Hi everyone! I haven't been on the blog in a very long time!
Last month's creative challenge was sculpting and clay work. I had some ideas I wanted to try but our Walmart is under construction. It is being turned into a Supercenter, so everything has moved places and the craft isle shelves were very bare. They had no air dry clay! So I did not complete the clay challenge. I'll get to it eventually.
I have been very busy lately. I have started babysitting again part time. Big Sister is also in PreSchool this year so I have been busy taking her to and from school. Between these things my week feels pretty packed. I've managed to fit in a little sewing and start a new project reupholstering another chair.
I was super lucky to have been given an old bread machine recently. Fresh bread is so yummy, but sometimes I do not have the time or energy to knead and wait for rise times and knead some more. So I was really excited to try out my "new to me" bread machine. It is so nice to just dump in all the ingredients and walk away until the machine is done its thing!
Here is a super simple recipe I have been using:
1cup + 2Tbsp warm water
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp yeast
Add ingredients in order listed. Use the setting on your machine for a large light loaf. (Light crust) Or a suitable setting for 1 1/2 pound loaf.
I actually dislike my handwriting very much, so this challenge was not up my alley. I think calligraphy looks beautiful, but it would definitely take a lot of time and practice to perfect a lettering style and get the right pressure on downstrokes versus up strokes.
We went on holidays this month to beautiful Maui so I didn't leave myself much time to practice for this challenge. I happened to have a calligraphy pen and ink from my wedding. I bought it with hopes of addressing all the invitation envelopes with it, but after writing one and seeing how bad it looked, I did not follow through with it.
I kept the pen and ink though. So I pulled it out for this challenge and practiced the alphabet.
As you can see my consistency is very bad. Especially after freshly dipping the pen in the ink.
I did find a tutorial online if calligraphy is something you want to get into. Check out this website for a series on how to learn calligraphy in 5 days.
Or if you just want to fake it, here are 40 free calligraphy fonts you can use on your computer.( I like #36.)
Challenge #5 in the Creative Challenge is Floral arrangement/Gardening. I have very little experience in this area but was intrigued by a project when I came across a picture in Pinterest. It was a beautiful flower container made from an old tire.
I knew hubby could get me an old tire from work for free so that's just what he did. I went shopping for spray paint, and when I couldn't find the color I wanted at 2 different stores I settled on my 2nd choice. Then it was off to find flowers. I bought a hanging basket arrangement and transferred the flowers into my painted tire. Here it is finished and hung on the fence!
Here's to hoping I can keep these flowers alive for more than a week! I'm a little nervous!
Today has been a "yes day". Do you know what I'm talking about?
When you have children you have to say "no" a lot. "No we can't go to the park today, it's raining." "No, you can not eat candy right before supper." "No, do not climb that shelf!" ...etc.
Every once in awhile it's nice to be able to say yes to requests.
One of those requests today was eating lunch in the living room while watching cartoons. Such a simple thing but it made Big Sister very happy. I even got a big hug and kiss out of the deal!
Another "yes" was to make cupcakes. We have a counting book and one of the pages is counting cupcakes. Occasionally Big Sister will look at the book and when she comes to that page she asks if we can make some. Usually I say no, but today I said yes!
So I searched my beloved Pinterest App to see what kind of cupcakes would spark my interest (and what ones we had the ingredients for) and I found this recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes!
Sprinkles make everything more fun!
Look at this frosting! So light and fluffy! I had to resist eating it by the spoonfuls!
Big Sister had fun helping me stir the ingredients and she was a great help cleaning up the beaters afterwards! ;)
Do you want a healthier version of apple sauce to feed your children (or yourself) that has no preservatives AND has some hidden veggies in it to increase their vegetable intake?! You have to try out this easy homemade crock pot recipe!
- 6 medium apples, washed and cored
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 3 cups lightly packed spinach
- 1/4 cup water
Cut up washed and cored apples into large chunks and place in crockpot. Pour in 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours of cooking time, add the spinach and blueberries. Stir to incorporate everything. Cover and cook an additional 30 mins. Turn off crockpot and let the apple mixture cool off slightly before blending it into a smooth sauce. Serve and/or store leftovers in the fridge.
(Apples are cut and in the crock pot with 1/4 cup of water)
(Adding the spinach and blueberries)
I have added a few kiwis into the blender for a variation to this sauce. You could always experiment further to make different flavor combinations!
My kids LOVE this stuff. When I have store bought Apple sauce in the cupboard and this homemade version in my fridge, Big Sister always picks the homemade kind!
I find this makes a perfect consistency of sauce, but you could always add more water if your child prefers a thinner sauce.
In case you were wondering, I do not peel my apples. I want to keep as much nutrients and fibre as possible. I just make sure to wash them really good first. The longer cooking time in the crockpot softens the skin so it blends right up leaving no chunks in your sauce!
I have seen a few tutorials on how to turn your jeans into skinny jeans. A friend gave me some hand-me down jeans and they fit great other than being just a tad bit short. The flare of the jeans at the shorter length made them look a little funny when I wore shoes, so I would usually just wear them with boots. I could tuck them into the boots and no one would know. Since the jeans were free, I decided to try making them into skinny jeans because I wouldn't be out any money if I screwed them up. I figured if they looked horrible, I could just keep tucking them into boots.
