Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart

Travel the world and see a new place
Go with a smile and meet a new face-
Travel the world, you won't come to the end

Open your heart and make some new friends~~
(I'm a poet and didn't know it!)

Welcome to my entry in the 2011

One World One Heart international blogging event!
Thank you for stopping by on your travels around the blogging world~

This fun event is open to my devoted readers and followers
as well as all of the new visitors
taking part in this exciting blog hopping journey
around the globe.
(Haven't we all just been waiting FOREVER for this day to get here!)

Please click HERE to be magically transported to the host blog "A Whimsical Bohemian".

Lisa, our sweet host for this event, has compiled a list of all the blogs who are participating. You can begin or continue your journey there - (after you register for a chance to win prizes here!)

My first entry in the OWOH give away is this
Vera Bradley back pack~
If you are going to travel around the blogging world
you need to travel in
(this should do it - don't you think!)

Next up is this beautiful hot pink
(Don't you have just the perfect window to hang this beautiful prize?)
I love this one so much - I almost didn't give it away!

And last~
3 beautiful little handmade beaded
Here are the "rules"~~

1. The drawings will be held for all three prizes on February 17 and the winners will be announced HERE on this posting. (at the bottom of the page)

2. You do not have to have a blog to participate in this contest or to win a prize.

3. To enter - just leave a comment at the end of this post.

4. I must be able to contact the winners - so if you do not have a blog - be sure that your email address is plainly available. Anonymous entries cannot be accepted.
5. You can click on the OWOH photo at the top of my sidebar or in this post to be taken to the host blog. There you will find all of the entries in this huge "worldwide" event. Visit as many as you wish - each blog is giving away some special prizes in this fabulous blogging extravaganza!
I know you are in a big hurry on your hop around the world - (so many blogs - so little time!!) but please do come back later when you can stay a little longer~~
My special Thanks to Lisa (The Whimsical Bohemian) who for five years now has graciously hosted this amazing blogging event. Lisa - your creation of this event has truly changed the lives of hundreds of people. I know this to be true - because I am one of those people. This event was largely responsible for jump starting the readership of my blog and for that I am forever grateful. Because of YOU - I have made new friends (true and lasting friendships) all over this great big world.
Your endless hours of coordinating this event and cataloging all of the blogs at the conclusion is so appreciated. I know 5 years ago your intention was to create this as a fun filled event and a way to make new friends ~~~ today, now 5 years later, this is THE premier blogging event in the world - an event that now holds the participation of over 1000 bloggers from all around the globe. Thank you, thank you, Lisa - from the bottom of my heart~~
2/17 update - MY OWOH WINNERS~~
Nancy from Her Art Nest is the winner of the pink suncatcher heart.
Diane from Lavender Dreams is the winner of the pink felted heart collection.
Sandra from Thistle Cove Farms is the winner of the Vera Bradley back pack.
Thanks to the hundreds of people who participated and made this such a special event! And of course - a huge thank you to Lisa who tirelessly worked so hard to make this work so well for us all ! Another fabulous year Lisa - I can hardly wait until the new event takes place!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Winter Nesting"

I know a place, in the ivy tree
Where a bird's nest is and the eggs are three
And the bird is brown, and the eggs are blue
And the twigs are old but the moss is new~~

My Winter Nesting has begun!

Did you know~~~
that many of the birds in your yard re-use their summer nests in winter, as spending the night in a semi-enclosed space keeps them up to 15 degrees warmer, enabling them to survive much easier. Spending 50% less energy heating their body at night allows them to survive easier when food is scarce. Birds sometimes even store food in their nests. Another fact is that birds often shelter together to keep warm - as many as 60 wrens have been found roosting in one nest box to shelter from the cold. (just some winter nest trivia for you)

My plan was to begin my Winter Nesting on January 1 - however with 45 nests to make, I took advantage and actually started the "nesting" in early December - (surprise!) Almost one third of the very patient folks on my list have already received their nests!!

Thank you to everyone who has so patiently waited between 6 and 9 months for this "nesting " season to begin! Bless your hearts! Remember~~ good things come to those who wait - (patiently!)


