Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spiders! Part 1

I am going to start this post by admitting something, I LOVE HALLOWEEN! If you live by me you might have witnessed some of my craziness :). So this project was inspired by Stacey over at House of Chic and Penoche. So like I said I love Halloween, but there just isn't budget to cover the obsession I have. So I try to get creative with things I already have. I go to a CTMH Scrapbook club every month (click on the link to check it out). So I had this awesome stamp I used. The fabric was leftover from another project.

1. I inked my stamp with black ink.

2. Stamped it right onto the white fabric.

3. I put it in a hoop. You can do this without the hoop but I have found it goes much faster and is way easier with one. You can pick up a hoop for inexpensive at a craft store. I inherited a few from Lance's GG when she died. Place the image you are doing centered over the inner hoop. Put the outer ring over top of the inner ring pulling the fabric so that it is taunt. Use the screw on the top to tighten.

4. Thread your needle. Embroidery floss comes in hanks and is usually about 6 strands thick. That to me is really thick, so for the thicker areas of this project I used 4 strands and the finer areas I used 2 strands.

5. Get to stitching. I have been racking my brain as I have embroidered this, on how to describe what it is I am doing. I am at a loss, but here goes... You are basically sewing along the lines. Start moving from the bottom up. Move the needle about 3-4mm and go back down on the pattern line you are working on. You will come back up from the bottom about 3-4 mm away and connect the stitches together. Clear as mud? Hopefully you can get the idea from the pictures.

I think this is going to be turned into a pillow which will be part 2 when I get it finished. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Simple Sassy Skirts

So I had mentioned that I wanted to get to the fabric store today, alas it did not happen :(. But lucky for me I usually have some material on hand from leftover projects. So I really wanted to make skirts for the princesses in cute Halloween fabric, those will just have to wait because the grouchy monster needed a nap. So there are 2 things that I remembered making this skirt. 1- pressing, I usually don't use the iron when I sew. I think it is mostly laziness (ok it is complete laziness) but because I was making this post I thought I better do and make you all think I am more wonderful than I really am. It really did make a difference on how easy this was to sew though. 2- use pins. I am never really good at taking the time to pin things like I should but, today I did and I didnt have to unstitch any thing!! That is totally rare for me :). So with that being said here are some instructions for a simple skirt. I have in the past done minor things to change the skirt slightly, like box pleats, pleats. I also love the look of a broomstick skirt because it doesnt need ironing.

1- pick 2 coordinating materials.

2- I cut my main piece into a 16x38 inch rectangle. (this skirt ended up being a little long)
3- I cut the trim into a 6x38 inch rectangle.

4- fold trim in half and press.

5- Stitch folded piece of trim to bottom of your main piece. Right sides together.

6- press seam.

7- Fold top of main piece down about 1/2 inch and press. You will then fold that over about an 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch and pin. This is going to create the casing for the elastic waist. Stitch that piece down.

8- measure the waist of your child with elastic, make sure the elastic is snug and then overlap it about 1/2 inch. I used a 7/8 inch elastic.

9- Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed through the waist casing. (the safety pin just makes it easier to move through.

10- overlap elastic about 1/2 inch and stitch together.
11- last step is to stitch up the back.

And Wha-La you have a cute skirt for you little lady. I usually spend about 4-6 dollars total and can make 2-3 skirts.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Scripture Totes

So I have started making scripture totes out of place mats. They are super easy and so much fun! These make FANTASTIC gifts! You can be really creative or as simple as you would like. I am now always looking for cute place mats. I never pay more than 4.00 for a mat. I really like to buy them at Big Lots because I can get them for 1.00, and because I am a hoarder of ribbon, I usually have some on hand to match what I am doing. So the last one I made I took some pictures as I went, they aren't great so I will try to describe what I doing really well to make up for that.
1. Pick and buy a place mat. You want it to be cotton not rubber, plastic or wood.

2. Remove all stickers and labels.

3. Decide what embelishments you are going to use. On this one I decided to use lace, it was a little harder to work with than ribbon but I thought it looked beautiful. I also decided to use a flower.

