Thursday, May 26, 2011

Misc. Projects.....

Hello! I've been busy working on several different projects lately.  Not all of them were the crafty kind, so I'm branching out a bit.  :)

Project 1: Bookmarks
The first one is crafty, papercrafting to be exact.  I saw this fun tutorial on making page corner bookmarks.  The tutorial was easy to follow, and they worked up quickly.

I made some monster ones for my book-loving little goddaughter, Sarah, who will be celebrating her 6th birthday this weekend. 

I also made a couple of adult ones for the book-loving ME.  :)

Project 2: Fire and Ice Pickles
A few months ago, my husband and I were given a jar of "Fire and Ice Pickles" to try.  And wow, were they good! They're a little bit sweet, and a little bit (or a lot) hot, depending on your preference.  We finished that jar pretty quickly and wanted more.

Fire and Ice Pickles

But you can't buy these in a store, you have to make them yourself.  So I did what I always do, and googled it to find a recipe.  Our first attempt, we followed the recipe exactly, but although you could taste the sweetness, the hot didn't really come thru.  So we experimented and kept gradually adding more of the hot stuff until we got it how we liked it.  Here's the recipe with our adjustments:

Fire and Ice Pickles
2 (32 oz) jars of DILL pickles
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (we used Louisiana Hot Sauce)
1 - 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
A few slices of Jalapeno pepper (we used peppers that came in a jar, and also poured in a tablespoon or so of the juice)

First pour pickles into a strainer in the sink and let them drain.

Then cut pickles into chunks and put in a big bowl

Add the sugar to the pickles, and stir a bit. Then add all the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is mixed together.

Cover the bowl and let sit on the counter for an hour or so, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.

Once the sugar is dissolved, spoon mixture back into the jars they came in, or divide them into smaller canning jars.  Refrigerate for 3-7 days before serving (although we've eaten them earlier than that).  Store in the refrigerator.  Warning!  these are very addictive!  :)

Project 3: Homemade Laundry Detergent
I have seen on a few blogs lately that some people are making their own laundry detergent.  It seemed easy enough, and it was very cheap to make, so I was intrigued enough to give it a try.  I made mine following a recipe I found on this blog

You only need 3 ingredients: Borax, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda), and Fels-Naptha soap.  I was able to find the Borax and Super Washing Soda in the laundry aisle at Wal-mart and found the bars of Fels-Naptha soap for $1.29/ea. at my local Ace Hardware.

First you have to grate the bar(s) of Fels-Naptha Soap

Then mix grated soap with the borax and super washing soda following this recipe:
2 parts grated soap
1 part Borax         
1 part Super Washing Soda

Two bars of grated soap = about 3 cups, so I added 1 1/2 cups of each the borax and the super washing soda, mixed together and stored in a container with a lid. I use 2 tablespoons of detergent for a regular load of wash.  I've been using this for the past few weeks and so far it seems to be working just fine, and I love the price.  :)  Maybe with all the money I'm saving, I can buy more yarn.  :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Cat Fishing Tale...

Gus and Grace have a little play tunnel with a big opening right in the middle of it.

He thinks I can't see him.  :)

I've found that if I use a certain someone's pet string as the bait, and dangle it into that hole,
I can catch me a big ole Cat Fish!

Works everytime! 

The cat fishin' hole where the Cat Fishies are always biting.  :)

Yet another Pet String game to add to our growing repertoire.   :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Projects

Hello!  I hope everyone had a very Happy Mother's Day!

Here are a few things that I made for my mom this year:

A handmade Mother's Day Card:
I made this card from a cardmaking kit I had

My mom LOVES Aspen trees, so I made her an aspen leaf potholder

And I made her some Criss-Cross Coasters using this tutorial from Allsorts.  I've made these coasters several times before, and it's a fun and easy pattern.  The fabric is a "Birdie" charm pack from Moda.

I also got a visit from my sweet little Eli (my nephew) this weekend. He brought me an adorable photo collage of pictures taken of him on Easter, where he's posing with his chocolate bunny that I for made him.
He has this expression that he's made since day 1, where he furrows up his little brows at us, like he can't figure out what the heck we're doing.  I love this expression, and it cracks me up everytime he does it, so of course that was my favorite picture taken on Easter.  So my sweet sister made sure to use that one as the main one for my photo collage.  I LOVE IT!! THANKS BECKY!!  :)


Close up of the "furrowed brow" look.
He's thinking "Grandpa, WHY do you keep pointing that little black box at me?"

Monday, May 2, 2011

Springtime Needlework Caddy - New Pattern in Shop

I designed this needlework caddy so that I can have all my supplies handy when I'm working on a project.  The sections hold the items pretty firmly, so it's also easy to move around from place to place, without things falling out.  I made my mom one of these, that she keeps on her sewing table and it's loaded to the hilt with all kinds of supplies .  We always laugh at how many items and the variety of items we can stuff into the thing.  :)

Needlework Caddy is made using worsted weight acrylic yarn (and actually the stiffer the yarn, the better), and is made up of 4 individual single crochet sections, which are then put together to form caddy.

Finished size is about 3 1/4" high x 4 1/4" wide.

Pattern be purchased in my Etsy Shop

I made a plain one in bright colors to be used as an Art Caddy