Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pinteresting Food

I've been using Pinterest for some time now and like everybody else I'm loving it.
You can follow my boards here if you're interested.

I've been thinking lately about how Pinterest has brought me some really incredible food and I thought I'd share some of the amazing things we've tried.

Summer Corn Fettuccine

We actually ate Summer Corn Spaghettini since we prefer it to fettuccine.  This pasta was so good, the combination of bacon, corn and red peppers was perfect.  Now keep in mind it does use 6 ears of corn, this dish really does taste like corn.  If you don't love corn then skip this dish.

Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread

Okay, this one I didn't actually find on Pinterest but it's just too delicious to not share.
Pesto, slathered on bread and then stuffed with Mozzarella and baked?  Yes please!

Baked Oven Fries

I've often made homemade french fries and just about every time I've been disappointed that they haven't crisped up and browned the way I wanted them to.  This recipe is the solution to this and these potatoes are so good!

Peanut Butter Popcorn

This was super easy to make but so delicious.  My only tip, when you're spreading out your popcorn to cool spread it really well.  I figured I'd be able to break it apart when it was cool but it was pretty stuck together and much more difficult to eat than I would have liked.  This popcorn doesn't come out crispy, it's chewy but not stick to your teeth chewy, I'll make it again for sure.

Saltine Cracker Toffee

I've had this before but I'd never make it myself.  I was looking through Pinterest one day, saw this recipe and thought, "Yup, going to make that right now."  It used all ingredients I had on hand and came together really quick.  I was smart and halved the recipe though, we sure didn't need to eat an entire pan of these.  What I did make disappeared off the plate real quick.

And I saved the most ridiculous for last

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n' Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar

Cookie on the bottom, Oreo's layed on top that, topped with Brownies... GOOD!

So there you have it, Pinterest is a good thing.  Need an invite? I can help you out, just let me know.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stroller Re-Cover (AKA the DAMN Stroller)

I've done enough strollers re-covers now that when my sister-in-law asked me to work on hers I didn't hesitate.  It was a Graco that she'd bought second hand and was now using it on her second child and it was in really terrible condition.  Apparently I should have been more careful to look at what I was volunteering for.  Never have I come closer to failure than this project and it wasn't long before it was deemed the DAMN stroller.

You'd never tell by the after pictures though because it turned out so well.  The fit of the new cover is amazing, despite the near disaster.

Take a look at this lovely before pic.  Notice how faded the front of the sunshade is?  This needed a make-over almost as badly as the Navy Stroller.

Every stroller is different so there isn't really a tutorial, more like a process. Here's how my process goes.
  1. Break the stroller down into sections.  So the sunshade is one section, the basket underneath is one section, the cushion is one section and the lining fabric is another.  If you're lucky the stroller will be in decent condition and you'll just need to re-cover the cushion and the sunshade, those are ideal and a lot less work.  Whatever the condition of your stroller you're going to work on one section at a time, so any time you're overwhelmed you just need to remind yourself that your current project is your one small section, forget about the big project and focus on the small.
  2. I always start on the sunshade so I'll use that section as my example.  You're first going to figure out how to remove the sunshade from the stroller, it's usually held on with 4 screws.  Once it's removed you can slide the shade off of the metal supports, there are usually two.  Put them aside for later.
  3. This next step is the most tedious, you're going to carefully unpick all the parts to your sunshade so you can use them as your pattern.  It's important not to forget how the pieces you take apart went together because you need to be able to put them back, I find it helpful as one piece is removed to pin it back in place with one or two pins just so I don't forget how it's constructed.  Sunshade's also normally use two thin plastic supports, as you remove these put them aside for later.  
  4. Once your pieces are unpicked you can unpin one piece at at time and use it as a pattern to cut out your new fabric.  Once it's cut out I pin the old piece back where it was (not taking any chances with my memory here).  A tip, those two plastic pieces that were removed will need casings to put them back in and that fabric should really be cut on the bias to make it look smoother, I always use bias tape or piping with the cord removed.  Makes your job easier and you want a contrasting fabric anyway.
  5. Once your pieces are all cut out of your fabric you can use your old pinned together mess (it's now a mess by the way) to see how you sew everything back together.
  6. Add your two plastic supports back in and finish all your raw edges off with some sort of binding.  I like to re-use the original just because you need so much but if you re-use the original keep in mind that you should stretch it while you're sewing it back on or you'll run out.  You could also use twill tape, nylon webbing or bias tape.  I've used all three and twill tape is my favourite and I think the easiest to work with.
As for fabric amounts you'll have to try and figure that out on your own stroller but to give you an idea here's what I used on this last stroller. 
  • 1 meter of the stripe  (For you American's a meter is 39")
  • 1 1/4 meter of the flower
  • 4 meters of plain brown broadcloth (I always double broadcloth because it's so thin, I really needed one more meter of the brown though, I ended up taking a chunk from my stash to finish)
  • 12 meters of twill tape (I hardly had any left)
  • This is the first stroller I've done with mesh, I happened to have a mesh laundry bag from the dollar store that I'd used on a previous project and it worked great.
  • Also, if you're going to replace the backing and the basket underneath you'll probably need to replace some pound on snaps.
So why was this project so difficult?  As I mentioned in my steps above, the cushion and the backing fabric are normally separate but that wasn't the case on this one, they were attached.  That meant I had to sew together all these strange pieces for the backing and then put right sides together and flip the entire thing.  I hope it sounds complicated because it really was!  In the end I won though even if it brought me near tears.  I actually think the fit on this stroller is better than some I've done in the past so the difficulty ended up being worth it.

