Friday, January 31, 2014

My Favorite Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend & a Gluten Free Discussion

I believe I have posted this recipe before but thought I would post again for my new friends that also bake gluten free.

I figured it out on my own over 15 years ago that my body could not digest gluten. Back then, it was more of a struggle as I had no doctor's support, very little information was around, and I had to really read and research every purchased product. Going to a restaurant - well they had  no clue what I was talking about. LOL

I would say though that during the last 5 years there is finally help and information available:  from your doctor as they are more aware of celiac now,  many gluten free food products available, and excellent new cookbooks and gluten free blogs. My favorite go to gluten free blog is Karina's-her recipes are always excellent. She is listed in my blog roll.

I recently discovered a magazine -Living Without-that I have learned allot from. The recipes are very good as is the information they share. This magazine always gives suggestions for dairy free, egg free too.

I don't usually buy prepared mixes or prepared gluten free flours for every day baking, as they are too expensive and they are very high in carbs and less nutrition. When I bake I want the bake goods to have mostly healthy ingredients in it.

Upgrading to more healthy due to health issues, getting older, or just wanting to is a life process I think. It has been for me since the '70s I have learned to adjust to my hubby's and my diet requirements through the years. 

I found this basic recipe for gluten free flour blends from a little paper back booklet (I upgraded the white rice to brown rice flour)-and I find it works really well. I use it in allot of my favorite recipes from the past-especially family cookies etc. It also works well for a pie crust, I have even baked an angel food cake with it.

Gluten free all purpose flour blend

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca flour or starch-same thing
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup almond meal flour

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk til blended. Store in airtight containers or zip lock freezer bags. Store in freezer for longest shelf life.

I usually triple the recipe for a batch. The sorghum flour and almond meal flour are both very high in nutrition and proteins. The brown rice flour is more nutritious than just white rice flour. Depending on the recipe you are baking you can substitute coconut flour for the almond meal flour.

Gluten free flour blend for breads

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup millet flour
1/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk til blended. Store in airtight containers or zip lock freezer bags. Store in freezer for longest shelf life.

I do the same and make up a triple batch and keep in the freezer. If you are able to digest bean flour you can substitute a bean flour for the millet flour.

       Another ingredient you need to add to most of your baked goods is either xanthan gum or guar gum. The xanthan gum is corn based so if you have a corn allergy will need to use guar gum. This ingredient is added to bind, thicken, and emulsify gluten free ingredients.
  How much to use? Here is my go to chart for how much to add to a recipe

Anything you would like to share from your gluten free baking experiences is welcome--Let me know if anyone would be interested in a gluten free day-where we can share recipes or tips for gluten free. and if so which day would you like?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gluten Free Upside Down Pineapple Cake Recipe

Please go here for my Grow Your Blog Party Post and to enter for my hand dyes Giveaway    There is still plenty of time to visit all those 600 blogs and enter giveaways-drawing February 15th (Please enter only on that post)

Yep two blog posts in one morning-lol, so also check out my previous post too.

I just took my cake out of the oven-and it is so beautiful! I hadn't written down all my changes to this cake recipe so I decided to share here and then the recipe also will be here for me too-as this recipe is a definate keeper.

I found the recipe on Betty Crocker's site-just look for recipes using their Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix-there are many to choose from and I find this is a nice mix to keep on hand. This makes really nice cupcakes too-and you can change up the flavor as to what you want-I usually added about 1/4 cup of dark cocoa to make chocolate cupcakes.

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar-I used 1/3  brown sugar and 1/3 coconut sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup-I omitted this
9 slices pineapple-I used crushed pineapple instead-drained
    I also added a small handful of fresh blueberries

1 box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 cup butter-softened-I used organic coconut oil-melted
2/3 cup water-I used the drained pineapple juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract-I used my own handmade vanilla extract
3 eggs-I used 2 eggs and a 3.9 oz cup of natural applesauce to replace one of the eggs-you could also make this egg free by using flax seed meal and a little water to replace the eggs

pre heat your oven to 350 degrees f or if using glass-which I think bakes gluten free better-preheat to 325 degrees f

Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour on bottom of a 9" square pan-I did not have that size so I used a 10" round glass pan.

Sprinkle on the brown sugar and I also sprinkled on the coconut sugar. If you want to use the corn syrup go to the site as I think they mixed it all together first before adding to the pan.

Add the pineapple rings or I used the crushed. I then sprinkled on a few blueberries on top of the pineapple-which will bake into the cake a bit-a nice touch and the flavor goes well with the pineapple.

For the cake: In a bowl add the cake mix, the butter or I used coconut oil, the water or juice, the vanilla and the eggs. Beat on low til mixed and then beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Using a spatula- pour over the pineapple and smooth out and even.

Bake for 45 minutes. and test the middle for doneness with a tooth pick.

