A Wreath for the Garden!

For the garden

Earlier this month, I wrote this post asking for your opinion about what I should make. Well the results are in and it was a tie! The two that received the most votes were the wreath for the garden and the pillow for my granddaughter. So I decided to make both! I went to buy the fabric for the pillow but they didn’t have what I needed. :( So I ordered it from Fleece Fun, the site that published the tutorial. Once it arrives, I’ll make the pillow.

In the meantime, I made the wreath for the garden. I was looking for the flowers to use for the wreath and decided I would use a sunflower instead of a bow. I bought ribbon for a bow – just in case. I used 18 gauge floral wire to make the wreath.

Materials

To make the wreath, I wrapped the hose into a wreath shape and cut the excess. I then wrapped the floral wire around the hose to hold it in place. Next I cut the long stems off the flowers and most of the stem off the sunflower. I did leave about an inch of the stem on the sunflower to wrap the wire around. I attached all of the floral stems and the sunflower on the wreath with the floral wire. Below is the final result!

For the garden

For the garden

I’m thinking I need to add more of the yellow stems or perhaps yellow stems with larger flowers. What do you think?

Stuff it!

When my oldest granddaughter was about a year old I made a bean bag for her. The fabric is Michael Miller and the pattern is the Child size bean bag chair available on the Making It Fun blog. I love it because it has an outer cover which is removable and easy to wash. Unfortunately, after several years, the Styrofoam beans have flattened somewhat.

She loves it but sitting on it was like sitting on the floor. Her little sister also likes to play on it so I decided it was time to re-stuff. Now I don’t know if you have ever messed with Styrofoam beans but they are little static balls that have a mind of their own! And they put them in a large plastic bag. Plastic! It’s like little Styrofoam static ball heaven. They did not want to let go! I of course used a plastic pitcher to scoop the little static balls into the bean bag. Again plastic, they do not want to let go! It’s like they are alive, they jump around everywhere and will not let go of plastic, or human skin apparently.

So finally, the bag was re-stuffed and sewn closed. Then I had to sweep up all the little Styrofoam balls that jumped ship between plastic bag heaven and the bean bag. Of course the broom and dust pan are plastic. Did I mention that Styrofoam balls do not want to let go of plastic? Then the ones that decide they do want to let go just JUMP! Yes, they jumped from the dustpan! I swear they are alive. Some jumped onto my arm and some found their way back to the floor. I finally cleaned up all those little balls and crammed the bean bag back into the cover.

Now it’s just waiting for a little girl to plop herself onto it.

Happy 1st Birthday!

My youngest granddaughter turned 1 last week and had her birthday party on Saturday. It was a small party with family but everyone had fun. My granddaughter loves Sesame Street and Elmo so of course she got a Sesame Street birthday cake!

Happy Birthday!
As you can see below she’s happy about the cake.

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She did get a little too close before it was time to cut the cake. But you can do whatever you want at your own birthday party, right?

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We opened presents first. Or I should say big sis opened presents first. Nothing like an older sister to help show you how it’s done! All lil’ sis had to do was sit and play with the presents. Not a bad gig if you ask me! :)

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Then it was time for cake! I knew my granddaughter would love it. We haven’t found anything that she doesn’t like to eat! Yummy!

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Yep, Id say it was a success!

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What should I make?

Ugh… This was not a good weekend! I had that horrible stomach flu and did not get anything done. I wanted to re-pot plants and get some sewing and crafting done. Instead I spent the weekend on the couch or in bed. We have Spring Break next week so I hope to catch up on EVERYTHING!! 

Since I lost my weekend and all that wonderful craft time, I decided I would let you help me catch up! I’m posting Pinterest links to five craft/sewing projects I want to do and am letting you choose my next project! Comment below to let me know which one I should make. The one with the most comments is the one I will make! I’ll post the results and the project next week!

For the garden:  http://pinterest.com/pin/30399366209584911/

For my youngest granddaughter: http://pinterest.com/pin/30399366210964494/

My oldest granddaughter loves rainbows! http://pinterest.com/pin/30399366211227504/

I could always use a new robe. http://pinterest.com/pin/30399366210907659/

For the home. http://pinterest.com/pin/30399366208115743/

Chocolate Oil Cake – My Go To Recipe

We have food day at work tomorrow. The last two times, I’ve stopped off at the store to pick up a veggie tray on the way to work because I had meeting the night before. I had a meeting tonight, a conference call, but it ended early so I am making something!! I decided to make a Chocolate Oil Cake. Sounds kinda gross, right!?! But if you have never made one, you are missing out! No eggs, no milk and a wonderfully moist cake! This is the cake I make when I haven’t planned (or usually forgot to plan) anything. I always have the ingredients I need on hand. I also love this recipe so I don’t have to get out my mixer. To make the cakes you will need:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flower
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla abstract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix.

Dry ingredients

Add all the liquids and mix well by hand. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cake batter

Let cool completely and ice as desired.

cake

I often buy a canned whipped frosting (easy!) or will sometimes dust with powered sugar and/or chocolate syrup. I’ve even been known to make icing before. Not sure yet how I’ll frost this cake of mine but I know I won’t be making the icing. I may send my husband to get canned icing. He loves me!

Tidal Wave – The beginning

I’ve been looking at this pattern for a while and decided I wanted to knit this stole. It’s a simple design but I’m a slow knitter so it will probably take me forever to finish! The pattern is called Tidal Wave Sampler Stole and it’s a free Red Heart pattern. I am not a big Red Heart yarn fan and usually substitute it with another brand yarn. However this time I am using the recommended yarn – Boutique Unforgettable. I chose the Echo colorway. It’s soft and and is knitting up fairly nice.

