Custom DIY Gift Tags

 - by Ty

mylittlepony2

I was inspired to create some homemade gift tags. Well we really don’t use the word homemade for crafts anymore. The new term is DIY. This is a great way to save money and create a personal touch to holiday gifts. You can pull this off even if you can not draw free hand. Look for a image to create, their are thousands to choose from. I picked My Little Pony, because that is what the gift will be. Once you have your image start to draw it in pencil first. Or if you can ‘t draw, just print out the image from an online coloring page. Then outline with a black sharpie marker. Then color as desired and cut  into a square.  Tape or glue the square onto a sheet of card-stock, construction paper, or any festive background you want. Your almost done, I know it’s so easy ! Then write out whatever words you want , I used the classic To and From. You will love this money saving trick.  I would love to hear your ideas and creative touches you added to your DIY gift tags.

Painting Chairs

 - by Ty

In a few days I will try to paint my first wooden chair. I found 2 chairs that are in good condition. Some work needs to be done, like strengthening  one of the chair legs. Some wood glue should fix that.  I will apply 2 coats of paint and then a layer of clear varnish. I want to paint one chair turquoise and the other a plain white. I will post pictures of my finished project.  I have no experience with this. I just see all the inspiration from Pinterest. And I get inspired to create these DIY projects.  If I fail no worries the chairs didn’t cost me anything !

 

Bottle Cap Necklace

 - by Ty

 

bottlenecklace

Bottle Cap Necklace

 

Now this is something I have been wanting to do for a long time !  I am so excited it came out beautiful. I wanted to create jewelry from recycled materials. My first necklace I used a bottle cap from a soda I had for lunch one day.  For the longest time I thought it was a hard process, but once I practiced a few times I was ready to create lots of pieces. The first thing you have to do is find  the material you want to use. I chose a bottle cap. Then you make a hole in the material. I used anything with a sharp point and a rubber mallet. Place the sharp point where you want the hole to be made. Second use the rubber mallet to pound the sharp object through the material. If your need help with holding the piece use clamps to hold down your material.  Once you have a hole you can use wire or string to attach your material to it. I chose an 18 gauge wire, then strung my beads on and added a toggle clasp. The possibilities are limitless. You just have to remember not to put the materials you want to use in the recycling bin. Can’t wait to show you more of my creations in these next upcoming weeks.

Gemstone Cuff Bracelet

 - by Ty

Gemstone Cuff Bracelet

 

One of my passions is making my own creations. I love to experiment with materials, styles, and pieces of jewelry that are not conventional. I wanted to make a cuff bracelet because I like chunky jewelry. I purchased a pack of plain cuff bracelet slates from the craft store. I formed the metal over my arm to give it it’s shape. Then I gathered all my beads and arranged them on the metal strip. Once I knew where I wanted my beads I used an epoxy glue that bonds metal surfaces (527 Multipurpose Glue). I clamped down the the beads on the sides so they would stay in place. I let the glue dry overnight. Once the beads were on, I wanted to finish off the sharp edges. On one bracelet I used some left over fabric. And on the other one I used some leather cord remnants. If you prefer not to use glue for any reason, I suggest wire wrapping.

Top Angle of Cuff Bracelets

This is a good project if you want to use recycled plastic pieces, old beads that you didn’t use in another project. Or perhaps broken and cracked beads that you normally would throw away.  Choosing to use those materials are great, because if a mistake is made you will not be too concerned about it. My next project is making the entire bracelet from old plastic bottle pieces. I really can not wait to see how it turns out. Stay tuned to see more.

 

 

Super Cooker

 - by Ty

I wanted to make something special for Valentine’s Day. I thought lobster tails would be fantastic, but my only concern was how do I steam them myself? So I purchased this super cooker, which has more than one function. It steams, grills, and slow cooks your dishes. Using the super cooker to steam the lobster was a huge success. The lobster tails were perfectly cooked. The size of the appliance is 3 quarts. Which worked for me. I was able to steam 4 large lobster tails without them touching each other. Ever since that dish was a success, I have been using it every night to fix my meals. If your thinking about purchasing an appliance on the order of this, It is worth it.

Want to purchase ?

Leftover Candy

 - by Ty

I have a few tips to help you get rid of too much Halloween candy. My first tip is for those of you who may have too may suckers like Blow Pops, Dum Dum’s, and Tootsie Roll Pops, etc. You can tape four or five lollipops together to make a bundle. Tie a fancy bow around them and place on top of gifts with name tags for kids or adults.Blow Pops

 

Second tip is for anyone who has leftover candy corn and caramels. These candies make lovely sauces. Melt down candy in a saucepan with water and butter or you can use a double boiler so the candy doesn’t stick to the pan. Once candy is smooth and melted pour over your favorite entree meat or over steamed vegetables.

