Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jamming with Mom

Mom and I spent yesterday making strawberry jam.

We filled every small jar in her cellar and even had to fill two huge jars because we ran out of little ones! (My brother-in-law, Greg, will get one of the enormous jars: he's a great fan of Mom's homemade strawberry jam.) It was wonderful working together mashing, measuring, mixing, stirring, boiling and bottling pan after pan of jam. We even got Dad in on the action, squashing strawberries. Mom has made jam so many times that it is second nature for her. I haven't made any for years, so it was great to have those skills renewed. I've decided as soon as local raspberries are available, I'll be making more jam. Right now, though, I need another slice of toast with jam.

Enjoy your day,

Judy Ann

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Great Canadian Corking Contest!

On Thursday July 7, 2011 from 1030 until noon, I will be at The Little Red Mitten  in St Thomas to give a workshop on corking. Just for fun, we're dubbing the workshop The Great Canadian Corking Contest . During this first session, I'll show kids how to cork (also called spool knitting or French knitting) and they'll receive a corker, yarn and my book. We'll get together again on August 18 to see what the kids have created. We'll have fun prizes, too, for the longest, most interesting, most colourful, best creation and so on. Lots of fun! Corking is a great craft. The book I wrote on it a few years ago has been a popular bestseller. Here's a fun starter corking project:

I had better get busy making a whole new batch of fun and inspiring projects!

Happy corking,

Judy Ann

Out of touch!

It has been a strange and quiet few days around here. Our phone line was knocked out last Wednesday, so we had no phone or internet service until Sunday afternoon. And with no postal service either, we were feeling a little out of touch! All is repaired and it sounds like we'll have mail again tomorrow, so we're almost back to normal. Phew!

Enjoy your day,

Judy Ann

Monday, June 20, 2011

Another wonderful day!

Father's Day was absolutely wonderful. I'm so lucky to have many amazing men in my life: My own dad, my dad-in-law, my hubby, son, son-in-law, brothers, brothers-in-law, and so many uncles, nephews, cousins and more! Goodness! My sister, Linda, hosted 25 of us for brunch and my sister-in-law, Deb, hosted 44 for supper. Great food, good conversations, perfect weather. What a lucky day!

My best,

Judy Ann

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An afternoon of baking

Jeff's students will have their graduation ceremony tomorrow so I spent this afternoon baking for the after-grad party. I made about 70 Caramel-cup cookies that my sister, Pauline, showed me how to make last fall. See the two cookies without the caramel cups? I have no idea what happened to those chocolates, really. It has nothing to do with me.

Here's a top-down view of the caramel cookies, crispy oatmeal and sesame seed squares, and basic chocolate-chip cookies. It takes forever for the caramel cookies to cool off enough to pack away into containers. The gooey caramel stays warm for a very long time, m-m-m. 

Here's the recipe for the squares:
Oats and Seeds Bars

• Preheat oven to 375 F
• Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan

¾ cup butter
1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups Robin Hood or Old Mill oats
½ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup flaxseeds (I leave them out­—I’m not a big fan of flaxseeds even though I know they are good for you! Instead I use a little more rolled oats and sesame seeds.)
¾ tsp baking powder

1.     Melt butter in a large pan. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 2 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in oats, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and baking powder. Mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture firmly into prepared pan.
2.     Bake for 7 – 12 minutes or until just golden. (Keep an eye on the squares. To me, it almost looks like they are breathing as they rise and fall in the pan.) Cool completely, then cut or break into pieces.


Judy Ann

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I love picnics! There's something perfect about packing containers of buns, cheese, crackers, cherries, grapes, carrots, chips, cookies and brownies and eating them outside on a nice day. A picnic table is optional — I prefer to stretch out on a picnic blanket, or better yet, a picnic quilt! Here's one I made a couple of years ago:
I used heavy cottons and denim, and didn't put in any batting. I recently bought new fabric to make another one:

Hopefully I'll get to it soon! But first, I think we'll go for a picnic!

All the best,

Judy Ann

Monday, June 6, 2011


Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved corking. I guess that's why I wrote a book on it! Corking is an unusual name for a really fun craft. This form of knitting has other names, too, such as spool knitting or French knitting. I recently bought a lovely old-fashioned corker:

Through the years, I've made pot holders, small rugs, chair pads, bendable animals, hair bands, puppets, scarves and many more items out of my corking. I'm tickled to have another use for it: I've stitched a loopy length onto the top of a wee baby cap that I just finished knitting. What fun!

This summer I'll be doing a couple of corking workshops at the Little Red Mitten yarn shop. Details to follow!

All the best,

Judy Ann

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Little Wallet

I had great fun yesterday making this cute little wallet for my friend, Lisa, who just celebrated a special birthday.
It's from a pattern by Valori Wells Designs from Stitchin' Post Publications .  I used less than half of a fat quarter to make one of the pockets and the main part of the wallet. I made the other two pockets from a couple of matching fabric scraps that I had in my stash. A snap closure finished it off nicely.
I think I'll make a few more of these, when I have time!

Enjoy your day,

Judy Ann