Friday, September 30, 2011

Tomorrow I wanna wake up dreamy


Lost in thought? Feeling elegant?  Balancing your checkbook? At Stereomood, there's music for every mood, activity or state of mind. All you have to do is tune in to your emotions.

Right now, I'm feeling autumn.

Happy October!

Blog Housekeeping + Crafty Book Finds





I recently found these vintage and collectible Martha Stewart books in a bargain bookstore.  These books may be 10 years old or more but the projects remain timeless  yet in vogue with today's fickle craft trends.

I also found some relatively new sewing craft books  that would be useful in making holiday presents this year.  Of course, my favorite bargain book find has got to be this Paula Deen recipe journal that I want to fill with holiday recipes.

I've also been doing a bit of blog housekeeping! Blogger recently rolled out its dynamic view blog templates and being the traditionalist that I am, I was hesitant at first to implement these new and radical changes to my blog. I am very  attached to my blog header, blogroll and sidebar widgets but I just had to let them go to give way to an interactive  blog that loads 40% faster and resurfaces old, undiscovered blog content. As of the moment, Blogger's dynamic display view does not contain any option for sidebar widgets.

In the name of compact blog design, I have integrated the previous template's sidebar links (i.e blogroll, links ets) into the blog's drop down menu page button.  Now my blog seems like one big hideaway/stoway bed! Anyway we'll see how it goes. I might revert back to my old template.


I hope you will continue to enjoy Sweet Tidings Handmade in this new format. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Autumn Pals



I love these cute patchwork  DIY toy animal kits  from Couturier/Kraso. Their bright autumny colors and prints just make me very happy.

Smile!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September Inspiration



Mori Girl Aesthetic: The Mori Girl (Forest Girl in Japanese) is a modern day  Red Riding Hood who loves tea, books, photography, quaint cafes and pretty loose- fitting dresses made of rustic, natural materials.  The style is a Japanese fashion sub-culture inspired by eco youth sensibility and quaint vintage fashion. Popular Japanese actress Yu Aoi embodies this quirky and charming fashion style.




Waxing photography: Moonlight Photography  creates ambient soul stirring moonlit landscape prints.

 


Paper as ritual: Dutch artist Jurianne Matter creates beautiful and inspiring paper design and art to celebrate life's many journeys. I am especially in love with her Lanterns and Little Trees  series.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bake Rustic Apple Tart + Keep Recipes



Here's my recipe for a light and satisfying sunny afternoon snack. Pair with iced or hot mulled wine flavored tea. Bon appetit!

I love collecting recipes from the internet and I keep lots of recipe notebooks. Recently  I stumbled on Keep Recipes on Lifehacker. Keep Recipe is a nifty and clever online tool that allows you to "clip and save" recipes from all over the web. It also has a nice social networking feature that allows you to follow fellow foodies, friends and even famous chefs.

This is my Keep Recipes page. Hope to follow and share recipes with you soon!


Christy's Rustic Apple Tart

Pate Brisee:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 stick chilled butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoon cold water

Filling:

  • 1 piece Granny Smith apple (peeled and sliced thinly)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp calamansi juice
  • Small butter cubes ( to dot apple pie filling)

Egg wash:
  •  1 egg and 2 tbsp water
  • Vanilla sugar (for sprinkling)


Directions:

1. Combine flour, sugar and chilled butter in a bowl. Mix together using a pastry blender. Add cold water until pie dough is compact and can easily be rolled.

2. Roll dough into a 10"-11" circle.

3. Season apple slices with 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp calamansi (or lemon) juice.

4. Arrange apple slices on the pie crust on a circular, fanned motion. Dot with butter cubes. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

5. Brush edges of pie crust with egg wash mixture. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

6. Bake in 350 F oven until crust turns golden brown.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Inspiring Wallpapers from Minimal Wall



Clear your mind of desktop clutter and get delightfully inspired and productive with these clean, simple and motivational mono or dual chrome wallpapers from Minimal Wall. What will be your mantra?

Note to self: Focus and don't forget to breathe. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

20 Minute Tote Bag and Stamped Glass Projects


Have you seen The Purl Bee's 20 Minute Tote Bag tutorial using Outside Oslo fabrics? It really is a quick and easy project to whip up when you're time pressed. I made my own autumn inspired tote in exactly  20 minutes!
 


