Furry Elf ~ DPP

elf
This is actually a DPP 2009 shot but I love it so much I’m reposting it for 2010!

December Photo Project 2010

Well the December Photo Project is almost here!  I had a great time doing it last year and have decided to give it another go. Check it out!

December Photo Project

Aussie Birthday!

Had a blast doing this surfing kangaroo for Kira! 
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Iced in vanilla buttercream.  All the decorations were made out of fondant.  Water is made with piping gel and a bit of royal blue paste colour.  The rocks you see are chocolate and available at the Bulk Barn here in Canada.  I used edible food colouring markers to make the designs on the surf boards and the boomerang. Everything you see is edible.
Got a question about how I did something on a cake…. just ask!  I would be happy to spread the love.

Celebrating Fall

In every family I think there is one time of year where you get lots of celebrations all packed together into a month or two.  For me it’s in and around November.  You can’t swing a cat without hitting a birthday or an anniversary.
As I type this my two nephews are on there way here and I’m prepared… with battling lightsabers.  One blue, one yellow.  I posted about this cake a short time ago.  I LOVE how easy it is to make.
Luke and Ben (6)
My friend Kim had me make a skate park cake for her son’s birthday, and a boxing cake for her dad’s!
The cupcakes were all DC and Element… his favourite teams.
Skatepark cake
Boxing cake:
Boxing cake 1Boxing cake 3
Next up… a surfing kangaroo and something pretty for a good friend!

Twisted Log Cabin

IMG_0020Twisted Log Cabin darkI have a new favourite quilt pattern.  It’s called the Twisted Log Cabin and I just love how it comes together and how it looks when it’s done.  I have completed two throw quilts  (16 blocks done 4x4), both with very different fabric choices.  I love them both, just for different reasons.  One is dark browns with red.  It’s done in the classic log cabin where one side of the block is darks and the other lights.  Both quilts had yellow stars separating the blocks.  The second quilt is done “scrappy”  with no rhyme or reason  to colour choices or sides and is a lot lighter in colour. 
Twisted Log Cabin light _MG_0029
I think my next project will be a table runner using these blocks.
Do you have a favourite quilt pattern?  I would love to hear what it is…

May the Force be with you…

My son just celebrated a birthday and when asked what kind of cake he wanted he didn’t come up with an answer until the night before the big event.  His answer was that he wanted a Star Wars cake…. no other details were given. 
I decided to make a light-sabre.  The reason I’m sharing this with you is that is was so easy it was scary, it looked pretty cool, and you can adapt the idea.  Here’s a picture:_MG_0009
I simply made a 9x14 sized cake, cut it into long strips, pieced it together on a big tray and iced it.  What made the kids love it is the addition of glow sticks along the sides.  I already have an order for another one in November.  (I’m not sure why it looks so crooked in the picture?!?!)
If a light-sabre is not something your birthday person would be into, you could transfer the same idea to a princess wand, fairy wand, change the shape of the cake and you could do a lava lamp, a glowing retro diner clock, any neon sign you want to reproduce in sugar….. you get the idea! 
Any other suggestions I’ve missed?

Apple Butter

I have an Amish cookbook that has the instructions for making apple butter.  One recipe requires 40 bushels of apples, begins at 5:30am and is ready to can at 8pm.  Mother of McIntosh!  Anyway, I found this great recipe online for apple butter that you make in your slow cooker.  I’m sure some of you already know this method but it was a revelation to me!  So I dumped a load of my fresh, unsweetened apple sauce into the slow cooker, left it for 9 hours, and voila!  Apple butter!  We've gone through a few jars in the past week.  If you’ve never tried this method I would highly recommend it!  I have another batch on as I type and it’s slowly bubbling away giving off amazing aroma of cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.

_MG_0119I could type out the instructions, but why reinvent the wheel?  I found this marvel of ingenuity at the PickYourOwn.org website.  There is even a PDF version you can print off with pictures and everything!

Canning Circus!

My favourite time of year is autumn.  I love it.  Like most people it’s also the busiest time.  With homeschooling getting back into full swing, apple and pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and a LOT of canning!  So far I’ve canned 1 bushel of McIntosh apples (both sauce and butter).  I’ve never done apple butter before but I’m in love with it.  I only have two more bushels of apples to go (oy!).  Any other MUST try ideas for canning apples??  I’m all ears!!!!
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Sugar Suzuki

Some cakes you make are pretty boring, you’re just giving the client what they want!  Then there are those cakes you get to do as you wish, what I like to call the “free reign” cakes!  This past weekend I delivered just such a cake.  My sweet friend Wendy turned 40 recently and had her party on Saturday night.  We were already booked elsewhere so we missed the shindig, but I got to go nuts with some sugar!
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Fire pit and Stringer Pond

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Wendy's Apple Orchard

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The icing is butter cream with meringue powder, all the decorations are made of fondant with gum-tex, except the pretzel logs in the fire pit and the chocolate rocks for the pathway. The pond is piping gel tinted blue.

Place Butt Here

My kids are not the most gentle creatures when entering and exiting a vehicle.  So it came as no surprise to find my thin cotton seat covers ripped to shreds.  It was just a matter of time.  So when I started looking around for replacements I knew I had to go much more heavy duty.  Do you know how much those things cost to buy??  I mean REALLY.  So I was going over some old posts here on the ol’ blog and fond memories stirred when reading THIS ONE.  So I put the same idea to use and came up with these ……..
September 2010 009

Overall I would rate these as a pretty easy project.  I had to run out a few times to make sure they fit and pin them for adjustments.  My old seat covers only covered the back and not the butt, so these go that extra mile by adding a flap of material to cover the seat as well.  The great thing about using jean is I just cut around objects like the seat belt hardware and didn’t bother to finish the seams. I didn’t attach the two seat covers together but I might do this at a later date to make sure they don’t shift around. I did a bit of a his & hers theme by appliquéing some elements on each one.  I got some flowers, hearts and patches.  HE got a big sun, waves, and a barefoot print.
September 2010 008 September 2010 006 September 2010 003

Hope you had fun Matey!

