Tuesday, January 08, 2008

One final word, all my self-made tools were water washed, oiled and then beeswax coated. The water phase was also done all over me, Cristina and the table,even my crafts table is covered with plastic at all moments I worked over paper towels.
I wanted 2 headed hooks, and some tunisian, but time was almost against me, tomorrow, I must go to the farm (and get more branches), last time, I grab only 2, and they came out so nice, so, even in some "attic" place, sells patterns, I cannot read them, as they don't deliver to Chile, so it is for you to say.. What I did, is make a 90° cut with the little saw, just to the middle of the stick. Letting a big head, just in case, 1", from the bottom. With the little cutter, gently I began the larger part of the hook, when I thought it was right, I began the little part, going slowly with the cutter, not going further than the middle, and down, just as a guuide, then I tried with a scarving tool of my Dremel, with a bought one by my side, to copy the shape, folding the thinest sandpaper, reach the deep I needed, and the smoothness, again, with the pencil sharpener, you can guide for doing the head, working with the cutter, I like mine with a sharper head than the ones you can buy, that is the good thing of doing your own tools. In fact,a hook was my first self-done tool. So I knew the risks of breaking the head, this is fun, giving shapes , lots of sandpaper, from coarse to thinner grains, (we don't use numbers, so I cannot guide you in that), then I worked over the sides of the hook head, with sandpaper, and a little help of my Dremel, just a nicer shape, then the thinner part of the up part of the hole, that was easier today, or do you think that I am not prepared to tell you all I learned?.
Then, I carved the same way the lemon tree branch (the smell of the dust, it is nice), a 90° saw cut, then I worked the longer cuts, until I reach the botom of the cut, the sharp part at the bottom, then the hole, with the same care as before.
When I was finished and admiring what God gave us, a thumb!, a mind, a branch, in fact that is the meaning of my nickname, honey-varita, varita, or little branch, but that special first one is for me to keep, my Daddy loved so much THAT tree.
At first I wanted to place this work someplace, but I am being repetitive, YOU ALL, have given me so much!. Just for the circulars, if you ever make one, or want to sell some, personalized,and use any racket cord, name it R-Circulars,almost like the I-cord, but here not for idiots, but our real names, not naming ME, but my late parents, and brother (Ruth, Rodolfo), my we were original at home, 4 out of 4 , the same R del V, so I began to use my Mom's maiden name, Ulloa, now I am using my own.
If you have any question, commentary, sweet or sour, please I don't know how this thing works, e-mail me to rdelvu@hotmail.com, I am posting some pics, direct all of you here, and go to sleep. Thanks , Ruth in Chile

Think, Ruth, think, either you can get whale catching lines, or the terrible aquarium foses they use, I guess you have better ideas than those!. I needed something flexible, but strong, so, what about a tennis cord?. They are flexible, and strong, size?, almost the same than the boughted ones, really, and coated almost thousand times with different things. So I prepare my wooden points, and with my Dremel, I made a hole, the same size the cord was. 1,5-1,8 mm. That is not all, the cord has a very smoth surface, and that means it can comes out more easy, so with the little cutter, I made some little cuts, all over the surface that will go inside. I used an epoxic glue, and silicone for the outer part. I was so scared that I will make a hole out of my number 1-2 circulars, if happens, first don't panic, you can always use teflon tape, or garlic, rubbed, let it dry, and sandpaper (that is what I do for my furniture), or just wood dust and glue, just Elmer's, after you have the cord glued to your wood point. The next day you can use sandpaper, and here nothing terrible happens, lucky me, it doesn't happened. The bamboo sticks, those were impossible for me, as they have a rough texture, so I didn't bother more, those are my dear dpn's. What I wanted were short circulars, so it was kind of difficult to get a nice photo. Let them dry overnight, and the next day, I worked the cord-wood joint, very gently, with the cuter, wasn't difficult, really, and then sandpaper, always believing my fingertips, with the cutter, I took away any trace of glue. And yes, if you make little cuts, they glue better, 2 rough surfaces does, uh?.
Once finished (I tried with 7 sizes and shapes), I washed them, let them dry, next day the oil, and the beeswax. Sure, you can add before some weird color, food grade, I tried blue, just like the difference. Here are some pics.
Well, you must read from "go to top", my fault.
Here some explanation, handcrafts here means rough, bad shape, do you find that more "typical"?, for me is lazy hands and minds. So I insist in the oil and the beeswax, our work must be neat, I think, lol, now I block my knitting, and one more thing, we are doing wood tools, so the little sizes make them much shorter, so they will not break, it happened to me, with my very first circular, no more than 3-3.5".

