Posts tagged: DIY

Our Clothespin Holder

By , August 27, 2012

Just wanted to share with you our clothespin holder that I’m really liking. We thought about buying or making a clothespin bag that would ride along the clothesline, but I didn’t want a metal hanger (metal dragging along metal is irritating), and I also didn’t want something deep that I’d have to repeatedly dig my hand into.

This shallow basket attached to the line with a simple length of yarn tied into a bow is just right. It rides quietly and smoothly along the line, and is easy to remove in the event of rain.

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Make a Fruit Fly Trap!

By , August 11, 2012

Is your kitchen full of fruit flies?

Try this handy little trap:

1. ) Roll a piece of paper into a cone shape, and secure with tape. The opening should only be large enough for a fruit fly to fit through.

2.) Place a piece of fruit into a tall jar.

3.) Set the paper cone into the jar. Tape the paper to the jar so the flies can’t escape around the edges.

4.) The flies will fly in, but can’t get back out. Release them outside, or dream up your own creative way of getting rid of them.

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My Cat’s Breakfast

By , August 9, 2012

This is random, but I thought I’d show you Liz’s breakfast. She loves it. It’s organic honeydew and cantaloupe (her favorite fruit), and raw turkey food that I make in batches and freeze into individual portions. Pretty good start to the day, no?

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Make a Bug Bath!

By , May 16, 2012

If you’re an organic vegetable gardener, or just a lazy cheapskate-type gardener (or both like me), then beneficial insects are at the top of your list. They’re easy, they’re free, they do the work for you. For example, I’ve never found a better way of controlling aphids than relaxing in the shade with a cup of tea and letting the wasps eat them off one by one.

All you need to do is lure the beneficials in by making your garden as irresistible as possible. One good way is to make sure you have a variety of flowers blooming amongst your vegetables. I’ve noticed they especially like herb flowers and wildflowers.

Another good way is to provide a reliable source of fresh water — just like a bird bath, only for bugs.

To make a bug bath:

1. Find a dish and some rocks; the rocks will stick up above the water and provide islands for bugs to land on.

2. Locate the bug bath somewhere in your garden. Feel free to have multiple bug baths throughout your garden.

3. Keep the water fresh; I dump it and re-fill when I water the garden.

4. It may take a bit for the bugs to discover their new bath; have patience — they’ll find it!

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Low-tech, No-cost, DIY Herb & Food Dehydrator

By , May 4, 2012

Dehydrated chives

I’m all about low-tech, and this dehydrator is as low-tech as it gets.

The idea for it has been knocking ’round the back of my mind for quite a while now, and finally I just did it. It’s simple and slick. I dehydrated some garden chives yesterday, and they came out great. This would also be great for mushrooms and any other food, really.

Materials:

Cardboard box (shallow with a wide base is nice)

Clean tea towel

Lightweight tablecloth or large scrap of lightweight fabric

A warm day, or an open window with a breeze

Procedure:

1. Lay your tea towel in the bottom of the box.

2. Spread your herbs or food out on the tea towel.

3. Wrap your tablecloth around the top of the box, tucking the ends underneath so it stays secure.

4. Place the box in the sun, or in an open window. The cloth provides shade for the drying items and protection from flies, while also allowing air to flow.

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Peaches YAY!!

By , May 3, 2012

Remember I was telling you how excited I was that my own three-year-old grown-from-seed peach tree had ONE blossom on it? These photos were taken March 25th:

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Well now, one month later, look! The ONE blossom has been replaced by ONE peach!!!

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And one of my other peach trees (still in its pot) also had blossoms, and now also has peaches! I can’t wait to see how this all turns out…

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My Mittens Are Done!

By , February 28, 2012

 

Remember the single felted wool mitten I showed you a couple weeks ago? Well now there are two! They’re finished and I love them. (Just in time for… Spring. Hah! Oh well.)

I still might embellish them a little using the pretty nordic ribbon and buttons from the original sweater they were made from, but I also might just leave them as is. I like their simplicity. Actually, I’m really proud of these mittens. I’ve never made anything like them before so it was a slow project, and one I wouldn’t necessarily care to repeat, but I’m really happy with how they came out. They fit beautifully and they’re so warm! Apart from my time, they cost next to nothing since all the materials came from the thrift store.

