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!