Re-purposing vintage household items in my kitchen

I love to re-purpose items which I already own; in other words “make do with what I already have.”  I have made a more conscientious effort to cease bringing things into my home which I certainly do not need because to me “less is more.”

I already have quite an accumulation of many different items but I have begun to donate to a local “Good Will” store to benefit others.  I also dislike clutter in the home which truly affects your life.

In my kitchen I have re-purposed some vintage items which I already own and want to share these tips with you.

For many years now already I have used crocks to hold my kitchen cooking utensils.

I have a large crock to hold the larger ones and a smaller one to hold the smaller items in the corner of my cupboard near my stove.  We love them!

I always keeps napkins available somewhere on either the counter or table and recently I debated on what to place them in.  I had them on my table for awhile but I didn’t want that anymore and I wanted something for the counter but nothing too large or out of place.  I have many different crocks throughout the house so I took one of the smallest ones which I have, removed all of the pine cones which it was holding as decor, and washed it out.

This is quite a close-up of it and I keep this on the counter versus the table.

I also have one of my Grandmother’s vintage molds (a small one).  I honestly can’t remember if she used it for anything when she was living but I had received it.  I wanted to display it on my counter and thought what a wonderful candy dish this would be.

The kitty perched on the “tower” is actually for the side of a flower pot and I re-purposed her too!  She tends to fall off quite a bit though and land in the candy (I guess she’s hungry for some!).

When someone wants a nibble on something they can help themselves.

Before you go out and spend money on something you really don’t need to own just look through all of the stuff that you have already.  It’s all waiting to be used again!

Organizing all those loose “keeper” recipes

I have several tags on WordPress.com which I frequently search through for new blogs and posts.  I’m always looking for others who have the same interests as myself and who I can connect with.  I found a post titled: How do you keep your recipes? and left a comment for Marianne regarding my method of organizing all of my loose recipes.  I read other posts she had written and I now am following her blog and she is participating in my cook-through challenge.  Inspired by my comment to that particular post on the Happily Mrs blog I want to share with all of you the method I currently use (and have used for several years) on organizing all of those recipes which my husband calls “it’s a keeper.”

In an earlier post I mentioned that I’ve kept loose recipes for years and mostly in a drawer.  I sorted through and have really scaled down what I’m keeping to make and then when I cook through all of the loose recipes we decide whether to keep or discard them.  Most times those recipes are given the thumbs up and happy face of my husband and he will say “it’s a keeper.”  Translation: “don’t discard that and make sure it’s not lost; we’re eating that again.”  That’s always a good feeling when your family really loves the food placed on the table for their nourishment.  I had begun scrapbooking several years ago but I don’t do that anymore.  I have so much scrapbooking supplies and don’t know what to do with it all.  I then went on to papercrafts and mostly made, and continue to at times, homemade cards of all types.  I have so much stationery and cards and don’t know what to do with them either, but that’s another story.  Anyway, back to the scrapbooking supplies.  When shopping with a friend and getting supplies several years ago I came across some sheets regarding recipes, kitchens, etc. and here is one of them:

I thought this was perfect for the font of a 3-ring binder which would then house my recipe collection which I would scrapbook for myself.  Don’t you think it’s perfect?  It’s got that vintage look and I absolutely love that!!

So off I was to begin scrappin’ my loose recipes which had to never get lost.  I had already bought sheet protectors to fit into a 3-ring binder; had the scrapbook paper and old-school type 12×12″ paper cutter (which by the way is so worth the price since I use it for a lot!!) and just needed a binder.

I organize the binder much like a recipe book is organized.  I have all of the same types of recipes together in the binder.  I don’t use any type of tabs to find a section quicker because I do know where recipes are located in it from all of the years of use.  Within the last year I had to begin a new binder and have moved the ‘main course’ recipes into that one while everything else is staying in the one above.  I’m sure that will change as I acquire new recipes which must be kept.  If the page of the recipe is a full sheet I typically just insert it into a sheet protector; if it is smaller I then attach it to a scrapbook sheet of paper which I cut to 8 1/2 x 11″ to fit into the sheet protector.

I have kept special recipes from family members in here as well so that they don’t get lost and I can look at their handwritten recipes as I wish.  Here is sample of one which my late Mother had given to me at my wedding shower.  It is in her handwriting and I found the most perfect scrapbook paper to attach it to.  You may notice on the side that I have inserted a label which says ‘2010.’  That was the last year which she was able to home-can food and I saved that from one of her jars as a memento as well.

My Mother in law gave me several of her family recipes and I have them together (since they are Autumn dishes) on a cool Autumn sheet with a few brads which I attached (can’t you tell that I love Autumn and everything about it?!  Even my scrapbooking supplies can tell you that!).  🙂

Sometimes I attach things using an adhesive when the complete recipes is on the front but if I must flip over the recipe card or sheet I will use photo corners so that I can do that without harm to the recipe (as above).

