My Casa Bella







-Thomas Osbourne Davis

Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Need to Call the Fabric Police!

Well, I guess I should go around and remove all the "Wanted" ads posted for my missing 7 yards of fabric. And I guess I can stop questioning my husband asking him what he did with my fabric. I tried to question the cats but all I get is purring and cute facial expressions. I couldn't tell if that was guilt or innocence. It was too hard. Yesterday, I went back into my sewing/workshop to do some clean-up and also because I was determined that somewhere in there my fabric had to be hiding. Even though I have very few storage areas in there, I knew it had to be in there somewhere. So I cleaned, organized, threw out some stuff. Swept in there. And right before I was going to walk out in disappointment, with almost tears in my eyes, I pushed in my chair back under my sewing table. Then I noticed that my sweater that is hanging on the back of the chair seemed bulky. When I lifted the sweater, I heard music......there it was, all 7 yards of my fabric. Hiding under my sweater the whole entire time!!! I couldn't believe it! I did not remember bringing the fabric out to my sewing room even though that is what I always do, but since I could not find it in there then the only other answer was that somehow it had gotten thrown away, not sure how, but it must have. I was so happy. I brought it in, washed it, dried it and took a picture of it. Now I need to buy some liner and trim and start sewing my heart out. Then after all that, I relaxed on my love seat and I wanted to look over my new book that I just purchased:
This picture is courtesy of Hetties Patch which I found accidentally. I took my own picture of the book but I didn't like it, and here she had it on her site, beautifully displayed. If you visit her tell her I sent you...So ladies, its done. The search is over, and evidently according to my dear friend Valerie, its age. UGH!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sewing Extravaganza

On Monday when I got up from bed I was determined to get some sewing done around the house. So I thought, its time to make my shower curtain and bathroom window curtain as well. I had everything layed out on my table in my workshop, so excited. I love to sew, but I still need to get myself psyched for it. Not sure why, but when I do, then I can't stop. I'm the Tasmanian devil then. I have to make myself stop in the middle of a project to go and use the bathroom or even get a bite to eat. Because once I start that's it, you can't stop me. So I layed my fabric out so you can see what I would be using: This is my winter colors. For some reason when winter comes around, some people tend to use dark colors. Which in turn makes a room darker. I can't do that! We have so little sunlight during the winter, and I hate it when we have to turn our clocks back (that's another subject I can easily get into) by 5:30 I feel like I'm ready for bed already. I don't like it at all! So this year I wanted cheery colors for the winter. Winters here in PA can be dreary and dark and that can be depressing. I like when it snows because it brightens things up outside without any sun. Anyway, I wanted pretty cheerful colors and I love floral and strips or plaids together and add some tassel and VOILA! you have happiness in a room even if it is gloomy out.
I don't know why, but I took no pictures of me cutting fabric, but you know how that goes, right? I had to move my project into my dining room since I needed a larger table to lay the fabric on to cut it. That wasn't fun, since my fabric kept trying to slide around on me, and if a piece of string was dangling then my cats thought it was play time. Or if there was enough fabric hanging over onto the floor, they thought it was nap time. I couldn't figure out why the fabric was quickly sliding down until lo and behold, but fat cat was trying to curl into it which made the fabric slide in a very quick manner. Bad kitty!
Sewing the hem of the fabric here above
Now adding the tassel. I love trims, they make such a difference.
The finished product
Can you see my window treatment? (Above)
The pretty tassels! I thought of adding them to the bottom of the fabric but what in the world was I thinking, I have cats! It would of looked like a massacre one morning, with tassels everywhere. That would of been bad!
No matter what I did, the camera would not flash for this picture because of the light coming in through the window.
But this gives you a better view of my bathroom with the window treatment.
So there it is. All done in one day. A whole day actually but what a feeling of accomplishment. Next is my bedroom windows. I bought a beautiful fabric for in there for this winter as well. So that'll be my next post hopefully. As well as sewing window treatments for my workshop. That one is way overdue. And I purchased fabric for our living room windows and it is MIA! What in the world happened to 7 yards of beautiful brick red toile fabric? The last thing I remember was holding the fabric up against the sliding doors with some tassel that I thought may work, then I folded the fabric and put it in the package it came in, and that is it. My mind goes blank. What did I do with it? I'm frustrated with myself. My hubby says its got to be here somewhere, but "here" where? We don't have that much storage here and so there is very little places it can hide, how do you lose 7 yards of fabric???!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blogging and Baking

