Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cookie Escapades...

~ Greetings Friends ~
Today was THE day....the day that I decorated cookies for the very first time. Yesterday, I made the dough, I used my cookie idol's recipe which you can find here: Sweet Sugar Belle's Basic Sugar Cookie recipe.

Baking the cookies were not without some hardship...
my first batch spread... a lot. So, next batches I worked a lot more flour in and I paid attention to how it felt when I touched it. I looked for the the hints and tips Sweet Sugar Belle gave and the result was perfect cut sugar cookies. I let them "dry out" for 24 hours so that the butter would not leech into the cookies once decorated.

Today dawned...
and I hit the elliptical for my 30 minute date...(ugh!)
then I started in making the icing. Again I used my idol's recipe: Sweet Sugar Belle's Royal Icing Recipe

Making the icing was the easy part. Getting the correct consistency for piping, flooding and the 20-second icing (which in my research can be called 10-second 15-second, etc)...that is the tough part.
But I watched the Sweet Sugar Belle's YouTube videos over and over and I took the plunge! Actually, I have been watching and reading for the past 6 weeks. 

Here are the results....

First Cookie Escapade - Copy


"Hot Lips"
Hot Lips - Copy

Hot Lips zoom - Copy


"My Little SweetHearts"
My Little Loves - Copy

My Little Hearts zoom - Copy


"Love Birds"
Love Birds - Copy

Love Bird Zoom - Copy



"Dutch Tulips"
Yellow Tulips - Copy

Yellow Tulips zoom - Copy

Now...
they aren't perfect. For instance my Love Birds...the accent piping is a little sloppy. On the Hot Lips, I didn't get a good disappearing lip line on the piped edge...but I did get a good seam line and highlights! Same goes on the SweetHearts, I didn't get a good disappearing piped line and my writing needs a little work. On the Dutch Tulips, I used the 20-second icing and I think it was too runny. The green was DEFINITELY too runny.

For a first try...
I'm pretty happy. I have St. Paddy's day coming up...that's gonna be another time to practice before I have to do it for real. 

All in all...
I'm really tickled with myself at how well these turned out. I never, in a million years, thought I'd get these to look even this good. Again, not perfect, but not bad for a first go around!

I learned A LOT of lessons today and I think that means my St. Paddy's cookies might just be a bit better than these! We will see :)

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, while loving my neighbor as myself!
Join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Monday, February 09, 2015

My Valentine.....

~ Warm welcome to all my friends ~
I was overwhelmed with all the many comments and entries that was left on my 

"Be My Valentine"

post, that I must say, I felt as if I needed to make everyone a project envelope!


But....
 I'd need to hire a helper and get a bank loan for that, so instead I did the best thing I knew how and just went ahead and bought some more fabric and made two more Project Envelopes for a total of three...

So that means I have three Valentines and they are....


Linda
Ana R.
Sandi F.

I want to thank...
each and everyone of you for your kind comments, visits, friendship and the inspiration you all give to me! 

Thank you!

And until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God
and...
loving my neighbors as myself!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


Friday, February 06, 2015

Won't you be....

~ My Valentine? ~



Comments on THIS post only....
will have their name put in my heart for a chance to have this project envelope to arrive at your doorstep by St. Valentine's Day if you promise to be my Valentine. 

Please don't advertise this giveaway...
as I want it to be for the people that actually visit my blog, read my words, comment
 (a little or a lot ~ it doesn't matter
and follow me. 

This is for you, from MY heart :)

Winner will be picked by random and announced Monday, February 9. You have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 8 to enter.

Good Luck!

Love and Kisses,
Me


Goings on in my world...

~ Greetings Friends ~
and a warm welcome to my blog. I hope that you all are well and warm and fit as a fiddle!

Goings on in my world...
I seem to be a bit all over the charts this year! I can't get my act together stitching wise to be honest. Last year in January, February and March. I had it so together, stitching just what I had planned that I wanted to accomplish. This year...I can't get settled on anything! Oh, I've hopped on some band wagons. For instance: 
Photo Copyright: By The Bay Needleart

Have you heard about this? Well....if interested check HERE
This dings my bells and toots my whistles on so many levels that I couldn't resist. Have I placed a stitch yet? Of course not! To be fair however, I have 8 ornament models to stitch and finish by March 1, so that leaves very little time for personal stitching! That may be another reason I feel I'm not accomplishing anything :)

