Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Butterick Patterns

Check out the new model on Butterick Patterns' Facebook page from yesterday. :) Hehehe


Here is the link:
http://www.facebook.com/butterickpatterns

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Strawberry Jam Tutorial

Strawberry Jam:

You will need:
-6 cups mashed strawberries
-4 cups sugar
-1 box Sure Jell pectin
-Parafin wax to seal jars
-Approx. 10 half-pint canning jars with lids

Instructions:
First, wash & clean the strawberries.  I like to use the strawberry top-remover thing.

Then, mash the berries. You will want 6 cups of berries after they are mashed. I like to leave chunks in mine.

In the meantime, boil a big pot of water filled with jars for the jam. We usually put 11-12 jars in just in case we fill up more than expected.

In another pot, using a double boiler, heat up some of the parafin wax.

And finally, in another pot, prepare the lids.
Place the 6 cups of mashed berries in a pot.  

Measure out 4 cups of sugar into a bowl. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar and mix with the Sure Jell pectin packet. Stir the pectin/sugar mixture into the pot with the fruit in it.

Bring berries (and sugar/pectin mixture) to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Once you reach a rolling boil (meaning that even as you stir it, it still continues to boil), quickly pour the remaining 3 1/2 cups of sugar in. Continue to stir and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly (mine usually gets cut short because it starts to rise & overflow!) Then, remove from heat.

Skim off the foam quickly.

Remove the jars from the boiling water, and place on clean counter.

Pour jam into jars, leaving 1/2" of space at top for the wax. Clean off any spills around the top of the jar with paper towel. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! If the top of the jar is not clean, a good seal will not form and bacteria may begin to grow, causing severe food poisoning. Quickly spoon some of the parafin wax onto the top, just covering the jam.

Let the wax dry. When the wax hardens, pour a second coating of wax on top. Swirl the jar around, so that the wax covers everything. Then, place a lid on the jar and seal with the band.

Ta da!!! Your strawberry jam is complete. Let the jam sit for 24 hours before putting away. I like to write on the lids so I know what kind of jam I made and also what date I made it. Also, if I have leftover jam that doesn't quit fill a jar, I put that in the fridge right away (with no wax on it) and eat it up! Yum!!!

I also used the rhubarb I picked a few weeks ago to make strawberry-rhubarb jam. I halved the recipe. Here is the receipe that I followed:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

New, fun projects!

I've been making some new, exciting projects! Here is my Buttercup Bag, which is a FREE pattern. This is to match my dress that I made. I would change a few things next time...mainly just adding interfacing to make it sturdier. It may just be because of my delicate fabric, but it is way too flimsy! Also, I sewed the straps right into the purse instead of sewing them on the outside after the purse was done. Way easier, in my opinion.

I couldnt' find two matching buttons, so I decided to use my new Janome to embroider a pretty design on the bag:


I'm going to a double wedding shower next week and it's a "stock the bar" party. Meaning..we need to bring our favorite licquor/wine to give to the brides-to-be. So..I picked up some Licquor 43 and then made these super cute gift bags to go along with them. They are reversible and I used a free pattern here.  I LOVE this pattern. It's so easy & fast to make.

This is the same pattern, but the bigger size. I am going to try to sell these at the knit shop. I got the knitting fabric from fabric.com.

See? They're reversible!!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Animals in the Copper Country

Last week, there was a cute little froggy on the outside door handle that I discovered as I was leaving work. He was so small & cute and so I took some pictures. 

Then...today, he's back!!!! He was on my window at work!! Awww!!!


I also caught a squirrel in the act of scavenging the dumpsters in our apartment complex. Heh heh heh...so cute. 


And....Marina has a bird next on her back deck and there are the cutest little baby birdies EVER in it!!! They are waiting for their mommy to return with dinner. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gratiot River

Yesterday, we went to Gratiot River with Ruth & Steve to show them a little bit more of the UP. We got to see a beautiful sunset on the beach.






Monday, July 18, 2011

Craft Totes!

Make sure to check out Butterick Patterns on Facebook. My tote bag will be featured on July 20th!! That is THIS Wednesday!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cashmere!

Do you know how unbelievably wonderful it is to work with 100% pure cashmere yarn?? WOW! I never want to knit with anything else! Now...let me tell you how unbelievably wonderful it is to WEAR 100% cashmere yarn!! IT'S INCREDIBLE!!! I never want to take this scarf off:




I used the pattern Rose from Berroco. It's a very elegant scarf, I love it. I only cast on 28 sts. Also, if you cast on an even amount and always start with purl, the edge looks so much better. For the flower, I cast on 16 and 6 for the tie. :) In hind sight, I should have made the tie shorter because my scarf was skinnier, but oh well.

I never want to stop touching this yarn.

Yet another bag...

 Well, I have finished another bag to sell at the knit shop! Yay! This turned out a lot cuter than I expected. :)