December 9, 2013

Pine Cone Door Decor

The wreath I usually put on the door at Christmas time was lookin' pretty scary, so I made this for free!
 I stole some pine cones from my parents' yard, glittered them up with snow-looking glitter, hot glued them to various lengths of ribbon, then added a bow.  Such an easy alternative to a traditional wreath!

November 6, 2013

Burlap Bunting

I am in charge of a craft day for my church.  I saw some different versions of Burlap Bunting floating around and decided it would make a cheap, simple craft.

1.  Use a paper template to draw 4 triangles onto burlap for my Noel bunting.  Adjust the number of triangles based on your word choice (ex. 3 for Joy, 5 for PEACE).  Be careful as you cut these out, because the burlap will slide a little.

2. Use an iron to fold about an inch of burlap over.  This is where the cord/yarn will be glued later.

3.  If you don't have a stencil and don't feel comfortable drawing your letters free hand, simply print off letters in your favorite font, cut them out and trace around each letter.  Be sure to draw each letter in about the same spot on each triangle.

 4.  Use paint to carefully fill in each letter.  You don't need any special fabric paint.  I used basic acrylic paint.  You'll want to put something under it so you don't get paint on the table. Duh.

5.  Once your letters are dry, glue your choice of ribbon, twine, yarn or cord to the back of each triangle.  You can also sew the burlap over the cord if you don't want to glue.  This is the step that will really customize your bunting.  You can leave it simple with no ribbons. Maybe add some big brass jingle bells?  Pine cones would look cute at each end.  I may make one for my house using tinsel ribbon and ric-a-rack for more of a retro look.

For the ladies at my church I created a rustic look by adding torn strips of fabric and thick yarn for the string.

November 4, 2013

Pinterest Caramel Apple Semi-Flop

My friend told me she had tried this inside out Caramel Apple recipe from Pinterest, and that it worked perfectly.  Basically you melt caramel squares and pour them into apple halves that have the core scooped out by a melon baller.  Let the Caramel set and drizzle with toppings.

My attempt was not so perfect.  My mistake was that I made the caramel myself- I couldn't find the squares of it at the store.  It didn't help that my husband poured more cream into it, ever time he walked by ( I have no clue why...).

I hope your laughing as hard as I am at this!
They could not be sliced, so they stayed little cups.  It tasted pretty good, even if they looked a little deformed and slimy.

I think this recipe is actually a fantastic idea- if you follow it correctly.  It makes them way easier to eat.  Next time I will be sure to use a thicker caramel recipe or just find the caramel squares.

Do you have any interesting topping ideas for caramel apples?  I like white chocolate and graham cracker crumbs

October 24, 2013

Goodly Parents Poster, New Colors

I wanted to change the colors of this poster I made to match our house and, while I was at it, played around with a few more color schemes and thought I'd share since I've gotten lots of positive feedback on the original post. I'm not great at coming up with color combos so if you have a suggestion, let me know!

Click the picture to go to the printable file:

October 19, 2013

Best Kept Candle Secret

As a pet owner (AKA crazy cat lady) I am a little paranoid that my house smells like my pets, specifically their litter box. EWW!  My husband and I are a little obsessive about keeping the house smelling good, but we really can't justify spending $25 on a candle.  

Not my photo- stole it off google images.
I try to avoid shopping at the black hole that is WalMart- but I do get my candles there.  They are cheap (under $6 for a huge 20 oz. jar) and smell just as strong and great as Yankee or Gold Canyon.  My favorites are Mainstay's brand Mulled Spices (perfect for Christmas time) and Pumpkin Spice.  Most recently BH&G True Fall Splendor (that name! lol).

Where do you find cheap, good smelling candles?

*This post is in NO way sponsored.  I don't even like WalMart- just their candles and people watching.

