Friday, March 27, 2009

Best Friends

Remember sweet Felicity Foxity?

Remember that I promised to make her a friend? Meet Turtlelina!

She's a little shy.

But I introduced her to Felicity hoping they would get along. After all, they both love flowers!

And now they are best friends.

Turtlelina is made from cotton yarn with embroidery floss features and wool felt flowers. More friends to come! Any suggestions? I'm thinking perhaps an owl? or a doe? Thoughts?


PS - visit THE GOODNESS SHOP for new trims, vintage pillow case pairs and some fun vintage paper goods.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Craft Challenge #1 - RESULTS

The results are in and Craft Challenge #1 was a success! But of course I knew it would be. :) So without further ado:

The original cards sent to our participants:

And the final works of art:

"A Time to Sew" from Shara - read more about it here. I love the sweet girl's thimble purse!

"Sew Many Thanks" from Dana who doesn't have a blog but should think about starting one! I love how she thought to make the card into a thread spool!

"Mulberry Tree" by Caroline - read more about it here. Caroline is a fairly new blogger so stop by and give her some love! She just completed her very first swap with us at Sweet Goodness! I love the little green rick rack leaves!

"Stretch Your Wings" from Jane - read more about it here. Jane actually sent this to me! I love it! Thanks! And how clever to put it in a little frame! The bird is embroidered, such talent!

"Kitty Wants In" from LeeAnn - read more about it here. Oh how I wish I could draw like that!

"Smocked" by Sarah - read more about it here. I love Sarah's vision, I never would have thought to smock anything but fabric! Love it!

"Easter Parade" by me. I have a lovely white feather tree (a wedding gift from Sarah!) that I always use at Easter. I try to make a new decoration for it each year and I knew from the beginning that is what I would use my mini spool card for. The eggs on the front are glittery.

And the back is more plain. Doesn't that Easter bunny look a bit mad? LOL I'm inspired now to make more Easter ornaments and hope to share them with you soon.

I love all the entries for Craft Challenge #1! I will defiantly be announcing a new challenge soon. I think for the next one I will choose an object that many of us already have so we can have more participants.

Thank you to all of the participants! Everyone is so creative and I feel very inspired now to go make something new. :)


Craft Challenge #1 - EXTENDED

LOL it's extended for me since mine isn't finished yet! :) That's what I get for making the due date my birthday! I'll post the results of the first craft challenge tomorrow.

Participants - if you haven't already sent me either a photo or a link to your blog with your challenge piece, please do so!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Heart to Heart . . . and Spade to Spade . . .

One of the best things about being a managing part of Sweet Goodness Swaps is that sometimes I get to pick my partner. For the last swap I knew I would be running late and might not make the send out date so I wanted a partner who would be okay with that. I invited Vallen to join the swap as my partner. The theme was The Winning Hand and had to include elements from all 4 card suits. Yes, Vallen's last name is Queen and YES I really wanted to run with that theme. Like I said, it's good to be the organizer!

As I knew, Vallen did not disappoint! Look at this mass of goodness!

Whew! The box must have weighed ten pounds! Of course I love everything, Vallen really has a way with things. I thought I'd show some favorites:

Beautiful jewelry including a bracelet, earrings and a Queen of Hearts pendant that I am drooling over!

A lovely decoupaged eye glass case. Vallen is a mind reader because I needed one of these!

Some vintage crochet books. Did I mention that I love old patterns?

A set of four card holders, each player uses one to hold their hand. Cute!

I am enamoured with this tiny little clothes pin. I love it!

Beautiful crocheted heart doilies.

A sweet velvet heart shaped box filled with vintage cookie cutters. Could it get more perfect??

These linen napkins are high on my list of favorites. Vallen knows me well. :P

I'll be posting more photos in the Flickr Group today and will post photos of what I made for Vallen soon. If you've never joined one of our swaps before be sure to sign up for the next one. You can register to receive an email when we announce the next swap on the blog site. We really get some talented ladies in our swaps!

Have a lovely day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let Them Eat Tiramisu

I've always wanted to learn to cook and bake the right way. You know, when you can look in your fridge, see 5 random things and whip them into a gourmet meal. I would love that!

To celebrate my new motto, "You're not getting any younger!" lol I've been trying some new recipes and actually READING those parts in the cookbooks that teach you tricks and techniques. My first endeavor? A tiramisu cake to take to a dinner party. Quite risky to make a new recipe and then have other people count on it as their dessert LOL. But it turned out great! I tweaked two different recipes and will make it again. Since it's really my own recipe now I thought I'd share it here. It's pretty easy. I am a lazy cook. :)

Rebecca's Kahlua Tiramisu Cake

Vanilla Buttercream Cake

12 tbs of butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
2 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with Pam (or other) and line with parchment circles.*

Beat butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, flour and milk with electric mixer on low until ingredients are combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture becomes a paler shade.

