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Monday, April 26, 2010

Fun with felted wool!

Try saying fun with felted felt 3 times.
   I have been experimenting with some different ways to use the felted wool. This bag was made from  felted wool and I tried different sized circles to make the flowers. What is it about flowers?  You just have to accent everything you make with some version of a flower? (well, anyway I do.)
When you make a bag you have to have plenty of pockets so I made a large one to go on the back.

Here is the close up of the different designs that I used with my sewing machine. All of the sewing is done with a straight stitch and the embroidery was done by hand with black embroidery floss and of course cute little buttons.I stitched all of the same color at the same time so you don't have to keep switching the colors of your thread. Have the design ahead of time in your head or on paper and then just cut out simple circles, leaf shapes, and narrow strips for the stems.
Then add the starburst flowers with your embroidery thread and add a little button to make the teeny flowers.I lined it with black cotton and made several pockets inside. I then used a magnetic closure to close it!
I like the way the colors turned out with this bag and it is amazing what you can put together by putting simple shapes together!

Have a Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mind your peas and Carrots

I found this pattern for some cute knitted carrots and cute crocheted peas. I tried them out and thought they really turned out cute, but then what do I put them on??
I was in JoAnn's and found this cute burlap bag that was 60% off, (don't you love sales!) I probably could have made the bag but it was already made and lined with a plastic lining! I thought what cute embellishments the peas and carrots would make on the bag and how great it would be to use my reuseable bag to get my produce at the store. With a bag like this you would actually want to go and get
the healthy fruits and vegetables!
Here is a close up, this was my first try so I will work on refining my stitches.
Can't wait to go and buy some produce to put in my (Green) bag!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to make the best wheat bread ever!

I took a bread class from my daughter who was in town this week. I have had this recipe and have made this bread several times but my bread would never turn out like hers did. When I would go to visit her I would eat her delicious bread and could not figure out why my bread did not turn out like hers. So, I had her watch everything that I did and tell me what I was doing wrong. I learned some tricks and figured out what  her secrets were. 
The bread turned out great so, I have written the recipe with all of the secrets and took pictures of most of the steps along the way. Here is the recipe:

Favorite Wheat Bread recipe

Add the following in this order:

4 cups hot water

1/3 cup of oil

2/3 cup of honey or sugar but honey is very good

2 ½ tsp. salt

¾ cup dry milk

1/3 cup of lecithin (this is a preservative and is great when you don’t eat your loaf very fast, the recipe is still good without it.)

2/3 cup of gluten flour (you won’t need this if you are using bread flour)

8 cups of whole wheat flour

Mix all of these together well

After it is all mixed let it sit for 15 minutes with towel over bowl. I use a Kitchen aid mixer so after this part change your hook to a bread hook.

In a bowl add ½ cup of warm, hot water

1 ½ tsp of quick yeast, if it is not quick yeast wait until carbon dioxide bubbles are forming all over top of liquid

Add this to your bread mixture

Then add 2 cups of bread flour

Mix well and then start testing for moisture level.

Depending on the day the dough may be have varying degrees of moisture level i.e. if it is a stormy or a sunny day.

You check the moisture level by inserting your finger into dough; it is just the right level when you have a little ring of dough with a dry small circle in the middle. You adjust the moisture level by adding more water or flour ( this will not affect the taste but will make all the difference in the way your bread turns out.

When you get the moisture level right knead the bread for 3-4 minutes in your mixer with the dough hook. Kneading it for the right amount of time develops the gluten strands and will make the difference in soft chewy bread instead of dry crumbly wheat bread.

You then take the bread out of the mixing bowl and place on a sprayed grease counter; you do not want to put it on a floured counter because you finally have the moisture level.

You knead it into a smooth ball and then carefully lift the ball and place into a large greased glass bowl. (This will make the difference in having bread with a smooth top.

Let this rise in bowl until it doubles in size. If it is a cold day you can proof your dough in the oven. You do this by warming your oven to about 100 degrees.

When it has doubled in size you carefully put dough on greased counter and divide into 4 equal parts. To get this just right it is great to have a scale and then your loaves will be exactly the same.

You then knead the 4 equal parts into loaves by bringing the dough into the center into a rectangle shape. Just knead into the center to get rid of the air bubbles. You won’t knead very long this will make the dough tough.

Place dough into greased loaf pans.

Let rise for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Make a slit in the top of the bread with a sharp bread knife.

Immediately place into a 370 to 375 degree oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.

Pull out of oven when finished and let sit in pan for several minutes, then slip bread from pans and place on cooling rack. Wait to cool before cutting bread and if you can’t wait just dive in and eat it.

This is when you pour the bread onto the greased counter
Now shaping it into a smooth ball, this is what makes the smooth top on the bread.Place it into a greased bowl.This is after it has risen and doubled in size.Divide it into 4 equal parts.Knead it into 4 rectangles shaped ballsPlace into four loaf pans.After it has doubled in size make a small slit into the top of the bread, this is to prevent it from splitting at the sides.Bake for 25-30 minutes at 370 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes.

Brush with butter to make the crust soft and then eat this delicious, healthy wheat bread and share with those you love most!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Show off Tuesday!

If you want to show something you have created go to this site!

A cute idea for a baby mobile!

After my 3rd baby granddaughter was born my daughter had seen an idea for a cute mobile to hang above a crib. Since she has 4 boys and this was going to be her first girl, she wanted her room to look really girly!
So, I cut out the flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies with my Cricut,(which made it very easy peasy).
I spray painted a wire wreath form, white and then we hung the flowers and butterflies with fishing line and used a little crystal bead to keep the line from pulling through.

I first tied some lines across the entire frame, if you  look close you can see the lines crisscrossing each other. While we were making it we thought of all the possibilities with colors and shapes and the list was endless. We thought of dinosaurs, tractors, bugs, bows, different flower combinations and what cute possibilities there are. So be creative and make your own combination because they are made from cardstock they flutter so cute with the smallest amount of breeze in the room.
                                                     Have a great creative day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some new headbands and more!

I just finished another felted handbag,  it has black lining with pockets and has a metal magnet clasp to close. I love the felted flowers and the neutral color that will go with almost everything. This one is $35.00

These crocheted headbands are $4.50
The little shoes are $12.00

This knitted headband is $11.00

and here are some more views of the leather headbands, don't they look so cute on.
and they are $12.00!!

Have a Happy Monday!


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