Thank you for visiting. You can find my Grow Your Blog Party post here. I hope you'll poke around the blog and see what's happening in my world. Leave me a comment or send me an email if you have any questions about any of the posts!

Monday, July 21, 2014

And the Winner Is...


And the winner is #31 - MagicLoveCrow! Congratulations! If you would email me your mailing address to
AutumnWindReno@ aol.com I'll get you towels mailed out to you asap!

Thank you so much for stopping by my Mad Tea :0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dad Update

Thank you all for the good thoughts and healing prayers. Dad came through the surgery like a champ, it went well and hopefully he'll have a swift recovery!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Asking for Good Thoughts and Healing prayers!

Greetings my friends,

This morning my step-dad, the best dad I could have ever asked for, went in to surgery to have 2 heart valves replaced. My dad is truly one of the best men I know and I would really appreciate it if could send healthy, healthy thoughts and prayers his way. This amazing man took me on, an abused and troubled teen, and showed me what life could be like if I worked for it, respected it and enjoyed it. He’s always been there for me and I hate that I am not at the hospital right now.

Thanks!!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Welcome to a Mad Tea



I am so glad you were able to stop by. Thank you to Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist for hosting this awesome party! I am so glad I was able to be a part of it again this year. 


The tea is ready, the food is out, so please have a seat and join me for tea. 


Don't those cherries look great! I love fresh cherries. 


Look, Alice has decided to join us. She wasn't too sure about the party since she had to try that "Drink Me" juice and is currently vertically challenged but she decided to join in on the fun. She hopes to return to her full height soon!





She does have a friend to hand out with since she gave the flamingo some too!


His friend Harry just laughs! He knew better than to drink glowing green liquid! Seriously!

Harry


Looks like the hatter is here somewhere and so is the White Rabbit, he dropped his pocket watch on the table, though it looks quite large for a pocket watch... I guess Wonderland has that affect on things.


You never really know who will show up at a Mad Tea party. 




Thank you so much for visiting my little party. I am so very happy you stopped by. I am having a give-away here and also on my sculpting blog Sunflower House Art. Both will have a set of 2 embroidered Alice in Wonderland Themed Tea Towels (pictures to be here soon) as prizes, I am almost finished the embroidery and will post pictures of them by Sunday night!!

To enter the give-away leave me a comment here and follow my blog (if you don't already). That is it! I'll be doing a random drawing on the night of Monday July 21st. 


** Update** Here is a picture of the embroidered tea towel. This set will include the Red Queen and Alice. The finished set will be uploaded soon :0)

***Update 2*** Dad's in surgery this week and life is crazy. I'll be visiting more parties this weekend and am still drawing a winner for the tea towels on Monday: 0) Thanks for visiting!!!

I'll see you at the next party!

***Update 3*** MagicLoveCrow is the winner of the Wonderland Tea Towels :0)









Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mad Tea Party This Weekend

It's been a fun and hectic several weeks and I am really looking forward to the Mad Tea Party this weekend! I just wanted to pop in and verify that I really was going to be a part of it. I've been away from regular blogging for too long but life is crazy so I'll be doing to best I can here :0)

I really miss my blogging regularly. I think there is something special about the online community that I am a part of and I plan on being an active part of it again soon.

See you Saturday!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Artsy Monday - Drying Rose Petals

Greetings everyone, amazingly I am finally posting an Artsy Monday post!! I really do have several in the works and I will share them as I finish them. For my first Artsy Monday post in WAY too long I thought I would share with you how I dry my rose petals.

My Roses

When dried, these petals are used for sachets and are especially good for love and romance spells. These roses are rich in color and have sweet, heart shaped petals.


For petals you want to cut the flowers that are open, in their prime and after the dew has dried. You do not want old, brown flowers or those that are wet. Neither will give you a good result. You can also dry rose buds. Chooses buds that are tightly formed  but showing color. When drying buds you do not remove the bud from the stem. 

As you can see above the petal on the far right has some discoloration on the top. I try to avoid using these. I like to use the best looking petals that I have. 

Pic. 1

Pic. 2

Pic. 3

Pic. 4

To remove the petals from the stem I grasp the flower and pull all of the petals away from the stem as shown in Picture 1 above. Next I gently twist the petals, pulling them away from their center (Pic. 2), this leaves me with the petals between my fingers (Pic. 3) and once they are laid out I can go through them looking for rot or defects (Pic. 4). Practice on a flower that is not as nice so that you have the technique down and won't bruise or damage the petals. It doesn't take much to remove the petals from the stem!

