Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Knitting Novice

So I've been teaching myself to knit.... About a year ago I bought a book and some knitting needles. After a few tries the book and needles found a home at the bottom of my giant box of yarn. I recently dug them out and decided to take another whack at it. And look! I've already started knitting cables! It's fun, but definitely a slow process. I think I'd still rather crochet, but I am really excited about this cabled scarf I'm making. Too bad I'll have to wait almost a whole year to wear it. Domestic? Getting there.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sewing Machine Woes

My sewing machine and I have a sort of love-hate relationship... I love it, but I think it might hate me. Never seems to work when I need it to. It randomly freaks out when I'm in the middle of a project, and often refuses to get up and going at all. Sounds more like a grumpy teenager than a simple piece of machinery.

Such was the case earlier this week. I sat down to sew one very simple straight seam. Just one. But my machine (I think she needs a name...) refused to work. I turned in off and back on. I switched the stich. I switched back to my original stitch. Tried all the easy things I could think of. Nothing.

So I decided to break out the big guns. I got out the screwdriver and started taking things apart. (I'm sure my mother is cringing right now... we won't talk about all the other things I've taken apart and ruined...) So I went about dismantling and cleaning and tweaking. I put it all back together to give it another try. No good. I tried a new bobbin, still nothing. And then I ran out of time and decided to come back to it later.

So yesterday, I came back to see if I could make the darn thing work. I took it apart a few more times, and cleaned an oiled and blah blah blah. Finally, put it all back together, and as a last ditch effort, decided to rethread the blasted machine.

It worked. Stupid machine.

The moral of the story? Be nice to your sewing machine, and don't forget to try rethreading it before you bust out the hand tools.

And now that it's up and running again, I hope to have a cute little project up in the near future.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not Enough Time in the Day

Housekeeping is not my forte. Why? I really don't know. I like having a clean house. I don't enjoy waking through messes and clutter. But for some reason, I just can't manage to keep my house as clean as I'd like it or think it ought to be. My guess is I'm not the only one with this problem, but really, there has got to be a solution. Someone once told me that I should time myself doing things, that way I know what I can accomplish in the bits of time allotted me. So I've been trying it the last few days.

Little girl toys always end up strung all over the living room. Usually I just leave them. They aren't hurting anyone. Why put them away if they're just going to be all over the room again in a few minutes? I'll tell you why. It only takes 55 seconds to clean them up and put them back in the toy box. All of the them. 55 seconds.
I can do 55 seconds several times a day. And look how much better it looks!

I HATE cleaning up the highchair. Hate it. But how gross is that to have laying around? So I timed myself. It takes me 3 minutes to clean off the tray, wipe down the chair, and vacuum up the food that was thrown overboard. 3 minutes: much easier than trying to do it one-handed with a hungry crying toddler in my arms. No excuses.

So I timed other various jobs that I seem to put off forever...
  • it takes me 4:25 to empty the dish washwer
  • 1 minute to empty the garbage
  • 2 minutes to start a load of laundry
  • and 1 minute to make the bed.

So although I feel like there is never enough time, I'm pretty sure I can find a free minute or two here and there to get some of those icky jobs done. I'm inspired now. You should try it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Easter Eggs

I made this pile of easter Eggs to sit on top of my entertainment center (wannabe mantle).
You will need:

Plastic Easter Eggs- I got this whole Package at Hobby Lobby for 67 cents
White Spray Paint
Jute Twine
Fabric Scraps
Mod Podge
Hot Glue Gun
I heated a needle over a candle and poked a hole in the top of the egg.
Then I spray painted the eggs white, just so the colors wouldn't show through the fabric or between the rows of just. I used Krylon Flat White. I love Krylon Paint because it dries fast (even when it's cold outside) and it sprays in a fan, instead of a big dot- it works great!

On my first jute egg, I strung the twine through the hole and made a loop. I was originally planning on hanging the eggs from my little pine tree that is still on top of the entertainment center from Christmas.
Unfortunately, it turned out looking way too much like a beehive... so i scrapped the ornament idea and just used the holes to start spiraling my twine.
I glued the Hemp to the inside of the egg.

Then I spiraled the hemp around and around, glueing as I went. Do this until the egg is covered.
It got a little difficult after I passed the widest part of the egg. It was hard to get the jute right up next to the previous row. You just have to go slow and be patient for a few rows and then it gets easier again. Fill in the rest of the space, cut the just and glue down the last little bit.

And it looks like this!

For the Mod Podge Eggs, I just used tiny scraps I'd been saving (I hate to waste any good piece of fabric). I Mod Podged them on just like you would anything else. It's important to use small pieces of fabric- at first i tried to use strips, and they didn't fit well around the curves of the egg.

My next plan is to make some little birdies to put on the tree... I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

St. Patty's Popcorn

I've so been busy lately making flowers for my Etsy Shop and dreaming up Easter projects (coming soon) and chasing a little girl around, and I realized I forgot all about St. Patty's Day. Which is a shame, because I love the color GREEN. Unfortunately, all that GREEN and GOLD, probably doesnt jive with a lot of home decor... I was having a hard time coming up with anything festive and UNridiculous. So I figure if I can't decorate with all that GREEN... I'll EAT it! I'm thinking of making dinner on St. Patty's completely GREEN. Still brainstorming that... but for now, here's a yummy and festive treat that's fun and easy:

My Mom's Oven Jello Popcorn

This would be great for any time of year because it can be made in and flavor/color combination, but Lime Jello is perfect for St. Patty's

8 c. Popped Corn
1/4 c. Margarine (I used butter)
4 Tbs. Light Corn Syrup
1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3oz. Package Jello

Mix Butter and syrup over Low heat. Add sugar and Jello. Bring to a Boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over popped corn and mix well (work quickly, things get pretty sticky from here on out). Spread on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 300 degrees for 8 minutes. Loosen from pan immediately and break apart when cooled.