cleverchickadee


Bucket List by quornflour

Bucket List (Originally posted on Quornflour.wordpress.com).

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For an upcoming project I need some food safe, water tight buckets.
Now I could go to Home Depot and buy a few Homer Buckets and call it a day: but that seems ridiculous, especially since they don’t need to be orange and I don’t want to pay to advertise for someone. (When I bought my Wrangler I removed all traces of the dealer, even the hitch cover which in hindsight I wished I had just spray painted, but oh well.)
I have a few buckets that I use for my recycling and dog food and kitchen laundry, which I figured I could use in a pinch, but first I figured I’d see about acquiring a few.

Did You Say Free?

Now you can get buckets from lots of restaurant and catering places that order large amounts of food supplies, especially pickles, croutons, protein powder and teriyaki.
I have had the best luck acquiring buckets from sandwich shops.
All you need to do is call (or stop in) and ask, now don’t do this during the lunch or dinner rush or they might stomp ya.
It is a good idea to call first because a lot of places don’t keep around what they don’t need, so you might need to ask them to save them for you. A smaller place may go thru a bucket a week or so, so if you need multiple call around.
Be sure to let them know if you need lids as sometimes they get separated.
I have run into places that charge a small amount for their buckets, if it is a mom and pop type place I am ok with it, if it is a chain, forget about it!

What’s that smell?

It is important to note that these buckets are plastic (not BPA free as far as I know), so they will most likely smell like whatever they were originally used for.
Generally a little time in the sun will remove significant smells and over time the smell will dissipate, so keep this in mind and time things accordingly.

I am super happy about my acquisition and after they sit outside for a day or two I will get some good use out of them!



Sew this is what I am up to… by quornflour

Sew this is what I am up to….

 

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For the last few nights I have been working on a commission quilt.
I am happy with how it turned out.

Here are some pictures.

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My etsy shop: http://quornflour.etsy.com/
 

via Sew this is what I am up to….



Bottle Cap Table by quornflour

A few years back I decided that I needed more color in my life.

If you knew me you might laugh at that statement. Anyway.

I always liked bottle cap art. The way they are used in shrines and other art forms to add a bit of color here and there. So I decided that I wanted to cover a table in them.

One of the things I liked about the idea of a table covered in bottle caps, is that crown caps (most commonly used for beer and “fancy” sodas,) is that they are all the same size.

Most of the instructions I found called for gluing, or putting them in a frame and then covering them with a lacquer or epoxy.

I wanted the texture.

First it came to collecting bottle caps. This table takes roughly 3.8 beers per day for a year, so either get drinking or ask for friends to help.

I had friends all over saving bottle caps for me, so that I could get a nice variety.

Then I picked up some ¾” – 1″ Crown Bolt Weather Strip nails, I got a mix of brass, copper and nickel. The caps are about a ¼” high so you need them to be able to go thru the cap and then into the table. Be careful not to get finishing nails since you will need something with a flat top to lay flush against the cap.

I also needed a table, so I searched on craigslist for the jokkmokk table from IKEA, it is made of pine and fairly inexpensive to start with and a pretty sturdy table, (I also use one for my sewing table).

Often you can find them for around 50-100$ usually missing a chair. It is about 150$ new, so avoid paying more than it sells for in the store.

Really most any pine table would work, this was just fairly cheap and accessible.

Pine is good because the wood is soft enough to pound the nails into and the jokkmokk is just the right size to evenly place bottle caps is you need it to be straight.

So in addition to loads of bottle caps and nails you will need a hammer and needle nose pliers.

Trust me, trying to use your fingers instead of pliers will only lead to tears.

If you want to paint the table, do so before you start. I painted mine black with a matte water based enamel.

Start at a corner and work your way around the table, try to keep them evenly spaced and count to make sure you have the same number along the sides. If you want to be super meticulous you could make a grid, but I was just winging it, so I didn’t.

It is super helpful if you can get a second set of hands for the border to help hold the nails in place, or make some starter caps, by putting the nail into the cap separately so that you can hold it in place with your hand.

Place the nail at the center of the cap holding with the pliers and hammer into place.

Once you have your border in place, lay out the rest of your bottle caps then working your way around the outside of the table work inward, nailing each cap in place. This takes a while, but in the end it is totally worth it.

If you wanted to you could then set these with an epoxy or lay a glass top over it, I didn’t bother because I like the texture and how it ages over time, because the caps are the same size the table top is even.

You may want to invest in a steam pressure cleaner in the event you ever plan to clean this.

I also painted the chairs to add to the color and I use it in my kitchen.

Simplified instructions

You will need:

Getting to work

  1. Place first bottle cap at the corner of the table.
  2. Using needle nose pliers hold nail at the center of the cap, hammer into place.
  3. Works your way around the table into the center, lining up each cap as you go.


Fruity Play-Dough: a Recipe by quornflour

Years ago I worked in childcare. The woman I worked for would occasionally make a new batch of play-dough for the kids. It was a simple recipe that was scented and colored with Kool-Aid.

Earlier this year I went looking for that recipe and just could not find anyone who knew it.