Okay enough talking, more pictures!

I think the pop of yellow on the cushion is perfect and I love how comfy it looks.

I particularly love this shot. That really washed out fabric is supposed to be dark navy blue, and I love that you can see the holes in this one.  There were quiet a lot of holes (anywhere there were holes I re-enforced my fabric to hopefully make it a little more durable).
 I love that in the after you can see how neatly everything is secured.

One last picture where you can really see the cushion attached to the lining.

  Linking To Monday - C.R.A.F.T., Making The World Cuter, Polly Want a Crafter, Simpsonized Crafts, Sugar Bee Crafts, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, The Girl Creative   Tuesday - All Things Related, Creative Itch, Domestically Speaking, It's Sew for YouLadybug BlessingsSassy Sites, Today's Creative Blog, This & That, Topsy Turvy    Wednesday - Blue Cricket Design, Me and My Bucket   Thursday - A Glimpse Inside House of Hepworth, It's Sew Stinkin Cute, Somewhat Simple, The Train to Crazy, What Allie's Making Now   Friday - Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Tatertots & Jello, The CrEaTiVe CraTe

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Silhouette

14 blog posts in one day.  That's how many posts on the Silhouette tattoo paper I saw today.  You know what effect that has?  I skipped all of them.

I wanted to write and give you a little feedback on your marketing, now I realize that you obviously know more about it than I do, I'm not an educated Marketing professional but what I am is an avid blog reader.  I subscribe to 152 blogs, most of them craft blogs and many of them (at least 14) promote your product.  I know for me it would be far more effective if those 14 posts were spread out over the month, I'd probably read them all and I'd probably want to go buy a Silhouette instead of feeling bitter than I don't get one for free since today it feels like I'd be a sucker to pay for one.

I know you have an awesome product, most days I'd want to own one but today instead, I say "stupid Silhouette" every time I come across another post on tattoo paper.

I actually did send this email directly to Silhouette, thought they should know how they come across to some of us in the blog world, they responded the very next day with this very polite response

"Thank you for your email.  We appreciate your feedback and will certainly have this passed on for further review.  Let us know if you ever have any further feedback you may wish to share so that we can continue to improve.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Quiet Book Week - A Summary {Template}

Did you enjoy Quiet Book week? Which page was your favourite?

I thought for reference I'd make a summary post so all of the different pages, with their templates are really easy to find.  Here are photos to remind you of the different pages, including a link to each page.  The download-able templates are included below. 

Quiet Book Tips

Noah's Ark

David & Goliath

Ammon Protects the Sheep

Put on the Armour of God

Lehi's Vision

Jonah & the Whale

And here are your templates, all in one place, ready to download.
Noah's Ark
David & Goliath
Ammon Protects the Sheep
Put on the Armour of God
Lehi's Vision
Jonah & the Whale

All pages together

And here is the file I created that includes all of the titles and references.  There is a Microsoft Word version if you want to make changes or a PDF version if that's easier for you to work with.

I printed it out and placed it behind my white fabric then lightly traced the text with a pencil.  Using that as my pattern I stitched the words.

For the Armour of God page I included the spelling variation (skipping the 'u') and I also included the Bible reference rather than the Book of Mormon one.

If you make your own versions using my templates I'd love to see them, send me pictures!

