About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Patio Crochet

Good morning,

The weather is SO pretty now that we are spending more and more time outside.

I have small projects that I take along when outside and it's amazing how much I get accomplished.  This will be a cloche hat for the shop.

I hope the weather is beautiful where you are right now, too!


Monday, April 29, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Wendy and Elsa

Good morning,

Here are Wendy and Elsa sunning again.  Elsa is growing so fast!  Look at the size of those feet!

We anticipate Elsa will be a larger dog than Wendy when she is fully grown.

They are such good friends already.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Fresh Bread Today

Good morning,

There is nothing like the aroma of bread baking.
This is another fresh bread day here.
It was such a hit last time, this is another batch of brown sugar and sour cream bread.

My bread recipes are here on the blog if you'd like to take a look.  Here's the bread making tab.  Help yourself!  Be sure to click "read more posts" at the bottom of each page.  The recipes are scattered through this section going back through 80 or more posts.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Let's Go!

Good morning,

Our little Elsa is always ready to go!  She is the sweetest, smartest little darling, full of fun and curiosity.

Look how tall she is now!  She has a larger kennel in the car now and loves to ride with us.

Having a puppy is so much fun!


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Penny to Elsa - Fourteen Years of Separation

Good morning,

These are our two Millstone Labradors, Penny (left) and Elsa. Penny is Elsa's great, great, great aunt. 

Penny's wisdom of age and Elsa's curiosity of youth are so very obvious when they are together.  They are each a joy to know and love. 

I just wonder what they could be saying to each other.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Cincinnati Pops in Oz

Good morning,

We recently enjoyed our last Cincinnati Pops Orchestra concert of the season.
I took this image when we arrived and before the concert started.  The backdrop is the Yellow Brick Road leading to Oz.
This is an interesting view of the gorgeous chandelier in the center of Cincinnati's Music Hall.  I'm looking straight up from our seats.  The chandelier is huge and always makes me think of Phantom of the Opera....  Hmm. 
This final image was taken during a bow.  Of course, the Emerald City is there on the horizon. 

We are so very fortunate to live where we have such a fabulous orchestra.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Climbing to the Top

Good morning,

It's such fun to watch Elsa explore her world. 
She climbed the log pile in the back yard...
...and liked the view from the top.  :)

For those concerned, the log pile is very stable and we had no fears of it sliding while Elsa was on top. 

She's such a sweetheart.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Elsa in the Flowers

Good morning,

Here's another portrait of Elsa in the Spring flowers.
I'm so glad we are taking so many pictures of this sweet girl.  She is growing so fast we'll soon have a beautiful adult dog with puppy memories in the past.  We are so enjoying her!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter! Happy Passover!

Good morning,

Happy Easter and Happy Passover to our family and friends. 
We hope you enjoy this joyous season with your family and friends.

The images are of our red bud trees from both inside and outside the house. 

Spring is so lovely!


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Penny in the Flowers

Good morning,

This is our sweet Penny, now 14 years old, over 100 years old in people years.

Penny is enjoying the buttercups that cover our back yard in the Spring.
Penny is our wise old lady who we love so very much. 

We are so fortunate to have our Penny.


Friday, April 19, 2019

African Violet

Good morning,

I've had this African Violet for so long I don't remember when I got it.  It's always such a pleasure when it blooms and here it goes again.

This flower was the inspiration for the Royal Purple Afghan Blanket that I have in our shop.  I often get my designs and color combinations from the wonderful examples Mother Nature gives us.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Nap Time

Good morning,

Kjell snapped this selfie image while we were napping with the pups.  That's Wendy cuddled up with me and Elsa with Daddy.
This second image is of Wendy napping.  Our pups play hard, then sleep well. 



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spring Flowers

Good morning,

Every day more flowers bloom here.  We just love Spring!
For most of the 40 years we have lived here I have added a few new flowers each year. 
I especially love these Sir Winston Churchill Daffodils.  They are not only beautiful, they are fragrant.
The Tulip Magnolias are still opening....
 We have a daffodil garden around the two red bud trees near the porch, too.

Oh, how I love this!

Happy Spring!


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Needlework and Wood Working Update - April, 2019

Good morning,

We have a wonderful milestone to celebrate and share!   We have now surpassed 1,000 sales of original and traditional design hand crafted items since we opened our on line shop, EvensensProductions.com eight years ago.

Thank you to our wonderful supporters who encourage us!  As we neared retirement from our professions a few years ago, we were delighted to have more time to enjoy our hobbies that have now become our retirement business.  Your positive words, ideas, and purchases have made our retirement dream come true.  A huge THANK YOU from both Kjell and me!  

We have quite a few lovely new items from Kjell's wood workshop for this month's Wood Working Update.

This plaque is above entitled "Vikings are at the Root of our Family Tree."  A similar plaque sold very quickly when I listed it,so he made another for the shop. $68.  Click here for more images and details.
This "Home of the Free, Because of the Brave" flag is engraved on solid oak and hand painted.  $62.  More images and details here.

