Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How To Make Baby Crackers

We recently had a birthday tea party with a little friend who turned one. We made most of her gifts, including a take out container filled with homemade crackers. It was my first attempt at crackers, although I have been wanting to make them for years. I am not quite sure why I waited so long. They were a snap. They are pretty bland for my taste but great for wee ones.

Rice Oat Crackers
From Simply Natural Baby Food by Cathe Olson

- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup brown rice flour or whole wheat flour
- pinch kelp
- 1/4 cup canola or safflower oil
- 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking sheet. Grind oats to a coarse powder in food processor or blender. Mix oats with flour and kelp. Stir in oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water and knead lightly until combined.

Roll or press dough to 1/8" thickness on prepared baking sheet. Score into squares and prick with fork. Bake 15 - 20 minutes, until edges are slightly brown. The longer you bake the crispier they will be. Cool before removing from pan. They harden slightly as they cool.

Makes 3 dozen.

In addition to tea we were treated to cupcakes, rainbow chip cupcakes, in fact!

And Baby G was enjoying the blueberries :)

We also gave G a pair of baby leggings I made from a knit scarf. You can make your own from my tutorial here.

The leggings look adorable on G, and look how fast she moves in them, hehe. Or maybe she was grooving to the one gift we didn't make, a Jazz Lullaby CD.

Happy birthday, Baby G! Thanks for the fun tea party!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Recycled Glass Inukshuk

The world became acquainted with the inukshuk during the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans to mark a place such as a trail head, hunting ground, or a food cache. The word inukshuk means "something which acts for or performs the function of a person." Many people confuse inukshuk, which can be just one stone, with inunnguaq, which is several stones places to look like a human figure. It seems that inukshuk is now used interchangeably for either type of marker.

My friend Tawna recently came to Banff, and brought me a gift from her native Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I asked for something small I could add to my extensive collection of art and handmade goods. Tawna not only brought me something from Yellowknife but something HER MOM made! Rita Brown takes broken glass from the Yellowknife "dump" and recycles and upcycles it into beautiful inukshuks of varying sizes. If you are interested in knowing more please leave me a comment and I can contact you with Rita's email address.

On a side note, we are planning a trip to visit Tawna this summer. I can't wait! We have never been to the Northwest Territories and Yellowknife is the capital. It is always a treat to be shown around a place by natives, and Tawna is known for letting people know about her city wherever she goes. She hands out information from the tourism board on a regular basis. They really should put her on commission... I will be sure to share our trip here so stay tuned.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Featured Guest on This Week's Voice From the Valley on Banff Park Radio

Image by Tiffany Teske

This little cutie above is my friend's daughter, Fleur. Isn't she sweet? She was listening to tunes on her headphones. I couldn't help but think of using this as an illustration to share that I will be featured on the Banff Park Radio program, Voices From the Valley (thanks, Michelle!). Host Camara Miller interviewed me about my photography and other creative endeavors. I believe the program starts airing on Sunday, March 28th at 7 PM. It will also air on Monday, March 29th at 1 PM and Wednesday, March 31st at 9 AM. After that it will be podcast. To listen live or to access the podcast got to Park Radio and follow the links.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Upcoming Banff Community Courses

I am teaching three kids courses through the Town of Banff Community Courses during April and May...

Kid's Digital Photography (Ages 10+)

Grab your camera and get ready to have photography fun! This course will cover the basics of photography, and allow you and your camera to develop creative projects using the photos you take. We will be working with lots of natural light and trying new approaches to making your ordinary pictures extraordinary!


Banff High School

Mon - Fri, April 5 – 9

1 – 3 pm

Kid's Good Earth Art (Ages 5 – 9)
Join Tiffany for an afternoon of fun crafting with your friends. Take part in learning a series of projects and crafts that will be created by using recycled materials. Parents are welcome to join their children for the afternoon if they wish.


