Low Stress Remnant Blanket update

I got a good bit done on the remnant blanket today.

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I was able to get four complete rows from the medium pink. I then added one row of light pink and one row of light purple that will be the border color.

I have started the dark pink three rows and then I will be doing three of the purple that I had done before. After I will be putting in a single row of cream as a subtle pattern that will be between each color where I will use all that I have of the small skeins.

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The blanket about doubled in size today.

Low Stress Remnant Blanket

Do you have left over yarn from other adorable projects?

Do you save it thinking you will eventually use it for another project?

Do you now have a giant tub of remnants?

Well I have been handed down yarn like crazy, friends and family have just handed me yarn saying “ I was getting rid of stuff, found this and thought you could use it” You smile and say graciously “thank you so much.” You get home and add it to an already stuffed tub.

I know a great deal of friends who do a bunch of different kinds of crafts. Some of whom absolutely need a pattern and follow it precisely.

I wanted to share how to make a blanket from your remnants, without a pattern. It will be low stress, makes use of your remnants, and best of all someone will greatly love cuddling in the blanket you made them.

First I dug out skeins that color cordinate. Three of them were nearly full and the other 5 were half flat.

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I have decided that the biggest leftover skein will be used sparingly throughout the blanket and mostly used for the border. Using it in the blanket will help to tie in the border and make it look complete.

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I have started with a base of three rows of double crochet of the full Pink. Then three rows of double crochet with the full dark purple. I then threw in one row of double crochet of the cream to start breaking up the thicknesses of the rows.

Remeber to keep in mind a remnant blanket is a way of organizing your chaos.

You can see that the next color in line is a medium pink that is half of a skein.  I intend to crochet the entire skein until I have none left except if the littlest bit left, only does a partial row. Then I end it at that colors last full row.

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I will continue the entire blanket in double crochet style to keep a consistency throughout, it also helps reduce the stress of choosing loop size each time you change yarn. It also reduces stress in being able to put down and pick up and know what you were doing last time you shoved it in your project bag.

You can see that this medium pink skein is pretty flat. So far I have a full row on the blanket, I am hoping for four rows.

Stay tuned to see progress.

Hela of a costume-top Part 1

I worked on the turtle neck of my Hela costume this evening. I started with turning my top inside out and popping it on.

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Then with help from the husband We drew on what sections I wanted to cut away in order to have the shoulders out.  I used a tan colored pencil, rubs off easy- and in case it doesn’t thats why we flipped the shirt inside out.

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And the side/back close up.

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Then the shirt comes off and gently cutting begins. Then the shoulders are off, trying it on to make sure I don’t need to take any more off anywhere.

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Shoulders are gone! Then I found the old bra I wanted to sacrifice for the costume and pinned the shirt to the bra. I put the bra on and then the shirt on correctly with the right side out and then carefully pinned the shirt to the bra in strategic places in order to know where I need to stitch. I will be taking out the wires later for comfort, but I need a good shape for the beginning of sewing.

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I am leaving the straps on the bra- I can slide them off shoulder and that is also where I want to attach the cape mainly for structure and strength and for easy attachment as well as a great deal of flexibility.

The next part I took off the top and bra and started hand stitching them as one. I do a great deal of hand stitching because I have found it to be quicker and more precise for myself.

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So all I got done tonight was a bit of sewing but here it is.

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I decided to attach a bra to the inside to give it the best shape structure in order to work on putting on the overlay fabric. I am glad I got a bunch of this overlay material because I realized tonight that I need to pay close attention to the sample photos I am using to see which angle the pattern is laying (oval overlay) I need to be able to recreate the same exact pattern angles will only pose as a slight bit more work.

 

Weekend Warrior!

Last weekend in August! Got to make the most of it!

Last Weekend in August-Work hard, play hard, sleep hard too.  Had so many gardening tasks planned for this weekend but only got a few done- due to my finger cutting episode. That is okay, we worked on a million other things this weekend. Plus we spent a little sweetheart time date night out to a movie.

Yesterday bright and early I started cleaning. Bathrooms, floors, laundry and ceiling fans. Then we did some gardening where my finger got cut, but it is healing great.  I soak it in warm soapy water every morning and then wear a bandage with triple antibiotic ointment, changing the bandage 4 times a day and letting the skin dry out a bit in between.  I wait until my skin is not so wrinkly from being wrapped up with moisture before I wrap it up again. When we go out I put a small finger splint we have on hand over my finger for extra protection. it is still just slightly sensitive.

