Sunday, October 31, 2010

Easy cookies

Sunday, October 31, 2010
Need a quick treat to run over to a neighbor? Have kids whining- I mean asking for a treat? No worries, I have a super quick recipe for you.
Cake Cookies:
1 cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 c shortening
1 T water
1/2 package chocolate (or other) chips
Mix all ingredients together- this dough is stiff! Stir in chips. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Done!
There are so many varieties you can make. Double chocolate- choc. cake and choc. chips. Peanut butter chips with choc. cake, lemon cake with white choc. chips, choc. cake and white choc. chips. And with the holidays coming you can use mint chips for a little minty flavor! I just took some sprinkles and pressed them in the top before baking the cookies so they would have a little extra color.
Wrap them up and send them on their way!
And while we're talking making cookies from cake mixes- I have one more quick recipe. Take a spice cake mix and a small can of pumpkin. Mix them together and add choc. chips. Ta-Da! Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Bake at 350 8-10 min. Delicious!
Now go get baking.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Ideas

Saturday, October 30, 2010
Yesterday I said I would have more ways to use the tutorial I shared on Ucreate. Well, first up are the rest of the place mats I made. I used different fabrics for each one, and different flowers as well. I love the ecclectic look of all the varieties. I have tutorials for the white flower and the five petal flower. The gold rosette is a strip of fabric, gathered on one end and rolled up (like the white flower, only with a thinner piece of fabric so it lays flat). The rolled flower has tutorials everywhere, but there is a good one by Jen, here. The red felt flower is made using a tutorial from the DIY Dish found here.



I am hosting a brunch next week and wanted to do a dry run of the table. I'm not sure this is what I'll be doing for sure, but at least I have a good idea of what the place mats look like.
I have to admit, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. And I love the little pops of turquoise in with all the fall colors.





After I showed my daughter these place mats, she said she wanted a pillow like them. Since we're doing her room for her birthday, I obliged. This pillow is made using turquoise velvet and dark brown felt. I used the DIY pattern again for the flowers. To make all three, I simply cut out each size on the template twice.

I am loving how this blue and brown looks on these red chairs my dad built for us. I might have to make some pillows to keep out there permanently!




I have a couple more ideas using this technique (why not run it into the ground while I'm at it? ;P) and I'll be sure to share them when I'm done.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm a GUEST!!

Friday, October 29, 2010
U Create

Yes, you read that right I was invited by the wonderful Kari of Ucreate to guest post over there today. I cried and sweat over what I should share, and by a complete fluke came up with these Burlap Fall Place Mats!


Head on over and see for yourself!

And if you're visiting from Ucreate, Welcome! I'm so glad to have you. I hope you'll look around and stay a while.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow and see all the other place mats and different projects I have created using this technique.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 petal flower tutorial

Thursday, October 28, 2010
So, tomorrow I have a super cool surprise, that I am dying to tell you all about, but I can't. So, in order to keep my mouth shut about what I can't say- I'm going to do another flower tutorial. Since there aren't enough out there.

This flower is made using the same technique as my chrysanthemum pillow- just FEWER petals!

To start you will need five large circles and five smaller circles. (I used the top of a 44 oz soda cup and a small IKEA kids cup)

[ignore the picture which shows three half circles- I had a strip of fabric I wanted to use so I cut six half circles out of it- you don't need to do that]


Take two of your small circles and sew them together all the way around. Then take the rest of your circles and fold them in half, then sew around the edge. Trim with pinking shears [there are those half circles again- I told you to just ignore them ;)]


Cut a slit in the bottom of your half circles and turn them right side out. I usually use a blunt skewer to help push the edges out.

Sew a gathering stitch along the bottom of each half circle. Gather them up to form petals.
Cut a slit in the middle of your whole circle and turn right side out. This will be your center. Take the five large petals and arrange them in a circle. Hand stitch them to your base (whatever you are putting the flower on, or just a scrap piece of fabric). Arrange the three smaller petals in the same manner and stitch down- they should cover the bottom seams of the larger petals. Take the whole circle and pinch it in the middle, with the cut side down. Sew the pinches together a few times to secure, then stitch to the center of the flower. And there you have a lovely five petal flower!
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Monday, October 25, 2010

The Birthday Box

Monday, October 25, 2010
We just celebrated a birthday in our house. Someone just turned 7, and he was SOOOO excited! We only give our kids big friend parties every 4 years starting when they turn 8, so I needed to come up with a way to make the other birthdays still feel special and celebrated!

And so, the birthday box was born! In it I keep my happy birthday banner (which I also sell at boutiques- and am hoping to get in my Etsy shop soon!), my scrap table runner, candles, cupcake papers, bags of balloons and my cupcake stands.

The night before the birthday, we bust open the box! All it takes is a an hour or so, a good pair of lungs (thanks, honey) and some candy-filled jars. PRESTO! Instant party!

The kids love all the balloons and it turns an ordinary kitchen into a PAR-TAY!

