27 December 2013

Old Memories & a Recipe Updated!!

Hello Friends!! I know you probably think I've abandoned my Blog, and I am sorry about that, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I have, however, taken some time off to take care of myself, and nurture my relationships, and spend time with my Friends and Family. I am still doing that! But have found the time to share some of that with you!!

It is December!! I know you already know this, yet, I want to tell you that, for me, this is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"! Even as January creeps closer.  I love this holiday time, celebrating the Birth of Jesus,  and having "special time" to spend with my Loved ones. I truly believe, and wish people would have a little Christmas in their hearts all year long, present company Included!!

With that said, if you've  been keeping up with me on Shoestring's Facebook Page, you'll know that I have been doing alot of baking, decorating and spending time with Friends and Family! I can think of no better way to spend my time!!

This year, I called all my Sisters, Nieces, Grand Nieces, In-laws.... basically, every female member of my family to start things off with a "Begin Ladies Baking Day!" the Saturday after Thanksgiving!! (it was a Smashing success, by the way!) I want to share some of the things we made with you!  Some of the decorations and arrangements I've been working on with you over the next month. I simply can not, prepare, decorate and post Holidays and occasions a month ahead of when they actually are! There! I've said it!  Most Bloggers do this to help provide Inspiration! They all do a wonderful job at doing just that! For me, however, it is not practical (and I feel like I miss out on the here and now). I am my Blog's photographer, writer, creator, and editor. It takes a bit of work and time to share these things with you and I love doing it! But, I often find myself doing or making something fun and thinking I should have took a picture of that "before" so I could show you how to get the same end result. What can I say, "I am doing my level best!

Sorry, back to the Baking Day!! Every year My mother, I and a sister here and there make a Bounty of Christmas Cookies, Breads and Candy! This year I wanted to start our "Baking Day" as a means of having and cherishing time with my Family, but also to alleviate the pressure of all these goodies from my Mum's list of to do's! We make ALOT!

In the last couple of  weeks, I made some yummy "Shortbread Cookies", that are, wonderfully, common place for most of my Canadian Family and represent special memories, for me, of my Grandmother. Shortbread Cookies are not really as enjoyed here as much as others, and I wanted to do something about that!! I made a beautiful batch of these Nova Scotia-style Shortbread Cookies, the day before my families baking day to be decorated and include in what we all have to share. 

This week, I made another batch.  This time, with a little more dimension, to share @ A Christmas Tea with my Women's Group from Church. So here's the simple trick I did to make them more appealing to most!

They usually are a very basic 3 to 4 ingredient, no frills, delicious buttery cookie. That, in my opinion cannot be beat to have with tea!

But, to make them universally appealing and festive, I simply melted some chocolate in a double boiler, about 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate and about a teaspoon of flavorless oil (like canola) The oil helps maintain the nice color and shine!  Then, you just take a fork, and on a wire rack OVER wax paper, have fun drizzling the chocolate back and forth over your shortbread, it couldn't be easier!! But what a difference! They were a big hit at my Christmas Tea and with friends and family.

 (Note: I never work on drizzling more than 6 cookies at a time, or you loose the beautiful way the chocolate overlaps the side of your cookie)

I'm thankful to tell you that there were a few remaining, that I can now enjoy with tea and quiet, going over the fresh memories of this Christmas just passed. Such an easy way to "fancify" a wonderful old recipe!!

This was me tonight!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying a little quiet time before the New Year begins! 2014!! Very difficult for me to fathom "2014!. As always, I wish Many Blessing for you and yours!!

 Sharing this week with:
  Kristi @ I Should Be Mopping the Floor's Inspiration Monday
Laurie @ Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday 
Create with Joy's Friendship Friday

Shauna@ The Best Blog Recipe's Weekend re-Treat

Recipe: Traditional Nova Scotia Shortbread Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Vanilla ( not traditional, but I love vanilla!)
2-1/3 cups All purpose Flour, sifted twice
Wrap and chill dough at least 1 hour, 2 is better
Roll to 1/4 inch, make sure to fork your cookies well, or you get air pockets (which really does ruin the cookie)
Cut cookie as you like!
Bake in a slow oven, 300-325F/just until the edges get a very light golden, no brown here.
Cool on rack & enjoy or finish with chocolate or raw sugar.

File under: traditional Nova Scotia Shortbread Cookies,  Shortbread cookies, christmas cookies, basic shortbread 

25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"!~ John 3:16

Merry Christmas to you all! Wishing you all many Blessings today and every day.
I pray you are all having a wonderful day surrounded by your Loved ones.

