Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good Taste: dad’s pickles

We’re halfway through barbeque season, so I decided it was time to make pickles. This recipe is actually my grandfather’s. When my mom gave me the recipe card it said “Dad’s Pickles” so that is what they will always be called.

If you’ve ever had a homemade pickle, you know what I’m talking about - fresh with a slight crunch – so different than a store bought pickle. The ingredients are simple; water, vinegar, salt, sugar, pickling cucumbers, garlic and fresh dill. Oh, and jars.

They’re easy to make and your popularity soars when you share them with friends.

If you’d like to try making “Dad’s Pickles” you’ll find the recipe under the Goodie Bag tab. Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Inspiration Board: good friends, good health, good pie

What’s the best reason to celebrate with good friends? Good health. And so, this weekend we gathered at my friend Michella’s house to celebrate her renewed good health. Her chemo is over and her smile is back.

We all enjoyed the hot summer day under a huge shade tree – hugs, happiness, assorted tacos and beverages buried in ice in an old clawfoot tub. Perfect.

The icing on the cake came in the form of a homemade cherry pie that my friend Vicky baked for me. Perfect crust, tart cherries and a sugary crumb topping. Mmmmm.

The “slice of heaven” on the plate was the piece I just had.

I hope your weekend was filled with goodness too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inkling: gift tags galore

One can never have too many pairs of shoes…or gift tags. I found a box of merchandise tags in my stash and decided to dress them up with some scraps of paper.

Do you save little bits of paper left over from projects? I do. And this was the perfect project to use the tiniest bits. The paper I used was printed out from templates found on various sites. One great site is http://www.freeprintable.com/. You can find loads of graph paper and writing paper under miscellaneous / paper.

This was a fun, quick project. The merchandise tags are great to have on hand – especially if you don’t have a nifty die-cutting machine.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sew and Tell: grandma's quilt

I can’t take credit for this project but for me it’s beyond inspirational. My grandmother made this quilt at least 80 years ago. I looked up the design and it’s called the Dresden Plate.

Quilting around the 1930’s was a complete necessity and most people, including my grandmother couldn’t afford to buy new fabric. I’m sure all of the pieces in this quilt were house dresses, shirts or aprons.

I can’t get over the tiny perfect stitches and the beautiful prints on the fabric.

I will always treasure this quilt. I keep it stored in the closet because it’s starting to wear and fray. Whenever I look at it, I picture my grandmother with needle and thread, stitching away.

The thimble, needles, scissors and thread pictured with the quilt were actually my grandmother’s notions. More treasured items.

Aren’t grandmothers amazing?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Dirt: Summer Succulents

I’ve wanted to make a centerpiece with succulents for awhile and was inspired by the three ceramic jars I found at the 99₵ store recently. Bright yellow jars perfect for summer.

I finally got to the nursery today and ooh - the selection. I had a hard time deciding but finally settled on three hardy-looking guys. I would tell you their proper names but they didn’t come with those little plastic plant sticks and I forgot to ask.

The succulents were easy to transplant into the jars and they seem perfectly happy in the dining room or on the patio.

I think my nameless succulents and bright yellow pots will keep me in a summer mood for a long time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Inkling: homemade note cards

Note cards are a bit of an obsession with me. I basically love anything under the “stationery/paper” category. Don’t you just love getting a real handwritten note in the mail? Sadly, I don’t get very many these days. I’ve decided that I need to step up my own efforts and send out more note cards. And what better reason to get busy and make a new stash of cards to keep on hand.

I created the pictures in a simple drawing program, printed them out on card stock and mounted them to colored card stock. Voila!

I made moving cards for a friend who recently moved and included it as a sample because the red house makes me smile – and think of my friend.

Now, I’m off to the post office to mail my cards.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sew and Tell: Vintage Pillows

I love vintage fabrics and linens. I made these sweet pillows out of vintage tablecloths and scraps found on Ebay years ago. Here’s a tip – purchase scraps or cutters which are sold for far less money than perfect vintage linens and piece together a pillow, table runner or whatever you’re inspired to make.

Tablecloths are often sold as cutters because of stains or imperfections (we all have THAT one relative that spills something at Thanksgiving dinner). You can also find vintage notions, like buttons or ric rac to make your project even more charming.

These pillows make me smile and inspire thoughts of a cup of tea, a good book and a fluffy cat. Happy sewing!

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