How do you celebrate big days?
Making

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Enhanced

Saturday, October 23, 2010
I am admittedly not the most amazing photographer in the world. However, I am really trying to learn all I can to make the most of my pictures. If I have any hope of surviving in this online world of craft blogs and Etsy, I better get some things figured out. I noticed in my photo editing software (the one that came with my camera) it has a way to size things for the web. So, to try it out I loaded two different versions of the same picture- one saved the normal way, on sized for the web. Now I'm trying to see if there is any difference. Can you tell?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010
I had kits to make up for a Super Saturday. Felt Happy Birthday banner kits. There were only 6 kits to make, but that still meant cutting out 156 pennants. So, I thought I ought to change out the blade in my rotary cutter.
Holy Sharp, Batman!
Seriously- I have had my rotary cutter for years- yes you read that right Y E A R S. And I have NEVER changed the blade. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Sorry for all the shouting, but sometimes I think I am seriously the most challenged woman on the planet.
The first time I cut felt after changing the blade, I thought I cut through the entire mat as well. I was pushing so hard the blade actually got stuck in the mat!
The rest of the cutting was a breeze! I mean like a really gentle, slightly warm, full of tropical goodness type of breeze. Wait, what was that, did I just hear angels singing? I think I might have! I have repented of my evil, cheapskate, drive the blade into the dirt, ways. I will always have a replacement blade on hand, and I will not be afraid to use it, so help me scissors! A shot of the contents of the kit. Packaged those babies up and sent them on their merry way. I hope they have fun putting them together.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Upstanding Flower Tutorial

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This flower is a big, beautiful, lofty flower. The ruffles puff out and stand up- hence the name- get it? Oh, I'm so sad...
Moving on.
To make this flower you will need one ruffled strip of fabric and a piece of felt or other fabric to construct the flower on.
The length and width of the ruffle is up to you, but there are a couple of things to be aware of- first, it's easier to cut some off than add some on- so make it a little longer than you think you'll need. Second, the wider the strip, the taller the flower and the bigger around the flower can be. Again, it's easier to take away than to add, so go a little wider than you think.


If you were making a flat flower, you would take your ruffle and lay it out nice and flat, sew it down, and then keep going until you filled in the center.
To start this flower, do the same thing, lay it out in a nice circle- and then pull the circle smaller. The edges will pull up. The tighter you make the inner circle, the taller your flower will be. This is really geometry in action- which is totally cool- the circumference of the outer circle is too small for the diameter of the inner circle (in their respective proportions) and so the fabric pulls up! Awesome- right? (did I mention I was THE nerd in high school?)
Annnnyway. Once you have decided how lofty you want the flower to be, I find it easiest to just start sewing. This can be a bit tricky since you're basically sewing in a fabric cup and it can get hard to see. Just take your time and go slow. This is where the super neat feature on my machine that stops the needle in the down position comes in handy. Just keep going in circles- lower the needle, lift the presser foot and turn the base fabric, tucking the ruffle under- until you have filled the center of the flower. Take care that the layers are close enough to overlap just a little. I usually fold over the last bit and just sew it down so it covers the rough edges of the ruffle.
Trim off the excess base fabric. I usually just tack down the starting edge (but only the top corner) to the next layer of ruffle so it doesn't stick out. If you find the flower is too tall for you, you can cut it down to the desired height now.

This is the view from the side. Lovely!
I saw a bedspread with these flowers on it in the Land of Nod catalog and I have been dying to put them on my baby's curtains, but I wanted to practice a bit first- so now they're on my tote bags! Also linking up here at Someday Crafts

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Bags

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
So, I don't have any new holiday ideas, or brilliant new crafts to share. Sometimes you have to get back to what pays the bills. Or at least what buys new craft supplies. So, these are the latest totes I have made. Thanks to Suzanne I have started using fusible fleece in my tote bags. I love the extra body it gives to them. These bags hold up to the worst abuse (I've had one for two years now- and believe me- I'm tough on them) but are still beautiful.

I used the tutorial on Jones Design Company to make this blue flower. The only thing I did different- instead of cutting out a flower shape I cut out circles, folded them in half, then in thirds and rounded the top. This made a six petal flower. Then follow along with the rest of her tutorial.
The rest of these flowers are all made the same way. And I'll be posting a tutorial on HOW TO later this week.

I have been hoarding this fabric for over a year. My mom saw it and requested a bag out of it. Who am I to deny? I think it turned out gorgeous.
And I saved my favorite for last. I just adore this black and tan fabric. And the flower turned out perfectly! I can't wait to see where these lovelies end up!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Personal Progress Packets

Monday, October 18, 2010



This is a project I have been working on for my mom. She is in the stake young women presidency in her area, but she was only recently released as the young women president in her ward. While she was president, one of the advisers started making these packets for the new beehives coming in. It holds all their personal progress books as well as True to the Faith and For the Strength of Youth. She wanted me to make some for her to give the other women in her new presidency. And of course she wanted them embellished and cute. I think these will fit the bill nicely! I am hoping to have a tutorial for these up in the next week or so for those who might want to make them for their own groups. I will also be selling them at an upcoming boutique and hopefully in my *new* Etsy shop (which currently has nothing in it ;).
(Just a note for those of you who are not LDS. The Young Women program serves the girls in our church who are between the ages of 12-18. The Personal Progress program helps these young women make and achieve goals to prepare them to be capable, righteous and strong women in the future.)



Making
A Crafty Soiree

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Arachnophobia

Saturday, October 16, 2010







I said I would make some more and here they are. The big spiders are for an order that was placed (Thank You!). She wanted to be able to hang them from her light fixture, so I added a small wire loop just behind the head before I baked them. While I was at it, I figured I'd make more little ones for me. I can't wait to put them all over my house- the little wire legs are just so creepy!

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