Homespun Gathering

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Blessing of a Broken Screen

Current progress is all in yellow.  It may not be faster, but it sure does feel that way,😄. Stitchin' has been slower than pond water this past year, but I'm still making progress.
What does a broken laptop screen look like?  Currently, mine looks like this.  Well, the top half anyway.  It's impossible to send that last E-mail now, but I feel incredibly blessed.  My ankle got caught in the cord, but I wasn't hurt.  It was just my screen.  That laptop plan I just signed up for a few months ago to get rid of the persistent reminder is now paying off in spades.  DH was a little annoyed at first, but he wasn't available at the time.   Good thing.  He's thrilled now.

The look on my face must have been extremely pitiful because within a couple of minutes my DH was rushing my electronic life into the ER local Best Buy store 10 minutes from home.  I feel incredibly blessed to live in town and to have a sweet husband to drive my computer to the fix it people without even being asked.  It's a 30 minute drive from where my mom and other family live in farm heaven.  We only owe them for parts.  The screen should be in by Tuesday and fixed after that.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Monday, January 4, 2016

On the twelfth day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “twelve drummers drumming” - the twelve points of the
Apostles’ Creed.

I just want to say how grateful I am to Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Designs for so generously sharing this gorgeous design with her blog family.  I have very much enjoyed stitching it.  I had hoped to have all 12 days stitched, but life got in the way.  However, when I get the design finished and mounted I will definitely share that with all of of you.  I plan on painting the wood.  Finding the right color green may prove to be a challenge, and once it's painted the paint usually takes at least 2 weeks to cure.  Only then will I be able to mount the fabric.  I tell you all of this, so won't be looking for a finished product in a week or so.

I also want to say thank you to Gene Wilson.  All the 12 Days information was pilfered straight from his website. You may find his sources here at the bottom of the page. Gene is a rock star if you ask me. When everyone else seems to be molding cookie presses from resin composites or other materials he stubbornly sticks with hand carving wood. His selection may be smaller, but each and every one is unique and made by hand with love.  I have one resin composite mold--one.  I love the design, but I dislike the mold intensely. Let's just leave it there.  In spite of it's major flaw I still feel blessed to have it, and still make one my favorite cookies with it.

Ironically, I found his site when researching how to make cross stitch smalls.  I had seen someone finish with a horn book backing, and Gene sold those along with a horn book mold.  When I saw his molds I was completely smitten.  Yes, my German and Dutch ancestry is full of baking with cookie molds.  One of my Aunts even has a couple.  I don't live near my aunts, and the closest my dad ever came to making a cookie was eating the ones made for him.  I only learned about my aunt's cookie molds recently.  Sadly, she has no idea where they are.  I have now experienced how your family history gets lost.  The hornbook mold may have been one of the first ones I actually purchased from him.  I am a teacher like my mother and grandmother, so this mold is very special to me.  Some of his molds are designed for springerle and others are deeper--speculaas.  Both cookies are delicious and a wonderful experience with his wooden molds.
Springerle Cookies
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

On the eleventh day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “eleven pipers piping” - the eleven faithful disciples.
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

On the tenth day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “ten lords a-leaping” - the Ten Commandments.
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

One the ninth day of Christmas . . .

My true love gave to me
The “nine ladies dancing” - nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
(Galatians 5:22-23)
I cut the borders out nearly a year ago, but I actually began cutting out strip sets for my very first quilt last night.  Stay tuned.  I'm machine piecing and hand quilting this beauty.  My goal is to finish it this year.  I'm busy, but this is doable. Right?  I was inspired by a quilt made by one of my grandmothers about 150 years ago.  Her quilting was just stunning.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Friday, January 1, 2016

On the eighth day of Christmas . . . (And in other news)

My true love gave to me
The “eight maids a-milking” - the eight beatitudes.
What a blessing it was to see one more year through with family and friends.  We brought it in as a family with food and a movie.  We didn't eat this cranberry and pistachio bark.  I was still waiting to add dark chocolate on top when I took this picture.  This morning the chocolate was spread, and I broke it up and put it away.  Hopefully someone will eat it.
At midnight my husband begrudgingly but sweetly went with me as he lit the second annual floss ball afire in our fire pit.  It seems nothing will keep me awake until midnight like flaming floss.  The bits and strands come from the previous year's leftovers and trims as I have stitched.  These leftovers are kept in a jar for safe keeping.  Last year's floss ball was not burning very well, so this year I decided to add an accellerant.  I had the perfect one underneath my bathroom sink.  Hairspray.  I soaked the strands before my husband lit them.  It was glorious.

 Ashes ashes
Dust to Dust
For fiery floss balls
Stiching's a must

We spent another Christmas at Mom's.  She's getting older, and it's becoming harder and harder to plan and execute gatherings the way she used to.  This meant she had us come for potluck snacks instead of the main meal.  Of course, I brought way more than I needed to, but the coconut cake was what I'd hoped it would be.  I found a channel on YouTube I love.  I baked the cake along with the host and had so much fun.  You may find that video here.  I remember coconut cakes as a kid, and still love them.  My mother and grandmother never made them, but my cousin Christine did.  She took that recipe to heaven before I ever thought to ask for it.  Finding a decent recipe has been a long haul.  This one will get written down and added to my favorites.  Two things I've learned.  This cake is really, really tall, and won't fit under the cake dome.  It's really, really big and so full of calories that I needed to freeze it.  Okay, one more thing.  When it popped a frozen slice in the microwave for 30 seconds and took my first bite . . . oh my goodness.  I need a moment.
What was left after eating at Mom's
No smoke, just mirrors.

Saying Goodnight
The weather was wet and very warm leading up to Christmas.  The fronts were a bit fast and furious.  Add a full moon on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning and a fresh tree with ornaments our poor Abigail was caught up in all sorts of behavioral craziness.  She doesn't do this often, but I found her taking a nap here until she heard the camera.
After a few days of crazy I couldn't seem to find her.  Oh dear, she could be anywhere or stuck somewhere.  Before I panicked I snuck a peek inside her kennel.  She had finally chilled out enough to take a deep nap.  Believe me, as soon as the camera left she was back in Napland.
This year I learned something about our tree skirt.  We need a new one.  She's 3 1/2 years old but still mostly kitten.  I had to remove the tree skirt after noticing her chewing the small round beads off for a snack yesterday.  Well, it used to be a great place to catnap--lol.
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.