The Mother of Invention

It’s Handmade Monday again! Seems to happen every week. I hope ya’ll are heading over there and checking out all the cool things all the other ladies are doing, they do some really awesome crafts.

For some reason I seem to be stuck on those crazy Mod Podge Jars. I had an idea when I was mixing the food coloring into the Mod Podge, watching the color swirl around and thought, wouldn’t it be pretty if it was sort of marbled on, not just uniformly spread? I also wanted to experiment a little with better ways of getting it on the outside of the jars like has been suggested so you can use the jars and not get the Mod Podge wet or scratch it, and just experiment.

Frankly, that’s what I like to do. Experiment. The most fun of all is figuring out how to do something. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. And sometimes that’s really disappointing, but I think I enjoy the process even more than I enjoy the finished product. I bet a lot of crafters are like that. Maybe I should take a poll. 🙂

Anyway, at first I thought something to hold the jars with, like those canning jar wrenches, but that still presented a problem. It would still touch the outside of the jar AND I would have to order one, so I would not have it right away.

However, in talking to my Dad an idea started to form and I then talked to Jeff and he came up with the perfect solution. A stand that the jar can hang on, made of pipe. Perfect! It’s made from a pipe and a metal flange, which makes a nice stable stand. It will hold a variety of sizes of jars.

So, I’ve babbled long enough, let’s head over to Make it and Let’s Do More Jars!

It Was One of Those Weeks

I had something planned for this week’s Handmade Monday, but a couple of things worked in concert to thwart me. First, I was sick all last week. I thought I had a migraine or headache from the Florida weather changes, or even allergies (which I don’t really have). A cold didn’t really occur to me because I rarely get colds or flu. However, my husband came down with it too, so, I guess it really was a cold. All of that is to say, I haven’t felt up to snuff and have been dragging around a bit.

Secondly, this weekend is a 3 day weekend for us (President’s Day) anyway, and I hated to spend the whole thing on crafts, so I worked on a cooking thing (which I needed his help for, lucky him!) and I just didn’t get the craft done. So, I can only offer a food item for my Handmade Monday offering, which feels like cheating, since it’s food and it was really put up on Saturday. However, it’s all I have until later in the week. 🙂

But, the truth is, mochi really IS wonderful, and for those of you bloggers and crafters who need a little treat, this is a fun thing that is pretty easy to make. 🙂

Mochi Brings Things Full Circle

Recently we were at one of those trendy yogurt places that seem to be popping up all over the place, with friends. I noticed an interesting topping I had never seen before, and I asked the clerk what it was. He said it was “mochi”. He explained, upon questioning that it was a Japanese candy made from rice flour and offered me a taste. I was immediately in love! Having lived in Japan as a child, it reminded me of the rice paper wrapped candies I remembered but had not had in almost fifty years.

So, I decided that if I could find a recipe, I would attempt to make mochi and if successful, share the experience. Little did I know what an undertaking it would be! My neighbor, Pam, who had been at the yogurt shop with us had a recipe in my inbox within a day, so I thought, this is going to be a piece of cake (or mochi!). Haha! Do I never learn?

I looked at the ingredients. They all seemed pretty benign, and the directions were wonderfully simple. So, when the weekend came around, Jeff and I set out. Sugar, baking powder, vanilla and red food color I had. That left only coconut milk, potato starch and mochiko (glutinous rice flour). I knew I’d seen and actually bought coconut milk and potato starch. And maybe the rice flour was the same as the rice flour I’d also bought before but I wasn’t sure. But even if not, surely the Greenwise market would have it.

Potato starch was easy. Coconut milk a little harder, but, finally I found it hidden on the bottom of the shelf by the ethnic foods in not quite the size can I needed, but close enough. Then it turned out, the mochiko or glutinous rice flour was NOT the same as rice flour. And it was not available at Greenwise. Nor at Whole Foods. Nor the Fresh Market. Or anywhere else. I came home home and went online and read to see what on earth it was. I found some online, but I had to buy $27 worth, and I didn’t even know if the recipe was going to work or if I would like it when I was done.

