Pretty in Pink Teacup

Another teacup to add to my growing collection.
I found this charming little cup at the Thrift store;
it has now become one of my favorites.



Old Shirt, New Dress

I'm sure all of you have an old shirt lying around.
It might be stretched or torn at the bottom or have a stain on it (like mine).
These shirts can be used for something good so don't toss them out!
You can make a shirt dress out of them.

You Will Need:

used, but nice shirt (or you can just go buy one)

1 yard (or however much you need) of fabric - 
you will need fabric that stretches since you won't be putting in a zipper. 
I used some jersey knit fabric that I found at the thrift store for $1.00

sewing machine



measuring tape

chalk or pencil

iron and ironing board

* I cut all my fabric to allow for a 1/2 inch seam allowance. *

Measure where you want your shirt to fit.
I wanted an empire waist so I cut my shirt up higher
and added 1/2" seam allowance.

Measure the bottom of your shirt (mine was 13 inches across)
and cut your 2 waistbands from this measurement
 add an extra 1/2 inch on each side for the seam allowance.
For example:
I wanted my waistband 2 inches wide so I cut it at 3 x 14 - inches
allowing for the 1/2 inch seam allowance on both sides.
Make sense?

Now for the skirt...
The top part should be the same measurement as the bottom of the shirt (mine was 13"across),
but I cut the top at 14 inches wide because of the half inch seam allowance on the sides.
So once I sew the sides together, it will measure at 13 inches.
Decide on how long you want you dress to be. I like mine knee length.
I also cut my skirt to flare at the bottom so my end result was 14 inches at the top
and it flared to 28 inches at the bottom. It has a nice, gradual flare.
Fold your fabric in half so that you cut out 2 skirt pieces.

With right sides together, pin waistband to skirt.
Sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

After you're done sewing the waistbands, open seam and iron.

With right sides together, pin the 2 skirt pieces together
and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

After sewing, open seam and iron.

Are you still following me?!

Slip shirt inside skirt and pin - be very careful doing this!
I accidentally sewed the shirt on backwards when I made my first dress. OOPS!
Sew around the edges.
I think you would have a little more stretch if you used a zigzag stitch,
but I used a regular straight stitch and it's fine.

Now just hem your dress and you're done.
I did not hem the green dress because the jersey fabric rolled up nicely :)



Rose Petal Jam

This is a gorgeous, delicate treat, fragrant and very sweet,
the perfect preserve for a Victorian maiden.

Petals from damask roses give the most aromatic jam.
Only a small amount is needed and tastes divine with thick clotted cream on warm scones
or as a filling for sponge cakes.

Please use fresh roses 
not store bought roses.


4 cups rose petals taken from your favorite rosebush
2 1/4 cups of sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup fresh water

Wash your roses.

Cut away the bottom of each petal, as this part can make the jam taste bitter.

Place the petals in a pan and pour over the water.
Heat very gently on the stove top for about 30 minutes to extract the color and fragrance.
As you can see, the petals have lost their color.

Remove petals and set aside.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the pan and make sure all the sugar has dissolved.
Boil the mixture rapidly, allowing most of the liquid to evaporate.
You can now see how colorful the mixture is.
Once you add the lemon juice, the color comes alive.

When you are left with a very thick syrup,
put the petals back in and stir through the mixture to distribute evenly.
You can skip this step if you don't want to put the petals back in.

As only a small amount of this jam is used at any one time,
it is better kept in small 4oz jars.

Since fall is quickly approaching,
this is the perfect jam to make for those last few roses on your rosebush.

Enjoy, my friends!



Double Fan Napkin Fold

Hello friends!
Here is a beautiful and easy napkin fold that will charm your dinner guests :)

You will need large, very starched cotton napkins. 

Fold the bottom and top edges of the napkin to meet in the center. 

         Fold in half by bringing the bottom edge up to the top.
Turn the napkin so that the edge faces you
and fold it seven times to make eight accordion pleats.

Firmly grasp the bottom of the pleats.
In between each pleat pull the layer nearest to you to form double-layered triangles.

Turn the napkin around and repeat the process on the other side.
Spread the folds out into a fan shape.


Missy Rose

Update on Missy Rose:
She has been with us for 2 weeks and is making herself at home.
She is a great delight and keeps us laughing.



Peach Turnovers

Yum - it's peach season! I have already had my share of fresh, flavorful and juicy peaches. 
The other day I  froze quite a few peaches 
and I eagerly await the winter months when I can pull out my frozen peaches 
and enjoy them by the fire....

But it's summer right now, and the peaches are FRESH so that means it's time to do some baking. 
So lets make peach turnovers, and if you don't like peaches 
then use something else, like apples, cherries or my favorite, strawberry/rhubarb.

And let me just say, the pastry for these turnovers is divine! 
It is extremely flaky and it melts in your mouth...
probably because the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, 
but we won't think about that....

Onto the recipe :)

Pastry Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ice water
In a large mixing bowl stir together flour and salt.
Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch-thick slices (not cubes).
Add the butter slices to the flour mixture;
toss until butter slices are coated with the flour mixture and are separated.

