Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Regrown Anise (fennel) update

Regrown Anise and celery, May 17

Regrown Anise, celery, and green onions, May 19

Regrown Anise, and celery, May 19
It amazes me how quickly the regrown Anise is growing; much quicker than the regrown celery, which was started several weeks to a month earlier.  2 Anise plants are growing (or regrowing) from the tiny portion of cut end stalk of the original Anise...one much taller than the other. The shorter one was a lot thicker than the tall one until now; the tall one is putting up another shoot (stalk?).  The celery is healthy, but growing a lot more slowly than the Anise. I don't know if celery does grow more slowly than Anise, or if regrown plants prefer water to being potted with earth.  I'll be potting the anise soon, so it will be interesting to see if the growth slows down.

The green onions had about half of their greens cut (and eaten) before I put them in water.  They've more than doubled in size.  They really seem to enjoy that spot on the windowsill.  My cactus plants aren't doing nearly as well.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Regrowing Anise bulb...or is it Fennel?

I bought a veggie that was labeled Anise at the supermarket.  I've always known it as Anise, but I found out it may be a fennel bulb.  It tastes like licorice, and I love snacking on it fresh, whatever it is, lol.
Last month I started regrowing celery from a cut stalk.  I noticed my Anise had a similar stalk, so I cut it and put it in water to see if it would regrow, too.  It's hard to see in this photo, but after only 1 day, the Anise started to regrow.  You can see the tiny green spot on the otherwise flat white stalk end on the upper right hand side of the anise bulb stalk.
Regrowing Anise/fennel  from cut stalk end. 1 day's growth.
Another shot of 1 day's growth.

Regrowing Anise/fennel, after 3 days.
Regrown Anise/fennel, after  about 5 days.
Regrown Anise/fennel, after 6 days.

The Anise/fennel is growing a lot faster than the regrown celery did.  It's hard to see in these photos, but it's already starting to look like two little Anise plants.  It's absolutely amazing to me that it could regrow, and do so this quickly.  I'm going to wait a few more days, then put it in a pot with earth.  I'll provide updates.  If you try this at home, please let me know how yours does.  It's  a lot of fun, and if these ever get big enough to eat, it can help cut down on bills.

A reader asked me for recipes with fresh anise, but I didn't know of any.  I always snack on the bulb fresh...it tastes like crunchy green licorice, at a fraction of the calories.  I know spirit of Anise is used in cookies, especially Italian cookies like Genetti and Tie plates.  

I googled for fresh anise recipes, discovered the  plant my grocery store calls Anise is actually fennel, lol, and found this recipe for Carmelized Fennel. http://putneyfarm.com/2012/04/05/caramelized-fennel-the-best-fennel-youll-ever-eat/

I still have some Anise/fennel left from this cut end, so I'll give it a try and let you know how I like it.

That's it for now; take care, and have a great day!

Regrown Celery, update 1

My regrown celery is doing so well.  For those of you who are new, I started regrowing celery from a cut stalk last month, and blogged about it here: http://craftkat.blogspot.com/2013/05/regrowing-celery.html

Here are a few photos showing it's progression.  It started out as a flat white end piece with absolutely no green, and no raised parts.  It was half frozen and I didn't think it would work, but it surprised me.
Regrown celery from cut end, regrowing!

Regrown celery from cut end, growing big enough to need transplanting
Transplanted regrown celery...looking like celery now.
Regrown celery regrowing nicely.
As you can see, the celery is doing great.  That last photo was taken today.  I should have written down the dates of the photos, but so far, it's been about a month since I started.  The new celery stalks are getting thicker, and there are more of them.  The leafy tops are a nice, healthy green.  It seems to enjoy being potted, and it seems to enjoy  that sunny spot on the window sill.  I'm very pleased with how it's doing.  It was a fun experiment, and it will be interesting to see how big it will get.  I wonder if it will get big enough to eat again?  If so, it will be like getting a free stalk of celery, lol.  That could cut down on groceries, sort of like a buy one get one free deal!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reborn Portrait Doll, choosing the right sculpt

I was asked several times over the past few weeks if I'd done a reborn portrait doll.  I have, but unfortunately I only have photos of the reborn doll...I gave the photos of the actual baby back, so i have no way to prove i can do it.

I am thinking of doing a reborn portrait baby of myself.  It would be a doll I can keep, I'd always have the baby pictures.

I blew up some old photos of myself and cropped the face so i could try to find a sculpt that resemble my baby self.

First birthday, cutting cake with Auntie Erna

Me sitting in my rocker (I still love rockers, lol)

Mom and I (first birthday)

It's hard to find an exact sculpt, but i think these ones are close:   One is Lilly, by Denise Pratt, and the other is Rowan, by Jessica Schenk.  It's going to be hard to choose.  I think Lilly is a closer match though.
Rowan kit, Jessica Schenk, reborn by Melissa's Carriage
Lilly kit sculpted by Denise Pratt,

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Regrowing celery

I saw some photos on pinterest showing celery that was regrowing from a cut stalk, and decided to try it.
Here's mine a few days after putting the cut stalk in water:
Regrowing celery, after a few days

It was already coming up so nicely; I was completely amazed.  I didn't think it would work at all because the celery was half frozen and the stalk was white.  The center started turning green almost immediately after putting it in water.

Regrowing celery, after a few days

Now here's the same celery, two weeks later.  Incredible, isn't it?  It has lush bushy leaves now.

Celery regrowth after 2 weeks (I think)

Here's another shot; please excuse my dirty windows.   They're dirty between the glass, where I can't get at it. The celery is going to have to be transplanted soon because the stalk part is starting to rot from being immersed in water.

Celery regrowth after 2 weeks.
I am really enjoying watching my celery regrow. My Dad didn't believe it would regrow, until he saw mine.  Now he wants to try it too, lol.

I bought some other plants to try this with...you can sort of see the green onions off to the side.  they haven't been cut yet; I figured I'd leave them in water so they'd stay fresh, and cut the green as I need it.  I don't know if it will work, but I'll let you know.

I also bought some Anise, which has a stalk like celery.  After I eat it (it' so yummy; tastes like licorice!) I'll stick it in water to see if it will regrow, too.

I've heard lettuce will regrow, as well as onions and bok choy.  A friend of mine tried the lettuce and hers didn't work...she said it just rotted so she tossed it.

Walk in the woods with my dogs

Yesterday I took the dogs out to the Hiawatha trails.  There's still snow and ice in the woods, but it's melting fast, thank goodness.  The dogs were thrilled to get out there again (we went on the weekend but I forgot my camera).  I even managed to get close enough to a squirrel to get photos...no mean feat with two dogs, one a big, barky one, lol.
The trail was so beautiful and peaceful.  I could live out there.  I always feel happier when I'm in the woods, or around lakes and rivers.  I feel like I can finally breath easily (even when my asthma is bad, lol).  There's just such a wonderful sense of serenity there.
I got some nice photos, but half way through must have gotten some snow on the lens because half the photos seem cloudy on one side.