As I sit on my couch, blog surfing and updating my blog, I thought today would be a good day to bake. Something with apples since I had four apples leftover from my weekend of peeling and slicing. I peeled and sliced 24 apples, thank goodness I have one of those apple peeler, corer and slicer....I hate peeling by hand. Then I make an apple pie sauce that you pour over the apples and toss them in. YUMMY! The best apple pie ever, I think. So I froze 3 bags of apple pie filling and I had some leftover apples and thought I'd make one of my other favorite apple desserts: Cinnamon Apple Cake, courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine:

I know the image is blurry, so I'll type it out for you.

Your dry and wet ingredients
So first off, you'll cream together:
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 Cup of block style creamcheese(Cooking Light uses Neufachetl but I didn't have any so I used the regular)softend
1 Stick of softend butter
1 t Vanilla
Beat together until creamy and well combined
Then add 2 eggs, one at a time until well combined
I just realized my pictures are displayed backwards. OOPS! The dry ingredients are next, which is the fourth picture down. Sorry.
Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups of flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
mix in seperate bowl then add to wet ingredients a little at a time, making sure its thoroughly combined between each addition. The batter is pretty thick.
Now your apples.
Peel, and chop apples to make 3 cups.
In a small bowl combine:
2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup of sugar
You will then toss half of this mixture with the apples until well coated.
Then you will spray your 8 inch spring form pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugare mixture until pan is completely coated, you should have a little bit of the cinnamon mix left over. Save that for the topping.
Next you will fold apples into batter carefully until just combined. Now pour batter into prepared pan, carefully spread batter in pan then sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar over top until covered.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I did it for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Your home will smell wonderful. The smell of the cinnamon and apples is amazing. Let it cool in pan before removing sides.
There it is.
Now make some coffee or tea and have a big piece. It's great to eat while warm. This dessert is a hit when we have company. It's rustic looking and so moist. I make this several times during fall/winter time. Its quick to make and everyone loves it. Now I'm ready for another big piece. Hope you have a chance to make it, you won't regret it, or maybe you will.....LOL. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Craft Show Fun!!

My dear friend Valerie and I did our annual craftshow in Thurmont MD this past weekend and we had a ball. Although a few times we almost blew away with the wind on Saturday. That was the windiest we've ever dealt with in the years of doing this show. But on Sunday it was beautiful that day. We did well, I was very happy. Despite the economy people were everywhere shopping. I sold several bags and came back with one apron. Although I only took a few, but I was happy to return with one. So below you'll see our display:
There are my bags. The ones with the hard handles are new, I enjoyed making them and they were a hit. Boy was I glad. I took this picture Sunday so there are a few bags missing that I sold on Saturday. So I have to do some more sewing!!
Valerie decoupaged these clothespins. They are huge and are great for photos, recipes, reminder notes, etc. She had a ton of fun prettying them up with paper and she sold a ton of these as well.
Here's Valerie's Eiffel Tower plaque. If you look at the pictures you'll see that we're Paris freaks, I've never been I hope one day but Valerie and her hubby have years ago and she's ready for another trip. But it seems our hubby's are not interested in leaving the country so she and I decided that we'll go ourselves, we just have to convince them, like that'll happen....
This year Kathy joined us at the show. She makes beautiful jewelry. You can tell she puts so much thought and time into her jewelry. She's been doing these for a few years now but she's never done an outdoor show and we convinced her to join us and get her name out there. I think she had fun.
So all the time and work that we put into this show every year is exhausting. We really prepare for this one more than any other. This craft show attracts the city people that come from D.C. and Baltimore so we put a lot of time into what we're going to make to take down there. So many people come to this show. Thousands. Valerie was up til 2:00-4:00am working on her projects. Now I'm not that you Valerie.....but her hard work payed off. We always have fun when we do this. We work so well together, we think so much alike and we feed off of each other as well. We're great partners, or as my husband may say, "partners in crime". Shopping, crafting, doing shows.....we have a blast. I look forward to the next show because I know she and I will have a lot of fun doing it. And as a thank you to me from Valerie for helping her set up, decorate, pack and unpack, she gave me a gift today. When I got home and opened it up I about fell over:
I received my own copy of Blogging for Bliss!!!!! I had it on my wish list and she already bought it for me. Along with a pendant that she made for me, it's on the right of the book. Can you see it? She also makes jewelry which I've posted before on my blog from our last show that we did. It is so beautiful, I can't wait to wear it. I also can't wait to tear into my new book. I am so EXCITED!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you my dearest friend Valerie! I certainly was not expecting this, which makes it even more exciting. Thank you for your friendship, your patience, your thoughtfulness, your honesty and dependability. You are a true friend and you mean so much to me. I love you, my dear friend. Until our next show!!! I dedicate this blog to you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

