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Black Bean Brownies, British Car Meet and Floral Beauty !

Well, I have a few things to show you today one being the All British Car Meet that was held at the Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver B.C. I have always wanted to go to this show and finally, “my husband and I” (imagine it being said in a right royal “Queenie ” voice !)had a wonderful day out to the gardens, by the way always a great place to visit if you love flowers, trees and a vast expanse of serenity.
The cars show up early so being there by 8:30- 9am was a real plus and we could still find a parking space! The day was hot and sunny with a lovely breeze blowing. Now in truth I am not a car aficiando I go simply to see the few cars I like and remember fondly, but my nearest and dearest loves old british cars I’m not sure why but he loves them! So we spent a good portion of the day there. I wandered around some of the lovely gardens and enjoyed the glorious colours on show and the beautifully manicured lawns.


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Now to a fabulous recipe that a friend sent to me: DELICIOUS Chocolately black bean brownies.

This recipe is from the best-selling new book Spilling the Beans (White-cap Books). Canadian authors Sue Duncan and Julie Van Rosendaal say these brownies are the real deal, and nobody has ever detected the merest hint of a bean. Use good-quality chocolate; you’ll be happy you did.

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 28 to 30 minutes

Makes: 16 brownies

1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans

11/4 cups pecan pieces (optional)

1/2 cup butter

2 oz. (60 grams) unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup all-purpose flour pinch of salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup good-quality chocolate chips, or a 3 ½ oz. (100 gram) bar of good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the rinsed black beans on a double thickness of paper towel and blot them gently to remove as much moisture as possible.

Leave them uncovered on the counter until later.

Spread the pecan pieces (if using) on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about six to seven minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan set over very low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, taking care not to let the mixture scorch. Whisk to combine, then remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together and set aside.

Place the dried-off beans and cooled butter/chocolate mixture in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla; process again until combined. Scrape the mixture into the flour mixture and fold gently, leaving streaks of flour still visible. Add the pecans and chocolate chips and fold to just combine.

Pour the batter into a lightly buttered (or sprayed, with non-stick cooking spray) eight-inch square pan, and smooth the top. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes: the batter should no longer jiggle when the pan moves, but any toothpick inserted would be very chocolatey. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
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I have yet to get hold of the book Spilling The Beans but from the LONG wait at the library I gather it must be popular and let’s hope really good. I love these brownies and in place of the wheat flour I used brown rice flour and just a bit more than the 1/3 cup. Next time I make them I think I will try using a blend of flours maybe quinoa and brown rice. Let me know if you like them too!
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Not much going on in the way of knitting or felting I seem to run out of time and energy after work and household chores. But I have been reading mostly novels that I can pick up and put down easily during quick 30 minute lunch breaks and 15-20 minutes before I fall asleep at night.

I have been able to sew up a few skirts, one of which is my first Alabama Stitch Project trial. Very plain natural coloured organic cotton made with six gores instead of four. Stitched with purple thread ! I have not been able to take any photos of it yet but when I do I will post them 🙂 I promise.
I have three more different skirts ready to sew, one in a floral linen which just needs the waistband and hem to be finished. Another in dark purple organic cotton a different style again in A.S.P but I cannot decide on the stencil design for that one so it may be a while! and I completed a short A-line skirt in a lovely floral indian cotton. Can you tell I am hoping for warm weather here in B.C
I hope that you are enjoying whatever creative project you are working on at this time, that’s all for now.
With Love ❤

Sewing A Skirt

Here I am making another attempt at the Alabama Stitch project skirt. I have made one in plain oatmeal coloured jersey…but the waistline was a little big, I know that is a good thing !!! but to unpick all that hand stitching and re-do each seam, six in total seemed (pardon the pun!) daunting.