And last year I kicked myself a hundred times over for not jumping on the: Colonial Gatherings bandwagon. Paulette of Plum Street Samplers and Tanya of The Scarlett House are two designers that I really love and admire. Every single thing that came out last year in the Colonial Gatherings Club just did it for me. So this year - I SIGNED up and couldn't have been happier when I received this in the mail for the inaugural installment for 2015 by Plum Street Samplers: 
Photo Copyright: Plum Street Samplers

again, has any stitches been placed? YES! but I had to frog them because when I started it I was more interested in talking than stitching. Why, you ask? Well, because I was entertaining a long-time online friend, Carol author of: Linen Stitcher, in my home for a stitch-together! Carol is also an Indiana girl and we've been conversing for years via e-mail and she moved to Terre Haute, Indiana (just about 45 minutes away from Bloomington)  in the last few years, but was commuting heavily back and forth to her job. Now she's doing free-lance work inside her home and that means she can arrange her schedule a little more freely and we took advantage of that! I invited her to come over in January a couple of times, but weather didn't accommodate us

:( 

Finally this week we got to get together in my home! Carol arrived safely and off we went gabbing and chatting and finally stitching away! Shortly before noon, I started heating up our lunch and we had just sat down to enjoy it when the phone rang and I saw it was the school. Of course - day of all days - Ellie was ill. Carol was so gracious and quickly gobbled her last two bites of lunch and packed up her stitching so that I could go and retrieve Ellie from school sporting a belly flu bug. Poor Carol didn't even get to enjoy the dessert of pound cake and some delicious (if I do say so myself) berry fruit salad. Next time Carol!

Carol showed up at my door with this stunner: 

Frindship Cupboard Hanger from Carol

Isn't it perfectly wonderful and cute as a button?! I love it! Carol said the saying is just how she feels about me...she feels like we are old friends since we have corresponded for so long, but in reality, we have just met :) So sweet! Thank you so very much Carol, I will treasure this always!

While Carol was visiting...
she brought some of her finely stitched pieces. Be still my heart, THREE Carriage House Samplings stockings. OMGosh! I have all the patterns for these, have I  placed a single stitch in any of them? NO! but after seeing her perfectly stitched stockings I think I may have to jump on that bandwagon! Lots of bandwagons I'm hitching my horses to....soon I'll have a train. Who am I kidding, my horses are dead from exhaustion my train is so loooooooong....

:)

Carol didn't leave still hungry without any dessert and gift-less though! I made a small selection of my project envelopes and she got to choose one to take home with her. She chose the one I thought she would too:
Peacocks in Paris

and I do believe she was quite charmed with it. Its an addiction these envelopes that are perfect to kit up a project and have ready to go at a moments notice. And when you pull them out, they catch people's eyes and they want to know all about them. Believe me, I get it all the time in doctor's offices, sport games, boy scout meetings...

Speaking of bandwagons...
I've jumped whole-heartedly and with much devotion into trying to become a sugar cookie decorator! I just spent an astronomical amount of money on tips and cutters and bags and gel colors and rolling pins...well you get the idea...with the hopes of making cookies that look like these:

This woman has the most gorgeous cookies. I've always adored intricately designed sugar cookies. In the next 4 years I will be the hostess (with the mostest) of many parties. The one coming up quickest is: my Boys Eagle Scout Court of Honor!!! Yes, both boys, Ian and Jacob, earned their Eagle Scout Awards after many, many hours of hard work and dedication. They are very young Eagle Scouts too...earning it right before their 15th birthday. Can a mother be more proud? No, not really. Here they are this year at Summer Camp:

So what a better way to celebrate than to have beautifully decorated sugar cookies on their food table at the reception? I have visions in my head folks...lets hope this spending spree spews forth gorgeous cookies! Am I foolish enough to believe that I will be able to produce such cookies the first time? 
GOOD GRACIOUS NO!!!

Thank the good Lord we have:
Valentines Day
President's Day
St. Patrick's Day
Easter...
all coming up for practice!

**I also will need to make sure that I do the elliptical every day to counter-act the practicing!**

I am sure you will be able to see my failure or success at my endeavors of iced cookies :)

Well I believe that I have bored you enough now!
Until next time...
WAIT! I have one more thing to say: 
(I know you are rubbing your face thinking: STOP, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP!)
but...
Just like I wrote on Christmas Day. The greatest thing, no matter what faith you prescribe or don't prescribe to, is: To love your neighbor as yourself. I've seen many examples in myself and many examples in others of not prescribing to this simple honest kindness to others. You know how I always end my blog posts before today, from here on, I'm ending them with an additional phrase to remind myself and to practice what I preach. Kindness...Love... remember it. This world needs it! and all too often lately in life, at the gas station, at the grocery store, on the road, on e-mail correspondence, on the news, on Facebook, in blogs....well everywhere.... I've seen all this hatred and hurt spewing forth. Be kind! Be loving! Use your words appropriately! I'm talking to ME and I'm talking to YOU! 

So until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God while I love my neighbor as myself!
Join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx