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Projects & Recipes

I am sure most of you know how to make tissue paper flowers, but for those of you who don’t, today is your day.  One of my daughters had her best friend over and they wanted to be crafty…enter tissue paper flowers.  Our eight year old, our nature girl, wanted big flowers on her bedroom wall around her headboard of her bed…enter tissue paper flowers.

You start by pulling out 5 or 6 sheets and stacking them up. If you would like the center of your flower a different color, change out a sheet.

You start by pulling out 5 or 6 sheets and stacking them up. If you would like the center of your flower a different color, change out a sheet.

Next you want to fold the paper legnth wise. Remember making the paper fans? Fold forward, then under, forward and under. I had the girls fold an inch or so before creasing the paper.

Next you want to fold the paper length wise. Remember making the paper fans? Fold forward, then under, forward and under. I had the girls fold an inch or so before creasing the paper.

Ah the glory days, the paper fan. When you are don folding, fold your paper in half to find your middle.

Ah the glory days, the paper fan. When you are don folding, fold your paper in half to find your middle.

Use a twist tie, piece of floral wire and tie around the center.  Once I found my hole punch I used that, but you reall don't need one.

Use a twist tie, piece of floral wire and tie around the center. Once I found my hole punch I used that, but you really don’t need one.

Trim your ends in a curve or point. Whatever you think will look good, scalloped...

Trim your ends in a curve or point. Whatever you think will look good, scalloped…

Next, lay your paper on the counter and from one end, lift up 1 sheet to the middle. Remember the paper is thin so try not to rip it.  Lift it up and hold down the other sheets with your free hand.  Gently pull or tug it to the center.

Next, lay your paper on the counter and from one end, lift up 1 sheet to the middle. Remember the paper is thin so try not to rip it. Lift it up and hold down the other sheets with your free hand. Gently pull or tug it to the center.

Repeat lifting the layers for each one.  Once one side is done, turn and do the same to the other side.

Repeat lifting the layers for each one. Once one side is done, turn and do the same to the other side.

This is what you should have when you are done lifting all of the layers from both sides.  Don't be afraid to mash it a little to get a rounder shape to your flower. You will notice when you look at the bottom of your flower, it is mostly flat, perfect for mounting. Go forth and paper flower the world, well in my case an 8 year olds bedroom wall.

This is what you should have when you are done lifting all of the layers from both sides. Don’t be afraid to mash it a little to get a rounder shape to your flower. You will notice when you look at the bottom of your flower, it is mostly flat, perfect for mounting. Go forth and paper flower the world, well in my case an 8 year olds bedroom wall.

Mini Meatloaf


Projects & Recipes

Next time you are making meatloaf, pull out your muffin pan.  The muffin cup size is perfect for 1 serving and if you are serving mashed potatoes with the meatloaf, you can get creative and pipe it on top. Mini meatloaf or dinner cupcake?  Mini meatloaf are a great idea for learning portion control. Happy Noshing.

Just put your meatloaf mix into the cups of a muffin pan.  Bake for 20 minutes on 350.

Just put your meatloaf mix into the cups of a muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes on 350.

Pop out mini meatloaf.

Pop out mini meatloaf.

Add your sauce & whatever else you enjoy with meatloaf.

Add your sauce & whatever else you enjoy with meatloaf.

 

 


Projects & Recipes

Ok, there are tons and tons of ways to make sweater socks or sweater slippers, whatever you want to call them.  I happen to live in Northern Minnesota and it has gotten down to 70 F below zero this winter …so I call these sweater socks NEEDED.  Here is the quickest way that I have found and you are only investing about 40 minutes for a pair.  Well, and an old sweater of your choice.  Every spring & fall I hit the cheap-O second-hand shop near me and spend the 5 bucks per garbage bag full of clothing.  I walk in, grab a garbage bag, clear the racks of as many sweaters & bed sheets I can  cram into the bag.  Pay my 5 bucks and I’m a happy woman, other than the fact I get them home and have now added 3 loads of laundry to my day.  But I use the sheets to make summer night gowns for all the girls and if I found “gold” – flannel sheets, they make super soft & warm winter night gowns.  The sweaters are all used until there is almost nothing left but a wayward seam.  Sweater socks, slippers, blankets, mittens, gloves, scarves, carrying bags, you name it the list goes on and on.  Today here is an easy peasy and quick sweater sock.

