Welcome back to my 2016 Christmas Open House! Today I'll be talking about how to line the small boxes that fit inside the configuration book, and I'll be showing the first box: the needle box.
I have two important tips for lining these little boxes with paper. The first tip is to measure the inside of the box. Because these boxes are made of thick chipboard, if you measure the outside dimensions, or if you trace around the box, the paper lining will be too big to fit neatly into the box.
The depth of the boxes is uniform at 3/4". You only have to mark the depth on your paper once, since you can use the little squares that are left over after you cut out the first box lining as templates for all the rest of the box linings. The second tip is to cut just a smidge inside the pencil lines at the corners. Your scissors should be just inside the pencil line on the side of the flap that will remain, not on the side of the square to be discarded. If you cut on or outside the pencil line, the flaps will be just a bit too wide and you won't get a smooth fit in the box. To line the boxes, I brushed a very thin coat of Multi Medium on the inner sides of the boxes only. It's not necessary to brush it on the bottom.
Here are a few things for my needle box. The little needle vial is something I made last year and showed in this post. The glass vial is from Michael's and the mini Scrabble tiles are from Hobby Lobby.
I also made a spruced up needle threader. The inexpensive, thin metal needle threaders that come in a package of three are perfect for customizing. Because they're so thin, they're easy to trim and they're flat enough to sandwich between a front and back decoration. These little snowflakes have flat backs, but a button shank remover would make buttons usable for this purpose. If you make some of these custom needle threaders, remember to use decorations that are symmetrical so that the front and back line up perfectly when glued back-to-back. I used super glue gel and then clipped the needle threader together with a clothes pin until the glue was completely bonded.
Here's the finished needle threader...
...and the finished box that holds my needles and my threader. One down, five to go!
Now let's eat!
I know that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day isn't a tradition everywhere, but where I'm from (the Great State of Texas) right before New Year's Day, people will ask, "Got yer black-eyed peas?" And right after New Year's Day, people will ask, "D'ja get yer black-eyed peas?" The tradition is that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day brings good luck, and who doesn't need that?
This is a great New Year's Day recipe, and one that I make throughout the winter months. It's thick and filling and has a teensy bit of heat to it.
Black-Eyed Peas & Ham (slow cooker)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight
2 (8 oz.) ham steaks, chopped
2 bay leaves
bit of olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped (or onion to taste)
1 c. frozen seasoning blend (onions, peppers, celery) or fresh equivalent to taste
1 can tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Soak peas overnight in 6-8 cups water (enough to cover well). Next day, drain peas and add to slow cooker. Add 5 cups water, ham, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or until peas are tender. When peas are done, saute shallot and other chopped veggies in oil. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cooked veggies, canned tomatoes, and seasoning. Turn slow cooker to low and cook an additional hour.