okra episode two!

Remem­ber a while ago I made some okra prints? Well, I don’t blame you if you don’t remem­ber, because I’ve for­got­ten myself! But final­ly I remem­bered the prints last week­end, and fin­ished what I had intend­ed to do with them.

Make busi­ness cards! :D

 

A cou­ple of orders had come in through the shop and as I was pack­ing them I thought, would­n’t it be nice if I can throw in a cute busi­ness card with some con­tact information. 

So that was why I made the okra prints, to print my shop info on the back of them. I was real­ly look­ing for­ward to flip­ping them over and see the com­po­si­tion of the prints on each one after they’re cut.

 

I used beige and light grey card stock. And they’re MOO Card size. I kept see­ing busi­ness cards this size at craft shows and such and thought they looked real­ly cute.

Hope you’ve had an awe­some start to the week! 

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Oooh, a jel­lo origa­mi crane. There’s a video on how to make one on My Jel­lo Amer­i­cans :D

 

From the own­er of one of my favourite blogs, Lil Fish Stu­dios — tuto­r­i­al for a nee­dle felt­ed mush­room ter­rar­i­um on Lark Crafts!

 

Heart wreath made of long bal­loons, white glue and yarn :D An inge­nious idea by Michele Made Me.

 

I love that the mak­er’s named it the har­mo­ny neck­lace. Def­i­nite­ly on my to-make list. How-to on Qui­et Lion Cre­ation.

 

Super awe­some tea bag cook­ies! I sup­pose any sug­ar cook­ie recipe would do — but the idea is bril­liant! Spot­ted on Par­ty Frost­ing.

 

These mit­tens look super cozy and remind me of pink marsh­mal­lows. Sewing pat­tern for the con­vec­tion mit­tens on Foxflat’s Blog. 

 

Two ingre­di­ent straw­ber­ry fudge! Very cute and looks like the kind of cook­ing I can tack­le :D Though I dob’t think I’ve seen ready-made straw­ber­ry icing at the gro­cery store before. Maybe they have them in your neigh­bour­hood? Recipe on Cook­ies and Cups.

 

I love the sim­plic­i­ty and the drape of this sweater. Also looks like the kind of knit­ting I can tack­le. Pat­tern for size XL is free on Pick­les!

 

Wish­ing you a love­ly weekend!

 

 

 

on the third day of chinese new year…

Chi­nese new year cel­e­bra­tions tra­di­tion­al­ly last for ten days. Well, at least from what I remem­ber. I remem­ber hav­ing  a rather pro­longed hol­i­day from school, return­ing to school after the 10th of the lunar calendar. 

So! Fes­tive eat­ing is ongo­ing this week :D

My par­ents have an assort­ment of new year sweets and snacks out in a spe­cial three-tiered can­dy box that only comes out dur­ing the new year. In the top right cor­ner are red water­mel­on seeds. In the top left are some crunchy sesame cookies.

 

Here’s a close-up of the can­died car­rots (the orange discs), can­died coconut (the long white pieces), and can­died lotus seeds, and I think the beige discs are can­died pineap­ple. I also like the can­died win­ter mel­on pieces but my mom did­n’t get those this year, which is ok, because can­died coconut is also my favourite :D

 

We brought home these fun­nel cake-like fried pas­try, made by my cousin! :D Have been eat­ing them through­out the day as I was read­ing. Got­ta take a pic­ture before they’re all gone…

 

And my par­ents gave us some turnip cake. That’s Mike’s favourite.

 

Have a hap­py Thurs­day! :D

 

silver lining

 

 

A book­mark I made for my sis­ter. It’s safe­ly arrived in her mail­box now, so I can show it to you :D

But it’s a real­ly good reminder for myself also. I’ve been liv­ing under a cloud of wor­ries and anx­ious­ness this week; it’s good to remind myself the many good things that are hap­pen­ing and all the awe­some sup­port­ive peo­ple around me, rather than just focus­ing on the few neg­a­tive things.

The book I used for this pho­to is actu­al­ly called The Cloud of Unknow­ing. I brought it home when the church library was throw­ing it out but I haven’t read it yet.

Have a fab­u­lous Fri­day, friends!

 

 

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

 

Cro­chet a bas­ket with a giant hook and clothes­line rope! How-to on Mak­ing Chick­en Sal­ad.

