Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nice way to share baked goods.

I thought this was a cute way to make a paper plate a little more special when sharing baked goods with friends. I don't know about you, but by the time the holidays are over, I am out of Tupperware and missing more than a few cake plates! Just punch some holes around your plate and thread through some seam binding. Oooh, fancy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Victorian Halloween cupcake ornaments

I'm mad about this new line of baking mixes by Cherrybrook Kitchen! I used the yellow cake mix and the chocolate frosting for my cupcakes. I made up a plain butter cream according to the Confectioners Sugar box for the orange squiggle pumpkin innards on the top. They taste amazing!
I used the Ateco decorating tip with all of the little holes in it for the wormy squiggles. I'd like to say my 5 year old helped me decorate, but I did that not so perfect job all by myself! Well, they are especially fun with the ornaments I made. I used pictures I cut from The Somerset Magazine Halloween issue and Fellowes laminate pouches from Staples. This way you can just wipe them clean with a damp cloth and save them for next year. That fab dish towel is from Jennifer Paganellis new line. Illustrated art work by: Kersten Christianson, Janie Mattern, Heather Sleightholm, Erin Perry,Chris Raissis, Iva Wilcox and others.

And the raffle winners are.....

1st place- Anna Fogg from Bohemian Cotton- let me know what colors you prefer and I'll get quilting!

2nd Sweet Baby Jamie- Gets her hearts desire- a bottle of Rudy's Rub!

Jodi from Pleasant Home wins 10% off at my Open Sky shop, plus I will throw in some Sis Boom Fat quarters!

A great big cyber-hug and thank you for all who entered. I wish I could give something to you all...

So, I offer 10% OFF SALE. This sale applies to EVERYTHING in every OPEN SKY shop, including Yes You Can Grill’s Outdoor Chef City Grill to Cooking With Friends’ Jarden Ball Home Canning Kit to Veggie Gardening Tips’ Composting Accessory Kit.

Here are the details:

- Coupon Code: Nancy1009
- Offer: 10% off
- Expiration: November 15, 2009

Please check out all of the wonderful shops that they have. From birding, to beauty, to baking with one of the finest pastry chef's in NYC (Le Bernadins' Michael Laiskonis ) there are many places to spend some if not money, time reading posts from experts in there passions.

Happy blog surfing!

Fondly and gratefully-

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I would like to offer a raffle prize to anyone who comments on the Dark Horse Farm Designs blog this week,and clicks on the "OPEN SKY" store icon. The inventory is limited at the moment, but soon I hope to have all of the unique and necessary items that I need to make my crafts, quilt, cook, and garden, horse-keep and house keep. The raffle begins today October 25th, and ends Friday October 30th. There will be 3 winner.
Winner #1 gets a 40" x 60" whole cloth quilt made with Sis Boom fabrics- you let me know what color scheme you like.
Winner #2 gets a jar of Rudy's Rub - check the blog 2 posts ago for a great recipe!
Winner #3 gets 10% off any Open Sky store item.
EVERYONE is eligible for free shipping until Tuesday, October 27th.
So start commenting- this won't last long! And please, stop in again, soon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Raw Edge Applique Tutorial

Give thanks! I must remind myself whenever I moan and groan. Especially with Thanksgiving approaching. I was inspired to make this post for my blog buddy, (at Fire Fly Hill Designs), and attempt yet another tutorial. I was going through the kids old artwork and was thinking about how the "hand turkey" has really become an icon for the Thanksgiving holiday and how it is really very folk-art-esque. If you have your little ones at home, use their hand prints, or maybe have everyone in the family make their own. If that's the case, skip the template plastic and just draw around ever hand directly onto the paper side of the Wonder Under (iron on adhesive).

Here is what you need to make 6 place mats for Thanksgiving, or really anytime you want to count your blessings.

