Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Tea Party!!

I can't say it was the best timing, 3 days before we fly out for a trade show, a million things still left to be done but it just had to happen on this day. To celebrate Mother's Day, my daughters, my friends, my students. It was a day to celebrate. I needed a soul day, a day to just do something that brings me pure joy no matter the timing.



I sewed up to the last minute and then began the clean up process and shopping. Jenn helped me decide where the tables would be, where the tea pots would be, the flowers etc. It was a fun, crazy time together picking recipes and scrambling. But as soon as we began it seemed to be here. We had sent or weather order straight to heaven and God obliged with the most beautiful day, 75 degrees. The wind was calm and the guests started to arrive. First to arrive are the close friends and family who always help with any last minute things and seem to help me pull it all together.


The doorbell continues to ring, more people now mingling around and we find our way to the well thought out tables where the party begins. The tables are full of food, flowers and tea cups. I made sure the Rose Petal Tea was hot and the Rose Petal Jam was on warm biscuits. We all start to share some of our Mothers Day memories!


After we were full and relaxing in the shade I passed out watercolor paper, water brushes and assorted art supplies to encourage everyone to create something. Some had their own sketchbooks, some had sewing, knitting and thats how the last few hours were spent. Chatting and creating beautiful things in my garden.



It was just what I needed, a dose of friends and family there celebrating our Moms! It was a gift to them as much as to myself. I hope all of you have an amazing Mother's Day and that you take the time to make a mom feel special!


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

It's Time for Tea and a Party with Rose Petal Jam!

I am having my Mother's Day Tea Party for friends, students, fellow artists etc. It is a wonderful time to just enjoy my garden with friends and sketch and paint while we all visit. I just happened to be reading the book "The Zoo Keepers Wife" and she mentions in the book about living in Poland and loving Rose Petal Jam. I was intrigued as I always love to make jam but have never even heard of using Roses!! I guess in Europe this is nothing new and much loved. These homespun activities are rarer and rarer here in the states since we are all so busy but I still love to do them. I have an old spirit, I am a homespun homebody, and I can't help it.
 
So that peeked my interest and I started Googling Rose Petal Jam. Subsequently, this year,  I am making Rose Petal Jam for my Tea Party!! Everything seemed to come together for us to work on the jam. We had just ended a long tour and needed some R&R. Jennifer and I needed a day together, enjoying the outdoors whether painting, gardening or just hanging out always invigorates us. Her and I made this together and we had a blast!! I thought I would share our adventure with you and the recipes we used, yes we used several and changed them a bit.


Jennifer helped me collect the most fragrant roses!
Randy made us a bouquet to enjoy while we worked.



We selected roses by fragrance and by color, then we
washed and sorted. The jam will be the color of your
roses.
Here is our pinks and we also had reds. Then at the end we
made a mixed batch with all the left overs.
 
I then had Jennifer sort through the petals to assure that there were
no bad petals etc. This is her doing her choosen roses, Judy Garland.
This is how her roses looked when they were put into jars.
After she was finished sorting and cleaning we measured out our roses and Jenn bruised the petals with sugar to bring out more of their fragrance.
I then started to cook them
                                                                 
 Once they were done cooking I filled the jars and then inverted them to sterilize the tops. The jars had been sterilized earlier and were just waiting for the boiling mixture.


This was Chloe, sunbathing as we cooked our Rose mixture! Everyone was enjoying the sunshine. Randy was busy working in the yard, pruning roses and mowing the lawn!
 
 
 
We tried several recipes that I found on the internet for Rose Petal Jam. We changed up each batch to see which one we liked the best, which one set up the best etc. Depending on how long you cook each batch you will determine the thickness of the jam. I don't think we followed any of the recipes to the letter, we are like that, rebel canners. It is very sweet but so fragrant! Jennifer's jam was our first batch, we cooked it the least and it is the loosest but it is a golden, fragrant syrup that will be perfect for ice cream, cheese cake and pancakes! 


