Awhile back I posted a banjo video of me playing Mary Had a Little Lamb - clawhammer. Someone contacted me and asked if I had the tab. I hadn't normally written tab in the past. This version is something that I came up with and just happened to tab it. Hooray! It's not perfect, but I will share for anyone who is interested.
If you would like the banjo tab in pdf form, it can be uploaded from here. It is for ADADE tuning and 3 different versions that can all be added together for variety. Good Luck!
I bought the best thing in the world for $20 at Walmart, and this may be the first time I have bought anything cheap that actually works as intended.
Rival Double Stack Vegetable Steamer - it's cheap and a little thin. It does not have all of the bells and whistles that the more expensive models have. It works!!!! Most important for me.
This is why it is worth it to me. This was my dinner. I put all of this in the steamer. About 25 minutes and Bam! Done! I added a spoonful of butter and tossed the okra. A little salt and everything was so yummy. You just throw some vegetables together and some Ms. Dash. Put it in there, and it comes out amazing.
Here is what it looked like stacked before I turned it on. This picture is before I figured out that my stacking seals were stuck together. It still cooked wonderful. Fool Proof!
More food pictures for you. This was the first time I tried it. Broccoli, Squash, Celery, Onion, Ms. Dash. I ate every bit of it.
This is what it looked like while it was cooking. Like I say, I didn't have the stacking seal on it, and it still cooked up great. This is using only one layer of cooking.
Look at the vibrant color of the finished food. It is not cooked to death and has plenty of flavor. You can toss with some olive oil and salt or nothing at all.
This may be the best $20 I have spent in a long time. This is especially the best time of year to find something like this with all of the fresh vegetables around. I do plan on cooking some meats in it, too. I am also wondering if tamales are an option.
I have been making soap for awhile now. Everyone always asks me if I am selling it. Up until now, I have only been giving it to my friends and family. As I started making different kinds, I have found a few recipes that I really love.
I am selling two kinds of soap at the moment. Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Cocoa Butter Soap and Ginger Papaya Mango Butter Soap. More to be added soon!
As of right now, this is what is curing on my table. I still have some of the Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey soap in the back. You can tell because it has a honeycomb texture.
I decided that I would share my soaping experiences good or bad so others can use it to their benefit in their soaping journeys.
One of the prettiest soaps I have done so far is the soap I will probably call Mocha Cappuccino Cocoa Butter Soap pictured below. Only a little over 2 pounds.
It is made with brewed coffee, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, etc. The smells are chocolate, vanilla, and coffee grounds sprinkled on top. You can't really tell exactly what a soap will smell like until it has finished curing. Experimenting with colors and swirls.
It does look like a manly soap with rich, strong scents. I had a light bit of ash form on the top. That is always a stinker because it doesn't happen right away, usually the second or third day. I haven't had ash problems for some time. Hmmm
This is some Ginger Papaya with Mango Butter and sprinkles of poppy seeds. About 2.5 pounds. I was experimenting with color and swirls again. It is good to learn different techniques such as mixing in the pot or in the mold. This smells amazing. It was quite stout in the bottle but mellowed just enough in the soap.
My saran wrap stuck to the top, and I did not get the top I was hoping for although it still looks good. This color will change even further as it cures. I suspect that the soap will lighten a bit as the water evaporates.
Not as impressive since there was some noticeable gelling discoloration on the sides. This is only cosmetic. Whenever I use a PVC mold, I always get a little different color at the bottom inch or so. I use a goat milk so I do not insulate. This soap was Frankincense & Myrrh Goat Milk Soap. This was 2 pounds. There is also ground oatmeal in this soap. This is much better than my first attempt at Frankincense & Myrrh soap. It was horrible and smelled like playdough. I threw it out because it stunk so bad.
Here is a bonus! I made some Coco-Rosey Lip Balm the other day found at Crunchy Betty's blog. You can tell that I have been using the bottom right one already. It is not bad. I think the recipe needs improving. The first time I made it, it did not harden or set up. I had to reheat and add a tablespoon of beeswax to it. After viewing the comments, I could see that other people had problems as well. I live in Texas, and it is summer. Coconut Oil is not going to stay hardened in our climate anytime of the year. I infused the oil with dried rosebuds. After I use it for an extended time, I will let you know how it is. I like anything that smells like cocoa butter.
In a week or so, I am going to be teaching someone to make soap. I am excited to pass this on to others.
I have been filling my soap curing table up in the last few weekends. My latest creation combined a few things I have been wanting to try - the honeycomb pattern and the oatmeal in the middle. I used a very popular fragrance oil: Oatmeal, Milk & Honey that can be purchased from Brambleberry.
