Friday, January 28, 2011

Hot Spiced Tea

1 ½ Cups Tang Orange Flavored drink mix
½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Instant Tea with or without lemon flavor
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Cloves
1 small bag of Red Hot Candies

Combine ingredients and store in an air-tight container.
For serving, place 1 well rounded tablespoon ( more or less to taste) into coffee mug and pour boiling water over. Stir till dissolved.

When my kids were little, we made a bunch of this up, put in decorative jars, attached a ribbon with the recipe and gave to their teachers.  It was a hit!

Prim Stitch Scented Mug Mats

I love the smell of a variety of fragrances and I could go on and on about my favorite scents! In the Fall & Winter, I use warm cozy scents like pumpkin bread or caramel apple and anything with a cinnamon fragrance. In the Spring & Summer, I enjoy fresh and light fragrances like lavender, cucumber and melon, roses or honeysuckle. I use candles, floral arrangements, oil burners, etc., throughout my home to inspire, to uplift, to relax. Like the music I listen to (hubby says I'm VERY eclectic), my choices in fragrances are dependent upon my mood or the mood I want to create.

With that in mind and since it's been chilly outside, I decided to create something in the hoop that would evoke warm and cozy and my sewing studio has never smelled so good! As I write this, I'm enjoying the cup of coffee that is sitting on a new scented mug mat. With the heat of my coffee cup, the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, rosemary and allspice are emitted into the air. Ahhh bliss! LOL well almost! It would be nice to have a small bit of chocolate to go with it! Perhaps I should ask Ruby if she has any to share?

Made completely in the hoop, this Prim Stitch Scented Mug Mat set includes the following: 6 mug mats • 1 Blank Mat • 1 Spice Pocket & 6 individual designs in both the 4x4 & 5x7 sizes. 28 designs total.

Photo Instructions, Spice Mix Recipe and How-To tea stain fabric are also included.
Great for craft shows, church bazaars, gift giving and more. Don't limit yourself to just mug mats. Use as candle mats, drawer sachets or use small cedar shavings for your closets too!
Stack several mats together, tie cinnamon sticks on with hemp rope for a great gift.
Now you don't have to use the recipe I've included with this set as there are lots of recipes on the internet. You can also experiment with different herbs &/or spices to come up with your own special fragrance. I can't wait for the summer so that I can dry some of the herbs I have growing. I'm thinking lavender and chamomile, or perhaps lemon grass and honeysuckle. Carol, one of my Yahoo group members even suggested lemongrass, black pepper and ginger for a wonderful fresh scent.  Hmmm, think I'll have to give that one a try too!

Download "Prim at Heart" sentiment when you visit.
Speaking of senses! Don't forget to check out my favorite spice tea mix too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Using Embroidery Designs with Pre-Made Greeting Cards

I love the look of home-crafted greeting cards.  They're always fun to look at and each one is as unique as the person who created it. From the most simple to the very exotic and everything else in between, you're only limited by your imagine when it comes to making greeting cards and if you’re into scrapbooking, you may already have the supplies.

The supplies I used for this project were purchased from
The following may also come in handy:
·         Mini Flat Iron (yes, the one for your hair, but if you don’t have one, a hair dryer or regular iron works too!)
·         Ruler
·         Rotary Scissors
·         Pencil
·         Glue, buttons, bows, etc. for embellishing.
·         Last but not least, you’re going to need an embroidery design.

Now let’s get started!

Photo greeting cards are tri-fold with the window opening glued at each corner. Using a mini flat iron, grip each corner for just a couple of seconds to soften the glue dots.  Flat irons are extremely hot, so use caution not to burn yourself or your card.  If you don’t have a flat iron, a low heat set iron or a hair dryer work just as well.  

Gently peel the photo opening away from the other side of the card.  In the photo below, you’ll see the little purple glue dots. You don’t need to worry about removing them because they won’t be seen when you’re done.
Set your greeting card aside and proceed to your finished embroidery design.

