Archive for the 'In the Home' Category

Shrub Syrup Update!

Ok, so remember the Sweet Cherry Balsamic Shrub Syrup I made a couple of weeks back? Well, I’ve given it a little over two weeks to mellow out in the fridge and finally decided to give it a try last night.

Upon opening the jar I noticed that all the sugar did indeed get eaten up by the vinegar. That was a good sign. I took a sniff, and it smelt of sweet balsamic vinegar. Another good sign. So I proceeded to make a shrub cocktail—a jigger of vodka and 3 Tbsp of shrub syrup with some ice, topped off with fizzy seltzer.

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Thrifty Tip Tuesday: No Sew Curtains

Today’s Thrifty Tip is a little more complicated than the usual, but thrifty nonetheless. You see, I’ve had this really awful folded up curtain hanging in front of a makeshift storage space the previous tenant created in my apartment. It sits right above my bathroom and hall closet in the “foyer” and I hate it. But it’s useful, so I keep it. It’s just a piece of plywood that holds a bunch of bulky things. I keep suitcases, winter clothes, and some other (currently) unusable odds and ends up there. It’s one of the only spaces in my apartment that isn’t meticulously organized, so no one is allowed to see it, which is why it requires a little curtain loving.

The problem is in the mismatched, ugly green curtain I’ve had up for a year (omg, I can’t believe I’ve kept it up for an entire year). So I decided it was time to finally take it down. I have really poor sewing skills, and no sewing machine (yet— I’m working on it), so sewing a new curtain was not an option.  But what I do have is an iron, scissors, and some hem tape, which is all you need to make a good, clean, thrifty hem.

I’m going to give directions for making a curtain for my weird storage area, but the same instructions can be used to make adorable little café curtains.

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Thrifty Tip Tuesday: 5 Household Items with an Added Bonus

This week’s Thrifty Tip Tuesday is all about using common household items in unexpected ways. That’s right—after this, you may never be able to look at your bar of soap the same way again. Today I’ve got 5 thrifty tip minis for your homesteading pleasure. So sit back, read, and enjoy.

Coffee grinds: Believe it or not, freshly ground coffee can help draw foul smelling odors out of the home. Just place a good handful in a bowl and let them sit in a room for a week or so. You’ll be surprised at the work your morning cup o’ joe can do for your home. I find this especially helpful when I’m making my Black Onion Relish, since the scent seems to linger forEVER!

A bar of soap: Don’t forget to bring an extra bar of soap with you when spending time in the great outdoors. A dampened bar of soap makes a great insect anesthetic. Rub it on an itchy mosquito bite and the desire to scratch will subside considerably.

Peanut butter: Forget all the other useless hiccup tricks you’ve heard about. (Even if it worked, I know I wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a glass of water upside-down on my head.) This one is a sure thing. Swallow a spoonful of peanut butter and your hiccups will be gone instantly. I swear this works. You’ll believe me after a wild night of drinking, just try not to polish off the whole jar while you’re at it.

Olive oil: Hate trying to get every last drop of honey or corn syrup out of your measuring cups when baking? Spray a little olive oil, or swirl a few drops in a measuring cup before measuring out your sticky ingredients. It makes them slip out so much easier.

Table salt: Hate to clean that greasy cast iron pan? Put some salt on a damp paper towel. The salt will help draw the grease out of the pan while scouring it slightly and keeping it clean.

Got a thrifty tip of your own? Shoot me an e-mail at handjobsforthehome@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the blog!

Craft Market Update!

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I’m back from vacation and man, that was relaxing. Alex and I have just returned to our cozy apartment and were greeted with big sloppy kisses from our pug Ira, and hugs from our house sitter and dear friend Blair (thank you again!). I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see my little pup… until I had to walk up and down four flights of stairs to walk him later that day. Regardless, he’s been a real snuggle bug, and is showing how much he missed us by being super sweet and lovey–which I love, and is just what I needed to come down from a true vacation high.

On top of vacation being absolutely fabulous, the craft market went extremely well! I went in with 85 jars of canned goods and tons of marshmallows. I returned to New York with just 11 jars of jam. Not too shabby for a day’s worth of work. Of course, that’s not including the months of craziness I had to spend beforehand in preparation. Almost selling out was nice, but the real reward was meeting everyone that stopped by throughout the day. Then throughout the week, people began coming up to me on the street with concerned looks, asking how they could mail order more jam because they were already all out. There were so many people, in fact, that I think I’m going to need to get an Etsy store going with some jams, crafts, and other projects. Good idea, yes?

The tables at the market came draped with white linen, but I spiffed mine up with brown packing paper and adorned it with some pink gingham ribbon. It was super cute. It was also really great to meet some other male crafters, one of whom I absolutely adore–Greg Der Ananian–and his cross stitched dirty pillows. He also wrote a really fantastic book, Bazaar Bizarre, that I picked up too. All in all it was a lovely event and a lovely week.

So now that that’s over, I’m back to blogging, and I have some really fabulous projects lined up for ya’ll. I am back and more crafty than ever. So get excited!

Additionally, Handjobs is going to get a little facelift with a new layout and banner, so look forward to that as well.

Keep it crafty.

xoxo

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Handjobs (For the Home) on Facebook!

Hi All,

So I finally have gotten my act together and started a Facebook page for the blog. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the like button to show up on here… But until then, please head over and “Like” my page, Handjobs (For the Home). I will be posting about the blog, current projects I’m working on, inspiration, and linking some of my personal favorite posts from other homesteading blogs. Maybe I’ll even share some of my darkest secrets. Maybe.

Cheers!

DIY Paper Pennant Banner

After a very eventful weekend, I can honestly say I’ve never been more proud to be a New Yorker. Gay marriage passed and it was pride weekend. Can it get any better? I cannot explain how liberated and wonderful it felt to celebrate with my comrades. The energy was radiating and contagious. I got a taste of what it must have felt like in the past, when there was more sense of a community of people acting together. Realistically, I don’t know if it was anything like that, but it was truly fabulous.

All of this pride and excitement made me feel really crafty (I know, I know) and inspired me to whip up a pennant banner that I had been putting on the back burner for a while.

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Strawberry Lemon Preserves Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for entering to win a jar of Strawberry Lemon Preserves! I really enjoyed reading all of your comments–you all sound like you have got some seriously delicious canning projects ahead of you. It was also wonderful to see Handjobs being tweeted all over the interwebs. Unfortunately there can only be one winner. Out of 22 comments, RANDOM.ORG chose commenter 15 – Mackenzi Farquer. Congratulations, Mackenzi and thank you for linking me on SITE’s twitter!


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