Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a year ahead full of health and good times with friends and family.
Early Work Mercantile has updated for the first of the month! I hope you'll drop by and see all the new offerings for this month! I created this hanging pocket from a design by Robin Leuschen.  The design is stitched in wool with embroidered banner and attached to a flannel backing with coordinating flannel pocket on the back.
Wishing you a safe New Year's Eve celebration. We had a lovely dinner out with friends and will be lucky to be awake to ring the new year in here!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Seasons Greetings!

Hope your Christmas was full of merriment. I love the beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service at our church. I needed the comfort of this familiar service and the message of hope about how all of us can do our part to push back the darkness that many experience just by doing little acts of kindness. "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." Mother Teresa
Many of our Christmas decorations will be taken down and packed away next week, but I'm going to keep this arrangement of fresh greens in my urn as long as it holds up. It's a nice spot of cheer when everything else is brown and drab.
A.J. & Mark arrived home safely very early Christmas Eve, so while I was anxiously awaiting their arrival I used the extra time to finally finish up my very first Prim Sisters Club project, an adorable design by Pineberry Lane. It has a little pocket on the back for sewing needfuls so it will help keep me organized in 2013.
I worked on Christmas Eve but am fortunate to have some time off this week so after all the busyness of the season I'm looking forward to spending time in my sewing room assembling projects! What do you do to unwind from the hectic holiday season?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Simply Primitives Update

I've completed a couple of Christmas projects in time for this month's Simply Primitives. If you have a chance please drop by and see what all my talented friends there have to offer this month.
Threads that Bind Design
Buttermilk Basin Design
You might notice that my photos this month were very basic. Friday wrapped up a crazy week here. In addition to uploading my photos and descriptions for SP I had to complete a couple of projects at work and we hosted small dinner party that evening

For party favors I gave each couple this cute little dish I found at Michaels...
and a bag of homemade granola

Ladies sat together in the dining room and the guys congregated in the kitchen near the beer and dessert. We usually play at least one game of Pictionary--our friends in Iowa introduced us to this game and it gets quite hilarious--especially when our drawings are really awful.

I join so many others in sending prayers to those who are grieving the loss of the babies and the brave teachers and administrators who tried to protect them in Newtown. I don't have the words to express my sorrow and thoughts of this horrific act will be with me throughout the holiday season. I'm praying the 23rd Psalm and wishing for peace, God's comfort and hope for all those who grieve.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Decorating

I like to change up my decorating a little every year. This year I'm focusing on using more naturals in my Christmas decor. This is my entry table. The glass jar is filled with vintage ornaments. Very inexpensive but I love their soft patina and it reminds me of the ornaments that were on my parent's tree when I was growing up.
On Monday I hosted a luncheon for one of the volunteer teams I work with throughout the year. The luncheon takes place in a conference room at our office and I do the catering, which is a lot of fun and gives me the chance to try out new recipes. This year I made chicken taco soup (I omitted the beer, used frozen corn instead of canned, added a package of Ranch dressing mix and chopped and cooked the chicken before putting it in the crock pot to shorten the cooking time),  potato-cheese soup, corn muffins, a salad, chocolate-toffee bars and Copycat Cranberry Bliss bars.
I recently came across this recipe and it's a keeper! Easy, pretty and makes a big batch! I had enough for my husband to take a plate full to his office too. 
I often bring soup to potlucks but after a partial pot of soup bounced off a flat bed cart and spilled all over the elevator at church (it was not fun cleaning that up!) I decided to invest in a crock pot with a locking lid. The newer crock pots all seem to have wider bases and transport better than my original, 30 year old version, but the locking lid is even better for keeping soup from sloshing out in the car. I highly recommend this kind of crock pot if you ever have to transport food.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day of Merriment

I've really enjoyed catching up on some of the merriment chain postings. I love seeing everyone's Christmas decorating and hope to get ours finished this week, but as you know, all that decorating can be very exhausting.
Today DH and I took a jaunt to southern Missouri to catch up with some dear friends who recently moved south from Iowa.
Our first stop was at Evening Shade Farms for their open house. The Farm is way out in the country off a scenic, winding road, but the trip was worth it, both for the wonderful soaps and lotions and the warm hospitality offered in the cozy cabin.
We spent the rest of the day exploring several antique malls around Osceola, Tightwad and Warsaw. This charming shop was packed full of intriguing things, including several unique trees such as the pink sock monkey one. Apparently the owner is known for her fanciful trees that are decorated for every season.
Thanks, Kathi & Mike for a fun and memorable day!
The Rusty Skillet Cafe

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meet Kiska

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I learned a couple of life lessons. Don't get the flu shot when you're battling a virus and don't think you can go to kitten adoption event and "just look".
We lost our Cookie early this month after a long period of declining health. We didn't want our other cat to get too used to being the queen of the house, but I didn't expect to adopt another kitty so soon. However, after reading about this little cat online my partner in crime son and I went to the adoption event on Saturday and fell in love with the personality of this little girl. She was so sweet and loving; I didn't realize what a little firecracker she is as well.
She's hard to photograph because she's pretty much constantly in motion. We were trying to find a Russian name for her because she is apparently part Russian Blue and came up with Kiska, which DH thinks means "little cat".
I've never had a bad reaction to the flu shot before, but after getting it while undergoing treatment for conjunctivitis I ended up spending Thanksgiving in bed with flu symptoms, which I hated! Son took over cooking duties and dinner went on as planned--what a blessing that was!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Back and Forth

That pretty sums up my week! First to the antique shows, then a little vacation trip and finally to help out at Leslie's show in Baldwin City, KS. Whew!
I finished the wool runner and will be listing that on this month's Simply Primitives. I had hoped to upload the photos while out of town but found I didn't have the proper cable but Sharon has graciously offered to let me be a little late this month so I'll be uploading a little later today.
Leslie's work--sampler and sweet angel make-do
Leslie once again did a fantastic job setting up for her show this year. She has a way of taking everyone's crafts and antiques and making them look like they were all carefully chosen and assembled just for the show.
The weather was nice and there was a steady stream of shoppers all evening, thoroughly checking out every cranny for that perfect gift or accent piece.

The fabric covered books by Diane Dodd caught my eye!

I was really intrigued by the charming fabric covered books at the antique shows last weekend, so I was so thrilled to find these authentic looking ones at Leslie's show! They are so carefully constructed and antiqued to perfection!
 It will all come down tomorrow and we'll try to get caught up at work before taking a few days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. Have you begun your Thanksgiving preparations yet?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Primitive Awesomeness

H.J. Hall
Leslie and I hit the road before dawn yesterday to trek to Illinois and shop up a storm at the four wonderful antique shows held twice a year in Amish country. 

Our first stop was Homesteaders on the Prairie in Arthur.
Buggy Seat Antiques
Barb Goedeke
  Then it was on to Arcola and the Country Spirit Antique show.

Primitive Pursuits

After a great dinner at Don Sol Mexican grill in Mattoon and a good night's sleep, we headed back to Arthur for A Gathering on the Prairie.
Lisha Holt, Sharon Clymer, Shirley Wagner
Diane Gish
Then on to Tuscola to visit the expanded Rural Life show and the charming Winterberry store. 
What a fun weekend! More photos to follow, but wanted to give you a peek at the fabulous vendors who make the long trip so worthwhile!