The next batches ranged from pink to red and since we experimented with pectin and cooking time the pink jam is far more set up than the others. It was a fun way to try several recipes. I loved the sun coming through the jars, they looked like jewels.




At the end of the day we had lots of beautiful jars of Rose Petal Jam to serve at my Tea Party and give as Mother's Day Gifts. Below are links to several recipes I found. I hope you try one.

So far we have tried it on toast and now last night for dessert we put it over our ice cream. I opened a Red Rose Petal Jam and it looked beautiful over the vanilla bean ice cream. I will be sure to serve this at my Tea Party in May with scones! Happy Jammin!


Here is the first one we tried, they used wild roses! Make sure your roses are pesticide free!! I even included a Martha Stewart Recipe for Rose Petal Jelly. We prefer the petals in the jam! Enjoy


Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see our other adventures. Life is short, make every minute count!

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Friday, March 31, 2017

April Fools Day!! Whats the best April Fools Joke you pulled off?

I love April 1st, its the beginning of a favorite month, it is a fun day to try to pull a fast one and its my GF's birthday! Happy Birthday Dawn.

The best joke I almost pulled off, well maybe, was with Jen in therapy. We had been going to Kathy for Jenns therapy for years and years. She knew we were very well versed on all the latest treatment plans and controversial and experimental more holistic options.  So on this particular day (April 1)we were in therapy and we were talking to her about stem cell research and cell rejuvenation. I then told her of a doctor we were seeing that had developed a cream that was regrowing limbs and tissue for amputees. Jenn confirmed everything since we had planned this on our trip to our appointment. I was so excited inside, trying not to smile or sound unsure, I remember thinking I couldn't mess this up, it was too good. It took so much restraint to not laugh but I continued.

Yes, its really amazing!! So its a lot like stem cell treatments as this cream actually causes skin and tissue regeneration. So it obviously won't grow a new limb with bone but it will add tissue so that you could add bone or get a better fit for prosthetics or adaptive limbs. I told her that we had just started the treatment and to let us know if she noticed a difference. Jenn would chime in with some added info to keep her wondering if it was possible. Well I got to about there and her face was so shocked as she tried to process it all I couldn't keep from laughing but it was so good while I had her going!!

Now you all might not find prosthetic humor funny but we were laughing so hard, medical stuff is always so serious. We deserved a good laugh.

So that is ours, tell me yours!! Oh and Happy April!!

I am going to try to join in on the World Watercolor Groups daily painting challenge and post everyday... if I don't make it at least I have an out..April Fools.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3 Things you can do to Start Living your Amazingly Creative, Wonderful Life

Isn't it wonderful when you wake up with an anticipation in the air. It pulls you out of bed early and beckons to you to come be with me. It makes your heart jump, your pulse race, you just know it is going to be good. Maybe it is more than one thing, maybe a few things that have you more than excited to get up today. This is how life is meant to be experienced. Each and everyday is a completely new opportunity to paint a new canvas in your life. To reach out and grab that golden ring, what are you waiting for?




 What? You don't feel like that? 

To help you start each day of the rest of your life with enthusiasm here are 3 tips to start using today.

1. Start by finding things to be grateful for, I know you have heard this before but it really works. What you dwell on comes to pass. So if you have a tendency to dwell on the negative side of life try finding something good to focus on as you start your day. For some of you this will take some practice but thats okay! Start small and trust me it will get easier. When you can change your thinking habits from finding the bad to seeing the good the glass does end up being 1/2 full instead of 1/2 empty.


2. Learn to turn down those negative voices in your head. You know the ones I mean. The ones that are constantly telling you how you can't do it, that you aren't talented enough, or that you don't look good enough, aren't thin enough. The voices from our childhood that always were "looking out for our best interest" by stepping on our dreams. Learn to recognize that voice when it first appears and have a positive response. Here are some examples of the negative voice and then your retort.


