20 December 2013

Friday find photo

I just have to share this one!   Check out what I picked up for my classroom?  Isn't it awesome!?

I'll call him George.

Any suggestions how to hang him up??  I have no clue!

29 November 2013

Good Friday morning

Good morning to all of you sitting in the comfort of your own homes this Black Friday morning.   If you are like me, there isn't a herd of buffalo left on the planet that could drag me out of the house to the stores today. 

In that spirit let me offer you this! a coupon code to my Etsy shop just to fill out your lists for the big day today. 

Just type in blackfriday2013 at checkout

I Make Stuff on Etsy

Happy Friday

25 November 2013

Vanilla, rum, and a quilt.

 Oh how I wish I could say I drank this and then started sewing!  That would be dangerous!

  No, actually I made some homemade vanilla this weekend with that bottle up there.   And this photo down here in the last of my custom orders shipping out this morning for it's destination.  

That means I have the month of December to devote to my family.  Just what I planned to do.  Oh, I will be doing some crafting in the days I'm sure.  Some new directions for my shop I Make Stuff.   It's time to narrow my focus to things I really enjoy making.  If it makes me smile, I'll continue with it.

Happy Monday Everyone and to my USA readers, I'm wishing you a lovely and happy Thanksgiving week as well.

20 November 2013

Om Baby Handmade Baby Fair

Have you ever used a sugar scrub?   I have and I just love the soft, smooth skin I get after I use it!   A bonus is one with a delicious fragrance.

I'm working on a few scrubs, bath salts, and more lotions to be available through the website (just send an email my way) or through the Etsy shop, and at my next crafting event, the OM Baby Handmade Baby Fair. in Camp Hill, Pa.

Because mom's need a little pampering too. 

Here are some other things you'll be able to find!

19 November 2013

A Thanksgiving primer recipe for busy week nights.

 I did not get much crafting or creating accomplished this week but I did play my clarinet quite a bit :)    Today's plan included a bit of grad show framing, getting a few more lines quilted on my custom order t-shirt quilt, plus paperwork, laundry, and bills. 

 Don't be jealous of me.  I bet you have laundry to do too. 

 In the meantime, here is a quick weeknight meal idea for Recipe Tuesday.

Looking for a quick weeknight meal with that savory Thanksgiving flavor?  Try these ground turkey patties.  It's full of the savory sage goodness you would expect with turkey.

In a bowl with the ground turkey I've added celery, carrots, onions, a little garlic plus salt and pepper to taste along with a good couple of teaspoons of sage. 

To hold it all together I chopped up some leftover bread and added two eggs to the bowl.

Using an ice cream scoop for even sizes, I browned them on the stove with just a little olive oil and butter.

15 November 2013

trying to catch my breath

If the end of this semester is any indication of what next semester's doubling-up-with-two-courses plan, I'm doomed. 

I'll put that out there right now. 

Getting a show up and ready PLUS an on-line regular course and it's workload?  I'm going to request wine for Christmas this year.   Lots of it.

Did I mention we hatched a dinosaur egg this weekend?

13 November 2013

Weekend in pictures

 Oh what fun we had this weekend! 

Here is a recap for you.  

We tested the new kids toy I worked on for my shop... (results?  big hit!  4yr old called it "the best game ever")

Finished the layout and piecing of this next t-shirt quilt custom order.  (it's currently at the machine for the final quilting and will be shipped out about a week earlier than promised)

Made crunchy granola bars (Pioneer Woman recipe adaptation)

And worked a little more on my own art for my graduate show.    Here is a detail.

I hope you have a wonderful middle-of-the-week!

09 November 2013

A stringer of fishies...

...for a new item this week.

I am hoping for a nice, quiet, slow weekend where I can sew or sit and just be.   I don't really know if that will happen but I am hopeful.  That's close enough some times.

