Eileen’s Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

It’s overcast and rainy today, which is okay because we really need the rain.  It seemed like a good day to start a crockpot of spaghetti sauce.  I’ve gotten compliments on my sauce, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  It started off as my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother’s recipe, but I’ve tweaked it over the years.  It’s good, but probably not what a true Italian would make.

If you try it, let me know what you think.

Eileen’s crockpot spaghetti sauce:

1 to 1.5 lbs ground beef

1 large sweet onion, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

4  6 oz cans or 2 12 oz cans of tomato paste

3  8 oz cans of tomatoe sauce

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 29 oz can tomato puree

½ tsp minced garlic

½ tsp Italian seasoning

½ tsp crushed red pepper

4 bay leaves

¾ C water

Brown meat in a large skillet.  Drain.  Add chopped onion and green pepper to the skillet and cook on low until tender.  Meanwhile put contents of cans in crock pot.  Add garlic, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning  and water.  When the onion & green pepper is cooked, add the meat mixture to the crock pot. Stir until well mixed.   Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, then reduce heat to low and cook for at least another 5 hours.

Makes approximately 4 quarts of sauce, which can frozen for future use.


Daffodil Corner was at the summer version, and has applied for the December one. Hope to see you there.


This December in Asheville, NC indie artists and crafters will gather to offer their handmade goods at the city’s Big Crafty event. I attended the summer version of this event this year. If the group on December 2, 2012 live up to this summer’s offerings there will be a wide variety of beautiful arts and crafts to choose from. My special favorite from this summer was the “Hipster Bear” by Let’s Be Friends.
Concrete Lace also caught my attention with their letter pressed cards with vivid colors and available in several languages.
The crafts weren’t the only thing that caught my attention. Local food vendors attended the Big Crafty supplying tasty options. We stopped for a hummus plate from the Lebanese inspired Gypsy Queen Cuisine food truck. Yum! (and the truck is lovely!) After exploring the entirety of Pack Place where the event is held my friends and I…

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Valle Crucis Community Park

Valle Crucis is a small community in Watauga County, North Carolina, very close to where I live.  Today I want to show you Valle Crucis Community Park.

Valle Crucis Community Park runs along the Watauga River, off Broadstone Rd, behind the Mast General Store Annex.  This park belongs to the community, and is funded by donations and maintained by volunteers.  It’s not owned by the  state, county or town.

There’s lots to do for kids.  A playground, soccer fields and small, kid-sized buildings just perfect for using your imagination.

My dog loves to go for walks in this park.  Lots of great smells, the river to cool your feet in.  The park even has multiple “doggie bag” stations so you can clean up after your best friend.  As you can see from this picture, Heidi is set for a brisk walk.

Valle Country Fair 2 Weeks Away

Two weeks from today!  The Valle Country Fair!

Here are pictures of the site where the fair will take place, just off route 194 South.  As you can see, the trees are starting to turn.  Hopefully, they will be in full color on October 20th.  These fields will be a mass of white tents, cars and lots and lots of people.


In addition to all the wonderful and unique crafts for sale, there is also entertainment, from cloggers to bluegrass music to traditional mountain storytelling.  Some delicious food is available, as well as apple cider, made right there on the fair grounds.



If you are going to be in the Boone, NC area that day, please do visit the fair.  And come see Daffodil Corner and Happy Whosits!


American Craft Week October 5 – 14

In its third year, American Craft week celebrates those who make things with their hands.  It celebrates tradition, excellence in craftsmanship, good design and quality materials.  Supporting local crafters supports the local economy, creates jobs, and enriches our communities.

Various communities across the country have activities planned for American Craft Week.  Check out what’s going on in your area.

 I’m proud to say Western North Carolina is leading the way.  Check it out here:  www.americancraftweek.com/wnc.

Bath or Shower?

I just spent a lovely Sunday morning scrubbing the bathroom, and after twisting my body in contortionist positions trying to scrub the garden tub, I wondered again how many people actually ever use one?

I am a shower kind of person.  I like a nice big shower, preferably with a seat or ledge in it so I can rest my foot on it while shaving my legs.  I like the feel of the water cascading over my head when I wash my hair.  I like to set the shower head on a pulsating spray so I can massage my back and shoulders.  And I like to feel clean when I am done, meaning I have rinsed away all the soap residue.

I am not comfortable sitting in the tub.  I mean, it’s hard, ya know?  The top of me gets cold. If I slide down in the tub to get most of me under the water, I’m in an awkward position and it makes my back hurt.  In romance novels, the heroine always has a bubble bath, with candles lit, a glass of wine and good book.  Bubbles baths were fun as a kid, but now my skin is really sensitive to all that stuff.  Not to mention that I’ve never successfully managed to read in the tub without getting my book wet.

I do make use of the tub.  I put plants in it when I have to bring them in for winter.  I dry clothes.  I have a friend who uses hers as a hamper for the dirty towels. 

So, what’s your preference – bath or shower?  And why?

Recognizing Women Entrepreneurs

Yesterday I attended the Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Conference in Asheville, NC at the headquarters of Handmade in America.  This was the first of what will hopefully become an annual event.  It was AWESOME!

I met really talented but humble artists and crafters from all over western North Carolina.  Some were jewelers, some fiber artists, photographers, writers, potters, basket weavers, you name it.  What they all had in common is a passion for what they create, and a willingness to share their knowledge and experiences with others.

Yoko Morris, who leads AWE, and her cohorts at Handmade did a fantastic job of organizing the day around sharing sessions, workshops and panel discussions.  They brought in guest speakers who were knowledgeable, articulate and very willing to share their experience with us.  I learned so much!  I can’t wait to start putting some of this new-found knowledge to work.

I made some new friends and business connections.  I hope to be able to feature some of these North Carolina grown enterprises in future blog posts.  Stay tuned…

American Craft Week

How are you participating?


Arts Business Institute

How Artists Can Participate in American Craft Week
Posted: 19 Sep 2012 04:00 AM PDT
American Craft Week is coming up. Here’s how to join in!

Currently in its third year, American Craft Week is a project of Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow. It was started as a grassroots movement to celebrate good design, high quality materials and the excellent craftsmanship found in American-made goods. According to Diane Sulg, co-chair and owner of Maddi’s Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, “The main idea is to make noise – everyone, all on the same week, calling attention to American crafts.”
The original concept for this celebration and focus on craft is loosely based on the success of “Restaurant Week” which has spurred interest throughout the country. In that spirit, the American Craft Week website has a state-by-state directory listing events taking place in galleries, studios, and arts…

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Happy Fall Y’all!

Today is the first day of Autumn.  It’s a gorgeous day here in the High Country.  Sun is shining, temp in the 70s.  It’s a great day to take the dogs to the park, go to a college football game or check out an apple festival.

To celebrate the Equonox, I’ll share some of the Fall themed items in my Etsy shop.

Afghans and Baby Blankets

   Now that the weather is turning cooler, and the official start of Autumn is just a few days away, it’s time to think about all that baby yarn just waiting to be made into afghans.  During the summer, it’s just too hot to have an afghan draped across my lap.  I could make granny squares, but I really hate sewing them together.  I much prefer an afghan all in one piece. 

I thought I would share some that I have made previously.  All are crocheted.  Some are my own design.  Some are favorite patterns from other designers.

Mountain Home Blog

"No moose or bear this home shall wear!"


gathering experiences near and far

summer larson design

handcrafted baby hats and apparel


The HandMade in America Blog


The Art of Knitting


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Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Birthplace of James Madison and Southern Plantation


Crocheting: Efficiency in the Procrastination of Real Life


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