Monday, March 28, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 48

I plan on making something with this paper mache heart - but it still counts as one!

Heart a Day - Day 47

Fun with stencils

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 46

It's a heart, right?  I decided it's "heart" enough for today.  My project, my rules.

Heart a Day - Day 45

This one was made by Kelly, Gary took her to the mall where she spied a candy store and a whole new world opened up before her eyes. 

"There are stores full of candy? That you can buy candy in?" 

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 44

I knew when I started this project there would come a day when I'd have to just draw a heart and take a picture.  Today was that day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 43

The way to a man's heart indeed. I picked up this treasure trove of cookbooks from a RecentHistory.  I love picking out old recipes to try, reminds me of my dad's mom, who I unfortunately didn't know very well, but imagine cooked meals just like these.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 42

Roasted asparagus crusted with Kosher salt and pepper - so yummy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 41

A little sleepy time wish for Kelly - I think I'll make one of these with a pocket for the Tooth Fairy too, but plan on machine stitching the border next time and using a template for the letters, free-handing it was tricky.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 40

I finally got to have my birthday cake and eat it too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 39

We love Splat the Cat in this house, though my favorite is Seymour. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 38

Ham on rye.  I realized after the fact that this looks eerily like a slice of tongue, but I assure you it's just ham. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 37

This was a lot harder than I thought and I might be the only one who can see the heart here.  It also made it clear to me that Kelly needs a new box of crayons or at least a sharpener.  But they smell really good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 36

Happy Birthday to me = Toasted Hazelnut Chocolate Torte.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 34

Why do I keep thinking these tiny embroidery projects will be easy?  These tiny hearts beat me up - would have taken less time to make this twice the size, but I always have to do it the hard way.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 33

More St. Patrick's Day festivities, but at least it was husbands turn today.  They handed out heart balloons for some reason, this almost makes up for the frostbitten toes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 32

Another shamrock.  I'm considering these hearts because I used a heart hole punch to make my template.  This was a felt pin I stitched for our friend Barnaby Bear,  the preschool globe-trotting teddy bear that everyone gets a turn with.  We had Barnaby for the weekend and of course my husband suggested we take him to the St. Patrick's Day parade.  So Barnaby needed some green, didn't he?

He looked cute.  It was cold.  Really really cold.  In fact, after the horses went by I convinced Kelly that the parade was over because I had lost feeling in my toes.  I'm not a parade person.  I'm not even Irish.  How did I get talked into standing outside, for over an hour, in Illinois, in March?

Thank you to the kind woman we were next to that shared her blanket with us.  We wouldn't have made it to the horses without it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 31

Getting ready to make biscotti.  The recipe I use has anise extract in it, it's such a soothing aroma.  I use an absinthe sugar scrub from Wicked Soaps that is amazing, the smell of licorice, fennel, anise, I think it's one of those olfactory memories for me.  When I was little, my mom had a good friend who always had those little Italian cookies in the red tins, wrapped in thin wax paper.  I remember my first taste, amazed by the smell, the sharp but delicious bite of cookie stayed in my memory forever.  She also introduced me to gefilte fish, which I still love, much to the dismay of whoever is around me while I'm eating it.

But I digress, biscotti, I know it means twice baked, but I tend to bake it once, or keep it in for only 5 minutes the second time around, I like it to have a softer texture, a little gentler on the teeth.   I'm not planning on taking it on an ocean voyage, so it doesn't have to serve as hard tack.

My Biscotti Recipe (adapted from The North End Italian Cookbook by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane)

2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (find the good stuff at a spice shop or online, it's so worth it)
1 1/2 tablespoons anise extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Using a KitchenAid or electric mixer, beat together the beaten eggs, sugar, melted butter and the vanilla and anise extracts.  Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir on slow until smooth and firm - don't overmix! 

Remove dough from mixer onto a floured surface - it will seem too wet and sticky, make sure to flour your hands too.  Gently knead the dough, if the dough seems too soft still, slowly add flour.  Knead in the nuts and chocolate chips. 

Cut the dough into 3 parts.  Place it on an ungreased cookie sheet and form dough into 3 log shapes, flatten slightly.  Bake for about 25 minutes, keep checking them to prevent burning.  Take them out of the oven when slightly brown. 

Cool the logs on a rack for 5 minutes, then while still warm, slice them into 1/2 inch slices using a serrated knife. 

If you like crunchy biscotti, return these slices to the 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  I usually only put them back in for about 5 minutes. 


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 30

I drink a lot of coffee.  A lot more thanks to my Keurig.  I know this heart is a little lame, but I can't wait to play with my new macro lens tomorrow, should inspire some creativity!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 29

We go together like cheese and crackers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 28

If aphids chewed such cute holes in leaves, I'd let them stay.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 27

It's a Shamrock Shake kind of day.  I used one of my small heart punches to make the template for each clover leaf.  I used split stitch again for the leaves and the stem stitch for the stem.  Embroidery is quickly becoming my downtime hobby.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 26

Sometimes you gotta work with what you got.  Today has been brought to you by copious amounts of caffeine - and a big thank you to Rosie, who pointed out the heart on her Diet Coke!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 25

I'm seriously addicted to garland and bunting lately.  This glitter heart garland was so easy to make and would be cute for birthday parties or dressing up a little girls room.   Or done with ovals to make an Easter Egg garland, or shamrocks!

I used a heart paper punch, glitter card-stock, craft glue and thread.  The cut out hearts are simply glued together, sandwiching the string. Make sure to keep the string straight through the heart and towards the top of the heart otherwise they will hang upside down - which you can see happened with some of mine.  And try to keep the distance between the hearts even if that kind of thing makes you happy.  

I think I'm going to make some vertical garlands next time. Or mobiles? Oh the possibilities.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 24

Split stitch heart - I love embroidery, the control freak in me loves trying to keep my stitches nice and neat, this was a fun little project to work on split stitches, which are really easy.  For thicker lines, just use more strands of thread, but use an even number, since you will be splitting each stitch in half.  For this project I used two strands of embroidery thread.

Pull the threaded needle up through A.  Stitch down through B (the closer you are to A, the thicker your line).  Come up through C, in the middle of the stitch you just made, splitting the threads in half.

Come down through D, trying to make it the same distance as A was from B.  Repeat and you'll create your line - split stitches make a nice outline in patterns.  Make your line thicker by using more threads or by keeping the distance shorter, which makes your line seem fatter.

If any steps are confusing, let me know!  I'm a beginner myself, so if you see any inaccuracies, let me know too!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 23

I'm pretty sure this exceeds the daily recommended dosage of NSAIDS.  I showed some restraint, don't worry.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 22

Cilantro - you either love it or hate it.  It wouldn't be taco night in this house without it.  This kind of reminds me of Cabbage Head from Kids in the Hall.  I miss that show, remember when that was Comedy Central?  And if you're too young to remember that show, please don't tell me.