Saturday, October 31, 2009
Maybe you are at this juncture like I am and need a little encouragement. I hope and pray it comes your way. I know it will come my way because it always does. God knows when to send it and He knows when and how to send it to you too. Don't give up, keep going, you never know what is around that next corner. It could be the biggest success you have known to date. I hope it is. Pin It Now!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I cut my peppermint candies from a 1¼ inch dowel. I use a table saw to cut them. Most of you may not have a table saw but don’t worry I have a solution for that. You can purchase 1 inch flat head plugs at Lowes for these candies. Here we go…
1 inch flat head plugs from Lowes.
¼ dowel rod cut at 3 inch lengths
Small eye screws (you can find those at Lowes too)
Homespun fabric ripped into small strips (coffee stained for that prim look)
Americana Paints: Buttermilk, Country Red, Warm White, Black Plum, Burnt Umber
Base your peppermints (both the candy and the stick) with Buttermilk. Once it is dried, lightly sketch in your lines for the red paint. I like to draw a line vertically and horizontally through the center. The red part of the peppermint candies are a little curved like a fan shape and are divided into to four parts of the circle. Once you have your lines in, use the Country Red to paint in those four sections. You will need at least two coats for a good coverage. With a liner brush (#01) add the small thin line that goes between the peppermint sections. It should be looking like a peppermint candy.
With Black Plum, shade the bottom part of the red sections. Use a float shade so it is light and not heavy. Once that is dried, shade the edge of the peppermint with Burnt Umber. This is also a float shade. Let that dry. Now you are going to put the shine on the candy piece. Use the Warm White for this. Float the Warm White around the candy, toward the edge of the candy, don’t get to close to the edge though. You want it above the shaded area. Now dot the center with Black Plum.
For the peppermint stick. Once it is base coated, use the liner brush with some Country Red and with a light hand (so the line is not to thick) spiral the paint down the dowel from the top to the bottom. You will probably have to load your brush two or three times. Once that is dried, water down some Burnt Umber, I add this wash around the top and bottom and kind of hit and miss it on the rest of the stick. Float a high light of Warm White down two sides of the stick for that peppermint shine.
Add the eye screw to the top of the stick and to the candy, add the homespun tie and you are done.
I made this video to demonstrate how to shade and high light the peppermint. Don't let my sweet southern accent surprise you. I grew up a Southern Girl, traveled the world with my Air Force husband (and he's still my sweetheart)and then settled down in beautiful Virginia...still a Southern Girl. I hope this short clip is a help to you.
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Monday, October 19, 2009
I have been sooo busy working on items for my Etsy shop that I haven't had time to play on the computer. I am also working on a new How To for you. Can you tell what it will be from the photo. I hope to have it loaded on the site by Wednesday so stay tuned. It will of course be a painting lesson. And all you who say you can't paint....maybe this will change your mind and you will give it a try. Pin It Now!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Cold and rainy weather is also makes me want to bake. If that is the case with you too, here's a pumpkin bread recipe that is one of the best I've ever had. Bake it up the next time your day is cold and rainy.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15 ounce) can of solid packed pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl combine the oil, water, pumpkin, eggs and apple cider vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Pour into 2 large bread loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove and cool on wire racks.
****When I bake sweet breads I use a non-stick bread loaf pan. I grease and flour it when a recipe calls for such. When the bread is done and taken from the oven I let it cool for 5 minutes and then shake the pan back and forth lightly til the bread is released from the pan. I then let it continue to cool for the additional 5 minutes in the pan. I haven’t had to worry about it sticking to the pan and coming out all crumbled when I turn it out on the wire rack....just a little tid-bit for you. Try it and see if it works for you. **** Pin It Now!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
But the mums and asters are in their glory right now. Oh my, are they ever adding a sparkle to my landscape! I actually have 4 different colors planted. They always seem to have a smile on their face, maybe it's because they are colorful and cheery.
The sweet little Border collie in the picture, well, that's SadieMae. She from a Border collie rescue center and has been a part of our family for a little over a year. She had "issues" when she came to make her home with us but she's come a long way, that's evident in her sitting still long enough for a picture. She's a ball of energy from sunup to sundown. She loves to play Frisbee and is pretty good at it. I try to play Frisbee with her 3 or 4 time a day just to wear some of her energy down and of course keep her in good shape. She is a sweetheart! It took a while for her to learn to trust people again, especially strangers. Living in a safe environment has helped with most of her "issues" and some, well, we've learned to just forgive because that's how she treats us....with acceptance and forgiveness.
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I need to take more quiet times to enjoy a cuppa cinny tea like this ginger. This is a Terrye French design I painted on a 1x10 board, I then added a slate, some rusy nails and a bucket that holds the chalk and eraser.
click on the picture to enlarge.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009
2 ½ inch Styrofoam ball
All purpose joint compound (premixed) You can find this at Walmart. Hang on to it because I will be showing you another “How To” using this joint compound.
Wooden skewer sticks
Assorted fabric strips (coffee stained and stiffened. If you don’t know how to do this refer to the previous “how to”)
Thread and needle
Painting spatula or large craft stick
Ultra fine black Sharpie Pen
Rusty pins (large or small, your preference)
Tags ( I used round)
Disposable cup with water
Americana paint colors: Buttermilk, Lamp Black, Burn Orange, Marigold, Brandy Wine
Directions: Push the sharp end of the skewer into the Styrofoam ball. Push it in about half way through the ball. Now, remove it and add just a little hot glue into the hole and push the skewer back in. With the spatula or craft stick, stir the joint compound until it is creamy.
With the spatula/craft stick add a layer of the compound to the Styrofoam ball. Don’t make it too thick or it will take a long time to dry and don’t make it so thin that you see the Styrofoam. Smooth it out but don’t worry about making it too smooth, that will come with the next step. Push the stick down into a piece of floral foam to hold it. Let it dry 20-30 minutes and then smooth it out.
