Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween's a Lucky Day!

This morning before leaving for school, I mixed up a batch of roll out cookies so they could chill all day in the fridge.  

After school, I quickly got to work and rolled out pumpkins.  We have a High School Cross Country Awards Banquet tonight and it's always "Bring a dessert".  
2 C sugar
1 C white Crisco
2 eggs
1 C Milk & 1T white vinegar or 1 C buttermilk
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
5-6 C flour
1 t salt
4 t almond extract

Beat sugar and Crisco, add eggs and soured milk.  Mix well then add baking soda, baking powder, salt and extract.  Add 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing well.  Chill for 1-2 hours.  Roll out to 1/4" thick, cut with favorite cookie cutter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Do not let the edges brown, you want them to be soft to the touch.

Frosting - 1/2 stick butter melted, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/8 t almond extract and drizzle of milk until desired consistency.

We are celebrating "your lucky day" at our house today.  5 years ago today we adopted a little orange kitty who has turned into one fat, lazy orange baby.  

Happy Lucky Day, Frito!

Hope you are all having a good week.  ~Ann

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finished Rugs

Over a month ago, I shared my latest rug hooking project with you.  I actually finished the hooking shortly thereafter, but didn't get the binding done until this last weekend.  Why do I always do that?  Finish a project - or almost finish a project and then leave it sit for several weeks.  ARGH!  

I am happy with how my saltbox house rug turned out.  Now to find a place to display it....

Over  a year ago, I found this lid from a basket or crate in a primitive store in Upstate NY.  I was drawn to the patina and the crack in the middle stave.  What to do with this?  I wasn't sure, but knew that eventually a project would come up that I could use it in. 

I simply drew my lettering on the backing and started hooking.  The brown is from a pair of pants that I found at GW.  I love the texture of this wool - it has a very subtle variation in it - no need to overdye.  Unfortunately, I have used all this wool now :(

The lid now forms the perfect mat for my hooking.  I still need to attach the hooking to the wood - I'm stumped if you have any ideas you can share with me......

Can you believe next week is November?  Where is our fall going?
Hope you are having a good week. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Me A to Z and They Scare Me!

A - age - 44 for a few more days

B - bed size - Queen

C - Chore you hate - putting away clean clothes, I really don't mind the actual laundry!

D - Dog - NO!  Your dog is fine but I do not want a dog.

E - essential to start your day - coffee in my favorite mug

F - Favorite color - hmm....that's hard, Cranberry & Navy

G - gold or silver - gold wedding rings, don't wear much other jewelry, I wash my hands too many times during the day at school. 

H -  height - 5'4"

I - instruments I play,  since elementary school I've played in a church bell choir, several years of piano and French Horn in High school

J - job  Mom, wife, basketweaver, crafter and aide for multiple handicapped children

K - kids - 17 year old daughter
14 & 11 year old boys
2 crazy cats

L - I Live in Ohio

M - make of car -  Chevy Uplander Van

N - nickname - don't have any. I'm really not into nicknames. My boys are Matthew and Daniel - not Matt & Dan - and everyone knows their names. 

O - overnight in hospital - yes 3 times for kids and in jr. high I was in for several days for severe dehydration

P - pet peeves - hypocritical people.

Q - favorite movie quote "If you had behaved in a more gentlemen like manner"  Elizabeth Bennett to Mr. Darcy/Pride and Prejudice

R - Right or Left handed - 100% Right

S - siblings - 2 older brothers, 1 younger sister I could not live without

T- favorite TV shows:
White Collar
Brisco County (early 1990's)
early X-Files

U - underwear  - Yep -everyday!  The only thongs in this house are worn on feet.

V- Veggies I hate:
Brussel sprouts
lima beans
I'm sure there are others!

W - what makes you late - nothing!  I can't stand lateness.

X - x-rays, once a year at the dentist & the dreaded mammogram

Y - yummy food you make:
hot ham & salami sandwiches
homemade pizza
mashed potatoes

Z - zoo animal - giraffe

Something that scares me - spiders.  I hate them.  When we lived in our first house, it was built on a slab.  The spiders would come in the house at night when my husband was at work and our kids were little.(no one available to kill them!)  He would come home to find over turned glasses or bowls in the living room trapping a spider that he needed to kill.  I also used to lift the edges and spray Windex on them!  

Did you learn anything about me?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I love Etsy!

