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21  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My first children's book on: April 17, 2013 10:05:06 PM
I was asked to illustrate a children's book.
These are the first 5 illustrations. I think there will be 7 in all.












Can you tell what the story is about? Hint: it has something to do with the apples.
22  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Just a quick little dolly + pattern on: January 22, 2013 08:55:50 PM
My daughter has a birthday party to go to on Saturday. So, I made a quick little dolly for the birthday girl. Using materials I already had and a quickly drawn pattern that was much like a ginger bread man shape, I put together a cute little doll.


Edited to add pattern:



Either use freezer paper, which you can iron to the fabric, or pin pattern to fabric.
Sew around pattern, leaving open where indicated for stuffing.
Remove pattern and cut around stitching leaving a 1/8 inch seam allowance.
Stuff arms and then top stitch on broken like. Repeat for legs. Stuff remaining head and body, and close opening with hidden/ladder stitch.

Now you can dress the doll, paint the doll, whatever you wish.
23  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / French Farmhouse style hamper from a thrifted box on: January 10, 2013 06:41:23 PM
I really need to learn to take before pictures! I bought a cute storage box with a cover from Goodwill. It was cute...before a cat got it's claws into it. Originally it was covered in a weave of brown fabric and sea grass. And let me tell you, if it wasn't $1 I wouldn't have messed with it. All of that stuff was stapled on with hundreds of tiny staples! It took hours to get it all off. And I suffered with allergies to cat dander the whole time. And why you ask? Because I had visions of a pretty French style hamper.






It works perfectly with French/spa style bathroom!
It's just the right size to hold clothes for two people for a couple of days. No more leaving our unmentionables on the floor. It sits right next to the shower.
24  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Hand painted Poppy Pillow on: January 10, 2013 06:20:35 PM
's been a while since I started noticing staining on the pillow covers in the living room. I love the covers I've sewn, but the stains just won't come out, and the repair job on one of them isn't very attractive. It's time for new covers.

 I hate buying fabrics full price. Usually I find something to make over from the thrift store. I love to find a curtain, because it's usually a few yards of fabric for just a few dollars.

 Home decorator fabrics are so expensive! I could use a coupon, or I could design my own. I've kept the scraps of canvas drop cloth left over from making slipcovers for the couch and loveseat. There really isn't much left, but I've managed to get a couple of projects out of it.





 Once the paint was dry, I made some welting with some red and white ticking and sewed the pillow cover. I love how it turned out, and will certainly be making more.

25  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Outside mat turned Bathmat easy peasy on: January 08, 2013 11:48:31 AM
My old bath mat needed to be retired today. It was falling apart. As I walked through Target today, I was less than thrilled with the prices of bath rugs. The ones that I wanted were about $22. And they weren't anything special.

As I wandered over the outside rugs, my eyes fell upon a thick, pretty, jute, braided rug. It had a label that said for outside use only. "Why," I asked myself. I want to use it in the bathroom. I bought two for about $16 each, and when I got home and laid them on the slick tile in my bathroom, I realized that they would need some help, if I were to use them and be safe.


I remembered seeing something on Pinterest about putting silicone on the back of rugs to make them non slip. I'm waiting for the silicone to dry.
 Did you ever notice what a strong smell that stuff has? What is it ammonia? 


I bought some fluffy new towels and wash cloths in....white. Am I crazy? Do I feel a bit guilty? A little bit. But the last time I bought new towels was last year for the other bathroom.

My bathroom is going to feel like a spa. Ahhhh.
26  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls on: January 08, 2013 11:46:05 AM
I have to follow a gluten free diet, but that doesn't mean that I don't bake things for others. Before I went gluten free, I was famous for my whole wheat cinnamon rolls. And you know what? It's not even my recipe. When my lovely sister Rachel bought me a Bosche kitchen machine, the lovely lady at the store shared her recipes with us. And they are delicious.




It just killed me this year when I couldn't taste the rolls that I made for our friends.

  They're delicious without the frosting, and to die for with it.

I know it's really mean to post this recipe in January, when everyone is trying to stick to their diet. Bwahahahaha!
If you have a Bosche, you can make the recipe as is. If you have a Kitchen Aid, I suggest you half the recipe.

Before you begin, bring 3 sticks of butter to room temperature.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 54 large rolls
The entire process takes about 3 hours

7 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup potato flour (or 1 cup instant potato flakes)
1/2 cup powdered milk
5 Tablespoons instant yeast
4 Tablespoons dough enhancer

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl with a dough hook for approx 1 minute to prevent the powdered milk from forming clumps.

