Friday, February 26, 2010

Old-fashioned dinner rolls + links

These rolls, these rolls...They are soft and flavorful and a little bit mysterious. It seems they disappear! Rachel, who writes the Heart of Light blog, calls them "Fly off the plate rolls," and she's not kidding.

These are yeast rolls, good for weekends or days off when you can start them around lunchtime so they'll have time to rise for dinner. I made these on Monday, my work-at-home day, to go with a big pot of chili for dinner. 

I did worry briefly about having so many rolls and only two people to eat them. Of course, K and I had no problem. These rolls are excellent the next day (and the day after...and again the next day...) sliced and filled with your favorite sandwich fixings. We filled ours with egg salad, and lunches this week have been pretty amazing!

The recipe is here. I've made these twice, once Rachel's way with milk and once with the milk powder the original recipe called for. Both were spectacular! 

The flavor of these rolls reminds me of my Grandma Alice's batter rolls. It's old-fashioned, yeasty, and buttery. I love my grandma's recipe and will always make hers for holidays (it just wouldn't be the same), but I must say that the Fly off your plates are easier and take less time. Grandma's batter roll recipe calls for scalding milk, folding the dough a special way, and tucking a pat of butter into each individual roll. Delicious? Yes. Reminiscent of childhood holidays? Of course. Fast? Not exactly.

So the Fly off your plate rolls will be my go-to for easy, simple suppers. As an added bonus, I think these rolls bake up beautifully. It may be that I'm longing for spring so much that I'm seeing the signs of it everywhere, but doesn't it look like a flower? 

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Links of things I'm loving (and thought you might like, too):

Tyrol Hat: I'm so in love with this hat. Old-fashioned and whimsical, sign me up. 

Cardigan Re-vamp: I would love to reinvigorate a sweater like this. I don't think I've ever mentioned it here, but I'm kind of cardigan fiend. As in, I wear a cardigan pretty much every day. I can't help myself, I love them so! 

Bib dress: Novita made such a pretty dress in just my style--girly and twirly.

Lemon tea and blueberries: I think I could make time for this one. Doesn't it look like such a gorgeous, calming moment?

Quilts and pillows from vintage kimono fabric: A riot of color and snuggly to boot! Makes me long to take a trip to Japan and comb through their thrift stores. They have amazing used shops!

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Have a wonderful weekend! I've got a test tomorrow which I'm antsy about, but I'm going to a maple syrup festival on Sunday. I've never been before but it sounds like fun. I'm hoping to see a tree being tapped and the sap running! If you're local, you should check it out. It's this weekend and next.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vintage linens

Somewhere along the lines, in my reading about quilting, I came across the idea that, "An imperfect finished quilt is better than a perfect unfinished quilt." Lately I seem to be applying that motto to my whole life, just trying to get things done rather than being a perfectionist about it. Take this post, for example. I rushed to take the photos late last night; the light was bad and I was short on time. I debated about retaking the photos and blogging about this another time, but no. I want to share this post with you now, so here it is in all its imperfections.

I have had a lot of luck finding vintage linens lately. Actually, my mom found the flowery sheet above and brought it by my house a couple of weeks ago. It's so pretty with its subdued colors and wild mix of flowers, which remind me a bit of the Sixty pattern here. I was thrilled and politely requested that Mom return to the thrift store and scoop up the remaining sheet like it (she did!).

I've got lots of plans for this lovely sheet, but I needed it in my life right away, so I made a simple envelope-backed pillow with french seams. It was my first attempt at french seams, and I'm so happy with the results because the seams look neat and clean. I'm also quite surprised at how easy it is to make french seams. Why didn't anyone tell me? I would have been sewing them long before now had I known. 

Here is the back (I told you up front the pictures were bad!). Those sunflowers make me smile and think of warmer days that are on the way. Can you feel the days getting longer? I sure can. I am loving the extra hours of sunlight.

My collection of vintage handkerchiefs is growing. Here are a few after being handwashed and hung to dry. They are so delicate! I picked up the blue one at the flea market and happened upon the other two at my mom's house. Lucky me, she let me have them.

These handkerchiefs aren't just for show, either. I've been using them ever since I posted about handkerchiefs back in December. I haven't completely switched from tissues yet, but I think the more I get used to handkerchiefs (and remembering to carry them), the less I'll be using tissues.

