Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lemon Tart

I made a Lemon Tart...
It was heavenly.
The only thing that could have made it better for me would be if I added a layer of Strawberry Jam under the lemon curd...
I think I'll make another....
with Strawberry Jam.

The lemon curd recipe I used can be found here.

The crust was a buttery, delicious, shortbread-ish, layer of goodness.

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water

In a bowl sift flour with sugar. Using a pastry blender, or two forks, cut in the butter until it's in pea sized crumbs. Whisk egg yolk with water and pour over flour mixture, tossing with a fork until the dough clumps.
Pour the dough onto a floured work surface and press into a disc, roll it out large enough to fit into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (roughly 11 inches). The dough is pretty loose and may be slightly difficult to work with, if areas fall apart just push the dough back together or patch with other dough pieces and some water.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Prick the bottom of the crust all over, line with foil filled with dried beans and blind bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are golden. Remove the beans and foil and continue baking 10 minutes until evenly golden.

Let the crust cool completely before you fill it with your (strawberry jam and) lemon curd.

So. Good.

**crust recipe found in this book**

Monday, May 30, 2011

Musical Monday: Jill Barber

I couldn't decide which song I liked best, so I'm sharing two songs today!!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Earlier this week we took the boys fishing for the first time.
Our church organized everything and all we needed to do was tag along, so really how could we pass it up?

We got to ride on a bus and Zac just about died! He was so excited.
We had a picnic,
stacked rocks,
poked at worms,
looked at bugs,
relaxed in twigs,
and slept.
While I'm not exactly an outdoorsy person, and thought of my knitting most of the time, it did make for a good day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bathroom Update

Our house is an older house and the decor when we moved in was a little... dated...
So for the past 8 months or so we have been re-doing our basement bathroom.
Yes, it takes us 8 months to finish a room this small... don't judge!
Now that we are finally finished I'm so happy!! I think the room looks so good!
I'm really hoping that seeing the finished product of this room will help motivate us to get on with the rest of the house.

This room was a little more time consuming then expected because we had to dry wall the room (it was this wierd panelling before) changed the toilet & sink in addition to all the basic work of laying the new floor, painting and hanging pictures etc.

I think it looks so good now though!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Silk Screening Method 3

Another Wednesday, another method for silk screening!!
This one is my personal fave! This is the way I was first taught and I find it to be the simplest. I don't think it actually is the simplest... but in my mind it's less work...

To do this method you need the standard:
A Screen to push the paint through, if you need to make your own build a frame out of wood and cover it with a silk or meshy material (as mentioned in method 1 and method 2).
Stiff tool to push the paint through

And the not so standard:
an overhead projector
a transparency of your image
Screen Printing Photo Emulsion and Sensitizer
(you should be able to get both of these, they'll be sold together, in a craft/art store)
a towel that fits snugly inside your frame when it's folded up

To make your screen, mix the photo emulsion and sensitizer together per instructions on the bottle (usually 4 parts emulsion to 1 part sensitizer), and spread it over your screen using the same method mentioned for pushing paint through in method 1 and method 2.
Allow to completely dry in a dark room (keep in mind the sensitizer "paint" is going to be light sensitive so it's important it dries in a dark room, I usually put in under a box covered with a blanket as well... cuz I'm paranoid like that...)

Once the paint is dry you'll need to work quickly to expose the image on the screen which means it's a good idea to have everything set up and ready to go before you take your screen out of the dark room.
To expose your screen and create your print, tape your transparency to the overhead projector, place your screen, with the dry light sensitive paint on it, on top of the transparency, fit your towel into the frame and turn on the projector.

Any area exposed to the light will basically cook and fill in the material and the areas blocked by the lines on the transparency will stay empty so you'll be able to push paint through those areas. The tricky part when exposing your screen is to make sure you don't overexpose as this will also burn your image into the screen, making it unusable. Try a couple of tests to figure out your timing as each machine will vary, I exposed mine for roughly 5 minutes.

When you are done exposing your screen wash it. All the areas blocked by the lines on your transparency will wash away!
And if you have a couple little boo-boos like I do in the above pic, just grab a paint brush and fill it in with the screen filler you used in method 2.

Once your screen is dry you can go crazy printing! (same painting methods used in 1 & 2)
Hurray!! You have now learned all my silk screening knowledge. I love making prints and then using them but still have a lot to learn.

I hope you try either this method or method 1 or method 2!! Let me know if you do and send some pics of your finished project(s)!

Happy Printing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


A friend and I went shopping today!
With. No. Kids!
It really was the best time ever.
Filled with laughs, french fries, frapachinos, cookies and shopping!
I love my little guys, but a day away was definitely long over due.
Thanks Ms. K! I had a blast.

I'm going to share a 3rd , and my personal favourite, method for silk screening tomorrow!
Crazy stuff I know!
Stay tuned, I know you're as excited as I am...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Musical Monday: The Honey Trees - Through Your Eyes

Katie, over at Skunkboy Creatures, is one of my daily reads.
I thinks she's too pretty for words and I love reading her cute little posts about her life and the things she makes.
A few weeks ago she did up a Musical Monday post with The Honey Tree's singing Moon River and I fell in love!
I spent the next few hours searching them on YouTube and listening to everything I pulled up. Choosing just one to share was SOO hard but I settled on this one...
and of course I had to share Moon River as well.
Happy Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Week...

This week has lasted what feels like a lifetime.
It's been one filled with looooong sloooow sleepy days.
I was looking over the pictures I've taken this week and I think I may have a record number of pictures of Eli napping.
I still find these quiet little moments in his life to be so sweet.
He's a mover so whenever he stops for a quiet time in the afternoon (a snack or a movie) I am almost guaranteed to hear him snoring within minutes.

