Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day, 2013

I hope your Thanksgiving Day
was as full of fun & laughter as
"The Gazebo House "was yesterday!


We were lucky to have my beautiful daughter &
her family join us for dinner….seven all together at
the square table in the sunroom.

I kept the placesettings of rustic brown & more elegant
crème  & gold trimmed  Lenox china rather simple with just
the minimum of accessories needed.



Bohemian crystal stems for either water or wine…
or Rootbeer, as in Ms. C.’s case! 


I used my Mother’s vintage cut glass basket,
filled with beaded & faux sugared fruit,
as a centerpiece until
the turkey platter took over center stage.



I used my new crystal butter dish for the first time.
I do seem to have an affinity for butter dishes!
I think this is #5.
This one can do double duty &
 be used upside down, 
with a deeper well for horseradish or
a sauce of some sort.

I also cooked my stuffing in my Ninja
for the first time & it came out great!
I ♥♥♥ my Ninja!


Desserts of pumpkin, pecan & French silk pie
were set up off to the side on
their own little table.


I forgot to take pictures of the food,
once it was in place.
It gets rather hectic when my very
lively bunch arrives!



I did manage to grab my camera &
captured the BLUE HOUR as my
son-in-love was showing my oldest
grandson how to dissect the turkey.
“Anatomy Lesson 101”
 I laughed as lots of technical terms were used..."tendons, cartilage, mediastinum"
(He’s a could tell)


My Dad’s recipe for homemade rolls was a
BIG hit, especially with the little ones.
I think Ms. C. ate 3!!!
I’ll share that with you soon.
I’m too tired right now & I have
lots of dishes to put away!
Little Ms. C. slept overnight so I’ll have
a good helper today.
Thanks for visiting "The Gazebo House"…
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

♥♥ Mom Always Wore Aprons! ♥♥


This coming Wednesday is "National Tie One On Day".

You can follow this link to read all about it. 

"TIE ONE ON DAY™ Give from the heart on Wednesday – then give thanks on Thursday. This Thanksgiving Eve, Tie One On (an apron of course!) and bring joy to the life of someone in need.

Participation is easy and uplifting. Simply wrap a loaf of bread or baked good in an apron and tuck an encouraging note or prayer into the pocket; then present your offering to a neighbor, friend or person in your community who could benefit from your gesture of kindness. Tie One On – and put the “give” back into Thanksgiving.
“Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.” EllynAnne Geisel
Tie One On Day™ is a win-win, for the participant and the receiver. And by embracing TOOD, you will make someone else’s day brighter."

As we all bustle about the kitchen, baking cookies (see recipe at the end of this post) and getting ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, 

I thought I'd share some aprons that I've made for family & friends over the years.  I'm taking one to my new neighbors, along with a loaf of bread, to welcome them to the development.  She is a quilter & I just know we are going to become good friends!!

The wild purple one, above, was made from the pattern 



"Flirty Skirty" by The Apron Lady.

It was for my oldest sister, Mary Jane, who lives in CO.  

She likes the poem by Jenny Joseph,

"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple."

 I'm reminded of my Mom, always working in the kitchen, wearing an apron, 

similar in style to this apple themed one that I made for my next-in-line sister, Fritzie. 

 It criss-crosses in the ties to bother with.

  Border fabrics are so much fun to work with & it matches her cute kitchen, which has apples all over!


The next apron was made for my younger sister, Weeziebug, 

(whose real name is Louise, but we seldom call her that)

 who LOVES her coffee!

  She was called 'Weeziebug' while growing up & I was 'Rettabug'.  

We are less than two years apart in age.


She is no longer BIG after successfully doing Weight Watchers!
I should ask for it back so I can take out those stitches & make it say "Little Lou's".

 The colorful "veggie" apron (Flirty Skirty pattern again) & matching pot holder, 
were gifts for my youngest sister, Ruth E.,
who used to live in AZ but is now enjoying life
                                     to the fullest in Maui. 

  I embroidered a Sam's Club white apron for my younger brother's wife, as a Christmas gift, a few years ago.


I embroidered pots of rosemary, sage & camomile herbs onto this cute little gardening apron as a gift for a friend.


The Easter Basket Bunny apron, with his embroidered half-eaten ears & colorful eggs, was a huge hit with Ms. C., especially the fluffy yarns used to replicate grass.

  Kids love any 3-D textural touches like that.

  I thought I was being very clever with this play on words when I did this "Hail to the CHEF" apron for my nephew, who loves to cook.  The chef's face is actually a pocket made from a fabric panel of cooking motifs.

The "Wines Constantly" was done for a good friend who is a wonderful tennis player as well as an avid Oenophile.

Another clever play on words!


 This pretty RED Sam's Club apron was embroidered for another tennis player, as a hostess gift, when we went to their lovely home for a dinner party.

These cute kids aprons as well as the GREEN adult sized ones, below, were Christmas gifts for friends of my daughter.

I Love that fun Grinch alphabet!


This colorful play apron was made for Ms. C. out of a placemat! 

        Look at how little she was back then!  *sniff*

  I just trimmed, turned inward & stitched down two sides to make casings to thread an extra long shoelace through for easy tying.

