Friday, November 18, 2011

TWS friendship contest

Hello TWS friends! This little contest is just for you. To enter, you must "like" me on facebook. I promise not to pester you with too many postings :)
Then leave a comment here telling me which items you liked at my booth on Saturday and you will have a chance to win this sweet chipmunk.
Hurry, it all ends this coming Friday, Nov. 25th.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Contest !

Win this log home and the sweet squirrel living inside! All you have to do is be a facebook friend or blog follower and make a comment below. If you share the link and spread the word and let me know, I will enter your name twice.
The contest will be open for 2 weeks, ending Thursday, November 17.

And, if you are thinking of purchasing Christmas gifts from my etsy shop, please try to shop early. My etsy store is fully stocked right now. I will be at the Toronto Waldorf School Arts and Crafts sale on November 19 and if you particularly have your eye on something, it might be gone after that :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Garden Pleasures, October

Here it is October 11 and the garden is still going strong. On Saturday, we picked most of what was left of the Swiss Chard. It is one of the last crops to get eaten. I have to confess that I don't really like it that much, but as our choices for fresh garden produce get more and more limited, it starts to get more appealing.

It comes in the most amazing array of colours. After we picked it, we seperated leaves from stalks and blanched the leaves.

After blanching, I squeezed them and froze them in meal size chunks. I use them like frozen spinich, for lasagna, soups, and anything else you'd throw frozen spinich into.

The stems got chopped, blanched and also frozen. They're great in soup and stews.

Whatever was left over was thrown into the chicken coop, where some happy hens had a feast!

We have a new crop of peas, almost ready to eat!

And the fennel is looking big and delicious. Check out our swallowtail caterpillar at the top also thinks the fennel is pretty tasty. We've been watching him grow for a few days now. I didn't realize he was in the shot until I cropped it just now.

We're back to eating lettuce. The summer is just too hot for lettuce to grow properly.

Zuma (our dog) found this sweet house finch lying on the deck this morning. I picked her up and held her for a few moments, then put her in the hedge. I think she must have accidentally hit  the house and been momentarily stunned. When I went back to check a few minutes later, she was gone.
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Halloween Skeleton Bread

Here's a Happy Halloween Skeleton Bread that you can make as a family treat, a take along to a potluck or as part of a Halloween supper before Trick or treating! This guy is a regular at our annual neighbourhood halloween potluck. He is Huge, about 3'6" tall., using enough dough for 2 loaves of bread.  If you want a smaller guy, use half the recipe!

I used Martha Stewart's Ladies' Fingers recipe   HERE  Assemble your equipment. I used a mixer, but you can make the dough by hand. I used Instant Yeast instead of the traditional yeast called for in the recipe. If you use it, you just mix it in with the flour, no need to proof it first.

After you make the dough, let it rise, covered, in a warm spot for about an hour until it is doubled in size.
                                     The dough will be firmer than bread dough usually is.

                                                  Divide the dough into six roughly equal pieces.
 Use the largest piece first, this will be the head. It is easier to work on a counter that doesn't have any flour on it, so that the dough sticks slightly and stays in place while you are rolling and shaping.

                    Flatten the dough with your fingers or a rolling pin and poke holes into it, making a face.
                                 The dough will be about 3/4 of an inch thick when you flatten it.

                                              The next largest piece will become the rib cage.
                             Cut ribs into both sides of the dough, leaving a connection in the middle.

                                        Use your fingers to make the ribs longer and thinner.

                          To make legs, take another piece and roll it into a rope, about 14 inches long.
                               Cut lengthwise down the middle, then cut the two long pieces in half.

                                  The arms are made the same way with the next piece of dough.

                              Make the hips by flattening a piece and poking two holes into it.

                                     Cut the last piece into 4 parts and make feet and hands.

                                              Here's what he looks like before getting poached.
                     I used a large roaster with about 2 inches of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
Following Martha's directions, poach all the pieces for a minute on each side, taking great care with the ribs, so that they don't break off. I use tongs and two spatulas to lift the biggest pieces out of the water. If anything breaks, just shove it back together before baking. Brush each piece with egg wash (a beaten egg mixed with 1 T of water), sprinkle with coarse salt or sesame seeds and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

                                                 Or, you can just make some skull buns!

This seems a bit complicated, but its not that hard! I made a video describing the whole process  last year and you can watch it here on YouTube:

                                                                Happy Halloween!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pets vs. Nature, Part II

Hawk sighting!! IN THE CHICKEN YARD !!  It was a close call for one of the girls, there were feathers scattered everywhere. After hearing a commotion in the chicken yard, Rob rushed over to investigate.  A huge hawk flew away under the trees, with a flock of crows in hot pursuit.
The chickens were terrified, one of them had jumped the fence (even though their wings are clipped). The others were hiding  in the hedge and stayed there for a few hours.

I wonder if we will get any eggs tomorrow or if their trauma will temporarily slow down production.  

This beautiful hawk was carved by Sandra Healy

And here's a gorgeous raven (close enough to a crow, I figure) done by TracyeMueller
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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Winner is:

Luna Lunera!
I took all entries and wrote names on pieces of paper.  Those who advertised the draw were entered muptiple times depending on their activity.
Thank you all for entering :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CONTEST: Here, Now

To celebrate my 500th item sold on etsy, I am giving away this lovely butterfly play set. 
The set includes a butterfly, a nice leaf with a hole in it, a caterpillar and a zippered "cocoon" to store all of it in.

There are a couple of rules: To win, you must be a friend at my facebook page
And you must leave a comment below telling me which butterfly you would like.

View the other butterfly here: Purple Butterfly
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If you share this posting on facebook, twitter or your own blog, I will enter your name twice!  Just let me know in your comment :)
Because it is the middle of summer, I will leave the contest up for two weeks.  It will end on Thursday August 4th.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pets vs. Nature

This sweet chipmunk was made by Tracye Mueller and you can find it in her etsy shop here: 
I just love her work, she makes the most darling birds in addition to the cutie above.

This is Daffy. We harbour a killer at our house. Yesterday he ate a chipmunk. My husband and my son saw him do it, but they didn't tell me until Daffy barfed in the wee small hours. For the last two years, we have had a delightful chipmunk family living in our garden. Yesterday's murder was the first this year, second in total. I know cats are hunters by nature, but STILL!!!

This is Zuma. (Zuma is terrified of Daffy and lives in constant fear). Unfortunately, Zuma is not terrified of skunks and got sprayed in the face yesterday morning. A powerful stench has invaded the front part of our yard. Zuma did not enjoy the face scrubbing she had to endure and still smells vaguely of skunk today.

Posted by PicasaThis little stinker can be found in my shop here:
I am hoping NOT to see a real one ever again.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ladies of the Forest

Are they old hippies, grandmas, prim tea drinkers? Or all of the above? I only feel like making these gals every few months or so. These 3 are in my etsy shop right now.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Almost Ripe

Just about ready to eat, these black raspberries are one of my favourites.

Peas are also delicious.

And Beans are in abundance.

Tomatoes will be ready in a day or two

And this cucumber will be eaten by tomorrow.
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