Sunday, 18 March 2012

Handmade Buttons - Paint Chip Sample Buttons

Paint Chip Sample Buttons
I've been having a bit of fun creatively.  I had some paint chip samples laying around the house after some decorating projects.  I'm always decorating and painting so usually have lots of these samples around.  (I don't advocate taking samples from paint stores unless you want them for actual painting projects.) As you know I'm a button maker so one day I wondered if there would be a way to make these into buttons.  This is my first attempt.  These are shades of turquoise green/blue.  I think they turned out really well. These are beautiful and simple but I also have lots more ideas for adding images.  I may even dabble into jewelry making with these.  Until I had my idea to make buttons I hadn't seen any jewelry made with these.  Of course once I had my "unique" idea I started to look around and I see that paint chip sample jewelry is hot right now.  Who would have thought.  This won't deter me from making my items.  These are my own ideas and I'll have my own unique spin I'm sure.  The only problem I have right now is I have so many ideas and just not enough time :)  I have decided to, of course, keep up with my resin buttons but I'm going to focus some specific time for "play".  This way I get to experiment with some ideas I have running around my head and still keep up with my usual resin image buttons which have been so popular.  Now I just have to find the perfect balance :)  That may be my biggest challenge.  Anyway look for some new ideas coming.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Keeping Traditions Alive

My Mom used to make all sorts of pickles and such.  I always thoughts I'd have forever to ask her about recipes and things.  She wasn't going anywhere.  Well of course we all know this isn't necessarily true.  Now that she's gone there are so many things I wish I had asked and now don't have a chance.  My Mom died in a house fire so we also lost all the physical items around so there is no finding old recipes etc.  I asked my relatives on facebook if anyone might have her recipe and they came up with her chili sauce recipe.  It's one of those things that say add a bit of this and that to taste.  I've given it a shot and the picture here shows it cooking.  I don't yet know how it will turn out but I'm giving it a shot.  I'll let you know what the end result is like.  In case you'd like to try it here is her recipes although you'll have to add items to taste as well as there are no specifics for a lot of the items.  If you do give it a try let me know what you think (oh and go hug your Mom if you're lucky enough to still have her with you).

Chili Sauce
It doesn't have exact measurements.

Basket of tomatoes ( I used 20-25 large tomatoes which made far too much to fit in one large pot) pour vinegar over to taste sugar, salt, celery, onion, 1 tsp allspice in bag bring to boil and simmer.

Peel and roughly cut up tomatoes and put them in a pot on the stove. Pour the vinegar over to cover and add enough sugar so it it about the sweetness you want. I think you can make it sweeter or less sweet. (I ended up adding about 10 cups of sugar). Then add salt to taste as well. Add 1 tsp of allspice and put it in a bag (or wrapped in cheesecloth or cotton) so it doesn't go all through the chili sauce. I also added about 1/4 cup of pickling spices although Mom's recipes didn't call for that. Add celery and onion (whatever you think you will like). I used about 6-8 celery stalks and two large onions cut up. Boil it down until it is cooked. I'd say about an hour or so on a simmer. If you are going to eat it right away you don't need to seal the jars. If you are going to leave it out you will have to seal the jars.

Helpful hing:  In order to make skinning tomatoes easier drop them in boiling water on the stove.  Leave for a few minutes until the skins start to split.  Remove from the boiling water and drop them into some cold water.  The skin will peel right off with your hands.  Easy easy!