Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Rotating Organizer

We all have little things we use all the time, but don't want them spread all over our desks or other work areas.  My local Ben Franklin had kits for the structure, as well as a sample, so you could see how it could look, depending on your color and paper choices, and since it was marked down, I decided it might be just what I needed.  After deciding what papers I would be using, I purchased coordinating paint, since it's easier to find paint than try to find scrapbook papers.  

The instructions are divided in half, with assembly on the left, and general project instructions on the right.  After reading both, I decided to assemble, then paint, and then paper (even though the instructions on the right side implied that you would paint and paper the project before assembly).  It was a bit more fiddly, because I had to paint and paper interior corners, and measure more carefully, but I love the way it came out, and am now thinking I could use another, because I've already filled it with my paper arts supplies and could use another for the sewing supplies I use all the time.  

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Crochet Cowl - Finished!

This cowl has been in progress since this spring, but is finally finished with only a few inches to spare!  It was a free pattern with purchase of the yarn from a local yarn shop, Serial Knitters.  Since I haven't done crochet for a while (other than a single row to finish a knit project), I had to start over after the first few rows, because my tension was way too loose.  The second time around started out tighter, but loosened up as I worked.  Not perfect, but I really like the way it looks and am looking forward to wearing it in the fall.  A couple changes from the pattern:  last row was left out, because I was running out of yarn (good thing I made that decision), and  I added another repeat in the bobbles (that made them stand out better).

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Making Mozzarella

We like to make home made pizza, so why not make our own cheese?   To learn how, I signed up for the cheese making class on Craftsy, purchased some local and not so local supplies and books.  The class teaches how to make Chevre, mozzarella and cheddar, but goat milk is more difficult to find than cow's milk, so I decided to begin with mozzarella.

First you start with fresh, whole, pasteurized, but not homogenized milk (not ultra-pasteurized, they say it won't form curds).  After adding acid, rennet, and a little heat, it will look like a new container of yogurt (sorry I didn't have a chance to take a picture of that step), and then you can cut it into curds.

You really have to watch the temperature, and even using a water bath, more than once it got warmer than it should have, and my gloves hadn't arrived yet, so I tried kneading it in the bowl using thin ones, with some stretching.  I'm surprised I was able to stretch it at all, since it was a bit firmer than it should have been, because of the higher temperature.  Due to distractions, it spent a little longer in the finishing brine than it should have, so it was a bit salty on the outside, but edible, and not bad for my first try!