Homemade Ketchup

Since my post about making tomato paste, I felt I needed to show at least one of the cool uses of tomato paste. The most common and, in my opinion the easiest use, is home made ketchup.

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I start off with measuring out my dry spices and dumping them into a bowl. I find that 1/2 tsp of each is more than enough. For this recipe I used salt, black pepper, cumin, ground mustard and ground oregano. Feel free to mix and match different spices for different flavored ketchup.

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next I add 1/4 a cup of apple cider vinegar and mix everything well. If you need to use less vinegar, compensate by adding water. This 1/4 cup of liquids is what helps give the ketchup the right consistency.

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Using a whisk I add in a couple of spoonful of tomato paste into the bowl and mix well. And repeat until I have used enough tomato paste to achieve a nice consistency.

This time though I had made just enough tomato paste to fill this little mason jar so I added a little at a time until I ran out of tomato paste. Once you are done mixing you can use the ketchup right away or store in a container and refrigerate.

Inktober 2019

I decided to participate in Inktober this year. For those of you that don’t know what Inktober is, its a 31 days drawing challenge set in the month of October. There are several different prompts and themes from different place on the internet but I decided to go with this one. Instead of posting each individual picture I decided it would be easiest to just do the whole month as one mega post. Hope you all enjoy these Kreations!

  1. Ring————————————————————————————————————————-20191001_2204094561510687378299553.jpg
  2. Mindless——————————————————————————————————————img_20191003_185009_6435864556873711203781.jpg
  3. Bait————————————————————————————————————————–IMG_20191003_193041_326.jpg
  4. Freeze———————————————————————————————————————-img_20191005_195735_4995630078910646368790.jpg
  5. Build————————————————————————————————————————img_20191005_204634_455444236735993704529.jpg
  6. Husky———————————————————————————————————————-img_20191006_172341_8867633369619235434788.jpg
  7. Enchanted—————————————————————————————————————20191010_215235.jpg
  8. Frail————————————————————————————————————————-20191010_215302.jpg
  9. Swing———————————————————————————————————————–20191010_215344.jpg
  10. Pattern——————————————————————————————————————–20191010_215403.jpg
  11. Snow————————————————————————————————————————–20191013_174847.jpg
  12. Dragon———————————————————————————————————————20191015_163558.jpg
  13. Ash————————————————————————————————————————–20191015_163538.jpg
  14. Overgrown————————————————————————————————————–20191015_163509.jpg
  15. Legend———————————————————————————————————————20191015_163449.jpg
  16. Wild————————————————————————————————————————-20191023_202304.jpg
  17. Ornament—————————————————————————————————————-20191023_202510.jpg
  18. Misfit———————————————————————————————————————–20191023_202643.jpg
  19. Sling————————————————————————————————————————20191023_202826.jpg
  20. Tread———————————————————————————————————————–20191023_203115.jpg
  21. Treasure——————————————————————————————————————20191023_203323.jpg
  22. Ghost———————————————————————————————————————–20191023_203542.jpg
  23. Ancient——————————————————————————————————————–IMG_20191023_203938_698.jpg
  24. Dizzy————————————————————————————————————————20191029_202533.jpg
  25. Tasty————————————————————————————————————————20191029_202612.jpg
  26. Dark————————————————————————————————————————20191029_202635.jpg
  27. Coat————————————————————————————————————————-20191029_202655.jpg
  28. Ride————————————————————————————————————————-20191031_171045.jpg
  29. Injured——————————————————————————————————————–20191031_171124.jpg
  30. Catch———————————————————————————————————————–20191031_171154.jpg
  31. Ripe————————————————————————————————————————-20191031_171227.jpg

Totoro Puzzle Planter

A few weeks ago my fiance and I celebrated our anniversary! He got me this awesome Totoro puzzle planter. Since the first time I saw it at the store, I’ve wanted this puzzle planter. I’ve seen the completed display piece at the store but I’ve never seen a work in progress. I open the box and see 2 bags, 1 with all the puzzle pieces and 1 with the planter pieces, and a card of instructions that have no English what-so-ever.

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I begin by opening the puzzle bag and dumping it out on my table. First thing I notice is that every piece has a number on the back. Unlike a normal puzzle where you look at the picture while you are putting the pieces together, you have to assemble the pieces in numerical order without looking at the final picture. 80 pieces shouldn’t be this difficult right?

