Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Woven apples

Autumn is apple time! One of my favourite ways to eat an apple is to slice it up and dip each slice into natural peanut butter. Yum! What a great combo! Since I was thinking about apples, I decided to make an apple craft with the kids at my teeny tiny library last Saturday. We had lots of fun!

Begin with a sheet of red, yellow or green card stock and draw a large apple shape on it. Cut it out and fold it in half.

Make cuts in the apple from the folded edge to the open edge, but stop about an inch (2-3 cm) from the open edge. You can make the cuts straight, zigzagged or wavy.

Unfold the apple. Cut 6 to 10 narrow and wide strips of other colours of card stock. Begin weaving a strip over and under the cuts you've made in the apple. Push the strip as far to one side as you can, then start weaving in another strip, but this time weave it in the opposite way of the first one.

Continue weaving in strips until no more fit. Glue down the ends of the strips on both sides of the apple. Trim off the extra bits. Cut out a couple of leaves and a stem and glue them in place.

Try another colour too!

If you like, you can cover your woven apple with self-adhesive vinyl and use it for a placemat. Lots of fun!

All the best,

Judy Ann

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Old Faithful

For just over 30 years now, we've had the same almond-coloured Kenmore refrigerator. We bought it from my not-quite-yet brother-in-law in the summer of 1981 when we were setting up our home just before our October wedding. It's been an amazing fridge, never needed repairs, and has quietly and efficiently served our family of five all these years. When we bought it, we needed the door to open on the right side, but over 25 years ago when we moved to our current home, we needed the door to swing open the opposite way. So all these years the fridge has opened to the doorway instead of the kitchen counter! The fridge has been plastered with our kids' art, school photos, funny notes, hockey and soccer schedules, pictures of new babies, wedding invitations, grocery lists, newspaper clippings and every kind of magnet you can imagine. It has preserved the ingredients for countless meals, kept juice and milk cold and ice cream and Popsicles frozen, cooled off leftovers, held school lunches, birthday cakes, and so much more. That's why I'm feeling a tiny bit sentimental today as I wait for a new refrigerator to arrive. Old faithful broke down on the weekend and we have to replace it. The new one is a bit deeper, shiny, will use about one quarter of the electricity of the old one, and it's bright white. You can no longer buy an almond-coloured fridge! Oh, well. I'm sure it will take our family a while to remember to reach for the door handle on the left side, but we'll get used to it. We may even bond with our new fridge. I highly doubt, though, that it will last for 30 years!

All the best,

Judy Ann

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A nice review

My brand new picture book, Reaching , has been reviewed by Kirkus. My favourite line from the review is:
"Ultimately a book that many new parents will reach for as they revel in their love of baby."
I'm very pleased that the reviewer says lovely things about Susan Mitchell's gorgeous art. The whole review is here . It's not a perfect review, but it's nice. I hope I've accomplished my goal of writing a book that shows the ideal growing conditions for a baby. Here's a spread from Reaching:
Enjoy your day,

Judy Ann

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I love baking with buttermilk. It just seems so wholesome! I've had a carton of buttermilk (and rotten bananas) in the fridge, and recipes that use buttermilk on the counter, for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday was finally cool enough to have the oven on for a few hours of baking time. I started with three loaves of banana bread packed with crisp walnuts:

Next was Irish soda bread, so aromatic and yummy. As you can see, I didn't wait long to have a slice, with lots of butter, of course!

I made Raspberry Buttermilk Cake last so that it would still be warm for dessert. Jeff and I ate half the cake in one sitting!

It looks like today is too hot and humid for baking so I'm glad I made time for it yesterday. It's a muggy start to a new month.

Happy September,

Judy Ann