Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 TUSAL for May

This one snuck up on me since the months just seem to wiz by. 
So here is my TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long) for the month of May.

My little ort pile on the right and my much larger fabric pile on the left. 

When I first posted a sewing/crafting fabric ort pile I had said that I wasn't going to save the piles after taking pictures of them, but I'm sure glad that I decided to save them. I have been able to use scraps from those piles to make some 1" and 1 1/2" fabric flowers and some small leaves from the felt scraps. 
Never underestimate the reuse potential of anything. The large yellow piece on top of the pile has hot glue on it around the edge, so no hope for that piece, but I did get three other small flowers from the rest of it.

Well, that's it for this post. So until next time.......

Take Care & Happy Stitchin'
Hugs, Sandy

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dyeing Buttons

Since I've had so many people ask about dyeing the buttons I'll tell y'all how I did it.

I use Rit Dye, one tablespoon of dye to 1/4 cup of boiling water for a small batch (20-30) of buttons, plastic and nylon buttons dye the best you can also dye beads this way.
Add the buttons to the dye vats and let sit from 5 to 30 minutes or until your satisfied with the color (Mine sat for 15 to 30 mins.) The dye needs to stay hot for the dyeing process as it cools down the the dye is less effective.
Strain the buttons and rinse well in cool running water then swish the strainer around in a bowl with water and a bit of dish soap to clean any lingering dye then rinse the soap off. I use an old metal mesh strainer. Lay out on some paper towels and blot to dry.

Now your buttons are ready to use on your cross stitch pieces, crafts or clothes. I'm using some of mine as flower centers for my fabric flowers and will be using them on some cross stitch pieces as well.
Things I Learned:
1. Use washed tuna cans, soup cans, jars even yogurt cups for the dye vats. Great Re-Use, Re-Purpose, Reduce idea.

2. To keep the dye hot longer use an electric hot plate or those candle/mug warmers. they work great for the cans and jars. You can put the yogurt cups in the micro for a few seconds to keep the dye hot, I did it with the Teal buttons and had no bad effects.

3. Always remember to put the strainer/plug in your sink drain, when your rinsing the buttons. Guess who forgot and lost a few to the septic tank god. ;}
4. Always cover your work area since the dye is fairly concentrated at the ratio I use and will stain in a heartbeat. Yeah, I've got a scarlet ring on my white counter section, fortunately that counter part is only temporary.

5. If you strain the dye into a jar you can re-heat it to use for another batch later. I keep mine in the refer until I need it again.

Well that's all there is to it, super easy and you can get just about any color you want.

Take Care & Happy Craftin'
Hugs, Sandy

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

More Hand-dyed Buttons

I dyed up three more small batches of buttons just to see what the colors would look like.

First I did some Golden Yellow (left), but think they look much too close to the Sunshine Orange (right) I did last time, I've mixed those two together and refer to them as Orange Marmalade. On the bottom is Violet.

Today I did a small batch of Scarlet.

It's amazing how you can get so many different shades of color from a single dye color. It all depends on the button, plastic or nylon, thick or thin, shiny or matte. I did have a few buttons that would barely take the dye, so I'll most likely use some color remover on them to see what happens and leave them as-is.

I'm hoping to cut my own wood buttons and try some dye on those, but need to get a blade for my coping saw to try hand cutting since I don't have a band saw.

Well that's it for this post, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave your thoughts behind, I truly do appreciate each and every one of them. So until next time ......

Take Care & Happy Stitchin'
Hugs, Sandy

Friday, May 01, 2015

Four Bean Salad Recipe

I was asked if I would post the recipe for the Four Bean Salad, so here it is....

Four Bean Salad

 2 - 15.25 oz. cans Kidney Beans (drained)
2 - 14.5 oz. cans Cut Green Beans (drained)
2 - 14.5 oz. cans Wax Beans (drained)
2 - 15.5 oz. cans Garbanzo Beans (drained)
1 cup Red or Sweet Onion (chopped)
2 Bell Peppers any color (chopped)
2 cups Celery (sliced)
3 cups white sugar
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
(You can adjust the sugar and vinegar to suite your taste.)

Mix sugar, vinegar and water in a large stock pot until sugar is dissolved. Add beans and veggies and heat on medium for about 15 minutes. Fill clean hot mason jars 3/4 full of beans then ladle cooking juice into jars leaving one (1) inch of head space. Wipe rims of jars and attach heated lids then rings. Put into boiling water bath canner and process for 30 minutes for quart jars. 
This made 5 quarts with one being a bit shy on beans.


This is my hubs recipe that he came up with after looking at lots of other recipes. It is milder and I think a bit sweeter than most of the Four Bean Salads that you find in the store.

This is a quick to make recipe that we did to see if we liked it, for a larger batch we would use dried kidney beans and garbanzo beans that we would cook before canning and fresh or frozen green beans and wax beans, if you can find the wax beans like that, otherwise you have to used canned. It is much more economical that way.
(For those that don't know, a Wax Bean looks just like a Yellow Green Bean.)
If you do not can foods you can mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl and put in the refrigerator, covered for 24 hours before eating so the flavors have time to mix. It will keep in the fridge for about one to two weeks depending on your fridge's temp. 

Hope you enjoy the recipe.
Take Care Everyone
Hugs, Sandy