Click on the pink bedding

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Easter Basket Swap - Sneak Preview

Miss Rhea of Sweet n Shabby Roses is hosting and Easter Basket Swap. She asked for participants about three weeks ago and I'm just now finished my little baskets to swap. Here's a tiny preview. I can't show all of them, though. Just a little bit.

I've never done anything like this before. Baskets and swaping are both new to me. They didn't come out like I wanted, but I still think they're cute. I hope my two swap ladies think so, too.

I hope I didn't go overboard with the pink. I just got carried away...

I'll be sure to post about the baskets I receive. Both are coming from very creative ladies!!

If you want to see a tutorial on how to make these sweet little basket, visit Miss Rhea. Click here to go directly to her tutorial.

Patricia :o)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

My sweet mom sent me these two cute St. Patrick's Day towels. I thought I'd share them and wish you all a very happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Irish Blessing
May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mad Hatter Tea Party - Part2

I ran out of time and just couldn't get everything "perfect." The linens weren't pressed, I couldn't find the good camera, and other little things that one worries about but aren't really important. So, I let it go at that. What ever didn't get done just wasn't important enough to worry about.

Thanks to my hubby who snapped these few photos, I at least had some pictures of the tea party. I wish I had had the presence of mind to snap some shots myself, but I was running around like a mad hatter!
I served several kinds of tea; herbal, fully decaffeinated and decaf. I used tea bags because it was so much easier with so many ladies coming.

I served three different kinds of tea sandwiches: salmon and capers, cucumber, and chicken and almond salad (those were the best!) I also made a quiche Lorraine. NOW I know why quiche is so fattening - but delicious!

I made two different kind of scones, and found Madelines and lemon cakes at Costco. And of course there was real butter, strawberry preserves, and grape jelly. I forgot the honey, but nobody noticed.

I through a vintage tablecloth over my kitchen island and put almost all of the tea things on it. I also served iced tea with optional sugar syrup and even wine.

Everyone wore some kind of hat. It wasn't a requirement to wear a "tea party" hat, just some kind of hat. I had a few extras just in case some one forgot to bring theirs.

We played lots of games and had a blast. Most of the games were old Victorian parlor games that I found on line. It's amazing that what made people laugh 100 years ago, still works today. We had a blast!

One of the games was "Guess who." I put a famous woman on a card and every guest had to wear it on her back. She could only ask yes or no questions until she figured out who she was.

I was only expecting about 12 ladies, but we had about 18 ladies show up. The more the merrier!!

I'm the Mad Hatter in the middle. When I was getting ready for the party, I thought I really was mad trying to get everything ready and doing all the cleaning and prep and cooking and, well, you get the picture. But all that melted away when all the girls started showing up. I had so much fun. I would have been mad not to!

Patricia :o)

ps: Be sure to check out the recipes I used. They're just after this post.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tea Party Recipes

These are the five main dishes I served at the tea party. They're all very simple to do and so yummy!


2 c. all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut up

1 c. raisins

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Yolk of 1 lg. egg

3/4 c. buttermilk or plain yogurt

1 large egg white

more sugar for sprinkling

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl; stir to mix well. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules. Add raisins and sugar; toss to distribute evenly.
Add egg yolk to buttermilk in a measuring cup and whisk with a fork to blend. Pour over the flour mixture and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and give 10 to 12 kneads. Cut dough in half.
Knead each half half briefly into a ball; turn smooth side up and pat into a 6 inch circle. Cut into 6 wedges, but do not separate wedges.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until just broken up. Brush the top of each scone with egg white and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

With a pancake turner, carefully transfer the two cut circles into an ungreased cookie sheet. If necessary, reshape circles so that the 6 wedges in each are touching. (This will keep the raisins from burning.)

Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until medium brown. Cool on a wire rack; after 5 minutes pull the wedges apart and cover loosely with a dish towel.

Note: Egg white and sugar can be added before freezing the unbaked scones.

Apricot Cinnamon Scones

Same as above but add 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon and substitute 1 cup dried apricots (chopped) for the raisins.

Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

1 cup soft cream cheese

20 slices bread, your choice

1/2 cup capers

12 ounces thin-sliced smoked salmon

Juice of 1 lemon

Black pepper
Spread the cream cheese on one side of each slice of bread. Dot with capers. Arrange the smoked salmon on 10 of the bread slices and brush with lemon juice. Pepper generously. Top with the other 10 slices, remove the crusts and cut. Makes 40 tea sandwiches or 30 fingers.

Cucumber Tea Sandwich Recipe

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced very thinly

Salt3/4 cup soft butter

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

20 slices bread

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pepper to taste

Lightly salt the cucumber slices and place them in a colander to drain for 1 to 2 hours. Then combine the butter and garlic and apply to one side of each slice of bread. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Add the cucumber slices, coating them well. Arrange the cucumber on 10 of the bread slices, top with the other 10 slices, remove the crusts, and quarter. Serve immediately. Makes 40 tea sandwiches.

Almond Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Spread: Combine 3/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves or 2 tablespoons dried basil.

