Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birthdays are fun!

I am blessed to know some very creative people!

My birthday started out with french toast made from Kneader's Chunky Cinnamon Bread. YUM!

I love this gift from my coworker!

Another coworker brought these awesome S'mores Cupcakes (if I get a source, I'll link it here.)

This was fun: another coworker found 30 facts from 1981:

and filled a bag with several items--30 of each. So creative!

And possibly my favorite crafted-for-me-item ever. My husband made me a card this year. He said he went into my craft room and was overwhelmed by all of the supplies, so he just started grabbing things and sticking them on. To paraphrase him, he ran out of a glue stick and ended up Modge-Podging the whole thing and Modge Podge gets everywhere, apparently. I absolutely love it; I think he did a terrific job!

Ladies: he's mine :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Cards

Does anybody have any good techniques for photographing cards? I'm relatively new at it and still trying out how to take decent pictures of them.

The first two are birthday cards I made for my grandparents-in-law.

Here is a card I made for a baby shower. I wanted a certain color pink for the tag and couldn't find it so I just inked the whole thing.

And here is a Thinking of You card I made out of scrapbook scraps. (Sorry, not showing you that scrapbook page as it involves me when I was incredibly sick and therefore not so glamorous.)

I wanted the ladybugs to have dimension. I've seen this technique where you stamp the image twice, cutting out one and layering it on the other. It was SOOO easy and I really like the effect.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scrapbook/Card Duo

While I've been dabbling here and there in digital scrapbooking lately, paper and glue scrapbooking is still my true love. Recently, I decided to start making cards out of the scraps leftover from my page while they were still out. It has been a really easy way to grow my collection of cards.

Here is part of a page I did about my husband and I visiting the Olympic Stadium when the 2002 Winter Olympics came to our hometown. I loved the colors that represented those particular games so I decided to use them on this layout.

Then when I was done I made this card!

I left it blank so that I could use it for any occasion.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cowgirl Costume

Happy Halloween!

This year's costume for my 2 year old happened a little bit by accident. I bought the denim vest (seen in the picture below) from Old Navy for my daughter's 2 year birthday pictures. I don't normally spend so much on an item of clothing that will be outgrown so quickly, but in this case, I am glad I did because it really made the outfit.

Afterwards, I was sort of complaining about the cost vs. length-of-time-before-it's-outgrown issue to a friend from work. She suggested I make my daughter a cowgirl for Halloween. It was like a bell went off in my head: "Ding Ding Ding!"

The first thing I knew I wanted to do was to make a bandanna skirt. I had seen these before and I thought it would be the perfect cowgirl skirt. I found a great and easy pattern here. It is the easiest thing I have ever made. Seriously, it took me 20 minutes. In fact, when I was at Hobby Lobby I saw all sorts of cute patterned bandanas that I thought I would make into some play clothes for her as well.

Anyway. Here is the finished product.

And here is my daughter modeling the 2-inch fabric length I sewed to the bottom. Adding fabric at the bottom makes it possible to make this skirt for any young girl. The taller they are, the more fabric you add. Love it!

I knew we would be doing a reverse applique class at SPARK this year (trust me, I will be blogging more about SPARK!) I went prepared with a template of a horse and a toddler's t-shirt from Target. It turned out even better than I could have imagined! The designer Amy Tangerine taught the class (she is so inspirational!) and I was on cloud 9 when she liked my design!

Next up, and probably my favorite part of the costume are the boots. These were a small source of stress at first because real cowboy boots (for a toddler, even) were $55! Yikes! My husband and I agreed that she could just wear her Sunday shoes, but deep down I really wanted her to have cowboy boots. So I headed to our local thrift store to see what I could find. They didn't have any cowboy boots, but they had these.

You're probably thinking: not even close. I did too. But I knew I could figure out a way to make them work. Then I found this embossed felt at Hobby Lobby. I thought it looked just like leather from a distance. Then the wheels in my head started spinning...

Through trial and error (sorry, no template here) I just started cutting away the felt until each piece looked like the top of a cowboy boot. Then I hand sewed the two pieces together. It still needed something, so I grabbed another bandanna I had purchased and cut out little squares and stitched them on.

Then I slid each piece over the top of each boot. The best part is there is no glue involved so I can just slip them back off and reuse the boots (which, by the way, are in awesome condition. I still can't figure out why they ended up at thrift shop, but I'm sure glad they did!) Here are the finished boots. Pretty close, huh?!

Next she needed a hat. I found these cute foam hats at Hobby Lobby and I thought the pink seemed more like my daughter. I stitched some gingham ribbon around the base and added a hand-sewn flower made out of a strip of bandanna (another skill I learned at SPARK this year.) I made an quick chin strap out of some red ribbon.

And what is a cowgirl without a horse? I found this horse on the same trip to the thrift shop. It had a red bandanna around it's neck with a Wells Fargo logo. That seemed easy enough to fix. After a good bath, I attached another hand-sewn flower to his bandanna. And he's ready for trick-or-treating now!

