Saturday, January 30, 2010

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bars

I came across a really great site today called Cookus Interruptus and it's all about cooking & baking with organic whole foods! This is totally right up my alley since I love to use as much organic food as I can get my hands on and make everything from scratch. Plus they share tons of recipes so of course you just knew we were going to have to try something out :)

I rattled off some choices to the kids and we settled on one for a very wholesome Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffin. They were delicious!! I say were because there's nothing but crumbs left *grin*.

They're made with a blend of whole wheat pastry flour & a touch of unbleached white flour, pumpkin, spices, molasses and more, making a deliciously dense muffin :) I did make a few changes to the recipe though. I used my own wheat berries instead of whole wheat pastry flour by substituting 2 cups of soft white wheat berries that I ground in my nutrimill so that we could get all of the great roughage created by using whole wheat berries, omitted the salt completely, and cut the sugar in half. I used the full amount of honey but instead of 1/2 a cup of cane or brown sugar I used 1/4 cup of organic Sucanat which is also an unrefined cane sugar. We didn't miss the extra sweetness at all :)

If you're wondering why my muffins don't look very muffin shaped above, it's because I ran out of muffin tins and put the left overs in a loaf pan *grin*. Gotta make do with what's on hand. LOL.

I'm looking forward to doing some more exploring on their website and trying out another recipe :)

~ Rosina

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dream Bathroom Makeovers

Amazing Bathroom

I'm toying with the idea of giving my bathroom a total overhaul since it's sort of stuck in the 1960's. You know, the time when everyone was totally nuts over harvest gold, avocado greens and dusty rose colors for all of their bathroom fixtures. Well I've got a lovely shade of pink for the tub, toilet & sinks and it's really got to go!

I want classic white, maybe a touch of the new and totally hot greens that are out there with some subtle turquoise accents perhaps? Oh heck I'd love to knock out some walls and expand it twice the size, have one of those super roomy bathrooms with built in sitting areas *grin*. I'll have no need to ever leave it! LOL.

The top photo is just stunning. I love all of the white, the touches of nature that they brought in and do you see the glass paneled floor around the tub? It looks like it is filled with grass and flora. So beautiful :) And oh look there in the lower left hand corner is my sitting area *grin*. Those lucite chairs seem to be everywhere these days to! I'm not totally sold on them but they do give the illusion of more room which is neat.

Circular Shower Room

I also found this circular shower. I know I don't have enough room to add this in addition to a bathtub but I can just imagine having it with that heavenly rain shower head in the center and maybe some hydromassage shower heads for the others around the perimeter for an utterly relaxing spa treatment every morning. Ahh, to dream :)

To see more photos of the top bathroom visit and the shower is from Euro Bath & Tile.

~ Rosina

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Granny Square Baby Blanket & Crocheted Flower Tutorial

All this talk about crocheting 'granny squares' got my mom digging out her old crocheted blankets *grin*. This one she made for my sister and I when we were babies.

Granny Squares Baby Blanket

Here is a close up of one of the squares with its cute little flower. She stitched each of the leaves around the little flowers after she assembled all of the squares and don't you just love the edging?! It's called the 'popcorn' stitch :)

Granny Squares Baby blanket

It's a little yellow with age as it is er, ahem... well let's just say older *grin*, but still in fabulous condition otherwise. It actually has a crocheted backing fashioned into a pocket because it used to have a mini down duvet inside of it and was used for our crib blanket :) I just love treasures like this!

I've had a couple of people ask me how I made my little flower centers in the granny squares from my previous entry and I found a great video tutorial on how to make one that is very similar :) She does a really great job of explaining all of the steps very clearly so I hope that you enjoy watching it and creating some crocheted flowers of your own :)

~ Rosina

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Granny Square Challenge Update

Granny Squares Flowers

So I joined Pip's Granny A Day Challenge a little over a week ago and I thought that I'd share what's been happening around here :) Well let's just say that it's a really good thing that there isn't any pressure on making sure you get one square done everyday! *grin*. I've got one square completed and a handful of flower centers so far but hey, I'm pleased as punch with my progress LOL.

I just love these flowers and they really are very simple to make so when I can steal a moment away from my sewing machine or other family duties I've been working a few rounds on them :) Of course I went with turquoise and green because I'm completely smitten with those two colors right now but I'm not committing myself to completing every square that way though! I've actually got a couple of marigold orange flowers made and I think I'm going to use some of the green and make flowers to, or incorporate all the colors into one, or.... well you get the idea. It may get a tad bit eclectic *grin*.

