Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingerbread House

This was my first attempt at making my own gingerbread.
The recipe I used turned out to be very tasty (usually I'm not a huge fan of gingerbread) and it is extremely sturdy.
The recipe:
2 3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
2/3 cup molasses
1 egg
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Chill several hours. Roll dough on the back of an oiled cookie sheet. Cookie sheet can be placed on a wet dishtowel to prevent slipping. Place pattern for house on rolled dough and cut around with a sharp knife. Remove excess dough. Bake at 300° for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure it is well cooked, then place the pattern back on the cooked gingerbread and Trim edges, if necessary. Carefully place it on a flat surface to cool completely before you put the house together.
(from Worldwide Ward Christmas Cookbook)

I used melted sugar to glue the edges. I used a Martha Stewart recipe -
Do not stir it! And DO NOT get any hot sugar on your skin!

Here is the link to the simple template I used:
I reduced the size to 70% of the original.

For decorating, I started with royal icing, but it was too runny. I ended up only using the royal icing on my tree and for the snow on the ground. The icing I ended up using was just store bought white frosting (not whipped, not creamy, and not vanilla- white!)
I just piped it on with a icing tip and a plastic bag.
The kids can't wait to eat it. They already made cookies from the leftover dough.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Tree Skirt

I've been using a vinyl table cloth as the tree skirt for our Christmas Tree for years.  I wanted a real one, but I couldn't justify the expense when the vinyl tablecloth really didn't look so bad....  BUT, it ripped!  Yipee!  Soooo, I had some pretty poinsettia fabric and I purchased two round Christmas tablecloths and turned them into a tree skirt.  Ok, that sounds really simple- it was a bit more complicated than that.
First I measured the largest circumference that I could achieve on the poinsettia fabric, I folded it into fourths and used a pin and a string to create an arc.  This fabric (poinsettia fabric) would be the center of the skirt.
Then I folded one of the table cloths into fourths, the one I chose as the wide border on the top of the skirt.  I laid the poinsettia fabric on top and cut the arc 4 inches wider for the outside circumference, and then cut the inner circumference one inch into the top depth of the poinsettia fabric (so that there would be a seam allowance).
Lastly, I placed the folded tablecloth fabric onto the second round tablecloth (folded into fourths) and cut the arc two inches wider, but I did not cut out the center on this table cloth.  This piece would become the backing and the binding of the tree skirt.
To assemble:
Sew the border fabric onto the poinsettia fabric using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Sandwich the top (poinsettia and boarder sewn together), some batting, and the bottom/binding fabric together- just like you would for a quilt.  Pin or use basting spray to keep the layers together, and then quilt together with your sewing machine.  I used gold thread that I had on hand and it looked lovely.  I just marked the center of the skirt and then quilted lines straight across, intersecting at the center (like you cut a pizza ;).  Then I folded and ironed the 2 inch over-hang from the bottom- creating a binding.  Fold in one inch, iron.  Fold in one more inch and it is a binding over the top layer- iron!  (I call this self-binding, I don't know if that is the technical term).  Then sew around the edge of the folded binding...  Almost done.
Measure how big you would like the hole on your skirt to be.  I borrowed my neighbors tree skirt for this, so I would know what the professionals think is the appropriate hole size.  I marked out the hole with tailors chalk.  Then I sewed a straight line from the edge of the skirt, on the line I just drew, and back down my original straight line to the edge.  I took the scissor (and if you don't think I was scared to do this, then you're wrong!) and I cut between my sewed lines and up and around the hole circle I had just sewn.  Being careful to stay within the sewing- so the sewing could hold the three layers of quilt together.  I made some binding from the scraps of the back fabric and lined the hole with the binding.  This part almost broke my sewing machine.  There are a few places where I was sewing through basically nine layers of fabric.  So go slow!!!
Whew!  All done.   
I love it.  Totally worth the work.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Very Scary Wreath

I made this wreath using THIS tutorial.
Easy enough I thought, I think I'll make two I thought. 
Four or five hours later and 4 glue sticks, 600 little scalloped circles, and a very tired hand later I was finished with the main wreath.  I added the black paper rose just because I had it lying around (another pinterest tutorial I had tried).  And I made the web with the hot glue on some wax paper- I just cut away the wax paper when the glue dried.  The cute little spider is made of beads and was part of a bead necklace I had for a Halloween candle- from back in the day when I sold candles...

