Apple Walnut Yumminess

The air is getting cooler every day, and if you aren’t able to go directly to the orchard, the roadside farm stands are boasting oodles of varieties of apples to eat and bake with. Lyn Slade (a frequently featured fiber artist and the Create & Decorate For your country kitchen recipe queen) has graciously allowed us to reprint a favorite recipe that was originally in our October 2007 issue. We frequently get inquiries about this Apple Walnut Cake recipe, and since Noelle and I have apple-picking on our minds, we wanted to share this recipe again. PS – this cake is sure to be a family favorite. Bake it this week, and then keep it in mind for your Thanksgiving dinner. Yum!


For cake:

1 c. canola oil

2 c. sugar 2 eggs

3 c. flour

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. maple extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 c. chopped peeled apples

1 c. chopped walnuts

For glaze:

½ c. confectionary sugar

½ tsp. maple extract

Pinch of salt

Drizzle of whole milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. With a spoon, mix the oil, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix well; batter will be stiff. Add the apples and nuts and mix well. Place in a greased tube pan. Bake for 90 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

3. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove sides of pan. Cool 15 min. longer, then remove from base of pan. Cool completely.

4. Mix glaze ingredients without milk. Slowly add the milk into the glaze a tiny bit at a time until it drizzles freely from a spoon. Drizzle glaze over cake.


A keepsake for the bride, perhaps?

If you have become familiar with Noelle and me through Create & Decorate magazine, blog, and/or Facebook, then you have a good idea of how much we love to go junking. The quirky items we find inspire creativity, evoke fond memories, and decorate our homes. A recent garage sale find was the sweet little handmade handkerchief below. We are sharing a partial scan of the piece, rather than a photograph, so that you may view the embroidery at it’s best.

Although I do not know the origin of this embroidered handiwork (yet!), I did find out from the woman that sold it to me, that her grandmother’s name is one of those embroidered. Why in the world would she sell this piece? (I am such a hoarder that I have a difficult time understanding the cleaning out process.)

We thought the idea of embroidering signatures would make a lovely keepsake for a bride. Have the guests at the engagement party, or bridal shower sign their names on a new handkerchief, and embroider it in time for her to carry it down the aisle with her bouquet. Although I am pretty sure the mother of the bride will need the handkerchief more than the bride will!

“What is it?” Wednesday #58

Hello friends, and a very happy Wednesday to each and every one of you!

This week, the item is something passed down to me from my mother. She used this item in the 1960’s.

Have a guess? Please leave it as a comment for us. We will post your guesses and the answer of the picture puzzle this Friday.

“What is it?” 56 Wednesday – the answer

Time for the puzzle of the week to be revealed!

Today we are out of the office observing Good Friday. And although Noelle and I were good about storing up our posts so that we are able to update from home… I forgot to upload the “What is it?” final image! Ooops! Most of you vintage geniuses knew that this week’s puzzle was indeed a saw.  Although I am cheating this week by sharing a borrowed ‘answer’ from a google search, well, you still get the picture. (Pun intended.) I will upload the correct photo Monday for those interested. Promise! Perfection is overrated, don’t you think?

To read the guess from this week, click here and scroll down. 

a spring bouquet appliqué

A beautiful pattern of tulips and pussy willows, by our creative friend, Karen Lamp. We tried to fit this design into the magazine for spring, but ran out of pages! Karen has generously allowed us to share her work with you on our blog. Do you think you could stitch it in time to hang on your door to greet your Easter guests? No pressure.

a spring bouquet

designed by Karen Lamp



a 14-1/2” x 19” piece, for center

1/4 yd. for border

1/4 yd. for binding

Fat quarter for backing

Fat quarter cotton batting*

Prewashed (felted) wool*:

Blue plaid, an 8” x 12” piece (watering can)

Off-white, a 4” x 4” piece (pussy willows)

Pink, a 4” x 9” piece (tulips)

Lavender, a 4” x 5” piece (tulips)

Green, a 8” x 10” piece (leaves and stems)

#8 or #12 perle cotton in colors to match wools, plus color to match center fabric*

Embroidery hoop or Q-Snap frame, embroidery needle, fabric glue, freezer paper, iron  and ironing surface, light box or well-lit window, pencil, pins, ruler, scissors, sewing machine, tracing paper, washable marker

*Available through Country Craft Cupboard.

Country Craft Cupboard: (330) 893-3163,


For pattern, see below for PDF’s to print out.

         1. For border, cut two 3-1/2” x 14-1/2” strips of fabric and sew to top and bottom of center. Cut two 3-1/2” x 23” border strips and sew to sides of center. Press.

         2. Cut cotton batting to fit quilt front and pin to back.

Note: It is helpful to trace the design onto tracing paper; this becomes your guide when placing the wool.

