Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Individual Pies... In a Jar!!

These little pies are delicious.  I first saw the idea at Our Best Bites and knew I had to try it. I even had a bunch of Northern Spy apples at home just waiting to be made into pies.
But I didn't have the proper jars.  They need to be one-cup, wide mouth jars with straight sides.  The straight sides are important because without them, you won't be able to get all of the delightful pie goodness out!
I looked at prices online for these jars and was disappointed that nobody had them on sale and that they were approximately a dollar a jar.  I thought that seemed steep, but my husband pointed out that I will have the jars forever and I spend more than a dollar on tea, that is gone after a short while, each week when I meet my friend. (Every Monday I spend $1.35 on a tea and meet my friend for an hour or so)  So, with that, we went out and bought a dozen jars!


I got to work and made some pie crust dough.  One quarter of a single crust recipe appears to be what these jars take.  You don't even have to mess with rolling the crust out.  I just took a ball of dough and pressed it into my jars.  Pressing it along the bottom, then up the sides.  Next batch, I will make the dough reach a little higher, I went as high as the bottom of the threads for the lid.  I will also remember to save a piece of dough for the top of the pie!

Next, I made my filling.  I got this recipe from my daughter who just has it written down so I have no idea where it came from.  I diced the apples since they were going into a little jar, rather than slicing them like you would normally do for a pie.  I used four small apples.  Once the apples were peeled, cored and diced, I added  a ½ Tablespoon of lemon juice, 6 Tablespoons of sugar, a ½ Tablespoon of cornstarch, a generous ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  I mixed that all together and spooned it into my jars, pressing it down gently to fit more in.   

I placed my (pathetic excuse for a) top crust on my little pies, placed the jars on a baking sheet and placed them in a cold oven.  Then I turned the oven on to 375 degrees.  Once it reached that temperature, I set a timer for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, I had adorable, fully cooked pies!  There isn't enough room on the top of the jars for a good sized scoop of vanilla ice cream, so I added a little spoonful to look pretty, then gave everyone a little bowlful on the side. 

While these are no substitute for an actual, full sized apple pie, they are a great little treat!  A full size pie has more filling per slice than these little jars do, but that was the closest thing to a complaint that I heard.

Apparently, you can make these, put the lid on the jars and freeze them, unbaked.  Then when you want a treat, Pull them out of the freezer, remove the lid and place them on a baking tray.  Then you just put them in a cold oven and set the temperature for 375 and bake them for an hour, starting to time them when the oven heats up.  I am going to try that in the next couple of days.  I'll let you know how they work!  And when I report back that they were amazing, I am going to make a dozen and freeze them for later. Pin It

Friday, November 2, 2012

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!!

Okay, I know that this is really November 2 but I am posting about Halloween.
First I have to go backwards to Halloween 2011. I saw the most AMAZING life-sized Jack Skellington at Running With Scissors .  Jess was not only so cool that she made it in the first place, but she shared how she did it.  So last year I used her basic directions and made my own.
This year, since I  was giving out candy for the first time in about 18 years (I always took the kids out while Dad stayed home to hand out)  I decided that I was going to have fun and dress up.  And that Jack needed a Sally.  So I looked at the licenced costumes for sale and didn't like what they call "Sassy" Sally (you know the type of costume... short skirt, low neckline...) and I certainly didn't like the price tag on the more authentic costume. Sixty dollars!  Can you imagine?  For $60 I could have purchased a low-quality, very thin dress, a yarn wig and sleeves.  No thanks.  I decided then that I was going to just dress up as my daughters' Mom and hand out candy.
My husband, however, told me that I should make a costume. 


I'm not that good with a sewing machine.  I have a huge problem with seam allowances and I have no idea how to make a dress.

But he was insistent that I could do it.  So I went out and bought what I thought was appropriate fabric.  For a whopping $12.65.

Then I washed it and ironed it. (See?  I do know to do some things!)  I think my next project may be a new ironing board cover...

Then I got to work.  I looked at pictures of Sally's dress and did my best to piece together colours the same way that they are on her dress.  I was determined to do a good job with this.  I even pinked and pressed all the seams.  something I usually don't bother to do, which I am sure has added to my past failures.