After all that I decided to make just one wreath.  I have mixed feelings about selling this one.  I love it, and I hope it doesn't sell so that I can hang it up at my house!

Halloween Wall Art

I've been inspired by all the free vintage clip art on The Graphics Fairy website.  I love that site.  AND I love Halloween.  So I printed out a few of the Halloween images I loved and set to work.  For two of the pieces I hand-painted the art using the picture as a guide and for the framed piece I just printed out the graphic, Mod Podged it to a canvas I painted orange and then framed it using some left over molding and my miter saw.  I painted the molding black before attaching it to the canvas.  I just glued it on using silicon glue against the canvas and wood glue at the mitered corners.  I did fill the cracks with some wood putty and then painted over it, but it wasn't really that necessary.  I love how they turned out, my mother-in-law wants to buy them from me and my five year old daughter said it looks like a "real artist" made them.  Thanks, I think.?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Halloween Pillow

I make stuff all the time but I'm terrible about taking pictures- especially of the process.  I made a Halloween Pillow the other day I used this image:

free and copy write free from The Graphics Fairy
I used leftover Halloween fabric scraps to make the cording cover. (I rescued them from being thrown away!  My sister in law and mother in law were doing a Halloween craft with a lot of circles which = a lot of scraps)
I Mod Podge transferred the image onto some painters canvas (a good tutorial HERE for using Mod Podge, or HERE for a using Citra Solv).  If you want to print straight onto the fabric check out the tips on this blog post on Grograin.  I used the painters canvas for the main fabric of the pillow.  But I wanted to find out if the Mod Podge transferred, ink jet printed image would be able to withstand being washed (I even sprayed it with acrylic spray and water proof spray)  Well, after the wash only a vague outline was left on the fabric- and a few smudges, ugh.  So I got out my handy dandy fabric paints and filled in the outlines.  At least now, with the fabric paint, I know it won't wash off. (My lesson- Mod Podge transferred ink jet prints onto fabric can wash off)
I covered the cord with the Halloween fabric and sewed it to the edge of the painters canvas.  Here's a good tip if you like tight pillows- cut the pillow cover to the same measurements as the pillow.  For instance, if you have an 18x18 inch pillow, cut your fabric 18x18 inches.  I've never had a problem fitting the pillow in (ok, maybe I have to shove a little) but the pillow is always tight and never saggy and loose looking.  Make sure to leave a very wide opening to stuff the pillow into. 
Last, I Stuffed a pillow form I had on hand into the cover, ironed the open end (you can do this before stuffing!) and then hand-sewed the opening together.
I have a few more pillows I'm going to make for Halloween using graphics from The Graphics Fairy.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another item off the list

By this time tomorrow I will be able to cross off another item on my summer craft to-do list.
I was suppose to finish the Halloween Advent Calendar by August 20.
I didn't meet my deadline, but I am getting it done and it feels awesome (and it looks pretty cool too).
The one on the right is the Pottery Barn Original that I copied based mine on.
My mother-in-law saw it in the store and loved it, so she got all the materials to make it.  She cut out the big orange square, put ric-rac on it and then it just sat for a while.  Well, I love to butt into other peoples crafts, so when I came over and saw this huge piece of orange felt on the table I wanted to know exactly what was going on.  My MIL showed me a picture of the original online and asked me if I could make a tree for hers.  I did, then I made letters, then I made a few animals.  THEN, I had to go home...  Long story short, my MIL saw that it went on sale at the store and said I could have the one we'd been working on!  YAY!
So here is my version of the Halloween Advent Calandar:

I still need to sew on the little pockets- I may add a black boarder later (next year)- but after the sewing, I'm done!!!  I love how it turned out, and can't wait to stick candy in each of the pockets.
Happy Halloween!


