Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thoughts of Home on Thursday Inaugural Blog Link Party Over at Decor to Adore

The beautiful, talented and sweet blogging friend, Laura, is hosting the first ever  Thoughts of Home Thursday blog link party this very day! If you are a blogger, I hope you will hurry on over there and link up your own ideas and inspirations.  If you are not a blogger -- no problem, just scoot on over there, just the same, and check out all the great ideas, discoveries and happenings!

The hostess features are fabulous and to find even  more fabulous ideas, just scroll on down and click on some of those awesome thumbnail links. I kid you not, your creative genes will be doing a happy dance.! You might even find an idea or two to make your life a little easier around the house and in the garden.

If all those inspirations are not enough to convince you to check things out, they are also giving away some awesome gifts at the party too. For instance, a beautiful handmade and hand dyed (by Laura) Flea Market Apron. It is a stunner, with pockets for everything you need to carry along with you on your visits to the flea markets!!

A visit to Laura's own blog Decor to Adore is always delightful and I hope you will hop on the Fun Train to check out  the inaugural Thoughts of Home on Thursday  blog link party to have some fun. You will not be disappointed!

Friday, February 5, 2016

How I Clean My Bathtubs

Do you dread the task of cleaning your bathtubs?  Do you put it off as long as you can, all the while knowing that those tubs are just going to get cruddier and more scummed up as the days go by, making the task even more of a chore? Have you purchased every bathroom/tub cleaning product and tool you could lay your hands on, hoping against hope, that something will make the task a tad more tolerable?

Do your hands hurt from struggling to grip the hard handles of the various tools and/or slippery cloths you use for scrubbing? Does your back ache from bending over the tub when you are done cleaning? Do you find yourself using volumes of  expensive cleaning products just to get your tubs reasonably clean? Do many of the cleaning solutions you use cause you cough when you breath while you are cleaning, so that you find yourself holding your breath? Do the cleaning products you use warn against using without adequate ventilation?

In addition to all the above, do you find that after spending what seems like an eternity scrubbing away, do you rub your fingers over where you have scrubbed and still feel some residual dirt?

My answer to all of the above questions used to be "yes." In the past, I have hated cleaning bathtubs more so than any other housecleaning chore! 

Anyone who knows me also knows I do not use profane language. Until recently, from all the mumblings and grumblings coming from my bathroom while my bathtubs were being cleaned, one might have thought a scene from the movie A Christmas Story was playing out in there. 

I love that movie! In the movie a young boy named Ralphie is a main character. If you have seen the movie, you might recall the scene where Ralphie's father, who was widely known to be a master of profanity, goes down into the basement to work on the family's "clinker" furnace. The rest of the family, wide-eyed and gasping, stand witness to a tirade of outrageous and appalling language coming from the basement below! 

I have degenerative arthritis and scoliosis. Unfortunately, that makes housecleaning and many other things a bit more challenging for me than for some people. I am very grateful to still be able to do all the things I do, but it is not always easy. Consequently, I strive to find ways to make performing necessary tasks easier for me.

Glory be! I have discovered something that solves my bathtub cleaning woes! It also works for vanities, sinks, bathroom fixtures and so on. I am frugal and it is inexpensive to buy. It is really tough on bathtub crud and yet gentle enough to use as part of my beauty and hygiene routine on a daily basis. It occurred to me that others might benefit from learning what it is!

The story began last summer when my friend and I saw another friend in a local thrift store. The conversation we had somehow got around to the matter of hair and haircare. Namely, how to remove the products that can build up in the hair, like conditioners, hairsprays, styling gels,waxes and the like. This friend, whose hair always looks as if she has just stepped out of a salon, all colored and styled with every hair in place, told us she had found something that worked for her hair. I made a mental note of what she recommended. The next time I went to Walmart, I purchased a bottle of this:
Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo
That's right, people. Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo! The bottle states it is for normal to oily hair. My hair tends to be a little on the dry side. I use this stuff at least a couple of times a week and have not noticed my hair being any more dry than it was before I began using it. I also purchased a bottle of the conditioner that goes along with the shampoo and use that too, on occasion.
 It only takes a small amount of the shampoo to wash my hair as I wear it pretty short. I have used only a few bottles of it over the months for shampooing my hair. I am still using the original bottle of conditioner that I purchased with the first bottle of shampoo.

