Monday, April 26, 2010

Dinner Party Birthday

I love to throw a great dinner party. I don't get to do it often because of all the children's activities so when I have one...I go all out. Jeff (my husband) really likes it when I throw a dinner party. He always says 'If I knew you were going to do that, I would have hired help for you to serve and everything.' Funny thing, he always knows when we are having one and doesn't ever hire any 'help'. That's okay though because I take great pride in having a nice meal and always set the table with the most special plates, sterling flatware, and my best crystal. I know it looks like a banquet table....and that's because it is. It isn't my regular dining room table. About 5 years ago our Country Club burned down and Jeff salvaged all of the banquet tables, chairs and all the stainless steel 'industrial' cooking appliances. That is why I am fortunate to have awesome tables and an abundance of chairs. So, it really is at my just looks banquet-ey.

I had friends in from out of town who came for the 'Worlds Greatest College Weekend'. It is called Little 500 and is mimicked after the Indy 500 except bikes are ridden instead. It is for the college kids, but it is a big deal for our town. We like to go most years. This year since my very best friend from high school came....I made the dinner party extra special since her birthday is next weekend and we normally don't see each other on birthdays. She is BIG into special. I started everyone off with Pomegranate Martini's....and boy were they strong. Ina Garten must really like it strong because it was her recipe. We had an assortment of spreads for crackers and baguettes, crab stuffed mushrooms, and baked brie. I could have made my meal on this stuff alone. Then everyone was seated and I served the salad course. It was really yummy! Then I served the main course, pork tenderloin, gruyere cheese potatoes, & garden peas. For dessert, I served chocolate sheet cake with chocolate sauce, assorted berries and a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. Couldn't even eat that I was so full!!! I want to include a few of the recipes for you. The food turned out beautifully!

Pomegranate Martinis
2 C. good Vodka
1 C. Orange Liqueur like Cointreau
1 C. Pomegranate Juice
1/2 C. freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime peel garnish
Mix well and serve chilled in a beautiful martini glass.
Pork Tenderloin
2 C. bourbon (Makers Mark is what I used)
1 C. brown sugar
3 T. honey mustard
3 T. olive oil
one sliced red onion
Marinate the Pork Tenderloin overnight in a zip loc baggie. I marinated
10 pork tenderloins with this amount of marinade. Heat gas grill to high
and throw those loins on. Turn the grill down to medium and this is what I do. I am
scared of grilling BIG meat. So with the pork tenderloin think of it as having 4 sides, like a
square, even though it is like a round tube. Grill each 'side' for 6 minutes for a total of
24 minutes. Remove from grill and place on a sheet pan and cover with foil for 5 minutes
before you slice it. This really seals in the juices and lets the meat rest.
Swiss Bacon Spread
8 slices of bacon, crisply fried & crumbled
8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
small package of sliced almonds, toasted
In a medium bowl, blend all ingredients, except the toasted almonds.
Spread blended ingredients into shallow baker. Top with the toasted almonds and
bake at 350 degrees until heated through and bubbly. Serve with assorted 'good'
quality crackers. This is my FAVORITE go to appetizer & everyone LOVES it!
I forgot to mention my centerpiece which was out of this world extravagant!!! Everything came from my garden so it didn't cost a thing. I collect all things white, so urns are one of my favorite things. I have big urns & little urns. So my flowers included small hostas, large hostas, spurge, irises from my 94 year old grandmothers estate, lilacs & sebum. Just so you know the color scheme because the photos don't depict this well, it was just the palest of greens and lavender. Really a pretty combination. I did the large urn with giant hosta leaves about 12 inches across, lilacs, spurge and irises. Then I surrounded the urn with tulle netting for a floaty, dreamy affect. The small urns had small hosta leave, irises, lilacs, spurge, and sedum. It was really pretty. My table cloth was a vintage chenille bedspread and it just looked beautiful.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I did this weekend. I had so much fun hosting this wonderful birthday bash for my best friend! Let me know if you like the recipes!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tussie Mussie Swap

I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Linda's swap from a swap for all season's. It was so fun making a Tussie Mussie. I was paired up with Ginger from Glitter & Roses and we had the best time. I made mine using vintage wallpaper, old lace, vintage millinery, velvet & seam binding. I soldered a piece of piece of the vintage wallpaper and added a chandelier crystal for the dangle at the bottom.

Here it is in it's full size. It was actually quite long. I filled it with homemade vanilla bath salts. The handle was wrapped in two colors of seam binding and then I added a piece of velvet and a vintage rhinestone pin in the shape of a bow.

The best part for me was adding to the box all the goodies. I always love that part. I knew Ginger loved frozen charlottes so of course I had to add those in two sizes from my stash.

Here is one of the large ones. I also sent her 3 little tiny ones. I hope that Ginger loved her box that I sent and will always remember me on May Day when she uses her little Tussie Mussie. Also, a big bunch of thanks to Ginger who had to send me the photos as I forgot to photograph my creation.

And here is the stash that I sent to Ginger. I had so much fun participating in this swap. It was fun to make a new friend in Ginger and to receive all the loveliness that she sent to me. I will post about that in the future!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm Silver Bella Bound...I'm a Junior this year!

