Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stewed Cherries, Puff Pastry and Ice-Cream

We made this for desert tonight and I had to share the process with you. It took minutes to prepare and was one of the most delicious deserts ever!

Puff Pastry Cinnamon Sticks:

President's Choice frozen puff pastry sheets
parchment paper

I rolled out the thawed puff pastry sheets and brushed them with butter. I sprinkled them liberally with a mix of one cup of sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. I flipped over the sheets and repeated the process. I used a pizza cutter to cut four inch by 3/4 inch strips and twisted them. I laid each strip in rows on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and baked them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. You can store any extras in an air tight container.

While the sticks were baking I made the cherries.

Spiced Rum Stewed Cherries:

3 cups of pitted fresh cherries
1/2 cup of spiced rum
1/2 cup of sugar

Put pitted cherries into a saucepan and add rum and sugar. Heat over medium heat until heated through and liquid thickens. Add more rum if needed.


Put four or five cinnamon sticks into a bowl and scoop one scoop of Neapolitan ice-cream in there. Scoop over the warm cherries and enjoy!

Our Version of Scotched Eggs

I love Scotched Eggs. We used to make them all the time when the girls were little and we called them Dinosaur eggs. It was one of my favorite dinners to make because they would help and get so excited.

I wonder if they remember stuff like this. Cooking with the girls when they were young are some of my fondest memories. I know they are both spectacular cooks today and I hope it has something to do with our kitchen play time when they were younger.

Well here goes. 
I made up a batch of our basic meatloaf mix. I flattened about 3/4 of a cup in my palm and covered it with a layer of grated old cheddar cheese.

I plunked a very soft boiled egg that had been carefully peeled in the middle of the meaty cheese sheet and gently wrapped the egg up being careful not to squeeze too hard and pop the egg yolk. It was barely a four minute egg and we lost a couple in the peeling. It's worth the trouble so the eggs don't overcook in the baking process.

After the eggs were sealed up I rolled them in some seasoned bread crumbs mixed with crumbled crisp bacon. I baked them at 375 until done. about twenty minutes I think.

We served them with Brussels sprouts and carrots and mashed potato with dark gravy. It's starting to feel a bit like fall out there this weekend. We didn't mind having the oven on at all. In fact it made it a little bit cozier in the house. I love fall and it's warm rich food. Does your family have any traditional fall favorites? I'd love to hear about them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another Watercolour Girl

I've been enjoying my STAEDTLER karat aquarell watercolour pencils a bunch this week. I'm working on sculpting people and it always helps to do a few warm up sketches before I get into each sculpting session.

I love the ease of use and portability of a watercolour pencil and these ones are packed with pigment and have a great soft consistent core. 

I also did this banner as a doodle. I'm going to use it in some of my blog decor. I'll post a tutorial on how to load words right on there with picmonkey. So stay tuned.
Hope you're having a spectacular week!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Playing with Watercolour Pencils

I've been relaxing by playing with my STAEDTLER Karat Aquarell watercolour pencils and my STAEDTLER pigment liner. I've had some folks ask how I use my watercolour pencils and thought I would share for those who are interested.

For this bow, I sketched out the basic shape and coloured it in with two blue watercolour pencils, one medium and the other dark. I left the highlighted areas without any colour so they would show the white watercolour paper. Then I took a damp soft round sable brush and blended the colours together.

I sketched a wee girlie too.

Coloured her in the same way.

Blended the colours again with my soft round damp brush.

I added some skin tones and shading.

I let it dry completely.

and outlined the details with my STAEDTLER pigment liner 0.5.

Hope you give it a try too.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peachy Swiss Dot Tunic Dress with Fimo Buttons

I used translucent Fimo effect to seal the colour in and make it permanent.
I found this dotty Swiss to go with them and it reminded me of being a little girl. I made another house dress. 

I really do like making and wearing this Simplicity 3750. I always make it much longer than the pattern so I can wear it as a dress. I also usually add pockets.

I gathered the center of each pocket instead of adding elastic like I've done in the past. This gave me the perfect place to add some decorative buttons. I think I'm going to be making more buttons. I really like the idea of using the extra patterned clay leftover from projects to cut some buttons to put away for future sewing.  

I added a couple buttons to the corners of the square neckline too.

Here's a shot of the back. I like the waist tie very much. I wore this to my bestie's for dinner and after over indulging in some delicious home made potato chips and burgers all I had to do was loosen the bow and there was loads of room for some chick pea choco chip cookies. So delicious! I'll have to steal her recipe to share with you.

I also made some little rosettes or yo yos to add to my shoes. I traced two circles onto the fabric using a drinking glass and cut around them. Then I gathered the edges of the circles with a double strand of thread.

I pulled the threads and flattened the little pouch to make a pinwheel or poof.

Then I sewed one to the outside edge of each shoe with a fimo button in the center.


Too matchy?
I can't help it...... There really is no stopping me once I get started.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tattoo Shoes

I really am having fun with the shoe decorating this month.
You should go and check out the fun at STAEDTLER's Facebook page and see the other designers creations as they come in. It's been a hoot!

I was inspired to make these tattoo shoes because I happened to browse through Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching book. She has included hundreds of very cool retro transfers. Her blog's pretty sweet too! I modeled my birds from hers and sketched them onto the blank untreated canvas runner with my STAEDTLER pencil.

Then I filled in the shapes with some STAEDTLER Marsgraphic 3000 double ended layout markers.

Sprayed the shoes completely, let them dry and sprayed them again with Scotch Gard fabric protector spray. I let the second coat dry for a couple of hours before the next step.

Last I sat down with my black STAEDTLER fine tip Lumocolor marker and outlined everything. Then I decided to stipple some shading in there too. 

I really really hope you all try altering a pair of shoes for yourselves.
So much fun!!!
Hope you share what happens, we'd LOVE to see!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fun and Easy Beach Bracelet for Summer Break

This is a fast and easy project for bored summer vacationers. They make a pretty thank you gifts too. 

Products I used to make this project:

STAEDTLER products:

Tools and other supplies:
1 cm thick satin ribbon in colour of your choice
Large toothpick (I used a drink umbrella because I had one)
Spray bottle filled with water
Soft, small round paintbrush
Parchment paper

Gather all the supplies and cover your work surface with a sheet of parchment paper. Start with clean hands when working with light clay. Knead the clay and roll it into a 1 cm thick worm.

Lightly mist the mold with water. This will act as a release agent and help the molded pieces pop out without deforming them. Pull off 1 cm sections of the clay worm and push them into the mold. If there is too much clay sticking out the top just pinch some clay off, squish the clay it back up and remold the piece. Place the toothpick onto the back of the molded piece and cover it with a tiny disc of clay. Blend the edges of the clay covering the toothpick into the back of the molded piece. Tiny fingers are really good at this step!

Un-mold the pieces by gently bending the mold until the pieces pop out. Fix any squished bits and bake the pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet in a preheated 230 degree oven for 20 minutes.

After the pieces have cooled, draw on a clean piece of paper with the colours of chalk you would like to paint with. Dip a soft round paintbrush into the varnish and pick up some of the chalk dust. Use the colour on the brush to paint the pieces.

Let the pieces dry.

String the shapes onto a ribbon and tie with a bow onto a wrist or ankle. Because we used varnish to apply the colour, no topcoat is needed and the colour will be water safe. 

Happy Summer!!!