From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Mardi Gras Cookie Party

It is Mardi Gras season, a great excuse to celebrate and set a nice table for some great food.  Mardi Gras celebration is an entire season of carnival activities for some cities. Mobile Alabama claims the very first celebration. New Orleans has a street fair and parades. Costume celebrations are held in Austria and Switzerland, and other areas around the world. Mardi Gras was on my mind as I prepared to host a board meeting for one of my clubs.  We had a lot of heavy decisions to make, so to make the meeting a bit lighter in tone, I decided to make it a cookie party. The dining room table was protected with a pad and tablecloth, then topped with a quilted table topper in my Amazing Value Play pattern.

Mardi Gras Meeting table 1

The centerpiece is a yellow ceramic basket, with greenery and purple flowers inside. Mardi Gras beads were draped over and around the basket, with some Mardi Gras coins scattered about.  The glittery purple and gold apples work well with the theme.

Mardi Gras Meeting table 5

The purple note pads and funky napkins were found at the dollar store, along with some additional beads for the table.  Everyone will get a beaded necklace to take home.

Mardi Gras Meeting table 3

The fun ceramic dessert plates are a thrift store find, couldn’t be a better match for the table.

Mardi Gras Meeting table 2

I made my Vanilla Sugar Cookies for the meeting. Rolling out the dough, I used a fluted round cutter to suggest coins.

Mardi Gras Vanilla Sugar Cookies 1a

They bake up quickly.

Mardi Gras Vanilla Sugar Cookies 1b

Frosting them lightly with icing, they were sprinkled with purple, green and gold sugar crystal decorations instead of Christmas colors.

Mardi Gras Vanilla Sugar Cookies 7

Turned out pretty tasty looking, huh?

Mardi Gras Vanilla Sugar Cookies 4

I made some chocolate chip cookies too, but these are the stars for the day.

Mardi Gras Vanilla Sugar Cookies 8

The name Mardi Gras is actually French for Fat Tuesday, and that will be next Tuesday, February 28th.  Then you can set a lovely table with a Mardi Gras Theme like this one from last year.

Mardi Gras Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

Using a crown, some evening bags, coins and beads, this is a fun table for a Tuesday meal.

Mardi Gras Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

In the mood for a bit of quilting?  Make my Mardi Gras Mini Quilt.

Mardi Gras Mini Quilt | From My Carolina Home

I used small seed beads to suggest a bead necklace on the top of the green, gold and purple block like the ones participants throw to the crowds during the parades.  See that construction with this link – Mardi Gras Mini Quilt.

Mardi Gras Mini Quilt | From My Carolina Home

Want a cookie?

Mardi Gras Vanilla Sugar Cookies 11

Do you have any plans for Mardi Gras?

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Valentine Decorating

Valentine hearts finally came out over the weekend. I haven’t done anything new quilt-wise for Valentine this year, unless you want to count the red and cream Scrap Dance Waltz.  But I did put up a couple of things from years past. The pink candles came out to replace the Winter White of January. I need to do a mini quilt for Valentine, but once again this year I didn’t get to it. So I have left the White on White Mini Quilt up. Click on the highlighted titles all through this post for free patterns and instructions. I added the white candle with the pink rhinestone hearts, and a bit of glitter heart garland to the reindeer’s beads.

Valentine 2017 4

The Hearts Around Table Topper is on the wall this year instead of a table.  See this post Quilting Hearts Around to see how to deal with a stray dark thread under a light fabric.

Valentine 2017 5

Over in the dining room, I put another Valentine Hearts Wall Hanging using it as a table topper.  Red candles replaced the white ones, and I added some glitter heart garland over the painted white pine cones.

Valentine 2017 2

We don’t plan any dinner parties before Valentines, but I wanted to use the red napkin rings I just found at the thrift store. So I put red napkins in them, and set them around the table just for show. I’m sure there will be an opportunity to use them with all kinds of seasonal tablescapes later, so you’ll likely see them again.  It makes a nice view coming down the stairs in the mornings.

Valentine 2017 1

This sweet little wall hanging is a table topper this year.  I don’t have a pattern for this one, it was a block of the month at quilt club some years ago.  It is sweet, with the heart shaped applique heart flowers, with buttons and stems, bordered in heart fabric.

Valentine 2017 6

Make a wool applique Valentine Penny Rug.

finishedone

Maybe you can have a Valentine Breakfast this coming weekend. Here’s my breakfast table from a couple of years back, with the pink Cherry Blossom depression glass plates.

Valentine Breakfast 4

I served Popovers with Black Cherry Creme (recipe here)…

Popovers 28

Make some Valentine cards to send to your family and well loved friends.

