Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Homemade Gak

When we were kids, we made homemade Gak. It was so much fun, and for some reason the recipe has been burned onto my brain. It's so simple and so amazing at the same time. To make your own, mix 2 cups of water and about a tablespoon of Borax in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 c. Elmer's Glue and 1/4 C. water. (or use the 1 to 1 ratio) Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Slowly pour the glue mixture into the Borax water and watch a rubbery cloud form. Pull it out of the water and knead a little bit. Voila! Instant fun.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter Dress (Simplicity 2828)

This dress was made from a very simple Project Runway pattern (Simplicity). I have made this dress a few times before. It makes for a quick finished product. Unless, of course, your sewing machine decides to go on the fritz in the middle of it. Thankfully I was able to finish it in time for Easter on Mom's machine, while mine went to the shop. I used the same fabrics as I used in the infamous coat. To add a little pizzazz to an otherwise simple dress, I added a folded band of pink faux suede between the bodice and the skirt. I made a bow of the suede and sewed it in place. The pink faux suede came guessed it....a yard sale, and had its first life as a hideous bead-fringed curtain. I think it is better suited for little girls apparel than curtains. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Coupon Envelope Clutch

My friend Erin spent the last two weeks or so with us, and did we ever have fun! Erin wanted sewing lessons and I was happy to oblige. Here is one of our projects. This is a basic envelope clutch. Adding rick rack and a magnetic snap added flair and gave me an excuse to show her a few new techniques. I got the idea from Sew Mama Sew's tutorial, although I didn't actually read it. I just figured out a size we liked and went with it.

P.S. I think I might have successfully passed on my love of rick rack to Erin! Woo!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yard Sale Haul!

Mom called this morning to say she found a promising yard sale. I threw the kids in the car and headed off. Yes, it was promising indeed! I found boxes upon boxes of vintage buttons. Each box has about 10 cards of buttons.

Two and a half yards of this faux shantung fabric which is prettier in person.

A big box of safety pins and miscellaneous sewing things. 

Five awesome vintage patterns of 60's vintage, several appliques, three packages of trim, a few zippers, a whole box of new packages of needles, several bags of wooden wheels and pegs, and a partridge in a pear tree.

All for the low, low price of $5.50, TOTAL!!! How's that for awesome!? 

Friday, April 13, 2012


Rachel and I recently had the good fortune of having our friend Erin teach us how to make mozzarella. We were both giddy with excitement as Erin described the process to us. I mean...learning how to make cheese is just...awesome! The recipe was called 30-minute mozzarella but I was skeptical. It really only took 30 minutes! Crazy. The funnest part was cutting the curds, accompanied by some juvenile humor. Ha! I am excited and little bit nervous to try it again on my own.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Embellished Onesies

We recently attended the dedication of the baby of friends of ours. Of course, I had to bring something cute for the little guy! While I had grand dreams of sewing something, my sewing machine had other ideas and I was left hand stitching these. I started both by using fusible webbing to iron on the appliques. This is a good use for scraps! Then, I used embroidery floss to stitch them in place. Onesies are a great base to add a lot of fun embellishments!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dresden Plate Bag

A while ago I stumbled across this tutorial for a Dresden plate bag. Dresden plate is a quilt pattern that forms a circle, or plate. I wanted to make the purse, but it was too small. I was able to craft a larger Dresden plate template and then just winged the pattern for the bag. It is wider at the base, with pleats added for shape. The Dresden plate is made from some of my favorite scraps, and I added a little bit of decorative embroidery for kicks. The bag itself is made from stretch denim. (The stretch is not optimal, but was in my stash :) The lining is an awesome print I got on (Michael Miller I think).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DIY Easter Bonnet/Hat

This year, Tar-jay was peddling Easter hats for a mere one dollar. Can't beat that with a stick. I bought one for my daughter thinking it would be a cute topper for her Easter dress (photos to come). As usual, I couldn't leave well enough alone, and decided transform it into a jaunty chapeau. It is quite possibly not jaunty, or chapeau-like, but it sounds cool, right? I took off the existing ribbon and hot glued a velvet ribbon on instead. I browsed Pinterest for a few felt flower tutorials. Whatever did we do before the internet? Oh, yeah, we actually came up with original ideas. But I digress. I whipped up a few felt flowers, and despite the complicated look of the middle flower, they were really quite simple. I added a cool vintage button I have from my Aunt Phyllis and a lavender gem to the flower centers. The whole thing is hot glued together...gasp! That kind of makes me cringe, but I couldn't see hand sewing everything on when she probably won't wear it a ton. She was quite happy with the results, and that is all that matters!

Snazzy Handmade Seed Packets

In an effort to justify my love for Pinterest, I have made a solemn vow to actually make the stuff I pin. Such a novel idea, right? Well, I recently saw someone who had made their own seed packets. A quick google search will turn up any number of printable envelope templates, or you can simply soak an envelope you like til the glue pulls away. Flatten it, let it dry and trace away! I made my envelopes from a scrapbook paper stack. They are perfect for sharing seed, and for storing saved seed from season to season. Now to get out and plant something!