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a wedding and a proper tea

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in food, homeschool | 1 comment

tea-and-scones

We spent the day immersed in the Royal celebration, enjoying tea and scones. We did stretch things into a proper homeschool day (whatever that means!) by discussing parliament and practicing verbs and adverbs in our best British accents. Now all we need is for the boys to lift their pinkies when they drink their tea…

Scones (adapted from my old-standby biscuit recipe of mysterious origin)

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter (cold)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit, optional (Sometimes I use raisins; today I had prunes on hand so I chopped some up. They were delicious!)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Beat eggs; add eggs, vanilla and milk to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overwork.

On ungreased baking sheet pat dough into rectangle approximately 1/2-inch thick. Cut into squares but do not separate squares. Brush with additional milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, until light golden brown.

Enjoy!

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create, in miniature

Posted by on Jan 22, 2011 in art, food, sketchbook | 2 comments

SKETCH pastels art time

I have been working in my sketchbook pretty faithfully the past few weeks. Not even so much for the sketchbook challenge as for all the same reasons I have been doing daily writing and carrying an inspiration notebook more faithfully: it’s time to up my creative game.

Colorful bead box

It seems any given year will come along and pick its own theme, and 2011 is no exception. Last year my focus was all about baby Violet, of course, and the year before that seemed to be all about the homestead, and brought with it an increased focus on chicken-raising and zucchini-growing. Those things haven’t gone anywhere, and 2011 will include plenty of baby love and vegetables, but this year I feel a real itch to crank on the creativity.

Tron snow sculpture

Creativity is not really an on and off thing. I know you know what I mean: it may take a back burner but it’s always there simmering. I have a neighbor who makes snow sculptures all winter long (that TRON up there? He’s snow.), and another neighbor who composes five-minute poems from the seat of his tractor. Creativity comes in endless forms; left untended it will either manifest itself somehow or make us really cranky! When I don’t make time for creativity via writing, drawing or painting it still oozes out somewhere. Less studio or sewing time might just mean more colorful meals orĀ  hand-lettered and doodled file folder labels!

Colorful dinner

But still. I’m all itchy and restless, needing to really make something. Despite the evident lack of cooperation from the clock and the schedule, I need to do a better job of fitting in some great making in easy little doses. With this new focus in mind, and with my sketchbooks and notebooks getting some love, my mind is beginning to buzz with mini projects. I’m looking forward to sharing these little bits with you, but it is a dark and dreary day in inkstitchland, so while I prowl the house and yard looking for a patch of sunshine in order to take a photograph, tell me: what do you do for mini-creative fixes when time and resources are short?

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