Friday, January 30, 2015

Pinterest # 4

On my " I really want to try this" list last year was Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Bread. But then I put it out of my mind and didn't think about it anymore and not even Thanksgiving or Christmas had me thinking to give this bread a try. Now for some reason this time of year has me hankering for homemade bread and my mind wandered back to wanting to try this bread.
This Pinterest find was a little hard to come by and what I did find wasn't really what I wanted. I wanted a nice simple whip up any time bread, not a sweet dessert loaf.  I wanted to be able to take my smoked turkey, lettuce, tomato and maybe my basil mayo ( I go either way with mayo, sometimes yes sometimes no..) on this fun bread.

Not finding what I wanted had me go to my tried and true Raisin Bread recipe. I just omitted the cinnamon which in case your wondering is 1 tsp. Because this bread is slightly sweeter then regular bread I thought it would compliment the saltiness of the smoked turkey better.

For one loaf here's the recipe.

1 cup + 1 tbsp warm water
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 tbsp dry milk
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 pkg yeast or
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

I used a mixer to knead the bread but by all means use those muscles and knead the dough till it forms a nice bread ball and isn't sticky anymore. (I'm not much of a timer on this I go by my eye and when it looks good I stop.) This is when you add your berries and nuts. Continue kneading till everything is incorporated. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place till doubled in size. (about an hour)
Then take it out, give it another light kneading and form your loaf. I chose a greased loaf pan but you could probably form a ball on a tray and have a more rustic loaf. Let rise till doubled again and bake.
Here's where I differ from some recipes. I prefer to bake mine at a lower temp, 370 to be exact only because I think the temperature in my oven is out of whack. You may want to consult other bread recipes and come up with a temperature you're happy with.
Normally I'm a whole wheat bread eater but for my first try it always seems easier to go all white. Thanks Gluten! Next I'll be trying out a whole wheat loaf and see how it goes but the boys gave this loaf 2 thumbs up.
 If any one has another recipe for this bread I'd be interested in giving it a whirl! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Little out of the Ordinary.

So when last we met I was in a bit of a funk. To me there is nothing like a problem bigger then oneself to quickly get you out of a funk and realize life is good when you live, where you live. So veering of my normal beaten path and onto a more political one, I bring you today's post.

Ashley and I were briefly discussing a topic that pops up once and a while between us. Cheap clothing and sweatshops. She had popped this website into my instant messaging today.

I watched all the little episodes and I have to say I'm still upset just thinking about them. We talked about how making our own clothes or buying secondhand still doesn't solve the problem. We talked about the textile companies and asked ourselves are they any better. We went into the yarn we buy, the cheap knick-knacks, furniture and soon decided our heads would hurt to the point of explosion if we thought about how far the problem of a "fairly earned wage" runs.
I wear clothes and I need stuff and most of the people I know wear clothes and need stuff so maybe to start we should begin by asking the retailer a simple question "Did the person making this earn a fair wage?" We've already begun to ask about the fairness of the food we eat and drink. Why not our stuff?
I think if enough of us began asking more questions and stopped mindlessly shopping we could become voices for those who can't be heard and maybe just maybe retailers would become more accountable about the things they purchase for sale. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Funky Spring

I'm in a bit of a funk. With only three weeks of snow on the ground so far and you'd think I'd be dancing in the streets because I like snow. I like winter. But for some reason this year spring has been whispering to me in my sleep.( last night I was wearing a yellow skirt with orange trim and carrying an umbrella, it was raining and I was taking pictures of purple flowers) I've told it it's not time yet, I've got snowshoeing to do but spring is not listening it wants to be heard.
Soooo I decided this morning to see what it had to say. Much to my what will be my husbands dismay when he comes home tonight I'm sure.....

I did this.

It looked like this.

But now it looks like this.

I really want to use some of this.
Sonnet Spring from Tonic Living

And maybe a bit of this.
Drift Pomegranate

These seem springy enough to keep spring happy for now. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pinterest # 3

Checking out Pinterest last fall I took note of their faux fur infinity scarves. I found a couple and clicked the like button.

