Friday, January 30, 2009

Quilter's Bee Lotion Bar

I got the okay from my testers last week that the latest version of the Quilter's Lotion Bar is a go! It has been fun to experiment and come up with this lotion bar. Thank you to Sheri for requesting that I make this!

I used beeswax, shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, apricot kernel oil, and vitamin E in the final formula. It's a great moisturizing bar, non-greasy, and leaves just a little tack on the hands to help grip the fabric - all the requirements that were asked for. I have two scents - Oatmeal, Milk & Honey and Natural.

I like it because I can use it during the day and not leave fingerprints all over the computer or anything else that I touch. I have some listed in my eBay store.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

As I was doing my late night Internet surfing I came upon a recipe for Amish Friendship Bread Starter. I've heard of this before but have never had any Amish Friendship Bread. At 11 PM I decided to make some starter. It has to sit for 10 days as you stir and then add more ingredients on certain days. When it's all done I'll have enough to make bread and share the bread and the starter. So far so good - I peeked this morning. It's getting bubbly and smells yeasty - I love that smell! Here's the recipe for the starter.

1 packet active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand for 10 minutes. In a 2 quart glass, plastic or ceramic container (do not use a metal container or utensils), combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will lump when the milk is added. Slowly stir in the milk and the yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle.

On days 2 through 4 stir the starter with a spoon.

Day 5 stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup warm milk.

Days 6 through 9 stir the starter with a spoon.

Day 10 stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup warm milk. Remove 1 cup starter to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with Day 2).

If you have any Amish Bread recipes please share.

Paper Whites update: I have blossoms! However, I had to put them out in the garage. The smell was making my allergies so bad that I was coughing my head off. I'll take pictures later today and post them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Carrying Each Other's Burdens

There are days that I work on my blog and never even glance over at my Daily Verse. But as I was up late last night I looked over and read this:

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Do you every carry a burden in your heart for someone else? Sometimes that burden sits in my soul and I can just feel the heaviness there. When Cora was going through her chemotherapy I had it on my calendar to pray for her especially hard every Wednesday that she had treatment. I remember one Wednesday morning I woke up and just felt this heaviness in my soul for her. It was a heaviness that brought me to tears several times during the day. God was telling me that my friend needed extra special prayer time from me that day. Not just the "pray as I was working prayer". It was the "get down on your knees" kind of prayer.

God knows what I need to read and when I need to read it. For some time I have felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to have a prayer request section on my blog. I feel that praying for others is one of the highest callings a Christian can have. I have just been putting off making the prayer request section - until last night when I read that verse. Okay Lord, I get it now!

Would you give me, and others, the privilege of praying for you? There is no need that is too small and none too large - God hears all the prayers! Anything that is shared with me will be kept private unless you give me permission to post your request. I will only post your name as needing prayer - God already knows your need and we can just lift your name to Him. If you give me permission to post the need then I will do that.

But we need to have praises too! That is one of the best parts of praying for someone. I love to go back over my list and read the answers - even if they aren't what the person wanted. God still answered! Send me your praise reports too so that I can list them. You can email me privately by clicking the email link on my profile page.

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

CathyJean from Home Sweet Home, Noble gave me a Friendship Award this morning! Thank you so much! It means the world to me.

What this Friendship Award means:

This blog invests and believes in Proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships.These blogs are exceedingly charming . These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .They are not interested in prize for self- aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut ,even more friendships are propagated.

I always have such a hard time passing one of these awards on because I don't want to choose! Everyone that visits my blog deserves this award. I have made so many dear friends from my blog - special "heart" friends who have lifted me in prayer, encouraged me, and loved me. So I'm going to give it to everyone that visits today and leaves a comment. Take the picture and pass it on! You deserve it and are so special!

