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11  Abundance of fruits... in Recipes and Cooking Tips by christian_cowgirlGSR on: September 16, 2010 01:53:49 PM
...yields lots of work with a yummy reward!  My husband and I went to the farmer's market several weeks ago and got 18-20 pounds of peaches - for just the two of us.  Needless to say, we couldn't eat them fast enough, so I made some peach jam and some peach fruit-rollups.  I used this tutorial for the fruit roll-ups, with some modifications:  http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com/search/label/frugal.  Mainly, I used peaches instead of apricots.  I used more fruit than was suggested and had to drastically alter the cooking time.  I ended up leaving these in the oven for about 6 hours total.  Next time I make these, I'll put them in smaller containers.  I had to cook them long enough that the centers were done, by which time the outsides were overly done and now the wax paper backing doesn't come off very easily (soaking/sucking seems to help).  




A week or two later, the crab-apples on our tree ripened, so I made crab-apple butter and crab-apple jelly. I have yet to try the crab-apple jelly yet (it's not completely set as of yet), but the crab-apple butter is delicious.  However, it was a lot of work, so next time I'm craving fruit butter, I'll probably use apples.  Smiley  

The crab-apple jelly:


The crab-apple butter had to cook for 2 hours, in which time it made the house smell amazingly good.  By the time it was finished, I was really excited to try it - only to discover I had no thawed bread in the house.  So, I made biscuits.  Needless to say, I couldn't help eating some of it before I got around to taking pictures.   Roll Eyes  The crab-apple butter:
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12  Something Western in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by christian_cowgirlGSR on: August 18, 2010 07:45:04 PM
For Girl's Night Out this past month, the theme was "Something Western".  I really like western things, and I knew I wanted to make something, but I was having a hard time thinking of something I could make for under $5, which was the spending limit.  Finally, I realized that I had some Michael Miller pony print fabric left over from the crib set I made for my sister's new baby (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=349321.msg4072160#msg4072160).  So, I decided to accent some kitchen towels with the pony print fabric. 

At the Girl's Night Out, they did a white elephant gift exchange, and I drew one of the highest numbers (meaning that I got to pick/steal after a majority of people had opened their gifts).  There was a really cute horseshoe coaster set that I decided to steal from another lady.  My towels had been opened by the lady who sat next to her, so she stole the towels from that lady.  The lady whom the towels were stolen from wasn't paying attention and was surprised and upset when the towels were stolen from in front of her.   Grin  Her reaction was really funny!  It made me feel good that the lady who opened the towels like them that much and that everyone else liked them enough to have them be one of only two gifts to get stolen.

I got 3 towels from the local dollar store for $4.  Two of them, I folded in half and then added the crocheted part to them.  The other towel, I simply added the accent fabric so that they could use it on either a towel rack or on the counter beside the sink.  Two of the towels are shown in this picture.


A close-up of the stitching I used to attach the accent fabric.
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13  Every time my husband talks to the neighbor... in Dessert by christian_cowgirlGSR on: August 18, 2010 07:29:29 PM
Every time my husband talks to the neighbor, he brings home more work for me.   Grin   Two weekends ago, the neighbor told us that we could have as many choke cherries off his choke cherry tree as we wanted and/or could use.  With the choke cherries we brought home, I made two batches of jelly.  Then, this past weekend, the neighbor took us to his cherry tree and told us that he had picked all the cherries he could use (5 gallons worth)and that we could have as many of the remaining ones as we wanted.  So, my husband and I spent about an hour and a half picking cherries.  Over the next several days, we spent a total of about 6 hours pitting cherries, and I spent about an hour-and-a-half making two batches of jam.  I also made a cherry pie and then froze the remaining THIRTY CUPS of cherries. 

Anyway, on to the pictures!

A 12-oz jar of cherry jam and the cherry pie.  The pie didn't look as good as it should have, but it sure tasted good.