Lastly, here are some more vintage sheets I found at the thrift store last weekend. It was an amazing weekend for thrifting, apparently. I love this combination of patterns in greens, yellows, and deep turquoise. These are going to be made into a present for someone special and I'm so excited about it! Can you hear the giddiness? My fingers are just dancing across the keyboard.

Happy mid-week! Yes, yes, halfway done. Hope it's going well for you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brownie and Milk

Such a classic combination! The brownie recipe is from Deb, whose recipes are pretty surefire, and if you haven't tried this recipe yet, you really should get on it. It's an easy, throw things together kind of recipe that makes a dense, fudgy brownie that only gets better with age. We added pecans to ours, which I loved.

I always love reading Deb's blog for the great recipes, but lately she's been hiding links to pictures of maybe the cutest baby in the whole world within her posts. Seriously, go look.

On my 2010 to-do list was: Switch to local milk. I thought I'd let you guys know how it's going.

Things started out well. K and I both agreed that we wanted to switch. We wanted milk from a local dairy that didn't use growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics, a place where the welfare of the animals was important.  We found a nearby grocery that offered just what we were looking for. Unfortunately, the grocery wasn't always stocked with this milk and so at times we'd have to choose between no milk and the milk we were trying to get away from. So, there were some weeks of setback and frustration, but I felt that it was ok. The local milk switch needed to be convenient for our weekly shopping and if it wasn't, we needed to work something else out.

Enter JD Country milk from Logan County, KY. It's been at our grocery consistently the past few weeks. It's hormone-free, the cows get lots of grazing time, and it comes in glass bottles. The flavor is absolutely wonderful. We get the 2% with creamline, which means there's a bit of cream on top, a special treat. Yes, I'm pretty much smitten with this milk, and I hope my grocery keeps stocking it for a long time.

JD Country milk comes in skim, 2%, whole, and chocolate. If you live nearby and would like to try it, I know you can get it at ValuMarket. The JD Country milk website also lists these other stores and if you're in Logan County, they sell their products at their farm.

How are your goals for 2010 going? I made a lot, so I've still got quite a bit of work to do.

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Updated to add: The Courier-Journal just ran an article featuring JD Country milk. It's a really interesting read; I learned some more things about the milk and the dairy farm that make me love it even more. Check it out!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Look who finally put on some clothes...

Remember her? I guess I'm not the only one who thought she looked cold!

She's been dressed in a sparkly, painted fabric that's a little windblown in this photo. She's also wrapped in a crocheted scarf and is holding a red carnation. How sweet is that?

 I'm so glad it's Friday! Have a good weekend!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another snow day


A cold, snowy vigil

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Kettle and kerosene heater are getting to be best friends

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A little bit of sewing today:

I finished up this mousepad from Handmade Home. Yes, yes, I know I've been using the heck out of these fabrics. I can't help it...yellow cherry blossoms make me smile (well, any kind of cherry blossoms make me smile). This project adds a little bit of personality and love to our desk.

Happy Monday to you! 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sugar hearts

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!

Sugar hearts are perfect for plunking into a hot mug of tea. 

Idea from here.

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Make your own to share with your valentine

Mix 2 teaspoons of water with 1 cup of sugar.

Measure out teaspoonfuls (or however much you prefer for one cup of tea) of the sugar mixture into candy molds or decorative ice cube trays.

Press the sugar down into the mold, then pop out the sugar heart and let dry overnight on wax paper.

Store in a glass jar because these look so lovely displayed!

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Want more ideas?  I'm loving these:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hot Water Bottle Cozy

This project comes from Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home, which I gifted myself for Christmas. I am so nice like that.

I'm planning to make a picnic blanket (Amanda calls it a beach blanket, but there's no beach around here) and the mouse pad from the book, but I thought I'd better hurry up and make this hot water bottle cover while it was still winter. So I got motivated and geared up and then I realized, yeah, this project is ridiculously simple. I should have made it ages ago instead of wrapping our hot water bottle in towel all winter. Lucky for me, I'll get lots of chances to use it--I just checked the weather forecast and temperatures are going to be below freezing for at least the next week. Woohoo!

Here's an in-progress shot. All in all, from cutting to sewing to finished, I'd estimate about 30 minutes.

(I am a messy crafter.)