What did you do this week to pass the time?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pushing Daisies Clothes

One of my favourite shows ever made is Pushing Daisies.
It was cancelled after 2 seasons but I loved it! I've watched both seasons over and over and over (I have them on DVD... but I'm assuming you guessed that...). In an attempt to wrap the story up for freakish fans, like myself, the series creator has said he plans to make a comic book to be released some time this year. While it would be wonderful to have the loose ends of the story wrapped up, I'm just not sure that a comic book will be as wonderful as the show... Seriously, the visuals in this show were just so lovely!! I want to climb in and live in their world every time I watch an episode.
Just look at these clothes! Can you really blame me??

I want all those clothes so badly!
Please forgive my sloppy presentation in the pictures... I'm not computer savvy enough to figure out how to make them proper size for the post... believe me, I tried...

all pictures are originally from here, discovered through here...

Silk Screening Method 2

Last week I shared one method for silk screening and thought this week I would show another.
Although this technique is also simple it does require a special screen filler used for silk screening that you should be able to find in most crafting supply stores.

You'll need:
Screen Filler
Paint Brush
A Screen to push the paint though (to make one build a square frame out of wood and cover it with a meshy/silk material)
Clothing or Object to print on
Stiff tool to push paint through the screen
Using the pencil draw a sketch of what you would like to print onto the screen.
Using the screen filler, paint around your drawing (being careful not to paint over the pencil lines). Let the screen filler dry. Once it's dry hold your screen up to the light and see if there are any little holes or missed areas showing light through. If there are (and there probably will be) just give that area another coat with the filler and allow to dry once again.

Once the screen is dry you can now print with it!
To print follow the same process as before.

Lay your screen on top of the item you are printing on and squeeze your paint in a thick line above your image.
Using a stiff tool (I use a piece of cardboard) drag the paint over your image, going over as many times you feel is needed in order to get your desired paint coverage.
Lift the screen off the item being printed from side to side or top to bottom instead of lifting straight up, it's just easier that way. If you see areas that need to be painted (because you accidentally screwed up when you were using the screen
filler) just grab a stiff paint brush and paint the areas by tapping the paint brush on the material instead of dragging it. Tapping it will give the same finish as the printing and it will not be a noticeable correction.

Wash the paint off your screen (the screen filler will remain so you can use your new stencil again!) and allow the paint to dry on your item.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brown Sugar Meringues

It feels like forever since I last shared a recipe, so to break my baking silence I've decided to share the instructions to make these brown sugar meringues.
I recently won a book called Cook Yourself Thin Faster and this is one of the recipes in the book. I made them for Eli's birthday party and they were a huge hit!

I will warn you though, they don't age especially well. I made them the night before the party and they were fabulously crunchy and delicious. The day of the party they had turned sort of chewy... but still delicious! Just not the same texture. So I would plan to make these the same day you are going to serve them.
Seriously though, these are so simple and SOO good, you simply must try them!
The best thing about these is they are super low in fat and calories and you'd never know... you know, if you worry about fat and calories and that kind of stuff...

Brown Sugar Meringues

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 225.
Beat the egg whites and salt on high speed in a large bowl (or stand mixer) until soft peaks form. Slowly add the brown sugar, while still beating, a few spoonfuls at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny (roughly 3-5 minutes of beating).
Drop the meringue onto a parchment lined baking sheet using a cookie scoop or a large tablespoon, or you can pipe them using a ziplock bag with a corner cut out. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Turn off the oven and prop the door open slightly (I use a wooden soon). Let cool, in the oven for 1 hour.
Store in a tin or loosely wrapped in aluminum foil; do not store in plastic wrap or glass (maybe this is where I screwed up serving them at the party...).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Musical Monday: OK Sweetheart - Home

There is nothing about this video that I don't LOVE!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Free Pattern Month

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this...

Free patterns for a month? um... yes please!

I'm loving it and discovering a bunch of new blogs to obsess about that also offer all kinds of free patterns.
You should check it out, it's awesome!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Eli!

It's my baby's birthday today.
I can't believe he's 2!!!
I could just kiss those cheeks off!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eli's Robot Birthday Party

My in-laws were visiting over Easter and since Eli's birthday was so close to their visit we decided to celebrate with friends a bit early so my hubby's parents could be in on all the fun.
(One of the hardest things about living so far is celebrating things like this without any family, so it was nice to be able to include them.)
Eli's a big fan of robots, as I've mentioned, so thinking of a theme this year was easy. I googled robot birthday party ideas and was crazy excited about all the inspiration and ideas that I was able to find.

The best find though were these free printables found through Hostess with the Mostess. I went to town with them and they really made the party look awesome!

Our church was kind enough to loan us their building (and a bouncy castle!) so the kids had loads of room to play.

I was pretty excited to hand out the goodie bags as I silkscreened every one of the kids a robot shirt (tutorial coming soon on another silk screening method), and made each one a stuffed robot. The older kids also lucked out with robot stickers and Play-doh.
It was really an awesome day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Fort

Zac loves to play in forts.
He asks me quite often to make one for him, but I will admit, I have no fort making skills. All that pressure lands on my mister.

Hubby put together this little contraption a few days ago and Zac was beside himself with how awesome it was.
He asked to sleep in it instead of his bed.
It was so much fun to share in his excitement! Hubby and I were a little jealous that he got to sleep in such a cool fort... true story!

He lasted about 20 minutes before he wanted back in his own bed, but that's not really the point is it...