The bottle of shampoo states, also, that the shampoo is hypoallergenic. I have read many reviews of the product on various web sites, including Sauve's own web site, and have most remarks are positive. It works just fine for me and I use conditioner about the same frequency as I ever did before. The shampoo leaves my hair feeling very clean and definitely removes all the things that have built up in my hair.

A few people who stated they suffer from allergies complained of reactions to the fragrance. I am somewhat sensitive to certain perfumes and colognes, so I wear very little perfume and cologne. Once in a while, I use mild body creams and lotions in areas of my body that are not close to my face and nose. I have not noticed any sort of allergic reaction to this shampoo which, of couse, I use on my hair.

I find the fragrance of Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo to be very mild and pleasant and have not noticed any problem with its clean and crisp fragrance. People with severe allergies might have a different reaction to it. I am speaking strictly for myself and my experience. I like it and have been using it for at least six months with no problems whatsoever!

I am digressing again! So, going back to the original focus of this post: How I Clean My Bathtubs!

As I said before, I look for the best ways to make life easier for myself and I sometimes share what I find out with others who might be interested. So, one day as I was taking a bath and thinking how I really needed to (oh dread) scrub that awful ring from the bathtub when I got out of it.

While I sat there thinking about it, I happened to spy my bottle of Sauve Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo, innocently sitting on the side of the bathtub. I thought to myself "Self, that pretty blue stuff works really well for cutting through the junk on your hair." Then, I thought to myself "Self, if it works that well on your hair, getting it all squeaky clean and everything, do you think it would hurt to try a little on this junk in this bathtub.?"

Well, when I got out of that tub, I grabbed a rag and, while the tub was still wet, I poured a teaspoon or so on the cleaning rag and prepared for a real workout scrubbing that tub. Imagine my surprise to find that the rag was veritably gliding through the build up of crud. It was moving that dirt faster than any thing I had ever tried and I have tried all the different homemade solutions and mixtures out there! 

Now that I realized this shampoo was definitely the trick for cutting the crud, I began to try all the different paraphernalia I had in the house to clean with. Long handled things with brushes and scrubbing heads attached to them, regular sponges, short handled brushes, etc. are a few of the things I experimented with. So, even though the chore did not take quite as long as it had in the past and the tubs were ever so much cleaner and shinier than before, I was sure things could be even better if I could find the right cleaning tool to use with it. 

Once again, I started looking for a solution. A month or so ago, I happened to be in a Dollar General Store and was looking at some of the scrubbing tools hanging on a pegboard wall in the very back of the store. I took this cute (if a tool can be considered cute) little tool from a peg and grasped its soft moulded handle in the palm of my hand.
Scotch-Brite Tub Scrubber
It was one of those gotcha moments! Seriously, it felt good--very good! Can you hear the violin playing? Sweet!

I whispered to this little scrubber "Do I have a friend for you!" I could hardly wait to introduce the two of them to each other.  When I got back home, I took it from its little package and  hurried upstairs to pair it up with the shampoo. It was love at first site!!
The Perfect Pair for Me  To Clean My Bathtubs
A perfect pairing for bathtub cleaning, Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo and Scotch-Brite Tub Scrubber! They are now working together and singing "You've Got a Friend in Me."

Every now and then, when things get really tough, I could almost swear I hear them singing "Lean on Me!"
My Tub Scrubbing Partners
The little Scotch-Brite Tub Scrubber really works great. The scrubber pad moves that dirt, lickity-split and it gets into all the curves and crevices with no problem at all. The handle is perfectly shaped and just firm enough to stand up to the scrubbing action and soft enough that it does not put a lot of pressure on my hand as I use it. I love using it!