Title Wave

Not a good pic, but you get the idea.

I don’t know if I’ll time to knit on it every night but hopefully I’ll get some done. My plan is to post another progress picture next Monday. If I didn’t make any progress, I guess I’ll repost this one again. Let’s hope I actually get some knitting done!

 

Christmas Coasters

I made coasters for a gift swap. I’ve made coasters like these before and posted the tutorial in my Happy 4th of July! post. I love the pictures on this scrap paper and wanted to make some for me but couldn’t find the paper. :( I have no clue what brand the paper is or where and when I bought it. I really like the round pictures with the square tiles.

Christmas Coasters

Christmas Coasters

One thing I have noticed about these coasters is if you leave a wet glass sitting on them for a while, it leaves a white ring on the coaster. However once it dries, the ring goes away. I’ve been using the first set of coasters I’ve made since this past July and they still work and look great! I’m thinking I should sell these on Etsy but the postage is horrendous! They are so heavy. Although if I could mail them in the small flat rate box through the USPS, it would be affordable. Hmmmm…something to think about!

Sew Easy Lined Curtain

Three of my granddaughter’s favorite things are rainbows, hearts and flowers. She loves them so much that she wanted to name her little sister Rainbow Heart Flower. Unfortunately for her, Mom and Dad had another name picked out. She didn’t get to pick her little sister’s name but she does get to pick how she decorates her room and she chose rainbow curtains!

Sew Easy Lined Curtain

I decided to make a lined curtain for her window. I had made one for her when she was a baby but that was 5 years and one apartment ago so she needed something new. I let her pick out the material, bought room darkening liner and got ready to sew. I didn’t have a pattern but it’s just a flat panel curtain with no pleats so wouldn’t be too hard to make.

I measured the window and added 12 inches to the length. The width of the fabric was perfect for the window. I didn’t need to cut it down or add to it. I wanted a fairly large hem at the bottom so I folded the end 6 inches up and ironed a crease. I then unfolded the fabric and folded the end up to the crease, ironed it and sewed the hem. I did the same for the liner fabric but I cut the liner fabric about 4 inches shorter at the top. I wanted to create a rod pocket with just the fabric because I thought it would be too bulky with the liner fabric.

Sew Easy Lined Curtains

The bottom hem of the curtain

 

Once I had the bottoms hems sewn, I pinned the fabric right side together and sewed the sides together. Some blogs I read said they sewed the bottom together as well but I liked the look of having it open. After it was sewn, I turned the fabric so the right sides were facing out and ironed the sides flat. I did cut the liner fabric down a bit along the sides before turning it so the sides would lay flatter and be less bulky.

Sew Easy Lined Curtain

Right sides together, sides pinned and ready to sew

For the top of the curtain, I folded the edge down an inch and sewed that to help keep the fabric from fraying.

Sew Easy Lined Curtains

Top of the curtain.

 

Finally I sewed the top down so it lapped over the liner and sewed it down. This create a pocket of just fabric but was also attached to the liner, giving it a little more strength.

 

Sew Easy Lined Curtains

Top edge folded over the liner, waiting to be sewed. There is about a 2″ pocket for the rod.

The last step was taking it over to my daughter’s and hanging it in my granddaughter’s room. Some light does show around the edges and from what I’ve read, that will happen unless you use room darkening blinds but it does keep a lot of the light out.

I hung the curtain while she was at Vacation Bible School so when she got home, she was surprised! She loves the curtain and her room is on the way to becoming the bedroom of her dreams!

Using Evernote to keep track of sewing patterns

I have been known to buy a sewing pattern, get home and find out that I already have that pattern. I have also been in a fabric store and wanted to buy fabric but had no clue how much I needed for a certain pattern. Then I would have to go to the pattern books, find the pattern number, find the pattern envelope, look for what I needed and then go back to get the fabric. I had to figure out a way to keep track of sewing patterns that worked for me. I decided to use Evernote. I heard about it at a workshop and originally thought I would use it for work but that never happened. I decided to use it for this since I can sync my Evernote files with my phone, computer and iPad. Also you don’t have to pay for the account. There are paid options but I’ve never needed any more storage so I have not idea looked into it.

So what do I do? When I buy a new pattern, I look it up online and copy/paste a picture of the front and back of the envelope to a new note in Evernote. I generally title the note with the pattern number, such as “McCall’s 6392″. It was easy to copy and paste the information from the McCall’s website. The Simplicity website was a little tougher. For the most part, I couldn’t copy/paste the picture from the front. I had to find an image online to copy/paste. For the information on the back of the envelope, you can open a pdf of it which can then be copied and pasted. I’m sure there is a better way to do that but it worked for me. I don’t know about other sites. Now whenever I’m about to buy a pattern or want to pick up some fabric, I have access to it on my phone.

Using Evernote to keep track of sewing patterns

I’ve also added the projects I want to complete with a materials list as well as where I can find the project. If it’s a project I have saved to Pinterest, or elsewhere online, I can add a hyperlink to Evernote otherwise I will make note of the book or magazine where I can find the project. I will admit that it did take me a while to realize I needed to make note of where I could find the project. For instance, I had a note that said “Fleece pants – 1 yd fabric”. Yet I had no idea what that was for! I’m sure when I typed the note, it made perfect sense to me but six months later, I was clueless!

I’m sure there are other ways to keep track of project information but this system has worked great for me!

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