Sunday, December 11, 2011

I've Been Busy...

Just not busy posting things on my blog, apparently.

But I have made things.  Crafty things, and I have proof.  Here's how I've been spending my idle hours.

Making pants for my daughter...
The elephant fabric is from Walmart.  These are flat-front pants, and I made up the pattern from another pair of her pants, which is so easy to do.  The pattern for the pocket and directions can be found at Made.

And more pants...
This is some kind of tweed loose weaved fabric that my mom gave me.  The fabric was so ugly, but I thought it would make a perfect pair of dressy pants that have a bit of vintage feel to them.  You know, the kind of pants that only little kids and little old men can pull off.  Again, patterned from another pair of his pants, with directions from Made.  These pants are lined with an old t-shirt of mine.

And Christmas ornaments...

I made a bunch of these elves from Martha Stewart.  It kept my hands busy for a few evenings while I watched episode after episode of Deep Space Nine on Netflix.  Ah memories...  Does anyone else think the first season is horrible?  I do. 

I think the orange scarf one is my favorite.  I've always been partial to orange.  I made a lot of little elves and I gave some away at an ornament party.

And I made a few paper birds as well (idea from here), but I didn't like them as much as the elves.  They're made from a really old book my husband had about whooping cranes.  I had a hard time finding pages that didn't have gloomy words like "death" "demise" and "extinction."  Not very cheerful.  Poor whooping cranes.

And I painted a mural on my kitchen/dining room wall a while ago, but I never got around to taking a picture, so here's a poorly lit photo.  I bought a pattern from jenloveskev on etsy (only 5 bucks, awesome deal), and used it for about 1/2 of the wall, but it wasn't big enough so I improvised the rest.  Now my dining room is a birch tree forest.

I was scared to paint this, but I'm glad I did.  My mantra while painting was "I can always paint it over" and I had extra grey paint to cover it up if I hated it.  But I love it.  It reminds me of the old forest wallpaper that I had when I was a little kid.  I used to have an imaginary family that lived in my wallpaper forest, just an imaginary mommy and sister my parents tell me.  Now my kids have a place to sit and imagine too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Airplane Pillowcase

I saw this airplane design on Pinterest and right away I knew it would be perfect for my son's room.  I've been slowly adding airplanes to his room to transition it from baby to little boy.  (See this post for an airplane on canvas, as an example).  I was really hoping she'd have a tutorial on her blog for her adorable plush airplanes and blanket, but I was left to try to make them on my own.  I decided to try it out first on a pillowcase.  

I used Steam a Seam 2 to fuse the fabric pieces on, and then I zig zag stitched all the way around each piece.  After the airplane was attached, I zig zag stitched a trail behind it.  Techinically I think I was supposed to use some kind of stabilizer on the inside, but it worked fine without and it has even washed up well.

For the propeller I just fused two pieces of tan cotton fabric to each other and stitched around the edge.  I sewed it to the airplane with a green button.  The button doesn't seem to bother my son when he sleeps on it.

I'm considering making several airplanes like this on large quilt squares and then piecing them together for a twin quilt, but that seems like a lot of work.

I drew the airplane parts by hand, and I traced them onto a page for you to use if you'd like.  I didn't trace the propeller, the seat (just make an oval), or the stars on the wings, so you'll just have to wing it.  Get it?  Wing... yeah.

Click on the picture to download pdf template:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My son has upcycled his sister's Barbie doll...

Into this:
I laughed out loud when he brought me this today.  Picture an almost 2-year-old boy saying, "Mommy it's a monster.  It's a princess.  It's MONSTER PRINCESS!  RAWRRRR!"  He has found a way to play with dolls that is still entirely boyish.  I love that kid.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I made caramel!

For the first time ever I tried making caramel and it was a success.  A yummy mouth-watering success.  I may or may not have accidentally cut some into weird shapes that mysteriously disappeared...

I have no pictures.  Why?  Because it has been miserable and cold and rainy for a few days, and so also too dark for any good pictures (including pictures of the mural I did in my kitchen.  Coming soon...), but here's the link to the recipe on Our Best Bites for Apple Cider Caramels.

I calibrated my thermometer first in a pot of boiling water and, big surprise, my cheap Wal-mart thermometer says water boils at 206 F instead of 212.  So I adjusted accordingly, well, sort of.  I realized 1/2 way through that I adjusted the wrong way.  I cooked the mix to 6 degrees hotter than you're supposed to before adding the rest of the cream, but it looks like it didn't matter at all and they are still yummy.  They look just like the picture.  Yay.  I have loved everything I have made from Our Best Bites.
Correction: I recently looked up the boiling temperature of water at my elevation (2700ft) and water boils at 207.4 here, so my cheap Wal-mart thermometer wasn't so bad after all.  I'm not sure how that was supposed to affect candy making, but I'm glad it turned out well anyway.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nest Necklace

I saw these on Pinterest and I think they are so adorable.  These might be the perfect present that I've been looking for to give my sister-in-law and mother-in-law when they come to visit next month.The tutorial can be found on the Sarah Ortega Photography blog.

