Thursday, January 29, 2015

Persimmon Bars and Niddy Noddys

Find my Grow Your Blog Party Post Here  a Giveaway too

    This morning early I decided to bake up a batch of persimmon bars. My friend had brought me over a small bucket full of fresh wild persimmons last fall-so I made up the pulp and froze them in 1 cup containers-perfect for baking.

     I had made these back in November for our "deer camp" and all the guys just loved them. These bars are really delicious. I found the recipe here at allrecipes  
      What I changed: for the oil I used melted coconut oil, for the sugar I used half splenda and half coconut sugar, and I changed to gluten free flours and added 1/4 teaspoon of xanthia gum. for the spices I did not add salt and I used an apple pie spice blend from Penzey's Spices. To the glaze recipe I also added about 2 drops of lemon oil to enhance the lemon flavor.

Yesterday we got a break in the weather-mid 60s, so we went into the woods and got in more firewood- hopefully enough wood now til spring.  I wanted to share some of these bars with one of our friends that helped us get the wood in, so a nice surprise for him today. 

   I had posted a week or so ago that I decided to make my own niddy noddy's-a tool used to wind spun yarn on to that makes up into a skein and depending on the size of the niddy noddy you can then know how many yards of yarn you have.
      I like wood tools better than plastic so I used this pattern  to make two. To buy the copper pieces and oak dowels cost me $20.20 I had the glue on hand. To buy just one would have cost  me around $28.00 plus shipping-so I am happy with my diy project. The purchased ones would have been prettier and more streamlined but I like these now that I have them put together. I just glued all the pieces so waiting for them to dry now.

(click on photos to enlarge)

  We got really spoiled here in the ozarks-while the east coast was getting a winter storm we got spring temps-such a nice break, I even spent a few hours in the garden-adding in the compost I did not get to end of last fall. However, we are back to winter now for at least a week.

    I did get all the blue roving spun up on my drop spindle and very happy with my very first handspun yarn. I am really enjoying the process so far.

   If interested I also have a second giveaway going on at my seller's blog. I will draw two winners on January 31st for one fat 1/8th of my hand dye cotton for each winner. Just follow the instructions on that link.

Have an awesome weekend!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party 3rd Annual Event

2 Bags Full
  So glad you found me at Vicki's Grow Your Blog Party

     I have been retired since the autumn of 2003, wow can't believe it has been that many years ago already-lol. We moved from northern Illinois to the Ozarks of Missouri. My husband and I live very rural in the woods.

    My home will probably never get finished-it was a fixer upper when we moved here, and although lots has been done there is still much more to complete.  So along with learning how to do faux walls, set rocks on walls, garden, hunt our land, fish, explore foods and herbs in our woods-I am also delving into creativity projects that interest me.

   Fiber arts has always been my love, and I am someone that bounces around from project to project-weaving, quilting, rug hooking, sewing, but I also love hand dyeing, eco nature printing,making soap, herbal salves, making handmade papers and-and- there is still so much more to learn. I also do not really plan a project-I have an idea and then just "go for it" lol So far my weaving is more planned but that will soon change when I explore saori weaving this year.

   I am not satisfied with only being a quilter or only being a weaver or only being a hand dyer-but that's me-so although I consider myself a fiber artist I am not a master of any one fiber craft. 

   So if you are a new visitor to my blog and enjoy reading blogs that create all sorts of different things, shares recipes, photos, and my "doings" here in the Ozarks during my retirement years; I hope you will enjoy reading me and become a new friend.

   I have been blogging since probably around 2004 or 2005. I learned to quilt on a yahoo group and that led me to the wonderful world of blogging on Yahoo 360-I still miss that place. Then allot of us went to Multiply-and then when that went down we all scattered on the web, many of my friends stopped blogging and went to Facebook instead-I still love the platform of journaling and sharing on a blog the best so I settled here on Blogger.      
     Blogging is very rewarding for me; I have met so many  new friends, learned so much and have been touched and inspired. Since we live very rural-the internet is really a blessing to me now.

   Vicki's first Grow Your Blog Party changed my blog world here on Blogger-and I am so thankful, I had such a difficult time connecting with people before that first party. The Grow Your Blog Parties have introduced me to so many friends all over the world-and each one inspires me when I go through my blog list and read their posts. You are most welcome to explore my blog list-there are now over 100 listed. I find it easier for me to have my reading list right here on my blog.


   Yes, I am having a GIVEAWAY again at this party. I have been thinking of what I can share that is very flat and not heavy so it can be shipped worldwide easily, and something that everyone can use and hopefully love. 
      Last year I shared some of my beautiful hand dyes but I know not everyone sews or has an interest in fabric.

