"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Monday, March 30, 2015

Homemade Non Dairy Butter and Newly Vegetarian/ Plant Based Vegan Wannabe

      For the past month I have been vegetarian, but hoping to eventually be more plant based vegan. I was a vegetarian in middle school  for two years as well. I am doing this for several reasons. One of them is for health. I truly believe with everything I have been reading that Plant Based is the way to go.
     With this new way of eating, it also involves learning a new way of cooking and preparing meals. I have actually made seitan, and seitan based bacon. Today I made homemade non dairy butter. We usually used Country crock and loved it. Recently with our diet change I bought Earth Balance Non Dairy Butter. It actually surprised me how good it was. I could not tell any difference between it and country crock except it was much harder. This butter recipe I got from Becky at Glue and Glitter. The link is HERE. She changed the recipe from HERE to suit her needs and pantry. Becky didnt use lecithin, or the xanthan gum. I already had liquid sunflower lecithin that I had recently ordered anticipating trying to make butter, however I had not gotten the xanthan gum yet. I was very anxious to give it a try and when I read she left it out and had no adverse affect. I decided to go for it. I used the measurements from Mattie's recipe for spreadable olive oil butter on Vegan Baking site HERE. Except I used vegetable oil for olive oil, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, and no xanthan gum. I love the taste. it taste just like earth balance and country crock but was more easily spreadable than earth balance. So easy and probably only cost pennies to make. I spread it on a slice of homemade bread and also had Vegetarian vegetable soup with homemade croutons on top. Delicious!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stop Lice in Their Tracks!

        I have five children that are now ages 25-35 yrs old. during their grade school years, they brought lice home from school ONE time. Once......the whole time these five went to school. Not too bad. I treated all of our heads once and the nasty little critters were not to be seen again.
        Fast forward and my 8 yr old grand daughter has been staying with us for a few months. For 3 months now we have been fighting lice. I get it cleaned up and a few days later they are back. I have read that lice today are more resistant to the traditional chemicals used to kill them.
       During this time I have treated everyone's heads (just to be safe, however we never found them on our heads) about every week to 10 days. I used the generic equivalent to NIX. It seemed to kill them, never found live until about 5 days later. I talked with the school principle who assure me they send kids home that are found with live lice. They also have a no nit policy. However, I know this wasnt true because my DGD was sent home with a note, that I didnt find until late that evening, saying she had lice...again.  They tried to tell me that I wasnt getting it cleared up, that she was getting it from the school repeatedly. I later proved this false too.
      When she kept getting the lice back I started some research and found that what I was using didnt sound like it was supposed to kill eggs too. Anyone who has treated lice know how time consuming it is to find and remove all the eggs (nits).  Sound the next few times I bought NIX brand. It stated it killed eggs and kept you from getting lice back for two weeks. well lo and behold, within 7 days I found live lice again. I have treated heads, washed bedding and stuffed toys, sprayed carpets , furniture, rugs, and mattresses. still we were finding them almost on a weekly basis.  Every night, my husband and I armed with reading glasses, and flashlights searching her head. we got to be "nit picking" professionals.
        Recently my son told me he had to do some research on it because one of their kids brought them home from the babysitter. He told me about Cetaphil, and recommended I read this site:

