Tuesday, January 31, 2012

                           No Bakes and Mix Ins

     There's something about after dinner in the dead of winter in Michigan.  Well not exactly the dead of winter this year.  It's 48 degrees today!  But after dinner in the winter often has me carousing around the cupboards in search of just a tid bit of chocolate.  I hadn't made No Bakes in a while and the kiddos like them so I decided to whip  up a batch, but decided to experiment and added some "Mix Ins".  Hey, why not!  There are Mix Ins for ice cream and cupcakes, so No Bakes full of wonderment sounded...um "wonderment-ful."   I scrounged around the pantry and dug up some marshmallows, tiny baking M & M's, toffee bits, white chocolate chips and coconut.  Imagine the possibilities!  Raisins, dried cherries(double yum), cranberries, nuts, granola, fruit...drool.

 I decided not to actually mix the goodies exactly "in", but I piled them on the top so that there wouldn't be any surprises for my sometimes picky boys.  We think they turned out really yummy so I plan to try another batch with new "Mix Ins".
Here's the recipe I used.  Give it a try and let me know about your favorite Mix Ins.

                                Basic No Bakes

2c. sugar
4 Tbl. cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 c. milk
1c. peanut butter
1 Tbl. vanilla
3c. oatmeal ( added about 1/3 cup more)

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, milk in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling.  Boil for 1 minute.  Stir in peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.  Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper, top with or stir in Mix Ins.  These can set up rather quickly so drop a few then add your goodies, then drop a few more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Photo Fiasco and First Book Review: "Felt, Fabric, and Fiber Jewelry" by Sherri Haab

OK, I'm trying out the new draft option on the dashboard.  I thought I just didn't know what I was doing when I posted for the first time with photos and my photos ended up at the top and my text wasn't quite where I wanted it to be!  So..gotta love the internet...I put the question out there about the photo fiasco and found plenty of tips on how to arrange your photos exactly the way you want them.  Using the new draft button is the one I'm trying out today.  Let's see if it works...

     I never create anything exactly like the projects I see in books and magazines.  Instead, I am so incredibly inspired by other artist's work. I look at their creations and immediately my brain starts thinking "Ooo I could make it this way" or "I have that vintage lace that would look great on this."

My first review is on one of my favorite craft books-EVER.  It's a beauty by Sherri Haab entitled
 Felt, Fabric, and Fiber Jewelry, 20 Beautiful Projects to Bead, Stitch, Knot, and Braid.  Let's check out a few of my favorite Sherri projects.
    Yay! Looks like this is working!
     I am a lover of fibers, felted sweaters, luscious threads, fabric and jewelry.  Beads and chains aren't really my thing but add some fabric and fibers and I'm sold.
     All kinds of flowers are the rage these days-crochet 'em, felt 'em, sew 'em, stitch 'em-they are all appealing to me.  I love the colors, textures and bling-filled centers.  Sherri's book has a number of flowers for you to test.
This little stitched flower is a ring.  Love that!  Be sure to check out the crochet flowers, hooked flowers and felted flowers which appear on the front cover.
     I am also passionately fond of cuff bracelets.  I guess I see them as a blank canvas with endless possibilities.  Make them plain, with lace, beads, sequins, you name it.  They can be dressed up or dressed down and can match whatever outfit you choose for the day.  Sherri has included a number of cuffs in the mix.

 There are necklaces, bracelets, brooches and rings included in Sherri's 125 page book.  Make charms, Yo Yo necklaces and even make some braided jewelry, as well.  There are lovely colored photos of each project.  Check it out.  I think you will love it!

OK, hold your breath.  I'm going to click on "publish" and hope everything is arranged just like it is in draft.  Here goes...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

American Sewing Expo


I attended the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan again this year.
and had a crazy fun time.  There are numerous classes and workshops that you can take, plus there are rows of vendors with all kinds of sewing and crafty goods that beckons you.   After being home with said boy, I felt I finally had the freedom to check out the Expo again.  Crafting and sewing changed quite a bit over those 7 or so years since I was away.  There was not as many "craft" workshops and vendors selling "craft" patterns.  Patterns have become more utilitarian and clothing oriented.  There are more garment sewing classes and fewer classes on how to make stuffed snowmen.  I'm not a garment sewer but more of a crafter so my view  on the Expo has changed a bit. Nevertheless, I still managed to find three make-and-take workshops I couldn't live without and I spent more than a couple of bucks at vendor booths!  It's not just classes and vendors that  suck me in though, it's the free demos on sewing gadgets, all of the sewing machine companies are present and there are pile of fabrics, notions and books begging to be purchased.  It's simply sewers heaven!
   Some of my favorite vendors included those that sold beads, silk flowers, fiber artists and smocking. Check out the zipper flowers that were made by those of us who attended the class.

3232.jpg" width="320" />And, of course, you can't forget the amazing quilts!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Follow my Yellow Brick Road...mud and all!

And so it begins - this journey through blogdom.  Armed with my ruby slippers(The Wizard of Oz is my favorite Movie of all time), needles, thread, fabric, craft books, cook books, muck boots and pitchfork, I'm heading out to share my favorite beautiful things in this life.  I hope you will join me for a passionate ride on my trip down the Yellow Brick Road-mud and all.  And where shall I start?  As the Scarecrow would say "Pardon me, that way is a very nice way".  And so it begins...