They have three layers made from two different felted sweaters plus an inner lining of really soft white fleece. They’re so cozy and luxurious; I wish you could feel them!

They’re made from the sleeves of these sweaters:

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Do you ever make stuff from felted wool sweaters? I really like the concept — it’s so easy and cheap — the knitting has been done for you already, and you can so easily get used sweaters from the thrift store for such little money!

If you’ve ever done something like this before, please leave a comment and tell me what you made! I’d love to get some other project ideas — maybe something that’s a little simpler than 3-layer mittens. 😉

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No-Cost DIY Art Marker Holder

By , February 27, 2012

I recently expanded my art marker collection and needed something to keep them all organized within a compact space. So I made a holder using materials I had on hand, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. It’s not beautiful, but it does the job perfectly.

Here’s how to make your own without spending a cent!

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Materials:

A small cardboard box (my 10″ x 6.5″ cardboard box fits 140 Prismacolor art markers)

More cardboard, for the dividers

Duct tape or packing tape

Scissors

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 1. Measure your outer box so that you know how big to make the dividers. Measure and cut out one divider and insert it into your box. Trim if necessary. When it’s the right size, use it as a template to cut more dividers.

2. Put a row of markers in place at one end of the box. (Putting the markers in helps you know exactly how wide to make the rows.) It helps to prop up the opposite end of the box so the markers stay in place. Insert the divider up against your row of markers to see if it needs trimming. Then put a strip of duct tape on either side of the divider, as in the photo.

Insert your divider to make sure it fits right; remove and trim if necessary, then apply tape.

3. Tape the divider into place, flush against your markers.

Tip up one end of the box so the markers stay in place.

4. When the divider is taped into place, add another piece of tape to the bottom:

5. Keep adding rows of markers and dividers until you’re finished.

 

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Make Your Own Sushi

By , January 17, 2012

We love sushi at our house, though we don’t often go out for it. Actually though, I prefer to make my own — because then I know the source of the fish (which I think is important if you’re eating it raw). And of course it’s also much cheaper to make your own at home. It’s simple and fun, too!

Let’s begin!

To make one batch of sushi rolls, you’ll need the following. This can easily be multiplied. Today we’ll be making a Raw Salmon-Avocado Roll. But you can fill your sushi roll with anything! That’s part of the fun!

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You’ll need:

1 sheet of toasted nori seaweed

1/4 cup raw sushi rice or short-grain rice + 1/3 cup water. (This will make enough rice to fill one sheet of nori. To fill about 4 sheets of nori, use 1 cup rice + 1 1/4 cups water.)

half an avocado

about 2 ounces of raw salmon from a company you trust (I always use Lars Larson Trophy Salmon — they’re a Colorado company selling wild, line-caught Alaskan salmon that they process and freeze right on their boat.)

soy sauce to serve with sushi (Nama Shoyu raw soy sauce is our hands-down favorite)

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1. Cook your sushi rice. You do want to get the actual sushi rice/short-grain rice because you need that sticky texture for your sushi to turn out right. Combine the 1/4 cup rice with 1/3 cup water in a saucepan. Salt the water. Bring to a boil and cover the saucepan. Turn to a very low simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Don’t lift the lid at all during that time.

It’s best to cook the rice right before you plan to make the sushi. Fresh rice gives the best results.

2. While the rice is cooking, slice your avocado and salmon.

Halve the avocado, then cut into slices

Peel the slices

I like to buy the pre-toasted Nori sheets

3. Let the rice cool a little and then spread it all out onto your sheet of nori, except for 1″ at the end.

4. Arrange your salmon and avocado down the middle.

5. Wet your fingers with water, and moisten the entire 1″ strip of nori that you didn’t cover with rice. This will be your glue and will hold your roll together.

6. Beginning at the opposite end (not the moistened strip), roll your sushi up. It’s effortless; you don’t need any fancy bamboo sushi rollers or plastic wrap or any other tool. Just your hands! (I threw away my sushi roller many years ago; I found that it just got in the way.)

7. Your roll will end up seam side down, and while you slice it, the gentle pressure will help glue the seam shut.

8. Slice the roll. To get nice clean slices without squashing the roll, work with a nice sharp knife. Wetting it first also helps, as does cleaning it off under running water after every couple of slices.

9. Arrange on a plate and eat it up!

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