Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recipe ~ Raspberry Strawberry Scones

raspberry scones

These scones are a huge hit around our house and they're entirely whole wheat which is an added bonus :) This batch will make 18 large scones so there is plenty to warm up for the following day.

raspberry scones

  • 6 cups freshly ground soft wheat berry flour milled on your finest setting or 6 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sucanat or white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking power, preferably aluminum free
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
raspberry scones

Cut the cold butter into your flour until it resembles a course texture similar to corn meal. I actually like to use my food processor to do this as it only takes a couple of pulses to cut the butter in nice and fine :)

Next add your sugar and baking powder and use a fork to sift it through your flour/butter mixture. Once you've done that you can add your raspberries and strawberries and gently coat them with your flour mixture. I had the berries frozen in the freezer from last summer but you can substitute any sort of berry in their place. Blueberries are lovely also :)

raspberry scones

The final step is to add your milk and blend it all together just until your flour is moistened. Don't over mix it! Using an ice cream scooper or spoon similar in size scoop nice plump balls of your scone batter onto parchment covered cookie sheets and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15-20 minutes or until nice and golden brown. You can test them by inserting a knife into the center of a baked scone and if it comes out clean then it is done. Another way to test if they are finished baking is to gently press down on the top of the scones and if they spring back up after you release your finger then they are finished :)

Enjoy devouring these delicious goodies!

~ Rosina

Friday, February 26, 2010

Photos around the farm

Around the farm

It was a lazy day around here today. Just a bunch of housework and I didn't really think that you wanted to see pictures of me buried under the Mount Everest sized pile of laundry so I thought I'd share some recent photos that I took around our property :)

Weathered old fence posts still standing strong despite their outward condition. They've got character now and so much more interesting with their lumps of moss.

Around the farm

The old cattle truck in its final resting place behind the chicken coop. It's becoming one with nature as the moss, vines and trees grow in around it.

Around the farm

The most beautiful red berries along the trail to the bottom field. They were everywhere amongst the fallen maple leaves and ferns.

Around the farm

Random piles of elk droppings throughout the fields from the fence crashing intrusive beasts. Such beautiful animals to see but oh so destructive. They can rip up a wet field in spring with their hooves and graze down all the grass in summer in the blink of an eye.

Have a lovely weekend!
~ Rosina

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gardening Catalogues

Go Canada

We just had to stop and take a photo the other day when we went down island of this great Inukshuk atop the big rock in Campbell River :) Someone was definitely bitten by the spirit of the Olympics *grin*.

Gone is that beautiful blue sky that was in the above photo and it's raining again but I've been cheering myself up with thoughts of planting my garden! I've been ordering from West Coast Seeds out of Delta, BC for quite a few years now and I've got my new 2010 catalogue dog eared already with my new favorites and old faithfuls :)

All of their seeds are untreated & GMO free and there are some new certified organic seeds as well. Quick note though, it appears when you do a quick glance through the first pages that all of their seeds would be organic with all the certified organic stamps and write up flashed but only seeds listings that specifically say they are organic actually are. I was really hoping that all of the seeds were now organic but some is better than none!

If you're in Europe, specifically England I just received a fabulous seed catalogue from a company called Sarah Raven's Kitchen & Garden and it is just chocked full of organic seeds!! So many interesting and very different vegetables to choose from.

seed catalogue

I was particularly interested in the organic bean seeds that they have. We live in a colder climate and there is a cool climate pole bean named Borlotti Lingua de Fuocco that can be planted in April which is nearly 2 months ahead of when we can plant our usual bean seeds and another broad bean named Super Aquadulce that can be sown in February or September for a fall/winter crop. Sadly though it appears that they don't ship outside the European union so I guess my crazy winter bean dreams will have to be put on hold LOL.

Do you have a favorite seed company that sells organic seeds in Canada or ships to Canada that you could share?

~ Rosina

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Could this be a sign?

