Raw Flourless Chocolate Cake & Homemade Piña Colada Sorbet – Daring Bakers Challenge Time!

pink_db1

The instant I saw “Flourless Chocolate Cake” on this month’s challenge post, I knew I wanted to make this challenge Raw – as in raw cuisine. There have been other challenges where I could have really stretched things to allow for a raw interpretation, un peu tiré par les cheveux, as we would say in French, but this challenge just lent itself naturally to a vegan/raw possibility.

walnuts

I also knew right away which recipe I’d be using : the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe from Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Easy. If you’ve ever been curious about raw cuisine, but haven’t been sure where to start, I strongly recommend this book. Unlike many popular raw foods chefs, Cornbleet offers a comprehensive collection of recipes requiring only the most basic kitchen equipment, and she forgoes the seemingly requisite list of exotic ingredients so many other raw foods chefs refer to as kitchen staples.

lovely-walnuts

This is a great recipe and I’ve blogged about it before, but I haven’t made it for a while. In fact, I’ve all but stopped concentrating on raw cuisine since my accident back in November. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m still eating crudités, raw fruit, salads, etc., but my weekly Raw Thursdays (and Tuesdays) stopped when I broke my foot. Partially because Monsieur Fish was doing most of the food prep and raw  doesn’t interest him, and also because food prices have made buying nuts and dried fruits nearly impossible for us. I’m hoping to prepare more raw meals in the near future, and I thought February’s challenge would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase a raw dessert, especially for those of you who maybe haven’t tried one yet.

nutcracker1

This is the first time I used cocoa powder rather than carob for this cake, and I used a generous half a cup rather than a third. It came out very fudgy and tasting like a tourte or as my husband said “cake batter, but in a good way”. A friend of mine has a small farm in a near-by village, and she recently gifted me two big bags of organic walnuts. What a treat – perfect for this recipe!

homemade-pina-colada-sorbet-raw-flourless-chocolate-cake

We were also supposed to make an ice cream component, and I opted to take a spin on Mark Bittman’s sorbet formula. I’ve used this basic recipe to make sorbets before – it’s really easy, fast and delicious. I wanted to try to keep it “white”ish because we were supposed to make vanilla ice cream, so I decided to honor the spirit of the challenge by maintaining the colour, though I did take a few liberties with the flavour. This could easily be made 100% raw by omitting the vanilla or by using some scraped vanilla beans. Humm, vanilla.

Piña Colada Sorbet

  • 2 cups of frozen chopped pineapple
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla

I put the pineapple chunks in one layer and put them in the deep freezer. I also put the coconut milk in the deep freezer – I poured it into a shallow plastic container – it was easy to break up and scoop out.

Once everything is well frozen, at least 8 hours, just pop it in your food processor. I processed the pineapple chunks first, then added the coconut milk and vanilla. When it’s nice and blended, you can either quickly eat (it’s very melty), or put it back in the deep freezer for a few hours, then re-process just before serving. I like this method because it’s nice and scoop-able.

The paring of this flourless cake and the piña colada sorbet was just heavenly! When I was a kid, I would always try to let the ice cream melt a little and mix it up with my cake. I was that kind of kid. That’s exactly what this reminded me of – so delicious!

I’d like to thank Wendy of A Charmed Life and Dharm of Dad – Baker & Chef for hosting our challenge. Do be sure to check out all the other Daring Bakers creations!

Here’s the fine print : The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

W.I.P. Wednesday : The finished, the planned and the in-progress…

wipbanner_blue6

This is an extra-large serving of W.I.P.ness, so grab a little cup of tea and here we go!

The finished : Staring here is good, helps me to feel like I’ve accomplished something!

zen-carp

Here are the carp I told you about here. Love them. I hope my nephew does, too.

notebook-with-art-bag

He’s quite a sketcher (I sent him the watercolour-pencil roll for Christmas) so I thought a blank notebook would suit him. I also made him a black denim pouch to slip the notebook and some pencils in, in case he wants to do a little field work (ok, this is a bad inside joke because he lives on a farm. Sorry.)

