow down on the divinity that is her deep-dish cobbler. 

Then, we meandered by the Lil' Junie - a small pull-trailer that was reinvented with a fabulous retro-chic twist.

 There was literally a line of ladies waiting to peek inside this adorable, mini-home on wheels. 

On our way out (after a memorable day full of fun and blue skies),  Mimsie snapped this photo of me in front of Country Living's new logo. We are all ready looking forward to next year's event!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Country Living Fair 2010

We saw Dr. Rob Sharp of Hillsboro who writes the "Ask a Country Vet" column for the magazine! 

HGTV's Taniya Nayak was there to give advice to those with decorating dilemmas. 

I took a picture of this from Taniya's tent since it is similar to what I am doing for my wedding table center pieces. 

The legendary pumpkin and gourd tower! 

The Jam Lady had a yummy display.

The town meeting hall at the Ohio Village was turned into a fall decorating extravaganza. Note the large, old-fashioned keys on the napkins and the pine cone-laden chandelier.

There were several inventive vignettes to catch the eye. See the moss-covered pooch statue "tied" to the table leg?

Mimsie poses outside the hall. 

Life-sized image of the current magazine cover on an entrance to the Country Living Store which was located in Ohio Village's General Store. 

I loved the creative displays in the vendor booths!

Mimsie n I found a new quilt in front of which to get our picture. 

But after much scouring, we finally found our old standby in one of the Country Living subscription tents. It is our tradition to get our picture in front of this particular quilt every year. We asked the attendants if we could come back to get our picture real quick and they gladly complied with our request. One of the nice attendants even took this picture for us! 
We made so many beautiful memories. I will post more from the fair soon!