Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Surprise You've All Been Waiting For

 Well, here it is... the moment you've all been waiting for!

About 2 months ago I mentioned a surprise project I was working on.  A surprise present for Tiffany's baby-to-be.

I started the gift, then put it in a project bag and avoided finishing it.

Well now, my friends, it is finished.

I saw this picture on pinterest that linked to the pattern for sale on etsy.  I never followed through with the link and just thought, "I could make that!" So I did.

It's a baby football bag and hat!!! 


Yaaay! I'm so excited to give it to them... they'll love it for their baby that's due during football season.  I didn't have a baby to model, so I had to use a teddy bear. If anyone has any babies I can borrow for the day, let me know!




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cookie Dough and Cheese Balls, Ticket Stubs and Teacher Gifts

I have been doing other things than bridal shower presents... I swear. Ive actually started a "Projects in Progress" page in my notebook to track everything I'm working on. Plus, it gives me a chance to check something else off when I've finished :)

First, I finally got around to making these cookie dough balls.

I learned that hard brown sugar may still work in a bowl of oatmeal, but not even a blender mixed with a microwave and a mixer would turn my brown sugar back into powder form from sugar-cube form. Downside of living in moist, hot Florida I guess (saw on pinterest that by keeping a marshmallow in a bag of brown sugar it will keep the sugar soft... must try with my next bag!). Anyways, my impatience got the better of me and I made the balls with lumpy brown sugar. I finished them up and tried one out. It was pretty good, but you would take a bite of pure brown sugar every once in awhile. I ended up eating around the lumps.
As usual, I brought some over to Logan.
Now, Logan is my biggest critic. If he actually remembers to say something about my creations that I don on him, it's usually "constructive criticism" followed by "... but its good." He bit into these cookie dough balls and actually said 'mmmmm!' Like he meant it! Like he actually enjoyed them! He complimented them! He kept going back for more! He hoarded them in his freezer (you know something's good when he hoards it). I didn't understand... was he faking it? Was he pretending not to notice the lumps just to be nice? He's not that kind of person... eventually I couldn't take it anymore and probed him a few days later. "Soooo... you have nothing bad to say about them? You didn't notice anything?" "I noticed lumps of brown sugar, but I thought they were supposed to be there, they're delicious!" Sigh. Only when things go wrong...


Another recipe I tried this week was these baked cheese balls. I've been meaning to make these for awhile and finally got around to it on Wednesday. I'm a sucker for mozzarella sticks as an appetizer at restaurants, so the thought of semi-healthy copycats was tempting. Pretty much, you just take cheese sticks, cut them up, dip them in milk, then roll them in bread crumbs and bake. Sounds perfect. Except before I even started I read all the comments about how the cheese melted into blobs on many people's attempts. I tried to avoid this by following their advice and freezing the cheese first. But I still ended up with this:

Oh well, I still ate them and they were delicious!!



I made a new craft that I've had on my to-do list for awhile... a Ticket Stub Box.
Of course, I keep all my ticket stubs, and I was so excited to make this to display them all! All I did was buy a shadowbox (on clearance for a few bucks at Michaels!), and my dad helped me out by sawing a little hole in the top to drop the tickets in. I put a Wicked playbill in the back, but you can't really see it. I would say if you have this many ticket stubs to get an 8x10 frame not a 5x7 or whatever like me. It works though because you can shake it around to see all the tickets. I taped Taylor Swift up at the top so it would always be visible :) The admit one sign was just printed on cardstock and hot glued up there.


Last but not least... a mini tutorial.

I'm almost done with my internship so I've been brainstorming gifts to make my teacher and students to say thank you. I thought about making a clipboard for each student with their initial on it (there's only twelve students) but couldn't find clipboards at the dollar store and wasn't willing to pay $2 each for them at targrt. I'll have to keep looking. For the teacher, I got her a book of song music for the schoolhouse rock songs (she has a piano and guitar in her room).

I also made her a school supply cake. I kind of followed the tutorial found here, but changed things around based on what I could find and what the teacher needed.


For my base/skeleton,I taped a plastic round trash can to a round plastic party platter, both found at dollar tree (I taped instead of glued so that the things could be usable afterwards).



I taped a small round tupperware container (dollar store) to the top of the upside-down trash can for the next layer, then a roll of toilet paper on top of that.



I placed 5 notebooks around the bottom layer and held them in place with a piece of ribbon tied around. I stuck a cute notepad in there too and a pack of erasers.