I found  a nice way to recycle glass jars! Instead of using sticker labels you can just rubber stamp them using solvent ink for every surface.  Imagine how neat and  eco-friendly your  cupboard would be with recycled glass jars that hold kitchen staples and essentials. See my tutorial at Jojoebi for a detailed instruction on how to go about stamping on  other surfaces other than paper.  My new ETSY shop Rose and Lotus also offers handcarved rubber stamps that are perfect for stamping on glass. Unlike commercial made stamps, these stamps have deep grooves that perfect for stamping on cello sleeve, glass, metal, leather and so on.

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You might want to enter the MyMemories Scrapbook Suite Software Giveaway.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Enjoy Sewing Vol. 37 + MyMemories Software Giveaway Reminder


Enjoy Sewing Vol. 37 zakka digital pattern book is now out! You can print the pattern for the cute Pochette and Pouch here. Meanwhile, the patterns for the dress and pants can be found  here and here.

I'm still looking for more people to enter the MyMemories Suite Digital Scrapbook Software giveaway. I know most of the crafters who read this blog are sewing enthusiasts but MyMemories  can also be used to creatively display or showcase finished craft projects on your blog or ETSY shop. It's not just about digital scrapbooking! Check out the MyMemories Blog for fabulous lay-out and project ideas.

Don't miss the chance to win this a fabulous software valued at $39.97. Hurry and enter the giveaway while it's open!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coffee Week + Eat, Drink and be Crafty!

Image from Paula Deen



Image from BHG



Image from Martha Stewart



Image from A Subtle Reverly/Styled



Image from Marie Claire Idees Blog

Print


Don't you just love this time of the year? There are s many wonderful crafts, recipes and good things to try.

It's also Coffee Week over at Wild Olive. Check out a week's worth of coffee inspired crafts, stitchery and good old coffee talk.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Glittered Happy Acorns




Ahh, halloween is in the air! I just set up my tabletop halloween tree and made some glittered acorns in my favorite color of the moment--green. 

There are many ways to sparkle up an acorn. You can make them ala Crazy Domestic or bling them up like the ones made by Kelli. You can also make elegant acorns The Long Thread way.

P.S. The MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking software download giveaway is still open. There will be 2 winners of this amazing scrapbooking tool. Visit the giveaway post to enter.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Granny Smith Apple Cupcakes




I made Granny Smith Apple Cupcakes this weekend! I subscribe to Martha Stewart's podcasts on iTunes and I was inspired by one of her recent back-to-school ideas and recipes.

Originally I wanted to make red apple cupcakes but ran out of red food coloring. I almost  dashed out to the shops to get a fresh bottle but Sunday laziness got the better of me. I ended up decorating my cupcakes in apple-y  green. After all,  I really think Granny Smith is prettier than Red Delicious.

This recipe calls for basic vanilla cupcake recipe and buttercream frosting. You can find my vanilla cupcake base recipe on my food blog. For the buttercream recipe, I always use Martha's  Easy Buttercream recipe. To mimic a real Granny Smith, I used chocolate covered pretzel sticks and store bought edible sugar leaves.

What have you been cooking/baking/creating this weekend?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweet Paul, Sweet Fall

Image from Sweet Paul


Fall inspiration abounds in the fall 2011 digital edition of Sweet Paul Magazine. Sumptuous recipes, imaginative crafts, stunning style and design spreads plus a how-to on how to create an enchanting Black Halloween await you.

Also check out the cute templates from the Go Camping  DIY story featured in the online magazine.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Recipe: Choco Chip Snowball Cookie Recipe



I love the recipes on Home Cooking School as most of the cookies and fancy breads featured are low in sugar.  I enjoyed making these quick and easy Choco Chip Snowball Cookies. They remind me of  Russian Tea Cookies or Melting Moments. They're also great with chocolate ice cream by the way!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gigi Gnomette + Celebrations Facebook chat with Shawn Rabideau


Woodland creatures such as gnomes (and gnomettes) make their jolly appearance this time of year. These perennial craft celebrities  are adorable any season but they are really popular in the autumn time. I've been looking for gnome stuffie patterns  online but can't find any expect for the felted, knitted or crocheted ones. As I always say, " If you can't find it, make it."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guest blogging @ New Skills Festival: Home Decor Rubber Stamp Tutorial



I'm guest blogging today at A Bit of This and a Bit of That for the New Skills Festival craft-along. Hope you have been following the awesome craft projects so far!

