Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Impromptu Breakfast

The other day, our grown girls, were going to come over for Breakfast...I had an idea.
Instead of just offering coffee, why not Breakfast?
So, I got up early and while Hubby made coffee, I cooked so bacon and then stirred up a coffee-cake.
Now, both one daughter and I are on a gluten-free diet, and she can't have eggs....
So, I pulled out my Pamela's baking mix ( I buy it from Amazon 4 lb bag, cannot live without it. I can use it for everything that requires flour!) and stirred up a coffee-cake....
The recipe on the back of the package is Sour Cream Coffee Cake, but since we are also dairy free, I used coconut milk, and still worked beautifully!

Cake batter:
2 cups of Baking & Pancake Mix     2/3 cup butter (I used Earth Balance cinnamon)
1 cup sugar                         2 eggs (I used Egg Replacer)
1tsp vanilla                         1 cup sour cream (I used coconut milk)

Filling:
1 cup walnut pieces or pecans (I didn't use any)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup currants soaked in hot water then drained

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 TBSP water
3/4 tsp vanilla
Mix until creamy

Preheat the oven to 350, Mix together the filling and set aside.
Mix cake batter, first dry ingredients, then add liquid, stir until creamy.
grease a cake pan and then spoon 1/2 the batter into pan.
Then add the filling....and then the rest of the batter.
Bake until a knife comes out clean, about 45 mins.
When cool, remove from pan and pour on the glaze...

So, it was a hit! Funny, the filling sank to the bottom, which became the top when turned out. But it was fantastic! Served with bacon and coffee.....yummmm
 Here is the coffee cake....it was very yummy....and I recommend having parchment rounds or doilies always at hand....
I used my new bottle drier for the mugs so the girls could help themselves...
It was a wonderful morning....
Have a warm and wonderful day!
Nancy

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Finishing Up

Well, the quilt I started what seems like eons ago, I finally finished today! It goes to a baby shower for my daughter's friend in May....
It turned out ok...I see a few little things....but overall I am pleased...and guess what? I didn't have to buy a single piece of fabric! So excited about that! I've been really working on not trying to buy more....


I think their little boy will like it...what do you think??
I dutifully labeled it too on the back, but just in case she is looking, I can't show you...but what you probably can't see is the overall "hearts and vines" pattern I free handed on quilting it....I was rather pleased with myself actually...guiding the machine to make hearts and vines all over and then on the border too was pretty good....
Good day, planted and replanted some seedlings....
Helped Hubby fix a couple of gates that needed mending...
Finished this quilt....
Mended an old, old, old sheet that I love...a homspun linen "sheet" that is showing its wear as I use it to cover the bed from the dogs...I went with patching and lots of stitching deciding it was ok to show patches and stitches...they add patina...
Well, now we are off to walk the dogs...
Hope your day was good...
Nancy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Copper Find

I love copper....but not the gleaming prices in the stores....
I have for years been on the lookout for good copper, that can be used, for a good price. So, yesterday, my friend and I were at Goodwill, you know, "treasure hunting" when I spied one...a copper pot with a lid. I lifted the tape holding the lid on expecting to find the inside totally trashed, which is the usual find...but, much to my surprise it didn't look used at all!

Pretty sweet I'd say....
It is a Revere Ware pot! Really fun find....
So, the next challenge was to find copper polish...I didn't have any. So, I looked up on Google what to use....
Know what? They recommend lemon and salt!
Really? Not only cheap but I have it all here!
So, I went out and pulled a lemon off the bush and used some salt...and here is what I got...


Yeah, she still has some old age spots...which I think with time and use might diminish...but the inside is clean and ready to go (its stainless) so now I have my first copper pot, complete with lid! And oh yeah, I will remember she needs pot holders when using....right??
Anyway, time to clean the stove....gonna use lemon and salt there too....
Nancy

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Finished Blackboard Message Center...

Well, some of you have asked so here it is!
But first let's recap, in case you missed it....
Here is what I had....
I had an old, beat up tarnished cheap silver plate tray.....which I of course then painted. Don't panic, it wasn't heirloom...and I got it just for this purpose at the Salvation Army for $1.50....
It then became this....
While the paint dried, I put up a Command Hook to hang it on....

Now, here is a story....
I followed the directions, exactly, and while we were watching TV, there was a huge CRASH.
Well, even though I followed the directions, Exactly, the whole thing had fallen. Feeling deflated I was to sum it up frustrated. This wall is on the oven side. The finish is "Thermo-foil" and therefore almost impossible to put a nail into.....perfect for a Command Hook.
So, yesterday, I tried again, with a bigger hook, that takes 5lbs....
Now, certainly, the tray doesn't weigh 5 lbs....however, perhaps the hanging with gravity, maybe something has happened???
Well, I followed the directions all over again...EXACTLY.
I waited 2 hours before hanging....(they recommend 1 hour)
And timidly, I hung it.
TA DA!!
It stays!
I actually expected it to fall during the night....
But it is still there!

I might just have a message that stays forever here...it's kinda cute, and now it isn't a blank wall....
Have a great day...
Nancy

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Craft and an "Oh No!"

