Monday, May 31, 2010

Make Your Own Popsicles

I mentioned in passing that we make our own popsicles around here. If we have leftover smoothie, I pour the extra into popsicle molds and freeze them for popsicles. Works great. I gave you the recipe for Orange Yogurt Creamsicles. They're delicious! Here's a slight variation on the Orange Yogurt Creamsicles: Pineapple Orange Creamsicles!

1 can pineapple (tidbits, chunks, slices: it doesn't matter!)
1 orange
2 icecream scoops of frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cups plain yogurt (I use homemade)

Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Freeze in popsicle molds (I bought some great ones at Ikea this spring). I didn't use all of the juice from the canned pineapple (mostly because I like to drain it and have a little drink), but I did use some to help sweeten it up. If you have a sweeter tooth than me, you might like to add some honey or something. Oh, and on using the frozen orange juice concentrate: I just wrap the can with plastic wrap and put an elastic band around the top to keep it in place and put it back in the freezer until the next time I want to make smoothies or popsicles.
These are delicious! I'm a big fan!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Won!

I feel like I never win give-aways. Part of the reason for that is that I don't enter very many. Sometimes I decide the entering process is too arduous to bother with. Sometimes I just decide I don't really want what's being given away. And when I do enter, it's usually for something so good and cool and well-advertised that everyone enters (ie. Pioneer Woman giveaways). Still, entering online give-aways always have better odds than the lottery (even Pioneer Woman's giveaways) and they're free! So, when I see that I've not won another give-away (even one I didn't enter) I feel like I never win.

So, here is my first win! I entered a giveaway on Monster Bites for one of my friend Naomi's Owly Baird stuffed owls. So I get to pick one of these cute owls! Because, as it turns out, Naomi is actually my friend in real life, I won't be picking my Owly Baird until either the baby is born or we decide to tell people the gender of our baby. I don't want to choose a gender-neutral owl just to keep our little secret (not telling people is a LOT harder than I thought it would be!).

Naomi's shop, Butterfly Garage isn't just full of cute stuffed owls. She also makes adorable upcycled wool bears like this guy:

But I think my favorite things she makes are Judies Booties. How sweet are these?

Naomi actually gave me a sneak peek into some new projects she has on the go. They're so great. You'll have to check back at her shop in a week or so to see what she's got new in there!

Fundamentals of Cuteness 1010 by WooWork Crochet

I can't rememeber if Dude Craft crochets or not, but if he doesn't, this is the only guy I "know" (and that in the Internet way of knowing) who crochets. And he's come up with this adorable study in cuteness, pertaining to the placement & size of eyes & mouth on amigurumi. You need to click through the link to see what he makes with all his samples!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baby Blanket in the Shoppe!

Well, I finally have a new item in my ArtFire shoppe! You must have thought I'd get around to it eventually! It's very similar to the one I gave my friend at her baby shower earlier this week, but the top stitching pattern is different.

Please visit my ArtFire shoppe if you're interested in this item, or a (this item has been SOLD!) set of my Re-usable Facial Pads.

So much inspiration, so little time!

I found this sweet Shirred Shirt Dress tutorial on Ruffles and Stuff via Whip Up this morning. If you remember, I made some shirt dresses for Z last year and she loved them. I loved them, too! I loved making a new dress out of my husband's old shirts. And they're pretty fast!

I have at least three sewing projects all ready to go (fabric purchased and whatnot), so I shouldn't start anything new, but this certainly is cute and inspiring! I wonder if I could find a men's shirt that would be big enough to accomodate my growing belly to make a good maternity shirt...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eco Travel Lid

Here is a sweet tutorial with great pictures showing the easy steps to making this handy travel lid for your bowls and dishes when you're travelling to picnics and BBQs this summer. Once I finish the projects that I already have fabric purchased for, I think I may try this baby out.

What do you think? Would this make a good teacher gift? I think teachers must get a lot of useless crap as teacher gifts. This is super handy, but is it too utilitarian/not-related-to-being-a-teacher for a year-end teacher gift?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Gifts

Everyone is having babies! (Including me, but that's another post!) I made a couple things for the baby shower on Monday, in addition to the cookies.

I made this baby blanket. I've mentioned before I make baby blankets. Double sided flannel is my favorite to swaddle my babies in.

Here is a close up of the top stitching and a peek at the pink argyle fabric. I like the top stitching: makes it a little bit extra special.

I love the pink flamingos!
And, lucky you, if you love the pink flamingos/pink argyle combo, you will soon be able to buy one of these lovelies in my ArtFire shoppe. I'll be doing a slightly different top-stitch, so if you'd like some say into the top-stitch pattern, let me know and I can set it up as a custom listing for you.

I am trying to make two when I make things for people, so I have one for my shop. It actually cuts down on my fabric shopping time by a lot. It is so time consuming to shop for fabric! I like it, but I'm pretty fussy, and I have to shop for fabric by myself. I don't get a lot of time for fabric shopping. The other bonus of buying twice the amount of fabric I need for a project is that they usually cut a little extra in case they have cut it crooked or something, so I end up getting an extra 20+ cms of fabric, which might just be enough to make some baby bibs or burp cloths!