It’s also my niece’s birthday soon, so here are her goodies :

wee-wonderfuls-butterflies

The little dude’s antenna/hat isn’t sewn on yet in this photo, but I assure you, it has since been sewn on and they are on their way to the U.S. along with this :

felt-flannel-pouch-felt-heart-pin

…a little felty pouch (decorated with ribbon on the other side) and a heart pin because they are so cute I’m making them for everyone! I used this felt, and for the butterflies I used this adorable pattern from Hillary Lang of Wee Wonderfuls fame. I just noticed she’s having a doll giveaway today – go throw your name in the virtual hat!.

butterfly-pattern

This was one of the first patterns I ever ordered (about 9 months ago), but this is the first time I’ve used it. I have a feeling I’ll be making more of these in the future they are so sweet. And springy.

Oh, and a new pincushion, because I just love making these little cuties!

beige-cordory-lavender-cotton-pincushion

and the other side, so you can see my wonky stitching.

lavender-beige-pincushion-other-side

Now, the in-progress :

unfinished-doll

Another one of these dolls. This is for a “new” baby (she’s already 3 weeks old – aak!). She’s mostly done – just need to sew her hair ribbon on and get her limbs attached. Have you ever noticed the less you have to do to finish a project, the more difficult it is psychologically to get it done? Or is it just me?

I started this last night for the talented Tacha :

bunny-under-construction1

Lucky me gets to test another pattern for her! This is going to be adorable – I’ll hopefully have it ready for show & tell by Friday! She has the best stuff in her shop – go check it out!

The planned :

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely heard of the terrible fires in Australia, killing so many – humans and animals – and destroying everything in sight. I wanted to so something, so I donated what I could, but still felt like I wasn’t doing anything. Then, the aforementioned Tacha told me about The Bushfire Quilt Project. Tia Curtis, an American quilter living in Australia, is rounding-up quilt blocks from all over the globe and with the help of local quilters, they are creating quilts for families who lost everything in this tragedy. If your life has ever been touched by fire, you know the devastation of completely starting over. These quilts may not be much, but they are a start, and a great way to show some global solidarity to our Australian friends.

That’s great, Shellyfish, but I don’t know how to quilt. Well, guess what? Neither do I! But I’m committing to making at least a few of these Wonky Stars thanks to the tutorial. My biggest obstacle is an anemic fabric stash, but I’m hoping to get some scraps organized Friday. Here’s The Bushfire Quilt Project Flickr Group if you want to be inspired. Doing what you can makes such a big difference, be it 2 or 50 squares. Others are sending quilting supplies to help out. Just wanted to spread the word, and thanks to Tacha for sharing the links with me!

And to finish, behold! Guppy’s new dress, er, dress fabric :

orange-cream-fabric

Ok, this fabric is just dreamy. It has such a great feel and weight to it. Yum. We don’t have a fabric store in town, but there is a vendor who comes to the marché twice a week. The up-side is he often has designer remnants at great prices. The down-side is that you can’t buy the amount you’d like – you’re stuck with whatever size the remnant is – be it a half meter or 3 meters. It’s a good thing in this case because I got nearly 3 meters for 10E which is just super exciting!

I wish I were only 4 and could have a dress, too. Ok, no, when I was 4 I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress. But Guppy is rather excited about it, probably because she doesn’t have any cold-weather dresses so it seems special. I’m excited because I’ve never made a dress before. So much excitement.