As I had looked through all of my Grandmother’s loose recipes I came across vintage things which she had and I don’t want to lose them either.

When I make a recipe for the first time I often will write the date and comments, including smiley face if appropriate, so that I know for the future.  I do this in my recipe books as well as including my notations concerning substitutions/additions/deletions of ingredients (see below).  I tried this recipe only last Thanksgiving for something different and others enjoyed it so I will make this again.

 For me this method is working really well.  My husband can even go to one of these binders to find a recipe if I’m not home and he will have no problems locating it.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my method of organizing the “keepers” and may even decide to try it out for yourself.

Happy Organizing!!

🙂

Sunburst

I decided to ‘frog’ my Pentagon Afghan for the time being and rolled up all of that yarn back into balls for later use.  It wasn’t going so well and the errors in it were bothersome.

I love various granny square blankets with pops of color and found another pattern on Ravelry.com named Sunburst Granny Square Blanket Tutorial.  These are so cute and quick to make.

As you can see from this photo of my first square I’ve chosen a light color named Aran, Gold for my main “petals” of flowers or “rays” of sun and Pewter as the base color.  You can certainly make it very colorful by using various colors.  I was able to make 5 yesterday and when completing the last round in the Pewter color I used the ‘join-as-you-go’ method of attaching the squares to each other.

This was the first time I’ve used that joining method and I absolutely love it!!  I also took care of all of my yarn ends before I even joined these squares together so that makes this project more bearable, in my opinion.  🙂

My goal, initially starting this project, is to make an afghan with these three colors.  After measuring each square and then measuring them together as they are joined I approximate that I will need at least 8 squares across in width and 14 rows down in length to have it be a nice size afghan to snuggle under.  Creating these squares actually goes quickly and now that I’m getting the hang of joining them together as I crochet the final round, and that will improve, I may be able to get this afghan together quickly.

And with ‘Stella’ on her way to the Mid Atlantic on Tuesday I think I will have at least two days of crocheting this week!!!

🙂

If you want to join along and crochet this pattern, you can find it on Ravelry.com or at this link to the website where the instructions are given in further detail:

 http://nittybits.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/sunburst-granny-square-blanket-tutorial.html

Happy Crocheting!!!

A Cool Knitted/Crocheted-Creation Idea

I recently read this on the LionBrand website about a Temperature Blanket.

The idea is not new to me; I’ve read about this concept before, regarding a scarf, and I know someone who is currently making a blanket using the concept too.

I really think that it is a cool idea for a blanket and I just created a temperature chart which I could use for where I live in Pennsylvania:

<0*

1*-32*

33*-50*

51*-74*

75*-85*

86*-99*

100*+

Too bad I didn’t start this project on January 1st because due to the varied weather we’ve been having this calendar-year I’d have quite a colorful blanket.  Our temperatures have been on a crazy roller coaster and our summer is extremely hot and humid which is quite unusual for our area (I think this Winter may be very cold and snowy too).  There is no set time to begin such a project so I may begin it on the first day of Winter 2016 (December 21) and continue until the final day of Autumn 2017 (December 20) so that I create a seasonal-year blanket versus documenting a calendar-year.  And even if I am unable to knit/crochet each day I would document the temperatures which we have at our home (either choose the high or low for each day or choose to put colors in for both the high and low for that day; I would choose one of those to keep consistent throughout the project) and then I could add to the blanket when I have time.

As I ponder this idea and try to determine the colors to use I think I will choose much of what is found in a rainbow.

Here are my current choices on colors-

<0* [gray]

1*-32* [purple]

33*-50* [blue]

51*-74* [green]

75*-85* [yellow]

86*-99* [orange]

100*+ [red]

I can’t guarantee that I will even get to begin this project any time soon but a girl can daydream; can’t she??

 What are your ideas?

Spring Mandala

My newest hobby is crochet.

I love creating things which are unique and made especially the way I like them.

This Mandala is no exception to that rule.  I want to frame this and hang it on a wall along side of my photography.

You may tweak this pattern to make you happy, as I have.  Choose any hook, yarn and colors to suit your style or make your heart happy!

(I think it would look great made in the ‘Cool Breeze Ombre’ color of Sugar ‘n Cream and hung in a kitchen; don’t you?!

🙂

Spring Mandala

Spring Mandala

Abbreviations for crochet:

ss-slip stitch

sc-single crochet

dc-double crochet

tr-treble crochet

ch-chain

st-stitch

sp-space

I used the following to create mine:

“H” crochet hook

1 2oz. skein Lily Sugar ‘n Cream “Country Side Ombre” (with some leftover to use for another project!)