Middle Springs Cabin

Fri, April 16, 30, May 14, 28

1 – 3 pm

Kids in the Kitchen (Age 9+)

Hey kids! Learn how to become mini chefs in the kitchen and have fun preparing snacks and meals that you’ll love to eat! Kids will also learn kitchen safety and proper food handling techniques.


Banff High School

Sat, May 29

10:30am – 2:30 pm

To see the full course guide and for info on how to register click here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Spring!

Yippee! Spring is here! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE winter, but ours has been so mild this year that I am ready for spring. Just the other day I was thinking about how the kiddos and I are lingering longer outside. In the winter I am a good mom for taking the time for memory making in our home but I tend to rush through our outdoor activities in an effort to get where we are going. My husband is the winter "outdoor" guy. Once spring rolls around I start to slow down and yearn for the outdoors. I am inspired to be playful as I watch Quin and follow her lead.

It is so important to balance on a parking curb, to jump in a puddle, to jump off a step, to smile and to stop for a treat (ok, so I do those two things all year round).

If you need some inspiration on embracing spring with your kids, please read a very good friend's post about 10 Ways to Welcome Spring.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making an Old Sweater New Again

I love hand knit sweaters, especially for kiddos. The bright colors, fun motifs, and love that go into the creation of them make me happy. The only issue I sometimes have are with the buttons; I never seem to like the ones the knitter chose and they often seem to be smaller than then the button holes so they pop open all the time. One UFO (Un-Finished Object) that has been in my sewing pile for a LONG time is this adorable sweater. Quin is now the perfect size for it but it was unwearable with the present buttons.

I started thinking about what kind of buttons I wanted a couple of weeks ago, then while in line at the local fabric store, Sugar Pine, I found them.

These yellow hearts are super cute and the orange embroidery floss makes them sing. Sweater - $6 + Buttons $3.25 = $9.25. I challenge you to take an item of clothing that you don't like and to change things about it that might make you love it. I tend to like anything I have personalized better then something I haven't. Now I have one more project down, and a delighted daughter to boot.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tutorial - Camera Strap Cover - Revamp an Old Camera Strap Using Thrifted Upholstery Samples and Embroidery

You may or may not know that I hold two University degrees in photography (one as the major and the other as a minor to studio art). I am an artist, crafter, writer, and all around creative, but I usually say I am a photographer first when I am asked what I "do". Six months after I had my first child we moved across the country for my husband's job and I pretty much gave up my commercial photography business. I specialized in shooting black and white film images at the homes of my clients. I shot enough sessions that I would burn out motors and shutters so I would buy "new" used bodies for back ups. Last month, I started going through all of my analog camera equipment. I have 7 SLR bodies, from good working order to parts cameras, that I needed to test. I have gotten through 5 of them, with some of the results here. I love and miss shooting film and now that I know which cameras to keep, I will probably be doing more of it...

This brings me to the project. In the course of going through all my gear, I decided it was time to make my camera straps pretty. My recent sewing class has inspired me to find new sewing projects and a wide, boring, black neoprene camera strap volunteered to undergo a make over. This project can be adapted to your vision. The sky is really the limit on fabric and embellishments. You can even hand sew this project entirely if you don't have a sewing machine. If you don't have a camera strap you can find many boring and suitable candidates at the thrift store. I will walk you through a few simple steps and then off you go...

How-to Cover a Boring Camera Strap to Make it Pretty...

What you need...

- Wide camera strap
- Fabric, I used upholstery samples
- Sewing Machine and thread (or needle & thread to hand sew)
- Items for embellishment like buttons & embroidery thread

1) Using your camera strap to measure against, decide where to cut your fabric. My piece had some grommets I cut off. Here you can see I pinned the fabric up against the edge of the strap. You will need to make a tube around your strap that fits snugly. I think I only had about 1/2" of fabric beyond my strap on each side (so cut fabric 1" wider than strap).