Speaking of excitement, next week’s W.I.P. will have our Wipster of the Month interview and we’ll also have our March Stitch-Along – I bet you just can’t wait! Try to satisfy your curiosity by visitng the other Wipsters to see what they are up to this week, and don’t forget the W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Group, too!

wipwed_pinkred2401

Bookmaking & Birthday Gifts (and an ugly yet delicious cupcake)

I’ve been wanting to blog about my newest favourite creative obsession outlet, but thought it would be better to wait until I had a little more to show you. I wanted to explain the why’s and how’s, give you the soul behind the groove…

But I just can’t wait because it’s so fun!

embroidered-notebook

I am in love with making these notebooks! Don’t you love the unfinished, just raveld enough edges? I think they look so natural. Sometimes I wonder if it’s normal to enjoy sewing into paper so much, because it’s the bee’s knees. I promise a more in-depth post soon, but you know when you’re into something and you just have to share it? This little cupper is actually on its way to a very sweet Birthday Girl. It doesn’t have far to go, but I don’t think it’s going to make it in time. Sigh.

These notebooks have become my birthday gift idea par excellence, and I’m working on a few others right now. I’ve done a pretty good job honoring my Handmade Pledge, and this is a great way for me to send something from the heart and hands. I’ve been using Moleskine (over-priced) and faux-Moleskine (far more reasonable but difficult to find) notebooks, but I’m going to be making my own soon (that’ll be part of the part 2 of this post!).

Rather than typing this post, I should be embroidering this :

fish

It’s going to be for a notebook for my nephew’s birthday. These groovy little carp are from this book :

doodle-stitching

I bought it last summer when visiting the U.S. I think it’s a great book for embroidery beginners (like me!) because it gives a good explanation of some basic techniques and has some fun project ideas, and though not all of them are really my cup of tea, I’ve enjoyed flipping through the pages for inspiration. I’m excited to use a design from this book for the first time.

I’ll be posting a proper bookmaking W.I.P. soon, promis, juré!

Did you happen to see the whiteout cakes that were taking over the Internet last week? If not you can visit Honey B or Natalia to see how beeeutiful they looked. They got me dreaming of deep, dark chocolate and frosting and since Guppy & I are on vacation, we decided to make some cupcake love…

whiteout-cupcake

Clearly not as fancy as it could have been, but very fun to make with Guppy, and even more fun to eat! We just used the chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, but I doubled the cocoa (because I’m punk rock like that) and we made a variation on the fluffy buttercream recipe. Betcha want one, too!

Whatever Happaned to Sunday Dinners : The General, Mihl & a Monday suggestion (if I may…)

Before we get all food p*rny, I’d first like to apologize to Mihl of Seitan is My Motor. She is beautiful, talented, makes the most amazing cookies ever and shares delightful German recipes and cultural tidbits. Reading her blog is like taking a little trip to Dresden, and if you haven’t been over there lately, you should!

elephant

gummies

Why am I saying I’m sorry? Mihl so sweetly sent me super-delicious vegan Gummy Bears and an adorable handmade card decked out with origami animals and despite my best intentions, I inadvertently left her out of my Happy Mail round-up. I officially suck and will hang my head in shame as I compose the rest of this post

It’s almost Mardi Gras!!! Wooot! Here in France we don’t get as crazy-wild-fun as does our friend Kittee (I can’t wait to see pictures of her in her costume!), but it does mean crêpes! Love it! But wait, mardi is Tuesday…whatever will we eat on Monday? May I suggest you make yourself some extraordinary New Orleans Style Red Beans? I made these last Monday and good grief did my house smell amazing all morning while those beans were simmering!

monday-beans

Delicious, simple beany goodness served over a mix of wheat berries, wild rice and whole white rice. Leftovers were enjoyed rolled up in tortillas. So easy, so nutritious and so affordable!

And now on to Sunday Dinner, which is brought to you today by the letter “K” as in Krys of Two Vegan Boys. She served up some General Tao’s Tofu the other day and it got me craving take out Chinese again (what is up with that?). The recipe is here though I just used it as a guideline : I doubled the sauce, played with the spices a little, cursed the fridge gods for not having any peppers or green onions, and thanked them for the broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, cauliflower and carrots I did have. Oh yum. Thanks for the inspiration, Krys!

general-taos-tofu

This was the first time I dipped tofu in an egg replacer before giving it a good cornstartch coat. I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure if it was necessary. I think just giving it a little dip in some non-dairy milk or even just a smidge of water would have worked fine. Just sayin’.