As I said before, folks, the shampoo works for me and it is certainly as gentle to my hair as any other shampoo I have used. Not only do I love it for getting my hair shiny and clean, but now it has been paired up with the Scotch-Brite Tub Scrubber and is my solution for cleaning cruddy bathtubs, sinks and vanities in my house. I find myself almost enjoying the once dreaded chore now!

The added bonuses, I paid only $1.50 at Walmart for the 22.5 ounce family size bottle of shampoo and less than $4.00 for the reusable Scotch-Brite Tub Scrubber! In my opinion, the shampoo smells wonderful and the scrubber can be used all over the house to clean things. I do not have to scrub nearly as hard and the soft moulded foam handle is very comfortable and easy to grip and hold on to. It does not slip and slide out of my hands. The entire process is much easier and faster now and so my back and hands thank me for it! 

The process I use to clean with this duo is simple. First, I run a little hot water (a quart or two) into the bathtub or sink, dip the tub scrubber into the water in the tub, squirt a teaspoon or so of the shampoo onto the scrubbing pad of the scrubber and work my way around the bathtub, tub surround and fixtures, using circular motions. Depending how soiled the tub/sink is, I add might dip the scrubber a time or two more during the process and add a teaspoon or so more of the shampoo, here and there along the way. For me, a tablespoon or so of shampoo is usually about all it takes to clean the entire tub!

When I finish scrubbing, I empty the dirty wash water from the tub and run some more very warm/hot water back into the tub and use the scrubber to swish water all around the entire tub to make sure all the shampoo  is rinsed away.  I use the same procedure with the sinks, vanities and bathroom fixtures. 

Cleaning after a shower is even easier. I just scrub things down and rinse while I am still in there. Easy-Peasey!

Like everyone, I am concerned about killing germs, bacteria and mold in my house. My solution for that is to add a few drops of bleach or a teaspoon or so of white vinegar to the water that I run in the tub/sink to rinse with. It works for me and leaves my bathrooms smelling fresh and sanitized too!

I have begun to stock up on the shampoo, just in case (lol). You just never know. I told my best friend about this yesterday when we were out and about. We had to look in several stores before we found one of the scrubbers for her. I think I might need to start collecting the scrubbers too! 

I am not being compensated for this post but thought it was something worth sharing with others.

If you try this, I hope you will let me know what you think!

Thank you so very much for visiting my blog and I hope you will come back soon! Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, February 1, 2016

How I Make Wood Butter

It's no secret that items made of wood are some of the things I love. My large collections of rolling pins, wooden bowls and trays and wooden utensils are a testament to that fact.

In one of my all-time favorite movies, The Quiet Man, the character of Mary Kate Dannaher was portrayed by the beautiful Maureen O'Hara. Mary Kate, by her own admission, had "a fearful temper." She also had strong connection to the things that made her house a home--the things that made her happy.  In one of the scenes after she married Sean Thornton (John Wayne) and moved into his cottage with him, she insisted that she wanted "her things about her."

The love found within my house is, of course, the thing that makes it feel like home. Still, like Mary Kate Dannaher, I feel a strong connection to and want to have some of "my things about me."  Wooden items are some of those "things."

Over the decades, heat, humidity and cleaning can take a toll on wood items so that they become dried out, parched and cracked. That is what has happened to many of my wooden bowls and rolling pins. These are some of my bowls which are looking badly in need of some tender loving care.
Some of My Old Wooden Bowls Before Being Treated With Homemade Wood Butter

This bowl is in really sad shape. It is sturdy enough and not cracking but it feels really dry and rough to the touch. The color is very faded and washed out looking.
One Of My Wooden Bowls Before Treating With Homemade Wood Butter
Lately, I have been doing some research about ways to recondition and protect the wooden items in my home. What does the best job? Are commercial products better to use than what I could make for myself? How much do commercial formulas cost versus making my own product?

Surprisingly, there is quite a lot of information on the Internet and in Blog land about the subject of  Wood Butter. Not so surprising is the fact that some of the commercial products on the market can be pricey. There are different names used for it, such as spoon butter, board butter and wood butter!

In addition, there is some debate about what type of oil to use and which might not be so good to use. I also learned that it is not that difficult and not terribly expensive to make my own wood conditioner and protector at home.

