Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sparkly Icicles

The sparkly icicles shown on the arrangement in the kitchen in the last post are really easy to make.  Simple, simple, simple!!!  You'll need white modeling clay (I used Fimo), stiff black wire, glue such as Elmers or Aleene's, and white glitter or mica.

Cut lengths of the wire about 3" long (one for each icicle)

Roll little carrot shapes from the clay.  Mine are about 4" long but they could be longer or shorter...just keep in mind that the longer they are, the heavier they'll be.

Poke a wire into the top of each icicle.  The wire needs to be at least 1" inside the clay.

Bake the icicles according to the package directions on a foil lined baking sheet.  They will be totally hard when they're done.  Cool completely.

Use a disposable paintbrush or sponge brush to coat each icicle with white glue and then roll in glitter or mica.

Let dry completely and then use pliers to carefully make hooks out of the wire sticking out of the icicle tops.

YOU'RE DONE!!!       Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas!

 Well...I've been told that I'm holding out on Christmas pictures!  So...here goes!!  The one above & the one below are in the foyer (that's Snow Days & it fits PERFECTLY and looks so good there!)
 This is our Christmas "branch".... We had it up for Halloween and decided that we really liked it!  Soooo....some twinkle lights, old photos and a few mercury glass ornaments and......doesn't look like much in the daytime, but at night!!!!!!  Really cool!

 This is the livingroom looking in from the kitchen.  I got a little carried away making those circle hang tag word thingy-s.  They just really "do" it for me tho!!! LOL!!!! I think this one says Merry Christmas.  The one in the kitchen windows above the sink say Winter Wonderland.

 This is the dining room.  I decided to string lights through the bottle holder on the left because it's kind of tree shaped....once again, not much during the daytime....really cool at night.  Makes me think that I'd like to try a framework that you could put clear and green wine bottles or those blue water bottles on and light it up. I bet it would be gorgeous....yes, only AT NIGHT!!!
 I have to show you the sign I found.  It says "money can't buy happiness, but can buy marshmallows which are kinda the same thing.  Makes me smile every time I see it!
 I stuck greenery and mercury glass in everything I could find in the kitchen.

 The arrangement below is on the kitchen island.  I made the glittery icicles a few years ago.  The tag swags say "White" and "Snow".....

 This is the front porch last week when we still had snow... it's all melted now because it was about 55 degrees for a couple days.....it's freezing in Florida and Spring weather here....how does THAT make sense???  Oh well, it's nice to not have to shovel snow!

I tried to get a picture of some of the lights on the trees but there was still too much light in the sky the afternoon I took this.....HEY!  Another thing that's much prettier................wait for it!........ AT NIGHT!!!!
We're going to be closing on the 23rd and won't be back in the studio until January 3rd.  When we get back, Sheila is going to start emailing a new pattern announcement!  That, and I'll have some preview pictures of a new quilt I've been working on.  We're hoping to get all the blocks stitched while we're on our Christmas break....we'll see how THAT works out!  I hope you have a great Christmas with lots of music, decorations, good food, friends and family, and beautiful memories!
Merry Christmas!
xox  Meg

Monday, November 22, 2010

First Snowfall of the Year!

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You know the scene in the movie "White Christmas" where Bing Crosby opens up the barn doors at the back of the stage?  Everything is snowy evening blue and white?  That's EXACTLY what it looked like out our bedroom windows at about midnight.... enough to take your breath away!!!  It's snowing again...HARD....and I've been running outside every now & then to try to keep the porch clear in front of the studio (Don't want Bob, our UPS guy, to sue me!!) As quickly as I clear it & go back inside... it's dusted over again.   SO GORGEOUS!!!
I snapped a few pictures and put them into this smilebox (I think I could get really hooked on these things!)  The music is from my collection.  It's John Doan.  We were lucky enough to see him perform at the big, old Methodist church in town several years ago.  Believe it or not every bit of the music is one instrument.  Some people simply amaze me with their talent!!!
This morning Bob (yes, UPS dude!) dropped off a box from one of the lovely ladies who attended our Autumn Stitching Sojourn.  She sent a framed picture of me & Honeybunny in full tummy rub mode and some other pictures from October.  Geez we had fun, didn't we?  Thank you for the pictures and the good memories!  OH, by the way.... her name is Susan Pinick and she has her own line of embroidery patterns!  Her business is called "On Pins and Needles" and her designs are pretty, pretty, PRETTY!!!  She has her own beautiful style & I'm really hoping that you'll all see her patterns in stores soon.  If you look back on the blog posts to my latest visit to Carriage Country Quilts you'll see nametags that she designed.  Hopefully she'll take her beautiful designs to the next International Quilt Market....remember the name & look for her!!
This weekend I tried a new recipe from one of my Paula Deen cookbooks and it's a winner!!!  I'm a real toffee lover and now that I know I can make this in about 20 minutes start to finish.....LOOK OUT!!!  Give it a try, it's GREAT!

