Sunday, September 26, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

It's been a while since I've done a Food post... so I thought I'd share with you a recipe that I found on allrecipes for really easy and tasty granola bars.

This recipe is a great basis for making your own granola bar creations.

Base of the granola bars:

3 cups of quick oats
2 tbsp butter (melted)
1 can of condensed milk

3 1/2 cups of mix-in ingredients  (i.e. a combination of chocolate, nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, etc)

For these ones, I made two different types of.  Here are the mix-ins that I used.

First Half

3/4 cups coconut flakes
1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cups mixed nuts (walnuts, peanuts, cashews - rough chopped in a processor)

Second Half

1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cups raisins
1/2 cups mixed nuts (same as before)
1/4 cups coconut flakes

How to:
1.  To make them, start with preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Mix the melted butter, oats, and condensed milk.

3.  Put the dried mix-ins in a bowl (or two separate bowls).

4.  Mix in the oats mixture to the dried mix-ins (you'll need to split the mixture in half if you have 2 bowls)

5.  Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.  I add a small amount of oil before putting down the parchment paper, just to help the paper stay put.  Add the mixture into the pan and press down.  It helps to use a sheet of wax paper to press down on the mixture into the pan.  You want it squished together so that it' forms a better, more solid bar.

6.  Bake for 25 minutes.

7.  Remove from oven, put on a cutting board and cut with a sharp knife or pizza cutter (tho, I think a knife might work better.

8.  Let it cool completely, and they're ready to be packaged up and/or eaten.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chinese Staircase Friendship Bracelet

And my friendship bracelet kick continues...

Here is another easy friendship bracelet to do. It's on of the first bracelets I learned to make because of it's simplicity as it consists of using one string to tie a knot around all the others in the bunch.  A bunch consist of however many colors you want to include in the bracelet.

Here's how it's done.


DMC floss -- as many colors/strings as you want.

Holder:  Cardboard and binder clip (or clipboard)

*Note: The length of the floss will vary depending on the length of the bracelet and the amount of strings you want to use.  A yard should work as a good starting point. You can adjust length on the next bracelet. :)

How To:

1.  Hold all of the strings together and tie a knot near the top.  If you chose to make a bracelet with a few colors you'll probably want to double the length, fold it in half and make a knot near the fold like shown.

2.  Clip the bracelet to the cardboard with the binder clip just above the knot.

3.  Separate the a string of the first color you want to use.  Holding everything aside from the separated string, tie a knot using the separated string around the bunch.

4.  Continue to make knots using the separated string around the same bunch until you've reached the desired length for that color. If you make all the knots the same way, you'll notice that the knots will form a twist around the bunch, a bit like a spiral staircase.

5.  When you're ready to switch to another color, grab the next color you want to use and let the previous color rejoin the bunch.  You can now start making knots again.  Watch where the knot bump is landing, try to position it so that the spiral staircase continues unbroken.

6.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the desired length of bracelet is reached.

*Note: Step 7 is only really useful if you folded the strings in half to make a top loop in Step 1.
7.  Once the bracelet length has been reached, put the whole bunch together and divide the strings evenly into two.  Here, I braided each divided grouping for about 1.5", tied a knot in the end and cut the excess string.  These braids are what is used for tying the bracelet (only works if you made a loop on top).

That's it.

Enjoy making these easy bracelets.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Design

I have spent part of this weekend playing around with the design of this site.  I wanted to go for a more simplified look, and wanted to take advantage of blogger's page feature.  I've created two new pages: "About me," that goes into a bit of info about why I started blogging in the first place, and "Project Archives," which has a better list of projects categories in specific sections like food, pets, crochet, etc. I'll be tweaking these pages a bit more in the next few days.

I also have a rotating image for the header.  It appears that the sizing is slightly off in IE8 and below. I am aware of it, and am looking into it (something to do with the background-size not available in those browsers).  A few other changes, the tag cloud has been condensed considerably, as it only represents tags that have been tagged more than 3 times.  Also, I've brought back the Blog Archive list for quick blog browsing. In the future, I plan to also include a Charity page and a Recommendations page.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new design.

Thanks again for reading and Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day. :)

[Update 9-21-10: I believe I fixed the sizing of the header for all browsers.]

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wider Square Knot Friendship Bracelet

So, apparently, I'm on a friendship bracelet making kick.  Here's another friendship bracelet that I made using generally the same method as the previous post, only with more strings.

In this bracelet, I used 8 strings.  Each row is made up of 3 sets of square knots (where a set of square knots is equal to a square knot and it's reverse knot , 2 knots total).

Make the first set with the first 4 strings (just like before).
Make the second set with the last 4 strings.
And lastly, make the last set with the 4 middle strings.

Ta da.

Happy Weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Square Knot Friendship Bracelet

A few weekends ago, my sister, cousin, and I decided to make some friendship bracelets.  We made a couple of different kinds including the knot friendship bracelet that I blogged about last year.  The square knot friendship bracelet is one of the types that we made.  We used cord to make these easy bracelets.  Also, we thought of a better way to hold the cords while making bracelets.

Okay, so here's how we made them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Crafty Sight Seeing in Alaska

I recently came back from taking an Alaskan Cruise with my family.  We had a wonderful time, saw some beautiful places and things, and witnessed some pretty amazing things.  Our cruise started in Seattle, then continued on to Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Ketchikan, and lastly Victoria, BC before we headed back to Seattle.  I must say, my goodness they were beautiful places... and not nearly as cold as I was expecting.  It was actually quite warm in Juneau.  According to our tour guide, we came on a good day, as it wasn't overcast and foggy.  Sitka and Ketchikan, however, were overcast, but still beautiful.  After the cruise, we stayed in Seattle for the weekend, and I just have to say... what a crafty city. Anyway, here are a few collages of things I saw: