Vegan Banana Bread

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 No comments
I had some rotting bananas (I don't know how that happened because I love them), and my brother was around.  Unfortunately for my recipe collection, he won't eat any animal product.  I'm sure he's much healthier than myself and everyone around us, but...I don't have a lot of eggless breads, so if I want to share my calories....and I do, but I also want to enjoy some banana bread, I have to get creative.  I found this recipe via hellyeahitsvegan and it was DELICIOUS.  I made one substitute (regular flour instead of wheat), but seriously, yum.  If everything tasted this good I too could be vegan, but you know....there's cheese and I can't uncheese right now.
Regardless, it doesn't hurt to cut out some dairy and eggs every once in awhile...or share calories with the skinny people of the world.  Vegan or not, this ones a keeper.
Vegan Banana Bread
Ingredients:  1/2 c. plain unsweetened vegan milk (I used soy, but there are also different almond milks etc out there), 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar, 1/2 c. vegan butter (like earth balance)-softened, 1 c. light brown sugar, 3 very ripe bananas (mashed), 1 t. vanilla, 2 c. flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1/4 t. salt, 3/4 c. walnuts (chopped)
1.  Heat over to 350.  Grease a 9 inch pan.
2.  Stir together milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
3.  Cream together vegan butter and sugar.  Add bananas, vanilla, milk and beat.
4.  Sift in all dry ingredients (except nuts) into the banana mix.  Stir until everything is just moist.
5.  Fold in nuts.  Cook for 45 inutes.  Cook for 10 minutes, pull out and slide a knife along the sides to make sure it doesn't stick as it cools.

Mummy Doll

Monday, August 29, 2016 No comments
 A few years ago I made some dolls I bought a pattern for via Etsy.  I recently used the same pattern, with none of the extra details to make some mummies for Halloween.
 I cut the pattern out of some old sheets and then stuff each piece and sewed it together.
 I added some eye balls and then wrapped the whole thing in cheese clothe.  I used some fabric glue to hold the cheese clothe in place.

Busy Book

Friday, August 26, 2016 No comments
 This summer I went to a annual tradition.  Everyone brings something different from quilts and wall hangings to scrapbooks and knitting projects.  This year my pal Amber brought a busy book to work on.  She did a really good job, and the neat thing is she made it using rings.  This allows her to change out the pages for her little girl as she grows.
She told me she wanted to make a busy book from the time she knew she was pregnant because her grandmother had made one for her when she was a little girl.
She shared the book with me and it's so precious, I just had to share.  This is a counting book, and it's all totally hand stitched.  The pieces can either be inserted into the objects on the page, or there is velcro where the objects can be stuck on.
 I love this fish tank, I don't know what clear film she used on top, but seriously, how cute are these?
 Here are a few of Amber's pages.  The mailbox opens up, you can slide the flag up and down, and there is an envelope inside where Charlotte can put a letter, and a Velcro square to add a stamp.
 The balloons are for matching colors, and the ribbon is for tying.
The page above is in the works, but it will have the numbers on the flaps, and then she matches the buttons to the number.  
She also used some scrabble tiles to spell out Charlotte's name and made a pocket for the letters to go inside.  She did several other pages, get the idea....and it's a cute one.  I learn the most from having creative friends!

Primitive Black Cat

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 No comments
 I recently when to a retreat and I had some extra time to play around with fabric after I finished up my quilt.  I saw a cat like this via pinterest and decided to make a pattern to make my own.
Here is a free download if you want to make your own.  I cut off the front leg for mine, but whatever floats your boat.    I used some black fabric, added stuffing and stitched on a face and added a scrap of fabric for a collar and a bell.  

Strawberry Pecan Salad

Monday, August 22, 2016 No comments
 There is a strawberry jello salad I love to make.  It does involved three different levels of ingredients and some very careful transferring levels so the layers don't mix together.  I recently saw the recipe at the Gunny Sack for this dessert salad and it sounded very similar...and oh my goodness was it ever delicious.  I think I'd make a lot of friends if I brought this to a potluck....but....I have enough friends, so I kept this gal for myself and a few people that accidentally gained access to my house.  You could add any fruit (pineapple?) you want, but....strawberries are my favorite with salty pretzels.
Strawberry Pecan Salad
Ingredients: 1 c pretzels (crushed), 1/2 c. pecans (chopped), 3/4 c. brown sugar, 3/4 c butter (melted), 2 c strawberries (diced), 8 oz cream cheese (softened), 1/2 c. sugar, 1 t. vanilla, 8 oz whipped cream
1.  Mix pretzels, pecans, brown sugar, and butter.  Spread and press down into a large baking sheet with sides.  Bake at 400 for 7 minutes.  Cool, and break into small pieces.
2.  Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Fold in the whipped cream.  
3.  Add the strawberries and pretzel chunks.  Keep chilled.  