Then I made my own version out of an old fur coat I found at my local thrift store. I cut a couple of pieces from the bottom of the coat that when sewn together would give me a standard width and length of an infinity scarf. I then sewed it into a tube, turned it inside out and hand stitched the ends together. All that fur you never see any stitches. 

I like to wear it with this great chocolate brown coat I found in the summer. Its the perfect coat to wear when wearing petticoats.

Yes it's a real fur scarf which I know can bother some people but I'm thrilled by how warm it is. I wasn't expecting it to be a big difference in the warmth department vs faux or wool for that matter but there really is. I'm not a fan of being cold and with our Canadian winters and being so close to Lake Huron this means cold, damp, windy, winter weather.
Whether your a fan of fur or not this one fits my "try and stay warm for the winter" bill. :)

Just a footnote to add has anyone read this article on manmade fabrics? It was quite an interesting read.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Your Colour of 2015

This morning I was reading my fellow vintage loving Canadian gal pal Jessica talk about her colour of the year and realized that her colour for the 2015 year has been my colour of the decade. Really I had no idea that I gravitated this much towards the colour brown till I actually thought about brown.

This my bedroom. It has not changed at all and is still my haven.

Family room which I repainted in 2011. When searching the blog for this I didn't think it was that long ago. I still like my family room except for the brown chairs that are hanging around. They've got to go. Sooo uncomfortable.

My counter-tops are brown, my dogs are brown.

 My clothing leans towards brown.

This is 2013 and I still really like this coat for winter fun.
I think you get the picture that I was and am unknowing obsessed with brown. 

So my question to you this fine winters day is if you look around right now what colour do you find the most sprinkled throughout your house or wardrobe? If 2015 is the year you are thinking about painting, redecorating or adding something new to wear I suggest this be your colour. For ten or more years brown has seemingly been my colour of choice and I don't think its going anywhere fast. :)

Friday, January 16, 2015


As the snow falls and the wind is well windy my thoughts of furniture fixing and painting are put on hold. :(  It takes forever to heat up the garage thus leaving only a few hours to work. Before I know it its time to shut things down for the evening and the garage cools off very quickly making the paint drying time very short and not a good thing. But my thoughts are always thinking about colour and patterns which brings me to the question.  Have you seen Pantone's Colour of the Year?

Its Marsala

I have to say when I first saw this colour I was like.. meh. For furniture or clothing I'm wasn't a fan of this throwback to the eighties, slightly updated dusty rose colour.

You can check out Pantone's Site to see its grand introduction into the colour world. For me I still wasn't impressed.

Then came my Knitpicks Magazine and I began to see that ok maybe mixed with other colours that I might like it.

Then this showed up in my Pinterest feed and I rather like its old world charm appeal.

I'm still not 100% sold on the colour and I don't jump on the band wagon of new colour anyway when I pick paints or fabric. I go all artsy and let the project speak to me.
 This was last years it didn't make the cut to appear into any of my projects. We shall see if I warm up to Marsala this year. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pinterest #2

 I had pinned this cookie recipe just a day or two before Christmas and knew I didn't have time to make them but thought they might make great Valentines Cookies. ( Seriously so many Christmas recipes double great as Valentines recipes.) Pretty aren't they!

Since we've been attending quite a few potlucks lately I thought it might be nice to try a gluten free version of these to take with us. Originally I was going to make half the recipe GF and the other half with white flour but I was out of white flour so all GF it was going to be. I used a bean and rice flour combo and went to work.
I followed the recipe and made my substitutions. Let the dough chill then
I rolled it out between two pieces of wax paper. I know from past experiences that my cookie dough might be a little more sticky then with white flour and What I should have done is sprinkle some rice flour onto the wax paper before I rolled them out. But now I was at the point of no return as I had already added the filling.(sometimes I'm not a patient girl) Freezing was of no help either.

