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Monday, February 28, 2011

Soy Crayons

Many moons ago, I worked as a grad student at the National Soybean Research Lab.  Yep, I worked to promote the wonderful soybean in any form possible, from tofu to crayons.  Ever since, I've had an affinity for all things soy.  When I came across earthgrowncrayons, I knew that I had to make a purchase!


She makes crayons in the most darling shapes  These little fishies are made of nontoxic, renewable, biodegradable soy!

The Bug just recieved a sweet set of colorful fish to play with.

Walley Fish  SOY CRAYONS - Handmade, All Natural, Biodegradable (Set of 8)

I think that this set of turtles might have to be next on our "wish list".

Sea Turtle SOY CRAYONS - Handmade, All Natural, Biodegradable (Set of 6) Green, Red, Gold, Blue, Turquoise, Purple

Happy crafty!


Saturday, February 26, 2011


We have so many babies to look forward to in our family this spring!  My newest nephew, little Jack was born just a couple of days ago, and my SIL is due with a little boy in March.

I had promised her long ago that I would make a diaper bag for her and her little man.  Here is what I came up with.

The exterior fabric is the most wonderful home dec weight from Alexander Henry, and it's lined a super soft sage green polka dot.  The idea for the owl came from my uber-crafty friend Barbie's blog.  She has the best ideas!  This little owl has lots of fun taggies for little ones to chew on, and he even crinkles.

There is a coordinating changing pad too.  Perfect for the new mom on the go!

Happy Crafty,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Hat

I have been eyeing this hat at Gardenhouse for months now.  Isn't it wonderful?

SALE : Garden Ruffles Hat No.2 - An army green military style womens hat embellished with fabric flowers and  vintage brooch sparkle

So when I found these simple hats at Hobby Lobby for just $3.99 I had to try my hand at making my own. 

Here is it all dressed up. 

I made a quick rosette from some 2" wide satin ribbon, and paired it with some fun vintage buttons and ribbon scraps.  These were all extra crafty bits that I had stashed away.

So easy!  And the best part is that the whole project was completed for just $3.99.

What a perfect accessory to pack on for our upcoming sunny vacation!

Happy Crafty,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family Tree

My friend Kimberlee just started the most creative blog, Hanging On By A Thread.  She is such a funny, crafty mommy, with a love of great food.  My kind of girl!

She recently featured a tutorial from At Second Street for creating Mod Podged trees.  Kimberlee's trees turned out so cute, I knew that we had to try this!  Plus, I've been complaining about my empty stairwell wall for 2 years and it was time to fill it!

Here are our finished trees!

Love them!

The Bug loved helping out and getting Mod Podge all over mommy.  This little one decided to supervise by throwing all of our leaves on the ground, reciting "Uh Oh" about 200 times, and gorging on goldfish.  What a helper!

Happy Crafty!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Crazy Boys

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to animals.  I'll admit that I love a crazy house full of four-leggers and kids.  Which is good, because that's what I've got! 

This is Miller (aka Special Ed) in a rare sleepy moment.  He loves eating crumbs off the floor, chasing squirrels, and snuggling on our bed.

Here is Miller's best bud, Nate (aka The Bug).  Aren't they a cute pair?

Poor Mill, he's just wondering why this goofball is interrupting his naptime. 

They make a crazy pair, but I love them both to bits!

We're trying to focus more on the little joys that make life great.  Like crazy kids and wagging tails.

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gardenhouse Inspiration

Do you like florals?

Do you like vintage?

Do you love great photos?

If you answered yes, you NEED to check out Brooch the Subject.  I absolutely love this blog!

Simone finds the most wonderful vintage pieces, particularly brooches, and incorporates them into all of the her pieces.  So inspiring!  Check out her etsy shop for great photos of her goodies.

She has such a great eye for pairing fabrics, particularly florals. 

I'm in love with this table cloth!

And this romper for little girly girls.  It's so on trend!

Love the Inspiration!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Twirly Gift

The daughter of my dear friend just turned 4, and this is one girly little lady!

What could be a better gift for a sweet girly girl than a pink shirt with her initial on it?  Well, the whole gift creation took a couple of tries, but I think that we got it right.

