Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Have a Winner!!

We are celebrating our 2nd Bloggiversary today, so it's time to announce the winner of our Give-Away!!

First off, we would like to thank each and everyone of you that took the time to comment, become a follower, and post about our give-away on your blog.  We also have something else to celebrate... we have reached the 100 mark with our followers; so we want too thank-you for that too!

I had my hubby help with the drawing... he was the official folder of all the entries and pulled out the name of our winner...

                   Congratulations to ...     RITA of Stitch n Chat   

We hope to hear from you soon Rita, so we can look after all the details and get your prize package sent out to you.  

We hope that all our friends have a wonderful stitchy day!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tea for Two

For close to 30 years now, my girlfriend Diane and I have been getting together for tea.  We met when our daughters were in preschool together and a few years later I just happened to buy a house 2 doors down from her.  At the time someone had said to me, “That will be the end of that friendship, that’s just too close to live to each other.”   Far from it.

We loved getting together and it is so convenient to just yell across the yard, “Come for tea!!” 

Often we will traipse over to the others house in the early hours of the morning in our slippers, sometimes our jammies, sometimes braless and often times without hair or makeup done.  Because we can.   And mostly because we don't care what we look like.   We enjoy each others company and our friendship continues to build over the years through many hours of laughter (and the occasional tears).

During one of our many visits, after we could barely breathe from one of those moments of laughter, I had commented, “How many people do you know that get together like we this?”  Her reply was, “Not many. I don’t know anyone who gets together as much as we do”  

Over the years Diane has collected teapots and when I saw these next few patterns, I knew I just had to do them for her.  She loved them.  She has them both hanging in her kitchen and often when I’m over, she comments on how much she still loves them.

I stitched this one so many years ago
I can't even remember if it was a kit or a pattern... sorry...
Rather than frame this project,
I decided to turn it into something a little different.
I made this into a serving tray. After positioning a matte around it
I placed a piece of glass, caulked it to hold it in and then I
glued a piece of braid around the edges.
Tah-Dah! So many things you can do with a cross-stitch project.
 Once while we were shopping we came across this book and I said, “Oh Diane, what a perfect name for a book.  Why didn’t we think of this?” 

Not only the title caught my eye, but the gorgeous Victorian style. 
This next cross stitch was a kit that someone no loner wanted and put it up for grabs, - Needless to say, I snatched it up pretty quickly. 

Over the years, Diane has collected many teapots.  One day she came over with one and said, "I'm getting rid of some of my teapots, I just don't have room for them all.  I want you to have this one because it just reminds me of you, and I know how you love your cat."
How cute is that?
Women are like teabags.
We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water! 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Well now that's in the bag, I think I'll curl up and have a spot of tea.  
Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Time Is Running Out

Only 3 days left to get in on the chance to win our 2nd Bloggiversary Give-Away!

You can check out all the info in this post here .

Hurry on by... we wouldn't want you to miss out!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Easy as Pie !

Of all the talents I have, making pie crust is not one of them.  Recently, I posted about my friend Lori who loves to bake and we've been talking about getting together for quite some time now for some lessons, but of course with our busy lives that just didn't happen.  During one of our chats in the lunch room Richard happened upon our conversation and commented what a great idea it would be to get together and do that. And then it still didn't happen.
Sadly for us, Richard made the decision to leave our company and Lori decided what better way to say a proper goodbye, but to have a "Pie Off", so she invited myself and Richard over for dinner and a pie.  Her building the dinner and us, of course, building the pies.  I wished I had remembered to take my camera to get lots of pictures, but luckily Richard had his cell phone which at least captured the finished product. 
One of the reasons that Lori and I get along so well is because she is as anal organized as I am.  Upon arrival, she had the entire meal ready to go in the oven while we began the pie lessons.  And of course everything was in place, ready for production and  lined up on the counters all ready to go.  After tying our apron strings, but before cutting in the lard, we popped open a bottle of wine.  Lori assured me that was a necessary step in the procedure and I obliged by believing her. 
By the time we were both finished with the lesson, we had enough dough to make 12 pies or about 10 dozen tart shells.   So we each made a pie that we were going to have with dinner and the rest of the dough we formed into the pie or tart shells to be put in the freezer.  Richard was in charge of the lemon meringue and I was in charge of the strawberry rhubarb.  Once we had the pies in the oven, we used up the rest of the dough to make the tarts and Lori pulls out this tart press contraption the likes of which I had never seen.  She's had it for about 22 years -- and now that I've used it, I can understand why she'd never want to go back to rolling and cutting tart forms again.  All we did was place the tart tin in the hole, pop in a ball of dough, cover it with a piece of saran and press.  Voila!  A perfectly formed tart shell. 

Before dinner and during the lessons, we were treated to her 'special' appetizers.  And by special I mean some of her famous baking that I blogged about just before Christmas. Delicious as always Lori! She then served a delicious dinner, complete with salad, garlic bread, lasagna and of course...more wine!  Then it was time for the dessert to come out of the oven. 

