Friday, June 24, 2011

Stiletto Nails with 3D Roses and Glitter

I did some fun acrylic stiletto nails this week.

I've done some others like these but not exactly the same. I added some little silver glass beads I found at the craft store. They're tricky to see.

You can see the little silver glass balls in this shot. I also added clear glitter and pink glitter.
It almost looks like there are bubbles trapped in there.

I painted this rose with my right hand. The hand I normally write with.

I painted this one with my left hand. It's getting easier but it's still tricky to make them look alike.

I only added roses to my thumbs and ring fingers.

Maybe I'll find time to do my toes........

What are you guys wearing on your fingers this weekend?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Work, work, work..................

Been working away on Christmas projects.
While I was otherwise occupied, George has made off with a snoot full of pulled pork. He's pretty pleased with himself and had to flaunt his saucy mustache by sitting on my project photo table (aka the dining room table).
Sebastian saw the whole thing but is refusing to say exactly who got into what.

Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lovley Visits

Somehow, no matter how big and independent the girls get I still think of them as this old.

and with sick buckets on their heads......

Merc is home for a visit before moving far away again. Oh to be young and fearless. We do have a time when she's here.

She even got me to do her nails. We added leopard spots to a French.

Then she went and played with her littlest cousin. Came home with a nail makeover. Very cute!

Here is her bedside table all ready and waiting for her. Wish we could keep her forever!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Favorite Bread Recipe Step by Step.

Thought I would share our favorite recipe for whole wheat bread. This recipe is the best of a whole bunch of recipes all rolled into one and I know we do some things differently than a professional baker would. I really don't think that matters a whole bunch. We usually make bread as a group with different folks doing different parts of the process. It's pretty satisfying and it makes me happy as a Mom to know both my girls can make bread when they need or want to.


three cups of warm water
one and a half tbsp of active dry yeast
one third cup of honey (local is best)
one third cup of molasses (the darker the better)
three cups of all purpose flour
five cups of whole wheat flour
three tbsp of melted butter
shake of salt

Put into a large kitchen mixing bowl
the water, honey, molasses and yeast.

Mix it up with a wooden spoon until the yeast starts to dissolve.

Set the bowl in a warm place to let the yeast bloom. You will see a thick froth on top of the mixture after five or ten minutes. The length of time needed will vary because of room temperature or the yeasts freshness. We always wait to see if the yeast will bloom before mixing in the flour. Sometimes the yeast is too old and doesn't work. Nice to know before you add all that flour.

Mix the flours and the salt together in a separate bowl. Add about half of the flour mixture and the three tbsp of melted butter to the wet yeast mixture........

and mix it in with a wooden spoon.

Keep adding the flour mixture to the yeast mixture until the whole thing forms a ball around the spoon and pulls away from the bowl sides.

sprinkle a fair bit of flour, about half a cup, onto a clean flat surface.

Dump the whole mixture out onto the floured surface and add more flour on top of it.

Knead the dough by pushing it away from you on the counter and rolling the top into the center over and over again. Keep adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to the counter or your hands.
This is the fun part by the way. We knead the bread for ten to fifteen minutes depending on how much festering anger and seething rage we have built up inside of us. It's a great exercise for relieving stress. Enjoy the process and share it with other family members who may benefit from throwing around some dough.!

When all your stress is relieved and the dough is smooth and non sticky, add a splash of oil to the mixing bowl.....

and roll the dough in it to cover.

Cover the dough filled bowl with a clean tea-towel and set it someplace warm.

Warning if you leave the bread on the stove top make sure not to place it over the vent element. (The vent element is the place on your stove top that vents excess heat from the stove when it's turned on.) If the bread gets too hot now you will kill the yeast and the bread won't rise. If it's too cold it will take a very long time to rise.

Turn on the oven to 350 and let the bread rise.

This is what it will look like after 15 or 20 minutes.

Dump the risen dough onto your counter and cut it in half.

Flatten each half out with the heel of your hand and roll them up......

to form a tight log.

Place the loaves into bread pans. I use silicone pans (they're pretty well used) and they don't need oiling but regular non stick pans will need a fine layer of oil to allow the bread to come out of the pan after baking.

Cover the pans with the loaves in them with your clean tea towel and set aside to rise again.

After 5 to 10 minutes.

After about 20 to 30 minutes. Again, how fast your bread rises depends on room temperature and age and type of yeast.

You can see they kept rising in the oven.

All baked and delicious!!!

This is our plain whole wheat bread recipe, we often add ground flax seed (remove some of the flour to add flax seed it absorbs twice as much liquid as flour does) and sunflower seeds. But it's fun to experiment by adding extras.

Let me know if you try this and how it turns out for you.

It really is stress relieving.... especially if there is someone else watching you beat the heck out of the poor dough. Or better yet.... waiting their turn at the bowl.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lady Bug Wearable Pin Cushion

Sometimes the sewing machine breaks...........

I made a little pincushion today to take my mind off the fact that I still have three outfits half made and another three or four ready to go and no sewing machine. I think a piece has broken off and is lodged in the machinery somewhere. I pulled everything apart and cleaned it, I followed the T.N.T theory. T= thread, is it threaded correctly? N = Needle, is the needle dull or bent? T= Tension, have you adjusted the tension? I think I'm going to have to give her to the professionals to look after.

I hand stitched a large part of my bathing suit top and had a hard time with pin cushion. It kept sliding around on the table. Very frustrating. So I decided it was time for one of these wrist pin cushions.

Here's how I made it.

Things you will need to make this wrist pin cushion:

one sheet each of red and black felt
small scrap of white felt for eyes
matching embroidery floss
plastic lid


scissors for cutting fabric and plastic
pinking shears
embroidery needles
two large snaps (or some velcro)

Cut an oblong shape that is about 1.5 inches by 3 inches from the lid of a plastic food container.

With your pinking shears cut an oblong of black felt that is a half inch larger than the plastic oblong on all sides.

Make a red oblong that is one inch wider and a half inch longer than the black oblong. Cut two, one inch long triangles from each end of the red oblong. These are darts to make the red piece a three dimensional shape.

Using matching embroidery floss sew the darts closed.

Flip the red piece inside out so the rough sewn edges are on the inside. sandwich the plastic piece in between the red and black pieces and sew around the edge with a quarter inch seam allowance. Stop when you are about an inch away from where you started sewing and stuff the piece between the red felt and the plastic with stuffing until it is firm. Continue sewing the piece until it is sealed. I used red thread but black would work also.

Cut a small half oval from the black felt.

Match the bottom flat edge of the half oval to the bottom flat edge of the lady bug as shown.
Pin the piece in place and sew it there using black embroidery floss.

Pin the top of the half oval around the top of the ladybug tucking and pleating where necessary. Sew it in place using black embroidery floss.

Add a middle stripe and some dots of felt and sew them in place using black floss.

Add some eyes. I used white and black felt but sew on or glue on googlie eyes would be pretty cute too.

Using your pinking shears cut two strips that are two inches by five inches, and two strips that are two inches by three inches. Round off one end of each strip.

Sew the matching bands together around the edges.

Sew the non-rounded ends to the bottom of the ladybug.

Add snaps or velcro to fasten the piece.

I chose snaps, GIANT snaps!

Add a mouth with red embroidery floss.

The plastic will keep the pins from stabbing your wrist. I think this little guy will stop any future frustration from skittering pin cushions.

George helped a great deal by keeping my lap warm. Every time I removed him he crawled back up. It was easier to just work around him and nice to have the company.