Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye old, hello New (Year)

Image result for 2019 free pictures 
As the old year washes away, the new year brings with it new possibilities and opportunities.  
What are your goals for 2019?


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Day 30

For the last few years I've seen bloggers post their one word for the coming year. It's been an interesting concept, one that takes the place of a New Year's resolution. I tried doing it a couple of times. The problem was, I'm not sure I actually followed through. What's really funny is I can't even remember what those words were.

So tell me, do you have a new word for 2019? Has one word encouraged you to fulfill your goals in 2018? I'd like to hear how your one word for 2018 motivated you throughout the year. And then share with us your new one word for 2019.

If I were to choose one word I think it might be "kindness". I think it's something that I need to work on. I want to show more kindness to others. Whether it's sharing a smile with a stranger in the grocery store, holding the door open for someone else, or letting someone go ahead of me in the line. Being kind means not being selfish and thinking only of myself and my needs. At the end of my life, I would like to be remembered as being kind. 

What about you? Does your word reflect a quality you desire to share?


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Who I Am With You - a review

Many of my regular readers know that I review books for several publishing houses. There are times I don't have anything to read, and then there are the times when I have several in my pocket. This month has been pretty busy, and I had three books I was reading. The one thing that keeps me on track is reading one book that is a historical fiction and another that is contemporary. Easy to keep them separate.

The latest contemporary fiction that was on my night stand was "Who I Am With You" by Robin Lee Hatcher.

Who I Am with You

 I don't think I've ever read anything written by Robin Lee Hatcher before, but I can tell you that I will be seeking out her other books. She is an excellent writer, one that takes you into the hearts of her characters.

This story is about two hurting people who find themselves isolated after going through a difficult heart wrenching time in their lives. Ridley Chesterfield hides away at his parents mountain cabin, trying to get a grip on a political scandel that has left his good name in shambles. Jessica Mason, a recent widow, awaits the arrival of her unborn child. Her husband's betrayal digs a pain so deep that she wonders if she will ever climb out of that pit.

I was a little confused with the connection between the stories linking the contemporary and the depression era. When Jessica begins to read her great grandfather's Bible, she finds that his faith never wavered, even in the midst of a trial that nearly destroys his family. That link will, apparently, be carried out in the Legacy of Faith series.

I loved this story. It was tender and heartwarming watching how two people find their way to forgive the people who have wronged them. And in the process, allow their hearts to unharden.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.


Friday, December 28, 2018

What the year has brought

This year has flown by. And not without it's challenges. I can't own up to much sewing or quilting. Most of my sewing has been in making pillowcases for Ryan's Case for Smiles.

There has been other things filling our lives. Hubby had some health issues. Between running to Doctors visits, medical tests and some minor surgeries, that put us on hold for several months. And after a long battle with an autoimmune disease for years, my hubby's older brother, passed away.
 It's been a difficult time for the family, as he and his siblings were all very close. I have known George for over 40 years, and he was like a brother to me. But knowing that we will meet together again one day in heaven, is a blessing we can all share when we know Jesus as our savior.

So the year hasn't been without their challenges. It's hard to work up motivation to sew and quilt when you heart is not really into it.  But I'm hoping this new year will change that. We have a new grandbaby on the way. So a quilt will soon be in order.

I hope you have a happy quilting day!


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Family gathering

Every Christmas Eve my hubby's family has a get together. There is lots of food and a time when the whole family gathers together. A tradition that started with hubs grandmother, passed down to his mother, and now to us to host. This year we had 45 who came.

Always amazing food

My hubby always fixes this amazing Brisket

Lots of desserts

And of course family


I hope in the coming years, the younger generation will continue to keep this family tradition alive. As they are marrying, there are other families that will be added to the mix. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family, this is one that holds a special place in my heart.

Hoping you had a joyful Christmas and I wish for you a very blessed New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The big reveal

And here it is, Day 26 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge. And what do I want to share today??

 What could possibly be hiding behind this big bow? Any guesses?

woo-hoo! Isn't she a beauty?

Okay, so I've thought about it, pondered it, dreamed about it for many years. It's a BIG decision and like when I knew that Bernina was the machine for me, the Sweet Sixteen holds the same draw. A sit down model, that can be converted to use on a long arm frame later if I change my mind. But for now, this will be my new learning curve. I hope to start off the New Year by finishing up all those UFO's that are still waiting patiently for me ;-)

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

May the celebration of the birth of Jesus inspire us all to rejoice and to serve Him with humble hearts. May we always remember the "Reason for the Season". That our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His beloved Son to this fallen world, to die for our sins so that we may live forever with Him. 
It's a gift that cannot be earned or worked for. 
It's free to all men.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The true meaning of Christmas

I like to think about the true meaning of Christmas. Not the tree, or the lights, or the presents. But what we truly are celebrating on December 25th.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Cranberry Pineapple Jello salad

We love making this recipe during the holidays. Although it's a refreshing salad/dessert any time of the year. But the festive Whole Berry Cranberries goes so well with the holidays.