 

These are sim­ply gor­geous, can’t wait to make one! Made from pine cones and nail pol­ish! Instruc­tion by Jane Avion.

 

Will have to make this adorable acorn neck­lace too! From Dol­lar Store Craft.

 

This would also make a fab­u­lous pen­dant. (yes, I do like wear­ing neck­laces.) Won­der­ful step-by-step tuto­r­i­al on Lisa’s Craft Blog.

 

Super cute! Bun­ny sachet sewing tuto­r­i­al from Craft Pas­sion.

 

Always won­dered how these were made… Instruc­tion on mak­ing leaf skele­ton from The Idea Room.

 

And final­ly, the pure genius of these tiny but­ton books by Stephanie David­son (spot­ted on The Art Room Plant). One could actu­al­ly own one — vis­it the artist’s Etsy shop!

 

Have a great start to the week!

 

 

progress! :D

Com­plet­ed first project on my yarn craft­ing res­o­lu­tion list! :D

 

Not only is it a knit hat, it’s a knit cable hat :D I’m quite hap­py with it. I want­ed the cables only around the brim but could­n’t find a free pat­tern for it, but I came across this awe­some cable head­band pat­tern, so I just fol­lowed it and then knit­ted the rest of the hat using the decrease method in this hat pat­tern as a guide.

Here’s a clos­er look at the cables…

 

I was also test­ing out the Retro Cam­era App on my phone, so here’s one tak­en from the “pin­hole cam­era” mode…

 

We’ve had a great snow­fall in the city today! And I’m well-equipped with my cozy new hat :D

Have a great week­end, everyone!

 

 

’tis the season for ginger!

Mike is here for a guest post on mak­ing can­died gin­ger and gin­ger ale :D

Finished candied ginger

 

Hi all! For Christ­mas this year, one of my goals was to be less com­mer­cial in my gift giv­ing. A few years ago, Trish gave me some dried fruit, almond but­ter and my favourite tea. An awe­some gift for sure — espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing the dried fruit was dried kiwi — but it got me think­ing about how gift gift­ing must have been like 100 years ago. Need­less to say, I’m not a very crafty indi­vid­ual, at least when it comes to yarn, so I was very excit­ed when I stum­bled upon instruc­tions for mak­ing can­died gin­ger.

Equal­ly excit­ing is just how easy it is. Are you ready for this? To make can­died gin­ger at home all you need is:

  • Sug­ar
  • Gin­ger
  • Water

That’s it! Unless you want to make your own home­made gin­ger ale, in which case you’ll need some club soda — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The first step is to peel the gin­ger (the tuto­r­i­al rec­om­mends using a spoon) and then cut it real­ly thin. Slic­ing it thin is cru­cial. If you cut it too thick, it’ll be quite spicy/peppery and take much longer to dry.

Cutting the ginger  

Sec­ond­ly we mix the sim­ple syrup. It’s equal parts sug­ar and water. Sim­ple eh? We used about a cup and a half of each, but we were mak­ing a few batch­es and end­ed up reusing the syrup a few times.

Bring the sug­ar-water mix­ture to a boil and then sim­mer the gin­ger for 30 min­utes or until tender.

After the gin­ger is fin­ished cook­ing, strain off any remain­ing syrup and move to a wire mesh or cool­ing rack. Basi­cal­ly the gin­ger needs to be well ven­ti­lat­ed so it can ful­ly dry.

 

Drying ginger

Here’s the gin­ger look­ing all syrupy and wait­ing to dry.

A large batch of ginger drying

The antic­i­pa­tion!

Once the gin­ger is all nice and dry — about sev­en or eight hours should do — shake it in a large bowl with some white sug­ar until it’s com­plete­ly coat­ed. I used half table sug­ar and half icing sug­ar, which gave it a nice texture!

After mak­ing a few batch­es, we saved the gin­ger flavoured syrup to use in tea and to make our own mock gin­ger ale. The gin­ger ale was good, a lit­tle spicy, but not bad.

Ginger syrup 

Festive drinks!