Well I did it! I signed up for my third year at Silver Bella. I am so excited that I can barely contain myself and I have 7 long months to wait. But not to worry...there are the swaps to do, the trinket box and tool box to pack, teacher gifts to make, and a nice gift to our wonderful hostess Miss Teresa McFayden. She has hosted this event 5 times and I know that the last 3 that I have attended have been the best ever. Here is my class schedule. I am taking Chatelaine Necklace Friday at 8:00a.m. which will be taught by Charlotte Lyons. I have never taken a class taught by her I am so thrilled to be able to do this. I have lurked on her blog for years. I love this will be just the acoutrament I need for my stitching endeavors.

Now I just loved this class even before I knew it was being taught by Beth Quinn. She is an inspiration for me. Talent beyond belief. I am so happy that she has stepped up to the plate to teach. I am taking this class Friday at 11:00a.m. I got to meet her last year at Silver Bella and she is just awesome.

Now I am really not a cutesy type frame person....but taking a class from Betz White is thrilling beyond belief. I am thrilled with the concept of felting. In my mind I do this all the time....I have all the stuff I need....I just haven't ever really done it before. That is the story of my life. I have perused all of Betz's books and her talent is just well exquisite. I will be taking this class on Saturday at 8:30a.m.

Oh, Tannenbaum, Oh, Tannenbaum, how lovely are your branches. I can't wait to have this for my own. Displayed lovingly in my home or art room. Created by lil' old me....that is the beauty of Silver Bella. You get to make all these lovely things with these awesome teachers. So...even if you are apprehensive about taking a class that you deem hard... you will learn....and you are with the most talented people in this world helping you and sharing all their wonderful trinkets with you. I am honored to take this class taught by Kerry Lynn Yeary. I will take this class on Saturday at 11:30a.m. and I just can't wait....don't know if I will use the vintage wooden block or the vintage jello mold for my base....either will be awesome.

And last but not least....Prize * Alicious taught by the fabulous SALLY JEAN! Her soldering classes are the best. Well....she just has great ideas. She is an inspiration to me in all my art endeavors. Two years ago she taught me to 'collage' the Sally Jean way. This was really stretching my creativity to the brink. I listened....I learned....and now I can do it! She is cute, quirky....and a great teacher! I am honored to be in another class with Sally and it will be my last Silver Bella class of the year on Saturday at 2:30p.m. I hope I find many of you in my classes this year. For those of you not registered for Silver Bella 2010 I hope you will look into it for next year. Teresa McFayden puts on the best art retreat around....I am so fortunate to be a part of it. Thanks so much for hosting Silver Bella! We love you Teresa!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's Silver Bella Time!

I can hardly contain myself. I am so giddy with excitement. Today is the sign-up day for Silver Bella. On Good Friday last week I had the opportunity to share in a special pre-Silver Bella sign-up brunch. My good friends Lisa Orme (Lola Rue & Friends) and Cherie Wilson (Humble Pie) served Stephanie Oyler (Crowns & Pearls) and me a delightful brunch. We dined in the Lola Rue Craft Room from vintage linens and antique china the most scrumptious egg casserole and coffee cake with a beautiful fruit salad. We were doing this in preparation for the Silver Bella class sign-up taking place tonight at
7:00p.m. Central time. People often refer to us in the Silver Bella world as the Indiana Girls. I guess we have earned that title. I think between the four of us last year we participated in 27 swaps...which is my FAVORITE part of Silver Bella. I think it is such a nice way to forge special friendships.

Here I am holding the class roster & description sheets that Stephanie brought with her. We all oooohed and aaaaahed over the class descriptions and wonderful teacher choices. Boy are there some wonderful teachers lined up this year. The teacher list alone is out of this world!!! In the past I have been wowed just by the teachers and have even signed up for classes based on that. It is my third year to attend Silver Bella....I am giddy today. I won't be able to sit still the whole day!! I can't wait to sign up for my first swap & I know they will be wonderful too. Silver Bella is over the top fun....and this year we even have a pre-Silver Bella it's getting better & better! I can't wait to see all my Silver Bella friends.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

I just love Easter! I love the time of year & all the spring goodness. I love the meaning of Easter. I love the food & all the goodies of Easter. I love being together as a family and watching for the new spring green. I LOVE decorating eggs.

I love all the spring inspiration that you can find on the Internet. I especially love Country Living & Martha Stewart. Their craft inspiration is so wonderful. Martha Stewart always has the BEST egg decorating I think. Just look at these lace eggs. Eggs dyed with a lace overlay. I think these are really just too pretty for words. The neat thing....I have never dyed eggs with her instructions that have ever failed.

And these little silhouette eggs. How cute are these. I couldn't resist adding these as silhouettes are really my thing. I have never tried these....but maybe next year. They are just too cute. The really best thing about dying eggs is eating them. Can you lunches are all planned for next week and it will be egg salad sandwiches! Can you say YUMMY!!!! And how about the cost.....hello....what a cheap and rewarding craft. I didn't even buy the eggs that were on sale because I wanted JUMBO's and they were still only $1.24 a dozen. I bought the egg dye on sale last year for .25 cents!

I know....these aren't edible...but aren't these cute. I really want to do more felting this year because I just love it. So I included it in my Easter Egg hunt. Can you image how cute these would be on a white feather tree...hummmmmm come to think of it....I am in a pre-Silver Bella spring swap.....Maybe I WILL try my hand at some of these yummies!

And these pretties are really just adorable. I don't know if I really have the patience to glue each of those little flowers on....just to eat...but they are just too cute. I hope you have enjoyed my Easter inspiration post. Thanks Martha & Country Living for always offering me glimmers of inspiration. I hope your Easter is filled with love, family and of course the love of our Lord & Savior. Have a beautiful day.....Happy Easter.