Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
Loooove these. My mom made them with me and my sister when we were little, and the ornaments still last and still smell amazing.
All you need for these is cinnamon and applesauce in a 1:1 ratio. (I used 1 cup of cinnamon and just under 1 cup of applesauce, because I was worried that the dough was going to be too wet; and if you’re nervous that it won’t hold, you can add a teaspoon or so of white glue to the dough as well.) Roll it out between two sheets of wax paper like pie crust, then use cookie cutters to get the shapes you want.



Use a toothpick or a bamboo skewer to poke a hole just large enough for a ribbon to pass through. Then place the cutout on a sheet of wax paper to dry.



Mine took about 3-4 days to dry fully; they harden up and turn a slightly lighter shade of this rich cinnamon brown, but they still smell amazing. At this point, if you want, you can use paint or glitter on them to make them your own:



But you can also just leave them plain. I think they look really nice and natural as is. Another really cute idea would be to use glitter or paint to write people’s names on them, and to use them as gift tags; or to make tiny stars, monogram them, and use them as champagne charms for your New Year’s parties.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Loooove these. My mom made them with me and my sister when we were little, and the ornaments still last and still smell amazing.

All you need for these is cinnamon and applesauce in a 1:1 ratio. (I used 1 cup of cinnamon and just under 1 cup of applesauce, because I was worried that the dough was going to be too wet; and if you’re nervous that it won’t hold, you can add a teaspoon or so of white glue to the dough as well.) Roll it out between two sheets of wax paper like pie crust, then use cookie cutters to get the shapes you want.

Use a toothpick or a bamboo skewer to poke a hole just large enough for a ribbon to pass through. Then place the cutout on a sheet of wax paper to dry.

Mine took about 3-4 days to dry fully; they harden up and turn a slightly lighter shade of this rich cinnamon brown, but they still smell amazing. At this point, if you want, you can use paint or glitter on them to make them your own:

But you can also just leave them plain. I think they look really nice and natural as is. Another really cute idea would be to use glitter or paint to write people’s names on them, and to use them as gift tags; or to make tiny stars, monogram them, and use them as champagne charms for your New Year’s parties.

3 years ago | Tags: week fifty-three project sixty-five end result cinnamon applesauce ornaments

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My darling little sister went a little bit (a lot bit) overboard for me this Christmas and got me a Kindle. It’s lovely and I want to take it with me everywhere, but I’m worried about scuffing it up or cracking the screen if it’s swimming around unprotected in my purse. So I whipped this up.
I measured two pieces of corrugated cardboard the same size as the Kindle, then cut out some quilt batting that was as tall, and about an inch longer than twice the width, so it could wrap around both sides (like a book cover) easily. I stapled the cardboard to the far ends of the batting, leaving a strip in the middle to make it easier to fold. Then I used some fabric I had lying around to make a casing for it: measuring two pieces to size, stitching around three sides to make a tube, flipping right side out, sliding the cardboard and batting in, and sewing shut. I also ran some straight stitches along the edges of the soft area in the middle (the “spine” area of the bookfold) to keep the cardboard pieces (the “covers”) in place. Then I just used a scrap of the fabric as a ribbon to tie it shut.
Here’s what it looks like open:



And closed:



It’s not my most neat or tidy project. I was really sick when I was making this (but I have a neurosis that makes me feel like I have to be productive, even when I’m so weak my hands are shaking), so a lot of the stitches are sloppy. Plus, I didn’t actually mark anything when I “measured” — I was doing it pretty much by sight. Not too shabby, considering I was sick enough that my sight was failing?
This is not the kind of case that keeps the Kindle secure; I wouldn’t pick it up and shake it around. But it covers all of the sides that matter, and it’s a cute way to keep it from scuffing and being knocked around by my keys in my purse. Love making things that actually serve purposes.

My darling little sister went a little bit (a lot bit) overboard for me this Christmas and got me a Kindle. It’s lovely and I want to take it with me everywhere, but I’m worried about scuffing it up or cracking the screen if it’s swimming around unprotected in my purse. So I whipped this up.