Granny A Day ~ 2010 Challenge

Here's one of the fully completed squares. Only 70 more to go if I want to make the lap sized blanket I have a pattern for :) Good thing I've got 11 more months to work on it!

How are your granny squares coming along?

~ Rosina

Monday, January 25, 2010

Flickr Favorites ~ Moss

1. The Toadstool's Secret Terrarium, 2. Birdie Abode, 3. Fairy Homes, 4. Tiny Homes For Gnomes

I have been collecting moss and tiny clay mushrooms to make my own little mossy terrarium haven and these photos are so inspiring. Just look, acorn gnome houses... fantastic!!

I am craving vibrant greens, the sweet earthy smell of forest mosses, and the peaceful feeling that nature evokes in oneself. My little terrarium is going to bring that bright spark of the outdoors in :)

Want to play along?
Build your own mosaic and visit Artmind's blog to join in :)

~ Rosina

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Weenie Roast


With all of the mild weather that we have been experiencing and absolute lack of any sort of snow or freezing it has made it perfect for doing some grounds maintenance around our property. My dad is seriously the happiest while he's outdoors doing something strenuous so he's been chopping firewood for us and cleaning up all of the brush and blown down bits in the lower fields. Of course you've got to do something with all of it once it's heaped up so we had a bonfire today :)

The kids just love when he burns and my oldest headed out first thing in the morning to help prepare. The rest of us wandered out around lunch with our sack of wieners, buns and drinks. I must admit that I hate to buy hot dogs so when I do there is a pretty big hub bub about it and it added to the excitement of the day *grin*.


After all of the mom anxiety finally calmed as I watched my youngest so lovingly referred to as my 'wild child' run off wielding a pointy stick with a drooping weenie hanging off of it, and I prayed that he didn't trip on a stick and land himself in the fire things went really well *grin*.

Mmm, mmm. Nothing like a charred weenie slapped between some bunage! LOL

~ Rosina

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pink Pearls & Fur For Your Baby

Paris in Pearls & Fur

I was going through old photos tonight and I came across my pictures of the dog clothing that I used to make and sell for the mini breeds like chihuahua and papillons :) Above is precious 'Paris' modeling one of my pink pearls and fur coat and hat sets. Isn't she adorable?!

I had so much fun making all sorts of different dress up outfits. It's hard to believe that most of them were custom jobs and all I had to work with were measurements that owners sent to me and I would sew furiously creating their clothing all the while praying that it would fit just right! *grin*

Mini Outfits for Chihuahua's

I must say no one was ever disappointed so I was definitely doing something right! LOL. Here are more of my creations that I found in my old photo files. There were full length dresses with wrap around sashes, summer halter tops and I even made bathrobes that I would customize with your babies name appliqued on the bottom hem :)

More mini outfits for Chihuahua

I think these two were my favorites though. The pink polka dotted one had a peter pan color and thick belt, and it was fully lined with the pink dot fabric. While the tutus were trimmed with rhinestones and finished with poofy tuille and satin tutu tufts :)

There were about 20 different styles and I made sure that I kept one of each of them *grin*. In my craft closet is a little tote with all of these little outfits, miniature sunglass goggles, and rhinestone necklaces that I would accessorize with.

What do you think... when I'm ready to use them again will they be in style? Haha, my husband thinks I'm a complete fruit cake for even entertaining the idea of dressing up my dog, but those little ones just look so cute in pink pearls and fur :)

~ Rosina

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flickr Favorites ~ Family

Lately I can't help but think of all my family in Austria and how much I would love to just hop on a plane and go to see them :) It has been over 10 year since we last went and it is so beautiful there. My father is from a small town in Carinthia and grew up on a very large working farm. So when we visited of course we went home to stay with my Omi, well into her 80's at the time and working just like she was a young girl still *grin*.

The photos above remind me of one of their houses in the alps, and when I was little I had the cutest pair of lederhosen just like the boys above, of course I also had the traditional dirndl to :) What little Austrian girl doesn't! My father's 70th birthday is approaching very quickly and we are actually hoping to surprise him with a trip home to Austria. I can't wait!

Want to play along?
Build your own mosaic and visit Artmind's blog to join in :)

~ Rosina

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sneak Peak ~ New Organic Sandwich Bags

New Organic Sandwich BagsNew Organic Sandwich Bags

They're here!! The first batch of certified organic fabric has arrived and I just finished sewing up one snack and one sandwich bag out of each of the four fabrics. I just love the fun polka dots, mushrooms & flower prints!

