Hi, my name is Carmen. Welcome to Beyond The Fringe!

Here you'll find sewing, crocheting, card making, painting, doodling and more. I offer digital stamps and vintage graphics, many for free. Enjoy your visit!

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Aug 29, 2014

Idle Hands? No!

Welcome to the end of August!

As I type that, I'm finding it hard to believe. It's been a hot summer filled with a beautiful garden (which means lots of canning), visits to and from family, sewing, crocheting, and lots of studying for a course I'll be teaching this Fall. 

I hope you haven't felt too neglected and that your summers have also been awesome! 

I'll be honest...I feel a little guilty, but at the same time, life happens. I've even thought of ending this little blog, since I don't make any money with it and haven't had time to do tutorials, which I would've loved to do and which I know gets traffic. I'm actually quite good at that sort of thing, if it weren't for the time it takes.....

I'll see how this Fall goes and if it happens...if not, I'll reconsider what I'll do with the blog at the end of this year.

So I'm just going to show you what I have been doing. Within the next 2 weeks I have to do up some digitals for a couple of sites that are sponsoring my work. I'll be sure and do up a freebie for you then. Promise.

My computer isn't working well right now...my screen is black. I am typing this with an additional screen off to the side so that I can see what I'm doing. Annoying, to say the least, but it is what it is for now.  I'm sure there are bigger problems in the world. 

First my garden. It started out like this........

And ended up like this....see my granddaughter's head? Most of the tomatoes (in the back half) just exploded and are leaning over. We can't figure out a way to stake them high enough. They're really producing though.

I picked a bunch of the basil a while back...

and made Pesto. YUM!  I have enough basil out there to make more now. 
See below for the recipe.

Here are some of the tomatoes. I had opted to have lots of Roma's, a few eating tomatoes and maybe one cherry tomato....but my husband helped. I ended up with about 4 cherry tomatoes, 3 Roma's and 6 eating. In the end I decided, hey...they're all tomatoes. In the pot they go! 

I turned them into stewed tomatoes. These are great in my spaghetti...I'm known for my spaghetti. 
Those green things on the bottom of the picture. Well, they were supposed to be long english cucumbers. We kept waiting for them to turn dark green...until they began turning into monsters. 

Then we realized what we had were Armenian cucumbers. 
They're not bad...much like the long english but a lighter flavor.

Remember all that fabric I was given? Kai wanted some shorts with pockets. 
What Grandma would say no to those big brown eyes of his? 

I also made this little dress. It's the La Jolla Bow Dress. Google it, it's a free pattern. Easy and cute! I added the band at the bottom as it wasn't in the original instructions. 

It was my first time shirring with elastic....turned out pretty good considering. 

And it's just about time to start making soap again. However, my DIL and I decided to start with these lotion bars for her little ones. One in particular has very dry problematic skin and this bar is all natural. Easy to make too. I kept a couple, then gave one to my mom, so I have one left. I keep it in the fridge because it is very soft. They hardened to a lighter color than in the photo below. 
See below for the recipe.

Here's the Sock Monkey Hat I promised to make for our littlest grandson, Cooper. His mommy picked out the colors....I love them! That's keep his noggin' warm up there in cold Ft. McMurray, Alberta! 

We also made some things this summer. Here's a little balloon bracelet we made. You're supposed to use the long animal balloons, but all I had was water balloons. It kinda worked. The kids didn't seem to mind too much. It was just something to do to keep them busy while babysitting.

Oh, and remember the studying I've been doing. Here's my notes and some hand outs for 9 chapters out of the 11 or 12 we'll be covering. There'll be more handouts as well. All neatly typed out and ready to copy for the students. Yes, I've been busy! 

Basil Pesto Recipe

2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup EV olive oil (I used just virgin)
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1 whole lemon
1/3 cup pine nuts (I used walnuts...all I had on hand)

In a food processor, finely chop the garlic.
Add basil, chop until fine. 
Add cheese, nuts, salt and pepper. Pulse until it looks coarse and pasty.
Slowly add olive oil while the processor is running. Keep running until well mixed. 
Add lemon juice slowly while running processor. 
Mixture should be a bit wet/oily.
Store in airtight container and keep in fridge for up to 1 week. 

Pesto can be frozen. I poured my leftovers into an ice cube tray and covered each one with a bit of olive oil. After frozen, I removed them from the tray and put them into a ziploc bag for later use. 

All Natural Lotion Bars

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup cocoa butter
1 1/3 cup grated beeswax
2 tsp. Vitamin E Oil 

I melted the first three ingredients together in a double boiler slowly and added the Vitamin E after. I then poured them into silicone molds. 
They were very soft, so I put them in the fridge after about 4 hours and left them overnight. They came out solid. They melt with the warmth of your skin and are perfect for the little ones. 

I wanted to keep these all natural and they smell like chocolate because of the cocoa butter. Kai says they smell like vanilla. He must be smelling the natural beeswax. 

You could add essential oils if you wanted to, but why?

I will be keeping mine in the fridge when not in use. 

September is just around the corner and life should settle back into our regular humm again. In the mean time, have a great long weekend and be safe on the roads!



  1. What a great looking garden! I enjoy reading your blog--I hope you don't end it. All the things you made are cute! Have a good day!

    1. Thanks, Teresa! You certainly are a faithful follower!

  2. Yum ! I'm so jealous! No idle hands here!

    1. Thanks, Anita! Love your pumpkin clock, btw!

  3. Oh wow! You have been busy!!! So jealous of your garden and cooking abilities! But in a good way! :) Love the cute little dress and monkey hat! ADORABLE! I don't post much either; especially about making cards and such lately, as I've been busy making an occasional charity quilt or just trying to keep up with the house. I just keep my free blog and post when I want. Not many people read it, but that's o.k. with me, as I just like to post at will anyway. No pressure that way! I do enjoy seeing your posts; on all the subjects you share! But I think you have to do what works for you; I try not to take on more than I can handle. Been sick a lot at times anyway, so I have to be that way. That's what works for me. Your lotion bars and pesto sound awesome! :)

  4. My goodness...you have been so busy! Your garden is wonderful and you will be so thankful for those stewed tomatoes when you make your spaghetti!

  5. Thank you! My problem is that I love to do lots of things, so it's easy to take on too much. I'm not sick, but my husband has a lot of problems and is in constant pain. He may be looking at early retirement, and I may be looking for a job soon. :)


Thanks for the comments!