Mr Nibbly Sweettreats

While I was at the gym this morning, Rachel Ray was on.  I could have changed it, but Alyson Hannigan was the guest, and I like her, so I kept watching.

After Alyson’s segment was a “double duty” Easter decorating segment, which sounded promising.  Until it started, and I realized I had already seen each idea:

Using plastic eggs as table weight – genius!  It is still too cold to eat outside here, so I didn’t pin this one, but you had better believe this has been all over Pinterest for weeks.

Feeling cheap?  Those free paint chips have been turning themselves into garland all over Pinterest – Easter eggs included.  I also didn’t pin this.  I prefer to decorate with Peeps.

Okay, this Pinterest tip really is genius.  I did have this pinned, and I think we are actually going to dye our eggs on Easter.  Because Mommy waits until the last minute like that.

I’m not trying to bash Rachel Ray, I just really couldn’t believe that this is where their ideas are coming from.  Pinterest?  Why should I spend an hour watching the show to get three tips, if I can get hundreds of Easter tips from Pinterest in a matter of minutes?

Anyway, I normally have a few things planned for each holiday, and then give myself a hearty pat on the back if I manage to get one crafty thing done (check!  see: Peep wreath).  I did start a second craft for Easter, but only got partway through…it was oh so cute though:

Unsure what exactly you are looking at?  Well, I have a…let’s call it glorious, collection of Boyd bears (and bunnies, and pigs, and lambs, and cats, and…).  A few years ago, I got the little guy on the right who came with a carrot of jelly beans.  I did refrain from eating them, but after a year or two they were melted and disgusting, so this bunny was left with his hands stuck together and nothing to hug.  Nothing to hug?  So sad.  Poor Mr Nibbly Sweettreats.

Well, in trying to move forward in my crochet adventures, I had decided I was going to crochet a couple of little carrots, because it would be cute for Easter.  It did come out really cute!!

It, as in one.  Not a bunch.  I was trying to find someplace to display my lonely carrot and lo and behold, it fit snuggly into Mr Nibbly Sweettreat’s waiting arms.

The pattern is free on Ravelry, with a whole set of crocheted vegetables.  I was really surprised with how easy it was, since this was my first little knitted or crocheted toy.  In fact, it was so quick and easy, that now I have my sights set on the whole set.  I have dreams of Simon wanting me to make him a whole grocery store full of crocheted food.  He did have fun with it…

I am hoping that our garden this year might help him get a little interested in having his own “food”.  At the very least, it seems that Ivan will play with him!

Did you make any Easter decorations or crafts this year?  I had one more pinned that I really wanted to do, but didn’t get around to:

I guess this one will just be first on the list for next year!!

Moon Jars

This was not my idea.  I am not that creative.  I like recipes, patterns, and craft tutorials.  Perhaps this is why I am so fond of Pinterest.  Yes, that’s right, I found this on Pinterest, too (you can’t be surprised).

Anyway, the original was the Sun Jar, but mine came out to have more of a cool, rather than warm, tint to them, so I’m calling them my Moon Jars.

I admit, when I pinned this, I thought it was so cool but I would never ever do it.  Then while out and about one day, we dropped by the dollar store.  And right in front of me was a huge display of solar lights.  For a DOLLAR.  So I picked one up, just to test it.  After all, you can’t always test dollar store quality.

It worked.  Then, I got excited.  The next day I went back to the dollar store and bought 5 more.  Simon and I continued on to WalMart where we got a bunch of jars with glass lids.  Then, we stopped.  I couldn’t find the frosted glass spray paint.  I’m sure it has to exist somewhere, but not where I was looking, and the people I asked looked at me like I was nuts.  So I went to the always-trusted Amazon, and found some paint-on frosted glass paint.  I thought this would be easier.  But, that was only because for some reason I had it in my head that I would have to paint the inside.  Spray painting the inside evenly seemed hard.  After doing the first one, my husband pointed out that it would be much easier to do the outside.  It was so obvious.  And it would have been so much easier with spray paint.  The only upside to painting, rather than spraying, is that you can bake the glassware, and then it is dishwasher safe.  I highly doubt these will ever need to go through a dishwasher though.  In fact, we don’t even own a dishwasher (yet?).

Regardless, I still think they still came out well.  I used Gorilla glue to attach the solar light to the lid of the jar.  You can use any type of adhesive that works with glass though.

And just for the record, hot glue does not work.  I read a few different sources say it does work, and a few say it didn’t, and I agree with the latter.

Gorilla glue needs some time to set, but after about an hour, they were set, it was dark, and my Moon Jars were ready to be tested.

A big one on the front porch.

A small one inside by the back door.

