Off the Subject!

Off the subject of stones or stoning or jewelry! Random activities, recipes, crafts, whatever!

Twitter-bird Tea Mats- rough draft!

Taking some time off today for sewing therapy, making some twitter-bird tea mats using Japanese fabrics blended with a white center. 

Japanese fabrics are usually very full of color and print and pattern, and go so well with a very calm and toned down accent or base. I usually combine them with white or beige to help pull the colors together. The lovely thing about Japanese fabrics is the colors usually don't match in the patterns, making it easy to mix them with other colors, and somehow they all come together for a lovely scrappy project.

To make this, I first searched out a cute twitter-bird on Yahoo Images, hand-drew it the size I wanted, transferred each part to cardboard. 

Next I traced it onto fusible webbing, and ironed each set onto a strip of fabric, cut out the pieces.

Then I cut out 9x9" white squares for the center, arranged the bird pieces and ironed them on. (wings and legs coming later).

After that was done, pulled out my stash of Japanese fabrics and cut out 2x8" strips. That's as far as I've gotten today!

Butterscotch Brownies

- what I love about this is the simplicity...all mixed in one bowl, no sifting, no separating, no fussiness! It's important to keep the sugar to flour proportion the same to get the brownie effect. I let the mixture cool a bit after adding the melted butter and before adding the eggs, sometimes the egg gets cooked a bit...

1/2 cup melted butter (I've used margarine too)
2 cups dark brown sugar (I use that cheap light-brown Japanese sugar)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I've never added a cup, oftentimes skipped nuts entirely, replaced it with chocolate chips or raisins...)

-- preheat oven to 350 (180?)
-- Butter a 9x13 inch pan (honestly, I use whatever's on the shelf and use parchment/wax paper, I hate buttering pans)
-- Mix everything together, combining well.
-- Spread into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until dry on top and almost firm (my oven will do this in about 20 minutes)
-- cool 10 minutes and cut into and serve.

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