Posts Tagged ‘#TSNEM’

Well the creators of Try Something New Every Month have decided to take a hiatus this year. I can understand that.  It is quite the undertaking to organize a blog challenge.  But I am disappointed there will not be a set challenge this year. So, I decided to challenge myself.

I did most of the challenges last year. I had plans for some of the last 4 but was unable to complete them.  The last 4 were

  • September – Machine Sewing
  • October- Needlework; embroidery, cross-stitch, crewel, needlepoint
  • November- Papercraft; origami, scrapbook, calligraphy
  • December- Choose your own!

I made a pair of pants for September. But never blogged about them as part of the challenge. Needlework is not my thing. I need to do more research. For paper crafts, I have a band box kit, purchased at a guild UFO aution. And I never decided what to do for December.

This year, I will intersperse the last 4 months categories from 2016 with some ideas of my own. Instead of categories, I researched some of the ideas I had saved from last year. This is what I came up with.

  • Rocket Stove
  • Ink to Wood Transfer
  • Skeleton Leaves
  • Photo Letter Collage
  • Luminary’s Out of Cans (metal punch)
  • Scrabble Letter Art
  • Up Cycle Hard Cover Books

That leaves me 2 months unaccounted for. For those I will try some quilt related craft.

Last years goal was to not spend much money and use what I had. For the most part I was able to. The exception being the socks. I needed to purchase everything but the book I borrowed from a friend. I have some of the items needed for most of this year.

I will give you the links to the sites I use for ideas or instructions.

Did you try something new last year?  Let me know. I might add it to my list.


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April’s category is edible crafts.  When I think of an edible craft, I think of sweets.  I really did not want something sweet in my house.  It is only myself and my husband. We both work from home. The opportunity to give any sweets away is slim.  I already make chicken jerky for my pups, so I looked for a recipe to make a different treat for them.

A couple of year ago there was a scare with some of the imported dog treats.  There is less regulations when it comes to pet food than is for people food.  So I started making my own chicken jerky for my pups. So for April, I decided to make a different treat. I got so into making the treats I forgot to take pictures.

20160428_085000First came the research. There are tons of recipes available. Choosing one was difficult. If your pet has allergies, you can alter recipes according to the specific allergy.  This is the recipe I settled on  I did add dried parsley flakes.  Parsley is good for bad breath.

I didn’t make them any special shape. The pups don’t care.  They love them.  I brought the new treats on a hike. Maggie ate through the bag to get at them.  So I would say they are a hit.

The chicken jerky is easy to make.  The hardest part is slicing the chicken up.  These are good for hiking as the pups need protein while hiking.

Chicken jerky for pups

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  • 1 chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Dried parsley

Set the oven on warm – 200°

Oil a sheet of aluminum foil. I just pour a bit of oil on the foil then spread it around with a paper towel.  You don’t need a lot of oil. Just enough to grease the foil so the chicken won’t stick. It still sticks a little, but it helps.

Slice the chicken into ¼ thick pieces and place them on the foil in a single layer. They don’t need a lot of space between the pieces but they should not touch.  Sprinkle with the parsley.  I sprinkle generously.

Place is the oven. This is the tricky part. It may be helpful to use a cookie sheet to transfer the chicken laden foil to the oven.  Bake for 6 – 8 hours, or until dry and crispy. Turning once half way through.

I store them in a zip bag in the refrigerator.  I don’t know how long they will keep. Because they don’t last long in my house.

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of my pups hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Let me know if you try a treat recipe and how your pup liked it.


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I know it’s April.  But I finally finished the February project.  February’s category was something tactile.  So I decided upon paper mache. There is a local artist who makes metal dog sculptures. I’ve always loved them, but they are out of my price range.  So why not make something out of paper mache.

First, I looked for a silhouette of a Brittany Spaniel.  I then enlarged it to the size I wanted.  Next, was tracing it on cardboard from a cereal box.  I cut out two, one in reverse.  I first tried to make a 1 inch wide strip for the edge. That did not work. The legs were too narrow to curve the edging around.  So I settled for making blocks out of corrugated cardboard.  I wanted to make the sculpture 1 inch thick. I set it to dry overnight.

