Sunday, June 26, 2016

Smoothies

I love smoothies. I drink one almost daily.

Here's how I make mine.

I start with either milk, juice or homemade yogurt. You can use storebought yogurt but I find it too tangy for me.

Then if I want greens in it, I'll put a handful or two and hit the liquify button. This makes it smooth with no green chunks!


After I've added the greens to it, I add FROZEN bananas to it cut into one inch chunks. If you add extra ripe bananas you won't need any sugar in it. It will be plenty sweet.  Set to blend until smooth. I usually add 1-2 cups yogurt and 2-4 bananas. If you use frozen bananas you won't have to dilute your smoothie with any ice to make it thick and creamy. (The blender I had at the time of writing this was an oster. It cost me around $30. I used it for over a year and it still works. )

Then, I add whatever frozen fruit I want whether it be frozen blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc.

Paper making

A few weeks ago, I soaked some important documents in water in an attempt to destroy them. Now that we we moved to the city, we can't burn anymore. I didn't want to have to buy a paper shredder.

The soaking process was not going as well as I thought so I added a dollop of bleach to it and it started falling apart. And it kept the bucket from smelling. I changed out the water a few times and then I was left with a huge amount of paper pulp.

I've always been fascinated with the idea of making my own paper since I was a kid begging my parents to buy or build me a mold and deckle. I looked online for instructions to build my own but knew the chances of me actually getting one built was slim.

I figured why not try it with all this paper pulp I had.

I ended up finding a blog telling how to make paper using a splatter screen. I've seen them at the dollar store before so I thought what do I have to loose. I ended up blending the pulp further with my old blender, because dear sweet hubby bought me a ninja recently. Yay!! (More on this later)

I've always wanted a "craft blender" but didn't want it confused with the food one. Now I have one!

Anyways, after blending the pulp, I attempted to make some paper. I scooped it onto the screens using a giant tin foil roaster pan ($.88 at Walmart) The screens came as a 2 pk from Walmart for $7-8. One is smaller than the other which actually worked out better than I thought it would. After scooping some pulp on one tray, I top with that other and press down. I've since learned I can use a pie pan to press it now evenly. Then I flip it over and press more with a sponge or cloth. The more times I flip it and press it, the drier it gets.

I was trying to find a way to dry it when I remembered my solar drying rack. It's perfect!

I'm planning to make gift tags with this first batch of paper. And work my way to stationary. I added some flowers petals to some sheets and learned some other techniques to try later.

I can't wait. Now instead of throwing out junk mail, I'm going to recycle it.

I'll post up more pictures next time of the actual making of it.

Here are some pictures of the finished results.

I thought it was funny that there was a "c" showing on one of the papers.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rita's cheesecake

I had one box of cream cheese and was craving cheesecake so I decided to make my new favorite recipe. I actually tried it last month but couldn't post on blogger back then.

I had never made cheesecake before unless you count the no bake version that comes in a box! Lol.

The first one I made I used crushed Cheerios for the crust. (Substituted it for Graham crackers.) It turned out pretty good.

Tonight I wanted to try it with Graham crackers and it was great!

Here is the recipe.




Three bags in one night

I decided to tackle my fabric scraps today and get some bags made. I really need to make a dent on my craft supplies so I can justify buying more stuff.

I want to order more zippers but decided instead that I'm going to sew mini notion drawstring pouches instead. If I can sell them, then I'll use the money from them to buy more zippers.

Here are three bags I made tonight.


The first one has a handle on the sides. The other two have a loop style handle. I wanted to try the first style and succeeded. I cut out the squares 1.75 inches to make the handles and the rest of the boxy corners I sewed the triangles to measure 2 inches. I prefer to sew the triangles over cutting corners. 

I've got several more boxy bags to sew but only a couple zippers left. So, after that I'll be limited to drawstring pouches. I'm excited to try a zippered pouch within a drawstring bag though. I just need to get a short zipper. Which I think I can justify. I'm putting myself on a no-more-buying supplies until I used up what I've got. 

And just last week, this arrived in the mail-

So I've got a bunch of new ideas on what to sew next.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Baby quilt part one- deciding on pattern

My friend came over today and helped me lay out squares to figure out for a baby quilt.

