Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy Thursday!

BOY! Has this ever been a whirlwind of a week. I cannot believe it is almost Friday and the weekend is on the horizon.

It's been a while now since I last gave you all a peak at how my house is coming along.

We're getting into the finishing touches now with only the small stuff (except the KITCHEN) needing to be done.

The last couple of weeks we've been staining in preparation for installing the stairs. Needless to say I think all our DIY efforts have not gone astray :)

The actual stair treads themselves are not fully installed yet but they are well on their way!

Next up is the gorgeous tile floor my mom picked out for my front entrance. The fiance and I went out probably a half dozen times trying to figure out what kind of tile we wanted to lay, but liked NOTHING. I was so sick of trying to find a tile to suit that I delegated the task to my lovely mama who as more than a serious nack for interior decorating! This stuff comes from bella Italia! A little piece of place I love so much right as you come in my front door :)

I think the tile also complements the rustic characteristic of the hand-scraped hardwood we chose to lay.  

And here's my dining room! All finished, even if it's a little bit dirty. Thank god I have amazing superhero like carpenters for family :) Absolutely IN LOVE with the wainscoting. You might notice that there is no wall paper on the walls like I had originally planned. Let's just say THAT is a whole other post... but in the end I'm really very happy with how everything turned out, especially my perfect purple ceiling (YUP you read that right).

Outside of my ongoing housey project I have been getting some stitching time in. 

I need it for my sanity.

We are all burning out a little at this point, so some leisure time is well needed.

Until next time!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

After receiving a couple of messages asking for a recipe for these beauties:

I decided a quick post was in order so I could share it with all of you!

I should warn you however, the recipe is more of a guideline for me than actual rules for baking bread. I often fiddle with how much liquid/flour I use or how long I let them rise, constantly trying to prefect. 

One day I might only let the first rise happen for 45minutes and the next day I might let it rise for 1hr+! It's all about the way it looks and feels. This also means I may not use all the dry mixture or I may even add a bit of extra flour if I feel it needs it. So feel free to fiddle!

The following recipe is my Grandmothers Dinner Roll recipe - always a huge hit in our house and at family gatherings. It's gotten to the point that if these little treasures don't make it to the plate that it feels like something is missing! Brings reality to the saying 'savour the little things' :)

Nan's Dinner Rolls


  • 3/4c. Milk
  • 1/4c. water
  • 1/4c. butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 + 3/4c. Bread Flour (or all purpose if you're in a pinch)
  • 2 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp of active dry yeast (I also sometimes use instant yeast/bread machine yeast... just because I'm a kitchen rebel)

  1. In a saucepan add the milk, water and butter together. Heat over low/med heat until the butter is JUST melted and the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. If the mixture is too hot it will kill the yeast so this is THE most important step to master. Too cold and the yeast will not activate. (A bit of "damned if you do and damned if you don't" isn't it?!) If you feel that your mixture is a little too hot simply transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave it for 5 minutes or so until it cools down (been there done that!).
  2. Transfer lukewarm milk/water/butter mixture to large mixing bowl and stir the sugar. Once the sugar is desolved, sprinkle the yeast onto the surface of the mixture and leave for 5-6 minutes to activate. After this time, the yeast should look creamy and slightly bubbly if you're using the active dry yeast. FUN FACT: The sugar will help feed the yeast :)
  3. While waiting for your yeast, in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour half of the dry mixture into the liquid mix in the large bowl. Add the egg. Vigorously stir the ingredients together until they have combined. Add more of the dry mixture (handfuls at a time) to the large mixing bowl until the dough starts to come away from the sides and can no longer be mixed with a spoon. In other words, the dough is too thick to work with a spoon now and you need to use those two hands God gave you! Time to get dirty! 
  5. On a flat surface sprinkled with flour (don't forget to flour your hands too!), kneed your dough (adding more of your dry mixture little by little) for 7-10 minutes until you can easily form a ball and the dough is not overly sticky to the touch and is smooth and free of dry floury lumps. 
  6. Place the dough into a large greased bowl and lightly grease the top of the dough as well. Place a tea towel over the top and let rise in a warm place for 45mins-1hr, until the dough has more than doubled in size. The longer you let your dough rise the lighter the final product will be.
  7. After this time, punch the dough and let rest for 5-10 minutes. 
  8. To make the rolls you cut palm size chunks from the dough and either (a) form them into small balls and place into medium sized greased muffin baking sheet. Don't over work the dough when making the balls. If they're not perfect no worries! OR (b) form them into little knots like the picture above. Start by greasing a large cookie sheet. Then cut palm size chunks of dough and roll them in your hand to make it cylindrical. Roll them out until the dough is no longer than the length of your hand. Tie into knots and place on the cookie sheet. Spacing at 1/2 an inch each.  No matter which method you use, let rise for 45mins-1.25hrs or until doubled. 
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.
  11. Let cool on a cooling rack and using a paper towel to lightly butter the tops of the buns while they are still hot. This is best done as soon as it's been taken from the oven and placed on the cooling rack. DO NOT WAIT! The butter will be absorbed by the bread and create a lusciously soft exterior.

