Thursday, May 14, 2020

My Life has changed, How about Yours?

This is my first post in a long time, so much to write about it is spilling over, so what first.

May 2020 Our granddaughter and I spend most of a day working on a life skill. We made two loaves of Sourdough French Bread. She hadn't ever made bread before, and I hadn't made any in a very long time. Our joint adventure was truly a success!

I got my recipe for the bread and for the sourdough starter, from Taste of 5 stars for both recipes. I subscribed to their magazine, which is much easier to read than using the website. lots of ads, video tutorials, competing lists of recipes... but I'm 70+.  plus saving our ink and paper...

Right now, on May 14, 2020 I was able to order yeast from Amazon. I have self-rising flour for the starter, and the bread uses All purpose flour and starter + yeast.

I have my grandmother's dough bowl, and next time we make bread - next week, I'll make sure we use it for the first rise. I told her a couple of short stories about her 2nd great Grandmother Clella Byers. What a great cook she was! And an inspiration in many ways of my learning to sew. She begged to let her teach me, so all the refusals I've had from daughter and granddaughter are straight up Karma!!!!  I offered to show Liv how to sew a face mask, and perhaps she'll eventually let me do that.

Her bread kneading skills were AMAZING, because a couple of summers ago, she like many other kids, became entranced with SLIME, and all the variations there of. It didn't seem to be of much value other than the possible science principles she'd discover. But let me tell you that girl made the most finely grained bread... tiny gas openings not gaping holes! The bread was delicious and what a wonderful addition to their meal. Her dad was sure we bought it, but we sent mom pictures all day. She tiktoked an  episode of her series on quarantine cooking - Raman. lol we chatted and laughed, and had a fun day. Yeast bread has a couple of intensely busy times separated with time to let the yeast work... so she had time for Minecraft, and some other art work she'd brought along.

She loves to watch cooking shows like chopped, so she is much more aware of kitchen crafts than I'd guess. Her mom, our daughter, expects some help with dinner, which started years ago. Liv's first original recipe was "EarthDay Salad" from about 1st grade... she washed and chopped things up and added all kinds of veggies to it, but it was enjoyed mostly by grownups, as she took her own obligatory no thank you bite.
   On to the bigger world issues. I am opening a section in my Cotton Eyed Jo shop on etsy to sell masks and surgical caps(designed by who also has an Instagram account you might want to check out and follow) if you live in Canada, she might still be teaching sewing in a fabric shop... sorry no more info currently although I'll try to bring more info and revise this section.

She has vacationed her etsy shop for now, but some great tutorials on YouTube, with the same twelve bees in title... definitely clear and can help you see how to do a better than average job.

My masks and a very few mask and caps sets will focus on sturdy, with eclectic fabric choices. Bright spot, I am sewing out of my stash, so costs will primarily be the postage. All the items I sew will be made from 100% cotton and elastic for ear holders/or ties made from fabric. Don't check for them today or even this  month, I'm still working on the masks I'm donating to the local postal drivers.
Especially, important to say that although they will be sturdy, they are just face covering masks. Not professional PPE so great for those who'd like a unique mask. Not sure if they are the type of mask that cancer patients might use, but again they will be sturdy.

Stay healthy, be kind to others, and help to make the New Normal better than this last few years of divisive partisanship has been. Jo

Friday, June 15, 2018

Incredibles 2 gets 17 stars!

One of the pleasures of being a grandmother, has been going to movies, with Livvie. She is getting older, so there will come a time when going to the movies will be for friends only. But for now, we have a GREAT TIME. Today, we saw Incredibles 2, and laughed all the way through it! The short feature, "Bao" was funny, but I cried for the last minute. Spontaneous, tears rolling so fast an furious! It touched my heart. So a good thing.

No spoilers, except - Grandpa, Livvie, and I all got fooled by who the real villain was. Of course, Jack Jack was the character we most wanted to see. And NO disappointment there!  Who doesn't love babies?

