Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cheater, Cheater

I haven't posted in a little while, it was a busy week!  Things are quickly wrapping up at Sophia's school and she had her first end of the year summer concert.  It was a pleasure to be there for her debut in front of an audience and she was a pro...  OK, so she picked her nose on stage, lifted her hand as if to ask a question during the performance, excitedly waved at us and then adjusted her undies on the way off the stage.  Isn't that what everyone looks forward to with the JK class?  I'm just glad that she didn't freeze on the spot and that she was so comfortable in front of so many people!
This is the last week of school for both Sophia and my husband and then...let the good times roll!  Between the three of us, I'm not sure who is the most excited!?

So, because I haven't had much free time, I thought I'd post a cheater and share my favourite pattern site,

I have lost a lot of hours browsing this site full of inspiration and so many free and inexpensive patterns!  Love, love, love it!  Happy knitting (or crocheting)!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Cookies

The quickest way to a man's heart is through his tummy....well the quickest way to my husband's heart is through Sophia so this is a double whammy!   We had a friend over this morning and they created these yummy Father's Day Treats.  I think they did a great job!

Sugar Cookie Recipe

1/2 Cup Butter (room temp)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg yolk (slightly beaten)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until pale.
  3. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix until just combined. 
  4. Sift all dry ingredients together.
  5. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternating with milk.
  6. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (at least 3 hours)
  7. Roll out dough to 1/4" thick and cut out shapes.
Place shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until just golden brown around the edges.  Let cookies cool completely on a wire rack before icing.


 To decorate the cookies I use the Wilton's Royal Icing Recipe which calls for Meringue Powder instead of using egg whites.  It can be purchased at Michaels or the Bulk Barn.  For a small batch of cookies I would only make half the recipe (with plenty left over) and follow the instructions to thin the icing so that it's easier to spread.

You can easily colour this icing with Food Colour Gel and put it in piping bags and make fancy decorations but when I make cookies with Sophia (4 years old) she just spreads the icing onto the cookies and then cakes them with sprinkles.  Lots of fun!



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Groovy Man!

  A couple years ago I tried my hand at a little turned into a bit of an obsession.  Here's the thing, I'm not exactly a tie-dye wearing kind of gal so my options have been a bit limited.  It's a good thing that kids in tie-dye are about the cutest thing around!
  I lucked out and found this YouTube tutorial on my first search.  I found it very helpful, it's a bit long winded but worth watching.
  I also learned a few things about the different dyes that can be used.  Again, I lucked out the first time and bought a kit from Michaels with a Procion MX type of dye.  The Tulip, Rit™and Tintex™ dyes are fine but they require very hot water for the dye to bond with the fiber and also need longer soaking time.
  So, just head to Michael's and buy the Jaquard Funky Groovy Tie-Dye Kit.  I think it's about $15 and it says it will dye up to 5 T-shirts but I was able to dye 7 kids T's between size 2T and 8.

Peace, love and happy dyeing.

   1.  I suggest you pick up the kit from Michaels and then go on the hunt for some t-shirt sales.  I hit Old Navy and was able to pick up several white t-shirts at a great price.  You can also use any old white t-shirt that you might already have that's looking a bit old
   2.  Follow the directions on your package, I suggest you wash your new t-shirts first but it will still work if you skip that step.

   3.  Dampen your t-shirts and decide what type of pattern you want.  I opt for "The Swirl" because I think it's the grooviest.

   4.  Lay your t-shirt out flat and stick a fork where you want the centre of your swirl to be and start turning the fork.  The shirt will start to spiral around he fork.  Help it out along the way to keep it in a spiral.

   5.  Secure the rubber bands (provided in the kit) around the shirt to keep it in the spiral disc.

   6.   Follow the instructions to use the Soda Ash and mix thoroughly.  Soak your t-shirt discs in the    solution for at least 20 minutes to ensure that it soaks all the way through the fabric.

     7.  Collect some old bags (without holes) and line them with a few sheets of paper towel to absorb the excess dye.  This is where you will place each t-shirt disc to dye.

