Sunday, December 30, 2012

Postcard From The Edge (of nowhere)

Greetings!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Pioneer Farm 2010 (we don't have this much snow this year)

I have escaped the Northeast to spend time with family and freinds at Pioneer Farm in Illinois.  I had a one day delay in Columbus due to blizzard conditions but we made it.   I love to return to the Midwest farm region to take in the big skies and fresh air.

Barns at sunrise (2010)

Here are the Christmas projects I made with the Nevermore fabric.  Composition Notebook Covers -

I made 6 to give as gifts and one prototype to keep.  I adjusted the pattern width by reducing it 1/2 inch for a tighter fit.  I used this blog post to make them.

It was a bit like making 6 little quilts.

I added a label to inside back cover.

For my friend, Diane, I made an oversized mug rug.  I knew she would love the fabric.  (sorry bad photo lighting)

I used this piano print for the backing of hers.

Well, I'm off to boot up and take a walk in the woods with my puppy.

Enjoy the last couple of days 2012!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fun For Friday - Bushe de Noel (Yule Log)

Happy Friday and Happy not the end of the world.

My husband is half Danish and here is our collection of Nisse, or as his family calls them; Nissemen.   These are a few of our Danish christmas plates collected over the past 25 years.

I hosted my quilting bees holiday party yesterday and decided to make a Bushe de Noel, or Yule Log cake.  It had been about 6 years so I thought it was time.

Here is a link to my favorite recipe.

Warning:  there are 3 main parts to this cake, and it will take all available counter space.

First you make a chocolate cake in a jelly roll pan and roll it up in a towel to cool.  Then you spread a whipped cream filling and re-roll.

You slice off one end and place on top (or side) to resemble a branch.  It is frosted with chocolate butter cream frosting.

Using a fork you make it appear to have tree bark.  I decorated mine with a sprig of artificial holly.  Click here to see google images of different styles and presentations.

The cake must be refrigerated.  I have wrapped mine for a space launch or a bio attack.

The good, the bad and the ugly:
The good - I showed to my guests before cutting it up.
The bad -  I forgot to take a final "beauty shot" of it.
The ugly -  A blurred phone photo, but you can see that a dusting of powered sugar (snow) makes it look festive and pretty.

 And there you have it!

Finally, here is a great way to display Christmas cards if you have interior french doors.  I just use tape loops.  The bonus?  I clean these windows once a year when I take the cards down.

I wish you all Happy Holidays filled with Fun.
See you after Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods

to Jill's lovely Victorian home for a little Christmas party with my cupcake buddies.

Jill has such a talent for decorating and she allowed me to photograph them to share with you.

On a hutch in her eating area.

This is one of my favorite spots.  It is a cupboard in the eating area that she decorates for every holiday -

I love these glittered churches and trees.  Jill found the deer at Wal-mart.  Sometimes you have to imagine it out of the context of where you find it.

This is a lovely tree covered with silver and crystal (check out those samplers).

It is baubbly beauty and glows in her Grand Hall.


Here is the Living Room - Elegant in every way!

She has 4 of these gorgeous pillars in the Hall.  Beautiful!

 Here is a real tree in the eating area opposite the kitchen.

It covered with kitchen utensils, popcorn garland and sweet things.

She literally lives nestled in the woods.  What a view from the sink.

The other kitchen window -

Here is Carson, a labradoodle.  Coco sent him a rawhide braid.

I am sort of obsessed with this quilt!

I came home with lots and lots of loot!

Handmade items are my favorite!  Susan (and her husband) make a wooden gift each year.  Susan paints them, so talented!

Jill made this cute ornament needle book.

And here are my cupcake buddies, Jill and Susan.  Thanks for a fun day yesterday!

I hope you are all having a chance to visit with friends this time of year! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fun For Friday! More is More

Happy Friday!  More is More becomes my basic philosophy this time of year.  It seems such a short season and the pretty lights and baubles are especially welcomed during the darkest month.

When the love of history and Christmas collide this is what happens - My White House Tree.

Each year the White House produces an ornament honoring a past president or tradition.  I have only 2 more to collect and I'll have the set.  This year it is William Taft, the first President to have a car.  Here he is loaded with gifts.

I have one of those funny 1950s pink and grey tiled baths.  Let's call is retro - so much more fun than out of date, lol.
My friend, Norma, custom made me this pink ceramic tree - I love it and keep it lit 24/7.

The two shadow boxes I found at Homegoods in two different years.  How lucky is that?   These would also be fun to make.

Many years ago I started using old Christmas cards as labels on packages.  I use patterned craft scissors to cut the edges.

It is fun to match themes with people.  Hanna gets the cat cards, Rich the sailing or nature cards and Andrew gets the funny and dog cards.  These are going off to some special friends.

This is for my friend, Kelly (Pinkadot), who has a wonderful blog.  She commented after my last post that her sewing room was "one hot mess".  Well, so is mine! (Our house came with a 3rd floor in-law suite - great for a craft room!)

It is too easy to crop out real life.  Here is real life!

and here -

So don't ever be fooled here at Fun with Barb, next to a great photo is a pile of crap that I moved.

So, have you seen these yet?  These are melted peppermint candy cookie trays.

These only took a few minutes.  Find the directions here.  I think I'll cut come cardboard and wrap it with foil before I use them to strengthen the bottom.

Fun and fits my More is More philosophy!  ho Ho HO!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santas Workshop

Lucky Lucky me!!  I won this beautiful doll quilt from my friend Maureen.  What a wonderful selection of reproduction fabrics and I love the binding print.

What a lovely label.  Thank you so much, Maureen, for the quilt and your friendship.  I will treasure this quilt.

She gave away 4 doll quilts.  Visit her blog, Pursuit of Quilts,    it always full of wonderful inspiration.

Santa's Workshop, otherwise known as the sewing room is a very busy place lately.  I put up a small tree with old red and pink ornaments.  Every year I think I don't have time, but when I make the time, I enjoy it so much. 

I've made a few more tissue covers and also the pink yarn tree.   This is the only tree that gets tinsel - I adore tinsel.

I am working on some small gifts.  These are in progress...

I love this fabric by Michael Miller.  It is called Nevermore -

This is a handy tool that I'm using to press a 1/2" hem. 

Hope you are all enjoy the preparation of the holidays.  It is so fun to visit your homes through bloglandia this time of year.  I just love seeing everyone's decorations.

p.s. good luck - tomorrow is 12-12-12