Friday, December 31, 2010

nanny's skillet cornbread recipe

~Well here about three years ago I shared my first blog entry, which was my recipe for greens. SO I decided why not open a Lone Star and celebrate by sharing my sweet cornbread recipe!( look!!you can almost see the start of my new tattoo...more later)
~I wish this was my nanny's recipe but I don't have one from her. I have however, had her cast iron skillet since I first left home at the ripe age of eighteen. It is the only kitchen equipment that I have had for my entire adult kitchen experience. It is also the backbone of my corn bread recipe. The reason being that you have to have your oiled skillet hot before you put your batter in it ; This gives you that delish crispy fried crust.
I have been making corn bread in this pan all these years. It was not till KG started courting me that I really honed my recipe into this very moist, and sweet one I am giving you. Kg does not like many sweets but he loves my corn bread. If you want to lessen the sugar feel free....

nanny's skillet cornbread recipe

1c flour
1c cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
5 TB vegetable oil
3/4 c butter milk
1/4 c yogurt
2TB honey
1/2- 1 c whole kernel corn


Preheat oven to 450 add 2 TB oil to skillet and place in oven. IN large bowl combine all dry ingredients. In smaller bowl whisk egg, 3TB oil, milk, yogurt, and honey. Pour wet into dry and mix just till combined. fold in corn. Pour batter into hot skillet, you want it to sizzle. Bake until golden and tooth pick comes out clean.
~Now serve with a big ol' helping of greens and black eyed peas. Obviously, from the looks of this photo I still have some work to do...we are also having fried green tomatoes this year
Happy NewYear!!!
PS.... my daddy's favorite way to eat left over cornbread was crumbled in a glass and topped with ice cold milk; eaten with a spoon while watching Sanford and Son....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Repost: Fabric covered Calendar Board tutorial

~It took me so long to post this tutorial last year (halfway through January) I thought I might post it at a more appropriate time for the coming new year!

Fabric covered Calendar Board tutorial

I was searching for a perfect calendar for my new blue kitchen when I decided why not just make one. Yes I realize we are a half a month into the year and many folks probably have their calendars but can't you always use another? ( or better yet one of the variations I discuss at the bottom). I have so many swatches of treasure fabric that would make a perfect focal point for a wall calendar. What was even more appealing about this project than using treasured scraps as the focal point, was that I made the whole enchilada from things I already had in my sewing studio or around my house. At first I thought I would sew a collage for each page. But a collage for each month is just too I could scan them in right which is nice if I am making 20 but I just want one (or 3 different ones)? And plus you loose the fabric as art effect.OK, as per usual I was making something more difficult than it need be( this is how my creative process unfolds before me) So here is the simple version. I would have one fixed image with changing calender pages. I decided to mount the calender on a fabric covered board with an attached hanger.

Now I have lots to suggest for this project. This can be a no sew project very easily. All you do is use one piece of fabric for the background. If you want to have an image on top of your background fabric you can simply use the heat and bond lite ( my new favorite fusible webbing)to iron on another piece of fabric with your image cut out of it, I want to do a cat silhouette for our Mae Me. If you are opting not to sew you would also need to glue the handle on the top in back.
A word about the heat and bond. I only bought it because my local big craft meglo store was out of Wonder under.With that said ... I love heat and bond lite. It was cleaner, easier and more sure fire in the application than wonder under . However, I have not tried it on wearable art yet. I will keep you posted on those trials. I am afraid it might be a little thick for clothing but we shall see. And of course the heat and bond name is not as super fantastic as WONDER UNDER!
Moving right along I chose to do a patchwork of fabric for my background which of course I used my sewing machine for. I am planning a tutorial that will be a simple patchwork pocket to give ya'll an easy guide as to how I make all these patchworky things. One more suggestion is that you might make a fabric scrap collage as your focal point and just applique it to a larger piece of fabric for your background.
*glue gun
*staple gun
*sewing machine(optional)
*scissors for paper and fabric
*rotary cutter(optional)
*fusible webbing (i used heat and bond lite)
*fusible interface
*loop turner(optional)
*card board
*2" stencils for year label (or other label you might I was gonna write"Yee Haw" on the rodeo calendar but got LAZY)
*one printed calendar you can find one on-line or you could use one of the freebies you pick up at the bank or what have you. I designed this calender board based on an 8.5X11 printable here. I chose two, landscape in red and green


1. measure and cut the following

1.Card board(I used a home depot moving box)15"x26"
2.Felt for backing 15"x26"
3.fabric for background 17"x27.5"
4.fabric for hanger 11"x2"
5.fabric behind hanger 18"x3"
6.fabric or felt for year applique' 7"x3"
7.fusible interface 15"x26"
8. trace your year or other label (backwards) onto the back of the fabric that you have back with heat and bond and cut
(to make it all smoother make sure all your cut fabric is pressed)
I am an eyeballer.... so I cut my cardboard, then use that to cut my felt and so on...I am not saying you should be like me but you can see from my results that eyeballing it can get the job done.

2. Sew the hanger. Press the fabric for hanger 11"x2" in half length wise. sew with 1/4" seam allowance the entire length of hanger. turn right side out using your loop turner(if you do not have this simple extremely helpful tool use this as an excuse to get one they are cheap and invaluable for turning tiny tubes)Press.

3. Attach hanger
. Make a sandwich starting with the background fabric right side up the hanger looped inwardly and centered on the top edge of background fabric topped by fabric behind hanger 18"x3"right side down. Pin it all in place
sew along entire width of the sandwich edge with about a 1/4 "to 1/2 " seam allowance catching the hanger and press the seam.

