Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Baking Bread...

Over the past few weeks I have been baking bread for my family...every few days I'll make up another loaf or two, or some rolls to have with dinner...here's the recipe. It's a very easy yeast bread~~ I've adjusted some ingredients (safflower oil instead of veg. oil, honey instead of sugar) to make the recipe more healthful.

Better Batter Bread

(makes one loaf)

3 1/4 c. flour

1 package quick-rise yeast

2 T honey

2 t. salt

1 1/2 c. warm water

1 T olive or safflower oil

Mix 2 c. flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Make impression in dry ingredients and pour warm water, honey, and oil into dry ingredients. Now, mix together by hand or with hand-mixer until batter is very, very, smooth (2 minutes or so). Gradually stir in remaining 1 1/4 cup of flour. Cover and let rise until double, 20-30 minutes.

Stir down batter with a spoon and place in greased bread pan (or divide out into a muffin pan for rolls). Cover and let rise 20-30 minutes, until batter reaches the top of the pan.

Bake in pre-heated 375* oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool...

For those of you without bread machines (like me!) it's an easy-peasy way to bring wholesome baked bread back into the everyday routine...I almost know it by heart!

On another note, or rather a different note within the same song, I am determined to grow a garden this year. A bountiful garden full of good, safe, food for us to eat. We've been composting, planting and sowing companion plants to keep the bad bugs away...I have been mothering my baby seedlings...hardening off, rushing them indoors when the weather turns (and in Colorado that can be QUITE the task! Our weather can change in a heartbeat...) Anyway. Today, cold sleeting rain is supposed to turn to snow.

Now, last weekend, though too early, I got everything outside and in pots for the most part. I am container gardening to make the very most of our water, and to ensure that the soil is "just right". We also have a wicked short growing season, so I've been starting seeds and growing things in 800 square feet of house since January!!! It was time, Colorado weather or no, to move outside...and now snow?! Like I didn't know this would happen!

But now everything's in it's permanent container home...not little peat pots or starter trays! Big, heavy, pots, and there's no way they can spend the night indoors...sooooo...while my bread's risin', this is what happens:

I go outside in flip-flops (not the brightest bulb, am I?) and begin to cover everything with old grocery bags...some I can weight under the pots, and some need to be tied up...and it is soooooo cold~!! Oh my stars it's freezing, and I'm ducking my head against the wind and Mags (almost 3) is standing and looking through the screen door at me like I'm nuts...my husband was at work or else I'd have been yelling: "Come help me save the crops, Pa! We're gonna lose 'em by mornin'!!"

The tomatoes had better be juicy, that's all I have to say.

I hope to have a new dollie to show you soon...I'll be working on a few things tomorrow...and i ABSOLUTELY will be shipping Rochelle a box of yummy dollie goodness. Really.

Until we meet again,
I'll bring the grocery bags and you bring the bread...(was that the name of a punk band?),


Monday, April 16, 2007

Adventures in Needle Felting...

For months, and months, and...well. I have abstained from needle felting...needle punch was the same way for me (just too many irons in the fire....), so I should have known!!! How fun is this?! Please excuse my beginner's glee! My wee ginger kitty is not nearly as well-done as other artists' felting work that I've seen, but she's a fairly good study!

And small! This is Ginger lying next to a quarter:

So now what to do with her? Anyone??? I am working on a tiny baby doll made from painted muslin...about 7" high, but the hands are not articulated enough to hold Ginger...might look weird. And the baby may be too big, scale-wise. And that would just be creepy without meaning to be creepy. Nothing worse than that in the world o' dollies. But, I digress...

On a different note....today is a good day for hugging your kids, saying your prayers, and kissing your darlin' goodnight. Such a sad and crazy world...numbering 33 less this evening.



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good Morning!!

*Gentle Morning*

Hello there! *The Humble Arts* co-operative site has been updated and there are many wondrous goodies to be had!! (I popped in first thing this morning...) *Gentle Morning* is my current offering...I do wish the wonderful textures would show up a bit better!! The colors are slightly muted, but still fairly "true"...


And what am I up to this morning??? Wellllll....I am making an Annie doll. I started late last night, and she should be done by the day's end. Annie will be offered in finished and pattern form...and in light of making a pattern for her, I wanted to really offer something~~if not different~~then, "honest", if that makes sense. So, I began by browsing through American Folk Dolls (Wendy Lavitt) & of course, American Rag Dolls, Straight from the Heart (Estelle Patino). By the way, these 2 books are invaluable resources for Folk and Primitive Doll Artists!! Anyhoo...I noticed that the Annies that seemed most "real", most genuine, had a few different things in common...but I was especially drawn to a 1915 picture...now, the hair was brown yarn, but it definitely seems to have a reddish tint...or do I just imagine that because that's what I'm used to? :) And the early dolls seem to always be in some sort of blue dress with white pinny, so mine shall be too...here she is, just a start:

Remember how excited I was to felt those bunnies' features? Well, my Annie's nose and mouth are felted from red wool yarn, same as her hair...and in keeping with wanting a traditional look, I tried to sand off a lot of the staining and give her an old and worn body...she is really, really, wanting her arms, striped legs and black shoes...(they are stuffed & still need sewn to her and painted.) She is sweet, isn't she?

I'll post more pictures as soon as she's done!!


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday Evening...

As promised on Friday, some pics. of the strange little critters we've been making in our nest this week...that's M's Bunny Girl (above r.), and an Easter gift for another little friend (above l.). We also made on for her brother! (below)

All in all, it has been rather gloomy day here! It snowed. We were watching the weather first thing this am and the weather person stated that "folks might be finding snow instead of eggs today!" The 6 year old (Frick) said-- "WHAT????!!!"

She was NOT amused.

Anywho...with the onset of evening I am turning to my needle punch and sketchbook (as the children lie twitching on the floor from the gross amounts of sugar consumed in the last few days). I probably won't draw them...

I tried a little more needlefelting on the blue and pink bunnies, and was quite pleased with their strange little features~~!!! I'm wondering just what I could apply to a painted muslin figure...perhaps an Asparagus doll?! Ooooooo.... :)



Happy Easter from Frick and Frack!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday Ramblings...

Blessings, dear friends, this good Friday...

....yesterday evening I listened to a very different version of the Resurrection Story. My little girl was "reading" aloud from her Bible~~ she has added some very interesting twists to many a Bible story and this was no exception. Notably, there were "many short people around the cross"...? This said with as much reverence as the girls showed "Baby Jesus" the crook-neck gourd we got at the pumpkin farm last year...yes, it was swaddled, and carefully lain in a storage-tub manger. While their warped little versions of sacred stories make me smile~~even laugh! ~~I marvel at a Spirituality you can reach right out and touch. Okay, I envy it. They have snuggled with Baby Jesus.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We are off to a Birthday Party...it should be mad, screaming, greasy, fun. Is my excitement seeping through the monitor yet? We have started a sort of tradition...I am trying to MAKE each Birthday gift for Chloe's friends. Shouldn't be too hard...(I mean, this is the child that played with a gourd for several weeks.) So months ago we made this doll for J.:

And we have made a sort of strange Bunny creature for M. (subject of the evening's festivities)...we are making a whole gang of these critters for the Easter Holiday, so I'll show you those real soon.


And what else did the day bring? A fancy box of beauty goodies I splurged on...and my favorite item? The FREE sample of woo-de-doo parfum that smells exactly like bug spray. I did NOT smell that way before I sprayed it~~ quite liberally~~ all over myself! (sigh)

Until next time,