We arranged them over and over again. I took pictures along way.

We decided we liked the idea of spacing it between white strips which we didn't have but I had an old bed sheet so we used it for visualization.

What do you think? We liked the one with the white best. Cool colors along the outside and warm colors on the inside.




Thursday, June 2, 2016

Felted pouches part 1&2

Here is the pouch finished and turned inside out.




Here it is felted after it came out of the washer. It got all twisted up when it came out, but I was able to get it to lay better while it was wet. It still needs to be tweaked with.



I'm trying to decide how to decorate it. More pics to come!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

School is out! Yipee!

Today was the last day of school. I've been counting the "Sundays" since January. I figured there were less days that way to count, rather than each individual day, lol! While I enjoyed the snow days last winter, I did not like that they extended school an extra week! I'll have to remember that, when I'm hoping for the day off next winter.

This week I went and picked strawberries with my friend, "L" at the local strawberry farm. My goal was to pick 6 pounds since that is how much the bucket holds (at $1.75 a pound- what a deal for local fresh strawberries!) but the bucket only weighed 3.81 pounds by the time we got done with our rows. I'm not complaining, I've got two ziploc bags of frozen strawberries that will be made into jam later this year. I'm planning on going back next week and picking with my friend, "G" and hubby plans to pick as well. Yay for more strawberries! I'd really like to try dehydrating some this year too. I've heard dried strawberries are delicious! Soon, the blueberries and blackberries will be ready to pick as well. I can't wait!

I'm looking forward to getting lots of things done this summer.

I've been busy with my bird embroidery quilt. I think I may even have it done before July 21st.

Here is the progress I've made so far. I like changing out colors so I've just been working a little one each square at a time rather than completing one square at a time.

I haven't done much knitting but plan to pick it up later this summer. I might even try and teach myself TAAT sock knitting. I've got the needles, yarn and book. It's funny because when I first learned to knit, I wanted to learn all the different ways and techniques, but now that I've been knitting for 5 years, I'm not really that interested in trying anything new. ha! ha!


Polka dot bag

 A friend of mine asked me to sew her a bag awhile back. She had a particular color in mind, but living far apart it was hard to figure out what she meant. Until I sent her the picture of this fabric. Right away she fell in love with it.

So, I bought the material Tuesday and sewed the bag tonight.


Mailing it out tomorrow. I hope my friend likes the bag!

Fabric choices

I'm trading a bag for some yarn on ravelry so I decided to put her fabric choices here. If you are reading this and want to do a trade send me a pm too.

This is for the one sending me yarn to make chemo hats-

Write me back through ravelry -

First decide what style bag you want- then tell me what is the finished size you want. Standard sizes I make are 7 inches long by 5 inches wide and 4 inches tall. I have plenty of zippers for this size. I can sew you a bag tonight.

The one shown above was part of a trade. She wanted a 12 inch long bag by 5-6 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Now that I have a formula to use, making different sizes is easy peasy! I can make them pretty close to the size you are wanting. Standard bags have tabs on each side. This particular bag she wanted an extended tab turned into a handle. So decide what you want. Handle like this or just tabs. 



The lavender pic shows a bag I recently made. It's not for trade but I have enough of that fabric leftover to make at least a standard size like above. The lavender bag is called an open wide boxy bag. I can make that in four sizes. The lavender is the largest size. About 12 inches long measuring on the top. The sunflower print shows the liner material I have, if you chose that one, the largest I can make is the standard size, but if I went with a different liner I can make a slightly bigger one. The dinosaur print I can make a larger size of. The other two just a standard size. The last photo shows the middle choice as being a suitable match for either outer print.

Let me know if any of these interest you, if not, I'll dig around in my fabric stash to see what else I've got.

Here are some other sizes to the open wide boxy bags. The green one shows the smallest size. The blue one shows a fourth size with extending tabs on both sides. I recommend them for both sides rather than just on one side like these lavender.

I have some of this material but it's upcycled from a dress. Some people think that is cool, others not so much. :-)




I hope I have not made this too complicated. :-)




Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed. Here are the last of them. Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas...