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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A Summary with References of Blogs 351-400

A number of people have mentioned that they find it difficult to find specific blogs among the growing list of published blogs. This gave me the idea of publishing a summary of previously published blogs, with links and photo references. This way you only need to save a handful of blogs which can easily be accessed to navigate to the blogs you are looking for. This is the eighth of these Index Blogs.
Follow these links to the Index Blogs:
Blogs 1-50
Blogs 51-100
Blogs 101-150
Blogs 151-200
Blogs 201-250
Blogs 251-300
Blogs 301-350
Blogs 351-400

Blog 351 - School Holiday Project 14: Clothing Collage
"The kids were becoming a little bored during the school holidays and I thought it would be a great time to introduce them to the fun of collage work. I did this in a number of sittings with different kids in the group, approaching them individually according to their abilities and interests. Let me talk you through it and then maybe you could do the same thing with your kids."


Blog 352 - Baking a Sourdough Bread from a Discarded Starter
"In a previous blog I shared in detail my successes and failures in growing a sourdough starter. Not wanting to discard any of the mixture, I kept saving it, until it had grown into a phenomenal amount of mixture. I decided to attempts baking a loaf of sourdough bread with this and, thinking that you might be as interested as I am in the results, decided to to record the process photographically. This blog reflects that record, with explanations of the process added."


Blog 353 - Bathroom Kist Makeover
"My mom has had this chest in the bathroom for ages. It is very handy for storing extra toilet rolls and other bathroom knickknacks in. Aside from its obvious uses, all of the grandchildren also used it as a handy stepladder to reach the basin as they grew. The result is that it has become quite worn and tatty. In a casual conversation, I told my mom that I wanted to do a blog on giving your furniture a makeover and she immediately suggested the kist. And so it came that I did a makeover on my mom's bathroom kist."


Blog 354 - Turning a Shoebox into a Mock Suitcase
"In today's blog we are going to have a whole lot of fun with an old shoebox when we turn it into a mock suitcase. A little bit of paint, some embossing, etc. and we have the perfect 'box' to present a special gift for a special person. Or perhaps you want to keep your stash of keepsaked in it? Whatever purpose you have for it, this old shoebox will be sure to enchant by the time we are done with it."



Blog 355 - A Summary with References of Blogs 301-350
"A number of people have mentioned that they find it difficult to find specific blogs among the growing list of published blogs. This gave me the idea of publishing a summary of previously published blogs, with links and photo references. This way you only need to save a handful of blogs which can easily be accessed to navigate to the blogs you are looking for. This is the seventh of these Index Blogs."


Blog 356 - Homemade Pizza, made with Sourdough
"Who does not love Pizza? I know that it is a great favourite with everyone in my family. I have been wanting to try my hand at making homemade pizza dough for a while and somehow never got around to it. Today was going to be the day when I finally did. I searched through a number of recipes, but could not find any that used sourdough. In that case there was only one thing to do; make my own adjusted recipe from what I've read. I will give you alternative steps for using yeast as I walk you through the steps, allowing your the option of selecting what works best for you."


Blog 357 - Making an Art Cart Box
"Time has come for me to rearrange and reorganize my art and craft materials. Particularly the pens, markers and so on. These are scattered in different bags and bottles throughout the studio, making it a bit of a schlep to work with a combination of them. This too often results in me grabbing whichever is closest rather than the best for the job. With this in mind, I realized that by repurposing some discarded boxes and toilet roll inners, I could make myself the perfect organizer at almost no cost at all. If my coloring pencils weren't already perfectly arranged, I would be tempted to put those in this organizer as well."


Blog 358 - Baking Rye Bread with a Sourdough Starter
"I suppose you either love Rye Bread, or you loathe it. I love it! I have to admit that I find a 100% Rye Bread simply too chewy and heavy for my taste and therefore prefer to mix the rye with some other grains. Perusing a number of recipes for Rye Bread has led me to conclude that this must be true for most people as most recipes have the rye mixed with other flours. I bake my own mixture in today's blog, using the sourdough starter discards that I have blogged about before. I'll give tips for alternative raising agents throughout the blog, if you do not have a sourdough starter ready."


