Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm an 'Honest Scrapper'

Mirella at Be My Playground gave me a blog award:


so Thank You Mirella!

the rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to that blog post.
2. Tell ten honest things about yourself and make them interesting, even if you have to dig deep!
3. Pass the award on to ten bloggers you feel embody the spirit of Honest Scrap, and whose blog you find brilliant in design and/or concept.

Ten Things - well I don't know how interesting they are but here goes:

1. When I was little I wanted to be a vet when I grew up - but when I grew up I became a teacher - I worked with a vet enough to see all of the pain involved and decided that I probably couldn't handle that...
2. I took piano lessons first from my Mom (I still have the certificates she signed) then from a local preacher's wife and finally from a 'proper instructor' above the local "House of Music" - and what amazes me when I look back at all of my sheet music and workbooks is how difficult that stuff was - I couldn't play any of it now without a lot of practice - I think I'll stick to hymns...
3. I'm too sentimental - I just sorted through last years cards - Christmas/birthday/notes etc. I put Scout's in his scrapbook - mine in my journal (it has pockets for nick-nack mementos) - the Christmas ones go in with the Christmas bins - but I haven't decided what to do with the Man's - for now they're in my journal too - I guess he's not sentimental...
4. I want to take a pottery class - I think I need another hobby...
5. I want to take a stained glass class - ditto #4...
6. Y'all already know that I love to cook - and you probably know that I love bread - I'm thinking of working my way through the Bread Baker's Apprentice one recipe at a time and making a vegan version of each...
7. I have a wart on my right hand - I'm treating it with Vitamin E - I'll let you know if it works...
8. The only magazine I read is National Geographic - Thanks Mom!
9. I was baptized in a river - people up here think that's incredibly odd - so I love to tell them about it...
10. I have always had a dog - My dogs were:
Red
Brownie and Pepper - 2 Daschunds
Mitzi
Snooper (Mitzi's son)
Fritz Von Gretchen - another Daschund
Champagne - I got Champagne when I was 17 and she lived 17 1/2 years
Duke - a Black Lab
Doobie - another Black Lab
and now Jack - of course - he's 'technically' Scout's dog...


Consider yourself tagged I'd love for you to play along!

It's really cold again...so...

..the Garage door opener broke...

...the property committee chair told us that it's about 10 years old - gee - I thought they'd last longer than that...

...anywhooo...I tied an old belt to the emergency handle (so Scout could pull the door open for me) and we made do for a couple of days...

...then we went to the local Sears store (I'm so glad that such a thing still exists in our small town) and bought a brand new opener...

We put it all together in the warm basement and then only spent about an hour in the frigid garage hanging it up and adjusting it...

...now we're good to go...and come...in the comfort of our warm car...it really is amazing what we take for granted...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

headbands...headbands

You may remember the old black tote that I recovered with a beloved remnant of cloth...

...I pulled the teeniest little remnant from my scrap box the other day and thought - hey - that looks just like a headband...so I proceeded to make one...

I stitched it into a tube - it bulges a little in the middle which is perfect for this project...

Remember - needle nosed pliers are a great tool for turning little tubes of fabric...

I ironed it nice and flat...

Measured my head and stuck a little piece of elastic into each end of the tube and sewed them shut...

et voilĂ ! a super cute little headband is born...

Then I pulled another remnant out of the box...

...I could probably do this all day...

Sewed another tube - a wider one this time - and ironed the seam open...

Then I turned it right side out - much easier with a wider tube - and ironed it nice and flat - with the seam in the middle - and turned under about 1/2 inch on each end and ironed that too...

Since this one is so wide - I folded some little pleats into each end...

I inserted the elastic and sewed them up...

This one turned out super cute too...

It's kinda hard to take a picture of the top of your own head...

I can really see a bunch of grey hairs up there that I don't usually see from the front - hehe - it reminds me of Scout (when he was about 4 or 5 years old) - reaching up and looking at the top of my head (he was still small enough to be carried apparently) - and saying - Ooops Mama you've got paint in your hair - so funny - we laughed and laughed - it wasn't paint - but grey hair...

this is the wider one - it covers a little more grey - haha - maybe I'd better wash the paint out of my hair...

The Wolf Moon

I hope y'all didn't miss the biggest and brightest full moon of 2010 last night...

We were out walking Jack right at twighlight so we didn't get to see it right on the horizon (well, we saw it but didn't get a picture of it) but snapped a few pictures as soon as we got home...

It's lovely and so peaceful looking at the moon...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crocheted Tops/Knit Bottoms


Crocheted Tops...

Knit bottoms...

You may remember this old-patched-many-times pair of slippers...

I crocheted them many years ago and have replaced the bottoms many times - it's funny that the tops never seem to wear out...

...and since I knit a lot faster than I crochet I decided to knit the bottoms this time - picking up the sides of the crochet tops as I went along (no seams that way) - I used 2 strands of (somewhat coordinating) yarn from my stash - I didn't have any pale blue and it doesn't really matter to me that they don't match - they're warm and hole-free and ready for another few months of wear...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

P.S. The Puzzle is finished...


Yep - we finished all that sky - mostly just finding a piece here and there as we walked past it - but some concentrated effort especially during meal prep time...

Swap Partners


My super sweet blogging buddy Maureen and I have had another little swap...

When I mentioned that I used to teach French - Maureen said that she was studying French and asked if I'd like to swap a couple of French books - I sent her an old college copy of Le Petit Prince (one of my favorite books of all time) and she sent me Annie Ernaux: La Place

...and being the super swap partner that she is - she also included a wonderful little light switch cover - and thereby she's given me a theme for my laundry room walls (currently unfinished) - I think I'll just paint the walls white and paste cutouts from old patterns on them with wallpaper paste - what do you think of that?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Milk Jug...