4. Handles. There are a few different ways to do the handles. You can buy wooden purse handles at craft stores. I love the look of those but they aren't always in the budget. So I cut 2 pieces of grosgrain ribbon about 10-12 inches long. Find the center of the the shorter side of the place mat. Measure out about 3 inches from the center and mark it with a pencil. Do the same on the other side. Do this on both ends of the place mat. Lay your ribbon where you have marked and stitch it down. Make sure to back stitch here to renforce the seam. Do both handles.

5. Next you are going to sew on your decorative lace or ribbon. I usually stitch both sides down. On this paticular one I wanted the lace to go all the way around the bag. I measured down 3 inches from the top on each side so that the lace will line up.

6. Now you are ready to stitch the sides up. You will fold the place mat in half right sides together, the handles should line up. Stitch up both sides. Make sure to back stitch at the top to reinforce the seam. This will keep it from coming undone.

7. This is the hardest part of the of the whole thing to do and it really isn't hard to do it is just hard to describe :). You are going to stick your hand inside the bag and widen the bottom corner. You are then going to fold it in on it self and make a triangle. You will stitch across the bottom of the triangle. These are going to fold inside the bag and open it up to give it a wide bottom.

8. Clip all your loose threads, and turn right side out. If you are going to attach a flower with glue now is the time to do it. I usually just use hot glue to attach them. You could add buttons, flowers anything you would like to make this tote uniquely you!

So I forgot to take a picture of the finished project before I gave it to the Birthday girl. Here is a picture of a previous one that I have done. I also realized that I also took most of the pictures of the ones that I have done with my phone and my son sent it swimming. One of these days I will you know think these things through! lol

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It bit me right on the button!

So I have had this idea rolling around it my head for a while. Today I needed a gift for a birthday party. So I made one up because that was all I had time for, but I couldn't wait to get home so I could make more! If you can't tell these are hair clips. Please tell me what you think!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fond What?

Fondant.... As some of you might know my mother is a fabulous cake decorator. In my opinion she could compete if she wanted to or had the time. But she keeps herself super busy just getting her orders done. So when I need a cake I usually get told no. So out that denial I have become a adequate decorator. So when my friend Caroline asked me to do her daughters 1st birthday cake I was surprised and decided to keep it really simple. I digress.... Fondant. Fondant is that pretty rolled out icing that goes on cakes that looks gorgeous. It is super popular but doesn't taste that great (well in my opinion at least). My moms fondant recipe is much more complicated than the one that I use. So here is a simple fondant recipe that has worked for me every time.

About 16 large marshmallows
2 tbsp Milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
Flavoring if desired
1 lb of powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl put your powdered sugar in it making a well in the center. In a medium sauce pan melt butter, marshmallows, milk and vanilla. Stirring frequently or marshmallows will burn. When all your lumps are gone, pour mixture into your powdered sugar. Stir with a spoon to get most of it mixed. After you have done as much with the spoon as you can, get in there with your hands and knead it like you would dough. You might have to gradually add a little more powder sugar, I should be about the consistancy of play dough and not sticking to your hands.

And you have fondant. You can use it to sculpt or roll it out and drape it over a cake. Depending on how the cake turns out I might post pictures :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Canning Tomatoes

So last year my sister and I canned tomatoes together, she just had a baby so I decided to go it on my own this year. I completely forgot the lemon juice but I think they will be okay. So here are the steps to canning tomatoes. I took pictures along the way, let me once again say I am not a good photographer. Someday I aspire to be one, but am content to just the things I am right now.

1. buy tomatoes, may I once again recommend Schmidt's Produce Stand on the corner of 9000 S and 1300 West. You will also need jars, lids and rings.

2. Wash your jars, lids and rings.

3. Before I do anything with the tomatoes I get the other stuff in the jars.

Pint Quart
Water 1/3 cup 1/2-2/3 cup
Salt 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice 1 tsp 2 tsp
4. Wash your tomatoes

5. Put a pot of water on to boil. To peal your tomatoes, dip them in scalding water for about 30 seconds. Then put them in a cold water. The skins should just pull off. (This is totally my favorite part!!!)