If you know me, at all, you will know that I like the idea of creating things myself when I can. So, that is exactly what I did! Don't these bowls look much better after a good conditioning with my Homemade Wood Butter?
My Wooden Bowls After Conditioning With Homemade Wood Butter
Do you love your wooden pieces, old and new? Would you like to learn how to make your own Homemade Wood Butter? If you would, then I hope you will read on.

I have chosen to use the term Wood Butter for what I made because, I will be using it on all kinds of wooden objects and utensils, not just on spoons and cutting boards. I think most people use it that way too. I cannot take credit for the idea because, from the looks of things, people have been doing this for a long time, even some who do woodworking as a hobby or business. I think woodworkers and custom furniture makers have been using beeswax for centuries on their creations.

I did not actually weigh the beeswax but filled the bottom of the pint canning jar up to the 2 ounce mark near the bottom of the jar and added a little more, since I didn't want to pack the wax down and wanted to allow for loose spacing in the jar. Really, it is not rocket science and I believe that as long as you do not add too much wax and have the stuff come out hard, it will be just fine. I consider it like this, if it is too thick, add more mineral oil. If it's too thin, add a little more beeswax!

During my research I read where there can an issue with some of the oils used going rancid over a period of time. In which case, the wood begins to have a rancid odor. As far as I can ascertain, this is mainly with plant based oils such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, etc. Apparently, there is quite a lot of debate on the subject of which oil is best. Then, there is a debate about using mineral oil because it might not be environmentally friendly or biologically safe. However, mineral oil is said not to go rancid as quickly as plant based oils, if at all. Because I do not like the idea of  rank and rancid smelling cutting boards, bowls, spoons and so on, I decided to use mineral oil. The grade that is food safe is okay to ingest. It can be purchased in most any pharmacy "over the counter," as an intestinal lubricant. I bought mine at Walmart in the pharmacy area. The only other ingredient in the making of the Homemade Wood Butter is Natural Beeswax. I purchased the Natural Beeswax at Hobby Lobby in a one-pound block.
Ingredients For Making Homemade Wood Butter
I located natural beeswax on the Internet in pellet form and that would be more convenient, since I spent some time shaving the wax off the solid block. That was actually the most time-consuming part of the process.

Equipment You Will Need For Preparing And Storing Wood Butter:

2 Quart Sauce Pan
1 Quart of Tap Water (or a little more to reach half way up a pint canning jar when placed in a saucepan)
1 Pint Glass Canning Jar
2 Wooden Skewers or a Stirring Stick of Some Kind
Optional: Small Containers to Use for Storing to Give as Gifts

Ingredients For Preparing Homemade Wood Butter:

2 Ounces of Natural Beeswax shavings or Natural Beeswax Pellets
8 Ounces of  Food Grade Mineral Oil (from Pharmacy Section)

Instructions For Preparing Homemade Wood Butter:

  • Pour tap water into 2 quart sauce pan and place on burner of stove top on medium high heat.
  • Place 2 Ounces of Natural Beeswax in a 1 pint glass canning jar.
  • Pour 8 ounces of Food Grade Mineral Oil into the pint jar containing the 2 ounces of Beeswax.
  • Place the pint canning jar containing the beeswax and mineral oil in the pan of water heating on the stove top. Use care not to allow water to get into the mixture in the jar!
    Beeswax and Mineral Oil Mixed For Homemade Wood Butter
  • Using the wooden skewers, carefully stir the mixture. You will see the beeswax begin to melt in the mineral oil. Continue stirring.  You will notice the mixture is beginning to turn a bright yellow as the beeswax melts. 
Beeswax and Mineral Oil Mixture For Homemade Wood Butter 
  • When water begins to simmer, turn burner to low heat and continue to stir the mixture until all the beeswax is dissolved into the mineral oil. 
  • Turn off heat of burner when the beeswax is totally dissolved.
  • As the mixture begins to cool down for a few minutes it will begin to thicken.
Note: Pour into smaller storage containers while the mixture is still liquid enough for pouring!
Small Containers of  Homemade Wood Butter For Storing or Gifting
Aren't these little tub containers cute? I found these little plastic containers at Dollar Tree and they will make perfect little gifts, as a little Homemade Wood Butter goes a long way!

