Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Perfect Place for Pins

This is a great way to keep pins and Brooches safe and in a convenient place.  When it comes to Brooches I just love them. I think they are the best accessory to class up an outfit. I wear mine daily to keep my head scarf in place. A little bit or a lot of sparkle makes my day.
    One problem I ran into was keeping my Brooches safe. I had lost many rhinestones and jewels due to poor storage conditions. It goes a bit like this... I am in a hurry to remove my scarf. I take the brooch off, toss it in my bathroom drawer, or in my medicine cabinet. During this time in the drawer my jewel studded beauty gets thrashed and looses some of its luster or it falls out of the cabinet into the sink. In the end I have one less accessory.  Many of my little beauties are vintage from my mom's Etsy Store. She restores all the jewelry in her store, taking care to make sure each piece is in the best condition. I really feel terrible when I have to explain how I lost a jewel due to pure neglect. These fancy little pin cushions have  helped save my collection of pins and Brooches. Originally the idea was intended to class up a sewing table or add a special touch to a sewing box. I personally think these little beauties are to cute to stick in a box. I have mine in full view. This is a simple project that anyone can do with little difficulty.

What you will need

Pin Cushion
 Small Container
(a teacup works great)
 Straight pins

 Cut your velvet to the appropriate size to cover your pin cushion, A little over lap is okay
 Pin the material to the top of the tomato cushion (green part).This may take a few pins. I do it this way because it is stiffer at the top and more difficult to stick pins in. Try and make the fabric as smooth as possible. Once you have your cushion covered and secure fit it in into your teacup, pin side down. The cushion should fit snugly in place.
Easy Right?!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Home Grown

Last Wednesday I visited my mom and her garden. Here are a few pictures from my visit.

 Typically almonds are not consumed until the hulls are remove then place in the sun to harden - at least that's the way we have always done it. That process is to long for my husband. I guess it is common practice in Palestine to eat the almond while they are still "Green". He actually picked one of these right off the tree and took a bite, then decided it was still to soon . Honestly, I wouldn't know to me it is all to soon.

Growing up I hated yard work. I couldn't, for the life of me figure out why someone would want to grow food when it was readily available at the market. I'm not sure what happened to me, ( maybe it was growing a baby that changed my mind) but I totally enjoy plucking onions out of the dirt. These onions are sweet and awesome in a summer salad or sandwiches.

 Boysenberry picking is always a pleasure. I had to go home with a basket of berries, even if the heat was getting a bit uncomfortable. The weather has a major role in how long the berry season lasts at my mom's house. It gets so hot the berries just shrivel up on the tree. I hope I can get another basket this next week. I love summer, but I am not looking forward to the extreme heat of the valley. 

The story of the boysenberry begins with Rudolph Boysen. He was a farmer who experimented and came up with this new strain of berry, but the plants kept dying. Walter Knott was able to save the berry and make it famous. For more about the boysenberry, Walter Knott, his famous farm, and Theme Park check out Knott's Berry Farm . I love this story, it gives you a real nice slice of American pie!

After my visit and tour of the yard I had to get moving on down the road. My little boy had enough of just about everything and needed to take a nap. We packed up in a hurry and started the trip home, but not before my mom gave me a nice cool drink for the road. This was a new one for me. I didn't know two of my favorite things had been combined, Green Tea and Ginger Ale!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Shaved ice with Berries

After picking berries in the summer heat I needed a cool treat. This is a simple summer dessert that will cool you down fast. The concept is simple shaved ice and Sweetened Condensed milk, then add your topping(s). You can get creative with the ingredients, sweet red bean paste, peaches, mango's, pineapple, banana purée or berries all work well. I used fresh picked Boysen Berries. The unexpected rain gave my parents garden the extra water it needed to produce the sweetest berries yet!
The only problem you may run into is the shaved ice. I suggest a snow cone maker. My blender worked well enough, but the ice still had a few chunks.

Helpful Hints
  • Have all your ingredients ready before you prepare your ice.
  • purée a small portion of your fruit to get more flavor
  • don't be shy with the condensed milk
  • don't get greedy and use a big glass, I made this mistake and my mouth was frozen
  • try layering fruit and ice it looks amazing
  • save unused condensed milk in a squeeze bottle 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Henna Party

 Saturday night I invited some friends over to my house for a last minute henna party. A friend brought the henna and I provided the snacks and dinner. She made the henna herself from a powder, essential oils, lemon juice, and water. I suggest making your henna. Sometimes the pre made cones of  henna can be to dry or  have additives that could irritate your skin.
For more Henna or Mehndi check out these pages

 I had wanted to decorate a cake with henna design but my time had run out. I then found the cutest cookie ever! The idea shows up on several different blogs, but I think this is the original  .
 I used my own favorite gingerbread recipe and then followed the example on Sprinkle Bakes blog. It was so easy and fun. As you can see my henna skills are not so great. I need to bake more cookies.

Last minute chocolate cupcakes whith chocolate frosting.
I know they look poor ....almost naked with no design.

A little bit better....but still simple.
The turquoise frosting was orange flavor.