Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Favorite Almond Cake

I love this almond bundt cake from Solo.

Solo makes all sorts of fillings and one of them is almond and it makes the most delicious cakes. You can find it in the baking aisle with the other canned fillings like apple and cherry. Once you make it you are hooked. It's my son's favorite and I bet if you try it it will be yours as well. I brought it to my PTA meeting this week and not a single piece was left! Nicest complement a baker can get.

The best part is that it's super easy and it always comes out perfect. I have friends who like to make it as 2 loaves and then they freeze one for a later occasion. Your friends will asking you for the recipe. I guarantee it. We can keep this secret between you and me but I prefer to share. So click here for the recipe. Now it's up to you.

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Princess Wristlets

Well, we finally got to take vacation and right when we got home the kids finally went back to school! Before we left on vacation I made a few of these wristlets that I'm calling "Princess Wristlets" for our friends in Virginia.

I simply took this handbag pattern I had and skipped making the regular shoulder strap, added a zipper and a wrist strap. I played with the design a bit by making the opening straight across. One of these wristlets (far left) has it with a scoop top. I decided I liked the straight across version better. Easier to sew the zipper in that way.

These were lots of fun to make. Really quick. Almost instant gratification. It's a lot quicker than making a quilt. Maybe you have a pattern somewhere that can be converted into something new. Give it a try.You never know what you'll come up with.

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Well it's getting to the end of August and school is not that far away. I was looking at the pictures I've taken this summer and thought I might share some with you. Photography is one of my great loves next to my family, so I take a ton of pictures. Ever since I got my new camera last year I have had so much fun. Here are a few of my favorites so far this summer.....

I don't know about your yard, but the black eyed susans are exploding in mine!

No, this isn't my backyard. These are barns at Caumset Park in Huntington, NY. I thought they were very interesting.

My children acting silly.

We have a local Fireman's fair every year in July. I had a lot of fun taking pictures there. Here's the ferris wheel.

If you can believe it that's my daughter on the left in this motion shot.

The kids at the beach.

A beautiful sunset I caught on the way home from the beach that night.

Hope your summer has been wonderful. Enjoy the last few bits of it. I know I will.

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Inspiration Results

Well, I got cracking and actually made some things from that batch of fabric I received last month. Made this pretty backpack and it sold on Etsy in a flash. Love the peacock/sea glass fabric from Amy butler.The I created this cute little wallet as a gift for one of my best customers. She picked the fabric - another Amy Butler fan- Soul Blossoms Disco Tangerine- and I made her a backpack and the wallet. I'm going to do a tutorial for this wallet soon. I've made a few and this one is my favorite. It has three pockets inside for your cards and bills and a key ring. I've wanted to do a tutorial for some time now but I always think of it after I have created the item.
Love this backpack. My customer has the best taste in fabric. She got me inspired to get sewing again. Thanks, Liza.
Look for that tutorial soon. I'm a little slow with my posts these days.

Have a great day!


Friday, July 15, 2011


I just received a shipment of fabric and I can't wait to dive into it. I received a custom order on my Etsy shop which meant that I had to order fabric! These are from Amy Butler's Love and Soul Blossoms line. Amy always inspires me. Her fabric is gorgeous and makes you want to create something beautiful. The far right two are for my custom order. The other three are for me. Hope you're having a good summer. I'm going to spend mine doing some sewing!!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bunny Cookiepops

As you have probably guessed I love to bake and cook. I usually have more ideas for my blog from this than sewing. Sewing is a hobby I don't get much time for anymore, but cooking I do everyday. I once read another quilters blog who also liked to cook and she mentioned that once she does a whole day of sewing, the last thing she wants to do is cook because she has used up all her creative energy on the sewing. I feel the same way. On those days that I miraculously have time to sew all I do for food is leftovers or dare I say "take out"(which is usually not in the budget). But most of the time it is the cooking that takes away that creative energy. So here I go with another cooking/baking experience that I want to share with you. I hope to do some sewing soon.

