Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Oh my...

Oh my, this isn't good.  It is only January and I am tired of snow, wind, and cold.  My thoughts are turned towards gardening, hiking, and outdoor projects.  I am afraid I have a good three months before any of that is possible.   Until then, I have to occupy my time with indoor projects such as, baking, sewing, and just plain piddling around.  

Here are a few of my projects.  Please note that all three has something green.  That shows where my thoughts are. 
This was a fun project I was curious to try.  Especially when I saw the Christmas Tree molds on sale.  I like how they turned out.  I don't know that they are the greatest thing ever, but worth the effort. 

Shower Jelly
2 pkgs of unflavored gelatin
3/4 c. boiling
1/2 c. shampoo or castile soap
2 drops of body safe coloring
1 t. salt
30 drops of essential oil (I didn't add any essential oils)
Put molds on a cookie sheet, so their are easier to move. Pour the packets of gelatin into boiling water.  Stir completely using a wire wisk until gelatin is dissolved.  Add shampoo and the essential oil if you are using it.  Stir in salt and food coloring.  Pour into desired molds.  Place in refrigerator.  Keep in a cool dry place 
 I got the idea from: http://www.easy-home-made.com/shower-jelly.html
 My next project had to do with 10 apples I had leftover from Bountiful Baskets.  I'm getting another basket on Saturday and figured I'd better use up what I had.  I pulled out the awesome apple peeler my parents got me from Lehman's and had the apples peeled and sliced in no time.  I then poked around for an apple crisp and apple muffin recipe that spoke to me.  I got the apple crisp recipe from the good old 4-H cookbook.  I couldn't find an apple muffin recipe that looked good, so I merged several.  I am extremely happy with the results.  

Apple Spice Muffins
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powdeer
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
4 T. ground flax seed
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 c. chopped apple
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs

1/4 t. cinnamon
1 T. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. butter

Directions:  Preheat your oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and sift.  Then add eggs, maple syrup, melted butter, chopped apples, and don't forget the vanilla.  Mix well.  Bake for 5 minutes and add crumb topping.  Then bake another 25 minutes.  Most of this recipe (with a few Bonnie adjustments) came from: 

This sewing project was supposed to be done this Christmas, but that didn't happen.  I'm going to post it in hopes of completing it by next Christmas.  Sorry for the poor quality of the photo.  It looked like a good picture on the camera.  I liked this project, because it was a sew as you go.  I hate measuring and cutting, and this was pretty liberal with the measuring.  

Here is the pattern for the tree:  http://mythreesonsknit.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-11-10T05:37:00-06:00&max-results=20&start=14&by-date=false  
A good pattern for the wonky star:  http://thesillyboodilly.blogspot.com/2009/02/wonky-star-tutorial.html

We have had some amazing sunrises and sunsets this winter.  Thank goodness, I have something to color my landscape of winter white.   The winds have been horrendous and I've only been able to sit on the porch once since January.   I have my vegetable garden planned, along with several garden additions.  While I wait to put my plans into motion I will keep busy with projects.  I hope everyone else is staying warm and productive.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014


As the sun rises on a new year, I have been keeping busy.  I have had lots of little projects going here and there.   There hasn't been much around to take photos of lately.  A person can only look at white landscapes for so long.  I was almost late for work when I started taking photos of this sunrise.  It was a beauty.  The old saying 'red sky in the morn sailor's be warned' holds true.  We had a bit of a snowstorm that evening. 

I saw this project on Pinterest and didn't think much of it, until I was taking down my Christmas Card display and realized red and green clothespins would look pretty cool.  I used two jelly jars and put 3 Tablespoons of vinegar, 20 drops of red food coloring in one, and green in the other.  I then stuffed the jars with clothes pins, filled them with water, put a lid on, and shook them vigorously until the food coloring was dissolved.   I let them sit overnight and this was the result.  The green wasn't as vibrant as I hoped, but you can still tell they are green.   I got the idea from:  http://www.surfinthroughsecond.com/2013/07/monday-made-it_15.html

This is a project in the works.  It is a perfect piece of slate with two holes punched in it.  My husband thought I would be able to do something with it.  Any ideas?  I am excited with the possibilities. 
Winter is meant for baking and I made my favorite blueberry muffins.  I got the recipe from my plethora of Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks.  I couldn't resist taking a photo of them in my perfect pie plate.  My sister is a pretty good gift giver.  The recipe for the muffins is in one of my earlier posts.  http://birdsbeesberriesblooms.blogspot.com/2011/05/blueberry-sunrise.html

I am still making wine.  I make a new batch every month.  I bottled some Hard Apple Cider and some Sassy Saskatoon.  I've been making wine for four years now.  That little $35 kit was worth the money.  

I was very happy to get cucumbers in my Bountiful Basket. This summer I became addicted to adding lemon cucumbers to my water.  I'm back in business.  I can't say enough what a fresh flavor the cucumbers add to ordinary water.  
The beeswax our beekeeper gave me has been fun to work with.  I made these easy lotion bars. I can't say where I got the recipe for sure.  I looked at several different sites.  Basically it is 1 cup of coconut oil, 4 T. beeswax, 2 T. sweet almond oil, and 15 drops of lavender essential oil.  I mixed it in a double broiler and poured into tinfoil cupcake liners. I recommended using them before bed.  They are a little oily when applied, but it soaks in quickly. 

My next project was making a lavender salt scrub.  I mixed 3/4 c. Epsom salt, 1/4 c. sea salt, and lavender that had soaked in 1/4 c. olive oil. Again it was a combination of several recipes.  I think the salt scrub is ok, but I like the lemon sugar scrub better.  I think I will use the rest as a bath soak.

That is about it.  A little dabbling here and a little dabbling there.  Since I am allergic to of the lotions sold in stores, I am very happy to make my own stuff.  I have resolved to try Epsom salts and coconut oil in more of my projects.   Well, that is all I have been up to lately.  If anyone has any ideas for the slate or other small projects I'm all ears.  Kind of like this fella below.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A winter's day...

I have had a cold for what seems like forever, since Christmas anyway.   A word of wisdom; do not try to put away Christmas lights with a cold.  I have made note of this little adventure and it should be interesting when I pull them out next year. 

I would also like for somebody to explain to me how we have 3 different types of lights with three or four strands per light group.  Every group manages to have one strand that bites the dust. Another bit of advice;  when you have a cold don't try to determine which light caused the demise of your strand.  I'll just say things got ugly.  

Anyway, I did manage to get out between and during snowfalls to get a few winter photos.  I hope you enjoy.

Here is hoping everyone has a healthier start to the new year.