Happy Mail ! “I’m just lucky, I guess.”

While were not big on television here at the Fish household, we are movie fans, and we recently acquired the film “George of the Jungle” with “want to spread him on a cracker and eat him cute” Brenden Fraser playing George. Pardon my sexist aside, but yummy.

Guppy loves this movie, and while I’m not going to lend deep socio-cultural significance to a (BLEK!) Disney movie (shudder), I love the zen nature of George and his very Buddhist take on life. Despite spills, loss, separation and other tragedy, George remains true to his Buddha nature. He is cheerful, acknowledges that yes, sometimes the negative does happen, but then something good always happens, too. “George just lucky I guess.” is his refrain, his mantra if you will. While I’m obviously not watching this film in the same way as 3 and 1/2 year old Guppy, I so appreciate his underlining the lucky side of things, though it would be just as easy to highlight all the negative. I also thoroughly enjoy the fact that the protagonist thrives without the infectious encumbrances of Capitalist consummation, and once he and Ursla are finally united, they chose family and freedom in the Jungle rather than Nintendos, MP3 players, cheaply made, inferior quality clothing and all other bounty the free-market economy provides… I do hope they brought some aspirin and penicillin with them, though. You know, because they’re in the jungle and stuff.

Go George.

I’ve been pretty lucky of late as well. No, Monsieur Fish hasn’t taken to weight lifting and parading around in a loin cloth (sigh). I believe the following goodies delivered to my mailbox will illustrate my côté chanceux :

nom

These cute little kitty cats arrived from the sweet Krispycheks, proprietor of the most excellent nom! nom! nom! blog. These little cuties are decorating my sewing area, and I just love them!

vegemite

My dearest Jumblefriend of Jumbleberry Jam fame has been doing a stellar job de-cluttering her home, and she decided to share some of her many tubes of Vegemite with the blogosphere, i.e.: She had a little giveaway and I won! So excited was I. Monsieur Fish was amused by the Vegemite that traveled from Australia to the United States to France, and the beautiful paper her hand-written note had also traveled an amazing amount : from Tibet to Ireland to the U.S. to France. Wanderlust runs through my veins, now literally!

I’m hooked on this stuff! It is indeed an acquired taste – reminds me a bit of blue cheese in my Omni days. First time I’d tasted it I shuttered, but, oddly found myself wanting more. It’s the same thing here people, but unlike blue cheese it’s cruelty-free and really good for you! I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse, because I needed another favourite something to slather all over a fresh baguette like a hole in the head. My new favourite thing to do with the Vegemite? It is amazing for boosting an anemic gravy – and the B-vitamin goodness… love it!

books

cards

Here is my ultimate loot from the book exchange Carmen organized. I felt so spoilt, because Carmen included handmade cards along with these great books! She is so talented, and if I lived near her I would be hanging out at her house until she shared all her great handmade card tips with me! They are just beautiful, and it’s not going to be easy to send them off to new homes because I want them for me! Oops, selfish moment there. Ok, all better.

Thank you ladies for the wonderful mail! I’m off to go make myself a little Vegemite tartine with some faux E.B. and baguette. Yum!

Eco-Crafters Unite! I L-O-V-E The Kunin Group & their “Ecospun” cruelty-free felt!

WOW! I have been overwhelmed by emails asking me for details on the cruelty-free, super “Green” (with a capital G) felt I mentioned in this week’s W.I.P. Wednesday post. I feel so popular!

I was so excited when I saw all the email love, some from people who were interested in the cruelty-free crafting possibilities, and others who wanted more info on the “recycled” aspect of this medium. To quote an emailer “this sounds a little too good to be true.”

Yet it is true.

To create those delicious-looking donuts, and these heart pins, and many other gifts & crafts, I used “Rainbow Classicfelt” from The Kunin Group. Go check out their website because I think it’s just amazing the different kinds of felt they offer, and all of it created from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles!

