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October 2011 Feed

Steampunk Girl and Edward Elrik

Steampunk 5

Auberne` and Chloe got invited this weekend to a Steampunk/Cosplay dress-up party.

Steampunk 1

I present Lady Willowet of Atheta. Auberne`, as you can see, had so much fun with the whole steampunk look, which is a look she loves.

Steampunk 2

Can you see her copper painted goggles? Which are really plastic welding glasses.

Raygun

This is Lady Willowet's ray-gun (All ladies need a ray-gun ;-). Auberne' spent the summer making it. You really cannot see all the detail but it is amazing.

Steampunk 3

And aren't these the sweetest fairy wings? She is my steampunk fairy !!!

Animie 2

I also present Edward Elrick. This is Chloe's favorite Animie character from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Animie 3

I tell you I am impressed how I can just buy Chloe some fabric and with no pattern at all, hand sew a jacket with a hood!! Another matching jacket, trimmed out in seam binding, plus stenciled, all by herself. I have nothing to do with any of these costumes.

Anmie 1

Gosh girls, I swear each year you outdo yourself. I am very impressed with your creativity, effort and craftsmanship. Thank you dear readers for letting me share xoxo


Tea Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cold tea ginger 2

    I think my favorite thing about fall is baking. I am so inspired right now to fill my freezer with on-hand unbaked items. It is nice to have unbaked items in the freezer, in case a friend is sick or you get invited to an impromptu tea party for two!! Chloe adores gingerbread and so we tried a different version. I was inspired by Jam Hands cold-tea gingerbread. I did tweak it a bit.

I used oat and whole pastry flour. Added a dash of whiskey!! Also do you remember my baking trick of using a butter/oil combo? Butter adds flavor and oil adds moisture. Gingerbread's can be dry, so I upped the the butter/oil amount a bit. I added different spices for a more complex flavor. This gingerbread is not real gingery. It is almost more of a spiced bread but with the tangy cream cheese frosting and yummy tea in the batter, this is a real winner. One we will be baking again.

 

 Tea Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup oat flour * a tip, if you do not have oat flour, grind up rolled oats in a food processor until you have a powder.

¾ cup whole wheat pastry or all purpose white flour (I think you could easily make a gluten free version too)

1 tsp. dried ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup mild flavored olive oil or raw coconut oil

1/2 cup rapadura or brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup steeped tea, I like earl grey because of the orange flavor the bergamot oil gives

1 tsp. baking soda

2 TBL. whiskey or brandy or apple juice

1 egg, beaten

 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Coat a loaf pan with vegetable spray.

Sift together all dry in ingredients.

Melt butter or coconut oil, molasses and rapadura on low in a small sauce pan. You do not want to boil the mixture, just melt together and pull off stove.

In a large bowl add sifted flour, make a well in the center of the flour and add melted butter miture and stir together. Then add tea and whiskey, mix together, then add egg and mix together.

Pour batter into prepaired loaf pan. Bake in center of oven for 35-45 minutes, or until tester inserted into loaf comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert cake to cool on a rack. Frost when cool.  

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese at room temp, pull out if fridge when you make the gingerbread.

¼ cup evaporated cain or sugar

Pinch of salt

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 cup or more of cream or whole milk

 

With an electric mixer cream together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, vanilla and 1/8 cup of cream. Mix, scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. If the frosting is not cream enough add bits of cream, mix and scrap until you get the constancy you want.

Cut loaf in half and spread half the frosting on the bottom half of the gingerbread. Then set the top on the frosting and frost the top.


So What is Apple Day?

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I always get e-mails this time of year asking when and what is apple day? I guess it is a bit confusing, since it is a holiday my family made up. We tend to do that a lot ; -) So here is a few answers.

 

1. What is apple day? It is a day to enjoy apples. Actually I think it really is about more than apples, well on a deeper sense. It is a day to celabrate the fall harvest and to be thankful. It is a day to enjoy the last moments outside before the cold, and in our case, before constant rain kicks in. It is a day to make family memories. Mostly it is a fun day to bound our family and eat well (I am being honest here!!)

 

2. Why apples? Apple day started when a now defunct farm opened up in the island selling dozens of amazing heirloom apples. There were so many to try, we set aside an apple night to enjoy them all and it grew from there.

 

3. What day is apple day? Well it is not a set day because it is important to me we do it on a day where we are not crazy and grumpy. Usually we celebrate at the end of October or the beginning of November, but mostly on a happy day.