It was amazing that it had been 14 years since the first one. Mostly because, we have Disney Infinity Xbox game, and 1st year included, Incredibles, Monsters U and Pirates of the Carribean! Our favorite turned out to be Monsters U, because Incredibles has lots fighting and Robot Enemies! Monsters U had Sully, Mike (1-eye) and lots of silliness, even with monsters....

She was 5 or 6 when the game set launched, so not 14 years ago, as we watched Incredibles before we played.

See no spoilers! Go See it if you can!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Six? Years Since I dyed Last

It has been a long time since I played amongst the dye jars. This summer, I plan to replace the missing supplies in my Palette dyed wools.

So look for more posts about that, hopefully our granddaughter will join me in the fun. She loves painting and color! Perhaps we'll even make her a palette of her own.

I found a letter from a former student which allowed me to find her on Facebook.  I hope she will visit my blog. We can share what has happened in the intervening years.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Food Allergies and Egg Substitute ~ Aquafaba

Today, Leap Day 2016 is our Granddaughter's 2nd/8th Birthday! Her parents hosted a wonderful birthday party for her over the weekend, and are going to let me fix the Leapday dinner and birthday cake.

Egg sensitivity is not unusual in young children, and in fact her sensitivity to eggs by 2 years of age, was one of the first warning signs that food allergies were one of the important things to consider when making birthday cakes for her or other family members.

She's okay with egg inclusion in recipes now, but is definitely allergic to nuts of all kinds.
However her younger brother, almost 2 is sensitive to eggs. Luckily for me, during the last 8 years I've learned how to adapt some recipes and even found a few that were egg free with regard to cakes. Google recipes for Chocolate Pudding Cake as an example... great as if you are a grandma, probably your pantry will contain most or all of the ingredients. This one is a great reward for snow shovelers too, and takes not all that much time to prepare and bake.

Recently, I heard a reference to AquaFaba spelling may be incorrect, but google can set that straight too.  Meringue? Are you kidding me?

I'm making "you gotta be kidding me cake" for her birthday, normally easy peasy to do, but without the eggs? So I looked into aquafaba a bit via google, and found out (at least in my head, that the drained fluid from 1 can of garbanzo beans = approx 1 egg.

Since 3 eggs were needed, I decided to make a crunchy garbanzo bean snack for all of us to enjoy too.(not necessarily with the cake) I added the crunchy beans to an "Earth Day Salad" Livvie's naming of a green salad with carrots, celery, etc. and also just had some available for taste testing.

When I drained 3 cans of generic garbanzo beans I got about 1 quart of fluid. Having baked numerous birthday cakes in my 69 years, that looked like WAY TOO MUCH liquid! Turned out the straight substitution of aquafaba for eggs, was too much as this particular recipe also has a can of cherry pie filling.... oh, yeah, baby! Tried to link it, but somehow or other when I copied the URL something went missing. The information below was copied directly from that site, so I am including the link above for your further information(great photos and narration!) but also to *footnote or give credit to the person who conducted the actual investigation.

So, to summarize I needed egg substitute for 3 large eggs and egg volume in liquid measure for eggs- "Large: 3 1/2 tablespoons (1.75 liquid ounces)"  so times 3 eggs would be 10.5 tablespoons according to my head math, verified by a calculator. Will try to remember to add a photograph of cake to post.... 

 Results of the baking were good, but the cake was a little too damp. So will try again using only 2/3 of the aquafaba if adding pie filling to the recipe. Seriously, this cake is delicious, and so easy to make.  

The crunchy garbanzo recipe was a hit with all of us except the "baby" He didn't get to try them, as I thought and his mama agreed they might be a choking hazard. 

Will definitely be trying the meringue receipe  from above linkie using aquafaba.... probably for a lemon meringue pie! :)

Friday, January 29, 2016


 Cotton Eyed Jo has been sewing and working on a new pattern for release this weekend.

Just in time for the Houston Rodeo, I'll be listing some items at both my Etsy shop, and our Ebay store .  

