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DIY

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Deals, Decor, DIY

Cool new crafting tools!

We love finding creative Utah companies and recently we were introduced to Pen Blade.

New cool crafting knives for all sorts of projects. We’ve cut out crepe paper for flowers, fondant, paper initials and name cards. What’s cool about PenBlade is that they have different small knives that make cutting details a lot easier than using scissors.

We made this fun paper rose chandelier to change out during the holidays.  During October, we added some sugar skulls and next month we’ll add some leaves for Thanksgiving.

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 PenBlade is also selling 5 knives for only $10 this month so we thought we’d share!  Check out the uses for these fun tools below and let us know what you think!  To see the sale, click HERE.

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DIY, Recipes

It’s Salsa time!

There’s nothing better than canning salsa on a rainy day and today was just that day.  This past weekend we picked baskets of fresh, organic and beautiful tomatoes from our grandfather’s farm along with peppers of all kinds.  The rest of the ingredients were purchased at Sprouts, our favorite organic produce store.

So send out a text inviting family and friends to join you, roll up those sleeves, put on an apron, and can some salsa you’ll enjoy all year.

While you are at it, double the recipe and share a jar or two with someone that needs a little love!

Salsa recipe

Salsa Restaurant Style and so yummy!

Ingredients:

10 cups peeled, chopped and drained tomatoes (drop whole tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds and the peel will come right off)

3 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped bell peppers, green, red and yellow

5 jalapenos, chopped fine (no seeds unless you like it spicy)

8 cloves garlic, minced

3 tsp. ground cumin (we love cumin so we put in heaping teaspoons)

3 tsp. black pepper

3 tsp. coarse Kosher salt

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ cup sugar

1 ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 can tomato sauce (16 oz)

1 can tomato paste (12 oz)

Salsa recipe

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes while stirring.

Fill the clean pint size jars with the salsa, leaving ½ inch space at the top.

Wipe the rim of the glass jar with a damp cloth.

Boil the lids for a couple of minutes and seal jars with lid and ring.

Process in a water bath canner for 25-30 minutes. This time is for high altitudes of 3000 ft to 6000 ft.

After removing the jars from water bath, allow them to cool on the counter while they completely seal as they cool. If a jar does not seal properly, just put in in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.

Recipe will make 12 pint size jars.

Salsa recipe

 

 

 

 

Easy Halloween gift
DIY, Halloween

Halloween Spooky Treat DIY

It’s time for parades, parties and Halloween programs, so here is an easy and fun gift for the kids.

These spooky bat and ghost chips are available at Trader Joes and are actually shaped like bats and ghosts!

Just click, print, add ribbon and you’re done!  And be sure to print another one for the fridge or for a frame on some colorful paper.

Happy Halloween!

halloween-printable

easy Halloween gift idea

 

Easy Trader Joes Halloween gift and printable

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DIY, Halloween

Banner DIY

October is here, time to get out the Halloween decor.   This past week we visited Elayne’s Quilt Shop and found this fun piece of fabric.  adobephotoshopexpress_2016_10_02_20_15_11

This is what we did with it:

Make a card stock square template and cut out each letter to the desired size.

Then fold each side about 1/4″ under and iron.

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You will also need some felt.  We purchase the felted felt available at Michael’s because it’s thicker.

Cut it larger than the letter fabric so that you have about  1″  all around.  We chose three colors of felt but all in black would look very nice too.

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Pin fabric in place onto the felt.  You are now ready to embroider.

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Use any stitch you like.  This one is called “plain blanket stitch” it’s quick and easy.  See our Pinterest page, Salt Sky Utah for more ideas.

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When all your letters are done, sew them to a piece of ribbon.  We did the “HAPPY” separate from the “HALLOWEEN” But if you have a big place to hang it, you could sew it all in one continuous ribbon.  Make sure at each end you leave 20″ so that you can hang it.

The fabric cost was $8.00.  The felt $15.00 or less if you use a coupon. (Michael’s always has 40% off coupons online)

Have fun creating this Halloween banner that you can bring out year after year!

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Inner Peace, Inner "peas" DIY gift to brighten someone's day!
DIY, Gift Ideas

Inner Peace gift idea to make someone’s day

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference.  For under $2, this gift tells someone you are thinking about them.

