I’m Laura, owner of Appleberry Cottage. I love to share my primitive stitchery, primitive punch needle, hand crafted folk art, and heirloom crocheted baby afghans with you.
When I'm not crafting, I'm mom to 4 kids: Andrew, Matt, Rachel (17 yrs old), and James (12 yrs old).
Thanksgiving week is over, and now it's on to Christmas. My youngest, James, had the entire week off last week due to parent/teacher conferences. My high schoolers still had school on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, I got a call that my mom's oven stopped working, so I was hosting Thanksgiving dinner instead. I had just finished making some desserts, and now needed to clean and make the turkey, etc. One of my favorite desserts was the chocolate truffle ~ yum! Super simple to make:
1 package brownie mix, prepared as directed 3 boxes instant chocolate mousse (in jello/pudding section) prepare as directed 12 oz Cool Whip 2 packages Heath Bits
Break brownies into small pieces. Layer half the brownies, half the mousse, half the Heath Bits, half of the Cool Whip. Repeat. Chill. Can make ahead, but keep ingredients separate. For best results, make the same day as serving.
I split the recipe in half, as it makes a lot. You can adjust the amount of any ingredient. I like less Cool Whip, but lots of mousse!
I also made some apple pie for all my pie lovers.
My bil, sister, niece and dad. (sorry, no photos of my mom or my family!) My youngest niece couldn't come, as she's in college in England. For them, it was just a normal day.
The day after Thanksgiving, I didn't do ANY shopping. (I have to confess, I haven't started Christmas shopping.) Instead, we went to the lighting of the local park with some friends and then for pizza. The park was SO crowded ~ and cold. Behind Andrew and James is a ship created from lights. With displays like this, no wonder it's always crowded!
I'm making another punch needle project, but this time in more muted tones. I'm hoping to get it done in the next couple days. Too many other things to do, like grocery shop, shop for band concert pants and shirt for my son, etc. Speaking of which, I need to run to pick him up now....
There's a giveaway on "The Shabby Chic Cottage" blog. Bella Michele jewelry is giving a gift certificate. Go check it out and enter! Michele is my cousin, and has been stamping jewelry for a home business. http://theshabbychiccottage.net/
Yet another new piece! I was up early to get the kids off the school. Yep, there was still classes for the high schoolers today. The elementary district was off for parent teacher conferences. So, once the older kids were off to school, I was able to lightly go over the hornbook with some ultra fine steel wool. It looks so old and primitive with the crackles, worn paint, and stain. I glued the punch snow angel to it, tied the hang tag, and added a string of vintage buttons. It's something VERY different for the winter. It will on Ebay tonight.
I have one teen home sick with a stomach bug. I'm hoping no one else catches it for Thanksgiving. I have to make a list of groceries to get so that I can make some dessert to bring for Thanksgiving dinner. I know the stores will be packed tomorrow, so maybe I'll head there tonight. Maybe. We're down to one vehicle today. Our old van is being repaired to keep it going for another few years. It has 146K miles (or is it more?) and still going. I'm hoping it will be the Energizer bunny and keep going, and going, and going. It might be getting rusty, but with 3 teens that will be learning how to drive next year, I don't want anything expensive. I don't know if it will be done today or tomorrow, so we have to share the other van.
I drew up another design for a snowman punch project. I"ll have to edit and and start working on that today.
I managed to finish the snow angel after running out of floss. I went to Joanns this weekend, and they were out of DMC 3371. So, today I went to Hobby Lobby and they were also out of it. I can understand maybe a cranberry color this time of year, but dark brown? I managed to locate just enough to finish, and am now waiting for the stain to dry on the hornbook.
