Monday, August 27, 2012


Wow I can't believe it's been over two months since I've posted, sorry about that, it's been a busy summer.  Between babysitting, motorcycle riding, job hunting (nothing yet), yard work and the list goes!  I just never seem to have enough hours in the day for anything constructive.
  I don't have any pictures to share today but I would like to share some Sandwich Maker information with you.

Your sandwich maker isn't just for sandwiches anymore! :)

My friend Sandy was talking about some creations she had been creating in her sandwich maker so I thought what the heck it sounds easy enough, but alas I didn't have a sandwich maker, so I asked around and discovered my daughter had one she had only used once.  I have since confiscated!    Have you ever wanted to make muffins on a hot summer day, but didn't want to heat up the house?  That seems to be the only time I want baked goods is on really hot summer days, lol!  Well if you are like me you can still have those muffins, not heat up your home and you can cook a dozen in less time than the usual 15 to 20 minutes you have to do it in the oven.  All you have to do is make your batter, place it in the sandwich maker and close the lid for approximately 3 or 4 minutes.

My idea was to make Homemade Pizza Pockets.  All I did was use some canned spaghetti sauce and a knife to spread it on two pieces of bread, add some meat (my first meat one was with bologna because that was what was in the fridge) then I added some cheese.  I placed the second piece of bread on top and put it into the sandwich maker.  Yet again close it for about 3 or 4 minutes and voila you have a quick and easy homemade pizza pocket, this way you can be pretty sure how healthy you and your children are eating.

I hope you will try the above tips and let me know what you think.

As always I wish you health, wealth and happiness!

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Excellent Homemade Cleaner

I've read about making your own window cleaner with water and vinegar, but recently I heard about adding dish soap to vinegar and water for cleaning.  I decided to give it a try as many of the cleaners with bleach in them drive my nose crazy.

I have definitely become a convert.  I used the mixture to clean my tub and after spraying it on I left it for a few minutes then when I was ready to clean it I sprayed it again and grabbed one of my sponges with the scratchy side and started cleaning.  The dirt and grime came off so easy I didn't really even have to use much muscle to clean it and it left no streaks on my shower doors.

After cleaning the bathroom, I made another mixture in a pail and washed all the outside windows with it as well, surprisingly enough no streaks there either and it works on vinyl siding as well.  Best of all almost everyone has these 3 items in their home already.

Let me know if your a convert too and what you've tried it on!

Friday, June 1, 2012

More Projects

Even though the weather has been relatively nice, I have still been doing some work out in the garage.  I've also been spending a good deal of time riding my motorcycle and visiting friends and of course being a Mom's taxi.  Every day there is something else for me to do besides keeping up with housework, yard work, etc.

I know the above is no excuse for my lack of blogging, but those are my excuses.  So today I will show you some more of my current finished items etc.  I hope you find something you like and helps get your creative juices flowing.

Thanks for reading!

First these are little finger bowls and an old pickle jar that I etched using my rotary tool with a diamond bit!

 Next up are small clay pots that I painted and hung from wire to create wind chimes.  This is probably one of the heavies wind chimes!

Next is a cute little wood burned plaque to tell those people who drive too close to me when I'm on my bike what to do.  I always worry that something is going to happen and I am going to get run over by the idiots who drive too close.

Next is my completely free pallet table with my finished pallet sign.  Even the nails I used were reclaimed. :-)

Until next time have fun and start getting creative.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Ooops, I've been a bad blogger again.  I've been busy out in the garage working on various projects in the evenings, in the day time I am out cruising on my motorcycle or spending time with my hubby.  I'm not going to apologize but I do hope you will excuse my absents.

Since it is a rather rainy looking day I thought I should take some time to share with you what I've been up to since my last post.

Clay Pot Wind Chimes.

These are heavy little fellows so I used 20 guage wire to string them and hung them on my heavy duty shepherd's hook plant hanger.  I got the pots and the wire from Dollarama and the U nails I used for the tinkle sound I already had as well as the paint, so the total cost of this project was $3.00 and I still have lots of wire left for other projects so it's technically cheaper than that.