I made the little Snowgirl & Snowman from basic white aprons available at Joanns.  

Fluffy pompoms were used for the "buttons" on the Snowpeople as well as trim along the bottoms.


The little "apron dress" that drapes over the oven door handle was made from two towels from Walmart. 

 I wish they still carried that style of towels...I would make tons of these for gifts!  I still have a few towels saved in the *resource center*, AKA my stash area in my sewing room.

My husband refers to it as "the dry goods store"!  LOL

They came as a coordinated set & the ruffles & trim were already on them.  I added the machine embroidered RED cherries after constructing the dress with ties to keep it in place.



I deconstructed a new scrub shirt that had this cute 'coffee & donut' print on it, to make this little shortie hostess apron (Flirty Skirty pattern again) with ruffled pockets for my sister in law.

Wouldn't this be cute for waitresses in a diner?


And, finally, last but not least, I made my daughter this pretty RED teapot themed set with lace & polka-dot trimmed pockets & a matching tea cozy, too.


I'm sure you've read the following description of "Grandma's Apron" before, but it is fitting to repeat it here, as we prepare to feed our loved ones another holiday feast.

"The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few & because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses & also, aprons required less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

 From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

When the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.The government would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron- but love...”

So go put on a pretty apron & get busy cooking!

 I'll be making these cookies today:

David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (excerpt from Ready for Dessert, page 188. Published with permission.)
2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups  nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
14 ounces  bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/2-to 1-inchchunks or 3 cups  chocolate drops (see Tip)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the eggs on at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixer followed by the nuts and chocolate chunks.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log about 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably for 24 hours.
4. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350ºF . Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Slice logs into disks 3/4 inch  thick and place the disks 3 inches  apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, simply push them back in.
6. Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through the baking, until the cookies are very lightly browned in the centers, about 10 minutes. If you like soft cookies, as I do, err on the side of under baking.
7. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Storage: The dough logs can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. The baked cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Tip: Many chocolate makers now produce chocolate “drops” or “chunks” that are suitable for use in this recipe.

Wishing everyone a "Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving"!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

 Won't you follow me over to Marty's Holiday Baking Party?

I'll also join Yvonne's StoneGable for The Scoop on Thursday & The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honoring Our Veterans

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."
Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in our history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans”.
November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

This year, my K.I.S.S.quilt guild gave
469 Stockings to the USO,
400 Yo-Yo's, 
(the toy kind, not the fabric circles)
and $100 cash to help with postage
for the many boxes that will be shipped to Afghanistan. 
The USO folks were very excited to fill the stockings and pack their boxes.
  I am sure the soldiers who open those boxes will know that someone cares
for them and all they do for our country.

Ms. C. & I made at least 20 of those stockings!
Like anything, the first one she made was difficult for her
but after she mastered it, she asked again & again if she
could make more for the soldiers.
You know that made me smile!

I hope you find a way to
say “Thank you” to a Veteran today.
I’m taking mine out to breakfast!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House.
I’m linking to Susan’s Metamorphosis Monday at

Monday, November 04, 2013

Candle Jar Lids

candle lid hints 001

I've heard me say it here a million times.
My daughter's favorite comment is... 

"Motherrrr, you never throw anything away! 

Well, neither do my friends & relatives!

I've got everybody saving their candle jar lids for me.

You can pry off the rubber gaskets with needle nose pliers & turn them upside down to use as votive candle holders for your tablescapes. 

BJ from Sweet Nothings blog taught me to put a tiny bit of water in the bottom first & the melted candle will just pop right out when you're done with them.  Thanks for the tip, BJ!   

 I also use them in my sewing room as
pattern weights.

candle lid hints 003

These are wonderful substitutes for pinning through the pattern & the fabric.
The two on the far right aren't candle jar lids...they are vintage electric & telegraph glass insulators that my sister found while cleaning out the basement of my parents' home.

As railway & telegraph lines spread over the USA, electricity needed to be carried along powerful cables along those same lines.  Live electrical wires & wooden telegraph can't touch...they can start a fire!

Glass & porcelain resist the conduction of electricity & thus could protect the live wires from coming into contact with the wooden poles.  Some people use them today as paper weights on their desks & they also do decorative paiting on ones that are cracked or chipped.  Don't paint them if they are in perfect condition, as this will destroy their value to a collector.
I've also seen folks hang them upside down outside, with votive  or battery operated candles lit in them.  
It is a really pretty effect in the evening!

Glass insulators come in many colors...clear, aqua, red, green...even purpleSince the railway lines shared the right of way with many different companies, this was the way the linesman could  identify which line belonged to which company. 

I have a few of the Aqua ones stashed away somewhere in MY basement.  I should dig them out to hang in the gazebo next summer.  ~~note to self...remember to do that~~

This knit, below is a good example of how I use both the candle lids & the insulators as pattern weights...the less pin holes, the better.

hints 007

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.
Its always nice to have you visit!
I'm linking this post to Marty's Inspire Me TuesdayYvonne's StoneGable for "Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits" as well as
The Tablescaper for "Seasonal Sundays".

Thank you ladies, for the opportunity to join together & share ideas.