Ch 5, sl to join into a ring (make more ch if you want a bigger hole in the center)

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc throughout), 11 dc into the ring, ss to the top of beginning ch3 (12 dc)

Round 2: Ch 3, dc in the st at the base of the ch, 2 dc in each st around, ss to the top of the beginning ch 3 (24 dc)

Round 3: Ch 3, dc in the st at the base of the ch, ch 1, 2 dc in the same st, ch 2, skip the next st, *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc in the same st, ch 2, skip the next stitch,* continue * all the way around, ss to the top of beginning ch 3 (12 sets of 4 dc, 12 ch 2 sp)

Round 4: Ch 3 (first dc), *ch 10, dc in the next sp between the 4 dc groups,* continue * all the way around, ss to the first dc.

Round 5: Ch 4 (counts as first tr), 5 tr in the same ch-10 space, ch 1, *6 tr in the next ch-10 sp, ch 1,* continue * all the way around, ss to the top of the beginning ch 4 (12 6-tr groups, 12 ch 1 sp)

Round 6: Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, sc in ch 1 sp, *3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, sc in ch 1 sp,* continue all the way around, ss to the top of the beginning ch 3 space (12 sets of 6 dc)

Fasten off and enjoy.

You could use as a doily or hang somewhere to brighten your wall.

Been busy hookin’ (yarn, that is)…

Been busy crocheting since I’ve learned.

My cousin is due to have her baby soon and I just had to make a few items for her.

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Here is the baby blankey which is 35″ x 35″.

IMG_7064_baby_blanket_2014

I also have to indulge in items for myself.

Here is my first hat which is so comfy and warm to be wearing these days here in the NorthEast.

IMG_7069_comfy_warm_hat

For those of you in the snow and ice~take care, keep warm and just stay off the roads and enjoy time at home

🙂

It’s been awhile….

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  My photography has been on vacation for several weeks while I enjoy a new hobby which I’ve recently learned.

Here are a few images of my latest “crochet-creations!”

Needlework hobbies were my Mother’s passion and most favorite hobby.

Unfortunately, I never learned how to crochet from her.

I have, however, finally learned and I’m so addicted to “hookin” yarn!

IMG_6958_bag

This is a photo of my first bag which was made ‘in the round.’  I truly am pleased with myself for this creation.  It certainly is not perfect, and I had a bumpy road, but I certainly learned a lot while creating this.  I was thinking of creating more bags to sell (I have been really considering opening an Etsy shop to sell items).  But, for now, I want to just have the luxury of creating items for myself.  I was hoping to create a few things as gifts for Christmas this year, but I don’t know if that will happen.  And, I really don’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself.

scarf

I really am enjoying creating scarves.  They are so simple and yet so elegant.  Here is one which I made as a birthday gift for my 11 year old niece.

Please….share your thoughts.

(psst….hope to get back to those photography challenges in the near future.  for now, i’m camped-out on my sofa with some hooks)! 🙂

My Personal Card Challenge: BABY

I just received news on Independence Day that my Cousin in Rome, Italy is pregnant!

She and her husband are happy for this news.

I am also happy for them.  And, I knew that I would have to create a card to congratulate them….

Here is what came out of my craft room this morning….

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The material which the card is sitting on was bought to match Winnie the Pooh material for a baby bag…

Looks like I will be busy this winter!

🙂

FREE! FREE! FREE! Amazing Fonts for FREE!!

I absolutely love handwriting fonts!

And, I’ve found a new site (well, new to me anyway ;)) which has amazing fonts to use for any programs, including Photoshop!

It is KevinandAmanda.com, and I’ve provided a button at the bottom of my blog which will link you to their site.

Also, dafont.com is a great one for free fonts!

If you love fonts and working with them in your Photoshop, scrapbooking or other programs,

check out these sites!  For Kevin & Amanda, you can download ALL of the fonts in one quick click!

Enjoy!

My Personal Card Challenge: common elements in scraps

if you’ve read any of my other posts regarding My Personal Card Challenge, you know that I am trying to use scraps of paper to make cards.

i have been looking through the stack of scraps to find common elements between the pieces.  if you have common elements in scraps of craft paper, you will have a card which is ‘tied together.’

for this card, i found several scraps which have circles.  even the final element which i added, the flower-brad, is composed of small circles.

how cute!

circles_card

My Personal Card Challenge: die cut scraps left behind

When cutting those die-cuts for your homemade cards, don’t forget the ‘negative space/scraps’ which are left behind.

They work great for cards too!  I placed this on a metallic white cardstock (even though it is difficult to see in this particular photo).

The sender could ‘journal’ their personal message to the recipient in the fancy swirls.

Or just leave it as it is!

IMG_2256