Immediately have a cake platter ready and flip the cake on to the platter. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Note: in the comments on the Betty Crocker site for this recipe, there were allot of complaints of this cake not getting done in the middle. So what I have done-as soon as the cake is baked enough on top and not just dough-place a piece of parchment paper on top-and then time for 10 minutes and check and keep checking every 10 minutes. 
     Doing this browned the cake more evenly, the cake puffed up nice too, and it was completely done in the middle. With a glass pan will take at lease an hour or perhaps and hour and 15 minutes. It does take longer than the 45 minutes as stated.

Still Plenty of Time to Enter My Giveaway & Happy Thursday & Deer Photo

Please go here for my Grow Your Blog Party Post and to enter for my hand dyes Giveaway    There is still plenty of time to visit all those 600 blogs and enter giveaways-drawing February 15th (Please enter only on that post)

Yesterday morning early I decided to venture out and do my monthly grocery shopping trip. Brrrrrr was it ever cold out there; we were in the lower end of the single digits. Nice thing-no traffic and nobody at the stores yet-lol  So I loved that.  I have been wanting to check out our new much larger Aldi store but I didn't have much cash on me and I wanted to get home before noon-to make the guys lunch. I had other stops for wild critter food etc that I need to make.

My husband is the football widow in our house-only sports he might watch is soccer but rarely even then. I on the other hand-love football, and I also love the olympics. So I stocked up on my favorite snacks and dips. Which is a treat as I don't buy them often. When they come in the house I just eat them til they are gone-I am really bad that way LOL. Husband on the other hand prefers sweets for his snacks and those I make. In the end though these snacks both turn to sugar.

I asked Larry's new apprentice and Larry yesterday if they wanted a fresh apple pie or my gluten free pineapple upside down cake for a treat today-they both said the pineapple cake-that has turned into a huge guy pleaser. I just took out all the ingredients including a handful of fresh blueberries from the freezer-which everyone loved in the cake. (See a few posts back for a photo and recipe).

A little warmer today, but the winds are howling strong already. We have had no snow, ice or rain for over 3 weeks now, so with all this super dry cold air, and these howling winds-we are still in a fire danger warning. 
      I just heard on the news this week that someone took out their hot ashes from the wood stove-and a few hours later with the winds fueling a little fire it spread and destroyed their home.  I have learned to make sure the ash bucket is ice cold before I take them out and dump them into the compost pile. 
    One year when we first moved down, I didn't make double sure that the ashes were cold and when Larry came back from the post office-I had a fire burning towards the woods-scary stuff for sure. 

Now that hunting season is over, and I think there is less food available out in the woods as well-with all this severe cold; we are getting our deer visitors back on a regular basis. We have a single one that visits on his own, then we have a group of 3-two does and a yearling, and we have a new group of 4 that come now.          
     We also get a few wild turkeys and other critters that stop by for a little corn.  I put out the cracked corn and bird seed daily year round, so they know it is always here. and the view out our windows is a safe zone-no hunting allowed near the buildings.

(Note the deer out at the deer line are old archery targets)

Enjoy your day today-I am going to catch up reading in my Bloglovin and make the pineapple cake this morning, then I need to get back on taxes too-or perhaps hand quilt-that sounds more fun for sure-

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chocolate Covered Popcorn --Update: Batches Now in the Oven

Please find my Grow Your Blog Party Post and Giveaway Here
    The party and giveaway runs through to February 15th-so please enter with a comment on that blog only thanks.

It is another very bitter cold day today so I have decided this is a good day to make us a treat. 
    A few years ago I found the most delicious recipe for chocolate covered popcorn. It tastes like those real expensive gourmet ones-very chocolaty and crunchy.

I had tried a few recipes before I found this one, and most of those the popcorn was always soggy.-now who wants soggy popcorn-LOL

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Covered Popcorn Recipe

  • 12 cup popped popcorn (air popped works great)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup corn syrup
Spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Pop the popcorn and place it in the pan.

Combine butter, chocolate chips and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. 

Pour mixture over popcorn and stir through to coat. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes stirring frequently. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

For an added dimension, add a cup or two of your favorite nuts.

and it comes from here

 this photo I found online 

  I bake with only dark chocolate now so I change that up in the recipe and the corn syrup is what makes this recipe work. Hubby is diabetic so I don't make this real often-but we all need a treat once in awhile, and I bag it up in small baggies.

  You can be creative with this recipe too and add in some nuts or unsweetened coconut large shreds too.

   Our friend Mr L and hubby are wanting more pie too-so perhaps tomorrow will be a pie baking day. Turning the oven on helps to get the chill out of the air too. I am glad we do not depend on our propane gas tank for heat as they are running out of it here. We heat only with our two wood stoves. This year though hubby picked up a couple small Eden Pure electric heaters. This week we will see how expensive they are to use.
     His work room was soooo cold he just needed some heat in there-especially this winter. My craft room is at the other end of the house and it is super cold too-but that room is so full I don't think I could find room to put in a heater-seriously-lol I need to clean in there this spring.