I've also been doing some recycling of an old chair and turning it into an indoor bench for our entry way.  It isn't totally finished yet, but it is a work in progress.  You ever notice that no one ever mentions that upholstery nails are extremely sharp even when they are older than you are.  After stripping this chair of its' upholstery my hand were scratched and bloody, I'm not too anxious to do another one at this time, perhaps in the future if I find a really cool piece to work with, but not in the near future for sure.


So far.

I'm using reclaimed pallet wood for the slats and any other pieces I add to it.  I get the pallets for free so this project has a zero dollar amount...gotta love free :) 

I've also been spending a lot of time trying to get the pesky weeds out of my garden.  

I hope everyone is enjoying some time outside like I am!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pallet wood planter

After seeing some really cool reclaimed pallet or pallet art creations I decided to start working on this type of thing myself.

Years ago I had to take a semester of wood shop, that was in grade 8.  I absolutely loved it.  As a matter of fact I loved it so much I even tried begging my teacher, Mr. Luvchuck to let me continue taking the course for the rest of the year, but the principal and school board wouldn't allow it.  Instead I had to take the sewing/cooking class which I absolutely hated.  To this day I would much rather be out in the garage or in the garden than in the house doing anything like sewing.  (sewing = blech)!

So any way on my birthday my daughter Cassie bought me a jig saw and an electric sander, I told her I was afraid of her dad's circular saw and sanding by hand was killing my arms.  She said the sales person who assisted her gave her a funny look when she told him she wanted them as a birthday gift for her mom!

My first finished project is this planter below.  I didn't sand this as I really like the weathered look of the pallet I made it from, but I did do a little woodburning on it.

I think it turned out pretty good for someone who hasn't really did any wood working since grade school. Now I have a million idea floating through my mind, but can't seem to decide on which one I want to work on first.

So prepare yourselves to see more pallet art coming to CJ's Lil Bits soon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring along Lake Erie

Just a couple of pictures of some of  the flowers sprouting in my garden over the past two weeks when the weather was unseasonable warm.  I hope you like them!

I can hardly wait for the tulips :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bathroom Redo

We had a couple of coolish rainy days so I couldn't really go out on my motorcycle so I finally got around to redoing our half bath upstairs.  Really it is more like a closet as you really can't fit anything more than the toilet and a sink, but my husband finds it useful in the middle of the night as it is just outside our bedroom door.

There was a water leak in this bathroom when we moved in and the plaster walls were so wet it took them a goods 5 years to dry.  The wall really needs some professional help, but due to financial issues we can't really afford that so I am doing the best I can to shore things up until I can afford to have it repaired properly.

Here are the before and after pictures:

I can't even express how totally shocked I was at how very dark yellow the toilet and sink are.  When the bathroom was the yellow beige colour I thought the toilet and sink were the same colour.

All in all I love this little bathroom now and it doesn't make me feel nearly as claustrophobic anymore.  When I use to go in there I would have to leave the door open and pray we didn't get any company or they would have seen more than I feel comfortable showing as our entrance way is just down the steps from this bathroom.

I hope you like the changes as much as I do and it inspires you to paint a room in honour of spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cookie sheet repurposed into serving tray!

I entered my cookie sheet into a facebook contest to win an iPod2, if you would like to vote for me just click on the link and click on the like button. 

Thanks to everyone who does.  I rarely win anything, but it would be pretty cool if I did!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Couple of small projects

Here are a couple of small projects I've finished recently.

This mirror was in our 2 piece bath.  I think it was the cheapest thing that the previous owner left!  It looked like it was a gold metal frame, but upon closer inspection we realized it was just cheap plastic.  So I decided to paint it.  Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the before.

I've also decided to try my hand at pyrography/woodburning.  I've wanted to try this since I was a teenager, but never did.  This is my first project.  It was really too small to do any type of shading, but I think it is a decent start, and I liked it so I can see many more projects with it in my future!  

I'm not sure how long it will be before I have something else to show as the weather is turning extremely nice now and all I want to do is go and ride my motorcycle.  If we get rainy days I have lots of things I need to work on around here, so I will have things to share, just not sure how often.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Desk shelf turned Garage Dry Erase Board

This didn't turn out like I envisioned, so it's a good thing there are several other pieces for this desk so I can try again. :-)

It isn't so bad that it isn't usable, but I'm glad it is going to be in the garage or I would hide it in one of the unused rooms lol!