While soaking my fingers in soapy water I set up a stepping stone to start painting. Looking good.

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I got around to water proofing my concrete leafs as well as a rock I painted months ago. The tops of these are done. I will get the bottom s of them tomorrow.

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I have the border on the baby boy blanket completed and am working on tying in the ends, so almost complete blanket! In plenty of time before my friends baby boy is here.

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I have successfully designed, printed, addressed and yes put in the mail box. Invitations to a great Aunt”s 90th birthday party.

The husband and I both sanded for an hour each on my China cabinet makeover.  The husband used the Dremel on the top edges where its a bit fancy and too tricky and small for the Black and Decker Mouse hand sander that I prefer to use.  It doesn’t look much different then my last update on my china cabinet makeover but it is coming along.  I did some sanding on the bottom of the shelves and I used the 220 grit on the one outside and my goodness that is so smooth.

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We went material shopping for my Halloween costume updates are in my previous post Hela of a costume. Made my cutie pie niece a card for her birthday. 8 is great! Also in the mail.

We also finally started working on our new bar.  We left the old bar behind when we sold the old house, it really was beautiful and it went great with the dining room.  It was our first bar building experience as a couple and we have a few things we are very excited about doing differently.  We got some stain, and some frame! 2x3x8 boards to start building the frame.

Busy! To bed at midnight and Up at 5am. Do it all over again tomorrow.

Hela of a Costume Part 2!

We worked on getting great under threads.  Leggings were first. I really like no nonsense brand and they fit great.  These were what I got.

No Nonsense Women’s Cotton Legging, Black, Large

Next was a black turtle neck. It needed to be nice and form fitting.  We went to several different stores trying on a ton of tops. What I found best was at Costco. It was a two pack white and black turtle neck set for under $20

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In my earlier post I had found a great black over lay material to give me the textured look with out the heavy and super hot look of rubber or plastic/leather and the comfort of cotton. The lighting isnt perfect but I think it looks great layered.

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This weekend in our non stop weekend warrior lives we got the green material. We purchased 4 yards because we are going to use it for the cape as well as the green accents on the main body of the costume.  We probably only needed to get three yards but I mess up sometimes.  The material was 30% off original price and then I found an online coupon for an additional 20% off my total purchase. Which saved me just over $29 on  the green material. I highly suggest always using coupons.  It makes my life more affordable.

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One of the key elements that I look for in a material is how much it is going to fray when it is cut.  This green that we purchased is spandex and will not fray much at all when cut so I do not have to worry about stitching the edges I can just cut out the shape and hot glue it on.

Hela of a good costume!-Part 1

My husband and I greatly love Halloween. We work very hard at trying to make most of our costumes from scratch every year. We are both very creative and a bit on the crafty side. They usually work out well!

Hela from Thor Ragnarok. When the movie came out in November of 2017 I started right then and there growing out my hair to be Hela for Halloween 2018.

My hair is naturally curly-easily fixed with a flat iron. But its not black. So we just dyed it last week. I will have to touch up before the big day in October because my roots will have grown, but I wanted to make sure I was okay with the change and because I have a few allergies, wanted to make sure I was not allergic to the hair dye.

I used nice and easy brown/black.

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Movie hair on top-my hair on bottom.  Pretty close.

Next step was checking out her threads close up.

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We watched the movie again recently on Netflix and I was confident I could do it.

It is not going to be 100% movie accurate but it will be in our price range and much more comfortable in the chilly Pennsylvania night then leather would be.

We noticed on the close-up that there is a unique texture and we hit the local fabric store to find something similar.  When we found the fabric that we purchased for the main body, we were so excited that it was the exact texture that we needed.  When we pulled the bolt out and layed out the fabric in our hands we had a moment of panic. It was a bit sheer! But together we realized quickly that we could layer it over tight black clothing and then we wouldn’t need to develop a whole pattern. 30% off and we were sold!

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My next challenge was finding inexpensive black leggings, they will only ever be used for this costume. So we didn’t want to spend much.

We found some that fit great!

Next was a black turtle neck!

