How is everyone doing?
Lemon Pound Cake
3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and
sugar. Add eggs and sour cream, beat well. Add dry
ingredients and beat well. Blend in lemon, almond and
vanilla extracts into mixture. Place mixture in a well
greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
This can be as rustic as you'd like it to be, or you can dress it up!
4" Styrofoam ball
2 1/2" Styrofoam ball
6" wooden dowel
2 1/2" terra cotta pot
craft glue or hot glue
small handful of spanish moss
Seeds *see instructions
Glue the 21/2" ball into the terra cotta pot. Push firmly on the ball with your fingers until it's crushed down into the pot-level with the top. Make a hole in the center of the foam with a pencil.
Glue the wooden dowel into the hole you made in the center of the pot foam. Now make a one deep hole in the bottom center of the 4" ball and squeeze glue into it. Place on top of the wooden dowel and secure it-allowing it to dry. I think hot glue works well for this. At this point you have your topiary base created, and you can decorate it. Look around your garden, backyard, in the park etc. for interesting small seeds heads. There are SO many once you start looking. Bring back what you've collected and sort them onto small paper plates, bowls or other shallow containers. Spread craft or hot glue over small sections of the 4" inch ball and carefully apply the seeds. You can make a collage of seeds or use all one kind. Allow it to dry completely. Lay a small amount of Spanish moss over the top of the pot to cover the foam. You can also glue some on the dowel itself to cover it, or you can paint the dowel if you wish. Tie a raffia bow around the stem when you are finished either way. You can now leave the topiary as is, or get even more creative and add tiny dried flowers, rosebuds or other dried flowers.
This is a neat project for adults or kids. You can also make seed "balls" in the same way without the dowel and pot! These can be placed in a small basket for decoration, or you can use a pin to attach a piece of raffia as a hanger and create natural ornaments.
Tea Dye Directions
You will need:
Stainless steel 16 quart pot
3 gallons tap water
1 yard cotton or linen fabric
8 ounces loose black tea
cheesecloth or muslin and kitchen string
Fill sink with cold water and soak your fabric completely. Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil in your pan. Tie the tea in a square piece of muslin (or cheesecloth) tightly with kitchen string. Add to the boiling water and continue to boil for at least 30 minutes. The longer you boil the darker the dye; so go an hour if you can. Remove the tea bag, and use strainer to grab bits of loose tea if necessary.
Wring out your wet fabric, and add to the pot of tea water. Turn off the heat and allow it to steep for several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally to dye evenly. Remember when checking the color that it seems darker when wet. When the fabric has reached the color you like, rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear, then gently wash with the mild detergent and rinse again. Wring out the fabric and hang or place on an old clean towel to dry.
One caution, if you are using expensive fabric or something that is dear to you, be sure to experiment with something else first! You can also test a swatch of the fabric first before doing the entire piece.