Valentine Cards 2015 - 8

I have been reluctant to take down my Paris inspired tablescape (Romantic Dinner for Two) because it says romance to me more than the red hearts do right now. Just having it out, with the Eiffel Tower, brought back wonderful memories of our trip to Paris years ago, and we reminisced about it last weekend. We stayed in a quaint hotel on the sixth (top) floor with a gorgeous view of the city from the beautiful stonework rooftop balcony off our room. It was just off the Champs-Elysées, right around the corner from a charming café where I got to practice my French and order breakfast each day.  It was an enchanting time.

Romantic Dinner for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

What are your plans for Valentine’s this year?

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New Year’s Eve

We aren’t planning any late night activities tonight, it will be a quiet welcoming of the new year having dinner out with friends and home early. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do a bit of decorating. I like to get all the Christmas decorations down by this day, and do a little New Year’s cheer for the last of the holiday season.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

I got out the black-with-gold-dots table cloth I made some time ago, adding gold chargers and white plates. The little black octagon plates are going to the thrift store after this breakfast. For breakfast they might hold some fruit.  The wine glasses might hold mimosas, I haven’t decided yet.  White linen napkins are held with clear rings – a thrift store find.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

The centerpiece is made of four of those star sprays I got at the dollar store last year, or was it the year before?  Such an inexpensive little thing that adds a lot to a table.   They almost look like fireworks are going off on the table, a bit of color to the elegant black and gold theme.  The bases are wrapped in black with gold trim.  On either side are small glass candlesticks with black candles trimmed in gold.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

I am planning to make Eggnog French Toast for New Year’s Day breakfast. I saw the recipe on Cecilia’s blog My Thrift Store Addiction and DH has given approval for our holiday breakfast.  I may put a spin on the idea by adding some cinnamon, you all know that DH loves cinnamon.   Although, nutmeg might make more sense.  Or maybe both.  The little creamer pitcher will hold syrup warmed in the microwave.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

Once again on New Year’s Eve, I want to remind you to put your money outside this evening!  I know, it seems silly, but what the hey. You hide some money outside on New Year’s Eve, (doesn’t matter how much) then bring the money into the house on New Year’s Day. It is supposed to bring good fortune with it, as long as it is still there, LOL!! Now, I am not superstitious, this is just something fun to do, and seems to be a conversation starter too.  Ask your friends if any of them have ever heard of it.  And for my readers who saw this last year, or the year before, did you do it?

moneyoutside1

Of course, tomorrow we will have to have Black Eyed Peas. I usually do a version of Hopping John that I have kicked up a notch with kielbasa and call Jumpin’ John.  The peas are mixed with rice, sausage and sauce, then garnished with green onions.  It is a good luck lunch in a bowl while watching the football games.

Jumpin John - 11

Whatever your plans for tonight and tomorrow, have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year.

What are your plans for this weekend?

 

Sharing…

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Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm

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Best of 2016 and Goals for 2017

Who knew it would be difficult to write about the 5 Best posts of 2016 on From My Carolina Home!  As I near the end of my third year of blogging next month, it is amazing that I still have things to say, projects to sew, things to create with hot glue, cards to stamp, new recipes to cook and it is still fun.  So, what did I enjoy the most this year?  Well, instead of five posts, I am going to review three events.

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt Along

This was the second mystery quilt I designed, and it told me its name while it was in the design stage. The Scrap Dance series took off after this, and now has five patterns in the series, with #6 coming in January.  It was the second event I did on the blog.  The pattern for Tango is available in my Craftsy store, link on the sidebar.  You’ll also find Scrap Dance the original, Scrap Dance Quickstep, and The Charleston bag there too.

Tango Cover Shots 3

Christmas in July

I began thinking about doing this in the spring, and started designing new projects for a 12 day event.  I contacted my favorite companies for prizes and the response was terrific.  Sponsors included Aurifil Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, Stampin’ Up!, Superior Threads, and Primitive Gatherings.  I was just about done with planning when I got an invitation to join a blog hop, and was so very fortunate to be the first stop.  Many of the blog hoppers came back for more fun later in the event.  We began with the Sewing Kit / Jewelry Case Tutorial, and for the next 12 days made a wool applique penny rug, stamped cards, sewed a Christmas purse, made a mini quilt and a Christmas bed quilt, made ornaments, created gifts for guys and gifts from the kitchen, and then did some decorating and tablescapes.  And after all that, we settled down to rest with some Christmas themed books.  Click on the Christmas category on the sidebar and scroll down for all the posts.  I had a blast doing that event, and the sponsors were happy too.
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Santas 2

Autumn Jubilee

Then came my favorite season, Autumn.  Here is where I lost my mind, and committed to a month long event with 2 quilt alongs, a stitch along, sewing and crafting projects, tablescapes, thrift store finds and recycling, another wool applique pattern and a new recipe for Pumpkin Orange Bread.  I had a great time doing that, and again had marvelous support from my favorite sponsors with giveaways.  Sponsors for this event included Aurifil Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, Stampin’ Up!, Back Side Fabrics and Magnet King. Click on the Autumn Jubilee category on the sidebar to see all the projects.

autumnjubileelogo

So now, what will I do in 2017?  Time to set some goals for the year, with you in mind, dear reader. I need to get in a little bit of everything as usual, heavy on the quilting and sewing, with gardening, cooking, reading, crafting, card making, thrifting and recycling, and more thrown in for fun.