On the next layer (placed on the edge of the trash can leaning against the tupperware) I put four packs of small notepads behind two packs of colored pencils and two packs of regular pencils and some packs of pens. On the very top I put four packs of index cards and skinny colorful markers to look like candles.



For finishing touches I surrounded the bottom on the platter with alternating snickers and erasers.


That's all I have for now, but I'm working on quite a few projects. I finish my internship in a week and a half, so ill be crafting like crazy to fill my time! Get excited!

Ps. Sorry again for the typing of this post... it was done on my kindle!

Bridal Shower Gifts

As you know, one of my good friends is getting married... her wedding in is less than a month! Her bridal shower was on Sunday, so for the past few weeks I've been doing my craftin' thang! Okay, so the theme was naughty or nice. I decided to be nice. Plus, I'm not sure how homemade lingerie would go over with the bride-to-be.

So, after pinteresting/pinterest stalking/ actually researching outside of pinterest, I came up with a series of little gifts I thought would not only help the bride out with her wedding, but that she would enjoy too.

The gifts I made were a name wedding dress hanger, a wedding wreath, a homemade wedding dress card, a fabric flower bouquet, a wedding memory box, and a bridal survival kit. I took in-the-process pictures of the wreath, bouquet, and card so you will get a semi-tutorial for those.

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To make this, you need a wooden hanger ($5 a pack at Target), needlenose pliers ($6 at Target), floral wire... the gauge you need is in the tutorial linked above (I think $2 a roll at Michael's), and a daddy with a drill (priceless).

It's pretty self-explanatory... use the pliers to shape the wire, drill holes in hanger, glue in.

Some tips I learned:
1) shaping the wire is not as easy as it looks. Unfortunately, my first attempt at this is what Tiffany got... wonky letters and all.
2) Use all lower-case. It may bug you, but I started with an upper case & it doesn't fit on the hanger.
3) I used tacky glue and let it dry overnight. It dried just fine.
4) Finally, neddlenose pliers are not cheaper at Michael's than at target.

The gift turned out alright. It wasn't my favorite but Tiffany seemed to love it and said the m had... character. I still have 4 hangers in the pack so... future brides, beware!

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I actually didn't find this gem on pinterest! After exhasperating the limited pins on pinterest for bridal shower gifts, I returned to the trusty google. (This reminds me that I haven't explored instructables lately... how depressing!) I found a picture of this wreath from Etsy ($110!!!!) and kind of went from there.

Supplies needed:

6 ft Plumbing piping styrofoam from home depot (this is what I have been using as the shell for all my wreaths. My dad says its what you put copper pipes in if that helps. Either way, its less than a dollar for six feet of it.)

1 thing (ball? Schiel?) of white yarn

Leftover black yarn, youll only need a few yards. This yarn is just that normal cheap stuff, nothing fancy.

Scrap black and white fabric

Gizmos and gadgets a plenty, whozits and whatsits galore, may need some thingamabobs (aka pearls/beads/gems/sequins/whatever you have in your junk drawer... ive been working on a bucket of Mardis grad beads we got at a festival last year and never threw away)

Wooden people. I got mine at Michael's for like a buck. They were in the wood aisle and they were called game pieces. This was after the lady who worked there said they didn't have any wooden people. You can use pre-painted people if you can find them, or maybe little dolls. Or even bells or something else wedding-y.

Acrylic paint (if you need to paint your little wooden people) I used black, white, brown, and yellowish gold. Oh, and a little blue for the tie.

Paint brushes (little ones)

Assorted ribbon for hanging

Hot glue

Patience



Directions:

1. Cut your piping. For mine, I cut it in half, made one half into a circle, then cut the other half a little smaller so it could be a circle that fits inside the other circle. I did this so that it would be a thicker wreath.

2. Duct tape both circles closed and together. Black tape would probably work best for this, but as you can see I'm not nearly normal enough to buy black duct tape. It doesn't really matter because it shouldn't poke through.


3. Tie one end of the white yarn around the wreath skeleton.


4. Go rent a movie. Find yourself a nice comfortable place on the couch and an hour or two to spare.

5. Wrap. Wrap and wrap and wrap really close together, then squish what you've wrapped even closer together and wrap some more. Yes, this is extremely irritating because you have to stick that huge thing of yarn through the wreath on every rotation.


6. When you've reached the beginning and your wreath is completely covered in white yarn, start again. Wrap around and around again, making sure it looks bulky and even and there aren't any holes. Tie off (Don't worry, you can hang your ribbon here to cover the knot).