The best part is these pretty necklaces only take about 10 minutes to make.  I opted for leather strings instead of a silver chain because I like the natural look with the nests.  Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Newsprint Nail Art

Check out this youtube video instructing you how to make newsprint nails.  I think they turned out pretty awesome.  Instead of dipping my whole nail in rubbing alcohol, I used a cotton ball to wet the nail. I pressed on the newspaper and used the cotton ball on top to soak the paper and press it on the nail for about 10 seconds.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fabric Roses

I saw a photo on pinterest and thought it was so cool, so I made one myself.  The idea comes from this tutorial on SnowyBliss.

They were very fun to make.  I chopped some small branches off my tree and found some in my yard after a huge hail storm we had recently.  Here's how it turned out.

I like the yellow ones best.  My husband likes the ones that match the bow around the basket.
I'm planning to make a matching table runner for my dining room soon and I'll put these on the table as a centerpiece.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chenille Baby Blanket

I've been wanting to make a chenille baby blanket ever since I saw this tutorial, but

1) I don't have a little baby anymore, and
2) Sewing all those straight lines looks about as fun as playing leapfrog with a unicorn.

But I know someone that's having a baby girl soon and this will be a nice gift.  It turned out really cute.

I used basting spray to hold the fabric layers together while sewing.  It held the fabric beautifully, but the downside was that it really gummed up my new chenille cutting tool.  I love this tool, LOVE IT.  Cutting was so much easier with it, but I'll have to skip the basting spray next time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

LDS Temple Coloring Page- Winter Quarters Nebraska

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing a sunday school lesson for the kids at my church and I had the hardest time finding a coloring page of the LDS Winter Quarters temple for them to use.  I ended up drawing one, and I'm putting it on this blog in case anyone else is looking for one for their lesson.  It's very basic, but it's perfect for little kids to draw on.

Click to download:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stuffed Owl

I saw this pattern online on the juicy bits blog back at Christmas time when I was looking for ornaments.  There's a printable pattern at the link.  I thought it would make a perfect tiny owl for a friend of mine's newborn.  It's the right size for tiny hands to hold.  It's only about 4 inches tall. 
I didn't have any ric rac in the right color, so I did a few decorative stitches instead.  I also embroidered the eyes on instead of using beads to make it safer for baby.  Very cute.  I just love owls.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pottery Barn Airplane Wall Art

I love to browse the Pottery Barn Kids catalog that comes in the mail for ideas.  My son's room has been decorated in stars since he was a few months old, and now to bring it into the toddler/little boy stage I'm starting to add airplanes to the stars.  So when I came across the Transportation Art wall hangings, I had to make one.  They retail for $69.00 each, which is more than I'm willing to spend, but for 7 dollars or so in supplies, you can make your own.

You need-
1- 16 x 20 inch blank canvas
2- sheets of scrapbooking paper or card-stock in coordinating colors.
    I prefer the thicker card-stock paper.  It doesn't wrinkle as much.
1- Acrylic craft paint  I used Folk Art brand acrylic craft paint in color # 420 "Linen"
1- Jar of Mod Podge in Matte.  You could use gloss if you prefer.
- Scissors
- X-ACTO knife and mat (or something to protect your table)

Print out the template for the airplane on regular paper, cut it out, and trace it onto your scrapbook paper.  I did the propeller in the contrasting color.  Cut the airplane and propeller out with scissors and set aside.

Next print your lettering onto the back of your contrasting scrapbook paper (the letters will print backwards so it will be the correct direction when you cut them out).  Since I had 12 x 12 inch scrapbook paper, I had to cut it to 8 1/2 x 11 inches to get it to fit into my printer.  Using an X-ACTO knife, cut out the letters.  I use my rotary cutting mat under the paper which you're probably not supposed to do, but it's better than cutting my table!  I suppose if you have some kind of auto-cutting machine that it would be faster, so you could do that instead.

Link to airplane template (pdf)

Link to text template (pdf)
Link to text template (24-bit bitmap) If you choose this option, make sure your print settings are to fit to 1 by 1 page landscape.