I read it had been tested at about 96% effective at killing lice. Nix and others are only about 72%. So with that point alone it got my attention. He bought a generic from Dollar General. My husband picked up the name brand. we were desperate and didnt want to take any chances.
Make sure you buy the cleanser and NOT the lotion.
We treated her head on Sunday night. It didnt say to leave on over night, but we did.  make sure you follow the directions on the above site to the letter. The only hastle from using this method was getting the hair dry with this in it. It took FOREVER.  I also read that coconut was a good repellant. I knew from personal trial with my animals that coconut oil  killed fleas on contact. I went shopping and bought coconut conditioner and a leave in product with coconut. The next morning we washed hair as usual. I checked thoroughly and found NO lice. Dead or Alive. Well school was canceled on Monday due to snow. I checked for lice again  that night.....still nothing. Tuesday, I checked her head again and still no lice. I sprayed the leave in stuff  in her hair, and sent her off  to school. She came home later that afternoon, and I immediately checked her head again.
                                               YEP, you guessed it.....LICE.....again. 
I only found one, but it was an ADULT. so she brought it home from school again. A missed egg would not have time to hatch and turn into an adult within 8 hours! Not enough time for cetaphil so I used NIX again, and removed the lice and checked for eggs again.
    So I hit the internet again for more research. I read loads of positive comments on Tea Tree Oil. Some were even research trials by organizations and doctors. Some are putting a small amount in the shampoo, some in the conditioner,some both and some also sing it diluted as a leave in product.
Now this stuff is fairly expensive initially, but you only use a small amount, so a little goes a long way. I believe mine was about $8 from Walmart. Since the leave in coconut product didnt prevent re-infestation anyway, I added about 1/2 tsp to my 8 oz bottle of leave in. Now let me warn you....if you have a cold or sinus congestion, this stuff will loosen it up real quick. It has a strong almost camphor like smell. I was a little afraid kids would smell my granddaughter coming before they seen her. Well...not really....I was desperate. But after I spritzed her hair thoroughly before school  and dried it, it wasnt really noticeable. It left almost a "fresh" scent.

Fast forward 2 weeks later.....No LICE!!!. We are finally bug free. after spending hundreds of dollars on insecticides....poisons.. I have been checking her hair daily. If your school has a lice problem, I highly recommend this method to kill and prevent lice. 

WARNING, I have read on several sites NOT to use Tea Tree Oil full strength. Always dilute. I had it on my hands with no irritation. Do some research on your own.
here was an impressive study done by the National Institute of  Health:


Monday, November 17, 2014

Using The Print On Fabric As Your Embroidery Pattern

       I happened across a pic of this being done while doing some searching for ideas for throw pillows for my living room that is being updated. I loved the look. Plus its so simple. Just use a few of your favorite embroidery stitches to highlight a few areas of the pattern already printed on the fabric. Do a little or do a lot. you are designing your OWN fabric. I finished my throw pillow today. It was the first time I worked with a fringe and I can definitely use some practice. The fringe has quite a few mistakes but nothing I cant live with,lol. Anyway, here is a pic of the fabric I was working with:

Above is the final results. Just a touch of embroidery. It brightened the colors of the fabric.


Friday, November 07, 2014

Pinwheels and Posies Tea/Coffee dyed Doily

When I was shopping for furniture in Amish Country this Fall, I found a very pretty doily that was either dyed with coffee or tea. I never thought I would like them dyed like that but I thought it was lovely. So I went to work creating another one for me. I have spent about a month on this trying to work out a pattern the perfect size and a fairly simple edging. After re-doing it several times, it finally came together. I love the uneven nature of the dye process. I at first tried coffee but it seemed more brown. Tea was lighter and more red. So I mixed coffee AND tea. Here is the final product.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Clean Your Iron... This Really Works!

     I recently bought a new iron. This will be my second. My first was a wedding gift over 36 yrs ago!! I can here it now......."She must never iron"......"I would hate to see her clothes"...yada yada. Well I did iron......just not a lot,lol.
   Anyway my poor ol iron was looking cruddy. Nothing I tried cleaned it. Then I read to try baking soda and vinegar and iron with a hot iron. I did........Didnt work, and for some odd reason my iron finally bit the dust. Gave me reason to buy a new one.
    I did... Then after a few uses, I accidentally ironed some iron on adhesive. Yep....Im sure you guys have done it too. Anyway I was upset. I tried the vinegar and baking soda again......crazy I know....
   Didnt work. So there it sat with a dull sticky residue on my nice stainless steel.Then today I read someone used a dryer sheet. Weeell I didnt figure it would work so didnt take a before pic. It wasnt blackened, just gummy looking with a little drag when I ironed. So I got a new dryer sheet and a hot iron and started ironing. I couldnt believe it.....IT WORKED!!
Love that shine!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Empty Nest and New Sewing Room

       Well my youngest are soon to be 25, and other than keeping a couple spare bedrooms for when grandchildren visit, I now have a room that I claimed as mine. I had grown out of my old sewing room/closet. This room is so much larger. It is about 10x11 feet. I have everything moved in. I still want to add more shelves  in the closet, and maybe a small peg board or some hooks on the wall above the cutting table.
 This is the  first real pincushion I have ever made for myself. I have another one that is embroidered that I havent finished to my liking yet.
 The bottom is the little 4" clay pot saucers. They can be found in walmart for less than a $1
I thought this little quote about small things was perfect for my little mini dresdan plate.

