Thursday, January 16, 2014


I am a lover of crafts. 
I just feel calmer and happier when I am in the middle of a project that allows me to be creative and includes a skill that I want to master.  It gives my soul a break from thinking about the things I cannot change and it helps me to feel centered and competent.
 I craft because it is much more effective than therapy ever was, even though it's not actually cheaper. 
Once I find my groove in a project, I tend to be a little obsessed. 

I might possibly be a little obsessed with sewing right now...........

The painter's tape on my fingers to help where I have poked and pinched my fingertips raw may be seen as a cry for help. 
My sweet husband knows it means he chose well when he was Santahusband.
He also knows it's sign that I'm doing better and allowing myself to do the things that make me feel okay.

Yesterday, I decided to teach myself applique. 
There are so many cute things you can make with applique and you can take personalization to a whole new level. 

I started small with a freebie download that looked very simple.


My first attempt was bad.
 The applique shifted, just a hair too far and it was all off, then I wasn't paying attention and realized that I had sewn the tabs of the bib to back of it all and had to cut it off of the hoop.
I thought it was making terrible noises. 

I also.....

Just a baby quilt, but I am really happy at how much better the binding is and the patches line up better than my first one. I still have a lot to learn, which means my readers are going to have to endure many more sewing posts. 
Both of these will be mailed to SLC for my sister, Sunnie, who is having a baby in a few months with her husband, Chad. They are a blendy family, too and this will be their first baby together. 

Because I am a Domestic Goddess, I also baked 4 loaves of homemade whole wheat bread yesterday.

Okay, I'm more of a tired schlub who didn't want to go to the store and buy bread, but the ends justify the means, Yo.

I used a new recipe, using vital wheat gluten. I've heard my friends sing the praises of that stuff, but had never used it. I have had struggles getting bread to rise since we moved to New Jersey, so I picked some up, hoping it would help.

It cut the raising time in half and the bread was very light and airy for being whole wheat.

Add me to the vital wheat gluten club.
It was great stuff.
I'm posting the recipe for my friends who asked. 
When I make this again, I'm going to make a couple of changes because my bread was a little more crusty on the outside than I like it. 
The inside had a texture that was similar to white bread though, I think this is one kids will love. 
Bosch Foolproof Whole Wheat Bread
*Makes 6 loaves ( I didn't see that part, and made four. I just NOW realized this. DUH. That explains why it seemed a little overcooked on the outside in order to achieve the perfect inside. Disregard my bread being too crusty, I'm a moron.)
That being said, it was too much for my large 6 qt Kitchenaid to really manage, so if you don't have a house full of bottomless pit young men who will eat 2 loaves within an hour of coming home from school-- I'd cut this in half. It's a huge recipe. 
Whole wheat bread freezes really well, though and you know your visiting teaching families would love you if you brought them some. 
6 cups warm water
2 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
12-15 cups whole wheat flour
Mix 8-9 cups fresh wheat flour and 2 ½ tablespoons yeast together in the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl by hand). Add 6 cups warm water and mix to paste consistency. Cover and let sponge 10-15 minutes. Add salt, honey, oil, and gluten. Mix by hand or if using an electric mixer, turn to speed 1 or 2 as motor bears down and add additional flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl (be careful not to add too much flour). Let the mixer knead the dough for five minutes. (If using hands, knead for 10 minutes.) Use oil or cooking spray on your hands to form six equal loaves. Take dough immediately from bowl and fill lightly greased (or nonstick) loaf pans ½ to 2/3 full. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap to keep moist. Let the bread rise until doubled, approximately 1 ½ inches above the top of the pan. Place the bread carefully in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 38 minutes. Let cool completely before placing in bags to put in the freezer.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps I should try to make bread again.....if the gluten stuff makes bread instead of whole wheat bricks....I will have to see if I can find it. (Guess I'd better check and make sure I still have loaf pans, too!)
    Your quilts are so delightful! Just dang cute! Makes me even more anxious to get this room painted and set up my sewing stuff again! Better get back at it!