This should fit onto one 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper.  Check your page setup settings before you print, and do a print preview.  The font is Bookman Old Style in case you want to make your own lettering or change the size.  I just use the Paint program on my PC to invert the letters.  You click on "Image" and "Flip/Rotate."  Then choose the flip horizontal option.

Paint your canvas, let it dry, and sand the edges if you want a worn look.  Then brush mod podge onto the back of your airplane and letters and place on the canvas.  Let it dry fully and then do a top coat of Mod Podge over the entire canvas.  Make sure the airplane and letters are fully dry before doing a top coat or it will wrinkle.

PS- I got a fancy pants new camera for my birthday, so hopefully soon you'll have better quality pictures on my blog!

Update- As requested, here are the truck and boat graphics as well.

  Link to truck graphic (pdf)
Print on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper
*Note- if you want the tires to be a different size, just trace something circular that you have around.  I used the lid of a candle for these tires.  I think the one at PBK has a smaller front tire and bigger back tire.

Link to boat graphic (pdf)
Print on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper

If you're looking for another shape, try searching " _____ coloring page" or "______ silhouette" on the Google image search.  There are lots of other things you could put on these canvases.

I think I might make a white background and a green background one, but I'm still trying to find the right shapes for my son's room

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Race Car Birthday

My daughter turned four today.  She's not a baby anymore, that's for sure.  She wanted to do a race car theme.  She's my little tomboy- in love with all things cars, and it's funny because my little boy loves all things tea party.  Grandma bought him his own play tea set this year and he was jumping up and down yelling YAY, he was so excited.  Go figure.

We had a big party last year and I didn't really want to do the whole thing again- activities, lunch, cake... too much work.  We put out the kiddie pool with a slip n' slide and had that be the activity.  Nobody cared that it wasn't race car related, especially since it was 105 degrees today.  HOT. 

For a while I thought about just buying a race car cake at the Walmart bakery, but I usually think their frosting is yucky.  I googled for ideas instead.

Since we were just doing cake and ice cream and not a lunch or anything fancy, I made the coolest cake I could find.  I've only made one other birthday cake ever.  I'm not a big fan of cake, but this one turned out great.  Youtube is my friend when it comes to trying new projects, and I watched a few videos about layer cakes before starting.

Here's the link to the One Ginormous Adventure racecar cake tutorial that I used as inspiration.  Instead of piping on all that green frosting... uh... no way... too much work... I colored some coconut green to make grass.  This is the frosting recipe I used from Our Best Bites.  It was perfect- not too sweet or overwhelming.  I didn't add any extra cocoa powder since the cake is already chocolate.  One batch was enough to cover this whole cake.

The cake is chocolate cake mix from a Betty Crocker box.  Between the layers of cake, I used a can of coconut pecan frosting like you normally use on a German Chocolate cake.  It was nice to have something different inside the cake, not just more frosting.

The adorable little fondant race cars came from Lady Cupcake's Corner on etsy.  They were a big hit and they tasted good too.  All the little kids were so excited to eat them, and they all wanted to pick which color they got on their slice of cake.

The little checkered flags on the cake are a 3x5 index card cut the long way and folded around a toothpick.  I colored the black boxes on with a sharpie.

For a table covering, I bought one black and one white cheap 97 cent plastic tablecloth.  I cut one into strips long wise, using the tiles on my kitchen floor as a cutting guide.  The other one was cut into strips the short way.  I wove them together to make a checkered flag.  Then I ran a few strips of clear mailing tape across to hold it all together.  I put the tape side down so you can't see it.  Not bad for two bucks.

My daughter had a really good time.  What kid wouldn't love a race car cake with a kiddie pool and slip n' slide?  We had so much fun.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kohlrabi in the Garden

I planted four kohlrabi plants this year in my little 8ft x 8ft garden and they turned out really well.  Here they are growing next to the one rogue red onion my 1-year-old son planted all by himself, or "a-self" as he would say.

Kohlrabi is the same species of plant as cabbage and broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  They are all cultivars of the wild cabbage plant.  This particular variety was bred for their large bulging stems, which is the part you eat.

I live in hardiness zone 5A, and I planted these as small plants right before our last snow in late April.  They are good at surviving cold temperatures and need to be planted around the same time as lettuce and other cold weather plants.  With the recent consistent warm weather (temps in the 90s and high 80s most of the day) my kohlrabi was starting to wilt a little.  The bulbous stems are around 3.5 inches, so it's time to harvest.

I like to eat them raw, so this is how I serve them.
Pull off all the leaves and stems and chop off the root area.  