I Have A Block

I have writer's block! I've been trying for a couple of days to think of something interesting to post about. Nothing comes to mind - of course, at my age, there isn't much mind left! Something will inspire me soon and I'll be back. In the meantime, please visit some of the blogs I have listed as my favorites.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Plants and Things

Good Monday Morning! Here's a new picture of my Paper Whites. They've grown like crazy since the last picture (click the link if you want to see them at the beginning) and have little flower pods at the top. Hopefully I'll have blooms in the next couple of weeks and the house will smell so good. Sorry about the ugly background - I had to do this on my patio and it's not very pretty this time of year.

We've had the most gorgeous weather after all that snow and cold. It's been sunny, dry, and in the upper 40's. It sure is cold at night though. But not nearly as cold as back in the Midwest with below zero temps. That's where I would like to retire but remembering those very cold temps and the windchill made me have some second thoughts. A person is supposed to retire to a warm climate, right??

Praises and answers to prayers!! Cora had her mastectomy and everything went well. She's home recuperating and back on the computer already! Praise God!! Please keep praying for Cora as she continues to fight this breast cancer and continues treatments.

I had a request from a Farmgirl friend, who is also an avid quilter, to make a lotion bar just for quilters. She said that her hands get so dry from handling all the fabric. I did Batch #1 and sent that out to 5 volunteer testers. Most of them agreed with me that the recipe needed a little more tweeking and the packaging wasn't quite right - I put the bar in a push up tub as opposed to the tin. I didn't like that at all. I worked on the recipe again last week and I think this one turned out great!! Not too greasy, it doesn't stain fabric, and leaves just a little tackiness to your hands to help you grip fabric. I'm sending out more test bars today and maybe by next week there will be a final product - Quilter's Butter Bar!

I'm off to work on my "to do" list for today - it's a mile long! Have a great Monday!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Beautiful Daughter

Stephany's friend, Taylor, is taking a digital photography class. She asked Steph to do some modeling for her. I know I'm prejudiced but I think my daughter is so beautiful.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Saying

I found this saying online today. It touched my heart and made me realize this is how one should live their entire life.

Dream big.

Work hard.

Trust God!

I don't dream big enough, I don't work hard enough, and I don't think I trust God enough. I will be praying every day for God to help me live these three things.

Being Random

My friend Kim says she likes to be random and posted 5 random things about herself on her blog, Mrs. Morris Art. I commented with 5 random things about me but thought I'd also post them here. Join in the fun and tell about yourself!!

1. I can't eat spaghetti unless I have cottage cheese to go with it.

2. I swear when I'm angry (sorry Kim's mom)

3. Until I was 33 years old I had not been any further west than St. Louis MO.

4. I have to have a fan running in my bedroom all the time. I even take one with me when I travel.

5. I can't stand for my hands to be dirty. When I garden I have to wear gloves.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Valentine's Bath Kisses

Valentine's Day Heart Bath Kisses (aka Tub Truffles) - a sweet spa treat for your favorite Valentine!

Made from natural cocoa butter, these fizzy little hearts will turn your bath into a moisturizing and cocoa scented delight. Just drop 1 Kiss into a tub of warm water. They will bubble and release the skin moisturizing cocoa butter. Each Kiss weighs 1/2 ounce. NOTE: The tub may become slick from the cocoa butter so please take caution when getting out of the tub.

I've done the gift wrapping for you! You will receive 8 Bath Kisses - enough for 8 baths - packaged in a Valentine's cello gift bag tied with organza ribbon and a vintage style gift card. The perfect gift for a secret pal, your child's teacher, or your sweetie! Offered on eBay - $5.00 plus shipping.

Image Hosting by

Friday, January 9, 2009

Leftover Fall Decorating

Do you remember how my little bench looked in October?? All pretty and ready for Fall.

