Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

My goodness!!  I didn't realize that I haven't blogged in so long!!  We've had one heck of a busy year!  Hubby had been working a lot and it seemed as though we had something going on almost every weekend....weddings, birthdays, funerals, picnics, etc.! On top of that, we've had to adjust to the kids' work schedules and Kory embarking on a new phase in her life where we've had to get accustomed to a whole new staff and facility, attend meetings to set goals for her Life Plan, and go through the process of interviewing providers. Hopefully, things will calm down and get back to normal soon!
I have a few pictures of my Christmas decor to share with you.  Last year, after Christmas,  I had envisioned making some changes in my decor for this year, but when it came time to decorate, those ideas didn't quite pan out like I had hoped and I really haven't had time or the creative "mojo" to come up with anything different.   I did manage to simplify my decor like I was hoping to do, so that's a plus!  lol  I hope you enjoy!

Here are a few shots of my Kitchen:

This is my Dining Room

Living Room

Main Bathroom

Entry Way

Family Room

Oops!  After I posted this picture, I realized that I forgot to remove the towel on the chair seat ( my kitties like to sleep on it) and the fabric on the back, which is what I'm going to reupholster the chair in at a later time!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Until Next time....Kris

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Great Giveaway!!

Hi, everyone!!  Would you like a chance to win this beautiful primitive sampler designed and hand-stitched by Jennifer Taylor Gass of  Taylors*Farmhouse*Attic?  If you do, click on the picture to take you to A Primitive Place's blog and become a follower, plus learn additional ways to be entered into the drawing which will take place Saturday, April 30th.  GOOD LUCK!!!

Until Next Time. . . .Kris

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Rug Hooking Project is DONE!!!

Hello, everyone!!

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for the wonderful comments made about my 5 arm table lamp.  Many of you have asked whether or not I would be doing a tutorial on it, but I'm sorry to say that I won't be.  This is a one of a kind lamp made by Carriage House Lighting and Tinware and I haven't seen any reproductions or variations of it anywhere, so I'm not sure if there would be any legal issues with copyright laws or not and I don't want to take a chance.  I made this for my own personal use with no intentions of selling them.  However, I AM working on another lamp that I have seen many replicas of, so I will be doing a tutorial on that sometime in the future.  I CAN give you a list of the supplies I used and if you look at the picture I posted last time, you can probably figure out how to make it, especially if you saw my tutorial in the Spring issue of A Primtive Place magazine on how to make a tin candle lamp.  I used the same method for the arms as I did for the candle lamp.


large tin funnel - found at antique/second-hand shops
electrical conduit pipe - Home Depot/$6.97 for 8 ft.
10 ft. lamp wire -  Home Depot/$0.64 a ft.
3 1/2" candle pans - I made my own, but can be found at craft supply stores or
steel threaded nipples and hex nuts - Home Depot's lamp repair section
candelabra light sockets and sleeves -

So, there you have it!  All of the supplies you need to make your own!  It really isn't as hard to make as it seems.  If any of you do make one, please share a picture because I would love to see it!


Well, I finally finished my rug hooking project!  Woo Hoo!!  I finished it last Wednesday, but I just haven't had a chance to make a post until now. I have been busy working on other projects and enjoying the warmer weather, so I will share my other projects with you later since this post is longer than I thought it would be!

This isn't my first rug hooking project.....just the first one completed.    About 3 or 4 years ago, I started making a pillow with a pumpkin on it.  I had purchased a booklet from Hobby Lobby on how to hook rugs and it recommended using burlap for the background fabric, which I used.  What a mess!!  Every time I worked on it, I got covered with little fuzzies!!  Since my project was small, I just used a small quilting hoop.  It was a little tough trying to hold on to the hoop and hook at the same time, so between that and dealing with the fuzzy mess, I decided to set it aside with hopes of finishing it some day.

Then about a month or two ago, when I decided I was going to try hooking again and I started this picture.  I was originally going to hang this on the wall beside my fireplace, but after working on it for a couple of weeks, I decided it wasn't quite what I wanted.


 I wanted something that looked a little simpler, so I came up this design.


BUT......after I finished it, I decided I liked it hanging here instead!  So, now, I need to figure out what I want to do for my LR wall.  But, that will have to wait until after I finish 2 other hooking projects.