    I have caught myself up with the grow your blog party now, and this morning my bloglovin feed was just too overwhelming; so I deleted it all and will start fresh. I am anxious to visit and to know my new friends better. My blogging world is so special to me; I am retired, I live very rural, and I have become a hermit too-LOL Which I love by the way, but it is so good to be able to chat with friends from all over the world.

Have an awesome Tuesday!


  I forgot to mention that if you do not want every morsel of popcorn totally covered with chocolate you can add more popcorn-to get more.

   I always have extra popcorn ready to add if I want to. I decided to make a double batch of some giant popcorn I had picked up in Indiana at an amish grocery store, and another batch of hulless medium size popcorn.
   I made two batches of the chocolate mix and that covered the 3 batches of popcorn pretty nicely.

Monday, January 27, 2014

So Are You Having Fun at the Grow Your Blog Party?

Please find my Grow Your Blog post and Giveaway here

   Those of you joining in-did you have fun? Wow almost 600 blogs joining in-that is just amazing to me. Big thank yous again to Vicki for hosting and setting up this huge event. 

  I pretty much spent the entire weekend visiting. I ran into so many inspiring and creative blogs, and I think I will be gaining some new contacts and friends along the journey. I ended up putting allot of new blogs that I wanted to find again into my Bloglovin feed. I enjoy reading in the morning when I first get up too. I can delete some later on, no way I will remember how to find the ones I liked again unless I had stashed them somewheres-lol

  Friday I stopped by my neighbor friend down the road from me. I had mentioned about needing to enlarge my purse pattern, and asked her if she knew how to on graph paper. She is someone that is really good with stuff like that. Instead of showing me how-she just did it for me-lol I brought along a bar of my Valentine soap for a little thank you. 
   Looking at the photos really well again of the purse; I decided the flap on the purse was just going to be too short. I think the designer did that so all the pretty crazy quilt stitches would show better, but I think it will be a problem using the purse. So my friend drew in two different size flaps for me so I can decide.
   My vision was to put the vintage glass buttons in the front but under the flap so it will be beautiful to see when I open my purse but be protected too. Once things slow down a bit here, I will go through my wool stash and start laying out colors.

    I have been so busy with the blog party that I have not gotten back to my hand quilting. I hadn't been keeping track but I discovered I have 8 log cabin blocks to hand quilt yet-so I am getting there. I expect to see all those embroidered words in my mailbox this week too.

  Winter is back again in the Ozarks-it arrived late last night, not as bitter as the upper midwest but still very very cold for this area. We are not getting any snow with this, so combined with the very very gusty winds-up to 50 miles an hour-we have fire warnings in this area-so dry in the woods that a fire could start very easily.

  Speaking of cold I need to get the wood stove going. I have been busy on the computer and just realized my nose and hands are cold-lol

   I also wanted to mention here that if you are shopping on Etsy please drop by my two shops. I still have hand dyes on sale and I have lots of new soaps and bath teas in my soap shop. (find links in upper left hand corner here on my page) I also have set up for my readers an on going coupon at check out. Just type in blogger for 10% off your purchase.

Enjoy your new week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Giveaway Now Closed--Grow Your Blog Party 2nd Annual at 2 Bags Full & a Little Giveaway Too

Welcome to my "home" here in the blogging community.

  I have been blogging since 2007, and have met some wonderful friends.  I started out blogging on Yahoo 360 back then and was hooked, I still have several close friends from when I first started. The site went down so I went to Multiply following my friends, but at that time I also started a blog post here. Multiply went down too so I decided to pursue my main blogging here on Blogger. I was so discouraged with finding new friends to read me here until I went to the Vicki's Grow Your Blog Party last year. It changed my world here-and I love it.

   I am so excited to be joining in on the fun again this year hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.

  A little about me: 
      My name is Kathy, and Wow I can't believe that last October was my 10th anniversary of retirement.  My husband and I moved from northern Illinois to here in our woods in the Ozarks of Missouri.  Time really does fly by so fast once retired
    Our home is still a work in progress. Keeps us busy-LOL
      I am still working on the bathroom and probably around March; I hope to tackle the ceiling in there. You can view what I have done so far by using the search tool for rock shower, and tissue papered walls. All the textured walls etc. that I have done in our home so far I consider a work in progress, a creative outlet, and I have enjoyed the process along the way. I have loved learning new things-setting rocks, and faux walls.
   About 15 years ago I figured out on my own that I had celiac. So I now enjoy baking gluten free and also with healthier ingredients. I am sharing this to let you know I have lots of recipes listed in my blog; In the search engine check for gluten free. I also have many other recipes, herbs, and my crafts and doings, so please feel free to use the search tool to browse around my blog.
    Since we live in the woods-we also get to enjoy lots of wildlife, mostly through our bay windows. Deer, turkey, coyote, fox, bobcat-if we are lucky, cougars-on occasion, small brown bear-on occasion, many raptors-eagles,hawks, turkey vultures, also an abundance of song birds. We fish for trout and catfish at the nearby state parks, and we also hunt for food.
My creative interests:
   I love to work with natural fibers-so I weave, quilt, rug hook, hand dye, rust dye, hand paint fabric-for quilts,embroider, needle felt, make a few art quilts, make soap-and the list continues-lol so I am never bored here in my woods. 
     I also like to shop for most of my craft materials at garage sales and resale shops-taking cotton shirts apart for quilts, reclaiming wool, linen, and silk, and of course I save all the buttons. I also like to buy from Etsy sellers for my craft supplies when I can. Shopping is half the fun for me before I even get to the project I want to make.