A couple more pictures of the pie, just because:



Several pictures of the cherry jam and the choke cherry jelly.  There was a total of about 18 jars of jelly/jam.




And, finally, a picture of the two different kinds of lids.  This is here for a friend that I was trying to explain the jelly-making process to.  With the jar on the left, you can't re-use the lid.  With the lid on the right, you can re-use the part that screws onto the jar but not the flat part.
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14  Crib set (part 3 of 3) with pictures of crib with complete set in Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies by christian_cowgirlGSR on: June 01, 2010 04:06:48 PM
I finished the final piece of this crib set at 9:30pm the day before I left for KS.  The last piece was the crib bumper.  For the crib bumper, I was using the dimensions for the general size of the crib.  I didn't know if the dimensions I had were the ones that I needed.  My sister also refused to give me measurements for where to put the ties.  I didn't take my sewing machine with me to KS, so I borrowed my mother's sewing machine when I went to my sister's house to give her the crib set.  When I tried the crib set on the crib, everything fit perfectly (much to my amazement  Cheesy).   The only alterations I had to make were to add the ties to the bumper.  After I finished, I estimated that I put more than 45 hours into this crib set and roughly $100 for the supplies.  My sister loves the crib set and is now even more excited for her new bundle of joy to arrive!

The crib with the complete crib set and the screen door decoration my sister put up above the crib.  The little pictures on either side of the cowboy hat are sonogram pictures.  On the left side of the picture, the crib bumper is crinkled because it hadn't been pulled down beside the mattress like it was supposed to be.  The outside of the crib bumper is solid brown.  The inside alternates between the brown and the pony print.  My sister's only complaint was that she wished the alternating colors were on the inside and the outside.  The piece of the crib bumper closest to the camera is on that one long side only.  The other piece covers the other three sides.  My sister ended up turning the small piece around so that the alternating colors were  on the outside.


The crib with the crib set, before the ties were put on the bumper.



After the ties.  The crib quilt is folded over so that the sheet shows.  The brown on the crib set and that of the sheet and the crib are slightly different, but they match surprisingly well considering I'd only seen pictures of them before I started on the crib set.



The links to the first to posts:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=346856.msg4038181#msg4038181
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=344129.msg4001846#msg4001846
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15  Shopping Bag with Gift bag to give it away in in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by christian_cowgirlGSR on: May 21, 2010 07:23:27 PM
Some of the ladies from my church get together once a month at one of the local restaurants for what they call "Girl's Night Out".  Each month they have a white elephant gift exchange where each present should be related to a given theme.  This month the theme was "flowers", and it was also my first time attending the Girl's Night Out.

I had seen several of the fabric shopping bags here on craftser and was just looking for a reason to make one of them.  The Girl's Night Out (GNO) was a perfect excuse.  So, I used this post as inspiration and, generally, followed the tutorial linked to in that post:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=346908.0.  I also got some neat fabric from Hobby Lobby that had some little flowers on it.  The final dimensions of the bag (when laying flat) ended up being roughly 20 inches square.  I used 1 yard of fabric for the body of the bag and part of 1/4 yard for the pocket (I've got enough left over to do another pocket or two).  Needless to say, I didn't follow the dimensions from the tutorial.   Roll Eyes

I filled the bag with 4, 4 packs of toilet paper, and there was still room to spare.


Here it is, laying flat


All folded up:


Close-up of the fabric (the pocket is the same fabric but in pink):


What would a white elephant gift exchange be without wrapped gifts?  So, I followed http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=327336.0 tutorial to make a gift bag for the shopping bag.  I didn't have a grommet tool or any grommets, so I just folded the top of the bag over and stapled it closed.  Then, thinking it needed something more, I added a bow to both sides.  What do you think?  Was the bow a good idea?

