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Posts Tagged ‘fun’


Projects and Recipes

I have wanted a laundry room counter with storage and enough space to fold clothing with this many kids.  The hubby and I hit a place in Grand Rapids named, “Restore”. It is a store attached to Habitat for Humanity and they resell items removed or not used in building new homes.  They make a bit of money to be able to build new homes for people and they also have some awesome deals on things. I found a bunch of old kitchen cabinets and told Macgyver I had to have them.  Next I told him he needed to grab a piece of plywood for my counter top and he didn’t understand why I didn’t just let him get me a normal counter top.  Normal? Me? sometimes I just don’t know who this man is.  I had the image in my mind of what I wanted and refused to tell him other than how the build should go.  I wanted something functional but also a keepsake for me.  Everyone is working on wood with stains and making beautiful pieces of artwork.  They blend stain colors to create flowers and such.  However, that sort of art is way out of my reach. So, I got to thinking how much I love my kids and the age ranges they are right this moment are priceless. I wanted a way to preserve them, something useful, doesn’t need dusting and could live on long after I am gone in the house.  Here is what I came up with…

Here is what I started with.

Here is what I started with.

I recruited help from the 5 year  old, Minnie Mouse.

I recruited help from the 5 year old, Minnie Mouse.

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She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a seafoam color, it is pretty though.

She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a sea-foam color, it is pretty though.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top srewed down. I gathered all the girls.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top screwed down. I gathered all the girls.

Pulled out an old dogfoord bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Pulled out an old dogfood bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antiqute-ish.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antique-ish

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

Then I called it a day.  My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top.  Love it!!!

Then I called it a day. My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top. Love it!!!

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Everyday dose of Reality

There are times that you have to dare to be different or in my case wake my family up when they raid the fridge.  I went to bake something the other day and my eggs were all gone, so I took matters into my own hands.  Funny how a Sharpie marker can change a person’s life and egg count.

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Projects & Recipes

We have been making these Jolly Rancher suckers for years, and if you have little ones they will love making a rainbow.  These are super easy to make and very cool looking.

What you will need:

a bag of Jolly Rancher candies

sucker sticks or coffee stir sticks(that is what we used)

Doing the deed:

Pulled out a cookie sheet, cover it with parchment. Unwrap your Jolly Ranchers and lay 3 in a line.  Mix your colors and flavors some, don’t be shy. Put in and oven on 200 F for 10 minutes or so. They will melt into a stripped pool. Remove from the oven and then lay your stick in each pool.  let them cool completely and enjoy!

A tastey rainbow on a stick.

A tasty rainbow on a stick.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Projects & Recipes

Flower jelly is easy to make and can be made from almost any flower, we used hollyhocks.  Years ago when our home was a functioning elementary school, Peggy a friend up the road, planted hollyhocks in front of the school.  Here we are years later and they are running rampant.  Each year before the buds fall off, I walk through and cut about half into a bowl and leave the rest to seed out for the next year.  The kids and I then take our blooms and turn them into wonderful jelly. Sadly I wasn’t thinking this year when my roses bloomed, and we missed it.  The basic flower jelly recipe is pretty much the same everywhere.

Basic flower jelly

2c. Flower Infusion

1/4c. Lemon Juice

4c. Sugar

1-3oz. Liquid Pectin pkg

Doing the deed

To make a flower infusion if you do not know, is a simple process. Remove the pistol inside& greenery from the outside of the blossom.  You will need 2 cups of flowers to make 2 cups of infusion.  Put your blossoms in a bowl and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them, cover bowl with a lid of some type and let sit overnight.  Strain your liquid from your blossoms and there you have your infusion, the juice.  Don’t be disheartened if you used dark pink and the liquid looks murky and dark.  The color will come back in the following steps.  In a sauce pan pour in your flower infusion, lemon juice and sugar.  Stir over medium heat until you have a boil.  Next add your package of liquid Pectin and stir at a boil for another minute.  Remove from heat and transfer into your canning jars, seal and let cool.  Each flower will produce much different tastes and we have found hollyhock to be excellent.  Wonderful on toast and just as yummy with pork. A little fruity, very sweet and so pretty in the jars.  Next time you walk around your yard or pass a patch of flowers, think of how tastey & beautiful they would look in a jar as jelly.

We used hollyhocks in a range of colors from light pink to dark purple.  My son removed the pollen covered pistols and twisted the green bases off the blossoms.

We used hollyhocks in a range of colors from light pink to dark purple. My son removed the pollen covered pistols and twisted the green bases off the blossoms.

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If you find, depending on the time you pick your flowers, pollen on the pedals, rinse them off in cool waters.

If you find, depending on the time you pick your flowers, pollen on the pedals, rinse them off in cool waters.

Once you have poured boiling water over your blossoms, make sure to cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Come morning the flowers will be mostly void of color and your water will be much darker.  When you strain the flowers, make sure you press them into the strainer. You will notice a syrup pressed out and that is where the actual flavor of the blossom comes from.

Once you have poured boiling water over your blossoms, make sure to cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Come morning the flowers will be mostly void of color and your water will be much darker. When you strain the flowers, make sure you press them into the strainer. You will notice a syrup pressed out and that is where the actual flavor of the blossom comes from.

When I started my infusion was a dark murky purple. Once the sugar is added and you begin to stir, you will see the true color of your jelly come out.

When I started my infusion was a dark murky purple. Once the sugar is added and you begin to stir, you will see the true color of your jelly come out.

The kids & I made a double batch, ending up with 11 half pinnt jars.

The kids & I made a double batch, ending up with 11 half pint jars.

As you can see by the little eyeballs lurking behind the jars, the moment they are cooled, they will be attacked.  With this in mind, I am glad I started this time of year. Maybe our second blooming I should hide the jelly.

As you can see by the little eyeballs lurking behind the jars, the moment they are cooled, they will be attacked. With this in mind, I am glad I started this time of year. Maybe our second blooming I should hide the jelly.

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Projects & recipes

Over the last few days the kids & I stenciled our sidewalk that leads up to the front door.  We already know between snow & shoveling there is no paint that will stay and that is ok with us.  We used a cheap stencil and 2 colors of spray paint.  Once it was dry I went back over the designs with glow in the dark paint.  Get creative with your walkway.  We are stuck with concrete that won’t take stain, so the next best thing is an easy design painted on.

First you get a crew together.

First you get a crew together.

Next make sure you clean out the seams.

Next make sure you clean out the seams.

The kids wanted the seams darker, so we painted them black.

The kids wanted the seams darker, so we painted them black.

Lay down your stencil and pounce or use spray paint to get the desired color and effect you want.

Lay down your stencil and pounce or use spray paint to get the desired color and effect you want.

Try to keep smallish people and pets off the designs until they are dry. Good luck with that. To use the glow in the dark paint, you really need to apply it over a light color. Our colors were powder blue and white. Once it was set I outlined the design with a brush and glow paint. At night it looks cool to see the outlines glowing but alas, my camera is to old to capture it for you.

Try to keep smallish people and pets off the designs until they are dry. Good luck with that. To use the glow in the dark paint, you really need to apply it over a light color. Our colors were powder blue and white. Once it was set I outlined the design with a brush and glow paint. At night it looks cool to see the outlines glowing but alas, my camera is too old to capture it for you.

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