Mom, Swedish Tea Ring and the Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Cake Decorating for the Holidays

Since my Mom was a cook/dietitian of many years, the Red Betty Crocker Cookbook was the bible around our house. When Holidays came within a week or two, Mom was dragging her fanciest pans from the bottom cabinet.

My favorite food during the holidays was Cake. Yep, uh huh, that pretty much just gave-away my entire personality. I was never over-weight as a child, but those pounds crept up on me many years later as middle-age and COPD came callin. But I could sure eat some cake! Then...and now.

photo via:
Actually, Mom could make every dessert found in that Betty Crocker cookbook. If it was in that book Mom had made it and I had ate it.

I don't know about all the dinner meals or fruit and vegetable side dishes, but I ate every sweet recipe in that book at some time or other.

Mom loved the Swedish Tea ring. Like me, she loved making it and she loved eating it. Since I don't have a photo of Mom's Swedish Tea Ring, this one is the most similar to Mom's. If you look in that Red Betty Crocker Cookbook, you'll see that I'm right.

If I recall correctly, Mom garnished the top with chopped pecans. I can almost taste it now. ***

Christmas Gifts Now and Then

Gift Giving Now...and Then

Have a great Holiday Season 2015

What I was thinking about this time last year, and it hasn't changed much this year..... so I'm refreshing an older post as I felt slightly sentimental today... 
Gift Giving Now... and Then ( posted on:November 14, 2014)

I can hardly believe it's so near to December. It doesn't seem that long ago when I had a houseful of children who's gift list included items under $50: Cars, Trains and Trucks for the boys. Blocks, Baby Dolls and Faux make-up for the girls. Monopoly of course, for the adults in the house.

I began shopping in mid-September and hid honking cars, buzzing bees, musical pianos and other noisy critters in the top of the linen closet. No matter how gently I scolded them while searching for clean sheets, some errant Jet Rocket would blast off with a boom or red Fire Truck scream to be set free on the road.

Monopoly - The Classic EditionMore info

We had many an all-nighter with our 4 children, 3 neighbor kids, 1 cousin and hubby making profound financial decisions about trading a Railroad, adding hotels, or squabbling about Boardwalk or Park Place. I admit, I always ended with Charleston and went out first. I think it was fatigue, though, not my prowess with money.
No wonder my children aced Math in school. They'd been wheeling and dealing and bargaining since 4 years old.

Monopoly and Toys were both the gifts of my day (without spilling my age) but my grandchildren are a totally different story. My youngest, an 11 year old Grandson, wants a better cellphone with a front camera and more Google apps.

What? He's 11 for Pete's sake. And the older kids, well here's what they want and I can see my wallet shrinking as I finish this post. Hey, I have Amazon Prime-- shipping is free.
Oh Great...

Easy Make Patchwork Tote Bag

Easy Make Patchwork Tote Bag

Great Gift for the Holidays just around the corner

This Tote Bag is super easy to make and you don't have to leave the house to buy fabric!

Wonderful 5" Patch fabric creates this Easy Patchwork Tote Bag. If you create a Patchwork Tote Bag with the person who will receive it in mind, this can be quite the stunning gift.

Try fabric that has a sentimental meaning for the person who will be gifted with a brand new Tote Bag.

Is their a family member with a new baby or expecting one soon. Craft this pretty Tote Bag with a pink or blue fabric that suits the new baby.

Make a Tote Bag for your daughter (or son) with fabric that relates to them and their activities.
Make a Tote Bag for Mom with fabric reminescent of the things that bring her joy.
Best of all make a Tote Bag for yourself! with all the fabrics you love!

The Holidays are just around the corner and lately, I'm having gift-giving on my mind.

How to make Heat Resistant Oven Mitts and Pot Holders- DIY

How to Make Heat-Resistant Oven Mitts and Pot Holders?

Sandy's "Sew 1 Pretty"

For many years I made my own pot holders. Then I got busy making Pillow Shams and Custom Hand Towels for Ebay and Etsy and no longer had time to make my own Oven mitts and Pot Holders.

I really miss the "personal touch" that is always included when you make your own. Even when it means making something as simple as a Heat Resistant Oven mitt or Pot holder

When we learned to make our own bias tape, we discussed how hand-made items often out-last "Store bought" items. So I've been looking for a really easy pattern to get you started with making your very own Heat-Resistant Oven Mitts and Pot Holders.

In the past, I have had issues quilting the finished Oven Mitts and Pot Holders. Now, I can see that my problem was mostly due to the fact that I quilted mine as the final step with both sides already sewn together, The fabric is quite bulky when fully completed.

Then last week I happened upon this super easy pattern for making your very own Heat Resistant Pot Holders that includes a very easy way to include the quilting before the product is finished. Much easier than the way I had done it previously.

This pattern doesn't use our pre-made bias tape, but if you're like me-- the more patterns and alternatives, the better. 

What I really like about these instructions for the Heat Resistant Oven mitts and Pot Holders is that important instructions about Insul Bright are included as well (The Heat Resistant Material.)  

How to make your own Bias Tape and Seam binding

Bias Tape and Seam Binding 


I was throwing away a few pot holders that were burned, stained and simply too thin to protect my fingers anymore.

As I separated potholders into piles, I noticed many more hand-made potholders to save for another day. More store-bought potholders tossed in the trash. I also noticed "hand made" outlasted "store-bought" by many years.

Deciding to make a few new potholders, I determined to search Ebay and  Etsy for inspiration. Nothing quite like a pretty, hand made pot-holder.

It's nostalgic to be searching for potholder ideas from Ebay. I began my career on Ebay with custom made potholders. I'm not kidding. I had a Power Seller Store full of potholders

Back then, I created felt Apples, Pears. Tomatoes along with barnyard animals and appliqued them all onto solid color pot holders. Today, 15 years later-- I want a cute potholder that I can make in a few minutes for my very own kitchen. It no longer has to be a potholder stack of 50 to ship in the morning! 
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