This was the most fun I've had preparing for Halloween. It's also the first costume I have ever made from scratch (minus the vest, of course.) I have been hesitant to sew costumes before because you can buy them so cheaply! But this entire costume came together for far less than I could have expected. Here's the breakdown:

Vest: originally $20 but fair to say repurposed in this case, so $0
Skirt: $1 for the bandanna, $1 for the fabric hem, $2 for the elastic, so $4
Shirt: $6 at Target, $350 for the class (okay, we won't count that one)--$6
Black tights: already owned--$0
Boots: $3, felt was $0.50 a sheet (at 2 sheets) plus another $1 bandanna which I also used for the flowers (owned the thread)--$5
Hat: $3 plus $1 ribbon on sale (owned the ribbon for the chin-strap)--$4
Horse: $0.50

That's an entire costume for just under $20. And not only was it fun to make but each piece (minus the hat) can be reused--or played with--post-Halloween.

Finally, here is my daughter in her costume at her Grandma's school parade!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Birthday

I created a Pinterest account shortly before my daughter's second birthday and, in collecting ideas for her party, I started to notice I was liking the same things: cupcakes, pink and strawberry lemonade. Her birthday was in August and somehow Strawberry Lemonade just fit. So that became the theme for her party.

I was all about going simple this year. The guest list pared down to family (which still amounted to quite a few people!) and the menu being dessert only. I bought a dozen pink and yellow balloons. My daughter is obsessed with balloons so I knew they would be a hit with her. I found some pink streamers in my party supplies. And luckily, I had leftover pink plates and napkins from her first birthday party.

Here she is eating her homemade mac 'n cheese birthday dinner before the guests arrived. (By the way: we kept the streamers and balloons around for several days after her party. She loved them!)

I found this recipe for lemonade cupcakes and they were so delicious! I turned them into pink lemonade cupcakes by using pink lemonade concentrate. Also, I finally learned how to decently decorate a cupcake as well. I used a 1M swirl tip and hot pink Americolor food coloring. Holy cow, food coloring really does make a difference. This brand is so much better than Wilton! (Sorry, Wilton.) I looked for a giant "2" candle and the store was out so I had to improvise. But I actually think the cupcake tree turned out better this way.

And what's a strawberry lemonade party without strawberry lemonade? This is Emeril's recipe via Everyday Living. It is easy and good! In fact, I nearly missed getting a picture of it at all: it was disappearing rather quickly.

Here's my daughter gearing up for the goods.

She went straight for the frosting. Love the pink mustache.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Golden Graham S'mores

It's not often that my husband brings a recipe home to try. He was absolutely raving about these so I made no delay in buying the ingredients. I joined a greater part of the "watching General Conference in my pajamas" community (who also spend their conference weekend baking) and made these Sunday morning.

Super easy and SO GOOD! They might just divert my obsession for Rice Krispy treats.

I had to give them away or I would have literally eaten the entire tray myself. See, I couldn't even wait to try them before I took a picture...

Here's the recipe:

10 oz miniature marshmallows
6 single serving Hershey bars (the normal size)
5 T butter
1 t vanilla
8 c Golden Graham cereal

Place chocolate bars in freezer, and chill well (I left mine overnight.) Once the bars are very chilled, mash them (I used the flat side of a meat-mallet) and then unwrap them. Place broken candy bars in a bowl and put back into freezer.

Butter a 9x13-in. baking pan. Melt 5 c of marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan (as in big enough to also hold the 8 c of cereal) over low heat. Stir occasionally.

Once the marshmallows have melted, remove pot from stove. Add in cereal and mix well. Add in your remaining 1 c of marshmallows and the chocolate bar pieces. Smash mixture into buttered baking pan and place pan in refrigerator. Cool completely before serving.

These have me imagining other cereal-marshmallow concoctions...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cinnamon Toast

According to the Pioneer Woman, I have been making Cinnamon Toast incorrectly for the last 25 years of my life. No, seriously. Her recipe is AMAZING! (And in case you are wondering, I have always used Approach #3. And I'm feeling sort of guilty about it.)

So it was one of those evenings when my hubby was at the firestation and I didn't really feel like putting a lot of effort into dinner. However, I didn't really feel like reheating anything either.

This toast is the perfect accompaniment to one of my favorite dinner fallbacks: breakfast for dinner. Scramble some eggs and slice some fresh cantaloupe and you're good to go!

It's always a bonus when my daughter likes what we're having for dinner!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Christmas Advent Calendar

When I say I haven't done anything crafty for the last couple of months, that isn't entirely true.

I started this advent calender over 4 years ago. It has absolutely plagued me! It didn't seem that involved when I started, but attaching sequins isn't exactly the quickest process. I had some other sewing projects that I needed to start (and I don't like having more than one going at a time) so I spent as much free time as I could on it and I FINALLY GOT IT DONE!

While I'm kind of sick of looking at it for the time being, I actually do think it turned out pretty cute. I love the santa.

There is a pocket for each day leading up to Christmas and a little stuffed toy that goes in each pocket.

And then a large pocket at the bottom to keep all of the stuffed toys as they are removed. Pretty clever!