First of all, I strongly recommend buying a rug hooking frame if you are going to work on larger projects.  I had started out with one that I had made.  I had bought a lap scroll frame for cross stitching a few years ago, but didn't like using it and it was too late to return    I took off the scroll frame and made a plain rectangular one using 1 x 2's and attached that to the stand base using the hardware that came with it.  I bought a metal carpet tack strip and cut it into pieces and screwed them on to the outside edges of the frame.  It worked great holding my fabric nice and taut.....then I decided to start a new project..... and when I went to take off the unfinished one, I had one heck of a time getting it off without causing too much damage.  When I started the new project, I removed the carpet strips and held my fabric in place with thumb tacks.  This worked good, as well, but just make sure those babies are in all the way.....if not, you'll be sitting there working and all of a sudden - PING!! - one will pop out and going flying across the room and then you are spending precious time looking for a darn tack before someone steps on it instead of rug hooking!  It wasn't too long after using that method that I decided to break down and buy a frame.  They do sell the hooking strips that I could have bought and attached to my frame, but this frame also rotates 360° and I hooked long enough to realize that that made a BIG difference!!  I had my homemade frame turning every which way and that, trying to get a comfortable position in which to hook and having it rotate freely, really does make a big difference.   Another BIG plus was the strips of hooking tape that hold your project in place!  OH MY....what a difference!!  It is SO much easier to position and reposition your fabric whenever you want to, instead of working one area at a time before removing all of the thumbtacks. repositioning your fabric, and then pushing the thumbtacks back in!  (My thumbs are a lot happier now! LOL)

Here's the link to the ebay store from where I bought my frame from.  Keep a watch on these items.  Every now and then, she offers these frames up for bid at great prices or you can purchase them at outright at a higher price.  I was the only one to bid on the octagonal frame with the lap and floor stand for $149.00.  Otherwise, the combo sold for $199.00.   You can also google "rug hookng frames" and find a list of sites that sell them.

This next thing (and one many of you have been waiting to hear about)  is VERY useful in cutting your wool.  A few years ago, when I started the pumpkin pillow project, I cut the wool strips by hand using a rotary wheel.  And let me tell you, it was a pain in the *behind*!  I think that is probably why I stopped working on that project...I needed to cut more strips! lol  So when I decided to try rug hooking again, the only obstacle I had was cutting the wool.  After pricing wool cutting machines online, I decided that they were way much more than I wanted to spend.  Especially, for something that I wasn't sure how much I would even use.  While I was in Joann Fabrics, I happened to notice a Rotary Cutting Machine on a shelf behind the cutting counter.  On the box it said "Perfect for Scrapbooking, Quilting, Rug Hooking and More" PLUS it was on sale for $49.50 (reg. $89.99)!  DOUBLE PLUS....I had a gift card!! Woo Hoo!! So I thought "what the heck"  I can always return it if it didn't work out.  When I got it home, I tried cutting a piece of paper with it and....nothing!....not even indentations where it ran through the rotary cutter!  And forget about cutting wool!!  I was SO disappointed!  I thought, for sure, that I had found a solution to my wool cutting dilemma!.....Then I read the instruction pamphlet.  (always a good idea!  lol)  All I had to do was adjust the tension wheel underneath (although I thought it was already pretty tight) and PRESTO, it worked like a charm!!  It has a foot pedal, whereas, all of the other wool cutters that I've seen have crank handles.  And I'm thinking that after all of the wool that I cut for the unfinished project and then for the finished one, my little arm would have been extremely tired if I had to do all of that cranking!!  lol  It can cut as small as 3/8" (which is the size recommended for hooking) up to 2 1/2".  I absolutely love it!  I've never tried an actual wool cutting machine, but for me, this thing works wonderfully!

If you click on the picture, it will take you to where you can purchase the book
 I also recommend this book.  I was able to borrow it from my local library and found it to be very helpful.  Besides learning how to do the basics, like choosing your wool and how to wash and cut it, it shows how to dye your wool (which I have done and it is pretty easy!), how to finish your rug with either rug binding tape or whip-stitching , plus patterns and directions to make some cute designs.  The entire background of my rug is hooked with different light colored wool that I had dyed with coffee.  The book explains how to do that process. Although, it says to use 2 T. (I think) of instant coffee, I used a heaping 1/2 cup! lol  That made me brave enough to dye some of the wool that I am using in my next project.  It's a pretty simple process and I think it turned out great!

When your rug is all finished and ready to be hung, a great product to use are the Command  Picture Hanging Strips.  If you're like me, I tend to rearrange things constantly and don't want to put too many holes in my walls from nails.  These work great!  Peel the paper off the adhesive strip and attach as many strips on the back of your rug as you would like (I used 4).  Tack them in place by adding a basting stitch on each side of the strips.  Place another strip on top of the one placed on the rug. (They fit like velcro.)  Peel off the adhesive strips and position your rug where ever you want on the wall.  They are very durable.  I have a hooked rug from Ragon House hanging in my bedroom that I run the vacuum over and it holds up beautifully.  If you decide to move your rug, all you need to replace are the strips that attach to the wall.

And one last thing.  A great source for wool is your second-hand stores, like Goodwill.  You can find lots of suit jackets, women's blazers and skirts made from 100% wool at great prices.  It's a little time-consuming cutting them apart, but it's so much more economical than buying wool from a specialty shop.  I have purchased little pieces called one-eighth quarters for $7.99 each. You get so much more wool from a jacket for less than that! 

Well.....Goodnight, friends!  I'll be back with pictures of a couple of the projects that I have finished!