M's ultrasound

I was rooting around in the cupboard that I store all of our bills and miscellaneous paperwork in when I ran across a mysterious little brown envelope. To my surprise inside were two little ultrasound x-rays of my youngest son taken in 2005 when he was around 19 weeks :)

I had completely forgotten that I had tucked them up there for safe keeping and how funny to come across them just days after we finished celebrating his 4th birthday! Could it be a sign? Perhaps it's a hint that we should have another baby. Three is an odd number and we really should even it up right? *grin*. Come on, I"m going to need some backing if I'm going to convince hubby that we should have another one! LOL

I'm going to have to tuck these away in a more appropriate place, like with the rest of the baby stuff, but I think I'm going to swoon over them just a little bit longer :)

~ Rosina

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tutorial ~ Make A Felt & Fabric Birthday Banner

birthday bunting

I'm so pleased with how the Happy Birthday banner I made for my son's birthday last weekend turned out that I just had to share it with all of you :)

birthday bunting

You will need:

Printed ABC's
an assortment of colored felt
coordinating cotton fabrics and thread
cookie cutter, mug or something else round to trace around

birthday bunting

I started by tracing 3 inch circles on my felt using one of my water glasses as a tracing pattern :) Then I found a 4 inch scalloped cookie cutter that was just perfect for the white accent underneath the colored circles and traced around it, then cutting both styles of circles out. Don't worry if you don't have items that are the exact measurements that I used, check out your cookie cutters & glass cupboard and match up sizes that you have :)

Next using my word processor program on my computer I typed in 'happy birthday' and adjusted the size until the letters printed out at a suitable size to fit on the top circle comfortably without being to close to the edges. I used the 'Arial' font at 200 points for the size :)

birthday bunting

With all of your circles and letters cut out, stack them together the way that you want them to look and start by sewing just your letters on through all 3 layers of felt. This is much quicker than hand sewing and I was in a bit of a time crunch *grin*.

birthday bunting

With all of your letters attached it's time to get your flags cut. You'll have to excuse my hodge podge assortment of measuring tools! LOL. I only had one ruler that was long enough so I had to resort to fabric scraps for the other side *grin*. Not a big deal at this point though, all you want to do right now is visualize how big you want your flags to be so that your felt circles are going to fit nicely and jot down your measurements for when you are ready to actually start cutting!

Now that I knew exactly what size my flags we're going to have to be to look good, I started to cut. I used a 10 inch wide strip of cotton cut parallel to the selvage along the width of my fabric leaving me with a nice rectangular chunk.

With my flags planning to be 7 inches wide at the top, I lined one end of my ruler up at one of the corners on the narrow end of rectangle sized fabric and moved the other end of the ruler diagonally across the fabric so that it stopped 3.5 inches further up the fabric on the opposite side. This first cut was going to create one side of one flag. Once that was cut I repositioned my ruler so that it stayed on the 3.5 inch mark on the one side and slid the opposite end of the ruler up the fabric 7 inches and made my second cut which then created my 7 inch wide triangle like in the above photo.

To continue cutting your triangles out of your rectangular piece of fabric you just alternate what sides you count up your 7 & 3.5 inches. Hopefully my photo is worth a 1000 words and helps clarify my instructions *grin*.

birthday bunting

With my assortment of colored flags all cut, I laid the entire banner out so that I could alternate flags & felt alphabet circles around until I had it looking just like I wanted :)

birthday bunting

As soon as I had my line up decided I took them to the sewing machine, positioned each circle 3/4 of an inch below the top of each flag and then edge stitched inside the colored felt circles to attach them permanently to the flags.

birthday bunting

Since I never turned under any of the raw edges on my cotton I was a bit concerned that with all of the handling it was going to start to fray. So I took my pinking sheers and quickly cut down each of the edges tidying up any stray threads and giving them a fun finish :)

birthday bunting

The last and final step was to attach some pre-made bias tape along the top, connecting all of the flags together :) Now if you're really industrious you can actually make your own bias and the thought did actually crossed my mind but I opted for the easy way out and used the pre-made stuff *grin*.

