Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stitching Has Resume

Made myself sit and stitch a bit with my littles. Younger one is into embroidery at the moment,... now able to sit for longer periods of time and focus on stitching.
This time of the year is the time where I need to make my medical round to be sure things are going well. So many appointments, it can be a bit (or a lot) stressful at times. Even though I've been in remission for 8 years, sometimes after fighting a life threatening illness, there's a lingering anxiety that pops up mostly when not feeling well (without being able to pinpoint why), or when check ups are due. Sometimes I can say: "it must be the fibromyalgia", but sometimes it is hard to tell. Praying and hoping for everything to be ok! Really need to meditate a bit more on Matthew 6:34.
So while dreaming for these next few weeks to fly, I'm keeping myself busy. Back to my needle and thread for therapy. Also: homeschooling will resume shortly, considering to commit to an increase in volunteer work for the month of September, hoping to try new recipes at least twice a month, weekly baking during the Fall season, start entertaining friends again after the remodeling/construction work is completed in a couple of weeks, finding a new nature trail for some nice autumnal walks, etc. . 
I have the goal of increasing protein consumption to see if it helps with sugar cravings ;-). It must be simple in order to keep it up. So here is a quick tuna salad; low sodium tuna in water, sweet yellow corn, grape tomatoes, avocado, sprinkled with a bit of salt and olive oil. If I'm very hungry then I add a side of brown rice.

Hopefully the next blog update will be about another finished towel, or two! I have a new vintage pattern that I can't wait to stitch! Want a peek? Leaving a link below ;-).

Non-affiliated link:
A Vintage reprint of Aunt Martha's no. 3959,
Delightful Blue Bird Motifs. All the reprints come without 
the envelope, just so you know.

Friday, August 4, 2017

In The Kitchen and Outings

Pasta salads are a great summer meal or side dish. I made one this past weekend to carry in our lunch bags each day to our 3 day convention. I used GF pasta because one of my kids has a life threatening allergy to wheat. Kept it really simple: cooked pasta, poached chicken breasts diced, grape tomatoes, peeled and seeded cucumber diced, and semi-homemade Italian dressing. It kept well for 3 days in the very cold fridge. (PS: cute rooster embroidery is a Stitcher's Revolution pattern from Colonial Patterns, I blogged about it here.)

Another simple lunch or dinner is cod fish "stew" with root vegetables/tubers , a tropical dish ;-). You could practically use any other "meaty" fish. This was one of our staple dishes growing up. The tubers were peeled, roughly chopped and then boiled in salty water (with a bit of butter if desire) until thoroughly cook.  I usually steam the cod sprinkled with some of our favorite seasonings and olive oil. Once most of its own juice/liquid evaporates, I add a bit of tomato sauce, then the sliced/diced/chopped: red bell pepper, green pepper, yellow onion, and cabbage, a bit more seasoning to taste. Serve over white rice or root vegetables. Voila! Time to eat!

Do you like infused water? I do! From the skin of the cucumber, mixed with couple lemon slices, we had infused water.... very refreshing! 

Since my day was already being spent in the kitchen, I preset the oven and whip up bananas muffins. Sometimes I bake it in the loaf pan, but mostly in baking cups, much easier to handle for my little ones hands, plus she can serve herself.
I'm such a messy baker... LOL. 
A bit lazy too... I do not pre-measure ingredients. I measure, pour, and mix as I go. Do you pre-measure ingredients? 

On a side note, Jenny of Elefantz is an Australian stitchery designer (remember the pincushion I stitched from one of her designs here?) well, she recently started to share weekly recipes accompanied with easy stitcheries free on her blog. I started to collect them and will start trying them out this Fall! How kind, a nice treat indeed!

We are starting to have a few nice days here and there... with that autumnal feel that I love! The sunlight is already changing and that only signals Fall is in the air. As a mom with small kids, living with a chronic illness, we are not able to do as much as other families are able to do with their kids during summer break,... but I'm thankful for what I can still do with them. Still able to go out and about on good days and enjoy their laughter and squeals of joy. In turn they are very empathetic and understanding when mommy is not able to do as much. There have been a few outings: playgrounds, faith strengthening meetings, a couple of trips to the pool, shopping to replace outgrown clothing items, volunteer work, to the market, and more recently to our 3 day convention. All time well spent!

Now after all the activity my body is on strike, but hopefully not for long. So now, perhaps I can have some force down time and stitch a bit. Hmmm... what will be my next project?
Stay tune ;-)! May your August be a happy one! Till later!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


There are many things that can bring comfort, and they take many forms for each of us. 
This past week I fixed a childhood comforting breakfast as a treat.
Mom used to make for us, sometimes, cornmeal porridge by combining and heating up: whole milk, water, salt, sugar, and cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon) into a saucepan, then added cornmeal and cooked until thickened and creamy. More like dessert than breakfast! Yum! In fact all our hot breakfast cereals where made in a similar way, be it oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice, etc. Even cornstarch! Switching regular cow milk for coconut definitely takes it to the next dessert-licious level! 
Volunteer work also brings me comfort, and hopefully to the recipients too! Definitely there is "more happiness in giving than there is in receiving". Hoping some invitees can make it, we are so looking forward to our yearly convention. Every year gets better and better! Spiritually upbuilding and encouraging!
Fresh gigantic organic berries .... especially blueberries, I could eat a pint of these berries in no time. These were from a couple of months ago, end of spring beginning of summer. Delicious! A healthy comfort, indeed! 
Comforting and heartwarming to see that my husband took the wedding anniversary piece I embroidered for him to be framed. Meaning he will be hanging it in his new office once is completed.  
So yes so many things can bring or give comfort in a variety of ways! 

