Tag Archives: kitten

Kitten in the craft box

So, I’m trying to work on this latch hook rug kit, but a certain cat has other plans for the box the craft kit came in.

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UFOs: Unfinished Objects

I don’t tend to have a ton of UFOs (unfinished objects)/WIPs (works in progress) around, but when I do give up, it is right at the end of a project.  This one cross stitch I’ve been working on is definitely at the frustration point.  I’ve been working on it for so long, completing a little each day.  Now I’m almost to the end and having to force myself to finish rather than start another craft project.  I have been wanting to start one of my tiny embroidery kits just because they are so small, and will give instant gratification, but then I know I would never finish this one.  Almost there!  I find the end of a project to be almost stressful, and this is one piece I am definitely ready to be done with.

embroidery and cat

It is especially hard to finish with a cat on my lap.

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Thrift Store Afghans

I headed out to Value Village for my first time today.  Little did I know, on Monday everything with a yellow tag is only 99 cents!  I picked up two of the most beautiful hand crocheted afghans. If anyone has tips on how to wash them I would appreciate it.  Probably will just throw them in the washer on a cold cycle since they’re made of acrylic yarn.

Rainbow afghan

It makes me a little sad knowing that someone worked so hard on these beauties and now they are selling for only 99 cents!  But I take solace in the knowledge that I will love them and get lots of use out of them… I’m one of those people that always has a blanket on my lap when I’m at home, and even at friends houses sometimes!  My friend Rosie jokes that i use her throw blankets more than she does.

Stella on purple afghan

Of course Knitty Kitty had to check it out right away to see if she approved.

Kody on purple afghan

Not so fast!  Introducing Knitty Kitty/Stella’s new younger sister, Kodiak.  We adopted her a little over a month ago, and after a couple terrible weeks of sickness she is fitting in wonderfully at our house.  She already claimed the purple blanket as her own.

afghans

I just love the iPhone Hipstamatic app!  Did you see how in the newest (August 2010) issue of Martha Stewart Living they used Hipstamatic for their article on old-fashioned bikes?  Love!

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Dill Pickles

I have wanted to can pickles for a long time, but everything I was reading online was scaring me off from the project.  You must buy this and this expensive equipment, keep your jars at exactly the correct temperature before putting your pickles in, etc.  However, I ran across a pickling basket at Wal-Mart (in their seasonal section) and decided that was really all I needed.  I already had a big soup pot, and the tongs/magnetic lid lifter/air bubble spatula/ etc. that came with the basket were all just extras.  I picked up a flat of quart jars, stopped for some pickling cucumbers on the way home, and decided to just go for it.

Cucumbers to be turned into pickles

Spears, chips and whole cucumbers ready to get turned into pickles

There are plenty of instructions online (from much more qualified writers) for pickling recipes and how-tos, so I won’t go into that here.  I simply used a dill pickle recipe that came with my supplies.  It was easy-peasy!  The hardest part was committing to the 3 hours or so that it took me to make 7 quarts, since I could only process 2 at a time in my soup pot.

Pickle bath

Amazingly, all 7 jars sealed correctly!  We opened a jar less than a week later when some friends came over for a BBQ.  Everyone RAVED about the pickles, and I couldn’t have been more proud. They are absolutely delicious!  Then at another BBQ a few weeks later we opened a second jar, and the pickles had only gotten better with age.  They were a big hit again.  They keep for up to 2 years, though I doubt they will last much longer with the rate we’ve been BBQing!

Finished dill pickles

I can’t wait to can many more foods now.  Pickled green beans are a favorite, but ones I’ve gotten at the store are so bland.  I’d also like to make some simple jams with local berries–come August the blackberries in the Portland area are absolutely everywhere.  The BF loves PB&J sammies, but I refuse to buy most jams/jellies because most of them have high fructose corn syrup as their second ingredient!  Trader Joes and “Just the Fruit”-type jams are so expensive, so I can’t wait to try my hand at homemade.

Of course, my loyal feline assistant had to check all the seals on the pickles to make sure we didn’t get botulism.

Cat and pickles

What are your favorite things to can?  I need some new ideas, suited for a beginner. 🙂

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How does your garden grow?

The Portland sun and rain is doing wonders for our garden and I couldn’t be more excited.  I can’t wait to harvest and cook with our homegrown fruits and veggies.  (Picked an almost-done green onion today and tried to eat it raw….I don’t recommend it).

Squash Blossoms: these were taken a few days ago and already there are a handful more blooms.

Squash Blossoms

These peas were among many volunteers in my friend’s garden that I dug up and brought home. I thought they were sweet peas, but don’t those have white flowers? hmm..

pea blossoms

And of course, where would I be without my handy helper, Knitty Kitty?  She diligently hunts the various bugs and eats them.  It is part of her reparations for eating all of my leek starts earlier in the season!  (In her defense, they did look an awful lot like her cat grass that she is ALLOWED to eat…)

stella in the garden

I can hardly believe that my garden is blooming, when it all used to look like this:

indoor sprouts

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How to Make: Origami Stars

Origami stars are one of the easiest and most fun crafts to make.  Plus they are SUPER KAWAII!  You can buy paper made specifically for this purpose in Japanese stores, but it’s just as easy to make your own (and then you have a bazillion more options for patterns and colors!)

Origami Star SuppliesCut the paper of your choice into strips.  I take 12×12 scrapbook paper and cut it into 1/2 x 11 inch strips using a rotary cutter.  Any paper will work, just as long as it isn’t too thick like cardstock.  Also, you can cut thicker or thinner strips for different sized stars.

origami star knotMake a knot close to one end of your paper.  Pull it tight without overlapping any of the sides, to create a 5 equal sided pentagon.  Fold over/tuck in the short end.

origami star foldBegin folding the remaining strip over and over your pentagon.  The angles will automatically line up along each side of the pentagon.  Fold as crisply as possible.

Flat origami starWhen you have an end that’s too short to fold anymore, tuck it into the previous fold. Now you have a flat pentagon.

Puffing up the origami starHold onto two edges and press the opposite edge in with you fingernail.  Repeat with the remaining sides.  This will puff up your little paper pentagon into a star!

origami starAnd that’s it! Use these cute little stars for whatever you want.  You can write little wishes/compliments on the inside and fill a jar with them as a gift.  I have two long strands of them in my craftroom that are bright and cheery.

Like anything I make, my cat thinks the stars are a toy for her.  Here is a video of her attacking the stars, which no matter how often I clean up, I seem to find in every room of my house.

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