What you will need:

1 sweater

bout 6 feet of yarn

a plastic sewing needle for yarn

1 piece of paper

 

Doing the deed:

First thing is first, take a piece of paper and trace your foot or a shoe for who yu are making the slipper for.

Take your old sweater and cut off both sleeves. The sleeves will be yur socks.

Take your old sweater and cut off both sleeves. The sleeves will be yur socks.

Next lay the traced peper foot on the sweater and cut out. It is up to you if you want double layer, I certainly do and did make them. Simply cut through both layers of the sweater. Once you have one sole cut, set the pieces to the side and flip the paper foot over to cut the other set.

Next lay the traced peper foot on the sweater and cut out. It is up to you if you want double layer, I certainly do and did make them. Simply cut through both layers of the sweater. Once you have one sole cut, set the pieces to the side and flip the paper foot over to cut the other set.

You now have a left & right sole and double layered if you have choosen.

You now have a left & right sole and double layered if you have choosen.

4th step is to take your sleeves and slide the cuff up your ankle, leaving the rest of the sleeve hanging off your foot.  If you are woking with a shoe for someone, no biggie. Leave a 3 to 4 inch top, where the cuff is, above the shoe.  Trim around your foot, along the side or side of the shoe you are working with, where the sole meets the side of the shoe.

4th step is to take your sleeves and slide the cuff up your ankle, leaving the rest of the sleeve hanging off your foot. If you are woking with a shoe for someone, no biggie. Leave a 3 to 4 inch top, where the cuff is, above the shoe. Trim around your foot, along the side or side of the shoe you are working with, where the sole meets the side of the shoe.

take your tops and match them up to your sweater cut soles and pin.  I suggest start pinning at the toes. Also if you have to be perfect and want to feel clumping sweater around your foot, by all means, turn your pieces inside out for a clean finished look. I was going for the "I don't care, keep my feet warm and I have 5 minutes before the kids go nuclear" way to do these.

take your tops and match them up to your sweater cut soles and pin. I suggest start pinning at the toes. Also if you have to be perfect and want to feel clumping sweater around your foot, by all means, turn your pieces inside out for a clean finished look. I was going for the “I don’t care, keep my feet warm and I have 5 minutes before the kids go nuclear” way to do these.

Thread your yarn needle with whatever yarn you have on hand. Start stitching, you can use a whip stitch or whatever is easiest for you.

Thread your yarn needle with whatever yarn you have on hand. Start stitching, you can use a whip stitch or whatever is easiest for you.

And there you have it!  Sweater socks in 30 to 40 minutes.  If you did turn your pieces inside out, enjoy your clumps, or just trim them down a bit. Carefule not to trim too much or they will unravel when you wash them.

And there you have it! Sweater socks in 30 to 40 minutes. If you did turn your pieces inside out, enjoy your clumps, or just trim them down a bit. Carefule not to trim too much or they will unravel when you wash them.

Soft, warm and double soles feels like fluffy carpet under your feet.

Soft, warm and double soles feels like fluffy carpet under your feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Projects & Recipes

I have this recipe for delish pumpkin bread that will bring you back to your happy place.  Or better known around here as “crack bread”, it is addicting.  This is a version for a bread machine, which I just love.

What you need:

1 & 1/2C. pumpkin puree – if canned 15oz.

1C. sugar

1 & 1/2t. baking powder

1/2t. baking soda

1/4t. salt

3/4t. cinnamon

1/4t. nutmeg

1/4t. ginger

3C flour

 

Doing the deed:

First take your bread pan and spray with cooking oil or grease down.  Get out a large bowl and dump all ingredients into it.  Mix as best as you can before you have to go caveman on it with your hands.  At some point you will have to use your hands and knead/mix together thoroughly.  Put dough in your greased bread pan and put in the bread machine.  Set for cake or quick bread.

Here is where things go over the edge for me, I make a glaze to pour on top of the pumpkin bread.  This is an eyeball thing and personal preference as to glaze or not and how thick.  I start with a small bowl, dump in about 1/2c. powder sugar, 1/4t. of vanilla and then milk as needed.  The kids like a super thick glaze that sticks to the bread, so I just work it until I have almost, glue.  How or if you do this step is totally up to you.

Pumpkin bread


Projects & Recipes

Today I am sharing with you a recipe for some crazy good Apple Cinnamon Bread.  Let me just say that if you try this bread, you really should just make two loaves and save yourself the time later.

