Archive for January, 2010

Illustration Friday: Focus

Sunday, January 31st, 2010


I thought I would revisit some elephants I did a while back and focus on the color purple.

Valentine’s Day Last Year

Saturday, January 30th, 2010


Last year for Valentine’s Day I made felt crowns and little skirts for my girls. SO much fun! My husband made my son a wooden rubber band gun like his grandpa used to make for him. I made my son a little gun holster and a pouch to hold a bunch of felt “disguises” that I made for him. Grandpa even tried on the beard. It looked so funny! I didn’t have any patterns or anything, so they are definitely not “perfect,” but they were so much fun to make and surprise them with. Especially while they are young and think that things made of felt are cool! We had a pancake dinner with whipped cream and pie cherry filling to top them off. I need some good ideas for this year. Any suggestions?

Valentine’s Day Decorations

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

We’re getting ready for Valentine’s Day around here with vintage valentine decorations and lots of pink and red…



Trees at Night

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010


Illustration Friday: Clumsy

Monday, January 25th, 2010


Those big clown shoes would make one awfully clumsy!

Baking Bread

Monday, January 25th, 2010


(click on any of the images to view larger)

Baking homemade bread is a big tradition in my family. I use a recipe that my grandma gave me. She has since passed away, and it is so nice to still see her handwritten notes on the recipe she gave me. I feel like she’s with me that way. My grandma used to let my mom and her siblings roll out their own little breads with raisins and sugar. My mom let me and my siblings do it, too. I have so many wonderful memories of doing that with my mom! Now I let my kids roll out their own little breads and add little things into them as well. I still have the bread pans that my grandma and my mom gave me. It seems like a long, tedious process from the grinding of the wheat to the actual baking, but there is great peace and happiness in creating a product that I know my family will love. And there is NOTHING like the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. At least not to me! Here is the recipe I use that my grandma gave me. It is a very large yield: about 6-8 loaves.

8 cups warm water
3 T yeast
3/4 C honey
3/4 C olive oil
2 C quick oats
12 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 T salt
5 more cups of flour (white or wheat)

1. Put water and honey in mixing bowl
2. Sprinkle yeast on water, let soften a few minutes
3. Add oil
4. Add oatmeal and 6 cups of flour and mix briefly
5. Add 6 more cups of flour and mix well. At this point you may let the mixture rest for a few minutes. It is making a sponge.
6. Add salt (salt slows the growth of yeast so put it in after the sponge.)
7. Add about 5 more cups of flour or enough flour so that the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl as it is mixing. Dough shouldn’t be stiff.
8. Knead dough 7 minutes in the bread mixer or 10-15 minutes by hand
9. Put dough in greased bowl, turn to grease top, cover with a damp cloth and let double in size.
10. Punch dough down and let rise again about 10-20 minutes.
11. Punch down, shape into loaves, put in greased pans
12. Place damp cloth over pans and let rise again for 20 minutes or so.
13. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
14. Remove immediately from pans and cool on racks.

Spread hot slices with butter, honey or whatever you like. Don’t forget a cold glass of milk!

Activity for Kids: Watercoloring

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010


Watercoloring is so much fun. Especially if you draw “mystery pictures” with white crayon onto white paper first, and have your little one paint over the crayon to discover what you drew. Sprinkle a little salt onto a painting or dab a few drops of rubbing alcohol on top of a dried watercolor painting for some cool effects. Happy painting!

Activity for Kids: Play-Doh Day

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010


Nothing like fun with Play-Doh.