"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Vegan carob cupcake recipe

My daughter and I made these carob cupcakes to welcome summer. They are inspired by Wilton. The daisy's are buttercream frosting and the lady bugs are royal icing with the black markings hand painted on with a brush. My five year old loved doing that. The daisy stems are popsicle sticks painted green with cake icing colour and the leaf is buttercream piped on after assembling. I used tip #101 for the petals as I find the smaller tip easier than the suggested wilton #104. Tip #12 was used for the flower centres. Carob is considered to be a healthier alternative to chocolate. Please google this if you are interested for a more detailed explanation. This recipe is gifted to me by my mother. It makes a wonderful 8" by 8" cake or 11 cupcakes. 1/2 cup sugar; 1 1/2 cups flour; 1/3 cup carob powder; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1 tsp. baking soda; 1 T. Lemon juice; 1/3 cup oil; 1 tsp. vanilla; 1 cup cold water. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine. Pour into cake pan or muffin tins for cupcakes. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Choosing a paint colour

I've been in the process of painting this historic, ocean front cottage. The owner, my client wished to keep the existing white trim and change the main exterior colour from a mid tone blue to a lighter grey. The dark value of the blue made the cottage merge into the rainforest and the owner wanted to create a contrast and be able to view her summer home from the water. I painted two sides of a very tiny shed with a grey of her choice so that she could see it. Initially she thought it was ok but than I suggested that I choose a darker value to increase the contrast between the white trim. I chose pigeon grey - a Benjamin Moore paint colour and than I repainted the two small shed walls. With the larger value difference between the white and the grey it made a stronger visual impact. The grey also created the contrast she wanted between the cottage and the forest. Now she was very happy! The things that really helped me was buying a small amount of the colour and trying it out first before committing to gallons. Also - contrast. Testing both colours in a small but yet large enough area so that I could visualize and make sure that the contrasts were strong enough.

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Faith and loss on Father's Day

Looking through the window of my cabin reminds me of looking back through the window of time. After my partner left me when I was five week's pregnant I carried a lot of negativity towards him for years. It wasn't something I talked about publicly and if you have read my blog since it's conception you will know that. After I became a mother Father's Day reminded me of the lack of my partner's presence in our lives and I felt what I perceived as justifiable anger in my heart. Than I reached a point where I was able to pray for my child's father to be saved in God 's eternal kingdom( see January 25, 2017 post). This prayer had a powerful impact on me because it dissolved the anger in my heart. In time I have gained a deeper understanding of the love of God, His patience, mercy and forgiveness. Only because of this loss I have been more clearly able to discern my need to have these qualities - patience, love and forgiveness - in me. It has made me grow beyond the self centred person that I was. This in turn has given me a thankful heart. This realization has deepened my love and need for God. I have learned that no matter what dark valley that I find myself trapped in - there is hope. Keeping the faith through the year's of loss is a choice I have never regretted. I still have questions but I trust Him more deeply than before and I am willing to live with them unanswered. So on this Father's Day - I celebrate my relationship with Him. I look up not only for hope in the future but in thanksgiving because in His great love he brought me through the grief of loss and He can do that for you too.

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Angel

In the last couple of months I read three dog books - each on a different breed but it was the maltese that won my heart. The maltese are an ancient breed; thought to have originated from the island of Malta and are historically documented to have been around since biblical times as a companion dog. They have a white single layer coat with black eyes and nose. Angel is a very tiny maltese puppy much smaller than I expected but her weight is normal for her age. According to her breeder she won't be any bigger than 6 or 7 lbs. Like any other puppy she is filling our lives with sunshine and adventure. Angel is an answer to prayer and I am thankful to God for the amazing providential 'circumstances' that brought her into our life. It fills me with joy and thanksgiving. Sent from my iPhone
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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Why I knit sweaters

I don't like to shop - I would rather knit. Most of the time I know what I like and what makes me comfortable. This baby doll type knitted sweater I just finished knitting. It was knit in the round on circular needles and it is mercerized cotton. I followed a worn out factory made sweater for my pattern - which is another reason why I knit. I like my clothes to last and when something happens and a sleeve frays or I get a hole I like to be able to fix it. Is it possible to mend a garment too much?

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A knitted flower garden

I'm knitting flowers and even though I've done this before I am so enchanted. An excellent reference book on this is written by Nicky Epstein and it is called Knitted Flowers. These flowers are found on page 84, however there is an error in the book. If you want a five petalled small flower like the one in the book you will need 31 stitches and for a five petal medium sized flower you will need 46 stitches. These are very simple. All you need to know is a cast on, knit stitch, and a cast off. My five year old who knows the knit stitch and just finished her first scarf is now knitting a flower while practicing her cast off. Changing your needles will also give different effects. A smaller needle makes the petals more defined. Knitted or real - all flowers make me smile. Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A rug

I needed a rug for my sitting room and I wanted one that would last a very long time. I put on a warp and using recycled cotton I wove a rug. When I was finished it measured 48" x 72". This size I should still be able to wrestle into my laundry sink and scrub it on my washboard before hanging it up on some metal fencing - just like I do with my other smaller rugs every spring.

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