 

4. What are you suppose to do on apple day (and does it have to be a whole day)? Well do what sounds like fun and no it does not have to be all day. For us, every year is different (except for a few rules, look below). Sometimes we spend the day getting apples and cheese, making sauce and canning, or making apple fritters, then dinner. Some years it is just dinner. When the girls were little, we would do crafts but they are too grown for that now. Someday I will have grandbabies to craft with!!!

 

5. What are the rules? Well these are our family rules, I think you should have your own ; -) but here they are. First NO lights, only candles as soon as it gets dark. Read the same harvest picture book’s we have since the girls were babies. Everyone picks thier favorite from the stack. We have the same meal every year, which is different apples (all labeled, so we can talk about how each one is different from the others), good cheese (especially some sage cheddar), bread, apple sausages, cider and some apple apple dessert. Actually it is a simple holiday but one my girls would never miss, even though they are now little anymore. You can see what we have done in past years here. I hope it inspires you to have an apple day. Ohhh and come back and tell me about yours,I love to hear what others are doing xoxo


Scalloped Paper Candle Holders

Scalloped paper candles 3 

I wanted a simple, clean centerpiece for my coffee table. I also wanted to use what I had on-hand. This wass so easy. I punched out 5 scalloped 3" circles. I laid them in a row, overlapping them, ran a strip of double sided tape down the center and then taped the row around the glass container.

Scal cand 

Tied it off with some thick, black perle cotton embroidery thread. I also found some old miniature spoons and tucked those into the bow. To keep the beeswax candles up, I just use a ball of sticky wax at the bottom and pour in a bit of water, when I light the candles to catch dipping wax. By the way, do you love my vintage mirror. I got that for my birthday, when we stayed at the ocean. I am besotted!!

Scalloped paper candles 


Girl Interrupted or How Can One Be on Both Sides of the Road?

St path

Well I cannot tell you how happy I am to see October here. This past month, well ... summer has been a very hard one for me. And September was the tough cherry on the tough cupcake of these past couple of months. I have, as all mothers do, struggled with meeting my family's needs and my own needs at the same time. I find my creativity comes to a halt, when I am stressed and running around a lot. The conundrum is my family needs me and I need to create. The two do not always mesh. Since I have discovered I like to write :-) I am finding myself, expressing what is in my heart through writing more and more. I thought I would share this little piece I wrote about the past few months. I am sure many of you know exactly how I feel but if you are like me, it is nice to know I am not the only mother who struggles!!


Girl Interrupted or How Can One Be on Both Sides of the Road?

     I am standing in the middle of a long, winding road. The sun is shining down on me but there is a crisp breeze, that whips my skirt around my legs. On one side of the dirt road is my family, my heart! They are calling me, pulling me to them. They are hurt, in need and are looking to me for help. Which is my job and what I want them to do but on the other side of the road is a girl, who very much looks like me. She is calling to me, needing me, asking me to not forget her. I stand there arms outstretched, leaning, looking to one side of the road, only to look and lean to the other side of the road. I am torn, both sides need me and I need both sides. But how can one be on both sides of the road?

 

     I am the heartbeat of my family and they take their cues from me. In times of trouble, they look to me to sooth their wounds, to make the sun shine on black days, to set the beat of our home. This is my job and one I gladly accept. Except, I need that girl on the other side of the road to do my job. She helps me be me, to find the energy, creativity and grace I need to do my job. So I run to one side of the road helping my family, caring for their wounds, diligently loving them until I am empty. Then I run across the road, to the girl and we sit, resting. We chat about inconsequential things like does my plaid jacket really go with my flora skirt. I braid her hair and she shares her chocolate with me. I am refreshed and run back across to my family, ready to cheer and love them on in their struggles and success. And so it goes, one side of the road, to the other side.

     I feel like a girl interrupted! Torn in half! Part of me is on one side of the road and the other part, on the other side. I run back and forth, fourth and back, until I stop in the middle and drop. I cannot keep up this pace. I look to God and ask, “Help me please. Help me be all I need to be for others but myself too!” The breeze gently dies, the sun brightens a bit more and a whisper fills my ear, “Bring them together. Bring them in the middle of the road with you”. Together, I think? How? Again that whisper, “One step at a time.” I reach my hand out to my family and beckoning them to stand in the middle of the road with me. Then I reach my hand out to the girl on the other side of the road and she steps forward, taking my hand. I am still unsuure how to move forward but we start to stroll down the winding road, one step at a time!