Lovely things

For any quilter spring is such an inspiration. At the back of our property is a small run off stream that flows occasionally in the spring. It used to run all the time but the area we live in now is built-up and the water is used for pressurized irrigation. The little stream is still a nice feature to our property since it fed these very tall shade trees for years and now we keep them watered but natural and wild looking. We have this bush in the southwest corner of the property that is wild and blooms for a very short time in the spring. I wish I knew what it is called. It is kind of pretty but mostly the beauty to me is in the fragrance of the bush. It smells like sugary fruit with a hint of grape. Whitney described it best saying it smells like "grape soda". It is such a beautiful scent. There used to be so many of them in this area before homes were built around us that you could take a walk and the whole area would exude this delightful aroma for a few weeks in the spring.
Shelbie went out and made me some cuttings. They just smell so delicious. I wonder if any of you know what this is?

I got this "cafe curtain" from Superbuzzy last week. I used it as a valance in my sewing room. It came pretty much just the way it is. I did turn under the sides but the top and bottom came like this with just a little fabric to trim off.

Sorry these are lousy pictures but my camera doesn't like taking photos into light. But you get the general idea. I know it was made for a cafe curtain but I thought it made a cute valance. I should have gotten a little more yardage to make it slightly fuller but I didn't know if it was going to work out so I only got the bare minimum and now joining it with another piece would spoil the flow. So I'll just let it go. I ordered red but it is much more like pink. I originally wanted full curtains for this window but it is such a pretty shaped window and gives such great light to the room I am glad I just have the shade and valance.

Peanut butter chocolate cupcakes. What could be better? More from my friend Laura. She is so nice to share. They were incredibly delicious.

Its a lovely thing to finish a quilt! Yay. This is the Christmas quilt I was to make to trade talents with my friend Jan, the artist. I will take it to the quilter this week. I'll still need to bind it when it comes back and then I'll have fulfilled my end of our trade with this and the baby quilts!! Its exciting to look forward to getting a painting. I've decided I want the painting to include some quilts on a clothes line, a farm house, and hollyhocks - a summer scene. I am confident she will paint something I will love and treasure.

I had a few requests for the banana cake recipe. This is a recipe from the 50s that my mother collected from Pearl Yeager, a member of our church in Reading. I don't have a frosting recipe to go with it that is the original she made with the cake, though I wish I did. I remember my mom making it and the frosting was thick and rich and she would use a fork to create a pattern on the top of the cake. Of course she would always make a layer cake but I'm too lazy a baker to do that. I am not sure my sisters know this but I have my mom's cookbook that the women in our church put together in the 60s. It has lots of great old fashioned recipes.

Banana Nut Cake:
Sift together: 2 1/2 Cups cake flour; 1 2/3 cups sugar; 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder; 1 1/4 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp salt

Cream together: 2/3 cup shortening; 1/3 cup buttermilk; 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas (I use 3); 2 eggs

Blend together and beat 3-4 minutes. Fold in 2/3 cup chopped black walnuts. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (watch it, you don't want to make this cake dry).

- nanette

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Abby and Stephanie said...

Darling valance. Your banana nut cake sounds just like the one my mom makes with black walnuts only she uses a 7-minute frosting. My dad's all time favorite.

Darlene said...

I love the cafe curtain valance - it looks adorable across your window. Perfect,indeed!

Yummy cake recipe - must try it sometime. Thank you for sharing.

I'm so glad you had a wonderful Mother's Day, Nanette!

Anonymous said...

Yum! The recipe sounds delicious. The valance is gorgeous!

Joanna said...

I love your new valance! So pretty!

Ginger Patches said...

Oh I love that SuperBuzy! What an adorable valance!! And those cupcakes are looking way too yummy :)

Thimbleanna said...

Ohhh, Nanette -- that valance is sooooo cute! While it would be nice to be fuller, you wouldn't be able to see the little dolls as well -- I love it just the way you've hung it. Thanks for sharing your banana cake recipe -- I love all things banana!

{oc cottage} said...

The curtains are darling...but the
cupcakes....I have no words!!!!!

M ^..^

Purple and Paisley said...

oh, the valance is super...and looks great on that beautiful dad's wife is a master gardener...i will send her to your blog...i bet she will be able to tell you what kind of bush it is with the grape soda flowers! k?

Julie said...

Just wanted to say hi and that I enjoyed my visit here. The beautiful food made my mouth water!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your cafe curtain from Superbuzzy!!! It's so cute I could cry!

Twinsie alert... I've made the Maison de Noel quilt too! I did though make it for shop sample, and had a hard time letting go. I just love those fabs!

Cheryl said...

What a yummy, pretty post you have here! That cafe curtain is really great. And oh boy those cupcakes look really yummy! Thanks for the great recipe.

Unknown said...

This entire post is just plastered with GOODIES! The cupcakes are making me drool. They look so good! Your new cafe curtains are pretty as can be!

Glad that you had such a fine day!

Blakely said...

The cafe curtain looks so cute.