Bee's Hive

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BE BACK IN 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I am not near ready to give up the Holiday's this year, but I do need to get a plan ready for the New Year.

First, if you want to know what makes life worth while, don't miss a Christmas Miracle on my friends blog:

I only have a few weeks left to finish the quilt in a bag. I've decided not to finish the story until the quilt is in the hands of it's ower..but, I will give one more peek. This quilt has taken off in several different paths along the way. It's hard to get an entire story into 20 x 20 inches!

To finish up with 2008, I have 6 Thank you gifts that I am working on, 5 wall hangings & one special gift of a very sweet lady. When I get enough done on these I'll post a peek of them.
I can't forget my blog 100 post give-away in February and I am also working on 3 gifts for the Pay it forward. Since no one signed up for it, I decided to make 3 items and post them...maybe that will entice 3 of you??

There is also a special little girl who will be needing a few surprises this spring/summer. I pulled a Barbie from my collection for this project. This is not a new Barbie with botox lips and enough makeup to put her in line as a bar fly. Nope, this Barbie is from a gentle time. She has a sweet smile & dimples in her cheeks. She is from the romantic movie star series.. Scarlett O'Hara, dressed in her famous green gown and straw bonnet.

Last year I made my granddaughter a shoe box full of outfits for a special Barbie and that's the road this one will take. She will get a camping outfit along with a sleeping bag and back pack, a 50's dress and apron, poodle skirt, and several other outfits to turn her into play doll. As I make each outfit I'll give you all a look at them.

Friday, December 19, 2008


It's a stormy, snowy day in N.W. Pennsylvania. I was glad to see the mailman made it to the front door without falling on the ice. I was even happier when I saw a package from MODA in his hand. My win from the Frosty the snowman rings in MODA tune!

Red is my favorite color. My red stash has it's own closet! Angela couldn't have sent anything more perfect in color! This wonderful book cover sent idea's racing through my head.

I've already promised my friends on the HGTV message board to make something for next Christmas and post it on the thread that will be started for that purpose, every month. Coming up with new idea's for swaps is always hard but here I had an idea right in my hand! The possibilities for change and the purpose for use ran wild in my head!

Again, Thank you Angela for this nice gift!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Sugar cookies are not your best tasting cookie. But, for me, the memories that go with them are worth the effort. My Dad made the holiday, put on the apron and baked the sugar cookies. It was always a big production, but without the sugar cookie, he made it seem like the holiday couldn't go forward. He mixed up many colors of icing, sprinkles and the good old decorater tube was put into full use!

I still have all the metal cutters and the tube also. I have used it every year, along with "his" apron.

In 2002 I packed up all my sugar cookie stuff and headed to Idaho to bake with my grands and have a traditional holiday. It never dawned on me that the decorating tube from 1950 would get me pulled out of line at the airport after they scanned my carry-on! That also caused my suitcases to be pulled for a better examination. They didn't arrive in Idaho for 3 days, leaving me without clothes and Christmas gifts on Christmas morning.

Even though it's the first year their aren't any grands to help and only the 2 of us, I kept with tradition and baked just a few sugar cookies.

Of course we can't foget Man's best Friend on Christmas, so I baked up a batch of Beef basted bones and bagels.

If you have ever priced a dog bone cookie cutter you'll know they are why out of line in price. I took a regular cookie cutter shaped like a star and bent it into a bone perfect!

Dog Bones & Bagels
2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tsp. honey
6 tbl. olive oil
Bake 325 for 30 minutes...then glaze with a brush
1 egg
2 tlb. beef broth, beaten together
Return to oven and bake another 30 minutes...remove to cooling racks
Just a note: This dough will feel like rubber. Roll it out for the size and thickness you want your dog to have. It will be the same size after it is baked. For the bagel I just use a glass to get the shape and a bottle cap to make the hole in the center. Dogs don't really care what shape it is. You can just roll it out and cut it into pieces. If the dough doesn't stick together, add a little of the beef broth.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowballs and Munchies

Tomorrow I will end the baking for 2008 with cut out sugar cookies. Today I made Walnut Snowballs & Chocolate Peanut Butter Munchies. Both batters are very rich for melt in your mouth cookies.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup 10x sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup flour sifted
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup 10x sugar for coating
( I didn't forget, there are no eggs in this recipe)

Cream it all together and cool for 30 minutes. With floured hands roll small pieces into balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300 for 15 to 20 minutes..until the edges are light tan. While still hot, rub the top of the cookie in the 1/2 cup 10x sugar to coat the top. Cool on a wire rack.