This "nesting" season will find little nests going to 18 states in the US. Nests have now traveled to all of the 50 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) except for New Mexico, Vermont, and Alabama - (where are you guys?)

This season the little nests will also be flying to homes in Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, and Turkey.

If you are on the current "nesting" list - you can expect to hear from me by mid-March. If you think you are on the list - and don't hear from me- PLEASE email me!


Needless to say - things are pretty busy in the Sacred Yarn Room right now! I am expecting this session to take me until sometime in March. This new year promises to reveal some very special Limited Editions - all of them connected to a charitable cause.

You can look for that Limited Edition "Harvest Nest" to debut sometime around August or September. The proceeds from this charity nest will be donated to a local food bank. (there will be 20 of these little nests)
In the late Spring - a very special surprise nest will debut. I am keeping the details of this Limited Edition nest a secret for now - but I can tell you that the charitable proceeds will go to a place that is very near and dear to my heart. Here is your one and only hint~~ (think soft and pretty pinks and blues~~~)

SO - here is the bad news~~
the next "nesting" session for these little green nests will NOT be until late in the fall. (probably November - gasp!!) So - if you are a patient person and are willing to wait - you can email for information and to be placed on that waiting list. I am going to make 25 nests for that session ~~~

~~ there are other nesting surprises planned for this next year also - but I can't tell - because - they are a SURPRISE!!



Would you go to this much trouble for a photo shoot? Am I crazy? (don't answer that!!)The day of this photo shoot was COLD !! I had to take several "go back into the house to warm up breaks!"

The Gardener was a wonderful assistant - he helped to take the pictures, and helped me to get everything back to the house. He even made me a cup of hot chocolate!

This is what the woods behind our house looked like BEFORE the photo session. It is a hefty walk from our house to this wooded area! I piled all of my "stuff" into the garden cart and pulled it along in the snow - (garden carts really don't roll too good in the snow - just letting you know!)

While we are on the subject of NESTS~~~
My dear friend Jan (DreamChallenge blog) has just given me the most precious gift to commemorate this nesting season. This beautiful nest pendant with gemstone eggs is truly a special gift and I love it so very much! Thank you my friend!! This is definitely me - don't you think? (Jan is just beginning her blogging experiences - won't you visit her and say Hello? She is a passionate knitter who loves to make baby clothing. If you are in need of a knitted heirloom - please let her know - she will be thrilled to create a lovely knitted treasure for you.)
My first attempt at "tagging!" These little tags were created especially for this "Winter Nesting" season. Starting today - all the nests will be packaged bearing this little special "winter" tag.


Baby it's COLD outside! So - lets give away something to make us feel warm and snuggly! I am going to give away your choice of any of the vintage sweater cowls in my ETSY shop. Maddy girl will draw a winner on February 14 (a happy little day!) and the winner can choose from any of the sweater cowls in the shop. To enter - just leave a comment - that's all. (You can enter as often as you wish and the contest is open to all of my friends wherever you live!)
My next post will be my participation in the One World One Heart blogging event. If you are interested in participating - just click on the logo in my sidebar - it will take you to the host blog where you can read all the necessary information. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet bloggers from all over the world, make new blogging friends - and - to maybe win some wonderful prizes. I will be having some special give aways for that international blogging event as well - so be sure to see me here on January 30!
I gotta go and make some nests~~~

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Visit to the Woodford Reserve - Our Holiday Tradition

My home state of Kentucky has a strong heritage connected to the making and distilling of fine bourbon whiskey. Our natural resources of wheat, corn, oats, and swift flowing rivers for transportation made Kentucky a primary manufacturing site for bourbon whiskey as early as the late 1700's. Kentucky's naural limestone filtered waters are the key ingredient to making exceptional bourbon whiskey~~

Our family has a holiday tradition of visiting the Woodford Reserve Distillery at Christmas time to enjoy their wonderful holiday buffet. The Woodford is the oldest of nine bourbon whiskey distilleries in our beautiful state. The buildings and grounds are listed on the National Historic Register and it has been cited as a National Historic Landmark.

