The last thing I needed was another swan, but I couldn’t resist these beauties at the Broadway Antique Mall in Lebanon, Ohio (near Cincinnati).
After all, my collection didn’t include a piece in blue and here were two little examples. One is such a gorgeous color ….
…and the other is an unusual example with a cork in the opening. There is a very light fragrance, so I’m assuming it held perfume at one time.
The large set with the candle holders is also in a color that I haven’t seen before and will be so pretty in autumn arrangements. My daughter discovered this set and gave them to me as a surprise gift – no occasion, just a gift.
I also found a unique piece to add to my Dutch collection.
What a fun day at the antique mall!
My daughter recommended this pattern to me and I love it. I enjoy doing Fair Isle patterns and this one seems to go together especially well. It has become my favorite heart pattern, found on Ravelry.
I tried the pattern first on a hat in grey and peach worsted (pictured at the top). This is destined for the Pine Ridge Lakota drive that is held every fall to provide winter wear for the school children.
The second hat is in the required yarn/colors of the Iowa Special Olympics. I hope this will help a little girl keep her ears warm while competing.
I’ve made up my own chart for making this heart pattern in different colors because I know I’ll be using it often in all kinds of hand-knit items.
In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I lived in a rural area called Blue Jay, located on the Ohio/Indiana border. My husband had a huge garden and every kind of berry bush and fruit tree that does well in our area. My favorites were the black raspberries and we got bumper crops year after year. I used them in every conceivable way, but regret that I found this recipe after we had to leave our country home and all the wonderful berries. It’s a quick, easy way to turn 1-½ cups of fresh raspberries into a delicious dessert with a little cake and lots of berries.
Butter is melted in the oven in a 9-inch pie plate. Then cake batter is poured over the butter (no stirring) and berries are scattered on top along with a sprinkling of sugar. The cake rises up over the berries to form a thin layer and is delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.
¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
1-½ cups fresh raspberries
Additional 1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and melt butter in 9-inch pie plate Heat until butter is melted but not brown.
Meanwhile, mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl.
Stir in milk. Pour this batter over the melted butter – DO NOT STIR.
Drop berries over top, scattering evenly over surface. DO NOT STIR.
Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 F degrees.
The butter and batter rise to make a thin top crust that is buttery, sugary and crunchy at the edges.
Delicious plain or with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
I like to work in color when knitting and early on found a good, free slip-stitch pattern that forms a brick design. The pattern was originally written for a dish cloth but was easy to convert into a soft, sweet baby blanket .
More recently, I used the same pattern for a scarf for the Arkansas group of Special Olympics. They specify the use of Red Heart yarn in colors of red, grey, black and white and I designed a scarf using these colors and incorporating the brick pattern.
This group asks for scarves and headbands and I included two headbands with Fair Isle patterns.
The free slip-stitch pattern is available at Ravelry.com
Knit Freedom offers a good class on slip-stitch/mosaic knitting for a fee: http://knitfreedom.com/classes/double-knitting
I received an Easter gift of a vintage swan holding some delicious chocolate eggs.
This new addition to my collection inspired me to gather all of the pieces which are displayed throughout the house and form a bevy of swans on the living room mantel. (Note: I had to Google “group of swans” to see what it was called.) They range from a wooden candle holder …
… to a small planter with a Dutch girl …
I love them all, but I’m particularly fond of the pieces that are the kind that were found in the dime store in the 1930s-40s – the kind my mother, grandmothers and aunts would have had in their homes.
I love the large bulb bowl ….
…which my daughter keeps filled with beautiful arrangements made from simple grocery store bouquets.
My usual TV/knitting spot is on a couch facing the mantel where I can enjoy my special bevy of swans.
I saw a recipe online for bell peppers stuffed with rice, ground chicken and an interesting blend of vegetables which sounded good, but I thought my family would like it better in casserole-form. I used chopped bell peppers along with chicken breast rather than ground chicken and substituted orzo for rice to make a very flavorful and satisfying meal. I used my favorite mixture of oregano and chili powder to give the dish a little kick and it was voted a winner by the family. I assembled the dish a day ahead of time and baked it for Sunday dinner. We had enough for everyone to have an extra serving for supper during the week. This dish would also freeze well.
Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke and Orzo Casserole
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup orzo cooked al dente according to package directions
½ chicken breast, cooked and shredded
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Oiled 9×13 baking dish
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook bell pepper and onion until soft but not brown. Add minced garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir in tomato sauce, thawed spinach, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Add cooked orzo and shredded chicken breast. Spoon mixture into oiled 9×13 baking dish. Dish can be covered and refrigerated at this point and baked later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place covered casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Remove cover and sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve hot.
6-8 generous servings