Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Musings--a compilation of home working

Monday started with Banana bread breakfast this morning.
 
I baked a DOUBLE recipe of Banana Bread Friday and here is how fast is flies.


Out of the oven

 
24 hours later




and 48 hours later...........it goes fast!  That's why I doubled the recipe. It is a simple one I found in a very vintage recipe book from 1979. The name of it is "Think Christmas" and was compiled and published by The Junior League of The City of Washington, Inc. I've had it for about 5 or 6 years now found in a junkin' store.
 
 I really needed a few more bananas but I made do with what I had.
 
The basic recipe is :    (remember to double if making it in a cake pan)

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 eggs, well-beaten
3 large bananas, mashed or 6 small ones
1 tsp of baking soda
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of chopped nuts (I used pecans)

If using for only this recipe and not doubled,

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Cream sugar and butter
Add eggs and bananas
Add sifted flour and soda
Add nuts and mix well
Pour in greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Now, when I doubled it, then I poured all this in a tube pan and baked at 300-325 instead for about 1 hour 10 minutes or so.

Makes great dessert, or a breakfast bread or a good midnight snack!!!! You can also freeze some of it.

On the stitching front, here is my progress on At Home with Jane Austen.............(designer, The Sampler Girl)



I finished the flower motifs and now on the last band of flowers at the end.
 
As for knitting, I have started and now have sections of a scarf I'm putting together with some serendipity.
 
I will combine all the sections. I found this wonderful FREE Chunky Lace Scarf pattern on You Tube over the weekend and it's a 6 row repeat.
 
Here is one section of the 6 rows. It makes a lovely scalloped pattern. I will do another row or two of this and decrease gradually to fit the gartered sections on each end.
 
 



I'm using straight needles for this because I don't have a 13 circular, I so wish I did!!!!!


I adjusted the pattern by decreasing by 10 cast on stitches and still this is a cramped fit on my 14 in straights.
I "unbunched" some stitches to show more of the lace pattern.


I would love to work this pattern on circulars in a shawl. This pattern practices ssk, ssk2p, YO, K, P.

You can find the pattern here  http://www.thecastingoncouch.com/ along with many others.
This is under freebies. It will also lead you to the You Tube tutorial. Please don't make the mistake of just Googling Cast on Couch as it also leads to some kind of porn videos.........wacko and not intended at all.

I like to follow her knitting as she knits like I do in English style.

Speaking of English style, there was a great replay of the last episode of Downton Abbey last night on PBS and another show for sneak season 4 previews. I LOVED IT. I didn't love watching the death of one of the main characters, Matthew, though. They said season 4 will start 6 months AFTER this happens, so next Sunday night we are glued to watch the new season start.

I hope by this time I am on to model stitching my Downton Abbey design. The colors I chose are so pretty. So, when I finish this band of flowers on At Home with Jane, I will be picking up my design of Downton Abbey pretty quickly. It's a large design. I plan to make some smaller designs from this series in between as well so stay tuned!

Keep calm and stitch on,
Jennifer

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Good Eats and Treats

Hi Sweet readers!

It's the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...... wait.......after lunch today some creatures were stirring.......

Miss Abbie got a new blanket for Christmas!



She even meditated on it today.


Before you get excited about the pattern.....I didn't knit it!  I found this blanket in ivory at a junkin store for 3 bucks. No stains or tears. It is perfect. I couldn't even buy the yarn for that so this is her present along with snackie treats this year.

On  Christmas Eve, she was rocking this for a few.......


She froze for about 15 minutes in one position so we took it off. :)

 
 
 
A big baked ham, cut in slices by the Mr. and I cut up some fresh sweet potatoes to make into a scrumptious sweet potato soufflé.



The recipe is simple but absolutely like dessert.

You bake it at 350.

While oven is preheating, cut up about 8 sweet potatoes after peeling them and washing. Slice and put in a pot on the stove top to boil for about 20 minutes. Drain them. Use enough sweet potatoes for 3 cups.
In a separate bowl put the well drained cooked sweet potatoes in, 2 tablespoons of vanilla flavoring, 2 eggs, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 stick of softened butter.
Use electric mixer and mix well.
Pour into a large casserole dish. I use a clear one.
Then in a smaller bowl make the topping.
Put in this bowl, 1/3 cup of all purpose flour, 1cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of chopped pecans and 1/2 stick of very soft butter. I use the mixer again to make a crumbly topping.
Then pour the sweet potato part in the casserole dish, take a large spoon and just pour the pecan topping  by big spoonfuls on the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes.
For the last 5 minutes remove and put small marshmellows on top then put back in oven for 5 minutes until light golden brown.



