Sunday, May 31, 2009

More jewelry?

I am officially on a jewelry-making kick. I am not as happy with this as I was with the first attempt, but I do like it. The picture taking also went a little more smoothly this time. I only had to take about thirty pictures to get one decent picture. Maybe next time I can get it down to about fifteen or so. Some of you might have already noticed the extra special doggy hair treat that is attached to the pendant. You probably already asked yourself "How in the world did she miss the dog hair on the pendant?" I have no idea how I took thirty different pictures without noticing it, but I did. So there you go. I cannot get this picture to move to the center! I am so horrible at computer stuff!

Friday, May 29, 2009

This one's for you, Uncle Johnny

Due to requests for more Isabelle, I offer up these tasty morsels. I couldn't just post non-crafty pictures, so here are some that show the more creative and food-oriented sides of Isabelle. And
yes, she is wearing a tutu at the Botanic Gardens

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One-time wedding flower arranger

Well, I did mention before in the "about me" thingy that I am a one-time wedding flower arranger, so here's my proof. I can only take a tiny little bit of the credit for these bouquettes, etc. because I only helped my wonderful friends, Adrienne and Jessica. Jessica Ann was in charge of the flowers for our friend Jessie's wedding and she very kindly asked me to help her and Adrienne. They both had in mind what they wanted to do, and their ideas turned out great. Adrienne did the standing flower arrangements and 2 bouquettes that swagged over a doorway, and Jessica knew pretty much exactly what she wanted everything to look like. My sister-in-law Anne did all of the ribbons and bows. It was sooo much fun! I think that it was so much fun because of the good company. I don't think that I have laughed as hard as I did when we were trying to finish the flowers at about 12:30am the night before the wedding. Sounds came out of Jessica's mouth that I don't think I have ever heard her make before. I might post some more pictures later. There are no pictures of the bride's maid's bouquettes here. Those were awesomely beautiful!

Healthy recipe of the week

Who knows, this might be the recipe of the day, month, year, etc. I thought it might be fun to post a healthy recipe every week for my peeps. Y'all know that I'm kinda into the whole healthy/non piggy food. I have a HUGE sweet tooth so I am always trying to find ways to indulge without causing myself grief. This is one of my low-calorie favorites. Now everyone has to run out and get an apple peeler/corer/slicer so they can make this treat. Those things are amazing!

Mock apple pie
1 medium apple
about 2 tsp of Splenda, or to taste
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I always add a very big dash)
about 1/2 tsp of flour
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
2 to 3 tsp of apple juice or whatever juice you have on hand
2 tbsp of Lite or Free cool whip (optional)
  1. Mangle the apple on the peeler/corer/slicer and cut the apple slices into quarters
  2. Mix the apple and the next 6 ingredients (through juice) in a small to medium tupperware container with a lid. Snap on the lid but leave one corner unclosed to let steam escape.
  3. Microwave on high for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
  4. Top with the frozen cool whip and imagine that you're eatting apple pie!

I don't have any pictures or anything and, as you can tell, this is not at all an exact recipe. I don't really like those recipes that say "about" or "to taste", but what can you do.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wire-wrapped pendant

Ok, so the hardest thing about this pendant was taking the flipping picture. Who knew that taking a picture of jewelry was so hard?! I know that the picture is not that great, but you should have seen the (seriously) fifty or so pictures before and after this. This post should really be titled "My first jewelry photograph". Well, anyway, I made some earrings last night for Isabelle's teachers for teacher's appreciation day or something like that, and it made me want to try something a little more intricate. I tried to take pictures of the earrings last night, but I gave up pretty early in the process. I have made sooo many earrings over the years and I have always meant to try something that involves a little more wire wrapping. This was my first try and I have to say that I'm actually quite pleased with the end result. All I have to say is, if I can do it so can you! I think I use way to many commas!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Country White Bread or Rolls from

Here is the recipe that I promised. I get most of my recipes from RecipeZaar or Cooking Light. This one happens to be from RecipeZaar. It was originally written for use with a bread machine but I don't have one. I do, however, have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer so that is what I use. I have actually tried to post this recipe about 5 times but I have experienced technical difficulties (by technical difficulties I mean that I am a big, dumb dummy). They say the 6th time is the charm, so here we go again!

1 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon water
1 large egg
4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons shortening (for shaping the rolls)

2 tablespoons melted butter

I have written this so many times now that I think I will probably dream about it tonight.
  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add warm water (118-125 degrees F) to flour mixture while the mixer is on low speed.
  3. Combine oil and egg and add it to the flour/yeast mixture. If dough is still sticky add flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
  4. Put the dough hook attachment on your mixer and let it kneed the dough on low speed for about 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, spray it with cooking spray/olive oil or coat with oil, place plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and place it in a warm, draft-free place until it is doubled in bulk. I like to put it in the oven (turned off) over a pan of HOT water.
  6. Either shape the bread into a loaf and put it in a greased 9 x 5" loaf pan or shape it into 16 golf ball sized rolls and place them in a greased 9 x 13" baking pan. If you decide to make the rolls, coat your hands with Crisco to make the shaping process go easier. Spray and cover as directed above.
  7. Place back into that warm place that we already talked about and let rise until, once again, doubled in bulk.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. For rolls bake for 12 - 15 minutes and for loaf bake for about 25 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the top of the loaf.
  9. Brush the loaf or rolls with melted butter and try not to eat it all by yourself.

I have used this bread for toast, sandwiches, and a diet buster. It has been great for all three so far!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mmmm...Fresh Bread

Well, the first crafty thing that I did after I started this blog (actually it was the night before) was to make bread. I have been making bread for about six weeks now, and I LOVE it. I haven't had to buy any baked goods at the store for these last six weeks! It was a little bit tricksy (that's right, tricksy) at first, but I think that I have totally gotten the hang of it. I am going to apologize in advance for the very mediocre and amateur pictures on this blog. I have no idea how to take a decent looking picture, but you never know, that may change. Anyway, here are some pictures of a lovely couple of bread loaves that I happen to know. One of them has recently had a bad accident with a serrated knife, a toaster, and a jar of yummy strawberry jam from one of my favorite places is the world (the bakery in Tracy City/Monteagle). I will post the recipe in a short bit. I made my first rolls ever this past week from this recipe and they were sooo great.

My first post

I really have no idea what to write! I guess I'll just start by saying that this is my first attempt at blogging. The only thing in my life that is actually interesting is my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Other than that, I am just a regular house wife and mother. I do the things that all moms and wives do...cook, clean, grocery shop, wipe noses and bottoms (I am unintentionally making it sound like Ray has some serious issues, I only do these things for Isabelle), and the list goes on and on. I do consider myself to be somewhat of a crafty girl, but the operative words here are "I" and "consider". Craftiness is in the eye of the beholder and the, um, crafter. What?
I am also somewhat crazy, diabetic (hence the craziness), obsessive, and a bit odd. But who isn't? So, if you want to follow the daily, mundane chores of a mad woman, be my guest! I plan on posting pictures of my family and friends, my crafty successes and failures, and whatever else I want to post. If you are one of the people that knows me, right about now you are thinking "What is going on? Is this really Charity writing this, or is Isabelle a WHOLE LOT smarter than I thought? Well, the answers are "yes" and "yes".