Live auction on Ebay began a few minutes ago, and will end on Sunday, February 3, 2016.
This is the only time this particular set will be on Ebay.

If it doesn't sell, I'll move it over to my Etsy shop(linked above). Good luck if you decide to bid on it!

This first pattern will have patterns for the steak/bacon platter and plates as well as the "campfire". I will also be offering pattern kits which will be sold seperately from the basic pattern, but contain  a selection of fabrics to help create that campfire feel. Your littlest buckeroo's will probably just toss around the cups and plates unless someone honkers down with them, and serves up some milk and cookies. ;)

Imaginary play is a great way to increase vocabulary. If you live on a ranch, little ranch hand will start hearing the family stories... like the time the cow escaped... or whatever adventures you want to spin. Shoot you could even use these in a classroom, to introduce a Tall Tales literature unit...

There are variations that you could do with the basic platter and plates to make something special for a young camper, deer hunter, or pirate. In fact, the kits I'll offer will give you a chance to chose from many types of heroic adventurers!

My next pattern, which will include cups, a Coffeepot, and other campfire accessories will require a mother or grandmother's patience and care in construction. They will require some hand-sewing to achieve their special looks... and are quite honestly a bit time intensive. But I've machine washed and air dried my coffee pot! (truly just for imaginative play) It will not hold liquids! But will add fun and more vocabulary opportunities!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What was old is new again :)

One of the benefits of living past middle age, is that all kinds of trendy things will be your second or perhaps even third exposure to the "paradigm", skills, and of course supplies.

Apparently macramé is becoming trendy again, especially catching my magpie eye is the type called micro macramé loved this pattern, and although it has been years since I knotted up plant hangers, bags, and belts ~ a little practice should have me up to speed. An alternate tutorial for a simpler bracelet project is

However, just now, I'm having a reunion with Rughooking. Summer has traditionally been my quilting time. And several projects are cut and ready for when school starts. :) yes, grandmother's look forward to that too. But last weekend, after a 4 day workshop with Diane Stoffel, my Rughooking jets got ready for ignition and lift off.

Ugh, I had hoped to post a pic directly from my iPad, but it will require an app when trying to do that from this end. I'll end for the moment, as I go do a workaround I'm able to do. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tropical Storm Bill and a great Rainy day sewing project

Did you ever have an idea of something you wanted to make, that didn't turn out quite like you'd hoped, but in trying to figure out something to rescue it you came up with something you like even better? Voila! This block I'm calling 10th Anniversary Basket, and it won't be a quilt, just a mini quilt. I haven't seen it done anywhere else, so think perhaps the idea is my own intellectual property wise.

 Our Daughter and Son~in~Law will celebrate their 10th in almost exactly a month.  So I'm ahead of the game at this point.  I used a left over block from their wedding quilt for the handle, and created the basket, from two parts of receiving blocks. In each arc of the basket sides, I included a small piece of baby clothes. and the fabric which were representative of the two of them. His, although he is not a morning person is the dark green and purple morning glory piece. Hers is a pale periwinkle and most easily spotted on the left side of the basket. Nestled between the two pieces you'll spot a pink, brown, and white striped knit sleeper on the right, and a pale blue portion of his Baptismal coverall on the left. Don't gasp, most of it is going to be securely sewn into a memory quilt, so I cut the tiny piece from the back. I generally make memory quilts from baby and toddler clothes into an actual quilt design. But lately I've seen a newer style, where most of the actual piece of clothing is sewn to a backing. So this is more my own style. It was supposed to be a heart, and does have somewhat that shape, but I like the idea of a basket so much better. 10 years holds lots of memories, and their two kids! :)

Another thing I plan to do is use some of the scraps for a mat for some of their babies pictures. When I finally get something together, will share that too.

The feeder bands are finally starting to bring in heavier rain, so I'm off the computer and back to work at the sewing machine... while we still have electricity. :) I know the picture is terrible,  but I may try to create a pattern for it.