Troll Movie Headbands

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I’m kind of out of the loop on children’s movies but I saw some of these headbands on line a couple weeks ago and showed them to my great niece Chloe.  She knew immediately what they were about and she wanted one!  A pink one.  So I bought some tulle, some inexpensive headbands and some colorful hearts to use for embellishments.  They were fun to make.  Hoping the girls like them.

Pumpkin Cake

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Halloween costume parties at our house are a tradition that we all enjoy.  The past few years my friend Jane and I have baked and decorated a centerpiece cake.  And we have such a good time doing it.  This year we used a recipe for a Pumpkin/Carrot/Spice cake from Women’s Day to make our pumpkin.  This pumpkin required two bundt cakes.  And a LOT of cream cheese icing…1 cup of butter and 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese.  Each of us used the recipe and baked a cake the day before we put them together.

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First step after baking is to cut each of the cakes in half horizontally.  And start stacking and icing.

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We used some long toothpicks to secure the layers.

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The top is on and you’re thinking it looks nothing at all like a pumpkin!  We put the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so to help set the icing up.  With the pedestal plate and 2 bundt cakes stacked it required a bit of refrigerator rearranging but I think the chilling helped.  We covered it with a light base coat and, once again, returned it to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

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A second coat of icing and it’s starting to look like a pumpkin.  We used the stem from a real pumpkin supported by a couple of small dixie cups stacked in the center and held in place by icing.

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And there you have it.  Ta Da!!  A perfect pumpkin.  Two years ago we did a caramel apple.

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Last year we made a brain.   That was great fun to do as well!

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But I think this year our guests will find the pumpkin much more appetizing.  Happy Halloween.

Animal Hats

On a recent Knit Wit road trip we went to one of our favorite yarn shops, the Grand Emporium in Saginaw Michigan.  I found these little yarn ball kits with animal heads and thought they were adorable!  I have knit several.  Love. Them.  The kits are by DMC and are called Top This.

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They are even cuter on children!

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And the fish hats!

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Everyone loves those.

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When I have more pictures of hat models I will post them!

 

Hats…tis almost the season

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Eight years ago last month I made the decision to quit smoking after far too many years of indulging that bad habit.  I still have plenty of bad habits, just not that one.  To help keep my hands and mind busy I decided to replace my cigarettes with knitting needles and took a knitting class.  I LOVED it.  While cigarettes have gotten increasingly more expensive I can’t honestly say that my knitting habit has saved me significant amounts of money.  But, I have knit some beautiful things and that gives me great satisfaction.  My new “habit” also brought me together with the greatest group of women ever…the Knit Wits we call ourselves.  We usually meet once a week for lunch and knitting or shopping, or road trips.  We have such good times together.  We are all truly blessed to have each other plus, as a bonus, warm hats and scarves and mittens and sweaters.

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(I need a better model for my children’s hats than an owl.)

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Edible Acorns

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This is the Fall of acorns.  It’s almost dangerous walking outdoors!  The squirrels and chipmunks and deer are enjoying the bounty. There are a few real acorns in this picture but mostly they are edible chocolate and nutter butter treats.  A little something that is easy and adorable to put out for guests this Fall.  All you need is a bag of Hersey Kisses (pick your favorite flavor), a bag of Nutter Butters, chocolate chips and a few extra chips to melt for “glue.”

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Dab a little melted chocolate onto one side of the nutter butter and glue on a kiss.

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I set them on a wax paper lined tray (actually a pizza pan) and let the chocolate set. Once the chocolate has hardened, using more chocolate glue, attach a chocolate chip to the other side.  Voila!  Edible acorns.

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Enjoy!

NOTE:  Depending on how many acorns you want to make you may need two bags of nutter butters for one bag of kisses.  If you’re a perfectionist you’ll find Nutter Butter needs a little more quality control.  Lots of lopsided or upside-down cookies.

Painted Pinecones

I’ve seen these painted pine cones everywhere. On Pinterest and on Facebook. A very crafty young lady I know had them on her Facebook page which is where I first saw them. Thanks Stephanie!  So I decided to make some of these wanna be zinnias for myself.  When I was in the Upper Peninsula for a music festival I picked up a small bag full of the squat pine cones for painting.