PS: Haven't finished the towel yet, have been taking an unexpected break from stitching this month. Perhaps August will put me back on needlework mode,... perhaps. Till later!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Doings

Our summers tend to be busy; fun outings with the kids & friends, volunteer work, and yearly spiritually upbuilding Regional Convention. The basement in our new place is in the process of being finished which adds to an already hectic, but productive schedule.
Lately, when sitting to rest, I don't really feel like stitching... 3rd utility towel with the fruit theme is not done yet. However, while sitting I've been inclined to read for entertainment, transporting my thoughts to beautiful country sceneries (just finished A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside by Susan Branch), or looking out for autumn weather recipes (my favorite weather!), and just admiring the lovely embroidery in my stash of hand embroidery books. 
Didn't even get to bake the beer bread, will leave it for September.  Might even make it with apple or pear cider instead. 
Many of you might be also busy with vegetable or rose gardens. The heat is unbearable at times. We try to schedule our activities in the morning whenever possible. Whichever your summer doings are.... stay hydrated & cool! 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Beer Bread and Morning Glory

Brief update. Not much progress on my 3rd towel.
Browsing vintage patterns for future projects.

Planning to bake the Beer Bread (page 167) from Susan Branch's revised Heart Of The Home... Notes From A Vineyard Kitchen. It looks so easy to make, hopefully it'll taste good!

Leaving you with a simple, but lovely Morning Glory pattern for your stitching enjoyment! ;-) Part of a sheet in my collection of vintage embroidery transfers. 
Till later!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kitchen Towel no.3 Update

Here's the progress so far on this 3rd utility dish towel. It's been enjoyable to add a few stitches to it here and there. Might work a bit on it this afternoon if possible (after folding some laundry). What do you call your kitchen towels: tea towels, kitchen towels, or dish towels?

The design is part of this vintage Vogart above. It is Vogart 611 Colorful Fruit Motifs for Dinette or Kitchen. In fact you can see the design I'm stitching illustrated on the envelope. The towels pictured on the envelope show a blanket stitch variation on the towels' edges/borders,  so pretty! I'm keeping my vintage Vogart intact for now, so ended up getting a scan from Etsy seller BlondiesSpot. Then as mentioned on previous post, used my ink jet printer and a sheet of Sticky Fabri-Solvy (by Sulky, the product also comes in a updated packaging with the name of Stick'n Stitch) to transfer the pattern onto my towel.

My lower back/sacrum area and back hip bone started to hurt earlier today (sigh), it is really killing me. This happens to me occasionally. Already took some over the counter medicine and most likely will get my heat pad ready once done posting this blog update, and perhaps squeeze a long nap too. Leave you with the picture above, the only kind of rose (for now) in the front of my home.
Till later! Have a nice end of June!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fruits / Utility Towel no.3

Here are the humble beginnings or the 3rd utility towel ;-).
This pattern is a design part of a vintage transfer, Vogart 611.
I have an original copy in my collection, but this time didn't want to cut into it. Later I'll take a picture of the cover so you can see the other cute designs part of this transfer (storing my collection in my kid's room closet, have to dig it out).  Long story short, ended up buying a cleaned black & white PDF copy of it from an Etsy seller. 

I used Sticky Fabri-Solvy to print my design of choice, and paste it on a kitchen towel, as you see in the above picture. Picture below shows the back. Sometimes when you are press on time, or don't feel like tracing, this is a very nice alternative if you have an ink jet printer. Although you could also use this stabilizer to trace by hand, especially if it is a very small design.

It will also work very well for dark fabrics, which are hard to see through in order to trace. I try to squeeze a few patterns in one sheet of this printable and water soluble sticky stabilizer, so as to waste as little as possible. The package cost around $10.00 more or less (on Amazon where I get mine), the price fluctuates at times. Joann stores use to carry it, but now they only have the one that comes in a roll, you'll have to cut to size. I think they now carry a similar product, precut, that is also sticky, printable and water soluble. 
Picked my colors according to the suggestions shown in the front of the pattern envelope. The scan also comes with a color copy of the transfer cover for reference. Already started working on it! Hoping to be able to work on it a bit here and there through out this week. Little ones feeling much better, so we might be out and about a bit more. Perhaps in the evenings I could squeeze some stitching time.

May your week be beautiful and that all goes as you have planned!
Until next time!

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