What you need:

-A bag of Inner Peas from Trader Joe’s ($1.49)… Don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you?  Click here to purchase them and have them shipped right to you! (Pricing varies online)

Print this quote on your computer:  

The Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll find peace.”

The Spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.”

Punch a hole in the top of the bag and add your favorite ribbons.

You don’t need to spend much to say a lot, and you’ll have a blast delivering someone some Inner “peas”.

Inspired by my sweet friend, Leigh Ann… XOXO

Printable Utah graphic for DIY Tee
DIY

DIY Utah T-Shirts!

It’s almost Pioneer Day here in Utah and so why not wear a Utah T-Shirt to celebrate our fabulous state.  Below is a FREE printable to create your own T-shirts.

  1. Click on the image below and save to your computer. (This is set up as a mirror image so it will transfer on to your shirts, 8.5 X 11, 2 images on a page, print it landscape)
  2. Print on an Inkjet printer with transfer paper found at most craft stores.
  3. Iron on to your tee according to the transfer paper directions.
  4. Done!

Post your photos to Instagram with #SALTSKY to be entered into our Pioneer Day drawing giveaway!  (If you have a private account, please direct message a screenshot of your post to us so we can make sure to enter you.  We aren’t able to see private account posts.)  Enjoy!

printable Utah Tee Graphic

let freedom ring free printable (1)
DIY, Independence Day

DIY 4th of July T-shirt

Making crafts for holidays is just too much fun, so here is an original FREE printable to make your own t-shirts to wear for the 4th of July.  Just click on the image below and save to your computer.

  • Print on an inkjet printer onto heat transfer paper (found at most craft stores)
  • Iron on the image on a shirt following the heat transfer directions.
  • Unique shirt that nobody else will have at your 4th festivities.

Enjoy and have a fabulous 4th of July holiday!

XOXO

Salt Sky

 

Let Freedom Ring graphic

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DIY, For Kicks & Giggles

Growing your organic summer veggies

It’s not too late to start growing some organic vegetables in pots. I am loving that my pots are just outside the back door on my deck.

I planted zucchini, yellow squash, two kinds of tomatoes and some of my favorite herbs for cooking.

The grandkids love to come over everyday and water the pots. It’s so fun to see how excited they get and I can’t wait until we can cook together something delicious that they helped to harvest.

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It’s so easy to get a garden going in pots. And you don’t even need to go to the store and break your back lifting the heavy bags of soil. Simply order your potting soil for organic gardening right here. I like using Espoma because it’s all natural and no pesticides have been added.

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Here are some other helpful things to have on hand.

Tomato & Plant support cage.  This is a must have for supporting your plants, they get huge fast.

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Gardman 8330 Galvanized Watering Can with Copper Accents, 1.9 Gallon. I love this charming watering can.

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Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer Poly Bag.  For healthy plants and big juicy vegetables!

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Happy planting, growing, harvesting and cooking!

easy paper valentine garland DIY
DIY, Valentine's

Easy Paper Valentine Garland

It’s freezing outside and the kids are getting cabin fever!  Luckily one of our favorite holidays is right around the corner and the perfect time to get them working on some decorating projects to celebrate. We went to EM Paper in Holladay, Utah to get the cutest ribbon and paper for this project.

What you’ll need:

  • Light weight cardstock paper (8.5″ x 11″ sheets), cut in 2″ strips (long sides)
  • scissors or paper cutter
  • stapler
  • ribbon
  • glue

First cut your strips of paper.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

Next… fold strips in half.  With folder edge pointing down, turn your top pieces inward to create a heart.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

  Staple the top of the heart together WITH the bottom point of the next heart.  Continue stapling hearts together until your garland is the desired length.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

Use your favorite ribbon and tie, glue or staple as shown below.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

This is a fun project that your kids will love to help with and won’t take you very long to put together.  Happy creating!

britt

cake by courtney DIY cake basics article, featured on saltskyutah.com
DIY

Cake Baking Basics from a pro

We are totally excited to have the very talented Courtney Rich, from Cake by Courtney, as a guest blogger today!  We think you’ll be just as pumped to get baking as we are… thanks Courtney!

Hi! I’m Courtney from Cake by Courtney. I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake. Several years ago I ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to make that kind of cake. That’s why, when the girls of Salt Sky Utah asked me to do a guest post about the basics of cake making, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve had my fair share of cake fails, including my own birthday cake a couple of years ago (what a debacle that was!). But, with each cake, whether a success or fail, I learn something new and go on to make better tasting, better looking cakes. So today, I hope to take out a bit of the trial and error for you and make the art of baking cakes a little easier.