Goal 1 – Do a mystery quilt for 2017 – already in the works to begin in late January

Goal 2 – Plan another event during the 2017 year with giveaways from my favorite sponsors for readers

Goal 3 – Be a stop on a Christmas in July blog hop, not a 12 day event this year

Goal 4 – Publish Scrap Dance Waltz

Goal 5 – Do another Autumn event, as yet undetermined, encompassing a wide variety of projects

And finally a funny story about my best laugh of the year.  I was Christmas shopping for a calendar for DH, and I found a large display in a store.  One of them was called the Anti-Affirmation calendar and the cover shot made me laugh out loud.  Yes, in the store.  Could. Not. Stop.  Other customers were coming over to see what was just so funny.  In short order, I had a group of people laughing, and was still going as I went to check out.  No, I didn’t buy it.  The person I would want to give it to is my ex-boss, and I am quite sure it would not be appreciated.  So, what did it say that was so humorous?  Here it is, and maybe you had to be there, or maybe it was just my mood that day.  Or maybe it is truly hilarious, because I am still laughing as I type this!

“If I give you a straw, will you go suck the fun out of someone else’s life?”

Still laughing.  And committed to having fun this year!  Won’t you join me?

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

Linking up with

Quilting Jet Girl 2017 Planning Party

Best of 2016 Link Party 

Main Crush Monday

Celebrate and Decorate

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social

Vintage Charm

Share Your Cup Thursday

Needle and Thread Thursday

Whoop Whoop Friday

Rattlebridge Farm New Year’s Eve Party

Crazy Mom Quilts

Brag About It

Handmade Hangout

Scrap Dance on benchThe original Scrap Dance quilt pattern is available in my Craftsy store, along with all the Scrap Dance series patterns and more.


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Holiday Wishes

On this Christmas Day, I wish you joy and peace, with love and laughter of family and friends.  A wish for all my readers, no matter where you live or what your faith, of health and happiness on this day and every day.

Christmas Ornaments ~ From My Carolina Home

I wish for a world where tolerance and respect is the norm instead of the exception for all people. I wish for people of different faiths and backgrounds to see others as merely different and not evil. I wish for all to live and let live, to pursue happiness as each sees fit, to learn from one another, to help one another, attend to making their lives as good as they can without tearing down others in the process. I wish for a world where all people spend their energy creating and serving instead of destroying or committing crimes, where the pursuit of excellence and knowledge takes center stage, where honest work is rewarded no matter what the job.  I wish for an end to violence in all its forms.  I wish for an end to homelessness and hunger. I wish for peace.

high-falls-covered-bridge-2

I wish for every shelter dog to find a home.  (This is our rescue psychodog from several years ago, we still miss her.)

christmas07

I wish for everyone to have joy in their lives, and to spread joy to others.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Shalom, Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

What are your holiday wishes?


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Decorating for Christmas

Decorating the house for the Christmas season is always fun.  Each year I try to use the same things we have had for years in new ways, adding a few new things and donating others.  This time, I had a new Wool Applique Christmas Penny Rug from the Christmas in July event, and it was perfect for my tiny frolicking reindeer .

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, quilts are always a part of the decor. The guest bed got the Christmas Star quilt.

Christmas Star Quilt

I love these goofy moose with their plaid outfits. I got them in a silent auction of closet clean out stuff at our quilt club.

Chris-Mooses

My chair next to the den fireplace has my Christmas Trip Around the World quilt from last year.

Christmas 2016 Den 1

DH has my orphan block quilt that I made into a table topper. It is large enough to cover the dining room table, and happily the same size works as a throw.

Christmas 2016 Den 3

Isn’t this little mouse cute? He gets to sit on the kitchen window with a teacup so I can hear his stories while I make a meal.  To hear him tell it, he has had quite a few adventures with Santa.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

The fireplace doesn’t have a mantle, and with this stonework it isn’t really practical to try to put one up. So usually I have to put my stockings on the bookcases to the right.