  • We are off to a good quick start! The quicker I have my costume complete, the sooner I can start assisting my huz with his yet to be determined costume.

 

Silly Cake for all occasions!

I am not a professional baker, I can follow the directions on the back of the cake mix box. But its not fun enough for the birthday surprise I had in mind. Watch the transformation, and find out how I like some of the baking ideas I have read about on the internet and all those fun baking shows. The Rickabaugh reviews are in!

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I have a cake pan, but it is the usual large rectangle. Not too much fun. I would eventually like to get myself some more different sized cake pans. But for now with my beautiful multiuse cake plate that is round, I wanted a round cake. So I used the two pie plates I have, given to me by my gramma. One is much smaller than the other and I feel pretty sure its considered depression glass. It still works!

Snack Pack Pudding, Chocolate, 4 Count – 3.25 oz Cups (Pack of 12)

I wanted a layered cake and realizing that I did not have enough store bought frosting and I wasnt sure if I had the ingredients to make some ftom scratch, searched the cabinets-found chocolate pudding snacks! I have chocolate cake.  We will see if with chocolate pudding in between the layers will be good.

IT WAS AMAZING!!

I ended up trimming the tops of the two small cakes “pies” so that they would stack nice. The trimmed off portions went into a bowl and then I crumbled them up real small and added two pudding snacks. Mixed well, using a knife spread it on thick hoping my baking experiment would work. It was sticky and held the two cakes together perfect. I highly recommend this super yummy invention. Also I trimmed the tops but I did not trim the sides to be perfectly straight. It wasn’t a huge mistake but when putting the icing on it was incredibly difficult. It looked cool and weird and different and that was great. But once is enough.

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Pillsbury Moist Supreme Premium Cake Mix, Devil’s Food, 15.25 oz

It might not be the most expensive or fancy but it hit the chocolate cake fix for all who had some! I highly recommended this brand.

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Most of the supplies are in order. I had a bunch of mixing of icing colors and so I did that while the cake was cooking. Next time I will do it while the cake is cooling. My icing was hardening up while the cake was cooling.

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Pretty cake plate! And my round pie plates. I also recommend remembering to grease and flour your glass plates before putting in the batter. I forgot and had to only do a small patch job.

If part of your cake gets stuck in the pan-don’t fret about it! Scoop it out shove it in the cake hole and slap some icing on it. Everyone will rave how good it tastes.

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Got my food coloring! The back of the boxes have great suggestions on how much of which colors you can combine to make color schemes that match your style. I personally do not have a color mixing wheel in my head.

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This is a very basic Icing bag set. The basic set such as this is not for fancy cakes, if you make your own very thick and heavy icing you can get adequate function from the tips but if the icing is too thick it just bends the plastic projections which are there to give you a specific design, so unfortunately I have found plastic tips for icing bags sets to be slightly counterproductive. Plastic icing bags, yes easy to wash but difficult to get a good amount of use out of all of the icing you have. I have a bit of arthritis in my hands and wrists and the plastic is difficult to use and hold and tires out my hands quickly. There may be a day when I pull out all my pennies and get a good set but considering I make one crazy cake every other year, I will not get good use out of it. I can figure out cheats until I need to start making a cake a week.

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I saw this totally cool trick to use cling wrap and line up two to three colors of icing then put it in your icing bag to make super cool multicolored flowers. I was being stingy on icing so I used just orange and purple. The concept is excellent and is so cool. It did not work well for this project because the icing I had was not stiff enough and I ran out of icing. Next cake I think I just might make my own icing, then I can double the mix amount and not worry about running out.

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Separating out the icing. Realized to make the most of the icing and wash one less bowl and one less fork, put the food coloring right in the icing container.

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Colors turned out excellent. I used very few drops of food coloring (between 2 to 6) to try to reduce the amount of stains that might happen with 5 small kids eating cake. Bolder, brighter colors need more food coloring. More food coloring means you might not get it out of their new birthday dress, also some kids have sensitivities to food coloring.

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This is how I watched the multicolored flowers started on a baking how to.  I suggest have someone help you with holding down the cling wrap-if cling wrap has always been your enemy. A good trick might be to chilling all the icing to make it less runny and easier to manipulate. Also if you have any burrito wrapping skills, now is the time to show them off.