The empty gift bag:


The full gift bag, side 1:


The full gift bag, side 2:


After the bow:




My gift ended up being the last one chosen.  However, before it was opened, the ladies raved about how cute it was.  Then, after it was opened, the other ladies were jealous.  Smiley  It turns out that the lady who got my gift is a huge bag person (she loves bags).  Overall, I think it was a success.  The shopping bag ended up taking me about 3 hours, start to finish (not including pre-washing the fabric).  The gift bag took me about an hour, not including drying time.

Comments, criticisms, and questions welcome.
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16  Crib set (part 2) - the crib skirt in Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies by christian_cowgirlGSR on: May 08, 2010 12:31:08 PM
This is the second completed piece, of 3, that I am making for my sister, brother-in-law, and their soon-to-be first born.  I am making the trip to go see them at the end of this month, so I have been working on this set every chance I get.

If you'd like to read the background and see the first piece of the set, go here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=344129.msg4001846#msg4001846, where I've posted the quilt/blanket.  

Here's the first picture, for this project's thumbnail:


The crib skirt is my own pattern, though I modeled the desired finished product after the the set my sister chose (http://www.babybedding.com/western-pony-crib-bedding).  The crib they are using for their baby is the same one that our parents used for us.  My sister re-painted it and gave it it's second wind.  This crib is unique because of the way it fits together.


As shown in the above picture, there is a wire-like piece that protrudes from the mattress base (the piece the mattress sits on), about 2 inches from the end.  This is why there is a break in the crib skirt about 2 inches from each corner.  My sister didn't want it to be velcro-d closed or anything, so I just left it as-is.  Here is a picture of the detail on the corner, both the pleat and the opening left for the mattress base support (the wire-like thing).


And here's a few more pictures:




Please excuse the wrinkles and stray threads.  I was so excited to show it off that I didn't wash it or iron it.  Oh, and it's currently draped over my sewing machine table, which is too tall, too short (left-to-right) and too narrow (front-to-back).

I will add pictures of the crib set on the crib after I've given it to them at the end of this month (I'm so excited!!!).
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17  Crib set (part 1) in Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies by christian_cowgirlGSR on: April 11, 2010 03:44:11 PM
In February 2010, my sister announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child (yeah - I'm gonna be an aunt!!!).  For a baby shower gift, I told them that I'd make them one thing off of a list of ideas I compiled from all of you here at craftster.  When I told her that I'd make her one thing, I meant one item.  She apparently took it to mean that I'd make everything from one link.  Of course, she chose the one that ends up being the most work for me...   Grin  Anyway, the link she chose was this one:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=301686.0.  My sister is pretty picky when it comes to colors and clothes and since they're not going to find out what gender their baby is before it's born, I told them that they'd need to pick color(s) for the item they picked from the list.  Going one step farther, my sister asked me to make her crib set look like the ones from here: http://www.babybedding.com/western-pony-crib-bedding.  Thankfully, she didn't insist that I use the same fabrics.  Instead of the suede, I used flannel.  I got the Michael Miller pony fabric off of ebay for less than half the price the carousel designs place wanted for it.  I got the red horse shoe print fabric from Hobby Lobby.  I also got some muslin to line the pony fabric with on the crib skirt and to use as the piece of fabric underneath the mattress for the crib skirt.  

After a couple of weeks of working off-and-on on it, I've finally gotten the first piece (the quilt) of three done!  My sister wanted the quilt to be fairly light, so I didn't use any batting.  I also didn't quilt it, except for one stitch near the center of the quilt to keep the front and back from going wonky.  In case you can't tell from the pictures, the quilt is milk chocolate brown.  The pony print is, essentially, a cow print in brown and cream.  On to the pictures!

When I finished the quilt today, I couldn't resist taking pictures outside as its nicer today than it has been since winter started.  However, it's kinda windy here in windy Wyoming today, so you'll have to excuse the fact that the quilt's not necessarily hanging nicely.


A somewhat closer picture of the front:


This picture shows the back.  Please excuse the laundry in the background.



