Thursday, January 3, 2013

CD Jewel Case Covers

It has been too long since I posted! It has been too long since I crafted! I always have a long list of things that I want to try. Unfortunately, many of these are put aside for the more demanding things in life.  After a crafting dry spell, not for lack of projects, or creativity, I am back!

When my photographer girlfriend asked me if I could make these for her, I said "Heck, Yes!" What she and I didn't know at the time was how long it would take me... To find the time, not to actually perform the task!
So, after three weeks of family visits, working way too much, walking a 5k with my mom, sisters, nephew, nieces, daughter and grand-children... I am BACK!

This was my first craft of the new year, and I am stoked!

These were fairly easy, and I cannot wait to do more! These were a special request, and I didn't have time to take lots of pics, so I don't have directions, but I might post them next time I make them. If you need directions sooner, email me!

Here is the finished project. I hope my friend Leah at Leah Grace Photography is as excited as I am!

Burlap, Velcro, Paper, Buttons! DONE!

Thanks for reading!
Happy crafting!
Crafty Claudia

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crockpot Greek Yogurt

I am a big fan of Greek yogurt! there, that being said, you can imagine my joy at discovering that I can make this myself, at a fraction of the price of store bought! It is so EASY!

Pour 1/2 gallon of mild into your crock pot. I used whole milk the first time, and 2% this time, both worked just fine. Just don't use ultra-pasteurized.

Turn it on low, and cook for about 2 and half hours, until it reaches 180 degrees. I used a candy thermometer to check it.

Turn it off, and uncover it for about an hour, until it reaches between 105 and 110 degrees.

Remove about a cup of the warm milk, and whisk in a half a cup of store bought plain yogurt, with live
cultures. The one I bought was 5.3 ounces, and I just threw in the whole thing... Pour this back into the crock pot, and whisk to mix..

Cover the crock pot, wrap it in a towel, and put it in the oven, with the oven off, but the oven light on.  Wait 7-8 hours, or overnight (my preference)

 In the morning, check to see if the milk has turned to yogurt. 
If not, put it back for another hour.  You
now have plain yogurt. Pop it in the fridge for at least
3 hours. Be sure to set aside 1/2 cup for next time!
Here is where it becomes Greek yogurt. Put a colander lined with several layers of cheese cloth, or a plain white dish towel into a large bowl. 
Put your yogurt into the colander, and put it back in the fridge. Let it drain for an hour. Pour out the liquid that has accumulated in the bowl. This is the whey.
Return the yogurt to the fridge and let it drain another hour. It should be very thick by now.
Pour your yogurt into a storage container, and you are done! You now have plain Greek yogurt, ready for whatever flavoring you'd like to add, honey, fruit, vanilla..
I got almost a quart of whey, and a quart of Greek yogurt.  Total cost...$2.44 for the milk and $.94, or $3.38. Next time, I wont have to buy the yogurt, because I will use my yogurt as a starter.
I added some frozen berries and mango, and some local honey. It was a great breakfast!
Let me know if you try this! I love it, and it is so easy!

Thanks for reading!
Crafty Claudia

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumkin Beer Bread

This week I decided to try to make bread. As a child, I helped my mother make bread on a fairly regular basis. I remember how that fresh baked bread smelled and tasted, still warm from the oven. It didn't even need any butter! I also remember the time it took to make it, mixing the dough, letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise again, kneading it, and finally baking it. So, I procrastinated..

Then I heard of beer bread! Beer bread, you say? I like bread and beer, so I looked it up. No yeast? Really? No rising, no all day investment? This bread was for me! I found what looked like an easy recipe, and decided to tackle it! 6 ingredients, all of which I had on hand! I didn't want to use just any beer, and went with a Pumpkin Ale.

Here is the recipe I used from I would definitely recommend it! I used the full 1/2 cup of butter, put half in my pan 
before I put in the dough, and half 
on top. The bottom crust was crispy,
almost like it was fried. Most of the 
butter ran out onto my counter when
I toppled the bread onto the rack to
cool, so I will definitely go with 1/4
cup next time.

My bread came out fantastic... crunchy on the outside, and moist and dense on the inside. I was so excited, I wanted to make another right away! And, it only took a little over an hour to make! I think I'll use and apple beer next time. Maybe I'll add some nuts, raisins and cinnamon.... MMMM... Sounds yummy!

Let me know if you try this recipe, and how it comes out!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Silver Tray Chalkboard

My daughter gave me a stack of silver plated serving trays.  Although I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, I knew I could find a purpose.  When I came across chalkboard paint, I knew this would be the first project I would do with these trays! 

I have been thinking of getting some chalkboard paint. I see all these great projects that use it, and I couldn't wait to get started.