4.Make your Year label and attach ~I used felt on one and fabric on the other. You could sew them on or just heat bond them, like I did. I probably would have used pinking shears on this but I will tell you my dirty little secret, I do not own any pinking sheers! (and yet I still am able to make stuff). attach the year label to your background fabric, I sewed mine on but you could also heat bond this. Which ever attachment method you choose, make sure to position your label relative to all of your design elements including the parts that you will fold over . I put mine at the top.

5.apply interface to center back of background fabric.

6.measure and mark the center of your fabric and the cardboard at both ends .

7. Glue background fabric to the cardboard. lay the fabric wrong side up with cardboard on top, Line up your center marks on top and bottom. You want this to be tight and even so I start at the top flap and glue right under the seam that you made with the hanger attachment. Then I glue down the flap. Then I flip it around and glue the bottom edge next pulling evenly and tauntI glue the sides the same way. I trim the corners a little to keep it from being too bulky under the felt backing.

8. Position and glue felt backing. I start again at the top here and glue across the top then slowly down the sides just doing a little at a time and pulling evenly and tautly on the felt watching to make sure I am hiding all my messy underlings. Then trimming off any excess
9. Attach the calendar. I stapled the calender all together first in the center then I use the staple gun and stapled the calender onto the board. I did not press to hard here so the staples would not come out the back.10. hang it up and start planning

There are a bunch of variations for the use of a fabric covered board I have been thinking of while typing this. I will share a few... It could be a kids award board for chores or potty training or homework charts and such. It could be a to-do board with a planner attached . Or a kitchen shopping center with pockets for coupons and a weekly sales fliers and a pad for grocery lists . You could make a mail organizer with in and out going slots and a calendar for marking bill due dates. There all kinds of free printable planner forms on this site. And of course you could use a more general label or none at all, and use this as a calendar board every year just by replacing the calendar sheets every year.
have fun and if you make it I would love to see it!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And a gift for you.... sewing calendar giveaway!

~Merry holiday to all y'all and here is a give-away from me to you!
This fun new 2011 sewing calendar features over 100 sewing tutorials including my Fabric Scrap collage.

I just so happen to wish to give away a copy to one of my super fabulous cyber- peeps! I will randomly generate a #from the comments on this post that leave me an email/ contact info. If you leave no contact info you will not be part of the random # drawing. I will accept entries from all over this here world; but will have say shipping over boarders must be paid by the winner. Entries within the us I will spring for the shipping fo-sho. The drawing ends Jan 4Th one week from today I will post a winner on Jan 5Th......... good luck!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Home for the holly~daze ornament tutorial

~For weeks now I have had visions of Christmas tree ornaments dancing through my head. (Hopefully I will get a few more on here before it is too late). For this particular ornament my inspiration was coming from the fact that I have been particularly drawn to images of houses and other random protective structures. Probably like most of Y'all I have been busily rearranging my home to accommodate all the things that crowd in during the month of December; the tree, and Christmas knick knacks, cookies , xtra blankets and pillows( fort making and couch cuddling)the plants that need to come in from outside and of course the toys. But other than the real life stuff I have been soaking up images of chicken coops and barns and such . I have been watchin all those '60s Christmas cartoons and loving the their depictions of little villages I have also been re- lovin' the Fauvists particularly

Henri Mattise, Marc Chagall and Paul Gauguin with his lovely birds, boobies and hutsTheir palettes always set me on fire and get me excited abut playing with color!
So that is a little peak into my brain as I started these little houses. This project is a total scrap pile buster which is always nice to do right around the new year. These little houses are great gifts either alone or you can attach them to the top of a wrapped gift or to a jar of preserves or pickles or a plate of cookies! HAVE FUN!!!!

felt for backing
heat and bond lite
fabric scraps
ribbon or rick /rack for loop
sewing machine(optional)

1. print or design your own template. You can drag the pattern to your desktop and print at 100 % to get the size I have made or change it according to your desires.
Print 2 if you want to cut the roof off for that template (i just used my original and winged the bottom edge)

2. Cut your felt backings. I like to make stuff like this in bunches so I cut all of them at once. chalk is my favorite marking tool on felt. Working in bunches makes this type of project a great way of hashing out my color palettes and it is a great way to loosen up your creative juices.
3. cut your heat and bond for your houses. I use one piece of fabric for the entire hose then just build the roof and other trimmings on top of that base. To make this quick and fun I lay my house template on a sheet of heat and bond ( pare side) . I marked using a ruler rectangle just large enough to hold the template.I then cut all those rectangles out.
4. attach your heat and bond to your base fabric. This is a freeing exercise. I just went through my humongasarous pile of scraps and picked some of my favorites to use as the base. I have my rectangles all measure out so I can tell easily if I have enough scrap. I also use this as a opportunity to pull out roof and trim scraps that might look lovely with my houses. Using your iron attach the heat and bond to the fabric according to the manufactures instructions. remember HOT IRON but no steam.

5. Trace and cut your template from your fabric rectangles. A lovely kick back of the heat and bond is the paper backing which makes tracing templates a breeze. I always use a pencil here.Cut em out
6. Make your house a home. At this point I start focusing on the details of each house.
I continue to work each one individually. Make the roof. simply trace the top part of the hose on a heat and bond backed scrap and attach it to the house.
then add windows, people, chickens, buttons, ...whatever you like.
7.Stitch your trims. remove your paper backing first then attach buttons now and your loop at the top . I used about 6 inches for my loops.
8.Attach and stitch( if you are feeling it) the felt backing to your house. As your probably know I usually put everything through the sewing machine likes to be a part of everything.This is not really required I just like things all stitchy.
9.Now go little lass and Spread your creative holiday cheer....