Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Valentine Lunch, Lots of Gifties and the Best Craft ever!!!!

What could be better than a relaxing day planned with some girlfriends!!
We were filled to the brim with good food, lots and lots and I mean lots of presents and to finish it off an entire afternoon of creativity!!

That's what this lunch was all about!!
I need to say that my camera broke and I borrowed a camera wonderful friend came to the rescue with her camera!! But, I had no idea how to use it, so all my pictures are pretty blurry!! I do apologize for this.. it's the best I could do!! 

I made these little swans to set on the table

I tucked inside each glass these little valentines pendants that I designed!! 

I made these paper dresses and trimmed them with vintage pearl chain as the necklace, 
lace and I also made silk rosettes. 

Well, I hadn't expected this but OH MY GOODNESS!!! I couldn't believe it!! Each of the girls had been secretly planning away... they each bought goodie bags for each person... filled with all kinds of incredibly creative and generous and fun gifts... It was like Christmas except 100 times better!!!

This was from Beverly

She filled the bag to the brim 
with all sorts of goodies!!! 
A metallic fabric heart with beaded trim!!
 I love the little spool adored 
with vintage trimmings.

 She made one of these for each one of us...!!

And one of these as well!! 
They were all different and
special in their own way!!

 Then she made us each a lavender scented 
fabric heart with a key!! 
 Love these vintage looking trinkets!!! Can't wait to use them in something!!! 
 She took a clear heart and glued glitter on it from the inside.. gives the look of mercury glass!!! 
I already gobbled up this chocolate!!! She printed these labels and covered chocolate bars with them!! LOVE!!!! 
This is just precious! 
She printed all our names on vintage trimming!!

This was from Carla
 Carla has such a way with presentation!! 
She made each one of us feel so special with her box of goodies!!!

 I just love this sheet music!! You can never have enough!! I can't wait to use this in a project!!! 

 All these goodies remind me of 
being a little girl again!!! 
This is the best scented perfume!! Flowering Willow & Lotus by Lollia I just love it!! She spoiled us with this!! Such a treat!! 

and this was from Grace
I just adore this felt bag with BE MINE Heart on the outside!!

I am in love with the vintage Dresden and vintage "AMOUR" ribbon!!
And the Be Mine Angel!! I am glad she is mine!! hehee!! Grace added the banner, wings, and star that is in her hand on also on her head!!  

After we opened all our gifts, which should have taken all afternoon!!! we were starving, so headed over the the table for a yummy lunch,

Here was the menu... 
Baked Artichoke and Fontina cheese for dipping
recipe from Smells Like Home
I edited the recipe and added Artichoke... This is a great recipe that you can make the night before which I love..
1 1/2 lbs fontina, cubed in 1-inch pc's
2 tbsp shallot finely diced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp butter
1/2 package of frozen artichokes thawed and drained. 
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Set cheese aside
Adjust top rack of oven so that it is approx. 5" under broiler unit. Preheat broiler.

In saute pan add shallots and 1 tbsp olive oil. Lightly sweat shallots until soft. Add butter, artichokes and 1/2 of all ingredients. Saute until cooked through..low heat about 3-5 minutes. let cool slightly. 
In oven proof serving dish add cubed cheese and and mix in artichoke's, etc.
drizzle remaining olive oil and rest of all ingredients over top.
(At this point you can cover with plastic and put in fridge until next day.)
Bake for 6 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and melted through. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface. Serve immediately with fresh bread or crackers!! 

We then had Fired Roasted Tomato Soup with 
Crumbled bleu cheese and croutons

Sweat in 2 Tbsp. olive oil:
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Deglaze with:
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cans whole fire roasted tomatoes in juice
(I roasted tomatoes whole in broiler with a little olive oil instead of canned)
2 cups chicken broth or water (I used organic chicken broth)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Stir in:
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 bag fresh baby spinach
salt, pepper to taste
Parmesan croutons
crumbled blue cheese

Sweat shallots in oil in LARGE pot, over med. heat until soft. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook 1 more minute.
Deglaze with wine, simmer until most liquid evaporated, then add tomatoes , broth and basil. Increase heat, bring to boil, reduce heat an simmer approx. 10 minutes. Puree soup with hand blender or in batches in standard blender. Return to pot and bring to simmer. 
Stir in sugar and vinegar. Just before serving add spinach and season with s/p to taste. 
Put in serving bowl. Garnish with blue cheese and croutons. 

