Monday, April 30, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Water

I know what you're thinking: when the plague or zombie apocalypse happens, having a supply of water is a no-brainer.  Well, you're right... but you need water for more things than drinking and cleaning.  Pay attention, 'cause you're gonna need to stock up before the apocalypse hits the fan.

Reasons (other than the obvious) to stock up on water:

1.  During the winter, you'll need plenty of water to make your own ice rink in the backyard.  Nothing brings you out of the zombie-dodging doldrums like a little ice-skating or broom ball in the yard.

2.  On the flip side,  during the summer you'll need some entertainment as well.  What better way to cool off than by breaking out the slip-n-slide?  And I know what you're thinking, isn't this a waste of water during an apocalypse... LISTEN TO ME: IF I CAN'T SLIP AND SLIDE DURING THE SUMMER, TURN ME INTO A ZOMBIE NOW.  Sorry for shouting... I'm very pro-slip-n-slide.

3.  Just because you'll be in survival mode, doesn't mean you shouldn't have facials and pedicures.  We aren't animals, you know.

4.  Cars go faster when they're washed.  Therefore, you'll be able to drive away from the zombies faster in a clean car.

5.  In the post-apocalyptic world, gargling is going to be very important.  You'll see.

6.  Yes, the world might have ended, but that doesn't mean the lawn doesn't need to be tended.  You'll have the best landscaping in the neighborhood, especially since all your neighbors will be zombies.

7.  Three words: Water Balloon Fight.

8.  You will need something to keep goldfish alive.  Once the apocalypse happens, the fish tank will be the new television.  I'm personally looking forward to "Survivor: The Goldfish Tank In The Kids Bedroom".

9.  It's a known fact that zombies hate water.  If you see one coming, you offer them a tall glass of ice water.  They'll head for the hills.

10.  Without water to make coffee, my husband will be a zombie.  That's something I'd like to avoid.

OK now, single-file, let's all head to Costco and buy giant bottles of water.  We'll all be grateful we did.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Homemade Frosties. Holy Schmoly.

It's times like this that I'm glad I started blogging.

I found this pin.  It promised that, if you followed the recipe, you would be rewarded with homemade concoctions that tasted just like a Frosty from Wendy's.

Ppphhhhhffffffttt.  That's the noise I make when I'm skeptical.

But, skeptical or not, I am charged with researching these pins.  For you, my readers.  The things I do for this blog.

Three ingredients: Whipped topping, chocolate milk and sweetened condensed milk.

I halved the recipe because I needed to modify it: the original recipe said to put it in an 'ice cream freezer' which I'm told is a bit different than my ice cream maker... so I cut the recipe in half.  I put 8 ounces of whipped topping in my mixer...

And then I added seven ounces of sweetened condensed milk, which was half the can.

Then I turned on the mixer and mixed this up a bit.

I slowly added a half-gallon of chocolate milk and let it all mix.

I had to smash some of the still-frozen bits of the whipped topping although in hindsight, I don't think it would have mattered.

I transferred some of the mixture to a spouted measuring cup and poured it into my ready-to-freeze ice cream maker.

The amount that this recipe, no HALF of the recipe made, was more than too much for my ice cream maker.  So I put the rest in the half-gallon jug for later.

I will sleep better at night just knowing this is waiting for me.

After 15 minutes in the ice cream maker, it looked about the right consistency... trust me, I've done the research on the real thing.

I tested it right out of the ice cream maker... for quality-assurance purposes.

And then I melted into a ball of 'HOLYMOLYISTHATGOOD'.  It actually does taste like a frosty.  Even the hubs liked it:

You've gotta try this one.

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fabric Scrap Decoration

I pinned this project, which was from a series of 'what to do with fabric scrap' crafts.  This was simple and fun and it looks pretty when it's done... what else could a girl ask for?

If you've got some fabric scraps lying around, cut them into strips, about 1/2" wide or so by 6" long... these measurements don't have to be exact because anything we do turns out awesome, no matter what.

I should be a counselor, specializing in giving people affirmations of their own awesomeness.

Grab some styrofoam balls... The size you want is totally up to you, you awesome person.

Fire up the ol' glue gun and start hot gluing your scraps to your ball.

Make sure to glue the scraps in different directions for added interest.  Did you read that? "Added interest"... like I'm Martha friggin' Stewart over here.

By the end I got better at it... you should pull the strips tight so they really form to the ball.

And there you have it, a fabric-covered ball.

And the purpose of these balls? Why, decoration, of course...

I have several of these in a bowl I made... that's right, I made a bowl.  And I will show it to you next week.  That's called a 'cliff-hanger'.  I read about that somewhere.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - No-Reply Bloggers

Look, I don't want to call anyone out.  But, some of you, SOME OF YOU THAT LEAVE COMMENTS, are 'no-reply bloggers'. Sigh.

I get a comment on a post and I get all excited.  I can't wait to email you and let you know that I read your comment and loved it!  And then, sadly, I see that the return email address is "".  And then I weep.  And then my husband contemplates having me committed.

