Thursday, January 31, 2013

Many Sisters~Satymkan thru Kiva

Whenever i see a smiling face like this, i cannot resist. Here is the information on Satymkan:

Satymkan is 49 years old, married, and the mother of five children. Her sons are adults now, and her children help her run the farming business.

During the loan processing period, Satymkan appeared as a responsible, honest, conscientious and enterprising person with a sense of duty. She also appeared as a good money manager and wise investor.

Satymkan has been involved in animal husbandry since 1983, and this activity is the family's main source of income. She started in this business with an initial capital of 500 rubles. Thanks to her hard work, she now makes close to 17,000 som (KGS) per month, which is essentially used to cover the family's food expenses and daily living costs.

Satymkan's farming business is doing well: she currently owns four cows, one heifer, 20 sheep and five lambs.

In order to further increase her business, Satymkan has turned to Bai Tushum & Partners for a loan of 45,000 som (KGS). She will use this loan to buy some sheep. She plans to use the revenues from her loan to further invest in the expansion of her farming business. For more information on Kiva and Satymkan, click here

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Funky fabric bowl

 I've been wanting to make one of these funky fabric bowls for a while now. I found some ready cut strips of fabric, and thought i would give it a try!
 I love the way it came out! I will definitely be making more of these...
 They are pretty sturdy and can hold quite a bit of your treasures!
And just before i put the bears and bun in the bowl, little Hannah was trying to climb in there. I'll have to make a much bigger one for her!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Laughter!

This is a little video of two little cute....

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baby Face Bear

This little 8 1/2 inch handmade bear is named Baby Face, and i think his name describes him perfectly! He is hand knit with a super soft easy care acrylic yarn, which is also vegan. He is stuffed with allergen free polyfil. He has his own special made hat and scarf set and the end of the scarf is decorated with a sparkly jingle bell and a little heart shaped button. I recommend removing the bell and button for children who still like to put their toys in their mouths, just to be safe.

Baby Face is a flat faced teddy. His features are hand embroidered on so there are no little pieces to worry about coming off during play.
He's just the right size for little hands and big hearts.

He'd make a perfect gift for a baby shower, a baby gift, a birthday present, or my favorite, a present for no special reason at all...Just because....And don't forget, Valentine's Day is coming up! Baby Face can be found in my Etsy shop, waiting for a new home.
In the meantime, he's having fun with friends right here!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Little Panther in the Sun

 Lucy, taking advantage of some rare Winter sun

My sweet little Panther...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Card of the Day- 3 of Cups

I have been a long time student of Tarot and have recently begun to study the cards and their meanings a little deeper. Working with these symbols is kind of like peeling an onion. You just get to an understanding of what it all means and then you get to a whole new layer of understanding. I believe it is a lifelong study. I thought i would share with you some of the cards i am pulling for the day. Whatever the card pulled, it usually gives good advice!
This is a card of celebration! Celebrate your friendships,your abundance and your creativity. Call a good friend and make a date to meet. Maybe even treat for lunch! Paint a picture, knit a bunny, string some beads, bake some bread. Add to the Beauty in the World. Be grateful for your health and all of your Blessings...
Cups represent the element of water and emotions.
The number 3 signifies creative and emotional expression, happiness, joy, synthesis and celebration.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A REAL sports hero

I don't know about you, but i get tired of hearing about cheating and drugging and strutting around by highly paid sports figures. For so many sports figures it's all about the money and fame. What about sportsmanship? See it here....

Monday, January 21, 2013

Some like it hot!

Hannah and Polly enjoying the warmth from the stove...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Baylor Blue Bear

Meet Baylor! He is a sweet little 8 1/2 inch bear. He is hand knit with so much love.  He's knit with a pure 100% wool yarn, and stuffed with polyfil. His features are embroidered on with yarn, making him safe for snuggling by babies and small children.(And of course, adults who are young at heart!)
He wears a red ribbon around his neck with a jingle bell and red heart shaped button strung on it. This ribbon can be easily removed to make Baylor safe if your child still likes to mouth his or her toys. 
Baylor is a fuzzy, wooly pointed snout bear. All my bears, bunnies and toys are hand made with love and charged with Reiki healing energy. And all of my handmade toys are one of a kind, and heirloom quality...
This little guy is sitting in my Etsy shop, waiting for his new best friend...He was also part of the "pile"....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cat Portraits by Kate

 Hannah Pearl
Rosie on Christmas Night snuggled in a gift box.
(Lucy does not like to have her picture taken)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Laughter is the BEST medicine....

This is a little video that this little boy's Dad took after he picked up his son from dental surgery. So cute...Go ahead and laugh!

Monday, January 14, 2013

From the Piles of Projects~ a Bunny Buddy Blanket

 This little Bunny Buddy Blanket came out of the pile of projects i posted about last week.
 He is crocheted with love, and is super soft. He is made with Lion Brand's Homespun yarn, which is soft to begin with, but the more you wash it, the softer it gets. His head is stuffed with polyfil, which is encased in a nylon sack, so little fingers cannot pull any stuffing loose. His features are simple and hand embroidered, making him safe for babies of all ages. This little bunny is made to last. It makes a great baby shower gift, especially in this neutral cream color.
 He wears a crocheted cotton bow around his neck that is woven into his crocheted material, but this bow can be removed for added safety, depending on your child.

