Pretty is my new hobbit hole tea cozy that Lydia made for me. It's made with bits and pieces of felted wool sweaters, with ever so many French knot flowers and other sweet embroidery. The scene on the other side has two hobbit hole doors and a tree and there's even two wee chickens.
Isn't it fabulous? I love it.
Here is a jumbled bunch of flowers that made me very happy today. I stopped in at my favorite garden center on our way home from Mass this morning to pick up a few more pepper plants. Naturally I couldn't help but wander amongst all the loveliness just a bit, thus I meandered past a little potting station where I noticed a trash can brimming with discarded plants. I also noted that although they looked rather poorly (downright szegény as my kinsfolk would say) I knew they weren't really dead (just mostly dead). So I asked the garden guy if I could have the trash and he said, 'Huh?' I then clarified that I wanted the discarded plants out of the trash. Being apparently a man of few words (at least at that hour of the morning and/or when dealing with strange ladies) he kindly said, 'Sure.' And the nice lady at the counter gave me a paper bag in which to bring home my treasures. I don't even know what some of the stuff is but I'm very happy to have more (free!) flowers and I always enjoy the challenge of nursing something back to health. ;-) I arranged one nice large mixed planter already. Happy happy frugal gardener.
Funny is our current obsession with making caramel, inspired totally and I'm sure unknowingly by dear Leila herself.
She posted this delightful recipe for caramel sea salt brownies, and casually mentioned how easy it is to make the caramel for topping the brownies. Her recipe calls for nobbut sugar and butter! Just heat the sugar in the pan! 'I bet you can do it,' she sweetly encourages.
I brazenly chucked some sugar in a pan and turned on the heat. 'What are you doing?' a slightly alarmed daughter asked. 'Making caramel,' I confidently replied, 'Auntie Leila says it's really easy. And if you burn it, it's just a cup of sugar and you can toss it and try again.'
I let that first batch go too far and burnt it tidily. 'It's burnt!' I bemoaned. 'Just toss it and try again, like Auntie Leila said,' my daughter reminded.
I didn't burn the next couple of batches as I kept trying to make caramel, but I ended up with hard candy (kind of like a buttery real-tasting Werthers) every time. We ate it all up of course, but I was still left wanting soft, chewy caramel.
After nevermindhowmany batches (there's nine of us! we can handle lots of caramel) I went back and read the post and saw Leila's reply in the comments that the caramel by itself does indeed get hard, it just stays chewy when it's mixed in the brownies. Ah ha! And by adding cream you get nice ice cream topping! Yum yum.
So we are still (happily? piggishly?) experimenting with the amount of cream to add to get the perfect chewy caramel candy consistency. It gets to be that time in the afternoon when someone will ask, 'Hey Ma, are ya gonna make some caramel?' It's just a cup of sugar and some butter...
and a precise but elusive perfect amount of cream...
It's wonderful to have delicious homemade candy that you can make in about five minutes with just sugar, butter, vanilla and a bit of cream. My family thanks you kindly, dear Leila!
This is my dear daily-used Kitchen Aid mixer! Downstairs on the air hockey operating table! It had been sounding perhaps a bit noisy lately and the other day it refused to mix up the nice cheese filling for a strawberry tart. My engineery guys took it apart this evening and the 'worm follower gear' removed and verified as the broken culprit. Happily a new one has been ordered and we just have to wait for it to get here. In the meantime the President and Members of the house Anti-Mixer League (by definition those who prefer hand mixing) can do all the baking around here. (or just make another batch of caramel...)
May has come and gone but we would still like to honor Our Lady by hosting an Artist Trading Card swap of Marian artwork.
This will be our fourth Marian ATC swap!
Crowning of Our Lady, ink and watercolor by Kateri age 7
Artist trading cards are miniature pieces of artwork created for the purpose of trading with others. At 2.5 x 3.5 inches, they are a fun and non-intimidating way of making art!
Mater Purissima (Mother Most Pure), colored pencil by Mary Rose, age 13
Artist Trading Cards can be made using any art medium such as colored
pencils, graphite, watercolor, acrylic, marker, pen and ink - whatever
you like! Mater Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows), ink by Lydia Grace, age 18
Our swaps are open to artists of all ages and abilities, wee folk to great grandmas!
As we are already in the month of June, the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart, symbols of Our Lord such as the Sacred Heart are welcome as well!
Dieu Le Roi (Vendean Sacred Heart badge), colored pencil by Anna Ruth, age 15
The swap will work the same as the previous ones. Here are the details:
Each participant will create five ATC's to mail out and will receive five different cards in return.
Everyone will send their cards to me. We sort them out roughly
by age group/ability of the creator and then mail the cards back out to
their new recipients. When you mail your cards to me, please include a
self-addressed stamped envelope that I can use to send your new cards
International swappers are most welcome! It's always extra fun to receive cards from a faraway place.
The swap is open to all ages.
Each card should be labeled on the back with the creator's name and
however much info you'd like to share.
If you are interested in participating please leave a comment or
send me an email at kimberlee (at) beadsofmercy (dot) com, and put ATC
swap in the subject, and I will send you further information. Anyone can
join in and definitely the more the merrier.
Please mail your cards to me postmarked by Monday June 24th.
If you have a blog, please feel free to spread the word.
Enjoy creating lovely artwork to honor Our Lord and Our Lady!
Remember, O Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life: God to glorify - Jesus to imitate - The Angels and Saints to invoke - A soul to save - A body to mortify - Sins to expiate - Virtues to acquire - Hell to avoid - Heaven to gain - Eternity to prepare for - Time to profit by - Neighbors to edify - The world to despise - Devils to combat - Passions to subdue - Death perhaps to suffer - Judgment to undergo.
Thanks for stopping by! My name is Kimberlee. I am a Catholic homeschooling mother of seven children ages 11 - adult. This is my place to share all these things I treasure, and ponder in my heart.
Lydia's New Book
Quis Ut Deus Press
Quis Ut Deus Press You can have your books signed by the illustrator when you buy them here!
The Fig and Thimble
Our Etsy shop features peg dolls and storytelling cubes, calligraphy pens, medieval hats, hoods, and cloaks, original artwork, crocheted rosary roses, missal covers, paper goods, miscarriage sympathy cards and lots more.
Thank you so much for your support!
Dominus Regnavit - Listen to recordings of daily Lauds.
I participate in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program by which I earn fees by linking to Amazon. That is, when you make a purchase after following my links I earn a small referral fee in the form of Amazon credit. Thanks for using my links!