Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Belated Halloween

Here we are and November will be over before we know it.  And I forgot to post photos of DS's Halloween decorations!   He had fun celebrating the first Halloween in his new home.   Lots more Trick or Treaters than he had at the condo. 

There were probably 80 plus kids that stopped by his home.  We had about the same.  Since we were prepared for 160 kids there were a lot of left overs!

Here's DS's Halloween decorations.  I forgot to take photos of the projection show.   And no photos of our own decorations.  What was I thinking?






Thursday, September 14, 2017

DIY Airlock for the apple cider

I sure hope the first batch of apple cider turns out well.  It's used a lot of balloons!  I've only been able to re use each balloon twice.  The balloons filled up so quickly.  Here's one at three hours after "burping" (removing the carbon dioxide).


DH suggested checking some of the shops that sell brewing supplies and just buying an air lock.  They are supposed to be quite cheap. 

They probably are if you can find the shops close by.  The two that we knew about are now closed.  I guess there just are not enough home brewers to keep them in business. 

At the price of gas we were not about to go any further away from home.  So DH checked a few YouTube videos and came up with his own version.   A piece of plastic tubing, the cap for the juice bottle, and a water bottle.  That's it.

He drilled a hole into the juice bottle cap.  Inserted one end of the plastic tubing into that hole so it comes out the bottom by about a 1/2".  The other end of the plastic tubing goes into the cap of the water bottle.  The tubing reaches to about 2" from the bottom of the water bottle.  The bottle is then filled 3/4 with water.  Several small holes drilled into the cap allows the gas to escape. 

The gas leaves the juice bottle through the tube, into the water bottle.  It then forms a bubble in the water that rises to the top.  The gas then escapes.  The water keeps air from entering the juice bottle through the tube.  That shouldn't be a problem until the fermentation process stops producing the carbon dioxide.  But if we're not around when that happens, the air could get in and spoil the cider.  At least that's how the process was explained to me.  If we've gone through all this for no reason......






Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Apple Busy

DS's new home has a yard full of fruit trees.  I managed to convince some of our neighbours that they really, really needed the cherries.  Many 5 gallon pails later they would run when they saw me coming.  But we did get some cherry syrup as well as some jam.

But what to do with the apple tree?  The crab apple tree didn't produce that much.  But the huge apple tree doesn't know when to stop.  From the looks of it there are three different apples grafted to the tree.  The ones turning red are a bit smaller.  One is larger and seems to stay green.  The third type of apples are large and green.  All are tasty if tart.

This is the fifth sink full I've washed and processed.


Not exactly small are they?


So after many batches of apple sauce as well as pawning some off on an unsuspecting relative  (Thanks Mom!), it was time to make something else.

I'm going to try brewing an alcoholic beverage for the first time.  We have the fruit, the juicer, the bottles, the sugar, the yeast and the balloons.

Washing, cutting and juicing two sink fulls of apples produced 4 litres of apple juice.  A distilled water bottle was sterilized and put to use.


For the first half hour there was no sign that the yeast was working.  Mom suggested resting the bottle in a sink of warm water to get it started.  That worked.

 Everything I read and watched on the net said keeping the bottle out of light and warm should help the fermentation process.  Thus the towel.

I get the feeling I best "burp" the balloon before I go to bed tonight or I may have a rude awakening.  Six more days and I'll get to pour over to smaller bottles (discarding the sediment).  And then we'll have a taste test.  That's if the whole thing doesn't explode before then!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Going Somewhere?

Ten or more years ago I had some fun making luggage tags (or bus pass holders) for family, friends and a charity craft and bake sale.  Several hundred were made and sold.

Time passed and one of my best friends noticed that her luggage tags were looking pretty ratty.  Time to make new ones.  She puts these tags on everything that goes to the airport.  Luggage, carry on as well as her purse.  They are very bright which make them easy to spot.  No one will accidentally walk away with her belongings! 

I said I'd make some more tags for her.  She picked up the fabric.  One fat quarter and two hours later:



There is a clear plastic pocket for identification (business card, etc) on one side of each of these tags.  She'll see these coming down the conveyor belt!



