February 26, 2011

Modge Podged Magazine Storage

We all know how awesome Mod Podge is right?

Well, if you haven't played worked with this stuff yet, you should really give it a try. It's pretty fun.

I covered some cardboard magazine holders I got from IKEA a while back, they were pretty cheap and just white cardboard, ie: boring.

Here's my supplies:

I pretty much painted a thin layer of Mod Podge on the cardboard, pre-assembly, and layed the paper on top.

Let dry, then applied another coat of the Mod Podge on top. The paper I used was really textured, and all that still showed with the Mod Podge over it.

They look so bright in this photo...
Now I have some lovely storage for our thin books and magazines on my lovely/overfilled bookcases. Hopefully we can get the last 2 bookcases soon.

Wow, I can't believe I just shared that photo... messy messy.

There is an awesome site called Mod Podge Rocks that has tons and tons of tutorials & links to some pretty cool projects. The possibilities are pretty endless.

February 25, 2011

Part 7: Along For The Project- My First King

Progress feels good.

As of 4:37am this morning, I have quilted this much of the King:

Sashing: All
Blocks: 8 out of 25
Block Borders: 10 out of 25

Does that count as half-way yet? 

I have decided to do straight-line quilting in the sashing, random free-motion quilting in the block borders, and stitching in the ditch of blocks. I quite like how it's turning out, and honestly I think I like the back of the quilt just as much than the front (if not more).

I also am using gray thread for top on the sashing and in the blocks, white thread on the top for the block borders, and white thread for all of the back. It looks nice.

I love this quilt, but I'm not sure how many more Kings I'm going to make... at least ones with a deadline. gees

February 22, 2011

Can Some Chicken, It's Worth It

Most people that can things make their own jams and jellies. I find the most joy in making jams and jellies, they are always so yummy, and my kids can help make them.


Today I will share with you how I can chicken. The taste of home-canned chicken, I have found, cannot be matched. I wait until I can get boneless skinless chicken breasts for less than $1.79 per pound, then I buy increments of 14 pounds because about 1 pound of chicken fits into one pint-sized jar, and my canner can hold 14 pints.

I have a copy of this book:

Photo from Amazon. Click Here to go to website.

If you are seriously into canning, this book it a go-to resource for all things canning. For real. 

They have a recipe/guideline for canning Chicken, and all other types of poultry. I follow this pretty much to the T. The only thing I do differently is use room temperature broth instead of boiling. I figure that if the entire jar, contents, and canner are room temperature, then I should be good to go.

The Ball company also publishes small paperback books called The Blue Book. There have been many many versions of these printed over the years, and I recommend follow the most recent guidelines for canning since there is still research being done on this. For example, my Grandmother has Ball Blue Books from the over 30 years ago, and back then they home canned pureed pumpkin. It has since been found to not store well in these conditions, and almost breeds botulism=BAD!!

On a side note, I usually use Ball jars. I have had some for over 8 years, and a lot of mine were given to me or bought second-hand. In other words, if you are canning correctly, they will last a long long time. Don't get me wrong, I have broken jars before, and am sure it will happens again (because it just does sometimes).

Here's a general run-down of how I roll:

What To Do:
  1. I do a raw-pack method, which basically means everything is not cooked when it's packed. I think there is a better outcome with this method.
  2. You need to start with clean jars, lids, and bands. I just run them in the dishwasher for a whole cycle. Then open up the dishwasher and let them get to room temperature.
  3. Get your chicken, cutting board & knife, broth, and jars out. I like to just take over the dining room table so I can sit while cutting all this chicken.
  4. Just start cutting chicken into manageable sections and put it in your jars. I pretty much cut the pieces small enough to fit through the funnel. You really want to pack the chicken into the jars. Fill each jar, leaving a generous 1 inch headspace. 
  5. Put a little bit of broth into each jar, fill to barely cover the chicken. Use your clear ruler and push it down the sides of your jars to release any air bubbles. Then add more broth if necessary to get the 1 inch headspace.
  6. Screw on bands using your hands until they feel tight, don't go crazy and break your jars muscle (wo)man (yea, I've done that before...)
  7. Put your jars into your canner. I would read the instructions manual for you canner and follow any guidelines there may be (position, water level, etc). Put lid on canner.
  8. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, vent steam for 10 minutes, then close vent. Continue heating until you get to the 10 lbs. pressure. Your gauge should gently rock with a hissing noise coming from it, nothing too crazy.
  9. Process the pint jars with the boneless chicken for 75 minutes, yea it really takes that long so grab a movie, book, or project and get going.
  10. When your timer beeps, turn off the heat and let the canner release pressure all by itself. Wait a few minutes after it's done, and open the lid. At this point I usually wait 20 to 30 minutes or so so the jars are cool enough that I can just pick up the jars with my hands. Let the jars continue to cool, putting them on a kitchen towel and keeping them away from drafts. These jars are glass, and will break with rapid temperature changes. 
  11. Once cooled, rinse the outside of your jars, label (if you don't inhale it as quickly as we do), and store. You're done!