     This year for my giveaway I will be sharing 4 of my own hand dyed fat 1/8's-they are part of a 30 piece gradation of colors. I really love how all of these pieces turned out this time. If you don't quilt they are pretty enough to frame, perhaps add to your scrapbooking, journaling, or any sewing crafts. These make beautiful pieces for appliques too.
     I opened up the 4 pieces a bit so you can see the colors a little better-these are in order of the gradation so they match with each other.

  Everyone is welcome to enter my giveaway-with no requirements  

     I would love it if you would like to follow me or read me on Bloglovin, or subscribe;  but please only if you would enjoy reading more about my doings here in the Ozarks. If you have a blog too, leave a link in your comment here so I can come and visit you too.

    One chance per person please

(I have a note in the comments that you must leave contact information if you are a no reply blogger-if I can not get a hold of you then I will re draw another name)  

     I will draw the winner morning of February 15th to give everyone a chance to visit as they go through the almost 600 blogs at the party. Wow is that awesome or what?? 600 blogs. 
Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting.

Now go enjoy the rest of the blog party! 

UPDATE:  Sooooo with eyes closed here is the one drawn--Andrea Ostapovitch of My Everything Corner  Congratulations! and I hope you enjoy creating with my hand dyes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm Getting Ready for the Grow Your Blog Event

  This Saturday will be the second year for this event, held by Vicki at 2 Bags Full. Check my button to the right. You can no longer sign up to be one of the blogs in the event, but you can still join in the fun.
   There will probably be around 500 blogs to visit-isn't that amazing?? Also many blogs will be having giveaways too, and this is a great way to meet new friends. I will be having a giveaway too-just not sure yet what it will be-lol
    Last year this event really helped me allot to grow my blog with new and lasting friendships. I love to read what others are doing and creating. There are so many creative people out there in blogland-I love it.
   I will be posting as soon as I get up Saturday morning-so be sure to stop by and visit.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Let's Bee Social-Weekly Event by Sew Fresh Quilts

Hi all, I am linking up with Let's Bee Social this week. This is a weekly event held every Wednesday-a way to Bee Social and meet new friends that quilt also. Check link in my right hand column.

This week I did not sew at all. I took a break from hand quilting to make new products for my Kathyinozarks Soaps on Etsy (link in left column)  However, I did work with my friend that machine embroiders all my quilt labels for me-to make up 18 words describing my Mom that will be sewn into the corners and borders. So am pleased about that.

I also received my gorgeous glass Czech buttons that I ordered  yesterday-see yesterday's blog post for photos. I just Love them. I am planning on making a wool crazy quilt purse with an under water sea theme-so I just had to have a mermaid. I am anxious to start this project-but I need to get the pattern enlarged-so hope to work on that next week. Plus I want to get the quilt that I am hand quilting finished first before I begin another project.

This morning I have a gluten free pineapple upside down cake in the oven. I have not been one to use boxed mixes of any kind, but for the last 15 years baking gluten free for me, is sometimes a challenge so  I now keep a Betty Crocker's gluten free yellow cake mix on hand. It's a good all purpose mix to turn into lots of things. I usually make chocolate cupcakes with it and I change allot of the additional ingredients to more healthy-instead of butter I use coconut oil-melted, instead of 3 eggs I replace one or two with applesauce or flaxseed meal mixed with water, for the water I use almond milk, or a fruit juice etc instead of water. 
     For this cake I replaced some of the brown sugar on the bottom with coconut sugar, and added in a handful of blueberries with the crushed pineapple-I opted for crushed instead of the rings since I didn't have the right size square pan. I will update with a photo later once it comes out of the oven. It is starting to smell pretty yummy right now in the kitchen.

Update: I just took this out of the oven. The plate is handmade pottery and heavy along with the glass pan it was baked in -so flipping it over was a challenge-that's why it is not quite centered-lol
     I had read the reviews about this recipe on the Betty Crocker site and many had issues with the cake not getting done in the middle. I had the same problem-it took over 15 minutes longer to finish up. What I ended up doing was putting a piece of parchment paper on top of the cake-mostly so it wouldn't get too brown while it finished baking. That really did the trick-and I made a note of that for me to do next time-but half way through the baking time.  I also think that crushed pineapple is the way to go instead of rings-since the gluten free cake is more fragile than the normal wheat batter version.

