Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumn & Fall Baking

It has been crisp and cool and that always brings to mind yummy baking. I don't bake during the week as I work outside the home but Saturday early in the morning is a great time for me. It is quiet and the sun streams into the kitchen window. This past summer I went to King Arthur's store in Norwich, VT. Oh my it was heaven on earth! I had been meaning to go for a few years. Here I found shelves of baking equipment and ingredients, the smell of freshly baked goods permeated the air.

On Sunday we have a family gathering and I've decided to bake a couple of desserts. 21 people and all sweet eaters! Happened to get the newsletter from King Arthur with this Caramel Apple Cake as their feature recipe. The recipe can be found here. Caramel Apple Cake Recipe.

A good excuse to use up some of those apples from the local orchard.

Then of course there is the zucchini harvest. I'm always up for trying a new chocolate zucchini cake recipe. For those who don't like this veggie - they don't have to know ;).

This was one I also found on King Arthur's web site.

Here is the link for the recipe and the link to their BLOG. Definitely worth a read.

Which one to make.. maybe both. Have to run Heroes is on and I have been waiting for months.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

I love Your Blog

I was just awarded an "I love your Blog" from Eleanor of Thatchwick Cottage. So sweet of you Eleanor! I have linked you to the award listed to the right and the rules say I must now send this blog award to 7 other people (sorry was only able to do 6 as the poor pup was whining to go out - nature calls). This is the first time I do this so hope I am doing it correctly. Awarded bloggers must put the award on their site and link back to my blog and then you have to go out there and select 7 of your "Love" blogs and link them on your website. Have fun!


29 Black Street

Honeysuckle Lane

La Donna Welter

Peach Street Primitives

Primitive Bettys

Sam I Am Creations

Free Hugs

It's a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon. A really feel good day. I have been cruising You Tube all morning, watching political speeches, interviews and listening to some music. I am a late bloomer and discovered You Tube a couple of months ago, but to be fair to myself my old desktop computer was such a dinosaur that any attempts at viewing anything was next to impossible. With the new laptop things are moving along at high speed :).

I came across this video/idea which I thought was a simple thing to do and really makes you connect with someone. People should do it more. We live in very dire times and I think it is important that we remember that essentially we are all the same. I am not going on my soap box so I'll just say give someone a hug! Enjoy.

Please note it has 30 million hits so may take awhile to download. I tried early morning so I was able to see it. If you can't see it now - come back later. It's worth it. Thanks Joni

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reality of Cross-Stitch and Age

I guess I have this thing about pincushions - one of my newest creations. I love making pincushions. They are small, can be made quickly and are very satisfying when finished. This one reflects my love of old quilt patterns. This beautiful pattern is based on the Rose of Sharon. I punched it using my hand dyed wool threads and stuffed it will sheep's wool from the western plains of the USA. I like to keep to my wool theme as much as possible. Besides wool is such a nice medium for your needles. This one is for sale on TDIPT Mercantile.
I'll be posting more in the upcoming months.. the ideas are there but it is the time to do it which is the crux of the matter. Oh to be able to stay home and just create would be my idea of heaven!

The days are cooler and the nights even cold, but I love it. This is the time of the year when all the yummy harvests come in. It is the time of year when I start thinking about my favourite vegetable - buttercup squash.

I bring in the squash - cook it - puree it - season it with butter, pepper and nutmeg - stuff myself with lots of it and then freeze the rest for the winter. Makes such a nice addition to the Christmas dinner. Came across this site What's Cooking America? which gets down to the nitty gritty of squash and lots of great recipes for all kinds of foods.

You know you are getting older when you need to use a magnifying glass to do your needlework. Eons ago I scoffed at these tools and said I would never use one. How the mighty fall! I started doing itty bitty cross-stitch a couple of months ago. Something I had done many years ago but since discovering Stacy Nash designs have found a new love for it.
I am now working with 28 to 32 count. Ok that is small. After trying to cross-stitch (now I know it is cross for cross-eyed) I ran to the local needlework shop and desperately asked if they had one of those magnifying things you need to use to see! I got myself one that hooks onto my Ott lamp and I am back in business and happy as anything to be able to see those teeny tiny stitches at a more reasonable size. Happy days. Motto of the day " Never say never".

