Count Your Blessings Jar

This year at Christmas a co-worker gave everyone a jar with a chocolate cookie mix in it. She had all of the ingredients in layers with red, white, green and chocolate chips on top. She had written Merry Christmas on one side and Best Wishes in 2014! on the other side in a gold semi-permanent marker. I say semi-permanent because it is on glass and will wash or wear off eventually. After I baked the cookies I though it might be good to keep the jar handy and give it a special purpose.  

Sometimes I use jars to gather little bits of fabric, that are only suitable for testing a stitch, or to run through the machine after it has just been oiled so it does not spoil the fabric I am using. Other times it is just to save little bits of fabric scraps that might be used in a string quilt or a picture quilt, but really are not big enough to worry about saving. I have saved buttons, screws, washers, bobbins, pieces of elastic, tools, and other small items in jars in the past. I like the way things look in the glass. There are lots of uses for jars, I am sure you have a few of your own.  

At the time I set the jar aside, I had no real purpose for it, but figured one would present itself in due time. Right about that then one of my friends posted a photo on facebook of a jar with the suggestion to keep a pad of sticky notes handy and make a note of good things, blessings and surprises that happened during the year and toss them into the jar for review at the end of the year. It would be good to see all of the things that you were thankful for at the end of the year.

Well, here it is, my blessings and good tidings jar. I am just using little cut pieces of paper, because I don't need the sticky part of the note. Nothing is to big or too small to note on a little piece of paper and remember later. Some of the things included may seem insignificant and some are pretty big. Even the little things that make you happy or your life more pleasant can facilitate changes that make even bigger and better things happen later.  

One of the bigger events for me is my Mother's cancer scans showing negative at the moment. One of the less significant items, but one that brings joy, because it will make it possible to host larger gatherings later, is the fact that I just found a complete set of china dishes on Craig's list. It is a formal service for 10, with 7 piece place settings. It even has the serving dishes, platter, salt and pepper, sugar and cream server, gravy dish, tea pot and all cups and saucers for less than it would have cost me to purchase a couple of very inexpensive sets at a big box store. That would be before the extra cost for the accessory pieces too. Had I not just received a formal dining table and china hutch, I would not have been looking for this set. The table and hutch are another item in the jar. 


Welcome 2014

I think I have found my New Year's "To Do" Resolution. It does not have anything to do with sewing and I hope it does not take the full year.  

In early November this beautiful Kitchen-Aid mixer found its way to my kitchen. Every time I walk into the kitchen I am inspired to make something to bake with it. Sometimes I let it work on cooked squash or potatoes too. It makes unbelievably quick work of a lot of things and and now, like the TV cooks, I have all of the ingredients lined up to add at the appropriate time. The actual mix time is probably about 3 minutes. 

The trouble is, because I have not been doing a lot of baking, most of my favorite recipes look like the picture below. They are just a messy stack of little scraps of paper, clippings from packages, prints from the Internet and notes I have made along the way. I always know where to look for them, but I have to dig through the whole stack to find the one I want. Along the way I see recipes I have not used for a while but might like to make soon. There are also the hand written recipes that are in danger of fading away.  

This is the year to collect these into a nice favorites cook book, where I can organize them, print them and make into a little comb bound family cook book for me and my kiddos. I think this will be a fun project. Of course I will have to test each recipe and photograph it. There are lots of ways to add interest to this little project. 

Happy New Year.