We are one of those states getting hit again with the arctic blast of cold air-brrrrr this has been a very cold winter for us here in the Ozarks of Missouri. I am sooooo ready for spring temps to get here and to stay.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Buttons Have Arrived

The anticipation is over-lol They are here. The seller wrapped them up so well (these are vintage  czech glass) and included a surprise extra button.

The light was not real good but the photos turned out pretty well-enlarge to view. The size of the mermaid should be perfect-so she will be seen, and the violets are actually a little lighter than the photos show- love the gold in all the buttons.  

Now to get my purse pattern enlarged so I can start pulling the wool fabric pieces.

Free BOM Honoring WW 1 Veterans

Remembering Almo

Details here on Barbara Brackman's blog-the monthly free downloads are very limited, so go there now if interested. Or you can find them in the Kansas City Star newspaper

Monday, January 20, 2014

Did Any of You Watch Sleepy Hollow Tonight?

Were you surprised by the ending?? I didn't see that coming, except I thought it was wrong of him to leave her there-that should have been the clue something was not right. I don't usually watch shows like this, but it intrigued me from the start-so have really liked watching it.

The weather is a changing here and fast-I don't sleep well with high winds-and the winds are very strong and gusty out there-we are to be 0 degrees in the morning.-what a change after such a gorgeous day today.

We are to go to town tomorrow too. I think I will be staying up a bit and reading til I get tired enough to fall asleep.


What a Treat-No Wind, Sunny and Warm Today

 When I went outdoors to feed the critters and bring in some firewood-wow!! it's beautiful out there. Such a treat indeed. Whenever it has warmed up here, we have very gusty winds, and when it's cold-its brrrr very cold. This is the last nice day though for some time again, as winter returns tonight and bitter cold again this coming week-well it is January after all-lol

  Over the weekend I played with making soap with salt added. I had found a recipe that looked really fun-but I changed up the salt and used what I had-and it did not work-the salt melted the soap and became mushy. Such a bummer, so I have two bags full of gorgeous, creamy  shea butter lavender scrub soap with dead sea salts-I guess I will just enjoy them since they can't be sold. 
     I haven't gotton around to it yet today, but I need to call the company and ask about what salts can be used besides the pink himilayian . It is really awesome for the skin though-loved it, and where the salt settles to the top of the bar it makes for an excellent scrub for callused heels and it removes dead skin cells from the skin too.

  So this morning I made up a new bath tea-for colds and flu. It turned out really really nice-it's listed in my Kathinozarks Soap shop on Etsy now. Full of herbs, essential oils, and salts.


Just a reminder, I have an ongoing coupon in my shops for 10% all the time-just type in blogger, I set that up for my readers.

It was so nice outdoors that after feeding the critters and bringing in firewood-yeah I can do that pretty well now, I worked on pulling out some of the old plant material that was growing on my garden fence. I had allot of climbing flowers and cucumbers vines still on the fence-so that kept me outdoors enjoying the weather.

I haven't been back to hand quilting for a couple days now, so getting behind on my goal to be finished by end of the month. Usually after supper, I am too tired to sew or the light is not quite right. My friend is going to machine embroider the 18 words for me that will go in all the hearts in the border of the quilt-so I am thrilled about that.

Hubby is doing much better. I have been giving him doses of echinacha and goldenseal, Vit C and elderberry juice twice a day. He did have to take benedryl for two days cause he was just really bad. I started taking the elderberry too-and it has really helped break up the congestion in my chest. With me it is mostly asthma or allergies instead of a bad cold. All this wind and ups and downs in temps have really gotton me this winter.

That's about all of my catch up for today. I made a whole chicken in the crock pot over the weekend, so today I am making a pot of thick chicken soup. 

Enjoy your new week

Friday, January 17, 2014

Very Very Windy Here in the Ozarks & More Handmade Soaps

Last night it sounded like a mini tornado was coming through and the winds still have not let up yet. Better than snow and ice so not complaining too too much lol  Though it does make the house too hard to keep warm-and we do have allot of insulation just mostly old old single pane windows that need replacing.

You can see from my Etsy shop button to the left that I just listed two more soaps-I really love these too. Turned out very pretty for little gifts or to set out during Valentine's Day.

  Still have not gotten my vintage buttons in yet-I just checked the tracking and won't get here til Monday-can you tell I am anxious??

  I did get in the mail the spring issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects today. Lots of fun small projects in this one-I may just have to go off my list and make one of these. I had stopped all of my quilt magazines a few years ago-cause it was just too overwhelming. But I do love this magazine-allot of wool projects plus rug hooking, needle punch too.
     I have files and files of quilt patterns that I tore out of magazines thinking I would love to make it-just not enough time in my life to do all this-plus I am slow when it comes to quilting. I am not good at tiny squares and pieces so I don't enjoy that. Plus I am not someone who can afford to pay someone to do the long arm quilting, and I am a very slow hand quilter-though I do really enjoy that. Don't like machine quilting on a very small sewing machine-tried it a couple times and don't like that.
      I am anxious to get going on the two 1830's applique quilts though-one is with wool so I really think I will enjoy that.