So, I put a message up on Face Book, to see if any of my friends had any ideas. A couple of them thought they knew of places that might have it locally (Asian markets) and my good friend Deena thought she could get it where she lived and might be able to get it to me.

Then, someone I had known when my kids were small sent me a message on Face Book and said she actually had some she had purchased and not used and would I like her to send me a box? I really thought this was the kindest thing! I said yes, and within a few days, I had a box of Mochiko! All because an old friend saw a need and filled it! Thank you Marsha! 🙂

Find the recipe in Cook It at Mochi.

Projects Sometimes Take on Lives of Their Own

Sometimes I start with an idea, and maybe I even think I know where I’m going with it.  But somewhere along the way it takes a detour because either the idea I had really isn’t working out, or because I didn’t plan really well, or I thought of something better, or, well, whatever.  There are a million and one reasons.  I don’t really care, as long as the finished product is something I like and I had fun.  This frame is one of those things.  Thankfully I think it turned out better than I originally even envisioned it.

When my youngest son and his wife visited in January I took a photo of them that I really liked and I wanted to send it to them.  But I decided I wanted to frame it.  At some point I decided I would make a frame and blog about it (of course!) and since this whole Handmade Monday thing is causing me to have to come up with something, I thought, yes, ok, that’s what I would do this week.

At first I thought of doing a decoupage frame with paper of some sort. Then I thought something beachy would be better.  I have done some really fun shell frames in the past, although I was not up for doing a whole one of those yet, because they are very time consuming and there was no way I could start one on Sunday and have it ready for THIS Monday.  So, anyway, this whole thing evolved.

But, I think you will like it.  I’ll show you how it grew from a bare idea into a finished product.  Let’s just head over to Make It and take a look at the Beach Shell Frame.

A Different Twist on the Blue Jar

Last night I decided to try making a Tinted Blue Jar in red.  But what I really had been thinking about was if there was a way to put a decoration on it.  Was there a way to make something (hearts?) clear, with the rest of the jar red?  Hmmm.  I had discussed this with my very smart husband previously, and I had suggested using my Cricut to leave voids in shapes and then peeling them off.  But he wisely said, “Yes, but won’t they be embedded in the Mod Podge after it dries?  And when you try to peel them off, won’t you risk peeling the color off too?”

OK, yes, I expect so.  But, I thought I would do a little experiment anyway.  I had an extra jar just sitting around waiting for a new life, and I really wanted to see what red looked like, so I went ahead!  Well, it actually turned into something a little different.  I like when that happens.  I guess I will have to call it a Tinted Red Heart Jar.

Sweet Hearts

I got really excited when I ran across a recipe for Sugar Hearts. They seemed easy and I thought it was the perfect project for Handmade Monday. In addition, I could see some practical applications, especially, something to send the boys for Valentines Day. There were only a few ingredients and few steps. Seemed right up my ally!

The only downside was that I was busy Saturday morning and I had to pick up powdered eggs and small cookie cutters so I could have them done, photographed and blog-ready by Monday. OK, no problem. You would think by my age I would know that any time I think no problem, that’s a clue. There will be problems.

But, nevertheless, they are doable, and they are cute.  So, head over do Make It and see how to make your own Sweet Sugar Hearts.

Blue Recycled Jar

More uses for used glass jars! This is purely decorative, since you can’t put anything wet or edible in it, because I am certain it would wash off. But it looks beautiful, just like those old blue canning jars you can buy. But, you are reusing something you probably would have tossed out.

I used a little food jar, but I think this would also be a great thing to do with some of those nondescript vases you get flowers in, those plain clear ones. Of course, you can’t put real cut flowers in them once you do this, because that would require water, but a dried arrangement, or just to set it on a shelf or fill it with stones or marbles or, be creative.

So, head over to Make it and check out the Tinted Blue Jar.

Handmade Monday

I accidentally stumbled upon something fun this week, called Handmade Monday on another craft blog.  I’m so glad I did because I met a nice group of other craft bloggers with a diverse selection of ideas. I hope I can keep up with them! Please go check them out too!