My Munchies flattened a little too much but they still taste wonderful. I know I didn't measure the flour and level it in the cup, so that's what happens when you rush things.

1 1/2 cups flour sifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream Center
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup 10x sugar

Mix all ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the cream center with the back of a spoon, kneed it until it forms a ball.

With floured hands, roll chocolate dough into 32- 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll cream into 32 small balls. With the bottom of a glass dipped into 10x sugar, flatten the chocolate dough. Add a cream ball and wrap the chocolate around it and make it into a ball again. Place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Again, lightly flatten the balls with the bottom of the glass dipped into 10x sugar. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. Let them rest for a minute before transferring them to wire racks.

I've cut one open so you can see the cream center.

I always store them with wax paper inbetween layers so they don't stick to each other.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I have a fabric stash that I call "unknown." These purchases were made on the internet for projects but when the fabric arrived, it was never the color I thought I had purchased. I have about 15 yards of different PURPLES that I ordered as BLUE, yards of ORANGE I thought was PINK and so on.

When you get older you don't complain about these mistakes because you figure it's your vision.I keep telling myself to get an examination & new, not scratched glasses but that hasn't happened yet.

Last night I heard my son making some noise upstairs but I was interested in watching a Christmas show. At bedtime he followed me into my room. I saw a big box in the corner and thought he was beginning to store his ebay stuff in my room now. I never noticed what it was sitting on top of, duh, my old computer monitor. As I turned to ask him what this box was doing in my room, he was grinning from ear to ear. And then I saw the surprise! He had hooked up my Christmas gift! A 20 inch flat screen Acer!

After surfing for a while I realized BLUE was not PURPLE! I can't believe the difference! So, it was not my aging eyes but the aging screen that had added so many unwanted yards of ugly colored fabric to the unknown stash! THANK YOU DAVE! I LOVE IT!

Now, onto today's cookie baking. Most of the recipes I use come from my 8th grade cooking book that looks like it's been through a war! I do have to laugh at how they were set on making us into "perfect housewives" back in 1957. I can just see the kids of today scratching their head at the directions in this book! Most of the recipes call for "fat or lard", a no no in today's world. There is also a full page on the benefits of saving bacon drippings to be used at a later time!

But, the cookies just come out so great from this old book. Today I made chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. I also took the advise in the book to not waste the time in the kitchen waiting for each batch to I cooked up some apple sauce while I waited!

Monday, December 15, 2008


This is Candy and Cookie making week. Today I made 5 pounds of candy, Peanut Canuchies. They are a butter cream rolled in ground spanish peanuts. This is a very old recipe that is also used for Easter candy with fruit & nuts added to the batter.

For years the batter was hand mixed with a wooden spoon, turned out on a cold platter and folded for at least 100 times. The chocolate was heated in a double boiler with parafin added and many times it burnt.

A few years ago when my hands became crippled with RA, I decided to see if I could make the recipe modern. The only thing I kept was the old paper recipe and the vintage apron.

You will need 2 boxes of 10x sugar, 1/2 pound butter, scant 1/4 cup of milk, 2 caps vanilla plus ground roasted spanish peanuts & coating chocolate. I purchased a small crock pot for melting the chocolate and it never burns!

Cream the butter and add all other ingredients. Mix at high speed for some time until it looks like a fluffy cloud. Powder your hands with 10x sugar and roll them into balls, placing them on wax paper and putting them in the refrig for 5 minutes to firm them up.

