Monday, November 25, 2013

My Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Hi, all!  My local friends and family can all attest that they love my pumpkin bread!  It's the first thing they ask for for family events and holidays and everyone always asks for the recipe.  I thought I'd share it with you so you can try it!

It tastes different according to how you cook it.  For instance, if you use large loaf pans (2), it takes a long time (over an hour) to cook, the outer crust may blacken a tad bit on top but the inside is so moist and yummy.  It seems to me as if the spices are more pronounced when you make large loaves.  If you make muffins with the recipe, the cooking time is less (common sense) and if you take them out just when a toothpick comes out clean they are very nice and moist.  I've made cakes in large pans (9x13) and used cream cheese icing with great results, too.  Recently I've taken to using mini loaf pans.  I love them!  So cute and they're a great size to grab and run (which Mom does... she sneakily grabs one and runs).  :)

My pumpkin bread is 100% milk and nut free (my daughter is allergic).  If you'd like to stir in 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans it would taste really great.  You could also try some chopped, dried cranberries.  Oooh!  You know what would be cool?!?  Shelled pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas).  :)

So here it is, all typed up!  (I even painted the pumpkins.) Be aware that I don't time my recipes... I cook by smell.  If it smells good I check it.  It's always worked for me!  :)

http://www.vcartisanoriginals.com/free-tutorial-downloads.html
Click the photo for a downloadable and printable .pdf version (scroll to the bottom of the linked page).

Enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!  If you have any great pumpkin recipes that are dairy and nut free, let me know!  ~Val

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Catching up!

Hey, y'all!  Wow, it's been a while since my last post!  My apologies- things get hectic for me this time of year.  Hmm, so what's new?  This is gonna be a long post, guys- get comfy!

Well, teaching is going fantastic!  I've been having such a blast with my ladies and making new friends!  I'm getting new students in my classes now and we just have a ball.  Fun, fun!  Our Thursday class this week had coffee and doughnuts.  Woo!  8 ladies all hopped up on sugar and coffee!  :)  It was great and we laughed a lot.

Tutorials!  I think I've posted 2 new tuts since my last blog entry:  Cirque and Pathways.

 Cirque Tutorial by VCArtisanOriginals

I'm linking to my ArtFire shop because I've discovered that most of my Etsy sales are "in house", meaning they come from Etsy browsers.  With that in mind, I may as well advertise my ArtFire shop!  :)  

Cirque is my version of herringbone stitch using Super Duos and seed beads.  It's a technique tutorial and includes a page of exclusive graph paper that I designed just for this tutorial.  

I finally managed to get my tutorial posted for Pathways!  This one was long-awaited and I'm happy with its reception!

 Pathways tutorial by VCArtisanOriginals

Pathways also looks fabu with Rullas in place of the bricks!  My friend Michel showed me her version using the Rullas and I like it very much!

Here is a sneak peek at my next tutorial:  Janet!  I created a netted necklace using Super Duos (of course... you know me!) as a gift for one of my wonderful ladies, Janet's birthday.  I have the tutorial illustrated and I just need to assemble and word it.  Life is hectic lately so I'll get to it as soon as I can.  

coming soon:  Janet by VCArtisanOriginals

Let's see... what else?  Oh!  I revamped my shops!  I changed all my cover photos:  I creatively cropped some, rotated others, switched out colorways on still more and splashed the "tutorial" ribbon on all of them!  It's been a big hit and I personally think my shops are pretty now.  :)  It was worth my day that I spent editing them all!  Here's a "before" and "after" of my Etsy shop:


Before:  lots of white space and smaller photos.

After:  larger photos, uniform lines and better cropping.

I also have:  3 bracelet designs, a necklace or two and some Christmas ornaments in the works.  Stay tuned!

So, what are you up to?  Any new projects?