Well here's how it looks today - like a science experiment gone bad. I forgot to get rid of the pumpkin! I went outside yesterday for something, looked over, and here was this nasty molded pumpkin. I go through the garage most of the time so I haven't walked up to my front door in a while. I better start doing that more often so I know what's greeting people when they come to my door. I guess my house won't be making the cover of Romantic Home anytime soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Lost My Counter

I was looking at my blog tonight and my counter is gone!! I had over 23,000 visitors on that counter! I'm the type of person that likes statistics and this really bums me out! Now I have to start all over again. Sometimes I hate technology!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I found the coolest facial scrub today and just had to share. My skin has always been normal to dry but now that I'm of a "certain age" it's even drier. I knew that I needed to exfoliate to get rid of the flaky skin so that the moisturizer could do its work. It's hard to find something for dry, delicate skin that doesn't feel like sandpaper! I was at Walgreen's today and found this St. Ives product - Elements Olive Scrub. It's made with olive oil and jojoba spheres so it's very gentle. I used it earlier tonight and it feels so nice, smells great, and now my skin is nice and smooth. After I used the scrub I put a little bit of rice bran oil on my damp skin. My skin feels so much better!

A quick tip for soft smooth hands - sprinkle a small amount of salt or sugar in your hand, add some olive oil or vegetable oil (whatever you have one hand but I prefer olive), rub your hands together to work the salt/sugar and oil over your skin. Make sure to get between your fingers and work gently around your cuticles. Rinse with warm water, wash with a mild soap, and add lotion or cream. Your hands will be nice and smooth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Signs of Spring

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for Spring! It's only the first full week of January! I'm ready to start seeds or grow something.

My grandsons gave me a pot of Paper White bulbs that I can force inside. As I was taking down the tree yesterday I found them and potted them. They had already started sprouting in the box. But this morning they have a little green on the tips - just from overnight!

If I can't have Spring outside then I'll force some inside. In about 6 weeks I should have sweet smelling flowers on my coffee table. I'll keep you posted on the progress.


Monday, January 5, 2009

The Rustic Cottage Is Retiring

After much soul searching I have decided to retire The Rustic Cottage from Etsy. Everything in my shop is half price and is limited to the quantities that I have on hand.

I may decide to offer soap again in the future but, for now, I need to step back and work on some other ideas that I have. My blog will remain The Rustic Cottage - that's part of who I am.

Thank you all for your business - I appreciate and love each and every one of you!!!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Seed Giveaway

January is the time to start thinking about seeds for your garden. Jayedee is giving away a $25 gift certificate to Heirloom Acres on her blog! That would get your garden started off right! All you have to do is leave a comment.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's a new year and a clean slate! There's always something very exciting to me about January 1st. It's like I get a "do over". I pray that 2009 will be a year of many blessings for you!

My New Year's Eve was pretty uneventful. When Stephany was about 5 we started a New Year's Eve tradition of getting a bean dip tray and sparkling cider. We'd put the spread on the coffee table in the living room, eat, and watch TV. Last night was no exception but there was almost no bean dip tray! I waited until too late in the day to go shopping and had to go to 2 different stores before I finally snagged the last one. It was tasty and there's almost none left this morning.

Everyone else went to bed about 11 and I stayed up to watch Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve - I'm a wild kind of gal. When I went to the store I also splurged on two magazines - O and Martha Stewart. Neither are ones I usually buy but I was feeling daring on New Year's Eve. I sat by the fireplace with my sparkling cider and read magazines - it was great! However, I will say that I'm now convinced that Martha and I live on a totally different level - like I didn't know that before. One of her suggestions for the New Year is that I'm supposed to check my side board and evaluate my dinnerware and serving pieces! I should order replacements for anything that is damaged or broken so my collection will be complete. Yup, that's right up there on my list of things to do. As soon as I get a side board and some serving pieces I'll be sure and do that!

I don't do resolutions but rather like to set goals. Do you have goals for the new year? I have several and need to get them down on paper today. That's going to be a priority because if I don't do it today it won't get done.

I hope that you have a wonderful first day of the New year! Many blessings and hugs!