Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Have you seen this new cookie series from Raymond Crawford? I LOVE them!


They are all about 3.5 inches in diameter and are designed to look just like a frosted sugar cookie. Aren't they fabulous!? He has numerous designs that cover most of the holidays, plus some that are just for fun. I LOVE how vibrant the colors are (just like real frosting!).


I LOVE that they are small which makes them quick to stitch. They are also affordable so you can make as many as you want! These are the perfect weekend project.


Have you ever received a delicious edible cookie arrangement? I'm envisioning a dozen of these cookie canvases stitched up and finished on a stick and then artfully arranged in a basket, just like the edible version! Less calories and what a beautiful gift that would be. I would LOVE to give that as a hostess gift!


Or stitch up a seasonally appropriate variety and display them on a tray at your holiday party. Your guests will be intrigued and probably LOVE them too!

We have a small selection of these cookies available for immediate purchase. If you see some other designs you'd like, we'd LOVE to special order them for you!

Most of all I LOVE that I get all the fun of making and decorating cookies without the calories.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Sometimes I want the taste of a cookie, but the texture of a brownie. Enter Congo Squares! I just LOVE this recipe!



My cousin introduced me to this recipe and it's become a favorite at our house. You can mix it up by substituting different flavored chips instead of just chocolate, you can add frosting and toppings for a celebration, or you can serve it warm with some ice cream. Divine!

These also freeze well, which I love! I can satisfy my sweet tooth craving and then stash the rest in the freezer for another day. Or make this dessert ahead of time for an event or busy weekend.



One tip...remove them from the oven just before they look completely done. Just like a brownie, they are better just a little bit undercooked as they cool. Otherwise they can come out a little on the dry side.

I hope you LOVE these Congo Squares as much as I do!


Friday, April 25, 2014
After receiving one of our latest vendor shipments last week, I knew I had to write a Laura Loves about Leigh Designs!

Have you seen these canvases?! They are so full of color and the detail! Oh, the detail! I could go on and on about how intricate they are. And the best part? They come with stitch guides! Love that!

Hatton Hall has these little sheep that I just love and look at the beautiful flowered vine climbing up the front of the building.

Ingatestone Manor recently sold out, but I couldn't pass up a chance to highlight it. I love how the swan is gliding so calmly and that she included the reflection of the manor in the water!

Saving the best for last...I LOVE Blickling Hall!! The lion is so stately and the colors just jump off the canvas. I can see all three of these stitched up and hanging up on my wall as a series. They could add a little elegance to a casual space. Or maybe as focal pieces in a formal living room!

Sunday, March 16, 2014
So this week I'm showing a little love to my favorite chocolate shop, because one needs more than just needlepoint to be happy. I love Fran's Chocolates! I mean I really, really, REALLY love Fran's Chocolates...perhaps even obsessed!

Fran's does the best Salted Caramel Chocolates that I have ever had. Ever. They offer these delicious treats in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, a little something for everyone. I've tried other brands and nothing compares to Fran's. They also make amazing truffles, their Espresso Truffle is what dreams are made of!

Fran's is located in Seattle, WA where they have a few store fronts. Of course you can also purchase their delicious treats online. The staff at Fran's (and don't they have the best job on earth?) is wonderful and accommodating. I recently hosted a party and contacted Fran's to do the party favors. They did a beautiful job of presenting their fine chocolate in a lovely white box with a purple ribbon to match the party colors.

Check them out and just try to hold back, I bet you can't eat just one!









Tuesday, February 18, 2014
We have brought in a new vendor, The Artists Collection, and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Their canvases are whimsical and so full of bold colors that I love them even unstitched! And even better, most come with stitch guides which make them so easy to stitch up.

We just featured their acorn collection on Facebook because we just can’t get over those tiny little charms! I could see them stitched into little ornaments to hang together on a display tree this fall. Or maybe even as a small garland for your mantel?! The possibilities are endless with their perfect size and they would stitch up very quickly…maybe a weekend project?






This flag canvas is perfect for a patriotic home and I love how playful the Christmas canvases are.


I hope you love these as much as I do!

~Laura
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Oh my, how these canvases speak to me! I love the entire collection. The colors are just so vibrant and saturated. What I love most is how the animal prints contrast with the pinks and purples that she chooses!



Can't you just see this made into a throw pillow?! With a coordinating (or even a different) animal print on the back! Or maybe pull in one of the pinks or purples! No matter how you had it custom finished, it would be gorgeous. I love the idea of one or two of them in a living room to add some flair.

Leigh has really outdone herself here. I love how she foresees the future of needlepoint and puts paint to the canvas.

We'll be happy to kit these for you using Planet Earth Silk and/or Silk and Ivory, just say the word.

Happy New Year!

~Laura
Monday, December 9, 2013
I LOVE this recipe, it makes the best hot cocoa EVER! Really. No, really it does! There are a few versions of this recipe available online, my inspiration came from Mrs. Happy Homemaker. I have tweaked it and just love my variation. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients: 
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and all chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish as desired.

If I am entertaining I love to make a double batch and have a Hot Cocoa Bar for my guests. I offer a selection of toppings such as; mini marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream, Andes mints, and Kahlua for the adults. Everyone can make their very own custom mug, just the way they like it! Every time I serve this I get nothing but RAVE reviews! I love how easy it is to make and so impressively delicious.

But here is my real secret true-love obsession with this hot cocoa: MOCHAS! Oh my…they are amazing! I heat the left over cocoa and add it to my morning coffee. Heaven in a cup.

'Tis the season and I love to make Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa!

Happy holidays everyone!

~Laura

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