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.
Tag Archives: kitten
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.
It is especially hard to finish with a cat on my lap.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What are your favorite things to can? I need some new ideas, suited for a beginner. 🙂
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.
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..
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…)
I can hardly believe that my garden is blooming, when it all used to look like this:
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!)
Cut 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.
And 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.