     So, this year I will be sharing 4 sheets of my handmade papers. 

     I think everyone will enjoy creating with or using handmade papers-these make lovely cards to send in the mail, paper crafts, or even journaling or scrapbooking.  I love lots of textures in my papers as you can see from my background page.
      I will be making new papers especially for February and for this event so what they look like will be a surprise for the winner.

   The rules for the party-Everyone can sign up for my giveaway-just leave a comment. Also, we are all drawing our winners on February 15th.

     Only thing that is important-I must be able to contact you-so many of you are no reply bloggers so that means there is no way I can contact you should you win-so if your settings are set for no reply-you must leave me contact email information in your comment-if not I will draw another name. That's it. Good luck in the drawings!
      I thought I would close with a photo of my latest-always wanted to learn craft-spinning. Last weekend I ended up spending saturday through monday teaching myself to finally master spinning with my bottom whorl spindle. By master-I mean the wool doesn't fall apart while I am trying to spin and it actually resembles yarn lol 
     This has been a dream of mine since the late 70s have tried to learn off and on through the years-but just never could grasp it no matter how much I tried. 
    2015 I decided was my year to learn and master this or be done with it -lol With the help of re reading my books, online you tube videos-which are an amazing tool for learning these days-and my friend Gene Black-I finally got this! I am so happy with myself. I am in my mid 60s now-so just saying never give up on your dreams if you want them bad enough.
    Here is a photo of my latest attempt-its thick and thin "art yarn" as one video said it would be. Next up is to master my spinning wheels. (click on photo to enlarge)

I made this awesome raisin pie to share with our friend that flew in for a visit this week-hubby's favorite too. I just happened to have some from fresh cream to whip up in the frig.
      I followed the recipe from Sunmaid raisins but what I changed in the recipe: I used half regular raisins and half yellow raisins, I used half brown sugar and half coconut sugar-which really cut the sweetness for better flavor of the raisins, and I make pie crusts the way my farm girl grandma always did but I now use healthier white whole wheat flour. The recipe makes a very small pie so need to double it to get a 9" size pie.

So go grab a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and---Have fun at the party!  and thanks so much for visiting.

Just a Note on how to check your blog if you are set as no reply and want to change it: I have had a couple replies that stated they didn't know how to change their no reply so here is how:

1. in upper right hand corner of your Blogger page click on design.
2. when this page opens up-in the  same upper right hand corner you will see your name and photo-click on the little arrow to the far right-which will open up a couple things-click on profile
3. when your profile page opens up you will see an orange little box on top of page that says edit profile-click on that
4. when this page opens up the second line says share my email-check that off and go down aways where it says identity and confirm the email address is the one you want. It will say email address you want your contacts to use.

That's it-and for me doing this opened up a much better world for communication with my readers and friends here on Blogger. I have never once gotten a spam email from doing this.

Ok  Now go back to the Party-and have fun meeting new friends and signing up for giveaways-


Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's Good to Spoil Ourselves Once in Awhile

  Last week when I was catching up on my blog reading, I came across Shroo's World post where she shared a gorgeous journal book from PaperBlanks. (this is the blog where I was inspired to make my own handmade journal) It was so lovely I wanted to see if they had notebooks or address books-so looking online for a source I found Love Notebooks  with all sorts of sizes.

   The Laurel Burch designs are always so lovely so was looking for those. At first I thought of a new address book which I really need-no I don't store numbers in a cell phone lol-and then I thought a mini lined notebook might be much nicer and more versatile too. 

  I also was looking for something that would be nice to use in the wool purse I want to make soon-last year I collected beads, vintage buttons and beads, wool, threads and such and want to hopefully be able to embroider an under ocean sea on my purse. I found the perfect little notebook and the perfect theme too in their mini lined notebooks.

It arrived today and I am sooo thrilled. I have never seen notebooks like this in person-living rural we don't have stores that would carry these-so I feel so special to own such a beautiful piece. 

It has a front magnetic closure, just inside a beautiful poem, and the back is gorgeous as well. This is called Ocean Song by Laurel Burch The paper is acid free from sustainable forest papers and the pages are stitched in

(Photos will enlarge)

I believe it is a good thing to spoil ourselves at times

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Good Morning and a Giveaway

  I am still sewing away on my 4 inch squares.  I am discovering that these pre cuts were not that accurate, some larger some smaller, and many cut off grain. I caught the worse ones, but as I sewed them together these are going to be hard to square up unless I really cut them down in size, so I am going to just "wing" it today and see what happens.
   I am usually too much of a perfectionist and this is not that kind of quilt where it needs to be super perfect-its just a fun quilt using up fabrics I have already and in the end will be used by us and Miss Calico kitty-so I am not going to stress over this-a big accomplishment for me for sure-not to stress over non perfection.