This is the list I made for this summer:

June 13-18  Finish pattern and put together kit for Sock Monkey quilt  (check)
June 20-25  Finish cutting and sew together the top of the Single Girl quilt (still working on this)
June 27-July 2  Make a cooking video "How to make Pulled Pork" (I didn't buy pork all summer, too expensive- had to save for the trip!)
July 4-9  Start reupholstering the love seat (check)
July 11-16 Write a pattern for my strawberry fields quilt (check)
July 18-23  Finish the Strawberry Cake quilt (nope)
July 25-30  Finish reupholstering the love seat (not even close)
August 1-6  Build a bridge with Ethan (check!!)
August 8-13  Organize, Sort, and clean craft room (check more than once- it keeps getting dirty again)
August 15-20  Halloween Advent Calendar (not yet, but SOON!)

Things I did that weren't on the list- Painted butterflies, painted shift key paintings, made 3 messenger bags for the kiddos, Sold 3 items from my etsy store (they were all the same flower- a girl wore them in her wedding), made a cute little travel purse for me, and patched clothes a lot!

So there you are, I finished half of my summer projects.  I bought myself a prize for when I finish:  a set of melamine stacking bowls in 5 delicious colors...  I want them so bad!  Time to get my rear in gear!
Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Projects finished just in time for school

One of my goals to complete during the summer was building a bridge with Ethan.
Mission accomplish (barely!)

Also, the night before school started I decided Nora's backpack needed a little more flair.  I painted some extra detail and added a butterfly patch that I made from a painting I made and decoupaged onto fabric...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hair fun!

I've been hooked...  Pinterest is so addicting.  One of my favorite things is pictures of hair styles.  Now that Nora is in school she has been letting me do her hair everyday, so I've been looking up fun and new ways to style her hair- she loves it, and so do I.  I've also had time to actually do my own hair now that the kids are in school.  Here is a picture of a recent style I did on myself.
My husband said I looked pretty- like Olive Oil, from Popeye...  Since when was looking like Olive Oil a compliment.  LOL!  Oh well, I'll take it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two new etsy items!

I've been working on getting these into production for some time now.  Finally I made them happen.
Check them out at my etsy store KendraMade

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Butterfly Paintings

Somewhere along the line I got a bit distracted- I think I mentioned that I do that, a lot.  Anyway, I've been bad at accomplishing my summer goals- but I still have two weeks!  So lay off.. LOL!

This week I did a lot of crafting with my kids, mostly drawing and water painting.  I really liked one of the paintings I did, so I thought I'd scan it and make stuff with it.  But if one is good, more is better- right?!    So I painted a few more, and I've got some ideas rolling around in my head about how I'm going to use these painting on my Etsy store.  It'll be fun!  I'll post a link when I get them made and ready to sell, in the mean time here's a sneak peak at the paintings:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beach crafts

I've been away on vacation for the past week.  It was sandy, hot, breezy, wet- and super-duper fun.  I did some beachcombing while I was there.  I kept seeing these super cute drift wood sticks all over the place and I remembered seeing a drift wood wreath in a recent Pottery Barn magazine- so I started gathering sticks.  I think my relatives thought the sun was getting to me ;)
I started weaving them together and after about two days of gathering and weaving I had myself a cute little wreath.  Perfect for my daughters bathroom- that I'm slowing turning into a beach themed bathroom (I know!  So original- right!?)
When I got home I hot glued a bunch of shells and some rocks that we found on the beach into the wreath.  And then I glued a hand carved (no, not by me!) wooden turtle - that I bought at the beach gift store for $3 - onto the bottom corner.  Viola!  A three dollar drift wood wreath.  If you want one of your own you can buy one on Pottery Barn Teen web site for about $50 (in the shape of a peace sign and minus the shells).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Messenger Bags (for the kiddos!)

