Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!!!

Hi all,

Happy Earth Day!

So, I have to apologize for not posting for a long while. Sometimes life just get's in the way. I hope to bring you something good and crafty soon, so stay tuned. For now, keep inventing!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

DIY Super Easy and Inexpensive Dog Leash

When Radar was a puppy, (tho, I kinda still consider him a puppy), he went thru leashes like there was no tomorrow. One minute, he's sitting next to me as I talk with someone, the next minute, he was trying to dash off with the leash nearly bitten through. After this happened to the 3rd or 4th leash, I became pretty fed up with the growing cost of walking my dog. I decided to go to OSH and look for an alternative to the store leashes. My plan was to look at ropes and see what I can come up with. Well, it turned out easier than I thought. With some derby rope and some rope clamps, I had a leash in 10 minutes. Here's how I made it.

- Rope (the length depends on how long you want the leash to be) Use something comfortable in your hand. I used derby rope on the first leash.
- Rope Clamps (make sure you get the proper size for the size rope you got)
- Clasp to hook the leash onto the dog's collar (if you have some dead leashes already, you can reuse them here).
- Optional: Rope sealant. This is to seal the ends. Burning them off works just as good, if your rope is the type to burn and seal together (it sometimes helps to wrap it with tape to keep the end together).

How to:

1. Cut the length of rope that you want to use. Make sure to add about 18" for the handle loop and a couple more inches for attaching the clasp.

2. Seal the two ends of the rope. Here, you can use rope sealant and wait however long it takes to dry, or if there's a bit of plasticy (is that a word?) or nylon rope within the rope you bought you might be able to burn off the ends.

3. Make the handle. First mark off one end of the rope, about 18" away from the rope end. Now fold down the end (the one that's 18" away from the mark), to meet the mark. Put both parts of the rope in the cavity of a rope clamp. Hammer down (towards the rope) the sides of the rope clamp to hold down the rope.

4. Connect the collar clasp to the other end of the leash. Slide the non-clasp end of the collar clasp thru the end of the rope, and fold down just a few inches. Lay down the rope end and the rope into the cavity of the other rope clamp. (see picture if that doesn't make sense - 2nd to last) Hammer down the sides of the rope clamp like before.

You're done! Like I said, a simple 10 minute project that's mighty useful if you've gone thru as many leashes as I have. The weird thing is, the very first leash I made for Radar is still the leash he uses... I never had to make another one. I guess that's a good thing.

If you want to make other things for your dogs, here are other posts you might be interested in.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Projects

With Easter only a few days away, I thought I'd do a post on projects that I have seen recently. I'll keep adding onto the list as I find things.

Easter Eggs and Other Foods

Easter Eggs with Dried Flowers - If you click on the tutorial link, there's even more than just the dried flowers. Pretty cool stuff.

Colored Tea Eggs - This just look uber amazing. I bet you can use it for halloween eyeballs too. hmmm...

Dabbled Easter Eggs - These look pretty cool too.

Rice Krispies Easter Eggs - Cute, and creative. There are also other ones there like rice krispie easter bunnies and spring flowers.

AllRecipes Easter Page - Allrecipes always has good recipes to try... Easter is no exception with ideas for an easter buffet or how to host an easter egg hunt, etc.


Homemade Marshmallow Peeps - Easter just wouldn't be Easter without Peeps. IMHO

Easter Turduken - Quite inventive. I really want to make one of these. You have to see it to believe it. A creme egg inside a peep inside a chocolate bunny. Seriously, check it out.

Peep Wars - Always fun to do at least once. Here are some photos

Peep Wars Video

Other Things

Weave a Paper Easter Basket - These are just cute.

Country Bunny - Very cute.

Here are some other links of collective projects.
- this one has a bunny napkin. cute. - and of course, Martha Stewart's page for Easter.

If I find more, I'll update this post. :-)

Happy Easter everyone.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easy Microwave Strawberry Jam Butter

Looks good, doesn't it. :-) Having strawberries left over from a rather large basket that I bought, I decided to look into how to make jam, particularly strawberry jam. Since I was at work when I thought of this, I thought... "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if I can make jam in the microwave?" A few google searches later and ta da, I found this site. Awesome!

I obviously didn't have all my ingredients at work so, I waited til my day off (the next day) to make the jam. I actually ended up buying more strawberries too. :-) Okay, so if you haven't noticed, I actually named this Strawberry Jam Butter. Well, I actually screwed up on making the jam. I misread the ingredient list and mistook 1/2 tsp for 1/2 cup of butter. LOL! Oops! It sounds like a tremendously bad mistake, but it turns out that this jam recipe was much more fool-proof than I thought. This jam-butter turned out to be excellent. I seriously couldn't have asked for a better turn out. The outcome was creamier in looks and taste than normal jam and looked lighter in color. I would definitely make a similar mistake again, but on purpose. :-)


3 - 3 1/2 cups strawberries (green tops cut off)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup or 1/2 tsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

How To:

1. Put strawberries in a blender and pulse to crush them down til there are no chunks.

2. Add lemon juice and pulse once or twice to mix it into the strawberries.

3. Throw everything in a large microwaveable bowl and mix up a bit. If you just took the butter out of the fridge, that will probably not mix very well... No worries, it will melt down in the microwave and you'll be able to mix it then.

4. Microwave for a total of 15 minutes, stopping every 2 minutes to stir. The bowl and jam is hot, so be warned. (Um, yeah, I may have burned the tip of my finger a bit... again.) In fact, when I took the bowl out of the microwave after the first few intervals, I noticed that the jam was actually boiling.

5. After the 15 minutes in the microwave are up, let it cool for a few more minutes, (maybe 10 min) and pour into a clean jam jar.

6. You can start enjoying the jam once cooled or you can refrigerate and enjoy later, like, after the brioche is done. :-)

This was a super easy and fool proof jam that anyone can make. Read and reread the ingredient list, but don't be afraid to experiment either. Sometimes they turn out even better than the original recipe. :-)

Have fun and enjoy!