Thursday, December 18, 2014

Momma's Simple Old Fashion Homemade Strawberry Preserves



Momma's Simple Old Fashion Strawberry Preserves
Yield: Approximately 3 cups
1 1/2 - 2 Cups of Sugar
3 One Pint Containers of Strawberries (washed and hulled)
1 - 2 tsp. lemon juice
Place hulled strawberries in heavy large saucepan and mash only coarsely. Stirring frequently, cook strawberries over medium heat until beginning to thicken, around 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add sugar (a bit at a time) and the lemon juice, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and boil gently until the mixture thickens and mounds on the spoon, continuing to stir frequently, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate in a sterile airtight container, seal, label and keep in the refrigerator. Momma said that we needed to eat them within one week.  Now, I am not sure about how long they really would last without putting them thru the canning process but we always did what Momma said was best and so we were happy to oblige and eat them up in a week's time! In fact, I think there were probably times that we ate them even sooner than the week!  

I think I just might be making my sister some of these preserves for Christmas. Great Gift in a Jar Idea! And they will bring back good memories for my sister too!   Seems to me that I remember that she used to love to put this on her ice cream.

Have a blessed day and happy preserve making!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to: Make a Needle Felted and Embroidered Heart - A DIY Tutorial


 

 
 

So, you have a bit of fiber and want to make a quick something?  Go grab yourself some felting needles or a Clover Felting tool, a Clover felting mat or piece of  thick foam, a heart shaped cookie cutter, some embroidery floss and an embroidery needle, and let's get started!
 
 
1.  Place your heart cookie cutter onto your Clover Felting Mat, or a block of  thick foam.
 
2.  Place some fiber into your cookie cutter. 
 
3.  Using your Clover Needle Felting Tool begin to pounce gently at the fiber, being careful not to hit your felting tool on your cookie cutter.  And be extra cautious to keep your fingers out of the way of the felting tool!  Let me tell ya, that thing hurts!!!! It has lots of little barbs on the needle and is very, very sharp! OUCH.......
 
4. Continue pouncing and punching (don't get aggressive now.....haha!) your fiber with your needle felting tool, flipping it over and pouncing both sides until the fibers have felted together nicely.
 
5.  Now make a second heart.  
 
6.  Enjoy the stress relief that all of that jabbing and punching is freeing you of! 
 
7.  Free hand embroider a design onto one or both of your hearts.  I only did one side because I wanted to add a pin back on the back side so that it could be worn or added to a bag, scarf or whatever.  But if I were going to make an ornament or something out of it, I might have chosen to embroider both sides.  I just embroidered a few little leaves, a vine and embroidered French knots to represent flowers.  Do whatever you wish! It's yours to play with and have fun with!
 

 
 
8.  Place the two hearts together.  I took a single felting needle to kind of felt the two hearts together, a bit.....being careful to not jab my felting needle into my embroidered design(s). 
 
9.  Sew the two hearts together using a blanket stitch or whatever stitch you would like to use. 
 
10.  Sew a pin back to the backside of the heart if you want to make it into a brooch or an embellishment that you can pin onto a scarf, hat, bag or whatever!  
 
You can also add beads, buttons, ribbon or whatever other little embellishments that you wish to incorporate into your design. 
 
Just have fun and enjoy being creative!!
 
 



Monday, December 15, 2014

Enjoying the Journey - Handspinning Fiber Into Yarn

 

 
As the hustle of the daytime settles down and the calmness and peaceful quietness of the night settles in,



 
 
 
what a joy it is to pick up my spindle and spin my cares away. 
 
 
 

 
 
 
I find comfort in the feel of the fiber as it passes through my hands. 
 


And I find contentment and joy in the making of a  handspun yarn.
 

Simplicity is satisfying.

Life is good.
 
Yes, .......very good.
 
I am enjoying the journey.




 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Knit Stuff Owl Toy A Handmade Gift Idea


Cute owls..... they are everywhere! On bedding, purses, clothes, socks and so much more! And it is no wonder! They are adorable!  So, while I was over on Ralvery I saw the cutest little hand knit owl pattern.   Wouldn't it be cute to knit up several of these and attach them to a knit I-cord for an owl banner for the baby nursery!  Or as an owl ornament!  Cute, cute cute!!!  And they don't take very much yarn or very much time at all. A very thrifty gift that is sure to be loved by a wee one on your gift list!

Instead of using felt for eyes, as the pattern suggested, I just hand crocheted a circle and added cute buttons to the center. Make sure to use safety eyes if the owl will be used by a child. 

Want to make a knit stuffed owl for someone on your list? You can get the knit owl pattern for FREE!   Many thanks to Jenna Krupar for sharing her pattern! You will need to sign up for Ravelry first to access the pattern.  It's free to join Ravelry and there are lots and lots of free patterns there and many that can be purchased too.  You should check it out!

Have you made any handmade toy gifts this season? I would love to see if you want to share!

Happy knitting!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Flower Loom Flowers

Loom Flowers
What to do with little bits of left over yarn?  Make Loom Flowers! They are as cute as a button, simple little bundles of colorful joy!  They look so cute on little flower clips and hair pins, and as embellishments on  all kinds of things like bags, t-shirts , hats, scarves! Think scrapbooking embellishments or decorate a gift package. Make a garland, or a blanket with them......Well, you get it! Lots of fun stuff to do with them!

And making them keeps little children's hands busy. And busy hands are happy hands and happy hands keep little ones creative and out of mischief!  And that's all good in my book!

I made mine using a Boye Bloom Loom.  You can order one on line or find them at your local craft and hobby stores. Use those craft store coupons and this is near nothing in cost. 

Remember.... busy hands are happy hands!

What do you do with your loom flowers?