Feb 27, 2012

Newest Cross Stitch Pattern

My latest pattern was a lot of fun to make. I found a fun and brightly colored Victorian Easter greeting card and edited it for a wonderful new spring bunny project! Check out the Etsy listing here!

Feb 26, 2012

My Etsy shop, NicheStitch, was featured in the Handmade in Iowa column of the Des Moines Register this weekend! Check it out here!

Jan 11, 2012

Food Contest

I've decided to enter my first-ever food contest! I entered my Loaded 2-Potato Leek Soup to betterrecipes.com's weekly contest, which is affiliated with Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Grand prize is $250. The prize would be nice, but I'm honestly just doing it to get my feet wet. I've discovered tons of contests online and have been flirting with the idea of entering items into the Iowa State Fair this year which, I believe, has the largest food competition category of all the states. Here's a link to the recipe/contest.

Oct 12, 2011


Recently, a customer ordered two custom cross stitch patterns for pink cephalopod tentacles to frame and display alongside some very unique postcards that she had. Long story short, here is a photo that she posted to my facebook page that shows what she accomplished using my patterns!

Sep 23, 2011

Wedding Preparations

I've done it again! It's been several MONTHS since I've posted anything. I have some great excuses this time, I promise! Since the last time I posted anything, I received a promotion at work and I've been working on wedding preparations quite a lot. We're doing a pie buffet instead of a wedding cake and making a large percentage of them from scratch. So far, there are 23 pies that my mom, my mother in law to be and myself have made. Here's a picture of two strawberry rhubarb pies (for the wedding) and a chocolate cream pie (for a bbq) that were made 3 weeks ago.
Next, a cute blueberry pie I made about a month ago...
A lot of pies are actually freezable for up to a month or so, which helps out with our stress levels quite a bit. We baked these ahead of time, let them cool completely, wrapped in plastic wrap twice then aluminum foil and labeled before freezing. All we'll have to do is set them out the night before the wedding and voila! PIE TIME! The wedding is October 1st...8 days away. I've taken Thursday the 29th through Monday the 3rd off for prep and family time. My brother is flying in from Japan, tons of family from Texas coming, and a couple of people from Montana, New York City and Portland, OR are on their way. I'm so freaking excited! I've barely been able to sleep and have decided that I need to make sure my supply of coffee is stocked with a larger amount that usual this week and I've been considering a purchase of a large quantity of Red Bull. ;-) Any how, things are falling into place. I'm really not that stressed, just excited. I have several lists of things to do, things to buy, things to delegate to other people to do, etc. We're having the ceremony and reception at a state park about an hour's drive from here so I want to make sure we have everything packed up, accounted for and ready to go on Friday the 30th when we go decorate. Ya know, as I'm typing this, I've remember about 10 things I need to add to my lists. I think I had better get off of here and get some things done. Until next time.... I leave you with a photo of some mini pies that I made with leftovers in my Fiestaware ramekins.

Jun 1, 2011

My Cross Stitch Patterns Brought to Life!

I've decided to ask my customers at NicheStitch Etsy to submit pictures of their works in progress or finished products they've done using my patterns. The first one is of an Easter Egg pattern by Etsy user mfregoso.

My pattern is a single color design, but she decided to "tie-dye" it! Love it!

May 20, 2011

Lady Baltimore Cake v2 & v3

I made another attempt at the Lady Baltimore cake about a week and a half ago - It was delicious but I FORGOT THE BAKING POWDER! It ended up being more of a shortcake, so I called it the "Shorty Baltimore" LOL! It tasted quite good, just very dense. I went to the dollar store and got three 8" round pans, but only used two. Also, this time I used a real double boiler that I got from my mom. The 7-minute icing really only took about 7 minutes. The only issue is that the icing seemed a little gooey, akin to marshmallow creme.

Today I decided to try version 3. I used a whole wheat pastry flour instead of the all-purpose variety and I made three 8" round layers. The cake stuck to the pan and was crumbly. Maybe it was the whole wheat flour? Maybe I cooked it too long? I baked it the same amount of time I did for the "Shorty" that was only 2 layers, so maybe the thinner batter just cooked faster and the grainy whole wheat flour wasn't cooperating. The icing turned out okay. I used a 7-minute Icing recipe from the Joy of Cooking this time, which was basically the same as the previous recipe I used only it had one more egg white. I chopped the nuts and raisins super fine and by hand, but the icing was still kind of gooey. I revisited the instructions in JOY after already icing the cake and realized that I was supposed to continue beating the icing, once removed from the heat, until it reached room temperature. I'm sure that process would help with the texture a bit.

Next time I think I'll nail this sucker as long as I remember all the ingredients and all the steps. It's definitely a learning process and the science of baking is a little more difficult that I originally imagined. I hope to have this cake perfected by June 12 so that I may take it to our family reunion potluck dinner!