M's 4th Birthday

That's it! One fun and super colorful birthday banner :) These could be used for anything to, not necessarily just birthdays. They'll gussy up any festivities and you could personalize it with your child's name to! The only thing that I would have changed was to put on the number 4 with velcro so that I would have been able to remove it every year and update how old he is. Alas, hindsight is 20/20 *grin*.

Have fun making one of your own and let me know when you've finished it. I'd love to see what you do to make yours special :)

~ Rosina

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday

M's 4th Birthday

It has been party central around here since December with 6 birthdays in the last three months and yesterday my baby turned 4!! Above is the cute little birthday card we made for him to match the 'Happy Birthday' banner that I made :) You'll have to excuse the backwards 'a'. We had a bit of a stamping malfunction! *grin*

M's 4th Birthday

To please all the men in the family I went with the super deluxe meat and cheese platter from our favorite German delicatessen. So yummy and not a piece left for a midnight snack!

M's 4th Birthday

I don't know what it is about ice cream cake but everyone has requested it for their birthday cake even though it's wintertime!

M's 4th Birthday

It was absolutely hilarious to watch M open his gifts. My mom had hidden them around the house and gave him clues as to where to find them. He would race around hunting for them but little did he know that Omi was going to make him work extra hard to open them. She had wrapped them in mass amounts of tape! He wouldn't let K or L help him open them either. So we all giggled as he strained and pulled making the funniest faces as he worked so hard with his little hands to unwrap them :)

M's 4th Birthday

One of his favorite gifts was this cute stamp set. We've been drawing roads on paper and he stamps in all of the vehicles traveling while making up little stories to go along with them. Stamps & playdough are his favorite playthings right now so this will provide endless hours of fun for him :)

M's 4th Birthday

No more birthdays now until August. Time is moving so quickly though this year that it'll be here in a blink of an eye! If only I could bottle time and slow it all down :)

~ Rosina

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fabric Giveaway ~ So St. Croix

Need some new inspiration to add to your fabric stash?
Hop on over to Jennifer Paganelli's blog and get in on a fantastic giveway for 3 fat quarter packs in her new So St. Croix fabric :) Better hurry though, it all comes to a close this Sunday @ 5pm!

~ Rosina

Friday, February 19, 2010

Party Banner

birthday bunting

I'm feeding my felt fetish again LOL.
I've been working on a happy birthday banner for my son's 4th birthday tomorrow and I've just about got it completed :) Last night I hauled out my jumbo bag of felt and started cutting up a storm. I love working with felt, it's so easy to work and forgiving of mistakes. Just a little tug here and there sorts out little imperfections *grin*.

birthday bunting

He's turning 4 and thought that I'd surprise him with a special birthday bunting with 'Happy 4th Birthday' on it. All that's left is to sew a string of bias along the top to tuck all of the flags into and it'll be ready to string up tomorrow afternoon :)

We just finished putting on a big shin dig for big brother's 11th birthday so we're going a little more low key tomorrow with cheese & crackers, salami and landjaeger from our favorite German delicatessen and of course one jumbo ice cream cake!

~ Rosina

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Attacking the Weeds


We're starting to get the gardening bug around here. The kids and I decided that we would attack the front flower beds and kick out the lawn that decided to grow in them *grin*. It was definitely no small feat! Who knew3 little helpers wielding mini spades could be so dangerous LOL. There was flying dirt, wiggling worms and some not so lucky grubs that got squished so their guts could be examined :) But we got it done!

Two beautiful beds of freshly turned soil ready for planting. Since we never really get very far in the flower department I think we'll use them for vegetables this year! It might prove to be a very good place to grow a couple of tomatoes since it gets all day sun and is a lovely warm spot.

For now we're going to sow in some radishes and maybe some spinach or chard which just love this mild cool weather and wait for the rest. Did you know that every yard has its own micro climate? When the dandelions start to bloom in your grass it's time to start planting :) We've been following that rule for the last couple of years and have been successful but if you don't trust me you could always test the soil temperature by sticking your elbow in the dirt. I kid you not! If the soil feels warm on your elbow it's time to stick in the beans *grin*.

How about you, are you starting to plant anything yet?