         3. Using pencil and light box or well-lit window, trace all pattern pieces onto paper side of freezer paper. Allow space between pieces and add a little to parts of watering can that lie under another. Note: Pussy willows are off-white ovals, cut at random.

         4. Cut around all shapes, not on lines, and iron to wool, shiny side of freezer paper down. Cut them out on lines.

         5. Use washable marker and light box or well-lit window to trace outline of watering can and all stems onto homespun center. Place traced pattern over center and position wool pieces. Peel off paper and pin or hold in place with a dot of fabric glue.

         6. Allow to dry, then whipstitch around all wool pieces with matching perle cotton.  Stem stitch all pussy willow stems with green, then sew in place with a single long stitch from bottom to center; this allows edges to remain free, and gives a bit more dimension.

         7. Veins in leaves are backstitched with green.

         8. Place backing on reverse side of quilt and pin in place. Hand baste or machine baste outer edges so you can remove pins.

         9. Using a hoop or frame, sew a running stitch around watering can with perle cotton that matches center fabric. Sew a running stitch along border as well. Optional: Stitch around all tulips and leaves.

         10. Trim all edges of quilt so layers are even.

         11. Cut 2-1/2” wide strips of binding fabric. Cut a 45˚ angle on both ends and sew end-to-end until you have enough to go around quilt. Press in half lengthwise.

         12. With right side of binding to right side of quilt front, raw edges even, sew binding in place with a 1/4” seam. Miter corners as you go, and overlap where you started.

         13. Fold binding to the back side and slipstitch in place.

         14. For hanger loops, cut two 4” x 6” pieces of binding fabric. Fold in half lengthwise and press. Sew all open sides using a 1/4” seam, allowing an opening to turn.

         15. Clip corners, turn, and press, then slipstitch opening closed. Make two hangers, and sew in place along binding on back.

For questions regarding this design, please contact Karen at

reduce, reuse, repurpose—and a giveaway!

It’s 2012, and if you haven’t heard of green crafting before, well, you’re about to.

Even if the environment might not be at the front of your thoughts, the state of the economy has most likely caused you to rethink your crafting schemes. You might look around and wonder What can I recycle? What can I use over again?

Lucky for you, being economical can also equate with being Earth-friendly. When you craft green, you recycle, reuse, and repurpose. Green crafting is creating something beautiful, while leaving behind the smallest footprint.

Our friends at Diamond Tech are really into crafting green, and they have some great products that can help make Earth-friendly and fun be best friends. In preparation of Earth Day next month, Diamond Tech is generously sponsoring a giveaway of one of their Bottle Art Kits each Friday leading up to Earth Day weekend. That’s right—you have FOUR chances to win!

So let’s get into it, shall we? Today you have a chance to win:

The 3-In-1 Planter Keeper Bottle Art Kit

Getting ready to toss used bottles into the trash? Think again!

With the garden season underway, you may create the ideal environment for growing and watering any type of plant with the 3-in-1 Plant Keeper. Use this kit in conjunction with the G2 Bottle cutter, to create this garden helper from recycled bottles.

The Diamond Tech Kit Includes: 50 Assorted size and colored glass gems, 15 pc 3/4” Green stained glass squares, E-6000® adhesive and Instructions.

Diamond Tech is on Facebook, too, sharing additional green crafting ideas, mosaics, and more glass inspiration! Click here to “like” their page, and follow the fun. Then, leave us a comment saying “pick me!” to enter for a chance to win today’s kit.

Diamond Tech products are available from your favorite craft retailer or wholesaler throughout the United States.
Their Store Finder will help you find a craft retailer near you.

This recycled bottle planter project by Diamond Tech was featured in
Create & Decorate, August 2011

“What is it?” 56 – the answer

We can fool some of you some of the time, but we can’t fool all of you all of the time!

We had plenty of guesses for kitchen choppers, hand blenders and the likes, but we kinda knew that the bright colors of this top would give our puzzle away. That’s OK, we know we had a good puzzle posting when we saw amount of responses that we did this week! To read those, click here and scroll down the original post.

This vintage charmer was picked up at a sale a couple of summers ago. Don’t you just love yard sales? Happy Friday, friends!

“What is it?” Wednesday – #56

This week we have a colorful item to share. We figured that a burst of color was perfect for spring!



OK, friends. Please leave us a comment with your guess, and we will share the link to your guesses and reveal the answer to this week’s “What is it?” puzzle this Friday. Happy guessing!

“What is it?” #55 – the answer

This week, our vintage item is a leather briefcase. My mother gifted my father with this, inked in gold with his initials, and he  proudly carried it when he was in sales. My brother and I couldn’t part with it after our father passed, but since I love all things old and shabby my brother thought I should have it. Does anyone have a creative repurpose idea for it? I would enjoy seeing it displayed in my home. The inside is not leather, and has not weathered the years as nicely as the outside, so perhaps it would benefit from a lining.

To read this week’s guesses, click here and scroll down. Thanks for playing!