I measured two pieces of corrugated cardboard the same size as the Kindle, then cut out some quilt batting that was as tall, and about an inch longer than twice the width, so it could wrap around both sides (like a book cover) easily. I stapled the cardboard to the far ends of the batting, leaving a strip in the middle to make it easier to fold. Then I used some fabric I had lying around to make a casing for it: measuring two pieces to size, stitching around three sides to make a tube, flipping right side out, sliding the cardboard and batting in, and sewing shut. I also ran some straight stitches along the edges of the soft area in the middle (the “spine” area of the bookfold) to keep the cardboard pieces (the “covers”) in place. Then I just used a scrap of the fabric as a ribbon to tie it shut.

Here’s what it looks like open:

And closed:

It’s not my most neat or tidy project. I was really sick when I was making this (but I have a neurosis that makes me feel like I have to be productive, even when I’m so weak my hands are shaking), so a lot of the stitches are sloppy. Plus, I didn’t actually mark anything when I “measured” — I was doing it pretty much by sight. Not too shabby, considering I was sick enough that my sight was failing?

This is not the kind of case that keeps the Kindle secure; I wouldn’t pick it up and shake it around. But it covers all of the sides that matter, and it’s a cute way to keep it from scuffing and being knocked around by my keys in my purse. Love making things that actually serve purposes.

3 years ago | Tags: week fifty-two project sixty-four end result kindle case fabric functional

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Crocheted Jellyfish
Oh. My god. I can’t. Get over. How proud. I am. Of this. Little dude.
Here’s the deal. My boyfriend and I have a thing for sea beasts? Like, show us something with tentacles and we’re like OMG SO CUTE. I think he’s drawn me at least fifteen themed octopi for various occasions including homecoming from a vacation, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween:



So LAST Christmas, we were total nerds and found a seller on Etsy who custom-made us some crocheted stockings — which were tentacles.



We love them, BUT: they are far too narrow for most normal gifts. Jewelry and keychains and pins and pencils and tiny things like that will fit inside, but not anything wider than 3.5” or so.
So when I was figuring out what I could put in his stocking, I was thinking: something that could be squished without breaking. Something collapsible and soft. Something that would make him smile, because I couldn’t think of any serious/legit gift that could be delivered in a tentacle.
I’d recently learned the basics of crochet, and I knew that from there I could dabble in amigurumi. So I was thrilled when I found J Spirik, an Etsy seller who was offering an easy jellyfish pattern on her shop for less than $5. I already had yarn and crochet hooks. For less than the price of a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, my problem was solved.
YOU GUYS. I could not get over how easy-to-follow these instructions were. People who have taught themselves knitting or crocheting from books, like I did, know that reading these instructions often feels like reading a foreign language at first. And I only learned a month ago! But I picked this up immediately.
Which is not to say that I was perfect! I definitely messed up visibly a couple of times (not too visibly in this photo); I made the first leg too tight, to the point where I had trouble pushing the hook through the entire stitch and sometimes gave up and only hooked through one loop of the stitch, which resulted in a short and not particularly curly leg. Anxious about the tightness of the first leg, I made the second so loose that it looks like there are holes in the stitches. But by the third I’d found a happy medium, and luckily there are twelve legs in all, so they’re not as obvious if you just let them all hang down together.
And after a few hours of work, I had him. (And he fits in the stocking perfectly, once you collapse the bell and roll him up.)
Christmas isn’t for another four days, but I can’t wait to gift this guy. Maybe Squidmas comes earlier.

Crocheted Jellyfish

Oh. My god. I can’t. Get over. How proud. I am. Of this. Little dude.

Here’s the deal. My boyfriend and I have a thing for sea beasts? Like, show us something with tentacles and we’re like OMG SO CUTE. I think he’s drawn me at least fifteen themed octopi for various occasions including homecoming from a vacation, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween:

So LAST Christmas, we were total nerds and found a seller on Etsy who custom-made us some crocheted stockings — which were tentacles.

We love them, BUT: they are far too narrow for most normal gifts. Jewelry and keychains and pins and pencils and tiny things like that will fit inside, but not anything wider than 3.5” or so.

So when I was figuring out what I could put in his stocking, I was thinking: something that could be squished without breaking. Something collapsible and soft. Something that would make him smile, because I couldn’t think of any serious/legit gift that could be delivered in a tentacle.