Makes 12-14 rolls.

NOTE: Because this mixture contains milk and eggs it will only be good in a sealed bag on the counter for a couple of days. I recommend freezing any extras after this time. These rolls hold up excellently in the freezer. Once thawed and reheated you'd never know that they weren't fresh from the oven!

Until next time!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Tuesday Folks!

Actually it's my Monday/Tuesday :) Back to work after an extra long weekend! 

As much as I like to complain about the weather here in Newfoundland (like today... rainnnnn, or the last two days of pea soup thick fogggggg), the beauty of this rugged land offers up some of the best scenery in the world. I know... cocky of me isn't it? ;) 

Despite having a miserable last few days weather wise, one day of stellar weather is enough to make you forget all about it! Saturday was this kind of day. 

Winds = negligible. This is huge deal considering they call this the "wind swept land". I won't deny it, trees along our coast not only grow in the most precarious of places (ie: on the side of cliffs) but they're also stumpily short and often grow sideways in the direction of the prevailing winds.

Temperature = ideal. Well ideal for a long walk/hike without dying from the heat. 20 degrees C is nearly unheard of this time of year, but it HAPPENED!

Climate = dry as a bone. No mucky puddles to be had!

So I took advantage of the wicked weather. Filled a bag with a couple bottles of water and a blanket, donned my old sneakers, hitched my dog up to her leash and off we went on a trip to Ferryland. 

As a child I can remember passing through this quaint community almost every weekend on the way to my Nan's cabin. Back then I knew it as "Fairy-land" and boy did that ever set my imagination to work. 

Newfoundland (NL) has many superstitions and the mythical fairies are just one of them.

I'm not talking about your run of the mill, whimsical, beautiful fairy here. More like your menacing, conniving, poltergeist type of fairy.  

When my mother was a child my Nan would give her breadcrumbs before she would go out over the barrens (the mossy-marshy-rocky mix you see above). The breadcrumbs were for the fairies so that if they ever wanted to "take her" (who knows were) she'd be able to give them to the fairies in exchange for her freedom. 

Now imagine telling that to a kid! I'd be scared out of my wits with fear! Perhaps this is why I'm such a homebody now ;) Who in their right mind would want to go outside with freaky fairies about????

Luckily, this perception of fairies in NL never coloured my liking for the community. It remains, as it ever was, a real life example of what NL is all about. The fishing heritage, the cultural heritage, and the iconic landscape NL has to offer. 

For whatever reason, I feel oddly connected to Ferryland. I can honestly say it's my favourite community in NL, and I have been to MANY. It's not special to me for any particular reason. It's not THE most beautiful place in the world or even the province, although it certainly has it's merits! I don't partake in the community. I don't attend church there. All I've ever done in Ferryland is take in a walk from time to time. I've probably made the trek back and forth to the lighthouse dozens of times. Each time is just as satisfying as the last no matter if it's in the thick of a fog, in the freezing ocean wind, or when the sun is splitting the rocks. 

It's just special. I can't give any other reason than that.

After getting my annual dose of Ferryland, I headed back to my family's cabin in a neighbouring community. 

Again, despite the weather for the remainder of the weekend, I had a blast. Relaxing, stitching, and making bread!!!! (Another favourite thing to do of mine).

This time it was rolls :) What's Sunday Turkey without dinner rolls!?!?

I love tying them up into neat little bundles of pure heaven! All you have to do is tear them open, toss in a little butter and there you have it... PERFECTION!