I had another skirt cut and ready to sew, this time I thought I would do the leaves stencil from the aforementioned book. No problem, I used my sewing machine to baste each seam plus the waistline to prevent bagging or stretching while working on the appliqué stencil work. Each panel was laid out to start the stencil, I then realized I had stitched each panel (gore) to the backing fabric. So I decided to draw around the leaf stencil with a Sharpie pen.

At some point along the way I made a decision to appliqué all the leaves. I started out with the creamy coloured fabric on the grey, but I wasn’t sure I really liked it. So I had some cream fabric that I had done some practice stencils on and so I cut out the shapes from this and placed them on the drawn leaves to see if that made it better or worse. I liked it and so began the process you see now.

My creamy fabric has been painted on with a mix of green and cream fabric paint and I used real ferns from the garden to get some leafy designs. I just painted onto the backside of the fern with a sponge and then lay it onto the cream fabric and pressed down gently. Pull off the fern and you have a very delicate imprint of the ferns leaves. Remember to heat set your painted fabric BEFORE cutting out you pieces. I cut my appliqué leaves out of this fabric, some have more defined leaf designs than others, I just went with what I liked the look of at the time!

As usual I cannot follow the basic design….my mind goes off at a tangent…I believe that is called being creative !!!

If you like let me know what you are working on that gives you pleasure, happy summer sewing to you 🙂

Stash Busting and String Quilting

I have been feeling the urge to Spring clean lately…how about you ? I know this is the sort of thing one expects at this time of year but I am a great saver of things, hoarder! …we don’t use that word in our home. All my “saves” have wonderful plans, right! So I knew I was having a moment when I found myself checking out my fabric stash, I was just looking for the ” just right fabric” you know the one your sure you have somewhere if only you could find it !

Then my daughter and some of her friends came over for a night of …just chillin’. They started to look at the fabric stash as well and started to put different colour combinations together. I said please go ahead and have fun, well they had loads of fun and started to make piles of their favourite colour mixes. I was thrilled with all the choices they had made for me, sometimes I find a new set of eyes can produce wonderful and exciting results. They all enjoyed themselves and left with their personal choices listed on paper with small snippets of each fabric choice taped in order of preference.

Consequently I have been busy making many variations of my small string quilted purses. Each one a designer original.

As you can tell by the pictures they really are unique and fun. When I made each of these purses I cut small strips of cotton fabrics in varying widths and stitched them at an angle onto a base fabric. After this I made up the purse shape as I do with my other designs. How do you like the colour combinations? please leave us a comment we would love to hear from you. Maybe you have been stash busting too!

New Year 2011

All is white, all is calm.

I plan to continue with projects in knitting,sewing and spinning and will post my continued progress here for those who wish to follow along. I will be adding felting with raw wool to my repertoire…the first project on the list is a tunic top made with cotton fabric and merino wool.
Thank you for your support this year and continue to keep being creative whatever you enjoy doing.Wishing you all a very healthy, creative and peaceful year for 2011.

Onward And Upward!

I am hopeful to-day. I have had one door close and I await the opening of another. A craft venue that I was looking forward to participating in has been cancelled and now I must step out once again and try my luck elsewhere. Maybe this does not sound very hard but I am new to the crafting business and I do find putting my work and self out there a bit of a challenge. Onward and upward! that’s the theme for to-day.
I have had fun the last few days putting together a new cuff/ bracelet and I have also been working on some new pin /brooch designs.

What’s Making My Heart Skippity Skip To-Day

Just a quick post to-day as I have a lot of catching up on projects etc…nothing new about that! but I wanted to share with you all the kinds of things that make my heart sing. Here they are in various forms. The only thing that I forgot to picture was the budding abundance in the garden. I hope you enjoy them.

Woolbrain

Hello Peeps this is my blog.
I hope to write about my love for fibre arts. I am interested in wool, hence the name woolbrain! I love to knit, felt, sew, embroider and generally create. For now I need to learn my way around this blog so that I can keep you posted on my creative happenings.

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An international collective of felt and fiber artists

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Just another WordPress.com site