This one I painted with a base coat of black. Added some crackle medium to see what that does. Topped it with a coat of antique yellow. Sanded it, and then some brown stain. Can't wait to see what it looks like together! I might have to lightly sand a bit of the stain off, just to get it even. But I think the yellow will really set off the angel wings and make the piece "pop". I'm hoping it will be done and listed on Ebay tomorrow. :-)
I liked that vintage mini grater so much, that I just had to finish something to go on it. I wanted a few of the grater holes to show, so I measured what I wanted the punch needle piece to be. It's 1" x 3", which isn't very big for a punched piece. I drew up a snowman with a star, and this is what he looks like. The snowman is 2 different shades: white and an oatmeal color. The background is also 2 different colors: black and a very dark grey/tan. I punched it using 3 strands instead of 6, since the piece was so small. I haven't punched using 3 in so long, it took a while to get adjusted. I added a small cording to the edge, and adhered it to the grater. I'm not sure if I'll list it on Ebay tonight, or wait until tomorrow evening. The ending of the auction (if I listed it tonight) would fall on a holiday weekend. I'm not sure if that's a good or not. But, he will be up for auction sometime this week! :-)
Yesterday I went in search of a few buttons for the snow angel punch needle. The dress needs just a little something to add some interest. I checked Joann for buttons, but nothing seems small and quite right. So, the next stop was my local thrift/antique store. I found a large mason jar filled with buttons. I found 2 small buttons for the punch project, and used the rest to fill the bottom of my wood bowl on the dining room table. It will make it very easy to search for buttons when I need them! Plus, it makes an interesting/vintage filler.
While I was in the store, this mini grater grabbed my eye. I've never seen a mini version of one. It was more expensive than the standard size, but it's SO unique. I could instantly see a mini punch needle project attached to it. It's the perfect size to hang on a peg rack, or use as an ornament ~ no hanger is needed, just use the handle.
Today I went to a craft fair, but didn't buy anything. I wasn't in search of anything in particular, and mainly went to browse and to get ideas. I didn't see anything that jumped out at me, so I left empty handed.
Tonight I'm going to work more the snow angel in hopes of finishing it by tomorrow. I just hope I don't run out of the background floss! I bought the last 2 skeins of those colors at Joann, and Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday. We'll see how close I come!
I've been punching this week. The first project is an order for a fall black cat and pumpkin bowl fillers. The other is this snow angel that I'm still working on. I did this pattern last year, but with a light blue background. In an attempt to be daring and try something different, I changed the background to a mixture of dark floss. I think it makes the snow angel stand out. I'll see how I like it once it's all finished. I do like some of the color combinations to achieve an overdyed appearance. I mix 2 different colors of DMC and punch them at the same time. Some are just a very stuble shading, but it really brings some interest to the piece.
In between crafting and my school lunch mom job, I've been searching for a new place of employment. Ideally, it would be 15 hrs a week and close by. So, when I found and ad for a part time office assistant, I excitedly sent off my resume. I received a call for an interview, so I went.
I arrived a little before my scheduled appointment and entered the front door. The person sitting at the front desk had about as much enthusiasm as a rock ~ literally. No smile. No "hello". (gee, do you think she likes her job in a small office?) This was my first sign that it was going to be an "interesting" interview. I was let in the door, and told "follow me" to a conference room looking like it came from the 1970's.
The person who interviewed me was not from this country. That's not an issue, unless you don't understand our language/lingo. I was asked about my math/accounting background. I mentioned that I have a BA, which included an accounting class, plus many business classes. Plus years of experience in various admin jobs. (I thought this was all positive) I was then asked if I count on my fingers or use a calculator. (um, where is this leading? Does it really matter?) I answered that I use a calculator. I was then asked, not only once, but TWICE, if I count on my fingers AND if i counted on one hand or two hands. The person even held up his hands to show me. (at this point I was waiting for Candid Camera to jump on out. Who asks this type of question? My son said I should have said I count on my toes! ). I was then asked why I would want to leave my current job. I mentioned the environment (schools closing, possibility of another one closing, layoffs, etc). The language barrier (he didn't get the lingo) then was VERY apparent, and he thought I said environment. Like in environmental allergies. Do I stop and correct him? I couldn't even ask a question, as he kept talking. (yep, I just wanted to get out of there ~ and quickly!). At the end, I finally was able to ask a question. I asked when they were looking to hire someone; December or possibly January? I'm thinking with Thanksgiving and Christmas, they might be searching ahead of time. Nope. Monday. As in 6 days. Well, that eliminates me (thankfully), as they wouldn't want to wait for at least a 2 week notice at my current job. They haven't called me back. I'm SO disappointed ~ NOT! :-)
I'm not sure which direction to take for jobs. Do I start some type of online business? If so, what? How do I go about getting wholesale products without having to buy/store lots of stuff? Lots of questions. But for now, I'll just keep punching and keep my eyes open for other possibilities. Who knows, maybe I was on candid camera and just didn't' know it!