Christmas no mantle

But this year, I thought putting them on the stairs might be fun. The stocking hangers are Santa in his sleigh, and I have four reindeer. This year I just used three.  I think I’ll add a golden cord next time to tie them all together like they were harnessed up to pull the sleigh.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

Over on the pub table, a jigsaw puzzle is ready for MIL to visit. We like doing these as an activity while watching football games, or just to relax. I love the elegance of the white poinsettia (a gift from a friend) in the white reindeer and I think it looks nice on the Hexagonal Table Topper.  The puzzle is actually quite a bit further along now, after MIL visited and got the border done.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

Next to the tree is my collection of little Santa figurines on the Victorian corner shelf.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

On the cookbook bookcase, I placed the Santa Paws plate, a cute little collectable with all dogs dressed in holiday finery. A few Christmas cookbooks and a golden tree candle complete this display.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the kitchen, the little library table has a few Christmas themed items, along with the Quick Squares Table Runner – click on that link for the free pattern.  I have most of the Christmas with Southern Living series, and this one with the cookies on the cover was perfect for the kitchen this year, adding a vintage vibe to this corner of the kitchen.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

The pie safe that I use for storage and display space has the Christmas Table Runner from our quilt along last year. Click HERE for that pattern.  Yes, unbelievably, those violets are still blooming a month later!

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the library, the Christmas Mini Quilt from the Christmas in July event sits on its stand with the evergreen tree topper.  It is supposed to be an ornament, the pattern is free on the link.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

This little mouse has a pin in the side to hold onto a pillar candle. Cute isn’t he? He has been around a lot of years, but I don’t always use him every year.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

On the bathroom counter, a new-to-me Santa for this year (estate sale of course), along with a moose and a small little ceramic box. I like the descending sizes with the tall candles. Festive, but doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the sewing room, a little tree and a stuffed reindeer wait for Santa on the Singer treadle sewing machine.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the hallway, I put a greenery wreath on the jingle bell hanger on a closet door. You know, you can have as many wreaths as you want, sometimes some just have to go inside. I used this wreath as a table centerpiece last year. This year, I added a gold wire edge ribbon bow and a few berries on either side of the bow. Everything is wired on so it can be easily removed when I change my mind and want to use it on a table again.

Inside Wreath 1

So, there are a few ideas for making a festive home.

Do you have some favorite things that come out at holiday time?

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday weekend!  I wanted to share again my Thanksgiving post from two years ago about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, as the great majority of readers haven’t seen it.  It really feels like the holidays are beginning when this day comes each year, my favorite holiday. I always wake up with much anticipation for the day. After making a pot of coffee, I’ll enjoy it while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have been spending the holiday morning doing this for many years. Seeing Tom Turkey kick off the parade is exciting every time!

TomTurkey©Macy’s, Inc

Did you know that they use the same floats year after year as well as balloons? Each year, some are the same, and some are reworked into something new. I think my favorite float would have to be the Marion-Carole Showboat float which has been in the parade more than 35 years. It is one of the few times I have seen my name on something spelled with the E! Usually the performer on that float is one I like to see. The Big Apple float is also a favorite.

MarionCarole BigApple

©Macy’s, Inc

Sometimes the balloons get a change of clothes. In 1946 Harold was a baseball player, and had a role in the 1947 release of Miracle on 34th Street. At another time, the same balloon was a Harold the Fireman. The Macy’s Parade website says this was 1948. But, the same site says the baseball player was 1949, when we know it was 1946 because of the movie.

HaroldBallplayer HaroldFireman

©Macy’s, Inc

The scenes of the parade in the movie were made in 1946, the year before it was released, with the actual parade seen through the window! They had to time the scene to correspond with the appearance of the baseball player to match the script. Plus, all the parade scenes had to be shot that morning, as doing them over wasn’t possible.

Natalie-Wood-and-John-Payne-watching-parade©Twentieth Century Fox

Edmund Gwenn was really the Macy’s Santa Claus in 1946 so the scenes could be shot with him in them. I love this version of Miracle on 34th Street, and I’ll watch it sometime this weekend. None of the remakes have even come close.

EdmundGwynn©Macy’s, Inc

Santa©Twentieth Century Fox

Snoopy is a classic too.

snoopy ©Macy’s, Inc

They even have floats perfect for foodies! The one on the left is by Lindt called The Enchanting World of Chocolate. And on the right is Domino Sugar’s Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations.

WorldChocolate Sugar

©Macy’s, Inc

And more floats!!

Celebearation CentralPark

Sesame 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

©Macy’s, Inc

A couple of years ago I started a Pinterest board to save pictures of the iconic parade – Thanksgiving Parade!! I wish I could share more of them on the blog, but you’ll just have to go to the link to see them. There are images pinned from before WWII, modern images, and even some from Miracle on 34th Street. Images I have used here are from the Macy’s media release, and are used with permission.

The holidays are now officially on, so I wish you all a very merry season!  Happy Thanksgiving!