Once you remove the petals from the stem, discard the stem and go through the petals. Remove any that are discolored, moldy, brown... I do this one flower at a time, putting the petals I wish to dry on the dehydrator racks as I go.


When placing the petals on the tray you want to make sure they do not overlap, this causes uneven drying time which could lead to problems like mold if they are stored before they are fully dry!

Petals and Buds


Full Dehydrator

I like using my dehydrator to dry flowers. They dry quickly and I can lay out a lot at one time, which is important because they shrink, a LOT, during the drying process.

Same Batch! 1/2 Hour Later

After 1/2 hour the petals are already noticeably smaller.

Final Petals


Beautiful color!

I leave mine in the dehydrator for a full day, watching to make sure they do not start to brown on the edges. At the end of the day I turn the dehydrator off and leave them for the night. I live in a VERY dry climate so I do not need to worry about any humidity. When drying petals be sure to follow the directions on your particular dehydrator and for your climate.

Once this batch was completely dry I ended up with 1 cup of petals and buds from the 5 trays of petals/buds I started with. They are a rich, deep pink color and  smell wonderful! These are perfect to use in a potpourri mix or a sachet and they look wonderful in a small bowl.

You can also dry flowers and petals between paper towels, in wax paper inside of books but dehydrators are easily found in thrift shops, they help to reduce the instance of mold and are much faster. Be sure to wash the trays well before use. Make sure the trays are completely dry before adding your petals to them.

This method works great for petals and buds, for full bouquets I suggest tying the bouquet stems together and then hanging the bouquet upside down in a cool dry area and letting it dry naturally. Hanging it upside down tends to help the bouquet retain its shape.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit.



Mediterranean Olive Bread

Mediterranean Olive Bread

I know it's Monday and this isn't really an Artsy Monday type post but this bread was so great I had to post about it! 

A couple of weeks ago I found a loaf of Olive bread at my local supermarket. I love olives and it sounded interesting so I bought it for the family. It was pretty good and, me being me, I decided to find a recipe so that I could make my own. This was the start of my journey into the art of No-Knead bread making.

I scoured the internet and found several recipes for Olive bread but not till I found this recipe did I find THE recipe for Olive Bread. The link takes you to the You Tube video for the No-Knead Mediterranean Olive bread by Artisan Bread with Steve. 

I was new to the No-Knead bread making method and I can tell you that I am now hooked! Steve has several cookbooks and you can find them on Amazon, the video has the recipe for the bread I made and it was SUPER EASY! I started watching the video, writing down the recipe, then I googled Steve and when I found that his cookbook 28 Popular No-Knead Breads was only $3.99 to download for the kindle (I have the app on my computer) AND it had the Olive Bread recipe in it - I bought it!

Just an FYI- You do not need to buy the cookbook to get the recipe, Steve provides it in the video. I am not trying to promote this video or any of the cookbooks, I am not receiving any type of compensation for my post (in fact Artisan Bread with Steve has no idea who I am LOL), the bread is just so good that I had to share and I wanted to do so in a way that respected his recipe :0)

Anyway, This bread is baked in a covered stone baker. Because I was so impatient I chose to go buy a new baker from my local kitchen store for the hefty cost of $60. I have since been told to check 2nd hand stores though I will confess that it has been worth every penny!

Superstone Baker by Sassafras 

Ready to Bake

The bread itself it super easy. Basically you mix everything together and then let is sit overnight - this is where the no-knead comes in. 12 - 24 hours later you divide it, let is sit for another 2 hours then bake it for a total of 35 minutes (part with the lid, part without) and you end up with an amazing loaf of bread full of flavor! 

If you like bread, especially easy to make, delicious bread, then check out the video. You can also google "no knead" bread for alternatives to buying a baker which will give you pretty good results and make you bread adventure a bit less expensive.  

One tip, if you decide to make this bread, get the best pimento stuffed Spanish olives you can find/afford. I used inexpensive green olives that I had in the fridge with the first loaves I made and a much better Spanish Green from Costco the second time and there was a noticeable difference in the flavor, both were fantastic but the second batch had a deeper flavor. 

Finally a word of caution - this bread is so good you'll find yourself making it, a lot! I've baked 4 loaves of this and the longest it has lasted is 2 days!