Monthly Archives: February 2014

Makin’ Earrings

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My daughter is 9, and has just learned how to change her own earrings, so now she has decided that she should be wearing a different pair every day, and the earrings have to coordinate with her outfit. (I know, she’s only 9…I thought this started at 13??) Anyways, she has been coming into my room borrowing my earrings every morning, so for obvious reasons, I need to put a stop to that!
So, to encourage developing her personal style, and develop her sense of identity, and… to stop her from stealing my earrings, we decided to make some earrings. When I was in University, I used to make some extra money by making and selling jewelery at craft shows and art sales, so I have lots of beads, and findings I have collected over the years
She started by looking through all of my beads…

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As you can see, I have used this old set of drawers to sort my beads. The drawers are transparent, so you can see what is inside, or you can also add a little label. I like the drawers because you can pull out whatever beads or findings you need, by taking out the entire drawer, this way you don’t have to move the entire unit. You just take the drawers with the colours or beads you need. It has worked well for me because I try to keep most of my art and craft supplies downstairs….(yeah…I’m still working on that…)
Here are the beads she picked out…

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Once she had picked out all of her beads, I had her thread the beads onto head pins. A head pin is exactly like a pin, but the wire is bendable. They come in silver or gold, and in various lengths. The beads have to have a hole small enough that the end won’t go right through, so for a few of them, we had to add a small bead on the bottom.

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Here is an example of how she put the beads on the head pins…

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Then, I used a pair of round nosed pliers to bend the ends of the earrings into loops…

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And, then I opened the loop I made to attach them to the earring hooks (the hooks are sometimes called, fish hooks.) You can buy all of the supplies at Michaels, Walmart, or at any bead store. (Unfortunately, due to Walmart and Michaels, there aren’t that many bead stores around anymore.)

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By then end, I think Sam got a little carried away because she was having so much fun. Dylan even picked some beads for us and made both of us a pair.
I think we ended up making almost 20 pairs, but took us less than an hour!

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The neat thing is that when she gets bored of them, we can just get out the beads again and make her a bunch of new ones ūüôā

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Easy Substitution for cookies!

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When John came back from the grocery store this weekend, he bought a few bags of cookie mix that were on sale. So, I got his hint, and pulled out the mix the other day to make a batch. What I couldn’t believe is that for a half of a package of cookie mix, you are supposed to add 1/2 cup of butter!!

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So I made a batch, cutting down on the amount of butter. But then I started thinking about substituting ingredients, I have read a lot of recipes lately where you can substitute apple sauce or banana for sugar.
So, I mashed up a banana, and mixed it with the other half of the cookie mix, and added a tablespoon of oil.
Here are the two batches side by side:

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Can you tell which ones used 1/2 cup of butter, and which ones used a banana? We couldn’t either! Pretty cool.
Here is a close up of the two kinds..
The banana ones (if you look closely, you can see the little flecks of banana)

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And, the ones made with butter…

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The banana ones had a slightly different texture, maybe a little more like cake in the center, and you can taste the banana flavour a little, but I don’t think the kids would have even noticed if I didn’t say anything. For the amount of calories and fat it saves, the difference is very little. It means you can eat three times as many without feeling guilty…right?