Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elle's Kitchen: Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Good & Good For You

Okay, I can hear a good portion
of you making a resounding,
"bleck" noise when you think
about Brussel Sprouts.
But, you probably have never
had them roasted.  They are
nothing like the often soggy
boiled or (save us!) microwaved
in plastic kind.  And it is simple.

You will need :
brussel sprouts
salt & pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Peel off the tough outer leaves
and cut in half.

Place in an oven safe baking
dish and toss with salt & pepper
and olive oil,  roast at 375F
until caramelized and tender,
20 to 30 minutes.

Brussel Sprouts are cruciferous
vegetables, a special group of
vegetables that have excellent
cancer fighting properties.  They
contain a kind of photochemical
which stimulates our bodies to
breakdown potential carcinogens.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Local History

Sometimes History Can Be Quite Sad

These statutes are in a local
cemetery, they mark the graves
of these two children, 16 year old,
Charles and 6 year old, Gertrude.

Their grief stricken parents
couldn't bear the thought
that their children might be

The parents commissioned
a scultptor in Florence, Italy
to make these life sized replicas.
People decorate the statues seasonally.

The Father, Dr. Hilligoss,
a local physician, became the
first president of Camp Chesterfield,
a Spiritualist camp founded in 1886.

Their tombstone reads:
We know that life is all the
sweeter that they lived.
And death is all the brighter
that they died.

I pass this cemetery very often
and always glance over to the
statues.  It is my way of
fulfilling the wish of the parents,
they haven't been forgotten.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Me Time ~ March 29

Pincushion Collection

Today at Me Time we
are working on some
top secret projects so
photos aren't available, yet.
Instead I'll show you some
of the pincushions that
are around the shop.

I made that one!

As I was moving the
pincushions around to
photograph them I got
yelled at for not paying
attention to the sign!
If you'd like to see the
many collections, including
button, machines &
notions, stop by Dawn's
shop.  The Quilt Shoppe
in Anderson, Indiana.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Travel Tales: Free in Paris

Unfettered & Alive

It might be a good idea to play
this song as you read this post:

A few years ago we were
spending our Spring Break
in Paris.  The kids were still
quite young, I think they
were in 7th & 8th grade.
This was a time when there
were still rules about how
far they could wander from us.
In New York, they had to be
on the same block as me.
In Williamsburg, they could
be within the historic area.
Strangely, at home in Indiana,
they had little freedom.

In Paris, we stayed in the
lovely, old neighborhood called
the Marais, in the 4th
Arrondisement.  They were allowed
to go downstairs to get a
gelato or to run to the boulangerie
for a baguette and they even
were allowed to go around the
corner by themselves to look in
the shops near the Pompidou Centre.

On our last full day, we had a
lovely lunch on the Ile Saint Louis
at the beautiful Cafe Med.
The Cafe Med is a tiny bistro with
maybe 12 tables, filled with locals,
including dogs, with the kitchen
at the top of a spiral staircase
and the food is handed down
to the waitress.  If you have
ever had ice cream at Berthillon,
you have been close by.
After lunch, my brother needed
to find an internet cafe, Rob & I wanted
to wander and the kids wanted
to explore on their own.
We let them go...
After two minutes, I wanted
to run after them and draw
a map so they could find
their way home.

Rob said they had their
Carte d'Orange Metro
passes and could find
their way around the Metro
better then we could.
And they knew their way home
from Notre Dame and anyone
in Paris could tell them how to
get there and we had to let
them go.

Rob distracted me from
worrying by taking me in
shops like this one so I
could buy cafe au lait cups.

We strolled along the Seine,
looking at book and print
stalls, admiring the architecture
and kissing in the street just
like the French.

We crossed back to the Right
Bank and explored our neighborhood
trying to soak it all in and store up
the spirit of Paris until we could return.
We shared a last taste of rose water
flavored Turkish delight ~ my favorite!

We ended our afternoon in the
hardware and major appliance
section of the Bazar Hotel de Ville
Department store.  Dreaming
of how we would outfit our own
Paris apartment.

We were the last ones home
that afternoon.  We all shared
our tales of what we did while
on our own.  I guess that shows
we all need some time to feel
unfettered & alive...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Civil War Remembered ~ Block 13

Little Blue Basket

We are following along
with Barbara Brackman's
Civil War Quilt.
We are in Week #13.

Fabric Requirements:
Fabric A:  2 - 2 1/8" x 5 1/4" rectangles (gold)
                  1 - 4" square - cut on diagonal (gold)
Fabric B:  1 - 7 1/4" square - cut on diagonal (floral)
Fabric C:  3 - 2 3/4" squares - mark a diagonal line on back(light blue)                 
                  3 - 2 1/2" squares - cut on diagonal(light blue)
Fabric D:  3 - 2 3/4" squares (dark blue)

Pair Fabric C & D
2 3/4" squares right sides
together.  Sew 1/4" away
 from each side of drawn line.
Cut on drawn line and press
seam to the dark fabric.
Square to 2 1/8".

Layout triangles and half
square triangles as shown
in 4 columns.

Sew units together and
press seams in columns
2 and 4 up and seams
in column 3 down.
Trim dogears from units.

Take care to "lock"
the seams together
and pin in place.
Sew columns together.
Press seams open to
reduce bulk.

Sew Fabric C triangles
to Fabric A rectangles
as shown above.  Then
sew these units as
shown above.

Sew Fabric A triangle
to bottom of pieced unit.

Sew large Fabric B
triangle as shown.

Square to 8 1/2".
 I added a basket handle
using Heat & Bond.

This is another one
I made.  I used floral
fabric for my Fabric B
triangles, I wanted it
to look like flowers
coming out of the top
of the basket.

I found this block to
be problematic.  It is
not as precise as I would
like it to be.  There is
not a 1/4" seam allowance. 
I tried it 3 times, using 2
different methods and
still not perfect.

Check out everyone's
blocks at Dustin's site:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Collections ~ Sewing Machines

Quilters Love their Machines

I love sewing machines,
even toy machines.

I know quilters who still
quilt by hand.  For most
of my friends though, the
 machine is the thing.

We all have so many ideas
for quilts in our heads and
we will never have enough
time to make them all.

Machines help us get those
quilts finished much faster.

Think back to a time when
everything was made by
hand.  The treadle machine
must have changed things
so drastically.

Many of these toys were
made at a time when little
girls would see their Moms
sewing as a part of everyday
life.  Does that happen anymore?

Will sewing become a thing
of the past if there is no one
to teach future generations?

Will people in the future
look at these machines
and ask what were they for?

Here is a modern machine,
made for kids and well...
Hello Kitty fans.
I guess there is
still hope.