If you can, what do you like to can?

February 21, 2011

Another AWESOME Weekend

Just incase you didn't read the title of this post, haha, I had an absolutely awesome weekend!!

Friday night I had a Premier Jewelry party, fun fun. I made these pumpkin whoopie pies, so delicious.

Saturday morning I met with a woman who has asked me to make 5 quilts for her! Yea, that's huge for me, like biggest custom order yet. The best part about this is that she had a Singer Treadle sewing machine that she wanted to get rid of. Well, we worked it out, and she sold it to me for $150. How incredibly ROCKIN is that?!?! Here it is:

Isn't it beautiful, ahhh.

Sunday was the perfect wrap up for the weekend. In church, I taught the lesson in Relief Society, the one I was called on Saturday around 3:30pm to teach. Thank goodness for lesson manuals! It was fun to teach, never thought I'd say that, but I am enjoying it the more I do it.

Sunday afternoon my Mom came over to hang out. She and I went to pick the Singer Treadle machine, did I mention that it actually works! Afterwards we played with her blocks for her quilt and set up the layout. Here is the center of the quilt top:

It's pretty hard to see all the prints in this photo, thanks to an overcast-y afternoon. We will be adding a 3 inch white border followed by an border of the snowball blocks. Can't wait to get it finished up! I will definitely be adding some better photos once it's done, I think we may do a little photo shoot. Hahaha, I say that like I'm actually a photographer, but we all know what my photag skills are like .... (sigh)

How was your weekend?

February 18, 2011

Crafting this Week

Last weekend, the zig-zag quilt was delivered. Here's the front and back of the finished quilt:

And, of course, it being used for the first time:

(that little boy is so cute)

I also finished up a blue hat that my 5-year-old has been bugging asking me about almost all winter. Yea, I'm a bad mom, and didn't finish it until the week that it finally got above 60 again. It happens.

Apparently it is best for wearing on the couch with some comfy clothes. Still very cute.

The pattern for this Cabled Hat will be going up in Ravelry later today.

February 15, 2011

Seriously Comcast??

This was just so ridiculous that I had to blog about it.

Incase the world doesn't know, my Valentine's Day was fantastic!

I was puked on and pooped on all before 8am, fun times. The day could only get better from that point, and luckily it did.

The best part of the day though was our visit from Comcast.

Now, we are Verizon people. We had Comcast when we were first married, but since the switch, we have no desire to go back. Just cause.

So, a door-to-door sales rep knocked at about 5:15pm last night. Mind you, I can't stand door-to-door salesmen, girl scouts are a whole nother story though, they're welcome at any time of the day!!

He sees me in yoga pants, with no front tooth (I had it knocked out, getting an implant, and just recently had the next to last step done, so I walk around my house toothless so it will heal faster), and looking like I haven't left my house in days. It gets better.

He proceeds to share with me how they are offering a $200 gift card for signing up, since some people do have cancellation fees with contracts. Side note: I did tell a little lie and explain that we were about 10 months out from ending our contract. Why did he not get the point that I wasn't interested??

He also wants me to know about all the free stuff I would get for the first year of the contract, again I give him the "I could really care less" look.

Enter my #3 child, and his face is covered in Spongebob Squarepants sherbert push pop, the strawberry flavor. Great, now this guy thinks I don't clean my kids either (I'm still without a front tooth too...).

The best part about this entire adventure is when he finishes his speech.

All these deals ended that very night at 9pm!! And he continues to explain that only Comcast sales reps can give these deals, and they only do them for 1 week at a time. I then wonder, why on EARTH did you knock on MY DOOR with less than 4 hours to take advantage of an opportunity to change cable/internet services. I know, I know, it doesn't take that long to sign up for something like this, but it's the point of the matter.