With the help of 2 forks, spoon chocolate over them and set them back on the wax paper. When set, use a knife to smear them with more melted chocolate and roll them in the ground spanish peanuts. This will make 5 pounds of candy. Any leftover chocolate, add some sugar and mold them in a plastic mold. With this finished I can start cookies tomorrow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Some people are just nice. You know it the second you speak to them for the first time. Nice people come from nice families, well, not all the time, but most of the time.

I met Donna on the HGTV message board and immediately knew she was nice, not the regular nice, the kind of nice that lasts forever. She has posted on her blog, some beautiful things her sister made. The Photo at the top of her site is of an oil painting her sister did, a wonderful swing on a porch. It just makes you want to sit down and stay awhile.
I don't know her sister Becky, but I knew she had to be nice just by the way these sister's interacted with each other. Today I met Becky. Not in person, but in a beautiful handmade Christmas card she sent to me with one of her tiny tatted hearts. I've never seen such exact work!
I've been saving items to made a shadow box. Old shoe hooks, a beautiful hankie, a pair of pearls, ladies gloves and a christening gown. Becky's tatted heart will be included since I could never find a project suitable for such a beautiful piece. Thank you Donna & Becky for being sweet sister's that I have been gifted to know.

Before the holiday is over I wanted to mention the link at the top of my favorite blogs list, A Cup of Christmas Tea. This is a story told by Tom Hegg. You can hear the story by going to my playlist and clicking on the 2 side by side bars on top left to turn off my music.
What seems like a long time ago, I bought this book and the tree ornament. I just loved the story.
I've noticed over the years that I am no longer the reader but have become the lame elder keeping Holiday traditions. Maybe this should make me feel sad but it doesn't. I feel like the keeper of time, joys of the past, all those memories passed on to my grandchildren and maybe their children.

I also want to mention the link to Pixie's Train Ride at the top of my favorite blog list. This is just a wonderful story about passing through life done with photo's of children. It also benefits children with Autism, written by a grandmother whose granddaughter has Autism, it is a beautiful story for all of us to consider.
Cleaning up the last thing for the day is my climb to the 100th post. I am so far behind right now and I'm sure many of you are in the same boat. You might think this holiday was a surprise I didn't know about! Next year I'll plan...are you laughing now!
I've decided to wait until February to have a give-away, when we are all sick of winter and need a spring lift! I hope you'll all watch for my February give-away.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I WON, I WON! Well, not first place, but a win is a win! My Moda song about Frosty has gotten me a Moda gift! Angela made everyone that wanted to join her Give-Away write a song about Moda to the tune of a holiday song.

I have to say I went back to her blog many, many times to read all the posts. Each and every song had me laughing until I cried! Sew, Mama, Sews give-way was great, but Angela's idea made the fun for me!

Thank you so Much Angela! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

DECEMBER 8TH...Author unknown

............................Diary of the Mad Snow Shoveler

December 8th - 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a grandma Moses print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9th - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a lovelier place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12th - The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry; we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14th - Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back into shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15th - 20 inches in the forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska after all.

December 16th - Ice storm this morning. Fell on my a** on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17th - Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. God I hate it when she's right. More shoveling. Took all day. Damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighborhood kid to shovel, but they said they're to busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22nd - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt 'till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to p**. By the time I got undressed, p**ed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23rd - Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she...nuts? Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did, but I think she's damn well lying.

December 24th - 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the idiot who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his toes. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the damn snowplow.

December 25th - Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the %&*@#*& slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to kill her.

December 26th - Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was ALL HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27th - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.
December 28th - Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE WIFE is driving me crazy!!!!!

December 29th - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard of. What a duffas Bob is. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30th - The roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to her Mother. Good riddance. 9" predicted.

December 31st - Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
January 8th - I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?????

Saturday, November 29, 2008


The weekend after Thanksgiving would have been the visit to Santa. We would have been lined up like soldiers in Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia. I don't know why no adult had the sense to take off our coats & leggins but I can remember, 60 years later, the heat under my wool leggins & how itchy they felt.

What a magical day as you inched your way to the stairs that led to Santa! I can still hear the noise of the train display running, children crying out at all the amazing toys on display. Then you found yourself at the stairs. Just the site of him sitting in his gold chair made all that you were going to ask for slip away. I most likely walked away thinking of the Toni doll or tin tea set with the dutch girl on it that I wanted with my gift from Santa of a very sticky candy cane clutched in my hand.

