Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Family Night...More Apricot Preserve

For Family Night Dan and I bottled our first batches of apricot preserve together. We sure made a mess. We had a few issues throughout the process. We started with one big pot but soon realized that it was too small and had to pour half of the preserves into another pot because it was boiling up and out of the first pot. We're lucky we didn't burn ourselves that stuff is hot! The other messy part was pouring the preserves into the bottles. We don't have a funnel...so alot ended up down the sides of the jar. Overall, it was fun and we now have 18 half pint jars of apricot preserve.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Completed Apron

My sister and I got together today to make aprons. We had found a picture of an apron on Amy Butler's website and we were going to try to make our own pattern from looking at the picture. Thankfully, my new visiting teacher had the pattern and we didn't have to figure one out ourselves. I think it turned out pretty cute.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dumb Binding

I decided to start on a bib tonight. Supposedly, it's a level 2 difficulty out of 5. Simple enough right? WRONG! Sewing binding on curves is not easy at all. And doing it at midnight is no good either. I almost freaked out but instead I just put everything away and I may never finish it because I'm so stinkin' mad at the dumb binding!

Changing Pad

I just finished making this Changing Pad from my new pattern book "little stitches for little ones". I'm going to use it as part of a shower gift. It was super easy. Basically a giant burp cloth with a little quilting design. I really like how big it is. I got one with one of my diaper bags and it's almost too small for Jake now. I will have to make him one of these.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby's Laundry

A friend of mine gave me a magic potion for foods that stain as part of a baby shower gift. I just used it on Jake's white t-shirt that was stained from him eating watermelon. Who knew that watermelon would stain??? I'm an obvious first time mom. The mixture took the watermelon stain out.

Watermelon Stain

The baby shower gift included a bottle of Ammonia/Tide Mixture, a bar of White Dove Soap, a brush, and the following information on a card:

Pour a little Tide/Ammonia mix (1 part Tide/1 part Ammonia) on those stubborn spots. Scrub with a brush. Soak and let sit over night for the really stubborn ones! (Great for the diaper explosions!)

For the stains that won't come out unless you bleach them...Rub white Dove Soap on the stain. Fill the sink with about 1 gallon of cool water and 1 TBSP of bleach. Let soak for about 30 minutes. Only do this with light colored clothing and make sure you put both parts of a set in the water even if only 1 has a stain so that incase they fade the 2 parts will fade the same.

*Anytime you use bleach pour some white vinegar on the clothing afterward. This deactivates the bleach so it doesn't continue to eat at your clothes or get on anything else you wash with it.

Foods that stain:
Orange colored baby food

-Remove clothing immediately and soak spots with the Tide/Ammonia mixture.

Homemade Soap

I had so much fun making soap with my friend Susan that I'm going to invest in some molds and make more soap. My original plan for them was to use them as Christmas gifts but I have used them as hostesses gifts, birthday gifts, and just because I like you gifts. I have a jar of them in my bathroom and they make the room smell so good. I ordered my fragrances/essential oils from http://www.pinemeadows.net/oils.php

Here's the recipe for any brave soul that wants to try it.

Cold Process 4.5 Lb Soap Recipe

24 Oz. Water
10 Oz. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
16 Oz. Coconut Oil
16 Oz. Palm Oil
16 Oz. Palm Kernal Oil
24 Oz. Olive Oil
2 Oz. Castor Oil (Creamy)
2 Oz. Vegetable Glycerin (Lather)
4 Oz. Fragrance/Essential Oil

1- Measure lye, while stirring slowly lye to water. Stir until dissolved (Use glass or sturdy plastic container)

2- Measure Palm, Coconut, Palm Kernal & Olive Oil into large stainless steel pan. Heat until melted

3- Measure Glycerin, Castor and essential or fragrance oil and set aside.

4- Decrease the temperature of water/lye mixture and oils to 120’ – 130’. You can use cold water baths to speed this process

5- When correct temperatures are achieved, slowly pour water/lye mixture into oil mixture while stirring.

6- Stir by hand for 15 minutes

7- Then alternate hand stirring and stick blending every two minutes.

8- When mixture reaches the trace stage, add fragrance oil, castor and glycerin oils. Mix completely.

9- Pour into mold and insulate with blanket or towels for 24 hours

10- Un-mold and slice in desired sizes – Makes about 24 bars

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Apricot Preserves

So, I've almost eaten a whole jar of the apricot preserves I made this week with my sister. It is so delicious, that I decided to give you all the recipe:

4 ½ c. apricots, chopped
1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until tender.
3 c. sugar
Bring to a full rolling boil and cook until desired thickness. Remove from heat and put into clean, hot jars within 1/8 inch from rim. Wipe rims clean. Put on lid and band. Invert for 5 minutes. Let cool 24 hrs. It might take a few weeks to set.
* Don’t forget to put your lids in almost boiling water before starting to soften them.

Apron Fabric

I just found this cute fabric at JoAnn's, I know I couldn't believe it either. JoAnn's doesn't have the greatest selection but every once in a while I find a great find. My sister and I are going to make apron's from it.

Here's a picture of the apron were going to make with a few additions of our own.

Amy Butler's - Little stitches for little ones

I ordered myself an early birthday present from Amy Butler's fabulous site. It's a book called Amy Butler's little stitches for little ones. It has 20 keepsake sewing projects for babies and moms. I had so much fun browsing it this morning as Jake took his nap. I can't decide what to make first. The projects range from Snuggle Wrap Blankets, Crib sets, cute booties, bibs, diaper bags, quilts, laundry bags, building blocks, toys, photo albums, etc. It is the coolest book. I'd recommend it to anyone.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Michelle's Corner

I've decided to start a blog for all the artsey-fartsey things I'm attempting to make. Wish me luck on my quest to become a more well-rounded woman.