Blog 359 - Making a Jewellery Tube
"An empty Pringles tube was floating around the house during the school holidays. I kept putting off throwing it in the rubbish as I kept thinking what a nice strong container it was. I also loved its shape. But I could not think of anything to do with it. Then someone shared a picture on Pinterest and it sparked this idea for jewellery tube to keep all those lovely things of yours in. My niece, who is 4, believes I should keep sweets in it. Not a bad idea either, especially if you are looking for a nice way to present something sweet to a loved one on Valentine's Day."


Blog 360 - Baking Sweet White Rusks with a Sourdough Starter (alternative options given)
"It is not news to regular readers of the blog that I am nurturing a sourdough starter. The problem is that we are in the middle of a heatwave that has temperatures sky rocketing to record highs. This is not the ideal climate to bake in. The result is that my starter has now grown to phenomenal proportions and I took advantage of the first break in the weather to bake. In today's blog I will show you how I adapted an ages old recipe for Sweet White Rusks so I could use my sourdough starter. However, since I know that everybody does not have a starter ready, I will also share the use of alternative raising agents in the blog."


Blog 361 - Mixed Media Impasto Work
"Do you love thick layers of paint with loads of texture and body? Normally this is associated with oil colours, but I will show you how to turn your acrylic paintings into thick impasto works of art as well. I make a quick art journaling page in today's blog to illustrate the technique, but the same thing can be done on canvas as well."


Blog 362 - Baking Mosbolletjies with a Sourdough Starter
"I still had lots of sourdough starter left after the extreme heatwave we experienced drove me out of the kitchen. As a result, I baked up a storm as soon as the weather broke and high on my list of priorities was baking Mosbolletjies using my sourdough starter. I adapt an old recipe to use my starter, but share the use of alternative raising agents in the blog as well."


Blog 363 - Giving an Old Shelf a New Life with Chalk Paint
"I inherited this old corner shelf from my grandmother when she gave up her house. It has been traveling with me and has taken quite a beating. It was badly in need of sanding down and a fresh coat of varnish. And then it occurred to me that it could look quite fabulous if I treated it to a few layers of chalk paint. That is exactly what I did and I share the steps with you in today's blog."


Blog 364 - Using a Sourdough Starter to Bake White Bread
"I am still having great fun with the sourdough starter I shared with you in one of the previous blogs. I decided it was high time I found out how it would fare if I baked a normal white loaf with it. And that is how it came to be that I baked white bread at home, instead of buying at the nearest shop. I hope I'm not giving it all away when I say that the test warranted the effort, leaving me very satisfied with the results."


Blog 365 - Making Your Own Decorative Sticky Tapes; Washi, Fabric, Ribbon, etc.
"I love the many different versions of pretty decorative tapes that are available on the market these days. Yet, they are so easy to make yourself, that it hardly seems worth the money spent on buying them. In today's blog I share a couple of ideas with you for making your own tape. Basically, I want to share a concept with you rather than an actual project, because the options are certainly as endless as your own creativity."


Blog 366 - Baking Italian Panettone with your Sourdough Starter
"It certainly isn't news to anyone that I have fallen in love with the delicious flavours added to my baked products since I started using my own home-grown sourdough starter as a raising agent. The problem is that the starter is alive and growing. This keeps me on my toes and I need to keep on baking if I don't want the starter to take over my life. I decided it was time for something a little foreign for today's baking experiment. I would try my hand at baking an Italian Panettone. This could easily be my favorite of all the attempts to date. Let me know what you think."


Blog 367 - School Holiday Project 15: Making an Embossed B-day Card for Mom
"My niece and nephew got out of the pool today and very casually informed me that they were now coming over to do some art. Well then ... this aunt has never been one to shy away from an art challenge. It was game on! I racked my brain walking home with them and decided it would be a great idea to have them make a birthday card for their mom, who had a birthday coming up the following week. Grabbing a quick cup of coffee before going to the studio, I retrieved the peel-back lid from a fresh tin of coffee and immediately knew that introducing them to joy of embossing was just the thing to focus on."


Blog 368 - Giving a File a Make-Over ... with PAINT!
"After my granny died, I scanned her recipe book onto digital format and distributed copies of this among all of the children and grandchildren. My mom wanted hers printed out and I did so. But then she stuck it in this awfully ugly old file. I did not understand this and offered her one of my brand new ones in its place. She declined, stating firmly that the old file was far better than any of the new stuff on the market. A couple of years have passed and I have come to see that she was right, as usual. However, there was a lot I could do to make the file prettier and in today's blog I finally grabbed that file and gave it a long overdue makeover using chalk paint and decoupage."


Blog 369 - Mixing Peppermint Fondant
"Someone shared a recipe for a deliciously looking peppermint fondant on Facebook not to  long ago. The recipe caught my attention and I opened the link to read some more. When I saw that it did not require any cooking and could be mixed with stuff I already had in the house, I knew I was going to make it. I am happy to share my findings with you in today's blog."


Blog 370 - Giving a Makeover to a Tablet PC Cover
"Those of us who have Tablet PC's know that they travel everywhere with us and that they have virtually infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Mine certainly has! And so has my mom's. The grandchildren also basically has free reign on hers and the result is that her cover has become quite tatty and worn. She was all set on replacing it with a new one when I gave her recipe file a makeover. She decided there and then that I needed to do something similar to the iPad cover. Who am I to shy away from a challenge? I accepted and share the my experiment with you."


Blog 371 - Saving a Discarded Cutting Board
"I am uncertain about the origins of the discarded cutting board I found floating around the garden, but the plot is big and there are lots of people passing through. All I know is that one day I went outside and found this old cutting board on the burn pile. I did not hesitate, but salvaged it then and there. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew it had great potential. Today I finally got around to turning someone else's discarded junk into my own treasure."


Blog 372 - Making Delicious Welsh Rarebit
"I had already left school when I was introduced to Welsh Rarebit the first time. I was hooked. This was something I simply had to know more about. Eventually I developed my own version of a flavourful Welsh Rarebit and this is what I share with you today. It must be one of the quickest meals to produce when you've no time on your hands."


Blog 373 - Making a Mixed Media Cross
"I had a very special person's birthday coming up and wanted to make something special for her. As she is a deeply religious person, I knew that giving her a pretty cross to decorate her walls would be welcomed. I show you how to make this pretty little distressed mixed media cross in today's blog."


Blog 374 - Embossed Birthday Card
"It is my sister-in-laws birthday and I wanted to create a card for her that was filled with flowers, sunshine and joy. It should leave no doubt in her mind that she is special to all of us. I do a little bit of embossing on the card before filling it with even more flowers. Quick and easy, but sending the message I wanted to send."


Blog 375 - Baking Focaccia with a Sourdough Starter (alternatives given)
"We are mostly familiar with Focaccia being a pizza without the toppings in South Africa. Really it is a very delicious yeast bread that is served flat, like pizza, flavoured with toppings of your choice, but recognizably without the melted cheese indulgence. In today's blog I show you how to use your sourdough starter to bake this Italian delicacy as a perfect side dish. I give tips for using alternative raising agents as well, if you do not have a sourdough starter ready."


Blog 376 - School Holiday Project 16: Making a Garden Collage
"Today's project is truly a brilliant one for developing skills with the kids. In this collage they will be painting, cutting, pasting, drawing, coloring and embossing. I always like to make an example before getting the kids in to do a project. I photographed my own steps to show you what to do, as I foresaw that things would get a little hectic once the little ones arrived. But I did manage to snap a couple of photos of their creative process as well. When comparing my collage with theirs, it will become obvious that I have allowed them a lot of freedom when it comes to colour choices, layout, drawing and coloring. In the end, they did what was required, but managed to add their own initiative as well. That is how art should be taught to children."


Blog 377 - Baking a Hungarian Split Farmhouse Loaf
"I am having so much fun trying out a variety of bread recipes from around the world. What makes it even more fun is that I can bring you on the journey with me by means of these blogs. Just a pity it isn't possible to cut yourself a slice! Today we visit Hungary to bake one of this country's signature loaves, the Split Farmhouse loaf. If you research this recipe, you will find that it has the same basic ingredients across the board. However, since I am not a fan of White Bread, I swapped out some of the ingredients to give it my own South African(?) twist. Don't worry, I'll give you the original recipe as well, if you want to stick to it. As always, I will be using the sourdough starter blogged about earlier, while giving tips for using alternative raising agents as well."