Scout and I were perusing our favorite Antique Store - on the porch of which there is an assortment of 'unsellable junque'...

...in amongst these oddments - I spied an old half gallon milk jug - full of - well crud...

...I picked it up by it's handle and carried it inside - and asked the owner 'how much' - she smiled and said that she thought everything outside was 'free' - to anyone who would take it...

..she also said that she remembered milk being delivered in those bottles - they had a waxed paper 'cap' that popped down into the lip of the bottle...

...so we took it home and scrubbed and scrubbed and sterilized and sterilized and finally thought it was clean enough to hold our homemade soy milk (my soy milk maker makes 6 cups at a time and so I always had to have two milk bottles in the fridge)...


...then there was the problem of a lid - I got out all of my different jar lids - and Tupperware lids and couldn't find a good match - I took lids off of spice jars and pickle jars and salad dressings - nothing quite fit...

...finally I pulled a sleeve of those red plastic drink cups out of the cupboard - leftover from Scout's red-white & blue birthday party - cut one off and - VoilĂ  - a perfect fit...

...I took it down to the laundry room and stretched a piece of aluminum foil over my iron and melted a little 'rolled edge' on it - and it's so perfect - it even matches the super duper red handle...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Storm Days

Scout didn't have school yesterday because of the 'storm' (aka Blizzard)...

...so we got out one of his Christmas presents - folded up the table cloth and got to work...

...a puzzle from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park...

...I absolutely love working puzzles - especially together...

...This is the progress so far - it looks like it'll be a 2 day puzzle - the sky always takes the longest - I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorites...

What do you do with your kids on snow days? Do you like working puzzles?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The North Carolina/Dakota Snow

In North Carolina the snow is always wet and heavy and in North Dakota the snow is almost always this light fluffy stuff - hence the saying up here of 'pushing snow' - and down south of 'shoveling snow'...

Over the weekend the temperatures rose to the freezing mark and we had a very wet heavy snow - about a foot of it...

...it was so pretty and I love the 'quiet' of a heavy snow - no one is about (well, early on anyway)...

...when Scout, Jack and I first went out in the morning to tramp through the virgin snow there was practically no sound - the wind was calm - just the tinkle of Jack's tags as he bounded through the deep snow...

...it was the kind of snow that clung to everything...

...so pretty...

...then the shoveling began and you could hear the scrape of metal blade on concrete - there was no pushing this time - and it was really hard work - so we all took turns...

...after the hard work shoveling - it was time for some play shoveling...

...Scout loves tunneling - he always reminds me that he knows what to do in the event of a 'cave-in' - YIKES - wilderness survival training has it's benefits...

...Next it was time to build the world's largest snowman...

...Man - that's a big HEAVY ball of snow - just stop where you can't push any further and that's where he'll stand...

...His belly section required a ramp - I just love the little engineer in my boy...

...repurposing the ramp as stabilization to the midsection...

...his big ole head seemed easy to lift after the other two sections...

...adding a face of character - and an organic carrot nose...

...Meet Bob!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vegan Angel Food Cake


I invited a friend over for tea - who happens to be dieting with Weight Watchers and told me she could only have Angel Food Cake...

...I happen to have an Angel Food Cake pan that I've never used - and I've certainly never made an Angel Food cake before...

...A quick search of the web sort of informed me that no other vegans have either - haha - it's something about the main ingredient being 12 (YIKES) egg whites...

...but I am a fearless baker and although my efforts did not quite 'rise to the occasion' (hehe) they were certainly sweet and edible and according to my friend - 'had the right flavour' if not quite the right texture...

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sugar - I used organic beet sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted with 1 teaspoon of baking powder (the original recipe did not have baking powder - but I figured I needed a little more lift)
12 teaspoons of EnerG Egg Replacer
2 teaspoons Agar powder
2 Tablespoons flax seed goo - just boil a Tablespoon of ground flax seed in about 1/2 cup of water and then strain the slimy stuff through a fine strainer.
20 Tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Process sugar in food processor for a couple of minutes. Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour.

Keep the remaining sugar to put in the 'egg' mixture later.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to mix EnerG, water, agar powder, flax goo, vanilla, and cream of tartar. After a couple of minutes, switch to a hand mixer.

Slowly sift in the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed.

Once you have achieved some sort of soft peaks, sift a Tablespoon or so of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Fold in gently with a spatula. Continue adding flour by tablespoonful until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. Mine came cleanly right out of the pan.


First - process the sugar until pretty fine...

Mix your EnerG egg replacer, Agar powder, and flax goo

That flax goo is really slippery slimy stuff - just like egg whites...

This is what it will look like before you start whisking...

Add in about 1/2 the fine sugar...

sift the rest of the sugar with the flour and salt...

...and sift again...

Start whisking...

After a couple of minutes switch to a hand mixer with a whisk attachment...

Whisk/beat until soft peaks form...
video

Then sprinkle a Tablespoon or so of the flour/sugar/salt mixture on top of the fluffy 'egg' mixture

Carefully fold in from the sides and bottom - the way Julia would do it...

Do that again and again - it's the most time consuming part...

Sprinkle and fold

- sprinkle and fold...

Then spoon carefully into the ungreased tube pan - you don't want to deflate your lofty batter...

Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes without opening the door - then check for doneness - invert on a cake rack to cool - the original directions said to invert and leave the pan for one hour - but my somewhat shorter cake slipped right out without using a knife to pry loose the sides...

I thought the cake looked perfect and certainly had a nice crispy spongey appearance. It tasted nice - I guess it's the cream of tartar flavour that I'm not used to in a cake (I don't really even remember ever eating Angel Food Cake) - but it was nice and spongey and a little bit chewy - just not quite lofty enough - oh well I'll try again for sure.