New Fabric and a Pinwheel Quilt-Along

More fabric to share!!!

I have a half yard each of the orange fabric ~ am building up a stash for THIS quilt by Cluck.Cluck.Sew…I love Allison’s quilts ~ I’ve made a few of them already.

The other two on the left side are one yard each of Lila Tueller’s Eden…a fabric line that I absolutely ADORE! Big sigh. I want a bolt of all of her fabric lines…Eden, Santorini, Isabella, Spirit, Woodland Bloom, and Soire’e. That woman’s fabric is to die for! So cheery…you just want to do a Teri Garr (Young Frankenstein) thing…Roll in ze hay! with her fabric.

Now…onto the quilt-along. My friend April and I each bought a pinwheel quilt kit from Connecting Threads a while back….and now we are going to quilt them together. Her in Michigan and me in Nevada. :)

I have all of my 2-7/8″ strips cut out…they will soon be 2-7/8″ squares. Both of us will be modifying our quilts as we both think 56×56 is way too small. I’m going to add one more row all the way around and then probably add more to the length of the quilt. I also swapped out their cream fabric for a white on white print.

Nutcracker by Spielzeugschachtel

My German Nutcracker that my mom brought back from her Danube River Christmas Markets Cruise.

Erlebnis Holzkunst ~ Spielzeugschachtel

Seiffen, Germany ~

The toy-making village of Seiffen has become famous for its unmistakable woodturning crafts. What is today an ever-improving toy manufacturing industry actually first originated from the need for mining families to buy more bread. All year round more than 100 small workshops produce and sell ornamental fir trees, pipe-smoker incense burners, nutcrackers, enchanting angels, decorative Christmas arches, music boxes and pyramids that rotate by candle heat.

For Today ~ 27 December 2010 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 27 December 2010 ~ Year 2010′s Last Daybook!

Outside My Window… Hold on…let me turn around! (Hee! Just love this new window!) If I lean over far enough…a Peachy Purple sunrise! It’s quite beautiful…the colors. Lean over the other direction…sun hitting the very top of Peavine….the rest of us are still sitting in grey. It’s 7:18 am, not a lot of vehicles on the road…must have taken some time off work.

Peavine ~ NW Reno

I am thinking… I really want a neck massage. I keep hinting that is what I want for Christmas…but alas, me thinks I’m going to have to treat myself to one.…am thinking…I’m eating my words! Guess what my sister got me for Christmas!?!?!?! LOVE YOU COLLEEN!

I am thankful for… my friends and family.

From the kitchen… I’m not sure! We’ve been eating ham leftovers for a WEEK now! Ugh.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, long-sleeved grey ‘poets’ shirt, hair down.

I am creating… a clean room where I sew. It desperately needs reorganizing and cleaning.

I am going… cruise the internet soon, I have some extra money on a Christmas debit card that was given to me. Amazon, Crafter’s Book Club, fabric store…not sure yet.

I am reading… nothing at the moment.

I am hoping… that my FIL recovers from the MRSA he has had for the last 1-1/2 months. It’s time he comes home and gets out of the hospital!

I am hearing… The autoclaves and magnetic door locks clicking.

Around the house… am still amazed at that new vacuum cleaner and how full that canister gets. :)

One of my favorite things… sleeping with no dreams.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… clean quilting room.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

A Christmas present I bought myself…a McNicol China cup and saucer.

McNicol China, Clarksburg, West Virgina.

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

For Today ~ 20 December 2010 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 20 December 2010

Outside My Window… snow on the ground, ice melting on the roads…just in time to freeze up again soon. Sorta makes me want a Mother’s Iced Oatmeal cookie now…that is what the snow looks like on the earth in some spots. :)

I am thinking… I really want a neck massage. I keep hinting that is what I want for Christmas…but alas, me thinks I’m going to have to treat myself to one.

I am thankful for… my family, friends, kitties, the roof over my head during these storms, pretty fabric and beads. :)

From the kitchen… Ham, potatoes, and green beans.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, black mock turtleneck, hair down.

I am creating… Still working on beaded bracelets. Finished my baking and fudge making.

I am going… to go buy myself a new wallet. The zipper broke on my .50 yard sale one that I bought 3 years ago.

I am reading… Moby Dick. After seeing the Blackberry Torch commercials I pulled down my copy of Moby Dick…haven’t read it since high school!

I am hoping… that the roads don’t freeze again. People are idiots. It used to be you had to watch out for the big 4×4 pickup trucks…now it the stupid asses in Subarus.

I am hearing… Cars driving by. Water dripping. One of the faculty talking on the phone.

Around the house… a CLEAN carpet…especially after going out and buying a new vacuum cleaner! HOLY TOLEDO! The canister was completely filled after just doing the living room and two bedrooms. No wonder Leo and my allergies were so bad!

One of my favorite things… eating cookie dough.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Bead, mail off some baked goodies to Dad, take Hannah to the Nevada Art Musuem to see the Audubon paintings

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Frenchman’s Lake a few weeks ago…before all the snow that just fell.

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Spiced Buttered Rum Glaze

UPDATE: CAKE IS AWESOME!