I’d recently learned the basics of crochet, and I knew that from there I could dabble in amigurumi. So I was thrilled when I found J Spirik, an Etsy seller who was offering an easy jellyfish pattern on her shop for less than $5. I already had yarn and crochet hooks. For less than the price of a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, my problem was solved.

YOU GUYS. I could not get over how easy-to-follow these instructions were. People who have taught themselves knitting or crocheting from books, like I did, know that reading these instructions often feels like reading a foreign language at first. And I only learned a month ago! But I picked this up immediately.

Which is not to say that I was perfect! I definitely messed up visibly a couple of times (not too visibly in this photo); I made the first leg too tight, to the point where I had trouble pushing the hook through the entire stitch and sometimes gave up and only hooked through one loop of the stitch, which resulted in a short and not particularly curly leg. Anxious about the tightness of the first leg, I made the second so loose that it looks like there are holes in the stitches. But by the third I’d found a happy medium, and luckily there are twelve legs in all, so they’re not as obvious if you just let them all hang down together.

And after a few hours of work, I had him. (And he fits in the stocking perfectly, once you collapse the bell and roll him up.)

Christmas isn’t for another four days, but I can’t wait to gift this guy. Maybe Squidmas comes earlier.

3 years ago | Tags: week fifty-one project sixty-three end result crocheted jellyfish crochet yarn

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Mystery Braided Leather Cuff Bracelet
Look at this braid. Now look at your man. Now back to the braid. The braid is all one piece.
This jawn is so, so very someone’s-mom-made-it-at-summer-camp-in-the-70’s-so-it’s-totally-retro-now-and-I’m-gonna-sell-it-at-a-$60-markup-on-my-Market-Publique-vintage-e-store, but I can’t help but be attracted to it. I found the tutorial (where else) on Martha Stewart’s website, where all great things originate*.
And then I found a cheap square of raw leather at the craft store, I knew it was fate**.
The tutorial can be a little bit confusing at first; it lacks pictures for the last step, and even though they’re almost the same as the first few steps, you can still get turned around about where exactly the twists and pulls go. Keep at it; I tried probably five or six times before I got it, and it’s almost impossible to destroy leather, so just untangle it and start over if you get messed up.
Looks like a braid on the wrist, but here’s what it looks like when it’s not being worn:



Bam! Blowing your mind.
I’m excited to punch holes in the ends to join them together and actually finish this piece, because I’ve been meaning to buy an awl (because I want to teach myself bookbinding), and this gives me a good excuse to do it. Although, my experience with needle-felting taught me that I’m not to be trusted with very very sharp craft instruments. But whatever, this project is meant to teach me crafting techniques, not life lessons.
Also, check out those goosebumps. Yeah. It’s December 21st and we haven’t turned on the heat in my apartment yet. Lots of Snuggies up in here.
*Not actually true, crafter is known to exaggerate when sleep-deprived.
**Also to unintentionally rhyme the ends of her paragraphs.

Mystery Braided Leather Cuff Bracelet

Look at this braid. Now look at your man. Now back to the braid. The braid is all one piece.

This jawn is so, so very someone’s-mom-made-it-at-summer-camp-in-the-70’s-so-it’s-totally-retro-now-and-I’m-gonna-sell-it-at-a-$60-markup-on-my-Market-Publique-vintage-e-store, but I can’t help but be attracted to it. I found the tutorial (where else) on Martha Stewart’s website, where all great things originate*.

And then I found a cheap square of raw leather at the craft store, I knew it was fate**.

The tutorial can be a little bit confusing at first; it lacks pictures for the last step, and even though they’re almost the same as the first few steps, you can still get turned around about where exactly the twists and pulls go. Keep at it; I tried probably five or six times before I got it, and it’s almost impossible to destroy leather, so just untangle it and start over if you get messed up.

Looks like a braid on the wrist, but here’s what it looks like when it’s not being worn:

Bam! Blowing your mind.

I’m excited to punch holes in the ends to join them together and actually finish this piece, because I’ve been meaning to buy an awl (because I want to teach myself bookbinding), and this gives me a good excuse to do it. Although, my experience with needle-felting taught me that I’m not to be trusted with very very sharp craft instruments. But whatever, this project is meant to teach me crafting techniques, not life lessons.