1 sheet Template plastic (always good to have on hand)
505 Spray or similar spray adhesive for fabric
Wonder Under (or similar iron on adhesive like Steam a Seam 2)
1/4 Yard fabric with print
1 1/2 yards muslin
1 1/2 yards for the backing
1/4 yd. fabric for binding
cotton or bamboo batting
Water proof stamp ink
Stamps ( has an incredible assortment!)
Wash and dry the fabrics. Start by pressing your fabrics so you have a nice smooth start to the project. Cut the muslin and backing to 20"x 16" rectangles. You should have 12 pieces- 6 of each.

Then cut out the outline of your hand on the template plastic, and also an acorn. You can use the over and over.Next, press your Steam a Seam or Wonder Under to the wrong side of your print fabric you are using for the "turkey" and the acorns. Draw your outlines of the hands and nuts and then cut them out. (Follow the manufacturers directions.) Carefully peal off the paper side and place the sticky side of cut outs, right side of fabric facing you, and press.

Now , using the zig zag or button hole stitch, stitch around the applique pieces. Trim threads or any fraying edges. It does not need to be perfect.

Next, stamp or paint on with waterproof ink or fabric paint the message you would like to share:
Peace on Earth
Give Thanks
Thank You, etc...

Now, sandwich the mats together.
Backing- wrong side up, spray with 505, lay down the batting next, spray batting with 505, carefully place top of appliqued mat on top of that. Pin randomly, where you will NOT be sewing. Pull the pins out just as you approach them. You can sew in a pattern around the turkey and acorns, or just do some type of grid. Whatever. The size of the mats is quite managable with any sewing machine.

Trim the edges so that the final size is roughly 19" x 15". Bind the edges.

Roast a turkey!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Grill Tennesee Texas Road House inspired Baby Back Ribs

We shot the promo with Bobby Bare at The Texas Roadhouse. While inspired by the ribs that Tony served us at his restaurant in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, The recipe comes from Tim's golf buddy (and super food "Foodie") Glenn Bourland. Thanks Glenn, I hope I did them justice.
Pork Baby Back Ribs
Rudy's Rub (or similar dry rub mix)
Liquid Smoke
BBQ Sauce-
Nancy's Special Sauce
(Our son prefers Masterpiece BBQ, But I made up this one and it was dang good!)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup coke or Dr. Pepper
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbs. cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbs. Worcester sauce
1 whole chipotle pepper from can-(to be removed before serving)

Add all ingredients to sauce pan and cook on low heat for about an hour until thick and dark and syrup like in consistency.

I first use pork baby back ribs. I remove the membrane on the back of the
ribs, and rub them well with a spice mix. Rudy's Rub should did quite well.
We first learned about "Rudy's" from another musician- Harry Connick Jr.!
Wrap them in saran, for a few hours or even better overnight. Remove them
and place ten in a shallow roasting pan. I usually put 3/4 cup of water in
the bottom of the pan and add 2 tbs. of liquid smoke. Cover the pan with
foil, punch a few small slits in foil, and bake at 225 degrees for 5-7
hours. You can raise the temp to 240 degrees if time is a factor. Remove
the foil for the last 2 hours. Heat a grill just before serving and sauce
Ribs. If you have a grill available, place on grill for 1-2 minutes a side so they mark without burning. Or, pass them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes- or, not.

I'm back.

In so many ways! We just returned from a very inspiring trip to Nashville. We went down to do a promotional video with Country music legend Bobby Bare for our old friend Gary Shiebler.( Gary was a male model and was on my first SEVENTEEN Magazine cover with me!) My husband Tim photographed Gary and Linda's wedding almost 30 years ago, and while we have spoken a handful of times, it is once again Facebook that has reconnected us. I am so grateful to have had this chance to get close with them both. Linda is taking her first break in years from a full time job counseling military families, and enjoying settling into their new farmette with their 4 horses and 4 dogs. Gary is a singer/songwriter/producer who has worked with Bobby Bare, Mel Tillis, George Jones, Allison Kraus, among many others. He has also written several books about the bond between animals and humans.We also ended up shooting a music video for Gary's single, "I'm a local".