He is 22 inches long from the top of his head to the bottom tip of his blanket. He is made for snuggling and is waiting in my Etsy shop for a baby of his own.

Here is a picture of my little granddaughter Zoey, sleeping with the bunny blanket i made for her for Christmas. She loves it....(Her yellow blanket was crocheted by her Great Grandmother, my Mom, Honey)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baking our Bread

I've been baking our own bread for a few years now. For most of that time i had been using this "no knead" method of baking our daily bread. I was very proud of the fact that i had developed a sourdough that i had built over time and i was able to keep it going. But then i had the hemorrhage in the Spring and was hospitalized for 9 days, and during that time, my sourdough...well...passed away. I got home and did nothing but sleep the first week,so when i opened the bread dough container it was...well... greyish sludge. So, i decided i would try a new way a baking bread, the old fashioned way. I got a super easy recipe from my daughter Katie, made a few personal changes in ingredients, and here it is! My original bread was more dense with a crispy crust, but this one is a softer, nuttier flavored bread, more suited to making sandwiches, and great for everything else too! I wish you could smell it....With Katie's permission, i will share the recipe here with you!

Kate’s Super Easy BIG Bread


    2 packs of yeast
    1/4 cup warm water
    2 cups hot water
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon salt
    3 cups flour
    1/3 cup olive oil (in a pinch you can use any kind, but olive is best)
    3 cups flour


Note: This recipe works best if all ingredients are set out, ready to go, in advance. Also, make sure the sugar, salt, flour, and oil are measured in the exact amounts called for.

Pour warm water into a small ceramic bowl and add the yeast, but DO NOT STIR. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the sugar and salt, then stir with a wooden spoon or your fingers to completely dissolve. Combine 3 cups flour with the water mixture. Pour the oil on top of the dough mixture then add the yeast mixture on top of that, but DO NOT STIR. Top with the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. (I begin mixing with the wooden spoon but I very quickly have to move into squishing the dough with my hands.) At this point, the dough should be pliant and moist, but not gooey. If you want to knead the dough, do so for as long as you’d like.  I give it 20-30 good kneads and then cover it.  The more you knead it, the softer the bread, but for this recipe, kneading isn’t necessary at all.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel (not dripping wet!!!) and set aside to rise for at least 45 minutes. (I've left it for almost two hours.)

On a lightly floured cutting board or countertop, divide the dough in half. If you’re still in the mood to knead, take the time now to knead each half of the dough as long as you’d like.  Again, kneading is not necessary.  Place each half in the bottom of two greased (non-stick spray is fine) bread pans.  I’ve also formed the dough into individual dinner rolls, burger buns, or sub rolls on a greased cookie sheet and it worked out great!  Cover the dough with a moist towel and set aside to rise again for another 45 minutes (or longer).

After the dough has risen the second time, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for exactly 23 minutes. If you can keep everyone from digging in right away, allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy.  Bread slices easier once cool.

Makes: 2 huge loaves

Preparation time: Two and a half hours

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Zoey's new toy

 Zoey came to stay with us for a few hours yesterday and she got to try out her new Exersaucer! The little seat in this thing swivels around so she can turn to any toy attached to the tray and play for as long as she'd like.Some of the toys play music, some rattle, some have moving parts. Lola had one of these things when she was a baby and she loved it, so we got this one for Zo. That black blurr in the front of Zoey is Zinnia, patrolling the area and making sure nobody gets too close to that baby!
 Judging by the look on her face, she really likes it!
As a matter of fact, everybody liked it! That's Hannah in the back trying to play with a toy, and Rubie's on the right, sniffing the front of it. It was a big hit!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cats on Drugs

I gave the cats a little catnip on their toys and climber today and sat back and watched the show!

 Jack, the serious one, was rolling around on the top bunk of the climber and smiling for the camera
 our reclusive Lucy was out chasing the ball in her favorite toy
 and our already dizzy Hannah was a bit dizzier!
 Hey...this room is spinning.....
 wow...look at my paws! I see colors!
 (Jack relaxing)
 Whoa! Hold on...
 Hey! The room is spinning again!!!
 (Rosie watches her cat siblings with disdain)
 I don't do drugs....
But we do!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Piles of Projects...

I am bound and determined to get some of these projects finished today...there are at least 2 soft cotton teddy bears and 2 Winter Elves waiting to be stuffed and sewn, and there are 2 Bunny Buddy blankets waiting for finishing too. I seem to be better at making and need work on the finishing part! Hopefully that will happen today and a few of them will be popped into my Etsy shop!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stay Warm!

This big old pile of hats, scarves and cowls are tagged and on their way down to Artcentric Gallery in downtown Troy NY. They are a great way to keep warm during this cold weather...

Friday, January 4, 2013

More Christmas Cactus Blooms

 There is very little natural light to work with these days as it is so cold and gloomy outside, but these little Christmas cactus don't seem to mind! This flower is pale pink, with a yellow wash on the inside petals
I'm afraid the photos just don't show the colors as they really are...

This one is not quite open yet, but still pretty-scarlet with a hot pink and white center.

 And this one is pink and fuchsia. Look at all those buds!
It's been so cold here since the holidays and very overcast, so having these sweet blooms here now help to brighten the days.