Also, check out those goosebumps. Yeah. It’s December 21st and we haven’t turned on the heat in my apartment yet. Lots of Snuggies up in here.

*Not actually true, crafter is known to exaggerate when sleep-deprived.

**Also to unintentionally rhyme the ends of her paragraphs.

3 years ago | Tags: week fifty project sixty-two end result leather bracelet mystery braided leather bracelet jewelry

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Peppermint Bark Fudge
I think I’ve made peppermint bark for the last two holiday seasons. The real kind — the layer of bittersweet chocolate overlaid with minted white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes. I’ve mentioned before that I really like making candy, but I’m not always thrilled with the end result — and chocolate is more anxiety-making than you might think. In order to make a really good chocolate, you have to bring it to very precise temperatures to temper it; otherwise it doesn’t look or taste quite right. And you worry if people are going to like it. And you worry that they’re just eating it to be polite and to make you happy, but they’re choking it down because it’s totally mediocre. And you worry that they’re going to end up resenting you for putting them through that, and they won’t want to bother being your friend anymore if this is what one has to slog through in order to be near you and it’s just not worth it anymore. I HAVE SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES IS WHAT I’M SAYING.
Anyway, I was looking for an easier take on the classic peppermint bark, since I’m not sure I can stand up to the Williams-Sonoma gift boxes. Then I decided that peppermint bark fudge would be the most excellent, foolproof twist.
I cribbed from a bunch of recipes I sorted through online, but this is what I came up with (NOT for the dairy/milkfat-squeamish):
I lined a 2-qt baking dish with wax paper, then sprayed it with cooking spray. I melted a cup of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet) down with an ENTIRE stick of butter, a little less than 1/4 cup milk, and a splash of cream in a double boiler. When it had all melted down together, I poured it into a bowl, added 3 cups of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Then I used an electric hand mixer to beat it for a minute until it was shiny (seriously, do this. Sometimes I decide that electricity is for the weak and I stir it myself by hand, but I couldn’t get over how glossy it wound up looking with the aid of my… well, my KitchenAid). Then I poured it in to the dish.
I cleaned out the double boiler, and melted down the exact same stuff as the first step in the first layer, except with white chocolate chips instead of semisweet. Then when I took it out to add the sugar, I used a splash of peppermint extract instead of vanilla (which, of course, I had left over from the last time I made peppermint bark — my embarrassing, embarrassing peppermint bark). Mix again, and pour over the chocolate layer evenly.
The fun part was taking a hammer to a bunch of peppermint candy. This fudge, I think, would be a great thing to make with the leftovers of holiday baking and office parties, where everyone brings in candy canes and no one eats them all. However, I found that the individually wrapped peppermint candies — the kind you take from the hostess desk on the way out of a restaurant — were cheaper, and if you smacked them dead-on with the business end of a hammer they shattered into a million pieces in one fell motion and it was immensely satisfying. I crushed enough candy to make a little over a cup, and then sprinkled them evenly over the top, pressing down gently with a bit of extra wax paper to make sure the pieces were embedded in the fudge (but not sticking to my hand).
I refrigerated overnight, then cut into pieces, plunked them into cupcake wrappers, boxed, and distributed as gifts. Look how cute!



They can get a little dry and hard in the fridge, but at room temperature they’re creamy and amazing. Unf. This is happening again next year.

Peppermint Bark Fudge

I think I’ve made peppermint bark for the last two holiday seasons. The real kind — the layer of bittersweet chocolate overlaid with minted white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes. I’ve mentioned before that I really like making candy, but I’m not always thrilled with the end result — and chocolate is more anxiety-making than you might think. In order to make a really good chocolate, you have to bring it to very precise temperatures to temper it; otherwise it doesn’t look or taste quite right. And you worry if people are going to like it. And you worry that they’re just eating it to be polite and to make you happy, but they’re choking it down because it’s totally mediocre. And you worry that they’re going to end up resenting you for putting them through that, and they won’t want to bother being your friend anymore if this is what one has to slog through in order to be near you and it’s just not worth it anymore. I HAVE SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES IS WHAT I’M SAYING.

Anyway, I was looking for an easier take on the classic peppermint bark, since I’m not sure I can stand up to the Williams-Sonoma gift boxes. Then I decided that peppermint bark fudge would be the most excellent, foolproof twist.