Well, I hope you all enjoyed International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sunday!  We had a blast, we went to church all dressed up, then joined a few other families to build cardboard boats and "sail" them to the park!  Can't wait until next year.

Pirates love coffee

I would be negligent if I didn’t supply a means for everyone to get their morning cuppa joe!

Large Coffee Double-Double = Sling me a jorum of java, me hearty. Twice the tooth rot and double the butter broth!

Coffee with sugar and no cream = Make a java sweet as love and dark as the night!

Black Coffee = Brew mine pure n’ shimerin like obsidian.

Finally, not to overlook our tea drinkers out there… you know who you are:
I would like a large cup of tea = I’ll be needin’ to get meself around a mutchkin o’ scandal broth!
DRINK UP!

Greeting fellow Pirates

You can meet up with other Fans of International Talk Like a Pirate Day… they have a Facebook page, like who doesn’t these days.  It’s HERE!

So you don’t sound like a dimwit, here are a few greeting to use depending on the circumstances:

Hello Friends = Ahoy, mateys!

The weather this morning is excellent, my good colleagues! = ‘Tis a proud mornin’ me hearties!

I beg your pardon? = Anan?

Whose step is that I hear behind me? = Was that yer, beetle-crushing tread, dimsel wit?

If you are meeting up with someone who has a wooden leg, here are a few terms of endearment:
Plank Shank,  Spruce Boot,  Lumber Limb,  Pine Foot,  Splinter Toe.

August Book ~ The Poisonwood Bible

Oooops!  I thought I had posted my August book, my bad!  A Great Book!

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
It's amazing to see all the girls from the same family go in such different directions.  Makes me want to visit the former Congo.  Also makes me so mad that people on the other side of the ocean can have such a huge part of destroying a culture so far away.  Read it.  You'll love it.  Here is the summary, because they do it better than I ever could:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Poisonwood_Bible
Thanks so much to Deb for lending it to me!

Countdown to AARRGGGG!!

Well, it’s that time of year again… the day you’ve been waiting for… International Speak Like A Pirate Day.  This blessed event falls on September 19th every year! Check out the official site by hitting the picture below:
In order to get all my friends prepared for this important day on our calendar I thought I might do a few posts of popular terms so you don’t get caught without the right vocabulary on ISLAPD!
FIRST things FIRST.  You must pirate-ize  your name.  Here are a few suggestions.
Pick a work from the first list.  Insert your name.  Add a phrase from the second list.  Eg.  Barnacle Steph the Forgetful
LIST ONE:
BLACK,  GUNPOWDER,  NAUGHTY, SCURVY, BIG, CANNONBALL, GASSY, BARNACLE, DIAMOND,  SWORDFISH, PINK,  RUSTY,  ANCHORHEAD, SPLINTER,  MATEY,  MISSY,  SWASHBUCKLER, SMART,  SHAKEY,  MAIDEN,  JOLLY…..

LIST TWO:
the Weak, the Filthy,  the Smelly,  the Bloodthirsty, the Fancy,  the Forgetful, the Angry,  the Naughty,  the Beautiful,  the Ugly,  the Strong,  the One-Eyed,  the Flatulent,  the Haggard,  the Jolly,  the Fetching,  the Salty…. 

Come up with your own ideas… be creative, a Pirate name is no joking matter!

Curried Cranberry Couscous

couscous

I know what you’re thinking… where has she been?  We had a bit of a laptop meltdown in July, something about not being able to find the operating system.  Apparently this is a bad thing. Enter new laptop finally.  So I’m hoping you will be hearing from me more often now!  Yeah for you.  As a peace offering here is my favourite summer camping salad.  Also good in the fall, winter and oh yeah, spring!

 

1 cup couscous

1 1/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 Tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 orange, juiced

3 Tbsp. olive oil

4 scallions chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1/2 lemon, juiced

3/4 cup walnuts OR almonds, toasted.

Stir couscous, cranberries, curry, salt, and sugar in a heat safe bowl (glass).  Add boiling water and orange juice.  Stir to combine, cover, and let stand for 5 min.

Fluff the couscous with a fork.  Add the olive oil, scallions, parsley, lemon juice, and nuts.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Great warm or cold.

I take this camping every year because it packs up to the beach really well!

Alergies

My girl Ginger has been sporting some new accesories that you might like.  They are the new cool neckware for dogs (at least that's what we're telling her).

She has allergies.  She's ticked. (When she's not drugged up on Benadryl) And she's trying to chew off her own butt.  Thus the protective headgear.

Canoe Bling

Well, my 12 year old Kevlar canoe... my pride and joy, needed a face lift.  The UV had done a number on the finish and it was badly scratched.  So, I did what I always do.  I painted it.




If you've never painted something large... you need to try it.  Even if it's just a huge piece of plywood you find at the back of the garage.  There is something about doing art on a BIG scale that just makes you stand back and say wow.  I can't say it enough... art is not about doing something that fits into a certain box.  It's ALL about putting yourself out there, through paint, pottery, beads, yarn, words, crayons, etc.  It's about having fun and expressing your soul.

Eagle

Whale fin

No Waste shopping at Bulk Barn

I recently viewed a video on Facebook of a supermarket that creates no waste.  All of the containers are reusable and you simply fill, use, ...