The part of the bulb closest to the roots is the most woody, so also chop off a little into the bulb from the root end.
 Then use your knife to peel off the outer skin.
Slice them into sticks and eat them raw with a little ranch dip.  The texture is a lot like an apple- fleshy and crisp.  They taste like a mild broccoli and they have a slight radish aftertaste.  Yummy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tutorial- Curtain Upcycled to Waterproof Picnic Blanket

Using an old blackout curtain, you can make a picnic blanket that is sturdy and water resistant.  The blackout material inside of curtains is water proof, making it a good filler material in a portable picnic blanket.  This blanket folds up and clips together at the bottom edge, allowing you to carry it around easily by the shoulder strap.  Put some sunscreen in the pocket and enjoy a summer picnic.

To make this blanket, you need:
-One large (floor length) blackout curtain made of sturdy material.  Don't choose a silk curtain, of course.
-1 inch webbing- a few yards
-2 buckles
-Matching top material- fleece is a good choice.  I used lightweight corduroy in this example.

Begin by ripping the seams and separating the blackout material from the curtain material.  Undo all the seams.  This is a good project to do while watching a tv show as it takes some time.  I washed all the fabric to make sure it is all pre-shrunk.  Picnic blankets get dirty and will be washed a lot.  You may want to double check that your blackout material is waterproof by running it under some water.

Then lay out your materials on a large space.  The light blue material was my curtain, the white is the blackout fabric, and the green is the corduroy that I had purchased for the top layer of the blanket.  I had to sew two pieces of the green material together to make it large enough, but I think the seam is hardly noticeable with the busy pattern.  You may be able to find a wider fabric that you won't need to sew.  Ah how I wish we had a fabric store in our town besides Walmart...
Cut the blackout material and the top material to the same size.  Cut the bottom layer 2-3 inches larger all the way around.  The extra inches will become the edge of the blanket.

Then fold the material in quarters until you've reached the size you want it to be when it will be carried.  Remember that 2-3 inches of two of the sides are going to become the binding of the blanket, so place your pocket (made from extra material if you have any) slightly off center.  Pin it to the blue material only.
Unfold the blanket once and position the webbing (with buckles pre-sewn to the ends).  Pin in place to the outer material only.
Unfold the blanket entirely, and remove the outer (blue) material.  Sew the pocket and straps to it.  It will be in one corner like this.  I added the shoulder strap which isn't in the picture above, but you would place it vertically in the center (to the right of the pocket in the above pic).
Turn the outer material over so the buckles are facing the floor.  Center your blackout fabric on the blanket and center your top fabric on that.  Fold over the edge of the outer material twice all the way around to make a 1-1.5 inch binding.  Pin it in place and press.  Then sew all the way around the edge. 
Now you can fold the blanket in quarters and buckle the straps you have attached to keep it in place while you carry it.
Lay it out on the grass to put kids on or keep it in the car for when you go to a park and the grass is a little damp.  It's also nice for watching fireworks on the 4th of July, my favorite holiday!
I didn't take as many pictures as I should have for this tutorial.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

© 2011 You are welcome to link to this site and use a single image to link back to any post. All borrowed content must be linked back and properly credited. Republishing posts in their entirety is prohibited without permission.  This tutorial is my own design and is for personal, non-commercial use only.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Wreath

I like having wreaths on my door.  I have one for spring, fall, Christmas, and Halloween, but I needed a summery one.  I checked out Hobby Lobby, but I just didn't love any of the 4th of July wreaths.  I decided to make a summery one on my own.

I bought a bunch of flowers and a straw wreath.  I pulled off a bunch of leaves and hot glued them to the straw wreath to cover it up.  If you don't take the plastic wrapping of the wreath, it's easy to glue things to it.  Then I used sewing pins to attach a bunch of flowers.  That way I can take them all off and change it up later if I want.  I love orange, and even though it makes the wreath almost autumnal, I still like it for summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Market Skirt

I found the cutest skirt tutorial on Dana Made It, and tried it out.


I followed the Market Skirt Tutorial and it turned out great.  There are just a couple of things I changed.  Instead of gathering using the tension knob on your machine (my cheap-o machine can't do it) I used the embroidery floss method.  Use a wide zig zag stitch to sew over a piece of embroidery floss and then pull the floss to gather.

And for the pockets, I changed a few things.  I cut out 4 of the pocket shapes (two for each pocket).  I sewed them together, leaving space to turn them right side out.  Then I turned them through the hole so all seams are hidden.  I don't have a serger, so I prefer to finish all the seams I can.  Then I put a piece of elastic inside near the top to make them gather.  I sewed a casing for the elastic, added a button, and sewed the pockets to the skirt.  I also made French seams and flat-felled seams inside the skirt to prevent fraying.
And of course every skirt needs a matching hair accessory.