Sunday, April 8, 2012

Huge Giveaway

I'm of two minds posting this: 1) I get more entries to the drawing if I post, and it's so awesome everyone should know about it, but 2) If I publicize it, more people will enter! It's a quandary. Obviously, I'm letting the first mind win. I'm not sure if it is more or less selfish.

At any rate, Leann over at Living Montessori Now is hosting a Montessori Print Shop giveaway that includes as a grand prize *every file from MPS*. If you don't know about MPS, go look at their beautiful printables. I'm saving up right now to buy their continent cards with lovely pictures of other cultures (if I don't win!)

The giveaway can be entered at in many different ways.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Elementals Bits of Goodness Swap

I've gone back to my intention of graduating before blogging, but here are my latest Bits of Goodness swap items. The theme was "elementals". Here are some (grainy, sorry!) photos of my wood burned and water colored little gnomes with their wool felt hats. They've been lightly finished with beeswax.

Bowl of gnomes:

Gnome army:

Roaming gnomes:

They've been all bundled up in their clans (each swapper will get a set of four) and sent off.

This was my first woodburning. I've picked up and put back the kit at Joann's for years now, and finally found a project to justify it. I really liked it, though bent my "fine" tip immediately. It actually still works well, it's just different. I want to do more of this, though flatter items would be nice.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bits of Goodness Advent Swap

The Advent swap was generally smaller items, both in effort and physical size. We were also allowed to have up to four slots. Please excuse the terrible image quality. Our camera was recently run over by the car, and until I save up I'm working with just my iPad.

Quilled snowflakes
- Paper

Mini I-Spy Vials (glued shut)
- Glass Beads
- Glass vials with real corks
- Glass bead or quilled paper hidden Christmas tree

Here's one of the trees:

Sun catchers
- Metal
- Crystal beads

I'm bummed the photo is so terrible, these were very pretty. ~2in long

Jingle Bell Wreaths (~ 2 in diameter)
- Metal bells
- Metal glitter pipe cleaners

Walnut Babies
- Wool
- Walnut shells

The set of trinkets we got in exchange was full of such cute things! We do more of an Advent(ure) style calendar (things to do rather than have), but it was awesome to pull out on the plane.

Other Bits of Goodness Swaps

These are the rest of the swaps I've done: Hedgehogs, Gnomes, and Mushrooms - Embroidered Cloth Covered Buttons - Metal button - Cotton muslin - Cotton embroidery thread These scenes are all from Jan Brett's book Hedgie's Surprise, and I included a small coloring book printed from her website for extra hedgehog fun.

Summer Nature Table - Needle Felted Hermit Crabs and Shell Babies - Wool - Shell - Drift wood from Alki Beach Rainbows - Mini Mobile - Glass beads - Metal (can't remember exactly what) I made two versions of this, pastel and bright. Sadly, none of the photos of the brights turned out even this well. Just For Moms - Necklaces (using a wire jig) - Silk ribbon - Metal (again unknown) - Glass bead Autumn Nature Table - Dreamcatchers - Metal ring - Leather - Glass beads - Cotton thread Bath - Felted Soap - Wool - Trader Joe's Bar Soap I will never do this again. I pretty much hated every moment of it, even once I got it working (I actually called Weaving Works part way through to make sure I hadn't accidentally purchased machine washable roving). I have wet felted before and enjoyed it, and have done a lot of needle felting and like it. I did not like wet felting or needle felting on soap. And the red/orange/yellow squashed octopus? That was supposed to be my amazing fiery sun.

Bits of Goodness Garden Swap Quilling

While I'm at it, I've been meaning to post the past swap objects I've made. These are my first willing work and my first Bits of Goodness swap. The theme was "Garden", and I made sets of these cards:

It turned out that this was a fun work for Kinde too. She made these below, and actually received her own quilling supplies in her stocking a few days ago.

And I made this when Kinde requested a house. Quilling is really fun!

Bits of Goodness Winter Nature Table Swap

Here are my latest crafted items: little winter berry gnomes of wood, wool felt, and cotton embroidery thread.

They've been sent off to the hostess to be divvied up and exchanged for other natural material, handcrafted goodies. I've been surprised how much I have enjoyed giving much of my extremely limited crafting time to this group. Partially it gives me a deadline to actually do many of the cute ideas I see floating around the internet but might not ever really get to. This, for example, is not at all my idea, but something I saw somewhere. (If you know where I found this, please drop me a line so I can link to it and cite the design properly; it was before I was on Pinterest, so I just saved the photo from who knows where.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Applesauce Sauce

We try to eat our fruit in its original form (grinding, drying, etc tends to trick you into eating way too much), but we just can't resist a batch or two of homemade applesauce a year. This batch was a mix of heirloom apples from a stand at the Farmers' Market. I wish I had taken note of exactly what they were, but really every batch we've ever made has been good so duplication is really not that important. Applesauce is so easy:

We don't peel or core or anything, just cut in quarters. I'll claim it's so that we get the nutrients from the skin during cooking, but it's not bad that it cuts down on the work too. I just toss the quarters in a pot with a few cups of water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until totally squishy (adding more water if necessary). When it's all soft we put it through the food mill. I found this at Goodwill for $5, which was quite a steal, but I sure wish it was one of the big ones. Pre had a great time trying, but it was tricky for her to know when to reverse for a while to pull up the peel and such.

We ate a pint immediately, and canned the rest. This stuff is sooooo good. I can't believe people add sugar (or Heaven forbid high fructose corn syrup) to applesauce!