Why Santa dropped by my place today

November 30, 2010 at 2:32 am | Posted in art, biscuit recipes, Christmas, country life, country living, family, food, hand knit dishcloths, knitted washrags, knitting, Life, love, recipes, yarn | Leave a comment
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I have been working on creating a new deluxe limited edition version of my Biscuit Blanket Kit.

Some time ago I came across these gorgeous Espresso colored gift boxes that are 6″ x 6″ x 4″ and I knew that all of the goodies I put into a Biscuit Blanket kit would fit perfectly inside of one. I also knew that the yarn, the note card and the recipe cards would look scrumptious inside a box that color.

So, I ordered 100 of the gift boxes and have put together 50 of the kits in five different color combinations.

They are all available in my Etsy store and on my website.

The kit includes a download of the original Biscuit Blanket pattern. However, if you already have that pattern you can buy the kit and then email me with a different pattern you would like a download for, and I will substitute for you.

While packaging them up I discovered that a knitted Biscuit Blanket folded in quarters fits perfectly inside the gift box, which makes it even more perfect as a choice.

The other thing is that at 4″ tall, the box will accomodate one (or more) 8-oz jars of homemade preserves or jelly perfectly … another wonderful bonus.

When I put together the first sample kit and saw the rich combination of colors I just knew I had hit on something would delight my readers.

This Deluxe, Limited Edition kit comes with:

  • Online download for the original Biscuit Blanket knitting pattern
  • Two balls of my private label 100% super soft cotton yarn
  • One hand-wound mini-ball of cotton yarn in an accent color
  • One beautiful “Espresso” colored gift box perfectly sized for a completed Biscuit Blanket
  • Two pieces of tissue paper in Vanilla Cream for gift wrapping
  • One piece of coordinating ribbon or tulle (varies) for tying the gift box
  • One notecard featuring a print of one of my (J. L. Fleckenstein) original oil paintings (notecards vary)
  • Two beautiful recipe cards featuring my Biscuit Recipe that I won a Blue Ribbon for (one for you, one for your gift recipient; the recipe is set against a background featuring a beautiful color photograph from my blog

This is a perfect last-minute gift for a knitter on your shopping list also!

Supplies are limited, color choices are limited, and will be shipped on a first come, first served basis until sold out.

Best wishes to all,
~firefly

Let the wild things flourish

August 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Posted in biscuit recipes, country life, country living, faith, family, flowers, food, gardening, knitting, Life, love, photography, Quilt Trail, recipes, travel | 10 Comments
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Unpredictable, lush, and abundant. That is how my garden grows.

When I look out at our barn these days I sometimes catch my breath at the wild, vibrant sprays of color from the many of wild flowers growing there underneath our quilt block. This accidental farming business is a pretty good deal that gets better and better as summer evolves.

The other day I was out picking a few more raspberries when I noticed a huge thistle shrub growing out beside of an old garage foundation behind the house. Purple top hats nestled on the tops of hundreds of thistle blossoms were being nibbled by a wide variety of bees. I grabbed the camera and shot some photos of the thistles as well as the flowers by the barn.

While I was shooting the flowers in front of the barn, I noticed what I thought was a hummingbird darting around, so aimed my camera toward her in an effort to capture a clear image. This was a fast little creature that never stayed still long enough for me to get a good look at it with my eyes. It did give me the distinct impression of a hummingbird, but a very small hummingbird only a little over an inch tall.

I shot as many photos as quickly as I could in hopes there might be a jewel of a shot. Alas, my lens was not quick enough that day; I did get some fairly good shots though. They were clear enough to confirm that it did resemble a hummingbird but there were some other things I was certain a standard issue hummingbird would not have. For instance, notice the long antenna … not very bird-like, I’d say.

And check out the furry looking “coat” on this critter … also not very bird-like IMHO. I also noticed the creature had some sort of arm looking things it would use to balance itself with as it drank the nectar of the pretty wild flowers. Well, I have never seen a bird with arms before, have you?

So, I sent several of my photos off to my husband at work for his help in identifying the strange creature. He told me it was a hummingbird moth. Wow, that is something I did not know existed. It was wild how similar this little guy was to a hummingbird. He moved so quickly that it was hard to figure out that he wasn’t a hummingbird.

I had quite a bit of fun with the little mothman. He either didn’t notice me standing there shooting photos from three feet away or he just didn’t care. Perhaps he is accustomed to the paparazzi, being such a rare and beautiful creature as he is. I could hardly wait to share these photos with you today.

Last week my husband and I set out for Partyka Farms again, but to pick blueberries rather than strawberries. My friend Lora was kind enough to let us pick our own berries even though they don’t offer “You-Pick” on their blueberries. It was a beautiful summer day, not too awfully hot. We were way off in the blueberry bushes chatting and enjoying both sunshine and shade as we picked four quarts of gorgeous blue berries.

We gave one quart to Dave’s widow down the road and I made several jars of blueberry preserves with most of the rest of them. We had some berries left and last Saturday we enjoyed a late lunch of scrambled eggs and corncakes (like pancakes but made with cornbread batter instead of pancake batter) which I mixed a bunch of fresh blueberries into. That proved to be a delicious combination and a nice surprise.

The blueberry corncakes were so good, I decided to use up more of the berries in some homemade biscuits the next morning. If you haven’t used my Blue Ribbon Biscuit Recipe yet (or even if you have) you should go out and get some fresh blueberries and make yourself some Blueberry Biscuits. Just add a handful or so of washed blueberries into the biscuit dough after you have cut in the butter but before you add in the buttermilk.

Now those were some good biscuits, topped with some of the blueberry preserves I had just made.

Tomorrow, Saturday August 2nd, I will be displaying some of my art at The Cobblestone Society Museum in Childs, NY as a part of their annual Old Tyme Day event. Should you happen to be one of my western New York readers, perhaps you would like to come by. The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday only. I will displaying a few examples of my portraits in watercolor and will have a few of my small oil paintings, prints, and notecards there as well. The Cobblestone Society Museum is 100% volunteer run and operated and is a good group to support if you can in some way.

For my knitting readers, I wanted to let you know I have been getting myself set up at Ravelry.com as a designer and now have a store there where most of my patterns are available for download. Of course, the full range of my available patterns can be found in my Etsy shop, but in case you are a part of the Ravelry crowd, I wanted you to know you can find me there either as firefly8868 or as the designer J. L. Fleckenstein. If you have knitted any items from my offering of free or retail patterns and would like to post your finished or in progress items there and link them to my patterns … feel free. It would be fun to connect up over there as well as there on my blog.

I have to run now, because there are things to do in order to get ready for that show tomorrow.

Have a beautiful day and a lovely weekend!

~firefly

Free patterns posted for sweater and shortcake

May 23, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Posted in baby, biscuit recipes, country living, family, food, free knitting patterns, Holidays, knitting, knitting for babies, love, photography, recipes, yarn | 9 Comments

Just a note to let you know I have posted the teddy bear sweater pattern, and the strawberry shortcake recipe.

Have a beautiful day.

~firefly

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