Heres what my impatientness got me that not even a pretty plate could help.

It's not like I've never baked GF before honest!!

The taste of these far makes up for their looks though and have been Isaac approved but rest assured they will not be leaving this house. :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

For the Love of Hats.

I may have mentioned before my love of hats, hehe. Any type of hat will do summer, winter, fall or spring, I'm always on the hunt for a good hat.

Meet Elsewhen Millinery. I found her etsy shop while going through patterns before Christmas and fell madly in like with her hats and patterns. The hats are 1920's inspired and I like the fact that I can buy a pattern or  I could have her make me one. So every once and a while during the holiday's I'd go back and look through her shop and oouu and ahhh. With the January chill settling in I thought it would be the perfect time to purchase one of her patterns and make a hat. I settled on " Penny"  and began sewing. Her patterns are wonderfully easy to follow with clear instructions and pictures to help you along.

                                                             ( I added one of my handmade wooden buttons.)

I did make a goof though. I was lining my hat with polar fleece for winter warmth and cut my hat much larger thinking I should compensate for the bulk. I didn't need to do that and I should have stuck with her cutting suggestions.

I wore it out over the weekend and it I was indeed warm.

The nice thing about this pattern is I can change it up and make it for spring although I do have my eye on a couple more of her designs. In my opinion a girl can never have too many hats :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Signs, signs everywhere were Signs

Before Christmas I had painted a bunch of signs for the sale. I was asked more than a few times how did I paint my signs so today I shall tell/ show you how.
The first thing you need is a computer, pencil, paper, paint and brushes and something you want to paint on. I see what's laying around and go from there. Piece of wood, piece of an old door, drawer front, bucket, hunk of metal, if its paintable it should work.
After deciding what you want your sign to say, check out all those wonderful different fonts you have on your computer and begin designing your sign. Use different fonts, different font sizes and play around till you've got something you're happy with then print it off.
I used a graphic from Graphics Fairy for a coffee sign. She literally has tons of things to choose from.

But for other signs I've just used my own fonts

Take a pencil and colour the back of your lettering to work as graphite paper. Since I live in the boonies this is much faster and cheaper than ordering on-line or driving an hour to get what I need.

 Flip your paper back around and line up your lettering so it's straight. You can draw straight lines on your sign or eyeball if you're comfortable. Now trace around your letters and you should be left with the outline of your letters on your sign.

 Paint your letters until you've got a nice solid colour or as solid as you want it. You can erase any pencil marks left over after your paint has dried. 
For this sign I made my own stencil and used it as a background or wallpaper effect for the sign. Stencils can get pricey so I found a pattern I liked ( making sure it was a freebie) then printed it off. I took contact paper and cut it out with a knife, pealed back the paper and had a sticky stencil to use. 

Here I did different size fonts on a plain old board.

I've distressed each of these signs by running sandpaper over them giving the lettering and the sign a slightly worn look then sealing it with a beeswax polish. If its going out in the elements you may want to seal it with an outdoor product.
These can be quick easy gifts and you can let your imagination run wild. Right now I'm looking at more vintage advertising to paint and suit everyday wants.

Think you can't do this...if you can colour you can paint. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pinterest # 1

Ahhh Pinterest. We've all pinned ideas for fashion, recipes, diy's, and anything else that catches our fancy. A couple of weeks ago I was checking out " Pinterest Fails'  and I must say I was laughing till I cried. I myself once pinned chocolate chip cookies made with a waffle iron thinking what an interesting thing to try. I tried and my lesson...don't fool with the Chocolate Chip Cookie.
This year I thought it would be fun to challenge myself with pins I've pinned to see if I can make them a reality. Once a week I plan to bring you my successes or failures from my Pinterest desires. So let's begin shall we.