I haven’t done much (camera phone) nighttime photography, so the graininess was just inevitable.  They work really well though!  I do have plans for the other four, they all will have their own nice sunny spot to occupy around the house.

Chalk that up to as another Pinterest success story (and it has since been added to the “I Did This” board).  My house is just becoming more and more crafty every week.

Random Pinterest Pick

Is anyone tired of Pinterest yet?  I hope not.  At this point, I have 229 pins.  I don’t know if that would be considered a lot, but I like to think I am fairly discretionary with my pins.  If its food, I like to make sure there is a link to a recipe.  If its a knitted object, I check to make sure there is a pattern and it isn’t a link to someone’s etsy shop (they often are).

Sometimes, Pinterest makes me feel lazy.  I am not doing all of these amazing things that are pinned on there.  At the same time, I have done way more DIY type things than I ever have before I started using Pinterest.  So it has been kind of inspiring as well.  I’m going to focus on the latter.  I also don’t find it to be the time-suck that others claim it is.  I have a Pinterest routine:

Log in
Check friends’ new pins
Check all food pins
Check all DIY pins
Check all Kids pins
Close window

Done! That takes, at most, 10 minutes.

Anyway, I DO still have those 229 pins, and I think I have maybe done 15 of them.  As in, I made the pinned recipe, or created the project pictured, etc.  I don’t think that’s enough!  So since it has been a snowy 4-day weekend for us, I decided I would do “something” from my pinboards today.  And I decided that it should be random.  Enter random number generator:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

18

Timestamp: 2012-01-15 19:51:55 UTC

I was excited to see a low number, because it meant I had to go pretty far back (to, you know, a whole two months ago), and see what I had pinned when I had first started.  It was funny to see how many things I had pinned twice.  For example, just today I pinned a recipe for bathtub crayons.  Sure enough, number 19 was a recipe for bathtub crayons as well.

But we aren’t talking about number 19 here, are we?  We are talking about number 18.  And number 18 was:

50 Jar Recipes?  Great Idea!

Okay, maybe I wasn’t such a discretionary “pinner” at that time, because this isn’t such a  great idea.  Maybe if you picnic a lot?  But a lot of the recipes aren’t even made in the jars.  Regardless, I am committed!  Plus, I had 50 recipes to choose from, so there was at least one that popped out at me; one that I had all the ingredients for, and would put some food in the fridge to go with my soup for lunch this week.  Of the 50 recipes, it was number 35:

Wheat Berry Apple Salad in a Jar

I couldn’t understand why you would put this in a jar.  At least in the blog post that went along with it, she explains that she did in fact, bring it to a picnic.

So I went off and made my own.  I have had a bag of wheat berries sitting in my pantry for months.  Perhaps even years.  Why?  Because they take so long to make.  And unlike rice, or barley, which seem like a nice savory side, wheat berry always seems to get tossed into a sweeter salad…very much like this one.  Probably because it is a delicious salad.  So for now, I’ll do as the pin says, and perhaps come up with a more inventive usage for wheat berries at another time.

Cherry Wheat Berry Salad

Of course, I couldn’t stick to the original recipe, but these are only minor tweaks.  I had dried cherries, and they really wanted to be used in this. For some reason I couldn’t get using a mustard based dressing to go with the cherries out of my head.

You Need:
2 cups dry wheat berries
1 small apples, chopped
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup chopped parsley
agave mustard dressing

You Will:
Cook the wheat berries. Combine everything in a large bowl. Toss, and season to taste.

The agave dressing (or honey if you prefer), is a mix of approximately equal parts lemon juice, agave nectar, and mustard. Then enough oil to equal the sum of all those parts, with salt and pepper to taste. This is a light dressing, the mustard taste is not overpowering. If you want a more mustard-y dressing…add more mustard!

By the way, the best tip for keeping your apples from browning (works well for pears also); put them in some salt water!  I don’t like the lemon tip, I don’t like my apples to taste like lemon.  But if you soak them in 1/2 tsp of salt to 4 cups of water for 3 minutes, they’ll stay nice and white, and will just taste like apples.

In the end…so good! Okay, so I didn’t serve it in the jar. But as I was spooning it into a glass for photographic purposes I thought that eating it this way, in a glass or even the jar, wouldn’t be a bad form of portion control.

I am so glad I have this now for the rest of the week. Its a Miso French Onion Soup kind of week, and since I don’t make it with the bread and cheese (yes, its still good), it really needed something substantial added alongside. This fits that need perfectly.

I love this idea of picking a random pin, it really got me excited, and consequently turned my kitchen into a mess, which I love. Hopefully I’ll get to a DIY project next, I don’t think I’ve done any crafty projects since before Christmas!