So here is my computer desk shelf turned Dry Erase Board for the garage.

Before: this pic is of a different shelf as I forgot to take a pic of the one I was working on but they are from the same desk.

After: I modpodged some motorcycle pictures on it and used some strong double sided tape to add the soup can marker holder. I used the outdoor modpodge to give it some water proofing as snow sometimes enters the garage when the wind comes from certain directions.

I hope this encourages you to give it a try. cost Approx. $2.00

I got the dry erase marker and plastic at Dollarama, the rest I already had for years.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Recycling old cheap faux wood desk!

I have one of those fake wood desks made with wood chips and covered with veneer.  It was my son's computer desk, but didn't stand up very well to the torture he put it through.  To be honest I'm not really sure how it is still standing.

I've decided to turn one of the pieces that fell off into a dry erase board for the garage, It is about 18" x 24".  I forgot to take a before picture of the piece I am working on, but I have a second similar piece that I will take a photo of to show you, then I will share the stages I did to work change it into what I wanted.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY - Cookie Sheet to Serving Tray Transformation

The other day I told you about my old rusty cookie sheet that I decided to transform into a pretty serving tray.  I've been working on it off and on since then.  The pictures below show the steps I've completed so to fore warn you I have never had any painting classes, so this painting is far from perfect, but I like it and it is just for us, I'm not trying to sell it or even give it to anyone.

I just need to let the paint dry until tomorrow then I can add the first layer of sealer, but it is basically finished!  I hope you like it as much as I do and it gives you some ideas on ways to transform your old trays besides sending them to the dump!

rust paint 

working on creating landscape


Looming Update

The following two items were done on my Martha Stewart Loom.

This hat was just a test of my Braids and Lace pattern, of course it came out looking way different at I was using an even number of pegs with a pattern that was drawn up for an uneven pegged loom, but I love it and some time when I get back to loom knitting I think I will try making an adult sized hat.

Here is the picture of it:

The next item is the scarf I made for my grandson!

I hope you like them!

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

DIY - Cookie Pan into Serving Tray

I've been using an old rusty cookie sheet as a serving tray to take coffee out to the garage for hubby or outside for the bbq, but now that I've been cleaning and organizing I've come to dislike all the rust and since I got a new bigger sheet from my mother-in-law for Christmas I'm going to paint my old tray ... I've never done this before, hopefully it will turn out.

I've got some new batteries today, hopefully my camera will like!

Special Flavourful Mashed Potatoes

I just wanted to share my new way to make mashed potatoes that came out very very yummy!  I never peel my potatoes because 1) I hate wasting the skins cause they are good for you and 2) to be honest I'm just too!


Boiled potatoes
1 container of your favourite Philadelphia Cream Cheese dip (I used herb and garlic).
3 or 4 tbsp. sour cream
2 or 3 tbsp. margarine or butter

Mix everything together and serve.  I made a full large pan of boiled potatoes as I wanted some left over to add to my freezer cooking.

I can't seem to get the hang of doing this 1 day freezer cooking as it just doesn't seem to work for me, so what I do instead, at least for now, is only purchase stuff I find on sale, make it into something for the freezer or cook it during my regular meals, but take out portions for the freezer.  This works better for me and I am not stuck in the kitchen for hours on end.

I really like doing the freezer thing as I was once told by a freezer repair man that to get the best cost efficiency from your freezer is by keeping it full even if that means just filling the whole thing up with bread.  Now I have a full freezer and it isn't all just!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Over the past four days I've been slowly trying to keep up with housework, freezer cooking and some loom knitting.  I'm also trying to become a better blogger.

I haven't really worked on my blanket but I did start and finish a nice red scarf for my grandson.  I hadn't realized that his mother didn't get him one and was just using hers on him when it was really cold so I knitted him one of his own.  It came our really cute and he just loves it.

