Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter Wonderland

We've had a real winter wonderland here in the north parts of England.  The snow is still around after 10 days and that is very unusual.

I don't know what kind of tree this is, but the birds love to eat the berries off it.

Christmas day was beautiful with the sun shining on all the snow. 

We had fun making a snowman.  In two days time he keeled over and killed himself by decappitation on my garden bench.  We had temperatures above freezing and he just couldn't take the "heat" wave. 

One of the many Robins around our house. 
Hope you enjoyed my pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.  I want to leave you now with a recipe for super easy holiday fudge.  I used to make mediocre fudge the hard way years ago, then I read a can of
Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed milk which had this recipe on it.  It's the best fudge I've ever had.  No more dry, grainy, sugary, hard fudge......who knew?   Now you know.  Happy Holidays! 

Easy Fudge

2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Place chocolate chips, milk, butter, salt and vanilla in a double boiler over low simmering water.  Stir until chips have melted and the ingredients have been incorporated.  Stir in the nuts.
Pour into an 8" X 8" pan that has been lined with foil and coated with cooking spray.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.  Remove the foil and fudge from the pan, cut into squares and enjoy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's so beautiful around here all covered in fresh snow.  Just like that great old Christmas song, "It's beginning
to look a lot like Christmas."
 My village is set up in the window.  Some pieces I've had since I was really young.  My Godparents gave me the first set.  I remember it being in a gold colored mesh bag tied with a string. 

These pieces are newer, but I like how they all kinda go together no matter how old they are. 
In this photo, the blue church on the right,The 2 tiny people on the right bottom, the light green tree in the center and the animals in the center with the picket looking fence were the pieces from that first set given to me 42 Christmas' ago.  WOW, I never dated it like that before... scary
  I talked about restoring a friend's quilt in my last post and that I would get some pictures.  Here they are, finally.  There were a lot of tears in the fabrics and along seam lines.  I tried to keep as many of the original fabrics as possible.  Some like the thin light colored fabric near the center of the quilt, had to be replaced completely. 
As you can see, under the thin light colored fabric is a pink striped blanket the quiltmaker used for the batting.  This was a very heavy quilt.  The fabrics used were from old scraps of aprons, curtains, flour sacks, shirtings, ticking maybe from a pillow, and a couple table cloths.  I think the entire backing was a table cloth.  It is tied using floss in two colors.  I replaced a lot of the ties as they had worked loose and some were missing altogether. 
This is the finished quilt. 
One more picture of the finished quilt.  Where we are holding the corner up, you can see that I added a label.  I asked for a picture of the quiltmaker and used my computer to print onto fabric that is treated and prepared to go through a printer.  I use june tailor Colorfast inkjet fabric sheets.  It's very easy to use.
I am off now to relax for a while, watch the fire burn down in the fireplace and an old movie to fall asleep to.  Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! ;o)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Working on my friend's heirloom quilt has inspired me to make one of my own.  I don't want it to be elaborate or beyond my skill set.  Just a bed topper that says "SANDY".  Something my son (and possibly his future family) will be able to look at it and know what I was all about.   Maybe some photographs printed on fabrics of my first car, high school graduation, pets, etc.... Some of the items can be pieced blocks or applique blocks.  I'll use my favourite colors and motifs in the quilting.  These are my ideas, anyway, and I will have to get them down in my sketchbook before they leave my brain all together.  When I made this quilt for my mother, I had her favourite color and family photos in mind. 

So, I don't want it to look too much like this.  Some of the elements I really like about it, like the frames around each picture and the way they are placed and not quite centered or straight.  
Today I will be starting work on a label for my friend's quilt.  When it's finished, I will post some pictures.