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I bought inexpensive paints and brushes, covered a work area and started painting.  I have to admit it was tedious. Very tedious. Some of the paint colors did not cover well like the golds and lavenders and they required multiple coats. I was wishing I had a friend to paint these with while drinking adult beverages but I persevered and finished the pine cones I had.

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The paint I chose was flat or matte, whatever the correct term is for dull.  So I got a can of gloss  clear coat, placed the cones on an egg carton and sprayed them. I did three coats total. I liked them much better.

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I first arranged them in a wooden bowl. But a friend’s daughter suggested a cylindrical glass container and I had just the thing.

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I like them a lot in my candle holder. Thanks Stacey. It could use a few more cones but I’m over the painting mess. I may just spray some natural cones and mix them in.

Another Yarn Stash Project

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For lack of a better description I am calling this simply, “Another Yarn Stash Project. ”

While in the Upper Peninsula this winter my daughter and her boyfriend found this adorable vase in the Touch of Finland Shop in Marquette. In the store the vase was filled with metal skewers topped with felted yarn balls. We tried to buy them but they weren’t for sale. So I said, “I can make those!”  I got into my wool yarn stash, tried to find colorful bits, and rolled them into tight little balls of varying sizes. Once they were felted and while they were still damp I worked wooden skewers into them and let them dry.  Voila!  Decorative yarn balls on sticks.

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The bonus with the wooden skewers is you can cut them into various lengths.  Sometimes NFS turns out to be a good and even an economical thing.

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Apparently the extras I made were fun cat toys, minus the skewers of course.

Felted Baby Shoes

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Like almost every knitter I have an abundance of yarn left from larger projects and can’t bear to throw it out. So I roll it into balls and stash the yarn balls away. These felted baby shoes are the perfect use for left over wool yarn. These knit up fairly quickly…they make a great traveling knitting project. The yarn has to be 100% wool for it to felt properly.  This is what these little shoes look like before felting.

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I’ve been told by several people that these little shoes stay on baby’s feet better than most. And they are SO adorable.

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Aprons for Little Ones

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I don’t do a lot of sewing but I’ve been having a great time making these colorful aprons for little ones. There are so many great designs and colors that make shopping for fabric great fun as well. I have gifted several aprons and sold some. Great for budding artists or beginning chefs!  I even found colorful little whisks and spatulas to put in the pockets. The best part has been getting pictures of children wearing them.

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When I get more pictures of smiling faces I will add them to this post.

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Super Laundry Sauce

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Looks good enough to eat but it’s definitely not edible. It’s sauce for doing your laundry. It’s an excellent stain remover. It’s easy to make. And it’s economical. Very economical!  You can do 128 loads of laundry for less than $2.00.  I like a bargain as much as the next person but the real reason I keep making this is because it works so well.

Ingredients:

1 bar Fels Naptha

3 cups boiling water

1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax Powder

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

2 wide mouth quart jars

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You’ll find all of these ingredients in the laundry section in the grocery store.

Cut the bar of Fels Naptha in half and then chop each half into little pieces.

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Put half the chopped up Fels Naptha in one jar, half in the other. Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water in each jar, cover, and let them sit until the next morning.

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The next morning you can turn the jar upside down and the Fels Naptha and water will have gelled. Use a butter knife to score the gel.

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Add one half cup of the 20 Mule Team Borax to each jar. Add one half cup of the Arm and Hammer Washing Soda to each jar. Put the tea kettle on and add boiling water just up to the shoulder of each jar. Leave about an inch and a half of headspace.

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Using an immersion blender blend the mixture until it looks like mayonnaise.  Or if your mason jar will fit the base of your blender whip until smooth and creamy. If you don’t own an immersion blender or a regular blender scrape the contents into a deep bowl and whip with a hand mixer. Once it’s whipped use a rubber spatula to work it back into the jar.

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One tablespoon is all you need to wash a large load of laundry. Great for front loaders and high efficiency machines because it is low sudsing.

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If you have a stain rinse the area with cold water and use some of the laundry sauce to pretreat. Everyone I know that’s made this sauce loves it!

I originally found this recipe on a site called Budget101.com.