Blog 378 - Making a Valentine's Card
"Love is in the air and it is time to show the special people in our lives how much we appreciate them. We will help Cupid along a little by creating the perfect Valentine's Card to give to an adored woman. The colour scheme for Valentine's should really be red, but if you opt for shades of pink, you will still hit the mark. This is exactly what I did for today's blog."



Blog 379 - Baking American Monkey Bread with a Sourdough Starter (alternatives given)
"When I came across this recipe in one of my recipe books, I immediately knew I would have to try it. What can be better than a slightly sweet bread filled with nuts and raisins? It simply looked and sounded too delicious not to bake it at least once. But, having a growing sourdough starter in the house, it was a no-brainer that I would have to adapt the recipe to use this. I'll share the alternative options for other raising agents with you as always."


Blog 380 - Step by Step: Drawing Portraits in Charcoal
"I have loved working in charcoal ever since I was a young child. This was something my mom and I did not see eye to eye on, and with her being my primary 'art teacher', this posed a problem. Years later, the love affair still persists and I will even lie awake at night wishing I could get up and draw something in charcoal. In today's blog, I show you step by step how to draw portraits in charcoal. I use two different approaches so you can see for yourself that there is always more than one way to enter a drawing."


Blog 381 - Drawing the Head and Facial Features - The Basics
"In today's blog I will be sharing some tips and tricks for drawing the head and facial features with you in a few quick and simple steps. In my humble opinion Jack Hamm has been brilliant in breaking down these features into easily manageable components and steps. I will therefore lean heavily upon what I myself have learned from him. This blog is very basic and by no means as exhaustive as the topic itself, but it will provide a solid foundation for those of you who are interested in learning to draw portraits."


Blog 382 - Telling a story in Charcoal
"For today's blog I use the simple and inexpensive medium of charcoal to draw a lone figure. I then show you how adding a few lines and shading to the background can build a whole story around the character, forcing the viewer to become involved in the picture."


Blog 383 - School Holiday Project 17: Making a Super Silly Sailboat
"It was a hot Summer's Day and the kids were getting restless. I figured it would be great to take them swimming, but wanted to wait a little for the worst of the heat to break. What better way to occupy them than to have them make sailboats to take out on the water later. This project is super easy, requires only a little bit of time and can be done with re-purposed packaging. Bonus!"


Blog 384 - Making Slow-Cooked Green Curry Chicken
"I am a huge curry fan and love spicy food. Yet, I always need to bear in mind that I am cooking for a South African palette that is not fond of foods that are too hot. Today I share a recipe for making a mild Green Curry Chicken that is slow cooked in the oven. Simply delicious!"


Blog 385 - Decoupage a 'Frozen' Serviette
"My niece arrived home from preschool the other day with a Frozen serviette that she had saved from a party box that was handed out by a birthday girl in her class. She had carefully folded it and put it away in her bag, until she could hand it to me. She handed it over and very solemnly declared that I had to make something pretty for her room with it. Who could possibly deny such a request? I made her this decoupaged wall hanging to put against the wall. This means that today's blog gives step by step guides for decoupaging with serviette/tissue paper. I also show you how to paint a couple of decorative flowers and borders in a few quick strokes."


Blog 386 - Unpacking a Parcel from Dala
"I recently received a parcel from Dala and had no idea what was going to be inside it. This meant that unpacking it was very exciting. My nine year old niece was with me when I unpacked the box and I don't know which one of us had the most fun. I decided to share the joy of this with you, so you would know what you had to look forward to in blogs to come, all the time introducing the items and giving short explanations of their uses, making this a fact-filled blog. What better day to share the unpacking of a gift box than on my birthday? The blog was not accidentally scheduled for today! What I love about Dala is that they are a local company and that means that their prices are very good. But don't for one instant think that it means you will be getting a mediocre product. On the contrary, I am convinced they compete very well with any of the established foreign brands."


Blog 387 - Create a Steampunk Triptych Part 1
"I have been wanting to create something in the steampunk theme for a very long time and today I finally get to do just that when I create this set of three mixed media paintings. As always in this blog, I show you step by step how to go about making your own, using photos to illustrate the explanations. This first installment of the process has us doing all the prep work, which is quite substantial and requires a lot of time."


