Sunday, December 10, 2017

Five Reasons I'm Loving My Gift Trunk This Time of the Year!

If you’ve been reading A Working Pantry long, you’ll know that I consider, as part of my well-stocked pantry, a gift trunk to be essential.  It has come to my rescue many times when I needed a gift throughout the year.   Instead of heading to the store or a shopping mall, I shop from my gift trunk instead.  

This time of year I’m really loving my gift trunk and I thought you might like to read why …

1.      I don’t have the pressure of ‘having’ to go Christmas shopping.  There’s nothing like killing the Christmas spirit when you can’t find what you’re looking for and you have to go shopping again because you have to have it ASAP and you’re so tired that you just want the holiday season to go away.

2.     It’s budget friendly.  Often times I can give a gift that I would not have been able to afford had I not gotten it on sale/clearance.  I really try to keep my eye out for good quality items on clearance to add to my gift trunk.

3.     It makes for a LESS stressful holiday season and saves my sanity!   Did I mention that I don’t like the crowds and some of the attitudes that you encounter when shopping this time of the year???  Enough said!

4.     I don’t have to make any last minute shopping runs for an unexpected gift need.  My gift trunk has rescued me from this dilemma on more than one occasion!

5.     It saves time and frees me up to do other holiday related things I would like to do.  Things like watching a Christmas movie at home with the family or taking a drive to see Christmas lights.

My gift trunk is never empty, it get’s low sometimes, especially after the Christmas holidays, but it is never empty and that’s because I shop clearance sales and make things to keep it stocked all year long. 

Do you have a gift trunk, closet, box or drawer?

With this post I'll be starting my holiday break from blogging.  I'll meet you all back here the first week in January.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

FYI ... A Working Pantry is now on Instagram.  Come follow me there!

Also, come follow A Working Pantry on Facebook HERE.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

How to Make a Simple Pillow Case

I had a request from a reader wanting to know how I stitched up the Christmas pillow cases I've been making so I took pictures the next time I made one and turned them into a tutorial.

It takes 1 yard of fabric to make this pillow case!



On the fold I cut the fabric 21 inches wide by 33.5 inches long.

Tip:  To get a straight cutting line for the length I took a yardstick and measured across the top 21 inches from the fold and made a mark, across the middle from the fold and made a mark and across the bottom from the fold and made a mark. Then I took a yardstick and drew a straight like vertically connecting all three marks and used that line for my cutting line.

These are the measurements for a regular size pillow case.  If you want to make a queen or king size, look up the size and cut your fabric accordingly.

I did press this fabric before cutting, it had alot of folds and creases, and I needed to be careful when measuring and cutting to make sure the measurements were accurate.


With wrong sides together and right sides on the outside, stitch 1/4 inch from the edge and press the stitching. Trim the seam down to an 1/8 inch.


Turn it so that the wrong sides are on the outside and the seam on the inside, use a point turner to push the corners out and press the seams again.


Stitch approximately 1/4 inch from the edge and press.  (You're making a french seam!)


Turn so that the right sides of the fabric are on the outside, push out the corners and press.

 

Turn it inside out agian, put it on the ironing board and measure, fold down and press 1/2 inch from the edge.  I used a sewing and knitting guage to measure.


Next, fold down 3 inches for the hem and press.  
(I don't generally pin this hem, but if you would prefer, by all means do so!)


Stitch about 1/4 from the hem edge.


Press the hem.


For the final step I gave it a good startching and ironing and now it's ready for gift giving!

If something is not clear, let me know and I'll try to explain it better.  These pillow cases really are quick and simple to make and make great gifts!




Also, come follow A Working Pantry on Facebook HERE.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

How To Dehydrate Carrots

I had carrots left over from some Thanksgiving baking I did (as in left over from baking a carrot cake).  We used some in a meal and this is what we had left.  It was not enough to do a canning and I didn't want to freeze them so I dehydrated them.


Carrots before peeling and chopping.


Chopped using a chopper like this one.


Steaming for 3 minutes ... I had a lid on it but took it off to get the picture.
After the 3 minutes were up I ran cold water over them to stop the cooking.  I cooled the carrots down by running water over them in the kitchen sink while they were still in the colander.

Please note:  This carrots are steamed, not put in boiling water.  I never let the carrots touch the boiling water in the pot, they sit suspended just above it in the colander with a lid on them.  The steam from the boiling water gets to the carrots through the holes in the colander.  I steam the carrots instead of dropping them in the boiling water for 3 minutes because I don't want to lose any of the nutrients that would leach out into the water if the carrots were actually in the boiling water.

I used the same metal colander throughout the whole process.  It fit nicely over/in a pot I have while keeping the carrots out of the water in the pot.  The pot lid covered the carrots perfectly while they were steaming.   


Spread out on the dehydrator sheets.


Vacuum sealed in a jar and ready for my pantry!

Update:  A reader shared how she dehydrates carrots that I had not heard or thought of and I asked her if I could share it.  She agreed so here you are ...  (Thanks Penny!)

Cubed, sliced and shredded for cakes and muffins. Shred carrots in food processor. Place in large zip lock bag with some water . Microwave one minute each side, drain and dehydrate.

That's certainly alot less messy isn't it and quicker too? I'm going to try Penny's method the next time I have carrots to dehydrate!

Do you have questions? Is something not clear?  If so, let me know and I'll try to explain what I did a bit better!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Ways of My Household: 12/3/2017

(The picture is from a section of our Christmas tree this year!)

Christmas preps are in full swing at my house with a little pantry stocking on the side!

Read on to see what I mean ….

I had some bananas that were getting to the over ripe stage so I peeled, sliced and dehydrated them.   I’m trying not to let anything go to waste!   

I added a case of green peas to my pantry after having found them on sale for $.38/can.

I completed 5 days of at least 15 minutes of sewing in my 100 day sewing challenge, which makes me sitting at 44 days.   I finished clue #1 in the On Ringo Lake Mystery quilt project by Bonnie Hunter and started on clue #2!  I am really enjoying doing this mystery! 

I also stitched up these 'Frosty the Snowman' Christmas pillow cases for the little girls who attended our church’s annual ladies Christmas party this weekend.   

And then I stitched up these Christmas pillowcases  ...   









 I was in charge of doing a Christmas game at the above mentioned party and raided my gift trunk for prizes.  (Everything in my gift trunk has been either made by me or purchased on clearance.)  That makes being ready for gift giving or providing prizes for a game easy, stress-free and budget friendly.

I continue to enjoy living my Fall Bucket List that can be found HERE.

I added lesson # 3 in the series on Dorcas I'm teaching teenage girls at church.  You can find it HERE!

This week's featured post from the archives is ...  This is Why, part 8!   

That’s it for me this week, what did your week look like?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 
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