Since the cards I’m using have a window opening of 3 1/8 x 4 5/8 inches, you’re going to need a design that will fit within those dimensions.   For larger greeting cards, a photo mat and card stock cut to your liking works well also.  As a digitizer, I have lots of test blocks ready to be put to good use.  The floral design in the picture is part of The Country Needle’s Floral Bouquet  set.

I measured and trimmed the design a ½ inch larger than the photo opening to allow for gluing.

Trim a piece of Double Tack Mounting Film 1 inch larger than your window opening. Peel off one side and press to the wrong side of your embroidery design. Make sure the design is smooth and there are no bubbles in the mounting film.
Lay your design on the opposite side of the window opening then close the window so that it sticks to the mounting film. Be sure your design is centered before applying pressure. I found it easier to center my design in my frame this way.
When your design is centered and is stuck to the window opening, peel off paper from the other side of the mounting film and using firm pressure, stick to the opposite side. 

Your card is now complete and ready to embellish as you wish.  Here I have added a bow and a button.

Here, I’ve used the February Calendar Girl Margaret. For the inside, I printed a quote and using a hole punch and ribbon attached it to the inside of the card.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ruby's Tidbits I

Ruby's debut was a hit and I'm so glad you liked her! She returns again this week in a set called Ruby's Tidbits. Though she's not as crass as Stella, she's got personality & attitude, she loves to shop and when it comes to choosing shoes...well let's just say she's a bit indecisive.

This set of 39 designs includes 7 Ruby designs in filled and redwork for both the 4x4 and 5x7 hoops and 9 separate sentiments for the 4x4 hoop and 2 for the 5x7 hoop. Use the designs with or without the sayings on t-shirt, shopping totes, card stock, quilt tops and more!    View Ruby's Tidbits I here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don Woods Snow Ice Cream

If you grew up in N.E. Oklahoma, then you'll probably remember Don Woods and his character Gusty.
Don always ended his weather forecast by drawing a picture of Gusty and then if you were lucky enough, Don would send it to you. With all the snow storms lately,  I'm sure someone will find some nice clean snow to use in this recipe.

Don Woods' Snow Ice Cream

1 small can Milnot (evaporated milk)
dash of salt
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 gallon clean snow

Mix all together and enjoy.

We usually just mix it up in a large metal bowl, but an ice cream freezer works well too.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to The Country Needle Embroidery Designs® Hoop & Holler Embroidery Café!

Why Hoop & Holler you ask? Well I love machine embroidery and since you'll most likely find me in my sewing studio digitizing a new set, you'll also find that I always have something in the HOOP- either with a design stitching out on the machine, or another prepared to take it's place when the design is finished.

I also grew up in Oklahoma. Now you can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you'll never take the Okie out of the girl and where I grew up, someone was always saying, "Give me a holler!"
Someone was always "hollerin' about somethin'!" Now that I think about it, while growing up I don't remember anyone ever saying give me a call.

If you're from a small town like me, there might have also been a little quaint café where everyone gathered for coffee and conversation which ranged anywhere from what my Grandma might be canning this summer to how my Grandfather's Sunday sermon really made them think about something, and everything else under the sun. Of course since the weather is always changing in Oklahoma, it was perhaps the most popular subject.

If you weren't able to make it to the local café, then there was always someone's front porch, where cookies or homemade pie, coffee, sweet tea and lemonade were in as much abundance as the kids playing in the front yard. In the summertime, as morning faded into afternoon and afternoon faded into night, the front porch never seemed to be without someone visiting and a potlock supper and someone bringing out their guitar or fiddle for a sing-along wasn't unusual. The frogs, the crickets, the whippoorwills and even the fireflies seemed to join in the harmony of those most treasured gatherings.

So grab your coffee or favorite drink, pull up a chair to sit a spell. Enjoy yourself while you're here and if you'd like to comment, well then...just give me a holler!