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31  COOKING / Dessert / Wild Rose Hip Candy (pic rotund) on: October 20, 2010 09:49:31 AM
This is my first post in the cooking section.  Smiley


In northern New Mexico, in the Jemez mountains, on the banks of Conchas Creek, grows the most amazing wild roses. But if you make it to the Jemez mountains go in the fall, first and foremost for the changing Aspen leaves but also because all those roses become wild rosehips.


We havent gone wild rose hip picking since I was a kid but, my mom and I have been talking about them for a wile now and we all decided to go on a day hike/luncheon picnic/rosehip picking outing. My parents DH  and I (along with my moms Rat Terrier Jackie) all went and had a great time. There were so many rosehips this year. It took us all day to do the 6 mile (roundtrip) hike because of all the stops to pick and take pictures.


Rosehips taste great but they are also chuck full of vitamin C. One site I read says that rosehips have more vitamin C that an orange. Anyway, when we have them they are a staple during cold season. And boy do we have them this year. These were just the ones I took after my mom and I split them. All we do is lay them on a piece of paper towel for a couple days to dry but we also live in a dry dry climate.



So after this weekends bountiful rose hip hunting expedition I decided to make rose hip candy. Here is how it went. I found the recipe here http://homecooking.about.com/od/candyrecipes/r/blfruit13.htm

The first step is the hardest most time consuming part. I had to de-seed the rosehips.

After much trial and error (and failure) I found the best way for me was to cut the hip in half and using a dull butter knife scrape out the seeds. Did I mention this is time consuming. The recipe calls for 1 cup de-seeded rose hips, this cup took me an hour. Here is what my hour got me.


I should also mention that the seeds are surrounded by a sort of fuzz that itches when it comes in contact with he skin. Think peach fuzz made of splintered steal. But it wiped off easily with a damp paper towel and didn't leave a rash or anything.

Then I cooked the rose hips in 3tbs water and 1/3 cup sugar. I had to stir constantly too keep them coated but it took just about 5 minutes for them to cook. This is when they started smelling amazing.

(The recipe calls for 2tbs and 2tsp water. I goggled it and there are only 3 teaspoons in a tablespoons. I figured 1/3 tbs extra water wouldn't hurt and I was right. So for the lazy like me, feel free to use 3 tbs.)

At this point I had a sticky mass of rosehips. I picked up a spoon full, and separated them with a fork into a pan full of sugar. Then I shook them around to coat them. I had to stop occasionally to keep separating them, but this part was not hard.


Then I laid them on some aluminum foil to dry (we didn't have wax paper).


And viola! Remember all that complaining I did about de-seeding? Totally worth it. They taste like candied ambrosia. I'm already working on a second batch. Maybe a third. Can't stop eating them.
32  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Nuts and Bolts Chess on: October 14, 2010 09:39:18 AM


My hubby's birthday was last weekend and we went camping to celebrate. He loves chess so I made him a chess set out of nuts and bolts that we took and played under the changing leaves. It was great.

I got the inspiration form a bunch of google images but out local hardware store didn't seem to have a lot in the way unique bolts and stuff. I had to get pretty creative and super glue helped. I'm not at all satisfied with the board. I will probably re do it but for now it works. I covered a regular board with this cool steam engine fabric i found using Modge Podge and taped and painted it with white paint then sprayed to seal. The board originally folded but then the paint and stuff stuck. Oh well.







33  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Sweater sleeves to leg warmers on: October 14, 2010 09:34:08 AM


I am posting how I made these because it is stupid simple, but I have to admit getting the idea from the book Sew Subversive.

I also want to mention that I was hesitant to try this because I had a bad run in with a pair of leg warmes I got from Target a few winters ago. All of the leg warmers were one size fits...well they didn't fit me. I guess I have freakishly fat calves (at least that's what it felt like) I was too embarrassed to even return them. But the sweater worked perfectly. There was even a comical moment when my hub came home from work to find me with my legs in the sleeves of the sweater and a giddy look on my face.

First I just cut the sleeves in a straight(ish) line from the armpit to the shoulder.


Then I drew hearts on the sleeves where I would be sewing for the reverse applique. Thank goodness black markers draw on black knit material. I lettuce edged the top/bottom/whatever in with contrasting thread. All I did was a tight zig-zag on the edge and stretched the fabric as it went under the foot. I think I love lettuce edging.


I pinned the fabric underneath the hearts I drew, right side up, and sewed a "messy" outline around them. This is what it looked like before I clipped the threads.



Next I turned it inside out and trimmed the fabric (but not too close). Then I turned it right side out again and clipped away the inside of the the hearts. And Voil!
34  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Sweater Recon on: October 05, 2010 11:41:36 AM

The only thing I did to the shape of the sweater was to cut it up the middle.
Then I made a sort of bias tape with fabric I had in my stash and bound the cut, the collar and the sleeves. I had enough left over to make a ruffled bottom.

The ugly before sweater:


Here is a close-up of the cute fabric I used. I found it for $3 a yard at a new fabric shop in town ages ago.


