In Process

We are in the middle of so many big projects. Housework has fallen by the wayside, tools sit everywhere. There is an inch of sawdust covering everything upstairs. I have hopes that we will soon be finished and can concentrate on small jobs for a while. Here is some of our progress (and mess):

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Easy Pumpkin Craft

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(Try to ignore our nasty carpet in these pictures, we just bought new flooring and will install it as soon as my arms re-attach themselves from carrying 1500 pounds of flooring out of Home Depot, then into the house)

I saw this and just had to make it. It’s the perfect crafty decoration in my eyes for two reason. One it used things that I already had and two, I can disassemble it at the end of the season and not have to store it.

The directions are pretty straight forwards. Get some jar lids (the rings), make sure they are all the same size. I think I used 24 (the source I got this idea from painted her lids, I prefer them unpainted, especially for reuse purposes). Get some string.

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Watch out for the string entourage. They can smell string from miles away and will flock to it.

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String your jar lids onto the string, all pointing the same direction.

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Put the lids into a circle shape and tie the ends of the string together fairly tightly, this may take some co-ordination. Especially if you are fending off the string entourage.

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Use an elastic to make a bunch of cinnamon sticks (I just broke them off to the size I wanted, but there is probably a better way to do this). Stick the bunch into the middle of your pumpkin.

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If you’re feeling fancy you can add a ribbon or something.

Step back and admire how crafty you are.

Real Homes- Guest Room

The first room for my Real Homes series that I would like to share with you is our guest room. This is probably my favourite room in the house, not because we use it the most, but because I’ve put the most thought and care into it.

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It isn’t a big room, so there are only two pictures. The quilt (though in the picture above it is flipped over so that the back is showing) and curtains I made myself. The dresser was something I bought on kijiji and then sanded down and painted. The photo heart wall was another of my creations. The pictures on the dresser (though hard to see) are something Kurt drew for me for a project in school.

We haven’t done anything with the floors (stay tuned…) or the paint. We really love the colour so we will keep it for now, even though there are holes and other problems with the walls.

Anyways, I really love this room and I love when people come so that they can stay in it and enjoy all of the handmade goodness!

Remember, if you have a room that you would like to share just send me an email at tryingchange.blog(at)gmail.com

Projects on the Go!

Today is officially the last day of March Break so I am trying to get some things done, or at least started. So far I have started three projects today.

Firstly I’m making yogurt. Okay, I do this fairly regularly so it isn’t really a project, but it is one of the tasks I started today. I make my yogurt in my slow cooker by putting in some milk (I used some that was in the freezer from before we left, so I’m hoping it still works the same), heating it on the low-level for an hour or so, then letting it cool for a while. Next I add some already made yogurt, stir it in, cover the whole slow cooker in a towel and leaving it for about 8-10 hours.

I will keep you posted on the other projects a little later!

Dishwasher Detergent

When we first moved into our apartment for the first time in my life I was graced with a dishwasher. What a step up in the world! Especially when this fall there was a new one installed when the old wood-panelled one (seriously) that was originally here stopped working.  I really hate doing dishes, especially since we accumulate dirty dishes slowly over the course of the day, so we would either have to do one big wash at the end of the day or several small ones throughout the day. Anyways, here was this dishwasher all ready for me to use. So, of course my next step was to look at what green detergents were available in stores. Kurt wasn’t very happy that most of them seemed quite a bit more expensive, but we discussed the ingredients (or lack of) listed on the conventional products and how I did not want that awful bleachy smell every time we ran the dishwasher. In the end we picked up the cheapest bottle of environmentally friendly stuff. Sadly, it didn’t work that great. My next step (which really should have been my first step) was to research how to make my own. Turns out it is incredibly easy, I had most the ingredients in the house already, and it works great with absolutely no smell (which I did notice a little of even with our greener choice liquid).

So here is the recipe:

1/2 cup of borax

1/2 cup of washing soda

1/4 cup of citric acid

Put them all together in a container, then shake. Use a tablespoon each time.

I read through a lot of recipes online and the borax and soda seemed to be a constant. With just these two though, a lot of people reported cloudy dishes. This is what the citric acid is for. I bought mine in a glass jar at a bulk store, but it is much cheaper online through soap making websites. My dishes come out very clean, and it saves a lot of money.