Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Inspired Cooking: Two Recipes

It has taken awhile, but the temperatures have dropped here in San Antonio and it finally feels like October should feel.  This weekend was gorgeous!  I’ve mentioned before how much I LOVE AUTUMN! I got all of my Fall D├ęcor up in the house last weekend (after taking a day trip to the beach.  Ever been to the beach in October?  It is pretty awesome!) and have been craving cooler weather foods ever since.Fall 2013 Entryway
So, I was surfing Pinterest Saturday morning...........

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Firm Foundation

Several years ago, I heard about the idea of writing Scripture on the framework of a newly constructed home from a friend.  She and her husband collected numerous verses and blessings from friends and family and then went and wrote them all on the framework.
What a cool idea, right?

Well, I did not build this house, so the opportunity never arose to do anything like this....until today!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

An Inspirational Sponge???

Okay…I know that this isn’t exactly crafty, but it is creative (if I do say so myself!).  And, while I fully acknowledge the absolute corny-ness of this……I still liked it and it served its purpose.  See what you think……
So, as a Nurse Educator, I am responsible for teaching the lecture portion of a 16 week Internship for new NICU nurses.  On our first day, we gave a presentation reviewing the basics…parking, uniforms, attendance, etc.  We also talked a lot about expectations and how the new hires could get the most out of this Internship.  Another Educator made the comment that the new nurses should be like sponges and soak everything up.  Sponges! 
I wanted to leave them with a little something to inspire them and the sponge comment kept coming to mind, so my son helped me to make a list of all the uses for a regular household sponge.  Then, I started writing thoughts to go with the list.  The inspirational sponge was born!Inspirational SpongeThe dollar store sells bags of miscellaneous sponges for $1.00 to $2.00 and each sponge was easily cut into thirds with scissors.  The quotation was typed and printed onto cardstock and simply tied to the sponge with a ribbon. 
Some of the Interns may have rolled their eyes, but most thought it was a cute idea.  I even saw a couple of them still carrying it in their notebooks on the last day of classes!  The concept applies to nearly any setting, so maybe some of you might find it useful!
Here is what I wrote:
A sponge absorbs
so much more than it appears to be able to hold.
A sponge is always thirsty
even when it seems full, it soaks up a little more.
A sponge is reusable
it is never done on the first try.
A sponge is multipurpose
it can handle jobs for which it wasn’t even originally intended.
A sponge lasts
it doesn’t fall apart (even when over-used).
And finally, it is not until you squeeze a sponge 
that you find out just how much was really inside!

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Cute & Colorful Owl Quilt

I love all of the adorable owls everywhere, don’t you?  Owl QuiltWhen my friend asked me to make a quilt for her sister’s new baby girl and told me that her theme was “owls”…I was so excited!!  For colors, she specifically requested purples, pinks, and browns; so I headed to Hobby Lobby and found these fun prints:DSCN0594I picked out an orange chevron fabric and a purple vine for accents.
My friend asked for something on a smaller scale than some of the animal quilts I’ve made in the past, so I decided to design my own quilt.  After searching Pinterest for “owl quilts”, “owl blankets”, and just plain old “owls”…..none were exactly what I was looking for, but I was “pinspired” a bit.
So, I grabbed some newspaper, scissors and a marker; then drew and cut out my owl shape.  DSCN0587DSCN0592I cut the eye pieces out of some white and black scrap fabric after using a dessert plate to make a paper pattern.DSCN0596Two of the main body pattern piece were then cut out of the floral fabric and one piece out of purple flannel (for the batting). The wings and face were made with the purple fabric and the feet and beak were cut out of the orange chevron.DSCN0599Owl Quilt AssembleyAfter pinning all of the pieces in place, I used an applique stitch and a coordinating thread color to attach them to the quilt front.DSCN0605Using my embroidery machine, I added the Baby Girl’s name and the year on one of the feet.  On the back of this foot, I also attached one of my “Made by Julie” tags.DSCN0604After stitching all the way around the quilt (leaving ~ 1/2 in.), the raw edges were clipped and the quilt was washed and dried in order to fray them.
I love the way a rag quilt turns out and how they get softer and more frayed with each washing! This one was no different.  It frayed perfectly and I think it is really cute.DSCN0609Happily, my friend and the mother-to-be loved it too!


Happy Spring Break!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Candy Coke Floats

Although Valentine’s Day is over, these Candy Coke Floats would make a fun gift for just about any occasion!CandyCokeFloatsAfter searching on Pinterest for a new idea to give to my son’s teachers this Valentine’s Day, I came upon some cute candy parfaits (parfait glasses filled with M&Ms and topped with wrapped taffy candies).  There were several versions on multiple websites and all very cute. 
So, my son and I set out to find the supplies and candy……which was a near bust!  We could not find the parfait glasses.  Just as we were getting discouraged, we turned the corner and saw Coca-Cola glasses.  There were two sizes and only $1.00 each!  We purchased 5 large glasses for my son’s teachers and one small glass for my grandmother. 