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bento Box Quilt

I had been collecting FQ's with musical theme for a number of years now.  The plan was to make two quilts for two music lovers in the family.  Their lives have taken a different focus lately.  A music themed quilt would no longer be the way to go.  But the fabric collection kept saying "do something". 

One of the ladies on the hearts2hands Yahoo quilting group was making a Bento Box quilt.  So I thought why not.  And the top was made.  And gathered dust.  And was forgotten about. 

The top was came to surface during a recent sewing room clear out.  What a great top to practice some different quilting patterns!  It was loaded on to the frame.  And stayed there.  And time passed.  And nothing else was getting quilted because this top needed to get done. 

Two days ago a friend put out a call for help.  She needs to get three quilts done quickly.  And her sewing machine will not work.  Could she possibly use my Bailey?  Why yes, of course she could.  The Bento Box could be taken off.  Or could be simply quilted.  Knowing if I took it off the frame the top may never get quilted I revved up the Bailey.  Using an all over leaf pattern, the top was finished in two hours.

Next comes a thorough cleaning and Bailey will be ready for my friends three quilts.  Here's the Bento Box quilt.  Ready for the next call for charity quilts:


This is not a pattern I will do again.  I can think of so many other patterns that I enjoy so much more!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lots of Chickens

Yesterday was my mother and father in law's 67th anniversary.  Fortunately DH gifted me with several kits for chicken wall hanging.  Why chickens?  Well it's been a running joke over the years to gift Mom and Dad with chickens.  Chicken lawn ornaments, pictures, spoon holders, you name it. 

We went over with the traditional KFC and a chicken wall hanging/runner.  The hanging was finished with just enough time to wash, dry and press.  Talk about leaving it to the last minute!

DH had actually gifted me with two of these kits.  One to make for his parents and one for us.  That way we have the complete set from the quilt book he gave me at the same time.

So here are a Lot of Chickens:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cat Sitting and Bird House Wall Hanging

We have two visiting felines.  They arrived late Friday night.   They are sisters and you would think their personalities would be similar.  Nope.  You would also think they would get along.  Nope.
 
Fluffy settled in right away.  A real Purr Girl.  Cuddles does not cuddle.  She was terrified.  We had no sighting of her until Sunday night.  Which was a worry.   It doesn't happen often, but some cats there is a concern that their organs start shutting down if they don't eat or drink within a certain time frame.  At least that's what we were told about our cats a long time ago when we sent them to a kitty resort while we vacationed.
 
Cuddles was way over that time frame.  My knees are sore from crawling around checking in every hiding place we could think of.   Because of all our hobbies and clutter, there are a LOT of hiding places.  We really need to get rid of some stuff.   We did have a sighting once.  But by the time we got some food and water she had moved on.  

For the first time ever,  in our years of having cats come to visit, canned tuna for humans did not work.  I opened more cans of different food than I've ever had to for visiting felines.  Fluffy thought she was in heaven.  Finally Sunday evening around 11 pm there was a Cuddles sighting.  We were able to get her to eat.  Now we could relax a bit.  Monday and Tuesday there were a few sightings but no sounds or signs of her eating.   This morning she came out for a visit.  I still haven't seen her eat, but she batted at a bit of yarn so she can't be in that bad of shape food wise.

With constantly searching for Cuddles there was little time to get into the sewing room to work on the last bit of the bird house wall hanging.  I finally got to the sewing machine and it's done.  
 
The flowers were supposed to have button centers.  But I hate sewing on buttons.  So I used the Flower foot that DS picked up for me months ago.  Very easy to use but the instructions that came with it got me a bit confused.  Actually they were good instructions, I was just too impatient.  There's a close up photo of the flowers with two different size centers.   There are quite a few different looks you can get with this foot.  I'll have to play around with it some more.
 


 


Now that is finished I get to test those attachments we found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store yesterday    I don't want to start any sewing projects until the cats are back home with their owners.  Pins, thread, etc. are very interesting things to check out when you're not familiar with them.  And a safety hazard.  In the past we've taken care of cats that were not as good at finding places to hide.  I could always get them out of the sewing room when it was time to close it up.  Cuddles is just too good at hiding.  
 
But sewing machines can be brought out to the kitchen counter for a good clean and for checking out attachments etc.  So That's my next sewing related project.