I shared in a previous post some of the requirements that need to be met in order to be certified organic and am super excited about getting these and being able to share them with you to. I'm working on getting all of the photos together for them and will start to list them in the shop in a couple of days, so make sure you check back for them!

~ Rosina

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Valentine's Garland ~ 'Sew' Easy To Make!

Valentine garland

We are totally into Valentine's Day mode around here! I know it's a little bit early but if we don't do it now we may not do it at all *grin*. I love paper garland and thought it would be so much fun to make a Valentine themed one.

Heart garland

I made some quick cardboard templates of X's, O's, hearts & kissy lips. Of course we had to have big kissy lips to go with our X's & O's which if you aren't familiar are for kisses & hugs. Perfect for Valentine's day :) I made the templates out of an empty cereal box and traced them onto construction paper and then my little crafty helper, L, cut them all out for me :) Kids and scissors just seem to go hand in hand so this was one fun project.

Heart garland

Then came the fun part for mom :) I took each piece, repeating them in a pattern and sewed them all together with the sewing machine. So easy!! I mean there is no work involved. The machine stitches through them without any trouble and as I finished each one I gently pulled it and the thread out in equal intervals between each piece.

Valentine garland

Done :) We swapped the kitchen curtain and put up a fun red gingham one, hung our newly made valentine garland & added some cute little tin birdies that I attached to the curtain to :)

It is so stinking cute and anyone can make this! Have fun creating one of your own :)

~ Rosina

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Granny A Day 2010 ~ Crochet Challenge

a granny a day 2010 :: the first 14, originally uploaded by meetmeatmikes.

Pip over at the fabulous Meet Me At Mikes blog has started up the 'Granny A Day' challenge again and of course I'm game for anything that keeps my creative consciousness rolling *grin*. Actually I think this will be a great family project and I'm going to get the kids involved to. The more the merrier!

1973 Women's Day wall hanging, originally uploaded by kokkole.

I ran across this really cool afghan while searching for granny square patterns. I just love the mix of squares and circles! Maybe I'll aspire to creating something similar :)

I'm pretty proficient as a crocheter but it's been a long time since I've done a granny square. I made a pink and white dolly blanket using them when I was probably around 8 or 9 but I don't think I've made one since :) Pip has put together a really great tutorial on how to make a granny square even if you have never crocheted before so if you're interested in trying one out you should definitely pop over and have a look at it. There's video links and everything!

I found a couple sites to that are loaded with multiple sized granny squares to get me started to at:

and there are tons more. Just do a quick google search for free granny square patterns and you'll find loads of them. If you need some visual inspirations there are some really great flickr groups to that are all about granny squares at:

Now all I need is some yarn and we're in business!

~ Rosina

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Relief Fundraiser

I'm sure that all of you have now heard about the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti and their urgent need for the most basic supplies of water, food, shelter and medical supplies.

Jen from the well known Indie Fixx Blog has started a wonderful silent auction to help raise money for the Red Cross International Response Fund with 100% of the proceeds collected going straight to the Haiti Relief fund where they have already pledged 1 million dollars in support!

All of the items have been donated by crafters, artists & designers from all over and below are 2 of the 3 items that are up for auction today!!

So hurry on over, read the official rules, check out today's items for bid and then check back EVERY DAY as more items will come up for bidding each day :) Lets help out!

~ Rosina

The Seed

This is the neatest video. If you've got 2 minutes you should check it out! It's a fun take on the life cycle of an apple seed using really cool stop motion paper animation along with drawn animation. I would love to learn how to do this :)
~ Rosina

The Seed from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Marie Claire Idées

Marie Claire Idées Magazine

I have been thoroughly enjoying my new December 2009 copy of the Marie Claire Idées Magazine :) Good thing I can pick out familiar words and fumble my way through the text since it's all in French and I am not exactly anywhere near fluent in French! No need to read it though, the photos more than make up for the lack of understanding.

Stamps ~ Les Poupées de Collection

I purchased it from a lady in France and when I picked it up on Friday the envelope had this amazing collection of dolls on a special postage stamp set affixed to it. LOVE it!!

The stamp set is just as much fun as the magazine with it's thread work around the edges and embroidered flower heart between the dolls. Beautiful :) I must keep it for sure *grin*.