The flannel cover makes the hot water bottle so lovely to snuggle up with under a quilt. This beautiful quilt was made by Denise, a friend of my dad's, and given to me when I returned home from Japan. Denise did a wonderful job on this quilt--it's hand-pieced and machine-quilted and was the perfect homecoming present. It's kept me warm on many cold days and nights!

Oh yes, and there's Etty again. We've been spending a lot of time together lately.

One last thing: I have to thank my father-in-law for donating the flannel shirt for this project. When I mentioned wanting to pick one up at the thrift store, he dug one out of the closet for me. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day

Hello! We got enough snow for school to be cancelled, which means that the time I would have spent in class today should be spent having fun, right? It's a low-key, snuggle up day and while I did venture out to the post office, I'm now officially in for the day.  Here's a peek into my day so far:

Fresh snow makes everything prettier

Today's sewing--the start of a patchwork pillow cover
(thanks to Liesl for these squares)

And hot mint tea to keep me company while I do my homework.

I hope you're staying warm and happy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend doings and a giveaway winner

This weekend was so restful and refreshing. K and I did make it out of the house to run errands, but the majority of our time was spent holed up at home, keeping snug and warm.

I did a little sewing...

Wrapped up in a ripple rainbow (great for chasing the winter blues away) and read this fascinating book for class...

Baked a British loaf from a breads of the world book I got at the library...

and picked a winner for the eye pillow giveaway. 

Congrats, Lisa, it's you! (I've sent you an email--just send me your address and I'll get a pretty eye pillow to you).

I want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway. Thank you! Your comments were lovely. It's so interesting to hear how other people relax! I think I've picked up a few tips.

**What did you do this weekend?**

p.s. I've got this winter manifesto as my desktop wallpaper, and it's been making me so happy all weekend! I thought you might like it, too.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Red Scarf on a Gray Day's been a long week. I'm so glad it's Friday! 

I finally finished weaving in the ends on the scarf I made for Craft Hope yesterday. The crocheting part had been done for a couple of weeks, but I kept putting off weaving in the ends. I don't know why I dislike that part of the process so much, but it's right up there with folding laundry and going to my literary theory class in terms of things I don't enjoy. 

I made this scarf using wool yarn I already had in my stash, and while it doesn't scream RED, the majority of the scarf is technically in the red family. 

I enjoyed making this scarf, especially because I've been wanting to make something in a wave pattern ever since I finished my ripple blanket. I used the Float Away scarf pattern on ravelry.

This scarf will be in the mail soon, and I hope it will keep a college student warm and cozy!


Don't forget to enter the eye pillow giveaway if you haven't already. I'll be drawing the winner tonight.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some home-sewn goodness for you: An Eye Pillow Giveaway!

This weekend passed quickly in a flurry of activity. One of the things that kept me busy was sewing up eye pillows--I think I may be addicted. I've got a stash of fabric scraps along with some vintage fabrics and thrifted sheets that were just calling out to be sewn into eye pillows. And so I heeded the call...

I've also stocked up on lentils, flax seeds, and lavender, which makes the house smell so fresh and calming. 

I made one eye pillow for keeping, a couple for giving, and several for selling in my etsy shop (look for them later this week!). I've been using mine every day, and it is so relaxing. The light, cool weight of the lentils and the soothing sweet scent of lavender makes me feels miles away from all of the things on my to-do list. The eye pillow is a great way to take a little break!

I'm giving away this pink and blue eye pillow. It's made from soft vintage pink flannel, blue flowered sheets, and pink gingham. It's filled with lentils, flax seeds, and lavender. 

Because I'm not quite sure about international shipping laws regarding seeds and things, this contest is open to US residents only. If you live outside of the US, I'm sorry! I'll have another giveaway open to everyone soon.

How to enter: 

*Leave a comment on this post. Any comment is fine, but if you'd like to tell me what you do to relax and unwind, that'd be nice.

*Make sure you leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win. 


Something new I'm trying is a way for you to earn extra entries by spreading the word about this giveaway. You can earn up to two additional entries, giving you up to three chances to win. 

*Earn 1 extra entry: Become a follower of Field Wonderful and leave a comment letting me know that you did. If you're already a follower, leave a comment letting me know.

*Earn 1 extra entry: Link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog and leave a comment letting me know.

This giveaway will end Friday, February 5, 2010 at 10 PM (EST). I'll put all of the names in a pretty tin and draw out a winner. Best of luck!


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