And if you want to see the non scripture pages I completed in the past you can use the links below.
Page 1&2 - the Tree & the Bee
Page 3&4 - the Goldfish and the Button on Letters
Page 5&6 - The Barn and Dress up Catie
Page 7&8 - the Tent and Red Light/Green Light
Page 9&10 - the Mailbox and the Dress

 Linking To Monday - C.R.A.F.T., Making The World Cuter, Polly Want a Crafter, Simpsonized Crafts, Sugar Bee Crafts, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, The Girl Creative   Tuesday - All Things Related, Creative Itch, Domestically Speaking, It's Sew for YouLadybug BlessingsSassy Sites, Today's Creative Blog, This & That, Topsy Turvy    Wednesday - Blue Cricket Design, Me and My Bucket   Thursday - A Glimpse Inside House of Hepworth, It's Sew Stinkin Cute, Lemon Tree Creations, Somewhat Simple, The Train to Crazy, What Allie's Making Now   Friday - Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Tatertots & Jello, The CrEaTiVe CraTe

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quiet Book Week - Jonah & the Whale {Template}

This last page is my new favourite, mostly because it's actually new.  I made most of these pages ages ago but I had an uneven number of them so Lehi's dream sat, unbound in a box.  I decided I wanted to add that page and also make a tutorial to show you my working with felt tip.  I came up with Jonah & the Whale a week or so ago and Catie loves him.

Open up the flap on my whale and you see

That large gaping mouth is a big hole where Jonah goes out and in.

To make the window I used some clear vinyl my Mother-in-law had lying around but since felt doesn't slide along felt I used two layers, so starting with the white cotton my layers went like this:
  • White cotton backing
  • Red for inside of whale - slightly smaller than whale and not including the tail
  • Clear Vinyl the same size as the red
  • Blue water spout
  • Then I took a small break from layering and took my grey whale and sewed more vinyl to the underside of him, cutting out the mouth.  Then I added his eye and the flap for his window.
  • I finished him off by sewing down the grey whale on top of my blue water spout
One tip is would give is to add some extra support to Jonah's neck, like maybe some plastic or a Popsicle stick or something really stiff.  When he gets shoved in the whale's mouth his poor neck is terribly bent.

Your template for this page is below

If you've missed the previous pages you can check them out using the links below
Tips for Working with Felt 
Noah's Ark
David & Goliath
Ammon Protects the Sheep
Put on the Armour of God 
Lehi's Vision

I'm going to do a post tomorrow summarizing all the pages for quick reference and I'll give all of the templates again, including the file for the titles and references.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Make-Up Board Feature

Hi, I'm Laura and I blog over at LauraThoughts, We all know with craft blogs that original ideas are often hard to come by, we find ideas we love and make them our own but we didn't come up with the idea ourselves. I feel like I've finally done something original here and I'm excited to share it with all of you.

I'll show you the finished product and then explain.  

Behold my Make-up Magnet Board.

I have a friend who is beautiful and stylish and has always loved make-up but recently took a course that intensified her love.  Her renewed interest has worn off on me and it made me remember eye shadows I'd hidden away that were gathering dust.  I pulled them all out and was shocked at just how many I had.  My old make-up organization/storage consists of a basket that sits on my bathroom counter, I put all my hair stuff and make-up stuff in the basket and used maybe 3 shadows in my daily rotation.  With the addition of my pile of eye shadows it now looked like this.
The basket was a mess and I was overwhelmed with all my choices never knowing what to use, digging through to see what I had and find what I wanted was a pain.  I needed a way to display them all and my brilliant mother and I came up with this idea.

I started by making a magnet board, (nothing original here), I used this super ugly frame I found at Salvation Army.

I painted it (The hard way, with a brush instead of spray paint.  I look forward to spring when the weather lets me spray paint again.) and then glazed it.

I went to the hardware store and picked up some metal and had them cut it to fit inside my frame.  Then I used spray adhesive to stick some fabric to the metal.  I put it all back together and it looked like this.
Here comes the brilliant part though.

Here's the stash of eye shadows we're talking about (I've even added a couple since this picture).

I went to the dollar store and picked up a bunch of magnets and hot glued one to the back of each shadow (I actually needed 3 magnets for my bronzer).  I considered using a stronger glue but when the makeup is empty I want to be able to peel the magnet off, hot glue lets me do that and it's held up really well.

Next I wanted a place to store my brushes and liners though.  An orange pill container with some oil rubbed bronze spray paint made it beautiful and 3 extra strong magnets glued on the back holds nice and secure.

Now it hangs in my bathroom wall and every morning I'm excited to play with my different make-up.  It feels sort of like art and an expression of me.  

If you like this idea then feel free to stop over and check out some of my other favorite projects, they include Faux Chenille Blankets, Stroller Re-cover's, High Chair Re-Cover's and more.

Quiet Book Week - Lehi's Vision {Template}

This is another story some of you may not be familiar with as it's found in the Book of Mormon.

Here's the super quick, summarized version. Lehi is a prophet who has a dream/vision.  In this dream he sees a tree with fruit on it, he takes the fruit and eats it and it's delicious and he wants his family to eat it as well.  He searches for them and sees them coming to him, finding their way by clinging to an iron rod.  Also in the distance is a large and spacious building where people are mocking them for eating this fruit.  The fruit represents the love of God and the iron rod represents the word of God, meaning the scriptures will lead you to God.  This is a ridiculously simplified version and you really should go read the entire account.