Add:
6 cups warm water (115 degrees)
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey

Mix again for several minutes and then cover and let sponge for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add:
 5 beaten eggs
2 Tablespoons sea salt

Continue to add ground wheat flour until the dough starts pulling away from the side of the bowl, but never picks up from the bottom.  This will probably be another 7 cups of flour, but will differ for your area because of humidity. The dough will be very sticky. Knead for 5 minutes more.   


You will need:
3 sticks of butter
Approx. 4 cups brown sugar 
Approx. 6 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Some unflavored dental floss

Divide the dough into 3 balls. Cover 2 of the balls while working with the first batch.
Pour about 1/4 cup canola oil onto your clean work surface, and roll out your dough into a rectangle.   

Using your hand (this gets really messy!) Spread the butter on top of the rectangle, then 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon.

Starting at the far left hand corner, begin rolling the dough towards yourself working from left to right, and then back again, until the dough has been rolled up like a carpet. Pinch to seal the roll. Turn the roll into the seam, and get a 30 inch piece of dental floss. Wrap around fingers of both hands as if you were going to floss your teeth. Slip the floss under the roll, and working around both sides, cut off a 1 inch slice, by bringing the two ends of floss together, and crossing them over one another.

Place spiral side down onto baking pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray. Fill the pan leaving about a 1/4 between rolls to allow for expansion. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour to rise.

Repeat with remaining dough.
 
After 1 hour, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes.

Frost with cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese frosting

2-8oz packages softened cream cheese
1 stick of butter, softened
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 Mix together.

After writing this post I realize that if you've never made cinnamon rolls before, you might want more pictures. However this is a really messy  project. Using a camera at the same time is a really bad idea!
27  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Didn't make the cut on: January 08, 2013 11:44:02 AM
Yesterday I worked for about 6 hours on a doll that I thought would go into my Etsy shop for sale. When I'd finished with her, I just wasn't happy with the result. But Sophia was! She now has a new doll, and she's hardly put her down since last night.

It's nice to know that the labors of my hands are still loved by somebody!


28  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Joseph Had A Little Overcoat Doll on: January 04, 2013 07:51:26 PM
I was so pleased to get a request from a client to make her a doll. She'll be using him to tell the story as she reads a book.

She bought some of the fabrics and sent them to me, making this a relatively easy commission to complete.
If you don't know the story it goes a little something like this:
(Please forgive my retelling of the story. The book is much better.)

Joseph had a little overcoat




It became too shabby to wear and so he made a jacket out of it.





It became too worn out, so he made a vest out of it





It became threadbare and so he made a tie out of it





When the tie was too worn out, he made a handkerchief from it




Soon there was very little to work with. The handkerchief became too worn out and so he made a button from it




And that was that. There was nothing left

I love that this book teaches about thrift. Joseph was able to make new things from the old, but I had to make each individual piece.



Which used almost 1/2 a yard of a beautiful piece of wool fabric.
I sewed a large snap to attach the  tie, to make dressing and undressing Joseph faster.
29  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Cooking up some felt foods for Christmas on: December 10, 2012 03:31:59 PM
I am always looking for inexpensive clever things to make for Christmas. Felt squares are only $.25 each. This year I cooked up some felt foods for my girls to play with in their kitchen.

Pizza is a perennial favorite in our house, and you can change the toppings according to your tastes. Green peppers, pepperonis and mushrooms, to order.



 Anyone feel like some salmon with a little salad on the side?



 A cornucopia of vegetables, fruits, donuts, and even a cupcake to tempt your pretend palate.



 And finally, a hamburger with all the fixings; cheese, pickles, onion and lettuce. I ran out of red felt to make the tomatoes, and then I realized that the girls could use a pepperoni as a substitute.


I spent about $7 for all of the felt used in these foods. I already had the stuffing, thread and beads.

The girls saw me making these and can't wait to play with them. I've found that Santa's workshop is just too hard to keep a secret in a house of 7 people.

What are you cooking up for Christmas?
30  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Want a cuppa? 3 teapots painting on: November 10, 2012 02:15:45 PM

My mother just started working for an amazing doctor who has changed her life in some pretty amazing ways. She works in the Tea Room. She asked me to paint a picture for her new friend and employer. Shhh! It's a surprise. I'm not allowed to post this on My Facebook, but I'm pretty sure it's safe here.

Some in progress pics, cause I like to look at others pics.



Reference photograph




The most challenging part was the peony.
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