Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fresh Dirt on my Counters

This year I decided to give gardening a shot. Even though it looks like a disaster in my 15' x 19' garden, I still manage to get just enough produce for several meals.

I'm finally to the point where I'm starting to be able to pick something every other day. Tonight I had the house to myself and decided to make a few things with the produce of my labor of love. I did just a little of everything, which is fun to try them all, but it's not enough to live off during the winter. I made refrigerator pickles, froze green beans, and made tomato salsa. EVERYTHING that I used to make them all was home grown. Which I love because it's resourceful, organic, local, and cheaper! The herbs are all delicious since they are fresh picked, and the corn was home grown at my parents farm. Even though it isn't much yet, I'm oober excited to eat it all (soon).

There probably would have been another jar of salsa, but I found a bag of chips and was immediately hooked. The beans will be perfect for a meal during the horrible long winter months. The pickles are just down right delicious, and the salsa will be just right on a vacation we have coming up. Next year I'll have figured out what we like to eat the most, and do more so that we have enough to last through the winter months. I'm so excited! :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stuffie Tag Blanket Tutorial

Lately I've fallen off the face of the earth because my computer died. It's finally back so I thought I'd fill you in on how I've been spoiling the heck out of the cutest little addition to our close group of friends.

Some of our really close friends recently had a baby that I made all of these fun gifts for and I just keep right on spoiling the poor kid! :) The couple has a small wiener dog that was always 'their kid.' Now that they have a real mini me I had to do something fun involving the dog. **I have to admit that this idea originates from my incredibly inspirational mom!**

I found a stuffed wiener dog and got rid of all his holiday gear.

**The following picture of 'stuffie surgery' may not be suitable for small children** :)

Find the center of the stuffed animal and sew basting lines on either side of the center. Then cut between the lines to end up with 2 half stuffies. I cut a piece of minky that was 13" square. I centered the dog on opposite sides and based. 

Then I used all sorts of different ribbons and cut 4" pieces and pinned them on. I sandwiched the second 13" square on top and sewed around all four edges with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be sure the leave a hole for turning inside out. Pin the hole shut and topstitch around the entire square. 

Add an adorable newborn and you're ready to go!

I've been brave enough to teach myself to sew with knits lately so also had to do up a sleep sack with Jessica's pattern

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DIY Cake Stands

Today I had the day off and headed to the nearest 'large' city for shopping. My sewing machine needed a long overdue service and I had to run a few errands. While I was waiting for my machine I hit up the local St. Vincent Thrift Store. It's out in a part of town that is a little more run down and either it's a really good place or I always hit it at just the right time. Today I was lucky enough to show up and the ENTIRE store was 50% off. When prices are already dirt cheap this is basically stealing.

I've been looking for some simple cake stands to use for displays and entertaining. Lately we've been doing a lot of simple entertaining with friends and family at our home and always need to add height to the food table.

I dug through the piles of dishes at the thrift store and found 4 matching/eclectic creamy white plates and tea cups. The cups were .15 cents each (plus 50% off) and the plates were .25 cents each (plus 50% off), for a grand total of .82 cents!

Using E6000 glue or any other super durable glue, I attached them together at their bases. Voilla, 4 cake stands for a price of .82 cents. I don't think it can get much cheaper than that. Plus, I know that I will use them over and over to make them well worth it.

I was also able to score 3 Haeger USA bowls/dishes for less than $10. They are in perfect condition and now I just have to find them a home, within our already full of collectible pottery house.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baby Shower Pretties

My best friend is expecting her 1st baby in 2 months! They're the first ones to have a baby in our close circle of friends. We're all practically family and have been super close for years so this is pretty awesome for all of us. This past Saturday was her baby shower and I was excited to make some of the awesome tutorials popping up all over blogland lately. I created: bibs, diaper and wipe holder, pacifier clips, spit rags, and a toadstool rattle. 

The daddy-to-be is a HUGE Case IH tractor fan. He joked that even if it was a girl that she was going to have a Case blanket. So I made him a separate gift with items for him. 

My INCREDIBLE mother helped me make the awesome little tags on all the items on her embroidery machine. This way things don't get all mixed up at church nursery or daycare. And it's a perfect personal touch. 

After using Jessica's tutorial and templates on Running with Scissors I am now completely addicted to freezer paper stenciling. They will be perfect the the new little dude. 


Using her template for the toadstool, I enlarged it and created a rattle to match. I cut the piece out of red felt. I also cut out some small circles from fleece and stitched them on there as well for an additional soft texture.

I used some small jingle bells and hand sewed on some jingle bells to keep the baby busy. Be sure to attach them well so they don't slide around. 

I sewed the two pieces together and left a small opening to fill with poly-fil. Fill with some fiber-fill, enough to hide the hardness of the bells but not too much to muffle them. Fill the handle a little more stiff to hold easier. Sew the hole shut and rattle away! (As with all items for children, make with care and safety of the child)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Painted Wallpaper

So I finally jumped on the bandwagon and painted wallpaper in our bedroom. I've been drooling over so many of them in blog land and couldn't resist any more. When we initially moved in I wanted the room to be monochromatic, masculine, and dark. Now almost a year later it was super boring and I had never gotten around to decorating.


I created a basic shape to use for the pattern. I'm not much of a perfectionist with my creating so I started in the top corner of the window and just started tracing and eyeballing, and tracing and eyeballing some more. I traced the entire wall to make sure it was even. The walls are an eggshell finish so I used leftover white high gloss from painting the inside of my kitchen cabinet walls (they were wallpapered when we bought the house! ew). At night when the lights are right, or there are candles lit you can see the little bit of shine.

Now our tiny bedroom looks much bigger! Even my hubby likes it. I feel like I'm checking into a boutique hotel every night. It gives me a little more inspiration to actually make the bed now and then. I had initially looked into wallpaper, for $100 for the small wall I shot that idea down quickly and much better appreciate this treatment for free! After doing this for about 7 hours on my day off, I'd say it's well worth it!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gluesticks Feature

Thanks to Brandy over at Gluesticks for featuring my Magnetic No-Slip Ironing Mat today. Her blog is full of creative goodness!

Thanks for stopping by if your coming from her blog. Stay a while and have a look!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Strawberry/Cherry Chip Valentine's Bars

These bars are my absolute favorite so it's odd that I never seem to make them more than Valentine's day! Last night I needed to get off the couch for a bit so I hobbled around on one leg and crutches to make these. My hubby was working on some remodeling and frequently ran in to check on me because he heard things falling. The recipe is super easy but still took me a lot of energy and a lot of time with one leg out of commission!

I didn't take pictures of the process but do have a finished look. They taste a lot better than they look! :)

You will need:
1 box of cherry or strawberry chip cake mix
2/3 cup melted margarine
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 package of caramels
chocolate chips

Mix together the cake mix and melted margarine. Press 1/2 of the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake the crust for 6 min in a 350 degree oven. Melt the caramels and evaporated milk. Pour over crust and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Crumble remaining cake mixture on top and bake for an additional 12 min.