Pour half of mixture in each prepared pan. You want your cakes to been thin, so about an inch of batter in each. Bake until golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for about 10 minutes and then remove to racks to cool more.

Coffee Syrup

1 cup white sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/8 cup Kahluha (you could substitute 2 tbs vanilla or almond extract)

Stir together 1 cup sugar, boiling water, coffee and 1/4 cup rum until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Mascarpone Cream

1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8 cup Kahluha (you could leave this out I would think)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

Combine mascarpone, 2 cups confectioners' sugar, Kahlua and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk together until completely smooth, scraping the bottom of the bowl to remove any lumps. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream. Whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stop whipping when the mixture shows the first sign of graininess.

To assemble:

Place one layer of cake in 9 inch spring form pan. Poke holes in the cake (a lot) and pour half of coffee syrup over cake. Spread a generous amount of mascarpone cheese on top. Don't be stingy, you'll have cream left over. Spread all the way out to the edges of the pan. Place next layer of cake on top and press down into pan. Poke holds and pour remaining syrup over top. Spread another layer of mascarpone cream. Top with shaved dark chocolate (if desired.)

Refrigerate cake for AT LEAST 4 hours. This is very important. You can leave it over night if desired. Remove side of spring form pan and enjoy!

This really is an easy cake to make and it's quite impressive! LOL I do think next time I'll go a little easier on the cream for a better presentation but that is the yummiest part of the cake. I've frozen my remaining cream (I had about 2 cups left over) and plan to make vanilla butter cake cupcakes and make mini tiramisus this weekend. I got the idea from this book. My Mom found it at the thrift store. It has some fun cupcake ideas in it. I think I'll try the banana caramel ones sometime soon. :)

If anyone tries a tiramisu let me know! You can leave out the Kahlua or substitute dark rum or extracts. As long as you use strong coffee in the syrup it should have the traditional tiramisu taste. :)


* - trace your pan bottom onto parchment paper and cut out a circle. Voila!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sugar & Spice & Eveything Nice

Hello! I know it's been FOREVER since I've posted and even longer since I've been able to catch up on my favorite blogs. I've been busy! Whew! I actually have a few things to post about so you can expect to hear more from me. :)

First I'd like to share some photos from my dear friend Dana's baby shower. Dana is expecting a boy on April 22nd and her sister in law, mother and I threw her a lovely Blue and Brown bash. :)

Corey, Dana's SIL, made gorgeous bird houses and potted plants with chipboard bird picks for all of the tables.

Don't you love those bird picks? What a great idea!

We also had this wish tree. It's an actual peach tree for Dana to plant and everyone at the shower filled out cards with wishes for the baby and advice for Dana to hang on it.

The gorgeous cake is from Sugarbakers which is where Dana, my sister and I all had our wedding cakes made. The cake was delicious!

Corey also made this cute baby sign and the little bird nests. She is so talented! And do you believe she says she's NOT crafty??

Dana's mother did the adorable favors which were chocolates and little seeds to plant. I can't wait to grow myself a little lavender garden!

And Dana's other sister in law, Charmin, made this super cute baby bootee bouquet. Adorable!

I did the games and did make some super cute baby bingo cards but of course forgot to take a picture! I did get some shots of the gift basket my mother, sister and I put together:

My Mom organized the basket, she is very good at that sort thing. And who is that peeking out the front?

Why it's my little crocheted dinosaur. :) Finally he has some eyes! Dana also loved the sweater I knit for her and asked for a matching hat.

A fun day for all involved!


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Is it Spring yet?

Yikes. There is A LOT of snow out there. According to New York 1, Queens received the most snow and my area was at the top with 10.6 inches. I wasn't even thinking yesterday morning when I opened the door to let the puppy out and he leapt into 8 inches of snow! He was a trooper though. I stayed in, huddled up and worked on a few projects I have in the mix.

But seriously, where is Spring?? I'm soooo ready.

I hauled out the Springtime Crafts book for some warmth. I hope to make myself a chicken this year. I was happy with the bunnies I made last year. It's about time I hauled out the sewing machine, too. Especially to finish that beach quilt I started in that bunny post almost a year ago LOL

Also putting me in a Springy mood are these super cute little bunnies my sister gave me:

Another Treasure Sale find! Look at that too cute chenille stem and feather carrot! And what did I find at the thrift store to fend off the winter blahs?

The sweetest pair of handmade pot holders and TWO dishtowels from Anthropology! I seriously wonder how they ended up at my thrift in no-where Long Island with the tags still on them. But who cares, they are mine now! I particularly like that one with the dogs on it. I wonder who spends $18.00 on a dish towel? I was happy to get them for 99 cents a piece.

And what else does Spring bring? Hockey playoffs. :) Yes, I know, not very crafty of me but we all have our vices. Got Henrik?

And before I forget, here are the players in the First Thrifty Goodness Craft Challenge:


I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! I'll post all the links here at the end of the month.

So I'm off to Baltimore for my best friend's baby shower. I'll be back next week with photos and hopefully a shop update.



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