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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Swishy Dress

I scooped up this pretty peach lace a few years ago at a sale and finally decided it would be Lily's first swishy dress.

I like this Simplicity 5006 pattern. I't so fast to whip up and it grows with the child. Lily has two of these sets now. 

I made it a wee bit roomy. The pantaloons still fall off a bit.

Lily doesn't mind that they're a bit big. She likes to run in the dress. I think because it makes a pretty noise.

She's pretty happy about the outfit....

I have enough lace and satin left to make up a skirt for Lily's Mom!
We'll see if it's an acceptable idea. Maggs isn't really a skirt girl.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Keeping Busy

Life's been a whirlwind.

We've been enjoying new food. Loving the springtime fruit. Our blackberries have been HUGE!

The Lily's smitten with the dandelions. 

So many pretty at the local grocer's lately.

Even found time for some satin Lily knickers!

I think I'll join them.
Nap time anyone?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Spring Lawn

I seriously LOVE our lawn just before the first spring mowing.

All the blues and just opening yellow of the very first dandelions are so pretty. I hate to have to cut it all down. But if we don't it will become completely unmanageable. Won't it?

I saved a handful of the grape hyacinths from Mr. Jimmy's heartless mowing to cheer the bathroom window. Thank you Miss Flowerhead for holding them for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Magg's Has a Birthday and There's Cake!

Here are some shots of Maggie's Birthday Cake and Lily.
I haven't made piping roses fro ages but really loved making these.
I'll have to put some time aside to play with them again soon. It was really pretty relaxing.

Lily spent ages just sniffing them. Because that's what you do with flowers.

She figured out what they were for soon enough! Her Mommy didn't mind sharing the first bite. One of her Daddy's favorite things are icing flowers. Looks like Lily has the same genetic predisposition.

Lily and George have many conversations. I try to document as many as I can. Our George is getting up there. He's almost 16 now. He's still the guardian of the neighborhood, keeping the local wildlife off of his porch. 

She's always swiping our specs..... She probably wonders why she doesn't have her own like the rest  of us. 
Off to the shops in Stratford today to gather up supplies and work shoes. Maybe a burger or two....
Hope you're all having a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Playing With Icing

Home from the day job and into the kitchen to try out some icing roses. It's been years since I've made any....

I'll need some more practice I think. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cheddar Apple Scones Done Our Way

I've made these scones for decades. I made them for three different coffee houses. I've made them for my children and friends. I promised the recipe to quite a few lovely people recently and finally decided that this was the perfect place to share it. I hope you and your family love these as much as we have.

The recipe is adapted from a basic scone recipe I found in the joy of cooking. Here it is with all of our particular tweaks and changes.

2 and 2/3 cups of all purpose flour
4 tsps of magic baking powder
2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 cup of cold butter cut into 1 cm cubes
3 large eggs
1 cup of whole milk or cream (you may need more or less depending on the weather)
1 large granny smith apple cored and peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes
about 5 oz or 1 cup of 1 cm cubed cheddar (get the good sharp stuff)

Toss all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend together
Add the cubed butter and with a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas. 
Add in the cheese and apple cubes and stir gently to mix.

Mix together your eggs and milk in a separate bowl until light and well blended. Reserve 3 tbsps of this mix to coat the buns before baking.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry with as few stirs as possible. I use a fork to mix things. The mixture should be fairly wet and kind of sticky. If you need to add a bit more milk, do that.

Dump the dough onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet and dust it with flour. Form the dough lump roughly into a 5 cm thick disc and cut that disc into six equal wedges. The dough should be sticky and will be hard to work with. Try not to handle it too much or the scones will be tough.
Separate the wedges and brush with reserved milk mix. 
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
A toothpick when inserted should come out clean.

We serve them with a cup of tea. 
You'll all be fighting over the toasty brown crunchy cheese puddles left around the edges too!
Happy Tea Time!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Framing a Fossilized Ammonite

Mr. Jimmy and I are HUGE archaeology and geology fans.
Over the years we have picked up quite a few smallish keepsakes to help remind us of our travels.
Here is a very speedy and inexpensive way to show these little treasures off.

You will need:

A dollar store frame big enough to frame your treasure.
A dollar store wooden box, basically the same size as the frame but deep enough to hold the rock you wish to mount.
Acrylic paint to match the frame (and a brush)
Hot glue gun and glue

This is one of the treasures we would like to frame. It's the fossilized resting place of an ammonite. 

I chose a black frame and painted out the sides of my wooden box to match the frame. The dollar store boxes I found just happened to have a hinged lid with a clear plastic insert. I removed the plastic insert but left the hinged lid on.

I removed the back from the frame and put a wee bit of hot glue in the corners of my frame to hold in the glass. I chose a frame that was ever so slightly larger than the wooden box. This frame also has a fairly wide border to cover the edges of the box nicely.

I glued the frame back onto the back of the painted box and put the frame on over the box top. I used hot glue to hold the stones in place. If I ever need to remove the stones I'll just pop them in the freezer and that should release the stone from the glue.

I made two of these frames. Now we'll just have to sift through our finds to see what ones will go in the other frame.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cuddling In

Some gorgeousness from STAEDTLER.....

plus weather that is serious twaddle....

equals me tucking in and having a cozy making weekend.
Cheddar apple scones and a big old pot of tea should give me the energy needed to get some much needed project sketches done.

wish me luck!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spot of Spring Cleaning

We tore apart the main floor today and cleaned from ceilings to floorboards. It gave me the opportunity to create a mini pantry in the corner of the kitchen. All of the things we use the most are on display. Hopefully this will inspire many new family bakes. Feels good to have things tidy.

We got Lily some Easter Bunny ears. She wasn't sure of them at first. But after seeing a picture of herself wearing them, she burst out into giggles.
Loving this Grandma gig!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Cleaning Aprons

It was sunny today and I was optimistic about the arrival of spring. Here's the first of what I hope will be many new spring cleaning aprons.

Even got myself some ranunculas for the window by the sewing machine. Here's hoping for warm sunny days.