7. Make a design with the black yarn. This was harder than it seemed and took some playing around with it to make these crosses. I also went over then twice to make sure they really stood out.

8. Paint your people. I guess you could have done this earlier, but mine didn't take long to dry at all. I cant give you much help with this, all I can tell you is I just looked at the picture and kind of went for it. The paint for Tiffanys Blonde hair matched the wood perfectly so I had to add a little brown to make it pop. I used the pointy end of a thumb tack to make the eyes and the lines of the tie. For the bride's side bun I looked all over for something perfect and eventually settled on a small piece of fuzzy yarn that I knotted up and trimmed down and glued on there. For your people, you'll just have to be creative and do your own thing. The thing Tiffany liked the most was how much they looked like the couple, so little touches would really stand out.



9. While your people are drying, you can make your flowers. I used the same procedure I always do for making fabric flowers, found here. It's super easy. I just used pieces of old fabric I had... black and white tshirts I believe. For the centers I used beads off of my Mardis grad necklace collection and an old fake pearl necklace that broke.

10. Glue your people and flowers on. I used hot glue.


11. Add a mixture of ribbon to the top for easy hanging.

12. stand back and enjoy your work.

I snuck this on the brides door the night before the bridal shower so that she would have it there when she got up in the morning. She loved it and even mentioned taking the little people off and using then on their wedding cake. Woot woot!



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Bridal gown card



Ok, this is a simple card craft that I threw together. I just took a piece if creme cardstock and added a trimmed piece of pretty scrapbook paper to the top.



I cut out the bust of a wedding dress from white cardstock.


I cut about four piectles of tulle to make the skirt, layered them, and glued them on to the waistline.

Then i took a piece of thin ribbon and put it over the transition.

I trimmed the tulle on the bottom. I think it would have looked better with more layers of tulle.
Add a sentimental message inside and wa-la! A card.




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Fabric flower bouquet

Inspired by this listing on etsy...

I saw a picture of this on pinterest and thought I would make it for the rehearsal or decoration or something. I used tulle and burlap because they are in the theme.

I pretty much just made a bunch of fabric flowers that I always make in different colored cotton, silk, some burlap, lace, and tulle.

I tacky glued them all on a styrofoam ball and pinned with sewing pins to let dry overnight.

I have to say, I'm disappointed in the price of a styrofoam ball. I feel like Michael's takes advantage of crafters with their ridiculous prices. Should have gone to home depot.

Anyways... I stuck the thick cardboard tube that came with the tulle into the ball and glued it after I covered it with burlap.

I finished by adding more of those gizmos and gadgets to the middle of the flowers and any gaps. I also clipped a little butterfly on there and finished it off with a white bow. Then I got to put on a fake wedding ring and white bathrobe to model... don't judge.


A word of warning... I hot glued a LOT of flowers. I got blisters from the glue not only on every finger, but on places I'm not even proud of. I have a blister running down my leg from where the hot glue gun fell off the desk and grazed me on the way down. I have a blister on the inside of my thigh from attempting this project while wearing pajama shorts. Every time I use hot glue I think ill build up an immunity to the pain. No luck yet.



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Wedding memory box

I bought a photo box. Logan helped me rip up sheet music leftover from a music book purchased at goodwill for my music pumpkin I made last fall. I paper mached it to the box. When it dried, I added letters and more fabric flowers. The box is to put trinkets/photos/etc from their wedding.


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Bridal survival kit

I made this for another friend last year. You just get a bunch of things the bride might need on her wedding day in case of emergency or forgetful minds. I wanted to put it all in a big mason jar to fit in to the theme of the wedding, but I only had a small jar so it turned onto a jar with a homemade bag attached. I some things I included were: folding hairbrush with mirror, cosmetic pads, qtips, cotton balls, medicine, hairspray, mini lint brush, mini tide to go pen, buttons, safety pins, tissues, gum, mouthwash, body spray, and lip gloss. I also had chocolate and an energy bar to stick in there but they didn't make it.

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The gifts were a hit, I had fun making them, and Tiffany seemed to like them. The party was gorgeous. Tiffany did everything herself, including making all the delicious food and setting up this gorgeous table.

Enjoy the pictures!








Ps.Sorry about the typing and wording in this post and the next one... I typed them on the go on my kindle and it was pretty much like texting two whole blog posts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

No Rhyme or Reason

It's been awhile since I've posted, but I have the excuse of spring break! The lovely things I am posting today have no rhyme or reason (hence the name of the post) and were mostly created for my own amusement.

We'll start with the creations that just happened to fall around Logan and I's 3 year anniversary.

