Saturday, November 29, 2008

My homemade donuts were a hit this morning~
Most Saturday mornings, my children start nagging to go to the donut shop. I, however, just want a relaxing Saturday morning at home, sipping coffee, and planning out the weekend.
Recently I was reminded of my mother making homemade donuts for my siblings and me on cold Chicago mornings. The Deerfield Bakery was restricted to extra special occasions only. So, in honor of a sweet childhood memory, I attempted to make some.
They were so simple.
You need:
2 cans of biscuits
2 C. confectioners sugar
3 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
vegetable oil for frying

Heat skillet on medium and pour in oil. I poured in about 1/3" deep. You just kind of have to eyeball it...

Now open the biscuits and layout on wax paper. Cut out centers with a small round cookie cutter - or anything else you can find. I used the screw on cap to a Ginger Ale bottle. Keep the middles to make donut holes!

In a small bowl mix confection sugar, water, and vanilla. Set aside.

When oil is hot (I stick the end of a wooden spoon in the pan and if bubbles appear around the spoon, its ready) carefully drop in 2 - 3 donuts at a time.
Stand right by the donuts as they cook really fast, when one side is golden brown, flip to the other side. Tongs are really useful for this.
Take out cooked donuts and place on a paper towel.

Finally, drizzle the donuts with your glaze and sprinkle with some extra confectioners sugar.

These homemade donuts remind me of funnel cakes that you get at the fair. They are crunchy, warm, sweet, and soft all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

These prints are made on professional Kodak matte photo paper and are made to last 100+ years under normal living conditions.

They are now available in my shop and shipping is FREE on this item!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Homemade Play Dough

I enjoy making this homemade play dough. I think my favorite part is creating the colors! The texture is wonderful. You can make several batches in different colors and package them up in cute containers to have quick gifts for playmates.

This is also a great opportunity to introduce measuring and the color wheel to your kids - they can help add the food coloring to discover how colors mix!

Homemade Play Dough Recipe
makes about 2.5 Cups

1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cups of salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 TB vegetable oil
1/2 TB cream of tarter
food coloring - I use the liquid kind

Mix all of the ingredients into a saucepan. Add the food coloring to your liking. - Kids can help with this step

Adults only -
Set your stove top to medium-low (about a 2.5 on a glass top stove). Stand by the pan and stir occasionally. When the batter look is gone and the ingredients start staying together when you stir (5-8 minutes), remove the pan from the heat. Lay out some wax paper and scoop play dough onto the wax paper. I can usually start kneading right away, but make sure that you check the dough for heat - you don't want to burn yourself!
Once the dough has been kneaded into a nice texture, place in an airtight container or zip lock. The snack sized zip locks work beautifully.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This is my newest piece of costume jewelry that I put together. I enjoy wearing it with my green tunic.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This pillow case dress for B has hand made bias tape, a hand monogrammed 'B', and includes a luxurious 3" hem. So simple and cool enough for the summer heat.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fairy Houses

Our family was delighted to discover that a band of fairies had made camp in our front yard. Sneaking up as cat-like as I could, I snapped a few pictures...of course no fairies would come out (they are awfully camera shy), but my children were completely mesmerized by the houses none the less~

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Afternoon tea in the studio. I'll allow my children to make a slight mess so that I can paint in peace...This is the tea set from my childhood and I was delighted to share it with my little ones.

Fairy Bread by Robert Louis Stevenson
Come up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy ready to eat.
Here in my retiring room,
Children ,you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hand Carved Stamp Tutorial by Art Nest

drawing paper
tracing paper
carving block
carving tools

1.Draw your design with pencil on drawing paper. Make sure to keep your design simple! I am drawing a hand with a heart inside to represent my love of everything handmade!

2.Trace your design onto tracing paper using your pencil.

3.Lay your carving block in front of you and place your traced design right side down on block.

4.Transfer the design to the block by rubbing over design with your thumb nail.

5.Using your #2 tool, cut a deep groove around the entire design, being careful not to carve out the pencil lines.

6.Now, using your # 1 tool, carve out the negative space in your design (the part that will not pick up the ink) Don't over do the first pass at carving.

7.Rinse design under warm running water and blot dry with a paper towel. This will remove any carving dust.

8.Using your ink pad, press ink onto your design and stamp onto your drawing paper.

9.Evaluate the results and, if needed, continue carving. I want to make the heart smaller and thin the sides of the fingers.

10.Repeat step 7 – 9 until you are happy with result:

11. Using #6 tool, carve out entire design following the deep groove you created in step 5 BE CAREFUL, DO NOT CUT TOWARD YOUR FINGERS OR BODY

12. Your hand carved stamp is now complete and ready to use!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bella's First Birthday Brunch! We had such a grand day celebrating our little one's first year. Over twenty guests arrived for the occasion. Lots of laughter, talking, and eating. I love a good party and I think everyone enjoyed themselves!

We took an afternoon trip to the park this Father's Day. Jeffrey is quite the photographer. He is a professional photographer...I don't know that I've ever mentioned that! He is one of the most involved father's I've ever witnessed. He plays, protects, and loves his children to the point where I get a little jealous sometimes.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

One of my sketch book pages. It's always a treat to see inside an artists world, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My first pillow case dress! I was pleased with how easy the project was. I hand embroidered the 'B' with a ballet pink thread, and used some satin ribbon for the ties.

Friday, March 14, 2008

This is my first dress to make with my new sewing machine! The polka dot diaper cover is from Jackie Clarks Britches and Bloomers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Knitting Needle Travel Pouch

2 fat quarters
measuring tape
rotary cutter & mat (optional)
sewing machine
needle and thread for hand sewing

The below measurments will accomodate needles up to 11" long. You will need to add width for longer needles.

Step 1
Start with 2 fat quarters that are washed, dried, and ironed:

Step 2
Choose the fabric that is to be the outside of your pouch. Mine is the floral. Cut a rectangle that measures 6.5" tall by 12" wide.
Using the fabric that is to be the inside of your pouch, cut a rectangle that measures 7.75" tall by 12" wide.

Step 3
With right sides together, align the rectangles to the right and pin:

Step 4
Using a 1/4" seem allowance, sew down the right side:

Step 5
Align left sides together. Pin and sew down the left side:

Step 6
Turn inside out. Position your outside fabric (the floral) in the center of the two strips of inside fabric (the cream). Iron flat:

Step 7
Fold the left side in 2" :

Step 8
Fold the right side in 1.5" and pin down the center :

Step 9
Sew both ends using the following method. First sew end using a straight 1/4" seam allowance. Next, zig-zag stitch to secure. Snip threads. :

Step 10
Remove pins and turn pouch inside out. Use a knitting needle to gentley push corners if needed. :

Step 11
Hand sew a snap in the center of your pouch:

Step 12
Insert your knitting needles into pouch, snap closed, and travel away!
Bonjour!It's 2009 and I can feel the winds of change...much like the character, Vianne Rocher, in Chocolat. To live simply is something I am striving for more than ever this new year. My husband, three children, and I have all been learning to enjoy life's little pleasures...the sound of rain as it hits the elephant ears in the garden, the glorious smell of lemons, fresh sheets on the bed, sketching and coloring as a family, reading chapter books aloud at night, and discovering what truly matters. Art Nest is a place to celebrate everyday beauty, hard work, living creatively, artistic achievements and remembering to live simply.

fancy sending me a surprise??
Art Nest_PO Box 33_Hot Springs, AR_71902

e-mail: sittingprettystudio[at!]yahoo[dot]com Subject line: Art Nest

Friday, February 8, 2008