A group of ladies here at work are meeting for our Christmas Lunch…usually it’s just 12 of us, but all the past members are invited to the December lunch. I am one of three who had to make a dessert. After looking over ‘holiday desserts’ at the Food Network I settled on Dave Lieberman’s Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Spiced Buttered Rum Glaze.

*Note* Bold=my adjustments.

All I can say is OH MY GOSH I WISH YOU CAN SMELL THIS THING! I’ll let you know after lunch today how it tastes…but if it’s anything like the batter, yummmmmie! :)

Ingredients are as follows.

For the batter:
2-1/2 cups flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups cooked sweet potato meat
3 eggs
3/4 cup warm water
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup toasted walnuts, crushed (I used PECANS, I can’t eat walnuts)

For the glaze:
4 TBSP unsalted butter
2-3 TBSP spiced rum (I used 1/4 cup :) )
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 10-cup bundt pan (regular size most people have in their kitchens)…I floured mine too.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set the mixture aside.
* I just sifted the above into a 2-cup glass measuring cup.

In a separate large mixing bowl, mash the sweet potato, leaving only a slight meaty texture. (THIS WAS A HARD PART…I KEPT EATING THE SMASHED SWEET POTATOS…SO WARM AND SWEET!) Mix together the sweet potato and the eggs. Whisk in the warm water, then the sugar, then the oil followed by the vanilla.

Stir in the dry ingredients…in about 3 batches.. then fold in raisins and walnuts/pecans.

Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes and invert onto a serving platter or cake stand.

To Make the Glaze:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan with the rum. Pull from the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
* I melted the butter and rum in a small saucepan (about 2 cups) on medium-low heat. I then kept the pan on the burner on low and whisked the powdered sugar in a little at a time to make sure all the ‘lumps’ were out.

Pour the glaze over the cooled cake…(dust with ground cinnamon), Slice and serve.

For Today ~ 7 December 2010 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 7 December 2010

Outside My Window… Hee! I HAVE A WINDOW TO LOOK OUT NOW! Cars driving along McCarran. An area under a newly planted tree where I’m going to put a bird feeder. :)

I am thinking… How the heck did I move such a big office into a 10×10 office and a 8×10 cubicle?!

I am thankful for… Uniteds States military (for that matter…all of our allies, too!). My friends. Kitty hugs.

From the kitchen… Carnitas tacos for tonight!

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, warm cozy waffle henley, hair up in pony-tail.

I am creating… I’ve dragged my beads up from the basement and have been learning the flat spiral stitch. Donna (from my ebay crafting group) has posted a tutorial for us all to try. I’ll link you to her blog, This Year’s Dozen.

I am going… finish putting away my office…it’s a mess.

I am reading… Nothing at the moment.

I am hoping… a lot of people show up with homemade cookies for tomorrows cookie exchange.

I am hearing… NO LIQUID NITROGEN TANKS! Hee! Just cars driving by.

Around the house… I put up my small Christmas tree…it’s about 4′ tall. Next year? I’m going to pay the $10 for a USFS tree permit and go cut my own down.

One of my favorite things… the feel of 11/0 seed beads running through my fingers.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Bead. Cookie Exchange. Make fudge.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Two eagles at the SF Zoo…both had broken wings and can not fly anymore. The American Bald was not a happy camper. Sierra, the Golden, she has a beautiful soul.

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Cookie Exchange Time

I am so ready for Wednesday’s Cookie Exchange at work!

I made no-bake Bourbon Street Pecan Balls and Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies.

The Bourbon Street Pecan Balls is a recipe from Rachael Ray…I saw the link for it on the 12 Days of Cookies that my friend Jan sends to me every year. :) (Day 6 looks awesome! I’m going to have to try that one too!)

Ingredients: (makes 3 dozen cookies)

4 Cups pecans
2 Cups crushed Nilla wafer cookies
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
4 Jiggers of bourbon (I used 1/2 cup)
3 TBSP light corn syrup
butter for fingers

Roughly chop 4 cups pecans in a food processor (I hand cranked in nutgrinder), then remove 2 cups and set aside. Finely grind the remaining 2 cups in food processor.

Combine the finely ground pecans, vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, bourbon, and corn syrup. Coat fingers with butter and roll about 1 tsp of mixture into a ball. Roll the balls in the remaining chopped pecans.

Put into refrigerator until serving time.

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The Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies came from Mennonite Girls Can Cook…yes they can, indeedly-doodley!

Ingredients: (makes 3 dozen)

1 Cup butter (butter! not anything else!)
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
1/2 Cup gound hazelnuts
chocolate for drizzling, optional

Heat oven to 350F.

Cream butter and sugar well.
Add vanilla.
Add flour and ground nuts and mix well.
Roll teaspoons of dough into small balls.
Place 2″ apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Flatten to 1″ (and they really mean it! I found out after the second round what a difference it makes!) in diameter, using the flat bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. (I used white mixed with red and green sugar)
Bake for 8 minutes. Transfer to wire rack for cooling.
Drizzle with melted chocolate.

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Lucy wanting a belly rub.