DIY MICROWAVE BACON COOKER

I was in need of a microwave bacon cooker, as I like using the nicely rendered bacon drippings to cook with. I looked at the wally world website and saw one that looked much like a coffee cup and saucer, so thought I’d just try it with a coffee cup , in a cereal bowl, and see what happened.

To my delight , it worked great and held about 5 ….1/2 slices of bacon, so 2.5 slices….perfect for one person.  I cooked it 3 min. for med done-ness. It would be 4 min. for crispier. Nice thing was I was able to easily save a few tablespoons of bacon drippings, which I will later use in cooking .

In addition, I then made a 2 egg omlet.: 2 eggs, dash of cream, cut up some bacon, cut up some green onions, kale, and sprouts from my tiny indoor garden. Cooked it 2 min, but 1.5 should have been enough. Ummmm yummy. 

DIY Bacon cooker

DIY Bacon cooker

Bacon cooked, drippings mostly in bottom of cup

Bacon cooked, drippings mostly in bottom of cup

Drippings stored in container in fridge

Drippings stored in container in fridge

Bacon cooked

Bacon cooked

Tastie microwave omlet

Tastie microwave omlet

NAUTILUS SHELL DISH TOWEL

Nautilas shell flour sack dish towel.

Nautilas shell flour sack dish towel.

Nautilus Shell Hand crocheted applique

Nautilus Shell Hand crocheted applique

What fun it is to embellish simple household items and make them ‘special’.  Here I took a plain flour sack dishtowel, and crocheted a free hand edging all around it. Then I looked up a pattern on pinterest for this pattern to make an applique. It dresses up my kitchen and is unique to my home only.   I also made the starfish towel holder. I will probably now make another one in same thread as the towel. My page on pinterest is   Joy Sones, if you care to gander at all the patterns I’ve pinned.

Happy creating!

EASY DIY SUN REFLECTOR FOR PLANTS

My new hydroponic tower doesn’t get sun on all sides, so I’ve been turning it.  Today I decided to whip together a nifty reflector. Daytime it will reflect the sun toward the backside of the tower garden, and nighttime I can direct grow lights if more light is needed.

1] I gathered together a huge cardboard box, hot glue, and a space blanket. [One could use aluminum foil and tape ] The space blanket is large, so I opted for that.

2] I made folds along the length of the cardboard, so it would be like a half circle, and stand up on it’s own. Then I carefully glued the space blanket to the cardboard. It works fine , and only cost a dollar to make. 

The DIY reflector

The DIY reflector

 

FISH MOBILE…DIY

Rainy day project……I had these crocheted fish and stars on hand, so tied em together with fishing line, and got them hung up today. I actually found a bag of crocheted items at a treasure store for 50 cents …thinking it was doilies, and to my surprise it was these.  I washed them and stiffened them. They go with my sea side theme perfectly.  I may add a few baubles to it later on, but done enough…for now…lol.

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The mobile is made of hand crocheted fish, stars, and fishing line.

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The mobile hangs above the plant tower.

 

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DIY HYDROPONIC TOWER BUILD WITH NANCY JANE STACKING PLANTERS

These are step by step instructions on how I built my 9 tier hydroponic tower, made out of Nancy Jane stacking planters. This seems to be the right height for a system, set up from floor level up.  I have the lower tiers planted up with day-neutral strawberry plants, and the rest with my favorite herbs/veggies. I have choc. mint, basil, parsley, kale, swiss chard, comfrey, and collards.  I’m using a combination of plants and seeds,  just thrown in the pebbles, to experiment and see how it goes. 

I ordered a 210 pump from ebay, and it’s doing a fine job, on  the second notch setting from the low end. I wrapped some sheer nylon material around it to keep debris out. This is a tip from my fountain designer days. I affixed 1/2″ Inside diameter tubing to the pump.  I ran the tubing up through the middle hole of the stacks. The water seems to disperse it’s self fine through the holes that are already in the stacking planters.

