Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Week 7 - Freeze Herbs in Olive Oil

I came across this pin for freezing herbs to preserve them longer. If you freeze them in olive oil (or butter, or chicken stock, etc.) the herbs are ready to use when you need them; just throw them in the pan. Please check out the original post by The Gardner's Eden - she grows her herbs in her garden (we're hoping to get to it next year) and has a lot more great tips about how to sort the herbs, and label and store them once they're frozen.

Our ice maker is built into the fridge, so the only ice cube trays we have are fish and stars from Ikea!! Oops... well, this will make cooking more festive!

As you can see from the above photo, the ones on the left didn't turn out as nicely. I tried putting the olive oil in first, then added the basil. Big mistake! It worked okay, but it was much easier, and much cleaner to add the herbs first and the olive oil second.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 6 - Use Nail Polish to Distinguish Keys

This Pin has lots of great ideas. Using nail polish to distinguish your keys is one of those "why didn't I think of that" ideas. I started painting the extra keys to our house that we've given to others so that they'll know that they're ours. I've had friends/family do one of two things that drive me batty: 1. they forget whether we've given them a key - and they certainly don't know which is ours! 2. they put our name or address on the key - hello, burglar, here's where to go! The nail polish has been a simple solution to avoid these problems!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Week 5 - Fabric Scrap Owl

The first thing I will say about this owl is that if I can make it, you can make it. I have only very basic sewing skills - meaning, I know how to thread a needle and make it go in and out of fabric. I don't own a sewing machine, so I did this by hand. ...It will definitely come out nicer for you if you have a sewing machine.

Here's the inspiration pin. Efemera-Ink definitely made much cuter owls than I did! But I had fun with it anyway. Here's her post/tutorial: Wise?

I did a few things differently:
  1. I stuffed him with coffee beans instead of stuffing. I wanted him to turn out more like a bean bag than a stuffed animal. Plus, I didn't have any stuffing. Let's not forget to mention that because of this, he smells amazing! 
  2. I didn't have any felt, so I used some cloth and buttons for his eyes.
  3. I sewed him by hand.
  4. I didn't use cardboard in his butt circle. He already sat pretty well on his own because of the coffee beans.
Here's how my owl went:

I didn't have a compass to be able to follow the suggestions on angles, but as long as the pieces have the same length sides, it doesn't matter too much. I used the edge of a small trash can to draw the curve. My pieces were 7 inches long on the straight sides (which resulted in my owl being roughly 3.5 inches tall).

See that massive fold in the fabric? Fixed with Downy Wrinkle Releaser! I hate ironing. Thank you, Downy for keeping me from having a wrinkled owl.


I wasn't completely clear at this step whether she sewed up the owl butt before attaching the butt circle. I didn't have much of a choice - the beans kept spilling out and needed to be held in. I got it nice and snug, then attached the butt circle.

As I said before, I didn't include the cardboard in the butt circle - this is just fabric. 

*sigh* My beak didn't turn out quite as nicely. It was hard to get it pointy while hand-sewing it. That's okay though - you can still tell it's a beak.

My finished owl! The only thing I still want to do is protect his eyes from fraying. I'm out of clear nail polish, but once I get some I'll put it around the edges of the fabric to keep it from fraying. If you haven't done this before, it's a great way to keep fabric, ribbons, etc. looking nice.

I left my owl sitting on my nightstand when I was done... maybe the smell of him will wake me up in the morning! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Week 4-ish Cardboard Box Airplane - Phase I

I'm almost back on track!

My Nephew is currently obsessed with airplanes, so when I saw this, I knew I had to make him one. Growing up, my Mom made the most creative Halloween costumes for us out of whatever she could find around the house. She's so creative; we were always so excited about our costumes. I can't wait until Marshall is old enough for me to make him a costume. In the mean time, making my Nephew this airplane satisfied the itch.

Here's my version of the Cardboard Box Airplane:

My airplane is smaller than the inspiration plane because my nephew is younger and I wanted him to be able to climb in and out of it without a problem. My planned next step was to paper mache it to make it stronger, but my husband talked me out of it. It would be an awful lot of work for something I'm not certain my Nephew is even going to play with. I am still planning to paint it though :)

I took a few pictures along the way so that you could see my process. I didn't measure anything, I just eye-balled it. If you have questions, let me know - but I improvised a lot and just had fun with it.

2 Cardboard boxes
Kitchen scissors
Packing Tape

Assembled Airplane:

Stay tuned for the finished product! This little guy is going to be disappointed when his cousin gets to keep the airplane instead of him!


Here's the finished, painted airplane!

I used white spray paint to paint the whole thing white. I almost had it covered in 2 coats, but I had to go back a third time in a few spots. It probably would have worked in two if it weren't so windy the day I painted it. I used my Silhouette Cameo to create and cut some vinyls to decorate the plane. The birthday boy was pretty pleased with his new plane :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week 3?? - Pool Noodle Boot Savers


So, after only 2 weeks I fell off the wagon! How am I going to make it 52 weeks?! I'm the worst blogger ever. (I'm okay with that.) My excuse is that we had 2 crazy weekends that included a yard sale, and an out of town wedding. To make up for it, I'll cover weeks 3 & 4 tonight and Friday, then get back on schedule over the weekend (I hope).

Pool Noodle Boot Savers - this was one of those genius things I came across on Pinterest that made me say, "duh". For the life of me, I can't find the pin. It was in my early days of Pinterest, so it's possible I didn't even re-pin it. If anyone knows the original source, please leave a comment! Here's how mine turned out. (It's not rocket science, I promise.)

Now those are some happy boots.

I did both pairs with one noodle and it worked out perfectly. I cut it with my husband's pocket knife, which worked well - you could probably even use a steak knife.

I bought my noodle before Labor Day, so I'm not sure if you'll still be able to find them, but I bet if you do, they'll be on sale. You know - half off the $1 they already cost.