Followed by:
Ham & Cheese Sliders with Avocado 
and Poppy seed dressing

 recipe by:  The Girl who ate everything

24 dinner rolls
24 good honey ham
24 small slices swiss cheese
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup miracle whip
Poppy Seed Sauce:
1 tbsp poppyseeds
1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp minced onion
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together avocado, mayo and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides, center, of each roll. Place a slice of ham, and swiss on each roll. Close rolls and place them onto large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet, very close together!!
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter set slightly!! Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook additional minutes until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.
All the incredible desserts were provided by Carla!! YUMMY YUMMY!!!
Warm Chocolate Brownie topped 
with Whipped Cream!!

White Chocolate with Oreo's and Candy Corn!

Rice Pudding!!

After Lunch... it was time to get down to business!! 
We were totally inspired by the class being held at  The French General with Pam Garrison and Charlotte Lyons.. and if there were any way possible for us to fly out there and take the class personally we all would have.. 
Here is the inspiration behind our afternoon of creating!!

Sailor's Valentines was the theme

We each contributed to with fabric's, ribbons, bits, and bobs, antique and vintage findings, beaded appliques, etc... etc... etc... Everyone was so generous with their stash of goodies.. which allowed for each one of us to create some absolutely beautiful creations!!

Here is what I came up with so far...

 Here is Grace's

Here is Carla's

and here is Beverly's

Unfortunately the day is never long enough! Poor Grace had a very long drive home... Carla and Beverly had to work the next day.. so we had to part ways.. I can not wait to see the finished product from everyone!! 
And I definitely can not wait to make some more.. But first I have to finish this one!!

My friend Grace from Pink in the City,
and I planned on doing on a one and one swap for a Valentine Cone.
We always like to swap with each other as well as others.. I made her a soft pink cone filled with feathers and lots of goodies. She had bought me some Lauduree macaroons when we went on a trip to Asheville this past October and I save the ribbon. I thought it would be perfect to add to her cone!! I bought her a Macaroon book and found this brand new book from Joannes, made of pink fabric paper!!! I also found some macaroon soaps from this lovely girl on etsy.. When I saw the adorable google eye fabric doll from Kimberly at ArtJoyStuff, I knew it would be perfect for Grace!!

Grace gave me this amazing huge bag! It was filled with lots and lots of goodies... 
 I love the pink and black polka dot cosmetic box. 
One of the first things I opened was the vintage by crystal spun cotton girl..
 She started this new tradition which I don't think she knows it but now she HAS to give me one every year hehehee!!! 
 It was "instant love" when I saw 
my little bisque doll!!
OMG! I love this vintage heart planter!! How did I not every see these before!!! 

 I can't wait to use the Marie chipboard in a craft and just loving the antique valentines card!!!
 Kisses anyone!!! She put vintage Dresden scraps, ribbon and a frozen Charlotte in these great lips!! 
 She decorated the cosmetic box with a glittered cherub!! 
 OH!!! And last but certainly not least!! Vintage black trim covered this cone!! She put little red roses and crystals all over and added to the tip her grandmothers vintage crystal from her chandelier!! Tear's anyone??I will cherish this forever!! 

 OH!! NO!! We are not finished yet!! In her over the top way... she also slipped in a Valentine Kit from Tinsel Trading!! She knows how much I love their kits.... THANK YOU!!!
 I am starting to think maybe we are a couple if she keeps spoiling me this way.. .Heheee!!! 
shhhh... don't tell my hubby!! heehee!! 
This angel was tucked inside as well!! 


Thank you girlfriends for such a beautiful relaxing creative day!! Thank you for all the hard work you each put into your gifts to make the day special for all of us!! I value and treasure the  thoughtfulness, generosity from each one of you more than I can convey into words!!!