Welcome to Ravenwood Whimzies....sit back, relax, and browse my blog. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Yes, we really have had THAT much snow.....

OKAY FOLKS - You've heard all the complaints...but you probably think....oh...they haven't gotten THAT much snow....but this should prove it to you! 
An amish shop owner got creative outside of his store in Auburn, NY.   We drove past it this morning and Mr. Snowman gave us a BIG chuckle! It's nice to have a little (big) humor amongst all this snow! Feel free to share - maybe Mr. Snowman will go viral! LOL





Sunday, February 15, 2015

PRESIDENT'S DAY SALE in my ETSY SHOP

I'm now holding a 
President's Day Sale in my Etsy shop!
This coupon is valid until Monday at midnight.

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Offerings Update - TONIGHT at 6 pm

Good morning Prim Peeps

We are in the midst of another blast of extremely cold air...sigh....seems as if winter will never end.  Once thing the cold weather does do is help me get more goodies made.

Tonight on my Ravenwood Whimzies Facebook page I will have several new items for sale.

My update begins at 6 pm, so please stop by!

Below are a couple of sneak peeks at my offerings.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire. And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” ~Isaiah 55:10-12

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Good Ole Northeast Winter

Oh yes...you've heard the news reports...it's no joking matter....we are in the midst of winter here in central New York State!
While other parts of the county are enjoying warm temps and Spring birds, we are piled high in snow...and snow...and snow!

For the first time in over a week, we haven't had to spend our evening plowing and snowblowing!  Yippee.  

So...rather than complain any more about all of the snow we have gotten, I thought I would show you! Go ahead and click on the photos for a better view, especially the collages.

You may recognize this view from other pictures I have posted throughout the years.  It is snowing across the lake, which is why you can't even see the huge hills to the east.

Drifts on the patio and by the wood pile by the veggie garden...and yes, there is a garden pond under all that snow in the bottom right photo.

Maybe some day we can finish the new chicken coop (in red).  The weather has been less than favorable for working outside!
Jack loves the snow and enjoys romping in it all the time.  Lucky for him I've snow-blown some paths around the yard, so he can get around.
The girls are less than thrilled about the weather.  I had to put some hay down on the snow just to entice them to come outside of the coop.

Most of the above pictures were taken this past Sunday.
Yesterday, Tuesday morning, we had a freezing fog come in early in the morning.  It left everything coated with frost, and was really quite beautiful!
I took some additional photos, below, showing the frost coated landscape.



I hope you have enjoyed your visit to our winter wonderland!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sharing with you - Ten Ways to have a Lovely Life

I wanted to share with you today a wonderful post from
Faye of The Blessed Hearth.
I have followed Faye's blog for years now, and always feel calm and restful after visiting.  I know that may sound strange, but she has a way of writing and photographing that truly calms the soul.


Her most recent post was entitled
and it really spoke to me, so I thought I would share it with you all, in case you haven't found Faye's beautiful blog yet.

Simply click on the one of the links above to be taken to her post and learn how you, too, can experience a calm and Lovely Life!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

SuPeR bOwL sUnDaY sAlE

It's Super Bowl Sunday
and I'm having a 

SUPER SALE

Save 20% off any item in my Etsy shop.
Use Coupon Code SUPER20 to receive your discount.
 

TODAY ONLY!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY SALE!!!!

I'll be having a special

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY SALE!

You can save 20% off ANY item in my Etsy shop by using the coupon code SUPER20!

This sale will only be effective TOMORROW - SUPER BOWL SUNDAY....so if you've had your eye on something in my shop, now is the time to buy!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New BOM from Buttermilk Basin & FAAP Celebration!

My newest love is wool applique.  I've made a few items, and have a few more works in progress.  I'm also a member of the fantastic Wool Applique group on Facebook, which is where I first learned of the wonderful and FREE


Stacy just put up instructions for the first block in her Mystery BOM, so why  not join in.  I just know it's going to be a fantastic quilt when we are done.  Stacy is so talented.
If you don't do wool applique, but love to sew, I am sure the patterns can be adapted to hand or machine applique with cotton.

Here's my first block.
 

Hope you join in the fun!

***********************
Speaking of talented....the 
FOLK ART AND PRIMITIVES group is gearing up for their latest celebration.

It begins on February 1st.
Come see all the wonderful Spring offerings from the members of FAAP.
We'll also having a giveaway, which makes the celebration even more fun for YOU!

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So you think you can't make bread??

Good morning all....

Have you even wished you could make homemade bread?
Have you yearned for the wonderful smell of fresh bread coming from your kitchen?
Have you envied other's ability to make bread, but felt VERY intimated by the process?

Well, today I hope to change all that...because
YES
You can make homemade bread,
and I will teach you how!

If you can make a batch of cookies, you can certainly make homemade bread for your family!
I find bread to be one of the most satisfying things to make.  It always leaves me with a sense of wonder, appreciation and yes, it makes me proud!

Let's start with a few basic things you need to know:

1.  Always use bread flour when making your bread.  A recipe may call for all purpose flour - don't listen!  The results will be far superior if you use bread flour.

