Friday

Labor Day Sale

Can you believe it is the end of the summer?  We can't here especially with the 95 degree temps out there and the long sunsets.  Regardless of where you live or how hot it is, the calendar says its Labor Day which means it's time for our annual Labor Day Sale!  For this week only all orders in The Shop are 20% off!!!

Lone Star Barn Quilt

We are looking forward to a long weekend with time at the lake with snow cones and the sounds of kids splashing it all up one last time!  We hope you have a fabulous time with your friends and family.  Go to The Shop and get you barn quilts, embroidery kits, patterns and supplies with 20% off through Sunday, September 8th.  

Remember to Celebrate, Dream and Create everyday!
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Sunday

Breakfast Cookies - Fresh Living

This summer our family went on a bit of a diet change with going gluten free and incorporating more live, fresh foods to our diet and less processed foods, including sweets.  One of our favorite on the go breakfast treats that has been used as a substitute for doughnuts, pancakes, or pastries are these super yummy Breakfast Cookies!


Yes, I said cookies!  When you make a change in the way you eat, you get creative in adding substitutions so you don't feel like you are giving much up.  What is so great about these Breakfast Cookies is they are vegan, gluten free and can store in your fridge or freezer for the mornings you are running out the door or the times when everyone else is eating a sweet treat and you are wanting something that is yummy and healthy.

The basic recipe base is quick cooking oats and organic butters such as almond, peanut or apple.  The sweetener comes from mashed banana and maple syrup.  This is a great base with no dairy or animal products in them.  What you add to create your own variations can be what is in season such as lemon and blueberries (which was fabulous at girls camp) or pumpkiny like the Oat & Pumpkin version I have below.  you can add flax seeds, nuts, fruits or any other variations.  They bake for 15 minutes and are a simple way to get in something healthy when you are in a rush or out of your kitchen.

Cocoa Berry Breakfast Cookies

1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup smashed banana
2 Tbs. Maple Syrup
1 Tbs Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Apple Butter
1/2 Cup Dried Berries
1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix butters, maple syrup and banana together in a mixer bowl.  Mix in oats.  Add berries and chocolate chip and mix until it all sticks together.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spoon a golf ball size amount onto the parchment paper and flatten out the dough to a cookie shape.  

Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool on the pan for 10 minuets.  Store in fridge for one week or in the freezer for three weeks.  Bring out for a yummy quick breakfast!


Oat & Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie

1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
1/2 cup Almond Butter
1/2 Cup Smashed Pumpkin
1/4 Apple Butter
3 Tbs. Maple Syrup
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Golden Raisins
1/4 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 Teas Pumpkin Pie Spice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix butters, pumpkin pie spice, salt, maple syrup and banana together in a mixer bowl.  Mix in oats.  Add raisins and pumpkin seeds. Mix until it all sticks together.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spoon a golf ball size amount onto the parchment paper and flatten out the dough to a cookie shape.  

Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool on the pan for 10 minuets.  Store in fridge for one week or in the freezer for three weeks.  Bring out for a yummy quick breakfast!

I hope you try these for a little break from the typical cereal, toast, or heavy breakfast treats.  Serve them with fresh fruit, a little vanilla yogurt and you have a special morning treat for your family.   I made these for the Young Women at camp this summer with both a gluten free version and a non-gluten free version and guess which ones they ate up first?  The vegan, gluten free ones were all gone by the time breakfast time was over.  I made them ahead and used them right before a hike....and they stayed happy and full till the afternoon.

To catch today's Fresh Living segment follow The Link and see how easy they are to make and enjoy!  


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Friday

Fall Workshop Registration



We are so excited to announce the date for our Tweetle Dee Fall Workshop!  This is our favorite workshop of the year with the fall leaves and wildflowers in the meadow...and a whole day to paint and visit with our friends.  The registration is live on Our Site today!

This is our paint anything workshop at our home just steps away from the wood shop where frames can be custom made, barn quilts finished and a few other magical surprises as well.  The registration fee covers everything you need to paint a complete 22" barn quilt, materials and lunch too. If you want to paint a larger barn quilt or multiples, there are additional costs which can be paid the day of the workshop.

