Saturday, August 31, 2013

DIY Adding a Kitchen Cabinet Shelf (also works for Closets)

We just recently organized our spices, and my husband discovered that the microwave doesn't vent up.  There was a big empty wooden shell where the vent would be, so he took it out and covered the holes on the top and bottom with wood.  So that meant that we now had a ton of space, in addition to the beautifully organized spices.  So we decided it needed a shelf.

Want to add a shelf somewhere?
This works in the pantry, or a closet, or pretty much anywhere that one board could sit across.

Step 1: Measure the space.  Do this two or three times to make sure you got it right.
Step 2: Go to Home Depot and find a piece of wood the same size, or slightly larger.  They will cut it to size if you want, or go on to...
Step 3: Measure it (twice).  Cut it using a circular saw or similar (we use sawhorses, too).
Step 4: Choose wide scraps for your side supports (ideally 1" wide, but they could be wider, too)-- find one for each side and you could also use one or two along the back wall.  Putting them on the back wall is totally optional- I did it with this project because it was a long space, but it's optional.  Start drilling 2-3 screws in each one.  I do this because it is easier to start the holes facing down than when they are in the wall at an awkward angle.

Step 5: Measure the walls and mark where to place your supports.
Step 6: Screw the supports into the walls.  Use a level to make sure they are straight.

Step 7: Place your shelf board on top of the supports.
Step 8 (optional):  You can choose to drill the shelf onto the supports from the top down.  For this project, my fit was pretty tight so I didn't do this.

Step 9: Put all your things back in the space.
 Enjoy your hard work!
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Friday, August 30, 2013

Garbanzo Beans in the Garden

We sprouted a garbanzo bean and look what it has become!  A bean plant (duh).

But the interesting part here is that the outside shell for each bean has grown first, and the little garbanzo beans are growing bigger and bigger inside each shell, like tomatillos.
Pin It

Monday, August 26, 2013

2 Year Old Organizing his Toys

These animals that we got in a Toob have gotten some serious action for a while now.  Here are the favorites: hen, rooster, ewe, ram, and fox.  I came into the kitchen the other day to this:

Below you see another scene I happened upon.  It involves the Toob animals again, and my toddler's other favorite toy: the Lego Duplo Garbage Truck.  As you can see, he organized the animals into their own compartments (the cardboard is packaging from his new big boy car seat).  You see the same silver bowl again (he takes it from the kitchen for the farm animals all the time).
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DIY Kid Pants

To make these super fly and comfy pants, the first thing I had to do was choose the fabric.  I like soft knits like Michael Miller makes.  They are thick enough to withstand some serious kid action, and come in some really fun prints.

Then I measured my son's waist and added an inch.  I cut my elastic to an inch larger than this so I would have some space for overlap.  I then took my favorite pants pattern and enlarged it to my son's size (now a 6T!!!); to do this, I laid its largest size on a current pair of pants and added length and surprisingly little width.

I cut them, then realized I could just lay the pattern on the fold and have fewer seams to stitch, so these are slightly different than my usual pants.  Then I cut the waist fabric.

To stitch them, I first added my label.  Then I sewed the waist elastic and waist fabric into circles (separately).  Then I stitched each leg closed, and next came the crotch seams-- sewing the legs together.  Then I put the elastic into the waist fabric and pinned and sewed it onto the legs.  Lastly, I hemmed them.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Late Summer Garden Bouquet

Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Organizing the Spices

We organized our spices a while back into these Ikea containers.

That was for a cupboard in our last house.  It was a low cupboard which held about 5 in a stack.  In this house, the spice cupboard is tall and high up, and we had about ten or more per row.  Each time I would need a spice, they would get unbalanced and fall... unless I got the stool and got right up there... but sometimes that wouldn't work either.  It was frustrating.  And perhaps dangerous.  Something needed to be done.

My original idea was to do magnetic spices of some sort, maybe using Super Glue to attach magnets to jars and putting a metal board or tiles on the kitchen wall.

My husband didn't like this idea, since we have almost 50 spices (!) and we don't need to clutter the outside of the cupboards with 50 items.

This is a nice solution, actually, so far.  It is 2 lazy susans and all of the spices condensed into 2 oz jars (like these).  We labeled them with our trusty label maker, and put the excess of each spice into a bin in the garage.

My husband is going to make a shelf for over the spices, as there is still a lot of open space way up there.

We are still a few containers short of being done.  But it will be nice to split the oils from the spices, and have it all not come crashing onto me when I am cooking, holding a child, and needing the turmeric.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Birthday Cake Substitute: Baked Apples (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Paleo/ Primal, WAP, Traditional Foods)

Was this five years ago already?  Has it only been five years?
My older son is five! Look at how big he is!

We have had an assortment of non-traditional sugar free birthday cakes (like watermelon cake, banana bread cake, coconut flour cake with whipped cream, and strawberry pie with whipped cream) - plus the ones I didn't blog about.

This time, most of what was served actually got eaten!