 
And watch it fly off the stove.
 
 
Acorn squash steamed. Of course you eat the inner part and it's sooooooooo good. The first time I ate these were when I met my hubbie.
 
 
I also cooked some seasoned green beans.


Tiny buttered Southern tea biscuits....this was what was left of 12.



 
And today putting away all the Christmas décor into closets and cleaning up the mess afterward of just taking it easy yesterday.
 
Gathering all the Christmas stuff from our tree was easy. I just had a 3 foot silver tree out.
Pick it up and into the closet!
 
 
Although the tree was small, we had many blessings to be thankful for.
 
I made some progress on my "girly" thick scarf.
 
I'm using number 13 glass straights.
 
 
A little sparkle to go into the Winter months. I don't know why I'm doing this scarf in sections but I have. I think these will be the middle and then the ends will be chuncky lace sections.
 
Tonight working on some cross stitch while watching The Waltons, and then another long Winter's nap.
 
I hope you had a cozy Christmas too,
Jennifer
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from Fox Mountain

 
We hope each and every one of you have a beautiful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014!
 
Tomorrow's Christmas Eve. It's quiet here and getting a bit chillier as the sun goes down.
 
Just a little  tiny stitch for you if you need a special gift tag or something for your tree at the last minute or want to use up some scrap linen and threads.
 
 
 
Monday Mini Sampler no. 4
Christ's Eve
designed by Feathers in the Nest
copyright 2013
 
A crown for our King's birth and the light to show the way.
 
I hope you are happy, healthy and content
 
And in that way you stay!
 
Curling up with a Christmas movie,
Jennifer

Saturday, December 21, 2013

At Home with Jane sampler progress~~nearly finished WIP

 
Here is my progress on At Home With Jane Austen sampler designer The Sampler Girl.
 I've had this one in my basket for 4 years at least. Started on it, put it down, did a third, put it down. So I'm finishing this long WIP up very soon. I have one flower motif left and then the last band of purple flowers and it's done!!!!!!!
 
 
I so love Jane Austen.
 
 


 
And pinks are my favorite colors.
 
 
And my initial changed since I started it. That's how long it's been in my basket.
 
 
Home Sweet Home
 
Just wanted to share something I'm finishing up this weekend. I'm mixed on how to finish it because I can only afford a junkin' frame  .........and I can't find one.
So, I may finish it like the photo she has on the front and hang/display on the wall this way OR I have a frame that is bigger on the sides but the right length and put some pretty fabbie on the sides.
 
I used/am using Crescent Colors that are called for in the pattern. There is a DMC conversion but I like the overdyed effect.
I'm also using the linen called for in the pattern as well.
I believe it's 30ct.
 
So, I finished my Christmas shopping today, just a few items left and grocery shopping for the week. Feels good to be done.
Soon, to watch the Christmas Box movie with the Mr. cuddling by the fire.
We have some snack size ham, turkey, and 2 cheeses with crackers to nibble during the movie!
The last 2 gifts to mail will be late as they are to be mailed out Monday but I'm sure they will like them just as well!
 
Singing I'll be Home for Christmas,
Jennifer
 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Homestead Keeping---my New Year's resolution

 A website, blog AND book is great to keep your homestead on a cleaning schedule. I so much tend to not be structured when it comes to house cleaning so I found this website and it's a really good info for homemakers.

The Time Warp Wife blog is really a great one to add if you like to keep a house a clean home with good ideas on a planning, cleaning, etc.

I decided this year to not pull out all the Christmas decorations as usual and so starting off my New Years resolution will be easier. I think. :) I have just enough out to make it a simple Christmas this year and sometimes simple is really sweeter.

This past month I've been parting with many things and it feels good to clean out the clutter from many years gone by. I like to make my hubby happy with a clean homestead to welcome him home from a long days work. This blog writer actually has a book on the subject incorporating basic scripture in the whys and hows. So my New Year's resolution is to have a more structured cleaning schedule. We'll see how it goes.............my wing-it method is not working. :0

Things, yes things, that I find hard to let go and should are  books, shoes, clothes, and linens.

Take a look-see of the blog if you like improvement reading!

I hope this finds you Merry and Bright on this Friday afternoon before Christmas!
I've finished my Christmas shopping and one last trip to the post office and a couple of town trip day errands this week will then be followed by curling up with a good Christmas book, movie, and knitting.

As for a good Christmas movie, The Christmas Box is a really good one and is coming on tomorrow night. I can't wait! I've seen it probably about................4 times now and it is good every time I see it.

