Category Archives: Handmade

Thank you for 10 wonderful years!

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Thank you all so much for your support through these last 10+ years.  Every day I feel so grateful and blessed to be able to run this business and play with colors all day.  It’s honestly a dream come true.  As a little girl I wanted to grow up and color movie cells (before the age of digital films).  This business comes pretty darn close to my dream.  I couldn’t have come this far without all of you, my wonderful customers.

A little over 10 years ago, my business began on Etsy with crocheted hats and dolls and things.  That led me to using craft eyes.  I became bored with them very quickly and thought there should be more colorful choices, and that is when Suncatcher Craft Eyes was born.

Ten years later and here I am, working with incredible crafters and artists who amaze me every day with their creativity.  I love seeing everyone’s different styles of crafting and the new patterns and projects you create.

Thank you for allowing me to be a tiny part of your projects.  I look forward to many more years of working with you.

Michelle

Glow-in-the-dark Craft Eyes

glowing-adglowing-adglowIt’s that time of year again.  Fall is almost here, and Halloween is less than 2 months away.  Click the image above to shop for your glow-in-the-dark craft eyes.

Happy crafting!

This week’s orders & Steven King

These are a few of the Suncatcher Craft Eyes orders that shipped this week:

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Follow me on Instagram to see more.

When I was out running errands yesterday, I stopped at a red light and looked over to see this:

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Yes, I was in Bangor, Maine (what Steven King calls Derry in his books).  This is a Steven King tour van that takes people around to all the famous places in his books.

Homestead-wise this week I’m playing with the vintage scythe I got to cut my lawn and field.  It’s so much fun to use.  I’m also taking extra special care of my chickens since temperatures are getting into the 90s this week.  There’s watermelon in the freezer that I’ll be giving them later as a nice cold treat.

Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

Making cream cheese & freezing eggs

My oldest son has moved out of the house to his own apartment, and I finally have the house to myself.  This comes after having my friend and her family living with me for 6 months.  I am so ready to be alone, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

This week I experimented with making my own cream cheese.  I was reading a recipe that seemed almost identical to making yogurt.  Since I make yogurt in my programmable rice cooker, how hard could it be to make cream cheese?  Not hard at all it turns out:

All of the recipes I read said that the leftover liquid would be whey.  Maybe it’s because I’m using cream from my local dairy, but the liquid I got is more like creme fraiche, which is fine with me!

On the chicken front, my oldest chickens are almost 1-1/2 years old.  That means they should be moulting soon.  When chickens moult they either slow down or stop laying altogether.  Since this is the first time these chickens will be moulting, I have no idea if they will keep laying or stop completely, or how long they will moult.  It could be a month, it could be 3 months.  That’s why I’m freezing eggs now in case there aren’t enough once they moult.  I have an herb freezing tray that I’m using to freeze raw eggs for baking.  Today I started frying eggs to freeze.  I’m flash freezing them and then putting them in freezer bags with parchment paper in between.

Suncatcher Craft Eyes updates soon!

Make your own glitter craft eyes!

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Introducing the new paint-your-own glitter craft eyes kit!  Rather than only offering glitter craft eyes to you for a few months a year, now you can make your own anytime!

The kit includes everything you need to get started, including:

A 6-compartment palette for easy painting and blending

5 Pair of premium clear craft eyes in your size choice

✿ A good paint brush in the appropriate size for the eyes you order

2 Ounces of glitter paint in your choice of color

Detailed instructions and tips that I’ve learned working with glitter paint over the years

There’s even a special kit just for cat eyes.  Everything in the kit is high quality.  The palette is washable and reusable.

Clear craft eyes are available separately, and I’ll be adding glitter paint separately as well over the next few weeks.

Hope you like it!

 

Today’s project: Bottling kombucha!

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My very first batch of kombucha was made without a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) using my homemade apple cider vinegar, and it took about 3 weeks to do its thing.  Now that my SCOBY  is big enough, the kombucha only takes about a week to make.  I think I’ve found the perfect recipe because each bottle usually makes it’s own little SCOBY.  Those baby SCOBY are great chicken snacks.

I reuse these kombucha bottles that I’ve been saving.  One gallon of kombucha makes 7 bottles plus a little extra to keep with the SCOBY in the refrigerator between batches.  This time I added diced strawberries in most of them and a bit of minced ginger in the other.  They will sit on my counter to ferment a bit and get bubbly before going in the refrigerator.

Each batch only requires 8 organic black teabags and 1 cup of organic sugar plus the gallon of water.  Much more cost-effective than paying $4 a bottle at the grocery store.

My kombucha recipe:

1 gallon of water

8 organic black teabags

1 cup of organic sugar

Bring the water to a boil and add the teabags.  Remove from heat and steep for about 10-15 minutes.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.  If your SCOBY (mother) has been in the refrigerator, take it out and let it come up to room temperature.

Once the tea mixture has cooled, add it to a clean gallon-size glass jar.  Add your SCOBY and the liquid from the SCOBY container.  Cover with cheesecloth secured with a tie or rubber band.  Set it out of the way out of direct sunlight (I put mine in an open cupboard above the stove because my house is on the cool side … this way it gets a bit of heat).  Check your kombucha every few days.  You’ll know it is ready when it has a slight vinegary smell.  You can also pour a bit into a glass and taste it.  If there is no sweetness left from the sugar, it’s done.  How long you leave it is completely up to you.  You can determine how strong it is by how long you leave it to sit.

Bottle the kombucha in clean bottles.  If you want a bit of fizz, leave the bottles at room temperature until they have the amount of fizz you want.  After that they can go in the refrigerator.  I’ve kept mine easily for a couple of weeks with no problems.

Product review by La Rose du Rang

Special thanks to Karine of La Rose du Rang ( La rose du rang ) for reviewing Suncatcher Craft Eyes and even creating a special design with them! Love that this blog is in French and English: La Rose du Rang blog  (scroll down for English)

This is the doll she made with her Suncatcher Craft Eyes, isn’t she sweet?:

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Free amigurumi patterns!

Did you know that I started out writing amigurumi patterns?  Years later, they are all available for free on my website:  http://www.suncatchereyes.com/free-crochet-patterns.html  These are all of the free amigurumi patterns available:

Hope you like them.  If you see any corrections that need to be made, please let me know.  Thanks!

This week on Instagram

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This week there were a lot of pretty colors shipping out all over the world – Canada, Iceland, France, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, and of course the U.S.

The purple and blue flower eyes and the black frosted craft eyes are heading to some crafters for product reviews.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

 

 

What should I make next?

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What color or style of craft eyes would you like me to make next? Is there a special color you’d buy if it was available on my website? Is there a style of craft eyes you’d like me to have available in every color? Comment below and let me know.  Thanks!