Hubby was really sick today, we stay pretty secluded so don't know how he caught it-but some kind of stomach virus-hopefully it won't last long. We always get the flu shot so know it's not the flu from his symptoms.  I think he is doing much better now-I have a beef soup on the stove think that should be a good food choice.

   I also got in my label for my quilt today too-my friend does such a beautiful job with the machine embroidery-and they look so good on the quilts. She is working on setting up a web page-when she does I will post it-Vicki has been doing all my labels for the last 8 years now-perhaps 9 years.

  I do have a question. My purse pattern that I got from the magazine needs to be enlarged by 200%  The widest measurement I think is around 12" I called the ups store that does allot of printing and they told me they can't do that. any ideas on how to do this or where to go?? thanks

Off to check on supper.

Happy weekend to all of you


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Little Catch Up and Soap for Your Valentine

 Hi everyone, I have been busy and I also finally went out of the house yesterday too.  I had not been to town since before Thanksgiving, so since the guys were going in and I could finally wear a pair of jeans (cause of my back) I went along to do a little food shopping. Wow 2 months have gone by-and nope I did not miss getting out of the woods at all-lol

Still  making progress on the hand quilting, I have 10 of the log cabin blocks to quilt yet. I have an online friend that machine embroiders all of my quilt labels, so I ordered the label, and then asked her how expensive it would be to embroider 18 words that will go inside those border hearts-and she offered to help me with that. So I am thrilled-it will look so much nicer too-I will just need to cut out the words and then needle turn the edges under to sew them into those hearts. 

This week I am also working on getting some new items in my Kathyinozarks Soap Shop on Etsy The wonky Christmas bars were a big hit, so I decided to make a tray of soap for Valentine's Day. Would also be good for little gifts or Mother's Day too.

I tried something a little different, and I really love how they turned out. These are made in a 12 bar tray. So I made this soap in layers. The painted looking side was the bottom and then I had made those little mini hearts and embedded them to the top of the soap along with some soap glitter-Very pretty bars of soap. I just listed them in my shop this morning. They are all over 6 ounces, most around 6.8 ounces so a nice size bar of all natural soap. I make this one with the baby buttermilk base that also has honey, calendula, and oatmeal in it-so very creamy.

I also will be making some butter moisturizers this week too; more of the shea butter moisturizer which has become my best seller, and I will be making a chamomile butter moisturizer too, along with a coconut milk bath, and more bath teas some with salts.  So I have been busy reading about new recipes for my shop.

Last summer I had picked up a melt and pour soap making book at a resale shop for .50 cents. This week I finally got that out and really read it-some fun ideas in there-and I was surprised to see a whole chapter on French Milled soap-which is the fancy name for re batched soap. I had never put that together in my mind that it was the same thing. One buys a good quality vegetable based or olive oil soap and then do the same as I did and grate it, melt it down, and add butters, herbs, oils to it-so I am thinking of trying that out with olive oil soap to put in my shop-sounds like fun.

I was hoping my mermaid and other vintage buttons would have arrived in the mail today-but they didn't-so hopefully tomorrow.

We are having an up and down weather pattern here. One day it will be in the 50s or just make it to 60, then the next day the high is in the low 30s. Tomorrow will be very cold in the high 20s and the weekend warm again-The sun is shining today so I love that. I need to go out and see how much wood I can get it. I am able to carry a few arm loads of wood in a day-no more wheel barrels for awhile though.

How has your week been going?? I promise I will catch up soon on visiting your pages too.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Re Using All Those Little Slivers of Bar Soap-Updated Sunday January12

  Do you save all those little left overs from your bar soap?

I didn't used to until a couple years ago when I had read about re batching these into new soap. I fill up this little basket til full and then I melt it down into new bars. I also started saving some pieces to use for marking my quilts. I had remembered that my Mom always did this for her quilts-so I am back using it again-works better than chalk. Larry still uses ivory in the shower, and my own handmade soaps-get used up totally.

If you do a google search for re batched ivory soap or re batched commercial soap slivers-you will get back several choices to read about. I saw lots on you tube too-but this old computer has no speakers so I didn't check those out. I read where some start with a little oil and add herbs to it and then the grated soap, some do it in the microwave or over boiling water. Some add oils some don't, some add a little water. I would think one could add a little milk too.

I prefer using a double boiler-I have an old aluminum one that I use for this. You hand grate the soap, which I started out doing, then went to my old processor-much faster and saves the fingers too.  lol

This time, I decided to add a teaspoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, and a little water. I had read to figure 1 teaspoon of oil per 8 ounces of grated soap. You can also add in essential oils if you have them-lavender would be nice to use; which you would add in at the gel stage. In the past I only used a little water, but I thought a little oil would be nice to try this time.

