Saturday, February 4, 2012

His Birthday

It was a full day celebrating John's Birthday earlier this week.
He took a day from work and bright and early we headed to Chick-Fil-A (with a coupon for a free breakfast) then to the train station for a trip into Philly.
John picked card no. 48 from our
City Walks Philadelphia, 50 Adventures on Foot,
and we set out for Historic Society Hill.
The weather was sunny and very mild for a winter day in January.
Usually it would be cold and snowy.
The streets were empty except for an occasional dog being walked or postman delivering mail as we strolled down the brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets.

The Society Hill Towers on Locust Street reached into the blue sky.  We passed the Abercrombie House built for a Scottish sea captain in 1759.  The Physick House on South Fourth Street was built in 1786.  Later,  Doctor Philip Syng Physick, known as "Father of American Surgery" took up residence.
Man Full of Trouble Tavern is located on Spruce Street and is the cities only surviving pre-Revolution tavern.
Down Willings Alley we found the courtyard of Old St. Joseph's Church. Founded in 1733 it is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia.

I wanted to get a photo while we were inside but didn't want to disturb anyone with the sounds from the camera.  We will be attending a wedding here very soon.
 Just a couple blocks away is The Down Town Club where the wedding reception will be held.
Aside from an occasional pedestrian, we felt we had the city to ourselves.
One the way home we stopped in to visit with Jamie.  I will share those pics in another post.
Just as we arrived home, the phone rang with wishes from Jill.
Ryan, Brenna and Shaela sang and giggled 
♪♪♪ Happy Birthday♪♪♪
 to their Pop-Pop.
A short time home to take care of Raider and it was off to Library 2 for a fine steak dinner.
It was Erin and AJ's gift to John and it was very special! 
This restaurant is very dark inside and the walls are lined with old books.
Patrons are allowed to take a book or two home with them and Abbey was beside herself with joy as she scanned the shelves.
It was so dark she needed the light from her phone.
We were tuckered out going all day and right through the evening but it was a wonderful day together.
John felt very loved, as he is.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Waiting for baby

Jamie is due the end of February.
I was inspired by a crocheted baby blanket I saw on Pinterest
to make for our new granddaughter soon to join her five siblings.
(Here is the LINK to the Etsy shop where you can purchase the pattern made by Sheila for the beautiful baby blanket that inspired my project.  Sheila's blankets are much cuter!)  

I added a teeny beanie and similar beanies for big sisters
Keri and Cambrie.
Hard to think of Cambrie as a big sister!
The tiny beanie pattern was found on a very sweet blog ~
The Dainty Daisy.
Betsy (and Laura) has a video tutorial for this sweet hat for those of you that need a little encouragement to begin a project.
For the blanket:
remember the crocheted washcloths I made here?

Using the same pattern but working with three strands worsted weight yarn, N crochet hook, and doubling the beginning chain count, I made a baby blanket measuring about 28x32-inches.

This is a very thick blanket that would be super cushy to lay a baby on or use to throw over a car seat or stroller.  Too thick, in my opinion, for wrapping baby in.

The pattern
Worsted weight cotton yarn (I am not sure how much yarn I used.  I worked from three 1-lb. skeins and probably have enough left to make another blanket.
Crochet Hook size N or whatever size works best for you

Ch 56
Row 1
Hdc in the 2nd ch from hook, (sc in the next ch, dc in the next ch)
across, sc in the next ch, hdc in the last ch; ch 1, turn.

Row 2
Hdc in the first hdc, (dc in the next sc, sc in the next dc) 12 times, dc in the next sc, hdc in the last hdc; ch 1, turn.

Row 3
Hdc in the first hdc, (sc in the next dc, dc in the next sc) across, sc in the next dc, hdc in the last hdc; ch 1, turn.

Rows 4-to length desired
(Repeat rows 2 and 3) to desired length; do not ch 1 at the end of row.

Last Row: Sl st in each st across. Fasten off.

I bought 1 yard of fabric for the backing and after washing and hand stitching to the back I had just enough left over to make two small burp cloths.
While visiting with Jamie, I peeked into her bedroom
and this is what I saw.
It is the same cradle I put her in when we brought her and her twin sister home from the hospital.
It has been used by many babies since then.

Linking to:
Vintage Inspiration Friday @Common Ground, Sharing Saturday @Mama Mia's, Get Your Craft on Tuesday @Today's Creative Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chocolate Mousse by Grateful Prayer Thankful Heart

I picked up chocolate molds on after-Christmas clearance (75%-off) and knew they would make perfect serving cups for a special dessert.  They were a little tricky un-molding but nothing that the filling didn't hide.
Following the directions on the package, I made 10 dessert shells with about half a bag of Candy Melts.
When the dessert shells were completed, it was on to the mousse.
Alton Brown rates his recipe as easy but I thought it was a bit involved.
Not difficult but with several steps.
Heating the cream over a candle is so Alton.
Kind of  feels like you're in science lab   :)
After the mousse was made and chilled a bit in the refrigerator, I piped it into the chocolate molds for a pretty presentation.
Chocolate Mousse
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Serves: 6 to 8 servings (I filled 10 chocolate cups plus two additional glasses)
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin

Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.

In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to "bloom" for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.

Spoon into bowls or martini glasses and chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fruit and serve.

(If mousse is to be refrigerated overnight, chill for one hour and then cover each with plastic wrap)
Becca @Blue Cricket Designs offered me the position of
Cooking Contributor on her blog.
fun!   This is my first post sent to her  :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Loving Hands

Keri's stay last week was short so she is spending a few more days here with us this week.  I have been thinking that something my mom made would be fitting her soon and I was right.
Keri was happy to twirl about and model as Pop-Pop snapped pics.
Whatever my mom put her hand to do, she did it with all of her might and ability.
Her many crochet projects are still enjoyed today by those she lovingly shared her gifts with.
As an engagement gift, Mommy crocheted this beautiful robe for me.
Its to-the-floor length and three-quarter sleeve is like wearing a warm afghan!
She spent many hours altering and designing a pattern, crocheting each stitch and sewing on each of the thirteen buttons down the front.  It has a ruffly, Peter Pan collar and tie around the neck and bodice. I think it is made with a sport weight yarn.
I am wearing it in this photo with our oldest daughter, Erin when she was just a toddler.
Daddy Mommy and Erin Lee 1987
When Erin got a little older, Mommy made a child-size robe for her.
I can't seem to find the photos of Jill and Jamie wearing the robe but I did find one of our youngest daughter, Abbey.
Abbey ~ age 7
Now, our oldest granddaughter can remember her great-grandmother and enjoy the work of her hands as she joyfully wears the robe.
When Brenna arrives for a visit this spring, I know she too will want to have her turn.
And we all know, I will be ready with my camera.


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