February 22, 2011

Ruffle Hat

After my sister saw the hat I made for Winterama she instantly requested I make a pink one for her little angel. After a difficult search for soft chunky pale pink yarn... seriously it was so hard to find one in a nice pink! Here are the results.  I think if I make this hat again with out the stripes I will avoid the seam formed by slip-stiching each row together and just crochet in the round.  also since this hat was for a slightly older child I decided to not add the ear flaps this time.

My daughter modelling the hat before sending it off to my sister.

Raspberry Lemon-Orange Jamalade

My old university room mate recently made and posted a link on one of her blogs to some raspberry Lemon Marmajam ( half raspberry jam half lemon marmalade) and ever since then I have been wanting to try it.  so last night I finally got around to making some. I decided to add oranges to the mix since I have always loved the combination of orange and lemon I was also was hoping to make this a little less bitter since I want my nearly 4 year old to like it aswell.

I took a few shots during the process however I did forget partway through.  Also I made a few changes to the recipe, I will share the recipe after the photos.

 Lemons and Oranges ready to peel.

 Zest of the citrus ready to boil.

Lemon an Orange segments.

 All ingredients in the pot simmering away- including the jelly bag and thermometer.

Mmmmmm the final product.

Raspberry Lemon-Orange Jamalade

This Recipe will make approx.  7 pint Jars.


4 Lemons
1 Navel Orange
600g bag of Frozen Raspberries
5 Cups of Sugar
3 Cups of Water


1. Clean the Citrus fruit.

2. Peel the zest of the Citrus fruit and slice into ribbons, if you use a vegetable peeler then slice you will get more zest than if you just use a zester.

3. Boil the Citrus zest in  the water for about 30 min.

4. Segment the Citrus Fruit, set pulp aside with any juice that was removed during the process and place the remnants (pith,seeds) of the citrus in a jelly bag.

5. Defrost Raspberries and mash them up.  A potato masher works great.

7. Combine all ingredients into a large pot and bring  mixture up to 220 F.

8. Remove jelly bag and squeeze out any liquid from the bag to remove all the pectin possible. I find using the potato masher and a mesh wire strainer over the pot works well to get the most out of the jelly bag quickly.

9. (optional) at this point I like to bring the mixture bag up to 220-221 F While stirring the whole time just to make sure that the whole pot has reached 220 F as I am totally paranoid about my Jam not Jelling ( I have had Jelly not Jell on me before).

10. Fill your sterilized Mason Jars with the Jamalade and process in a hot water bath for at least 10 min. I suggest you find a trusted source  for hot water bath times for your altitude and stick with that.

11. Let cool then enjoy on your favourite toast or biscuits.

Next time I think I may try a Blueberry Lemon Jamalade!

Project Bathroom Day Seven and Eight

Day Seven

Today we managed to do some plumbing, put the three pieces of the tub together, pre-drill some holes and glue on supports for the shower rod and bars.

Day Eight

All the plumbing is finally attached... Finally able to have a bath again!

February 21, 2011

Project Bathroom Day Five and Six

On day five my parents arrived in order to be able to help install the new tub.

I did clean of one of the old painted tiles to reveal that it was not as hideous as I once thought it must have been.

On day Six

 The old tub was removed, the opening for the new tub and enclosure was built including raising the celing to make room for the enclosure...
and the opening of the air return vent was closed in

Project Bathroom Day Four

Day four the tub arrives!

Valentines Day Crafts: Marbled Paper for Envelopes

Last post of valentine crafts... at least for this year!  I saw a tutorial over at craftster quite a while ago and was reminded of it recently and decided it would be fun to do with my 3 year old while the baby slept.  this craft is perfect for all kinds of paper crafts including scrap booking.

The craft involves spraying some foam shaving cream in cookie sheet and then adding some food colouring and running a stick or tooth pick through the foam to mix up the colours. the next step is to lay your paper in the foam and pull up, let it sit for a few min and them off with a paper towel in one direction then finally let it dry for a few more min, and voila marbled paper.
An envelope for dads valentine card

here are our results.  there was minimal mess but i do suggest you clean it up quickly or you could have a bit of a stain on your work surface.  also I used gel food dies as that was all I had on hand next time I will be sure to  thin them out a bit with water oil or glycerine before dying it will mean less mixing of the shaving cream.

February 14, 2011

Project Bathroom: Day Three

So day three arrived and I was feeling awful... huge sinus headach,  so I took a nap in the morning and unforunately did not wake up until about 30 min after the baby went down for her nap, 3 and a half hours later she was still napping...

finaly I was able to get started again... it went incredibly quickly.

Day Three

Step One remove the rest of the drywall the remaining wall and ceiling to me a little more than an hour including time to clean up the  bits of drywall and and nails form the room.
 the things you find when you removes walls... this return vent does not appear to be attached to a vent.
 However it looks like the dry wall may have been acting as the vent will have to look closer once the tub is removed.
And the best part of day 3... one last bubble bath to relax before the new tub is installed!

Enjoying Her Rose

Here is a quick pic of my little one enjoying her gummy rose on a stick I showed you yesterday.

Yes she still has bed head... try and convince a little girl with curly hair that you need to comb it out even if she is not going any where today!

Valentines Day Crafts: Fabric Envelopes

To make the valentines day card last for the little ones I decided to make some fabric envelopes  to put a little note and some chocolates in and then the envelopes can be reused to play house and mail-man (one of my girls favourite games.  to make a pattern for the envelope I just ripped an existing envelope open and traced it on to the felt and then sewed the seams up. I added a little stamp and free hand stitched their names on it with my sewing machine ( unfortunately it is a little crocked... oops)

My girls have been play with these all morning!

