Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Beautiful Branches

Today was a wonderful day... we didn't get to teasing wool but that's fine, we can do it tomorrow. When the children woke up from their naps, we made Southern Spiced Pecans (recipe follows). Then while the pecans were in the oven, I did the Little Bo Peep puppetry (which went super-well) and then we packed up our still-warm pecans and headed back to Jefferson Patterson Park for a picnic snack. After snack we went to the ballfield and the children ran around while I talked to a local art teacher who was there walking his dog, and who asked me if I would like to teach a felting class at Annmarie Garden!

I took a series of pictures of Bo Peep being made, as well as the final mobile, and will post them if I can figure out how to get them off my husband's camera. She is a smallish figure, dressed in yellow (sanguine) with a light blue bonnet. There are five sheep which I made simply of rolled bundles of wool batting, lightly needled. Complete materials list: two pipe cleaners, natural-colored wool batting, dyed wool batting for clothing (yellow and light blue), dyed wool roving for hair (light brown), one felting needle, one large kitchen sponge, a sewing needle, scissors, white thread, a beautiful branch. Total time: 1 1/2 hours for Little Bo-Peep, 30 minutes to make five sheep. Where do you find beautiful branches? Check the florist. I used a decorative branch which came in some flower arrangement I got a while ago. I loved the shape of the branch so I kept it. It's nice to know that some of the things which lie around on my office floor get used! Judging by the internet research I did, I think it is a Manzanita branch -- check out some of your decorative branch options at Nettleton Hollow. I laid my green embroidered silk scarf down over the top of a dresser and hung the mobile above.

By the way, I found out why I missed the Sheep and Wool Festival. It's because I was at the wrong place (duh). It's at the Howard County Fairgrounds, not the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Remember that for next year....

Here's the pecan recipe. The kids loved 'em.

Southern Spiced Pecans

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add the cumin and cayenne; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in the pecans, sugar and salt until well coated. Spread in a single layer in a greased 15 x 10 baking pan.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 3 cups

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