Cranberry Pineapple Salad

1 can (20 oz) Crushed Pineapple (natural juice)
2 packages (3 oz ) OR 1 large package Raspberry Gelatin (Jello)
1 can (16 oz) Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1 medium apple, chopped
2/3 cup Chopped Nuts

Drain pineapple, reserve all liquid.Add enough cold water to measure 3 cups and pour into saucepan.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat.  Add jello, stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.  Add Whole Berry Cranberry sauce, and stir until well blended.  Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours until slightly thickened.
Stir in remaining pineapple, apple and nuts, stirring gently until well blended.
Pour into medium size casserole dish (or festive bowl) and refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

**I have also used Strawberry Jello as a substitute for the Raspberry, when in a pinch.  

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas on the porch

Living in Florida affords the luxury of wonderful weather. Enjoying a warm and sunny day, I open the doors to the porch and set a Christmas table.

 The tool box arrangement was inspired by a post from the amazing Rosemary and Thyme when she shared a Christmas Home Tour a couple of years ago.

I hope this Christmas season is a joyous one for each and every one of you.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Day 20 - 31 Day Writing Challenge

As we get closer to Christmas, preparations are being made. Christmas cards are being mailed, cookies are being baked, last minute projects are being finished. And oh! rooms are being rearranged.

Hummmm..... I wonder if the chimney is large enough?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Food for thought

When people take the time and care 
to make the presents they give, 
they put into the gifts not only the materials needed,
but also a part of themselves.

~ Tasha Tudor ~

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

What to do this Christmas

What to do this Christmas

This Christmas, mend a quarrel. 
Seek out a forgotten friend. 
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. 
Write a letter.
Share some treasure. 
Give a soft answer. 
Encourage youth. 
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. 
Keep a promise. 
Find the time. 
Forego a grudge. 
Forgive an enemy. 
Apologize if you were wrong. 
Try to understand. 
Examine your demands on others. 
Think first of someone else. 
Appreciate others. 
Be kind; be gentle. 
Laugh a little. 
Laugh a little more. 
Deserve confidence. 
Take up arms against malice. 
Decry complacency. 
Express your gratitude. 
Go to church. 
Welcome a stranger. 
Gladden the heart of a child. 
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. 
Speak your love. 
Speak it again. 
Speak it once again. 

Christmas is celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning - with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself toward the core of life. Then, only then, is it possible to grasp the significance of that first Christmas - to savor in the inward ear the sweet music of the angel choir; to envision the star-struck sky, and glimpse, behind the eyelids, the ray of light that fell athwart a darkened path and changed the world. 
                                                                                             Author Unknown

Monday, December 17, 2018

On Magnolia Lane

On Magnolia Lane

It's exciting when one of my favorite authors brings out a new book. Knowing that this new story will be entertaining and fulfilling is what keeps me reading. Such is the case with Denise Hunter. I have read many of her books, and she never disappoints.

On Magnolia Lane picks up the last of the friends of the Blue Ridge Romance series. And let me say, you don't need to read the first books to enjoy this one. This story about Pastor Jack McReady and Daisy Pendleton is so tender, as Jack falls in love with Daisy, but fears losing her friendship if he proclaims his love for her. Daisy shares her heart with Jack during counseling, and has never seen him more than her Pastor. Where will these uneven feelings lead.

Denise Hunter writes with such understanding and compassion of the human heart and the hurts that come along the way. She brings communication and miscommunication to a level of allowing the reader to understand the feelings her characters are experiencing. It's a great story. And you will want to read the other books in the series, just to get to know about the lives of the other friends of Copper Creek.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Day 16 - 31 Day Writing Challenge


Christmas is a special time. Time for family, friends and renewing of hearts. Its also a time of giving. We tend to give more at Christmas than any other time of the year. Whether it be gifts for your loved ones, the Salvation Army pot, or your favorite charities. But the giving that keeps on giving is the kindness you show to others. Is there someone who is lonely, a widow, or someone going through a difficult time. There is so much heartache as Christmas brings back memories of happier times.

Take the time to give the gift of yourself to someone today.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Delicious snack and gift

Today I want to share these goodies. They are delicious for a snack, but they make very nice little gifts as well.
My niece made these Sweet Roasted Nuts for us last year and of course we all loved them and wanted the recipe.

The cast of characters

1 bag of pecan halves (or 1 1/2 cups)
1 bag of walnuts (or 1 1/2 cups)

Melt 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a little vanilla in a sauce pan.