Filling: 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken meat

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Salt and pepper to taste

20 slices bread, your choice

Combine the filling ingredients. Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of the butter mixture. Add the filling to half the bread slices and top with the other half, buttered sides in. Remove the crusts and cut the sandwiches as desired. Makes 40 tea sandwiches.

Quiche Lorraine

Serves 8

Pastry for 9” one crust pie

1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (I used a package of ham cut into teeny tiny cubes)

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

4 large eggs

2 cups whipping cream

¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make pastry (or purchase) and ease into dish, pressing firmly against bottom and side. For larger amount, this recipe may be baked in 2 half-sheet pans or in 6 pie pans.

Line pans with pastry, and bake for 10 minutes or until the pastry begins to brown and has become “set.” Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion in pie crust. In large bowl, beat eggs slightly with fork or wire whisk.

Beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pie crust. Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

To serve smaller portions for tea, cut first in fours, and then cut each wedge in thirds.

This recipe is delicious!! It was completely and totally consumed at the party.

I hope you try some or all of them. And you don't wait for a tea party. The chicken almond sandwich would be fabulous for lunch or paired with a good green salad for dinner.

Patricia :o)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mad Hatter Tea Party - Part 1

It was my turn to host our monthly ladies social for our neighborhood. Every month, the hostess gets to pick a theme or activity. I chose to have a Mad Hatter Tea Party. (I didn't even realize that "Alice" was coming out this month but it was perfect timing!)

The only requirement for the ladies was to wear a hat. Any hat would do. I wanted to have a few extras on hand just in case some one forgot theirs.

So I brought out my vintage hat boxes, full of vintage hats. Of course I had to have an extra special one for me since I was going to be the Mad Hatter.
I thought this one was a little quirky, but it didn't look as "special" as I wanted.

I thought this one would be funny with all the little dingle balls on it. But, believe it or not, it wasn't as silly as I thought it would be. It was really cute on, but not "mad."
I started looking for a black, top hat at antique store, but the few that I found were $175 and up!! Then a friend and I found a beige hat in one of my favorite stores and it was only $35.00, and then the owner lowered it to $27.00 out the door. Wooo Hoo!

It's all custom/hand made. The photo isn't that great, but those are hand done stitches around the top there. The hat's a little beat up, but I think it just added to the "mad" look.

I didn't want to leave the band black as this looked a little manly to me. So I added a soft pink band and finished it in the back with vintage shabby pink roses.

I didn't remove the black band because I wanted to keep it original. I just hot glued the band to itself and pinned the roses on. It looks way cuter in person than in the sad photo (I was losing sun light fast).

And here are my hats, just before the party. Every one who came did wear a hat except for one gal who picked the blue hat. It's SO cute on! It reminds me of the hats the girls from Pride and Prejudice wore. More on the party on the next post.
Patricia :o)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I almost forgot the dogs

I've posted photos of embroidered blue birds and I've posted embroidered kittens. I almost forgot to post photos of all the cute puppy dogs. Among the dogs, I think my favorite designs are usually the Scottie Dogs. There's just something about the rich black floss against snow white linen, and there's usually a little bit of red in there, too. But there are all kinds of doggy designs that are just so cute.

Just look at this sweet little doggy talking with the blue bird in the arbor.
There is so much detail on this runner: the sky in the background, the bell shaped flowers and even the arbor itself.

This Scottie is very simple, but so very cute. It is embroidered using teeny stitches on a white linen card table topper.

This runner had a different dog design on each end. One end had a long haired pointer...

And a little black terrier puppy on the other. Isn't he so adorable

These little darlings are so happy to help with laundry on wash day.

Some puppies are even embroidered on to baby blankets. This is an old Vogart design. She's got the cutest expression on her little face as she pushes her baby doll in a stroller.

I sold this adorable pair of pillowcases to a lady who's daughter was marrying a firefighter. Notice the fire hydrants in the background? How cute is that?!

And so romantic, too!

This card table tablecloth had a little chunk torn off of the side, but, Oh my! the design is so cute! I love the Scotties!

Hope you enjoyed my doggy episode. I'm looking for photos of horses and other animals. Flower designs are fun, but I enjoy embroidery of people and animals so much more.
Patricia :o)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Keep the Embroidery

I can't resist beautiful embroidered pieces. I can't stand to let a great work of art go to waste just because there is a hole or stain on the linen. This adorable hand embroidered heart used to be part of a vintage pillowcase. There was major damage right smack in the middle and no way to hide or repair it, so I cut off the embroidered part and made it into a Christmas stocking.
I used a mixture of vintage items and new fabric. I know that these stocking are found all over the place, but since I hadn't made one before, I was pretty proud (I made this one two or three years ago)

The inside is lined with pink and white cotton gingham and trimmed with a white cotton ruffle.

The back is an older, though not quite vintage machine embroidered fabric.

Check out the tiny embroidered roses. Aren't they cute!

My favorite part of this whole stocking is the rhinestone button sphere on the very end. I've made several stockings since this one and all of them had vintage embroidery on them. I even made a pair using "his" and "hers" pillowcases. If I ever find the pictures, I'll post them.
Patricia :o)