Great Memorial Weekend

What a great Memorial weekend. Saturday and Sunday were sunny and warm, and Monday brought some much needed rain. We had some great food and each planned event was enjoyed by all. Saturday I packed a road trip lunch and we drove down to Claremont to attend a showing of Tomorrowland (there are no decent theaters in our area). The plot of the movie was interesting and the message is one that I think everyone should take to heart.

Sunday we had a glorious day paddling the Connecticut river and working in the gardens. the weather today will keep us close to home relaxing and enjoying our surroundings. Heading out for the first paddle of the season

Heading out for the first paddle of the season

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On the river heading towards Hanover

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Great little island in the middle of the river were you can got off have lunch, or even camp for the night

 

The wonderful weekend recharged our batteries and adjusted attitudes. Hope that all of you had a wonderful, relaxing weekend as well.

Sisterhood Needlepoint

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I created this piece to celebrate the bonds that women create with each other.

The piece is stitched on 16 pt canvas using silk and ivory threads, and various beads for hair adornments and jewelery. Black matting and a walnut frame are used to finish the piece.

Bulgur wheat rolls

We have had one crazy spring so far… for the past week the temperatures were in the low 80s, then today it dropped to the 50s with high winds. I hope that all of vegetables we planted will be okay…. Given today’s weather I thought that it would be a good idea to prepare the rolls for this weekends sandwiches.   One of my favorites to make are bulgur rolls. They are soft with a bit of crunch and hold up under sauces and other condiments.

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Rolls ready to be filled with yummy goodies. The dough can be cut into smaller rounds for dinner rolls.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups warn water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour

Directions

  1. Add 2 cups water, bulgur and butter to a medium saucepan. Using a medium heat bring the mixture to a boil the turn the heat off.
  2. All the bulgur mixture to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1 1/3 cups of warm water.
  4. Mix the honey, salt, egg, flour and bulgur mixture into the yeast. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky. Add more flour if needed.
  5. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

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    Dough ready for first rise

  6. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes a smooth ball.
  7. Place dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise for an hour or until double.

    Dough doubled

    Dough doubled

  8. Punch the dough down and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Shape or cut into rolls and place on a prepared baking sheet.
  10. Let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.

    Rolls ready to go into a 350 degree oven

    Rolls ready to go into a 350 degree oven

  11. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Place on a rack to cool.

Note: unused rolls freeze well. When ever I make a batch I freeze any that I do not intend to use right away. The frozen roll taste just as fresh as the newly baked ones.

Recipe adapted from the Home Joys blog

April updates

Growing season has finally arrived and life has gotten very busy again.  We took a long weekend at the end of April to drive down to PA to visit the in-laws and an ill family member, and I have spent the better part of  the daylight hours for the past two weeks preparing vegetable and herb gardens and cleaning up winter damage. During the long drive to and from PA (6-7 hours each way), and the couple of hours each night carved out each evening as a reward for the yard work  I made some nice progress on three of the five projects started this year.

Blue ice needlepoint pillow top. It has been several years since I worked on a needlepoint project. It is so nice to pick the craft up again...

Blue ice needlepoint pillow top. It has been several years since I worked on a needlepoint project. It is so nice to pick the craft up again…

English paper piecing quilt top that I started several months ago. It is comprised of three different 1 inch units. The hand stiched top in this picture contains about 600 units. The finished piece will have about 1,400 units.

English paper piecing quilt top that I started several months ago. It is composed of three different 1 inch units. The hand stitched top in this picture contains about 600 units. The finished piece will have about 1,400 units.

Geometric black work sampler that will be used a pillow top

Geometric black work sampler that will be used a pillow top

I hope to have another project at the end of the month along with a few garden pictures.

Enjoy the wonderful spring weather.

Bargello pillows

This past week we received our first true spring weather. The warm temperatures melted most of the snow and allowed us to do a large amount of yard cleanup and bed preparation. This week April showers will be coming down for the better part of the week. The showers are washing away the balance of the snow and encouraging perennials to push up and bush and tree buds to open. I am fascinated by how everything comes blooms this time of year, to the point that I do daily walks around the property to see what has changed.

For the past few weeks I have also continued work on the princess needlepoint piece and started creating some Bargello needlepoint pillow fronts. So far I have finished four tops for 12 inch pillows, started a fifth and started a top for a 24 inch pillow. All of the tops are stitched with wool/silk blend yarns on 14 point canvas.

Very traditional Bargello motif stitched with silk/wool blend threads

Very traditional Bargello motif stitched with silk/wool blend threads

scallop pattern stitched with variegated wool thread

scallop pattern stitched with variegated wool thread

Eye of the peacock pattern stitched with silk/wool blend threads (ran out of the pansy color - will have to buy a bit more)

Eye of the peacock pattern stitched with silk/wool blend threads (ran out of the pansy color – will have to buy a bit more)

modern Bargello pattern stitched with wool threads

modern Bargello pattern stitched with wool threads


All of the pillows will be bordered and backed with silk and receive a coordinating braiding.

 

bargello pillow top

3D block — a modern update to a more traditional pattern. Gray is a silk and wool blend, the other colors are wool threads. Borders and backing for this top will be done in quilted cottons.

Bargello pillow top

This large pillow top is being stitched with six different fine wool/silk blend yarns

 

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