February 13, 2011

Valentines Day Treats: Chocolate Pops a Tutorial

Valentine Chocolat Pops; the tutorial

I Love to arrange treats on a stick for my guests to eat or take home as a snack. I have been making these since I was a little girl with my mom, and now that she does not make them any more I have been given all her old molds. 

Yes I have an entire cupboard full of molds!

The Tutorial

The first step is to melt the coloured chocolate that you will be using to paint the front of the pops, I uses little ceramic bowls made my Wilton for just this purpose to microwave the chocolate on half power (I use the defrost setting) and keep it warm while working Using these bowls allow you to use small amounts of chocolate and not worry about getting water into the chocolate from the steam of your double boiler.

one tip is to be sure you do not put a bowl in the middle of your microwave this is a sure fire way to burn that chocolate that is why I put them on the outside of a plate also this gives you something to easily pick them up with and transfer them to your working surface.

 Next step is to paint the front of you molds with the coloured chocolates.
 Plain molds are great for letting little kids paint.
 The main thing is to make sure you have a nice thick coating.

 Next Step is to melt the chocolate again I use a ceramic bowl from Wilton this one is just a larger size.  and again I use my microwave on the defrost setting a min at a time.
 Next I top up the bowl with rice crisp cereal,  I do this for two reasons;

1. It means you can use less chocolate.
2. I find they taste better this way.
Here is the consistency you are going for, you will find you need to stir it for a little bit to fully incorporate the rice crisps.
Next you will place the sticks in your pops.
 and place a small dollup of the chocolate micture in the pops ( you can always add more it is hard to remove extra though)
 I use the stick to smooth out some of the bits and ensure the stick gets fully covered in chocolate.
You may need to add more, note how as you get to the end of the bowl you will have less rice crisps this helps to  smooth out the backs... just a little too much and the mold wil over flow.

The last step is to tap the mold on the counter surface in order to flatten the back out and remove any bubbles from the pop.  then let cool on the counter or in a cool spot... not the fridge the chocolate will turn whitish.

Also be sure to let them cool for a long enough time or the chocolate surface may separate, from the rest of the pop.

Valentines Day Crafts: lolly pop cards for friends.

 My little one had a great time making butter flies for her friends using the template found at Skip To My Lou.  It is hard to tell in this picture however My daughter coloured pictures and wrote the name of her friends on the card then we added some antennae to the butterflies instead of eyes since there was no need for glue this way.

Project Bathroom: Day One and two

This is not entirely crafty but it is definitely a project and there will be decorating involved so I figured I would share my Renos with you.

Well it is finally time to update our main bathroom and get rid of the painted tile! this has been annoying me since we moved in nearly 5 years ago.

Now I want to apologise I forgot to take a proper before picture so this on is actually before we moved in so the accessories are not mine however the tile and wallpaper were still there ( half peeling off paper and paint) 4 plus year later.
again I forgot to take pictures as I first started

Day one
Over a series of 15 min bursts of work I removed the drywall on the left of this picture, no more than an hour total time.

Day 2
Next was the tile   it took me about 30 min to remove all the tile form this wall. it came of fairly easily.
On the morning of day 2 The new tub arrived and as you can see there was a lovely gouge/ scratch in it!  It took me a while but I finally got the store to agree to not only deliver the replacement tub for free but also by courier so that they will deliver it right up to the bathroom for me.  ( originally they wanted me to bring back the old one and pick up a new one with their rental van and they would just waive the rental fees! I hated driving the van and would not have anyone to help me as I had arranged all the help for today so this was not an option I would accept!)

A close up of the scratch... and It should be noted that this is the only one I saw since i did not unpack the tub further there could have been more!

Still Day two

I had people coming over this evening ( they were supposed to bring the tub upstairs for me...
but I managed to get the drywall of this wall off before they were due to be here... about another 30 min, I needed to be careful of the pipes here.

I discover that putting the garbage bags in an Ikea bag is a great way to bring them from the bathroom out to the garage much easier to hold these handles than the bag.
Still Day 2

later that evening I tackled the rest of the tile it only took me about an hour total including the time it took me to  clean up the mess from the afternoon  and the mess this made.
Yes Still Day 2

ok so  by now it was 10:30 but I just keep wanting to do one more little bit... that little bit ended up being the dry wall on the back wall......
and a little bit from the ceiling above the tub...

It may have been more however I did not want to clean up this mess at the time so I went to bed....

I really cant believe the girls slept through all of this  evening work one of their bedrooms is on the other side of this wall!

Valentines Day Crafts: Making Paper

Making our Own paper for Valentine Cards 

Earlier this week we decided to embark on a paper making mission to make our own special valentine cards here is the adventure.

First the little ones ripped up an old egg carton and some old colouring sheets and place the pieces in a food processor ( the food processor was not plugged in at this point)
We added some water and they got to make the machine go... that is when they were not running away hiding from the noise.
There next step was to add some food colouring and sparkles  to the mix, the colour deepens as the paper dries

Next the little ones spread a thin layer of the pulp into the decal ( i got this one in a craft kit at a thrift shop however they can be made from some fine screen and wood) and pressed some of the excess water out ( I know this is not the normal way but it produces a thinker paper that will still dry fairly quickly.)

I then placed the paper on some parchment paper and placed it in my convection oven at 170 F for about an hour or so to help it on its way to drying.
Finally the kids ripped the paper  into a heart shape I had traced for them and decorated for their favourite people.

* Note: We had way more pulp than we needed! Had I had more time I could have made  extra sheets for later use.