To the left is a beautiful pattern by Stacy called "1782 Wall pocket and another one below called "Biscornu Pinkeep" Both are available on my website. Her style is so primitive and looks like something that has been around for years.

This evening is devoted to using that magnifying glass and getting the current project done - now that it is much more enjoyable! G'night.

All patterns copyright Stacy Nash except for the top one which is Joni Black.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Food Parties

Just a short note right now as I am off to an Epicure spice party this afternoon. Have you ever been? It is like a Pampered Chef one (great cooking tools and best of all food!) but this is using spices in food. It is the fall one so lots of spices for Christmas baking. Dried cranberries, cherries, Belgian chocolate, ginger, spices for stuffing, pumpkin spices - all name just a few. It will be making a dent in my wallet - lots of taste testing ...hmmmm...delicious. Just perfect for this dull rainy Sunday.

Wanted to tell you that Lana of Honeysuckle Lane is having a blog giveaway so get yourself over there and post your ideas on the August 19th post which ends at midnight. She makes the most wonderful pieces. To own one of her artistic pieces is a must. Check out her cards on her website.

When I get back I will tell you about this new little rug that the lovely postman delivered to my door on Friday!

all for now....


I had a fun time at the Victorian Epicure party. I bought more than I should have and the fragrance of fresh spices and herbs will be filling the upcoming baking months. There was a bit of everything to sample. A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The pic above is my treasure that I bought - a Deanne Fitzpatrick original. I cannot afford her larger rugs but then she recently did a series of ladies (within my budget) and I asked her to pick out one for me and this is what she sent. Isn't she a grand madame? All decked out in her red dress and pocketbook getting ready to go to town from a little seaside Maritime village - off to visit the big city. Anyway that is how I see the rug and each person can have a different story which is the beauty of art.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nip of Frost is in the Air

The weather has turned cooler and the nip of frost is in the air and I love it! For me September has always been a month of new things, new ideas and new challenges. This is the home of Fully Wooly Primitives where the dye pots simmer and Christmas fragrances are in the air - we start our candle making and soap making for the upcoming holiday season. These next few months are a busy time for us.

In November, I have a local art show in Hudson, Quebec where I will be selling my finished rugs and punch needle pieces. It's a new venue for me and very exciting - it's the unknown element of what to expect that can be a little daunting.

Yesterday I announced to Mom that we were going on a road trip. Unfortunately, here where I live, there are no craft stores to speak of so I have to drive 2 hours to Ottawa to visit a Michael's - where they have everything you need and more. At the same time we make a trip to one of our favourite restaurants - Red Lobster - none here either. It was good but does not compare to the seafood restaurants of Maine. Then we head off to my favourite packaging store where I pick out all the holiday packaging I want to use to enhance my product for the upcoming season. Visual is everything and when selling I have always held that taking that extra step makes your product more appreciated. It only costs pennies (well nickles now) to make something look WOW! and the customer will remember that you packaged something with thoughtful care.

It has been blueberry season and that warrants a blueberry dessert. I used up my little blue berries making Maine Blueberry Grunt. So easy and yummy delicious with a dollop of premium vanilla ice cream. You just simmer your berries in some sugar, water ( have to have lots of juice to pour over those dumplings), lemon juice and cinnamon. Make your dumplings, flour, sugar, butter and buttermilk and plop them on the simmering fruit. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Voila - a most perfect tasting concoction.

Make sure you go over to Pfatt Marketplace in the coming month to check out some of the great offerings from the artists there.

A couple of new items I have listed on Pfatt Marketplace.

Twilight Stroll

Harvest 1839

Now off to finish a punch needle for the new listings on the 15th at To Dwell in Primitive Times, come by and visit us. G'day... Joni

"Always remember the past, as it will remind us that life is precious. Never forget."