To smooth it, put some water into the disposable cup, dip your finger into the water and begin smoothing the compound. I find it helps to tap the compound lightly with my finger. I don’t mind a few bumps in the texture, it gives it character. Once you have it as smooth as you want, push the stick back into the floral foam. It will take several hours to dry. I recommend letting it dry overnight.
Once it is dry, paint the ball with Burnt Orange, paint the skewer with Lamp Black. Once the paint is dry, draw in the eyes, nose and mouth with a pencil. Don’t press to hard. Now paint in the nose, mouth and eyes. Try to make each one different. Mine all have teeth but I have done some with the tradition faces and they turn out really cute. Use your imgination. Paint the teeth with Buttermilk and line the spaces between them with Charcoal. Use Lamp Black or Marigold for the nose and eyes. Use Brandy Wine for blushing the cheeks. Do this with a dry brush technique. ( see end note for the dry brush technique). Dot the cheek and eyes with a small dot of Buttermilk. I use a small stylus for this.
On the guy that has the cinnamon stick at the top of the head, use a small knife and carefully dig down into the Styrofoam. Don’t make the hole too big, it’s best to start small. Once you have a small hole, carefully push the cinnamon stick down into the Styrofoam. Hot glue into place. Hot glue some moss around the cinnamon stick. It should be glued to the top of the head and not the cinnamon stick. NOTE: I used half a stick of cinnamon.
Witch hat: Cut pattern out from black felt. Fold the body of the hat together and sew a seam on the seam line (1/4 inch) indicated on the pattern. Turn right side out. With right sides together hand sew the body of the hat to the brim.
Top hat: Cut pattern out from black felt. Fold the body of the hat together and sew a seam on the seam lines (1/4 inch) indicated on the pattern. Turn right side out. With right sides together hand sew the body of the hat to the brim. Hand sew the top piece to the top of the hat.
Hot glue the hats on.
Please click on pattern to print at full size.
Letter the tags with an ultra fine Sharpie. Antique the tags using your favorite antiquing technique. I antique them using brown paste shoe polish like Kiwi. I love using this because it has a wax in it that helps protect the tag. Just rub a little onto the tags, front and back. For each Jack-o-Lantern, tie a homespun tie around the neck and hot glue into place. Pull a small piece of homespun through the tag and tie once, then add a bell by pulling it onto the fabric (this is why the homespun piece needs to be thin), tie once, then tie it around the stick so it is placed under the neck. But use your imagination, you can connect it at the top with a pin (like the Jack-o-Lantern Spooky).
“How to dry brush”: I use a small stencil brush for blushing cheeks. Barely dip the bristles into the paint and then dab, dab, dab the brush onto your palette (if you don’t have a palette, use a paper plate or a piece of freezer paper). You still have too much paint on your brush! Now rub most of the paint off on a paper towel. This is much like preparing your brush for stenciling. Softly begin to add the paint to the cheeks by gently scrubbing the area with your brush. The trick is to use a very light touch and add more pressure if you need more paint. Be careful you don’t want the paint heavy.
Hope you enjoyed this project. If you did would you please drop me a note and let me know. Thanks bunches.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
We love this recipe around our house all year long. It's our all time favorite from all the pumpkin pancake mixes we have tried and we have tried several. Maybe it's the apple cider vinegar in this recipe that makes them nice and fluffy, they always turn out perfectly. Enjoy them with your regular syrup or for a real treat use some real whipped cream, a dash of nutmeg and a few chopped pecans. Any remaining put into a baggy and refrigerate to be enjoyed the next day. Or, you can put them in the freezer for a few weeks. Go on, give it a try and let me know what you think.
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl mix the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Add the dry ingredients and stir until this mixture is integrated but don't over stir. Add a scoop of the pancake mixture to a heated, oiled griddle. Brown one side and then flip to brown the other. Enjoy with your syrup or add whipped cream, a dash of nutmeg and some chopped pecans. Pin It Now!
Here's another peek at the Tutorial that is on its way. I'm loading pics today and will upload the lesson on Monday...gotta give you something to look forward too.
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Friday, October 9, 2009
Here's another sneak peek at the "how to" I am working on. Stay tuned.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009
This sweet design is by Terrye French.
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Step 1: Gather the supplies you will need.
Cookie sheet and wax paper
Elmers White Glue
Cinnamon and instant coffee
A medium sized plastic container with lid (I use a large yogurt container)
Homespun rag strips.
Step 2: I use 3 tablespoons of instant coffee to 1 cup of hot water.
(I usually do 2 cups and keep any reserve in a plastic bottle)
Stir the coffee mix well so all the granules are dissolved. Per each cup of water you use, add 3 tablespoons of Elmer’s White Glue. Stir well.
The mix should look like this.
Add your rag ties, several at a time. No need to let them soak, this is a strong mixture. Wring fluid out of the ties.
Step 4: Lay the ties out on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I remember growing up how fascinated I was with cupboard doors. Opening a cupboard door was like an itch that needed to be scratched. I'm still that way today. Aren't most of us? You go house hunting, walk into the kitchen and it's almost a sure bet that you will open one of the cupboard doors. Remember the old game show "Let's Make a Deal" with Monty Hall? Weren't we on pins and needles waiting to see what was behind Door Number One , Door Number Two or Door Number 3? Maybe it was a braaaaand neeeew car or a a pile of old dirty socks. You might not find a brand new car behind this Old Cupboard door but you won't find a pile of old dirty socks either. I hope you will find some treasures, some inspiration, a tid-bit of information you weren't expecting, a little faith and some smiles. Please stop by often to see what's behind the Old Cupboard Door. Pin It Now!