Saturday, April 28, 2012

this creative place

 Things are happening around here. And readers, we are not moving far away, we just need to move closer in to our workplaces. Our house will be listed very soon and it feels exciting!

I thought I would show you the fruits of my recent organizing. Imagine this: a clean and neat craft cupboard where I can find everything! "Oh, you need a thank-you note? Second shelf down on the left." "Valentine supplies? Bottom shelf." I got rid of a LOT: a big garbage bag went out to the dump, yard sale pile, and then lots of little bits to special people here and there.

Knitting project in the works for a lot of babies waiting to be born... Booties meant to stay on little feet that are shaped like little Volkswagon buses, because that is the shape of a nice, chubby baby foot. And if you are a regular reader, I am sure you are familiar with what that looks like. I found the pattern on Ravelry, but I had to make a lot of changes to it, so I will rewrite it here when I have finished.

Sylvan's shelter diorama is finished! He picked the Mongolian yurt. We felted using wet and dry techniques for the yurt and the sheep. And for the base, we got a lovely piece of birch plywood that he made a watercolor wash on, then added colored pencil to indicate grass. He made the figure out of beeswax, and we added a fireplace inside (with a fire made of colored wool), and a little sleeping bed. Do you like the tuft of smoke?
 You can just see the fireplace in the picture below:

And the beautiful colored pencil geometric construction that Jonas made this week. His shading is really excellent and I love his color choices.

 After the internal cleansing we did, I have so many new ideas about food and my body. I learned a lot about what my body likes, needs, and doesn't like. I learned that I need a big lunchtime salad and that I feel a lot lighter without gluten products. So I have been experimenting with some different ways of baking. This recipe has been adapted from the beYOUtiful cookbook, La Tartine Gourmand  by Beatrice Peltre. You should get your hands on it, it is so worth a look.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins---Vegan and Gluten Free
This will make one dozen muffins and a small loaf of bread

4 T. flax meal soaked in 8 T. water for a few minutes
4 ripe bananas
2/3 c. canola or vegetable oil
½ c. applesauce, unsweetened
2/3 c. maple syrup
1 ½ c. nut meal (almond or pecan)
1 ½ c. brown rice or millet flour
¾ t. baking soda
1 ½. t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
chocolate chunks (good quality chocolate, semi or bittersweet), however much you think is enough
Chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Oil pans, or use muffin cups

Put your bananas in a standing mixer and mash them. Soak your flax meal for a few minutes.

Mix up your dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flour, meal, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon.

To the mashed bananas, add soaked flax, oil, applesauce, and syrup, and mix well.

Now add dry into wet in a couple of additions. Then fold in chocolate chunks and nuts, if you are using them.

Scoop batter into muffin cups filling up to about ¾ full. Put the rest into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 or so minutes. When they start to smell good is the time to test them.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring for it

Ready for something new, changes big and small are here.

First, a new camera---and this time, it's right! After lots and lots of research, I discovered compact DSLR cameras, cameras designed to be small and light and fit in my hand, while offering me lots of creative potential and options. I am still getting to know my new friend, but I already feel quite comfortable. It felt right from the start. It helps that it's by Sony, the same as my old friend!

So here's me, playing. Look at that twinkle!

We are getting ready to put our house on the market, this dear sweet house which has been so much for us and that we have given so much to. Thanks to a good family work team, our garden beds are spruced up and ready to go: weeded, mulched, and with sweet pansies. Inside, we have been painting and purging and majorly de-cluttering (yard sale, piles for friends, and just plain old dump).

And taking pictures, getting ready to list it! It looks pretty swell around here! But whew, what a lot of hard work and long days. In line with our external space-clearing, we are also modifying our diets around here and cleaning out the insides too. It's been school vacation week with gorgeous weather for working indoors and out...bonus is that the blackflies only barely awakened before our outdoor chores were mostly done! 

I think I'm ready for a break from vacation. But it's felt really great to do this work.