This is a slow process. You are melting down the soap to a gel consistency. It is really important to grate the soap fine-or it will really just take forever to melt down. I add in a little water as needed. The more water you add in the longer it takes your bars to harden though. Its a project to keep an eye on while you are in the kitchen area doing other things. Need to remember to check the boiling water too-I would say it will take at least an hour or more.

I took a couple photos so far, come back later as I will take more as the process continues.  For containers, I save those plastic boxes that fresh mushrooms come in. Once hardened I just slice the soap and let it harden more, which could take a few weeks.


I ended up adding in a little jojoba oil too. After an hour and 15 minutes I had added in a little more water during the process as well-the soap was gelled and thick and still had a few dots of un melted soap-but at this point I took it off the heat and put in the two molds. The pink one I added in lavender essential oil.

This is the first time I have added oils to the soap and I think once it gelled it might have made the mix harder once I took it off the heat-not knowing the chemistry of soap-lol  But I wanted to mention when putting the soap into the molds be sure you press it down well as you fill it up. It was getting hard on me when I got to the second mold, so I put it back on the double boiler for a minute.

 When I sliced these bars this morning one piece crumbled off a slice. I did add an extra teaspoon or two of oils to the mix too. However, wow I love the addition of oils to this soap-I washed my hands with a chunk that broke off and oh soooo creamy.

Now these need to sit and dry-I turn them once a day or when ever I think of it. Once dry-a couple weeks-Can put these bars in little sandwich bags or wrap with wax paper. That's allot of useable soap from saving soap slivers. Love it!

Other ways to re use your soap slivers:

   If you can get some nylon netting, or old sock, tie up some soap slivers with a rubberband and use for a bath scrubby. (soap on a rope)

  Here is a DIY on how to make liquid soap from your soap slivers-cool!

  Use as tailors chalk for sewing and marking quilts.

   If you are making your own laundry soap (see my post in search for my recipes) save up enough ivory or other plain soap slivers to grate and use in the recipe instead of buying bars of soap to grate.

  I found this article with more fun ideas to re use your slivers of soap-go here   includes sachets for your drawers, add to a bath mitt, make a body wash, deer control, lubricant and more.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I Found My Mermaid and a Dragonfly Too (Added New Photos)

  I was up last night browsing and browsing Etsy for the mermaid that would make me smile and I would fall in love with.

   I just was not totally thrilled with the carved ones I was looking at. I found some gorgeous handmade glass beads-really amazing but those started at $75.00 and would be prettier used in jewelry. Then I decided to look for mermaid glass buttons.  That search brought me to Shannon's Etsy shop go here (See Thru Sand). She has buttons I have never seen before-mostly vintage, glass and czech so they will go with my czech beads I just bought too. Such a lovely selection of vintage buttons. Yep I collect those too lol

  I fell in love with a green glass button with a gold highlighted mermaid but the shank on the back was broken and I want to use it on my purse project.
   . She also had a violet one, and she does have the green glass with platinum highlights but I didn't care for that color. In a week or so she should get more of the green glass with gold mermaid; but the more I looked at it I love the violet mermaid too.

Sooooo this little mermaid is on it's way to me-can't wait  now. This button is a little under 2" so I think it will be perfect.  I also purchased a glass czech violet dragonfly button, and a little green and yellow frog that is also czech glass.

I ended up going with the violet cause of the soft color and I had a creative vision today-lol I have several pieces still of violet split leather that is soft. I think the leather will wear better inside of the purse so now to figure out how to fuse the leather and wool crazy quilt patches together-thinking mistyfuse

  I better figure out supper now-as I have had mermaids on my mind for a few days now-lol

Photos of other buttons

Sale in my Kathyinozarks Fibers Etsy Shop-Hand Dyed Fat 1/8th's

  I wanted to share a sale I am having in my Fibers Etsy shop-link in left column

   I want to sell out of my hand dyes so I can make new this coming spring and summer. I had done a couple  gradation pieces in fat 1/8's. Perfect for quilt making, sewing, crafts. Some of these are so pretty they can be framed as an art piece. Would make pretty pillows too.

   I have lots of colors left. The sale is for 5 pieces of your choosing for $12.00 shipping free in the USA. I will ship overseas but contact me for shipping price quote. Just click on custom order in my shop to let me know which pieces you are interested in.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Let's Bee Social Event by Sew Fresh Quilts

  I am joining in with Let's Bee Social again this Wednesday.

  The main focus this past week was surviving the below 0 frigid temps and the 10" of drifting snow. We are finally above 0 and headed for a little warm up. Biggest challenge now is to get dug out-we live in the woods in the Ozarks so you can imagine the long driveway in-lol

  I have also been babying a very sore back which is gradually on the mends-finally-just have to remember to not overdo-but a couple days ago I could finally sit pretty comfortably and hand quilt. My goal is to finish up this quilt before I start on anything else. I am making progress and am just under half way finished with the quilting part. A couple posts back this week-you can view photos.