    Until Next Time . . . . Kris

Monday, April 4, 2011

Look What I Made!!!!

I just wanted to pop on here and share with you one of the many projects I've been working on.  I'm really excited with how this turned out!  I have always loved this lamp that is made by Carriage House Lighting and Tinware, based in Troy, Ohio. (They don't have it featured on their website)  They sell it for $400.00, which is way more than what I wanted to spend!  lol  So, as usual, this little mind got to working on how I can make my own!  It was a little labor intensive and took a few days to make because I had to assemble and glue things in stages.  But do you know what the exciting part is?!! It only cost me about $45.00 in material!!  (Make that $49.00.....the light bulbs cost me $4.00!  lol)  Woo Hoo!!!  I think it turned out pretty darn good, if you ask me!! you want to see it?

Here it is half way done:

And here it is all done!

Like I said, I'm really excited with how this turned out!  I have another light in the works and will share it with you when I get it done.   I have some other projects that I've been working on.  Some are done, but go with other projects that aren't done yet, so I'm waiting until everything is complete before I post pictures. 

I've started rug hooking and will, hopefully, finish up a project in a couple of days. I'll share that with you along with a very helpful tool that I purchased that is wonderful to cut wool with!

Until Next Time. . . . Kris

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Check Out Our New Blog!

Come check out A Primitive Place's new blog! 
Click on the picture below to become a follower!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Hint of Spring

Hi, friends!!  Can you believe the warm weather that we had a few days ago?  The warmer temps melted off all of the snow!!  Yayyyyy!!  This is what I have longed to see for a looooong time.


Yep!  It's all melted!!  I am SO glad that the snow is all gone.  And do you know what I discovered after the snow melted?

My daffodils and hyacinths are starting to pop up!!  Woo Hoo!!

I know, I know....I'm not going to get myself too excited since tonight we're suppose to be under a Winter Weather Advisory with a mix of snow, sleet and rain!  UGH!!  Plus, the other day, my local weatherman pointed out that the average snowfall in the month of March is 11", so I know we're not done with snow!  But, come on Spring!!  I know your just around the corner!!

After I heard that news, I decided to take a little trip to Amish country with the hopes of getting cheered up by seeing some spring displays and I sure wasn't disappointed!   The shops were brimming with spring goodies!! I went with a list of things in particular that I was looking for, but ended up coming home with a few spring things that I couldn't resist instead!! 

Here are some pics of what I brought home:

A few faux potted plants and a bunch of greenery.

I bought a couple bunches of ivy and  yellow flowers.  I just tucked them in this basket, for now, for photo purposes.

I picked up some hand-dyed wool fat quarters and a couple yards of blue calico fabric.  I also bought Family Heirloom Weaver's new Angstadt pattern table square, which I absolutely LOVE!!

I also hit a couple of antique stores where I found a pair of pewter salt and pepper shakers and this plastic horse.  You're probably wondering what I'm going to do with the horse!  Well.....I have a project in mind.  I'm not sure how it'll turn out, but I'll let you know if it does!  lol


For Valentines, we celebrated on both Sunday and Monday.   On Sunday, with the whole family, we grilled lamb chops along with roasted red potatoes and onions as well as roasted butternut squash. For dessert I made a double layer chocolate cake that is a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.  Yummmm!!  On Monday, Brittney had to work, so I made Chicken with Mascarpone Marsala Sauce, which she doesn't care for.  It's a recipe from Giada de Laurentis/Everyday Italian.

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T. olive oil
5 T. butter, divided
3/4 c. chopped onion
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 T. minced garlic
1 c. dry Marsala wine (I use sweet Marsala wine)
1 c. (8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
12 oz. dried fettuccine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a heavy, large skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

While the chicken cools, melt 2 T. of butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and suate until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until it reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the mascarpone and mustard.  Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3" thick slices.  Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet.  Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.   Drain.  toss the fettuccine with 3 T. butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.  Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates.  Spoon the chicken mixture over top.


Beatty's Chocolate Cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 c. all-pupose flour, plus more for pans
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. good cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk, shaken
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter 2 (8 inch) round cake pans.  Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  With mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.  With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Frost when cooled.

Chocolate Buttercream

6 oz. good semisweet chocolate
1/2 lb ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. sifted confectioner's sugar
1 T. instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.  Turn the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioner's sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.  Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water.  On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended.  Don't whip!  Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


Until Next Time. . . . .Kris

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Do You Have Your Funnels Ready?!!

Remember in one of my previous posts I had posted pictures of some funnels that I had purchased from a couple of antique shops in Amish country and I said that I had a project in mind for them?

Well......this is what I made with them!

What do you think?  I'm pretty excited with how they turned out!

If you would like to learn how to make one for yourself, you can find a tutorial in the Spring issue of A Primitive Place magazine.  If you don't already have a subscription, you can click HERE and order yours today!!

Until Next Time. . . . .Kris


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