And, since we were now making “Coke Floats”, we decided on chocolate-covered malt balls as a filling (one box of Whoppers fills a large glass).  CandyCokeFloats2For the “foam”, we placed ten vanilla saltwater taffy pieces in the top of the glass.  For the “cherry on top”, we used a red-wrapped chocolate heart and a red Pixie Stix as a “straw”.CandyCokeFloats3CandyCokeFloats4Each glass was wrapped in clear cellophane and then tied with a red ribbon.  Super cute, right?  CandyCokeFloats5
CandyCokeFloats6Enjoy your floats!DSCN7111

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

DIY Ruffled Petticoat Skirt

One day while surfing Pinterest, I saw the picture below and pinned it to my Sewing Projects Board with the thought: “I love that and I could make skirt #3!…someday…sometime…maybe…when I get some free time…probably never”.skirt-week-1
Do you do that too?

One recent Sunday when I was once again playing on Pinterest, this same Pin popped-up.  I started looking at it and decided I would just do it!  I wanted something new to wear the next week anyway.
The pin above is from the blog, Seven Thirty Three, where she is featuring the links to the tutorials for all four skirts in the photo.  I followed the link for Skirt #3 to Alisa Burke’s Petticoat TutorialIsn’t it cute?  I love the vintage look and muted colors…and I wanted a skirt to wear with my knee-high brown boots too!  Alisa’s tutorial is great, but she assumes that the reader knows how to do some basic sewing (like making an elastic waistband) and she uses an old skirt as a pattern.  I did not have an old skirt to use, so I did a quick Google search and found a fantastic A-line Skirt Tutorial (with lots of pics!) on Flickr.  (Photos make me smile in a tutorial!!)  Using Princess Nimble Thimble’s tutorial, I very quickly made a simple skirt out of some leftover muslin and elastic in my craft room.My DIY Petticoat Skirt-Layers
The original skirt has frayed edges.  I actually love this look, but thought it might be too casual for work and wondered how it would wash.  So, I made my muslin ruffle without a frayed edge.  Rather than hemming the ruffle, I simply cut the strip at double the width, folded it in half, and pressed it well. My DIY Petticoat Skirt-Muslin Layer
The other muslin layer is a thicker, darker muslin that I did allow to fray.My DIY Petticoat Skirt-Frayed Layer
After digging through all of my scrap fabric, I did not have enough to finish the skirt, so I had to put it aside for a few days…then, inspiration hit…I decided not to make more ruffles on my own.  I cheated!  I purchased ruffled lace…4” white and 5” ivory.  They were both inexpensive and on-sale at Hobby Lobby that week…yay!  My DIY Petticoat Skirt
I love the way my version turned out and it was so fun to wear.  I paired it with an ivory tank top, tan cardigan, ivory tights, pearls, and my brown boots.  Several people (even strangers) commented on the skirt & outfit…a Pinterest success, I think! Two people used the word “sassy” to describe it…..not a word that is used to describe me or my clothes ever, but I’ll take it! 

Lesson learned:  Skirts are easy!  I definitely want to make more in the future….maybe a few more that I’ve pinned and never attempted.

How about you?  What have you made lately?
Crafty Imaginings & Silly Things

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Spindle Angels

I haven’t blogged in so very long…and I’ve missed it!  Life has just been busy and I’ve hardly had time to craft, much less to sit and write about crafting.  Boo!  I am really going to make an effort to get back to it though, so here goes…

I promised to write a little something about my Upcycled Spindle Angels that I made for the Christmas craft show.Spindle Angels1These were based on an idea that popped into my head after making a DIY Dragonfly using a table leg and fan blades.  DSCN0142My son was talking about all of the other things we could make with the table legs and I immediately thought…an angel!  I headed down to my favorite place for treasure hunting, SA Architectural Antiques, and was pleasantly surprised to find a huge selection of wooden spindles ON SALE for $1.00/each!!  How can you pass that up?SpindleAngels
SpindleAngelThe spindles were whitewashed and sanded because I wanted them to look rustic.  SpindleAngelsThe wings were the challenge.  I walked around Home Depot and searched online for ideas, but could not find what I wanted.  Finally, I went to my tried-and-true chicken wire!  This worked and was in keeping with the rustic style I had envisioned. 
SpindleAngelsHowever, I made another trip downtown to pick-up more spindles and as I was walking toward the register…I saw it:  Antique Tin Ceiling Trim!!  So cool!  I can’t decide which I like better.SpindleAngelSpindleAngels
DSCN9588These were fun to put together and rather quick (once I figured out what I was doing).  For the chicken wire wings, I cutout a large heart shape using wire snips and then folded/rolled-in the sharp ends.  SpindleAngelsFor the trim work wings, I again used my tin snips to cut the shape I wanted.  DSCN9579For both the chicken wire and the tin, I found that short wood screws worked best for securing them to the spindles, although heavy duty staples worked (I found them harder to work with by myself.).SpindleAngelsThe fun thing, is that these can stand on a mantel or be hung on the wall.  I just love them and had one in my entry nook for Christmas and have one on top of my entertainment center now year-round.SpindleAngelsSpindleAngels

If I ever get around to actually opening my Etsy Shop, these will definitely be in there.SpindleAngels
Have a great week!

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