Thursday, January 05, 2012

A New Year of Inspiration

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that it has started out well for you and that it continues to be filled with new adventures, perspectives and memorable moments. We have been blessed with many, many kindnesses through the past year and my hope is that this year will be filled with the same for each of you.

I'm not much of a resolution maker but I do like this time of year for assessing where we've been and what the potential might be. It always amazes me that one day of the year can inspire so much thought and focus. In any case, I do love the fresh start that the January brings and throughout the holidays I received a few  books that are proving to be inspirational. The first is on the cookie front. Stephanie was down to Niagara in November and brought me back this great cookie cookbook. Its a compilation of Gourmet magazine's single best cookie recipe from each year between 1941 and 2009. How's that for a treasure trove?

I love how the index is laid out (almost quilt-like, don't you think?) and have spent many hours pouring over my options.

I had seen this book a few years ago and remember liking it, particularly the entry for December 2009, but had completely forgotten about it (just recently I found a scrap on my bulletin board where I had written down the name of this cookie and did a Google search, to no avail). Much to my delight I now have it in my possession and me thinks that the Grand Marnier Glazed Pain d'Epice will need to be tested sooner rather than later. The tiny flecks near the candied orange are edible gold lustre dust, which I'm thinking might be a challenge to put my hands on here in town, but I suspect that the cookies could survive being made without that little embellishment.

My second source of inspiration has come in my Christmas gift from Jane C. It's Little Bits Quilting Bee (pretty appropriate, given my blog name) by Kathreen Ricketson, founder of WhipUp, and it is chock full of patterns, great information, machine quilting (which I think I want to try a bit more of) and inspirational quilts using precuts. The patterns are probably more contemporary than I would normally have chosen but that's the beauty of a gift - it takes you out of your rut(s) and in completely new directions.

Prismatic has caught my eye...I'm thinking that I would play with the overall layout but I like the half square triangles and how they create a square.

So, without leaving the house I have two new toys to play with and great creative inspiration to start the coming year. Not a bad start, I must say....M

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