So, my first lesson was not to fire up the embroidery machine at 11:00pm at night, while talking to friends and drinking wine.  The "K" ended up way too low, and slightly off center.  On top of that, I was less than thrilled with the font and its stitching.  So, I chopped the "K" off this shirt (more on that later), and got to work on my spare t-shirt. 

Tip: When emboidering t-shirts, ALWAYS, pick up a spare in the size that you need!

Here is what our final gift looked like.  Cute right?

And we even stitched up a sweet little kitty to match.

Happy Birthday Miss Kate!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bag Making 101

Just before the holidays, I was fortunate enough to win a wonderful pattern from Sew Serendipity!  Kay Whitt is an amazing pattern designer.  Her bags always look so polished and crisp.  She was looking for bag-making questions for an upcoming book, and chose my response as her favorite!  Nothing like winning a prize for having a question!

Here was my question:

What is the best interfacing formula for a bag? Do you prefer to use a stiffer interfacing such as Decor Bond, or do you prefer to use multiple layers of a lighter weight interfacing?

Interested in her answer?  Then check out her latest blog post.

Her pattern book that I recieved is called Media Frenzy.  There are so many great ideas from Kindle covers to camera straps.  I'll be making a laptop bag for my upcoming trippy!

Media Frenzy Book

And I think that I'll be needing a camera strap too!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Veggie Pizza for Starters

We recently hosted a little baby shower for my SIL.  I'm going to be an aunty in just 2 months, and am beyond excited!

My lovely cousin offered to bring a dish, and I had a crazy craving for her vegetable pizza.  It makes a great appetizer...or a complete meal with nice big side of fruit.  The kiddos loved it too!

Vegetable Pizza

2 crescent roll pkgs.
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 (12 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, grated (or colby jack)

Assorted veggies of your preference (red bell pepper, broccoli, red onion, carrots, cucumber, etc.)

Bake crescent rolls as directed on package by spreading out on cookie sheet to make two large rectangles. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, dressing mix, and mayonnaise together, and spread on cooled crescent roll rectangles. Chop vegetables and sprinkle over rectangles. Sprinkle cheese on top last. Cut with knife into smaller squares.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Not-So-Tiny Clutch

Have you heard of The Tiny Seamstress?  She's a little lady, with big talent!

I purchased this Tiny Clutch pattern a while ago and have been saving it for a special occassion.  Well, at least an occassion where my purse doesn't need to be filled with sippies, snack cups, diapers, and wipes!

We're headed south to warmer weather in a couple of weeks, and I thought that this would be perfect for an evening out.

I added the ruffle for a bit more femine flair.  Love it!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  Sorry that I've been a bit obsessed with this blue, green, and aque Anna Maria Horner fabric lately.  I think that I'm subconsciously, well actually consciously, craving spring, and all things green!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Guac...What's not to love?

We love our dips in this house, and guacamole has to be our favorite.  This recipe comes from one of the absolute best cooks I know, my lovely cousin Jocelyn.  Joc has two wonderful blogs. 

She Spills the Beans, where she has posted absolutely wonderful vegetarian recipes.
No Poster Girl, where she writes about her life now, with severe ME/CFS.

We like to eat Joc's guac with homemade tortilla chips.  Start by cutting 6 or 8" flour tortillas into 6 segments each.  Lay your chips out on a baking pan, and give them a light sprinkle of salt, garlic powder, and chili powder.

Bake the chips at 425 degrees until they are crispy and just a bit brown on the edges. 

Next on to the guacamole!

3-4 Mashed ripe avocados
1/4 c. Finely chopped red onion
1/4 c. Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 Small tomotoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 Jalapeno, finely chopped (If I am missing Jalapeno, I just add extra cayenne for kick)
Juice of 1 lime
Mix ingredients. 
Add cayenne pepper to taste...and the secret ingredient...Jane's Crazy Salt!

We love this stuff in our house.  Thanks to Jocelyn for introducing us to it!  It's a great seasoning for veggies and meat too.  Serve guac with chips and enjoy!

Happy Dipping!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Little Pick-Me-Up!

We've been trapped inside for too many days with all this ice.  What better way to beat the winter blues than with cute sundresses in some cheerful spring fabrics?

Stitching up cheerful colors always lifts my spirits.  This Daphne pattern from Posh Petunia is so sweet, simple, and fun! 
Aren't these dresses just happy?