I just unwrapped this 5 pounds of cold process soap today and cut it. It is still very soft and needs 4 weeks to cure. The color will change a bit over the 4 weeks, and it will shrink a tiny bit. This is a blend of oils I worked up when I started making my Chocolate Mint Spa Soap. It has a good proportion of coconut oil in it and cocoa butter as my moisturizer.
This is the soap on its side. You can see that I put the bubble wrap on the bottom of the mold and poured right on top of it. You just easily peel the bubble wrap off and you get this neat design. There is a layer of oatmeal in the middle of the soap.
This is once I first pulled the freezer paper away from the sides. It was just poured yesterday. Untouched and uncut.
Here is what I had curing before this weekend. Pictured in the back: (cold process/hot process) Orange Patchouli Coconut Milk. Round pieces are cold process Apple & Peach Cobbler Goatmilk soap with raspberry seeds. My favorite that is curing towards the front is a cold process/hot process Creamy Coconut soap. I specially formulated it for my mother-in-law with mostly Coconut Oil, coconut milk, and mango butter.
It's been awhile since I posted. I have made 3 videos in the past few weeks that are of clawhammer banjo playing.
If you have a minute or two and want to catch up, here you go!
This song is called Cluck Old Hen. It's an older sounding song played clawhammer style. Played on Deering Goodtime Openback Banjo.
Here is a clawhammer version of Cripple Creek for the bluegrass lovers.
Last but not least. Blackberry Blossom played Clawhammer style.
I would also like to plug my favorite banjo maker, Chuck Lee. One of these days I will have one of his handcrafted banjos to play for you. :) He is a real nice guy who lives in Ovilla, TX and makes the best darn banjos around. I have had the pleasure of talking with him and playing one of his banjos at the Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington, TX. His son, Nate Lee, is an amazing mandolin/fiddle player. I have heard him play there in Arlington a few years, Overton Bluegrass Festival, and CampBluegrass in Levelland, TX many moons ago.
I needed some skirts to wear and love denim, but good jean skirts seem hard to find when you are looking for them. I had older Levis pants. I was so intimidated by ripping out the inside seam in the jeans. Once I got started, it wasn't so bad.
Warning: Bad quality cell phone pics! :)
It is an A-line skirt. I trimmed the bottom off and pieced in the panel. I frayed the edge and ran two lines of stitches above where I cut it so it won't fray past that part.
It has turned out to be one of my most comfortable skirts now. Didn't cost anything since I used what I already had.
I also decided on a whim today that I would like to make some pretty flowers to put in my hair. I saw some for sale but knew I could create them cheaper and more unique. I got some tulle, organza, felt, and alligator clips at Hobby Lobby today. I already had some seed beads. It was fun.
This Plecostomus has become the star of our tank. He is a few years old and eats wafers everyday. Our tank is 47 gallons and vertical. He is getting so big that some of our decor is having to come out.
You can see that the plecostomus is probably 12 inches long now. He looks stuck in the colosseum, but he's not. I have removed some of the extra fake greenery and other things so that he can lay on the gravel.
He is so large that when I am on the couch staring at him, I am sure that he is staring back at me. I do not handle him, but I have read that some people like to do that. I am not that brave. It is becoming harder to clean the tank and keep him undisturbed. He is graceful and looks like a dragon flying through the water.
When I first got this plecostomus, I thought he was just going to be an algae sucker. He was maybe 1-2 inches long from the pet store. If you feed them wafers and don't allow them to only eat from the tank, they will Flourish!
If you like the taste of MetroMint Peppermint Water but do not like the price, you can make your own. I bought some of this water and paid a little over $2.50. Wow Expensive! I saw the ingredients and knew I could make something similar.
You can add 1-2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil in a glass of water. That's it. Stir it around and you have peppermint water. You can also steep some peppermint leaves if you wanted to go that route. You can get a small bottle of Peppermint Essential Oil for $4 online.
There is a huge savings to making it yourself, and the health benefits of Peppermint Oil is very long. It can help with digestion, UTI, immunity, and blood circulation among many other things. You can view a great page of info here.
I made a blog post back at the beginning of November telling how I was making the scented pine cones, orange slices, and lemon slices. They smelled really good and were supposed to sit for several weeks. I got all caught up in the holidays at Thanksgiving and forgot about them until now.
I pulled them out today and made a small centerpiece for the table and another basket for the fireplace. They had some cinnamon sticks in them as well. They smell wonderful and the dehydrated slices turned out nice.