Saturday, September 18, 2010

Re-purposed tea infuser.

            I don't drink tea, but when I seen this tea infuser at my local resale shop for 25 cents, I had to get it!  When I shop I like to look at things "outside the box"....I like to visualize them as serving another purpose. Tea infusers can be used for keeping your clothes, drawers, and closets smelling nice. I use to put cottonballs with my favorite perfume on them inside my dresser drawers or somewhere in my closet, but sometimes the clothes in my dresser would get a yellowish stain on them from the cottonballs. I placed the cottonballs inside the tea infuser and now it doesn't leave stains and the air circulates through the infuser leaving a nice fragrance in my clothes. If you don't want to use cottonballs, try potpourri or some activated charcoal. The charcoal is good for pulling stinky smells out of closets with shoes and coats...or hang one under your bathroom sink. I don't recommend using the tea infuser for making tea again...please, use one for tea and one as an air-freshener. Well, I hope this is a helpful hint to some of you. I think it's a good idea. Check out your local resale shop and see things, "outside the box". Who knows, maybe you will find something to re-purpose...if you do, please share it with me!  
Have a great day! :0)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Make your own bookplates.


              When I was a kid I loved reading books like, "The Cat in the Hat" or "The Tales of Peter Rabbit"...and I especially liked those teeny, tiny, books like, "Harold and the Purple Crayon" or books by, Joan Walsh Anglund.  I use to own a few books and I would write my name inside the cover with a marker or crayon and it would look just awful! Oh how I wish I would've had a beautiful bookplate inside the covers of my books...well, I can't go back and fix my childhood scribblings...but I can make my own bookplates.  Making your own bookplates is easy. Find a picture that you like....something with an open space within the picture or a focal point. Scan your pic and make any corrections to it on your computer and then add a text box with your choice of font, font color and size.  Also add a blank line underneath it for someone to sign their name on.  When you're ready to print it out, make sure that you size it properly and you might want to print out a sample one to see if it is the right size and everything is to your liking. You can print it out on regular printer paper or you may use something that has more heft to it, like a parchment or cardstock paper. When you are done printing it out, allow it to dry then apply on the back of it some "Lick & Stick" glue....spread the glue all over and a little past your image that is on the other side. Let it dry over night and the next day cut out your bookplate and it is ready to be licked and placed inside the cover of your favorite book. "Lick & Stick" is non-toxic and works really well. If you don't want to use that, then try glue made for papers or use double-sided sticky tape.  Give bookplates as stocking stuffers or with books as gifts. You can also make matching bookmarks. What ever you do...have fun and be creative! You may use the bookplate I made above...I got that picture from one of my favorite books, "Enchanting", by Joan Walsh Anglund.  
Happy Crafting! : )

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A helpful hint.

                                               This summer my son was home from college, and while he was here, he was working out with our free weights. The problem I had with him using them was that I didn't want my hardwood floors to get I bought those interlocking foam squares that are made for setting weights on. They worked great! After he returned to college, and I was taking apart the squares, it dawned on me....why not use them in my craft room under my chair and table? Wow...those work great! My feet are cushioned and my seat is a little more comfy and it protects my floors from chair marks. I also put some under my computer table and chair...I might try it out in the kitchen in front of the sink. For those of us who do not own a dishwasher, we need to stand on something cushy. Always think outside the box....the things that we use can serve other purposes.  Just a thought and an idea I wanted to pass along. If anyone has any ideas they would like to share, please leave a comment below. Thanks and have a great day! :)    (You can find the foam squares at Walmart over in the exercise section.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Handmade vellum seed packets.

            Well, Fall is upon us, and so dies the beautiful blooms of summer...but their seeds remain...lets gather those wonderful treasures and save them in handmade seed packets. I took some pictures of my flowers and also found some pics online of flowers to print out on vellum. Just as I had mentioned in my posting about "getting crafty with vellum", the same rules apply...except, you don't need to seal the packet shut with vellum tape, you can just leave it alone and tuck the flap in...or use a sticker to seal the flap shut. I put my flower pic on Paint and added the word "Hollyhocks" in a framed box, it just looks nicer than adding a label to the front. I then found the directions for planting Hollyhocks and printed it out really small on some plain computer paper and placed it inside the packet. Make sure your seeds are dry before packing them.  You can find free seed packet templates online or use a template for ATC envelopes like I can find those at or www.mirkwooddesigns/
Don't just hoard all the seeds, give them as gifts to friends and family. They make great stocking stuffers, send them in a card, have a seed swap with others. 
Happy seed gathering! :)

Note: This was my first seed packet, I should have squared off the larger flaps to make it look nicer...I used an ATC envelope template and it was rounded.  If you want your picture to show up better, insert a plain piece of paper or one with instructions. I didn't cut my paper large's smaller than the picture...but you get the idea.  


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Banana Bread.

I doubled the recipe and made 2 loaves without nuts. YUM!

Have ALL ingredients at about 70* (room temp., including the eggs).
Preheat oven to 350*.
Makes 1 loaf. (Double it and make 2)

Sift together:
1 3/4 cups Sifted all-purpose flour.
2 1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Blend until creamy:
1/3 cup butter flavored Crisco (shortening).
2/3 cup sugar.
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind...(you may also use orange rind or a combination of both).

Beat in:
2 eggs. (At room temp.)
3 medium to large sized, overly ripe, bananas.

Add the sifted ingredients in about 3 parts to the sugar mixture. Beat the batter after each addition until smooth.
(Optional) Fold in: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Place the batter in a greased bread pan. Bake the bread about 1 hour or until done. Test with a toothpick....don't over bake, it will become too want it slightly under baked on top, but not gooey. Remove from oven and let it rest in the pan for about 4 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge and shaking it a bit to loosen it up.....turn it out on a wire rack to cool. It's good to eat hot, but be careful, don't burn your mouth! Once it's cooled, wrap it up in foil, it stays moist longer.
Happy baking! : )
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Recycled floor lamp....mannequin stand.

           Here is a great way to recycle an old floor lamp....turn it into a mannequin stand.  I found the fabric covered body form at a resale shop many years ago, but I didn't have a stand to put it on, until I was looking over our broken floor lamp. Taking apart the top portion and the cord was the easy part....the not so easy part was to drill out a hole large enough for the little pole, that is underneath the body form, to slide into. By the way, my hubby drilled the hole for me...of course I did help him, but he did all the drilling.  My favorite part of this project was priming and painting the lamp pink!  Oh yeah, I just want to tell people to never be afraid to ask for never know unless you in point, the body form. When I was at the resale shop I spotted the body form behind the counter and asked the clerk if it was for sale...she said no, but then she said she would sell it for $15.00 if I wanted it.  So you see, it never hurts to ask! Altogether it cost about $20.00 for this mannequin and stand...what a great deal! Now I can use it to display outfits, postcards, pictures, jewelry, scarves, and all kinds of things. Very crafty indeed!!!