The kit can be found here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Peanut Butter Fudge

Hey, looky there! I do still post on this blog!

Okay, so since I've done nothing crafty whatsoever since Mother's Day, I haven't really had anything to post about.

I did, however, make some delicious Peanut Butter Fudge.

I failed to get a picture before they were all gone, so the above image is from Actually, the recipe is courteous of Jif, too!

I like peanut butter, but I don't love it. These, however, were pretty good. I rarely buy name brand products when they publish recipes (as in Jif's) case, but I thought I would splurge and buy the real thing. I don't know if it made a difference, but I'd like to think it did! They took hardly any time to make. Try them yourself!

Word of advice: cut the squares into very small pieces! They are really rich!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day cards

I guess you could say I went out of my comfort zone on both of these cards.

If you scrapbook then you probably hear that it is best to use your own handwriting for journaling. And you probably hear But I hate my handwriting! Well, I really do hate my handwriting. But without any other options for the sentiment, I decided to handwrite on the tag for this one. The only thing I wish is that my white Souffle pen had been a little more opaque. I like how it turned out otherwise.

I usually also stay with more subdued tones for my cards but when I found this "Mom" paper (I believe from DCWV) I had to incorporate it somehow. This card is another candidate for a magical moment in card-crafting. It just sort of came together!

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Birthday Card

If there is such a thing as a magical moment in the card-making world, this card would fall into that category. I love how it turned out!

I can't quote resources because I literally made this entirely from my scraps (go me!) but I can tell you that, once again, the flower is my favorite (the bling in the center doesn't hurt.) I think it might be from Bazzill...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Linguine with Asparagus and Egg

I grew up sort of iffy about my feelings for eggs. I might eat them. I might not. But if I did have them they were always for breakfast and they could never touch any food that was served alongside them.

Then, one day, our friend who raises chickens and has farm-fresh eggs introduced me to a hamburger with a fried egg. This intrigued me so I though I would at least give it a bite. It was AWESOME! That turned a new chapter in my life and I found myself trying new concoctions, like egg and pancake sandwiches.

Which is why I had to make Linguine with Asparagus and Egg from the April issue of Everyday Food.

I thought it was delicious and a good way to use up some leftover asparagus from a previous meal. Even my 20 month old liked it. Give it a try, and long live the incredible, edible egg!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Product Review

I've been really good lately at not going into craft stores and buying an insane number of things that I really don't need. But when I saw these brads by American Crafts, I couldn't resist. To justify the purchase I came home and made a card.

They add just the right amount of dimension and are very subtle. The only thing I didn't like was the extra-pointy prongs. I don't store my products in their original packaging so removing all of the brads was quite a painful process.

The patterned paper is also by American Crafts and the cardstock is by Bazzill.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Dress

I decided very last minute to make my daughter an easter dress. It's not really what I would consider a classic easter dress, but I already had the pattern and I had bought the fabric before my daughter was even born. It took me less than a week which is far better than the last one!

It is a pretty simple pattern. The pattern was from Butterick and is probably older than I am. I was looking through some old patterns of my moms and I really liked this one. It's hard to tell in this picture but there are ties that tie on each side.

I bought the cardigan at Target so she could wear it through the spring and then she can just wear it as a jumper in the summer.

It's really hard to get a picture where my daughter is standing still...

Easter Treat

I always have grandiose plans when it comes to holidays. However, this year I was smart enough to realize that I didn't have time for grandiose and therefore wasn't disappointed when I didn't get around to what I had planned on doing.

I did still want to make a little treat for a few special people.

I found these Snicker's eggs on sale (plus I had a coupon--bonus!) I had my daughter choose a sheet of paper at the scrapbook store. You can't see it here, but it is a pastel blue with yellow flowers. Then I stamped on the other side with this cute chick stamp that I already had and handwrote the sentiment. I gave them to her to color again but only a few were colored before she lost interest. Bakers twine seems to be super popular in the crafting corner of the world (and at 6 cents a yard I got a bunch!) So I used it to complete the project.

I asked my daughter to hand the eggs out and in most cases she ripped off the tag and handed the candy to the recipient. Oh well, it would have been ripped off eventually anyway!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birthday Cards

We've had several birthdays in our family lately. So I've made some cards to help celebrate!

Tree Card

I swore that I had a tree stamp when I started this card but I couldn't find one anywhere! I guess I'd better put that on my list to buy. In this case I improvised and cut out one of the leaves from the background paper. The ink around the edge looks really purple in this picture! It didn't look so purple in real life...

Celebrate Card

All of the patterned paper came from one sheet of double sided paper. I love that stuff! You are guaranteed that it will coordinate. I found the birthday cake rub-on first and matched my paper from there. I've found it is much easier to find paper to match embellishments than it is to find embellishments to match paper. I really like how this card turned out.

Sweet Birthday Wishes card

This card is very special! It is my 20-m old daughter's card to her daddy for his birthday. She actually helped me stamp the image (in dye ink--if stamping can be suitable for the toddler crowd then this is the ink you should use!) She is quite the expert when it comes to coloring. I handed her the card when the ink had dried and she knew exactly what to do.