Friday, October 18, 2013

Apple jam and pretty little jars

Who doesn't like a nice jar of spicy apple jam?
Well I definitely do and that's why I decided to make some for the first time in my life. I also decided to alter the spices a little for every batch I made just to try out different tastes and combinations :))The actual recipe of the jam is combined from a couple of recipes I found on the internet. And I can tell you that i didn't follow them very strictly, I kind of winged it :P
The only thing I actually tried to follow was that for every liter of cubed apples I used approximately 250g of sugar (maybe little less, because that seemed like A LOT of sugar).
So the recipe that I came up with was something like this:

  • Ingredients: 4 l of apples (peeled and chopped into cubes)
                     1 kg of jam sugar (it has some pectin in it witch acts as a gelling agent)
                      spices to your flavor (this is optional)

    *I made three different kind of jam: one with
    cinnamon (I put two cinnamon sticks to thepot and added a teaspoon or so of powdered cinnamon also), another one with ginger (I used a couple of teaspoons of powdered ginger but you could also use fresh ginger and grate it into the pot) and the last one with a combination of Christmas spices (a couple of cinnamon sticks, a couple of teaspoons powdered ginger, 6-9 gloves and a teaspoon of ground nutmeg)

  • Making the jam:
    Start with peeling, coring and chopping the apples into cubes. Place into a large pot, pour the sugar over the apples (don't mix), cover the pot and let sit over night. This helps the apples to release their own juices so you don't have to use any water to make the jam. This makes the taste more concentrated. The next day put the pot on medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the spices and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes, mixing occasionally.
    While the jam is simmering prep your jars and lids.
    When the jam is ready and your jars are prepped it's time to fill the jars and put the lids on immediately while the jam is still hot (be careful not to burn yourself). this makes sure the lids will be airtight.

When the jars have cooled, it's time to make the labels and decorate the jars (this part is optional of course, but for me it makes the jam even more special).
I used some little doilies, white fabric with little red polka dots and some red yarn.
the doilies were too big so I cut them a bit smaller with these scissors with a zigzag edge, I also cut the fabric with the same scissors.

I wrote the labels, glued them on, put the fabric on the lids and tied it with the yarn. it's fairly simple but it took me a while to tie the fabric on top of the lids, it's more difficult than it seems :P and i should have used different glue for the labels so the writing wouldn't have bled. All in all I'm very happy and proud of my little jars of spicy goodness :))

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Do a Redo: Women's shirt into a dress for children

It's been a loooong time since  last posted anything but I want to get back on track again :))
And what would be more suitable than a very summery post about a very summery dress...ok i can think of many more suitable things to post about now that it's getting colder and we're nearing Halloween etc, but the truth is that i was supposed to post about this dress before the summer started and then...the summer started and I forgot...
So I'm posting it now and if not for anything else then at least as a reminder that the summer will return in about ...9 months ;D

But anyways let's get to the business...
So my sister in law gave me a bunch of really airy and light white blouses and at the time I was planning on wearing them during the summer...and then I cut them to pieces and made children's dresses :D

I used a pattern from a craft magazine I had in my stash. This differs from the post I made about re-purposing a men's shirt into a girl's dress in a couple of ways. Firstly the bodice and the skirt are two separate pieces. I wanted to maintain the interesting look the fabric had originally so I cut the front piece of the bodice out of that and then I wanted the skirt part to be quite gathered and flowing so I pleated the skirt to the bodice.

I left the sleeves loose instead of shirring them like I did with the other dress.It came out pretty much exactly as i wanted it and I will definitely make her a couple of these for next summer, too :))

Hope you have a beautiful autumn day!!

PS. Looking at these pictures I realized HOW MUCH Tindra has actually grown during the summer :))