Here's a close-up picture of the detail on the corner:
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18  I must be doing something right in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: March 17, 2010 06:52:52 PM
I must be doing something right 'cuz all my flowering flowers are blooming.  In fact, two of my Aloe Vera plants are blooming, and I didn't know Aloe Vera plants bloom.  That is, I didn't know until the first bloom appeared a month or two ago.   Grin

Here are some pics of my Aloe Vera in bloom.








My spider plants are also blooming (and multiplying):




My Flamingo Flower is also blooming (the pink spot in the middle of the flower)


This year, I also decided to save some money on my garden by buying seeds instead of small plants.  So, I planted cherry tomatoes, normal tomatoes, Impatien flowers, Marigold Flowers, Bell Peppers, and Banana Peppers.  I put the Impatiens and the peppers in the kitchen window (south side of house) and everything else in the picture window in the living room (north side of house).  Strangely enough, nothing in the south window sprouted while most of the seeds in the north window did.  Out of desperation, I moved the Impatien seeds from the south window to the north.  They bloomed after a week or two in the north window, so I moved the peppers as well.  Sadly, my pepper seeds still have not sprouted, but it is still early enough in the year that I can try again with them.  Enough chatter, on to the rest of the pictures:

Marigold sprouts:


Cherry tomato sprouts:


Sprouts for normal-sized tomato:


I didn't get pictures of the Impatien sprouts (they're fairly slow growing and are still pretty small).  Sadly enough, after these pictures were taken, I went on a weekend trip (left Sat morning, supposed to get back Sun. afternoon) and ended up having car problems and getting stranded.   Therefore, I wasn't home to water my sprouts and lost all of the cherry tomato sprouts, all but two of the sprouts for the normal-sized tomatos, and one of the marigold sprouts.  It's early enough in the season here that I'm going to try again on everything I lost, as well as the peppers that never sprouted.
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19  "If it's not a lab, then it's just a dog" in Quilting: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: February 21, 2010 02:25:50 PM
My husband graduated from college in May of 2009.  I made this quilt for him as a graduation gift.  At the time, he was working 2-10pm 2 evenings per week. Over a period of about a month, I worked on this quilt while he was away at work or at school studying (he also went to the school to study and was gone for most of the day one Saturday).  I would get up early, go to work and then work on the quilt from the minute I got home to just before he got home.  The Saturday he went to the school to study, he came home earlier than I expect and I was still working on it when he drove up.  I barely managed to get it hidden away before he came in the door.  When I gave it to him, the quilt sandwich was done but was only partially bound.  If it hadn't been for the black "tail" attached to the quilt, I don't think he would've ever known the difference.  Smiley 

The completed quilt:


Showing the backing, which was just a sheet I found at the local thrift store:


The partially completed quilt top (sorry about the bluriness):


All pinned up and ready to quilt:


Partially quilted:



When I started quilting, I started by quilting AROUND the block that the dog's head silhouette is in and then finished by quilting the silhouette.  I learned the hard way that when the directions say to start in the center, you should start in true center of the quilt.  Smiley  I now have a puffy spot in the backing of the quilt.


And finally, the happy graduate with the almost-finished quilt


This is my first completed quilt.  C&C much appreciate!
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20  Edible Flowers For Hubby! in Valentine's Day by christian_cowgirlGSR on: February 21, 2010 10:31:19 AM
I couldn't decide what to get my husband for Valentine's Day 2010 until I saw this post on craftster:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=227376.0.  It took me about an hour to put together, and he loved it!  For the flowers, I used felt (pink and white) and craft foam (red).  In the picture, his flowers are sitting next to the plant he gave me.  For those interested, it is a cast-iron plant (called cast-iron because it's nearly impossible to kill).  If I got to choose to change something about the flowers I gave him, I would put the twizzlers in the vase before the sorted M&Ms.  Putting the twizzlers in after the sorted M&Ms messed up the separation of the layers.  The bottom layer was supposed to be multi-colored.  The next layer was a small layer of brown, with the top layer being green.

Sorry about the slight blurriness of these pictures.


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