11 November 2013

 Good Afternoon, on this the 11th day of November, Veteran's Day.  I'm remembering with Gratitude Our Veterans today.

"I don't know your name~  
Nor for which battle you died. 
I do not know your home, 
Nor the tears that were cried. 

I do not know where you rest~
Nor the promises broken.
 I do not know your uniform
 And your fears lay unspoken.

But, I now your Spirit exists~ 
That your courage is admired,
 And your Sacrifice is honored 
By each soul that's inspired.

And, I offer you from my heart
Thank you, to Guardians unknown
For offering yourselves for us all
That we may keep Freedom...
Our Home." (Source)

There's not much more one can say, other than "Thank You". You're sacrifice did not go in vain. There's no words to express the love and respect I have for you and your families. Be well. God Bless You, though I know, He already has and does. 
~A Grateful American Citizen.

"All gave some, and some gave all..."

10 October 2013

Ladder Display-Done with Chalk Paint, Of course!

My "new" Favorite!!

 Have you ever seen something that you knew someday, somehow you would make or get one like it?! Kinda a crazy question, I know. But, I'm going somewhere with this. About a year or so ago I saw this beautiful white washed library ladder in someone's home, and, while I really didn't want exactly that one, I remember thinking, white ladder cool!!

Which leads me to my latest project (And, I think one of my absolute favorites!) A couple of months ago, I was driving to my Mum and Dad's to do some watering for them, while on my way, I passed a yard sale. Did I say passed, yeah no...I stopped at a yard sale! (I swear I should have one of those "I brake for yard sales" stickers in the back window of my car.) LOL. 

But the reason, I stopped at this one, this time, was they had a  very old, very unstable (full of character dovetailed wood ladder)!! Of course, I checked it out very suspect, and shook it to show the salesperson I knew how much work it would require to be of any use again (HA!) You guessed it, I scored exactly what I really wanted for $3 whole dollars, I almost felt guilty....almost. :)

So, now I was ready to make my dreams of what I thought this could be into a reality!! I brought it home, cleaned it up, and I mean cleaned it up!! Cobwebs, dirt, etc.. But once I was satisfied that it was clear of any debris, I got out my good old chalk paint and went to town!! Can I just tell you, if you have never painted a ladder, they take a Loooonnngggggg time to completely cover. Upside down, laying on each side, upright...Well, you get the picture. Ughh!! 

But my work was never so wonderfully rewarded because what I ended up with was this:
A little sanding and distressing where normal wear would have occurred and then just a matter of deciding what I wanted to display on it and where! 
I have probably changed out the things I put on the shelves, (I mean steps) at least five times now. But,I can sincerely tell you that I am completely in love with it now and find myself drawn to it more than anything else in my house . And, Yes!! It is in my living room and everyone that has seen it loves it and wants one, too!!!  hoped you enjoyed my labor of love" as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.
Many Blessings to you!  ~Theresa

I'll Be Partying with these Fabulous Ladies this week:

Richella@Imparting Grace: Courtney@Feathered Nest Friday; Yvonne @Stone Gable's Tutorials Tips and Tidbits; Katie @ Katherines's Corner's Thursday Favorite Things Cindy @ My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday ; Debra @ The Common Ground's "Be Inspired" Sherry @ The Charm of Home's "Home Sweet Home" Kerryanne @Shabbilicious Friday at The Shabby Art Boutique Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life's "Lovely Ladies Linky Evelyn's My Turn For Us: Freedom Fridays Nici @ Posed Perfection's "All Things Thursday Blog Hop" Wendy@ The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday Karen @ Redoux Interiors Friday Party Becca @ DIY Vintage: Chic Friday Fives Heather @ Stringtown Home's "Tips and Tricks" Angie @ Little Inspiration's Create & Inspire Friday Party Jen @ Tatertots & Jello Bevery@  How Sweet the Sound's Pink Saturday Vanessa @ Nifty Thrifty Sunday Susan @ Between Naps On the Porch's "Metamorphosis Monday"

01 October 2013

Autumn Love!!

Good Morning and Happy October 1st!! I have missed being here sharing with you!! So grateful to be back here with you!! I hope you are having a Blessed week. I'm Loving the beginning days of Autumn!! How about you?!  Are you getting a little taste of it where you are? So, over on Shoestring's Facebook page, I asked you all if you remembered last years Autumn Wreath... 

29 August 2013

Beauty & Blessings!