My children love to bake with me and cut out sugar cookies are their favorite. I have tried various recipes and I have finally found one that I think tastes great and easy to make. I found it on the Land O Lakes butter box a few years ago. It's called the "Best Ever Butter Cookies".
We do lots of sugar sprinkles and I like to make a little icing to decorate them.
I made some as "cookiepops" for my daughter's 1st grade class. I was the mystery reader and I wanted to bring in something on a spring/Easter theme. I saw the sticks at Walmart along with some cookie molds that showed where to place the sticks. The molds were $9.00 and at first I was going to get them. Then I realized I had a bunny cookie cutter and that I should be able to just place the stick behind the cookie and bake it in. It worked. And the sticks were only $1.99. I love it when I save some money.
One tip I can give you is when you place your cookies on your baking sheet, slip the stick underneath the cookie and press down slightly. Bake it and presto you have a cookiepop.
I wrapped mine up in little clear treat bags from Wilton. I wanted to tie them with a pretty ribbon but time was not on my side so I just used the silver ties that came with the bags. In the end it was easier for the kids to open and/or save the cookies for the bus ride home.

So bake some for Easter. The kids will love them.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 1, 2011


I thought it was time for another recipe. This is my children's very favorite cookie - Snickerdoodles. I learned to make these when I was in junior high- aka middle school. We had "home economics" back then and I must confess it was a lot more interesting than algebra! I even have my original recipe card I typed up on my Smith Corona portable typewriter. Now I'm really showing my age.

I've made a few changes over the years. Butter instead of shortening, adding some milk and vanilla extract along with more flour. I really like the consistency of the dough. I chill it for an hour. That really helps when you roll it out into balls and dredge it in cinnamon sugar.

Well, this week my son was "Star of the Week" and begged me to make the cookies for his 2nd grade class. I don't need to be asked twice. I baked a batch and wrapped them up.

This is an easy and fun cookie to make. You can get the kids involved (if you have some). Mine love to roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar. So here's the recipe.


1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/3rd cup sifted flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar (found in the baking aisle with the spices)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Cinnamon Sugar- 1/3rd cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400

  • Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Mix well
  • Add milk and vanilla extract. Mix well
  • Sift flour along with cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture. Mix until flour is incorporated into mixture.
  • Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
  • Shape dough with hands into teaspoon size balls.
  • Roll in cinnamon sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2" apart. (Cookies spread during baking process.) I line my with "silpat" liners just in case but you don't have too.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wedding Memories

My wedding anniversary is coming up next month. It will be 13 years. I made my dress and veil for the event. I had a great time buying the fabric in the city (NYC). I made covered fabric buttons that were so tiny I had to use tweezers to get the fabric over them. I also made a braided headband veil. Unlike most woman, I simply store these things in back of my daughter's closet in a dry cleaning bag. (Our house is over a hundred years old and space is limited- I gave up half of my clsoset to my husband) Well, the other day my daughter insisted on trying on the veil. She is 6 going on 26 these days and all into weddings.

So I took out the camera and took a few pictures.
And a few more......
We had a great time.
She is growing up so fast. One day she'll be trying on a veil for her own wedding. I hope to be there for that day.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Belated Valentine Banner

I know St. Patrick's Day is next week but I finally finished my Valentine project. I found the pattern one day way back in January and I had to make it. I finally finished it three days after Valentine's Day. And now I am finally posting it. (If you haven't figured it out yet, I am a procrastinator.)
I had fun making this banner. I found the pattern here at Little Lady Patchwork. I used fabric from my ancient stash which was mostly from MODA. Their fabrics have always been my favorites. I changed the pattern slightly by fusing the hearts on the background fabric and stitching them with an applique stitch. The original instructions just called for the stitching.