~ Rosina

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thrift Store Find ~ Hankie Quilt

Hanky Quilt

I knew there was a reason I was collecting vintage ladies hankies :)

Check out this super cute hankie quilt! Each of the squares had a different hankie sewn on and then embellished with bits of ribbon and buttons. So easy and what an inventive way to use them up :)

Hanky Quilt

They were asking $40 for it so I left it to be discovered by another thrifter *grin*. I've got a few hankies with little lacy trims and embroidered flowers and some of the more plain jane ones but I'm definitely going to have to keep my eyes peeled for more and put this on my future project list :)

Here are some great vintage hankies that I found on Etsy :)

1. Exquisite vintage petit point 2. Vintage valentine hankies 3. Vintage handkerchief hanky 4. Vintage embroidered rose 5. Vintage hankies 6. Embroidered elephant in polka dots 7. Embroidered flower vintage french 8. Valentines day 9. Vintage printed hankie

Maybe I won't have to wait until I can find more at the thrift stores with all of these great hankies just waiting to be snapped up on etsy *grin*

~ Rosina

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Webcast: Richard Louv ~ Last Child in the Woods

Hitching a Ride

I can't believe the amazing weather we are having!! Finally, after flooding three times in 3 months, enduring endless weeks of torrential rain and not a glimpse of sunshine in what seems life forever we are basking in some pretty darn nice days :)

To top off the great day we were having I found out that there was a live webcast of Richard Louv who wrote the fantastic book 'Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder'. It's a look at how we've gone from you and I spending endless hours outdoors creating our own fun, playing in the woods, building forts or exploring nature to the current generation of children that are completely disconnected from the outdoors and spending more time inside with electronic gadgets! He shares how engaging with nature can be extremely beneficial for children with ADD, Autism and more, and how we need to be reconnecting our kids with the outdoors!

I'm not saying that everyone has this problem as I know there are many of us that still make sure that we're getting as much outdoor playtime as possible, but I still think that this book is a must read :)

You can still watch today's webcast by visiting the Blank Family Foundation's website and enjoy the presentation :) The first 5 or so minutes are of the audience talking and getting settled so don't turn it off! You can use that time to get a nice cup of tea *grin*. Richard shares some of the statistics between nature and children, now and in the past, stories from the book plus more, and has an open Q&A at the end. I think I'm going to watch it again as there were a few 'mama I need you' interruptions during the live feed LOL.

Do you have any other book recommendations that you could share? I'd love to add some more to my reading list :)

~ Rosina

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flickr Favorites ~ 2010 Olympic Games

1. Happy 45th Birthday, Maple Leaf Flag, 2. Olympic City, 3. B20100531_Ski_Jumper, 4. Vancouver_Olympics_Luge_OLYBO155.JPG

Friday was the official kick off of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games here in Canada and boy did they put on a spectacular opening ceremony!! We missed the first airing of it on the television so my husband and I actually started watched it at midnight to see what we had missed and boy am I glad we did :)

We had the chance to see the torch pass through when it started its cross country journey and now I'm putting together a scrapbook for the kids with all of the best photos and articles that I can get out of the newspaper. The Vancouver Sun is dedicating quite a few sections of the daily paper to covering all of the events and so on so I am really looking forward to reading it and watching some of the games on the television with the kids to :)

How about you, are you doing anything special as this games unfold?

Have your own flickr favorites and want to play along? Visit Mitsy over at Artmind and join in!

~ Rosina

Valentine Party

valentine cupcakes

I had been planning to put together a little Valentine's party for the kids but my best laid plans went a little sideways *grin* and I fell behind on the preparations. If you happen to follow me on twitter you may have read my crazy message at 1am on valentine's morning when I was actually baking up a storm until about 2 am while I should have only been dreaming of cupcakes & cookies! LOL

handmade valentine card

Two dozen cupcakes heaped in pink icing and another couple dozen sugar cookies later I was ready to finish my Valentine's cards for them! Haha, did I mention I was seriously running behind?!

