Prairie Paints Are Here

We are so very excited to announce that our 
Prairie Paint Collection is here!  

The dream of creating our own paint line with the 32 signature colors we paint our barn quilts and furniture with seemed like the impossible dream a few years ago, but here we are!  It is launch day and we could not be more excited to share these uniquely formulated paints with you our dear friends.

We knew we had to create a paint that was thick, so thick.  It also had to have immense color saturation to allow for one coat coverage.  It had to adhere to various surfaces, and hold up to indoor and outdoor elements.  

Hay Down Prairie Paint 

After a lot of testing we created a unique formula that is a chalk-gel paint.  We loved the finish of the chalk paint and the thick-smoothness of the gel.  It is amazing to paint with and we fell even more in love with it when it came time to antique it.  The colors do not "bleed" onto each other...the reds stay red with one coat and each color has the vintage-dusty, well-loved look that is our signature.

Old Walnut Prairie Paint

We have used these paints in our classes around the country for the past year and have had favorable reviews from our students.   Everyone who has painted with them has been anxiously awaiting their release.  

 Here are some answers to the common questions we receive.

  •  Our paints come ready to use, no mixing needed. 
  •  They can be thinned for a lighter finish.  
  •  They are the colors & paints we use on our barn quilts and vintage signs.
  •  We have tested them indoors and out for the past year with perfect results.
  •  They have zero VOC, are non-toxic, and odorless.
  •   You will LOVE them!

Old Orchard Prairie Paint

Burleigh Blue Prairie Paint

Each color in our Prairie Paints Collection has a special story behind it's name, those stories come with each color you choose.  We will be highlighting a color each month and sharing those stories with you here on our blog, along with special paint projects using the paint of the month.

Both of us have designed and created many things over the years that we loved, but nothing has brought us more pride and joy than creating our very own Prairie Paints.  We can't wait to see what you create with them.  You can find them in our online shop, Amazon and at your local retailers soon.  
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Tweetle Dee Spring Workshop

I know it's still snowing across most of the US, but we are having visions of Spring up here on the mountain.  Well, maybe visions are more like day dreams!  We just can't wait for the flowers to begin peaking their heads up through the snow because it means it is time for us to gather for the best painting party ever!

We checked our calendars and set the date for the Spring Workshop for Saturday, April 25th.  It will be here is Woodland Hills just 30 minutes south of Provo, UT.  We will begin at 10:00 with a light breakfast and a demo on how to choose a board and different types of base coating.  Then we will get to the best part of choosing patterns, and colors from our Prairie Paints Collection and begin painting any size barn quilt you can dream up!

We love these "paint anything" parties where creativity goes crazy and everyone leaves with the barn quilts of their dreams.  Seriously, it is the best and we hope you all can make it that Saturday.  We always have surprise gifts for everyone, and word has it this class will be something fabulous.

So go to The Shop and register under the "workshop" category.  The cost is $100.00 which covers your supplies, a 22" pallet, and breakfast/lunch.  If you want to paint something bigger or more than one...or whatever you want, there is a slight additional expense that can be paid the day of the class.  So get your besties together and register now before the spots fill.  

We can't wait to spend the day with you!

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Tweetle Dee Print Shop

 We are so excited to share with you the newest addition to the Tweetle Dee family.  We have been collecting our favorite photographic prints and barn quilt photographs from our past five years and now have a fabulous new way to share them with you.  

These beautiful pieces are printed on linen in full color and technology that allows for every aged color, stained wood knots, blades of grass, etc. show in amazing depth and texture.  When placed side by side you can see all the character of each classic piece.  

Each photograph tells a story and we are so pleased to bring them to our shop with free shipping on each framed piece.

Farmer's Daughter Print

Corn and Beans Star Barn Quilt Print

Prairie Trail Print

The Feathered Star Barn Quilt Print

Olmstead Hill Print

The Path Home Print

The Texas Star Barn Quilt Print

These beautiful prints are statements pieces that tell a story.  Make them a part of your home in varied sizes, all framed in walnut.  They also make amazing gifts!  Go to the shop and order yours today.  Free shipping on all orders, no code needed!

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Folk Art Barn Quilt Calendar

Every year we release a new barn quilt calendar.  The planning begins over the holidays and this year we wanted to reproduce the painting style we did when we were first married.  We painted a few pieces in our home with images of farm life with lots of little details.  This year we added barn quilts and little farm friends in a perpetual calendar called Folk Art Barn Quilt Calendar. 