I hope every­one’s new year is off to a great start. Cheers!

adventure in soap making

This year Mike and I decid­ed to make some soap as Christ­mas presents. We’ve nev­er made soap before but I did a quick search on the web and it seemed quite sim­ple. I par­tic­u­lar­ly liked this tuto­r­i­al of snow globe soap, and we thought instead of Christ­masy fig­urines, dinosaurs and farm ani­mals would make pret­ty awe­some snow globe soaps :D

We bought some glyc­erin from Michaels with a 50% off coupon, because I did­n’t real­ly know where else one could buy soap blocks…

The glyc­erin looks real­ly cool when it’s cubed…

Here are the farm ani­mals we bought from the dol­lar store. The dinosaurs must have been cam­era shy and hid­ing, but we had them too.

Mike grat­ed some Ivory soap for snow. Here’s a goose hang­ing out in the snow.

After reheat­ing many, many, many times, all the soap cubes final­ly melt­ed. So excit­ed! XD

 Then, exact­ly an hour lat­er, my spir­it was crushed! It did­n’t work! Because we used up all the clear soaps and they turned out ridicu­lous, the ani­mals were frozen in soap side­ways or pok­ing their noses out on the side. In des­per­a­tion I tried to melt the Ivory soap and it was dis­as­trous!  Ivory soap isn’t for melt­ing, kids.

Any­way, what hap­pened was, the tuto­r­i­al I was try­ing to fol­low sug­gests insert­ing the ani­mals upside down into the soap after the soap has set a bit, and then fin­ish­ing it off with a sprin­kle of “snow” (grat­ed white soap) and a bit of melt­ed soap on top. But after a few tri­als and errors, set­ting and re-melt­ing, we final­ly fig­ured that said method did­n’t work for larg­er ani­mals (the tuto­r­i­al makes small soap bars with tiny toys and ice cube tray as mold) because the ani­mals kept sink­ing to the bot­tom. It also did­n’t work if we want­ed to make sev­er­al bars alto­geth­er in a block and then cut it after it’s set (because we did­n’t have enough indi­vid­ual molds).

So final­ly, we melt­ed every­thing down again. This time we laid the snow at the bot­tom, poured a thin lay­er of clear soap on top, wait­ed for it to set a bit (and it does­n’t take long), then pressed the ani­mals’ feet into the snowy soap, then poured more clear soap on top until all the ani­mals are cov­ered.

And it worked! :D Well, for the most part…

The stegosaurus was prob­a­bly the best “dinosaur in the snow” soap we made :D

The tricer­atops was pret­ty nice too.

But poor bron­tosaurus and tyran­nosaurus rex, there was­n’t enough soap to go around >_< but that’s okay, they can be like Nessie, lurk­ing under the water…

We used some yogurt con­tain­ers as molds, like push pops :D

Here’s hadrosaur in a yogurt con­tain­er-mold­ed soap. 

The goose we saw hang­ing out on the snow before.

Chick­en soap for the soul! XD

Anoth­er poul­try, frozen in soap.

(We thought it would look like ani­mals stand­ing in the snow, but they end­ed up look­ing more like frozen ani­mals, espe­cial­ly the poul­try. And only the chick­ens and goose would fit in the yogurt con­tain­ers. We ran out of soap at the point so we could­n’t use the pig, cow and horse as planned.)

Oh well. It was fun. Now that we got the hang of it I hope to try again next year, with an under­wa­ter theme, incor­po­rat­ing a grainy, exfo­li­at­ing bot­tom lay­er, a bit of blue colour­ing to the clear soap and plas­tic sea crea­tures :D

And I’ll need to find anoth­er place to buy blocks of soap! A 2 lb. block does­n’t go very far and it’s rather expen­sive at Michaels.

This con­cludes the series of Christ­mas present posts — next week, new crafts! :D

 

Have a won­der­ful week, friends!

 

 

marvelous sand

Came across these images of mag­ni­fied grains of sand… aren’t they marvelous?

Source

Speak­ing of sand, Mike and I made some sand cast­ing in the sum­mer (inspired by this post on Paint Cut Paste). Was too busy dig­ging holes, beach-comb­ing, and check­ing on the plas­ter so I neglect­ed to take process pho­tos, but it was incred­i­bly fun! We tried dig­ging free formed holes for some and used the bot­tom of a buck­et as a mold for oth­ers. Though some did­n’t turn out because the plas­ter did­n’t set right. These are the two that turned out best.

Have an awe­some week­end, everyone!