Pour ice water over the flour/butter mixture.
Using a spoon, quickly mix
(butter will remain in large pieces and flour will not be completely moistened).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead dough 10 times by pressing and pushing dough together to form a rough-looking ball.

Shape dough into a rectangle (dough will have some dry-looking areas).
Make the corners are square as possible.
Slightly flatten dough.
Working on a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a 9 x 8 - inch rectangle.

Fold crosswise into thirds to form a 4.5 x 4 - inch rectangle.

Give dough a quarter turn, then fold crosswise into thirds to from a 2.5 x 2 - inch rectangle.

Repeat the rolling, folding, turning and folding process once more.
Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
Repeat the rolling and folding process 2 more times.
Before using, chill dough 20 minutes more.

While your dough is chilling, prepare your filling.

Ingredients Needed:
2 cups sliced peaches (3-4 peaches) or whatever fruit you desire
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Peel and slice peaches, place in a bowl and add sugar.

Place peaches in a metal pan and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes, mash peaches.
Add butter, vanilla and cinnamon, mix well.
Let cool.

Now roll out pastry dough and cut out squares or circles and fill with peach filling.

Fold over and pinch closed with a fork.
Make a few small slits with sharp knife on top of turnover.
Place turnover on a sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased tin foil.

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.
Chill for 20 minutes before baking
 at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

I assemble these the night before, leave them in the fridge
and bake them in the morning for a yummy breakfast.

And you might have some filling left over so keep it
and use it as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, waffles, toast, or whatever.


Tea For Two

Relax, enjoy some tea, and delight in the company of a family member or friend.

"Somehow, taking tea together encourages an atmosphere of intimacy 
when you slip off the timepiece in your mind 
and cast your fate to a delight of tasty tea, tiny foods. and thoughtful conversation."
Gail Greco



Strawberry and Honey Mask

Just a little information about what you're putting on your face. . .

Strawberries contain salicylic acid that rids the skin of dead cells, 
makes your pores smaller and your face brighter. 
Strawberries gently exfoliates and refreshes the skin. 
They also reduce redness and swelling on the face. 
The antioxidants in strawberries help repair skin damage and they counteract aging effects.

Honey is amazing! 

Honey is:
nutrition rich - lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids
antioxidant rich - fights free radicals and reverses aging 
antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal - 
helps disinfect and speed the healing process of wounds, cuts and burns
effective moisturizer - it binds moisture to the skin and helps it stay hydrated
Your skin will love you if you give it a strawberry-honey mask.

Ingredients Needed:
1 strawberry (freshly washed)
1 teaspoon of organic or raw honey
Slice the strawberry (make sure you remove the top green part) and place in a bowl. 
Mash strawberries with a fork or wooden spoon then stir in the honey.
It should look like this. . .

Cleanse your face and pat dry. 
Apply strawberry-honey mixture to your face, avoiding the eye area. 
Leave on for 15-20 minutes. 
Wash off with cool water.

~ Tip ~
It can be slightly messy when applying this mask 
so make sure you are leaning over the counter or sink 
and that you have a shirt on that you don't care gets dirty. 
The mask will run down your face for the first 5 minutes 
so you will want to wrap a towel around your shoulders
and lay down so your head is kept level. 
Relax and enjoy the next 20 minutes.

The nice thing about this mask is that if it get on your lips you can lick it off! :) 


Rose Pitcher

So I went to the consignment store the other day and saw a beautiful rose pitcher and bowl. 
It was love at first sight! 
I desperately wanted to buy it, but ended up talking myself out of it. 
Silly me!!

That night I told my mom all about the glorious pitcher and bowl. 
She didn't say too much about it, just, "Uh huh, yes honey, well dear, you should have bought it." 
Okay okay, she was right, I should have bought it.

So a few days later I headed back to the consignment store determined to buy the pitcher and bowl, 
but when I got there I couldn't find the beauty anywhere!! 
I asked the sales lady where it went, "Oh, I sold it" she says! OH NO! 
How utterly and terribly heart-breaking.
I left the store moping and sad.

That very afternoon my mom calls and asks if she can stop by. 
Of course I said sure. 
She arrives at my home with none other than my desired pitcher and bowl! 
What a wonderful mom and an incredible surprise to me.

Have a blessed day!


Cake Balls

I made these cake balls for my dad's birthday instead of having the traditional birthday cake.
I made a red velvet cake and used cream cheese frosting, 
but you can use whatever kind of cake you like. 
I've also made these with strawberry cake mix, vanilla frosting and dipped them in chocolate; 
they tasted like fresh chocolate dipped strawberries.

Ingredients Needed:
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) container prepared frosting
  • 1 (3 ounce) bar chocolate flavored confectioners coating - I've also used chocolate chips
  • sprinkles (optional)
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes.

When cake has cooled slightly, crumble into a large bowl

Stir in the frosting until well blended

Using your hands or a small scoop, form balls out of the cake mix and place on a pan lined with waxed paper. 
Place in freezer for 2-3 hours. This makes them easier to handle while dipping in chocolate.

After balls have been in the freezer,
melt chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal pan on the stove top,
stirring occasionally until smooth.
Place a toothpick in the cake ball and dip it in the chocolate.
Cover with sprinkles, if using.

Place on waxed paper to set.
Store in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

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