I first discovered this amazing felt last year when my mum brought me a bag of crafting supplies from America when she came for a visit. I’d found some polyester crafting felt here in France, but I didn’t like the feel of it. She’d stumbled upon some various felt squares and saw they were wool free so grabbed a few colours for me.

Love at first stitch! Or cut, I could say. While it isn’t as dense as traditional wool felt, it has a lovely feel and is wonderful for bags like these :

felt-bags

or other projects like this :

pencil-roll

pencil-rolled-up

When I was in the U.S. on vacation this past summer I bought nearly an entire suitcase full of Kunin Group felt (yes, nearly an entire bag full. You should have seen the look on Monsieur Fish’s face when he saw that). I bought mine at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics in Rochester Hills, Michigan. I know many of you are in Canada and Europe, so don’t fret. Visit their Where To Buy page – there are lots of locations around the world…though none in France. Snif.

I would just love to get my hands on some of their Plush Felt which I couldn’t find at last summer. It is all plushy and soft and would be perfect for making softies and little stuffed animals, which are going to be de rigueur with Spring Solstice and other such holidays approaching.

So there you go! Vegan crafting at it’s best!

Happy Mail post coming next, promise!

W.I.P. Wednesday : Sugar Free, Fat Free, Calorie Free Donuts! A tutorial…

wipbanner_blue5

I know what you’re thinking : With a title like that, there’s got to be a catch. You’re right.

finishednuts

I’d been wracking my little brain (ouch!), trying to think of something to make for my Pay It Forward (PIF) winners. It’s not easy knowing what to send someone you know without really knowing them outside of their blog lives. I considered making handbags, but not knowing their individual tastes, didn’t want to send something in their least favourite colour, or something that would sit in a closet forever. The only real criteria for the PIF gifts were that they be vegan and handmade.

felt-donuts-raspberry-vanilla

Enter the donuts! As I was thinking of goodies to add to their parcels, I thought of making a treat to send, but was concerned that even though they weren’t leaving the European Union, cookies could be crushed or frosting smudged, etc. by they time they arrived at destination. I’d made some felt food for Guppy to play with, and while she was setting up a little tea party for us one day, I thought felt donuts would be the ticket!

maple-glazed-chocolate-donut

Please do note that this felt is indeed vegan : made with post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, we’re cruelty-free and lessening the environmental impact by using a recycled medium. Woot!

Would you like to make some donuts? It’s really very easy, though it is a little more time consuming if you stitch your “sprinkles” on. I set this up assembly-line style and it was a fun little project. I can hardly take credit for these – felt food has been around since I was little (Regan child. No, ketchup is not a vegetable. Shudder), and I’ve seen felt donuts in felt food packs for kids, on the net, etc. If you do decide to use this tutorial to make donuts that you’ll be selling, please remember me when you’re rich and famous!

Let’s begin! First you’ll need some felt. I chose two colours of brown for the “cake” part – so we have regular and chocolate flavours, and some assorted colours for your glazes :

pick-some-colours

You’ll also need the following :

materials-needed

Thread, pins, beads for your “sprinkles”, something to trace your donut shape (I used a CD, a canning lid or something similar would obviously work, too, but would indeed be less musical), a needle, an exacto-knife or rolling cutter, scissors and maybe even a self-healing mat if you have one (a clean cutting board works ok, too).

First : Trace your basic donut shape in the darker felt. Don’t forget, you’ll need two pieces per pastry. I made a dozen, so that meant 24 pieces (my math skillz are amazing, n’est-ce pas?).

Next :

use-a-spool-to-trace-your-centreYou can use a spool to trace the outline of the centre. Don’t worry too much about this if your circle isn’t perfect -it’s going to look beautiful once it’s sewn up. Do try to cut two at a time, though, makes matching them up later a wee bit easier.

Now : (night was falling, so sorry for the flashy-blek.)

glaze-coulours

Whip out that CD again and trace your glaze colours. You can be traditional or get crazy – these are your donuts and they are your art!

