Thursday, June 30, 2011

Potato Cuteness

Aren't these cute? I got a box of them at one of the farm stands the other day. They are called "Peanut Potatoes." I've never seen them before. Since they have the whole red, white and (sorta) blue thing going on, I will probably make a nice potato salad out of them on Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


 Top photo is freezer jam. Bottom photo is pantry jam.

Mike and I went out on the Island today, as he had a job site to do. We hit some farmstands on the way back. Alas, farmstands are few and far between here on Long Island these days. But I did bring home four quarts of lovely strawberries, locally grown. It was a pick-your-own place. And no, I didn't pick my own. I'm not capable of that with my back problems. I'm willing to pay an extra 50 cents a quart to let someone else do the work, LOL!

So I bring them home and start making jam. I was prepared for this 'cause I picked up some fruit pectin yesterday. Fruit pectin is almost as hard to find as farmstands. Nobody on LI cans, I guess. (Either that, or they do and they took it all.) Anyhoo, so I have this magazine from BH&G about canning (full of beautiful recipes) and I look up strawberry jam.

And I cut up 12 cups of strawberries.
Only to find the fruit pectin I have is meant for 'small batch' and I only needed about a cup and half of strawberries. (The mag recipe is for a big batch.) Can you imagine, it was the ONLY envelope of the stuff the store had?

But I had also bought some freezer jam packets. So I'm able to make both processed/pantry jam and freezer jam with all those strawberries.
The small batch only made 4 of the tiniest jars, like maybe 2 cups' worth. But now I know how much a packet makes and it will be a good way to experiment with some other things. Meantime, with all the strawberies I have left I might make some Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa, which does not require pectin. 
I'm worn out. Gonna go relax with my NOOK. My mother cans 60+ jars of this or that at a time. Me, I'm tired after maybe 8 jars.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A little at a time

I was just thinking recently that there aren't enough hours in the day for all the crafting I want to do. So many cute crochet and sewing projects! But I have set myself up to do a little at a time on some of them, finding opportunities here and there:

I'm working on a child's scarf (to match a hat already finished). I keep it down in the laundry room and polish off a row or two as I wait for that last five minutes or so the machine needs to finish.

I've got a new pair of socks in the works. I keep it in a baggie, next to my bed. I do most of my reading in the morning, and most of that from my NOOK. I work on the socks a little bit at a time, between pages or when something is downloading. I have finished the ridged tops and am now at the round and round part. I try to finish at least one round on each sock each day.

When I go to my sil's house, I bring smaller projects with  me--or parts of bigger ones. Like the snowflake quilt I'm making for my daughter. One motif at a time and eventually I will get the whole thing done.

If I want something that is 'mindless' and doesn't require looking at the directions, I just bring my needle/scissors 'chatelaine' (See link below) and a few projects and weave in some ends! 

Scissors/needles holder

There may not be time to do it all, but there's often time to do a little!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day and Thanks

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post. It never occurred to me that there is a lot going on this time of the year. Since I no longer have kids in school, I don't think about end-of-the-year activities or graduations. We aren't doing much this summer so I don't have vacation in my head, either, although I hope to visit a friend's Upstate (NY) home for a few days. And to go antiquing with her--she says there's lots of fun places to do that!

Mike has enjoyed a nice Father's Day. My sil and bil (Mike's brother) put out an amazing mid-day spread of clams, mussels, king crab legs (!)  and other appetizers. So we are just eating very lightly for dinner tonight. I'll make Mike something another day.

I gave my nephew his finger puppets and he loved them. He's such a nice kid. No matter how many toys he has, he is always pleasant and grateful when you give him something. There's nothing like a 'thanks' and a sweet smile from an almost-6-year-old!


Saturday, June 18, 2011



C'mon, I have followers. Doesn't anyone read this blog? I turned off word verfication.

I visit many other blogs.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fairy Floral Crown

Here is an easy-to-make floral crown for a little girl. I saw it on a blog, but she got it from someplace else and couldn't remember where, so I suppose it's okay I forgot the blog. The way it is put together came from my own head. 

You need a pipecleaner, some felt and some ribbon. 

Twist a loop of about a half inch (meaning your using up about an inch and a half total) long in one end of the pipe cleaner. 

Cut out a bunch of flowers and leaves. I just did these free-hand. If you trace the bottom of a thread spool and then snip the edges, you get ones that are sort of like bachelor buttons. 

Cut two parallel slits in the middle of each flower or leaf. Slide the pipe cleaner through the slits until you have about an  inch and a half left. Then twist a loop at the other end.

Take your ribbon and cut a length of it--you can figure this out from your own kid's head because you'll be using it to tie on the crown. Make two  of these ribbons. Tie them through the loops.

Your floral crown is finished!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another 'finish'

Well, I suppose I should call it a semi-finish, since I left out the last step.

This is a 2-drawer file cabinet cover from the book "One Yard Wonders." Trust me when I tell you: if you are a sewist, you neeeeed this book! It has so many wonderful projects in it from household items to toys to clothing. I am amazed at what you can do with only one yard of fabric.

The cover here is supposed to have loops and big buttons on the front. But a)I just wanted to get it done and b)it's easier to just flip up the front panel when we want access to our files. This thing sits in our bedroom and now it looks so much nicer. I'm out of the plain green fabric but I might try to find some coordinated prints to make a few pillows for the bed.

One of the nice things about only needing a yard is that you can get that expensive 'upholstery' fabric (like what I used here) on the remnant shelf at a discount. I'm sure this cost me less than $7 to make including the bias binding. doesn't have a back. And I finished the 'raw' edges by simply pinking them. What counts is what shows.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just FYI

Nothing exciting here. I just wanted you all to know I turned off 'word verification.' I hope it makes it easier for people to leave comments, 'cause I would  like MORE, LOL!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finger Puppet Zoo

My little nephew, John, saw me crocheting one day and asked if I could make animals. So I'm going to be several varieties of animals for him for his upcoming birthday. He's going to be 6, or maybe it's 7. They grow so fast.

As you can see, my Zoo has a zebra, a tiger, a lion (I think he looks a little like Groucho Marx), a monkey and a giraffe.

For the zebra and giraffe, I cut extra layers then cut away the spots or stripes before sewing. Tiger's stripes are glued down since I wanted different colors on him.

I wish I'd made the giraffe a little taller, and the Zebra ended up being so small he only fits my pinkie finger. I think he'll be fine for a little boy, though!

These are all done free-hand. I traced around my finger for a basic body pattern, then just fudged it from there. It's mostly done with glue, but sewn around the edges of the body (and across the monkey's mouth).

My next menagerie, which I hope to have done for John's birthday (in July) is a farm: horse, cow, pig, chicken and duck. Or maybe a rooster and a chicken. We'll see. I already have the pig and horse cut out.