Southern Girl Creations

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Fashioned Gumball Machine Candy Dish

Every July we have a family reunion.  At the family reunion we have a craft sale where everyone brings their handcrafted items and sells them.  All of the sales go to pay for next years reunion. We rent a camp with cabins, pool, pond, cafeteria and lodge for 2 days and provide all the food.   It is loads of fun.  So, my next few posts will be all about what I have made to take to the reunion to sell. 

Today I made these gumball machine candy dishes out of a 4 inch terracotta flower pot and the dish it sits in, a glass bowl from dollar tree and a wooden ball.  I painted the flower pot and dish and the wooden ball all red with spray paint, glued the glass bowl onto the flower pot and glued the wooden ball on the bottom of the dish. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father's Day Gift Bag

Tonight with a plain white gift bag, some scrapbook paper, white card stock, buttons and glue I put together this Father's Day Gift bag.  If anyone is interested I can post measurements and instructions.(Download Pattern for Tie Here)

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Playing with food

Saturday mornings are special at our house.  Savannah always asks for pancakes... I got creative one morning and made a Mickey mouse pancake.  It has progressed from Mickey Mouse to Minnie Mouse. The hair bow is bacon.

I give her a tablespoon of chocolate chips  since she doesn't eat syrup and she decorates it.

Well Mickey and Minnie have now evolved into Elmo and Cookie Monster.  Same regular ole pancake mix with food color added.

I didn't think that the Cookie Monster blue pancakes turned out very appetizing looking since it turns kind of brown... but she absolutely loved it...

I am not sure how I am going to top these or what other characters I can do....

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rummage Sale Makeover items

I went to my church's Crownpoint mission trip rummage sale yesterday.  Here is what I came home with for $7..

A large Canvas, spice rack and two metal canisters. 

Here is what I did to that spice rack today. A coat of semi flat black spray paint, added black craft foam to the back. and Tah Dah.... A craft organizer!  I already started filling it up...

I've already painted one coat of Gesso on the canvas.  I am pretty sure that it is going to become subway art.  I will  show you when I get a little further along.

I really like this little guy.. What do you think?  Doesn't it have character?
Catch you later...

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I am so excited y'all!!!  I actually got started on making Christmas presents today.  One of my gifts this year is going to be homemade vanilla extract.  So, Aunt Peggy, Tatum, Momma, Susan...if you are reading this you can finish but please immediately forget that is is going to be one of your presents...

What you need:
Gallon Jar
100 whole Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans ( I purchased mine from Vanilla Products on eBay Click Here for Link)
1 gallon of vodka ( this is two of the 1.75 liter bottles)
Kitchen shears or very sharp knife

Have read almost 100 different articles on making vanilla at this time so I am going to share with you what I gathered from all that information and how I am making mine. 

Buying the vodka... Yes, I hauled into the liquor store to purchase a gallon of vodka.  I had already read all I could about the quality of vodka you should buy for this little project.  If you get to reading about making vanilla extract some articles will tell you that the cheap stuff is fine some will tell you to go with the more expensive.. I decided to go middle of the road with mine or should I say middle shelf.  Not the cheapest not the most expensive.  When I approached the lady at the checkout I decided that she needed to know that I was using all that vodka to make vanilla extract not to drink, so I proceeded in telling her.  She still gave me the "whatever you lush,  I don't care if you drink it all in the parking lot" look.. 

I got the following information about how many beans to use from Here. but my summary is below...

Vanilla extract is made by transferring the flavor and aromas of vanilla beans into alcohol (usually vodka, but sometimes brandy or rum). Vodka is the alcohol of choice because it has a neutral flavor. Other liquors can be used, but they contribute flavors of their own. Commercial extracts use a neutral flavored grain alcohol (vodka), but you are free to use rum, brandy, gin, whatever.

How many beans are used per unit of alcohol? This is an easy one - its regulated by US law. Really!
From the FDA 21CFR169:

Extract is 70 proof/35% alcohol.

Extract contains 13.35 oz. of bean per gallon of alcohol. It seems that 13.35 oz of bean need merely to be exposed to the alcohol, not that this amount of matter is extracted/dissolved into the alcohol, I await confirmation and will update accordingly.

Moisture content of beans should be under 25%, more beans are required when moisture is higher.
Remember, the quality of the beans doesn't matter for these regulated proportions, only the weight

In plain English:

"13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of extract is single fold (single strength) vanilla extract. As most vanilla beans are ~120/pound or 7.5 beans per ounce of weight. A gallon of extract is 128 fluid ounces, so that would mean ~98 beans per gallon or SIX (6) whole beans to make ONE cup (8 fluid ounces) of single fold vanilla extract...Anyone who tells you any differently is just teaching you how to make vanilla flavored booze." kieth -
Take that point to heart! Recipes on the web are all over the place: some call for 1 bean in a gallon of brandy left for one year, others call for 2-4 beans per cup with 1-6 months soak time. Few come anywhere close to reaching the 'legal' requirements of an extract.
I counted out 100 beans from my 1lb that I ordered.  I then used my kitchen shears to split the beans in half leaving about 1 inch at the end uncut so the bean stays together. After they were split I placed them in the Jar.
Note: Bruce from Vanilla Products (Click here for link to Vanilla Products on Ebay) where I purchased the beans suggested cutting the beans into 1/2 inch pieces.  This is how the commercial makers of vanilla extract prepare their beans.

This was a bit time consuming but my fingers smelled really good when I was finished.  When All 100 beans were split and in the jar it was time to add the vodka..

The two bottles of vodka filled the Gallon Jar up right to the top.

I placed the lid on tightly and gave the jar a little shake. Then I placed it in the back of the pantry(you can put it anywhere cool and dark).  You need to shake it at least once every week or two and let it steep for 6 months!  If you hurry you can start yours and get it ready for Christmas too!!

Once the 6 months is up you need to strain the liquid in a coffee filter.  Bottle it up in pretty bottles with labels and give as gifts. I will update you once a month so you can see how it is going. 

Until next time....

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Etched Glass Cookie Jar

I did my first glass etching project today.  I hit a great sale at Hobby Lobby several weeks ago and bought these cookie Jars for half price.  They ended up costing me $6.  The Armour Etch is a little expensive at $8.50 for 3oz, but I used my 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon.  I imagine that this little bottle of Armour Etch will last me for a long time.

First, I made a stencil of the word cookies that I wanted to put on the jar.

I then applied a thick coat of Armour Etch

Waited 5 minutes. Washed off the Armour Etch and Peeled off the stencil. Drum Roll please........... TAH DAH

Hope you have a great week... I have lots of new stuff coming up so stay tuned!!!

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