Today I got some good deals on broccoli, kiwi and chicken at the local Metro, so when my grandson was napping I prepped the broccoli and kiwi for freezing.  I'll work on the chicken after the oven has defrosted. been cleaned. I decided to cook the chicken in the oven this time as I don't need any more broth as I still have some from the last batch I froze.

On Friday I did some laundry, swept and mopped the hard floors in the house and cleaned the bathroom.  Now that I'm blogging about what I'm doing I am starting to find it more of a necessary thing to do for some reason and now that I am doing everything more often I am finding myself less likely to put the chores off.  I'm not really sure how that works but as long as it does I'm all for it.  I just hope I'm not boring anyone with my posts, lol!

Today is clean the oven day.  I'm writing this while I wait for the easy-off to do its part.  After the easy-off is done I'll wipe it all out then start on baking the chicken.  Think I'll stuff it with onions and rub some spices on it and see how that comes out.  Hopefully it will be tasty enough that Gary can take it with him in the truck as a healthy alternative to some of the stuff he eats when he's on the road.

I hope you're having a good Sunday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Cleaning / Organizing

So even though yesterday was Valentines Day, I still did a few household tasks, cause I just couldn't stand the state the kitchen was in so I did the dishes, then cleaned up the stove, when looking for something in the fridge I remembered the broccoli needed prepared for freezing so I did that.  When I went out to the garage to see if there was room in the chest freezer it suddenly became apparent that I should really defrost that, so away I went.

My husband kept telling me to not worry about it until another day, but for some reason I just couldn't.

We went to the city later to go to Red Lobster for our date.  They were super busy so we took a detour over to value village and I found a cute little night stand for beside the bed, I was previously using a very old end table that was literally on it's last leg so this was an excellent find.

Not sure what I'll do today, so far I'm happy to take a break.

Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I just want to wish my family friends and readers a Happy Valentines Day!  May you day be filled with love and happiness!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chenille Loom Knit Blanket

I am still working on my blanket, haven't gotten bored with it yet, though I only spend a little time on it here and there.  So far I've gotten about 6 feet by 8 inches done, lol!  If my calculations are right it should measure 6 feet by 8 feet when I've run out of yarn.  Glad I bought all the balls when I did because Lion Brand no longer makes this yarn.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Please excuse the mess as I am trying to learn more about blogger and create some pages so it is easier to find stuff around here.  Much like I am doing at home, I am finding it necessary to re-organize my whole life, lol!

Hopefully the changes won't take too long and will be beneficial all the way around.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More Cleaning / Organizing

I did find a few things to do yesterday.

I did a major clean up of the dog pen outside, hubby hasn't been keeping up on it so I got tired of looking at the mess and took over.  Took me about an hour, will definitely start trying to do this weekly if not a few times a week.

I made a pork roast with potatoes, onions and carrots in the crock pot, which the left overs are being turned into soup for today!

I cleaned the worst two junk drawers in the kitchen as well.

I also had to have a chat with other family members about putting their own things away and to quit cluttering up my clean spaces.  No they weren't happy about it, but I need them to at least do that much!

So far today, I've started my soup, did up the morning dishes, fed the dog, took out the recycle for pick up and started knitting a chenille blanket for my bed on my Martha Stewart Loom all the straight pieces and the two semi circle pieces together.  This should give me a blanket that is pretty close to 6 feet in width!

Have a great day everyone

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I did today!

Unfortunately I find I have little inspiration to loom knit anything right now.  I finished a baby hat the other day, but haven't had time to edit the picture yet!

Today I continued my house cleaning, I've come to realize that I don't really clean as much as I should and I am a pack rat!  Back in November I decided enough was enough and I would get this house in better shape.  I won't bore you with all the things I've done since then, but I am starting to find it necessary to remind myself what I've done so maybe I can feel like I'm doing this right!

So today this is what I did!
I did two loads of laundry, washed, folded and put away.
I did the morning dishes as well as a few I had soaking over night.
I cleaned the main bathroom, wiped down the shower doors, bathtub, etc.
I re-organized the big freezer in the garage, but it needs to be defrosted and cleaned soon.
While cooking supper I cooked enough ground chicken to make 3 meals.  I made enough to freeze some for tacos, then added enough tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes to make enough for two pasta dinners.
I did the supper dishes.
And last but not least I cleaned two of my kitchen drawers.