After assembling 1 thru 16 completed the top ring of the planter. Overall it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Everything snaps tight when its in the correct position. After completing this ring I opened up the bag of planter pieces. There are 4 pieces in this bag, the bottom base, the middle support, the planter insert, and the top support. I need the top support piece to attach to the ring I just created. The grooves on the ring of puzzle pieces fit into the slots on the support ring. Just like the puzzle pieces everything snaps tightly together when it is in the correct position. By attaching the top support now it helps to stabilize the the puzzle ring i have already assembled.

I continue working on the puzzle until I have snapped together the last piece. I now have a completed puzzle bowl. At this point I wish I could read the instructions about how to attach the remaining pieces, but a little trial and error eventually worked out fine. The middle insert, which is the one without the holes, slides into the bowl and sits on top of the top support ring, carefully flip upside down and put the base piece on which locks everything in place. The planter insert fit inside the middle insert and the puzzle planter is completed!

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Picking out a plant was difficult since it is currently fall in my area. There wasn’t too much of a selection of plants would even fit this small of a planter. Mums are nice and all but most of the time they grow into really large and sprawling plants. Eventually I found some smaller Heather plants that were meant to be indoor decor plants and thought that was perfect! It has made a nice addition to our growing Anime garden.

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This was my first ever 3-D puzzle attempt and a challenge for myself that I’ve wanted to try out for many years. After assembling mine all I can say is that this was very different from any sort of puzzle I’ve done before and I would love to try something a little larger next time.

Plastic Shopping Bag Holder

Tired of seeing piles of plastic shopping bags lying around the kitchen and/or cupboards? Then look nor further to the ultimate plastic shopping bag holder! I seriously don’t know anyone that doesn’t have at least 1 of these things. They really are a great way to use scrap fabric and to keep those plastic shopping bags from floating all over the house.

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Here is all that you need: some  1/4″ braided elastic, some twill tape, and a  piece of fabric roughly 19″ X 22″. I mostly use this method of making my plastic bag holders using a single sheet of fabric. There is also this method, which uses multiple pieces of fabric sewn together to make a single sheet of fabric. Either method looks great and holds your plastic shopping bags so the choice is yours as to which method you wish to use. I actually use a combination of the 2 methods to make mine because I am not hauling out my iron for a 3 second press just to put it away again.

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First thing I do with my fabric is trim up the frayed edges. I was lucky enough to find a cheap piece from the remnants bin at my local craft store so there wasn’t much trimming to do. Next is the tricky part, making a pocket (aka casings) for your elastic pieces to go into.

The casings go on both of the short (19″) sides of the fabric.There are a variety of different ways to go about making a casing, my preferred method for something like this is to fold the end up 1/2″, sew across the rough edge(left picture), fold over another 1/2″ up and sew along the top folded edge(right picture). And then repeat the process for the other side. Its a little nontraditional but I feel like this gives it a little bit more reinforcement.

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This is where an oops turned into an interesting opportunity for some ingenuity. Typically at this point you would use a safety pin to pin one end of the elastic and use it to wiggle the elastic through the casing. This is when I discovered that I had no safety pins in the house. I had no desire to go back out to the store so I came up with this trick that worked pretty well. I used one of my needles and a little bit of thread and I sewed through the middle near the top of one piece, made 1 overcast stitch and back really close to the knot. this made it secure enough to use the needle and thread to wiggle the elastic through the casing until the non stitched edge is in line with the edge of the fabric. make 1 stitch across the end to close this end of the casing and sew the end of the elastic in place. Continue to wiggle the needle and elastic through to the other end of the casing.

Once the needle is carefully wiggled through the casing and out the other end, you can gently pull the elastic through until edge of the elastic is at the edge of the fabric. In this instance I lined up the knot from the thread to be inside the casing but in line to also be stitched across. Once the elastic is lined up stitched across the open end closing the casing and securing the other end of the elastic in place. I give a quick tug on both ends to make sure the elastic is secure on both end before I the thread off the end of the elastic. I repeated this process for the other short side of the fabric.