Now the fun part. This got a little messy.  I layered on newspaper using a mixture of white glue and water for the paste.  I used 3 layers, with each layer needing to dry overnight.  I even left my sculpture on a radiator overnight to dry.  It gets a bit wet and sloppy so I used a cutting mat on my table for easy cleanup.


Once I had all the layers on and dry, I needed to paint.  Living in New England, the weather forced a delay in painting as I wanted to paint it outside. It needs to be a bit warmer than New England in February to spray paint. I decided upon the Rustoleum Hammered Bronze Paint.  My husband is very good with spray paint.  He put the primer on for me.  Then I put on the Hammered finish.  It doesn’t look very hammered.  There is a fine line when using the hammered finish.  You need to put it on heavy enough to allow some of the paint to sink. But not so heavy that is runs.  I didn’t get it heavy enough.  I will try another coat.  But for now, I like it.

The sculpture as a whole is a bit uneven. But it does stand on its own.  If I ever do it again I will make the corrugated cardboard layers throughout the entire form.  That way there will be more stability to the end product.

My sculpture sits on the edge of my stair case.  Next I want to make a letter H for my wall. My niece wants to make her first initial.  Just need to decide on a font.

What do you think?  Have you ever tried paper mache?



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I’m still working on February’s project.  It’s almost finished.  For March, the category was paint.   Rather than spend a bunch of money to get painting supplies that I may never use again, I went with a friend to a paint night at a local art gallery.  There were approximately 30 people in the class.  Fun was had by all.  Am I going to become a painter?  Probably not.  Will I attend another paint night?  Most definitely.

If you haven’t been to a paint night, you should try it.  They have all the tools you will need, along with the paint and a canvas.  The instructor will guide you through creating your masterpiece.

Here’s the paint I got.  You mix some colors.  So you need to remember what you learned in kindergarten.  Blue and yellow make green.20160309_185824

This is part way through.


My finished product.20160313_160209

My husband was impressed with my painting.  I’m happy with it also.  Not bad for a first try.  See, I even signed it.

What do you think?  Have you tried a paint night?  If so, how did you like it?


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This is my first post for Try Something New Every Month 2016.  January’s theme is quilting.  Since I have tried just about everything I have wanted to when it comes to quilting, it was difficult to figure out what to try.

I have been interested in the zentangle movement since it started.  I just haven’t had the time to dedicate to learning how.  I have had some exposure to zentangle at guild meetings.  So I figure this would be a great chance to try zentangle quilting.

I have followed a few zentangle boards on Pinterest.  I have seen zentangle quilting on The Quilting Arts show on PBS.  So I searched for designs that I could quilt. Remember, when you quilt, you can’t easily start and stop.  It’s easy to pick up a pencil, but it’s different when you are using thread.  You need to figure out how to make the design continuous.

I search both Google and Pinterest.  I printed out some designs I liked.  Then set out drawing some designs I thought would work. Here is a bit of what I came up with.

Then I came across a design incorporating circles.  I liked the idea of the circles.  So I incorporated them into my zentangle designs.  I used a 9″, 7″, and 5″ diameter circle templates, quilting everything on my long arm machine.

Here are the two samples I made.  Some designs are more quilting than zentangle, but I had fun.  And I like how they came out.

I wanted a finished look to these zentangle samples, so I bound them with a random edge.  As one of my nieces would say, it’s a quilt blob. They are approximately 18″x 26″.

Since this was just playing for me, I did not obsess about tension.  I also used up partial bobbins. The back has a few different, non-matching, colors.  Now a have several more empty bobbins.

This was fun.  I have also seen a similar design using interlocking squares.  I’m going to try that next time I get the urge to zentangle quilt.

Next month the theme is Tactile Craft; paper mache, clay, soap, candlemaking.  I was leaning toward paper mache.  My mom used to do some simple paper mache using a balloon as a form.  I even have an idea of what I want to make. But I won’t be using a balloon.

Stay tuned.



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