Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can I get an AAAWWWW?

Fingerless gloves... Heck yeah!

 I decided to teach myself to crochet via the interwebs with videos and such. This site is awesome and helped me tremendously.
     After watching a video, I practiced a chain stitch and a single crochet stitch.  I was ready to make SOMETHING!! So there was a pattern for fingerless gloves. They sounded pretty sweet.  After about a hour of attempting to read the secret language of crocheting I grew frustrated and thought screw it, I will make my own pattern.  I do that at times. So here we go. 

Fingerless gloves pattern:
25-35 chain stitches for the first row... adjust for the size of your arm. Leave about 12" of yarn at the beginning knot for stitching the sides together at the end.
17- 25 rows of single crochet stitch... depends on the length you want them.
Last step is to put the two ends together. Using the yarn you saved earlier, weave the ends together.  Make sure you leave an opening for the thumb.  Turn to the right side and there you go a fingerless glove. Repeat for a matching set.  I decorated mine with buttons and ribbons.  Have fun!
 These are my girlie gloves.
These are my blue jean gloves.
These are my bubba gloves. They were first pair I made. I have no clue how they ended up a camouflaged pattern but the yarn looked really sweet when I picked it out. This is how the ribbons and buttons came into to play, to girlify my bubba gloves a bit.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are you saying.......

I LOVE This!


There's something wrong here....

Mint infused Vanilla Soda.  No calories!


Ingredient List:

3 Vanilla Bean Stalks

1/4 cup fresh Mint

3/4 cup Splenda

4 cups Water

Sparkling Seltzer Water


 Sprig of Mint


So I played in the kitchen quite a bit today. I tried out a homemade Ginger-ale recipe I saw floating around Pinterest.  While I was doing this I decided to experiment and make a vanilla based syrup for a vanilla soda. I was hit with a heavenly idea.... Add MINT! So I trotted out to the garden and snipped 1/4 cup of fresh mint. I pulled out 3 vanilla bean stalks from my secret stash. 

I chopped up the mint and cut the Vanilla stalks in half. I then sliced the vanilla bean stalks. I scraped out the goody from the stalk threw it, the Vanilla stalks and mint into a small saucepan. I added 4 cups of water and 3/4 cup of Splenda.  

I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for a hour. I then turned the heat off and let the vanilla syrup cool. After it cooled, I strained it through cheesecloth into a glass jar for keeping.  Make sure to refrigerate the syrup.

I added 3 Tablespoons of the syrup to 8 oz of sparkling Seltzer water.  You can buy Seltzer water at most grocery stores. I tossed in some ice and a sprig of mint and YUM!  Taste just like creme soda but with no calories! Enjoy! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Make Your Own Homemade Vanilla Extract... YUM!

    So I came across a recipe to make your own Vanilla Extract on this website
I was intrigued and immediately ordered Vanilla bean stalks from a vendor on Amazon for an amazingly, reasonable price! My Vanilla arrived today, so I hopped in my car and drove out of (dry) city limits to the nearest booze joint and bought a liter of Vodka. 

At home I poured out half of a cup of vodka to give me a little shake room. I then cut 16 vanilla bean stalks in half. I sliced them open, scrapped the yummy out, placed it and the Vanilla stalks into the Vodka.
 I proceeded to shake, shake, shake my vanilla extract to be vodka bottle. 
 I am keeping mine in the pantry where it is nice and dark. It needs to be shaken once a week for 4-6 weeks per the directions. Then shake it when you remember to.  I plan on aging mine for 6 months.  It will be ready just in time for Christmas! I plan on using it for holiday baking and as gifts for friends and family members.  I will post a pic in 6 months once it has aged to perfection.
Now is the time to get your Vanilla Extract going!!!!! 

And then he bent her...... Wait! I can show you better than I can tell you!

Just Because...

Sometimes I have one of these days...

So I take one of these days to make up for it... We all need one every now and then.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Simply Wonderful Air Freshener

    This is one of those simple but lovely things you can do to add a little shassy to your life and make your house smell wonderful!  No spray cans, candles or buying refills for the newest, air freshener gadget.

Materials needed:
A couple sticks of Cinnamon or a tsp of ground Cinnamon
A couple Vanilla Bean stalks or a splash of Vanilla
 3 cups of Water

Orange rind
Lemon rind
Fresh Mint
Fresh Peppermint 
Fresh Lemon Balm
Fresh sliced up Ginger
and so on...
   Play with the spices and the aromas they produce.  You are only limited by you.
   Add the water and spices to a pot and bring it to a boil.  At this point you turn the heat down to a simmer or transfer the brew over to a mini crock pot. 
   Add water when it needs it.  Make sure to turn it off before bed.  Next day, turn the heat back on to a simmer and add water if needed.   I use my brew for 3-4 days before tossing it. I then start over with a new choice of spices.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Upcycle Old Pillows to Throw Pillows for Patio Furniture...

