Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bananas

     When life gives you lemons, make lemon-aide. 
     When life hands you scraps, make a quilt. 
     When life gives you brown bananas, make banana bread.

     There are any number of ways 'out there' on the net for keeping bananas from turning brown. But let's face it, regardless of all your efforts, bananas will turn brown.
     
     We've been told for years to throw those brown bananas in the freezer, then when there are enough collected, thaw them and make banana bread. Saving instead of tossing IS good. But . . .

     Have you ever tried to handle frozen bananas as they thaw? They remind me of okra. Or snails. Or slugs.
   
     My youngest daughter offered a simple, yet brilliant idea. Peel the bananas BEFORE freezing. Stick them in a plastic-for-freezer bag. Then, when you have enough, thaw and make banana bread. You can even mash them IN the bag!

     Share your great ideas with me and I'll share them with the world.

     Here's my email address . . Just click on that link and you can email me. I will never sell or spam your email.

© 2016 Cat Brennan

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Winter Mornings in the Country

Frost on the punkin may sound cute, but frost on the windshield is a nuisance! If you have to park your vehicle outside, you know what I mean.

I just saw the neatest idea on Face Book that I want to pass along; you can make at home this simple solution to spray on  your windshield to melt the ice...especially if you're in a hurry.

DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT pour hot water on a cold/frosted wind shield. It could break the glass.

This simple solution? 1 part water and 2 parts rubbing alcohol. Put into a spray bottle and mist your windshield and/or windows with it.

You can mix up any proportion you wish. 

1 cup water + 2 cups rubbing alcohol.

1/3 cup water + 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol.

Here is the link  to my source.

Have a great day whether you live in the country or just wish you did.

© 2016 Cat Brennan

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Common Sense in the Country




I know. I know. Common sense isn't so common anymore! 
Never fear! There are a few of us die-hards determined not to leave and destroy our roots.

I like my electronic toys as much as the next one, but I still prefer a tea kettle to heat water instead of the micro-wave.

With that in mind, here's my recipe for 
Make-Your-Own/Do-it-My Way (MYO/DMY) 
Makeup Remover. I use it every day. 

Cat's Makeup Remover

Ingredients:

1 Teaspoon baby wash
1 Tablespoon warm water
1 Tablespoon glycerin
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Mix gently but thoroughly and store in a reasonable bottle with a good, leak-free cap. Use as normal to remove makeup. Rinse with warm, clear water.

It's okay to double this recipe. 

When I first began mixing different ingredients to come up with a useful blend, I started with tiny amounts. If an end product doesn't work, I don't want to waste a gallon of liquids; therefore, this recipe is small. Try this one; if you don't like it, you will not have lost a lot of time or product. If you do like it, you can safely double it.

Have fun whether you live in the Country or simply wish you did.

© 2016 Cat Brennan

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reading in the Country

Dear Country Peeps:

Nearly a year ago, I "met" another "favorite" author - Cathy Bryant. She's written the Miller's Creek Novels - run on over and meet Cathy at her website and see who she is; be sure to check out her books. 

She's got a tour coming up - information to follow soon - and she has a new Christmas Book that will be released on November 17th on your Kindle™ or hard copy.. It's called Pieces on Earth. That made me buy my Kindle™ Copy immediately, and it will automatically download to my Kindle™ on Tuesday.

I know I don't usually "do" book reviews and such on the front blog page, but I wanted to share Cathy with you, in case you haven't yet had the pleasure of reading her books. I'm hooked on the Miller's Creek stories and I think you will be too.

Have a great week, whether you live in the country, or only wish you did.




© 2015 Cat Brennan

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bias Strips or Bias "Tape"

     A few years ago, one of my daughter's gave me a  Bias Tape-Maker Machine.  I had never seen one, but it quickly became one of my all time favorite sewing tools. It is, not only a nifty gadget, but a fantastic little machine. It's made by Simplicity™ so I trust it!
     To make the bias tape I want, I simply cut out 2.25 wide strips of fabric On The Bias (enter: one more use for a mat and rotary cutter), then, I take all those pieces to the sewing machine and stitch them together into one long strip. 
     Next, out comes the bias tape maker; I feed the long strip through it, and in a short time, I have Bias Tape, folded, 'ironed' and ready for use.
     Yes, fabric stores offer bias tape in many different solid colors plus a few prints. But with the Simplicity™ Bias Tape Maker, I can turn bits of matching or contrasting fabric into quick and easy bias tape; thereby upgrading the decorative appearance of my sewn project. Bibs, pot holders and place mats, just to mention a few, all look so much more professional with nicely blended bindings.
     Then, what to do with the folded fabric strips?  I've wrapped my strips onto already-read paperback books; this method keeps the bias tape neat and secure where they are stacked on a shelf where I can see exactly what I've got.

© 2015 Cat Brennan


Friday, October 9, 2015

Repurpose in the Country


     Old toothbrushes . . what to do with them? These little marvels make super-duper cleaning tools. 

     Toothbrushes as teeth-cleaning tools should be replaced regularly; at least every six months: ask your dentist about this.
     However, don't throw the old one away.
     First: "sterilize" the old brush. Let it sit overnight in a 1:1 ratio solution of bleach and water. Then, just for good measure, run it through a full cycle in your dishwasher.
     Now this little guy is ready for a plethora of jobs, so save 'em all.

  • Keep one at the front door or in the mud room to get the grit off shoes before entering your home.
  • Keep one near every sink, tub and shower to scrub around faucets and other hardware.
  • Use one with tiny amount of furniture polish to get into tiny and tight spaces that your dust cloth can't reach.
  • Keep one in the kitchen to scrub down the counters around the kitchen sink.
  • Another in the car for detailing.
  • How about a toothbrush for the kids' bicycles?
  • An old toothbrush WITH a bit of toothpaste makes dull jewelry sparkle*.
  • Your only limit is your imagination.
Do YOU have any good uses for old tooth brushes?

Before ending this save-the-toothbrush-campaign, a note of caution. MARK your "old toothbrushes so it isn't picked up and used by its former owner for its original purpose.

  • To mark the cleaning toothbrush, generously squiggle on it with a permanent Sharpie-type marker. OR -
  • Slather the tooth brush with some loud and gaudy nail varnish. OR -
  • Get into your craft box and "paint" the old fang cleaner with craft paint or paint markers. OR -
  • Wrap the toothbrush with duck-tape - ANY color.
Voila! Instant cleaning tool and one less piece of plastic in the land fill.

* (do NOT use this method with pearls or opals or costume jewelry that is glued in or on)!


© 2015 Cat Brennan

Friday, September 11, 2015

Country Birthdays


Birthdays in the country are the best!  Recently, a dear friend reached a milestone celebration, so our mutual friends in our bible study gathered fabric for me to put together a table runner for her. The 2 butterfly squares are paper-pieced. Each of the 2 squares has 70 pieces in it. 


I am seriously considering teaching a class on paper piecing. Don't be overwhelmed. The first thing I made had  only 8 pieces in it - a Christmas Tree Mug Rug. Then, I graduated to a 14 piece "Hot Coffee" Mug - Mug Rug.  Then, a very large "Star in the East" followed by smaller sized pieces.

Paper piecing is an easy method for making a simple mug rug, detailed wall hangings and quilts. Basically, you need to be able to sew with a sewing machine on printed, straight lines. Little to no ironing is required.

Classes for 4 people so that everyone can have special attention. What do you think? Would YOU like to take this class? If you are interested, send me a private message.

I did not design this particular butterfly and unfortunately, I cannot remember where I got it.

Remember, Handmade is Heaven-made.

© 2105 Cat Brennan