 I'm tired.  It's late- but I just finished sewing the cutest little bag EVER!  I got the pattern and tutorial off of ChezBeeperBebe- one of my favorite blogs.  Her tutorials rock my world.  It was so super easy to follow her instructions, and I even got permission to give myself a high  five at one point.  It was a bit awkward to give myself a high five, but I definitely deserved it! ;)  And can I tell you- I LOVE this bag (wish I didn't have to give it to the kids).  Like Pee-Wee Herman kinda love- I may just marry it- er, maybe not.

I have two more bags all cut out, ironed and ready to be sewn together.  Tomorrow.

Update:  Here's a picture of all three!Nora's is a bit more colorful than the rest...cause she's a girl!  ;)

Strawberry fields quilt pattern

 My goal for this week was to write a quilt pattern for the Strawberry Fields collection.  I did.  But it's super confusing, and since I haven't attempted it myself yet- I'd recommend buying the real pattern from this blog:  Diary of a Quilter.  I just based my quilt off of this picture (because it's AWESOME) and wrote my own pattern.  The math is terrible!  But- when I get around to it, this is going to be a fantastic quilt.  I'm in love with the Strawberry Fields line by Fig Tree for Moda.  Here is a picture of my pattern...

If anyone wants more detailed instructions- when I actually make the quilt I'll take pictures and do a tutorial.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Duh-duh-dum. The couch.

So I finally started to reupholster the couch.  I've had the fabric since last November.  Here's the before picture and some of the progress.  When it's done, it'll be a cool brown (as in cold), and it won't have a skirt along the bottom.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shift Key Paintings

A long time ago Brian and I saw some awesome paintings at Target that were in a set of four.  We thought that they would look nice in the office that we would someday have...  Someday came, but we searched and searched for the paintings and couldn't find them.  Boo!
Finally we did find them on Target's website- after a lot of different searches.  We found out that they were called shift key paintings and that they cost $80.  A piece.  That's right $80 each.  That's $340!  No Way.
So Brian and I messaged each other at the exact same time with the same solution- Why don't we make them.?
So we did, and the whole project cost us less than $30.  Here are the results:

First, we (mostly Brian) painted the backgrounds on all the canvases.
We made stencils out of freezer paper.  Used a little glue stick to keep them in place on the canvas, and then used pouncers (little round foam craft brushes made for stenciling) and painted in the background color of the stencil.

 After the stencil area dried, we painted all the details on, with the freezer paper still in place.
 Once that dried we pulled off the freezer paper stencil and added any extra details to the picture as a whole.

Then we hung them- they look awesome!  If you want to see the originals that we based ours off of check them out HERE.  Just scroll down on the link to see the pictures we chose to make.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kid's art display frames

Sometimes I get a bit sidetracked.  Never fear, I'm still working on the Single Girl quilt...cutting and cutting and cutting.   In the mean time, two important things happened.  My kids took an art classes and my mother-in-law was getting rid of some old frames.
Enter craft project here:
Display frames for my kids art-
I painted all the frames off-white with acrylic craft paint.

 When they dried I added some bright fun colors:  red, blue, green and yellow.

Then I "antiqued" them a little by using some dark brown paint and a staining medium. 
 I used a foam brush to apply it and then wiped it off with a paper towel.

 I got some strong craft magnets and some big washers.  I cut back some of the corrugated cardboard and stuffed the washer inside (on the top side of the cardboard where I would hang the picture).

I thought the frames should look nice weather or not there was any artwork in them, so I went through my craft paper and found some that wouldn't distract from the artwork, but would also be pretty.  I found some with a natural textures- rocks, jeans, sand and wood.
 I glued the paper onto the cardboard that fit in each frame.  The ones that I put the washers into.

 Here they are!  Finished with beautiful artwork in them.  I used the magnets to attach the artwork to the frames.  Easy to use and easy to change pictures.
 And without any artwork- still lookin good!