Once I was done that, I had two big pieces of fabric to work with.  I admit, I only used three large pieces on the back.  Plus a little black patch to disguise a mistake. (shhhh)

Then I used a T-shirt as a guide and sewed my pieces together, adding sleeves.  Once I was pretty happy with the dress, I pulled out my paints and added details.  I have to say, at this point, I had impressed myself!  I wasn't totally happy with the fit of the dress, but if I fixed that now, the day before Halloween, I would lose a bunch of my painted details and I didn't have time to re-paint them.

Sorry it isn't a great photo.  It was taken with no flash at night and was the best I could do.

Next year I want to add Zero, Jack's ghost dog to the family, but for this year, I put Zero on my pumpkin.

I want to make a stuffed Sally as a decoration.  My plan is to make her a big doll (because Sally is a rag doll!) but have a zipper up her back so that stuffing (Hubby suggested shredded newspaper) can be removed so she can be easily stored.  And she can borrow my dress and wig and I will just take them back when I want to wear them!  Jack is a nightmare to store, (See what I did there? haha) so Sally has  to be manageable.  I also plan to make a better wig.  I got this one for $5 and it is too sparse and too short.  Hopefully I can still use it and add to it rather than start fresh.
I have a whole year to forget about these plans and scramble next October.

Here I am with the Jack Skellington I made last year:

And here are the real Jack and Sally, in case you are not familiar with them.
This picture is from the Disney Store. Check out all the Nightmare stuff they have!

Thanks for looking!! Pin It

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Turn old jeans into a ball!

I believe I first saw the link to this on Craft Gossip, but technically, I found the instructions here.
I just love this idea!  And it couldn't be easier. I learned that it also works really, really well with fleece and  you don't have to sew a button hole for that!  I recently made 10 out of fleece to give to children attending a barbecue we had.  I didn't think to take any pictures of those, but they were a huge hit with ALL the kids (aged from 1½ to 14!).  I just made sure that the stretch of the fleece went across the ball.
For the denim ball, I started with a pair of old, well-loved, ripped jeans. 
And I cut my pieces out.

I followed the instructions for the first little bit, then stopped.  Don't do that!  I sewed up all the large pieces and then had to rip a seam.  You don't sew it completely together by machine because you need a hole so that you can machine sew the two end pieces on.  One end piece has a button hole to insert your balloon through.  Once you have the end pieces sewn in, you hand sew the remaining seam.
You poke an uninflated balloon through the button hole, blow it up and tie it, then just stuff the knot into the ball.
Fantastic entertainment!  The kids, from the youngest to the oldest (and even some of the 'grown ups') played with these at the barbecue, then the kids took theirs home.  They got a little dirty, but you just have to pop and remove the balloon, toss the ball in the washer, and replace the balloon next time you want the ball.
The author of the instructable I followed points out that you can also bounce this off people's heads without causing damage.  Yup!  That is correct!  It was done over and over again.
I'll bet these would work if they were made smaller and used (air-filled) water balloons.
Thanks for looking!!!!
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Dimensional Magic Magnets

I have seen this Dimensional Magic in a gazillion posts all over the Internet.  The post I saw that inspired these magnets was this one from Photojojo.  Except I didn't want to make a mosaic, I wanted mine to look like little Polaroid pictures.

So I went to Walmart and picked up a bottle of this nifty stuff. 

As usual, I didn't follow instructions properly.  Photojojo calls for using mat board. I don't have that lying around.  My husband does woodworking for a hobby, so I asked him to cut me some little, thin rectangles out of wood.  These are 1"x1¼".  I took some white nail polish (because it was handy) and painted the edges white, and a little of the border painted as well, just in case it shows. 

Then I glued a photo onto the wood and covered it in a layer of the Dimensional Glaze, and left it to dry.

I learned a valuable lesson here.  Don't use a glue stick.  I am glad that I only made one as a test!

On to attempt number two. 
This time I used a tiny amount to the glaze itself to glue my photo down.  Then I smeared a very thin layer of the glaze over the top and along the edges of the paper to seal it down.  I let this dry before adding my good layer of Dimensional Magic.

