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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade Tater Tots (or hash brown patties) on: March 25, 2018 04:43:16 PM
I decided to try my hand at homemade tater tots. I didn't follow any recipes or tutorials (though I have read a few, years ago), just sort of made it up as I went along. I need a new grater so I used the larger holes instead of the smaller ones because I didn't want to spend all day grating potatoes. This means they came out more like hash brown patties instead of tater tots but they still taste good.


I started by parboiling four large Idaho potatoes. I only ended up using two of them, so after they cooled, I bagged the other two for later use (probably breakfast tomorrow).
After they cooled, I grated them into a bowl and seasoned them with salt (a tablespoon, I believe), black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. For best results, use the smaller part of your grater, unless you're wanting to make hash brown patties out of them.
If you've never done this, please note that grated potatoes are very sticky due to the starch in them. I imagine you could turn it into a sort of glue if you wanted Grin
I've seen where some tutorials suggest grating potatoes into a bowl of water to keep them from gumming up and sticking together, but you want them to stick together for tater tots and hash brown patties.
If you want to make just regular hash browns, grate the potatoes into water, drain them, then pat them dry so that they don't gum up and stick together.
After seasoning them, I put a little cooking oil on my hands and formed them into little balls. If you've used the finer grater, you'll be able to make much smaller balls than mine.

I had preheated my oven to 425F and baked them for twenty minutes. They came out nicely browned and taste pretty good.
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Fleur de lys make-up bags + daisy make-up bag on: March 24, 2018 10:19:31 AM
I'm going to visit family for Easter and wanted to make nice but quick gifts for the ones who would rather not have candy.
Both of them like fleur de lys and are going on a cruise soon so I figured a make-up bag would be a great gift. They can use them as a toiletries bag for their cruise then for some of their make-up when the come home Smiley

I used black thread to sew the first bag and wish I had for the second, too, because I like the contrast. I lined it with the pink/grey starry fabric because that one is for the cousin whose favorite color is pink. The second one has blue/grey starry fabric because her favorite color is blue.





The cute little wooden button tags that say "Homemade" were purchased from Wish. I think they're made of cedar or pine because they have that evergreen-y smell.

These were made using the Easy Cosmetics Bag pattern from Sew So Easy, which is a free pattern.

ETA: I learned a few days ago that my sister-in-law, who previously thought she wouldn't be able to make it for Easter, is coming. So I made her this bag. The sunny yellow on the daisies (I think they're Gerbera daisies?) remind me of her sunny disposition Smiley



I took this picture before I sewed in the "Handmade" button and sewed the lining closed.
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Star Wars mini messenger on: March 14, 2018 08:11:50 AM
This bag has been a WIP for the longest because I kept forgetting to buy the longer pins I needed to pin thru the layers of interfacing and fabric. It's kinda my fault though for using a slightly heavier interfacing for lining the outer part of the bag because it's what I had on hand.
Back when I bought the fabrics for this bag, I bought them because they were on clearance and I liked them but wasn't quite sure what to do with them.
I sent a pic to my younger sister and she said they would make a cute purse so I started looking through the purse patterns I have downloaded and found the Lilac Mini Messenger Bag by Blue Calla Patterns (it's free!) and made this bag for her.
It's a very easy pattern to follow and the bag made up rather quickly after I finally remembered the pins I needed Tongue



Flap up:


Please excuse the ugly, dingy door curtains behind it. They came with our house and I've yet to make new ones.
Also, the flap wasn't sewn on backwards: my sister wanted the flap to contrast with the outside of the bag.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / From plush backpack to toddler harness on: March 06, 2018 11:56:14 PM
A few days ago while at Walmart, I noticed they had some Pikachu plush backpacks on clearance so I bought one for myself.
My toddler loves Pikachu and kept trying to steal it so the next day when I went back to get some things I forgot, I bought him one. As he was playing with it, trying to figure out how to put it on his back by himself, I had a great idea: add a chest strap to make it a harness.
It took me less than ten minutes to add the straps and parachute buckle and make a matching harness from the strap material. And, unlike the previous toddler harness I made, he actually likes wearing this one.

The straps and leash:

The front (just 'cause cute):

And when he gets old enough that he no longer needs the harness, I can easily snip off the added bits and reuse the buckle.
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Toy broom DIY (a bit of how-to with no progress pics) on: February 27, 2018 09:12:43 PM
My toddler loves trying to help me around the house. He really loves my broom and likes trying to sweep with it but as it's so much taller than him, he can't do it.
So I looked around in stores and online for a toy broom and was shocked that a toy broom costs $15 or more! Shocked
I didn't even pay that much for the broom I use so I decided a DIY was in order.