September 11, 2013

Very Basic Quilting with a Regular Sewing Machine

I made this baby quilt for Natalli's nursery.  We're excited for her twin girls to arrive!  
The first step is to cut your top fabric and some batting to the same size.  Lay those face up on the back fabric, which should be wrong side up.  The back fabric should be about 2 inches larger than the quilt top all the way around (this will become the binding).
Smooth the fabric and start pinning from the center outward.  Quilting pins are great because they're slightly curved, which helps the pin go through all 3 layers easily. 
 You want to use a lot of pins so the layers are secure.

For sewing the quilt, I didn't have a walking foot so I just used the regular foot and it worked fine. It's best to use thread that matches your top and bottom.  In this case, white on top and teal for the bobbin.  I set my stitch length to 4 (pretty large) and sewed around each circle S-L-O-W-L-Y.   Someone more skilled could probably handle a faster speed, but the slowest setting is what worked for me.  
Make sure the material is staying smooth as you go.  
Just like pinning, start sewing in the center of the quilt and work out to the edges. 
 Once I did all the circles, I folded the back fabric edges over twice onto the top fabric to make a finished edge around the quilt. I pinned it down, then sewed close to the edge all the way around. This is the lazy way to do binding.  The corners look like this...
 Traditional binding will give you a nicer mitered corner, but this way is really easy because you don't have to cut and attach a separate binding.  The finished product:

August 18, 2013

Pattern Review: Baby Peasant Dress

I used the tutorial at Sew Much Ado to make this cute baby dress for Natalli's twins.  It was the perfect use for this adorable Riley Blake fabric.

I LOVE this pattern.  It is so simple and it turned out really cute. There are so many possibilities for customizing this pattern.  I may even try an adult size!

June 26, 2013

Batman Busy Book

One of my friends is having a baby boy soon, and her husband is obsessed with Batman. So I put together this little Batman quiet book or busy book or whatever you want to call it. I wish I would have made little pattern pieces to share as I went, but I was totally improvising and I'm sure anyone is capable of cutting nicer felt shapes than these.

The book itself is felt rectangles folded in half and sewn around the raw edges--one layer was too flimsy. Then I punched 2 holes on each page and put in eyelets (grommets) in and bound it all with binder rings. This all happens, of course, at the very end.

Cover: I just cut out a Batman symbol (freehand, mind you) and hot glued it on.

Page 1: I cut out a little bat cave and sewed jagged lines on it in white. I sewed only the top of it to the page so it could lift. Underneath I sewed a little pouch to hold the Batman finger puppet. I can't even tell you how I made him, but there was a bit of trial and error, cutting, gluing, and sewing involved.

Page 2: Cut out a bunch of shapes and glued them together. Except the vest which I stitched buttons on and sewed to the book, only at the sides. I also stitched on Robin's little smirk.

Page 3: I cut out 2 of each shape and letters just for the top ones. The bottom shapes are glued onto the book and the top ones are sewn to ribbons that are sewn to the book. I put Velcro on all the pieces so they can be matched up.

Page 4: I cut out a speech bubble and added strips of Velcro then sewed it onto the book. I wanted to find little Velcro letters (remember when they use to make t-shirts with them?!) but to no avail. So I finally settled for writing out every letter of the alphabet a few times in sharpie onto a strip of Velcro and cutting it up. There's a little bag in the book that holds them all. Then the kid can write out whatever he wants!

Page 5: I cut out all the shapes, glued them together, and put a little rope underneath the Joker before gluing him down to the book.

Page 6: I made the Batmobile from sparkly felt and sewed a little loop on the back. Then I threaded ribbon through the loop before sewing it at the corners of the page so the car slides back and forth.

Page 7: Pretty self explanatory. I traced the shapes of the pieces on the page of the book, so it wouldn't be too hard to put together, but it doesn't look very nice. I also made a little pouch for all the puzzle pieces.

Page 8: I cut two circles and two silhouettes (copied from Harvey Dent's actual coin, because I'm legit)--one in black and one in silver. Then I hand stitched around the face and all the details. I then sandwiched a piece of elastic between the two before sewing them together. I sewed the elastic to the book, so you can pull the coin and "flip" it. You can't tell from the way the picture's cropped, but I also stitched some scratches on the burnt side of the coin.

