Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I did it!  I finally made a successful batch of Amaretti
(Same as Pignoli cookies without the pine nuts.  My sister and I always picked those off anyway.)

Egg Whites + Sugar + Almond Paste = Yum!

Shhh.  Don't tell my sister.  These are for her!
I've been trying to make these cookies for 20 years (on and off).  I've tried different recipes, different brands of almond paste, and I have finally landed on the right combination for me.  Julia texted me from school during lunch to tell me they are "the most delicious things on the face of the earth!"  I'm ready to buy an entire case of almond paste!
These are the cookies from Mike's Pastry in Boston that we had to sneak into the Rush concert because they don't allow any "outside" food in the Garden.  But they didn't catch the jack knife in Pete's pocket.  Really?
Much more baking and some last-minute gifts to finish will make this a very busy few days.  I hope you are all enjoying the preparations as much as I am!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Birthday Winner

 And the winner is...

How cool is it that Sarah won on her birthday and the giveaway post was on my birthday?!   I hope she gets the luggage, too.  She will need it for her upcoming adventure- teaching English in Asia!  Best wishes to you, Sarah!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  I had a lovely day. 
Bill brought home a dozen of these beautiful roses.

I've been quiet on the blog this week, but there has been some crafting going on.
I totally enjoyed crocheting this wreath from this Goodknits tutorial!  I'm not completely happy with the bow.  It looks a little 90's to me.  It's just pinned into the styrofoam, so I can easily change it out.

I bought a cheap green wreath at the grocery store and embellished it with a variety of greens from my yard. Again, not happy with my bow.  It is too white.  I found a spool of silver ribbon in the stash, so I might switch it.

I learned this technique from Martha years ago.  I make little bundles of the various greens, then wire them to the base wreath.  We cut down our white pine last spring, so I had to get some from Girl Scout camp last weekend!  The branch was already down, so it was OK.

More greens on the front porch...

and on the back deck.

I love this gold bow!

My big birthday gift was new living room furniture.  I need to help Bill dispose of the old sofa that was literally falling apart.  We're off to the dump!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Birthday Giveaway

 It's my birthday, so let's party!  How nice of Sew Mama Sew to host a giveaway party on my birthday!

 To celebrate, I have some handmade-by-me gifts for one lucky reader.

A Christmas print keychain lanyard,
a cute patchwork pincushion,
a crocheted felted wool flower pin,
and a paper-pieced Christmas tree pin.

Even though our silly Rhode Island governor is calling this a "holiday" tree, it is most definitely a Christmas tree!

 The felted flowers look so cute on a wool coat or hat.

To enter, leave me a comment telling us one thing on your Christmas or Birthday Wish List.

All the giveaways close on Friday, so I'll pick a winner soon thereafter.  Make sure I can reach you if you win, or I'll have to pick someone else, and that would be sad for you.

Be sure to click on over to Sew Mama Sew and enter lots of giveaways!  They are conveniently sorted by category. Totally awesome!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Runners

I've been busy this week trying to boost my inventory for the next craft show.  My mother informed me that I need to sell something quilted, so here are three new table runners.

They were actually fun to make! 
I started with (24) 5" squares.  To each one, I stitched 2.5" squares to two corners, similar to this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew

I layered them with Fusi-boo batting, so I wouldn't need to pin.  It is a fusible bamboo blend and it worked great for this project!  I quilted it with free-motion petals.  No marking + no pinning = all 3 runners quilted in under 1 hour!

I was on a roll with speedy techniques, so I completely machine stitched the binding.  (Trim the quilt even with the top.  Attach the binding to the back, flip to the front, and top stitch.)

At this point, I wasn't about to hand-stitch the labels, so I fused some white Kona cotton to a sheet of Heat-n-Bond lite, trimmed it to 8.5 x 11" and fed it through my printer to create a bunch of labels.  Cut them down to size with pinking shears and fused them onto the back of the runners.  They might not last through the first washing, but they'll do the trick for now!

There will be 78 vendors at this show on Sunday!  It should be a fun day!