After I went a few months without being able to go down into my basement, when I finally did make it back down there, I was dismayed by how messy it was. So I started trying to organize some of my supplies. While doing so, I came across a whole lot of random lengths of chain, leftover from other projects. Most were too short to be a necklace chain on their own, but of course I couldn’t just throw them away. So I turned the mismatched, salvaged pieces of chain into a chain tassel necklace. Mixing different finishes, colors, and weights of chains works perfectly, but if you prefer a more uniform look, you could always make yours with matching chain. However you put yours together, it’s a fun take on fringe that I could see working well with lots of different styles.
Chain of various thicknesses and finishes
Necklace chain with clasp – I used a long, 24-inch chain.
Large bead endcap – I used one with about 9mm inner diameter, similar to this one.
1. Cut several pieces of chain to approximately the same length. I went with 3 inches, and I ended up using 16 pieces total.
2. Cut a piece of wire about 1.5 inches long, and string the chain onto it.
3. When you’ve added all of your chain, loop one end of the wire and wrap it to secure it. (Further instructions if you’ve never done this before.)
4. Slide the endcap over the chain.
5. Make a wrapped loop in the wire above the endcap, and trim the excess wire.
6. Trim the chain tassel pieces so that they’re as even as you’d like, and thread the tassel onto a necklace chain.
Cake for breakfast sounds decadent, but certain cakes are considered acceptable breakfast food, and I believe this is one of them. It’s got whole wheat, and it’s loaded with apples, meaning it’s healthier than most muffins or coffee cakes. Maybe I’m just trying to justify the fact that I’m eating it for breakfast right now, but let’s not judge. If you’ve got a problem with cake for breakfast, just wait ’til after dinner, add ice cream, and you’ve got dessert. Problem solved!
Rustic Skillet Apple Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
¼ cup almond flour/meal
3 Tbsp corn meal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
4-5 apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp butter for greasing pan
Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F. Preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl well. In a separate bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, almond flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger (the remaining dry ingredients) by hand. Add the flour mixture to the batter, followed by the apples. Mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
Remove the hot preheated skillet from the oven and add about 1 tablespoon butter. Allow it to melt, and spread it around the bottom and sides by tipping the pan until it’s coated. Scoop the batter into the prepared skillet. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan.
I’m not big on traditional resolutions, but when everyone else is talking about them it’s easy to come up with things I’d like to do differently in life. And then I’m liable to forget about them five minutes later. So this year I decided to make myself a little visual reminder of a few things I want to remember. The first one is on this easy, no-sew felt wall banner.
I chose “Try New Things,” as my phrase because it can encompass so many different areas of life. And like many people, sometimes I’m afraid of things I’ve never tried. But even if I don’t end up outright enjoying them (which I often do!), I’m usually glad I gave them a try. If you need the same reminder, I’m sharing the template I used. But if you have a different phrase in mind, you can easily make your own (I used Arial font, bold, 200 point).
Felt – I used one black 12-by-18-inch sheet for the backing, and one white 8-by-10-inch sheet for the letters.
Twine or string
Skewer or toothpick
Hand saw (optional, if you need to shorten your dowel)
1. Loop the short edge of the large piece of black felt around the dowel. Measure and mark the point to which you fold it down, about 1.5 inches from the folded edge for me.
2. Spread fabric glue on part of the looped felt, and glue it together. Allow the glue to dry.
3. Print out your chosen phrase (my template) in large block letters and cut out each letter from the paper. Place the cut-out letters facedown on the white felt, and trace around them with a ballpoint pen. You want to trace them facedown (reverse) to eliminate the risk of ending up with black pen ink on the front side of the felt letters.
4. Carefully cut out each letter, and lay out on the black felt.
5. Use the ruler and chalk to measure out and mark a triangular point on the bottom of the black piece of felt, and cut.
6. Insert the dowel into the loop at the top of the black felt piece, and tie a piece of twine around each end. Trim excess.
7. Glue the letters in place, being careful to wipe away any excess glue. The kind I used dries clear, but it leaves shiny spots, so try to use the minimum amount you need. The banner shouldn’t see much wear-and-tear hanging on the wall.
Have you made any resolutions for 2015? How do you keep track of them?
My name is Rachel and I live in wonderful Portland, OR. Transient Expression is about fashion, style, and DIY. I love to share craft projects, cute outfits, recipes, and inspiration for living a handmade life.