I have a lot of great things to share with you, but the first piece and most important words of advice I can offer is to start simple and get to know the basics. The last thing you want to do is pick an overly complicated cake for your first try and get discouraged if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you saw it on Pinterest. So, start simple and get yourself familiar with ingredients, baking tools, and techniques. Once you have the basics down, you’ll feel far more confident in tackling more challenging cakes down the road.

Ok, now on to cake prep and assembly! Here’s my list of tips, along with a couple videos and pictures, that I think will be most helpful to you as you start baking cakes.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COURTNEY’S CAKE PREP VIDEO!

-If you suspect that your oven gets too hot (cooks quickly) or not hot enough (takes a lot longer than the recommended bake time), test the temperature with a thermometer once your oven reaches the recommended baking temperature. If it’s not accurate, simply adjust your oven temperature up a little or down a little to get it to the right point.
-You can use any pans of your liking, as long as they’re at least two inches high. One-inch pans are too low and you’re likely to get cake batter pouring over the sides as it cooks.
-Always butter or spray your pans with nonstick spray, then place a parchment round on the bottom of the pan, and spray again. If you want to go the extra mile, give the pan a light dusting of flour.
-When trying a recipe for the first time, follow it exactly. Have your ingredients on-hand so you don’t have to make substitutions (it won’t be the same cake the recipe intended it to be with substitutions). Once you’ve made a recipe once and know what it’s supposed to taste like, then you can test out new substitutions and compare to the original recipe.
-When measuring your dry ingredients, use a spoon to scoop the dry ingredient into the measuring cup and then scrape off the excess with a knife. This method gives you the most accurate amount of the ingredient. You can always use a kitchen scale for measuring too.
-Use a kitchen scale to weigh the pans as you fill them with batter so your cake layers come out as even as possible.
-Don’t open your oven to check on your cakes before 20 minutes.
-To check if your cake is done, you can either gently tap the top of it or insert a toothpick into the center. If the cake still jiggles when you tap it, it’s not done. If the toothpick comes out with thin batter or gooey batter on it, it’s not done.
-Let your cakes cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. They’ll still do a little cooking during this time so make sure you don’t leave them in the oven too long. It’s ok for the toothpick to come out with some crumbs on it. If it comes out completely dry, you’ve likely over-baked the cake.
-Invert your cake layers onto a wire rack to cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

cake by courtney leveling DIY

When you’re ready to assemble your cake, level your cake layers. This can be done with a cake leveler (as seen in my pictures above) or you can use a ruler to mark four points around each cake layer and then connect those points with your serrated knife as you move to the center. If you use this second method, make sure you measure the same height for each cake layer.
Use masking tape or duct tape to secure your cake board on to your turntable (the cake board will slide around otherwise)
Place your first cake layer in the center of the cake board, right side up.
Using a plastic bag or pastry bag, pipe an even layer of frosting on the first cake layer. You can then use an offset spatula to level out the frosting even more, if needed. To get the best view, get eye level with your cake.
When you’re ready for the final cake layer, place it bottom-side up to get the flattest surface for frosting.
Spread a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs.
Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to firm up and then finish frosting and decorating.

CLICK HERE TO SEE COURTNEY’S CAKE ASSEMBLY VIDEO!

I hope this helps give you a little more confidence to throw out those boxed cake mixes and start baking truly scrumptious cakes from scratch.  And if you need some recipe inspiration or have any questions, head over to CakeByCourtney.blogspot.com!

cake by courtney

5 family halloween games
DIY, Halloween

5 Family Halloween Games

Halloween is such a fun week to get family and friends together for a party or time to spend with your little ones in their classroom parties.  We’ve found some great games with printable and tutorials that will make your party awesome and the best part is… most everything is already done for you!  Click on the links below for everything you need to know from some fun blogs!  Have a great Halloween week!

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Halloween Scattergories by The Crafting Chicks

charades

Halloween Charades by Buggy & Buddy

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Halloween Bingo by One Creative Mommy

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Halloween Scavenger Hunt by Family Volley via The Idea Room

blue i style - PumpkinTicTacToePin

Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe by Blue i Style

britt