Joyful for

blue sky with big fluffy clouds

a perfect day with Mom

the happy barking of Roby when I come home

yummy red jujubes

Friday, September 5, 2008

This & That

What happened to September? I am ready for fall - that's my season. We are having weather that is hot and muggy. There is rain tomorrow so that should cool things down and gives me a good excuse to stay in and finish up a couple of items for Pfatt Marketplace.

I have a couple of my original punch needles that I have turned into very practical items - one a pinkeep and the other a little pouch that can hold your favourite tiny scissors and needles. Make sure you come and take a look on September 15th at all the wonderful pieces being offered by very talented artists.

Speaking about scissors aren't these the cutest ones you ever saw. These pink ribbon scissors (4" long) are made by Kelmscott Designs and I will be carrying them on my website after September 24th. Part of the price that I buy them for is donated to charity. They will be $13.00. If you would like to preorder a pair just drop me a line and I will put one aside for you. I think they are wonderful and I will also be carrying a little wool kit you can make to hold these scissors.

I will be offering other little scissors perfect for needlework, that look very prim. There is also a line of mother of pearl needlework necessities, thread holders and winders - each one is wonderfully unique since they are made from mother of pearl.

I am sitting in AC, I am a person who does not function in heat. I don't think I have ever had AC running in September. Roby is barking up a storm, he does that when we are going to get bad weather. He is kinda of high strung, I say with a chuckle.

Too hot to cook so what is fast and easy. My little tomato plant had a crop of cherry tomatoes, that I put to good use. Some cherry tomatoes, little cucumbers, fresh parsley, basil, sundried tomatoes and salad dressing poured on egg noodles. Voila! fast and easy.

Now to settle in front of the TV watching all the political pundits on what's happening in the race to the presidency. Whichever way it goes history is being made. For a Canadian I sure spend a lot of time discussing, watching and casting my fictitious vote for the next president of the United States. . I think it is because our political process in Canada is so ho hum.

Off to punch needle and see what is new in the political arena...g'nite...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rainbow of Colour

Yesterday I spent the day in my dye pots with my wool threads. It takes me awhile to get going but once I do I can't seem to stop. when my back starts aching I know I have reached my limit. It was a perfect day - to hang out the dripping threads...aged red, aged black, blackeyed susan, bee skep, Queen Anne's lace, lupine fields, pine needles and early settler's blue. The only thing you have to watch is not to get them tangled - my pine green was so intertwined that it took me an hour of patience to get it untangled. I thought I had perfected a method but I guess not.

I have been watching Gustav's approach to the US coast. I am sure it is terrifying for the people fleeing and also wondering if their homes will be there when they can return. I can't even begin to imagine what they are thinking. I would much rather deal with my foot snowfalls, we don't have hurricanes or tornados here. As I watch - it is a good opportunity for me to catch up on some punch needle. I am finishing up my next pattern - it is a bigger piece than I usually do - so lengthy to punch but challenging too in the colour choices.

Made one of my original pieces called Meadow Sheep into a pin keep and have that for sale on Lemon Poppy Seeds along with a doll that I made a couple of years ago and can now part with - MS Pear (pattern by Folkart by the Bay). If you love the extreme primitive look - than this is for you - all kinds of items to drool over on that site.

You will soon be seeing me on Primitive Gatherings - a new group of primitive artists I will be joining on October 15th. Please drop in on some very talented artists!

Working on a new idea which will combine mixed media - should be interesting if I don't flub it - but hey that is being creative. Just gathering my materials - too many ideas and not enough time. Oh the days I can devote to just creating will be the day I will be doing the really happy dance.

Been busy all morning - and I forget to eat - not that I can't lose a few pounds :) but it makes what I am going to eat so much sweeter. A really simple thing - toasted tomato sandwich but oh so yummy with those nice big field tomatoes, a slice of red onion, secret spices :), and Hellman's mayonnaise slapped on wonderful 9- grain bread. My mouth is watering - off I go. G'day..