I've been busily working on finishing 5 sets of snowmen bowl fillers ~ and I finished them! I plan on getting them on Ebay later tonight. It takes a while to get photos, crop, edit, upload and create the Ebay listings. Plus, I have to kick a couple of my kids off the computer so that I can use it. :-) I have 2 sets of star snowmen. Each set has 3 ornies, and are very lightly aged with walnut ink and generously sprinkled with mica flakes.
I have 2 sets of snowmen face bowl fillers. One set has larger bead/coal eyes. This set above has medium bead/coal eyes.
A set of larger snowmen with ice branch arms. It's a coated wire FTD floral product, so it won't break like real twigs. Plus, I can bend them into the shape I desire.
I also finished this Christmas stitchery pillow. I had stitched it last year, but never finished it. This is my absolute favorite Christmas stitchery pattern by Homeberries.
While I've been crafting away, I had a new kitchen faucet installed yesterday. I guess nothing is made to fix. It's more work/$ to get parts than it is to replace the entire faucet. I'm thankful that I found someone to install it, and get an estimate for the soffit/facia. Now to get that fixed before it snows.
We didn't get any of the snow that the upper midwest got yesterday, but that's fine with me. It was just cold and rainy for the last high school football game of the year. Our team lost in over time, so they are out of the playoffs. :-( That means marching band is officially done for the year. But, next is pep band for basketball games.
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! ~*~ Laura ~*~
I liked the last punch needle turkey SO much, that I finished another one ~ just in time to put up for bid before Thanksgiving. This one I made into a cupboard hanger. It's backed with a piece of hand dyed soft black wool. It has a string of buttons on the left, and a walnut aged tag on the right. LOTS of color changes and blending on this piece! I'm going to get some better photos, and put it up for bid on Ebay tonight (unless anyone wants to send me an offer by tonight, then I would gladly sell it outright).
I also finished a punch needle mitten ~ perfect to leave up all winter. I punched the sheep with 2 different needle heights to give it a little more definition. This piece is also backed with a piece of hand dyed soft black wool. You could put an evergreen branch or sweet annie to fill the mitten. (I like to leave it up to who's buying it, as some might be allergic to dried flowers) I'm also going to put this one up for bidding on Ebay tonight (unless someone wants to send an offer ~ I know I'm not giving a lot of time)
When I haven't been punching this week, I'm lined up someone to come fix me kitchen faucet that's leaking all over. He's also going to look at our aluminum trim that was torn off in the wind storm. The trim is still hanging there, but I don't think it would last all winter when the snow and ice come.
I've also spent a lot of time looking for a new part time job. I'm only working 10 hrs a week, and would like to find something with a few more hours (Ok, and a little more $), but still a little flexible for school schedules. I've seen a few ads, but nothing has come of them. Anyone want to hire me for administrative work? :-)
I'll also be listing (hopefully) some snowman bowl fillers on Ebay this weekend. I have several different sets sewn and stuffed. I need to do the finishing part now. I have some large snowmen, star snowmen, and some round snowman face bowl fillers. It's hard to work on snowmen when it's been SO nice outside this week. The temps have been in the 60's ~ and it's November!