The original attempt:

I bought a toy golf club at Dollar Tree as well as a pack of raffia strips in bundles. I took a bundle and cut it into short pieces then took a long piece of raffia and wound around one end then tied it. I then unscrewed the head from the toy golf club and stuffed the tied end of the bundle into the hole in the handle. While it looked okay, it didn't sweep very well so my toddler quickly lost interest in it.

Second attempt:

Went to Fred's to pick up a few things and found a whisk broom with a mini dustpan for $2. I used my hacksaw to cut the handle off the broom (it wouldn't fit into the golf club handle) and used some InstaMorph to fill the hole in the club, as well as to give me something to attach the broom head to. I sanded smooth the bits of leftover handle on the broom head then did a bit of sanding on the hardened InstaMorph to give it a bit of tooth and used Gorilla Glue hot glue to put it all together. It might not be the neatest/prettiest little broom but my son loves it, and that's what counts.

The best part is that it only cost me $4 to make (counting the raffia). I'm not sure how useful this information is as I'm not sure how many people have InstaMorph lying around and am not sure what you could substitute.
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Pokemon fleece hoodie on: December 18, 2017 06:58:02 PM
Like many of my fellow Craftsterers I rarely make anything for myself. But when I saw this Pokemon fleece at JoAnn's, I just had to have it to make myself a jacket.
Or at least, that was the original intent. I have a fleece jacket pattern.
But then I remembered I also had a hoodie pattern (it was part of a pj pattern, of all things) and decided to make myself a hoodie instead (I love hoodies).

The drawstring is paracord because I couldn't find any black drawstring cording.
Will update later with a photo of me wearing it.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Mickey Mouse toddler jacket on: December 16, 2017 03:42:31 PM
My 19 month old son LOVES Mickey Mouse. I tried finding him a Mickey jacket but wasn't having any luck: most places had Minnie jackets in his size, but no Mickey.
I searched high and low to find a Mickey fabric that I liked. Most were either white (on a toddler? HA!) or the print was far too big for a toddler sized jacket.
I FINALLY found this cute print at Walmart.

This is the first thing I've ever made with a separating zipper and this type of pocket. I did a bit of fussy cutting but somehow managed to get the right pocket off kilter. Other than that, I think I did pretty well. Pattern used was McCall's 7039. I left off the mitts because the pattern piece disappeared (I think my toddler was the culprit).

In action at the park:

8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Harry Potter House Pride Slippers (Gryffindor & Slytherin) on: November 25, 2017 10:31:39 PM
First, I have to give credit to Pinkleo for giving me this idea several years ago when she posted her Gryffindor House Pride Slippers, which my sister coveted.
I finally remembered them earlier this month and ordered the book (Vanna's Favorite Crochet Gifts) then made my sister's slippers in her House colors:

And since I needed slippers, too, I made myself a pair in my House colors:

Yarn used:
Gryffindor - Caron Pound of Yarn in Scarlet and Mainstays in Gold (this is a new yarn from Walmart that is actually pretty soft for an acrylic)
Slytherin - Caron Pound of Yarn in Kelly Green (my favorite color from them) and Crafter's Secret in Passport (Hobby Lobby)

Soon I hope to make pairs in Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff House colors. I just have to ask for the shoe sizes of the friends who belong to those Houses Smiley
9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 121 ENTRIES / Pint-sized Pirate on: November 01, 2017 09:17:14 PM
For my toddler's Halloween costume I wanted something as simple as possible so I made him a pirate. Sadly, we didn't trick-or-treat because we're both sick but I did get a few cute pics of him in costume.
The shirt I made from a pattern I drafted myself and the pants were made from McCall's 6016 with the pockets left off.


Lying down (the clearest shot of the whole costume, just in case):

Sadly, I couldn't get him to keep on the Dollar Tree pirate's hat or hold onto his toy sword. He was all about having that sword and swinging it around until I tried to get a picture of him with it. Roll Eyes
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Crochet slipper pattern for little girl? on: October 13, 2017 09:31:50 AM
Anyone have a go-to they could share with me? I need a size 13 or 1.
I'm crocheting slippers for Christmas for my cousin's daughter and am trying to find a pattern for just a super simple slipper. All the ones I've found were kinda frilly and, though she loves frills, I wanted something plain that I could make into bunny slippers because she LOVES bunnies.
A lot of the simple patterns I've found say "try it on the child as you go", which I can't do because my cousin lives over an hour away. Even if we lived closer, I want it to be a surprise for her.
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