Folk Art Barn Quilt Calendar

We both had our favorite elements.  I loves the sun and the moon...and of course the quilted pasture.  Mike loved the corn and the sheep.  The calendar grid is painted onto wood with black stain to allow the wood grain to come out between the white lines.  The grid is a permanent calendar template.  The month and dates can be added with simple chalk to make each month your very own personal piece.

The opposite side is painted as well with a black board for messages and pictures to be added.  It's a great place to write your family mantras and messages that celebrate life!

The folk art style just warms our souls and being able to write this years calendar, goals, and mantras  on something that reminds of us of home makes it all the more fabulous.  We hope you enjoy this calendar.  If you are looking for something simple, please check out the Farmhouse Perpetual Calendar in our shop.

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Winter Apple Butter

One of the best aromas ever is a slow cooker full of apples and spice...there is nothing like it.  Even in the winter, the aroma of simmering Winter Apple Butter is such a crisp fragrance,  It brings back all the warmth of a sunny fall day, even if there is two feet of snow out your window.   My family loves to eat it on crisp toast, pancakes and even on ice cream.  

All you need to make this simple apple butter is a slow cooker and about 10 to 12 large apples.   My favorite kind to use are Jonathon's...they are perfect mixture of firm, sweet, tart and Granny Smiths are my second favorite.   Wash your apples and peel them.  I like to use my old fashioned apple does the job in a matter of seconds.  You can find the apple peeler I use on my Amazon shopping page.    

Once the apples are peeled, you can use an apple slicer to slice them into large wedges. Place them in a slow cooker and turn it on to the low setting.

Once the slow cooker is full, add three cups of sugar and four tablespoons of apple pie seasoning.  If you can not find apple pie seasoning, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a mixture you like. 

Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook for eight hours on the low setting.  Stir occasionally to mix the spices and sugars through the mixture.   You will have a delicious amount to apple juice that cooks out of the apples over cooking time.  When the time is skim off most of the juice and set aside.  Add two tablespoons of real vanilla extract and mix together.  I like to use an immersion blender to blend the chunks up into a half chunky sauce.  If your mixture is still too thin, cook a little longer in the pot.  (It will thicken ever more in the fridge.)

Once your apple butter is done, you can refrigerate it for up to six weeks or freeze it for up two months.  If you want it to last through the winter,  you can process them in a water bath for 20 minutes and they will keep for a year.  You can find the instructions for the water bath process at the Ball Fresh Preserving Site.

Just imagine a spice filled thick sweet and tart apple sauce in one bite...and you will know why we are crazy for this recipe!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  It sure makes the winter mornings smell divine and taste even better!

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Valentine Charcuterie - Fresh Living

What is Charcuterie you ask?  Well, it is a beautiful way to graze on delicious food, which means you will love it as much as we do!  You pronounce it as (shahr -ku-tuh-ree).  It is a very trendy art of preparing and assembling foods, both savory and sweet.  If you go to my Pinterest Board  you will see amazing displays for all types of parties and gatherings.  

For today's KUTV Fresh Living  we are making a Valentine's Day Charcuterie Board with lots of yummy treats and a few healthy ones too.  To begin any Charcuterie Board you need first a board.  You can use a long cutting board, a slab of clean wood, or even a sheet of bakers paper down the center of the table.  The one that I am using today was purchased from my Amazon Shop.  It is large and finished so beautifully, it is my favorite board to use.

The second thing you will want to do to create a fabulous Charcuterie Board is to create elements that rise and give "depth" to your food design.  A simple way to do this it to add small bowls of dip, or a mini-cake stand, a cup of bread sticks, etc.  

For this Valentine's Day Charcuterie Board I added two small heart shaped bowls filled with marshmallow fluff and chocolate ganache (of course sprinkled with "love dust").  Once your elements of height are added, you can begin to see a flow to the design.  This is where the art of display comes in.  I added the milk glass vase with three heart shaped rice crispy pops, the two bowls of sweet dip and then .... 

...the cluster of cupcakes and cake pops.  I then swirled the cookies across the tray to give a solid shaped curve and echoes the same curve with the candied popcorn.  I then added the chocolate covered pretzels, and strawberries (with their green tops up).   If you were putting together a savory Charcuterie Board you would fan out cured meats, cheeses, spreads, baguette slices, crackers, etc.