Since opening my own Etsy shop in January, I've sold many baskets, but more importantly I've found some new friends on Etsy.  These friends are fellow Etsy artisans who create wonderful items that I just can't seem to live without.  
This adorable little pumpkin head box is my latest acquisition.  I purchased him from Susan at
I had admired him for a couple of days, saw that he had a few other admirers and decided I just couldn't wait any longer to purchase him. 

I ordered him mid week and he arrived yesterday.  Too bad for me since I was gone from about 6:30 am until 7:30 pm last night.  I knew he was sitting in the box just begging to get out!     
He arrived all wrapped up in tissue paper - it made me feel like I was getting a present.

 Inside the box is a cute little pumpkin nest!  Susan didn't mention this part in her Etsy listing.  There are 2 little cinnamon pumpkins and a cute Halloween tag all snug in an excelsior nest.  

Susan's attention to detail is perfectly prim.  My photos don't do justice to how perfect this little set is.  The box is grained over 2 coats of contrasting paint.  The inside of the box is painted as well.  The pumpkin is so cute - antique buttons for eyes, a twig stem and the little leaf that is whip-stitched on.   

Graby knew that the tissue paper was really for him, he's already made off with the ribbon Susan tied it with.  

I can't wait to see what other wonderful creations Susan makes for Thanksgiving?  Christmas?  Winter? Susan.......?
Thank you Susan!

Have you tried these new M & M's?  YUM!!!  White chocolate candy corn flavor.  Our daughter came home with 2 bags of these and they are nearly gone.  

We have 2 orchestra concerts - the high school is this afternoon - our daughter, and tomorrow night the boy's have theirs for junior high.  Can't wait to hear them - our youngest is just starting and of course has to be different than his siblings - no violin for him.  He chose to play the bass.  There's always one in the crowd isn't there?  He had to pick the largest instrument possible - the bass hardly fits in my van!

Have a great week.  ~Ann

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little Fall

Only a few of my Halloween and Fall items have made their way from basement storage out to display.  One the end of the dry sink I set up this little trio of items, soon to be knocked over and off - thanks to a little grey beast. 

One of my favorite baskets that I've made for myself is hanging above our back sliding doors.  Normally there is nothing in this basket and this year I thought it might look neat to add a touch of fall on one end.  I think the simple pumpkin and bittersweet add a nice primitive touch to this long basket. 

Full length of the basket....

I just love this little owl that I got in trade (I know another great barter!) he looks perfect in my grain sifter.

I hate to admit, but I'm sure this next item was made in China.  Picked up this ghost at my favorite store in Findlay, Ohio - Early American Home.  My husband made me the candle box which normally houses a battery operated candle in a tall stick, changed out for Halloween, the ghost fits great.

I added a couple of items to the living room shelf, a cross stitch piece I made last year and a pumpkin from my blogging friend Tammy of A Primitive Place

That's about all I've got out -why you might ask?  It seems I'm never home to do more than laundry and meal prep.  Let me show you where we've been...

High School Cross Country races...

Junior High Cross Country races....

and fall baseball leagues....

We LOVE baseball at our house.  Both boys are playing fall ball.  Matthew is playing on 2 different teams in addition to his cross country schedule.  Daniel is on one team - that's ok - he's only in 5th grade!  I'm spending Saturdays and Sundays sitting at double headers somewhere.  Last Saturday the weather was so nice here in NW Ohio I even got a little sunburn and had to move my chair to the shade. 

I hope you are all having a good week.  ~Ann  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Barter.....It's a Good Thing

Recently I've bartered with 3 other artisans.  All three trades have been great and I love being the owner of  their wonderful handcrafted items.

This great candle sleeve was made by my Wisconsin friend, Karen of My Colonial Home.  Karen wanted a blanket crane like the one my husband made for me.  Karen gave me several items and I've waited almost a whole year to put out my new candle sleeve.  Karen's work is so precise and her attention to detail is superb.   
Susan is new friend I've met only through emails.  She has purchased several baskets from me and recently proposed doing a swap.  Susan sent me this great Santa and gingerbread man.  The Santa is her own design and he is spectacular!  The gingerbread man smells good enough to eat.  
I'm encouraging Susan to open an Etsy shop to share her items with all of us.  Unfortunately she doesn't have a blog either, but if you want her email address, leave me a comment and I'll put you in contact with her.  

My last item to show off is a great oil painting by the art teacher in my building. Peg didn't know that I was a basketweaver and once she found out wanted to trade.  I was happy to trade - she's had all three of my kids in class so I will always treasure this piece.

I don't have a spot for this yet, but have an idea in mind.  I'll be sure to show you when it finds a home.  
Have a great week.  ~Ann