  • You are too old to start now, you will surely fail. 
    • No one is too old to get excited about life and step into their dream.
  • You aren't talented enough, there are so many other people more talented than you. 
    • No one can say it or paint it like I can, it is uniquely my voice and my story to be told and I am the only one who can do that well.
  • You are too busy, you don't have time with all your other obligations. 
    • I deserve to make time for me and my dreams now. I have something to say creatively and I am going to make this happen.
  • You are to fearful of failing, and you probably will. Then people will make fun of you and ridicule you.  
    • That is a lie, everyone has the same fears and when I start to tell my story creatively I know that others will be thrilled at my courage and talents. 

3. Listen to that inner creative voice that is crying out to be heard. Have you always dreamed of writing a book or learning to paint or draw, playing an instrument or learning to sing? What is crying out to be heard? Start to listen and act on this inner creative voice. You have spent all this time keeping it quiet as life got in the way, today its the beginning of a new way of life. Now take an action to start exploring your dreams. When each day begins with the promise of exploring your dreams you can't wait to begin.



So I ask you, what got you out of bed this morning? Do you approach each day with a zest for living. Knowing in your heart that something amazing is going to happen today just for you! Do you plan your day around the anticipation of it arriving or do you drag out of bed without a plan or goal? After all these years I still can't wait to get up and start something new and exciting. I don't take one minute for granted, its a gift and I will use my time to the best of my abilities.

This is your life, live it fully, start today by doing something you have been just dreaming about doing. Make it happen for yourself today! 



Sunday, February 05, 2017

Happy Valentines Day!! I have a gift for you to help you spread the LOVE!!



With everything happening today I think its a perfect opportunity to spread some love, to remind the special people in our lives what they mean to us. The comfort a stressed friend, reach out to a neighbor, touch someone around you in a positive way!
 
 I would love for you to spread some love and so I am giving you this embroidery heart to use as you please but I am also going to draw a name on February 10 to get one of my Valentine bags with some goodies, it could be filled with fabric, patterns, candy, thread???? I am not telling but I want you to get it by Valentines Day so this is only good until the 10th and for people in the states. Hurry and share so you can get your name in the Bag!

Several ways to play, This is what you have to do:
1.  Share on FB how you are going to spread the LOVE this Valentines day with your heart, make sure you use the hashtag #desireesdesignsisspreadingthelove so I can add you to the drawing or Leave a comment on my post on FB or Instagram
2. If you make a bag and share it on your page ,tag me I will put your name in the drawing again. For those not on social media reply to this email and I will add your name. Remember to let me know how to contact you incase you win! I will announce the winner on FB, Instagram on February 10th.
3.For people who own my pattern or CD find my Fabulous Folded Bag Page on FB  join in for another chance to win. In this group we will be sharing new ideas,have free give aways, images, and new embroidery and applique designs too. I think we need our own group so we can share what awesome bags everyone is making!!
4. I would love it if you would share the link for people to purchase the pattern but that's up to you. Fabulous Folded Bags no pressure, this is about spreading love and giving you a gift.

**If you are a shop, share your location and that you carry the pattern! I will include all shops in the drawing too!

I also am giving you an digitized embroidery image of a heart for your Valentines Bags. When I tell people about Fabulous Folded Bags at the shows I always tell everyone how I assembly line make them at the Holidays and I do! I love to fill them with goodies and send them to special people in my life!

That is you!!

 Randy digitized us a heart for the bag! Its all ready for your machine with the special placement line with the directions for placement on the bag are included in the FFB embroidery CD.
I am filling mine with cards and goodies for my mom and grandkids! But there is a special bag for the giveaway!


If you don't have the bag pattern you can get it here, if you are interested in the Embroidery CD you can get it here! This is our best selling pattern since it makes so many bags!! We have sold thousands.

 We also left the center of the heart blank so you can add text, names, XOXO, anything you want. Most embroidery machines let you do that now. We also didn't pick special thread colors as you will want to do what makes you happy! We Love Sulky Thread and used the Rayon thread to stitch these bags. Find your format and download you heart to share with someone. You are free to use the embroidery for anything you like.

I hope you win the Valentines Bag and Enjoy your gift while you spread some Love!! Make sure you sign up for my Newsletter to get all the News early!
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