Are you a 'no-reply blogger'?  If you are and you know you are, then you don't have to read any further.  Some people don't want to be contacted and that's totally cool.  I still love you.  Do you wonder if you are a 'no-reply blogger'?  There's an easy way to check:

Go to your dashboard in blogger.  In the upper-right corner, click on the arrow by your blog name and click "Blogger Profile".  On the page that pops up, there is a box next to the setting 'Show My Email Address'... this box needs to be checked if you want emails!  Scroll down just a bit to see the field under your username that says 'Email Address'.  Add your address to that box.

Now I can email you back and tell you how much I love you.  FYI, you should check this every once in a while... my settings have changed a couple of times on their own.  I think they do updates every so often and default settings kick in.  No worries, just check it every once in a while.

I look forward to emailing all of you!

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Super-Simple Tissue-Pack Covers

I am on a mission: I am determined to actually make some of the things I've been pinning on Pinterest.  In fact, in an effort to motivate myself to actually complete some Pinterest projects, I even created a board called "Pinned It, Did It" so I can move the stuff I've done over to make room for new stuff that I might never get around to.

You've gotta love Pinterest.

This pin appealed to me because it seemed so simple... and it was.  So simple, you can't even imagine.  My mother, aunts, and basically every woman I see is getting one of these for Mother's Day.  You've gotta try it.

I got some fat squares of fabric from Walmart for under $1 each.

Each of those fat squares makes four of these tissue-pack covers. And each one takes about five minutes.  YOU WILL BECOME OBSESSED WITH MAKING THESE.  I'M WARNING YOU NOW.

I ironed the fat squares (which was the most time-intensive part of this project) until all the creases were gone.

Then I measured and cut.  The sizes the instructions gave only gave me a small seam allowance, so I changed 'em.  'Cause I'm hard-core.  You'll need 3 rectangles, all of them 4"x6".

Take one rectangle and lay it face down on your super-awesome ironing mat. (Is it just me, or is this post awfully hyphen-heavy? SEE, THERE'S ANOTHER ONE!)  Take your handy-dandy ruler and fold over the long side of the rectangle.  Press it so that 1 and 1/2 inches of the front of the fabric is folded over.

Do the same thing to another rectangle.  With the right sides face down, overlap these two pieces at the fold.  Let them overlap 1/2" and pin them together.

Take the last rectangle and place it face up on your surface.  Put the overlapping pieces on top of this piece so that the right sides are facing each other.  Pin 'em together.

Sew 'em up.  The measurements I used allow for 5/8" seam allowance.  Sew straight lines around the edges.  SO EASY.

Clip the corners close to the seam... this gives the corner a better shape.  And then, turn it right side out.

Shove a packet of tissues in it.  YOU. ARE. DONE.  Was that not easy/awesome/completely super-duper? I told you it would be.  And I make it a point to always tell you the truth.

I am so ready for Mother's Day.  Or a sad movie.  Or a painful leg break.  Whichever.

I link up to these great parties!

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Monday, April 23, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Dental Floss

Another Monday has rolled around an so has another installment of 'Apocalypse Monday'.  Today's must-have essential to prepare for an apocalypse: Dental Floss.

First of all, yes, that is an entire bucket of dental floss.  Second, I got it all free with coupons.  You can get floss for free... constantly.  Which is great, because it's going to come in handy when the end of the world rolls around.  Here are some of the different reasons dental floss is a necessity:

1.  Just because the world is ending doesn't mean sweet corn is ending.

2.  If you've run out of fishing line, this will do in a pinch.  And, as a bonus, the fish will have a slight minty taste.

3.  If the apocalypse is of a zombie-variety, floss makes for great trip-wires.

4.  When boredom sets in, you can always use it to play cats' cradle with other survivors.

5.  Even though the apocalypse has happened, you'll still be able to entertain kitty cats.

6.  Paper will be scarce, because everyone will be using it to burn for heat... floss can take the place of a bookmark in the meantime.

7.  When you have found an unopened box of Shredded Wheat, you'll be so ravenous you'll devour the whole thing and be in desperate need of floss.  ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

8.   When the world becomes quiet, you'll be able to make a guitar with a discarded shoebox and the floss. 

9.  Even though civilization has ended, you'll still be able to decorate your porch with some nice hanging plants.

10.  And finally, the most important reason: in the post-apocalyptic world, gingivitis is the real killer.

Until next time, survivors...

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Friday, April 20, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Another Pinterest recipe for today... It's from this pin and it's for homemade hamburger buns.  The selling point for these buns is that they only take 40 minutes to make, which is amazing.  So, I gave it a try.

Take two tablespoons of yeast and dissolve in a cup plus two tablespoons of warm water.  Add 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and 1/4 cup of sugar and let it stand for five minutes.

If you look at this picture long enough, you'll see the image of two penguins holding maracas in the bubbles.

I have lost my mind.

Next, add one egg, a teaspoon of salt and at least three cups of flour.  The original recipe called for anywhere from three cups to three and a half cups... I ended up using way more than four cups to get a good dough, so play it by ear.

Knead it on a floured surface for about five minutes.  Divide it into 12 pieces and roll into balls.  Put them on a greased baking sheet and cover with a towel; let them rest someplace warm for ten minutes or so.

