Almost done stuff!

Standard

It seems my whole life is one big project that is in the process of getting completed! We have our undone house, I have a couple of undone quilts, undone reports for work. You know, the usual. I’m kind of glad that I keep this blog, though, because it does journal that occassionally I DO finish something.

Today, though, I’m going to spotlight a few of my undone projects.

January 30, 2013 004

Orange Cleaner

This is all over Pinterest right now, and since I love using vinegar for my cleaning solution, I thought I’d give this a go. I just stuffed orange rinds in a mason jar and filled with vinegar. I love the antique lid. I found a bunch of those at a garage sale!!

Most of the posts I’ve read say to let it sit for a couple of weeks. It’s so bright and cheery on my counter these gloomy winter days!

I’ve had the orange rinds soaking for a couple of days now, and had to take a sniff today. There is still a fairly strong vinegar odor or fragrance…however you would describe it, but I can already smell the orange. Lovely.

Extracting the orange this way would certainly be a lot cheaper than buying orange essential oil. Some of the bloggers I’ve read use any citrus rind.

I am adding lemons, limes and grapefruit to my shopping list.

Baby BlanketJanuary 30, 2013 019

I found this incredibly soft yarn at Hancocks Fabrics last week when I was there for buttons. Didn’t really find the buttons I liked, but I DID find this beautiful yarn from Bernat. It’s called ‘Pipsqueak’, and I’ve got to admit that while I was holding this yarn, I felt compelled to stroke it and sing “Soft Kitty”.                                                  

January 30, 2013 017

This is one of those yarns that makes it incredibly hard to see your stitches, so I decided to do just a simple double crochet stitch throughout the blanket. The soft purples, lavenders and greens are varigated, so I really don’t need any fancy schmancy stitches to make this wonderful.

January 30, 2013 009

I’m just on the third row so far,  and am really happy with how it is turning out. It is so soft! I will post a tutorial later. I just thought I’d give you a look see!

January 30, 2013 021

Placemats

I found this placemat during one of my Goodwill shopping days. It was too nice to pass up, although I doubt I would ever use this as a placemat. I WOULD like to make this in to a purse, though. I haven’t figured it out completely, but the idea is swirling around in my head. I probably won’t get to that until I get the floor laid in my craft room, but that will be a few days yet, so I’m not holding my breath.

 

January 30, 2013 022

Aquarium

My husband gave me a 55 gallon aquarium for Christmas. Right now I have a little 10 gallon one that I enjoy in my living room; this little guy is one of my favorites. He just

 gets so excited when it’s time to eat! His aquarium mates are beautiful glofish, but I couldn’t get a non blurry picture of them!

I am researching and learning more than I ever knew about fish and how to take care of them. Once we get our family room done (it’s almost there!) I will build the stand for the big ole thing and then we’ll get started on our aquarium journey. I’ve heard it’s addicting. I’m hoping by the end of February I will be ready to buy fish!

 Take a minute to let me know what you’re up to. Leave a comment in down below and put a link to YOUR favorite project! I love seeing what other people are doing that is creative!! I get so inspired!

Advertisements

Gift Bag — Easy Peasy!!

Standard

wpid-2013-01-23_12-54-42_989.jpgI needed a pretty gift bag this morning for a little gift I wanted to give my friend this morning, but I didn’t have one in my stash. What I DID have were a couple of pieces of 81/2 x 11 inch felt and a really cool button!! Well…I have a LOT of cool buttons, thanks to my daughter and to the many garage sales I go to.

I folded the felt in half, matching the short sides and then sewed 1/2 inch seams on each side. I trimmed about 1/2 inch off the top of the red felt bag. I suppose you could probably do that before you sew the edges, but why make anything easy? 🙂

Then I made a gusset on each side, like you do when making bags. I made mine pretty squatty.

I put the brown felt bag inside the red felt bag and turned down the top edge. I added the cute button, and – WHALLAH a bag is born. Just perfect for my little gift. All done in about 10 minutes. SCORE!!

My friend will love it, I’m sure of it.

Do you have a little craft that you’d like to share? Send a link in the comment!! We would love to see what you’re up to!

I linked up to the following link parties! Check them out!!

SONY DSC

A Flexible Day

Standard

One of the drawbacks of my job is that I must often work long, late hours. Like everyone, our budgets are tight where I work and overtime is not allowed. So, unless we want to donate hours and hours and hours of time, we need to flex our time during our pay periods. This is one of the parts of my job that I love. Taking some time off during the week seems to go a lot farther in reducing stress for me than having a weekend!

