Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer Ideas

In the summer, we are always looking for activities to do.  Pinterest has a ton of ideas. 

Here are some links to great ideas.

About- 100 Fun Summer Ideas

The Frugal Girls- easy craft ideas

Keep Your Kids Busy for Under 10 Dollars from Buzz Feed

101 Fun Things To Do In The Summer from Parenting Magazine

Outdoor Summer Activities

Here is a list of some of the things we do in the summer.

Pick fruits- like strawberries, blueberries and cherries.  We also go to the Farmers Market every week.

Go to the beach.  With Lake Ontario right here, this is a fun day for us.  Lots of exercise too.

Walk on the Erie Canal and look for edible plants and such.

Go to area parks- many parks around here offer different acitivites.  There are water parks, parks with hiking trails, waterfalls, beaches...

We always go to one of the local farms called Springdale Farms.  The kids get to see some of the operations of a farm, pet the animals in their petting zoo, run along the walkways...

Play in the backyard with water. Water guns, water baloons, slip and slide, sprinkler, whatever.

Go on little day trips to various things around Rochester.

Go to the zoo.

Go to the library and visit other libraries around Rochester.

Do crafts.

Go to local museums.

Play games.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Square from Vicki

In early January we lost a fellow quilter who was very loved in our group.  It has been very sad. Her best friend, Jan, of Quilting Revolution, shared some leftovers from a quilt she was working on with us at retreat.  We all made the same square together learning a few techniques.

I decided to use it with some Easter stuff I have. Just a little table topper. I figured I would find a piece of binding to sew around the perimeter.  When I returned home from retreat I was sitting in my new sewing room.  Lots of boxes of scraps and stuff that I still have to go through to organize.  This one box kept attracting my attention.  I opened it up and started looking through it.  Didn't I find a perfectly matched strip of 2 1/4 and just enough to go around the Vicki square.  Love it! I felt guided.  Who knows maybe Vicki stopped in for a visit and suggested it to my subconscious mind.  In any case, I am finished with it and am happy with the results.  Just beautiful! A great remembrance of a dear person.

I had a great time quilting it.
Before I came from retreat.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Raggedy Ann and Andy

Big Finish! Four dolls- a set for each of my daughters.

I am embarrassed to say that these dolls have taken me a couple years to finish.  The bodies and the outfits were done the first year- pretty much.  It took me two years to complete the hair.  Why?  Because I hated it.  It was a pain in the butt.  I trudged on, albeit rather slowly for my children.  I was bound and determined to get 'er done.  That was my New Years resolution and so far I have completed quite a few projects that I will be sharing with you soon.

My one daughter did not want a hat on her Andy. 

I did different hair on the girls and different outfits.  I goofed some of the socks up.  To be honest about the time I started these dolls I could not find any of the classic stripes for them. There are some differences.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hand Soap DIY

I have been wanting to make this do it yourself handmade soap for a while. I finally came to terms with a 3.50 bar of soap and bought it.  Ouch.  I don't usually buy soap for that much money unless I am buying a multi pack of them.  There was  day when I was single and would treat myself to hand made soaps once in a while.  But now?  Pinching pennies where I can- soap would be the last place I spend a ton of money.  I reasoned with myself- 3.50 for a whole gallon of liquid soap, well, that, I could deal with.  But what if it didnt work?

Guess what?  It worked.  It totally worked.
Grating the soap was real easy.  The soap is soft.  It melts really fast.  So when you are heating it, watch it closely so that it does not boil.  Stir it.  If you see things floating continue heating.  As soon as there are no tiny soap bits, remove it from the heat.  Let cool.  Like don't check it for 12 hours, kinda cool.
Liquid Hand Soap

1 gallon water (filtered or distilled is best)
2 tablespoons glycerin*
1 bar Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap

Grate the soap.  Place the soap the glycerin and the water in a large pot.  It should be stainless steel.  If  you use something that is porous then the soap may stay in the pot and carry over into your food.  Stainless steel will clean up real nice with no soap left behind.  You should also stir with metal- no wood. 

Heat over medium heat until all the little soap bits are melted. Remove from heat immediately.

Cool for 12 hours.  Check it- see if it is thickened.  Stir and let it drip off the spoon.  Notice how it drips.  Does it kind of slide off slowly.  Then it is nearly done.  If it is still very thin, wait another 12 hours. Check again.  This soap will thicken as 24- 36 hours pass.  At first it is thin then about the consistency of egg whites, then more like soft set jello.

Whisk in small circles to combine everything.  Pour into soap dispensers. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Houses, Block by Block

After having signed up for a million 100+ giveaways from Sew Mama Sew, I found Pretty Little Quilts.  She has a nice block of the month, in progress, but towards the beginning and I think I have to join in. It is called Hillside Houses, if you are interested, click here.  Ever since I saw this quilt,

houses quilt!!!! I love this! Just need a house tessellation ?
Here is the maker of this quilt above.  So beautiful!

I have been interested in doing something like it.  Since Pretty Little Quilts already designed it, what the heck, I am jumping on this wagon...

Pretty Little Quilts Hillside Houses QAL
This is the general layout of the quilt-

house quilt

Cute, huh?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Container Gardening

My garden helper.  She digs on demand.
Apparently, I have not been sharing very much.  Who knew a month could go by without me sharing anything.   Don't think because I have not been sharing that I haven't been crafting, because I sure have.  Not to mention the fact that I moved my sewing studio.  It's in a WAY better location however there has been a lot of moving, organizing and purging going on.

Also, gardening and yard work.  Too many irons in the fire as of late.  I am sure you have lots of things going on as well.  We all do! There is always so much to do.  I guess it really is all about what you make time for.  Either you can fit it in or you can't.

When I was a child no one planted anything before Memorial Day in this zone because there was usually a frost in May.  There hasn't been a frost in My for like forever.  The zones have changed, haven't they?  This year is the first year I took advantage of that and planted the first week in May.  This year I planted okra, kohlrabi, kale, collard greens, tomatoes, the usual herbs- basil, dill and a new one- Thai basil.  I cook Thai so I thought I would give it a try.  My thyme is very happy in this home of mine.  It has come back three years in a row.  It was suppose to be annual but I guess it is pretty hardy. 

I use to have a pretty large garden but I could not keep up with the weeds so we ended that.  Now we have two container type gardens.  Its good enough.  We have a great public market nearby and lots of farmers around town so there is plenty available, gratefully!

I propagated basil from some hydroponic basil I found at the supermarket. It didn't work as well as I thought it might but I did get two plants out of it.