Bake them at 425 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes.  And behold:

Yeah... they pretty much look like rolls.  But, when you cut them in half and put a burger on them, they are not half-bad... in fact, I'd say they were all good.  They really were quick to make, which is great and my crowd of burger eaters did finish them all, even though there was a bag of store-bought burger buns just in case.  So this was a success, but I'll only make them for special occasions I think... Since they're so special.
Thrifty Crafty Girl

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do You Have Crafter's Block? Paint A Birdhouse.

I don't get 'crafter's block' too often... you know, that feeling that you want to make something but you just can't figure out what to make or what to sew or where to put it?  Every once in a while, I'm hit with a bout of it and I've found some great ways to get my old friend 'inspiration' back: Do a simple, mindless, easy-peasy craft.

At Jo-Ann's Fabric they had these little wooden birdhouses for $1.  One dollar.  I grabbed it so fast the cashier got whiplash.  I even bought a couple for the kids because they love to paint and $1 is a good price for a kids project.  I got out my acrylic paints and went to work.

A pretty blue to start...

I used a pencil eraser to make some polka dots...

Yellow on the bottom... and this doesn't have to be perfect because we are awesome and, as a result, anything we make is awesome...

A little brown roof and a green perch and it's done.

And while I was mindlessly painting, I had 12 ideas for projects. TWELVE.  Inspiration, you have found me once more.

Oh, and it looks cute on my faux-mantle, too. :)

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Linky Parties

Ah, Wednesday... how you confound me.  You aren't as miserable as Mondays but you're nowhere near as terrific as Friday.  You are stuck in the middle and I don't know what to do with you.

On Wednesdays, from now until forever or until I understand the real purpose of Wednesdays, I'll be sharing a bit of what I've learned since I've been blogging.  I get several emails a week about how to get traffic to your crafty sites, so I'll share the tip that helps me get lots more traffic: linky parties.

What are linky parties?  Bloggers hold linky parties where you can add your link (specifically, a link to your latest or greatest project) to their webpage.  Some linky parties are bigger than others, but you'll always get some extra traffic by linking up. Other people will visit this party and see your project listed... if it is something they are interested in, they'll click it and it will lead them to your site.

BOOM. Traffic found.

Where do you find the parties? I added a page to my site that has bunches of parties, listed by day... check some out here!

When you get there, read the rules to the party... some bloggers like for you to follow before you link up (which is a great idea anyway!) and some limit the number of links you can add.  You'll also almost always be asked to add their button to your post or site.   If your project gets enough clicks or the blogger likes it enough, they might feature your project, which is awesome.

There are enough parties to link up a project everyday... get started!

Thrifty Crafty Girl

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

If I Can Make Curtains, Anyone Can

Oh yeah, I made some curtains.  All by myself.  And I rocked it.

Well, they really weren't that hard.  But since I believe in self-affirmation, I'll pretend that these took major skill and patience and give myself a pat on the back.

Really though, they were super-simple.

I bought 1 1/2 yards of muslin fabric.   I love the look and feel of muslin, that's why I picked it.  I'm sure there's some rules about what fabric to use for curtains but I gotta go with what I love.  I also bought some drapery lining at 30% off.

I measured the window and then measured the fabric.  The length of the window didn't concern me much, I just bought enough to be more than long enough to fit length-wise... for the width, I divided the window measurement in two and added six.  I hope we all brought our math-hats for class today.

I assume that there is someone out there mentioning that I should be using a fabric measuring tape at this point, but I like to live dangerously.

I then spent eleventy billion hours ironing.  Really, I think I have carpal-tunnel from this part.

See that Ironing Mat? Still awesome.

I started the actual work with just one side.  I folded over the raw edge of the fabric and ironed it. Again.

After that, I folded it over itself and ironed. Again.

I repeated the same thing on the other side, careful to keep the fabric at the needed measurement.

At the top, I did the same thing, but for the second fold, I used a ruler to make the fold four inches.

And then I ironed. AGAIN.

The next step was to add the drapery lining.  I started with one side (after ironing it, seriously could there be any more ironing?) and pinned it in place as I went.

The ironing ended here. Mercifully.

I sewed the edges, leaving the bottom open.  Once I had the three sides sewed (leaving a space at the top for the curtain rod), I hung them up and pinned where to sew the bottom.

And then I sewed.  I love sewing and I'm not ashamed to admit it to you.

Aaaaaaaand... done.  If it hadn't been for all the ironing, this would have taken such little time.  I hung them up and then admired my hard work as my wrist throbbed with 'Ironer's cramp'. I'm sure that's a real thing.

'Why, they're so plain' you say to yourself... and you're right.  So I measured for a tie-back.

I took some fun fabric (that might look familiar from the ironing mat up above) and sewed strips, right side together, for a little color.

I turned them right side out and pinned them up on the curtain... I have to run to the store to get the hooks to hold them back all proper-like.

Look how cute!

'But', you're saying to yourself, 'it still is pretty plain'.  First of all, you are awfully chatty today.  Second of all, I have something else planned for this window... stay tuned!

Thrifty Crafty Girl
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