Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hot Cuppa Cinnamon......

I suppose I've come to all this business of latte's and smoothies and all that rather late. You're all up on it already, I guess. But I thought I'd share my favorite warm, refreshing drink of the moment.

I start with my favorite mug about 1/3 full of 1% milk. You could use any milk, even....ahem.....heavy cream; but this is what I had on hand today.

Add 1/2 t. cinnamon, 3 t. sugar or Splenda, 1/4 t. vanilla and heat in the microwave for about 50 seconds until it is hot, but not boiling.

Meanwhile, make your favorite tea with about 2/3 of the amount of water you need to fill your hot sipper. I'm using a chai de-caf tea bag and I steeped it about three minutes.

When the milk is hot, froth it with a frother or a hand-held blender. My little frother runs on two AA batteries and does a great job. The milk should fluff up to about 1/3 more than when you started out.

Keep frothing until it's how you want it.

Remove the tea bag and pour the frothed milk into sipper.

Stir well.

Isn't that lovely? Just lean back, sip, and enjoy.

You can make this without any tea; with just hot milk, if you like.....and try other flavorings like almond or maple. It's wonderfully refreshing and comforting on a cool evening when the day is done.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Erin Go Bragh - Free Pattern

St. Patrick’s Day Quilted Greeting Card 
or Mug Rug

Erin Go Bragh

In the Irish, Éirinn go Brách, is used to 
express allegiance to Ireland. 
It is most often translated as "Ireland Forever". 

You will need:

6 to 8 different green print fabric scraps about 4” x 4” each
9 ½” x 6 ½” piece of pale background fabric
12” x 12” piece (approximate size) of 2-sided fusible web or freezer paper
5” x 5” scrap of red fabric  
9 ½” x 6 ½” piece of (color of your choice) backing fabric
9 ½” x 6 ½” piece of thin batting or stiff interfacing
Fray Check
Embroidery Thread or Fabric Pens

Directions (for fusible web & freezer paper):

  1. Right click on the pattern images and choose "Save Image As". Save the images in a place in "My Documents" where you can find them again. Go to the images in My Documents and double click on the file name or icon. It will open in your Windows graphics program. Uncheck "Fit to Page" and print. You can resize these on a copy machine or in a graphics program, if needed. Trace the reversed pattern pieces to the paper side of fusible web or freezer paper and cut out
  2. Place on wrong side of fabric and fuse according to directions, usually 5 to 8 seconds with a dry iron on cotton setting.
  3. Cut out pieces along the edge of the fusible; treat edges with fray check
  4. If using freezer paper, proceed as for that kind of applique’
  5. When fray check is COMPLETELY DRY, remove paper backing
  6. Fuse all the pieces to the background using the pattern as a guide for placement
  7. You may buttonhole stitch the edges by hand or machine or leave raw (Directions for "needle turn applique" may be found here.)
  8. Using the pattern, trace your St. Patrick’s Day message to the right of the shamrocks
  9. Go over the traced letters with your fabric pen or embroidery thread stem stitch
  10. Layer the pieces: batting, front (right side up), backing (right side down) and baste together
  11. Stitch all around using a ¼” seam allowance beginning at the lower right 1” above the corner and continuing, leaving a 1 ½” opening to turn the piece right side out
  12. Turn right side out and poke out all the corners carefully, finger pressing the edge; press lightly with a hot dry iron; hand quilt around the bouquet and the outside edges. You’re all done!

We hope you'll be wearin' the green on St. Patrick's Day and enjoying a lovely green drink
 on your new mug rug. Let's see now. What is your idea of a "green drink", i.e., your favorite Irish drink? Please write and tell me!