The containers have little lids too.
Little Plastic Containers Of Homemade Wood Butter With Lids

This is what the butter looks like once it solidifies. It is about the same consistency as real dairy butter.
Solid Homemade Wood Butter in Plastic Tub


Solid Homemade Wood Butter On A Small Spoon 
It looks good enough to eat, but don't do that!

To Use Homemade Wood Butter:

  • Spoon a little of the Homemade Wood Butter out and, using your hands or a soft cloth, spread it all over your wooden utensil, bowl, etc.
Allow the pieces to sit for several hours or overnight. These bowls in the picture below have been treated and left overnight and are waiting to be wiped down and buffed up with the soft cotton rag made from one of my husbands old tee shirts.


Wooden Bowls After Applying Homemade Wood Butter But Before Wiping and Buffing
  • After allowing the wooden pieces to sit for a few hours or overnight, use a soft, lint-free cloth or rag to wipe off any Wood Butter that remains and buff the pieces up a bit. The beeswax will bring a little shine and new life to your wooden pieces!

Buff Wooden Utensils and Bowls After Applying Homemade Wood Butter

This is the bowl that was pictured near the beginning of this post. It is very old and is exceptionally dry and thirsty. It looks much better than it did, but I am going to treat it two or three more times in the near future.
This Wooden Bowl Needs More TLC With Homemade Wood Butter
I hope you have enjoyed my little tutorial on the making of Homemade Wood Butter and that, perhaps, it has inspired you to make a batch or two.

Thank you so much for dropping by to see what is going on at Mimi Mine. I really appreciate the time you spend here! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Master Paints



 My God the Master paints the most magnificent paintings! What a blessing it was to see this sunset from my front porch this evening!


The Master Paints
















Have a beautiful week, friends!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Skillet Ham Frittata Recipe

Do you like eggs? We really like eggs in this family and not just for breakfast. We like cheese too--any time. Not to offend any of my vegetarian friends out there, but we also like meats! When it comes to meats, ham is a favorite in this household. We also like our vegetables and when we can have eggs, cheese and vegetables in one dish, well, it makes us pretty happy. 

A dish that fills that bill is the frittata. The Skillet Ham Frittata I prepared for us this afternoon certainly does. It contains dairy products, proteins and vegetables and even a fruit! 

I cannot claim the Skillet Ham Frittata is low in calories. No, I do not suppose a slice of this particular frittata is considered dietetic. I would venture to say, however, that a slice would be considered quite wholesome. It is not only wholesome. It is satisfying and delicious!
Skillet Ham Frittata
In addition to all that, all the ingredients can be cooked in the same pan. Any type of  heavy stove top-to-oven pan can be used. To be honest, I own two 10-5/8 inch cast iron skillets. Since I had planned to share with my sweet neighbor and my two daughters, I actually doubled my recipe and baked a fritta in each of them! 
Skillet Ham Frittata

My recipe is actually pretty quick to prepare and bake. Since I chopped my own fresh vegetables by hand and grated the cheese myself, those things were the most time consuming for me. A food processor could be used for the chopping. Purchased shredded cheese could be used, as well, to cut down on the preparation time.

For this dish, I prefer the vegetables to be very finely chopped. That is my just my preference. I happened to have some leftover baked ham on hand, so I used it for my frittata. Of course, already cubed or chopped ham can be purchased and used to cut down on the prep time.


My recipe is for one 10-5/8 inch Skillet Ham Frittata and makes about eight (8) servings.

