Monday, August 20, 2012

Mini Chocolate Town Pies

I was making a chocolate town pie the other night, and accidentally made more filling than what I needed. You can't possibly waste such a tasty filling! I used up the extra filling by lining a few ramekin dishes with pie crust to make some individual mini pies. I think it turned out to be a fun dessert idea!

Chocolate Town Pie Filling
 This recipe makes enough filling for six 4" ramekin pies, or one 9" pies.
Prepare the ramekin dishes by lining each with your favorite pie crust; line them loosely, and leave the edges free-form.
Beat together until fluffy:
   1 cup butter, softened
   1 cup sugar
   2 large eggs
   2 tsp. vanilla
   1/2 tsp. sea salt
   1/2 cup unbleached white flour

Mix well; stir in 1 cup crushed walnuts or pecans and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pie plate or ramekin dishes and bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with whipped cream! 

Blessings on your Monday! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hand Embroidery - Free Beginning Stitches Tutorial

Back in 2009, I added this tutorial to an online conference we did. I'd like to share it on our blog for those who would like to get their girls interested in learning embroidery stitches! It's a PDF, complete with audio to follow the steps. At the end, there are videos of several stitches, but I can't vouch for the clearness of them. Technology has come along and our Joyous Home website probably has better quality how-to-videos. In any case, you'll get the idea after listening to the audio and following along.

We just started teaching our 4-year-old some of the basic stitches. She has moved from just a line to a flower shape. Most mothers don't think you can start them so young. Long ago, 3-year-olds would learn embroidery! Culture is a bit different now, and that largely affects the skills, and at what age, we start.

You would be surprised how well a young girl can do. We always use a hoop, it gives a lot of control. Start with a simple line, showing them the backstitch. I teach them to 'scrape' the fabric lightly with their needle, from the back, until they hit the line of where they need to be.

Don't expect their attention span to last more than 25 minutes when starting at a young age. Our little one will go for about that long, put it down and come back in a few hours. I hope you're encouraged to give it a try!

Download Embroidery Stitches to Teach Your Girls Here
You may have trouble downloading if you have a slow connection. To hear the audio, you MUST download first, save to your computer and then open in Adobe Reader. Get it here. If you can download, enjoy!
Blessings, Theresa

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Old to New - Southern Belle Quilt Block

I received a wonderful gift from my mother-in-law. An unfinished Southern Belle quilt, plus a stack of already cut and basted Belles, made by my husband's grandmother. Not a great picture here, I took it right from the box without ironing!

The ideas are swirling. The quilt is a queen, and needs the batting, backing and binding. I've thought about picking it out and making 2 quilts instead of the huge queen, which will not fit on any bed we have right now.

There are 4 blocks with basted Belles, and I've decided to make a pillow for each of my girls.  My friend, Kristi, saw there was 'one block for each girl', I didn't even think of it!

Then, I have a stack of about 13 or 14 Belles ready to put on a fabric. I'd love to hear suggestions of colors to use with them, I plan on making another quilt. I'll make the pillows match whatever I do, since it will be in the girl's room.

The fabric is 50's and 60's, maybe 70's. It's been sitting for probably longer than 20 years. I love all the red, orange, pink and yellow in the vintage fabrics she chose. What fun!

It's so much fun to take old things and redo them or make them new. The girls of course love all the ladies with puffy dresses. We'll update when I have a project in swing with them!
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