Monday, December 29, 2008

Sew I've been taking a bit of a break from blogging...

The holidays have come and overwhelmed all my normal activity. However, I have remained creative, although in a different way. Now my creativity is making itself apparent in cooking (a definite art), decorating for company, wrapping gifts (another art) and sewing.

Yes, sewing. I haven't done it in ages for anything other than a repair. Now I'm hooked again and having SEW much fun! This weekend I made three sets of pajamas for American Girl dolls. They were (you guessed it) SEW CUTE!!!

I also got some fun art toys for Christmas that I will be using in my sketchbooks. New pens, a water brush and a few watercolor pencils in colors I didn't have already. I also got Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Life which I have been savoring daily. It is a lovely book for any artist or aspiring journal maker. I know I'll get back to sketching soon since it is much more portable than a sewing machine.

In the meantime, happy stitching!
Extreme Sewing

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Love This Journal Magazine - I have a page in it!

I have a journal page posted in this months online "Love this Journal" magazine. Click here to see it! That day seems rather far away as it is now bitterly cold with a winter weather advisory posted until sometime tomorrow. More snow!

In October-November I took this fun online journaling class and this was one of the things I did in that class. I learned lots of cool stuff and got some really great ideas. I will definitely be using those ideas in future journal pages.

The class was taught by Jessica from here. We had a great group of students and I got to see a lot art from a bunch of very creative artists.

Friday, December 5, 2008


This is a fun website and so quick. Make a drawing and start the scribbler and see what happens!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ready to start December

december 08 before
Originally uploaded by ktes750
I spent an hour last night creating my calendar page for December while watching "The Polar Express" with my family. Mike built a nice fire in the fireplace and made us all hot chocolate too. A wonderful evening!

November 08 finished

November 08 finished
Originally uploaded by ktes750
Well, nearly finished.

October 08 Finished

October 08 Finished
Originally uploaded by ktes750


From the 1960 Betty Crocker Party Book

I've had a very busy week. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year and had 20 people (other than the 4 of us) over for a meal. Friends of ours came and spent a couple of nights here too, so we had a full house from Thursday through Saturday afternoon. We had a wonderful time with everyone. We ate lots, played games and were thankful together for our many blessings. My husband requested that people write in our family book what they were thankful for and here's a few tidbits.

Almost everyone mentioned that they were thankful for friends, family, love, food and shelter. This was a good time to actually express these things that we tend not to think about most of the time but just take for granted. Other things that people were thankful for included:
  • that someone invented the dishwasher
  • snow
  • Bon Jovi was the number one song from the top 80's countdown we watched this weekend
  • That there are now lots of sandhill cranes in Michigan (especially since at one time there were only 17 breeding pairs in the state)
  • That our girls still like to play in cardboard boxes
  • For good jobs
  • Scrabble and guacamole dip
  • Health insurance and medical technology
  • The wonderful hand that Becky just dealt me in Five Crowns
  • All the colors of the world (like baby turtle, galapagos green, brushed aluminum, going to the chapel, minced onion, tree moss, northampton putty, crisp khaki, urban legend, cream froth, american cheese and simply white - from Benjamin Moore paint samples)
  • The ability to help others
  • To have choices in where I live and what I do
  • For a second refrigerator when I have large crowds over (this one was obviously mine)
  • For the view from my deck which always makes me feel relaxed

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I seem to have fallen off the blogosphere

But I will catch up. We have finished our library project and I have pictures! It is so wonderful to finally be able to refer to books that I have without the hunting game.

I have continued with my art projects, mostly through my online journal class. I will have to scan in pictures of what I've been up to lately, but won't have time until the weekend.

No suppa club lately. The pork ragout is cooked and eaten and we haven't settled on a new recipe. I'm not even sure who's turn it is to pick out a recipe.

With Thanksgiving coming up and 20 people expected at my house, I won't be doing much of anything except preparing for the feast over the next week.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Donut Muffins

I found a link for Donut Muffins on Bread and Honey Blog and had to try them. My family loves to make homemade donuts on the weekend and we also love muffins so this sounded like the best of both worlds. They were a big hit and we will keep this recipe! I can't wait to make them for a larger crowd now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Suppa Club Pork Roast with 3 Mushroom Ragout

Suppa Club chose this awesome sounding 3 mushroom ragout. I voted for it because anything with three kinds of mushrooms sounds like something I definetly want to try.

