Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CRAFT FAIL - Cursed Tribal Easter Egg Necklace

While it seems mild mannered enough hanging on the picture of my sweet baby when he as six months old, it is deceptive. It twists, it turns, it convergences with other parts and knots itself with every step - it is cursed! I got the inspiration for the necklace at the above post as it turned out very lovely. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=303494.0 It started out well enough with some innocent decorated plastic Easter Eggs. I used craft scissors to cut the plastic into pieces and laid out how I wanted the finished necklace to look. I then had my son drill holes in the top of the pieces I then put jump rings on each of the pieces. If I had stuck to the original idea and used a chain to attach the pieces, all would have probably gone well, but I saw the lovely orange pre-beaded ribbon at the dollar store and thought I could make mine even more exotic if I used the ribbon and I attached the pieces around the ribbon and right away ran into difficulties with the rings sliding over the pre-beaded beads and getting knotted. Not to give up easily, I decided to attache the jump rings in the center of the ribbon between the beads and while making them, it seemed to work out ok.

The problem came when I actually tried to wear the necklace, because as there was movement, there were problems. Worse yet, I wear a clip on badge to work and it got ensnare and entangled in that and then plastic pieces started digging in where the seatbelt was. It was not so pretty by the time I finally got it off. I think this will have to join my "Zonked Zebra" as some sort of decoration on a box that it can be glued down to or just cannibalize it for parts.

EGYPTIAN FETA CHEESE OMELET ROLL

Sounds exotic, but only has 3-4 ingredients and takes under 10 minutes.
4 eggs, beaten 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese 1 teaspoon milk (optional)
In a small bowl, beat eggs and pepper together. In another small bowl, combine crumbled cheese with milk (I did not use the milk in my version, just used the feta cheese).
(Sorry, the picture for this did not turn out).
Thourougly coat a large frying pan with non-stick coating, including the sides to ensure that you will be able to easily flip the sides when the time comes. Heat on medium high
Pour egg mixture into pan and tilt to ensure entire pan is covered with egg mixture.
Cook until it starts to get crispy on the sides and mostly done, then add feta cheese (or feta cheese mixture) to the center of the eggs.
Flip the left side over towards the center.
Flip the right half over the center
Cut in half lengthwise and serve.

Non-Alcoholic Sangria

Great for a family cookout or gathering as it is non-alcoholic and even kids can enjoy it. This is based on a recipe by Sarah Jayne at Recipezaar: http://www.recipezaar.com/non-alcoholic-sangria-370788?scaleto=4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups grape juice
  • 3 cups club soda
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • Optional: lemon, orange, apple or peach slices
  • Large pitcher of punch bowl
  • Large wooden spoon

If you are going to serve fairly soon, pour grape juice into pitcher, then add the club soda. If you are going to serve soon, don't pour to club soda into the mixture until you are ready to serve.

Add the sugar.

Add the orange juice Stir until well blended. If you are going to add the fruit slices, put them in now and store in the fridge to chill or until ready to serve.

EGG IN A HOLE

A different twist on a breakfast staple.
I got 5 dozen eggs on sale this week for 99 cents and was pondering with a co-worker on what to make that would be different that just omelets, fried eggs and hard boiled eggs and she said when she was young, her mother made her and her brother "eggs in a hole" - I had never heard of this so knew I wanted to try it as it sounded like something different and fun.
Items needed: (This makes 2)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Spreadable or softened margarine or butter
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Frying pan
  • Knife
  • Spatula
  • Round cookie cutter, glass or round plastic frozen juice container
  • Salt and/or pepper, to taste

Spread the butter or margarine on both sides of the bread.

Use the cookie cutter, glass or juice container (I used the latter) to cut a circle out of the center of each piece of bread. This is what it will look like once you have cut out the circles. Spray the frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Put the pan on the stove and turn up to medium low heat-medium heat put the bread in first, then crack an egg into the center of each hole.

Cook for a few minutes, when it starts to look like this in center, flip each of the pieces over to toast on the other side and cook on that side for a few minutes. If you want your bread toaster, continue to cook and flip until it is is toasted to how you like it.
If you want your bread toaster, continue to cook and flip until it is is toasted to how you like it.
When done, use the spatula to put the pieces on a plate and sprinkle with salt and/or pepper to taste and serve.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

WARHOLIAN PHOTO COLLAGE

This is a practice run for a project I am thinking about doing on a tote bag, but could be used for a number of other things. This was created using the free version online software at www.picnik.com (you can upload up to 5 photos to use for the free version). First I uploaded the photo I wanted to use then went to the "Create" tab and clicked on Black and white button on the right hand side of the screen and saved that version (ex: guitars blk and wh) I used the above saved version and continued under the "Create" tab and selected the "Tint" button on the left hand side, and selected the tint that I wanted, in this case a blue tint and saved this version as a new name (ex: guitars blue). Select 3 more colors and save those versions under different names. Go to the home page and select "Collage" and you will be taken to this screen. Drag the pictures to where you want them on the collage from the lower left hand corner and wait for them all to load and then save the project (ex" collage"). You could print it from your computer if you have a printer, save it to a SD card or thumb drive and take it to a photo processing place to have developed, or upload it to a site like Snapfish and either order the size you want to be mailed to you or, in some areas, sent to a local store from processing (where I live Walgreen and Meijers are options for local pickup)

Friday, June 26, 2009

COFFEE FILTER FLOWER

This makes a great kids craft as the coffee filters hold up much better than tissue paper when making them. Items used:
  • 4 white coffee filters
  • 1 pipe cleaner, cut in half
  • 2 small bowls
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Food coloring
  • Plate, wax paper or plastic surface to dry the filters

Keep the coffee filter together and press them down flat.