We hope you can all make it.  It really is the best workshop of the year!  Go to Our site today and register....share with your friends and let's make it the best event ever!!!



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Thursday

Embroidery Hoop Weaving

One of the best parts of my job is getting to try new things and though I am not new to weaving (see previous posts), making a weaving loom on an embroidery hoop was completely new to me!  After testing it out, I am in love with this form of weaving.  If you have used a loom before, you know that it can be somewhat precise with a little bit of randomness, but when you create a loom out of a simple embroidery hoop, all of your weaving becomes random!  Which you know if my thing.


Randomness with tons of texture is really my thing....just saying!

To create a round Embroidery Hoop Weaving you will need a simple wood embroidery hoop that you can pick up at any craft shop and some yarn or string.  That is the beginning of something fabulous!  You will want you yarn or string to be thin so it will disappear into your weaving and not stand out between "stitches".



1.  To begin, take the outer hoop off and set aside.

2.  Tie a simple double knot to the top of the hoop with the lightweight yarn or string.  Make sure to leave a two to three inch tail for later.

3.  Wrap 4 or 5 yards of yarn/string around a shuttle and cut off of the skein.  I used a make shift shuttle (a glue stick).  You want it small so you can work it around the inside of a tiny hoop.


4.  To begin wrapping you go across the hoop to the opposite of where you ties it on and holding it tightly, wrap the string under the hoop.


5.   You are going to bring the shuttle of string up to the top and off to the right about one inch from where you began, and go across the top holding tight.  Wrap it under the hoop and...


6.  ...cross over the center and go under one inch to the left of the first loop.  In essence you are making figure eights all the way around the hoop going over and then under keeping the yarn tight.




7.  Continue wrapping the yarn/string every inch until you get to your starting point.  The center will look like a messy "Cats's Craddle".  It's ok!


8.  After you arrive back at the starting point take the shuttle and wrap it around the middle cluster of yarn.  Think it like a clock center that you are going to wrap the string around several times at a 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock time place.  Pull tight.  This will bring all of the threads into the center.


9.  Once you have wrapped the string around the center a few times, pull the string up to your starting point and knot the string to the tail from the beginning knot.


10.  Trim off any access and tightly push the outer round of the hoop onto the inner warped loom!  Yes, it is now a loom not an embroidery hoop.  So cool huh!


I always begin my weaving with a pretty center.  I find it best to either use the same yarn/string you used for the warp or another thin yarn.  Use a yarn needle (available at any yarn supplier) and knot the end of the threaded yarn to the the back of one of the spokes.  This will secure it.  

Bring the needle up and do a simple over and under each of the warp strings to create a small woven circle.  You can make it larger if you like, but I usually keep mine to about the size of a dime or quarter.



Once you have your center secured, wrap the end  of the yarn piece under a spoke and you are ready to add more.  I love to use wool roving in my weaving.  The colors and poofy textures make the piece extra special and fill in gaps quite quickly.  You can finds wool roving on Amazon or at most craft stores.  It will come in a ball which can be unwound and separated to get the thickness or width you desire.  



To make this yellow wool center, I used a simple Tabby method of looping the wool over and under alternating spokes, tucking and poofing it up to get the look I desired.  This is what I mean by randomness.  You can play with different yarns and wool, fabric too to make your weaving unique to you!


Here I added a thick grey yarn by tucking the end under a spoke and coming up to the front.  Once I had my yarn on the top of the weaving, I wrapped it around each spoke with a simple loose knot and then after a few rows, I skipped every other spoke to give it a larger stitch.  No needle needed!



For the next layer, I made a wood shuttle and strung some thick variegated yarn through the weaving by going over and under each spoke.  As I went around I used my fingers to push the layers close together which created a cool fan type pattern.



I continued to do this with the blue yarn and will finish this one tonight with some of the thick wool white roving as a braid around the outside.  Weaving is one of those arts that is simple, but takes a little faith.  When you begin you will for sure think you are doing something wrong because it "won't look right".  Trust me, I know.  Every weaving I feel that way until I keep going and then it magically takes shape.