I'm always a little sad when it's time to leave. And who wouldn't be when this is right outside your door? 

You wouldn't know from this picture if it was spring or fall, but I can guarantee you, give it a couple of weeks and the juniper trees will have filled out, the birch will have sprouted a few leaves, and together with the pine, this will become a luscious landscape of green and blue.

Before I leave, I have to show you my stitchy progress! It was a productive weekend in more ways then one!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday!

And happy-start-of-the-long-weekend to my fellow Canadians!!! HURRAY! 

I am pleased to report that winter has, at least temporarily, been kicked out of my neck of the woods. HURRAY AGAIN! With the weather forecasters predicting 17C this afternoon and double digit temps all weekend I truly hope I don't have to share any more depressing icy pics with you until November. Hope I'm not getting too optimistic here...

Now if I could just kick this little cold my brother kindly gave me, I might just be able to get out for a weekend hike and (dare I say it) enjoy the weather????

I do plan to spend some quality stitching time on Santa this weekend as well. Yup, we're taking a much needed break from home construction. We may be thhhhhhissssss close to finishing but boy are we ever burnt out. 

So just because I am committed to putting in a TON of work in on Santa I thought it would be a great idea to show you how far along I am right now. 

I'd say I'm a little better than 1/3 of the way through on this chart so far. The really difficult parts are now coming up. I'm also leaving all the beading until last because BOY is there ever a lot of it. I figure the glass beads and my q-snaps may not make a lovely combo. 

This will be my first time ever really beading. YIKES! I'm actually kind of scared because not only have I never really done it before, but I have also never seen it done before. Sure, I see lots of lovely pictures out there with cross stitch and beading wonderfully mixed, but it's not really helping me with HOW I go about beading.

Some burning questions I have are:
  • What kind of floss do I use to bead? 
  • Do I even use floss?
  • Will the bead cover-up the fabric so it's not visible so that the design will look complete and not "holey". 
  • Am I suppose to cross stitch the spots where the bead is suppose to go in a similar colour floss to prevent "holeyness"?
  • Do I attach a bead and then tie off or do I do bead after bead?
So please, my dear stitchers, if you have any tips you want to share please leave a comment! I need your help :)

Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend,


Monday, May 12, 2014

It's May 12...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Tuesday!

Well I'm trying to be happy. That's kind of hard to do when you wake up to this:

We have a name for this kind of thing in Newfoundland. It's called Sheila's Brush. But BOY Sheila hasn't been too nice to us lowly Newfoundlanders of late. Normally she sticks to March to provide us with our last winter hur'rah! 

It wouldn't be so bad if it was actually Winter time. But nope, all we've had is horrible weather and freezing temps and a Winter that is hanging on with every tooth and nail she has left. 

It's kind of ironic to wake up to this white stuff when last night, for the first time in weeks, I got to sit down and stitch away on Santa's Magic. Santa, as much as I love the idea of magic, I didn't need it to bring me a helping of snow!!!

I've now started down the sleeve and things are certainly starting to take shape!!!

But wait... you didn't really think you'd make it out of this post without witnessing some DIY did you? I did a bit of a trade of last night. A bit of light work for the house in exchange for some quality stitching time.

Just after supper last night I whipped out my trusty latex gloves and a foam brush in anticipation of STAINING. Eeeek! 

To me staining is scary stuff. Once it's on it never comes off. And I'm not just talking about the wood variety of products.

As you can probably tell, my parents garage is filled to bursting with allllll my earthly belongings. One thing staining requires is lots of room to move. I didn't have luxury of that on this particular occasion. 

So I cleared what little room there was to be had and set to work. I have to say I'm prrrretty pleased with myself. LOOK at how awesome that looks. These leggy lengths of wood with very soon be incorporated into my very own DIY staircase project. Of all the things that we'll do for the house the kitchen cabinets and the stairs will be the hardest! But thankfully my father and brother have done this several times so we are in very capable hands :)

Until next time!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy Thursday Everyone!

I am here today on a mission!

I am desperately looking for this edition of Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine (December 2012):

I remember buying it wayyyyyyy back but cannot find it now. It's entirely possible I may have bought it for an exchange but naturally I'm not sure.

If you have a copy or know where I can get my hands on one please pop me an email at

Ciao for now!

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