My favorite part of this project is the button. I took a vintage clip earring and cut off the back piece and glued the earring to the back of a do-it-yourself fabric button. (If that didn't make any sense message me and I will explain better)

Earring before:


Back of new button:



Ugly button hole (button holes on sweater fabric is super hard and Im not good at them on regular fabric):


I wore my "new" sweater to dance class last night ans someone asked if I got it at Anthropology Cheesy
35  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tiered skirt to comfy shirt on: September 27, 2010 09:45:52 AM

Here is the skirt before. It was a pretty simple black jersey skirt with a pretty crocheted border on the hem. I got it at Goodwill years ago. It was comfy but just not flattering. Oh and that's my new kitty Ringo..."He's so fluffy!"


Super simple idea. Here it is cut. What I learned from the first attempt was to measure the sleeves. my arm is 12" around and i measured just that knowing the jersey would stretch. Also be sure to put the skirt on like a poncho first to mark where you want the sleeves to start.

Then just sew up the sides and down the sleeve.

Here is the finished product. It came out pretty cute and it is so comfy. The perfect thing to wear snuggled up on the couch with a good book.

What am I pointing at? Don't know just wanted to show the sleeves.
36  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Old Navy man shirt re-con on: September 21, 2010 01:58:46 PM
At first I was unimpressedbut its growing on me. What do you think?

My skeptical face


Here is the shirt before.


First I cut off the collar and sleeves then I covered the edges with bias tape. Easy peasy.


From there I just shirred under the bust to give it some shape
I dont know. I go from hating it to liking it to loving it. I really like the way the bias tape makes the collar stiff and open. And something about the shape has a vintage feel, not sure why. But seriously, any ideas about this one would be greatly appreciated.

37  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Bike Saddle Bag- sort of on: September 17, 2010 01:42:47 PM
*I hope this is the right place to post this*

I got a "new" vintage bike and since I live like a mile and a half form work I have biked to work everyday this week. About day two I realized I needed a better method of carrying my stuff; work shoes lunch books etc. I looked online but saddle bags are crazy expensive (and kind of ugly) so I made one of my own. It's by no means perfect but I like it and it is working great.

I used a jute tote bag and got the buckle straps form an old coat. (note: my sewing machine hates jute)

At first i made a velcro system to attach it to my bike but that failed miserably. So after some consideration I decided to just sew it to the back rack with thick embroidery thread. So far so good. The only drawback is that I cant take it off, but I don't really need to so it's all good.

inside

outside
38  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Bleach Pen Jeans on: September 14, 2010 09:11:44 AM


I decided to give new life to some old pants. These were some Wal-Mart jeans I boughtwell Im not sure why I bought them. They dont fit great and the denim is super thin. I figured I could try to embellish them and if it didnt work out, no tears.

Have you played with a Clorox bleach pen? Its pretty awesome. The bleach is a gel so it doesnt run. Basically you just draw with the pen. It doesnt get the finest detail (I find big bold patterns work best). Then you let it dry and rinse off.

Dont forget to put newspaper under your design or the bleach will bleed through and dont wear anything that you dont mind getting bleach stains on.

I was worried that it wasnt working so I kept testing. Thats why the bottom of the big design isnt as dark (ironic right?). I let the rest dry completely (we went to a movie) and it bleached just fine. Lesson: Patience

Oh and I am playing with my camera so thats whats up with the artsy pics.




39  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Empire waist dress recon on: September 08, 2010 10:56:49 AM
Look a basset hound!


I am just tickled at how this one turned out. And elastic bobbins rock my world. There were some touch and go moments and for a minute I thought I had ruined it.

I got this dress on clearance at Target probably because I love jersey dresses (can you tell?). But nothing about this dress was flattering.
Before


The waist was the easiest part. I wound a spiral under the original shirring with a bobbin of elastic thread until the bobbin ran out. In the picture the white is the shirring I did. See the crooked lines? It doesn't matter. Ha I love this stuff.


Anyway I am Cheshire Cat over this dress. The square neck and high waist puts me in mind of Jane Austin (if Jane Austin was half black) I wore it to work today and I feel so pretty. And the dress is comfy.

Shirring is easy as easy can be. Trust me I am not a seamstress. If I can do it, it's idiot proof.
40  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Bowl of blessings <3 on: September 08, 2010 09:19:26 AM
My good friend Consuelo Marie got back from vacation and announced that she and her (long time) fianc eloped in California!

I am so happy for her and I wanted to do something special. She and her husband (he he) are going to Ecuador for a year soon, so I didnt want to get them something big or heavy that they would have to store (like a kitchenaid mixer).

I decided on a bowl of blessings. I found the pattern here http://cadouri-din-inima.blogspot.com/2009/03/tutorial-quilted-bowl.html and I modified it to make the panels look more like flower petals. The white fabric is repurposed from a coat I dont wear (because its white) and I had the pink linen for the hearts already. There is dried lavender inside the hearts.

I am quite pleased with how it came out. I think she will like it too.












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