Fold the coffee filters up accordion style (I folded about an inch in and ended up with three pleats total, but you could make the folds larger or smaller). Continue folding until you get to the end of the filter
Fold in half an snip the corner in the center diagonally on each side slightly (this will be where you will twist the pipe cleaner later. For now, leave the filters folded.
Put approximately 1/2 cut water in a bowl and 6 -10 drops of food coloring and mix it up.
Stick the ends in the food coloring and allow it to saturate for a few minutes.
Take out and allow to dry.
Next, mix approx 1/4 cut water in a bowl and 6-10 drops of food coloring
Stick the folded center into the mixture, allow it to saturate until the color starts to meet up the color from the ends. Remove and unbend at center but leave the pleats folded. Allow to dry.
Once dry, take the 1/2 piece of pipe cleaner and twist around the center to make the stamens. You can leave up or twist the two sides into loops.
Start separating the layers on one side of the pipe cleaner, pulling the top layer to the right, the 2nd layer to the left, the 3rd layer to the right and 4th layer to right. Repeat on the other side of the pipe cleaner and you are done.

Echidna (Spiny Anteater)

As it is made for a car wash mitt, this could either be a plaything or wash mitt for the tub. This creation was inspired by the hedgehog over at Darling Petunia http://darlingpetunia.blogspot.com/2009/05/introducing-eftim-and-eamon.html and the book "Jungle Jack's The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals on the Planet". I adapted it to be an Echidna, which is one of only two mammals to lay eggs. Items used for this project:
  • 1 Car Wash Mitt Glove (for the Dollar Three - $1)
  • Fabric paing (white, black, and blue)
  • 1 piece blue felt
  • Polyfil or batting (to stuff the body)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)

Start with a Car Wash Mitt

Cut the elastic cuff off the bottom and most of thumb.

Turn inside out and stitch across the bottom (leave the thumb opening open)

Turn right side out, then stuff with fiberfill or batting to fill up the lower edges and belly, but just lightly stuff the head, through the thumb opening then stitch the opening shut. Also take in a bit on the other side and stitch it together so that both sides are basically the same diagional shape.

Use the fabric paints to paint on the eyes and nose. For the nose I used two black dots and for the eyes started with white, allowed it to dry, then a bit of blue in the center and allowed it to dry, then a dab of black for the pupil of each eye.

For the claws, I referred to the following coloring page and cut out squares of blue felt into similar shapes:http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/mammals/echidna/Echidnaprintout.shtml

I then used a needle and thread and stitched the felt to the body. As the creature only had a 4 inch tail and the shape is sort of like a pear shaped diamond and comes to a point at the bottom, that will suffice as the tail. This is what it looks like from the back (and what the one at our local zoo looked like every time we went as it is very skittish). As they curl up into a ball when they are scared, his feet can tuck underneath him.

As his head is only lighly stuffed, his head can be tucked underneath also.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book Review "Jungle Jack's Wackiest, Wildest, and Weirdest Animals in the World" by Jack Hanna

This is a review of "Jungle Jack's Wackiest, Wildest, and Weirdest Animals in the World" by Jack Hanna from Thomas Nelson Publishers. While it is marketed as a children's book, it is really a book that all ages can enjoy and learn something new about the creatures in the book. It has 30 different animals ranging from a blue-footed booby, to an elephant, to a puffer fish, to a naked role rat (just to name a few) and provides pictures and not only provides what they eat, where they live and their size, but interesting and not-so well known facts peppered with personal stories from his encounters with the creatures. It even includes a DVD of bloopers from his TV show "Into The Wild". I personally loved this book, as did even my 15 year old son who was a huge Jack Hanna fan as a toddler through pre-schooler and learned of a few creatures we had never even known existed to new things to animals that we had read about before. This book has inspired me, even though I am several years (hopefully) away from being a Grandma, to start a "Grandma Box" and to craft something of each of the 30 creatures in the book to share with a future grandchild(children). This would make a great book to give as a gift for any animal lover on your gift-giving list or for anyone to keep on their coffee table, or for any doctors, dentist or even business lobby to keep on hand for people to flip through while they are waiting. There is only one animal per page, with usually a few photos and broken down into easy to read segments - or hold the short attention span of an easily distracted child (or adult). http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=1400311403 http://brb.thomasnelson.com/art/_200_350_Book.57.cover.jpg