Skillet Ham Frittata

Ingredients:

6 large eggs
3 T. half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mild or sharp shredded cheese
1-1/2 T. canola oil or other vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (any variety/color)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1-1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
1-1/2 T. butter
1 very thinly sliced large red tomato
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning mixture or other herb seasoning mixture of choice

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
  • In a large bowl, beat 6 eggs with a fork until well beaten and frothy.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of half-and-half, salt and ground black pepper to beaten eggs in bowl.
  • Add shredded cheese to egg mixture and stir until evenly incorporated 
  • Pour 1-1/2 canola oil into a large stovetop-to-oven skillet (I used a cast iron skillet) on stove top with burner on medium heat and heat the oil for a couple of minutes being careful not to allow the oil to burn.
  • To the heated oil in the iron skillet, add the chopped celery, chopped onion and chopped bell pepper. Coating the vegetables in the canola oil in the skillet, saute vegetables until soft and onions are transparent. When onions in the vegetable mixture become transparent, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside. 
  • Using the same skillet on stovetop, heat the butter until melted but NOT burned. Remove the iron skillet containing the melted butter from burner and pour egg and cheese mixture into the butter in the hot iron skillet.
  • While the skillet is still hot, quickly add the sauteed vegetables to the egg mixture. Being careful not to scape the bottom of the skillet where the eggs have begun to cook in the melted butter, gently spread the vegetables evenly throughout the egg and cheese mixture.
  • Place the rounds from the thinly sliced tomato (the fruit I mentioned earlier) evenly around the top of the egg mixture.
  • Sprinkle the dried Italian herb seasoning mixture over top of  the frittata and place the frittata into the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center of the frittata is lightly set but NOT overcooked.
  • Using an oven mitt to grasp the hot handle, remove the fritta from the oven to a protected surface. The heat from the heavy iron skillet will continue to cook the frittata for a couple of minutes after it is removed from the oven. After 3 to 5 minutes, go ahead and slice the baked frittata in wedges and enjoy!
Skillet Ham Frittata
This frittata is fully nutricious served alone, but a nice green salad or some citrus fruit is a great accompaniment. Lots of southern folks, such as myself, think a serving of creamy, steaming hot grits is perfect too!

I am linking this post up to :

Sunday Showcase Party

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Drawing With Fire and More Creative Wood Burning Projects

Personalized Wood Burned Kitchen Utensils Set with Holder
I told you all in a previous post that I recently warmed up my old wood burning pen and started making some projects and I was very glad that I did so. It's even more fun and rewarding than this gal had remembered it being years ago.  I checked out the website here for Walnut Hollow, the company who produced the tool (pen and points) set I purchased years ago to see what else was available. When I saw this set of letters, my mind started to spin with ideas for things to do with it. When possible, I try to support the businesses in our area when possible so I checked at our local Hobby Lobby and was tickled to find they carried the set, though it cost a bit more than the online price. It has already been put to good use,as can be seen from the below picture.
HotStamps for Use with Walnut Hollow Hot Tools
I purchased some well-made and sturdy wooden (bamboo) kitchen utensil sets for some family and friends who all enjoy cooking and baking. I then got to work with my hot pen, points and HotStamps to pretty up these already nice wooden pieces and make them more special and personal Christmas gifts. To spiff up the bamboo utensils, I used the same basic procedure as employed in my previous post  about how I monogrammed a set of three cutting boards for my best friend.
Note: Some light sanding was done on each item used before placing the design and beginning the burn. This should always be done to help obtain a more even burn. However, wood can be unpredictable and the process is, most assuredly, not an exact science! I believe this aspect, as with most crafts, is one of the things that makes each piece unique and different. 

First, I designed a set of the bamboo utensils for the same friend I made the cutting boards for, using the HotStamps Alphabet set to "brand" the initial of her last name into each piece of the set. To create the design for the sprigs of evergreen (some might think rosemary), I used an ordinary pencil to freehand the design. Any desired graphic could be transferred on by using tracing sheets similar to the type I used to fashion the monograms on the cutting boards featured in my above referenced previous post. They are attached the same way as any of the other points and attachments used with the pyrography/wood burning pen and are simply screwed right into the tip. A pair of pliers to tighten and untighten any points and attachments when the gun and/or points are being used and (obviously) very hot is a must! 

Note: I wrote some notes at the end of this post about using the HotStamps and other wood burning points used with the pyrography pen.