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A trick I have never tried before that a friend who makes a lot of cakes suggested to me once, wax paper on a piece of cardboard.

Works Amazing!

Make sure you use two or more pieces that over lap just slightly in the middle of the cake. I was able to get away with just two because it was a small, not super heavy cake.

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Centered the bottom pie plate cake layer in the middle of the wax paper and card board. As you can see I trimmed the top of the cake to make it flat to easily layer on the pudding mix and then the top pie plate layer. It was flat but not level, which in the end product will make your cake look even less level. If you are a perfectionist get a ruler to help you out. I am a bit go with the flow, it doesn’t have to be perfect-it will be delicious straight or crooked.

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The “FUN” part of icing was next. It was difficult and so messy and looked crazy bad! I was texting updates to my husband who was off site and he had strong doubts about the outcome.

Tie dyed looks crazy bad before it looks good, every time, but it will turn out awesome!

Best term for how you put the icing on would be “glob” but you need to glob on the colors starting in the center of the top of the cake. Change colors going in a spiral from the center the whole way around the top and down the sides.

You can see that I left spaces in between the colors so as to not mix them all up on the spoons I was using to place it on the cake. I used a toothpick to smear the icing colors together to leave no showing chocolate cake. And it helped to level out the icing globs.

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Touching globs! 😂

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By the time I got to the bottom of the cake I was tired and ran out of different colors. Its still rough looking at this point, don’t get discouraged! The next step is the fun transformation-will pick you up-step!

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Clean toothpick! Start in the top center every single time. If you are really concerned about perfect mixing with drawing the tookpick through the cake, clean off the toothpick every time you start at the top middle and draw out to the edge and then down the side.

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Instant Tie Dye!! You can stop here and everyone will ooohhhh and aaahhhh! But I thought sprinkles will take it to the next level. They didn’t stick too well so they were everywhere in the kitchen.

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Now is when the cardboard and wax paper come into play.  Use two hands and put the cake and wax paper and cardboard on top of your nice clean cake stand. If it is a large cake get a helper. Its not as fun to eat cake off of the floor.

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In this photo you can see how I gently and slowly slid out the cardboard. At this point you can see very easily where your cake is on the plate through the wax paper. If you have to move the cake to center it on the plate use the wax paper and tug just a bit, slow and steady.

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When your cake is where you want it on the plate, take one side of wax paper out at a time. If you pull with two hands and slow and steady  the wax paper shouldn’t tear and stick under the cake.

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Cake on a plate! Just a bit more decorating I think!

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Remember that little bit of icing I put aside? This is where it comes in.

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Icing tip I used.

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I snipped off the end of the cling wrap and just slid icing and cling wrap into the plastic decorating bag, which greatly added in clean up-wasn’t too messy.

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Sqwished the icing to the end. A great tip I received from a baker friend was once the icing is in the bag( this is for right handed people) have the small icing tip in your left hand. Take the large open end in your right hand twist the end sealing the bag shut and creating a stable holding situation as well as controlling the pressure in your dominant hand, wrist, and arm. That useless left hand, wrist and arm hold the small delicate tip steady as I decorate. When I lose pressure in the bag, more pressure needs to be made. This is done by twisting the big end, that was twisted shut and held twisted between my right thumb and right pointer finger, twisting the plastic bag naturally pushes extra icing down to the decorating tip, descreasing the amount of space in the bag and increasing the amount of pressure in the bag. Once again giving you the adequate amount of icing and flow.

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I desired to have a purple and orange flower trim around the bottom of the cake. The cake was plenty busy so this small detail was lost on the overall look, but it was a great learning experience. The icing I choose for this cake was delicious but not thick and firm so the flowers were runny, so I ended up making less of a flower trim and more of a funky ribbon of color at the bottom.

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Sprinkles are fun looking. Very messy and bounce off of cakes sides when you toss them at cakes. Thus sprinkles everywhere. And if there is a drop of water anywhere near a rogue sprinkle you have streaks of color all over the counter and the floor, and if you get them on the bottom of your socks they get transferred to carpeting. Then the dog licks the found spinkles and next thing you know there is a strange green spot on the brand new carpeting.

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Add the candles when birthday subject is near! Until then keep it safe from harm with the lid.

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Ready to PARTY!!!

Kid tested, Miller Family and Rickabaugh’s approve!