Kirsty from Ginger and George has shown us yesterday a fabulous rubber stamping tutorial  plus adorable hand stamped handmade card ideas. Today I'm going to show you more ways on how you can use rubber stamps to create cute, pretty and practical projects for the home. Head over to A Bit of This and A Bit of That for my tutorial.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Easy Chinese Mooncakes



Mooncake is one of the treats that I look forward to eating this time of year. I just usually buy these delicious annual oriental treats from Chinese bakeries but this year I wanted to make my very own mooncakes  from whatever recipe I can find on the web. I can't be bothered making red bean paste filling so I was delighted when I found this recipe from DLTK. You can just actually use strawberry jam filling or fruit and nuts instead of red bean or lotus paste. I'm re-posting Shirly's recipe here:

Easy Chinese Mooncakes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
Strawberry jam or red bean paste


Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F degrees.

2. Cream butter, sugar and egg yolk. Stir in flour.

3.  Mix well and form one big ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

4. Unwrap chilled dough and make dough balls. Make a thumb hole on each piece of mooncake. Fill with strawberry jam, red bean paste or fruits and nuts.

5. Brush cakes with the remaining eggyolk.

6. Bake until edges are golden brown.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Recipe: Kimchijeon 김 치 전


Add a bit of spice to your otherwise sweet life with  Kimchijeon 김 치 전 or Korean style kimchi pancake. It's a great way to snuck some probiotic rich kimchi into your diet. If you prefer a less spicy pancake you can omit the kimchi altogether and add scallions or green onions to make a pajeon 파 전.

If you're celebrating the Harvest Moon Korean festival, Happy Chuseok to you!

Kimchijeon  김 치 전 Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 stalk scallions
  • 1 cup sliced kimchi (include the brine for a deep red colored pancake)
  • Vegetable oil

1. Mix flour, water, and egg. Add scallions and sliced kimchi with brine.  Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in non-stick skillet. Use a laddle to pour kimchijoen batter to the skillet. Flattern portion and cook until edges are crisp.

3. Bon appetit!  맛있게 드세요!

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If you're looking for the MyMemories Scrapbook Software Giveaway, it's here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tutorial: Little Acorns Recipe Book Page Holder



Harvest Full Moon is tomorrow! Wherever you are, take a moment to gaze into the sky and enjoy a moment of awakened silence or enjoy a Harvest Moon Meditation of the Wood Flute.

To celebrate September, I've created a little handmade project--the Little Acorns Recipe Book Page Holder. I know this time of year entails a lot of cozy, autumn/halloween cooking so these cute little fellas should keep your cookbook dog-ear free and safe from sticky finger marks.


Little Acorns Recipe Book Place Holder

Materials:

  • Acorns
  • Wooden candle cups
  • Wooden clothespins
  • Permanent marker with slim tip
  • Glue gun and glue stick
  • Fabric rectangles 
  • Ribbon/lace (optional)




Directions:

1. Using a glue gun, attach an acorn head to the bottom part of wooden candle cup.
2. Insert rounded top of wooden clothespin to the wooden candle cup.
3. Cut a small piece of rectangular fabric. Apply anti-fray spray to the edges. 
4.Cover the top portion of the clothespin with the rectangular fabric. Sew edges of cloth or glue in place. Add ribbon or lace to the neckline of the little acorn.



Your little acorn recipe book place holder is now ready to use. Happy autumn cooking!
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You may want to enter the MyMemories Digital Scrapbook Software Giveaway. To purchase software please enter promo code STMMMS37596 to avail of $10 software purchase discount and $10 store coupon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Make and Share Memories: MyMemories Scrapbook Suite Software Giveaway






Thanks to the advent of digital photography and digital scrapbooking software, making and sharing memories is now as easy as clicking a mouse. Scrapbooking is one of the most therapeutic and fulfilling craft activities but due to life's fast paced and busy schedule it's quite a challenge to do traditional scrapbooking. There's the arduous task of sorting and printing photos, gathering scrapbooking supplies and organizing a waiting list of photos that stretch to years back in time. 

With MyMemories Suite, making and sharing memories is fun and easy! Check out the MyMemories blog for creative inspiration and design tips. 

Why MyMemories suite?

  • It is a feature rich software that is a one-stop solution for digital scrapbook design and sharing.
  • Your scrapbook pages or albums can be turned into a video DVD that can be watched on your TV or personal computer. Your scrapbook masterpiece can also turned into an interactive presentation with music, video and narration. You can even  make your scrapbook mobile by sending it to an iPod.
  • MyMemories Suite is more than just a scrapbooking software. You can create photobooks, calendars and other creative paper crafts. Your imagination is the limit.  
  • You can create quick and easy scrap pages using designer templates or create your own lay-out and style. 
  • You can print your MyMemories scrapbook pages and add them to a traditional scrapbook album.
  • Given it's digital format you can create priceless digital heirlooms that your great, great grandchildren will treasure several decades from today!