Ensuite : (which means next, but I already said that above)

finish-glazes

You’ll want to cut along the outer edge of your glazes to give them a drippy look. I just weaved in and out with my scissors. Again, if it looks funky don’t worry – it’ll be sweet as can be once it’s all stitched together.

Let’s Sew!

stitch-the-glaze-on

You can proceed a number of different ways – I tried doing things in different orders because I’m curious like that – but this is the order that I found worked best pour moi. Begin by sewing the outer edge of your glaze to the top layer of your donut. Try to centre the glaze on the donut, and if the holes don’t perfectly match up it’s ok, you can trim them to match in the next step. It’s more important that your glaze is centered over the donut right now.

You might want to pin the glaze on before doing this to keep it in place, or maybe you’re a renegade and you scoff at my idées bourgeoises – best translated as playing square or safe. Anyway, you can whip stitch (I did) or straight stitch this part. Youtube has great videos to show you what that means if you don’t know. I didn’t know a year ago, so don’t worry, it’s cool. You’re cool. I said so.

Sammich time!

stitch-through-the-three-layers

It’s time to stitch all three layers together via the centre. If the three holes don’t match up well (ahem, at all), fear not. You can trim them to fit, just don’t cut too far into your donut or you’ll end up with an onion ring, which is tasty, but not what we’re going for here (but what a great idea! And fries, too! Yes!). Be sure and sew through all three layers using a nice, tight whip stitch.

donut-hole-stitch1

If you’re stitching looks like your 3-year-old did it (see above) don’t worry a bit! It’s going to look just lovely when it’s stuffed. Promise!

Sprinkles!

What’s a donut without sprinkles? A naked donut, and I’ll have no nudity on this blog! I used beads, however, if you’re planning on making these for small children, animals, or batty adults, you may want to consider just using embroidery to embellish. Do that now, because the layers are open and it’ll be easier. Let me know when you’re done.

Closing Time!

I had a picture of this, but it was terrible, so it didn’t make the cut. You don’t really need one, though. Just try to match up the outer edges of your donut, and whip stitch them together, leaving a small hole so you can stuff it with polyfill. I used a chopstick (see Katie, I can use chopsticks, too!) to push the polyfill around. If your edges don’t perfectly match up, it’s really ok, just slide them forward or back so that they do – once you’ve added the stuffing you won’t be able to tell.

to-finish1

See how easy that was? And fun, too! Now go make a guilt-free dozen!

Don’t forget to see what the other Wipsters are up to, and to check out our W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool, too.

I’ve received some most excellent Happy Mail in the past two weeks and I will be posting about it soon! I’m totally behind, but please super-cool sender-people, don’t think your mail didn’t rock my socks – my next post is all about you!

W.I.P. Round-Up

wipwed_blyel2402

I do hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day! We had a special day with a pancake breakfast (Peanut butter pancakes, a test recipe for Joni & Celine for 500 Vegan Recipes, yummers!), hanging around in our p.j.’s and eating left-over queso-free queso dip and nachos – while still in aforementioned pajamas – for lunch (also à la 500 Vegan Recipes), and some vegan sushi take-out. We also watched a fun movie to round out heart day – I’m not a big romantic comedy fan in general, but if you get a chance to see Prête moi ta main (the English title is I do) you should, because it was cute, funny and the kind of movie you could easily pause the four or five times it was necessary to re-tuck Guppy in after two false-alarm potty visits, a night-light check, a tissue emergency and a “one last kiss” visit. That’s what you get for feeding your 3 year-old too many starches and letting her hang out in her jammies all day. But who knows?

Enough about my domestic bliss (ahem), let’s take a peek at what the Wipsters have been up to!

