Category Archives: experiments

Canning Fail

I like to try to learn new skills or add to the arsenal of skills I already have. Case in point, canning. I can put up food for us without a hitch. So I decided to try Violet Jelly this year. A friend was raving about it and linked to a recipe online. My yard is full of violets right now, so I thought,”Why not?”

So the girl and I spent about an hour collecting blossoms. Then we brought them in, did a quick rinse and placed them in a jar.


Poured boiling water over them and…



Voila! Beautiful blue shade. Isn’t it gorgeous? I let it sit for 24 hours then strained the liquid. I followed the recipe exactly. Canned it and then had this:



It looks great. However…this is the fail part. It never jelled. It remained syrup. I waited 36 hours hoping it was just a slow batch. Nope. So I thought,”Well, I can just use it as a syrup.” Gave it the old taste test. Blech! It tasted like rotten fruit. I don’t know what went wrong. It was just gross. So I had to dump it out. I was all set to try dandelion jelly too. Now I’m a little skittish.


Home Made Insect Repellant

If you are like me and have sensitive skin or a small child or simply don’t want to use chemical insect repellants, it is easy to make your own.

I used essential oils to create my own blend. I gave it a hard core test right off the bat. We were in a hay field watching fire works. All three of us used it. My daughter and I did not get a single bite. My husband got two. I’d call that success! Since he is normally eaten alive.

Here is the recipe I used:

  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted<—-It is so hot in my house that it was already melted at room temperature.
  • 12 drops citronella essential oil
  • 6 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract <— home made

Put into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto hands and apply to the desired exposed body parts. Avoid the face though so it won’t run into eyes.

A little experiment

I put the project on bamboo needles to see how my hands would feel.

The verdict is:

It’s the yarn, not the needles! I don’t typically use acrylic yarn because it makes me itch. It has never done this to my hands before. I suppose it’s because I’m pregnant and my body chemistry has changed.

I’ll donate this yarn to my friend Melissa, since she likes this brand so much. We’re always trading yarns back and forth. 😉