 I used the  cone point from my set of points to burn the sprigs below the initial cap. This is the same point I used to inscribe the monograms on the cutting boards in the other post. The cone point is the point on the far left in this photo of the different points in the set:
Set of Points Used with Wood Burning Pen

The HotStamps Alphabets were used for applying the letter "B" on to each utensil in the set. There is no photo of the utensils before applying the design (got to get better at doing that). However, pictured here is the personalized version of the set!

Personalized Wooden Kitchen Utensils
They will make a much bolder statement on my friends kitchen counter now! 

For another good friend, who also appreciates things that are hand crafted and/or hand embellished.
She spends a lot of time in the kitchen, so I knew she would enjoy a set of the utensils too. For her, I also personalized a wooden holder to corral her utensils. Here is a photo of the personalized container holding her own special cooking utensils!
Set of Wooden Utensils and Storage Container Personalized by Wood Burning Technique
For the above set, I designed the initial caps and graphic using a design program I purchased a long time ago.  Here, again is the back link to that post. Just as I did for the cutting boards featured in that post, I picked the letter, an "H" from available fonts for both the utensils and the storage box, as well. The scroll design on the box is a graphic from the program. As in the previous post, I enlarged the "H" a bit for the design applied to the box and I worked to obtain a nice perspective for the scroll work below the initial cap. My program works well for centering up and grouping designs on paper. When a paper graphic is used over transfer paper, there is no need to reverse the design. 

For the cooking utensils, as stated, I decreased the size of the initial cap "H." The point is attached for the initials and scroll work was, once again, the cone point.

Now, for the design on the utensil handles that looks somewhat like a flower, I attached the shading point. The shading point is pictured second from the left in the picture of the description of the points below:
Description of Points Used with the Wood Burning Pen
The shading point is the very bottom point in the photo taken of my set of points below:
The Points that I Own and Use with My Wood Burning Pen
You can tell from the photo above that the shading point is shaped much like a leaf or the petal of a flower, so it works quite well for applying leaf and flower designs in pyrography work. To get different designs, it can be turned in different directions and positioned with the point facing inward or outward to get the desired effect. Maybe, I will make a future post to better illustrate how the points can be utilized. 

The other project featured here is three sets of  the same five piece utensils sets. I designed these for members of my family and used my set of HotStamps capital letter Alphabets and some more free-hand evergreen sprigs designs to embellish the handles. Again, I used a sharp pencil  to freehand the sprigs and the cone point to burn over the pencil markings. Here are the three sets of bamboo utensils, stacked one upon the other after I finished burning and erasing pencil drawing marks!
Personalized Wood Burned Utensils Sets

Some Helpful Tips for Using HotStamps and Other Burning Points: Using the HotStamps meant that there was no need to use the computer to make the designs. I did not take any pictures of how the HotStamps attachments are used. You can see from the above picture of my set of HotStamps Alphabets, the letters are all reversed. That is because when screwed onto the tip of the wood burning pen they are facing down  on the wood facing the proper direction. The main thing is to make certain that they are going to burn where desired. In the case of the utensils, my goal was to position each initial as centered as closely as possible to the spot I wanted to burn it on to the wood. The HotStamps are used much like branding irons are used. The pen, with alphabet attached to its tip, is held in straight up position with point resting on the spot to be burned or "branded." I would recommend always doing a good deal of  practicing on scrap wood with each tip before beginning to use it!

I favor the cone point for these fine scroll works and thin letters with somewhat thin lines such as on the utensils box and computer designed initials. I like it because it has a finer point that, for me, is easier to control from some of these designs. 

A big thank you to all who stop by to check things out here at Mimi Mine blog! I hope you enjoyed my post about drawing with fire and that you might have been inspired to step outside your comfort zone to learn new ways to make great things for yourself and for others! 

Please check out these great linky parties that I am linking up with for some wonderful crafting techniques, sewing, do it yourself, decorating , cooking and baking recipes and ideas!





Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016



HAPPY NEW YEAR ! 

May the coming New Year 2016 be one filled with whatever makes you happy!