Richard's masterpiece.
Now the really funny part about my pie is how it really turned out in the end because as usual... I couldn't just put on the top shell, I had to fancy it up a bit.  So I grabbed Lori's cookie cutters and began cutting out eyes to make a face.  And as I was about to put it in the oven Lori said, "Wait, we have to put a slit in it for the steam to escape".  ooops.  so I grabbed a knife and put the slits at the top of the mouth to create a friendly smile.  But when we pulled the pie out of the oven and saw that it overflowed just a little, it gave us a hint of just how delicious this pie was going to be.  It couldn't help but lick it's own lips!!  Tracey...does this count as one of your 'Face the Days' ??

We all had such a blast, and we are kinda kicking ourselves for not doing this long before.  Lesson Learned!  
Richard and I had become such great friends and got to know each other so well that I became known as his 'work wife'.  Because I always send his real wife the updates to the blog, I know he'll be reading this.... so... Richard - thanks again for being such a great friend.  When I went to purchase a card for Richard I decided I was not going to buy him a goodbye card because it wasn't really goodbye.  We promised to stay in touch, so I bought him a thank you card instead and I filled it with a list of many thank you's for all the things he has done with and for me over the past 3 years.
It was hard for me to say good bye to Richard and the best way I could describe how I felt is in the picture below. 

My friend Lisa at work also knew that today was going to be hard for me to see Richard leave so when she checked in on me I replied back in my email... "this is how I feel" - and I attached the picture of Dorothy saying goodbye to Scarecrow. 

Her reply, "Are you saying Richard doesn't have any brains?" 

You know you have great friends when they know when to check up on you and when they know to make you laugh.  Thanks Lori for the pie lessons (and the flowers last week).  Thanks Lisa for checking in on me (and going bowling last night with Richard, Matt and I and laughing with me when fall on my a$$. That's right people, I fell flat on my a$$ in front of 3 teenage boys).  

And Richard, I can't thank you enough for your friendship and the many many many times you made me laugh so hard I was glad I wore my depends that day. 


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Day # 3 with a cold... feeling crappy... looking forward to sleeping in on my day off.  Get called into work... Bummer...  :^(

I finish work for the day, so I decide to check for mail at the post office... I have a parcel... Yippee!!  :^) 

A week ago I was the lucky winner of a San Francisco Gift-A-Way from Edgar over at his wonderful blog Blacksheep's bit of the Web and my package arrived today!!  I was so excited to open it, I could hardly wait... but I had this sad face looking at me wanting to go for a walk first, so I set the box aside to have something to look forward to when I got back.


As I cut open the box, I immediately caught the aroma of ground coffee... mmmmm!  Sitting on the very top was this beautiful card of the San Francisco Bridge, and inside Edgar had hand written in detail where each item had come from.  It was almost like being right there! (How I would love to visit someday!)

 When I entered the Gift-A-Way, there were some specific questions about likes and dislikes, and WOW!... everything in the parcel was a GREAT BIG LIKE!!!

Milk chocolate...

There's that coffee I smelled...

Next came a bunch of my favourite candy...

In a pretty green bag, some of the softest, chewiest, tastiest caramels I have ever had!!  (I am sampling the  pomegranate one as I type... to die for!!)

And last but not least some lemon curd, pink salt and some sweet honey...

I would like to send many thanks, along with a great big hug to Edgar for this simply awesome box of goodies, and for helping to turn my frown upside down.

Oh, and my taste buds thank-you too  :^) ...


Monday, January 23, 2012

Changing the Mantle

Does anyone else find it a challenge on how to decorate their mantle for that in between stage?   Christmas is over, but it's still too early for all those hearts and pinks and reds?

Not very original I know, but what I came up with could best be described as a "winter mantle".  Mainly snowmen, but also a few other wintery/homey themed items that make you want to cozy up with a warm afghan and your hot beverage of choice.

I'm wanting some sort of a garland... paper snowflakes?...  Crocheted snowflakes?
Happy to finally display this snowman cross stitch that I finished in March 2011!
Just had to add this rustic "Let it Snow" plaque that my son made me 15 years ago when he was in Grade 5.

Since changing things over after the Christmas decorations came down a couple of weeks ago, I've noticed other mantles in the blogging world that have followed this same direction; but with less snowmen and more winter.  I've stolen tucked away a lot of these ideas that I hope to incorporate into my decor this time next year!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Finish

A couple of months ago when the cooler weather was beginning to settle in, I started to crochet a scarf for myself.  With the preparations for Christmas, the busyness of the holidays, and the not-so-winter-like temps we were having here, the scarf got put on the back burner.  Until now.  Yesterday I made up my mind that I was going to sit down and finish it. 

 Little did I know when I started making it, that in the meantime I would find this wool coat (for $20.00!)  at a local thrift store.  I think the colours really work well together!

 I do believe the snowy, winter weather is officially here, so now I will be all prepared... cozy and warm.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Time for Our Give-Away... Let's Celebrate!!

If you read our last post, you know that our 2nd Bloggiversary is coming up on Tuesday, January 31st.  It's hard to believe 2 years have gone by... we have learned so much about the blogging world during this time, plus we have "met" so many wonderful people and made new friends through this experience.