I had found the cutest little pattern for a crocheted heart garland and thought that they would make super sweet handmade cards so I only worked the first 2 rounds of the pattern and they were the perfect size to be hot glue gunned onto the cardstock for little ' I ♥ You ' valentines :) I tucked one on Hubby's coffee maker for him to find in the morning and off to bed I went to catch a few zzz's before I would be forced to open my eyes again *grin*.

valentine cookies

All of my late night work paid off and everyone was thrilled to find a tin of sugar cookies, icing and sprinkles waiting for them after breakfast :)

You know it was one heck of a good decorating party if your participants are wearing more icing than the cookies and my little 3 year old was a true testament to that! I think that I'm the only one brave enough to eat his cookies to. There was an awful lot of licking going on during the whole affair. LOL

valentine party

While they decorated I cut out little tea party sandwiches :) Heart shaped peanut butter & banana bites, scalloped cucumber bites all arranged around a stunning bouquet of red marshmallow roses *grin*.

valentine party

Oh heck it was just one big sugar fest!

Thank goodness the sun was shining and I could send all three of my sugar pops outdoors to burn off some of that buzz on their bikes! LOL

Hope you all had a lip smacking good Valentine's Day to :)

~ Rosina

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fantastic Book ~ Crochet Blocks

Crochet Block Book

I want to share with you, especially for my fellow Granny A Day participants this fabulous book, 200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws & afghans by Jan Eaton that is jam packed full of fantastic blocks to make :)

Crochet Block Book

This is just a sampling of what is inside!! There are different sizes and styles, sample blanket layouts using the blocks and photo instructions if you are a beginner and need help. Another bonus is that for each of the blocks there are a couple of different color combination photos as well to help out the color challenged individuals like myself *grin*.

Granny Square

I've been trying out a few of the blocks and here are two different ones that I have made so far :)

Granny Square

I've got such an eclectic mix of blocks going on so far that I'm not sure how I'm going to connect them all together for a blanket yet! LOL.

How about you? How are your squares coming along and do you have a favorite crochet book on blocks that you could share with me? I'd love to find more :)

~ Rosina

Friday, February 12, 2010

Road Trip

Nanaimo mural

We went on a bit of a road trip this morning heading down island to Nanaimo. Hubby had to visit the Transport Canada office and have is captain's ticket renewed for the tug boats that he run so we thought we'd tag along :)

I really wanted to make a visit to Kool and Child which is a fantastic homeschool supply store there to pick up some human body books for my oldest son and a couple new printing workbooks for my daughter. I really should make a trip down by myself one day as there are so many things to look at. There's nothing like leaving your husband in the car while you head into what you might as well call a candy store for homeschoolers! LOL.

We squeezed in a little visit to Costco while we were there to. I love looking at all of the seasonal items and you can't beat their prices on books, but I managed to escape with a handful of groceries and nothing else. The kids on the other hand left with full bellies *grin*. How you might ask... well I think they hit all of the food sample gals twice going around the store! LOL.

They must go through a TON of samples during a day because everyone flocks to them like crazy and some people are down right aggressive about getting in front of everyone else just to get a little paper cup filled with tidbits before they're all gone!! Seriously, some people should really eat lunch before they go there :)

granny square

I packed along my yarn bag with my granny square project that I've been working on and got a couple of new ones crocheted up on the way home :) I don't know why I never thought to take my crocheting along with me while traveling before. It helps to make the time pass so quickly and I'm getting so much more accomplished!

~ Rosina

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Blocks Done

paintbox square

I started cutting my first blocks today for the paintbox quilt :)
I had to do a little improv with the instructions as they call for 2 1/2 inch strips of the solid colors but I only had yardage in the solids and the patterned fabrics were supposed to be 10 inch squares but of course mine happen to be in strips so I'm working all the blocks in reverse *grin* It's all working out though :)

paintbox square

I decided to go with the classic blocks since they are the easiest to assemble and sew together in just a couple of minutes.

paintbox square

So here are the very first two in contrasting colors. I can't wait to get some more sewn up! I just love the bright color combination :)

~ Rosina