Psst....they are now listed in the shop!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cupcake Sandwiches

I love cake.  I love really fudgy chocolate frosting.  Here is the perfect pairing...and so easy!

First, begin with your favorite cake mix.  Bake up scads of mini-cupcakes.

Next, gently slice off the tops of your cupcakes. 

I used my trusty Cutco cheese knife to separate the cakes.  You need a knife like this.  It's great for not only cheese, but tomatoes, cake, and everything in between!

By now you'll have a nice pile of cupcake bottoms.  Feel free to eat them! 

Finally, assemble your sandwiches by placing a nice dollop of frosting in between your little cupcake tops (the buns).  Eat and enjoy! 

For more detailed instructions visit Sweet Craft Cakes.  They have the cutest, and sweetest ideas!  We'll be making using strawberry cake mix to make pink sandwiches for Valentine's Day!

Happy Baking!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Sunday Fondue

After a big day of building snow forts and snow men in our tundra, we settled in to watch the Super Bowl.  It's always a treat to have a "snacky dinner" and watch our favorite sport.  To satisfy a recent craving, the chef in the house decided that fondue just had to be on the menu.

So easy.  So good.

3 Cheese Fondue

1 cup light beer (it was for a football game after all)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 c. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. Emmentaler cheese, shredded

1.Bring the beer to a boil in a small saucepan.  After measuring the beer, sip the rest while cooking.

2.Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and burning.

3.Once the flour is cooked, stir the beer into the flour mixture slowly. Use a whisk to smooth the mixture. Slowly add the shredded Gruyere, Cheddar, and Emmentaler cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot. Keep warm over low flame.

We choose carrots, celery, broccoli, and some crunchy italian snacks sticks as our dippers.  The veggies make it healthy....right?

Recipe adapted from All

Happy Cooking,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Cool Hoodie

Hillbilly's employer recently underwent a logo change, and as a result I ended up with a fairly substantial pile of "Goodwill" polo shirts to haul off.  Then, I remembered a pattern that I had stashed away.  It's from Little Blue Boo.  If you aren't familiar with her blog or patterns, check them out.  She is amazing with knits!  Her site is filled with great ways to upcycle old clothing into darling outfits for the kiddos.

I selected this sporty hoodie pattern.  I love that it works for boys or girls!

Image of DIY PDF Pattern and Tutorial - Recycled T-Shirt Hoodie - Unisex Sizes 6M to 7 Years

First I got to work cutting out all of my pattern pieces using three of the old polo shirts.  When combining different knits into one pattern, just try to make sure they are about the same weight.  Your finished garmet will look more polished.

We stitched the pieces using our serger, but you could easily use a standard sewing machine.  Almost all machines have a zig zag stitch, and many now have a "stretch" stitch as well.  It's important to use a zig zag or stretch stitch for knits, so that the seems can stretch with your fabric.  A standard straight stitch will break as the fabric stretches. 

Here is our hoodie, all whipped up.  I just love the orange and navy combo, especially with the stripe on the bottom.

Next, Bug and I decided that his hoodie needed a soccer flair.  He loves the number 3, which just happens to be his age.  I traced an "03" onto freezer paper, and then ironed it onto the shirt, making sure the waxy side was down.  This helps the paper to lightly adhere to the fabric.  I Am Momma Hear Me Roar has a great tutorial on freezer paper stenciling.  It's so easy!

We used matte fabric paint and a sponge brush to apply our 3, in the hopes that it would have a nice "worn" look when finished.

Here's a look at our finished product! 

I have to tell you, that I've always been intimidated by working with knits.  So, one of my goals this year is to tackle more knit projects.  This one was definitely a success!

Happy Crafty!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Going on Safari

I am not a quilter.  Someday I'd like to learn, but I just don't have the patience for it now, especially not while chasing around the short ones.  My mother on the other hand, seems to have inherited this skill from my Nana.  Just look at this!

I just love all of the embellishments. 

Like the fleece lion fur and the beaded eyes.

And the ric rac trim and the flappy elephant ears!

Here is a picture of my beautiful SIL and my fabulous crafty mom.  Too bad that you can't see Jo Jo's baby bump!

Happy crafty!