NYC Trip and Handbags

Hello everyone. Well, we just returned from our trip to NYC. My second trip in three weeks, I love it. We actually went back to see some of my hubby's friends. Two of the couples were flying in and the rest still live in NY. It was a mini reunion for them. But we spent the whole weekend with two of the couples and had a blast. Vince and Wendy still live in Brooklyn while Kyle and Michelle flew in from TN. It's been awhile since they've been to the city so it was an overdue visit. So Friday morning we went to SoHo in Manhattan. Off the train we saw this cute French Bakery on Spring St. It was so tiny inside and full of people that I couldn't take any pictures sorry, but it was darling in there.

Below in Bloomingdales on Broadway. Michelle had never been inside one so we went in. It's four stories high and very old fashion. Hardwood floors, great molding inside. Really pretty in there. Stop by when you visit the area.
Spring St. station is where we got off for one section of SoHo. We were heading to Pearl River which I just realized I took no picture of. It is the coolest Asian store on Broadway. Whatever you need from an Asian decorating point of view they have there.

Then on Saturday we went out to dinner in Brooklyn to the Water Street restaurant. Yummy food and if you love beer and burgers this is the place to go. Atmosphere is really nice in there as well.
After dinner we walked around and across the street I saw another french bakery but this time in Brooklyn.
Then right next door to the restaurant we went into Jacques Torres Chocolate Cafe.
Need I say more!!!
So we walked off dinner and wanted to go under the Manhattan bridge where they renovated and added a park. When we got there, there were five wedding parties having their pictures taken. The brides were gorgeous and the brides maids just beautiful. This is just one wedding party that I had a picture off with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.
Another view of the bridge with manhattan behind it:
Can't get enough pictures of the bridge with the city line:
As we continued to walk around we came to the River Cafe the 5 star restaurant in Brooklyn. It sits what looks like a dock on the water. I wonder if it rocks a little in there while you're eating? HMMMM
View of the Bridge again with sun ready to set. Just love that view:
This is taken on the Promenade in Brooklyn looking at the City line:
The Promenade is where they film alot of movies. They've been doing that for so many years now and I wish I could remember some of the movies but I'm having a mind block right now. The Promenade is in Brooklyn Heights.
We were on the rooftop at Vince and Wendy's place and was able to take these beautiful night time views of the City with the fog overhead. It was gorgeous. The Brooklyn Bridge is there to the right.
So after all that fun time in NYC spending it with great friends we had to come home. And I had to get back to work. So today I finished my last bag. YEA!! Done with that. I'd like to get a few aprons done but I'm tired and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold or it could be bad allergies but I don't have the energy to cut fabric right now. So I'll wait until tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed my NYC pictures. As much as I love the city I don't miss living there. But I love to visit, especially in the Fall. Have you seened, You've Got Mail? The part where Tom Hanks is emailing Meg Ryan and he tells her that NYC is wonderful in the fall, its his favorite time of year there and he is right. NYC in the Fall is beautiful. I love that movie. I've watched it over and over and over again and I don't tire of it. I guess because it takes place in NY and I enjoy watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I may have to go put in the DVD player now.......