Good Morning!  I’m still alive. Sorry, I have been away too long, I know. I owe you all an apology. Unfortunately, Health and Housing concerns have taken my days and nights lately, without consulting me first.  Thankfully, I can tell you that they have gone by the way side now! Ha! What a wonderful thing to report.

I thank you all for sticking in here with me as I navigate through this fickle thing we called life, here on earth. Before I say any more I want to share some Beauty with you!! Then I’ll tell you how I came upon these miraculous wonders of God's perfectly awesome artistry. 

If there ever was a Vintage, Romantic,  French Country,  Shabby-Chic, Unbelievably Lacey Rose this is it!

 Do you need to see it bigger, too?!  Here:

I know, I know!! Want a different view? Okay, let's just say I'm obsessed with this Rose! But, truly, there is a good reason!

** (Brief disclosure, I am sharing with you here my life, beliefs and practices. They are not up for debate. If what I have to share is objectionable to you, you do not have to read anymore. I do not wish to debate any of my life, faith or choices through negative comments. That felt yucky!! But, I believe, based on past experience, this was necessary this time)

So,  today,  I want to tell you how it is that I came upon these Beautiful Roses. I was going to say,….“this is kind of personal“  but then again, when am I not kind of personal?!  Last Sunday, I was re-Baptized!  Prior to this day, I was born, Baptized and raised Catholic by my parents, whom I am forever Grateful, Blessed, and Indebted to.

As an adult, however, I became a Christian, or better description a non-catholic, Christian, who chooses to try and walk every day with Jesus Christ, my Personal Savior.  I was “reborn” with Christ about 10 years ago, but never felt the need to be immersed in water to prove that. I was baptized as an infant after all.  Then the TV mini-series “The Bible” came on in this past year. I often pray on matters, in the way of “what would Jesus do?’  So when the actor playing our Christ, Lord walked up to John, as a grown man and said, ”Baptize Me John” I knew, know what Jesus did. It has been on my heart since that night to be Baptized (Complete immersion in water, as Christ did)

So, last Sunday, I , along with 8 or 10 others from my church was immersed in water and Baptized!  Five of my Beautiful friends, and my Pastor(whom I love!!) all had their hands on me as I went down into the water and rose cleansed. It was one of, if not the, most incredible moment of my life!

When I left, I felt as if I was walking in the clouds. I went to a local market to pick up some roses. Some to make into a “welcome home” bouquet for my parents and some to bring home. As I was in the store, I spotted these roses  along with many other beauties. I looked @ each bunch quite extensively. I picked up and put back these roses at least three times. Until, I finally decided they were the Best! Flowers,  or roses, always look so different under the lighting of the store, you have to be sure. Content with my purchase, I headed to my parents home to air out the house and make their bouquet. As I took the scissors to cut the plastic sleeve, I saw it for the first time, they were called “Faith"!

They are perfection and a wonderful memory of my Baptismal Day. I hope you have something that brings you as much Joy as these have brought me!!

This is them today! They get more beautiful each day!!

Sharing with these wonderful Blogs:

The Charm of Home's "Home Sweet Home"
My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday
A Delightsome Life's "Home and Garden Thursday"

French Country Cottage's "Feather Nest Friday"
The Brambleberry Cottage
Common Ground's "Be Inspired"
How Sweet the Sound's "Pink Saturday"
The DIY Dreamer-From Dream To Reality

Heather @ Stringtown Home's Tips & Tricks

~Monday, September, 9th, 2013.  **Update: 

Hi, Just wanted to pop back in today and show you that these lovely Roses stayed nice enough to enjoy them on the Tablescape for my Mum's Birthday!! Now they've been a full circle, blessing to all!!

One More Update on this wonderful adventure of mine!! This Blog post has now been shared and Featured in Ruby For Women's Spring Edition Magazine!! Very Exciting! You can view it here, if you like. Just click on the magazine cover below. :) 

spring ruby small 1

18 June 2013

Paper Flower Tutorial and a Summer Wreath for > $3

Hey everyone so glad to be back writing and having something worthy of sharing with you all. Thank you all so much for your patience with me~ On to the new project ...It all started with this little flower! I was playing with some tissue paper making some flowers and made this one and posted on my personal Facebook page. I had just finished making 12 Large multi-color ones for a Fiesta-themed event. 

This Blog is a result of that. My family and friends loved it! And so, I began to make them into bookmarks for them with their Birthday Cards. Fun!  I know many people make paper flowers, from a coffee filter, tissue paper, and very intricate designs, that still amaze me. These are very simple and easy to make! Just how I like it!! Minimum effort, Maximum output! Always a good thing, right?!  So at the request of many friends, family members, and readers, I am attempting this simple tutorial. I hope you like it!

