Thursday, February 27, 2014

My First Hat!

Here is the fruit of all my Grandma's long-suffering  patient teaching. She taught me how to do ribbing, and darn if I'm not proud of myself. I love how this turned out. Unfortunately it is just a hair small for my daughter, but I am going to save it for Operation Christmas Child. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Little Pumpkin

Over Christmas break my Grandma taught me a few more knit stitches. As in, I have moved beyond your basic one-stitch repertoire. I'm moving up in the world! This is the second hat I made, and it is not the purdy-est thing you've ever seen. I cleverly came up with an alternating stitch scheme to make a pattern along the edge. I somehow botched it. And the edge curls up. Alas, I have a lot to learn yet.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Valentine's Craft

For Valentine's Day I made my kids heart cupcakes and heart shaped pizzas. I briefly thought about making my boys something for Valentines but figured food was the ticket to their heart. For my girlie, however, something fun was in order. With limited brain power and a lot of channeling my Grandma Kate, I whipped together this little plaque. I sprayed a plain wood plaque with glossy red spray paint. I cut out a photo in the shape of a heart, and busted out ye olde hot glue gun and framed it with a busted pearl necklace. How's that for recycling? I added a bow with a sparkly rhinestone button at the top. She was thrilled!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Colette Patterns: My Second Hazel Dress

I have quite a stash of Colette Patterns and I'm happy to say that I now have two successful, completed projects under my belt. For this particular version I used a busy but really beautiful Amy Butler print (If I remember correctly it's from the Lark line?) It's a blue print that's on egg shell with hints of red, orange, turquoise and yellow. I love it. I do. I really do. It's from the Hazel pattern again which sews up quickly and is actually really fun to sew. The first time I wore this dress my sweet husband actually though it was from Anthropologie which is a huge compliment considering that it is my favorite non-workout clothes store!

The entire dress features serged seams.

I used an invisible zipper of course:) 

The dress is NOT lined...which for me is a big deal. 

However, no lining = nice and light for Texas!

I took extra time to work on lining up the fabric pattern for this dress.

This pattern turns into a comfortable, versatile, warm weather friendly dress. It's a wonderful and easy pattern for everyone. If you haven't bought it yet, do so. It's flattering and fun!!!! Just do it :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick Watercolor Card

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to play with my watercolors. I did a quick little feather and turned it into a card for a friend. I really love painting, and I really need to make the time to do it more often.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Baby Quilt

Long time, no post. Its been a crazy ride but I am hoping to get back to the regularly scheduled programming soon. I finished this last week and sent it off to the lady who will quilt it. There is a womens' home being started in Trenton, NJ for young moms and their babies. I am part of a quilting group that is making quilts for the mothers' beds, and quilts for their babies. When the moms leave the babies will get to keep their quilts. I can't wait to see this finished!

Homemade Reed Diffuser

I've been reeeeaaalllyyy burnt out on sewing lately. It happens sometimes and when it does I cover my machine and play nicely with other crafts. I've always wanted a reed diffuser but can't stand the nasty, synthetic perfumes that go with store bought ones. I loosely followed THIS tutorial to make my own. 

Basically, you just need to use a 3:1 ratio of filtered water to rubbing alcohol. Then mix in 20+ drops of your essential oil of choice. Throw in bamboo skewers (I used ones I had laying around for grilling) and you're done. Some people get fancy and add citrus peels, cinnamon sticks, etc. but I just stuck with a 30+ drop mix of orange and lavender essential oil. I also just used an empty kombucha bottle and wrapped it with oil cloth because I was too lazy to fight with the sticky glue that refused to peel off with the label. 

Now the room smells delicious without any funky, fake chemicals masquerading as air freshener. Another win for simple DIY.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Little Update

Usually, we post a Closet Flashback every Monday and a Foodie Friday on well, every Friday. If you noticed, yesterday's Closet Flashback never appeared. That's because both series are changing back to a more "relaxed" posting schedule.  Sometimes you just have to readjust to make room for other priorities but don't worry, both series will still appear from time to time!        

Friday, February 7, 2014

Foodie Friday: Homemade Coconut Butter


I have several recipes that call for coconut butter that I've been itching to try. However, I couldn't justify spending $15 on a jar when I'd never tried it before. Thanks to the internet I was able to find out that it's preposterously easy to make at home for a whole lot less. Here's my take on the procedure and I'm going to loosely call it a recipe even though it's kind of cheating to call it that. Anyway, here you go...

12 oz of unsweetened, finely shredded coconut

About 1 1/2 cups

These measurements are just for reference. You can increase/decrease based on what your needs are. Anyway, take your shredded coconut and throw it into your blender. I started low and gradually increased the speed as I scraped the coconut flakes back into the flow of the blade. You need to keep an eye on it and keep shoveling the flakes down or it can get stuck. Eventually you'll start to see the flakes get oily and then smooth out into the butter. It's like magic...scrumptious, coconutty magic. Anyway, keep blending until it reaches the consistency you want. FYI - I didn't make mine perfectly smooth because I like the texture. Then, hide all the spoons because it's ridiculously delicious. I literally kept eating it out of the jar, then mixed with vanilla, then on Paleo pumpkin pancakes...In fact, I can't stop eating it at all!!

So some notes for the road...
  • I have a Vitamix so the whole process start to finish took less than 5 minutes. From things I've read around the web, other blenders work but it takes a lot longer to smooth out the flakes.
  • I got my coconut flakes from Amazon. They came in a pack of 4 -12oz bags for under $15. I realize that 12 oz only churns out 1 1/2 cups BUT I like having the option to do other things with my other 36oz of shredded coconut. Maybe that's just me? 
  • One more thing...when you initially blend, it will be a smooth and creamy liquid. However, leave it on a counter for the night and it turns into a hard mass. Don't despair! The oils solidify and all you need to do is scrape out what you need and pop it into the microwave for a couple of seconds. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Closet Flashback: Simplicity 2587 Upcycled Version

I made this dress about 2 1/2 years ago to wear to the pool in the muggy heat in Virginia. It's made out of an old tablecloth and is fully lined with a sheet. It was kind of an experiment dress so the fabric wasn't my primary focus. The dress has (of course) an invisible zipper and hidden side pockets. You can see the original post here which has additional pictures of the back and inside of the dress. I decided go a different route today and instead of posting a picture of my silly mug, I shot the dress with what I'd actually wear it with. Some funky jewelry from Etsy and my fav cardi and wedges!