Kjell made another of the "Freedom is Not Free" solid oak engraved flag this month after the first flag sold immediately when I listed it in the shop.  $62.  More images and details here.
The flags and other plaques can be mounted on the wall or they can be displayed on a wood stand.  The stand for the plaques is currently sold out, but there will be more available in the shop soon.  Let us know if you'd like to have one soon.

Above is a gorgeous engraved crucifix.  $36.  More images and details here.
Here's a fabulous inlay chess/checker board that Kjell created for our recreation room.  This piece is even more beautiful in person.  I haven't gotten him to commit to making one for the shop yet.  If you want me to encourage him, please let me know.
This has been a quiet month in my needlework studio - explanation below.  I did manage to restock a couple of items that have been selling quickly, though.  This yellow cloche hat and...
this raspberry pink cloche hat are new in the shop this month.    We have more than 50 of these in many colors from which to chose.  From $8.  Click here to see the large variety available.
And, finally for this month's update, this brown cream tweed toilet tissue topper as added.  $8.  Tissue toppers are available in a variety of colors here - click the link and scroll down.

There is a very good reason why this has been a quiet month in my needlework studio.  We have a wonderful new puppy who has stolen our hearts and taken a great deal of my time.  I don't allow the pups into my needlework studio which means I wasn't in there much this month either.  Our sweet little puppy, Elsa, is quickly growing into a wonderful dog and I'll soon be back on my usual production schedule.

A little inside information: I have a large afghan blanket in colors of the sea nearly complete and will add it to the shop soon.  I also have an almost finished basket weave sweater that has someone waiting to receive and wear it.

We hope you will visit our shop first when looking for truly unique items for yourself and for those who are special to you.

See you here next month with the next Update!

All the very best,


Original and Traditional Hand Crafted Designs

Monday, April 15, 2019

Elsa on the Air Mattress

Good morning,

Is that a sweet face or what!

When we brought Elsa home about a month ago, we set up the air mattress in the living room so Catherine could sleep close to the door to let Elsa out at night.  In the image above I've stripped the sheets off of the mattress to wash them.  Elsa finds the air mattress quite comfy!

Elsa is old enough to make it through the night now so we've just put the air mattress away.

In the day time Kjell and I are making sure Elsa gets outside often and has plenty of play time inside and out.  With the beautiful Spring weather, it is so much easier than a month ago when it was still cold and wet outside most of the time.

Elsa is a very good puppy and learns very fast.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Tulip Magnolia in Bloom

Good morning,

A sure sign of Spring here is the blooming of the Tulip Magnolia.
I took this second image through my bedroom window just as the blossoms were opening.  Even though taken through the window screen, it's still a pretty picture.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Pink Cow

Good morning,

How many of you had this while growing up?

When I saw the red creme soda at the grocery, I had to get it, then immediately swung around to the ice cream section to get some vanilla bean ice cream.

Serving it in a Ball Jar made it taste better, too.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Catherine and the Couch Potatoes

Good morning,

Our pups, especially Wendy, love to relax on the couch.  When Catherine gets home, they generally let her join them there.
Little Miss Elsa has caught on to these luxuries of life very quickly
The seem to figure the longer they stay on her lap, the longer she will be home before going back to her office to prepare more tax returns.



Thursday, April 11, 2019

Oven Baked Glazed Pork Chops

Good morning,

Here's something a little different. 

These are oven baked glazed pork chops baked on top of potatoes.  It's so easy it's impossible to make a mistake.

Cut up enough potatoes to cover the bottom of the baking dish.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss it all to cover the potatoes evenly.

Bake 15 minutes at 400 to give the potatoes a head start.  Remove from oven.

I used six pork chops and had to overlap them a little.  Or, just use enough to cover the potatoes.  Mix up your favorite barbecue sauce (I make my own) and drag your pork chops through it (love that concept) to cover evenly before placing on the top of the potatoes.

Bake 20 minutes, then remove from oven and add more barbecue sauce, bake another 20 minutes and add even more barbecue sauce.  Repeat that a third time and you've baked your chops at one hour at 400 degrees.  Now turn on the broiler and broil another five minutes.

Your tender chops will be thickly glazed with sauce and the potatoes will be fabulously delicious after baking under the chops.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

White on White

Good morning,

Wendy and Elsa are so darling together. 
They are both light colored Yellow Labs, but Elsa will eventually be darker the same as Penny.  Her adult hair is coming in on her back now so we can tell she will be darker than Wendy.

Still, they are like carbon and copy, frick and frack, me and mini-me.



Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ivy in the Morning Sun

Good morning,

This ivy is growing on a tree next to our driveway.
I love the design of the leaves and the way they look in the sun.  I see ideas for needlework here and in so much more of Mother Nature's beauty.

 Happy Spring!