This is an important note when putting together a Charcuterie Board.  You want different textures and colors throughout the display, so adding the strawberries with their clean, bright green tops upright, added a fresh color pop to a very sweet pink and red display.

With those large swirled-curved elements in place the board was beginning to take shape.  I then went and added little elements like the yogurt covered cranberries and the chocolate kisses in spaces that were bare. If you were making a savory Charcuterie Board you this would be a good time to add small nuts and dried fruits or any other small item.  You would also want to add fresh fruits and vegetables sliced or whole.  It is fun to have a pop of a large red apple or a beautiful cluster of grapes...kiwis sliced add lots of green pop as do broccoli florets.  

 Now with just a couple of spots left to fill, I decided to add a couple of semi-homemade treats to the board.  I took a few Oreo Cookies and melted some white chocolate...dipped them and sprinkled some red and white candies for extra love.

 I also melted some milk chocolate and dipped the tips of strawberry filled wafer cookies. the melted yumminess.  You can find the melting chocolates in most baking isles.  They are inexpensive, and fast to melt in your microwave.  Just add them to a ceramic, microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.  Lift out of microwave and stir to get the chocolate discs soft.  Put back in the microwave and heat for 1 to 2 more minutes.  Stir again until the discs are melted smooth.  Do not over heat, or they will turn dry and hard, not silky smooth.

I placed some parchment paper on the counter and dipped the tips of the wafers in the chocolate, using a spoon to get the chocolate "line" even.  Placed them on the paper to cool and added a little "x" or "o" to the tip.  When cool and dry, I added them in layers with the decoration showing in a fan type swirl out to the edge of the tray. 

 I hope this little lesson on Charcuterie Boards has inspired you to get a little creative with your next gathering, or even your next movie night!  The total cost for this Valentine's Board was $65.00 not including the tray...and I have so many left overs!  It really is a simple way to make a big impact without spending a ton!

You can catch my Charcuterie Board segment on KUTV Fresh Living today and if you miss it watch my You Tube Channel for the segment soon.  Enjoy!

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Forget Me Not

We are so happy for the first Flourish Wildflower of 2020!  I worked on this over the holiday and fell in love with the little blue flowers of the Forget Me Not.  The Forget Me Not symbolizes "remembrance".  I always wonder why different flowers symbolize different virtues, and I have a few thoughts on this little beauty.  

With each Lazy Daisy that I stitched to create a petal, I though of how many little petals it takes to make this dainty little blue flower even stand out.  It made me think of how many little blessings and gifts we each receive and try to remember, especially as we say goodbye to a passing year and say hello to a new one.  Maybe it is about remembering the little things that combine to make something note worthy and great and not the big bursts that impact us in subtle, sweet ways.  I'm not an expert, nor am I the person who assigns meanings to flowers, but for me the Forget Me Not means remember the small blessings together as a whole.

To stitch this darling little flower you will need:

Crewel Embroidery Needle
Cotton Batting
Transfer Pen
Embroidery Snips
DMC Floss Numbers 
(Blue 793, Lt. Blue 318, Yellow 3821, Green 469, and Ecru Pearl 5)

1.  Right click on image and print from your computer to your printer.  Place image under your fabric and trace with erasable transfer pen.  (I use the Frixion pens that erase with steam.)  

2.  Place fabric tightly in hoop (remember drum tight) with cotton batting behind fabric.  The cotton batting that I use is a 80/20 Cotton.  It hides my knots, strings and gives my stitches a little extra lift.  Once your fabric is drum tight you are ready to go.

3.  Take your green and thread your crewel needle with all six strands of floss about an arms length of floss.  Tie a knot in the end and make a tail about 1/3 the length of your floss.  This helps you to hold onto your floss as you go through the fabric.  

4.  I will give you the stitches for each color and will attach the Tweetle Dee Stitching Guide to this post.  For additional help, go to the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel.  

DMC 469 Green - Stem Stitch for Stems, and Braided Leaf Stitch/Satin Stitch for leaves/outline of leaves is back stitch.

DMC 793 Blue - Lazy Daisy for petals.

DMC 318 Lt. Blue - Satin Stitch inside of petals.

DMC Ecru - One stitch in the light blue fill in to add shading.  Back stitch "remembrance".

DMC 3821 Yellow - French Knot in center of each flower.

I am working on a video for this embroidery and will have it on the You Tube Channel shortly.  I hope you have enjoyed these little floral embroideries and are gaining a few new stitch skills as well.  Many blessings small and big to you this coming 2020.  xo
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