Today is one of those lovely days. I’m sitting here in my pajamas and it’s almost 10 in the morning! :::sigh::: While I don’t really have a to do list, there are a couple of things I’d like to do today: I already made ciabatta bread for supper tonight, and I want to finish the vests I started for my son. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful day??

Yes. I think so too.

wpid-2013-01-17_12-58-29_962.jpg

You’ve probably seen this recipe all over Pinterest. I know I found it some time ago, but I do love this bread as a side for homemade

Basically, you just put 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon yeast, 2 cups of water and 4 cups of flour and mix. Put it in a covered bowl for 8 to 12 hours. Then put on a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven. soup. I found the recipe first on http://www.lifehackers.com. They have all kinds of wonderful great ideas!

Can’t get much easier than that! Some people have been putting this recipe in a cast iron dutch oven, and I can’t find mine. Who loses a cast iron dutch oven. Good grief. But I DID find a stainless steel roasting pot in the very back of my cabinet, so I’m going to try that.

I’ll let you know how that turns out.

After getting that set aside, I realized that to really make the bread special, I needed a soup to go with it. Here’s what I came up with for today:

wpid-2013-01-17_12-58-00_669.jpgI browned a pound of ground beef seasoned with garlic powder, cayenne powder, chili powder, hot paprika, onion a little salt and some pepper. I like stuff hot, so I go a little overboard on the cayenne, chili and paprika! I drained the hamburger, then put the meat in the crock pot and to that I added 1/4 cup spelt, 1/4 cup split peas, 1/4 cup barley and 1/2 cup of brown rice. Then I added hot water and a can of tomatoes with green chilis. I chopped up a bunch of carrots and then added frozen green beans, corn and peas mix. I took a little out for lunch. It’s yummy.

Back to the time off during the week. Please be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. Find some time that you can just relax and enjoy your thoughts. Pretty please?

 

Reduce, Re-Use Recycle (yarn scraps, old jewelry and buttons

Standard

I love Pinterest! Who doesn’t? Well, probably people who don’t like Pinterest are people who actually have clean houses and organized lives. The rest of us love Pinterest. Last weekend, I stumbled on a cute little project to make a Cozy Cup Warmer. You can download complete instructions there. I thought she did a good job explaining how to do her project. I used her pattern, but added just a little bit longer strap to go above the coffee cup handle. Here’s my first attempt:

I liked this project because it used up the last scrap of yarn I had lying in my bucket and I like how the strap goes across the cozy a bit. It looks kind of cool on the cup. It really does keep the coffee in my mug warmer longer, which is always nice, and it’s a fun way to use up scraps of yarn.

What I love about crafting is that you just don’t have to be stuck with the exact same thing as the pattern says. It really doesn’t hurt to ask, “What if I did…” Sometimes things don’t work out, but when they do, it’s TONS of fun!

For example, I LOVE going to garage sales and finding treasures like old jewelry and buttons. Last summer, I found a bunch of ‘old lady’ jewelry including those beaded earrings on clips? You know what I’m talking about, right? Using them on projects like this one is just plain fun. I got  kind of excited about the possibilities! I had some yarn (which I really do not like using because it takes more skill than what I have) and came up with this variation.

While I don’t think I’ll ever use that yarn again, I do like how it turned out.

I really want to encourage you to use patterns that you find on the Internet, but make them your own – especially when you are crafting with repurposed items! It’s not like there is a lot invested, and when you can come up with something new, it is a fantastic feeling. I also think it does something great to the brain as well…

Happy Crafting!

I linked up:

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle! (Rag Quilt)

Image

I have been enjoying looking through Pinterest and finding out what other people are doing. I saw a rag rug posted there that got the creative wheels turning. Here’s the thing. I really don’t like cutting little squares in order to sew everything back together again. But then I saw a post from Do it Yourself Divas and knew I had to try that one. Well, I knew I had to try something like that one.

Rag Quilt

Of course, I changed it up a bit. Here’s what I did:

  • I did not use batting.
  • I cut the strips all different sizes, but made sure to cut double layers so that I would have two of each size.
  • I pinned the two sizes together right after cutting, so I would have to waste time searching for the matching strip. (I mean, seriously. How much time to I waste with every project just looking for what I laid down?)
  • I made blocks of strips so that the strips weren’t all going the same way. (I liked the change up)
  • I made sure to clean out my washing machine after washing this quilt. There are so many loose threads that could mes up the machine if I didn’t.