We'd like you to join in on the fun and celebrate with us! 

Starting right now, and up until midnight on Monday, January 30th, you can enter for a chance to win our Give-Away.  The rules are pretty easy:
  1. To get 1 chance - you must be a follower, and leave a comment on this post only.
  2. To get another chance - write about our Give-Away on your blog (either in a post, or on your sidebar).
  3. To get even more chances - for each one or your friends that stops by to enter and mentions your name, you will get one more entry (per friend).
  4. Don't forget to give an email address, or some way to contact you.  We wouldn't want you to miss out if we draw your name!
    We are still adding goodies to the pile, but in the meantime here is a little sneak peek of what you will receive...

    We all love surprises, so we'll keep the rest of the items under our hat... all except the famous Sugar & Spice chocolate, because we wouldn't want that to melt! 

    Good luck everyone!!
    Tracey, Bonnie, Anita, and Jody

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    It's Coming Soon!

    Our 2nd Bloggiversary that is!!

    The actual date is January 31st, so the 4 of us have been busy gathering up goodies for a give-away which we will draw for on that Tuesday.

    We hope to have all the details on how to join in on the fun in a post sometime this week, so stay tuned!! 

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend full of stitching...


    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    What Do You Do?

    It is the first day of 2012.  It is 5pm.  I'd had a late lunch, the house is tidy, the dog is walked, I have a loaf of bread in the bread machine and hubby is gone for the day... now what should I do?  Why stitch of course!! 

    I turn on the TV and come across the movie "27 Dresses".  Chick flick... perfect!  Decide to check my email one last time before I settle in my chair and all of a sudden everything goes black.  The hydro is out.  Wait -  only for a second -  and it's back on.  Oh no!  It flickers again and again and then total darkness.  OK... no worries... even though it's very windy out, it probably won't be out for very long; right?  Wrong!!!  There goes my perfect night of stitching, not to mention my loaf of bread in the machine which still had a couple of hours to go!!

    So what do you do when the hydro goes out?  What do I do??  Get out my little book light and read Ghost stories of course!

      A Christmas gift from my daughter and SIL.

     In the meantime, Paul arrives home.  Takes Willow for a walk in the pitch black.  Comes back, and being the nice wife that I am, I give up our only book light, so hubby can work on his cross words. (Note to self: add a second book light to shopping list.)

    So after 5 hours of living like pioneers (how did they do it?!!), the hydro comes back on at 10:05pm.

    I may as well go have a look in the bread machine and pitch the ruined loaf.  I am surprised to see the lid of the bread maker pushed slightly open... the bread hadn't started the baking phase when we lost power, and so it has been "rising" all this time! I am about to throw it out when I wonder ... hmmmm... why don't I try baking it in the oven?  ( I guess my brain is still in pioneer mode!)  What do I have to lose?

    Online I go and find wonderful info on the bread making process with pictures too!  Since the mixing is already done, and  the recipe says to let the mixture rise for 4 hours or more, the hard part is already done! 

    As it looked straight from the bread machine.

    Covered  with olive oil and salt... it's now "resting" for 30 minutes.

    I bake it for 35 minutes and voila!... there you have it.  OK, so it may not be the prettiest bread you ever did see, but at least I salvaged it and it's edible for the most part.  (Was still a little doughy in the middle.)

     So my bread making adventure is now over, and it is time to put January 1st, 2012 ( and me) to bed.  I have to admit that I am still pouting a little over the fact that not a single X was made on my fabric today.

    What a difference a day makes!!

    Well my frown was turned upside down the next morning when Bonnie emailed me and invited me to her place for a day of stitching!!  :^)

    All was well as I headed over to Bonnie's house around 12:30 with my bread (and stitching) in hand, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch of her homemade hamburger stew, ice-cream dessert and left-over Christmas goodies.  After a 10 hour day of stitching, talking and munching while watching the 1991 TV series of Dark Shadows, I walked home thankful for having our hydro again... mostly because it allowed me to have such a wonderful day together with a dear friend.


    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    As 2012 Rings in a Brand New Year

    We want to take a moment to thank you all for visiting our blog (especially our faithful followers) and we would like to wish you a bright and Happy New Year filled with Health, Wealth and Abundance!! 
    Anita, Bonnie, Jody, Tracey (AKA - The 4 from Forest)

    With 2011 behind us now and as I reflect upon the year gone by, I am grateful for the many blessings I received, but at the same time sad for my family members and close family friends who have been affected by so much tragedy and unexpected loss this past year.  As I was thinking about them on New Year's day, I decided to write a little something to place in a New Year's card to send to them. I shared it with Tracey and  we discussed whether or not it was appropriate to post and we decided, 'why not ? -- some of us just haven't had as good a year as others and they may appreciate it too'.  I hope it brings some comfort to those who need it now.

    Comfort, peace and blessings for the New Year,

    Christmas 2016

    Christmas 2016 was held at Jody's this year and we were lucky we had good weather for our travel eastbound.  If there is going to be a...