I cribbed from a bunch of recipes I sorted through online, but this is what I came up with (NOT for the dairy/milkfat-squeamish):

I lined a 2-qt baking dish with wax paper, then sprayed it with cooking spray. I melted a cup of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet) down with an ENTIRE stick of butter, a little less than 1/4 cup milk, and a splash of cream in a double boiler. When it had all melted down together, I poured it into a bowl, added 3 cups of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Then I used an electric hand mixer to beat it for a minute until it was shiny (seriously, do this. Sometimes I decide that electricity is for the weak and I stir it myself by hand, but I couldn’t get over how glossy it wound up looking with the aid of my… well, my KitchenAid). Then I poured it in to the dish.

I cleaned out the double boiler, and melted down the exact same stuff as the first step in the first layer, except with white chocolate chips instead of semisweet. Then when I took it out to add the sugar, I used a splash of peppermint extract instead of vanilla (which, of course, I had left over from the last time I made peppermint bark — my embarrassing, embarrassing peppermint bark). Mix again, and pour over the chocolate layer evenly.

The fun part was taking a hammer to a bunch of peppermint candy. This fudge, I think, would be a great thing to make with the leftovers of holiday baking and office parties, where everyone brings in candy canes and no one eats them all. However, I found that the individually wrapped peppermint candies — the kind you take from the hostess desk on the way out of a restaurant — were cheaper, and if you smacked them dead-on with the business end of a hammer they shattered into a million pieces in one fell motion and it was immensely satisfying. I crushed enough candy to make a little over a cup, and then sprinkled them evenly over the top, pressing down gently with a bit of extra wax paper to make sure the pieces were embedded in the fudge (but not sticking to my hand).

I refrigerated overnight, then cut into pieces, plunked them into cupcake wrappers, boxed, and distributed as gifts. Look how cute!

They can get a little dry and hard in the fridge, but at room temperature they’re creamy and amazing. Unf. This is happening again next year.

3 years ago | Tags: week forty-nine project sixty-one end result peppermint bark fudge candy edible gifts

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Christmas Chutney
The holiday season means coworker gifts, and coworker gifts (to me) usually means edible gifts I can make a whole lot of, package up cutely, dole out, and subsequently hoard the leftovers for myself.
This year my mother bought a 20-lb turkey for Thanksgiving. This doesn’t necessarily sound weird, except: only three people at our family dinner eat meat. That means that I currently have between 7-8 pounds of leftover turkey in my freezer, and I’m still looking for interesting ways to eat it.
Enter the chutney.
I found a recipe on BBC Food, and it looked wonderful, so guess what? Happy holiday season, friends — here’s some stuff I made while thinking about what I myself might find delicious.
The thing about chutney is that you can’t really mess it up, short of letting it sit on the stove for only two minutes or upwards of three days. It’s a mix of vegetables and/or fruit you find interesting, sometimes sugary and/or vinegary and almost always spiced. Mixed according to taste, simmered down together. I can tell you I used probably twice the amount of dates it said to use, because I really like dates, and I added in some chopped dried cranberries because that seemed more Christmas-y to me. Keep tasting it. Keep adjusting it. Only pot it once you think it’s good.
As far as presentation: there is nothing better than giving a jar of preserves or pumpkin butter or something of that texture as a gift, because it is SO EASY to make it look adorable: a hermetic jar with a ribbon around the neck and a handmade gift tag, and you’re done. Toot toot, all aboard the Festive Express.
This is the jar I kept for myself. The other jars were bigger. You’re welcome, officefolk.

Christmas Chutney

The holiday season means coworker gifts, and coworker gifts (to me) usually means edible gifts I can make a whole lot of, package up cutely, dole out, and subsequently hoard the leftovers for myself.

This year my mother bought a 20-lb turkey for Thanksgiving. This doesn’t necessarily sound weird, except: only three people at our family dinner eat meat. That means that I currently have between 7-8 pounds of leftover turkey in my freezer, and I’m still looking for interesting ways to eat it.

Enter the chutney.

I found a recipe on BBC Food, and it looked wonderful, so guess what? Happy holiday season, friends — here’s some stuff I made while thinking about what I myself might find delicious.