I hope this has inspired you to take out one of your unused embroidery hoops and your bin of wool yarn and make something fabulous!  You can watch my KUTV Fresh Living segment to see a hands on tutorial for how to warp your hoop into a loom!  I'll post the link as soon as I have it.  



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Friday

DIY Wild Flower Pottery

Every summer I get the chance to do a television segment for KUTV's Fresh Living on wildflowers.  I know, pinch me ...right?  The day our snow is melted we are out looking through the grasses and rocks on the mountain for the first peeks of those colorful blooms.  This year I wanted to preserve the first of the blooms with these farmhouse pottery slabs.  So, I took my girls and went for a walk in the field to find a few beautiful flowers.  


They are so easy to make and so beautiful hung in a collection on a wall, or displayed with your favorite blooms.  It is also a great way to preserve special blooms from bridal bouquets...and other special occasions.  You can make them tiny for a single petal or bud and wear as a necklace or you can make a big slab and recreate your garden in pottery!  There are no limits to the ways this technique can be used to bring lasting wild flowers into your home.


The materials are few and relatively inexpensive.  You will want Polymer Clay.   I have tried using Air Dry Clay and it is so temperamental and brittle, it is sad to loose your blooms to weak clay, so I clearly recommend using the Polymer Clay.  I love to use Sculpey Polymer Clay .  It comes in lots of colors and is so smooth and easy to work with.  The directions were straight on correct and my projects always turn out perfectly using their clay.  So get some!  Price point is anywhere from $2.50 to $9.00 for a pack which will make 3 to 4 floral pottery 
pieces.


The Polymer Clay comes out hard like a brick.  You will want to break off a piece and knead it in your hands until it gets soft and workable.  Polymer Clay is made of plastic PVC material and softens as it is worked.  So kneads a piece and roll it out to be a 1/4 inch thick.  I like my edges to look like a slap of clay and not perfectly cut.  You can cut your shapes and edges with a knife, but again I love the natural look of rounded fingered shapes.  Use a toothpick or dowel to make a hole in the top to hang it from and place on a non-stick baking pan.


If you are wanting a relief of a flower, lay it down on the clay where you want it to mold and lightly roll over it with a rolling pin to make the indenture.  Lift the flower off of the clay and bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.  



If you want to preserve fresh wildflowers with all their color, pick blooms that are soft and will flatten well.  Lay your blooms onto the clay in the place you want them to be and roll over to flatten them into the clay.   Use tweezers to position any petals that are out of place and tap lightly into the clay.  Pick off any that are standing upright and will not lay down.  Heat your oven to 275 degrees and bake for 20 minuets.


The baking process will dry out the flowers and the colors will dull just a bit, but the sealer will refresh them in the next process.  Let the clay cool.

Use your finger to lightly brush off any loose petal crumbs or leaves that popped up during the baking/drying process.


To seal your wildflowers, lightly brush over the baked flowers and clay background with the Sculpey Satin Glaze.  This liquid is the same component as the Polymer Clay but without the fillers, so just as the Polymer Clay dried hard, this satin glaze dries clear and hard over your clay piece to seal in the petals and other parts that may not have laid perfectly flat.  

After you have lightly brushed this over your clay piece, return it to the over for 5 to 10 minutes to bake it clear.  Watch closely as you can over bake it and turn your piece brown...(I know).    Bring it out of the oven and let cool.  

Use the tip of a needle or other tiny sharp object to clear the hole back out and your DIY Wild Flower Pottery piece is ready to hang! 


If you are looking for suppliers of the Sculpey products, I found mine at my local Hobby Lobby.  You can catch a video tutorial for these on my You Tube Channel and on KUTV's Fresh Living today at 1:00.

I hope you enjoy this DIY project!  It is one of my favorite of all time.  I know I say that often, but for real, this was so easy and relatively quick to make.  The girls loved making their own necklaces with collages of tiny petals pressed randomly into the clay.  It was a great way to get them unplugged and outside in nature.  


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