Well, Hubby vacuumed the whole house while I did laundry and other little things.
Afterwards, he went to do some work in his office and I got busy with a little crafting....
 This is a silver plated fairly beat up tray, that someone had punched ones in....I bought it at the Salvation Army for about $1.50, specifically to paint and turn it into a chalk board....
Here you can see, I have started painting it.

After two coats of French Linen, I then found our old Chalkboard Paint for the center....
When it's dry, I will hang it with some ribbon and we will have a little message board!!
But, seriously, let's talk about the "Oh NO!"....we all have them....
While I was painting I heard Hubby yelling...."Belle threw up!" and then she did it again! On the rug, in the bedroom. Now, I don't like to talk about gross stuff, however, we all get things like this....
What to do when the dog barfs (this is a Big Dog and it was a lot.....) on the rug (glad it wasn't the new floor....)
Well, we lifted the bed off the rug, and both of us pulled it outside (gagging I might add) and Hubby washed it off with the hose and then we poured Folex on and hosed more....
Then, we draped it over the two boxes out front to drip a bit....
Of course, then the clouds moved in and it was going to rain, so we were worried about what to do now....
Then, Hubby had a great idea which may well save the rug and get it back into service...he got the shop vac out (it is Wet/Dry) and we moved it into the garage to lie flat and vacuumed it....almost like a carpet service! It pulled a huge amount of water out of the rug!

So, the "oh no" is a lesson in emergency service for our rugs...and floor if needed....
Now, that was gross, but I wanted to share with you because I thought it might come in handy for others out there....things happen...
Hope you had a great weekend....
Nancy

Friday, February 20, 2015

Adventures in bottle cutting, sanding and candle-making

Let's start with the obvious. Saving and washing wine bottles, glass soda bottles etc...they need to be clean and dry...
My new bottle dryer came from online, and it actually is a smaller footprint than the big one I have...and it works!
Then the next obvious, for bottle cutting and sanding, you MUST have gloves, safety glasses and I find a container to catch all the dust and bits and pieces of glass the sandpaper takes off, a real plus!
 These are nitrile gardening gloves from Ace, and they work very nicely for this...a good secure grip and protection from glass...
 I actually wear my regular readers and the safety glasses....stuff can fly and safety glass keep it away from your eyes....sanding anything this is a good idea....
 I ordered bottle cutting sand papers that come in 5 different grits...you are supposed to use all of them...let me tell you now...this is not a quick job and care must be used doing this...afterall, this is glass we are sanding....
Hubby took a picture of me....yes, I am sitting at the dining table with that plastic container that catches almost all the grit and glass while doing this....

Here are the five glass "cups" I created by cutting the bottles, bottoms get made into candles and the tops become "hurricanes".....
I then melted soy wax that comes all flaked and easy to melt....for my first time melting wax I thought this the easy way to go....I did buy a pourer container that you melt it in and then pour....it really did make pouring easier and was worth the extra $$ from Michael's. (It you find one at a thrift store...grab it...it would be much cheaper.)
Then, I poured to fill.....after setting up the wicks...
 This is the container I got set inside a bigger pot of water to melt...sort of a double boiler...much safer way to go....
This shows the wick and the holder I got...and the newly poured wax....
Now, I understand why people recommend the wax adhesive that I didn't buy....with the bottom of a wine bottle, it is raised like a hill inside...that adhesive would help hold the wick in place while the wax dries....oh, well, it's the first time for me and there were no directions at the store or on the box or where you get supplies...so take it from me, get the wax adhesives to hold the bottom of the wick in this type of candle....flat bottoms aren't such a big deal......
and here they are 1 hour later.....


When they are fully dry I will trim the wicks...and voila! Candles!
Hope you try it out....
Nancy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Baby Quilt

I cannot believe where the time has gone.
It seems somehow my weeks have vanished in whirl of activity....not entirely bad, just busy....but somehow never quite the way I had planned it. Ever have times like that? Where you plan your day and it gets waylaid? Yeah....like that.  But all in all a good thing, afterall, I could be alone, sick or forgotten...right?
Well, one day this last week, I planned to finish the baby quilt that I had started and I did! Well, I still have binding to do, but that shouldn't take too long....
Anyway, if you remember, I started it well, before Christmas I believe and then it sat while I figured what to do with what I had.

This is what I showed you before Christmas.....and what I had after I stitched it together was a small, small quilt top with well no pizazz.
Then, the other day I had the inspiration I wanted. The quilt is for my daughter's friend who is expecting a boy in June...she has a couple of dogs and a cat. So, why not an applique cats and dogs?? Ah ha!
So, those little half squares became this...


As you can see I appliqued the cat and dog squares on a 6" square, so I made a three stripe border that meets the squares...and then....I used a hearts and vines all over free motion quilting pattern, all done by machine, but by my own hand guiding....they are irregular but it turned out pretty adorable...



Here is the backing so you can see the all over pattern.
It is now 38" x 40", so it is a decent size for little babies.....
Now, I will do binding...which will be done in the same fabric as the backing....
Have a great day...
Nancy