Marie Claire Idées Magazine

Oh my! The most amazing places to visit while in France. The architecture and history of it is amazing. I am definitely going to have to include some of these stops in our itinerary for our trip to France!! My mom and I are planning a trip to Paris and I can't wait. Anyone know of some 'must see' shops that we shouldn't miss? I'd love to know :)

Marie Claire Idées Magazine

I just love this pretty pink crocheted tea cozy. It's adorable! Tucked within the pages of this issue is 'sugar fairy' heaven :)

Marie Claire Idées Magazine

I could take a hundred different photos to share with you but I might run out of space *grin*. Many different dinner settings and some amazing recipes to try are still waiting for me to drool over. Not to worry though. When I run out of pages to admire I only have to wait a little while longer for the January issue that is en route straight from France to captivate my imagination some more!

~ Rosina

Monday, January 11, 2010

Flickr Favorites ~ Red Joy

1. Crochet Mushroom, 2. Red Hangers Arow, 3. Yayoi Kusama "Ascension of Polkadots on the trees", 4. red + white

The other day one of my market totes was featured in the most amazing red polka dot treasury and it was so bright and lively that it just made you want to smile. So I thought I'd put together some of my favorite red polka dot photos to bring a little 'red joy' to you :) Perfect for the dreary gray days of winter! I must say that I would love to wrap some trees with polka dotted paper. Wouldn't it be so striking in the dead of winter with snow on the ground to run into trees like that?! Something that perhaps you would find in Alice in Wonderland :) Enjoy.

Play along!
Build your own mosaic and visit Artmind's blog to join in :)

~ Rosina

Not Again!

Flood Jan 2010

We have been experiencing heavy rainfall again which isn't totally unusual for us in the winter. So last night I was teasing hubby, asking him if he had his tool kit ready so that he could make a mad dash to the basement and rip the well pump out if we started to flood again. We had a good laugh reminiscing about the last two floods we had in November and thought, nah, we NEVER flood in January and went to bed.

Haha, the joke was on us. Maybe I jinxed us or something but we awoke to the kids yelling that we were flooding! I couldn't believe it. We have never in the 31 years I've lived here flooded after November, but there it was creeping up from all sides around us. It's like a silent stalker that kills in the night!

Flood Jan 2010

I madly hurried to finish packaging up parcels from the night before that needed to be shipped to buyers and we sped off to the post office so that we would make it back in to our home before the water got to deep. Above is the main road in town right where our home is. The water was only about a foot deep and headed all the way to the bridge that crosses the river just ahead, but was still rising.

Thankfully after the tide started to fall the water also started receding ever so slightly though. The heavy rain continues to fall and of course under the cloak of darkness we're not sure what will happen tonight but I'm being optimistic. Our basement floor is once again covered with a shallow layer of water, I've moved the car to higher ground and when I awake in the morning I'm hoping to still see the grass *grin*.

~ Rosina

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Polka Dots of Happiness

Dots of Happiness Treasury

Doesn't this treasury just scream 'Love Me'! *grin*.

I just got an email letting me know that my polka dot market bag had been included in this awesome mix of red. With Valentine's Day right around the corner this seems to be the perfect color. I love it, so bright and cheery :)

If you are viewing this and the treasury has now expired you can click the photo for a larger view of it and all of the shop names are there so you can search on Etsy to find any of these great items!

~ Rosina

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Certified Organic Fabrics

Organic fabrics

I can't contain my excitement anymore and I've just got to spill the beans *grin*.

I just finished splurging and purchased some fabulous *certified* organic cotton fabrics. Did you know that cotton is one of the most chemically treated crops grown and uses approximately11% of all pesticides and 25% of the insecticides used worldwide each year? Yikes!

Thankfully certified organic cotton increases soil fertility and biodiversity, reduces water pollution, and has a low impact on the environment making it good for the Earth.

organic fabrics

I am really looking forward to their arrival and making my cloth snack and sandwich bags with them :)

All of the fabrics I purchased meet either the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for farming methods benefiting farmers, processors, the earth and consumers by using natural, non toxic means to control crops from seed to harvesting, milling to finishing


SKAL certification which tests and verifies international organic farming standards and consists of visits to farms, processing and importing units, but also examination of soil, crop or tissue samples and administrative assessments. When the production process fully meets the requirements, certification can take place.

So exciting! Soon everyone will have the choice as to which materials they want their bags made with :)

~ Rosina

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Flickr Favorites ~ Eye Spy

1. Owl, 2. Polka dotted, 3. speak2, 4. Precious Gems

I am completely in love with turquoise and blues right now and as I searched Flickr for some photos matching that color I found these amazing pictures of eyes :) The photo in the bottom right hand corner made me think of a magnified section of an iris. The color is so vibrant!

