Friday, October 29, 2010

New Look For A Book

I just finished this lovely book cover, and yes, it's another late night project. Lilybeth woke up crying and I could not go back to sleep.
It does not take a lot of time or fabric to make this book cover.

 I stitched the ribbon into the lining to serve as a handy book marker.

It really was an easy project and I'm pleased with the way it came out. It can be done to any book size just measure the top to the bottom of the book that you want to cover, and add 2 inches. Then measure across the back, spine, and front of the book and add 6 inches.

I made this book cover for a blank journal, another great gift idea.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Rocking Chair to Recover

 This little rocking chair was my husband's great Aunt Etta's.  I remember she used to sit in it and pray  everyday.  I always liked it.  Stan's mom was kind enough to trade a larger white rocking chair for this one, but this one was in need of a new look.  Aunt Etta used to put a patchwork pillow behind her back to be more comfortable; one that I had made by hand for her 23 years ago.
 I found this fabric that I liked in sage green with colored squares.
I put loops on the top of the back rest so it would stay in place.
 It was pretty easy, not like the other rocker glider I did earlier.
 I made a little pillow to go with it, very easy to make, just some basic white fabric and four different color threads.
 It closes in the back with two simple buttons.
 To make designs like this, simply trace the design onto white fabric and with your machine or by hand follow that design with colored threads of your choosing.  You can also add some lines where desired using the same method.  I chose to add some straight lines down the sides as shown for a nice finishing touch.
 I was pleased with the finished product.

My Lilybeth liked the new look as well, and apparently, so did her dollies, Lotta and Katie!

Osnaburg lined Breadbag

 I attended recently a food pantry swap and one of the prizes was three fabric sandwich bags lined with  a material called PUL. Some of us were discussing how we could keep the bread we make fresh without using plastic zip lock bags. I was telling my friend Amy that she could just make the same baggies but make them bigger to fit a bread. She said she would ponder about it, and so did I.
I made this bread bag lined with an osnaburg fabric.  It closes with a pull string to seal the bag in order to keep the bread fresh.

This particular one I made for my chiropractor and health specialist Dr.Dan Yachter.  Occasionally I bring him one of my home made breads ,but this time it will have a pretty and very useful wrapper.

I also made him two snackbags for his fruit and snacks; lets see what he has to say once he uses them.

I have made lots of these snackbags for my family in all different sizes, and I use them instead of zip lock bags. The are fantastic.  I use them for fruits like sliced apples or grapes and refrigerate them. The fruit stays fresh and crunchy.  I also made muffins and put them in a snack bag lined with osnaburg and left them on my kitchen table overnight; they are just as moised and yummy as the day before. 

I'm so impressed with this alternative to plastic bags.  And the best part is, unlike plastic bags which are thrown away after use, these can just go straight in the washer and be used again!

Watch for these to be on sale very soon on my Etsy site.
Breadbags are now for sale in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Whole Wheat Bread

 Just out of the oven and smelling wonderful is my whole wheat bread. Since my husband likes a darker crust, this one is for him.

I have been baking bread for over 12 years now and it is part of my life. But the loaves I made many years ago, well shall I say they were not the best looking or tasting breads.  As a matter of fact my husband and children used to call them "Elly May" loaves (a.k.a. The Beverly Hillbillies) or door stoppers. Since then I've developed a wonderful bread recipe that is bullet proof, even for a beginner. You will absolutely love it.
 It is very important that you sift your flour every time, not with the old fashion hand-sifter; the holes are too big.  Use a very fine sifter, like a strainer. After you sift the flour, pour what is left in the strainer (the bran) back into your sifted flour. You just want to bring loftiness into your flour to eliminate the need for enhancers or gluten.  My grandmother was a genius in the kitchen; she always sifted whenever she did anything with flour.

Here is my recipe :  Gabriele's Whole Wheat Sunshine Loaf
4 cups whole wheat flour (sifted)
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 to 3 teaspoon instant yeast

5/8 cup rice milk or water
3/4 water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3 tablespoon honey

Put wet ingredients into the bread machine pan first. Add the dry ingredients, except the yeast. Make a little small hole in the flour with your finger and spoon the yeast into it. Start the dough cycle.

 I use a bread machine on a dough cycle and then knead and shape the dough. After that, move the dough into a greased bread pan for oven backing (ceramic works best).  I let it rise for 30 min. in the oven with the oven light on; that is just enough warmth for the dough to rise.  I also cover the dough with a cloth while rising.  Then, when it's risen I don't have to move it again and risk the pan being bumped. Bumping is very bad; the bread will fall into itself. After 30 min. I take off the cloth and turn on the oven.  My oven takes 6 min. to pre-heat.  After the over is pre-heated, I cover my loaf with a piece of aluminum foil which keeps the loaf from getting too dark. I bake it on 350 degrees for 45 min.
Take it out of the pan right away and place onto a cooling rack, otherwise it will get too moist.

There it is!  Guaranteed to be the best 100% whole wheat bread you've ever had, (according to my husband).  Don't forget, there's no preservatives in this bread and it has a shelf life of only 2-3 days on the counter, a week in the fridge..

For a nice alternative to plastic bags or containers to store your bread, click this link for a home-made solution from my friend Amy.

Wonderful Homemade Gift for Friends and Family

Our family has decided to only give home made gifts to friends and family this year for the holidays. I created this very yummy "Ranch Dressing Dry Mix" and thought it would make a lovely gift for friends.

 All you need is a small mason jar, some fabric, a ribbon, and a small spoon.

Here, I'd like to share it with you.


 Ranch Dressing Dry Mix

1/8 cup basil
1 cup parsley flakes
1/2 cup minced onions
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces mayonnaise ( I use Vegenaise made with grapeseed oil)

Blend 8 oz mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of "ranch dressing dry mix" in blender on high. Add water to desired consistency.  Then refrigerate.

Homemade Waffles from scratch

 So this morning I made waffles for my family and everybody still in there beds knew it, because the wonderful smell permeated throughout the house--talk about getting your whole family up in no time without complaining :)

Waffles were never my favorite meal to make because they used to stick to the waffle maker, and it would be a disappointing mess. So I developed this bulletproof recipe and it is always a success. I'm happy to share it with you.

With a family of seven living in one household, there are some of us who like there waffles thick and some who like them thin (especially my husband ).  I was fortunate to find a thin/thick Belgian waffle maker in a thrift store like new.

1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat or spelt flour if you are allergic to wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 2 eggs, separated

 1 cup almond or rice milk

 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil

 Mix and sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In another bowl,  mix together the egg yoke, milk, and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until moistened.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, and gently fold into waffle batter (this will make the batter light and fluffy so that the waffles do not come out so heavy and condensed).  Bake in preheated waffle iron

Monday, October 25, 2010

 I just finished this project. I had this chair sitting on my porch for a year now, and my husband said, "Just set it out on the trash corner; it's not useful."  But I really liked this chair.  We bought it together in a yard sale seven years ago when I was pregnant with our son Tristan.  It is a very comfy glider rocker and I used to spend many nights rocking and nursing Tristan to sleep.  I just couldn't part with it, so I decided to recover it and make new cushions for it--mind you I have never done that before, but I was willing to try.  The glider rocker also has a gliding footstool which my husband had to fix before I could recover it.


I had bought this very cute fabric on sale many weeks ago at JoAnn fabrics and hoped it would be a good fit for this chair.  .....well, I absolutely love the result!!

I had to run to the store to buy a long quilting needle to make the indention in the back cushion. This gave it a nice look.
My little LilyBeth was the first one to jump on the chair as soon as it was done.  I guess she approves :)
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