The ham is in the fridge and just waiting on a good long bake on Christmas day. We have some sweet potatoes that I will be making a soufflé. Mr. Darcy wants mashed potatoes (my special)  and gravy (and he makes the best gravy). I am thinking of making a yellow layer cake with chocolate frosting for dessert. Green bean casserole just is not going to make it this year. :P
But.........baked acorn squash in the oven is another side. 7 layer salad most likely will also make the menu this year. I LOVE this salad and it's so pretty in a clear bowl too.

 
Stay cozy and warm,
Jennifer

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Free Sampler The Star~~a Christmas card for you

Good morning!
 
As we all get busy the week before Christmas with so many distractions, events to attend, friends to see, gifts to deliver, etc, that I wanted to say thank you to each and every reader for making my 5th year of blogging very special. Thank you for all the "gifts" you send to me with comments, personal emails and love. It means more to me than you know.

I wish I had could have a huge giveaway this week and have at least 10 winners but finances this year just didn't make that happen. I'm content though with what I've been blessed with, even the hardships because without them, lessons would not be learned, life would not be sharpened and my faith any more challenged.

Christmas, we all hope, is a happy time for families to get together and just be in touch at least once a year but for many, it is not a day of happiness but emptiness. Hardships of all kinds abound today and I hope in some tiny way at least, that writing and encouraging, offer hope throughout our journey in life. I enjoy helping people. I always have. The part of Christmas I enjoyed was seeing the faces of my kids open their presents that I had so thoughtfully put away for them and hoped it was an equal amount. :) 

Just like life ebbs and flows, those days are gone and as I get older, I find that things change and evolve in a different way. God has blessed us with the ability to create.  To bless others. To pay it forward. The faces of happiness that are more meaningful are those that enjoy the journey with us unconditionally and the acceptance of what our strengths and weaknesses are a part of everyday life.

I hope for all of you who take the time to pop in every now and again, that you have a very happy and blessed Christmas whether you are with the ones you love or not. Just remember that God gave His only son and this is the greatest gift of all. He always will love and protect you. The assurance that He will never abandon us is surreal.

If there is a time I watch TV it's probably this time of year, when the days are short and the nights are longer and the time between supper and bedtime is more settled in. I watched a Christmas movie on the Inspiration channel this week, The Nativity and it was the THE best representation of the Christmas story. The actors that played Mary and Joseph were exactly like I had them pictured in my mind when reading the Bible. I hope this movie comes on again before Christmas because I could watch it again and again. When the angel came to Mary and then to Joseph to direct their paths, to explain and not to be fearful, I was touched deeply. I was also amazed at the star that shown so brightly bringing them all together. The Star that gave them direction if only they accepted it.

Sometimes I wish I had a big star when I look in the sky that would shine on and off and directly in certain directions to know when something is God's will. But we actually have better than that now. We have Jesus in the flesh, His word for guidance. I am in no way perfect at all. None of us are and I am so thankful for Christ's birth, for His life He gave to cover our sins when we ask forgiveness.

So the inspiration for this sampler Christmas Card to you for 2013 and because I literally cannot mail every reader a card as I wish, I hope you print this off and keep it for some stitching time. 

Matthew 2:10
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Sometimes on this journey of life it's hard to find the answers. We search for the star or the direction. Even though we don't always know the answer or even why we are on such a journey, we can be reassured that after we find the star, the direction, the answer, the meaning, then it will be followed by great joy.

The STAR will show the way.

Christmas miracles do really come true.



The Star
 
designed by Feathers in the Nest
 
copyright 2013
 
linen of choice
 
colors suggested are Weeks Dye Works
 
Deep Sea
Morris Blue
Aqua
Blue Topaz
Gold Leaf
 
Please do not kit to sell and reproduce only through needle and thread. Also, if you are on FB where I put the design, please do not tag or share without giving credit to the source.
I so thank you for respecting this.
 
If you stitch this one up, please send me a picture and I will post on the blog and FB page!
 

 
 Sipping my second cuppa,
Jennifer

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thrifty Thursday---Old Sterling and Tortoise shell knitting needles


These were dull and I shined them with a silver polishing cloth. They have an F monogram. I really like them. I do not know what size exactly they are but probably a 5-7. The ends also are silver.


They are 13 inches long. Marked STERLING on the back of the holder. This dates them to be quite old as most sterling is marked .925 in the past years.
The tips are still good and functional.



seen anything like these?  any guess at what year?



And to add to something I started this morning, I have another silvery bling scarf started.
 
This is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in the colorway Constellation
 
Using my number 13 glass straights for this one.



I like my circular needles but didn't have a number 13 in my stash except these glass ones.