The thing about chutney is that you can’t really mess it up, short of letting it sit on the stove for only two minutes or upwards of three days. It’s a mix of vegetables and/or fruit you find interesting, sometimes sugary and/or vinegary and almost always spiced. Mixed according to taste, simmered down together. I can tell you I used probably twice the amount of dates it said to use, because I really like dates, and I added in some chopped dried cranberries because that seemed more Christmas-y to me. Keep tasting it. Keep adjusting it. Only pot it once you think it’s good.

As far as presentation: there is nothing better than giving a jar of preserves or pumpkin butter or something of that texture as a gift, because it is SO EASY to make it look adorable: a hermetic jar with a ribbon around the neck and a handmade gift tag, and you’re done. Toot toot, all aboard the Festive Express.

This is the jar I kept for myself. The other jars were bigger. You’re welcome, officefolk.

3 years ago | Tags: week forty-nine project sixty end result edible gifts christmas chutney reusable food

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Button Wreath Ornament
I am an Etsy troll. Let’s not get it twisted. I can waste hours. I’m familiar with Storque, with the Taste Test, and with all three categories of product listings: handmade, vintage, and supplies. When you browse supplies, you’re able to find a bunch of crazy collections of ephemera, from old stamps to scraps of fabric. Before I found the tutorial for this ornament, I remember seeing people selling hundreds of buttons at a time, and wondering what in the world people could do with them.
Voila!
So easy. I bought a listing for 500 green buttons of all shapes, shades, and sizes, which would make 5-7 ornaments, depending on the size. (Or, even better: gift toppers!). All you do is wrap some floral wire securely around the holes of one button; thread on 70-90 more; then join the ends by passing the loose wire through the loop you made in the first button. Wrap to secure, then use a wide ribbon to create a bow at the top. (You can use another loop of wire or a thinner, less ostentatious ribbon to make it into an ornament for hanging.)
My boyfriend and I each made one; this is mine. He got ambitious and made a much bigger one, which (don’t tell him) I don’t recommend, because the weight of the buttons starts to hang heavy on the wire and makes it more oblong, less round. Small and tight makes for a more wreath-like shape.
These are, bewilderingly enough, our only homemade ornaments on the tree so far. Blame finals, not disinterest!

Button Wreath Ornament

I am an Etsy troll. Let’s not get it twisted. I can waste hours. I’m familiar with Storque, with the Taste Test, and with all three categories of product listings: handmade, vintage, and supplies. When you browse supplies, you’re able to find a bunch of crazy collections of ephemera, from old stamps to scraps of fabric. Before I found the tutorial for this ornament, I remember seeing people selling hundreds of buttons at a time, and wondering what in the world people could do with them.

Voila!

So easy. I bought a listing for 500 green buttons of all shapes, shades, and sizes, which would make 5-7 ornaments, depending on the size. (Or, even better: gift toppers!). All you do is wrap some floral wire securely around the holes of one button; thread on 70-90 more; then join the ends by passing the loose wire through the loop you made in the first button. Wrap to secure, then use a wide ribbon to create a bow at the top. (You can use another loop of wire or a thinner, less ostentatious ribbon to make it into an ornament for hanging.)

My boyfriend and I each made one; this is mine. He got ambitious and made a much bigger one, which (don’t tell him) I don’t recommend, because the weight of the buttons starts to hang heavy on the wire and makes it more oblong, less round. Small and tight makes for a more wreath-like shape.

These are, bewilderingly enough, our only homemade ornaments on the tree so far. Blame finals, not disinterest!

3 years ago | Tags: button wreath ornament end result holiday upcycled week forty-eight project fifty-nine

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Know how to turn this bowl of deliciousness into a creepy doll? A sharp knife, time, and air.
Around Halloween when I was a kid, my mom used to have us make apple dolls. They are pretty much what they sound like — dolls made out of apples. 
My boyfriend and I went pumpkin and apple picking this year, and as usual I got a little too gung-ho and came home with more produce than I could use. I thought I’d wrench one more function out of one of my biggest apples.
So I peeled one, took a knife, and carved an old lady face into it:



And then soaked it in a bowl of salted, lemony water for 20 minutes. I took it out, patted it dry, and let it sit outside on my covered windowsill for about 2 weeks so it dried out. At the end it should be spongy but dry, like when you buy apple rings at your local health food store. And your apple face should have natural old-lady wrinkles.