If I had a lot more free time it would have turned out a bit nicer and included hand-stitched directions on each page, but it turned out pretty cute and I'm happy with all the fun ideas I came up with!

June 10, 2013

Chore Chart

I needed a system to help the kids get their jobs done this summer, so I had them help  make a job board.    The girls picked out some paint and letter stickers from the store, painted the board, stuck the stickers on, and then I screwed in some mug hooks.  They're easier to screw in if you make a pilot hole first with a nail.  The little tags are just the right size.  I just wrote each job on a tag, and printed pictures for our youngest, who can't read yet.  When they finish a job, they move the tag over to the last column under "Done!"  I also included a hook at the bottom for all the jobs that are not on the agenda that day.

 Here are my girls getting crafty!

May 22, 2013

Teacher Gift

Marinne, my almost 14 yr. old, made these cute apple cupcakes for all of her teachers.  She found the idea online, but we tweaked it to make it better.  The one she saw just had a white cupcake liner, but we made them with red liners so it would look like a whole apple.
She made the cupcakes, frosted them red, stuck a pretzel in the middle, and added a leaf.  The leaf is a green "Airhead" candy cut like a leaf.  She put it in a clear cup, put that in a treat bag, and tied it up with cute ribbon.  I made the tag on Pic Monkey.

May 17, 2013

Veggie Hummus Pizza

I love hummus and once ate an entire Costco tub single handedly in a matter of days.  I soon found out I was pregnant, which explained my ravenous behavior.  But pregnant or not, hummus is awesome!
This has been my lunch a couple times this week.  It's healthy, tasty, and colorful!  Spread a piece of naan bread (found at the grocery store or Costco) with your favorite hummus and top with sliced fresh cucumber and red and yellow peppers.  So easy, and a delicious way to get those veggies in for the day!

After eating such a healthy lunch, I felt justified in eating a Ghirardelli dark chocolate square... or 2... or 3.

Another favorite healthy snack lately:
carrot chips (I swear it makes them taste better when they're cut like potato chips) dipped in hummus.

May 6, 2013

DIY Mother's Day Gifts

Mother's Day is coming up fast! Here are some projects I've rounded up from past posts that would make great gifts AND a new tutorial AND some free printables (compliments of Bethany). You've hit the motherlode! (see what I did there?)

For the Accessory Lover:

Mother's Day "Corsage" Brooch

I'm surely not the first to use this method to make a fabric flower, but briefly: I cut two strips of fabric, one about 1.5" wide and one slightly thinner and tapered at the end. Bother were roughly 20" long. Specific measurements are unimportant as you can gather and/or trim to your desired size. 

Next I folded each piece in half and sewed a running stitch (a longer stitch) along the raw edges and pulled on one of the strings to gather the fabric. I then used hot glue to spiral the ruffle around a small circle of felt, starting on the outside edge and working my way around to the center (tuck under any raw/fraying edges as you go). I finished it off by glueing a pretty button in the center and a brooch pin to the back. You can find those at any craft store or even Walmart, usually in the beading section. 

I pinned it to a pretty piece of card stock and labelled it in pretend calligraphy. A simple, pretty accessory (that won't die!) for mom to wear on Mother's Day.

Vintage Buttons Necklace: tutorial here 

For the Decorator: 

Pretty Throw Pillows: tutorials here, here, here, and here.

 Oversized Cross Stitch Wall Art: tutorial here

No-Paint Watercolor Map: tutorial here

For the Organized:

Envelope System Wallet: tutorial here

"Today" Reminder Board: tutorial here

For the Cook: 

Ruffled Apron: tutorial here

For the Sentimental:

Sibling Quilt: details here

Children's Silhouettes Window Pane: tutorial here

Forget Me Not Cupcake Bouquet and Book: details here

And here are some pretty card and tag printables to go along with whatever you give: PDF here