Baked Apples (makes 1 tray)

12 apples
1 cup diced walnuts
1/3 cup raisins
1 T cinnamon
1/4 t. sea salt
2 T butter
1/2 qt. bone broth/ beef stock

Preheat oven to 350. Core the apples, but do it wider at the top than the bottom, as if you are taking a cone out of the middle.  Set them in the baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix the walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and salt.  Stuff this into the apples.  Put any extra around the apples in the dish.

Dot each apple with a dab of butter in the middle.

Pour the broth around the apples.  It should be about an inch or more up the sides of the apples.

Bake at 350 for an hour and a half to two hours.  Can be served hot, cold, or room temperature.

Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Friday, August 9, 2013

Boys' Wedding Suits - Toddler and Little Boy Dress Up

My cousin just got married (congrats again!), and the boys were given the honor of joining in the Kids' Flower Brigade in front of the bride.   The wedding color was eggplant purple for the ladies, and the men were dressed in grey and/ or pinstriped suits.

 The boys and I took off to the fabric store after failing to find anything cute enough online (yes, I was going to buy them off-the-rack outfits).  I am so happy I couldn't find what I wanted because this was a really fun project.  It was especially fun because I have made the pieces before and already had the patterns and had done the dry run of each part already (here is my previous suit and here are the pants (here they are as shorts and here is about the buttonhole elastic I made myself)~ and here is the suit jacket I did not make and am happy about skipping because it was way too hot and would have hidden the vests).

We found eggplant purple synthetic soft material in the remnant bin (otherwise I would be more specific about the type of fabric!) and grey pinstriped suiting with blue and white and grey stripes. Perfect!  We were off and running. 

The pants are the "Little Heartbreaker Pants" from the Sewing For Boys book.  I made them in size 2T and 4T and added an inch to each pattern.  The boys currently wear 4T and 6T, but, having made her patterns before, I knew they run very big.  I also skipped the bottom binding and hemmed them instead.  I used the purple to line the pockets and waistband.  I haven't made this pattern for a while, so I forgot that I was confused by the faux fly instructions and had to rip it out the first time.  They ended up a bit baggier than I had expected, and the front pleats both go the same direction instead of the same direction in relation to the midline.  Oops.  I also chose to stitch the front waistband lining down as part of the front piece instead of as part of the whole waistband after they were constructed.  This made it easier to put it together, but it did make the topstitching look uneven from the outside.  I don't think anyone but me noticed.  I made my own buttonhole elastic for the waistband.

The vests were made with Simplicity 8442 again.  I did it without the vest buckles in back, and just stitched the adjustable ends together.  I did this because I didn't have any buckles, and the width of each was ok on the kids-- they didn't need to be pulled in at all with a buckle.  I used the same sizing I did previously and made one a couple of inches longer than the other.  They could have both been wider, and the larger size could have used wider arm holes.  Each could have also been an inch or two longer still.  When I made these before, I struggled with sewing the front and back together under the arms.  This time, I innovated by stitching the outer layer first (after turning and before topstitching), then stitching the inner layer and covering the seam with a sort of Hong Kong Finish (this is a fancy way of saying I cut a strip of the purple as if it was bias tape and covered the seam with it).  I did this because suiting ravels and looks sloppy fairly quickly at the seams.  I should have also done it with the pants; it was my first time doing this and was really easy and made the inside look a lot sharper.  I perfected buttonholes on my machine (finally) and they went quickly. Next time, I will buy matching buttons... though I was lucky enough to find two and three that matched from my collection~ even though I wanted five! With the topsticthing, I used a wider straight stitch and could have gone even wider.

 Lastly, the bow ties were made using Little Londyn's Little Guy Ties pattern.  I had to cut my velcro in half to make it narrow enough to fit, and it worked.  I had forgotten that I was confused the first time I made it about how to finish the ends of the neckband.  The pattern directs you to another description when finishing the ends.  It would have been far easier to make the band a half inch longer and turned the ends inward a quarter of an inch on both sides than to think about it after stitching the velcro on.  

We were all really happy with how the ensembles turned out.  The off-the-rack chambray shirts were cute, although each was a tiny bit big on the boys and somehow their shirts kept coming untucked.

The bow ties and vests were comfortable enough for them to leave on for many hours.  

Overall, the project was a success.  Cute boys, nice outfits, nice wedding...  

Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Individual Strawberry Pies - Crustless

This is a mini version of this pie.  The kids love the gummies, and individual ramekins, so this is a nice extension of both for them.

Here it is with shipped cream on top.

Pin It

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Growing Pumpkins

We've been growing pumpkins and they are starting to turn orange.

In fact, we like them so much that we just planted some seeds in a half wine barrel-- especially since our Pumpkin Book says to plant pumpkin seeds in July.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

EC with help from my big bro

The "baby" is now 25 months old and has been an EC "graduate" for a while.  But he still doesn't mind a little company while he does his business, especially when it's his big brother reading him a book. 
Pin It

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sharing Wild Plums with the Deer

We have tons of deer in the front yard for these wild plum trees.

Bad news for the deer: my preschooler is tall enough to reach the trees himself now!  Time to share...
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Water Table into a Bubble Table

  This is dish soap in our water table with some big bubble wands.

Posted by Picasa
Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...