Toffee Bar Cookies (sort of a "mock" toffee)

1 sleeve saltine crackers (YES the ones with salt!)
1 stick (8T) butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
One 12-oz bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 and line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with PAM.
Line the pan all the way to the edges with the crackers.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over med/hi heat until simmering.  Cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly with a whisk.  Pour the mixture over the crackers and spread around with a spatula if necessary.
Bake in the oven until the top is all bubbly (about 5 min.)
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top evenly.  They'll melt in a couple of minutes (even if they look like they're not) and spread them around evenly all the way to the edges of the pan.
Cool completely (I stuck it in the refrig. for a few minutes.....but then, it WAS about 10:00pm and we wanted it NOW!!!) Cut into squares with a knife.  Store airtight at room temp.

Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!
xoxox  Meg

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Warm Fuzzies for the Holidays to Come!!

Please, PLEASE, PLEEEEZE use this link to facebook and play this little video for T mobile.  It's so very sweet/funny/uplifting you'll be happy you did!!  It was our boost for the day & I know you'll just love it!  You can tell that it's such a genuine surprise.  Don't you wish someone would do this for all returning travelers???http://www.facebook.com/tmobileuk

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh! I Forgot!!

Yes! This was the retreat stitchery project!  I was going to finish it as a pillow, but decided that I had too many ideas to put WITH it!  So.... now it's going to be part of a quilt that will be released next spring.  I'm going to start drawing right now, TODAY!!
xo Meg

Kids....Don't try this at home!!!

Too much stitching will cause eye damage!

(Thanks Kathy for sending the pic of Marianne!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stitchery Sojourn Retreat 2010!!

WOW!!!  There's so much to show & tell.....but I think we'll start at the "end"!  LOL!!!!!  This is Gerry, Marianne, Susan, Judy, Kristi, Ruth, Judy, Sandy, Dianna, Diane, Kathleen, Jill, Brenda, and Wendy (Diane and Lisa are in the "witch's witness protection program" it seems, and wouldn't get into the picture!) 
First, I have to tell you that there was a big, nasty weather system moving in on the weekend, and the weather reports all said that it was going to be dark and rainy the whole time....luckily nature smiled on us and it was only gray and raining when we wanted to be inside.  Whenever we wanted to go out....it cleared up and was warm and GORGEOUS!!!  We were truly charmed!

Friday at lunch time. Gerry and Kristi are checking out the bread....
Work, work, work!
Ruth tries to decide which sweet treat to try... While Honeybunny stands guard at the candy bar.
On Saturday afternoon we all walked over to the house to work (WORK????....NO!) Play on some small projects. Jan was upstairs helping everybody make beaded pins.  Cindy was in the dining room helping everyone get their scissor fobs made and Sheila had everybody else making little sewing cases in the living room. I was outside by this time helping Phil strip. (more about that later!) 
 Susan, Gerry and Wendy are the last to leave?
No... Ruth is there too!............It looks like Judy, Diane, Judy and Jill all went out to sit in the sun on the back porch to finish their cases.  It was SO, SOOOoooooo pretty outside!
We got just about everybody in on the stripping......(OOOoooooh, you have a dirty mind!  We're stripping the leaves off of willow branches to make the witch's brooms!!!) 
 Sheila and Kristi are working away in the sunshine.
It's kind of like a witch parking lot huh?
More stripping!  Looks like Judy's choosing the perfect broom handle.
Ruth's broom is finished!  Look at all the cool, twisty handles they chose!!!
Back to the studio for dinner and our Saturday night "Stitch-in".  We laughed SO hard and had so much fun!  Wish I'd gotten a pic of Marianne with the Halloween candy eyeballs inside her glasses!!!  Or was that on Friday???
Gerry and Marianne (check out Marianne's earrings...they glow in the dark!  REALLY!!!  We tested it!  Turned out all the lights and made her dance around in the middle of the room...
well, the dancing may have been HER idea!!???
What's everybody looking at?  Oh yeah...a new design!
Wendy's tying her nametag on the tree!  We're going to have to try to find all of them and see what they say!  All good, I hope!  I think everybody had a good time, Cindy, Sheila, Jan and I sure did!  By the way... this retreat just plain wouldn't have happened if not for all the hard work that they all did!  How many times DID you all walk from the house to the studio and back??? How many dishes did you wash???  You all know the in's and out's of my kitchen and pantry better than I do now!!! 
I'm SO thankful for this group of "girls", you've no idea!!!!
Now................................for the troublemakers of the group!...................................
Diane by the pumpkins, what a pretty picture!
Susan: "Wendy, Gerry....do you think these would make good earrings????"
Wendy: "................AAaaaaaahhhhhh......................................no."
Brenda and Dianna pretty in red!
Judy and Sandy getting ready to fly home to Idaho!!! LOLOL!!!
Ruth looks too sweet to carry a broom.
Goodbye everybody!!!  We loved, loved, LOVED having you come to our first retreat!!!!  You were such a lovely group and we can't wait to have an Alumni get-together!!!

BIG  XOXXXXX's!!!!     Meg, Sheila, Cindy and Jan