(By the way, I apologize for the lack of a manicure here! Ughh)

So here we go! Are you ready?! First of all, yes, you use normal tissue paper! The Dollar store has 25 sheets in either Pastels or Bright colors for, let's say it together, $1!!  1st step measure your stacked tissue paper anywhere from 5-8 inches. You can see the blue one here and it was cut at 6". This is a good size to start with! After you've done a few, you can go smaller or larger, to whatever your taste. Although I must tell you, I have made a lot of these, I think less than 5" and 4 sheets of tissue, is much harder to do. Not that it can't be, but more difficult to not tear your tissue paper, as you separate the layers. I have 6 layers here, which was really 3 sheets that I folded at the 6-inch mark and cut to make 6.

I think almost all of us have made a paper fan at some point in their life an even made flowers when we were younger!! Well, that's all you are going to do here! stack your layers of pre-cut tissue and begin to fan it to the end. Don't be discouraged if your fan pleats are not exactly the same, it will still turn out beautiful anyway! I usually try to fold 1/2 to 3/4inch inch folds.

When you are done pleating your stack of tissue it should resemble something like this ---->>>

Now you are ready to create your flowers shape!!

Next step is cutting your petals (or edges) so when you start opening your flower, it will have a point, some people round them, I did for a traditional Fiesta flower, but my personal preference is a point. The flowers above were all done this way. That doesn't mean you can't play with the edges and see what you like best.

This next step is important and one you need to proceed with carefully. With the points at the bottom, you are going to hold your fan together and clip our a small notch(or a "V""), approx. 1/3 inch in the center (This makes your flower look more realistic and hides where you bound it with your pipe cleaner.....Which is what you do next!

Wrap the top inch and a half  of the pipe cleaner ( I know there must be a better craftier name for them, but that's what I remember them as) at the notch you have created and twist to secure. Don't worry about how much of your wire is left right now you can cut it, fold it or use it as a stem later. However, at this point, you need it to maneuver around as you create your flower.
By the way, you can also pick up a pack of 50 of these @ Dollar stores in varying colors, for, you guessed it, $1!

Now you are ready to start, carefully,  begin separating your top layer from the rest. Gently pulling it up and inward, you continue this process until you reach your last sheet. Don't worry if you don't Love it yet, you can play with the appearance after you finish putting it all together.

Be careful during this process, if you tug too hard you will tear your tissue. But, don't be scared if you get one or 2 small tears, you won't even notice it after your flower is completely opened.

Now you just turn your flower over and smooth out your bottom layer of tissue and then you can gently use your fingertip to adjust your flower anyway that's most pleasing to you!!  That's IT!!!
I quite like this one!

Now you can make one or as many as you like! You can add them to your project for a little touch of pretty if you like!!  As I told you earlier, I often use them with a Birthday card for a little fun bookmark, for your friend or families favorite "girl" book, or the can easily be wrapped around a pen for yours or their desk!


 I had done so many and also really wanting to make a Springing into Summer Wreath, so I put several different sizes and summer colors together on this wreath, that I have to tell you, was also $1!!  You have to Love that!  This fun tutorial and my New wreath cost me a total of $3 and I'm enjoying it daily!!  I hope you like it!

Here's a little closer look. I did 3 different sizes here with varying sheets of tissue paper. I hope you'll try making some !! Create something fun with them for yourself or a loved one or just enjoy what you created!!! 
Have a Blessed week and Thank you again for popping by!!

 I am sharing this post with these lovely Ladies: 

 Marcie @ I Gotta Try That!
Christine @ The DIY Dreamer 

24 May 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Just a quick note to wish you all a very safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend! If you are or have a member of your family that is or was in the Armed Forces, Thank You, for your service, their service and sacrifice. My prayers go out to you all this weekend, both for loss and gratitude. I am the niece and aunt of men and women that served with you and understand your pride and grieve for your loss.
Many Blessings to you all!