Dresdan plates are so fun to make. I made a large 20" one and put on a baby quilt once.
I would have loved to put together one of those big cutting table made from book shelves underneath, but I think it would have been way too big for this room.Plus hubby has been busy and not in the building mood,lol. So I opted for this quickie one. It is a 3 foot metal rack from Home Depot, and I added the castor wheels to the bottom. I believe the shelf was under $50. We found the counter top from Lowes. It had been ordered with the rounded edges and then wasnt taken. We got it for around $65. It is  4 ft long. With the wheels I can move it out from the wall, or any where else I want it.
I also had to make me a new sewing machine cover. I held a piece of paper up to the end of the machine and drew around it. Dont forget to add seam allowances . 

I am still not real settled on the colors, so it may change later. The base is drop cloth from home depot with quilted on stiff interfacing for body.
I am trying to get my fabric scraps organized. For right now, I am storing the little $1 bins under my counter. That may change when I get more shelves inside the closet. I am organizing them by color. That works well for me.
I moved my 2 old bookshelves in here on one wall. I like the little mini bolts of fabric.  My soon to be 25 yr old son built me my thread rack about 5 yrs ago.
And here is my new room. So much bigger than the little 6x8 I had. The counters were made by my husband many yrs ago by building a wood shelf and glueing on the counter top stuff. Man, has that stuff gotten expensive now. We just moved the shelves to my new room.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Organizing Your Lace

   Sometime back, I promised some posts on getting my sewing room moved to a now empty room. Kids moving on, don't ya  know. My youngest are almost 25. Well I didn't get started on it as planned and didnt get the larger room I wanted since my summer visiting granddaughter claimed the large room as hers,lol. And we all know how kids get spoiled at grandma's house,lol. So the room I took over is about a 9'x11'.  Surpr
isingly it has worked out fine. A huge improvement over my 7x7 space I had. Anyway, I will post more on the moving in and how I am finally getting my stuff organized on my next post.
    Today, however, I am posting about one of my recent crafting sessions in this quest to get organized. I have been using the plastic shoe boxes that is sold at Walmart for under a dollar to label and organize different supplies. These have been working out great.
    I have been working n making cards or bobbins to wrap my lace and other trims around to store in my plastic shoe box instead of the jumbled mess they are in right now. I have seen several people posting how they cover their cardboard cut-outs with decorative paper. However, I am usually not into paper crafts, but did have about 10 large sample books of wallpaper that I got from Lowes many yrs ago that were discontinued. Got em free..
    The wallpaper is unglued and a little heavier than decorative paper so I didnt have to worry about the glue buckling the paper.Everything slipped smoothly into place. I did ,however, have to do a test print of my paper template about 10 times to get a perfect fit in my shoe box. I am going to offer my template for printing below. So here comes the tutorial so you can make your own.
    Here is how one of the cards turned out. One quick note tho, after making 6, I decided I wanted them taller and a little wider for a better fit in the shoe box. I love the shabby chic/vintage look.

This is one of wallpaper sample book I am using for these. Plus a picture of my paper template and the cardboard piece I cut out.
I layed the cardboard over my selected piece of wallpaper. Cut it out leaving flaps at the bottom and the sides. The top is slightly rounded so I didnt cover that edge. You can certainly cut this straight across and cover it too if you like but I thought the little peek of cardboard showing at the edge.I snipped in at flap sides as indicated in pic, leaving paper intact.

Turn your board over and repeat covering the other side without flaps. Glue paper on cardboard bobbin and cut it out to fit perfectly. Then using ink or like me, use brown craft paint. Told you I wasnt into paper crafts,lol. Using a rag rub on some ink/paint along the edges to antique it. Then allow to dry thoroughly before using.

And here is a pic of the 6 I made. Now to go make a bunch more in the RIGHT size,lol. 
HERE is the link for the template.
PS: I was able to cover these boards completely, even on the curved top edge, simply by cutting out small elongated triangles along the curved edge. Then when you fold this edge over in lays nice and flat. However , I think I still like the look of the corrugated edge of the cardboard showing.