All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Turn Memories into Material

This image has been percolating in my brain ever since I ripped this page out of the March 2012 issue of Country Living magazine over two years ago.  Every now and then I panic and think, "Where the heck did I put that picture - I hope I didn't lose it?!"  So, I thought I had better snap a photo of it so I have an electronic copy, especially since I haven't been able to locate the image on line.  Here's the text from the article:

"If you can upload a file, you can design you own textiles, thanks to  The website lets folks put anything on fabric, from artwork and photos to old family letters (the one we used for the upholstery dates from 1882).  Simply adjust the image size and select the type of cloth ($18 to $38 per yard).  Spoonflower will handle the rest, mailing the finished material within 10 days - allowing you to transform a plain piece of furniture into an heirloom.

I'm itchy to place an order....


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why is Breaking Up So Hard to Do??

It's finally time to say goodbye to my faithful Kenmore sewing machine....

I'm having such a hard time - it's almost as traumatic as when I traded in my beat up Chevette for a brand new Honda Civic hatchback way back in 1990.  (The salesman couldn't understand why I was shedding tears in the parking lot over such nonsense!)  I felt like I had betrayed my faithful friend and was putting it out to pasture after all the places it had safely transported me.  Parting with my Kenmore feels so similar....

I purchased this Kenmore Ultra-Stitch 12 back in 1984; the first major purchase I made after graduating from college.  It served me so well!  It traveled with me from my parents' house to two years of Voluntary Service with my church, to my very-first apartment on my own, and finally to my current home.  I made clothing for myself, stitched many a bridesmaid dress, did lots of decorator sewing, pieced some quilts, and did a ton of alterations. I even did a stint of sewing for the local sports goods store and zig zagged the heck out of the machine.  I used it so hard that I burned out at least three foot pedals, and it still ran like a champ.  I even purchased a second identical model to keep on hand as a spare.  It was so easy to maintain; it rarely needed servicing since it was simple to clean and oil.

It sat in this little cabinet under the window in my sewing room and was always at my beck and call.  I purchased the cabinet after I moved into my first apartment; my friend Denise went to Sears with me and helped me unload and assemble it.  I loved the flatbed option the cabinet provided.

But, the time finally came for me to upgrade to a newer machine.  I ended up buying a used Bernina 440 QE almost four years ago.  I had a terrible time making the switch - I felt like I had cut off my right arm and flushed WAY too much money down the toilet!  For the longest time, I had my Bernina sitting on a card table next to my Kenmore, preferring the modest Kenmore to the splashy new Bernina.  But, I finally put on my "big girl panties" and learned to use my new machine.  I love, love, love my Bernina now that I'm accustomed to it and I will never go back.   I had hung on to my Kenmore machines in case I needed a backup, but it finally dawned on me that I've moved on and won't be using them again.  I still feel a bit guilty....  

BUT, I'm so happy to have found new homes for both of them.  And, it's much better for someone else to get some use out of them vs. having them sit unused  in my house.

Here's to Kenmore sewing machines!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Ironstone Dishes!

I couldn't believe my good fortune when I came across this set of Ironstone dishes at the thrift shop today - all these pieces for less than $20.00!  (I'm wondering if the pricing volunteer was wet under the ears, but I didn't say anything!)

Love this sugar bowl...

... and the dainty design.

There were plenty of extra saucers (a steal at 10 cents each!!), but I'm thinking they'll be perfect to hold trinkets, jewelry, sewing notions, you name it.

:)  :)  :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014


You can read more about these pillowcases here, here, and here!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
by Mark Batterson

I'm getting ready to read this book for the third time in less than six months - pretty soon my entire book will be underlined.  Too many quotes to post as it's the most life-changing book I've read in a long, long time....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Philadelphia Flower Show

The best part of the Philadelphia Flower Show??

Spending time with my friend Phyllis, the vendor mall, and eating at the Reading Terminal.  The rest of it - I'll pass on!

Here are my purchases this year:

A nifty oilcloth apron,

some rose gloves that I've been in need of for forever,

pruners designed for a woman's hand,

heavyweight gloves,

and my favorite hand lotion that I discovered last year at the show (amazing stuff - it trains your skin to re-hydrate itself, and it's perfect for sewing).

We had fabulous southern food at this little restaurant inside the Reading Terminal (not sure why I didn't take a picture of the food!).

Can't wait 'til next year!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

I had pulled this "Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe out of a recent issue of the little Everyday Food magazine that came with my Martha Stewart magazine.  Book group this evening was the perfect group to try it out on.  It was easy and yummy, and the warm fuzzies that came from using my mom's cast iron skillet made the flavor even better....

6 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c. packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. coarse sea salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars with a wooden spoon.  Stir in egg and vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Transfer to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; smooth top.

Bake until cookie is golden brown and just set in the center, 18-20 min.  Let cool 5 min.