Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pleats, Pleats, Pleats

During my recent visit to Connie's I burrowed her button punch.  It makes beautiful embossed buttons which can be used to decorate cards, tags, scrapbook pages.

Fabric and buttons are a good combination so I decided to decorate a tag using the two. To make the pleated panel, cut the fabric slightly larger than the tag.
Make pleats on the fabric and iron to create creases.
Use the tag as a guide to cut a piece that will fit on the tag.
I used a glue stick to position the pleated piece on the tag.
Sew around the edges using your sewing machine's zig zag stitch.
With the help of a stamp pad and a sponge I burnished the tag's edges. Sew the paper buttons on the tag.   It helps to pre punch the holes for the paper buttons before sewing to the tag.
I came across this fabric that mimics grass and created this cute tag. Go ahead and give this project a try.  This is definitely a beginner's project and super quick to complete.  So how do you use your fabric scraps?  Everyone has a stash so why not put them to work.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Wee Owl With Message

This wee brown owl named Oliver was made at the request of a coworker. He is not only cute and is certain to warm up the heart of the recipient with the message he delivers -Always Owl-ways in my heart. He stands 3 inches tall and is pudgy just like all owls should be.

Oliver sports a wool beret which was made with upcycled wool.  Farewell little owl and keep your new owner happy.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

A {Productive} Father's Day

Today ended up being a great day and Cliff and I decided to do something different to celebrate his special day.  Celebrations and good food go hand in hand and today was no exception.  We ate breakfast at the Golden Corral before going to church.  This is not my favorite place because there is so much food to choose from.  I was proud of myself for limiting my trips and my choice of the mushroom and cheese omelet with grits and crispy hash browns was delicious.  I did go back for fruit and juice.

We skipped lunch.  This afternoon I worked on cleaning the pantry.  I had quite a few expired items to throw away.  All this work wore me out and the large yellow squash begged to be cooked so I went to my favorite site and found a squash casserole recipe.  I was surprised who the cubed squash was still a little crunchy even after cooking for around 50 minutes.  I have to remember to either cut the squash in smaller pieces or to steam the squash.  I also made lentil soup which did not turned out as good as other times. ( I did not use a bouillon or chicken broth)

Then I started  thinking about the blackberries which I bought a few days ago and decided to make a cobbler.  I got brave and decided to make this recipe even though I did not have any cornstarch.  I was surprised how good it turned out but oh soooo sweeeet.  I can definitely reduce the amount of sugar used in the blackberry filling.
I normally don't eat this much but special times call for special treats.  Cliff was happy and grateful also for the opportunity to speak with Kevin who called from Germany and Andrea too.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Wee Green Owl named Greeny

My daughter visited and brought a gift for me, a simply delicious New Zealand Merino handspun yarn from Jessie.  Jessie has recently come back to her Etsy shop.  She is in  the process of setting it up again.  I have purchased some wonderful all natural soaps from her shop.  This yarn she sent me feels wonderful to touch and the difference in weight that runs throughout creates a wonderful texture.

I think Greeny came out just as I had imagined.

Here is Greeny looking sharp wearing his all wool beret.  His anatomically correct talons allow him to stand on his own.


Friday, June 11, 2010

El Gallito - (Little Chicken) - Photo Shoot

El Gallito did well during his photo shoot.  I am pleased with the way he turned out.  He is much smaller in size than my first chicken creation.  I think he looks better overall. The circles on the body are made from upcycled wool. 

Gallito's tail consists of an I-cord joined to create five loops.  The comb was also made from an I-cord.
Gallito's legs were also made from an I-cord.  I did use the help of my crochet hook to create the feet.
Gallito sits well on his own and joined some of his friends and keeps me company in the craft room.  He makes me smile.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Zucchini Bread Recipe

Our first zucchini was sneaky and and got large in a matter of a few days...too big for cooking.

It reminds me of the  Veggie Tales cucumber character and I could not resist making a face for it.
Before shredding the zucchini I cut it in chunks that would fit in my food processor and removed some of the seeds. The recipe I used called for 1-1/2 of zucchini but I used 2 cups. Each ziplock bag contains approximately 4 cups shredded zucchini.  The recipe I used came from and it's here. I did make a few changes since I did not have all the ingredients. 
Changes I made:
Reduced the amount of sugar to 1-1/2 cups
Instead of sour cream I used plain yogurt
Reduced the amount of oil to 1/2 a cup
Added 1 cup of applesauce
Used 2 cups of shredded zucchini


A Green and Lush Late Spring

Now that my allergies are gone I've been enjoying walking through the yard and spending time outside. The rains we have gotten lately have kept everything lush, green and thriving.  The yellow squash plant is also loving the heat and is gigantic.

Yellow squash are so easy to grow and I eat them fresh in salads or cooked.  The trick is checking the plants outside and avoid letting them get gigantic like......

This zucchini which was picked yesterday.  It measured 14-1/2 inches long!
I've always heard not to pick zucchinis when they get this big and use them for cooking.  I did not let it go to waste.  With the help of my food processor I shredded it for use in making Zucchini Bread.  I have enough in the freezer to make 8 loaves.
 The tomato plant. No tomatoes have been picked yet.
The herbs - dill, sage and sweet basil finally got over the early spring bugs.
The Gardenia plant is now at least 7 years.  It was a gift from a co-worker.  It is loaded of blooms.
 The blooms before they fully open.
Opened Bloom
Gardenias are excellent for cutting and arranging in a jar....only trouble is you bring the large black ants that also love to feed on their nectar.

This yellow flower looks a lot like the Yellow Coreopsis -- just larger.  The seeds came free in the mail.

After a week these are still looking fresh and smelling so wonderful.  My friend Debbi brought a bouquet on a recent visit.  

This is the easiest to grow and care of the Begonias I've had.  This plant is at least 4 years old.  When it gets cold, I cut it back and keep it inside.  When the weather gets warm it loves being outside and fills up in no time.  It's called Angel's Wing Begonia. They are also very easy to propagate and root very well in water.

I will be posting soon  the recipe I used to make Zucchini Bread.