06 November 2013

Polenta with roasted vegetables

A few posts ago I gave you my secret to a simple, roasted chicken (it's the lemons) and as a side to our delicious main course I roasted a ton of vegetables.  Red beets, butternut squash, and brussel sprouts this time since I had them on hand.   I made sure to make extra because I wanted to have leftovers the next day for lunch. 

There is nothing better (in my opinion) than warm, cheesy, smooth polenta with roasted vegetables for a lunch on a dreary day.  Only two out of the four of us will eat this so I save it for my lunch when I know I'll have time to myself.  They just don't know what they are missing!    

Bring a saucepan of chicken broth up to a rolling boil.   Pour in stone ground cornmeal, using a whisk to stir constantly while adding the cornmeal.   Please take care to turn the heat down to medium before this step or the polenta can start to bubble and burn you as it thickens up.

To serve, I stir in butter, thyme, and Parmesan cheese and place a scoop of the roasted vegetables on the top. 

Simple, delicious and satisfying! 

04 November 2013

Monday morning sewing monster

I can't keep my boys in jeans for long.  Not that they go around wearing nothing, I mean they are forever ripping out the knees by skidding, sliding, rolling, or roughhousing in the grass or on the floor.

This will either fix the torn knee issue, or cause new ones because they want cool things sew on.

I have already had a request for a ninja next.

01 November 2013

It's been a busy week

Blogger hates me today.   I've uploaded close-ups of the Leafman and Sonic at least fourteen times and every time the photo is flipped sideways.  Half of those times it's flipped in the opposite direction of itself too.  I cannot for the life of me, get it to be upright so I give.  Despite the rain and winds we managed an 8-9 house Trick or Treat night.  They loved it regardless of weather so that makes me happy.

I made some small items for the Craft fair this weekend.  A few more pendants (below) drying on the work surface.   The pieced trees (above) I hope to have framed individually for the show as well.  That is, if I have the time to work on them this evening.  As I left the house this morning I already noticed two large branches down again and the forecast is calling for 45-50 mile per hour winds.  I may be chain-sawing all night. 

Magic wands, poof those branches away for me please???

30 October 2013

Unveiling a new product joining the I Make Stuff line-up!

Aren't they pretty?   (It's the dots, I know it.  I love polka-dots)

You are looking at 4oz of lovely, soft, aloe-based lotions with delightful scents.  Not too strong though, there is nothing I dislike more than a greasy hand creme you can smell from five miles away. 

These are scented just enough to be enjoyable but not enough to be overpowering.

Scents included in the new line are-

*fresh clean shave
*cranberry apple
*Christmas candy
*spiced pumpkin
*white tea & ginger
*oatmeal & honey
*chai tea
*fruit & almond

Look for them soon at the Line Mountain High School, Mandata, Pa.  craft show (this Saturday Nov 2nd from 9-3) and at the Handmade Baby Fair in Camp Hill, Pa at OMBaby - December 7th 9-5)

Also coming soon to the Brickhouse Craft Shop in Millersburg, Pa.

29 October 2013

Calzones and kid-made pizzas

 You'll remember a few weeks ago I posted a new pizza recipe we tried out.  It was a big hit and here's what we made with it....

While the dough was rising I whipped up a quick ricotta cheese filling for calzones and also chopped up some various ingredients for toppings and the calzones.

The ricotta mix was 1 C ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, plus one egg.

For the filling we used some salami, imported ham, smoked turkey, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and I slices tomatoes as well.   There is also shredded mozarella of course.

In a small saucepan I used some homemade tomato sauce (from my canning this summer)  and I added a secret weapon....

 I picked this up locally at a craft fair I attended.  It is amazing.  I have no clue how someone goes about smoking honey but I don't need to know.   Adding this to the sauce gave it such a nice flavor and sweetness!

Self assembly is the best part of the job.


Pizza with tomatoes.

It was a soft crust, not thin but not what I would call super thick either.   They all liked it.

28 October 2013

This year's Halloween costume attempt.

This is a Leafman from the movie Epic.   