2) If the ends of your fabric are not finished, finish them now. My sample had finished ends which I just turned under when I put my cover on. It was too short, however, to be used as one piece, so I did sew two pieces if it together. I didn't bother to line up the pattern because I knew I would embellish one end... I sewed the buttons where my obvious seam from joining the two pieces is.

3) You can embellish the top front side of your fabric (the part you will be able to see) now or at the end. I actually did all of my embellishing at the end, when my cover was already on, using a curved tapestry needle. I would suggest doing the embellishing before if you want to remove the strap (since I may have sewn through parts of the strap). I just embellished one end. I did it on the end because I knew that part would show while wearing my camera. If your hair is short you could embellish the whole strap, since it won't be hidden under your hair. I cut a flower and paisley from my fabric and appliqued them on, using embroidery thread.

4) Put wrong sides of fabric together, pin, and sew, using a straight stitch, reinforcing each end by front and back stitching. I used a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn your tube right side out.

5) Slide your cover onto your strap. If you already embellished, you are now done, If not, go ahead and do it now.

Voila! Now go, shoot something, and wear your camera with pride...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Female Photographers of Etsy Release Their First Book, "She's a Rainbow"

Photo Mosaic by Amy Longberry

I have a shop on the popular handmade site, Etsy. I started selling on Etsy in 2007 and I am a member of several teams there. Teams do many things together like have group sales, hold member chats, write group blogs, and promote team members. Teams are usually formed around a theme or shared interest. One of my teams is Female Photographers of Etsy or fPOE, formed by fellow photographer, Elle Moss. The team was formed in 2009 and has over 200 members. As an admin on fPOE I have been working with team members Myan, Meganzii, Ligeia, Lililly,Shannonblue, Ena and the Swan, and Elle Moss, on our first group book, She's a Rainbow. We started the process back at the end of October. The book features four photographs from each of 58 talented members who chose to participate. The cover was designed by Myan, the cover photo is by ravencolours, and the intro was written by Futurowoman. The book is available through Blurb and can be viewed and purchased here. It has been wonderful to work on this colorful project with so many incredible female photographers.

Here are my images from the book:

Stairway to Heaven (Iceland) by Tiffany Teske

Kamibayashi by Tiffany Teske (Polaroid Transfer)

Carrotss by Tiffany Teske (Polaroid Transfer)

Deflowered by Tiffany Teske (Polaroid Transfer)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tutorial - How To Make Baby and Child Leg Warmers, and Adult or Child Arm Warmers With Thrifted Scarves

Warning: Lots of cute photos of kiddos to come... all images by Tiffany Teske

Baby Leggings

Child Arm Warmers

Baby Leggings & Child Arm Warmers

Adult Arm Warmers

Child Leg Warmers

I have had the idea to make these for several months now. I have been taking a sewing class, one of several I have taken over the years, and my favorite part about it is that I am given THREE UNINTERRUPTED HOURS to work on whatever I want. That is about how long it took me to make two pairs of baby leggings, for my babe and for a gift, and a pair of leg warmers for my daughter, who is almost 4 years old.

Front of Child Leg Warmers

I love to work with thrifted materials. Some are given to me and others I seek out at the thrift store, yard sales, and rummage sales. There are so many possible places to find fabrics that I rarely buy new fabric. I always keep an eye out for materials that I can use in the future, especially vintage prints. This allows me to amass a stash so that when I have time to work on something I just go "shopping" in my studio and I usually find what I am looking for. I also stockpile materials for when I teach recycled art and craft classes to adults and children.

Back of Child Leg Warmers + Cute Baby

The two scarves I used for these projects came from Victory Thrift Store. They normally sell scarves for $2 each but they often have a buy one, get one for 99% off sale. It cost me $2.03 for these scarves. They are very different from one another. Since I had never made these I didn't really know what to expect when sewing the scarves. I looked for stretchy scarves but all scarves are different. I spent a long time touching, stretching, and anticipating. The important factor is that they stretch out and then back into shape. They need to stretch enough to go onto the baby or child's leg and then to stay there. As mentioned in the title, if they are long enough these can also be used a adult arm warmers with no modifications.

