Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You say Tomato...

What do you do when this is sitting on your counter?
You get out your jars and start CANNING!!!

Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to can.  They are easy and taste SO good.  I love having them for soups, spaghetti sauce, and tomato juice.  For those of you who may be new to canning tomatoes, here is a simple tutorial.  I promise they are easy--even my husband has done a couple of batches for me.  

**Remember, always start out with clean jars and tomatoes.  
Here we go:
#1:  Fill a big pot just less than half full with water.  Bring to boil.  Put in tomatoes and let cook for a few minutes.  They can be taken out once a few of them have started cracking.  It doesn't need to be brought to a full boil.  Place tomatoes into a shallow pan (such as cookie sheet or cake pan) to cool.  They need to cool for about 15 minutes.  Be careful--they get really hot!

#2 & #3:  Using a canning funnel begin filling your jars.  Peel the tomatoes.  They will peel really easily.  I just cut out the center core and then peel the skin with my fingers.  Make sure you do this over the jar so any juice will fall into the jar.  Cut the tomato into quarters (or more if they are big, less if they are small) and drop into the jar.  Fill the jar up, only leaving about 1/2 inch at the top.

Add 1/2 tsp. of citric acid and 1 tsp. salt to each Quart jar.  Wipe the rims of the jars to assure they are clean.

#4:  Boil your lids.  Place on jars, screw on caps.  

#5:  Place jars into water-bath canner.  **As a note, you can start heating water in the canner while you are filling your jars.  Lower the jars into the water.  They need to be completely covered with water.  Put on canner lid.  Bring water to a good rolling boil.  This will take awhile.  Once the water is boiling, set the timer for 45 minutes.  This really takes longer than the prep time.  Once the time is up, take them out of the canner and wait to hear the beautiful sound of the lids sealing (sounds like a little pop).  Make sure you don't touch the lids and push in the seal.

And here is what you end up with:
I'm up to 35 quarts.  I think salsa may be next!  Gotta love fresh garden veggies!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tag it...

I saw these great backpack tags a few weeks ago and knew I needed to make one for my son.  The funny thing was that when I started looking through my fabric scraps, I found fabric just like the one in the tutorial.  I did decide to add a little "C" to one side for my Cole.  I love how it turned out.  I love how easy it was--really anyone could do it.  Those are the kind of projects I love!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

K is for Kindergarten

My oldest started Kindergarten today.  CRAZY!!!
Anyway, my sister had this great idea to make a "K" for him to hold during his traditional "First-Day-of-School" Photo.  I thought it was brilliant--and SIMPLE! (which is a good thing because we just got back from a 10-day vacation late last night)
All you need is a cereal box, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and a template of your letter (or you could just draw your own).  Simply cut a side of your cereal box.  Mod Podge your paper to the cardboard.  Let it dry.  Trace your letter onto the back side.  Cut out the letter.  It doesn't get much easier!
Next year I plan on making a 1, and on up.  So fun!
Happy First Day of School!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Itty Bitty Headbands

So before Reese was born, I new I needed to make some new little headbands for her.  I had seen so many cute ones floating around blog world, but I was unsure what to make them out of.  Of course I had seen tutorials for all the great flowers, but the actual band itself had me a little puzzled.  Then one day I found some cute colored elastic.  I also found the cutest lace (not stretchy) at Hobby Lobby.  So I put them together, and here is what I came up with:
 For my flowers, I used ORGANZA & burned the edges, regular COTTON for the rolled flowers, and KNIT for the folded flowers.
To make the lace headbands, I simply sewed a little section of the elastic to the ends.  This adds just enough stretch to put the headband on, and it goes in the back so it can't really be seen.
 I decided though that I wanted the headbands to be interchangeable, so I could use different flowers with the same headband.  In order to do this,  I took a small strip of the lace, hot-glued it to the backside of the headband, wrapped it around once, then glued again to the back.  This left a little loop on the top to clip the bows or flowers to.
 Like this:
Now, with all the of the bow and flower tutorials out there, the headband possibilities are ENDLESS!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Announcement

I finally got around to mailing out the baby announcements.  Here's a little peak in case you are interested.
Stay tuned for a tutorial on that headband!