Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Felt Food

Pin It Sandwich fixings--together and then separate Breakfast Pizza and taco fixings... and then put together Felt Food

Last year I did some felt food for my nephew's birthday (Sam is known for pounding and smashing things, so a soft-sided gift seemed prudent). I didn't have any patterns, but since most of the things are based on squares and circles, it wasn't too bad to make it up as I went. I did find some inspiration from The Idea Room.

I did learn from making the bread slices that there is an easier way (I made "boxes" which were difficult). Now, I just use 2 pieces of cream felt for the outside and 1 piece of tan for the crust. Draw a bread slice shape (on paper if you want to make a pattern first) and cut out 2 of the cream pieces. Make a slightly larger version and cut it out of the tan felt then sandwich it between the 2 cream pieces and sew around the edges. I've found that doing all the stiching as topstiching is much easier than trying to turn things inside out and stuff.

For the pita/tortilla I did sew the right sides together, flipped inside out and left a small gap into which I inserted a wire. Then I topstiched a seam so that the wire would stay near the edge

For the egg, sew the yolk on first through one piece of white (just put a small amount of stuffing underneath before you topstitch). Then sew another piece of the egg white underneath

Monday, December 20, 2010

Play Kitchen

Pin It
Before: A sad old nightstand...
I thought I wanted 4 burners, but decided 2 were enough. The wooden letter I trimmed to make it look like a faucet.

The top of the nightstand was really thick, but my jigsaw managed ok.
I will attach the backsplash once I've transported the kitchen to Idaho for Christmas. I used chalkboard paint on the side...
The burners are wood discs from a craft store that I painted.

First, let me say that I did not invent the idea of turning a nightstand into a play kitchen. I got lots of inspiration from other bloggers out there, so thank you (particularly the blog Husband, Wife, Happy Life)

So, I started with a thrift store nightstand. The hardest part was getting it all cleaned and the hardware all off. I took out the drawers and kept the face of just the top drawer. I tried to use stuff I already had in the garage, so I used leftover primer and white paint (spray paint would probably be lots faster). I wanted the knobs to be able to turn, so I used carriage bolts with a couple of nuts underneath so that the wooden wheels would spin. The faucet is a wooden letter found at the D.I.

Tools I used: Drill, jig saw, chop saw

Get a metal bowl (another thrift store item) and make sure it has enough of a lip to hang on the countertop. I traced the bowl on a piece of paper and then used a compass to make a circle inside the outline about 1/8" smaller. I traced the circle pattern on the top of the nightstand and used the jigsaw to cut out the hole.

I used leftover cabinet hinges on the drawer face to make the "oven". I had to screw a small block of wood inside the cabinet to keep the drawer face from falling inward. I used stick-on velcro to keep the "oven" shut.

The fabric was a cute turquoise and red "bowl of cherries" that I had leftover from another project and I used a tension curtain rod.

I have about $20 in materials invested (including the nightstand)--I made the felt food last year and so the kitchen is good to go! Perfect for triplet 23-month old cuties (my adorable nieces and nephew).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Recycled Sweater Bag

Pin It
First, my knitting skills do not include cable knitting, so while I might be able to convince some people that I actually knit this bag, I'll be honest with you, I just used an old sweater for this project. We had a fun craft night with the ladies in my church where people were showcasing fun "reuse and recycle" craft projects and this idea so just so fun I had to try it. The best part was that I already had all the stuff in the house!

Pick a sweater (large with interesting knit pattern or color. Mine had the cable knit on both front and back)

Cut off the sleeves and decide how big a bag you can make.

Pin and sew up the edges. I wanted to add a bit of gathering at the top so that the bag was narrower at the top than at the bottom, so I used elastic.

Use the sweater pieces to create a pattern for the lining fabric (I used leftover flannel). Sew on the cell phone and lipstick pockets BEFORE you do the side seams and get everything all attached.
Flip the lining inside out.
Stick the lining inside the bag with "wrong sides" together so that the nice, pretty lining is visible. Stitch it down.
I made the strap by using leftover bits of sweater and lining, but you could use a belt or ribbon.

I created a small loop using a bit of the sweater's collar to use as a buttonhole. I sewed on the toggle (.78 for 2 at WalMart) and ta-da, a cute new bag out of a sweater! This is the gift I'm giving to my sister-in-law for Christmas, so shhh. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Entry Table

Pin It

Since everyone's house needs one more horizontal surface to pile stuff on, I thought I'd add one to my entryway. The color is pretty fun don't ya think? Its Martha Stewart "Araucana Teal" (you can buy a sample container already mixed up at Home Depot for about $3). The table was a bit wobbly but some woodglue and glides on the bottom fixed it right up.


Here's a preview of what I'm working on today, stay tuned for the finished project...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hanukkah Subway Art

Pin It

So, you may wonder why I have a Hanukkah subway art...seems out of the norm for someone who is big on Christmas right? Here's the explanation--I have a wonderful graduate student who works on a project with me who celebrates Hanukkah here in Utah. We had a workshop last week where the food table was decorated up for Christmas and I wanted her to feel included, so I did the subway art for Hanukkah and one for Christmas and put them both up. So, if you know someone who might like this, please feel free to send it along!

Click on my Google Site to download the file.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly

Pin It

I was at the library and saw a gorgeous book on display that I just had to bring home-its called You Can Can by Better Homes and Gardens.

Its full of beautiful pictures of jams, jellies and other preserves--very inspirational. I was looking through it and found the perfect gift for my friends/neighbors this year. Jalapeno Jelly! I like to do homemade items, but I wasn't too excited to do repeats of projects from past years (cherry syrup, applesauce, chocolate popcorn etc...) and I thought how unique a gift this would be. Its really quite tasty with crackers and cream cheese (or goat cheese!) Its also tasty on a cornbread muffin or on a turkey sandwich. It was really simple to make--total hands on time was about 30 minutes from start to finish.

1 1/2 C. cranberry juice (not low sugar)
1 C. cider vinegar
2-4 jalapeno peppers cut in half (seeded or not...depends on how spicy you like it. I used 2 peppers and cut off the stem end and left the rest of the seeds)
5 C. sugar
1 3oz pkg of liquid pectin (Certo)

1. In a small saucepan bring the juice, vinegar and peppers to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the mix through a strainer to remove the pepper pieces (if you have less than 2 cups of liquid left, top off with juice to make 2 cups exactly).
3. In a 6-qt saucepan mix the sugar and hot juice mixture and bring to a rolling boil while stirring.
4. Add the liquid pectin and return to a boil and keep stirring for 1 minute.
5. Remove from heat, skim off the foam.
6. Pour into sterilized 1/2 pint jars
7. Process for 5 minutes (or just give it out right away and tell folks to refrigerate)

The recipe made enough for 12 of those 4 oz jelly jars. I was able to use a coupon for the juice and the peppers were less than $1! Great inexpensive gift.

I will warn you that the boiling of jalapenos and vinegar is don't stand directly over the pot in that first step.

December Subway Art Printable

Pin It I've been playing around with my December subway art project. I couldn't decide what color I wanted to decorate my room this year (last year was pear green and silver, the year before cranberry). So, I did a few different versions--the pear green one and burgandy ones will show up later today I think. I print them on 8.5x11 photo paper on my color laser jet, but we did one for my mom at Walmart on 8x10. Just remember to click on the thumbnail first and then right-click on the large image to save it to you computer. Have a wonderful 1st day of December. :) I also found a fun free printable at Eighteen25's blog, check it out!