Category Archives: Houseproud projects

Orange you glad I said hearts?

Houseproud orange you glad IMG_5829

I made marmalade last week, my pets! I am VERY pleased with the way it turned out – sweet and bitter, just like marmalade ought to taste. I used fruit from our backyard trees, as well as a few oranges that a neighbor left at our door (which I suspect came from a tree in their backyard), plus two farmers market lemons. Making was easy enough, but took a little time (one day to soak the fruit, the time it took to carefully slice the soaked fruit, and then total cooking time). I used a recipe from one of the Mister’s French confectioner cookbooks*, but had to cook my batch for hours longer than the recipe suggested, as will happen when you combine four markedly different citrus fruits together in one pan. Hmm, yes: the next time I make another mixed citrus marmalade, I shall cook the citrus slices in order of skin thickness, and thusly produce a marmalade that both tastes and looks divine. Still and all, my regular afternoon snack of a toasted tortilla and a dollop nut butter has been much improved by the addition of a small spoonful of homemade marmalade, lemme tell you… Continue reading

Happy 2019, and a Christmas craft recap

houseproud speak out stuffie img_5277We were very merry at the Houseproud homestead this Christmas and New Year, but all good things must come to an end, yes? The Christmas decos came down on Saturday and the new year / good luck decos were given pride-of-place instead. And with the excitement of the holidays over, there’s backlog of projects to which I must attend – some of which you might find interesting, but many of which you would not. I’ll share the more interesting projects with you anon, but here are a few Christmas me-mades to hold you over until then. I really must say, I made some cool stuff this Christmas. Continue reading

Knitting Adventures: learning to knit jogless stripes

Houseproud knitting jogless stripes IMG_3978Hello, my pets. Are you ready for Thanksgiving, if Thanksgiving is a thing that you do? Is your homestead reasonably neat, your menu planned, and the turkey ordered? If the answer to that question is not so very much, then this post will be a perfect distraction for you. You’ll be able to breeze through it in minutes, be entertained by my unwillingness to swatch, and go back to stressing about whatever it is that is currently stressing you. Continue reading

New Kitchen Curtains: vintage fabric love

Houseproud kitchen curtains vintage print IMG_4292It gives me great happiness to present to you: new curtains in the Houseproud kitchen. [Sound of trumpets] Isn’t a finished object a lovely thing, my pets? I have NO idea when I cut these out, but it was at least nine months ago. The curtains have languished in my to-be-completed pile since then, but I finally finished them last Wednesday. They’re cut from the most marvelous vintage fabric, scored at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale some years back. Ain’t they a vision? This fabric is soooooo kitschy and kitcheny that it makes me irrationally happy every time I walk into the room. I like a bright, cheerful kitchen, don’t you?
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That’s Crafty: making a simple paper flower wreath

Houseproud autumn wreath project IMG_3831Here’s a post about making a sweet autumnal wreath using an old wreath form and some handmade paper flowers. All of the materials I used were from my stash – validating my propensity to hoard craft supplies. If you’d like to learn how I make these types of wreaths, let’s go! Continue reading

A Good Little Portable Knitting Project

Houseproud knitted wristlettes FO closeup IMG_3159Hello, my pets – I’ve accomplished all sorts of things in the last week, including completing the final batches of summer preserving, and while I haven’t the strength to talk about that now, I will in the coming weeks. Instead, let’s chat this week about a little knitting project of which I am quite fond: knitted wristlettes. These lovely items are a perfect portable project: they are simple to work and are small enough to carry around easily.  Once you get over the fiddly bit of starting them, they are easy to pick up and put down. I’ve knit them on trains, in cars, at cafes, while on conference calls, etc etc etc. Continue reading

The Heart of the Matter

Houseproud heart charm WIP IMG_1219

Heh. It might be a little wonky, but I like this little heart charm very much.

My pets, I am so very distracted today that I’ll keep this post on the short-and-sweet side.  Really, I’m just popping in to show you a little project that I worked on last week: heart charms.  The idea for these little charms has been percolating in my noggin for the longest time, along with a number of other projects, all carefully plotted out in project journals and on assorted scraps of paper, and very few of which ever get made.  Do you keep project journals, too?  If you’re a crafter or maker, you really ought to keep one.  They’re wonderful tools for tracking the ideas that pop into your brain and then usually pop right back out again.  Unlike a traditional journal, project journals eschew any personal details of the writer’s life, which makes them much more appropriate to show to people who aren’t your besty from high school or your therapist.  I discovered project journals some years back, and the discovery rocked my crafting world.  Here’s a shout-out to Mel, who introduced me to the concept, bless her socks.

Houseproud heart charm idea card IMG_2288

This idea card will eventually be added to a project journal.

So anyway, there I was last week doing the things that I ought, while also treating myself to some minor gardening and a visit to our local farmer’s market.  (More on those pleasant distractions in upcoming posts.)  And between working on some rather important tasks – I am looking for full-time work, after all – I decided to take a wack at making a little heart-shaped charm for my keys.  Honestly,  the only reason I hadn’t made a charm like this before is that I am RATHER intimidated by machine sewing projects, especially anything with curves.  Sewing curves is a tricky thing for amateurs, but I have committed to becoming the boss of my sewing and therefore persevered.  I certainly learned a number of valuable lessons making the first heart charm, which led to a more polished second attempt.  Equally importantly, I made both of the charms in a matter of hours.

Here is a photo montage of the steps that went into making the first charm.  Click on the individual pictures to see captions with brief notes.  Detailed instructions shan’t be forthcoming – you don’t need ’em, duckies.  Just have a go and see what happens!

Houseproud 2nd heart charm IMG_1225As I mentioned, I was so pleased with the way the first charm came out that I made a second one in half the time.  This time I used bias tape from Britex Fabric, also reinforced with cotton twill tape.  Next time I’ll use an aromatic that has better staying power: the scent of camomile flowers fades away rather quickly.

And on that note, I bid you a pleasant week, my pets.  I simply must scurry: I have a SVdP donation run to make, some interview questions to formulate, and an Excel spreadsheet to whip into shape.  Tune in next week to take a trip to the farmer’s market, and to learn how I preserve garlic and make pickled onions.  It’ll be such fun!  – Fondly, yr little munakins

Now Let’s Think About This, Shall We?


It ought to be accepted universally that thinking about what to make takes up two-thirds of the time actually worked on any project.  It certainly is that way for me.  After impulsively promising to show you how I make charm pillows last week, I realized that I hadn’t the foggiest notion of what to use as my exemplar this week.  So I went about my business that week thinking about this, that and the other, as one does.  Continue reading

I (heart) vintage tea towels

Houseproud projects - vintage linen towel embroidered heartWhenever I’m Treasure Hunting for Redux or browsing at places like Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale, I keep a keen eye out for interesting vintage kitchen towels, aka tea towels.  They’ve become rare beasts in the last few years – I’m not the only one on the hunt!  With the least bit of encouragement from you, my pets, I would be happy to show you a few of my better finds, but the truth is that I don’t usually keep the vintage tea towels that I find.  Instead, I use them to “wrap” presents, and off they go to live in new homes (I’ve noticed that using new pretty tea towels to wrap presents is a bit of a trend for customers at Alameda Natural Grocery’s Pantry).  Do you hunt for vintage towels, too?  Like me, do you sometimes find calendar tea towels?  Do you ever get really lucky and find a calendar tea towel from a year that means a lot to youContinue reading