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When both pieces of elastic are securely in place it is time to make it a complete cylinder matching right sides together. Carefully make the long (22″) sides meet and carefully stitch together. I  stress on carefully because one of my elastics had broken at this point and I wasn’t going back to fix it. If you have a similar issue its best to use that end as the top part of the bag holder.

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Cut a 10″ piece of the twill tape. I carefully melted the end with a lighter to help prevent fraying. Fold in half matching edge together and then stitch it with the seam of the casing. Carefully flip the bag holder inside out and fill it up.

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Filling it was actually the fun part. This little plastic bag holder cleared up about a 2 weeks worth of plastic shopping bags that were hanging around on my kitchen floor plus it looks cuter than a mountain of plastic bags under the kitchen table.

 

Treasure X Kings Gold

My fiance and I were out on our vacation  a few weekends back and came across some new Treasure X dig kits. We got really excited and each got our own kit.20190818_1904486683922439555404844.jpg

First thing that you see after you ripping off the outer packaging is that you already know which ‘army’ your King is from by looking at the shields. So it looks like the one on the left(a.k.a mine) will be from the Shadow army and the one on the right (a.k.a my Fiance’s) will be from the Astral Army. I think is a really cool idea showing a sneak peek  of what you are getting but still leaving enough mystery to keep going. The kit continues with this sneak peek theme with a literal treasure map. Its the list of all the treasures you can find in this series as well as telling you “Your quest for Treasure begin in the…(insert your army’s homeland)”.  So at this point you have narrowed down which army and treasures you could possibly get.

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This kit features a new ‘magic rocks that only sticks to itself’. Because of the new ‘magic rocks’ there is some slightly different packaging. First off the dig tool has received quite a beefy upgrade from the last series. Its more like a multi-tool and unlike the last series you really do need it. Secondly you have a weird wax/rubber casing to break through. I’m certain this to help seal the magic rocks into the container but I like the neat feel of it.

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The multi-tool is required to break through the waxy part to get into the magic rocks. Its tough to describe what this waxy stuff is. It feels waxy but its quite durable so maybe a wax/plastic hybrid? Anyways, once you get a large enough hole you can grab and rip it off.

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Underneath is the magic rocks. This is also tough to describe. Its small gravel similar to fish tank gravel but its a weird sticky. Playing around with it kind of reminded me of when you make rice crispy treats. Pull it apart and see all these sticky strands and crumbing bits.  It does what the outer packaging says “stick only to itself” which made clean up really easy. After we were done playing around with the magic rocks it was pretty easy to dump everything into the trash can.

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all your creature pieces and treasure pieces are sealed in this baggie. Well 2 baggies are inside this 1 baggie. So much mystery!!!!  So I open up the first baggie and I have discovered my creature, his weapon, and a weird plastic piece.

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The second baggie contains a locked treasure chest. The weird piece of plastic is actually the key for the treasure chest. You just jam the little piece of plastic in and give it a wiggle and the chest flies open to reveal your treasure pieces! Mine literally flew out of my treasure chest.

Overall this was an awesome experience! I had a lot of fun opening this version compared to the previous Treasure X dig kits.

Cutetitos Babitos

While I was out and about shopping with my family I came across the next generations of Cutetitos. I saw the new Series 2 cutetitos, which were completely sold old at this particuliar walmart, but there were also these ones called Babitos! basically it looks like you get baby sized creature instead of the full sized ones.

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The little creature still comes wrapped up in a smaller tortilla shell, think more street taco sized. Unlike the bigger versions that you have to actually unwrap, babitos just need to be flipped over. It looks like I have opened up a Cheezito (Mouse).

20190818_1830554648116599774148747.jpgThe added bonus to the Babitos that is different from Cutetitos is that the babies can be either a boy or a girl! Basically pink Diaper for Girl or blue diaper for boy.  After further inspection I noticed that each boy and girl have a different name. For example my mouse could have been Mousito (boy) or Cheezito (girl).

If you are unsure about which one you got or what its name is you can flip over the rarity list and you can see all the information about your Babito. Overall I still think its a pretty adorable idea to have cute animals wrapped in a tortilla as a mystery street taco. I can’t wait to get my hands on a Series 2 Cutetitos!

