Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Finishing up the camping trip posts

Today I’m working on the rest of the camping trip posts. I’ll spread those out over next week, so please come back to learn about camping at Smith Mountain Lake and the Breaks Interstate Park. I’ll also have some pics from Harvest Time at Booker T. Washington National Park.

While you wait, if you’re interested, go check out other posts I’ve written about Richmond. We went there for a brief visit this week, which makes our third or fourth visit. I don’t remember how many times we’ve visited now. I’m beginning to lose count!

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angry chicken: new items in the shop!

angry chicken: new items in the shop!.

Amy Karol over at Angry Chicken has two new organic oils in her shop — treatment oil for eyes and cuticle oil. I’ve been following Amy’s blog for a number of years now and love her posts about sewing, homemade bath and beauty products, baking and homeschooling her kids. I love learning about all the things she creates and discovers in her Oregon-area home.

Interested in following her blog or buying her products? Click on the link above to check ’em out!


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Cake mix (from scratch)

Many of the cook books I have unfortunately include cake recipes that call for a cake mix. I don’t really like mixes because they always seem to get a funky taste after a couple days. They also don’t stay as fresh as from-scratch cakes.

Last night, as I was flipping through some recipes, I came across a chocolate cherry cake that I really wanted to try, but it called for a Swiss chocolate cake mix.

I was not going to give up! So I googled for “homemade cake mix.” I found a couple of good sites, including yellow and white cake mix over at Chickens in the Road.

For chocolate cake mix I found and tried Shirley’s recipe posted on her blog, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity. Here’s the results:


I made a chocolate butter cream frosting that has coffee in it. I think it’ll be a great complement to the chocolate-cherry cake.

Happy early birthday to me! (Just 12 days early.)

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Free patterns

Kathleen over at Grosgrain will feature “Free Pattern Month” in May in celebration of several changes around her blog.

I’ve very excited to see the changes Kathleen talks about here and am excited about free patterns! Who wouldn’t be?

So, to check out this month-long feature, click the button above and enjoy all through May.

And congrats to Kathleen on her changes! I wish her luck and best wishes!


Recovering pillows

Kathleen over at Grosgrain posted a great how-to under her How-To Tuesdays series: How to recover pillows!

Okay, maybe you’re not as thrilled as me, but this is a great way to save some dough and/or mix up the look of your throw pillows in your living room. It’s especially helpful if you’re pillows are worn looking and need a pick-me up.

I know I’ve got a few pillows that need some more life and color. But that’ll probably have to wait until after the holidays. I’ve got too much Christmas sewing to do and so little time to do it. 😛


Upcoming book release

Kathleen over at grosgrain just announced that she’s writing a book based on her “Frock by Friday” series!

That is so exciting!

I’ve never actually participated in this sew-a-long series, but I read the instructions every single day and I love it when Kathleen posts pics of her favorite frocks sewn by people following long. (She calls this feature “Flikr Favs.”)

Kathleen is very talented and creative. I love seeing what she comes up with. Her How-To videos are also very informative for people of all skill levels.

Oh, and her “Thrift Store Thursday” posts! I love those too. She takes finds from local thrift stores and alters them to fit or uses them to create something new.

Readers, stop what you’re doing and go visit grosgrain and check out all those wonderful frocks!

Congrats, Kathleen! Can’t wait to see your book on store shelves!