2.  Pay attention to the temperature of your wet ingredients!
Most bread making failures are caused by liquids that are too hot, which will kill your yeast.  Grab a candy or other cooking thermometer and check the temperature of your liquid once you have heated it...the temp should be no more than 110-120 degrees.  To be on the safe side, I usually use liquids in the 110 to 115 degree range. 

3.  Some may argue with my third point, but I ALWAYS mix the yeast directly into the flour.  Measure out about 1/3 of your flour and whisk your yeast into that...then add your liquid and other ingredients.  This serves two purposes....no more proofing of your yeast in a small bowl and wondering if it is ready and there is less chance of killing your yeast when you add the hot liquids.
My daughter-in-law was having such trouble making bread.  It would never rise correctly and it would end up hard as a rock.   When they were living with us last year, I made a point of showing her this method, and now, she's a real pro!

Remember those basics, and you should be able to sail right through any recipe with great results.

So, try your hand at my easy 
Whole Wheat Bread
recipe
Ingredients:
3 1/2 c bread flour
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 T active dry yeast
1/2 t salt
1 c water
1 c milk
1/4 c honey
3 T brown sugar
3 T butter, melted
2 eggs

I also added 1/2 cup of ground flax seed to my dry ingredients. I love the texture it gives the bread, but it is an option ingredient. If you don't have flax seed, you could try 1/2 c of wheat germ instead.

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of your bread flour and 1 1/2 c of the whole wheat flour. Sprinkle in the salt and yeast, and whisk or stir the mixture to combine.
Heat your milk, water, butter, honey and brown sugar over low heat in a small saucepan. You can also use a glass measuring cup and microwave for one minute or so.  As mentioned earlier...CHECK the temp of your liquid before adding it to your dry ingredients.
Once your liquid is the correct temperature,  stir it into the flour mixture.  Mix well with a heavy plastic or wooden spoon.  Add the eggs and beat well.  No need to use a mixer.  Once these ingredients are well combined, you will start adding the remainder of your flour.  You may or may not use all the flour called for.  Start by adding the whole wheat and stir and add the bread flour until you have a dough that isn't wet or sticky.

Now you are ready to knead the dough.
Most recipes say something like 'knead for 8-10 minutes', but I find that simply isn't necessary.  I knead until I have incorporated enough flour to keep the dough from being sticky...maybe 5 minutes at the most.  I knead the dough, turning and flouring as I go, until it forms a nice mound and is firm to the touch, but not rock hard.

 While I am kneading, I like to run some warm water into the bowl I used to mix my dough.  The water will soften any sticky mess and it will heat up the bowl too.  Once I have finished kneading the dough, I dump the water from the bowl, scrape out any residue left in the bowl, wipe it down with a paper towel so it is clean, and then dry it quickly.  With a cooking spray, I lightly grease the bowl and then place my kneaded dough into the warm bowl.  Cover with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm, not hot, place.  The yeast needs time to develop, so don't try to rush the rising process by placing the dough in a warm oven.  Doing so will result in a fast rise, but the bread may very well 'deflate' once you bake it, and you'll end up with an edible, but very dense loaf of bread that will dry out very quickly.

Let your bread double in size while you are off tending to some primitive decorating!

Punch down the dough and return to your cleaned work surface.
Add a small amount of flour to your work surface and place your dough on it.  Divide dough into three equal sizes balls.

Shape each ball into a loaf size by rolling the dough into a log and tucking the ends under.  Place each loaf into a lightly greased pan (I again used cooking spray) and cover once again. 

Let rise until nearly doubled in size.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and place your loaves in.  Bake approximately 30-40 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.  Tap on the top of the loaf...if it sounds hollow, it is done!
Immediately remove your bread from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool.  I set mine on their sides so as not to 'squish' the cooling bread.
Slice with a bread knife, slather with butter and enjoy your homemade bread!

This recipe makes 3 loaves.
Now remember, this wonderful homemade bread doesn't have all the preservatives that store-bought bread has, so it won't last forever on your counter.  If you won't be finishing it up in 3-4 days, simply wrap your completely cooled loaves first in a large plastic bag, remove any air, and then wrap in foil.  Place in your freezer.  You can pull it out to enjoy a loaf next week!

Psst...homemade bread makes THE best toast.  I have to say though...
I hereby deny any responsibility for you eating way too much bread.  One of the reasons I try not to make it all the time is that we will EAT it!  It is so much better than the store-bought stuff!

Next week I will share an artisan bread recipe with you.  I will explain the differences in the doughs to you, and give you tips on how to create a yummy and crusty loaf like you would purchase in a bakery....for a fraction of the cost.

But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4 




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FAAP Birthday Party Coming Soon!

I am dreaming of Spring...

and what better way to get ready for Spring than with a celebration!!
The FolkArt and Primitives Team on Etsy will be celebrating with a 
*JUMP START TO SPRING* 
Celebration,
to be held in conjuction with the team's SECOND Birthday!!!!
To help celebrate our FAAP birthday, we will also be having GIVEAWAYS!
 Many of our talented artists have donated items to make this birthday celebration a blast!
So, mark your calendars, and tell your friends. 

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