My tray had been sitting for a while, and really wasn't very silver anymore, so the first thing I did was clean it. I had sterling jewelry cleaner on hand, and used that. I am not sure if that is why it came out a little mottled looking, or if it was just the condition of the tray. Whatever... I think it adds character... It's gonna be a chalk board anyway.  I left the handles black, for some more of that rustic look. 

I used  Rustoleum Black Chalk Board Paint,  I also used whatever brush I had on hand.  I had to do 3 coats to get decent coverage. I was trying to cover that great design on the bottom of the tray.

 Coat One...
 Coat Two...
Coat Three...
The directions on the paint said to wait 3 days, and "season". Wasn't sure what that meant, so I looked it up online.  Once again,  Google is my friend... It is not as difficult as it sounds. Just rub the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk, and wipe it off. This keeps your writing from "grabbing".
All in all, I was very happy with the way the whole thing turned out. One thing I will do differently next time... I lost quite a few bristles from my brush in the paint, and didn't realize it until it was too late, and I had a lot of brushstrokes. I think I will use a small roller next time, it will work better. My tray was free, but I have seen these at the thrift stores for just a few dollars! I think it was a great project, and I am looking forward to making some as Christmas presents!

I absolutely loved the chalkboard paint! This project barely used very little paint.  Hubby and I are already coming up with more projects to do with it.

I can't wait to my new chalkboard in my kitchen, and start using it for my grocery list!
I would also like to apologize for the quality of some of the photos... I like to craft, but mostly suck with the camera... I will work on it... I promise!

Thanks so much for reading my blog!
Happy Crafting!
Crafty Claudia

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flannel Quilt

This was another project I did for the new grand baby, but it will work on any size quilt, just adjust the size and/or number of blocks. This one took me about two days, but I probably could have finished it in one, if I didn't have to go to work. 

I bought the fabric first, based on my daughter's theme and color preference.  It could definitely be done with scraps or leftovers.

I decided how big I wanted the quilt, then divided by the fabric I had chosen, and added a half inch for the seams. This was my block size. I like to use a rotary cutter (I use the Fiskars 81514 Contour Rotary Cutter-45mm )and a mat, (like the  Alvin OL-RM12S 12 in. x 12 in. Olfa Rotating Rotary Mat), but you could use scissors, just try to keep your blocks square and even.

After I cut them, I laid them out so they followed a pattern. If you use scraps or leftovers, just be sure not to get the same patterns  next to each other. 
Sew the squares together into strips, right sides together. I like to iron the seams flat, before the next step.
Then sew the strips together. Once again, I like to press.
Then, I cheated a little, and found an awesome tutorial on how to do the backing, with mitered corners. I followed her instructions, and it was so easy! It looked great, and I will use her technique again! Thank you so much to Virginia at Gingercake!

Here is the finished project...

My daughter was thrilled with it! I can't wait to make another!

Thanks for reading my blog.
Happy crafting!
Crafty Claudia

Saturday, August 25, 2012

T-shirt Tank Top

Here's another quick and easy project I did, with just a T shirt and a pair of scissors. I was in a hurry to get it finished and in the mail, so I didn't take a lot of pics, but here are the directions, and the finished product.

This was a mens extra large, with design only on the front. It could be made with a smaller shirt, but I was making it as a maternity shirt for my daughter.

Cut around neckline, to make a scoop in front and back. Cut off the sleeves, making the shoulders as wide or narrow as you like. Cut the hem off the bottom of the shirt, and then cut a narrow string from the shirt, where you just cut off the hem. This should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.. Gather the back, between the sleeve holes and wrap the string around several times. Tie a knot. I put my knot on the inside so it wouldn't show, but you could leave it on the outside, and make a bow. 

My daughter loved this one, because it was big enough to go over her big baby belly. She says she can't wait to wear it as a beach cover-up, over her bikini, later, or as a regular shirt, over a tank.

This one get a big DONE! Save Ferris!

Thanks for reading!
Happy crafting!
Crafty Claudia

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tile Trivets

They say inspiration comes from all kinds of places.  This one came from home depot.  We were wandering the store the other day, and happened to come upon these beautiful 6x6 inch tiles.  I knew my daughter didn't have any trivets, so I had her pick one she liked.  They came in boxes of 4, and I think they were around $6 a square foot.... which happened to be a box.  So we made 4.  I picked up the little sticky non-skid stoppers and we she got to work. 
The bottoms were very dusty, so we she scrubbed them with a damp cloth, and let them dry thoroghly. Then she stuck those little non skid thingies on each corner.

 That is another project that gets a "DONE" stamp! Use them individually, or together, depending on the size of the job!  I think she has used them every day since we she made them!

Thanks for joining me!
Happy Crafting!
Crafty Claudia