Needless to say, I was very NOT interested. Besides, this guy just took up about 20 minutes that most of my kids were sitting quietly. Seriously dude...

Hopefully your Valentine's Day was a little better than mine.

Cook & Tell

This is a great recipe blog that I am privileged to be a co-author of, even though I don't post here anywhere near as much as I should.

Cook & Tell

Please take a look, I can guarantee that there are recipes that you will LOVE!!


Peppermint Patties

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Blueberry Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt
Croissant Egg Boats

These are only a few of the recipes on Cook & Tell, there are lots lots more!

Could you tell I'm having a craving for sweets right now??

February 12, 2011

I Think I'm In LOVE

About a week ago I got one of these:
(Photo from Amazon.com, click here to go to site.)
I love LOVE smoothies, and I haven't had a blender for about 2+ years now.  This one does the job quite nicely with a very easy clean-up.

Apparently the 'natives' love smoothies too.

February 11, 2011

Yesterday was a Big One

Here goes:

I finished building the 2 billy bookcases and the besta cabinet I got from IKEA. (woohoo)

I finished the Zig-Zag quilt, now I just need to wash it to it's crumply softness.

And, I decided that today was the day to start moving all the storage out of where my sewing area will be. (scary scary)

All of this whilst taking care of 2 little ones with a stomach bug, poor things.

I did realize this morning, while moving some of the storage stuff around, that I still have 2-3 boxes from when we moved into this house that I am still not sure exactly what's in them. I have dubbed them the 'mystery boxes'. I think it's kinda amazing that I still have boxes that are full of who-knows-what a year and a half later.

Anyone else have that problem??

February 8, 2011

What a Great Weekend

Yes, it's Tuesday, and I'm finally getting my post up about this weekend...

What can I say, I took a day trip yesterday = no time for posting.

I'm not sure if there are many more places worth having a day trip to besides the best, IKEA. Oh yea, I went and only took 2 kids! Does that count for exercise this week?? I'd like to think so.

I guess I'm kinda doing this backwards, cause I'm gonna start with yesterday and move back through the weekend.

I bought lots of awesomeness at IKEA yesterday, I think my most favorite purchase was the fabric I picked up:

Isn't it just beautiful?! I only know for sure what I'm going to do with one of them, and that's the tree print. It will make an awesome Rollie Pollie for the boys room, the colors are perfect! Who knows what the other 2 fabrics will become, maybe some totes for summertime, maybe some awesome fabric boxes for storage on our shelves, or maybe...

I also picked up a new bunk-bed for the boys room, the 2 twins were just taking up so much space.

Next on the list to pick up was some more billy bookcases for the living room, and a cabinet for our entertainment stuff, cable box, ps3, wii, a dvd/vhs player, and all the controllers/etc. that go along with them. I ended up getting this (ours only has 2 sections instead of 3):

(Photo from IKEA website. Click here to go to page)
That was it for IKEA, you should've seen all this fit into my MPV. Oh my, the man who was working outside just picked up the boxes like they were just a sack of flour. If only he could've come home to help me unload.

Sunday was great! The Superbowl was a good one this year. I am glad that the Packers won. What a sore loser the Steelers coach is!! I was a little shocked actually.

Pre-Superbowl, I finished quilting my orange and gray zig-zag quilt. I love LOVE it! I just echo quilted the zig-zag seams, one row of stitching on either side. It is so exciting to see the progress you can make in a quilt in only one afternoon.

Sunday morning brought Church meetings. I really enjoy Fast Sundays, the testimonies that some people share are simply amazing! I love getting the kids dressed up all cute too.

Saturday was a doosie this week. Wes has been sick since Friday, I think he ended up with the flu somehow. Poor guy. He even had to go work on remodeling his parents bathroom, he promised them, so he felt he needed to go even though his pillows in bed were calling. He got all the tiles laid, and it looks great.

The kids and I went off to Sam's Club where I feel like I spent millions... gees. There's just so much to buy there, and I'm only even thinking of food. They were having an evalue coupon on their chicken breast, so I bought an extra 2 packs and canned them. I absolutely LOVE home-canned chicken breast, I won't even touch the store-bought canned chicken anymore. Seriously.

I'll be posting later this week about how I do my chicken, so easy.

I hope you're weekend was just as packed-full of fun as ours was!
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