Friday, November 28, 2008


This "resting" can get old quick! It did allow me to finish 6 of the 20 Matryoshka ornies I had cut out and didn't finish for this years swap. Now aren't they just too cute!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More than frost on the pumpkin :(

Lake effect snow..ugh..more like ice! Next 15 days looks like more of the same.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grab your imagination.....

because your gonna need it for a little while to see where this quilt is going. Imagine puffy clouds and a beautiful garden with the sun peeking through, grapes hanging over the edge of the mountain wall, waves breaking against the rocks. Okay, now you can look at the first quilt block and know where it is going.

Shaylee, fairy of the fields, tends the castle gardens, keeping the smell of roses and sweet lilac's awake for the next trip into someone's imagination. Below the castle's rocky pedestal, waves gently break against the mountain....

Next block we will move across the bridge to the dark side of the mountain and into the forrest where Tiania, Queen of Fairies, and Latanya spend their time singing and dancing for Mr. Moon, keeping him happy and calm is a hard job. He controls the skies and oceans that surround the castle. Any unhappiness can cause bolts of lightning from the sky and thrashing waves against the castles walls turning a dream of princesses into a nightmare!
The art form....................the block

I've lightened this one up a little

(The rules call for using a piece of each thing in "The bag"=I've used 10 of the 21 fabric's in the first block)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Art Quilts and the story behind them

I have always had a huge imagination. I think it helped me to get through my childhood when things got bad. I would just go into a closet and find a place that made me happy.

I think this is why art quilts interest me. Behind each one is a story. I often wish the quilter would include her story with the quilt. I saw an oil painting of Leda from Greek Mythology. I had no idea what I was looking at but I knew I wanted to put her in a quilt.

Maybe that is when I realized that art quilts had a story. As I formed her face I felt I needed to know more about her and set out to the internet to read her story. That led to the purchase of 9 books on Greek Mythology!

This brings me to the Quilt in the bag swap. When I signed up I had a feeling I wanted to do an art quilt since it would be small. Then my partner sent me 21 hand dyed pieces of fabric and off went my imagination to a magic land! I will soon have my first block to share with you. At first I thought this would be a whole cloth crazy quilt but it has become a 4 block quilt with lots of embellishments and thread art.

The story starts with the castle of all castles, the one that lives in the hearts of all little and big girls. The castle where maidens are saved by princes, where they dance and leave behind a shoe, those who fall to sleep and wake with a kiss or have a bad sleep because of a pea under the mattress. My castle is cared for by 3 Fairy's, Latanya, Tiania & Shaylee. It is protected by 3 mermaids, Isme, Shene and the Queen maid, Oceandia.

Leda & the Swan...........and the Castle, my inspiration

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas busy!

I haven't tackled any of the sewing for a few days because this old house is just too cold! If I make it through this winter, I will not be living here next winter for sure!

I'm finding it hard to decorate this year. After leaving a huge victorian where I could have had a 10' tree in every room I am left to decorate a house that the whole thing would fit into the kitchen of the last house.

I have so many cute things and no place to put them. I started to pull out the trains and gave up. We collect G gage, large trains, there is just no place to set them up this year. But I did dig in and try to set up the things I really love. I'll add photo's to this post as I go along.

Of course there are the dolls. Can't have Christmas without Granny making cookies. I use to have a 6' server I displayed them on, but I am reduced to the top of my double school desk..a squeeze, but at least I can enjoy them. The stove is an old salesman sample. It weighs about 75 pounds. I wouldn't have wanted to be the salesman who had to carry that around! Also my wood dolls. These are just too cute to leave in storage so out they came.

Talking about wood, the wooden Santa on the tree is a gift from a special person in Vancouver Washington for a very special person in the south...I'll be shipping that one and some others very soon. I wanted to get one in a photo for my own memory or people's generosity.

We can't have a village without the North Pole and Santa's house!

Dept. 56 stage coach is another of my favorite holiday items so this also had to come out of storage.

