Saturday, March 26, 2011

Knitted chicks and more

I made some cute chickens this week. I found this super cute pattern here.  I am making them pretty much the same except for the beak and eyes. I didn't have any fleece and didn't want to use glue to get them to stick so I just sort of "winged" it. I'm not even sure how I did the beak on the first one, but I hope I can remember how for the rest of them. So far, I have five made, but no finishing touches on any but one.

There is an opening at the bottom of the chicken and it holds a plastic Easter egg.

Also, I knit this house shaped cloth.

I learned how to block dish cloths from one of my favorite websites here. I blocked my second blue hummingbird dish cloth that I made.

I can't believe I never thought to block my items before. It makes them look so much nicer!

I'm going to a baby shower next week and as usual have waited until the last minute to think of a gift. When a friend suggested I knit something, (duh! Why didn't I think of that!) I decided on a couple things. I won't say what it is yet in case she's reading this post but I'll post up pictures before I give it away.

All I have to say is this is something that would normally take me a month to do, and I'm attempting to make it in a few days! lol

Until next time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Projects completed

I started this crochet dish cloth awhile back and finally got it done this week:

I haven't crocheted a dish cloth like this since 2006. It was fun to make but took a long time. Now that I know how to use a cro-hook, I'll likely not make another one like this for a long time.

I also knit this dish cloth:

You can find the pattern for the hummingbird dish cloth, here.

Until next time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

And the winner is....

Congratulations!!! Dalton M.  is the winner of the "2 freebies in one night" drawing held on March 12, 2011. Winner picked through here.

I will contact you so you can claim your prize.

Thanks to all who entered! I will be having another giveaway at 40 sales. So spread the word!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How to make vanilla extract

A couple of weeks ago,  we went to visit my sister's family and I came home with a vanilla bean. I had made homemade vanilla extract before in a canning jar but found it really difficult to measure out the finished extract when used for baking. Then, I read instructions on a friend's blog, on how you could just add the vanilla bean to the vodka bottle. So, I decided to give it a try.

The first time I bought some vanilla beans through my local co-op at the time, I didn't know what to expect. To be honest, I thought a vanilla bean looked similar to a coffee bean. I was not expecting it to look like this:

I got this bean from my sister who bought a 3 pack from Penzeys Spice. I believe it was for $7.50 or something like that. It was definitely under $8. Which isn't that bad when you can't get it from a co-op. The first time I bought the beans, I shared a batch with several friends. I think we each got 5-6 beans and they came out to about 50 cents per bean! Quite a savings! So, if you can find it through a co-op, do that. Although, my friend whose blog, I mentioned earlier ordered hers through a guy on ebay. (details on her blog, Making do with the Not So New.

I just didn't want to go through all the trouble ordering off of ebay (which I rarely do) and it seemed a little weird to me anyways. lol

Anyways, all I did was divide the beans into thirds. Instead of getting a giant bottle of alcohol since I only had one bean, I got three miniature bottles of vodka and rum. I wanted to try out the difference between the vodka and the rum. Each bottle was 50 ml:

After I cut the beans into thirds, I cut down the middle of each bean and opened it up and scraped it slightly before dropping it in the bottles. I was worried I hadn't scraped it enough but I found on another link you don't have to even cut them open. You can just drop them in. This way, I have little pieces of vanilla floating around which I won't even bother to strain when I use. I'll just have some extra vanilla flavor. When the vodka runs low, I'll just buy another bottle and pour it in. I think I can get at least two or three times use out of these beans. The bottles by the way were $1.50 each. The smallest size large bottle was 750 ml for $8. I only had $5 with me that day so I opted for the smaller ones. If I had more beans, I would have gone for the larger bottle.

Each day (or at least when I remember to!) I just give the bottles a shake. I have them stored in my pantry in a cool dark place. In a couple of weeks, it will be ready to use. I noticed some recipes for making your own vanilla said you could add a sugar syrup to it but the whole reason I make my own is to avoid the sweeteners found in commercial vanilla.

And that is all there is to it!

Let me know if you make any!

P.S. If you really want to try this recipe and don't want to order any beans and you don't have a co-op near you, I noticed that Walmart sells 2-3 beans for $11 in the spice section. Which I know is very high, but I'd do it in a heartbeat if it came down to that and using the store bought stuff. The taste can't be beat!


I did not care for the vanilla made with the rum at all. The ones made with the vodka turned out awesome! I have since purchased more vodka and refilled the bottle at least once. I love this stuff. One of the ways I've been using it is to put a teaspoon or more in a cup of orange soda. Takes like cream soda and it's so delicious!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Update-Freebie Giveaway now closed

In celebration of my 14th year anniversary, I have decided to have yet another giveaway. I will be giving away- 3 cotton sudsy sacks OR a free dish cloth. Your choice. My etsy store.

The drawing will be held on March 12th. I will announce the winner on my blog.

To enter, just leave a comment in the place below with a way to contact you.

Offer good only in the United States and Canada.

Winner of freebie giveaway

Well, when I posted about my giveaway, I thought it would take longer until I reached my 25 sales goal. Not that I'm complaining or anything!

I entered the contestants through here.

And congratulations to Moms Crafts 4 U- You are the winner!! I will contact you shortly to discuss your prize.

Closed Giveaway.

When I first started my etsy shop I figured it was a nice way for friends and family to see what items I had made in case they were interested in any of it. I never imagined that folks I didn't know would find me through search boxes or google and find my products to buy.

So, in celebration, I have decided to have a free giveaway when I reach 25 sales.  Sorry, but this contest is only open to the United States and Canada.

To make it fair to everyone, only one entry per person. To enter, just put a comment at the bottom of this post. After I reach 25 sales, I will enter the names here and will post up the winner's name on my blog.

There will even be a bonus freebie to the person who makes me reach my 25 sales goal.

So, do you want to know what you are entering for? You will receive your choice from my etsy shop:
1 dishcloth and 3 sudsy sacks. It won't cost you a dime. I will even pay for the shipping.

Tell all your friends and enter today!

Don't forget to leave your email address in the comments part so I can contact the winner!

**This giveaway is now closed but here is another one:

Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...