Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Great Goodwill Day!

 I just stopped in because I haven't been in awhile... I actually sat in the parking lot for a minute, thinking that I should just skip it because I have a gift card, but, not having planned on going, I'd left it home.
 Boy, am I glad I went in!

I found this lovely:

 Excalibur 5-tray dehydrator.

 For $85.
 As I said, I hadn't planned on stopping in, so this was waaay more than I thought I'd spend! But, since it's $189.97 on Amazon, I think I got a pretty good buy. And, it was something I've wanted for awhile, but could never justify spending that much on it.  =)
 Yes, you can bet I tested it out right away. Heats, blows, and maintains the temperature range it's set at. Tomorrow, I may even put some food in it!  =D

Monday, January 20, 2014

Penny Stove

 So, I was wandering around the internet aimlessly, as usual, when I stumbled across this Instructable. I had to give it a shot, so here it is, my "penny stove".
 This is everything you need to make it, please ignore the Imirie shims in the background, that's another project. And yes, that is a rather large silver tarp on my dining room table. Sometimes a tablecloth just won't do.

I cut a piece of scrap paper to fit around a can, and folded it so I would have eight sides. Really, so I would have eight creases, but we're getting to that.

 I folded it in half the long way, unfolded it again, wrapped it around my can snugly, and taped it together. Then, I punched holes on all the places where the folds cross each other.

 Following the Instructable, I rigged my can cutter. Razor blade in clamp, clamp clamped onto the T-square. The razor is set to one and a half inches.

Carefully scored my cans. (Just the two, you'll see what the third one is for soon!)

 Using a spoon, pop that sucker open. It kinda folds and crinkles at the score mark, and eventually pops.


Slip that paper back on, and punch holes through the can. Only one of the cans! One the came can bit, use a hammer and a small nail, and poke a few holes around the top, and one in the center.

Like this:

Snip the can right down to the holes. This part is going inside the other can bottom, and this makes it easier to fit. The round holes make it so it won't tear past that point as you're struggling to fit it together. =)

 This is where the other can comes in handy. Since the two cans are the same size and you need one to fit inside the other, the cuts we just did help make the top part smaller, and pushing the third can into the bottom can (gently!) and kinda rolling it around the edge, will help stretch it out just enough to make it work. So, put it in there like this, and rotate it around a bit.

 This part wasn't in the Instructable, I came up with it myself! *behold my brilliance*
Just like the can-in-a-can we just did, only backwards. I used the side of the scissors to push the edge of the hole in a little bit.

*Because* when you're putting the top can into the bottom can, and those cut bits are folding together, those hole edges kinda stick out and catch on the bottom can. Like this:

 Slowly and gently, push the top into the bottom. Don't rush! If you push too hard, it can slip in sideways and get stuck. Ask me how I know. I dare you. -_- Mine didn't get too stuck, otherwise you'd be looking at a picture of my trashcan with a title of: "What I screwed Up Today".

There it is! I sanded around the edge of the bottom can a bit so I wouldn't cut myself. Now I just need to get some denatured alcohol, some small bottles to put it in, and a penny. Maybe I'll even try to do the rest of the Instructable and make the carrier/platform part.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Resolutions, Old and New

At the beginning of last year, I wrote this post listing my goals for the year. In the interests of being lazy, let's check back and see how I did, and what's still to do.

1. Learn to make soap. I have some molds, I have some books. I just need to do it. 
2. Make laundry soap with homemade soap. Not necessarily my own homemade soap, I have some that I bought and that will work fine. =) DONE! On 5-28-2013 and 5-31-13 
3. Learn to make saurkraut or kimchi. Just ferment something! DONE! On 5-15-2013 
4. Learn how to read my Almanac. Seriously, why keep buying it otherwise? (Update: I didn't get one this year!)
5. Knit socks. Yeah, I need to learn more than just knit and purl. Learning!
6. Refinish kerosene heater. It would be so great to use it!
7. Make mozzerella cheese. I bought the stuff, I just need the milk from Bina. =)
8. Make mead. I have some of the equipment, but not the 24lbs of honey. (Yet!) Update: I think I now have ALL of the equipment, just waiting on the honey. 10-31 The honey is here!
9. Take a drop-spindle lesson at New Pond Farm. (I just took a spinning class on a wheel.) (Update: They haven't offered one yet. Maybe in the spring they will.)
10. Finish sewing my apron. Shouldn't be too hard. If I can find it, that is. (Update, I haven't found it yet!)
11. Learn how to crochet. DONE! By 10-31-13
12. Tap the maple trees and make maple syrup. Which will involve learning which ones are maple trees, without the leaves to tell me. *sigh* I should have marked them in the summer. Found one! Keep looking, before the leaves are gone!
13. Take a yarn dying class at New Pond Farm. (They haven't offered one yet. Again, maybe this spring they will.)
14. Work on starting a fire with my flint and striker.
15. Finish the denim quilt.
16. Learn how to use the pressure cooker. Well, really, just use it. Now that my father has changed the stovetop, I'll have to borrow somebody elses' stove. =(   
17. Trim goat hooves the next time you sit for them. Haven't been called to sit for them yet. 
18. Finish something on the beading loom.
19. Make recycled glass into birdbaths. DONE! On 5-18-13  And sold one too!
20. From Granny Miller, learn 10 new recipes. I've made a list, subject to change.

1. Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Already changed to Cream of Broccoli Soup, and I made it once already. So good! DONE! On 1-9-2013 
2. Tapenade I love it so, and I got myself a food processor for Christmas. DONE! On 2-9-2013 
3. Tomato Sauce
4. Ketchup
5. Mayo
6. Pasta DONE! Why don't I have pictures of this? Late September?
7. Guacamole. Kind of basic stuff so far... But if I add the things from my list above,
8. Saurkraut or kimchi. I fermented, something! DONE! On 5-15-2013 
9. Mozzerella cheese
10. Mead 
11. Cheeseburger in Paradise Added this one when I found it, Counting it as one DONE! On 10-31-13

Ok, not too bad. Finished 4 of 20, and worked on 3 others. Cooked 5 of 11 recipes. Plus all the other stuff that you may have read about, that wasn't goal-listed. (Like weaving class, and making lip balm.)
So, here's this years list. A combination of old and new.

1. Learn to make soap. I have some molds, I have some books. I just need to do it. Done on 3-16-14
2. Knit socks. 
3. Refinish kerosene heater.
4. Make mozzerella cheese. I just need the milk from Bina. =)
5. Make mead. I have everything I need, except the courage!
6. Take a drop-spindle lesson at New Pond Farm.
7. Take a yarn dying class at New Pond Farm.
8. Tap the maple tree that I did find, and make some maple syrup.
9. Work on starting a fire with my flint and striker.
10. Find and finish sewing my apron. 
11. Finish the denim quilt.
12. Learn how to use the pressure cooker.
13. Trim goat hooves the next time you sit for them. 
14. Finish something on the beading loom.
15. Finish the lining in those knitted purses.
16. From the Granny Miller list, learn 10 new recipes. To be added to as I find recipes that I want to try. I'm open to suggestions!

1. Tomato Sauce
2. Ketchup
3. Mayo
4. Guacamole
5. Mozzerella cheese
6. Mead