Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fun Finds!

Check out this Fun Find for today, it's a housewife essential, it's fun, and even if you aren't an excellent cook, who wouldn't be inspired to whip up something tasty in this awesome apron?!

click on image for the link to etsy

You can find tons of variations of these on Etsy that people have made, but I'm sure with an easy pattern from the fabric store or somewhere online this would be something really fun to make!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pajama Time!

Whoa, it's been a whirlwind of a week/weekend for me, but I wanted to post this great gift idea that I think lots of you could do (well, those of you with just a little bit of sewing experience).

I spent almost all of January, okay, some of January, making my very first item of clothing, from a pattern: Pajamas!

Now who doesn't love pajamas? And it gets even better, they were kid's pajamas! I had a certain adorable little boy in mind when I made these for a gift, and it turns out I didn't have to be so scared of this pattern after all. Check out the results!

The only other thing I have ever used a pattern for is a jacket for a small dog. It was my very first sewing project ever, and it turned out terrible. Since then I have, for the most part, just navigated my way in sewing without patterns, and I hadn't ever attempted to make actual clothing, maybe just adorn pre-made clothing with appliques. But this, THIS was different! It was like the first time I made cookies from scratch and realized, Wow! I can really do this!

Here is the pattern I used:

If you click on the image, you can see it is available on Amazon, but I am sure you can probably find it or something similar at a fabric store. It was a fairly easy to follow pattern (not that I have followed many patterns before anyway!) but for me it certainly wasn't "fast". I would say that I will try this pattern again, most likely the variation for the girl's nightgown.

If you decide to try this, or if you are thinking about making another piece of clothing from scratch, here are some tips:

1) Make sure you have enough fabric and the correct type of fabric, sometimes the pattern tells you to buy something else called "interfacing". You should buy it and use it. I didn't however, because that's just my style, I thought I could just wing it and be cool, but I probably should have just listened to the directions :)

2) Press your seams and folds with your iron, I had never done this before and always wondered why my stuff looked sloppy....once again, it's just a following directions thing for me. In this area I did, and it helped tremendously!!

3) You may need help from your significant other or another male in your life, because sometimes it takes an architechtual mind to figure out how to sew something inside out and have it make sense once you turn it right side out! The pictures in the directions are nice, but not perfect

4) Don't be afraid of the buttonhole maker on your sewing machine, YouTube how to use it if you don't already know how, it's waaaaaaaay easier than you think!

So there you have it, I made something with my sewing machine that I have never made before! It was a roller coaster ride of emotions, but I am so glad I tried something new, it taught me so much. I've said it before and I'll say it again, just go for it! If there's something you want to try don't worry about it being perfect, just go ahead and do it!

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pancake Muffins

Some of you may have seen these before, as they have been all over the blog-o-sphere recently. Bakerella first posted this as a featured sweet, but the recipe I used was a modification I found on Baked Bree . Here they are:

Absolutely hands down magically delicious! I made mine regular muffin size, but they still turned out great and made the perfect addition to our "breakfast for dinner" dinner the other night.

Here's a quick recap of the recipe:

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips


1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes (mini) or 12-14 minutes (reg. muffins)

This recipe is technically for mini muffins, but as you can see I made them regular muffin size and cooked them a bit longer and they tasted great. I also love the added powdered sugar that Baked Bree chose for the glaze (the muffin in my photo was pre-glaze). I also used mini chocolate chips instead of regular. Either way, this recipe is easy to tweak and modify and will taste great. You can eat them for breakfast or dinner, or a party, or anytime!! I love them and will continue to make them :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Make your own hair clips!

In my previous post I mentioned that I had made a cute little rainbow hair clip for my daughter's rainbow first birthday party and that I would tell you how to make them.

The good news is, that time is now, and this project is incredibly EASY!

Here are a small list of supplies you will need:

1) hot glue gun
2) metal double prong clips like these pictured below, you can find them at most beauty supply stores and some discount stores
3) ribbon of your choice, preferably something not too much wider than the clip, purchase your clips first so you have a guidline
4) scissors

Now the process is fairly easy. You'll need to fire up your hot glue gun, and always remember to be careful because it is really HOT! Then, take one end of the ribbon, open up the clip, and place it inside the clip, with the end closest to the hinge. Close the clip so the ribbon is stuck inside, and then dab a little hot glue while wrapping the ribbon around the outside of the entire clip (yes even over the hinge part so you can't see it), and then back inside the clip. You can then trim the ribbon at the hinge again and you're done! You can also begin like I mentioned above, and without the hot glue wrap the ribbon around the clip and cut before you start glueing to get a better measurement. When your finished it should look something like the images below. You should be able to pinch the side with the hinge, open the clip, and clip it into the hair.