Kentucky's famous Bourbon trail is a listing of all the distilleries in this state. Each year thousands of visitors make a project of visiting each of the distilleries listed on the trail. Once you have accomplished this goal and successfully retrieved a sticker from each location - you will be rewarded with a (highly coveted!) Tshirt that highlights each of the Distilleries. This is a great way to tour our beautiful state.

You don't even have to like bourbon whiskey to be excited about the Bourbon trail! (We don't drink (well, not too much!) but I LOVE to cook with bourbon!) Each of the distilleries are unique and beautiful - they have beautiful grounds, gift shops, and the opportunity to tour each distillery and see the manufacturing process at each location. The Gardener and I, along with my son and his family are in the process of making this tour. We will complete our rounds of visiting the distilleries this summer. The Woodford is definitely my personal favorite.

So~~welcome to the Woodford. You can take your beautiful tour of the grounds here with me and never even have to put on your coat or boots! The grounds are absolutely lovely in every season - truly this is one of my favorite places in our state to visit. Our special day here was cold and icy - the snowy blanket and frozen grounds made everything look especially beautiful. You would not believe the crazy risks I took to take these fabulous photos!


the welcome center and gift shop




these buildings date back to the early 1800's





the fabulous buffet



I love how they use the bourbon bottles in the festive decorations

Now we're talking!
This is alone is worth the trip!!
Guess what?

I'm giving you the recipe at the end of this post!

This was Keri Beth's first big Holiday outing!

Her little Christmas bib says -
"are these people really my relatives?"


love this photo!

The Woodford is lovely in the spring and summer also.
They serve a lovely lunch here on the outdoor patio
that overlooks the stream and dam.


love these gray limestone buildings

the bourbon barrels are stored in here
(can you see the ice on these trees?)

the entrance to the distillery



just me - tryin' to be fancy!
that 's the welcome center in the reflection


we're talkin' solid ice here!
I scooted across this just to take these photos!

click on this photo for a close up view of the horse
There is a lovely painting of the Woodford grounds
on his side.

the dam had floating ice chunks everywhere


the tour bus
we have taken the tour here several times - love it!
Later this year, I will post photos
taken during the tour.
(it will be the next best thing to being there!)

solid ice again!

and for everyone in the Gardener's fan club!~~
here he is!


(my sister's gave me these mink leg warmers
for Christmas last year - LOVE these!)

My all time favorite picture
that I have EVER taken at the Woodford.
Love these snow covered
whiskey barrels.

the beautiful gift shop
is located inside the Welcome Center.

I am just warning you now~~
I am obsessed with taking photos of these
whiskey bottles!



our sweet baby ~~
she always steals the show!




ho hum~~
another whiskey bottle photo!


she makes me laugh!

We bought this Bourbon vanilla sugar - (to die for)!!
Everybody on my Christmas list is getting this next year!
Maybe I should give one away to you guys too - what do you think ?

Ahh - these bourbon balls are out of this world.
You see the place where one is missing?
( this was the BEFORE I pigged out picture!)

These treats are free
for guests at the Welcome Center


~~just want to kiss on those sweet cheeks!

now we are on the road out of the Woodford grounds~~
(Did you notice?
his belly is a whiskey barrel)


we wander past beautiful pastures




check out those icicles!

the end

Woodford Reserve Mocha Bread pudding

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate ships
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
3 1/2 cups French bread cubes
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bourbon

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place bread cubes in prepared baking dish. Combine sugar, chocolate chips and coffee granules in small bowl. Beat evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until well blended; stir in sugar mixture, add bourbon. Pour over bread, pressing bread into milk mixture. Place dish in 13 x 9-inch baking dish; fill 13 x 9-inch dish with warm water to 1-inch depth.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Serve with Bourbon sauce.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon (or more!) Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a sauce pan mix all ingredients. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Serve warm.

***Vicki's notes -
I like to double this recipe for the sauce because I like a LOT of sauce with my bread pudding - and because what is not used for the pudding - (I just eat anyway!)

Coming up next - in about 10 days or so - a little blog posting about what is keeping me so BUSY right now! (I can hardly wait to show you the photos!!)
AND our first give away of the NEW YEAR.
A little something to keep you warm and cozy~~