How To Make Baby Legs, Child Leg Warmers, and Adult Arm Warmers With a Thrifted Scarf

This is a simple project for even a beginner. The only trick is selecting the right scarf. Read through all of the instructions for tips on this and rest assured this is an easy project that will leave you feeling accomplished in the end.

What you will need:
- a stretchy scarf
- a sewing machine (or Serger if you have one, I don't)
- coordinating thread
- needle for stretch fabrics
- pins
Optional items for embellishment such as vintage buttons, embroidery thread, ribbon...

One of my two scarves before I started cutting...

Now with the ends cut off and cut in half.

Zigzag stitch at the bottom and top of one legging. I didn't fold this edge over and stitch since this material wouldn't hold like that. I just stitched around near the top.

Step One
Decide on the length you want the leggings to be and then decide how to cut your scarf. It will completely depend on your scarf and your needs. You will need about a 1/4" seam allowance on each end. For my fuzzy rainbow leggings I was able to get two pair from the one scarf, meaning I cut four pieces from the full length and I used the full width. For my argyle ones I cut the scarf in half for one pair and I guesstimated on how tight I wanted them. I did end up cutting a bit of the width off, so I used 3/4 of the width. Where and how you cut will depend on the fabric. For the stretchy fuzzy scarf I needed to sew a line, using zigzag stitch at each end of a piece BEFORE I did any cutting because the knit fabric unraveled once cut. This is all I did at the top and bottom to finish those edges. For the argyle fabric I could cut without any fraying.

Try stretching the ends of the scarf to see if they are finished, they probably are if the scarf is knit. The way they are finished may make them too tight when folded in half, around the upper leg, so it is best to cut the ends of the scarf off in this case and re-sew a zigzagged line across the bottom and top of your two pieces, stretching a bit as you sew. If you have a serger, use it. I had my instructor serge the second pair of rainbow leggings so I could see if there was a difference in quality. I think hers are more durable but my sewing machine and zigzag stitch did fine. The only thing I can say about sewing such a "hairy" fabric is to keep a seem ripper handy for when you get stuck. You will never notice where you have used it in the end. I had smooth sailing with the argyle pair.

Piece with finished ends folded in half and ready to stitch up the side.

Step Two
Now that you have your pieces, you are ready to fold them in half, right sides together, and to zigzag stitch up the side. My knit scarf didn't have a right and wrong side.


Step Three
Turn your fabric tube right side out. I am finished with the rainbow pair at this point. I need to stitch the top and bottom edges of the argyle pair. I folded the fabric, which stayed without pinning, in about a half inch, and zigzag stitched around, near the edge. They are now complete and can be worn as arm warmers or leggings (see photos below).

Finished top edge.

The same arm warmers as above, now on my daughter...


Some Possible Materials

You can embellish these leggings/warmers whatever way you chose. The sky is the limit. I decided to use vintage buttons, embroidery thread, ribbon.

Threading the ribbon from the "wrong" side out...

Because the rainbow leggings have such a loose knit I was able to thread the ribbon through them easily. I started in the middle of the front of each one (turning them so the seem would be inside the leg) and threaded from the inside to the outside, so there would be enough ribbon on the inside so that I could sew the button to it from the outside.

The "right" side of the legging with the ribbon coming out from the inside.


Next I sewed the button onto the "hidden" part of the ribbon, using embroidery thread. In my mind, this is the front of the legging but of course could be the back...


I continued to thread the ribbon in and out of the legging until I got to the middle part of the back. I then brought the two sides of the ribbon out the same hole and tied it in a bow. Voila!

If you have any questions or comments about this project please leave them here. I would love to know if I have inspired you to try this and to see your leggings on your blog. I will now leave you with a few more images of the leggings in action...