Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!

Hi! I've missed you!
It's Christmas eve and I'm finally feeling caught up. I've settled in to my new job, all holiday craft shows are finished, and gifts are all wrapped and ready to give!

Why do cats love being under the Christmas tree?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Waste not, want not!

Tonight I finally canned my last batch of fermented sauerkraut. This was the first year I tried sauerkraut and geez, it was so easy! Green cabbage and kosher salt. Seriously, that's all it takes!

Take two heads of cabbage, save a couple full leaves from the outside and then shred or slice the heads thin and sprinkle with about 3 TBL kosher salt. I use my grandmothers big enamelware pot for this. Then, with your hands, knead and mix the cabbage to get the salt distributed evenly. You'll notice the cabbage wilt and liquid will start to collect in the pot. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave for about 3 hours or so.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Funday?

My Christmas cactus is starting to bloom. It's a beautiful fuchsia color. When my father-in-law was alive he had the most beautiful Christmas cactus plants! I bet they were 20 years old. I always think of him when I see these bloom.

It's been a busy week again. I'm trying to learn the balance between working a full-time job outside the home and still finding the time for the things and people I enjoy. Needless to say, I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Tuesday is almost over already. I need more hours in the day...or more days in the week...or a clone of myself. But that might end up like the movie Multiplicity and nobody wants another, dumber Monica running around!

I started my new job today! Exciting new beginnings but I haven't worked full time, outside of my home, for almost five years. It's hard to find the time to fit all the other things I do into a week that's already filled with a job. Never fear! I'll make it happen.

Came home from work and made some homemade mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes to eat with the leftover Thanksgiving stuffing I still have. Don't be scared to make gravy! It's so easy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Back in the Groove!

Sorry I've been absent this week. Life gets so busy sometimes! I fell asleep and woke up in December. Here is what I've been up to....

Spent a day in the attic sewing. Finished about 30 burp cloths for Crafty Mart. Then I made a felt rice bag with a Velcro opening for a massage therapist friend of mine.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Homemade veggie stock? Sure!

Last week I made a big pot of chili. It didn't last long around here. That's real talk!
As I was chopping the vegetables, making my pile of scraps for the compost, I decided I would save those scraps and make homemade vegetable stock. Why not?!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crafts, Plants and Music to my ears

It's Thursday already! How did that happen?

I spent Tuesday making these.  Tiny little brass brads hurt my fingertips after a few hours.

 I also cleaned up some Boston ferns that a friend had outside all summer. I couldn't bear to see them just thrown away! I inherited my love of houseplants from my mother. It's just not a home without some live plants. I remember trips to Kent Floral's greenhouse to buy tiny houseplants to plant terrariums in big 5 gallon water jugs! Oh, how I miss the 70s!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Funday!

Last night was a 'girl's night' for my best friend's birthday. Delicious Mexican food was consumed, then drinks and dancing! I was DD for the evening which allows for some fun people-watching.

This morning I woke around 7:30am with the beginnings of a migraine. I could tell it was weather related since I felt it in my sinuses and teeth. Ugh! Aspirin, water, caffeine, cold wash cloth on my eyes and back to bed! It's been lingering throughout the day but I have so much to do. No rest for the wicked, right?!

So I finished joining these granny squares and bordered this blanket while I watched our poor Cleveland Browns lose   :(

Saturday, November 16, 2013

When Life Hands You Crabapples...

...make jelly!
The more I preserve at home, the more it pains me to see waste. So last week my friend, J, dropped off a big bag of crabapples on my porch while I was at work.
Does that happen to you? You just come home to bags of free produce on your porch. No? I'm happy to say that it's a thing that happens to me. Really!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The times, they are a changin'

Old Man Winter has arrived in Northeastern Ohio! Someone forgot to tell the trees...they're still hanging on to their leaves like it's their job.

I came home late Monday night during a beautiful first snow of the season. I love snow! If it's gonna be cold outside, it may as well be snowing! Dress appropriately and don't act like you hate it...cuz you know you think it's beautiful.

I may or may not have an addiction to buying cookbooks. Is there a 12-step program for that? This is my newest addition.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hooks and Yarns

The past few days I've been sorta hibernating. I have so many projects that need finishing! But this afternoon I feel very accomplished. I've finished the 25 miscellaneous Granny Squares and am ready to start assembling this new blanket for my friend, Jessica! Jessica is one of the stylists at the salon where I work and she takes very good care of my hair -  In exchange, I make her fun things!  :)

This pattern is an African flower.
This pattern is called Sunny Spread and is available at Redheart .

This fun daisy square is available as a tutorial on a great blog called Tillie Tulip .I've made a few blankets just using this type of square.

Here are a couple other favorite squares I did for this blanket. You can find these and other great crochet patterns on Ravelry .

It'll take me a few more days of work to get these all joined and bordered and finally looking like a blanket but Jess will have a great Christmas gift to give to a loved one. That's really what my creations are all about...sharing love.

Share something you've created with someone you love!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

Oh hey! It's a chilly, wet morning here in Northeast Ohio. Kinda what it's supposed to be like in November, right? I'm hoping it dries up enough to get a good 2-3 mile walk in this afternoon. Walking is my favorite exercise and I've been slacking this year.

Today's post is going to have lots of pictures. I am one of those annoying people who has to stay busy all the time. Even when I'm sitting, watching TV in the evenings I'll be crocheting or knitting...or I may have something baking in the oven. So today I'm gong to show you what keeps me busy on a normal day.

Remember all those pumpkins I've been cooking? Well they had tons of seeds! As a child I never roasted pumpkin seeds but now, as an adult, I hate to waste anything! And they're so delicious.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Apples and Pumpkins and Jars, oh my!

Fall is my favorite season. I love Halloween and the colors and smells that autumn brings. Not to mention I have an October birthday! But it's always the tastes that really get me. Not gonna lie, I love me some food!

Last week I headed out to my favorite pumpkin farm, Dussell's Farm, on Old Forge Road in Brimfield. I bought the last 5 pie pumpkins in the bin on a chilly Wednesday morning. I baked, pureed, and froze three of them. A winter's worth of pumpkin goodies will be made! Sunday I cleaned, peeled and diced one. Then I added two thinly sliced whole oranges and 4 cups of sugar and put the whole bowl in the fridge to macerate overnight.

The last pumpkin was baked, pureed and became this delicious pumpkin butter!

According to all the books and warnings, anything with pureed pumpkin cannot be safely canned so this will stay good in the freezer for a year or the fridge for 6 months. I plan to make some thumbprint cookies with it soon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Under Construction!

It's Monday so I thought it would be a good day to begin construction on this new baby of mine. Hang in there with me as I figure it all out. I'm like an old dog learning a new trick!

Yesterday I cooked up a batch of Apple Cranberry Jam from Food in Jars . Marisa has some amazing recipes for novice and experienced canners. Most of them are small batch recipes which are nice if you're trying something new.