How to make your own needles and hooks.
Hate when somebody posts anything, and "for your personnal use only", something like that, so here I go, do it,it is fun, what YOU want, and if you can get some extra money, be my guest (please mail me, I like to know how it worked for you). Just a little contribution of all the nice things you all have taught me.
As many of you know, I live in a little town, I just moved to a house, with my Cristina, we are so happy here, fantastic view of Vina del Mar (the garden city), and Valparaiso, our main seaport. I need always more, so, imagine my frustration when I can't find a thing I want, soy silk, bamboo yarn,how is to knit or crochet with them?, how is the texture?, lol, but those are almost impossible, unless, who knows?.
The idea cross my mind, when I saw an advertisement of "square needles", that was so weird, never heard of that, until I suscribed to some knitting and crochet magazines.
First, the wood. I was looking for some special paper, second floor of the little library, then I saw high school and architecture students special sticks, round, square, and from 1mm up to well bigger than a broomstick. Also I own a Dremel-like tool, cheaper, but works fine. I went also to a big store in Vina, almost as a Home Depot, where I bought sandpaper, 3 kinds, and dowels, that I knew they had, because I made a 2 CD's drop spindle, with a dowel. Also, I needed pencils, cardboard cutters, just the hobby ones.
First my square needles, using a pencil sharpener, I line the middle, and gave shape with the cutters, finished with sandpaper. I do like my things the better I can, even if it is wood, it is a very good one. Once I founded the right point shape, I washed them, and paper dry. There goes my needles and dpn's, the same way.
For the little numbers needles or dpn's, I founded bamboo skewers, those for your BBQ's. Until here, nothing new. For cutting them I used a kids saw, and tons of sandpaper, lying on the floor, at first, so cover any surface, the dust goes all over. For stopers for my needles, some biger beads, or a piece of bigger dowel. That was not all, I use real lineseed oil to protect my work, and, sure, beeswax all over. I added it after dried of the oil, melted in a double boiler. Gently, with a not sharpen knife I took away all the excess, then with an old wool cloth, bright and smothness. They are with the point, lenght, size I wanted. Either you use water, and cream, (I make mine, that is why I have beeswax), or some thin gloves. My camera is not that expensive either, so I assure you that the needles are straight, lol.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Do you want others think you are a real chef?. I am talking of those frozen seafood as shrimps or salmon (fish). Tips, if it is fish, let it at room temmp. until you can cut it in thin slices with an electrical knife or a very sharp one, once you cut them, and in case of small ones, place them in a plastic strainer, over another tray anything that they can defrost, WITHOUT the water of it touches the shrimps-fish-meat, inside the fridge, so they defrost very slowly. Next day, they will be defrosted (believe me), but without the water that you will discard. Then add oil,any you like, lots of, some salt, and lemon juice. Let them always covered with Saran Wrap or any brand of that kind of plastic. Just before you serve them, drain all the oily juice.
For shrimps, I use golf dressing (just mayonaisse, ketchup and a touch of whisky, or cognac), for salmon or another fish, I love Carpaccio, I place the slices with care, add olive oil, lots of capers, over some lettuce, a touch of light soy sauce, and some thin slices of gruyere cheese (not dry). Do not forget that those frozen meats, fish or shrimps are cleaned before so NO boiling water to wash them, or they will shrink, Enjoy
Plum cream:
1 lb dried plums without pits
0.5 lb any dried nut, almonds, peanuts, the one you like best
Add boiling water to the plums, let it overnight, let water enough that covers them, add the nuts, use your manual electric blendor, ans make it a cream. Nuts, are snooth, peanuts add a little Thai accent, almonds, a nice flavor. There is your cream, add milk, or more water if desired. Do not add anything else. Serve it warm, for turkey, chicken, pork, or vegetables. A little different of the applesauce, and the oil of the nuts is wonderful. If something is not used, just froze it. How I love simple but nice recipes.

Breast Chicken Roll:
Clean the breasts (about 2 for each person), without skin, place them inside the same tray you will bake it, add white wine, the juice of one lemon, slices of peeled tomatoes (or canned), 1 clean carrot in thin slices, 1-2 slices of thin bacon (optional), olive oil (or the one you like). leave all for a couple of hours, then place one half breast over the other, the bacon on top, here is the tip, use BBQ sticks (so you can take off easily), go rolling, with the help of the sticks, then with the cheapest cotton thread, form a nice roll, no matter how much you need to do it, keep it overnight (outside the roll goes the other ingredients, next day, you bake it 10 minutes at high temperature, to seal the natural juices, then low the oven to middle, for 15-20 more min. If you are not sure, just cut the roll in the middle, do not panic, because you must cut it in serving slices, with red vegetables on top, and if the roll refuses to stay rounded, just use a stick, it looks wonderful too, serve with the plum cream.

These recipes can be changed as you like, pork, turkey, meat.

What I want is to help newbies to cook, easy because the work is done the day before, and never fail if you don't know when your bake meat is the way you want.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cloudy Sunday, yesterday I was trying to get organized with my new home. I am so happy, ROOM, for my crafts, books, magazines, and sure, yarn and thread, among of other things. Today I want to show you how to make your own tools. But, I insist, why there is always a but, I have not all what I need. Lazy Sunday, I wanted to spend all day long at home with pijamas. So, wait for me!!, I must get dress, go buy that and come back (commercials please, hurry, we don't want the audience to go away).
I created a new blog, because I was just crawling, now I feel walking, wait a minute, just walking, that gave me the idea to carry my camera, poor old pal, still works.