Then the other day I was thumbing through an old address book/journal that I had back then. There it was, scrawled on a page. So I figured while I knew where it was I would write it up.

Here is what you will need for each color:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of Salt
  • 1 envelope of Kool-Aid (the kind you add your own sugar in)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of boiling water*

Note: the boiling part is super important, if it isn’t hot enough the dough will end up too watery. If that happens, or you don’t like the consistency add a flour and salt mixture of 2:1 to thicken it up.

  1. put all of the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl

  1. using a fork, mix them together until you cannot see the color of the Kool-Aid from the rest

  1. add oil and water

  1. mix

  1. mix

  1. mix

  1. roll into a ball

  1. repeat for each color

  1. Play!

It is salty but edible if anyone gets it in their mouths or goes for a taste, which might be tempting for some since it smells so fruity.

When you are done store in an airtight container.



The Magical Dish Fairy by quornflour

One of the things about cooking from scratch is that you end up with a lot of dishes.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to be visited by the magical dish fairy. You know, the dish fairy that only goes to houses without dishwashers, so if you think you might be getting a visit, check your kitchen. The magical dish fairy is terribly frightened by dishwashers as they eat fairy wings.

Most of the time however, I am responsible for doing my own dishes. Self, why not do them dishes in style? That is what I ask myself when dishes need doin’ and I am procrastinating.

So to further put off the inevitable and still convince myself that I am busy I like to make dish rags.

They even make nice gifts, but be careful, some people won’t use them because they are so pretty.

So get yourself a pair of size 7 knitting needles and a ball of cotton yarn. Peaches and Cream works just fine.

Cast on 44 stitches.

Alternate knit and purl, and then flip and do the same. You, know a popcorn stitch, or at least that I what I believe it is called.

Repeat until you have a square, depending on your stitches it should be around 38 rows.

Cast off.

It is really quite simple to do; it makes a lovely gift and is a quite portable project.



Everything Old is New Again by quornflour

Sometimes a white lampshade is exactly what you need, but then they get old, or you just need a change. Here is a simple project to pump new life into that old shade.

First get some acrylic pigments; you can buy them at most art supply stores.

Take your lampshade and wet it with a paint brush then add a couple of drops the pigments and brush it on, you can go for an even color or give it texture by leaving some spaces. Try not to over think it.

Now you need to let it dry completely.

Once fully dry you will need a glue gun and bead trim measuring about 2 inches greater than the total length of circumference of the bottom of the shade.

Starting at the seam on the shade, glue the trim to the bottom of the lampshade, if you are worried about getting it straight glue it to the inside.



Fiddlehead Ferns: Fun with Foraging by texaskillet

There is this whole undercurrent of society that forages for fresh plants to eat. Of course we know that there are people who fish and hunt and kill stuff to eat, but what about the aforementioned grouping.

Last season my hunt for information started with my desire to eat Huckleberries. Of course you could say that I have been foraging for years, as I am sure many of you have. Whenever you went out with the family and your mom had you pick blackberries and put them in a bucket so that she could make her famous cobbler. Whenever you came across a crab apple tree and plucked a few, brought them home and cooked them up with cinnamon, sugar and sometimes a little nutmeg. Whenever you went on a hike and came across some salmonberries or thimbleberries and just couldn’t resist the temptation. The stories go on and on and the occasion to eat something growing wild does the same.

Over the last year as I have started to gather info but not yet the bounty of the wilds I have narrowed my search to a few things. Nettles, berries of all sorts, wild asparagus, apples that aren’t in someone’s orchard & FIDDLEHEAD FERNS. Fortunately for me I don’t like mushrooms so figuring out poisonous vs. nonpoisonous on those bad boys is not an issue.

You may be wondering what Fiddlehead Ferns are, as I was… how do you know when you can pick them or which ones are the right ones? I think I found the answers, but of course would be remiss if I did not encourage you to seek a local professional for guidance. It seems that ferns are non-poisonous in any land you happen to be in. There are preferences out there of course, but well… I am just not that seasoned. I checked the stream local to my house and there were fiddlehead ferns. The problem was, I didn’t yet have all the info. SO, when I got wind that someone was selling the crop they had harvested at the Ballard Farmers Market, I was all over it. Of course since then I know that you would clip right above the ground level and only take three from each plant so that the plant will continue to thrive. I mean you do want to harvest them next year don’t you? Also, I learned that these are only available for a few short weeks in the spring and really should be harvested before they unfurl. These are all good things to know. J I think that I will stay away from the extra hairy ones, that just doesn’t seem as palatable to me.

So how do you prepare a Fiddlehead Fern? Super easy.

-First take your stash and blanch them for 4 minutes.

-Remove them from the water

-Drain off excess and flip them over to a pan with butter, garlic, salt and pepper or really any kind of seasoning that you prefer.

-Sautee until they are the desired tenderness.

I hate hate hate soggy veggies so I go for no longer than 2 minutes. Wahlaaaa! Done and delicious!

I have no doubt that there are hundreds of other ways to use these. I tend to want to keep it simple so I can really enjoy the flavor and let my palate tell me how I will next use something. However, if you have something you have tried, please let me know about it. I need to plan. J

Relish!

 

 

 

 

 




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