From there, make a doll any way you see fit. I used a toothpick dipped in food coloring to make her lips and eye colors, but you can leave her natural if you want; I also used cotton batting for her hair, but you can use yarn or felt or wool roving or anything else. I also wound up gluing her onto a prefab doll body, but if you’re more ambitious than I am, you can sew your own; you can even dry a separate apple and cut hand shapes out of the dried fruit.

Know how to turn this bowl of deliciousness into a creepy doll? A sharp knife, time, and air.

Around Halloween when I was a kid, my mom used to have us make apple dolls. They are pretty much what they sound like — dolls made out of apples. 

My boyfriend and I went pumpkin and apple picking this year, and as usual I got a little too gung-ho and came home with more produce than I could use. I thought I’d wrench one more function out of one of my biggest apples.

So I peeled one, took a knife, and carved an old lady face into it:

And then soaked it in a bowl of salted, lemony water for 20 minutes. I took it out, patted it dry, and let it sit outside on my covered windowsill for about 2 weeks so it dried out. At the end it should be spongy but dry, like when you buy apple rings at your local health food store. And your apple face should have natural old-lady wrinkles.

From there, make a doll any way you see fit. I used a toothpick dipped in food coloring to make her lips and eye colors, but you can leave her natural if you want; I also used cotton batting for her hair, but you can use yarn or felt or wool roving or anything else. I also wound up gluing her onto a prefab doll body, but if you’re more ambitious than I am, you can sew your own; you can even dry a separate apple and cut hand shapes out of the dried fruit.

3 years ago | Tags: apple doll doll end result food week forty-seven project fifty-eight

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At the suggestion of someone on tumblr (lacrossesticks, I think?), I recently taught myself how to crochet — using the lovely, lovely Klutz book series. Children of the 80s will remember the Klutz book series on juggling and friendship bracelets and face painting, and they probably kept us busy in many a car ride — but I didn’t think it would have such clear and concise instructions!
Earlier this year I tried to teach myself to crochet the same way I taught myself to knit — with online video tutorials. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Whoever was demonstrating would inevitably start to fly along, going too fast for me to understand, so I gave up. The book, though, is so very followable; and cheap, too, considering it gives you the yarn and hook and other material needed to make a bunch of little projects.
This is my first attempt at a Thing — a jewelry roll. When you learn to knit, you make a scarf or a potholder. This is the same thing — a very straightforward, single-crocheted swatch of fabric — but made a bit more interesting by the fold and a bit more utilitarian with the tie. Here’s what it looks like inside:



So you’ve got the little pocket to keep trinkets and such in, and then the flap folds over and you can tie it up for safe travels.
Crocheting is a lot faster than knitting, so I can’t wait to see what I can do once I feel comfortable with it.
Remember that this is kind of rough! First shot, and never tried blocking. Maybe next time will look better!

At the suggestion of someone on tumblr (lacrossesticks, I think?), I recently taught myself how to crochet — using the lovely, lovely Klutz book series. Children of the 80s will remember the Klutz book series on juggling and friendship bracelets and face painting, and they probably kept us busy in many a car ride — but I didn’t think it would have such clear and concise instructions!

Earlier this year I tried to teach myself to crochet the same way I taught myself to knit — with online video tutorials. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Whoever was demonstrating would inevitably start to fly along, going too fast for me to understand, so I gave up. The book, though, is so very followable; and cheap, too, considering it gives you the yarn and hook and other material needed to make a bunch of little projects.

This is my first attempt at a Thing — a jewelry roll. When you learn to knit, you make a scarf or a potholder. This is the same thing — a very straightforward, single-crocheted swatch of fabric — but made a bit more interesting by the fold and a bit more utilitarian with the tie. Here’s what it looks like inside:

So you’ve got the little pocket to keep trinkets and such in, and then the flap folds over and you can tie it up for safe travels.

Crocheting is a lot faster than knitting, so I can’t wait to see what I can do once I feel comfortable with it.

Remember that this is kind of rough! First shot, and never tried blocking. Maybe next time will look better!

3 years ago | Tags: week forty-seven project fifty-seven end result crocheted jewelry roll crochet yarn jewelry

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