I never thought I had a thing for shoes but this past year I've noticed that I rrreeaaallllyyyy like shoes. So much so that I've created a new board on Pinterest dedicated to shoes. 
Normally I don't wear heels but I wanted red shoes to wear with my none existent christmas soon to become valentines dress.
 Here are the pins I found that would possibly fit the bill of only shopping at thrift stores from my 2014 challenge. However the pins I used where on a secret board. How come you ask? Because I was worried someone would think I was silly for wanting to modpodge shoes. In 2015 I can be all the silly I want. Ha

crafts after college

This blog shows you how to accomplish your own pair of Dorothy's Shoes and was the beginnings of inspiration for my own shoes.

I also pinned these.

Now for my shoes

I started out with these hot pink babies and I planned them to be a mix of the two shoes I pinned.

The style was right but the colour was all wrong so I painted them white and then began the modpodging.
 Painting them white ensured me pink wouldn't show through the white of the fabric. Yes it would have been easier to just find a white shoe but when you are living small town you go with what you find.  The toes and heel I glitterized.

Still very much pink inside but none of that shows when your wearing them.

I sewed the bows on with a curved needle. It was a little tough but I wanted to make sure they stay put (fingers crossed she says)  and I also glued them down with Carpenters glue. I grabbed a couple of clothes pins to hold the bows in place while they dried.

 It's what I envisioned them to be but I haven't worn them out yet to see how they behave. I'm feeling like these are a success but I don't want to endorse modpodging just yet. I know others have (first shoe link) so you can go by their opinion if you want to jump in and try a pair of shoes. I'll let you know after I wear them out and about what the pros and cons are of the shoe. For now I've got some pretty Christmas/ Valentines/ Canada Day Shoes that I can look at. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello New Year

Today's the day everything goes back to normal. People are off to work, most of the decorations have been put away but I am having a hard time taking down the tree as I do every year because I like it so much. Nary a needle has left the tree and this was taken this morning.

So what did I find as my highlights of 2014?

First, my thrift store project.
 It is more than possible to buy only secondhand fabric and clothing and survive.
Sewing my own wardrobe has definitely made me a better sewer. I find I'm reaching more and more for clothing I made to wear rather then store bought. I might have spent $50 on my clothes and fabric for the 2014 year. The best part is I'm getting exactly what I want (which I can never seem to find in a store) and it fits properly too. This project also taught me patience. Believe it or not I found everything on my wish list throughout the year by thrifting and waiting.  For the most part I will continue shopping this way for my clothing. My favourite piece I blue polka dot blouse

My favourite would have been my Christmas dress but when sickness came a week before Christmas it got put away because I still had 3 of the 11 pj pants to sew. You'll see it soon though when it becomes my Valentines dress!

The trailer. 
It was one of my biggest time consumers of the year and totally worth it. This is only time I bought new fabric and even then it was wasn't much because I had a lot on hand. I had managed to find a huge chunk of heavy duty navy blue for the cushions from a thrift store which put a huge dint into having to buy new fabric.

The trailer is sitting in the yard all tucked away for winter and I can't help but wait for warmer weather to sleep in my little tin can. I realized that I don't have a great "Lets take a tour" pictures of it, only pictures here and there so come spring when we begin the work on the trailer (yes there is more fun stuff to happen in the way of a new sewer system) we shall continue that story.

A baby! Little Charlotte came into the world on April 1st.

She's a happy bubbly girl who makes your heart melt when she stretches out her arms to be picked up. She loves hanging out with any one as seen here with her Aunt Ashley.

A wedding

 The planning of the wedding took place at the same time as the work on the trailer so things began to feel a little hairy. We needed the trailer as a guest house for the wedding and the trailer liked to give us unexpected surprises. Thankfully the wedding did not. Oh things happened on the big day that I knew wasn't supposed to happen but M'lynn didn't know and thats all that mattered. 

My favourite furniture project was the chair.

It was in my opinion the first piece of upholstery that I did that I really liked other then this chair from way back when.

What's already found its way into the projects of 2015?
This little beauty. It needs to be rebuilt so I'm thinking the month of January should suffice...I hope. :)