I found a 13″ plastic basket from  dollar tree to be the perfect size for the stacks to fit into perfectly, and support them. I used the plant saucer from the stacking system, and cut out holes for the tubing and more to drain. It also acts as a bit more support for the stacks, and allows space for the pump to sit without pressure on it. The basket holds about 1 1/2 gal. of water, which is plenty. I only have to refill about once a week.

For extra support, I inserted all into a 3 gal standard sized bucket from Lowe’s. It happened to be pink, and the other basket is aqua, so I carefully wrapped a trash bag around them and tucked it under the first stack to hold in place. I set both theses buckets inside a 20″ D. whiskey barrel type planter.  I wanted to be sure if any bucket split and failed that something else would catch the water, since I’m in an apartment. 

It took a 10L bag of hydroton to fill each 3 tiers, with only a small amount left over….so 30L for the whole project. I’ve played with several timer settings, adjusting the the pump running time, and right now I am going with 15 min on and 45 min off.  I’m using E27 red/blue led plant light bulbs to give a little added light boost. I just put them in a floor lamp. They screw into a regular light socket and take only 5W each. 

I’ve ordered some rugs for the area. By next month’s update we should be styl’in!

The tower set up and planted on 1/28/2015

The tower set up and planted on 1/28/2015

1/2" I.D. black tubing

1/2″ I.D. black tubing

The pump inside the buckets

The pump inside the buckets

The basin with holes cut in for drainage

The basin with holes cut in for drainage

The first tier, with plastic bag wrapped neatly around and tucked in.

The first tier, with plastic bag wrapped neatly around and tucked in.

Bareroot strawberry plants waiting to get planted

Bareroot strawberry plants waiting to get planted

Closeup of a planted strawberry...will update monthly

Closeup of a planted strawberry…will update monthly

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HOW TO MAKE A BLUE JEAN RAG RUG

ragrugbluejeanThis is a 40″ rug I made.

This is a crocheted rag rug. Basic crochet skills are needed. You can make rugs like these from blue jeans, sheets, t-shirts, even plastic bags, but I most prefer using jeans. They look great on hardwood floors. They get even better looking as they get used and are washed. The fraying adds to it.

You will need approx 8 jeans or more to make a decent sized rug. Make your strips and ball them up , then crochet when you have them all, so you get the variations of colors in the right order , that you most prefer. Don’t worry about trying to assemble the strips, all facing the same way. Variety of color variations looks best , in my opinion.  So right side or wrong side of material is immaterial.  Looking back at the rug in picture…I wish I had done the center in darker to match the outside ring.

I use the largest plastic crochet hook I can find. Mine is aqua. Most stores carry them. 

Step One:     I cut the strips into 1″ widths. Then I make a little snip on each end…1/2″ in.

Step Two:  Loop one strip into the end of the other and pull snug. [NO SEWING NEEDED…ISN’T THAT GREAT!]  When I made my first rug, I didn’t know how to attach them and I hand sewed all my strips. After a few washing’s, they started to come apart, and they do not come apart with this method of joining the strips. [As you join one ball to the other, you will have to run the whole ball through that joining slit. Not a plus, but doesn’t take that long.]-[Another option is to leave your strips loose in bags, and assemble as you go. ]

Round:   I like to start with a tight center. I start with 4 single crochet, around your first stitch.  Second row, increase in each stitch. After that, I play it by ear and increase as needed to let it lay flat.  You are just doing a continuous round, no rows.

Oval:  Make a chain stitch the length you want your rug, minus space the rows will take. [Ex. 4′ rug…maybe do the first row 2′]  You will only increase on corners and middle of turning rows.

To end: Pull up tight and weave end in and sew it tight somewhere out of the way.  

Here are pics of the process of joining stitches. When I crochet my next one, I will add pics of the crochet process.  You can also make several other projects out of the top part of the jeans.  Purses,pot holders, garden apron. …I’m sure there are more.

1422136621814Cut strips

1422136633436Shows the slits

1422136694789The strips pulled tight

1422196491144A ball of strips