Monday, June 28, 2010

time, time, time

I've been thinking a lot recently of the feasibility of an actual craft business.  Most of the things that I make take more than one day.  How can you actually even pay yourself minimum wage, and find someone to spend that amount of money on what you're selling?  Is it necessary to find something faster to fund long and detailed projects?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

crocheting beaded ropes

I've finally finished the raspberry necklace I endeavored in months ago, and I've acquired a new skill in the making of it.  Crocheting beads into this lovely spiral pattern is time consuming, uses a lot of beads, and is difficult to learn, but I must say, I think I'm in love!

It has this wonderful methodical feel to it, and although you are really supposed to string all of the beads first, I find that going back and forth between stringing beads and crocheting them makes the process nice and varied.

This is the video I used to learn this process.  I have a few added pieces of advice.  First, like she says, start with bigger beads.  I didn't do this, and spent a lot of time taking out and redoing.  Second, keep your tread on the inside of the circle and your bead on the outside.  That was the thing that I kept screwing up.

I partially like this video simply for her accent.  I love the way she says "crochet"

My original plan for this necklace was to use real raspberry leaves to make polymer clay replicas.  They turned out far too big, and it just didn't look right.  I was considering trying out making some smaller ones, but I'm thinking I may at long last be finished with this necklace.  What do you think?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

make your own pop-tarts

Mitchell (the boyfriend) saw some instructions for making your own poptarts on instructables.  I thought it sounded really fun, but of course I had to do it my own way!  I made some when he was here a few weeks and we both really enjoyed them.

The structure of the recipe is simple.  Make pie crust, and fill with whatever jelly you like!

I got the pie crust recipe from here but I'll go ahead and put it into the overall recipe to make it easier.

2.5c flour
1c butter (I used Earth Balance instead)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (I used honey)
4-8 Tbsp water
assorted jellies

1. cut butter into cubes (or if using Earth Balance, get it out in Tablespoons) and put in freezer to chill
2. combine flour, salt, sugar (if using honey, wait) in food processer
3. add ice water, pulsing between each tablespoon (if using honey, add with water)
4.  put the dough in the freezer

pinch off a bit of dough, and roll it out.  Cut out a rectangle, this is the template I used.  It's a 5in X 6in canister lid.

Place your rectangle on the baking sheet.  Cover half of the dough with jelly, leaving about a half an inch around the edge.

Use a cookie cutter to "stamp" the other side.  Make sure that it leaves a few holes, but try not to completely separate the image.

Fold the top over and use a fork to seal the open sides.


Cook your poptarts at 350 for about 12 minutes.

***Just to give you a few ideas and get your tummy excited, my pastries were: butterscotch and pear sauce, strawberry and chocolate, and superfruit jelly for some good antioxidents.  I simply sprinkled in a few of the butterscotch and chocolate chips.

Another idea is to use different shapes for each flavor.  I used hearts, X's and O's.  It made it so much easier to know what I was eating later.***


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Father's Day

For me, men are some of the hardest people to buy for.  I like to think they're not that different from me, but when it comes to finding gifts, I often can't imagine what they might want!  We've been included in two great Father's Day treasuries, so hopefully they might help in your epic gift search.  My search ended pretty abruptly this year with the new Exile On Mainstreet remastered CD, but usually it would be a desperate search right up to the 20th.  If your search is going nowhere, here are two gift guides that feature our The Woods lip balm, and blueberry pie soap.

Click the pictures to take a closer look!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

bright and pastel fun

These two treasuries feature fun in two immensely different shades.  The first captures the vivid bold colors of mardi gras.  The shades of the second treasury suggest a nostalgic spirit of childhood fun at the circus.  I love setting these two next to each other to contrast the shades of memory and fun.  Thanks to these treasuries for featuring our mardi gras crochet necklace and cotton candy body scrub

Click the images to take a closer look!