Here's a sample page that I made using one of the software's ready made designer templates.  I can't wait to make my own lay-out using MMS's amazing scrapbook kits and paper packs.




Here's how to win:
 
Two download copies of this amazing scrapbook software are up for grabs. Here's how you can win a free MyMemories Suite 2.0 software download:

1.Visit MyMemories.com and choose your favorite digital scrapbook kit or paper pack. Come back here to post your comment.

2. Follow MyMemories Blog or subscribe to the newsletter for extra points. You can also follow MyMemories on Facebook or Twitter to gain more points.

3. Don't forget to include your contact details i.e. email address in your comment.

4. I will pick 2 winners via random number generator on September 23 October 2, 2011. Good luck!
 
SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR SWEET TIDINGS READERS


As a special treat, MyMemories is giving Sweet Tidings readers a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite 2.0 Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store. That's a  $20 value! Just cut and paste coupon code  STMMMS37596  in the Coupon/Promo Code box. This offer is good for My Memories Suite 2.0 purchase only.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cinnamon cake + giveaway preview



Sweet as Sugar Cookies has a wonderful cinnamon bread/cake recipe  that's worth a try. It's a swirly, dense crumbed cake that's perfect for tea or coffee. I love cinnamon but I halved the original cinnamon sugar topping recipe which calls for one cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoon sugar. I am apparently partial to subtly sweet, aromatic breads and cakes.

If you love cinnamon try some of the recipes in my tried and tested recipe box archive. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie is a Martha Stewart recipe that has a lively kick of chili and hint of cinnamon. Overnight cinnamon buns are consistently good everytime and anytime. Make them on a lazy Saturday afternoon. If you're pressed for time you can always take the express route to cinnamon heaven with 90 Minute Cinnamon Rolls.    

Cinnamon Cake/Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. buttermilk (or you can use 1 Tbsp. vinegar + 15 Tbsp. milk) 


Filling and Topping:

  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Directions:
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, salt and vanilla.
3. Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
4. Mix 1/2 of the buttermilk into the wet ingredients.
5. Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
6. Mix the remaining buttermilk into the wet ingredients.
7. Mix 1/3 the remaining dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
8. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
9. Pour 1/3 of the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
10. Pour 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture on top.
11. Pour 1/3 of the batter on top.
12. Pour 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture on top.
13. Pour the remaining batter on top.
14. Pour the remaining cinnamon mixture on top.
15. Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


If you're a scrapbooking enthusiast, hobbyist or wannabe you will love tomorrow's giveaway competition from My Memories, maker of the no. 1 rated My Memories Suite. I've always admired the scrapbooking talent of Gina and I have been inspired to give scrapbooking a try.  I have like 30+ years worth of photos to scrapbook. Good thing scrapbooking has gone digital!





Please check out tomorrow's giveaway. The kind folks at My Memories will be giving away My Memories Suite Version 2.0 software download to two lucky readers.

See you!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cathy Applehead Handmade Doll Pattern & Tutorial





Hello everyone! I have an autumn inspired gift for all of you--a Cathy Applehead Doll Pattern!

It's my first time to make a doll pattern and tutorial and so please bear with my wonky directions and instructions. I assume most of my readers are already intermediate crafters so making this doll would be a breeze. Hope you enjoy it. I look forward to seeing your creations soon!

Note: You are free to sell dolls made from this pattern. Just don't forget to attribute design to Sweet Tidings. 

Applehead Cathy Handmade Doll Pattern and Tutorial

Materials:

  • Fabric (linen, Japanese cotton, canvass muslin)
  • Polyfill
  • Felt (for hair, boots, scarf, head and leaf)
  • Sewing machine, thread and needle
  • Scissors


1.Download print PDF pattern.

2. Cut and trace pattern to fabric. Add 1/2 inch seam allowance.

3.  Use heavy weight muslin or canvass fabric for the doll's face. Applique face to one piece of red felt apple fabric. Stitch on felt hair.  Attach one side of head and body fabric together. Do this process twice. Sew and fill arms and leg fabric pieces with polyfill. Cut two pieces of "felt leaves" and sew/embroider together.

4. Tuck and sew doll arms and felt leaves inside the two pieces of fabric (attached head and body) wrong side out. Turn fabric outside in and fill with polyfill. Insert leg fabric pieces and neatly sew opening.

4. Embroider or paint doll face. Cut and sew a piece of brown felt for the doll's boots. Also cut a strip of felt for the doll's scarf. 

5. Finished doll measures 17.5 inches in height. It's a very poseable and flexible doll. Hope you enjoy it.