And my third idea for left over Halloween candy is for any type of candy like smarties, Butterfingers, milky-way, Mike and Ikes and etc. You can make your own homemade Christmas tree ornaments.  There are two ways to make them. One way is to place a couple pieces of candy into a small organza bag. Drawstring the top and place a Christmas tree hook at the top of the bag. Repeat these steps and hang finished bags all over the tree. The other way is to use small cellophane bags. Once you have filled the bag with a small amount of candy use a twist tie to close the bag. Then insert hook onto the twist tie . Repeat those steps and hang desired amount onto your tree.  I hope this will help anyone who has an abundance of unwanted candy. Please post comments and other ideas of your own.

Lunch Tip

 - by Ty

 

As a parent I am always looking for new and creative ways to save money. Last year for lunch I used to buy my son Lunchables. I realized quickly that these Lunchables were only saving me on time and not my money or my sons health. They are packed with high volumes of sodium and processed foods. So I started to make my own version of Lunchables. All you need is a flat container to be able to fit all of your choices in one container. I mainly choose lunch meat or left over rotisserie, cheese, grape tomatoes, and crackers. You can make up as many combination’s as you want. If  your kid/kids do not want there food to touch, or you are concerned about food safety. Simply wrap each food item into wax or parchment paper. This way you can give your kids healthier choices and control what they eat. Just in case you need inspiration for making up some combination’s I will give you a few examples.

Combination’s:

Turkey, cheese, crackers, grapes

Ham. cheese, whole wheat crackers, fresh peach wedges

Pastrami, cheese, flax seed crackers, blueberries

Tofurkey, swiss cheese, multi grain crackers, sliced strawberries

 

Packing lunch is not hard, it just takes about 5 minutes to prep. You can prepare it the night before so kids can just take it from the frig and go.  With parents having a busy lifestyle preparation is key for a successful household.

Good Sandwich

 - by Ty

 

BLT

 

 

 

I recently seen a recipe for a BLT. But it wasn’t just a regular BLT. It was called a  “California” BLT. This sandwich is perfect for summer. It’s cool, refreshing, light, and healthy.  After watching the show (Barefoot Contessa) I immediately ran to store to pick up the missing items that I needed. I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter. Here is what I used for each sandwich.

Ingredients:

3 pieces of maple bacon

2 slices of avocado

2 pieces of red leaf lettuce

1 slice of tomato

1 potato sandwich roll

1/2 tsp of Kraft mayo

I made them for lunch for me and my son. He loved it!!!! As did I, before making this sandwich I had never ate avocado’s before. They made the sandwich cool and rich. Of course you can modify this recipe anyway you like. Also your choice of breads can be endless. I chose potato bread because it’s my fav.  But don’t be afraid to experiment.  Another good choice would be a fresh pretzel roll or bakery style french bread. This recipe was such a success, it will be one of my families permanent favorites. Please grab this recipe. You will not be disappointed if you are a fan of BLT’s.  Thank you food network !!!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/california-blts-recipe/index.html

National Zoo Trip

 - by Ty

bluefrog

 

I finally had a chance to visit the National Zoo this year. I took some pictures of some very cool animals. However, my son and I didn’t get to view the entire park. That place was huge!  We will definitely have to go back on a second trip and bypass the animals we already seen from our first trip.  I am only an amateur photographer so please bare with me. The flash creates light from the tanks glass. It was very hard to get a clear shot. This is just one of the many pictures I took.  It is a tank with poisonous dart frogs. Unfortunately I only got a shot with just one sitting on a rock. But they are very pretty to look at. Remember just look!

 

Facts About Dart Frogs:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/poison-frog/

Accomplished My Goal !

 - by Ty



blanket

When I started back crocheting I was happy to make preemie hats. But my real goal was to make a baby blanket. I started out and completed a small blanket and that was a success. It was 15″ x 25″. I gave it to one of my friends for there son. They seem to like it very much.   I had a lot of trouble when it came to the larger blankets. The sides of the blanket kept spreading out and became uneven. For some reason I couldn’t keep the sides aligned straight. I finally reached success! This blanket is proof of that. The sides are smooth and straight. I am so motivated to make more blankets now. It took me about a day and a half to finish it. Considering the size, that is not long at all. The final size for this blanket is 35″ x 38″. I think the standard size is 38″ x 38″, so I am a few inches off. I wanted both sides of the pink to be exactly four inches on both sides. Just to keep the symmetry. I didn’t use a pattern. To achieve this look just use a 5mm crochet hook, four different colors or more of medium #4 yarn.

blanket

I was determined to figure out how to make this blanket. I kept looking on different website to get the dimensions I needed.  I finally was able to find a size I was willing to try. I had tried on my own two previous times. So I guess third times a charm.  With enough practice you can achieve any goals you have set for yourself. Don’t give up!