12 May 2013

Rustic Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

I'm sharing my Rustic Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette recipe with you, today.  Who could want a better breakfast?!  It also makes a wonderful dessert and is always a favorite at potlucks!
Don’t you just love this time of year, when the beautiful berries and gardens are producing and, finally, the prices have come down? I absolutely love this!! Mornings are still cool enough to bake or do some canning. Yes, I am old school and would prefer to make my own versus buying store-bought. It is the only way I know exactly what is in the food I eat. Well, I am lucky enough to have 2 booming crops of rhubarb with plenty ready now to take advantage of the strawberry sales and get a head start...Yummy.  So I decided, this morning, to make one of my faves…A Rustic Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette!! 
 I have worked on this recipe over the years, so I am quite pleased with how all the “tweaking” I’ve done turns out. I thought you might enjoy the results of my hard labor…lol.
 1st of all I made sure I could find strawberries on a great sale before I decided to go harvest some of my Rhubarb. (Did I mention that since the Gophers, in my backyard, killed one of the plants, not to mention a whole summer's garden, my wonderful Mum has been kind enough to grow my rhubarb in her backyard for me for the last three years?) 
I found the strawberries 2/$3.00!! That is an incredible deal where I come from and they are just perfect. I washed and hulled them and slice them to a bake-able size. Then I went over to My Mum’s and pulled about 14-15 nice firm stalk of rhubarb… washes and cur the rhubarb up. 
Here's one of those tricks I’ve discovered after making this recipe over and over ( My family LOVES it, and would have me make one daily, if possible) Because Rhubarb’s density and cooking time can vary, I want to make sure that it will cook and be tender in the baking time. And, after several ok tries, with a few too many super tart bites, I came up with this trick, putting my cut rhubarb in a Pyrex, lidded dish, squeezing the juice of some fresh orange over it ( you can use lemon, both work). And Microwaving for approximately 4-5 mins. The rhubarb comes out about half cooked and yet, still holds its form. 
I drain off some of the liquid and put the strawberries and rhubarb in the refrigerator, separately to chill, this prevents your crust from absorbing too much juice from your filling being prepared before the dough is rolled out and the oven is preheated, so you can combine all and put it directly in the oven. If you’re using a different fruit, that doesn’t juice the minute you add sugar, this step won’t be necessary.
Okay, so now you’re ready to make it!!
I like a very fruity Galette!  More fruit than usual, but it is up to you how you like yours!
2 cups cleaned, sliced strawberries, chilled
2 cups par-cooked rhubarb, cooled in the fridge.
1-1/2 cup white cane sugar
1/2 cup flour
¼-1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
1 tablespoon of pure Vanilla
Just stir lightly to combine, don’t be too vigorous here.

1 cup white flour
½ cup wheat flour or 1-1/2 cups AP flour 
½ cup butter, frozen then cut into cubes
1-1/2 Tblsp. Sugar, white
½ Tsp. Salt
Ice Cold Water
1 Tblsp melted butter
** combine dry ingredients and cut in butter (you know how recipes for pie dough say until it resembles cornmeal? You don’t want that for this dough! Just cut the butter in until the pieces of butter are about pea-size…you want to see little pieces of butter, this is what will make your crust flakey) 

(I added this photo of the dough so you can see that you will have and want to see little pieces if the butter)
You can use a food processor here, but if you do, I suggest you pulse only you do not want to overwork your crust.  Add in enough of the cold water to just make your dough come together. Gently form into a ball and wrap In plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about ½ hour. This step is a must, to let the glutens relax.
Preheat your oven to 375F
Prepare your counter. I like to place a large piece of parchment paper on the counter; I will roll my crust out on it and assemble my Galette there, then you can easily slide parchment paper and galette onto your cooking pan. Unwrap your dough and roll out into a large round disk approximately 14-16”
Now drain any liquid off your strawberries and rhubarb and combine them, add flour, sugar, cinnamon and Vanilla, just fold mixture 4-6 times and then dump into the center of your dough round, spread out until it is covering all but 2-2-1/2 inches from the side, start pulling sides up and pinching them together all the way around until you meet.. Gently pull your parchment paper with Galette onto a large cookie sheet.  

 Brush tops of dough with melted butter and lightly sprinkle with sugar, put immediately into your preheated oven. Make sure not to let your fruit filling sit out until you are ready to put it in the oven!! You don't want to see any juices until the baking process, otherwise, you risk your pastry getting soggy.  Cook until fruit is cooked and bubbly, checking the bottom of your Galette for a nice deep golden brown, you don’t want to overdo. Juices’ leaking over the sides is normal and Yummy!!

My Dad came over and enjoyed some of this with me!! So happy to see him enjoy it.   I'm off to make two or three more! You can freeze them, raw, wrapped, take out and pop in the oven to enjoy them later in the year!! But, I really don't think much beats fresh!  Enjoy and God Bless!