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!