Play along!
Build your own mosaic and visit Artmind's blog to join in :)

~ Rosina

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thomas the Train

Thomas the Train Painting

My oldest son reminded me today that I had forgotten to put his painting in my handmade christmas entry. Oops!

His little 3 yr old brother is totally into Thomas and I swear the kid looks like he's going to have a heart attack when he sees it come on tv. LOL. He races around frantically yelling out that Thomas is on, sometimes he has to get a Thomas book to hold while watching and this is all going on while the show is playing so he ends up missing part of it during his excitement *grin*.

So K decided that his special present to his brother would be a painting of Thomas the Train :) It was a total hit and I'm hoping he paints something for me next!

~ Rosina

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Scallop Coquilles St. Jacques

Scallop Coquilles St. Jacques

My sister was able to make it up today for my dad's birthday so we had a belated birthday meal for him :) I wanted to make something really special and fun for him so I tried out a new recipe that I had come across for Scallop Coquilles St. Jacques. Mmm, so delicious!!

Basically it's scallops in a white wine and garlic sauce but I decided to get a little more creative with it. I'm so terrible with recipes.... never seem to be able to just follow the instructions *grin*. I added in prawns, gruyere cheese and for the topping I went with Panko bread crumbs instead of the plain old crumbs along with more gruyere and green onions.

If you haven't tried Panko bread crumbs then you have to get some! They're a Japanese crumb and have this amazingly crisp and crunchy texture when they are cooked which is very nice. I've been using them on my homemade chicken strips for the coating and they are really great for coating halibut in for pan frying to :)

My dad loved the new dish and I'm definitely going to have to jot down what I did before I forget so that I can make it again!

~ Rosina

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Handmade Christmas

crown collage

This Christmas was all about creating handmade gifts :)

I wanted to create special gifts for the kids so I made each of them felt crowns. A pink princess crown adorned with ribbon flowers and tinsel trim, a pirate one for my little monster, and a crusaders crown for my oldest because he's totally into the older Indiana Jones' movies and they used the crusader crest in one of them :) We couldn't forget about daddy though so I created him his very own tugboat crown complete with a little mini tug in the same colors as his boat along with its name embroidered on the bow *grin*. It was incredibly hard to keep it a secret though! I had to do all of my sewing after everyone had gone to bed because I couldn't let the kids see it for fear that they would guess they were getting one to. So I waited until hubby would fall asleep and then I would quickly whip it out and do more work on it LOL. Needless to say there were many very late nights involved!

L's kanzashi flowerK's kanzashi flower

The kids got involved in the fun to and they each created a special Kanzashi flower for Omi (my mom). It was so cute to see my 6 year old folding the fabric and creating her flower :) We decided to put brooch pins on the back of each of them so that she could stick them onto her purse, coat or pretty much anything.

quilled dragonfly

My son surprised me with this lovely little hand quilled dragonfly!! He's such a sweety :)

Felt Bead Bracelet

We even experimented with making our own felt beads which turned out really well. We turned them into another little gift for Omi by making her a festive red and green bracelet with them :)

Felt Christmas Bow brooch

Of course I can never get enough felt so when I ran across a fabulous tutorial for recycled paper Christmas bows to decorate gifts with over at How About Orange I just knew I had to make one to but with a felty twist to keep up with my all felt theme *grin*. So literally minutes before we were supposed to be running out the door to my moms for Christmas dinner I was busy at my cutting board zipping off strips of felt, twisting and sewing it all together to make more brooches! LOL. Hubby was watching and teasing me because as usual I had found something that I just had to do which was going to make us notoriously late as usual :)

It was worth it! I finished up two of them, one for my daughter to wear on her Christmas dress and another for my sister which she just loved! Yay. I think this was one of the most rewarding Christmases for all of us as we were so proud of our creations :)

~ Rosina

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

New Years 2010

Wow, 2010!! I'm excited to see what the new year will bring for our family :)

We had a quiet little celebration at home with the kids. It's my dad's birthday as well so we had to break out the bubbly for a little toast to his being another year older *grin*.

New Years 2010

When I look at the photos of tonight it sort of feels like I teleported myself back to 1980! With our red heart table cloth draped over the coffee table and our little picnic placed upon it. I could just see my sister and I as little girls under the Christmas tree in our new flannel nightgowns that we got as presents and my mom taking photos of us. Such fun :)

Happy new year everyone and may all your dreams and goals for the new year come true!

~ Rosina