The merry go round had to come out, it's my favorite! It lights up, plays music & the horses go up and down.

Many of the figures are lead from many years ago. All the skaters and the sleigh & horse, and ma & pa sitting on the park bench.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Snow, hot chocolate and lots of mail!

I woke this morning not feeling well at all. This happens when it's damp & cold. It didn't take much to explain why I felt so poorly. Looking out the sewing room window from my bed, I could see snow flakes falling. I was such a grouch all the way down the stairs, the poor dog hung his head and disappeared behind the sofa. This called for action! Heating from the inside out always helps so I cooked up some nice Hot Chocolate.

I grabbed the mail off the porch and wrapped up in a cozy quilt to enjoy opening it while I sipped my chocolate.

The first package I saw came from Tom at the quilting & carving blog. He has loaned me a knife and is giving me long distance instructions on carving a face. I really needed to learn something new to keep the mind working and for those hot July days when you don't want to deal with yards of fabric. I figure I can sit by the river behind my house in the shade and practice this art.

The second package I opened was a surprise from my HGTV friend, everythingquilts. I fell in love with this crazy quilt bird ornament she had posted and she gifted it to me! She also sent me some girlie scents and nice girlie supplies for my office. The little bird is a treasure that will be saved along with other handmade ornies that my sons and grands have made through the years. THANKS DONNA

Also in the mail today was Amy's package for the Bag Swap. Wow! For someone who said she likes brown's her choice of fabric's for this swap doesn't reflect that! It's a good thing too because the image I have for this little quilt calls for all those brights! THANKS AMY!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Let's label the handicapped so we know how to treat them

I am so into Christmas right now, enjoying all the magic that happens at this time of the year. I have tried all day to avoid saying anything about this subject but it is really bothering me.

It is really hard to live in a wheelchair. I know who I was, even feel myself running and jumping through life. It's heart breaking to know you can't do something so little anymore because you don't have the use of your spine or legs. It also makes me angry & depressed but at the end of the day, there is nothing I can do about it.

People in general either don't see you or are annoyed that you are there. I can't tell you how many times I've used a handicapped ramp only to find that I am shut out of a building because they don't have an electronic door. I'm not talking about little privately owned stores. I'm talking about the Post Office, Social Security and even my doctor's office. It takes away a lot of your dignity when you have to travel with a poker so you can beat on a door for entry.

Recently I visited the moving wall across the street from my home in the community park. The city had recently repaved the street, raising the street level above the handicapped payment ramp. This caused my front wheels to become trapped in a ditch when I tried to cross the street to the park. People stared at me, ignored me or looked at me annoyed because I was out and not home where people like me belong.

What has me wound up today is reading the blog of an injured military boy. I know people make suggestions from their heart but maybe they should put themself in that persons place before they decide what should be done with them. To stop people from staring, it was suggested that a "sign" be pinned to the wheelchair saying your looking at a hero. Or, wear a hat that makes this statement.

Maybe everyone should wear a sign pinned to them..head lice, divorced, gay, herpes, welfare victim, retarded, diseased. How would they feel? The little dignity those of us manage to hang onto when sitting in our chair would fly out the window once we had our "sign" pinned to us. Adding the word "hero" doesn't change anything, in fact, those who might not stare will stop to read the sign.

You have to get a tough skin when your in a wheelchair. You have to learn to deal with rude people. I'm not going to wear a sign or a hat so people know how to treat me. It's much easier to look them in the eye and tell them they are being rude.

Inside Santa's house

I did the best I could to show you the inside of the Santa House. Some photo's are blurry.
The angel on the tree. This is the train under the tree and the bird cage in the toy room. One elf "checks the list".

The kitchen with brass cookware and wooden phone. Another elf at work.

This is hard to make out. The cat has a stocking and the elf is trying to get it back.
More kitchen, one elf sweeps. There is a silver plated tea set on the fireplace and a victrola.

This elf is painting a house at the work bench. I hand rolled all those ribbons.

Santa's bedroom. The elf is holding up a candy cane so the cat can't get it.

Today's photo of the hill....all gone to fall..a cold look at winter to come.