Coat the nuts in the mixture and then spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. You will know when they are done when you smell them!

Cool on wax paper before storing

I found these little canning jars at Target, and they are the perfect size for gift giving.

I hope you enjoy making these little morsels. They are so delicious to eat and you could make someone very very happy :-)

Friday, December 14, 2018

My favorite giftie idea

A couple of years ago I made these cute little snowmen for the children of some friends.  They were fun and easy.  There's a Hershey bar wrapped under the snowman.  The hats are those inexpensive children's gloves. I still think this is one of the cutest little gifties for someone whether they are young and old :-)

You can find a link for the template HERE.
(p.s. be sure to turn the template to the Landscape position before printing)

Happy Christmas Quilting!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

To Do List

Can't think of a better way to rumble though the holiday season :-)

And today is an exciting day. Can't tell you yet, but it will make Happy Cottage Quilter headlines.....soon!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Searching for You

 Searching For You
Searching for You by Jody Hedlund is the final story of the Orphan Train series. Following the lives of the Neumann sisters has been an enlightening and entertaining journey.

After being separated from her sisters, Sophie finds herself on the run after witnessing a crime. Her desire to keep her young charges together festers a struggle that tests Sophie's resolve. Reinhold Weiss returns into her life and her affection for him resurrects. Although she had a crush on Reinhold when she was just a girl, as a young woman she finds herself physically drawn to him. Reinhold no longer sees Sophie as a child, but as a beautiful young woman and is surprised by his own physical attraction to her.

Searching for You is a historical fiction novel that dwells on so many levels of deep internal feelings. From a time when orphans lived on the streets of New York, making their way day by day. Jody Hedlund is such an excellent author, delving into the realities of how life was in the 1800's for thousands of orphaned and neglected children. 

This book definitely captures you and holds your imagination and interest. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In a hurry? Last minute gifts

There are so many wonderful tutorials out there in blog land. If you have one that you enjoy, I'd love to hear about it. But for today, grab your cuppa and visit these fun blogs.

From Karen's very creative Tool Time Tuesday., check out her repurposed gift tags. I just might have to get one of those big round punches.

This is one of my all time favorite Travel-sized Tissue Cozy patterns. Last year I made a ton of these. Kim shared her easy tutorial on "an oft traveled road".

I have all the fabric ready and waiting for this pattern by Tea Rose Home. It is a Modern Square Garden quilt.

Who couldn't use another purse in your choice of color. Bola Chica offered a tutorial on a very cute Pleated Purse. You could certainly make one for every outfit. And who wouldn't love and use this adorable Friendship bag courtesy of "p.s. I Quilt"?

Have you got a little buddy to make a gift for? How about this TOO cute Softie doll from "60piggies".

Sigh...... zippers............. Noodlehead shares a tutorial on a sweet Lil Cutie PouchMake them by the dozens. For teachers and friends. I also have a tutorial on zippered bags on my side bar.

A Notebook Cover is available from "My Patchwork".

And how about this adorable Rudolph Bag from Clover and Violet.
You can also check out my tutorial for making pillowcases listed on my sidebar.

Go forth and SEW :-)

Monday, December 10, 2018

Day 10

I'm sure everyone in the US is aware of the Diego Snow storm that has swept though the southeastern states. I am SO glad that our trip was scheduled for last week, and not this one. Because even though we were in some very cold weather (22 degrees) and there was a bit of snow flurries, it was nothing compared to what these folks are experiencing. We drove from South Carolina, through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and into Missouri. Our return trip was more westerly and boy howdy, was I ever glad to see the temperature rising. When we hit the Florida state line, it was a balmy 75 degrees! Yay!!!

I was able to stop for some quilt shop hopping along the way home.

First stop was at the Birdhouse Quilts.

I've never been in this shop before, but a road sign on I75 alerted us to the exit. It was a lovely shop with VERY helpful folks.

I ended up buying this panel for the Side Lights pattern.

I loved the Christmasy colors.

Next stop was in Lake City.

This is another shop I've never been to, but had known it was there for a long time. Funny how we miss these little gems when we are on a mission to get home. Our ride home was more leisurely so we took the time to stop.

Fabric Art Shop also carries art supplies as well as quilting supplies.

Our last stop was at Tomorrows Treasures in Ocala. I have been to this quilt shop before, and they too are beyond friendly. It's always nice to visit a quilt shop where you feel like you are part of their family. I have visited shops where the staff is too busy to help you with information and selection. But I did not find that during this last trip.

Some of the shop samples for inspiration.

I am happily ensconced back home, enjoying our paradise temperatures. But saying a prayer for all those who are currently without power in the middle of the Diego Snow storm. I hope this isn't an indication of the winter ahead.

Happy Quilting.