Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coconut Macaroons recipe

These yummy and simple to make coconut macaroons were baked by Andrei Utkin. An inspiration came from David Lebovitz recipes book "Ready for Dessert".

You will need:
8 egg whites
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
5 cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan we mix together egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut, flour and vanilla. We cook the mixture gently over a medium-low heat until the bottom just begins to sizzle. Let the mixture cool a bit.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. With your fingers form 1 and 1/2 inch pyramids out of the mixture and place them on the baking sheets.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the macaroons are evenly deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let macaroons cool on the baking sheets.
The recipe makes about 60 macaroons.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tutorial How to make hand crocheted necklace with buttons

I've recently came across a large bag of multicolored buttons in a crafts store and just could not stop myself from buying one. The buttons are of different sizes, shapes and hues of blue and green. They are great for a hand crocheted summer necklace.
To make a necklace we will need a mercerized cotton thread, a toggle clasp, a crochet hook and about 30 buttons of different sizes and colors. To make crocheting simple and to safe us some time we will start with beading all out buttons on a thread first. Once all our buttons are ganging there nicely we can start crocheting.

I'll crochet a simple foundation chain adding buttons with 1 or 1 and 1/2 inch. intervals. In case you would like to make your necklace longer you can add some more buttons or make a space between them larger. I like to mix and match hues of green and blue so that the necklace looks unique and stylish.
TonyaUtkina shop
I plan on crocheting 34 inch. necklace so that I could wear it either on my neck or my arm. Some people wear crocheted necklaces on their waist instead of a belt or on their ancle.
The necklace crocheting shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. When the thread is ready we will attach toggle clasp to it and our summer bright necklace is ready to wear. It's a perfect summer accessory and will make you look beautiful and special!
happy necklaces

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Water lily felted flower brooch in purple violet

Flowers come in different shapes and colors. The diversity of nature always inspires me. This time I've decided to make a felted flower brooch that will look like a water lily.

First of all I hand felted a large number of purple colored wool pieces in shapes of flower petals. I tried to make my petals long and somewhat narrow. At first I planned on making two-colored flower brooch and hand felted pieces of white wool as well. Later I changed my mind and created a purple colored brooch adding a few white shiny beads instead.
hand felted accesories
After my wool petals dried up I started arranging them into different patterns to find the one I liked the most. It's easy to do it while they are not yet attached and turned into an actual brooch. It's always fun to lay out different designs with different pieces of felted wool.
hand felted brooches
After a while I figured out what exactly I wanted to do with my wool. I attached all my numerous purple colored felted wool pieces to a hand crocheted base. To accent the color I added tiny white beads that look like small flower stamen.
The brooch is ready to wear now!
hand felted necklaces

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer wedding decorations white acorn wind chime

This year summer is all about weddings! It's not only about Mr. and Mrs. Wales' one but about all those wonderful couples that are having a moment of their life this summer. Interestingly the color scheme is not always white. This summer purple, lilac, green, pink, turquoise and aqua colors are en vogue. Even yellow and orange somehow fit into the perfect wedding color palette.

The selection of decoration ideas and wedding gifts offered by numerous on-line shops is outstanding. I thought I would share with you one decoration idea that came to my mind and that I created using felted acorns, wire and cotton thread.
felted accessories
Wind charms and mobiles look great as garden decoration. Why not to use them as a wedding ornament? White acorns with real acorn tops are attached to a round base. They quietly swing and wave in the wind adding style and elegance to wedding arrangements.
crocheted and felted accessories
The acorns could be of any color. Bright blue acorns would accent white of the bride's dress. Lemon yellows would play well with bright green of the surrounding landscape. Not too overriding acorn wind chimes will add flair to any summer wedding.
wedding decor

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Russian Artists Team Fathers Day Contest

The Fathers day is less than 2 weeks away and we are all looking for great gift ideas for our own fathers and our husbands. Russian Artists Team just had a Fathers Day Contest when all of the team shops were welcome to nominate their gift idea for the holiday. So many great items took part in the contest and all of them without an exception will make a great Fathers Day gift. All of the nominations are available for viewing at Russian Artists Team Facebook page.

Although all of the hand crafted and unique items taking part in the contest are special, I picked three to feature on my blog. Each of the three items is very different and they will make a great gift!

1. Forest cuff links by HoneyCase2 Forest cuff links

2. Morning Original by marina826

3. Adorable birch bark helmet VIKING by fromSiberia
birch helmet

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blue and chocolate felted flower brooch

I continue experimenting with hand dyeing. It's such a fun process and I just love the colors that turn out at the end. To create my chocolate blue flower felted brooch I first hand felted flower petals in white and dark brown. I had all three types of wool available at home.
citycrochet accessories
To add color to my brooch I hand dyed each felted petal with blue drink mix which contains food coloring. As the result my petals have spots of bright blue to contrast their dark brown color and they smell like raspberry. My pieces of hand felted wool look so different now. Bright blue color makes them vivid and summer-like.
felted necklaces
After assembling all my hand dyed pieces into a flower and attaching petals to a hand crocheted jute base I've got an exotic flower brooch in blue, dark brown and white. It will go well with any neutral or white outfit and will add color to a business casual dress.
felted brooches

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer suncatcher by FleetingStillness

I've recently received an amazing gift from a very talented stained glass artist FleetingStillness who lives and works in Maryland.

It's always nice to receive gifts from fellow artists who are members of vast and diverse hand made community. When such gifts turn out to be beautiful hand made pieces of art it's twice as nice!
stained glass suncatchers
I always had a soft spot for pieces made of glass. I praise glass for its transparency, variety of colors and opportunities for creativity. The suncatcher I've got is made of bright yellow and blue glass and a copper foil. It was created in a "Tiffany" style meaning no lead was used to attach pieces of glass.
glass objects
The suncatcher is a perfect summer gift. The sun shines through brightly colored glass lighting up everything around and making me happy! Yellow and blue colors are of the warm sea, sand beaches and vacations! This piece of art will always remind me of the summer. From now on I'll have a small part of an ocean beach in my room.
glass candle holders

Alla, thank you for such a great gift!