I also experimented with adding the glaze directly onto a photo that I didn't glue to anything else. I was wondering if this would work well straight onto paper.
The answer is no.  It curls.

Success!  Attempt number two worked!

So I carried on and made the rest of my little Polaroids.

Here is an idea of the size of the magnets.  And my cat.  I tried to angle it so you could see the glaze layer.

Tada!  I don't know what I am going to do when we eventually get a stainless steel fridge!  Maybe by then they will make magnetic ones.

Thanks for looking!!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to Make a Glass Tile Pendant

I have been making glass tile pendants for years.  Above are a few of them.  But I have only made one for myself!  My friend Leah made a cross stitch that I really liked, and I decided that I was going to shamelessly copy her idea, except in glass tile pendant form.  I hope you don't mind Leah!!!!

First I had to find a picture of the lips.  Then download the font. Go here if you want the font.  I had no idea that there even was a font available!  I laid it out several different ways.  I couldn't decide how I wanted the words.  Then I printed out my pictures and gathered my supplies.

I settled on a design and carefully cut it out to fit on my glass tile. Then glued it to the tile using my triple thick glaze.

 I set it on a piece of wax paper to dry.  You can see the glue that seeped out around the edges in this picture, but that stayed behind on the wax paper when I peeled my tile off.  I let this dry for about a day.

Then I took one of the paint chips I had and chose the red colour that best matched the front and cut it out to fit the tile.

Perfect.  I glued that to the back with an ordinary glue stick.  No waiting for it to dry that way!

 Then I put a nice thick coat of the glaze on the back.  I haven't learned the art of getting the glaze nice and even, I've always got brush strokes.  *sigh*

Then after letting that dry.  I glued my pretty little heart-shaped bail onto the back using E-6000, let that dry and put a chain through it.  Sadly, I managed to do a great job smearing glue all over the place.  Luckily it is the back, so we are the only people who will see it.  If it was a gift, it wouldn't do.  But can live with it.


Thanks for reading!  :)
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Friday, July 6, 2012

How I Cleaned My Silver Jewelry

This isn't a craft, but I think it is pretty crafty. See what I did there?  And totally worth sharing.
I know this is nothing new, but it is new to me. 
My silver chain and adorable Lily of the Valley earrings looked like this.
I know, horrible, right?

After looking online for instructions and reading many similar sets of instructions (No two alike, either.  That is why I am not linking to any one in particular)  I took a deep breath and jumped in.  Trying it my way.

I started with a glass dish. I placed it in the sink just in case I spilled the water. 

I lined it with tinfoil.

Then I poured about an inch of boiling water in.  Without spilling anything!  You only need enough to cover the objects you are cleaning.

Then I sprinkled a bunch of baking soda in the dish.
I clean my sink with baking soda, so yes, that actually is  my container.  It lives under the sink.  There is another one by the bathroom too. I have a different container in the cupboard for my baking needs.

Then I added some salt.  Roughly the same amount as the baking soda.  But, having said that, I didn't measure any of it, I just eyeballed everything.

Then I placed my icky silver on the foil and set a timer for five minutes.  I forget where I read that, but I read somewhere that you should leave the silver in for "up to" five minutes.

Would you look at that!!!!  It looks so much better!  But still not great.  I got a fresh piece of foil and repeated the process on my chain.  The earrings came clean the first try.

After I took them out of the solution, I rinsed them off and buffed them up with a soft cloth.
Lily of the Valley is my favourite flower.  When I saw these earrings at a craft shop I had  to have them, luckily for me, Hubby agreed!  I am so happy that they came clean.
Awe. Some.

And my chain after the second go looks fantastic as well.  I made the "A" for Angela (me!!), but it could stand for Awesome, or Amazing after the way that the silver cleaned up.

As for the foil.  There was a bit of a funky smell when I dumped the water out.  And just look at the ring of yuck  that was left behind!!  This was after the chain was done a second time.  

There you have it.  If you have ever wondered if you really can  clean silver this way, now you know!
Thanks for looking!
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