May 30, 2011

A Really Remarkable Rhubarb Recipe

Hey....remember when I use to post regularly?  Sometimes a few posts a week?

That was pre-cruising.  Now that Rowan is staggering around anything that provides some stability (including the dog's legs) the days have seemed to have shortened.  And become a lot more tiring.  How magical!

I haven't gotten my craft on for a looooooong time, so I thought I'd share yet another baking adventure.  It involves my new-found love for rhubarb.  Yep, I'm a recent (3 years, actually) rhubarb convert.  It was always served up at home when I was a kid, but ya know...just didn't appeal to me.

And I have a feeling that it still doesn't appeal to many of you; but I'd suggest giving this Rhubarb Loaf recipe a whirl before banishing it to the 'Land of Ewwwwww' permanently.  It's sooooo good.  Seriously, look how much of it was eaten before I remembered I hadn't photographed it!  I highly recommend it with tea.  Or coffee (it is very coffee-cakey).  Or vanilla ice-cream.  Or just by itself to help you ignore the fact that your child is rearranging and scrunching meticulously organized photographs.

 After a long winter of citrus and bananas (and whatever canned or frozen fruit I squirreled away), some fresh, locally grown rhubarb is a welcomed sign of spring.  And a yummy reminder that strawberry season is approaching!

May 18, 2011

Best-Ever Buttermilk Biscuits

Last night I made a batch of buttermilk biscuits to go with my pork and veggie soup.  This recipe makes a dozen, and there was no way I could finish them all, so guess what that means....

...tea biscuits for breakfast!  These biscuits have a life of about 24 hours, so I'll probably have to freeze a few of them.  The recipe calls for buttermilk, but if you don't have any, a Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice in 1 or 2% milk will work just fine. 

I believe that some recipes call for whipping cream (which would make them more like a scone), but I've discovered a lighter way to get a creamy biscuit.  I spoon a little plain yogurt into the bottom of my measuring cup and then top up with milk.  This also works with pancakes!

 Looks a little English, doesn't it?  Well, except for the coffee in place of tea...and they really should be scones, not tea biscuits.  And although this is a grey, rainy day; it's still southern Ontario.  So, I guess it's wanna-be English.  Ah well, I'll just continue my Fawlty Towers marathon (the entire series is on Netflix!) and call it a day.

May 16, 2011

My First Scrapbook

Have you been on the scrapbooking bandwagon for eons?  I just joined.  It was a hasty start, I'll admit that much.

I was trying to figure out whattheheck to get my darling Mama for Mother's Day.  In past years, I've always sent flowers because I was working and unable to visit, but not this year!  I felt very lucky that I was able to spend my first Mother's Day with my Mum.

I hummed and hawed over a gift for a little too long.  I think I finally decided on the Tuesday before Mother's Day that I would make a scrapbook (and pseudo-baby book) of my Mum's favourite person.

As you've probably noticed, Rowan is a little older than 2 months.  Procrastination is a devil. 

Stay tuned for month 3 :)

May 13, 2011

Rings and Slings

Of all the baby gear I own, my ring sling tops the list.  Well, the hypothetical list.  I don't grade my baby gear....

Our trip to the Peterborough Museum and Archives in January
 I love this sling.  I honestly don't know how I (or my back) would survive without it.

I like to do a lot of shopping downtown, and when you're going in and out of stores, a stroller is a pain in the keester.  I added the little pocket to my grey sling so that I could carry my wallet, car keys and a smushed up resuable bag with me.  So happy I did that!

I used these instructions from Maya Wrap and followed their instructional videos to learn how to use the sling.

And I made one for my friend Becky...

...she loves hers too!  Becky is able to garden and run errands with 5 week old Kennedy snuggled in her sling.

I have another baby-wearing device that I really like (I guess it'd be number 2 on the hypothetical list) and although it gets less use than the sling, it's still valuable.

Barnacle Baby
I like the wrap for extended wearing.  Namely, walking the dog in the nearby Provincial Park, but I'll also stick R-man on my back to get things done around the house if he's being a fussy-Gus.
Making a wrap like this is a cinch:
Buy 5 meters of jersey knit fabric.
Cut down the middle length-wise.
Now you have two wraps.  I always keep one in the car...sometimes it gets used to wipe off muddy dog feet :)

The photo is my own back carry invention.  I'll be honest, it sucked.  I worked, but it just didn't feel great.  I found a rucksack back carry demo on YouTube that is MUCH better. And, it should be noted that a stretchy knit fabric like jersey is great for front carrying, but you'll need a non-stretch fabric for back carrying. 

May 6, 2011

The Post That Use to be Called: Crinkly Owl Taggies

This post use to be about a little owl toy that I made for my son and two of his friends.

Rowan's friend Anna likes to share.

But then I received this letter:

KidsII claims a patent for any looped ribbon sewn between two peices of fabric.  

It makes me wonder how many people work in their legal department, and how many hours a day they spend sending out infringment letters to the many mothers in blog-land who have made these types of toys for their children.

May 3, 2011

Satin Flowers Tutorial

There are a few different ways to make satin flowers, and the craft blog world is full of 'em.  This method is fairly easy and involves fire (more grown-up crafts should, in my opinion), so it's not for the kids to do on their own!

Round up the following:
  • Satin fabric.  It must have polyester in it or bad things will happen.  (Seriously, if it's cotton or silk the fabric will just burn instead of melt.)
  • Fabric glue or hot glue
  • Plastic shank button (ie, the ones without the holes through them)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Lighter or matches and a candle
If you don't have a stash of satin fabric, I have a criminal mastermind-ish way for you to get some for free.  Most fabric stores will give you free samples of anything you want, and one strip is wide and long enough to make 3 or 4 flowers!

Score!  Free fabric samples.
Here we go:  Step 1

Cut circles out of the fabric.

To make my life easier, I folded a square of fabric into quarters and cut out a wedge.  I used three different sizes; the largest 'petal' is about 8 cm in diameter and the smallest is 4 cm.  I would recommend cutting at least 6 petals for each flower.

Step 2

Burn, baby, burn.  Using a lighter, or a candle, heat the edges of the satin until they start to melt.  The petals should start to curl a little.  If you use a candle, be warned - the flame can get really hot.  Don't scorch your petal! 

Step 3

Working from largest to smallest, layer petals with a few drops of glue in the centre.  Fabric glues and hot glue both work well.  Firmly press the petal stack down for a few seconds and let dry.

Step 4

Cut the shank (the bottom of the button) off with sharp scissors.  Or, if you have them, cuticle trimmers.  That's what I works VERY well.

Step 5

Glue the button top to the centre of the petals.  Once again, press firmly and let dry completely.

White with guinea feather and tulle

Ta-da!  I attached this flower to a hair clip (using hot glue) so that it could be attached to a headband or directly to hair.  Have fun!

Bi-coloured blue


Gun-metal grey with bead cluster