Thursday, November 15, 2012

Salted Caramel Meltaways

I tried making salted caramel sauce the other day. This was actually my second attempt. The first one was almost perfect, except I cooked it just a little too long. The resulting sauce wasn't exactly burned, but it was past the point of normal caramel. It kind of had a toffee flavor. Good, not great.

So, because I love caramel, I decided to try again. This time I think I slightly undercooked it. Go figure. Plus, for whatever reason, it didn't turn into a sauce. It got all grainy and hard instead. But I kept it anyway because I made it, and it's still sugar, and it still tastes good. Besides, it mostly melts when heated, so it can still sort of be used as a sauce. I thought about experimenting with putting it back in the pan and remelting it to see if that would help, but I never got around to it. 

Instead, I made these cute little meltaways! All I did was heat it up in the microwave and spoon it into a silicon ice cube mold. Once it cooled I popped them out and that was it! These little guys are perfect for adding to hot chocolate, coffee, or apple cider. Just stir until they're dissolved and enjoy!

I was excited to find a way to repurpose my failed caramel sauce into something I can actually use!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Customizing Shoes with Embroidery

I have this pair of canvas shoes that were really quite boring. They're actually men's shoes and my husband has a pair of his own so I really needed a way to pretty them up. I realized that they are the perfect material for embroidering and I had been wanting to try out a few basic stitches and designs. I decided to give it a try and I love the way they turned out!

I just did a basic backstitch in a swirly vine pattern and a lazy daisy flower on each foot. I underestimated how difficult it would be to manipulate the needle on the inside of the shoe, especially down by the toe. On the second shoe I tried to work the needle and thread from the outside as much as possible.

On the back heel I added another little flower. The heel had a piece of leather glued on the inside for extra support. It made it much more difficult to push the needle through. I actually broke one needle so I needed to upgrade to something sturdier. When I did the second shoe I used a thumbtack to poke holes for each stitch ahead of time. The glue also gunked up my needle and thread a little bit.

On the side of each shoe I added a heart so I could experiment and practice with satin stitch. 

I love wearing these. This was a really fast and easy project and the possibilities are endless. I hope this inspires you to eye up some of your tired old shoes and give them a little face lift, too!