Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Old Fashioned Red Rock Candy

This was my grandmother's recipe. She use to make it every year at Christmas time, and it is still one of my favorite candies. Below it, I'll include instructions for changing the flavoring if you don't like cinnamon. Also, you will need a candy thermometer. She did not give me temperatures, as she just eyeballs it, so I've tried to include the stages, but I do not know the temps off hand.

What you'll need:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Red Hots
1 tsp butter
powder sugar

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cleaning your carpets!

I live in an apartment. Recently, it was damaged, and we are moving into a temporary place while they remodel this one. While cleaning the temp place, I noticed the carpets are stiff and matted. So stiff, that my vacuum wouldn't even pull up the nap of the carpet when I vacuumed. After some quick research, I concluded that the cause is too much soap left in the carpet.

My solution was to rinse the carpets with vinegar to break up the soap residue. However, I have a small machine, it only holds 1 gallon of water. This would take a lot of refills and trips to the sink. There had to be a better way.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Resticking your Cricut Mats

My Cricut mats seem to lose their stick quite often. They get covered in lit and little paper bits, which is a bummer because I use them a lot to cut decals. I have seen several tutorials on recovering them with various products suck as Zig's 2 way glue, spray adhesive, and Ailene's Tacky glue mixed with water.

This is what my mats looked like after several uses. As you can see, there is lint, bits of paper, even marker on them.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quilt for Kids - A great cause!

First, let me start by saying that I am in no way affiliated with Quilts for Kids, nor did they ask me to write this on their behalf. So, the opinions expressed are my own.

When I started getting into quilting, I was extremely overwhelmed at the amount of cutting it involved. I was also having trouble piecing, because the blocks that I liked were intricate. I'm still not that great at it, but I'm getting better.

One day, while searching for a pattern that I could replicate easily, I stumbled upon the Quilt For Kids website. If you don't know what it is, please take a moment to visit their site. I have included their mission statement, taken directly from their website, below:

Transforming discontinued, unwanted and other fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Go Back to Sleep clock

I don't know about you, but my children are terrible sleepers. They go to bed at a decent hour, always the same time every night, but wake up frequently through the night and early in the morning. They are not getting their recommended 10 hours of sleep, which makes for some crabby kiddos. They also do not nap during the day.

While perusing Pinterest one day, I saw this pin which was linked to this blog post:

Genius, I thought! And filed it away in the depths of my crafting brain. Until tonight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to make a child's lab coat, without collar.

One of my children's favorite dress-up activities is playing doctor. They have had a few kits in the past, and I'm currently working on a felt version that will hopefully last longer than the cheap plastic ones.

My oldest requested a doctor's coat. Instead of spending the money to buy some, I thought I'd work through my fabric stash and make both of my girls one. However, googling yielded few results, most involved refashioning a men's dress shirt, or using a pattern. I knew I'd have to create my own pattern, which I did from a shirt that fit each of them. I also used a set of curtains that I picked up on clearance, intending to make them summer dresses out of the material, but that never happened. Since I used curtains, I had the hemming finished. However, if you are using off the bolt fabric, you will need to add in hems.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

My recipe box is a collection of recipes from a variety of sources in my family. It was my father's, which he in turn gave to me when I had my own home. It's a mixture of recipes from my grandmothers, stepmoms, and even him!

I have no clue where this pumpkin bread recipe came from. It *looks* like my grandmother's handwriting, but I cannot be sure. Regardless, it's delicious, and makes 3 loaves!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My favorite blog...

Now has a forum!!!

I just wanted to share it with you all, because I absolutely LOVE Jillee and all of her wonderful tips/recipes. She has now included a forum on her blog, which allows you to share your ideas, recipes, crafts, and other wonderful things!

The link to her blog:

There is a navigation bar at the top, with a button to the forum. Or, you can just click on this link to go straight there:

Registration is free and only takes a couple of minutes. My username is CraftyMamaT. See you there!

Belle Costume for K

With Halloween approaching, K made it very clear that she wanted to be Belle for Halloween this year. I'm not sure why Belle is her favorite princess, considering her favorite color is pink, and Belle's dress is yellow. I think it's because the dress up kit that she received for her birthday last year has no Belle dress in it, just Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. I digress though.

Halloween time around here is usually a bit on the chilly side. When searching through the premade costumes at the stores, all of the dresses were on the shorter side, hitting around the knees. K didn't like the length, and I didn't like the thin material, knowing it wouldn't be warm enough. That's when she asked if I would make her costume. 

In a moment of sheer madness, or complete and utter surprise at her faith in my sewing skills, I agreed. I love to sew, I'm decent at it, as long as it involves cotton and other "easy" materials to work with. Also, as long as it's not a fitted garment. I mostly sew home decor items or quilts. After browsing a couple of blogs and Pinterest, I realized that my promise to make her costume was going to be a bit more difficult to uphold. She wanted it sparkly, and shiny, which meant satins, organzas, chiffons, and the like. I took a deep breath(or 5) and headed to the craft store.

I purchased a few yards of yellow glitter costume satin and some sheer yellow organza. I came home, and got to work.

I didn't have a pattern, so I combined two different tutorials, and a few of my own elements to create her dress. It was a lot of trial and error, but it finally got there. Here is how I did it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sharpie Tie-Dye

A couple of weeks ago, it was Homecoming week in this little town I call home. Being a smaller town, everyone gets in on the festivities, all the way down to the Pre-K level! They had a different dress-up day for each day of the week. One of those days was tie-dye day. I knew my daughter did not have a single item of tie-dyed clothing, so we made our own with permanent markers and rubbing alcohol!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Simmering Pot "recipe"

This time of year is always so busy for me, but it is my favorite time of the year! As many of you know, I do love my Scentsy warmers, but nothing quite smells as good as real fruit simmering in water on the stove. There are a multitude of simmering pot recipes out there, but this post came as a result of testing out a holiday gift idea for family acquaintances. You know, the neighbors, teachers, etc.

First, in order to preserve the fruit, I knew I needed to dehydrate it. However, I do not own a dehydrator, and I couldn't justify spending the money for one to make gifts. Not to mention, I really do not need another small kitchen appliance. This is how I did it, in the oven.