Please excuse the peeling deck...another summer project

   8.  If you get a kit, it comes with pre-measured amounts of dye and all you have to do is add the water...just tap water.  Easy-peasy.

   9.  Put on your gloves and your ready to go!  I started with the blue first and applied it on the first side in a wedge about a third of the t-shirt.

  10.  Next I did yellow in another third of the shirt, overlapping the blue a little bit, this will give you the green colour.

  11.  Last is the Fuchsia on the last third of the shirt overlapping the yellow (for orange) as well as overlapping the blue (for purple).

  12.  Turn the t-shirt discs over and repeat the steps on the other side.  Some of the dye will have soaked through making it easier to follow the pattern.

   13.  Place the shirts in Zip-Lock bags or remove the paper towel and wrap them up in the plastic bags.  Let the shirts sit like that for at least 12 hours, 24 hours is best.


   14.  After 24 hours, rinse shirts out under running water (in the bath) and carefully snip the rubber bands.  Rinse until the water runs clear.  

   15.  Wash the shirts together with regular liquid laundry detergent on the warm cycle.  You can put them in the dryer or hang to dry.

That's it!  You're DONE! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lunar Landing

Warning: this recipe is far to easy and delicious to be making during swimsuit season...bake at your own risk!

This is a great recipe to use up some of that springtime rhubarb!  Mine is taking over my garden!  This cake gets it's name because once baked, the surface of the cake is all bumpy and creator-y like the surface of the moon.  Yum!

Rhubarb Lunar Cake

1/2 Cup Butter
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Cups Rhubarb ~ cut into 1"pieces
1 Tbsp Flour


1/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon


  1. Line a 9"x14" with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter mixture.  Alternate with the buttermilk so that there are 3 flour additions and 2 buttermilk additions.  Mix each addition until just mixed.
  6. Toss rhubarb with 1 Tbsp of flour and then stir into batter.
  7. Spoon into baking pan evenly.
  8. Combine Topping ingredients until well mixed.
  9. Drop spoonfuls onto the top of the cake batter.  Continue until the cake is covered with blobs of topping.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
  11. Serve with hipped cream or ice cream or all on it's own...ENJOY!

What to do with all this mint?

It has been a wet spring but that is good news for my mint and rhubarb!  I have always grown mint, or should I say that it has always grown itself (it's practically a weed) but have never done anything with it.  I decided to give it a big ol' trim and make a big pot of tea.

Remove the leaves from the stems and give them a rinse

I think it would be about 4 leaves per 2 cups of I filled the pot :0)

Bring it to a boil

Turn off and strain.  You could leave it a little while longer depending on how strong you want it...I had a ridiculous amount of mint so I strained it right away and it was perfect

Add a little honey (if you like)

And serve!  You can see the mint oils floating on the top...yum!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A New Designer on Board!

I love getting my daughter's worksheets home from school, not to see how well she's writing her name or able to recognize a pattern...don't worry, all of those abilities still amaze me, but it's all the drawings on the reverse side of her worksheets that I REALLY look forward to seeing!
She seems to be going through a bit of a monster phase in her drawing and when this monster came home last week, I fell in love! It also gave me an idea...why not try to bring her imagination to life?
I thought it turned out pretty good but Sophia? Well lets just say that the look on her face said it all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hats, Hats and More Hats!

Last weekend's Art In Bloom was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out to support local artists and mental health services in our community.
I received a great response to my hats and especially the beautiful models....thanks again mommies for bringing your kids out to the park for a photo shoot.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Smock, Paper, Scissors...the blog

Okay, so I don't actually smock...yet. I'm learning to embroider and have limited sewing abilities, but I am ambitious. My house is littered with bits of paper, yarn snippets and kids craft projects in various stages of creative chaos. Add to that an adorable four year old who’s become accustom to themed birthday parties, tie-dye t-shirts and the occasional knitted tiara and you’ve got something crafty to blog about. So here I am.