For the page I included Lehi holding some fruit and his son, Nephi on the iron rod.  In the distance you can see the large and spacious building.

The fruit is stuffed with batting and snaps off the tree.  Lehi slides along the iron rod that's simply made out of ribbon.  I wouldn't have minded using a more iron rod coloured ribbon but I didn't have anything and wasn't willing to purchase it for such a small amount.

One thing I wish I had done differently was to add three snaps to the tree so the fruit could either be in Lehi's hand or on the tree.  Also the iron rod could have been placed up a little higher, Nephi's legs are always hanging out of the book (I think Nephi's hair looks like a slice of bread, not something I think needs changing it just makes me chuckle).

Here's your daily template

If you've missed the previous pages you can check them out using the links below
Tips for Working with Felt 
Noah's Ark
David & Goliath
Ammon Protects the Sheep
Put on the Armour of God

And don't worry, at the end of the series I'll give you a file with all the titles and references.

So tomorrow we'll break for What Catie Wore Wednesday and then on Thursday I'll show you the last page, my favourite, Jonah and the Whale. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quiet Book Week - Put on the Armour of God {Template}

Are you enjoying Quiet Book Week?  I'm loving sharing my pages with you.  This next one is one of my favourites, sadly Catie is a little young to enjoy it but I'm hoping she'll show an interest soon.

Here's my little dressed up man.

Without his armour he looks like this, the different pieces fit inside a pocket on the left.

This page is two activities in one, you can dress up the little knight like a paper doll or you can match the shapes of his armour to the outline.  I embroidered around each piece and then added the name of what each represents.
There are lots of places in the scriptures where you can find the reference to the Armour of God but I've chosen to use the one found in the Doctrine & Covenants.  If you're not familiar with this book, it is a companion to the Book of Mormon and contains modern revelation given to Joseph Smith during the 1800's.  If you would prefer a bible reference it can also be found in Ephesians chapter 6, I'll include that reference in the file I give you at the end of the week.

One last note, on his armour pieces I stuffed his shield and his little skirt with a little batting.  Some of his pieces I used a sewing machine for but most of them were too tiny so I hand stitched them.

Here's your template for today

Tomorrow is Lehi's Vision and then on Thursday we'll finish up with Jonah & the Whale.

If you've missed the previous pages you can check them out using the links below
Tips for Working with Felt 
Noah's Ark
David & Goliath
Ammon Protects the Sheep

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quiet Book Week - Ammon Protects the Sheep {Template}

This page is the one that started the idea of a scripture book.  I was talking to a friend and we started to think how funny it would be to have a quiet book page where the bad guys arms pull off.  We then proceeded to think of the most violent scripture stories we could think of to add and chuckled.  This is the only one that made it into the book.

Some of you may not be familiar with this story, let me summarize it for you.

Ammon is a prophet serving a mission and in his travels he meets King Lamoni and rather than try to preach to him he asks to serve him instead.  King Lamoni says you bet and sends him out to protect his sheep who keep getting stolen.  While watching the sheep bad guys come and try to steal them, the other servants run away but Ammon says no way.  He's there to protect the sheep so he stays and fights the bad guys and when they attack he ends up cutting off their arms.  King Lamoni is so impressed he asks about Ammon's message and is later converted.

This story comes from the Book of Mormon, which is a companion to the Bible but written for those on the American continent.  You can real the full account here in Alma 17-19.

The arms of the bad guys pull off and re-attach with snaps (in case it's not clear those are clubs beside the bad guys).
And come on, how cute are those sheep?

Here's a close up of the unhappy, arm-less bad guys.
Here's your template download for today

I would suggest for the snaps you use those kind that pound on.  At the time I only had the sew on kind but I think the pound on are a lot more durable.

If you've missed the previous pages you can check them out using the links below
Tips for Working with Felt
Noah's Ark
David & Goliath

And remember, I'll give you the text template for the scripture references at the end of the series.

See you back here on Monday where we'll Put on the Armour of God.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quiet Book Week - David & Goliath {Template}

Today we're checking out David and Goliath.  This page is pretty easy with very few moving parts.

The rock is attached to the slingshot with braided embroidery floss so you can swing it around and get that big bad Goliath right in the head (his angry teeth are my favourite). 

Click the icon for a template of your pieces. 

Cut them out and layer them appropriately.
I used embroidery floss to make his shoes look laced and I added stuffing to Goliath's shield and to David's rock.

You can read a few tips for working with felt here.
And check out yesterday's post, Noah's Ark.

Tomorrow we'll look at Ammon protecting the sheep (if that story isn't familiar don't worry, I'll explain tomorrow).