Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Monday, August 31, 2009

Thrifty Shopping Trip

While out running errands Saturday morning, I decided to stop and take a look at a Goodwill Thrift store that I hadn't been to in a while. I usually find more wool sweaters and clothes at yard sales during the summer, but it looks like even the thrift shops are now getting ready for Fall. I found quite a few pretty wool sweaters, a great chocolate brown suede skirt and a couple of vintage woven wool men's jackets.

I've gotten all of my new wool fulled/felted, dried and cut into pieces and some even ready to stitch together. I'm working on some new handbags that incorporate the woven wool with the wool sweaters and maybe even some of the suede. I think these combinations will work well together and hope to have some new designs to share and list in the shop by the end of the week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do You Have a Favorite Food?

When recently asked the question, What is Your Favorite Food?, I wasn't able to come up with just one answer. I love to cook and I love great food, but my tastes often change according to the seasons and circumtances. Some people would automatically say "a great steak", "Mom's special lasagna" or "anything chocolate". My current tastes run the gamut of all the wonderful, seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables found in the garden and farmers' markets this time of year, especially here in the Midwest. Warm, fresh from the garden tomatoes - I love a thick slice on a hamburger or a BLT. Or how about some sweet, buttery corn on the cob? This is a sampling of vegetables fresh from my garden.

And then there's all the luscious, juicy fresh fruits - peaches, apples and blueberries. So I decided my favorite for the day is fruit desserts, specifically blueberry crisp. Then I had to make some for dessert and thought I'd share the recipe. This is a super simple fresh baked dessert. You could use mixed berries instead of just blueberries, or add fresh sliced peaches to the blueberries, a great combination!

Blueberry Crisp
(4-6 servings)

3 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
cream or ice cream

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange blueberries in an ungreased baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, cinnamon and salt; sprinkle on top. Bake until topping is light brown and blueberries are hot, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with cream.
Do you have a favorite food?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Featured from the Etsy Bloggers Team : : Memories for Life Scrapbooks

I am a new member of Etsy Bloggers Street Team! One of the great ways the team promotes it's members is the Monthly Featured EtsyBlogger. The featured blogger for the month of August is Edi, of Memories for Life Scrapbooks. As a papercrafter, Edi makes wonderfully creative scrapbooks, custom albums and notebooks for her Etsy shop, memoriesforlifesb.

I love these little notebooks, perfect to carry in your bag for shopping lists and notes.

You can order a Custom Word Album to remember that special vacation.

And use this cute Pet Photo Album/Scrapbook to safeguard photos of your four legged friends!


And you have to check out these very creative and unique Flip Flip Albums!

For more unique items and great gift ideas, be sure to stop
by memoiresforlifesb on Etsy. Or see what else Edi is creating by reading her blog Memories for Life Scrapbooks.



Friday, August 21, 2009

Wool Crafting in Progress Here!

Earlier in the week I completed and listed some new handbags in the shop. Then I looked at the calender and realized I have less than two months until my very first craft show! Yikes!!! I am excited and decided I'd better take inventory of my supplies and set a schedule for myself so that I have plenty of items both for my Etsy shop and the craft show. I love summer and hate to see it starting to come to an end, but I need to start thinking about (dare I say it!!!) holiday ornaments, Christmas stockings, mittens and scarves! So here's a look at what I found and what I'm working on.

More felted wool sweaters ready for crafting.

I started cutting out heart shapes for a new batch of Holiday Heart Felt ornaments.

Recycled wool flower brooches, in various stages of completion.

I love all the different colors and textures of the various types of wool!

So, that's what I'm working on these days. Now I'd better get busy and start sewing again, I have lots of work to do!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Few New Handbags

I'm starting to gear up for Fall and stock up my Etsy shop, FeltSewGood. This week I've been working on some new handbags and these are my latest listings in the shop.

The Brown Argyle BLAKELY

These handbags were all made from eco friendly, felted, recycled wool sweaters. Be sure to check out the shop for more new handbags, plush toys and flower brooches coming soon!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Tropical Color in the Garden

I love tropical looking plants in my garden! I love the big, textured leaves and the vibrant color of the flowers. Since I live in the midwest, we can only grow them as annuals in our backyard. We keep as many as we can as houseplants when it turns cold, or let them hibernate in the garage over the winter. I've taken a few photos of some of the unique details of these pretty plants, including hibscus, banana and cannas.

Then I made a simple collage using the photo editing software, Picnik. If you are not familiar with Picnik, it is a free photo editing software that you use online, in your browser. You can easily rotate, crop, resize or color correct your photos. Or you can get Picnik Premium for $24.95 a year and get the collage feature and many more advanced editing tools. If you are looking for a simple, inexpensive way to edit your photos to use online, or share in Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, and more, take a look at Picnik.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

All of a sudden we have an abundance of summer squash in the garden, so this morning I used some to make my favorite zucchini bread recipe.

We have both green zucchini and yellow summer squash. Either one can be used in this recipe. We try to pick the squash when it is small, and the most tender, to saute or grill. But occasionally we miss one and this is a good way to use a bit larger squash since it will be grated for this recipe.

Pineapple Zucchini Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil together until light and fluffy. Stir in zucchini.
Then add flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and mix well.
Stir in pineapple and nuts.
Bake in 2 greased and floured loaf pans for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Insert toothpick in center of loaf to make sure they have baked long enough. They may need another 5 minutes or so, depending on the moisture content of the squash.
Let pans sit on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing loaves from pan. Then cool loaves completely before storing.
The pineapple and 2 cups of grated squash make this a nice moist bread. It's wonderful for breakfast with a smear of butter or cream cheese. Since this recipe makes two loaves there will be one for you and one to share! Or, you can wrap the extra loaf and place in the freezer.
I'd love to know what you think if you try this recipe!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The EtsyBloggers Team MEGA GIVEAWAY!

I just joined the Etsy Bloggers Street Team. Next week the awesome Etsy Bloggers team will turn 2 years old! Soooooooo we're CELEBRATING our 2nd anniversary with a MEGA GIVEAWAY!!
Details on HOW TO ENTER TO WIN will be posted on Sunday on the Etsy Bloggers Street Team blog!! http://etsybloggers.blogspot.com
Be sure to check out the blog for info on how to win many fabulous prizes donated by some wonderful Etsy shops!
Have a great weekend Everyone!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fluttering, Flying Garden Visitors

This time of year, the garden looks lush and mature and we have many small fluttering and flying visitors. The butterflies' beauty and miraculous metamorphosis is enchanting. And the dazzling dragonflies are attracted to our garden ponds.

A beautiful yellow swallowtail on a butterfly bush bloom.


And a delicate winged turquiose dragonfly on an oleander leaf.


I've attempted to capture their beauty in these photos. A search on Etsy for butterflies and dragonflies shows that these beautiful insects are inspiration to quite a few others, as well. Here are just a few of my fluttering and flying favorites from Etsy sellers and artists. Be sure to click on the photo, item name or shop name for more info on each of these beautiful pieces!

1902 Chromolithograph of North American Butterflies, from bananastrudel