First I turned the jeans inside out and layed the jeans on the floor. I layed a pair of skinny jeans that I already owned on top of the jeans I wanted to convert and lined them up to the inside seem so I would only have to sew and cut on one side. I drew a line to trace the skinny jeans and pinned the two pant leg layers together.
I then sewed a straight stitch over top the line I drew while tracing the jeans, and reinforced the line with a zig-zag/straight stitch combination. (Sorry I don't know the proper stitch name. Refer to picture.)
I turned my jeans right side out and tried them on to make sure they fit good before cutting off the extra material. I was happy with the results so went ahead and cut it off.
They aren't perfect but if you aren't looking at them really close you can't tell. Now I can wear them with my boots and with flats! Yay!
I got a request for some baby shoes for a baby dedication. I tried out a pattern from Whistle & Ivy. These shoes are made in the round so they work up very quickly. I went with a small flower to embellish the shoes instead of the dot included in the pattern.
These were ordered by a lady for a gift for her daughter's baby's dedication. After sending her a picture of the finished product, her daughter requested the flower be made in the same color of the shoe so it would match her baby's outfit better. The flowers are quick to make too so it was no problem to switch them out.
Many blessings to the sweet little girl wearing these on her dedication day!
I made these coffee filter peonies following this tutorial.
I love how these flowers add a fresh Spring feel to my living room. They make me happy whenever I look at them.
Flowers are lovely but can get expensive so I love that I could make these with supplies I already had on hand and they will last forever. I'm thinking I'll have to try some more paper flower tutorials to put in other rooms of my house.
I normally just steam cauliflower or eat it raw with dip, but I wanted to try preparing it a new way to see if my kids would eat it.
I decided to try roasting it with seasonings and the result was a success. Both kids ate it! (Little sister only has 4 teeth, so she would only eat it after I blended it up into tiny pieces.)
-1 large head of cauliflower
-1 tsp olive oil
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp salt
Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized florets and place in large bowl. Toss cauliflower with olive oil.
In a small bowl, mix seasonings. Pour seasoning mixture over cauliflower and toss to coat.
Bake cauliflower on a baking sheet at 450F for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Cauliflower should be tender and golden brown.
(This seasoning mixture is fairly mild. If you want a stronger flavor, increase the amount of spices you use.)
I'm going to experiment some more with different ways to make and season cauliflower. Some days it's a struggle to get the kiddos to eat their full daily vegetable serving requirements. Hopefully I can find some yummy recipes that they will love.
Here is my project for the month of January in the creative challenge I wrote about in my previous blog post.
I had a little bit of left over yarn from the chunky blanket I made and since I loved the teal color so much, I wanted to make a scarf with it.
This is a really simple crochet design but I love the look of the ribbing. I've seen this stitch used for sweaters/cardigans and I thought it would look so good as a scarf.
All it consists of is rows of single crochet made in the back loops only. Here's what you need to make one of your own.
-Chunky yarn (sorry I don't have a yardage amount as I just used left overs from a previous project) You can use more or less yarn depending on how wide you want to make your scarf.
-10mm crochet hook
- does not matter. Just make your scarf 60" long
- R1- Foundation Single Crochet until you reach a 60" long chain. (Alternatively you could make a chain just longer than 60 inches then turn your work and single crochet back along the length of your chain.)
-R2- Chain 1, turn. SC in back loops only in each FSC (or SC).
-R2- Chain 1, turn. SC in back loops only in each SC.
- Repeat round 2 until you reach desired width of scarf.
-Leave long enough tail on finishing yarn to join ends of scarf into an infinity scarf. Make sure to not twist the scarf before you join ends. Use a whip stitch to join ends.
I made this teal colored scarf 5 inches wide.
I made another one in grey for a gift. The grey one is 6.5 inches wide.
Of course when I finished this scarf the weather warmed up from -35 with windchill to the pluses!!! Is it wrong for me to hope it gets cold again so I can wear this before spring comes?! Lol
I came across this blog encouraging creativity for the year 2015. The blogger, Michelle, has proposed a craft each month for this year, so 12 in total. She has also outlined what each month's craft medium will be and gives a few ideas that you could pick from.
I love being creative and I like the challenge of doing a specific art form each month. I am excited to take part in this. But I'm not sure I can limit myself to one a month! Lol!
If you want to get involved as well, go check out her blog post. Month one is in progress.
I've been wanting to make a chunky blanket for awhile now. I love the look of a thick, soft blanket. But chunky yarn isn't cheap y'all!! So when I came across this pattern, I knew I was going to make it. Because of the lacy design, it doesn't take as much yarn to make a big blanket.
I love this deep teal color. It is so rich and luxurious!
This blanket is incredibly soft. It is the perfect thing to cuddle up with on the couch with a warm cup of coffee and a good book in hand!
This was a gift for someone, so now I have to make another one for myself! I'm thinking a nice creamy white color so I can throw it across my french chair.
This blanket is really easy to make. It is a repetition of 2 rows until you reach your desired length. You only need to know how to make a single crochet and double crochet. And it would be a bonus to know the single foundation stitch to start the blanket off. The pattern is here if you want to try it!