Thursday, November 11, 2021

Dinosaur cake!

The littles in our family have recently become quite enchanted with dinosaurs. So, when one of them decided they needed a dinosaur cake for their birthday, I wasn't sure what to do. 

I love baking cakes, but I'm not particularly good at making shaped cakes. 

Here's how I solved the problem.

I baked a three-layer chocolate buttermilk cake with rich, buttery, chocolate icing.

And bought a fierce-looking dinosaur for on top. Ta-da! 
A dinosaur cake to eat and a toy to keep!

Have a sweet day,

Judy Ann

Monday, October 25, 2021

Paper pumpkins

Here's a fun paper-pumpkin craft that I've done at the library and with my grandkids.

Fold a sheet of card stock or construction paper in half, 

then fold each half to the centre.

Draw a pumpkin shape on a piece of cardboard or heavy paper. 

Trace it onto the folded paper so that the pumpkin 

goes off the paper on both sides. 

Cut out the pumpkin shape...

...and unfold your pumpkin string.

Draw on faces or decorate as you wish.

Hang up or stand up your pumpkin strings wherever you like!


Judy Ann

Monday, October 18, 2021

Pumpkin Time!

 In late Spring we had rhubarb time... the heart of summer we had blueberry time...

...and now it is pumpkin time!

The plants were started by our son and grandsons at their place, 
then planted at our place.

It wasn't long before the pumpkins took over our backyard!

We loved their bright orange colour.

It was soon time to harvest the pumpkin crop, load them up...

...and take a fun photo!

Happy pumpkin time!

Judy Ann

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Doll Quilt

 A certain sweet granddaughter turned 3 last weekend! 

She needed a new baby doll so I decided to make 

a little quilt to go with the new doll. 

I used scraps I had leftover from a baby quilt I made a few years ago.

I loved doodling with thread all over the quilt.
 I stitched in names, words, hearts and loads of love.

You can see that the blanket is quite small when you see the boxed doll on it!

A sweet gift for a sweet granddaughter. 

(We just need to hang in a little longer

 before we can see our grandkids in real life.)


Judy Ann

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


At the end of February I took an on-line stencilling course (via Zoom) with the lovely, talented Dutch artist, Pauline Greuell. (It was so neat to be in class with a teacher in The Netherlands and other students from Scotland, NYC and Costa Rica!) Pauline's work is beautiful and she is very generous with knowledge and encouragement. During the workshop, I cut a very simple leaf stencil out of mylar and used it to print these leaves. I used the same stencil and the same paint, but Pauline showed us how to apply the paint and use the brush in different ways to create all these variations:

Then we used what we learned to make a random pattern:

It was a really great way to spend an afternoon!

A couple of weeks later I made a two-part stencil to create a flower with a small centre:

The other day I finally got around to making something out of my stencilled fabric:

I'm hoping to continue to learn about and explore more stencilling!

Enjoy your day,

Judy Ann

Monday, April 5, 2021

More Printmaking

 I've been dabbling in printmaking ever since I wrote my first craft book for kids, Prints. Recently I bought this beautiful new book by Elise Young called, Block Print For Beginners. She carves gorgeous images and shares clear instructions, as well as tips and tricks, for helping us become printmakers, too. Inspired by Elise, I'm taking time to experiment.

I carved this image in soft rubber:

I used a stamp pad to ink the image, then pressed it on paper to print it. 

I used a new pencil eraser pressed onto a yellow stamp pad

 to add the flower centres:

I got brave and used block printing ink to get a bolder, more permanent image:

I thought it might look nice to use orangey-red paint for the centres:

Then I tried printing on dark paper. It's quite a different look, not quite as appealing.

I hope to keep on playing!

I hope you have playtime, too.

Judy Ann

Monday, March 29, 2021

Dutch Appeltaart!

    Ever since I picked up the March/April 2020 edition of Bake from Scratch magazine,  I've been wanting to try their Appeltaart recipe. I've never tried making one before—I haven't even tasted one! As usual, the instructions were very well written. I ran out of time while preparing the appeltaart, so rather than serve it for Saturday evening dessert, we had a slice on Sunday afternoon. And evening!  

I was afraid that when I removed the sides of the springform pan 
the appeltaart would collapse. Happily, it did not!

I should have added a dollop of whipped cream on the plate because, well,
 everything tastes better with whipped cream!

                                                                It was a lovely treat!

                                                                  Have a sweet day,

                                                                       Judy Ann


Monday, March 8, 2021

A Chat with Deanne Fitzpatrick!

    A few months ago, I had the great pleasure and privilege of being interviewed by one of the most creative, inspiring, generous, curious, accomplished, and beautiful women I have ever met, Deanne Fitzpatrick. Her mantra, Create Beauty Everyday, is perfect for reminding me, and anyone else who strives to live a creative life, to get busy. The beauty we create can be as simple as a loaf of bread, an embroidered flower, a photo, a line in a story, a quilt block or, in Deanne's world, gorgeous hooked rugs. Check out her rug hooking website where you can see Deanne's amazing original rugs, her wonderful books, get instructions on rug hooking, and that's where you'll find the podcast of her interview with me! We talked about writing books, one of my favourite topics. Of course, I slipped mention of my grandkids in there, too, as often as possible! If you happen to listen to it, you'll hear me say that I don't yet know who is illustrating my next book. Since then, we have our terrific artist, √Člodie Duhameau. She is doing a fantastic job of illustrating Waiting, which will be out about one year from now. Can't wait!

Have you created any beauty today? I baked cookies and buns, certainly not perfectly beautiful, but still delicious!

                                                                          Enjoy your day,

                                                                                Judy Ann