social spark Aisling Beatha: March 2014

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Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Owl and the Pussycat

I'm still doing the Soul Food Class, although the last couple of weeks I have had other projects that needs to get done so I am falling a bit behind.  Hopefully I will get caught up with a few of the classes this week.

For now, let me show you my work from one of the previous classes.

Soul Food Lesson 6 with Lisa Patencio

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It's a mini accordian book, no more than 3 inches tall on the theme of the Owl and the Pussycat.  I don't have it any more as I gave it to one of the teachers at a local school that I volunteer in.  They were having special events for world book day and this was my contribution.  She asked if she could keep it on her desk, so there it sits for now!

The background is done onto a large sheet of paper first, with a strip chosen to be the accordian book and folded back and forth like a paper fan would be.  We were supposed to choose a particular colour scheme and I think I did OK with that, although I reckon I could have stuck to it a bit more closely.

Here are some closer photos of the pages, remember that they are tiny pages, so detail isn't easy.

Soul Food Lesson 6 with Lisa Patencio

Soul Food Lesson 6 with Lisa Patencio

Soul Food Lesson 6 with Lisa Patencio

Soul Food Lesson 6 with Lisa Patencio

I'll be back with more of the Soul Food lessons soon.  You can still sign up for this year if you would like, or start saving now to take part next year!

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You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. But before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

BlueberryButtermilMuffins14

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You will need:

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2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

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2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

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2 cups frozen blueberries.
Toss the frozen blueberries in a little flour.  You don't need to defrost them.  You can use them just like this.

Preheat the oven to 200c, 400f and prepare your muffin pan with paper liners, or grease it if you are not using liners.

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Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

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In another bowl whisk the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.

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Mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, in as few turns of the spoon as possible.  You don't want the mixture to be completely smooth, you want it to still have some lumps in it.

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Once the wet and dry are mixed, add the blueberries and quickly fold them in, in  just a few turns of the spoon.

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Use an ice cream scoop to portion the mixture into the cases and put into the oven.

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Bake for 10 minutes, turn your muffin tray around and bake for another 8 - 10 minutes.  Remember you have used frozen blueberries and that will have brought the temperature of your mixture down, so check the muffins by pressing with your finger.  If the dent from your finger stays they're not quite ready, if they spring back when you remove your finger they are ready.  My oven temperature isn't quite right so they needed another 3 minutes after a second turn of the muffin tray.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then if you have used paper case, remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.  If you have not used paper cases and baked directly in the pan, you will need to cool them longer in the pan.

If you're feeling really decadent make up a lemon drizzle icing by mixing some icing sugar (powdered sugar) with a little lemon juice and drizzle that over the top of the muffins.

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You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Makes Your House Your Home?

Soul Food Little house Plaques

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Another Soul Food lesson.  A little house to represent your home to hang on your wall.
This was the first time I had done any art on a wooden panel, but I was really pleased with how it turned out.

As you can see I used pictures from around the internet to represent the different things that go on in our home and means a lot to me or us.  I knew I also wanted to include something I had drawn, but I couldn't draw it small enough to go on this piece, so I drew it larger,

Soul Food Little house Plaques


coloured it in

Soul Food Little house Plaques


then scanned it into the computer and printed it out the size I wanted.

First I painted the panel black, then put the blue over the top and pencilled in the house with a few rooms.

Soul Food Little house Plaques

I printed and cut out the images I wanted to use and made sure they fit.

Soul Food Little house Plaques

Then the rooms were made by layering up book paper. Yes, that's more of the German book paper I used in an earlier class.

Soul Food Little house Plaques

Lots of paint and glue later and I got to this.

Soul Food Little house Plaques


Then finally I finished it off with a bit of pen and distressing the blue paint in the sky a little bit.

Soul Food Little house Plaques


The piece is supposed to be finished off with a layer of encaustic wax but I'm not buying all that just for one piece.


You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

More Soul Food Art

What is soul food?  It's a 6 month online creativity class put together by Mystele and a number of other artists and hosted at the Community Thrive site.  I have shared my work for 3 of the lessons so far, first the Nourishing a Creative Spirit lesson and then I shared my work from two lessons in the Soul Food Part 2 post.

Some of the lessons are not entirely new to me so I take a little twist on them to make them a bit different, like the bookbinding lesson, where I did a little twist on the long stitch by copying something I had seen in a photo online.

Soul Food Lesson 4 - Grace Howes

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Some of the lessons inspire me and I end up doing far more than is suggested or at least putting more work into it, like this one where I so loved the idea of stitching into the paper that I did the whole quote by stitching it!

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The lesson began with playing with spray inks

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then weaving into that piece with some stenciled paper.

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More stencil work was done on top of the weaving

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and finally the woven piece was mounted onto another piece of paper for more embelishment with paint and stitching.

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You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Soul Food Part 2

I can't believe I haven't done another Blog Post about Soul Food since that first one, Nourishing a Playful Spirit.

What is soul food?  It's a 6 month online creativity class put together by Mystele and a number of other artists and hosted at the Community Thrive site.

Here's a reminder of my work from the first lesson.

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

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I was really pleased with that piece and enjoyed doing it.

Some of the other classes have been enjoyable but not so easy and certainly haven't produced results that I am as proud of.  This lesson was about drawing with markers without pencilling anything in first, so that you had to keep whatever happened and just go with it.

Soul Food Lesson 2 - Gwen Seemel


Yeah, there are bits of it I love and bits of it I don't like.  I made another attempt at it and the mouth got even worse than the first one.

I love the lessons that are really based in drawing and painting because they stretch me, but i lvoe the classes that are more paper art based too, like this one:

Soul Food Lesson 3 - Cathy Bluteau


Soul Food Lesson 3 - Cathy Bluteau



You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.
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