Items you will need: 


Scissors, thread, needle, old pillow or a new one, and material of your choice.

     After pricing pillow forms as well the batting and stuffing to make a pillow, I found the materials a bit expensive so I thought of a little upcycling idea. I have a few old pillows I was going to toss but instead I decided to use one for this project. NO FEATHER PILLOWS! If you do you use one, you are not allowed to leave any comments.

    I bought these old curtains from a yard sale around 10 years ago because I freaking loved the pattern!  I now have a use for this nice, heavy material. It is gorgeous!

    I cut the old pillow in half. I will admit the cutting was a bit tough. Make sure your scissors are SHARP. I was tempted to run it through a table saw but stuck to home style.  Do check with the hubsters or partners before attempting the table saw method.  I stitched up the side on each half and Bam! I now have two, perfectly-sized, pillows for patio furniture.

The pillows measure 12" by 19".   
I used a simple wrap and tack method to cover the pillows.
The material I cut to use measured  33" by 51".          

Step 1: Spread out your fabric. Print face down and place your pillow just about here. 
Step 2:  Fold each side up and over. Red dots are where I placed a couple stitches (Tacking). I then folded the bottom of the material up and tacked it down. This is similar to wrapping a gift.

Step 3: I folded the other side and tacked it down.

Step 4: Fold the material up and tack it down.
Step 5: Fold the top down. Line up the edge with the bottom of the pillow. you will have excess in the middle. that will be used to create fold in the center. Tack the edge at red dot.

 Step 6: Smooth down from the top. Tack about an inch or two up from the center.
Step 7: Smooth from the bottom. There will be excess in the middle. That will be folded down in the next step. Fold up toward the top and tack at the red dot.
Step 8: Fold it flat and tack each side at the red dot area.
Step 9: Tack down at each side.

Step 10: I stitched the bottom down all the way across. I have only stitched down half in the pic. I sewed a button on each side but this optional.

All done and ready to be tossed onto a patio chair!  Rinse and repeat for the other pillow.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Acceptance brings peace.
Accept your own beauty and your limitations.
Accept and embrace you.
My Version of a Sweet Patio, Pallet Table....

Thus began my journey in patio, pallet table making. 
 Materials list:
2 Used pallets
2 Different colored paints
1 2x4
Several 2 1/2 inch nails
A few 1 1/2 inch nails
Water sealant
Hammer and a saw to cut wood
 4 caster wheels
Optional: A sander and sand paper

 DAY 1:
 Thus began my journey in patio, pallet table making.  So today I drug my eager <insert sarcasm here> Hunny out to scour the neighborhood for FREE pallets.  Amazing how many pallets are outside of CLOSED on Sunday, businesses.  It is proper etiquette to always ask for the pallets before you take them.  If you don't, it could lead to a pretty set of matching bracelets known as handcuffs in some instances.
   So I headed to the Home Depot and  after a bit of begging, a nice young man asked management if they had any pallets available.  Fortunately for me they had one poor, damaged baby that was strapped to a buggy and garbage bound.  I RESCUED the slightly damaged but usable pallet and hauled to toss my new-found treasure in the back of my car before they changed their minds. 
   I was extremely pleased with my find.  See this was not an ordinary pallet but a perfect Shassy pallet.  Trim boards that fit closely together with no huge gaps.  A smexy little pallet!  The damage was on the end and that fit into my plan as well.  The original table is a bit too big for me so I cut off the damaged side and ended up with a perfect size!  

  Isn't it lovely?  I think so!  Day one of patio, pallet table making completed.


DAY 2:   

    So I invested in a reasonably priced sander today and two cans of CHEAP, yes CHEAP, paint!  There is a story about the cheap paint bit but I will share it another day.   I sanded the table top with 50 grit sandpaper to remove the dirt and bumps.  I followed that with 180 grit sandpaper and smoothed the wood out.  It was pretty, sweet looking wood after my beauty treatment.  I added a bit of shassiness with dark, chocolate-colored paint and a touch of awesome teal. Here is a pic of the drying smexy table top.

DAY 3:
    The bottom of the table is now assembled... unpainted but at least put together.  I pieced together the bottom from another pallet.  A bit more damaged than the first one but with a little babying the shassy came out!  I have discovered that sanding makes painting a whole lot easier. The wood seems less thirsty and I was able to sand away the grime, rough edges, along with splinters. This is a sanded, ready to be painted table bottom.

DAY 4:
   So I painted the bottom of the table and cut six 16 inch boards from one 2x4 and painted them as well for the legs.  I am letting the paint dry and will do the touch ups that are needed. Tomorrow is assembly day. WOOT! A preview of what it will look like.
DAY 5:
Assembled!!! I attached the legs with the 2 1/2 nails.  Placed the caster wheels on the bottom of each corner. I am retouching the paint and will be water-proofing it with Rainguard. 

DAY 6:
The Unveiling.....
A picture of the final result.  I love this table.