This is my attempt at Leafman armor.   Please do not tell me it looks like a ninja turtle.  We have been over that.   Although adding the embellishments to the armor made it look less shell-like and more ornate.   If I was a better whiz at my sewing machine, I would have considered stitching on the designs, instead I used a sharpie.  Don't judge me. 

 This is Sonic the Hedgehog's hair..... things.  It's not purple, it's blue. 

This is what I have as of 8:00pm last night.   Now I need to find some red sneakers and white gloves, plus rig up a mask of some sort to help hold all that head-stuff on the hood up on his little head.   Plus the leafman needs a ridiculous looking pointy helmet thing.   See above picture if you don't believe me.

Question is, can I finish by Wednesday?

25 October 2013

What is art and who is an artist? - my 200th post

As you may remember, I am currently in the process of making artworks for a Graduate Level Art show as the culmination of my M.Ed in Art Education.   I've been working like crazy, trying to find my "style" and I have been struggling with this dilemma; an I a "real" artist?

When I was in college in my ahem younger years, the arguments over what is really and truly "ART" were never ending.  The fine art majors believed they were superior to the art education majors because they took themselves more seriously as artists.  They were the ones dressed in ripped tights and black boots, with pink and purple hair (in the 90s that was unusual) always trying to be as different and unique as they could be. 

On the other hand, those of us in art education were thinking ahead to working in the schools systems, where pink and purple hair and pierced eyebrows would surely put our resumes at the bottom of the circular files after our preliminary interviews.

My artworks from high school were all watercolor buildings and landscapes.   Very realistic and naturalistic.  Many people would classify those paintings as art, without question, because they are now framed and behind glass.  You can recognize what is there.  Plus people (around here anyway) want to hang things they like and recognize above their couches.   So are these "couch paintings" art?  Is that my style?

Every day I work in the elementary art classroom, trying to get kids to color the sky all the way to the ground.  Introducing the elements and principles of art at their basic, first stages.   But I also draw and paint.   I draw dinosaurs and butterflies for and with my own kids.  I paint murals in kids rooms and at their baseball fields.   I'm currently painting soccer balls, volleyballs, and footballs for the seniors in my district.   I make things with my hands with traditional art materials.  Does that make me a "real" artist?

Today I'm creating some works with handmade papers and layers the colors and shapes to make a textural surface.   I will later go back and add in some hand-stitching.  It is definitely abstract.   Is that more "real" because it's abstract?

So to you, my readers, I pose this set of questions...  What is Art to you?  and in your opinion, who is an artist?

22 October 2013

Banana-nut bread with dates

There is nothing I love more than a quick bread recipe.  And banana bread is the most delicious one to start your day off right. 

While working in a bakery for many, many years, I learned this simple trick....  when you're bananas start to get over-ripe, toss them whole right into the freezer in a zip top bag.  Yes, peel and all.

When your baking day arrives, pull them out onto a plate to thaw.  Do not be alarmed.  The peel will be black, it is just what the banana does in the cold.    When they are thawed enough you can pull off the top and squeeze out the fruit like a tube of toothpaste.

This recipe makes two loaves of bread.

4 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon or orange zest
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/2 cup chopped dates

-Mix dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg - set aside
-In a mixing bowl - beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
-Add bananas to butter and sugar mixture, beat until mashed together.
-Add one egg at a time and blend until combined after each addition.
-Add dry ingredients in 1/2 cup increments until well-blended.
-Remove from mixer, with a spatula, stir in walnuts, dates and lemon or orange zest
-Divide into two 9"x5" loaf pans.
-Bake in 350 degree F oven until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn bread out onto wire rack to cool

Banana-nut bread with dates on ziplist

We cut into the first loaf before it even has a chance to cool.  You can still see the steam rising off the slices.

You can also freeze the second loaf for breakfast at a later time.   I double wrap it with plastic wrap and foil, then put it into a zip top freezer bag.  That is, on the days I don't think we'll eat it before the week is up.  Usually the first loaf is our dessert the first night, and then slices of the second for breakfast the next day.  


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...