So all is bling and bright here on the homestead!
 
So many chores to do today, but later this evening methinks I will be knitting by the woodstove watching a Christmas movie.
 
It's nice and sunny here in the mountains today but quite cold.
Sipping my second cuppa,
Jennifer

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Finished As You Like It knit scarf~~Mission Accomplished!


  I finished my As You Like It scarf I knit for a few weeks now off and on. All garter stitch. Used 25??? colors, lost count, of DMC 100% virgin wool from a huge bag for 5.00 I got back in the Summer at a junkin' store. I really like the colors and it's so ready for jeans, sweater and boots to accompany it.

 
And Miss Abigail is playing with her new Christmas toy and watching me.
 
 
We call him Tristan. I don't know how he got this name. But she loves him.
 
I mean. Really. Loves. Him.
 
 
 
It's not perfect but I like it just the way it is. It's actually about 72 inches long.
 
 One day at a time as we get nearer to Christmas. Each day brings up a new opportunity to make a positive difference in this world, create new warmth, read more books, knit, stitch, and anything that gives us balance in our lives.
 
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost (my favorite poem)
 
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I---
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.
 
 
I hope this finds you snuggly, warm, safe, and happy.
Jennifer
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Paying it Forward for Monday Mini no 3 Merry and Bright!

First, I want to thank you for being patient and for those who purchased no 2 in the Monday Mini series, I so appreciate your patronage!
 
Today, I have been so busy and in the middle of all the rush, someone special did something very kind for me today. I promised to pay it forward and I think that offering no 3 as a freebie this week is the plan!
 
So if you are looking for another sampler and a quick finish for the Christmas tree or gift tag, I hope you enjoy!


Merry and Bright
Monday Mini no. 3
copyright 2013
designed by Feathers in the Nest
Jennifer Ann Fox
 
In using this background you can barely see the pale color on the left but it is there!
Also one block on the right corner should be red.
 
Colors and linen of choice!
 
I would love to see pics of your finishes!
 
The inspiration for this little sampler is the toys back in the day that were around and on the Christmas tree. Remember the jacks to toss? Probably a vintage game now but I remember my brother getting those one year.
The toy soldier and the ornament brought much color into Christmas décor.
 
I hope this brightens up your week!
 
Jennifer

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday~~ Progress on Knitting

 
 



Ok, maybe not completely wordless!
As You Like It scarf I'm working on this morning.  The progress is shown with work still on needles so I can add about 5 more skeins. Yup, it's long. I wanted it that way to double up well for the cold weather. It's actually been a fun piece to knit. I'm ready for some beautiful snow now.

Hope your hump day is going well.

Jennifer

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Release! Winter Joy sampler No 2 Monday Mini

I designed a number 2 Monday mini sampler this weekend, and then model stitched it. It's progress is here!
 
 
Winter Joy
Monday Mini No.2
designed and stitched by Feathers in the Nest
copyright 2013
for sale
$2.00
e-pattern only
 
the pattern has backstitching, cross stitching and half stitches
the linen~~ 30 ct Coconut Macaroon from Lakeside Linen
Gentle Art threads
design is approximately 3 x 3 inches finished
 
I pulled these goodies from my stash and the trim I found and have had for oh so long but now can use. I'm still thinking on what size and more precise finishing today. The trim is from a major reduction pile probably at Walmart or Hobby Lobby. I heart, oh so much, the return rack for fraction of the cost at Walmart.
When I'm done, I'll show you the finished product. I believe the fabbie is from Moda, one from a Layer Cake set for Christmas. As I do not quilt, this size makes the perfect backing for a stitching project.
 
If you haven't seen Number 1 Monday mini, it's free to you if you scroll back to last Monday. I still need to stitch it up too. If you stitch any of these, please feel free to share and send to:
 
 
If you would like the E-pattern sent to you by email in pdf format, please email me at the above address and I will send to you with a payment of only 2.00!
I use Paypal only please.
 
Around the homestead this morning, it's quiet and serene, with nature right off the back porch.


A doe. A deer. A female deer.............................



Three of them actually.



And a redhead woodpecker this morning.






Today is a cloudy, cold wet day. Yesterday, was actually a partly sunny day and Mr. Darcy got some downed trees cut for firewood.


Well, off to finish the leftovers of leftovers for lunch. Our 11 pound turkey is finished. I can't believe we ate that in about as many forms of eating as you can for 4 days. I made a Turkey Pot Pie last night and it was really good! Good comfort food.

I hope your weekend went well. A good start to the week ahead! In fact, it's December already and I can't believe where this year went by.

Till later,

Jennifer

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