West Texas

Friday, August 19, 2016 No comments
 A little something most people that know me know-I'm a fan of the weekend get away.  I want to explore every nook and cranny of a small town.  I'm in love with old Main Streets.  I grieve for close store fronts, and wonder about what was, and who experienced it.  Hotel Settles has been on my short 'to go' list since I read about it a few years back.  It was built in 1930 in Big Springs, Texas.  It's still the tallest building in town, and can be seen, with a back drop of the wind farms in the distance from many points throughout the city.
 The real draw for me, this was a town my grandfather called home once upon a time.  He's the only grandparent I really had the pleasure of knowing.  I didn't get to ask him nearly enough questions because I was still too young to know what questions I'd wonder about.  I do get the pleasure of spending the occasional lunch with his younger sister, and she fills in some of the gaps in his childhood I wish I had time to hear from him.  I love that this hotel was something he would have seen as a little boy on the streets of Big Springs.
 This hotel has sat vacant for years, and just a few years ago it was restored.  They did a great job of keeping the vintage feel, but bringing it up to date with modern conveniences.  Like, this pool....
 A little desert oasis, my Mom, Aunt, Cousin and I spent time at on the, much too brief trip to Big Springs.  The rooms are beautiful, and the lobby is classy, open, and it is surrounded by a great restaurant, bar, and a gorgeous ball room.
 I wish I had more pictures, but these few photos were taken from my iphone because a cooler was accidentally dumped on my camera, and it went on strike.  This means....I'll need to go back!
From Dallas, this was about a four out trip...if you don't stop at all the litttle antique stores in the little towns between here and there....and we did.  We also hit up Sweetwater, another town my Granddad called home. I was able to find the addresses where he lived here and in Abilene, and we swung by the houses he called home once upon a childhood.
 We also swung through Mineral Wells, which is a book end to this trip.  My Mom and Aunt have fond memories of this (currently closed) hotel.  My Mom took diving lessons in the huge pool that stands next to the pool.  It's currently in disrepair.  Windows are broken out, and the weather and human intervention have done a number on the innards, but having seen Hotel Settles...I can't imagine how awesome this would be with some TLC.  There is a group currently trying to get it restored.
We walked around the outside, and peeked through the fences, but while we were there for all of ten minutes, there were three other groups we ran into doing the same thing.  I have a feeling filling these rooms won't be a problem because it seems we aren't the only ones drawn to the past in hopes of getting to visit some of those memories again!

Making Bows 101

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 No comments
I'm currently in a holding pattern.  I've been collecting some fun things to put together my dream craft room. brother is currently residing in said room.  I was going to try to up my youtube game this year, but....there really isn't a great place to record.  BUT here is a video I'll see my issues....I ran out of storage room, I ran out of glue, and my dog saw her shadow or something and decided to express her feelings mid video.  BUT...I told a gal I'd teach her how to make a bow,'s been a little chaotic, so I recorded her a video for now and provided some supplies so I'm almost teaching her...and when we finally do get to get together for bow lessons....she'll be ready for Bow 102.  So...if you want to see a few ways to make some (almost) free bows.  You can find that video here.
I also refer to a bow pattern I have online (free).  That lives here.

Pumpkin Screen Painting

Friday, August 12, 2016 No comments
A little over a year ago I got new windows/screens.  I saved my old screens to craft with (plus this door below....that project is still on the shelf).
 I printed of a pumpkin picture like the one I painted last summer, but....I'm just now forcing myself to get these screens painted!  The key to painting on screens is A)  Choosing an easy design.  and B)  Paint on a trash bag or old table cloth b/c it will help the paint 'pool' and fill in some of the gaps in the screen as it dries so that the paint is a little darker.
I added a bow to the corner, but I actually just pinned it on the screen with a safety pin, this will allow the bow to be pulled of for storing it flat.  I also painted the silver a black color so it was more Halloween/Fall, and I sprayed a coat of water proofing spray to that so it wouldn't scratch off as easily.  

Chipboard Album

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 No comments
 I posted about this album Monday.  I used my cricut to cut out the shapes for the word Brazil.  I've spent a lot of money on scrapbooks over the year, but this go 'round-I literally just used scraps and stuff I could reach without going more than a room away.
It's nothing fancy, but I'm digging little albums.  
I put a little envelope at the back where I put a letter I wrote to share details from the trip with my friends who helped support the journey.

Chipboard Albums

Monday, August 08, 2016 No comments
 I recently returned from Brazil....and in a few months I'm visiting NYC.  I went to a scrapbook show a few weeks ago and I bought the letters for NYC to make a little album when I returned.  I got to thinking, I have a Cricut machine...I wonder if I can make my own and sure enough.....there was a tutorial.
 I had saved some chipboard backings from different pages etc I had bought the last few months, but I've seen where people use cereal boxes etc.  I just used the deepest cutting setting.
 I covered up the pages with scrapbook paper, and next up....I'm adding doodads.
 For my NYC album I have this little Statue of Liberty cut out of cardboard.  I painted it green...
 ...and then glittered it up.  So,basically I'm posting about a bunch of projects I'm in the middle of, so it's more a... be continued type post, BUT I'm really excited about the chipboard word album b/c I have a few other ideas I wanted to do, and normally the cardboard letters cost 2 dollars a page (at least), so now I can make my own!  Winning.