What you will need:

1/3C. brown sugar – not packed

1t. ground cinnamon

2/3C. white sugar

1/2C. soft butter

2 eggs

1 & 1/2t/ vanilla

1 & 1/2C. flour

1 & 3/4t. baking powder

1/2C. milk

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

 

Doing the deed:

Warm your oven up to 350. Pull out your bread pan and grease, then flour as you would for a cake.  In a small bowl mix together brown sugar and cinnamon, set off to the side.  With your trusty mixer or if you have arms like the Hulk, beat together butter and white sugar until creamy and smooth.  Next beat in your eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla.

In another bowl pour in the flour and baking powder, stir to incorporate the two.  Grab your creamy butter, sugar and egg bowl and slowly stir in your flour mixture.  Add your milk and stir until smooth again.  Take a moment to peel, core and dice up your apple.

Now, pour half your batter into your greased and floured bread pan.  Sprinkle half of your diced apple on batter and top with half of your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Repeat the previous step, so you have two layers in your pan.  On the top layer lightly press your hand on top, this allows the apple to sink into your batter some.  Grab yourself a butter knife and stick it into your batter to the bottom of the pan at one end.  Make a swirling motion toward the other end of the pan and then back again.  Pop into the oven for 30-40 minutes.

*Disclaimer – If you rip the oven door off, due to your home spelling yummy, all damages caused to the oven or the weight you may gain eating the entire loaf is not my fault.

apple bread2

Laundry Butter


Projects & Recipes

If you already make your own laundry soap this is much easier and takes far less room to store. Bonus, it works far better as well.  By chance you are new to making laundry soap, just be happy you get to skip the step of a longer wait and collecting laundry jugs.  I have seen a recipe close to what I use all over the place but I kept close to my base liquid laundry recipe.  There are a few differences to make the laundry butter.

What you will need:

1 bar of Fels Naptha soap

1/4 bar of Dove soap

1C. borax

1C. Washing soda

4C. water

3-1qt mason jars

*optional 1T. preferred essential oil or 1/3C. scented softener laundry crystals (Purex makes a wonderful lavender)

Doing the deed:

In a small bowl dump borax, essential oil or laundry crystals & washing soda, then set off to the side.  Take your bars of soap and chop them up and then toss them in a food processor or you can keep the bars and grate by hand.  Get yourself a large sauce pan and pour in 4 cups of hot water and your soap.  Dissolve over a medium heat, stirring  until all soap bits are totally gone.  Remove from heat and dump in your borax, washing soda and scent mixture into the sauce pan. Stir until all powder is dissolved.  If you are using the laundry crystals, they may not dissolve completely and that is fine trust me, you just don’t want chunks of soap.  Next take 2 of your jars and fill equally, the 3rd you will use later.  The 2 jars should be a bit over half full, top it off with some water up to the curve of the shoulders.  This will give you some head room in the near future.  Twist the caps on tight and invert.  Leave them set upside down for 4 or 5 hours.  Once the time has passed, flip the jars and give them a tap on the bottoms, I gently tap the bottoms on my counter. You will have noticed that the contents of the jar has separated, perfectly normal and what you are looking for.  Pop the caps, careful not to spill and pour out into your mixer or mixing bowl. You will need a spoon to break up and pull out the stiffer layer.  Start mixing on a low speed and move up gradually until it is totally whipped, similar to a whipped butter.  Spoon back into your jars, this is where the 3rd jar will come in. You should have almost 3 full jars of laundry butter.  Next time you wash clothes, ditch all the laundry soap and just add 1 tablespoon of your laundry butter and be amazed.  You should be able to get 190 to 192 loads of laundry out of your 3 jars.  Happy Washing!

If you have this going on, you are on the right track.

If you have this going on, you are on the right track.

It should be the consitancy of whipped butter when you are done & ready to store it.

It should be the consistency of whipped butter when you are done & ready to store it.

I would have had 3 full jars, but my son helped and I now have soap soaked hands.

I would have had 3 full jars, but my son helped and I now have soap soaked hands.


Projects & Recipes

We have all learned over the years that a hot cup of Chamomile tea relieves stress and relaxes us. Let’s take that a step further.  A warm bath with Chamomile will do the very same thing as a cup of tea, but with a small twist for you skin.  Here is how I make my Chamomile & Oat bath soak.

What you will need:

3T. loose chamomile

1/2C. instant oatmeal

Doing the deed:

In a jar drop in your chamomile & oats. Shake and you’re done! I used a 100% chamomile tea since there is no other way to get chamomile around me. Run a warm bath and use 1/4 cup of your chamomile & oat mix.  Slip in and relax.

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