Pork Roast with Three-Mushroom Ragout - from Cooking Light

1 package of shitake mushrooms (3.5 ounces)
2 8-0z packages button mushrooms
1 8-Oz package cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 large onion (cut in wedges)
0.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, quartered (about 6)
1 can of crushed/diced tomatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 teaspon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1.75-2 lb boned pork loin roast
Egg noodles

Mix together 1/2 can of tomatoes, flour and thyme in slow cooker. Cut mushrooms in quarters and place on top of tomatoes in slow cooker. Add onion wedges and sun dried tomatoes. Place pork roast on top of mushrooms. Salt and pepper pork roast. Pour rest of tomatoes over roast. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Turn down and cook on low for 7 hours. Slice pork and serve over cooked egg noodles.

In the Crock Pot

And the finished product

This was a definited winner. It was delicious. I loved all the mushrooms and the meat was nice and moist with good flavor. I mostly followed the directions, except for the addition of garlic cloves. Somehow, once I cut up onions and sun dried tomatoes it seemed like it needed garlic. I put in about 8 cloves of garlic. My husband and in-laws seemed to like it and my kids ate the meat and noodles at least.

Library Project Interrupted to Bring You This Fantastic Thanksgiving Craft

I was bringing books upstairs to shelve in our new "library" when I found quite a prize. The 1960 Betty Crocker Party Book with "more than 500 recipes, menus and how-to-do-it tips for festive occasions the year 'round." The book opened right up to Thanksgiving! Hey, that's just around the corner. Here's their awesome Thanksgiving centerpiece that we can all do to get ready for our guests and set an elegant tone for our tables.

(Please click to enlarge - you just have to see this thing up close!)

Yikes! That is one heck of a pile of gilded fruit. You can make this lovely gilded centerpiece with fresh pineapple, a variety of fresh fruits and nuts, greens and a can of gold spray paint. And lucky us, because the spray keeps air from the fruit this will keep a week or more and "could grace a side table after Thanksgiving." And for an added touch of elegance, you can place the fruit on a mirror. I don't think I could handle that much elegance!

And here's what the book says about Thanksgiving...

This most American of holidays dates back to 1621, when Governor Bradford of Massachusetts instituted December 13 as a day of feasting and prayer for the colonists to give thanks that they were still alive. Women spent days preparing the feast which included wild turkeys, venison, and many corn dishes.

The mother of our modern Thanksgiving is Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the famous Godey's Lady's Book, who worked 17 years for a "national day of thanks."

The very mention of Thanksgiving brings thoughts of warm country kitchens and good things to eat.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Catching up & Suppa Club

I cannot believe that it has been 11 days since I last posted! We have been so busy the last couple of weeks. Between entertaining visitors, taking two online art classes, kids activities and travelling, I'm swamped. I'm beginning to feel as if I'm catching up now.

Suppa Club has been fun. We have had the hostess pick two recipes and the group then votes on which they would prefer to try. (Hey, is this a rule now or can I just send one recipe out when it's my turn?) This week our recipes were slow cooker recipes, one of my favorite things to do and perfect for a working mother. The choices included a rosemary garlic chicken and a mushroom pork ragout. The mushroom pork ragout won out (it has three kinds of mushrooms!) so I will be making that tomorrow.

I have to admit that, while I voted for the pork, I also liked the sound of the chicken one and made that last Monday. No pictures though, but it was tasty. I left it a bit long in the slow cooker and it was dryer than I would have liked. The sauce was not as flavorful as I expected either. I may make a variation of this again sometime and just roast the chicken in the oven. I will either skip the sauce altogether or try to zest it up a bit somehow.

I plan to make donut muffins Saturday morning with the kids. We love to make homemade donuts and we've made many kinds of muffins, but never these. They sound like the blending of two perfect worlds! I can't wait.

So, we have lots of cooking and baking going on this weekend. I just need to dig out the camera and share. Happy Halloween and Happy Weekend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bavarian Hot Pot for Suppa Club - YUM!

Bavarian Hot Pot, originally uploaded by ktes750.

This picture does not do this dish justice. I made this for a large crew of people (10) this weekend and it was a big hit with everyone except my picky eater. Instead of Kielbasa, I used polish sausage that I picked up at Detroit's Eastern Market. It had a bit of spice to it already. I made few other changes to the recipe other than adding more of everything to feed a larger group. I omitted the peas as it seemed to have plenty of veggies already and I didn't have them on hand. I also discovered near the end that I don't have marjoram so I threw in a bit of italian spice mix instead.

Well, now that I read through this, I guess I didn't really follow directions either since I didn't peel my potatoes, cut my carrots small, cut my beans up or make homemade beef broth. However, it got rave reviews from kids and adults and I sent the recipe home with our company at their request. What little I had left was great the next day!

Bavarian Sausage Hot Pot
Serves 6

1 pound cabbage, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick

2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

6 ounces green beans, tipped and snapped into 1-inch lengths

1 pound Maine or Eastern potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups shelled fresh green peas or frozen green peas (donot thaw)

3 cups rich beef broth (preferably homemade)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon dried leaf marjoram, crumbled

3/4 pound knockwurst or kielbasa, sliced 1/4-inch-thick

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Place the cabbage, carrots, beans, potatoes, the fresh peas, if using, the broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large heavy kettle (pot). Set over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the broth bubbles gently, cover, and cook without stirring for 20 minutes. Add the caraway seeds, marjoram, knockwurst, and frozen peas, if using, and toss lightly to mix. Re-cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the parsley, toss lightly, and serve in soup plates with crusty chunks of bread.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Calendar Pages Journal

October 08 Before, originally uploaded by ktes750.

Every month I create a new calendar to journal in. I've been doing this faithfully since May of this year. That's FIVE months! Pretty good for me. I have lots more ideas for calendar spreads so I don't plan to stop anytime soon. I've been unsucessful at writing in a journal on a regular basis but I seem to be able to draw in a sketchbook regularly so this is working out very well.

Aug 2008 Finished

Aug 2008 Finished, originally uploaded by ktes750.

September 2008 Finished

September 2008 Finished, originally uploaded by ktes750.

Dad in Michigan sweatshirt

dad in michigan sweatshirt, originally uploaded by ktes750.

I'm just posting this on here to see if my dad ever looks at this. He really doesn't like Michigan, being an MSU grad but he was cold and my son lent him his sweatshirt. Mike had to take a picture. I think he pulled the hood up to hide his true identity!

Dad, if you're reading this, you better post a comment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Summer is Really Over

Time to check the TO-DO List!

Fun Stuff for Spring-Summer List:

  • MC Escher Exibit Done

  • Flint Farmers Market Done

  • Detroit Eastern Market Done

  • Mushroom Hunting Missed it this year

  • Strawberry picking-make freezer jam too! Done

  • Lots of walking/hiking in the woods Done

  • Canoeing Done

  • Camping DONE (really, I've had enough for this year)

  • Drawing, painting, writing Yes! Will keep it up!

  • Read some good books-Done

  • Make and eat lots of pie and cobbler Yes, but intend to keep working on this one. Yum!

Hmmm, not bad. I think we got it all in except for morel mushroom hunting. We had a great summer. Now it is really beginning to feel like Fall.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cheese and Potato Soup

This recipe was from Epicurious and a group of us tried it out. It was easy and fabulous. I didn't have ham but I had thick sliced bacon so I fried up about 5-6 pieces and tore it in pieces. Then instead of vegetable oil, I used the bacon grease to fry the veggies in. (Yea, I know, not very healthy.) It gave the soup a wonderful flavor though. Instead of cheddar cheese I used a mixture of parmesan and mozzerella. The soup was a big hit with everyone in my family and our company. Next time I will remember to buy ham and try following the directions just to mix things up a bit.

Here's a link to the original recipe.

Library Project
The library project is coming along. We have most of the shelves up but need to attach a few to the walls yet. The book organizing will take us a couple of weeks unless we can move it into high gear. We are trying to catalog the books, group them in piles by subject according to the Dewey Decimal System and then we will actually start shelving them. We want to group them first in order to determine how much space each subject will take. We've even found a few to get rid of (about 7 so far).

Monday, September 22, 2008

BILLY X 6 + 1 ALVE =

A Library! We purchase 6 Billy bookcases and 1 Alve corner unit from IKEA on Friday and spent the weekend putting them together. We also got 6 of the height extension units but will need more (we got the last 6). It took most of Saturday to put together the corner unit. By comparison, the shelves just flew together. We will finish them tonight. Then we must figure out the configuration we want and how many more extensions we might need, attach them to the wall and add books.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Goal for the weekend-upload pictures! And a long list of other things too...

Yes, this blog is looking pretty bland about now. I can't get our pictures to upload to our computer so I need to mess with it and I haven't had time. I'm hoping to get to it this weekend.

In the meantime, we are getting nearer to completing an item on my to do list - build a home library. We have the books, just not any place to put them. Looking at my house you wouldn't even know I liked to read right now. Hardly a book in sight. That is soon to change! We are heading to IKEA today to pick up shelving units. YEAH!

I also need to package up my jam for the JAMMIN' JELLY EXCHANGE and ship it off. I hope she likes it as much as I do.

And of course there's other fun stuff like the applefest, mow the lawn (yea, right up there with the applefest-NOT), visit friends and clean the house. Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mission Accomplished...and very delicious!

Success. I finally got all the ingredients together and just did it! On a week night. After work. After running errands. I even cleaned the kitchen afterwards. Wow is this stuff good. I did warm up exercises by making crabapple last weekend and raspberry pear last night. This is my favorite and I’m glad I decided to just go buy peaches and do it. Yes, I made PEACH PRESERVES! Cross it off the TO-DO List!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Recipe Request - Pannukakko (Finnish Oven Pancake)


1 stick butter (1/2 cup - 1/4 lb)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Set oven at 375 F. Recipe requires jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with high sides. You can also use a lasagne pan but the pancake will turn out a little more "custardy" and may require a bit more time in the oven. Even a 9X13 cake pan will work but will require more time in the oven. Basically, I use the largest pan I have with sides.

Melt 1 stick of butter on your pan in the oven. While butter is melting, mix the rest of the ingredients in a blender or with a mixer. Pour about half of the melted butter into the batter mixture and blend. Leave the rest in the pan and return the pan to the oven rack. Pour the mixture into the pan with the melted butter.

Bake for 30 minutes until light brown on top.

4-6 servings (unless you have a 12 year old boy - then make 2 batches)

Our Weekend in the Kitchen

It started early Saturday morning with my son asking if we could make donuts. What a good idea! And of course we had to put several different kinds of toppings on them too. They were wonderful and we made enough for Sunday's breakfast for us (and the dog while we were at church) too.

Then we were off to the neighbor's yard to pick crabapples. We weren't exactly in the kitchen but this leads us to Sunday's kitchen time. We picked about 12 lbs of crabapples, enough for me and the neighbor to make a large batch of crabapple jelly.

Back home again and to the kitchen. The kids and I made a batch of "Better Than Those Fancy-Schmancy Department Store Cookies..." from Noble Pig blog (see below in blog links) to take to my sister. We also whipped up a dream whip pie - haven't made one of those in ages, some fresh salsa from all those tomatoes I have sitting around and baked a loaf of bread in the bread machine. Then we took the whole lot to my sister and her family's for dinner.

Sunday found us back in the kitchen, cleaning up after the dog ate the rest of our donuts off the counter. We really do know better but we were just running late for church and left them on the counter and not in the cupboard. At least there weren't any chocolate ones. My husband helped get the crabapples ready to cook and I got the lemon jelly started.

In one of the lulls of waiting for something to cook, I threw together Salsa Lime Pork Loin from my Southwest Slowcooker cookbook and tossed another mix into the bread machine.

I finished the jelly on my own while my family headed outside to play. Both kids had friends over. I managed to get everything cleaned up and sit down to dinner with a nice clean kitchen.

And just beause I hadn't had enough of the kitchen, I threw together some chocolate chip banana bread to use up a couple of overripe bananas before bed. Boy did I sleep well Sunday night!

My kids really have been enjoying cooking lately and that's fine with me. We usually have fun in the kitchen as long as we aren't arguing over who gets to crack open the eggs.

Jammin' Jelly Exchange

I spent the weekend making a couple different kinds of jellies that have been on my to-do list for a while. I tried a new recipe for lemon jelly that is NOT a keeper. I will be disposing of this small batch and finding a better use for the cute jars. I did however, make a very successful batch of crabapple jelly. Not only is this stuff very tasty, it is absolutely beautiful.

I am hoping to try a different lemon jelly recipe next weekend and hope for better results. Or I just may try something completely different. There's a whole bushel of pears sitting here that need something done with them. I've never made pear preserves or jelly but I haven't settled on anything yet. We'll see...

Anyway, I must pick something for the Jammin' Jelly Exchange I'm participating in.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

canada boat wc

canada boat wc, originally uploaded by ktes750.

dentist light

dentist light, originally uploaded by ktes750.

mill pond rocks

mill pond rocks, originally uploaded by ktes750.

Pictures 013

Pictures 013, originally uploaded by ktes750.

At the beach

At the beach, originally uploaded by ktes750.

7lakes minitrailer

7lakes minitrailer, originally uploaded by ktes750.

pool time

pool time, originally uploaded by ktes750.

kellys tent

kellys tent, originally uploaded by ktes750.

elberta beach

elberta beach, originally uploaded by ktes750.

hummingbird feeder

hummingbird feeder, originally uploaded by ktes750.

The last one done in this new watercolor moleskine before it disappeared after being scanned. I think it is somewhere in the house...

pt betsie watercolor-ugh

pt betsie watercolor-ugh, originally uploaded by ktes750.

Hmmm, do I really post this mess? It was a fun day and full of great memories so I guess I will. This was an expiriment gone wrong though. A regular sketchbook moleskine does not take watercolor well as the blobs on this page prove. I was playing and didn't have my watercolor moleskine with me. Ah well, the wine was good!