My daughter is only one and doesn't have much hair yet, so it's only on rare occasions that she will wear these, but with the amazing selection of ribbon out there I know I will have fun making more of these for when she's older. I even found this fun vintage ribbon listing on etsy!

If you are daring or extra crafty you can even add buttons, extra bows of ribbon, felt, or fabric flowers.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's a Rainbow Party!

This February my daughter celebrated her First Birthday, and in my family that means a HUGE celebration with family and friends!

This party was near and dear to my heart, not only because Lucy is my only little girl, but because this birthday party was going to be the first party that I have planned and created from start to finish! I actually picked a theme and started planning what I would make when Lucy was only 4 months old. I was a little nervous and wanted to make sure everything turned out! So let me give you a quick photo tour of all the crafty things I made for this special little lady's day:

The party theme was Rainbows! So here you can see I utilized felt and tacky glue to make a door hanging greeting guests at the door.
photo courtesy of Jo Brock Photography

I found a genius idea on what to do for the cake, I found these on Spearmint Baby last summer and decided it would be perfect to make rainbow cupcakes for a party where there are lots of kids! I used the gel food coloring to get the colors so bright.
photo courtesy of Jo Brock Photography

Now for the very special guest I had planned to order a cute little tulle tutu in rainbow colors, but the budget didn't quite allow, so I took a plain white onesie, some of my scrap fabric, Heat n Bond, and sewed a rainbow-type applique! I also made the little baby leg warmers she is wearing (see previous blog I posted on how to make those). And what you can't see is that I also used ribbon to make her a rainbow hairclip. I will post an upcoming blog on how to make those!
photo courtesy of Jo Brock Photography

Here's my sweet girl enjoying her delish rainbow treat! She loved it!
photo courtesy of Jo Brock Photography

For the table I just bought paper goods from Party City in different colors, and used vases/bowls/containers I had in different colors. On the menu: marshmallow pops, fruity pebble treats, rainbow jello, chips, bananas, blueberries, apples, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, with some snack/display containers with Trix cereal, Fruity Cheerios, M&Ms, Skittles, and Gummy Bears! And of course, the rainbow cupcakes!

As another fun addition to my rainbow theme I used some old ice cube trays, food coloring drops, and made some rainbow ice cubes to plop into the Sprite and water we were serving for drinks!
photo courtesy of Jo Brock Photography

The party was so much fun, and it was just as much fun to plan! We also had an extra table with coloring books for an extra activity for the kids, and I would have had a game or two, but for a first birthday it was more practical to keep it short and sweet. It was great to celebrate with our friends and family, and I know Lucy enjoyed it!

A close friend of mine took some of the pictures above, and has a photography business. Check out her blog at Jo Brock Photography.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fun Finds!

Check out this amazing post today on Design Sponge. It is all about the uses for vintage and antique keys!

The reason I love this Fun Find so much, is that it is giving me some simple, inexpensive, and easy ideas to create things in the future. I also have the best time going to thrift stores and antique shops, but very rarely know what to look for (other than keeping an eye out for salt and pepper shaker sets that I love collecting). I think next time I will certainly be looking for keys!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Leg Warmers

Before my second child was born I learned to sew something that would prove to be one of the most awesome things I could have learned to make for a baby/toddler! I learned how to sew my very own leg warmers, just like these called Baby Legs by brand name. As you can see (or if you are already a mom, then you know) that these name brand versions of these cute little leg/arm warmers are NOT CHEAP! So that is why I am so glad I have learned to make my own.
Now if you want to know how to make these yourself there are plenty of sites that show pictures in detail on the few specific steps (and even a few videos I found), unfortunately all I have are photos of mine finished. I can however give you a quick run through of what to do:

-First cut off the toes of the socks and discard
-Cut off the heal and discard
-This leaves you with the long "tube" part of the original sock and rectangle part of the "foot"
-Fold the "foot" triangle with wrong sides together to form the cuff
-Using a sewing machine (or hand sewing if you are patient or without machine) slide the cuff over the sock so the raw cut edges are both pointing in the same direction, and sew a stitch all the way around
-Turn the cuff down and the raw edges should be on the inside, where you can't see them, leaving you with cute little leg warmers!!

Here are some helpful tips to remember:

1) Look for women's socks, and depending on age look for these variations - Newborns-6m : women's tube socks or girl's knee socks - 6m-Toddler: women's knee socks
2) You can make these for boys too! Just look for socks that are in more boy-friendly colors or patterns
3) Don't look for fancy or expensive socks, look in the clearance section, or discount stores, I have gotten 3 pairs for $3 in the past!
4) When you finish and try them on your child, put them on like the original sock, which means the cuff you sewed is the bottom and goes near the foot (I say this because my husband always puts my daughters on upside down and they fall down!)