Both Babitos series 1 and Cutetitos Series 2 are available for sale at any place you normally buy toys (I usally do well at walmart).  Or if you prefer using amazon you can go to Babitos or Cutetitos.

Treasure X Gold

In my previous Valentine’s post, I showed everyone that I had recieved a Treasure X Gold dig kit. So I made some time before bed to dig for my creature!

When you open the box you get this gold wrapped brick and a sheet of the possible things that could be in your brick. Once you take the gold wrap off you are left with your digging tool and a plaster brick.

I highly recommend digging in a bathtub or sink. Its makes clean up so much easier. Once you are set up let the digging commence!

It looks like I got a 2 headed snake creature. In each brick there is a head, torso, and tail. There is also a special item piece as well.

According to the series sheet I have strike two from the serpent raiders and serpent scales as my special item.

It was a very fun adventure. It’s also fun to know that there are different series and limited edition treasure x bricks. I was able to find some at my local store in the collectible toys/trading cards area, you can also see some available here for online purchase.

Snow Day!

“I found winter!” That was my wake up this morning from my boyfriend as he was trying unbury my car. I knew it had snowed but I wasn’t expecting this much as well as dropping temperatures.

After a hair raising adventure to get some food we decided to just stay in and be cozy the rest of the weekend. While we were out driving in the snow in search of food, we found this cereal.

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It tastes like a weird red velvet cereal. It wasnt as crunchy as normal Cap’n Crunch but it was delicious! After a quick bowl I busted out my movie marathon collection.

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I’ve always wanted the whole Studio Ghibli collection but, it’s a little pricey as a boxed set. So I started buying them one at a time from Walmart. After Kiki’s Delivery Service we took a little break from the movie marathon.

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Nothing says “good clean fun” like tequila and juice. I dont really use measuring devices for cocktails unless it’s a very specific recipe. I just pour until it looks like enough. This particular concoction is lime juice, tequila, and ruby red grapefruit juice.

New Year New Projects!

Now that the holidays are finally winding down, I can finally share some of my works in progress. Many of these are presents from Christmas or projects I’ve had around and haven’t been able to do much about completing it.

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First up is my current list of  plants for my upcoming gardening bonanza. I was inspired a bit by the arrival of Jung Seeds & Plants book. I love flipping through the pages and seeing new and interesting seeds for sale. I am also a little bit more excited to start planning now because my boyfriend has agreed to build me a fancy raised garden bed this year. He also has given me run of the whole yard so I will be planting a lot. This also does not account for what I may also be able to plant at my Grandparent’s house this year, but I suspect it will be similar to last year’s arrangement, as well as the regular tending to the other plants already in their yard.

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I also have this adorable Woodland Creatures knitting kit! I actually got it a while ago but because I have never knitted before I’m a little nervous about starting it. The kit comes with a booklet of 12 patterns and vague-ish instructions for each creature. The kit only contains enough yarn for the fox and the doe. So I’ve been studying up on the language and techniques needed to get my cute little buddies assembled.

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This is my new diamond puzzle that my boyfriend got to me for Christmas. I haven’t had an oppertunity to work on it as I need to first flatten out the canvas. It should be flat enough in another few days to start working on it. I’m really excited because I’ve seen pictures of this particular puzzle in its completion and its really pretty.

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This is the pattern for my new cross stitch pattern. 2 years ago I had a really elaborate peacock cross stitch that I was diligently working on it for a year and a half before I realized I made a major error. As in the only way to fix it would be to undo almost half of the piece. Its been sitting in a box since then. So I recently got the urge to cross stitch again but I needed something new. The yellow in the pattern are the stitches I’ve already added to the cloth.

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Its looking pretty good so far. Its a lot slower progress than I’d like but I’m definitely not in a rush to finish this. I just get extra excited when it starts to look like something. lol

I have been researching for my next mythical creature, the manticore. I have several ideas but none have really been to my liking yet. I immediately think about one in an attack posebut I feel like its too ordinary. I’ve also thought about drawing one in a more restful/sleeping pose.  I’ll keep playing around with it more and we’ll see what turns out to be the best one. Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated!

I have also started to brain storm some ideas for a new banner and thumbnail icon for Katagi’s Kreations. I love my little dragon but I need something a little different. I really want soemthing that better portrays my blog’s theme.