I don't have a very large mantel so I hung my banner across a doorway between my dining room and living room. My house is over a hundred years old with beautiful moldings so I figured the banner would look great against the white molding.
Well, this procrastinator needs to start working on more projects. It felt really good to finish something besides the items for my Etsy shop. I have let my quiliting/personal projects suffer in the past few years. I wish I had the time and energy I see many of you have out there. Your blogs and Flickr postings are amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

BC Quilt

I started this quilt before my son Christopher was born - thus the name BC. He turned 8 this past January! I don't know why but this project never seems to end. I don't think I even like the fabric anymore. But I must finish it!

Four pointed stars are hard for me and I redid at least two of these blocks before I put it together. (The sad thing is it only has four blocks to begin with.) I have finally quilted everything except the borders.

It's been like this for a year. My quilting friends, who I haven't had a chance to meet with for a year as well saw me working on this quilt every week.

So, I am giving myself a finish date- spring. I will report back on my progress. By putting this in writing I hope to guilt myself into doing it. Will it work? We shall see.......

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Winter Blues

Well, I did it. I broke my New Year's resolution in one week. My resolution was to blog more often and not let my children and all the other crazy things I do stop me from sharing with you on my blog.

Well, the kids got sick and then it snowed. Then the kids got sick again and then it snowed again! Then what happened- the kids got sick again and it sleeted, it rained and everything became an ice rink.

So here I am after three weeks of mayhem catching up. All I have to share today are some pictures I took during all that snow. It was pretty, now it's "snirt" - new word I learned this year that means dirty snow.

My children and their snowperson? Let's just say they are very creative!

My little backyard.

The remnants of my snowball hydrangeas

That's all now folks. Hope to be writing more this week. Keep your fingers crossed that the kids stay healthy and the weather gets better.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Something Warm for your Tummy:Chowder!

Well, here it is the 6th of January and I am posting for the second time this week! It's going to snow here tomorrow and I love a good soup on those blistery days and one of my favorites is my Manhattan Clam Chowder. I make it spicy! There's nothing like a little spice to warm you on a cold day.

Now when I make a soup I like to use my pressure cooker. You can make your soup with or without one. In a tradition pot such as a dutch oven, you will just have to cook it longer until the veges are softened. I just like to do things fast because I'm always running late and I've got to make up the time somewhere!

This is a simple recipe. I use canned clams and bottled clam juice. You can go out and get your fresh seafood and do it the hard way, but I like this simple and quick method. I hope you get a chance to try this recipe. Enjoy and have a great day.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large green pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
1 teaspoon hot sauce- my favorite is a habanero pepper sauce from the Tropical Pepper Co.
28 oz. whole tomatoes, chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 to 1 cup red wine
1 8 oz. bottle clam juice
1 cup water
2 6.5 oz cans of minced clams with reserved juice
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper

Saute the bacon in a large soup pot such as a dutch oven or pressure cooker until it has rendered its fat. Add the onion, celery and green pepper and cook until softened. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in flour, then add potatoes, tomatoes with juice, clam juice (bottled and reserved juice from canned clams), wine, water, hot sauce and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

Traditional soup pot: bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir in chopped clams and serve.

Pressure Cooker: close lid and bring to pressure. I cook mine for 5 minutes once it gets to pressure in position 2. Check you brand of cooker for average cooking time for soups and settings. Let out pressure and add the chopped clams and serve.

I like a nice crusty bread to serve with the chowder.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolution: Blog!!!!!

I can't believe I haven't posted a blog since late September! Some how the kids, school, the house and everything else seemed to get in the way of me posting. Actually I think it was plain laziness on my part but it makes me feel better to share the blame.

Anyways, what have I been up to you ask? Well, I did so some sewing, some picture taking and tons of cooking. Here are some of the items I sewed and will soon post to Etsy to sell. I have got to pay off all that Christmas shopping!

I purchased some Amy Butler laminates a year ago and I finally got to make some totes. I had made a backpack last spring for someone on Etsy, but I really wanted to make these totes. They're fun and bright.

I did a ton of bodysuits with burp cloths. The fabrics are son cute you can't stop yourself from making things.

I'll be posting more to come, I hope. I can't break my New Year's resolution yet.