Thought I would share a few holiday pics of the house decorated this year. With the house still being for sale I didn't go quite as crazy with decorations as I have in the past. Did not do the 17 decorated trees like I usually do! But it is still beautiful.
And here is a close up look at some of the trees. I made the ornaments except on tree with all the vintage ornaments I have collected over the years.
I put up the family room tree and I just am in love with the look. I have not used tinsel since I was a little kid. I decided to bring back the classic look, and oh my! The last 2 years I have really cut back on the decorating since I am not having the open house. But I still do 4 or 5 large trees instead of the 12. Used to have 17 total trees. It just keeps the house a bit more user friendly with out so many trees. Isnt it crazy how much dust those trees hold! I am amazed every year at all the "pine needles" the faux trees drop - how do they still have anything on the branches after a few years? And about 3-4 days after I decorate the layer of dust that forms on everything.
This is pics of my 12' holiday tree in the family room - I took this last year but loved it so much I recreated it this year. It has all the vintage ornaments I have collected over the years.
This is before I put the garland on the windows, but it is so pretty!
I just finished some dolls for the spring market and wow I love the result. The first are these fuzzy bunnies, they are so grubby and prim - I need to add whiskers - some how I forgot to put them on! lol
And this wonderful doll is so primitive and old looking that I can hardly handle it! And her name is Butterbean - can you take the coolness! Pattern creator on these is cinnamon creek.
It is kinda funny that when it was 90 degrees I was making Santas and snowman. Now it is 10 degrees outside and I am making spring bunnies. But that is how the wholesale market works always a season ahead.
And lots of rabbits mid production - and some naughty ones with their pants down around their ankles.
And then how they look completed.
Well I'm watching This is Us on tv and that is my all time favorite show! Anyone else obsessed with this show?
As I have mentioned a few times, my daughter in law is a ultra marathoner. Last month she ran the Moab240. Over 240 miles thru crazy terrain and freezing temps. All the while my son was recording her starts from the aid stations with his drone, which gives you a great sense of the vast space and rocky landscape.
Here is the link to the drone video: drone video
And from here I am going to send you over to my daughter in laws blog
Part 1: Part 1
Part 2: Part 2
Part 3: Part 3
She is an amazing writer and this blog will keep you glued to the screen. And her painful feet (pics at the end are not for the faint at heart) that she ran on for so many miles. The mental strength she needed for this is beyond what I can even wrap my head around. And running in that terrain, in the dark alone... I get scared walking across the my yard in the dark!
Sit back and enjoy!
I have been so busy making stuff for Ohio market and now starting to make for the holiday shoppers. I came across this pattern a long time ago and went back and forth wondering if people would like it. Well I kept coming back to it so I knew I just had to purchase it and give it a shot. I just love love love it. Yes it is a little weird to make a dead hanging goose, but it fits primitive homes. I worried about the aging turning out right and it far exceeded my wishes. I made it up last night and did a little happy dance. The pattern is by Hidden in the attic. Go to www.handcraftedbymichelle.com to purchase finished goose.
What do you think?
Other things that were finished. The old cabin we hauled home was missing its screen door - we had it but it was in pieces and some not fixable. So Randy worked on it and finally is back in place. Looks so great on the cabin.
And on a happy note - If you read my post about my son and daughter in laws dog being hit and killed during a run, well they got a new puppy. The father to the puppy was the father to their dog that was hit, so there is a connection. And she is a cute little bugger. Her name is Kasa the native meaning:
Dressed in Furs
With that I leave you to go start making a dozen hanging geese. LOL Not many can say that.
As summer is coming to a close here in Minnesota, we had a bang up crop of tomatoes. I have picked tomatoes almost every other day, given them away to relatives and froze some. But I love sundried tomatoes so I went on to pinterest and found a recipe for them and oh my are they easy and so good. I made a jar for the fridge and have 2 bags frozen for winter. Plus making 2 more trays today. Just split cherry tomatoes in half and toss in olive oil, bit of salt, minced garlic and some Italian herbs. Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 220 until reduced to less than half the size - about 4-6 hours. I then put them in a jar with olive oil. (the ones I froze I did not add more olive oil to the freezer bag - I will once I thaw them).
I use them in a chicken sandwich recipe that is super tasty. I take chicken breast and dice into 1"chucks, cook the chicken until done. Once cooked toss some Italian salad dressing over the chicken to keep it moist. Cook up some broccoli. Then you are ready to assemble. Slice a hoagie bun or sub style bread of your choice, lay open and put in cooked chicken, then broccoli, then sundried tomatoes, then provolone cheese thinly sliced, drizzle some more Italian salad dressing over. Place under the broiler open faced until cheese melts and gets a bit toasty. Fold sandwich back together and ENJOY!
I think about how long my days get sewing all day. I get pain in my hands, cuts, finger pricks from not paying attention to the needle placement. But I do not do physical feats that require stamina and mental strength, not like my daughter in law anyway.
She is a ultra marathon runner. She runs many miles BEFORE going to work all day as a personal banker. How is that possible? I couldn't imagine running 10-15 mile or more and then going to work all day. In fact if you see me running you better run, because something bad is behind me. This past weekend while out on a run with her best furry friend, a speeding car came over a hill and hit and killed her beloved dog -Sioux. We are lucky the car missed Julie, as Sioux ran right next to her side, it was that close to Julie. He was a goofy dog that had a smile like a human.
It is a hard time for both my son and his wife, with no children the pups are their true babies. It is so terrible that the car after hitting Sioux never even stopped, left Julie on the side of the road crying holding onto her dead dog. What kind of people do that? They had to know what happened and one look in the rear view mirror would confirm it.