Most of the fabric in this quilt was leftover from different projects, so it was good to use up the scraps. I did purchase a couple of the fabrics, so I would be able to add some color. I love how it turned out, and I think it made a nice gift.

Sweet!!

I really want to encourage you to just dive in and try it if this kind of craft appeals to you! Don’t worry about perfection. Have fun. Enjoy. De-stress.

It’s a wonderful thing!

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Santa Bellies!

Standard

I have been reading through a bunch of blogs in the last few weeks, and have seen a lot of these Santa tummies. I’ve seen them on cards, on signs for the house, etc. I make no claim to have made up this idea, just my version of the idea. So when I had a bunch of cans saved up, I decided I would transform them into Santa bellies!! I want to fill them with goodies for our co-workers!

I am certainly no craft guru tutorialist, but here’s kind of what I did.

What you need:

  • aluminum cans
  • duct tape
  • red felt
  • adhesive spray
  • black card stock
  • black ribbon
  • white fuzzy material
  • two-sided tape

I started with clean cans that I saved from when I made chili. (I had chili bean cans and tomato cans from several batches!) I made sure to put duct tape around the top to try to prevent getting cut by the sharp edge. Do be very careful when doing this. The edges are SHARP SHARP SHARP! I cut my finger anyway, but at least my Santa Bellies recipients will be safe.

And here’s where I stink at tutorials. I quit taking pictures. Basically, I got kind of sticky, because I sprayed the cans with the spray adhesive.Make sure to cover your surface with wax paper or freezer paper. You’ll be one sticky mess!  Then  I put the red felt on the cans and smoothed out any bumps or wrinkles. To make the white furry parts of Santa’s coat trim, I cut strips about 1 inch wide from some white fuzzy material I have had in my fabric box for years. Yes. Years. I put the white strips around the bottom of the can and then down the middle of the front. I used double-sided tape, and that seemed to work fine.

I cut about 1-inch squares from black card stock (I used my Cricut) and then cut two parallel lines just off center, so it looks like a belt buck.  I then wrapped the black satin ribbon around the can (after I put double-sided tape on the ribbon. Threaded the ribbon through the belt buckle and…..

Whalaah! A cute gift basket!

I will be filling them with homemade cocoa and carmel. Yummy.

I linked this to the following parties!

 

 

http://www.iheartnaptime.net/2011/12/sundae-scoop-link-party-10/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20Iheartnaptime1%20(I%20heart%20naptime%20with%20Chocolate%20Sundaes)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Homemade Laundry Soap

Standard

My Grandmother used to say, “Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do without!” But I suppose Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a much more sophisticated sentiment.  Whatever saying you use, they are both good to live by. Recently I became aware of the amount of plastic we were putting in the garbage and realized that laundry detergent bottles were some of the biggest culprits. We go through a lot of laundry soap.

When my kids were little, I made laundry soap to save money. It saved us tons! But when I started working full time outside of our home, convenience kind of took over. Being convicted of all those plastic bottles going in the garbage, I decided to put together some laundry detergent again. Right now, I’m using the powdered form, but there are ways to make this liquid. I’ll post some of my recipes next week.

What I do:

1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap (you get this in the laundry section of the store)

1 Cup Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda

You will need to grate the bar of soap, then add the borax and soda and mix. Sometimes I add some Oxiclean (or generic equivalent) and I always make this in 3 bar batches. (3 bars, 3 cups each of borax and soda)

Then you’re left with what to put your new laundry detergent in! I’ve always used an old coffee  can (the plastic variety), and decided to spiff it up a bit to match my new laundry room. I started with the Folgers Can and some of my Mod Podge stash.

I had some fabric left over from the curtains in my laundry room, so I sewed a quick rectangle of fabric, big enough to cover the middle portion of the coffee can. On the Folgers cans, there are little “handle” in the back of the can. I didn’t cover that part.

The next step was to put some Mod Podge on the coffee can and then center the fabric onto the can. Then brush the Mod Podge on the fabric. I think I put a couple of coats of Mod Podge on the fabric.

 And, it’s pretty! I left the coffee can red, because it went well with the fabric I used.

You could also spray paint it. I may add some vinyl letters later, but today, this is done.