  I wanted to share here that I am having a giveaway to share two fat 1/8's from a gradation dye series I did. So these are perfect for you quilters, sewers, and crafters. I want to share these with my followers and supporters-and mostly to promote my two business pages online-on Facebook and also here on Blogger. more information if interested here  on my blog business page.

  Happy dancing over the weather news-friday brings us some 50's  yeah I really need a warm up-as I have been cold for the most part this winter.

  Enjoy your day-and make some art or creativity.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I am Actually Sewing This Morning

I have not done any sewing for quilting in must be over a year now. Last year I was having too much fun exploring hand dyeing with natural materials, nature printing, paper making, and weaving.

Actually I haven't started any new quilts because of the problem for me in getting them quilted. I am too slow at hand quilting and in the past I have not had good success quilting with  my regular sewing machine-although I may attempt that once more. 

A few days ago I remembered I had two big stacks of pre cut 4" squares that an online quilt friend gifted me with over 8 years ago-or longer. So while watching the playoff football games Sunday I paired them up to make 4 patches-as best I could I worked at getting two lights and two darks into each block. I paired up 100 sets-so this morning I am at the sewing machine-chain piecing the pairs and then cutting them into the 4 block sets-so as not to get myself confused later-lol

In the photo you can see to the left a big stack, in the back one block put together, and a pile of sets. 

When I was pairing these up yesterday I wasn't real sure what they would make into-but as I woke up this morning the idea popped into my head-sew these up for the backing of the quilt I am going to put together with handspuns and those embroidered blocks. I love when ideas evolve like that.

We missed all the ice-thank goodness, ended up with rain and the temps so far are hovering just above the freeze temps-a very good thing for us being so rural.

When sewing up quilt blocks the time just flys by-so fast it amazes me-I am making the guys lunch and will get back to sewing after

Have an awesome creative Monday!

Oh and I just couldn't resist a big savings from Paradise Fibers-they are offering free shipping right now-and I browsed their bargain aisle and found a pound of white cheviot roving on sale-perfect for dyeing and for learning how to spin. Spinning is a must learn on my creativity list this year. This is also an awesome site for lots of yarns for crochet, knitting, weaving and more. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Just Chatting

  Brrrrr we are very cold here in the Ozarks-single digits this morning and more of the same for the rest of the week. When we get into temps below the 20's our home gets pretty chilly just heating with wood stoves at each end of the house. I wouldn't change that though-I just grab warm sweaters in the morning and a couple layers of socks til the house warms up again after waking up. However, we finally have another day of sunshine-I think we only had one or two days of sun in December, and I need sunshine-lol

    After lunch I bundled up & grabbed a bunch of firewood to get us through til morning, and also had started on a large soap order early this morning-got one dozen bars made so far.
     I also started back in typing in my late sister's poetry for her ebook.  One poem in particular I learned something new about her life today. I have read these poems before and have typed them from her handwriting already but thought of this one poem differently while typing it again just now.  
     As kids we grew up with many near misses of devastating tornadoes that came through Indiana, so before when I read this one poem I thought she was referring to those childhood years. But this time as I was typing it in-something just clicked that perhaps this was a recent life event. So I put in the date April 3, 1974 in noaa-and there it was--many devastating tornadoes where she was living at the time and also in several states. 
     Her poetry spoke to me today-I love that.

On another note, finally all the Christmas cookies and buckeyes are almost gone. I have been sharing these all December long with whom ever drops by and for the guys lunch-but as I walk by the cookie jar I grab a few every day too-so I will be glad when they are gone-all eaten. I don't have allot of sweets around usually-but this is always fun for the holidays for us. I do still have allot of fudge and dark chocolate bark but that can just stay in the freezer til closer to Valentines day

    Got one more quilt block embroidered-two more to do with the bears and cabin, and then I have 5 more to do with the canoe and fisherman. I may just split these up and make two quilts with them-I have plenty of fabric that needs to be used up.

    Oh and if you are on Craftsy (or want to join) and love to quilt-they are having a free class for a block of the month quilt with Jinny Beyer. If interested be sure to enroll in the class.

  Also if you haven't signed up already for the Grow your Blog event-be sure to click on the button (upper right hand column) and sign up on that post only-I believe sign up ends January 15th. I have participated in all of them so far-and a very fun way to enjoy a cold winter day-meeting new creative friends. I have met so many of you through this event. Last year over 500 blogs participated.

How are you keeping warm??



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