So what is on the agenda for tomorrow?  Heck I don't know, but I'm sure I'll find something to do!

Have a good night everyone.  I know there are people out there reading this even if no one ever! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Freezer Cooking

I decided to try my hand at freezer cooking today.  I didn't do the 30 day one that some people do and to be honest I'm glad I didn't my back is killing me just from what I did!

So today I made enough chicken for 4 meals, enough chicken stock for an army, 13 hamburgers, 2 dozen meatballs, 3 meat loafs, 4 meals worth of broccoli, 3 meals worth of cauliflower, and 1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms.  So I think I did pretty good for a first time.

My freezer is now brimming and I feel as if I accomplished something wonderful for my family. So from now on when I see a sale I'll be wondering how many meals I can get out of it.

Updated: Feb. 5, 2012: Forgot to mention I also froze 10 kiwis, yummy kiwi!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Meatball Recipe

Meatballs, Mushroom Soup & Peppers Recipe

1 lb. ground pork
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 cup rice
1/4 - 1/2 cup diced onion
2 yellow peppers
2 cans mushroom soup

Mix together pork, seasonings, egg,  rice, and onions in a medium bowl.  Make this mixture into meatballs.  Place the meatballs in a skillet with the yellow peppers and and cook til brown.  Add the mushroom soup and 1 1/2 cans of water and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

This was my first time trying this recipe, but I am sure I'll be cooking it again, everybody loved it!

I hope you will too!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Loom Knit Headband

This is what I made today while babysitting my grandson!

I'm going to try to write up the pattern once I have tested it out again.  This headband is so stretchy it fit my grandson who is almost two as well as my head. It was done on the Martha Stewart loom using just the two 1/2 circles with the blue pegs in all 56 holes.

Loom Knit Leaf

Someone in one of the Facebook Groups asked if you could knit a leaf on the round KK looms. Here is my rendition of a leaf on the 24 peg kk loom.

Loom Knit Leaf
Copyright (C) 2012 Cindy Jackson

All knitting is done with the e-wrap. Leaf is done as a flat panel (knitting back and forth in rows).

Ewrap cast on 3 pegs.
Row 1: Slip first peg, purl next peg, knit last peg.
Row 2: repeat row 1.
Row 3: Increase row. Move the end loops over 1 peg so you have a loop, an empty peg, a loop, an empty peg and a loop. Slip the end peg, wrap the peg, knit one, wrap the empty peg, knit one.
Row 4: Slip, purl, knit, purl, knit
Row 5: Repeat row 4.
Row 6: Increase row. Move end loops the same as in row 3. Slip the end peg, wrap, knit 3, wrap, knit last peg.
Row 7: Slip, purl, knit 3, purl, knit.
Row 8: Repeat row 7.
Row 9: Decrease row. Lift the end loops and place the loop next to them on the peg. (eg:The loop from peg 6 goes on peg 7) put the original loop back on the peg knit off. Move this loop onto the empty peg. You should be down to 5 pegs with loops on them now. Slip the first peg, purl, knit, purl, knit
Row 10: Slip. Purl, knit, purl, knit.
Row 11: Decrease row. Repeat row 9. You should be back down to 3 loops on your loom. Slip, purl, knit.
Row 12. Slip, purl, knit.
Row 13: Decrease by lifting centre loop and placing one of the other loops under it, knit over, lift the loop again, place it on top of the remaining loop and knit over. Wrap and knit. Cut yarn and pull through last loop.

I hope this pattern works for you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Loom Knit Doll Dress

I started working on this a few weeks ago, but things have a habit of happening and then I forget what I was! Any way I made the dress and the wings for this 11 1/2 inch doll on my Martha Stewart loom. I just love this loom and use it almost every day. Now that dolly has her new dress and wings I am working on a loom knit yo-yo doll of some sort. It is taking shape but I'm not quite sure what it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Braids and Lace Shawl

I finally put up my Braids and Lace Shawl pattern. I decided that since it has taken me so long to upload it, it will be free at least for now.

If you do make it all I ask is that you do not make a profit from it. I hope you enjoy this pattern.