I consider myself so lucky to be (virtually) surrounded by such talent and craftiness! Just take a look at these great projects :

carmen

Carmen made a cute little red softie doll for her daughter. I’m thinking she likes it :

carmen2

Krys made two adorable stuffies for her “two vegan boys”

krys

Aren’t they cute? (I mean the boys!)

krys1

krys2

amanda

Amanda’s pillow is just gorgeous (that back fabric is so cheerful!).

amanda2

natalia

This patchwork-style pillow Natalia made for her daughter is precious! I love the buttons on the back , too :

natalia2

Beth made a mini-softie (you can see it here)

and here are my final creations :
guppypillow1

This is Guppy’s Valentine’s Day pillow, which was indeed an eleventh hour project. I embroidered her name (the yellow splotches…because no, her name isn’t really Guppy!) and there is also purple ribbon on the back. She really liked it, and we all had to “test it”, which was fun.

pillow1

This smaller version was part of a Valentine’s Day-themed package for my sister’s birthday. I definitely think the ribbon was a good idea when I see how plain-Jane this first one is.

This Stitch-Along has been fun, and I’ve already had a few suggestions for March. If you have an idea for a Stitch-Along project, you can email me at fishbowlmusings (at) gmail (dot) com – there is so much out there, any and all ideas are appreciated!

Don’t forget about our W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool if you didn’t get your pictures to me in time, or if you’d just like to share what you’ve been up to on Wednesdays!

wipbanner_pinkred2

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s wishing you a lovely day of snuggles, smooches and sincere friendship.

I’m not loving my obscenely unreliable Internet connection (cuts out & our Internet re-boots about every 5 minutes) which is causing me to use all sorts of swear words, so I’ll be bringing you the W.I.P. round-up tomorrow – I hope!

A demain mes amis!

W.I.P. Wednesday : Felty Heart Pins, Pin Cushions & Stitch-Along Progress

wipbanner_blue4

Hello Crafties! It’s already Wednesday, can you believe it? I am losing the battle to stay on top of things, so I’ve decided to stop fighting and just be like water and flow! Woosh!

hearts-in-progress

Have you seen this Valentine Pins tutorial? I’ve been making tons of these cuties. Most everyone I would usually make sweet heart-shaped sugar cookies for is watching their weight, so rather than taunt them with pink royal icing and cookie love I think I’ll give them some sweet (and calorie-free) crafty love instead. These are really easy and fun, and gratifying for those moments when you feel like you want to complete a project. Of course I don’t know what that’s all about…

One thing that’s been occupying my time has been these :

pin-cushion-lavender

pin-cushion-linen-lavender

pin-cushion-linen

pin-cushion-velours

pin-cushions

These pin cushions are really fun to make, and a wonderful way to use those favourite fabric scraps that are too cute to end up into the “scrap bag”. I’m also really loving the unique vibe they each have, which is why I love giving them as little gifts. No two look alike, though they may share similar DNA. Or weave. Whatever.

I’ve been so busy playing making the cushions o’ pins, that my Love Bear progress, well, isn’t. Progressing I mean. I’m down to the wire with my last one (ie: it’s hardly started) so if you’re not quite done, you’re in good company. But hey, Valentine’s Day is Saturday, and it’s only Wednesday, so there’s still tons of time left to get stitching, right? If you’ve been stitching along with us and would like to have your little Love Bear included in the W.I.P. Stitch-Along round-up on the 14th, just drop me a line with a link to your blog, your blog name and a photo! Voila!

I’m super excited about next week’s W.I.P. post because it’s a fun tutorial that I can’t wait to share with you! I just need to be patient and hold tight until these three P.I.F. winners receive their goody bags. Don’t want to spill the beans or anything. (Katie and Trina, once you’ve chosen your P.I.F. winners I’ll send you some goodies, too!). And I’ll be having yet another P.I.F. drawing soon because I am a lucky ducky and won yet another P.I.F. drawing! Betcha can’t wait?!?

The Wipster List is growing! If you’d like to play along, just leave me a comment here and snag yourself a beautiful logo à la VeganLovlie. Also, don’t forget about our W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Group - show us your gorgeous masterpieces! You know you want to! Don’t be shy, this is fun for everyone!