I made Betty Crocker's Grasshopper Fudge Cake (think of a thin mint... in a cake form) to accompany the lovely dinner we were going to celebrate 3 years with...


but we ended up going to a restaurant that had one of our favorite pieces of HUGE cake, so that definitely trumped my poor little green cake.


That was okay, because the cake ended up being a wonderful treat for not only us but all of the roommates we have collected, as well as a special addition to a spontaneous Sunday dinner party.
As usual, I learn something new from every recipe that I make. I learned that this cake is DELICIOUS, but I also learned that mint extract is kinda expensive and doesn't last long. Oh, and people are very weary of a green cake named after a grasshopper.
Ps. YES those are Andes mints on top :) I was NOT going to waste my leftover thin mints... must ration until next February!





Alright, time for a wonderful craft. This is one of those things I create and it just works out so well and I can't help just staring at it and loving it and being so proud that I MADE THAT. I was planning to make these as a present for our 3 year anniversary, but my mistakes mixed with my determination produced them a few days late. I love them more than any boy would anyways.

Here it is... my version of LOVE NOTE PILLOWS from alisaburke.

I began by making an attempt to make the whole pillow case, but after I bought the pillow and began to sew the pillow cases out of material, I decided I would stop there so I wouldn't mess up the whole project. It just didn't nearly good enough. I found these nice looking pillow cases for $7 each on amazon and they fit my new feather throw pillows perfectly! I used fabric transfer paper from Michaels... not that iron on stuff (BAD experiences with messing with that paper). I just printed them out and sewed them on. Ta-da!!!! Don't you LOVE them?

Just had an idea... wouldn't these be adorable with wedding vows????





Alright, let's talk about some recipes. I might have gone a little recipe-crazy this past week...


First, there was some deal at the grocery store where I ended up getting these mini sausages for free. Except I'm not a big fan of these guys. So I put a spin on Baked Corn Dog Muffins by dropping the sausages into corn bread batter in the pan. It was good! A nice little dinner.



Second, I tried out these ranch oyster crackers. I read on pinterest that they were addicting and they definitely were! They were a nice snack for a beach day on Sunday!




I brought these babies to school for snack this week and was the envy of many students. They weren't the easiest to eat... they left a few droppings on the floor. But they were the PERFECT combination. Apples, peanut butter, raisings, oatmeal... what more could I ask for?


For dinner, we endulged on these open-faced barbeque sandwiches made from Crockpot Barbeque Beer Chicken placed on garlic bread. I used root beer because it was all I had on hand, but it was still very yummy and satisfying. Definitely more of a man food than a me food, though.

Next, I would like to introduce you to... my new breakfast! Seriously, every morning this delicious thing graces my stomach and holds me over until lunch...



Looks disgusting, right? Sounds disgusting when you know it's spinach that is making it that wonderful color. But I'll tell you a secret... it's... MAGIC.
I would have never tried this recipe if I hadn't been brave enough to try my friend Meredith's smoothie a few months ago after she said it had spinach in it. "You can't taste it!" She said... I couldn't... but it didn't really stick with me until I saw it on pinterest.

All you do is add frozen banana, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, and a TON of baby spinach to a blender. Guess what you'll taste? Everything BUT the baby spinach. I've even experimented with this... adding more and more spinach each time, and I still only taste the bananas and peanut butter. Like I said, MAGIC. I also don't know the difference between regular spinach and baby spinach, but I also experimented with regular spinach that said it was 'perfect for cooking' and it turned out just as good... FYI!!!!

I'm pretty much eating a huge blended spinach salad for breakfast every morning.

Try it. Seriously.





One more recipe to mention before I move on to more magic... I tried out these frozen yogurt drops. I tried one an hour after freezing and they were good, but I left them in the freezer overnight, and when I ate them they had some weird film over them. Moral of the story is... eat them when they say to eat them... I guess milk exposed to open air in the freezer doesn't hold up too well.





Alright... one LAST thing. I can't think of someone who WOULDN'T love this. I found this stain remover magic (on pinterest of course) and tried it out that night. It worked perfectly! Logan couldn't even believe it... all he had to say about it was, "I bet they'll be back in a week... that doesn't really work"

Basically, take a spray bottle. Fill it half full with water, and the other half with ammonia. Spray on any stain on your carpet, no matter how old it is. Douse it. Don't be shy. Lay a towel over it and iron. Repeat as much as needed. Grab someone in your household and make them watch.

Here's my success story:

Before:
After:

Enjoy!!!