Oh, and if you happen to know somewhere online where they have great boy flannel fabric, I would love to know your sources. I've been really frustrated with the ugly/goofy boy fabrics at Fabricland lately. They used to have some great animal prints, but I haven't seen them there lately.

I also made these really great slippers for this baby shower. I fell in love with this pattern. Honestly, I tried to figure it out on my own before I bought the pattern, but apparently I am not that good. It's a really great pattern and they turn out super cute, so it's worth the price. I actually bought the all sizes pattern set and have made slippers for Z and myself, too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baby Shower Sugar Cookies

So, here are the cookies I made for yesterday's baby shower. I think I bit off a bigger bite than I was prepared to chew with these cookies. They were as much work (or more!) than a cake! Each one was like a mini cake!

These were probably the easiest, since they were only two colours, so it just required outlining, flooding, waiting for that to dry (I waited overnight) and then piping the pink decorations.

These were the next easiest, since they are only three colours and only 2 layers, meaning that I didn't have to wait for the second layer to dry before piping the third colour.

And these were the most complicated, since there is actually only 3 colours, but also three layers in some places. I wasn't very impressed with how these ones turned out.

Something funky was going on with the icing as it dried. It kind of...crystallized? I don't know: it turned sort of white in spots. It's probably most obvious on the pictures of the onesie cookies. And I couldn't get the icing to stay shiny when it dried. I used honey and not light corn syrup since I didn't have any. I wonder if light corn syrup would make them stay shiny looking. They looked ok, but not shiny like I wanted. Matted. And the white spots... ugh. Happily most people are not as fussy as I am and everyone ate them with no problems.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Princess & the Pea Play Set

I'm headed to a baby shower this afternoon. When I am back, I will post the gifts I made. I doubt the mom-to-be will be hanging out on the internet reading my blog, but just in case: I like surprises. In the mean time, I want to show you this sweet play set I saw on Stitch/Craft today. She has a tutorial on how to make mini-mattresses that are an important part of the play set.

I'm sure my Z would love something like this, but I feel so overrun with toys lately, I'm not sure I can handle adding to the mess. The kids have been trashing Z's room in the hour before they're allowed to wake us, by pulling every book off her shelf, emptying her box of small toys (Little People & such), and throwing all her bedding on the floor. Not to mention that someone climbed on the dresser and one drawer (that has be repaired before) has broken again and another one is a little wonky.

(ok, little rant:) You know what comes with children's furniture? Anchors to attach it to the wall so that in case they climb on it, it won't tip over and fall on them. Not really something they need to do, since the drawers can't support the weight of a toddler without breaking to pieces. I'm just saying'. So, if you haven't purchased your children's furniture yet, don't bother with Storkcraft (obviously, with all the recalls, is anyone buying Storkcraft anymore?) and just about anything from their Sears line. Go to Ikea instead. Honestly, I can't say enough good things about the quality of furniture that comes out of Ikea. Our family is kind of rough on furniture, and everything we've bought from there has held up beautifully. It's a brilliant company. Go to Ikea.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cute Crocheted Hats

A friend of mine on Facebook suggested I become a fan of her (I'm presuming) friend's  shop, Sparkleberry Crafts. She makes super cute crocheted hats. They're great, but I don't pay for crochet. I must say I did a pretty good job of figuring out a pattern and coming up with some knock-offs on my own. I feel a bit copy cat-ish, but whatever. I haven't been selling them... and they're my patterns anyways, even if they were inspired by someone else's work. I've made two for my daughter's friends' birthdays and two for my friends' newborn/soon to be born daughters. Soo cute. Z and her friend love their hats (we have yet to give the other hat to the other friend: party on Tuesday).

I had to look up how to make crocheted flowers. I could have figured out my own by trial and error, but why do that when there's Ravelry? I found this easy pattern on Ravelry by searching "crochet flowers." I just made up the leaf pattern myself.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Remember last Halloween when I made these cookies? It was mostly about trying out this recipe for icing, which was nice, smooth, shiny and professional-looking. I'm a big fan. I made it again this morning, substituting honey for corn syrup. I hope that doesn't turn out to be a mistake. I worried the honey wouldn't allow the icing to set properly. I did drop a bit on the counter and a couple minutes later it was starting to crust up, so that's a good thing.

In the Halloween cookies post, I mentioned I was going to try this cookie recipe since I found my dough a little difficult to work with. I did try it out and it is a pretty lovely recipe. The flavour could stand some enhancing, as many of the commenters noted, but I'm sure once the icing is on, it won't matter much.

I'm planning to decorate the cookies up all fancy-like for a baby shower I'm headed to on Sunday. I bought this set of cookie cutters by Wilton and I plan to decorate the cookies similarly. We'll see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quilled Monogram

I think this quilled monogram is sweet. I actually bought a quilling tool on Artfire a few months ago, but I have yet to do anything with it. Now I need a paper cutter. Anyway, once I get a craft room set up in our new house (that's what I've been doing while I've been away: making yogurt, selling our condo and buying a house), I would love to explore quilling and make some of these quilled monograms... maybe for the kids' bedrooms.

Check out the tutorial here on Craftastical.
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