  I have been thinking about my wool crazy quilt purse project though. See past posts for links and my new glass beads I got in a couple days ago. I am now on the hunt for the perfect mermaid bead. I thought I had found her-but with research the inks used are not permanent so this won't do. I found another mermaid bead I liked but it's going to be a bit too large for my purse project. I have been searching Ebay too as well as Etsy sellers and have found a few hand carved stone mermaid beads that I may choose. So that hunt continues.

  I do have lots of threads, wool roving and silk noil for the needle felting, and I have lots of reclaimed wool in the ready.

  I am also thinking about new hand dye projects-I love making hand dyes. First up may be to try out a new to me technique using my frozen flowers. That's a dye project I can do in the house.

To visit more posts and read what we are all up to with our creativity-click on the button Let's Bee Social in right hand column

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I might have found my Mermaid Bead

I have been looking on Ebay at carved mermaids on stone and also mermaid beads on Etsy.

I have not totally fallen in love with anything yet-except I just found this one here on etsy  I love the colors and love the mermaid's face. I am finding out more about her from the artist. These are hand carved on tiles and yes they will make me one of the mermaid only.

This is going to be on a wool crazy quilt background made into a purse-and then lots of needle felting, embroidery, beads, etc. The owner said these tiles are very durable. so any opinions?? I am finding out how thick the tile is too.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Civil War Block of the Month by Barbara Brackman

  I love reading Barbara Brackman's quilt history blogs. I have been following along especially with her free BOM civil war themed blocks.

  I had really planned on sewing up the Dixie Diary quilt she presented free for 2013. I have all the fabrics gathered, and had copied all of the blocks-so hope to get to that this year. I read the diary of Sarah Morgan (which the quilt  was based on) and really enjoyed it-learned more about the confederate side and what the residents went through during the war.

   For 2014 Barbara is offering another free BOM based on real life events of the underground railroad. It begins the end of this month-for information go here  What I like about her BOM's-there is no sign up and it's free. However, you can sign up for email notifications, follow her blog on Bloglovin, or just remember to check back the last Saturday of each month

   This looks like another good one-and more challenging then last year's-so I need to make Dixie Diary first. Read more information on this project here too-on her Material Culture blog 

Thank you Barbara Brackman for all the research you do-and for sharing the information with us.


Our Winter Storm Update

  We still have electric-Happy Dancing for that positive.

We ended up with around 10" of snow, it blew around allot yesterday, we got down to way below 0 last night. Today will be the worse-as the 30 mile an hour winds come in-so that will bring down those wind chill temps. The news says this is the coldest its been here in the Ozarks for over 20 years.

  I am looking out the window and the birds are waiting for their sunflower seed feeder to get filled up-so getting ready to bundle up and brave the cold to do that.

  Here is a couple photos I took yesterday when the snow was coming down.


   I made a batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies last night to add some extra heat in the house with the oven on. They turned out delicious. For the fat I used coconut oil, for the sweetener I used coconut sugar and Splenda, and used my gluten free flour and added in dark chocolate chips-makes a good breakfast this morning too-lol

  I love watching football and both my teams lost. I started watching the KC Chiefs this year since they are the local team here and I can watch a team on tv. My all time favorite team is the Green Bay Packers-since 1967. I was going to college up at Stout State University at the time and learned all about the Packers at that time.  That was the year either the super bowl or a playoff game was being played in bitter cold weather too. In yesterday's game the Packers lost in the end with San Francisco burning up the time and kicking a field goal-I always feel cheated when a team wins that way.  It was very frigid up there in Green Bay-can't imagine playing football in those conditions-or even braving be a fan out there. They even had to bring in heaters to keep the beer from totally freezing-lol

   Made some progress on my quilt yesterday, and will probably work more on that unless I decide to bake something with some apples that need used up. I am thinking of searching for a gluten free apple cake recipe.

Stay warm all of you.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bracing for the Big Storm

  Yesterday I asked hubby to call someone we know that has a teenager in high school if he would fill our fire wood rack for us. So his father and him did come out this afternoon. We visited with the father while the teenager filled our wood rack up by the house. I was so relieved to have the wood nearby.

   Larry isn't able to bring in much wood at one time and I can't right now either so this was worth it me to pay the $20.00. It took him about 45 minutes to do the job. Oh to be young again-lol

  The snow hasn't hit yet but checking the weather one last time before I hit the sack-it is coming any time now-we are right in the middle of the path for 8" of snow, along with howling winds (per the weather lady tonight) and going into Monday way below 0 temps. Wind chills -40 Doesn't look like we will miss out this time around.  I need to remind myself that I do really live in the ozarks right now and no longer on the Wisconsin-Illinois border-lol

  I have filled about 8 gallon jugs with water, and I need to fill up some more large pans of water tomorrow morning. I am praying we don't lose our electric with all that wind coming-cause that means we will also lose our water (we have a well) with those frigid temps.  I know allot of states are in the path of this massive storm too.

  I think hot chocolate will be in order for tomorrow

  Praying we all stay safe and warm.


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