Anyway I wanted to share Julies blog. Not only is she a talented runner, having run 100 mile marathons (I don't even like driving 100 miles) and is running a 250 mile marathon coming up - who does that?? But she is a truly gifted writer - whether you are a runner, or need a good read, you will not be disappointed with the blog. Check it out at https://alpinestartblog.com/
I think the second to last rug I made took me forever! But that one complete I have finished 1 and on the background of another! Felt good to start hooking again. I find with sewing so many dolls for the showroom and markets that my own projects get set aside. I am to tired from working on work that I don't feel like picking up other projects at the end of the day. One of the reasons my blog posts were so far between, besides the fact I feel that I don't have much to say that would interest people (even though I talk non stop). But now I bought a lap top and can sit out on my screen porch in the evening and get a break and I enjoy the fresh air, I hated sitting in the office on the desk top computer and my ipad didn't let me do pictures easily. SO I hope to keep you in more posts and since I have such a boring life I thought I would bring you ideas etc using pinterest and other pictures.
Anyway back to the rugs -
This is a pumpkin rug I made based off the headstones I saw out in Salem MA. Thought it would make a great table runner this fall.
After I made this one I was poking around on pinterest and saw a great rug someone was hooking. I could only see a little of the design but I loved it. With no luck finding anything about it I drew my version out. I love the way it is coming together! The colors are great and will look warm and cozy this winter. I still have not decided if I will frame it or have it a rug. I started hooking the background, I am doing it in a charcoal color.
I have to now figure out the next one. Even though I am running out of space for more rugs - is that possible? Time to rotate stock I guess.
Lastly on my blog posts for today is food! You are probably thinking - she hasn't posted in 7 months and now she hits us with 3 posts in a day!
First is Philly cheesesteak nachos. We had these in PA at chickie's and pete's restaurant. And they are so good. I recreated them at home and we enjoy them often! Here is a pic without the topping I add at the table.
I take the tortilla chips and spread them out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with Old Bay Seasoning (this is a must seasoning) warm them in the oven at 225 temp. Then I take 1/2-3/4 lb of deli roast beef and dice it up and put in a bit of water on the cooktop with diced onion. Let that get hot then drain any leftover water from cooking. In a double boiler (I like to use this just for ease in melting the cheese) melt 1/2 -3/4 lb of white American cheese, add a little water so you can pour it over the chips easily - DO NOT ADD TO MUCH WATER - you want the cheese thick but pourable. Now when all the parts are ready its time to assemble. Place 1/2 the chips on a chip plate cover with 1/2 the cheese then 1/2 the meat mix. Repeat. At the table I have dishes of sour cream, jalapeno peppers, diced lettuce, and salsa. I let each person add their toppings as they want. Enjoy!
Next is a recipe found on Pinterest - gotta love Pinterest. It is a Blueberry sour cream pie. Has to be one of the best pies I have had! And easy! For the recipe- https://pin.it/pztl5vyem7lcmi
The topping is amazing. I serve it warmed up with vanilla ice cream.
If you make either of these you will not be disappointed!
This summer has been hot and humid just the right amount of rain. I have tomatoes that are pulling down there cages from the weight of the plants - I have to stake the cages up! I thought I would share the pics from May 15 to June 15.
These 2 are in May when I cleaned up the gardens from there winter sleep.
These 2 are from June. And now they are even twice as full and blooms abounding. The house looks pink in this picture - I don't know why. It really is red. lol
Below is a faux bamboo. I believe it is called Japanese knot weed. It is huge! Covering my screen porch giving it a nice little oasis inside. It regrows each year and in the fall has beautiful white delicate flowers. But it creeps so don't want to plant it where it can spread - it will take over everything!
And the bittersweet! I have plants all along a fence line and they are just hanging with berries. I usually don't harvest it because it is so pretty on the vine. But this year I may just for the abundance! This is one of the runners not even a main part of the plant. I don't recall ever having so many berries. Going to be beautiful!
I have gardens all over the yard and they are just beautiful this year! So nice to have a year like this that things are happy - well except the hanging baskets, those kinda pooped out already in the heat, just couldn't keep enough water in them.
Thought I would give you a peek at all that has been made in the sewing room this year. So many items! We will start with Spring...
Then I went to some Americana
Had to add some sweet little nesting birds.
And hey how could you go wrong with cabbage? These look so great in a basket with some carrots!
Then it was time to get into fall. It is so strange to be sewing fall stuff when its 90 degrees outside. It has been a hot humid summer here in central Minnesota. Have to recall how we complained it was to hot when it is 40 below in 6-7 months.
I hope you enjoyed a peek of what is happening in my sewing room. All is on my website if you wish to purchase any of them. www.handcraftedbymichelle.com
Getting ready for another wholesale market out in PA. Everything is loaded in the trailer and for the first time in a long time I am done ahead of time. I am finding I have nothing to do since I dont want to start a new batch of dolls before I leave. Plus I have my repair kit etc packed up that has some of my tools. And honestly Im struggling to figure out what I want to make next. You sew sew sew for a show then its hard to regroup. Heres a video of my storage room before the packing up, missing a few items that were still be finished by it an idea of what I made since middle of October.
In other news - have not sold the house as of yet. Hoping in the Spring it will sell and we can start the next chapter. When I think of packing up this house and work shop I sweat a little! So much stuff..... But I dont want to get rid of anything until I know where we are going. Will not know until we find a place what I need.
I hope this finds everyone well and healthy. Im back to dealing with my anxiety and panic attacks. So strange how you can go about your life then BAM they are back. I have dealt with these for 22 years (when I had a name put to them) but I think since I was a kid I actually had them in a lesser degree. I had 5 good years with minimal issues, then right before Christmas I went from minimal to extreme. Now Im just doing day by day. UGH Hopefully they go back to where ever it is they hide out in my brain and let me get back to enjoying life.