6. After you have peeled the tomatoes, you can slice, or dice them any way you choose. Fill the jars almost to the top.

7. To get a proper seal on your bottles, place your new lids in boiling water for a few minutes. Once your jars are filled put the lids on them and screw the rings on tight. They are now ready for sealing.

8. I don't have a can sealer so I just use a large 12 quart pot. I can get 7 pints in at a time or 6 quarts. Make sure the water covers the top of the jars. Process (boil) them for 12-15 minutes. They will rattle in there. And sometimes you will hear little popping noises. That is a good thing. Once they are finished processing use tongs to get them out, they will be super hot!! I place them on the counter on a dish towel. You should let them sit without moving them for 24 hours. They can take up to 24 hours to seal so you will randomly hear little popping noises. And you will be giddy! Well at least I get that way every time I hear that noise. It means I did it right!
This was a little mishap I had, Some how the jar got flipped upside down and the base of the jar broke of like a lid. This is how I pulled it out of the pot.
Happy Homemaking!!

Crazy for Corn

So in our house we are a little crazy for corn. Well at least Lilly is, she even has a corn dance! There is a local produce stand run by a family named Schmidt. My family has known this family for years and has been buying their corn for years. I HAVE NEVER HAD BETTER CORN!! I introduced my next door neighbor to it and she would agree. It seems though the season for which this delectable treat is short. So a few years ago I had bought their 3 dozen ear bag for a gathering that was cancelled. What was I to do with all this corn. So a quick phone call to Mrs. Schmidt and I had a plan. So here is how to preserve this fantastic corn for all year round that tastes super fresh.

1. Husk or Shuck all your corn and wash it.

2. You are going to wash it and try to get as much of the silk off as possible.

3. You are going to boil corn in a covered pot for 2 minutes.

4. Put corn in an ice water bath. Not sure what this does other than cool it quickly.

5. Cut the corn off the cobs, or leave it on if you would like. I cut it off for space reasons and I use it in soups and other dishes throughout the winter.

6. Put corn in ziplock freezer bags. I have started using a straw to remove all the excess air from the bag and freeze.

When you want to use your corn you can put it in a bowl and microwave it for about 3 minutes. Or even do it in the bag, but you will have to watch the bag because it will build up steam and explode :). I hope the first installment of food storage homemaking has been helpful.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why This?

This post may seem like I am bragging about myself and that is so far from what I am trying to do. So if that is how this comes across I completely apologize!! I am learning lately that I am not only comfortable in who I am but am learning to be confident as well. So this evening I have been working on a food storage item, and while I worked my mind was going a million miles a minute over starting this blog. I often run into people that see my buying things to start a project or in a conversation I mention something that I do that is considered a "lost art", such as sewing canning, baking, cooking etc. I love to do all this things and so many more. I often tell people that I have ADD. Which I think is true, but my self medication is having lots of things to do and many options to choose from on any given day. Some days I am the baker, creating wonderful pastries to share with friends, other days I am the sewer creating things to either sell or give away, (I mostly end up giving them away). There are many things that I am not good at. I am horrible at sports, I never had much coordination and an accident that left me blind in one eye hasn't helped that situation. I am not a good photographer. I still take pictures of my kids and enjoy looking at them, but they arent very good. I am very cluttery, and find organization in my chaos. I am often late, which really bugs me but I will forever be working on that one. I could go on and on, but that is getting away from the point. I have thoughts and ideas that I love to share with anyone. So here it is my new blog. I hope to teach someone a new skill, note I am not an expert at any of these things, but I am a firm believer that common sense can take you a long way! So the posts may be random, they might even be few and far between, but for me it will become not only an outlet but a way to share my talents with the world :). This is assuming I pick up any readers. I hope you enjoy this as much as I will, I have some projects coming up in the next couple of weeks that I want to blog about.