Blog 388 - Create a Steampunk Triptych Part 2
"This blog is a follow-up of the previous blog where we started preparations for creating a set of three mixed media steampunk paintings. In the first blog we did most of the preparations, preparing our surfaces, etc. In this blog the magic happens when we start putting everything together."


Blog 389 - Create a Steampunk Triptych Part 3
"In this third installment of the series we continue using the techniques we learned in part 2 to create two more paintings for our triptych. We also use the embellishments we've prepared in the first part of the series. In the end we have some fun ladies that are larger than life, dwarfing their surroundings apologetically and unashamedly, living life to the full. In other words, a set of paintings that makes a social statement about womanhood!"


Blog 390 - Making an Embossed Card in Primary Colors
"I love the impact that you get from using the three primary colors together. Today's card sees us doing exactly that when we make a card in these three strong colors. The colors make such a bold statement, that I underplay the embellishments, allowing the colors to do most of the talking."


Blog 391 - School Holiday Project 19: Making Masked Cats
"Today's project is a real fun one where the kids get to paint, trace, cut and stick things. I especially love the tracing aspect of this project as it helps them to develop their fine motor skills for when they need to be able to hold a pen when they need to write. I also give some tips for adapting the project when doing it with older children."


Blog 392 - Baking Jewish Challah with Rye Flour and a Sourdough Starter
"Jewish Challah is a plaited yeast bread that is eaten with festivals. I adapt this popular dish to include a little Rye flour and to use my sourdough starter. As always, I will also give directions for using other raising agents."


Blog 393 - Paint and Decoupage Empty Jars
"I love taking things out of its original packaging and putting it in pretty containers. This is true for my studio, the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. For this reason, I wash empty jars that have an interesting shape. I love the coffee jars that have a square shape to them as they pack away so neatly. I had two more empties today and decided to paint and decoupage them."


Blog 394 - Making Nachos in a Jiffy
"We all love Nachos, but since it is such a rich dish we have it very rarely. Yet, it is a brilliant dish to prepare if you have very little time on your hands. Only, be warned, do not expect any leftovers to make it to the next day!"


Blog 395 - Scrapbooking 14: Using Circles in Your Layout
"It is high time we did another scrapbooking project as this has been neglected of late. In today's blog I use circles to dominate my layout and I show you how to have some fun with this versatile shape by hanging the circles like baubles from a coat hanger."


Blog 396 - Baking a Moroccan Holiday Bread Using a Sourdough Starter (alternatives given)
"This bread is incredibly tasty due to the use of various seeds both in the dough and sprinkled on top. It is a little heavier in texture than many another bread. This is as a result of the use of polenta in the dough. However, since the polenta makes up such a small percentage of the flours added, the bread can certainly not be called too heavy. Truly a brilliantly beautiful bread to eat."


Blog 397 - Giving Two Mirrors a Chalk Paint Makeover
"The two mirrors that are given makeovers in today's blog, is by no means strange to the concept. Years ago they have been subjected to the same kind of treatment. But nothing lasts forever and styles and fashions change. It was high time for another change. This time round, we will use chalk paint for the job. The technique is largely the same for both mirrors (with slight differences in the finishing touches), but the styles are completely different."



Blog 398 - Lilac Flowers Friendship Card
"Sometimes in life you do not have a special occasion to give a card. All you have is a deep sense of appreciation that someone is in your life. In today's blog we make such a card that can be given to that friend who has stood by you when you needed them most. A friendship card that says 'you are appreciated.'"


Blog 399 - Making Washi Tape Coasters
"I have had these coasters lying around the house for ages. I started with them once, but never got around to finishing them. Then my eye caught those lovely Washi tape rolls of mine and inspirations hit me like a wave. Why not decorate them with the tape? This may be one of the simplest craft projects you'll ever do, but the results are absolutely stunning. I also show you how to seal the coasters when finished to make them more practical for wipe-downs and spills."


Blog 400 - Scrapbooking 15: Allowing the Date to Dictate the Layout
"For today's blog I had a brand new baby and the 1st of January. Which do you show off in your album? The newborn will always be more important, but when you allow the newborn to direct the attention to the date, you can allow the date to dictate the layout. This is exactly what I did in today's blog."


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