Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sewing Books

This past week I got two great sewing books from the library.
Beginning to Intermediate sewers. 
I like this book because it encourages everyone to sew and emphasizes trying and "bending the rules". It also has all of the basic information you would need to sew most projects (terms, techniques, etc). 
Includes many projects and instructions.
If you have a bit of sewing experience, nothing will be "new" information for you, but it has good instructions and is good to remember techniques.

This one says beginning to intermediate sewers as well, but it doesn't give the basic sewing information like the other book (at least not at the beginning. I believe there are instructions throughout for some things), so I would suggest having another instruction book if you're not familiar with sewing. However, the patterns are cuter and the instructions are great. There is a pocket in the front with patterns. She does have a section on selecting and caring for fabrics - especially vintage fabrics. I love Amy Butler fabrics so I thought this book/photos were nicely done.

All this said, I have yet to make a project from either book...I didn't think it would be a good idea to start more things when we're supposed to be moving in a matter of weeks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lulu & Charles

Brigham and I refinished our first items of furniture.
We bought these cute, little green chairs at an antique shop:
And turned them into this fun pair:
Named Lulu and Charles after our two girls.
It was a lot of work due to layers of paint and stain and all the round pieces. There was a point where it didn't seem worth it. But then it all came together and it feels so good to know that we have two chairs that no one else has and we recreated them ourselves. Work always makes things more worthwhile.
I also made the seat cushions. The fabric is from Henry Glass designed by Barbara Jones. It's her Bubblegum Basics line and it is very cute! I actually ordered it from her. She lives in Bountiful, Utah.

To make an easy seat cushions:

Trace the seat of your chair onto a piece of paper. Calculate seam allowance and thickness of your foam pad. I used a 1 inch pad and a 1/2 inch seam allowance so I drew my pattern 1 inch wider all around the original seat shape. Also, make where you want the ribbon to come out to tie onto the chair back. Cut out the pattern. Lay out and pin onto your fabric (which should be folded wrong sides together). Mark fabric where ties should be. Cut out. Baste ties/ribbon onto marking. Pin right sides together making sure the ribbon is on the inside. Begin sewing on a normal stitch. Leave an opening at the back to put foam. Clip curves for a better shape. Turn right side out. Push out curves and corners as best as you can. Cut out a piece of foam with the original sized seat cover pattern. Put foam inside seat cover. Slip stich opening closed.

I still need to finish that tablecloth and then we're done!

Tea Cup Cake

Lucy's birthday cake to kick off year two of her life:
A cupcake in a tea cup. Enjoy!
And an awesome frosting recipe from Bakerella.
Easy Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1
1b. 10X powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream

Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
Then, just use icing colors to tint the frosting the color of your choice.
This is usually just enough for a 2-layer cake, so I would recommend doubling this for a three-layer. But, I like a lot of frosting.

Tee Time Birthday Party

The invitation:

We had a fun birthday for Miss Lucy yesterday afternoon.

Originally I wanted to have a tea party but many of her friends are boys, so a Tee Time seemed to work better. I called it Lucy's Par 2 Golf Course. There were 6 holes:

1. water hole: knock your ball to the pool, scoop up the letters that spell lucy’s name, then throw them back into the water. get your ball into the hole for a bonus point.
2. sand trap: smack your ball to the sand trap, dig up two number 2’s, then bury them again for the next player to find.
3. silly putting: work on your putting skills. get your ball into the hole 2 times.
4. driving school: practice your swing. hit the ball as far as you can at least 2 times. make sure everyone is done swinging when you retrieve your golf ball(s).
5. sitting pretty: feeling tired? pull up a chair and rest a while then hit your ball through the row of chairs and into the hole.
6. two for one: take your pick. get your ball into one of the two holes to end the game.
Bonus - hide ‘n’ golf seek: find 2 golf ball (circles or spheres)shaped objects hidden around the
playground/house for 2 bonus points. finders keepers.

Before the kids started golfing, they received a bag with a score card and stickers, a pencil, and a bottle of water. Then they picked up a golf club and a ball and set off for an afternoon on the links.

Each hole had a flag and an instruction card.

All that golfing made everyone hungry so we took a break to enjoy Club Sandwiches (your choice: PB & J Club or Turkey & Cheese Club).

A white chocolate covered popcorn golf ball.

And, of course, a cupcake.

Pettiskirt #2

Remember my first pettiskirt? I finished Lucy's pettiskirt a couple of weeks ago. She recieved it for her birthday yesterday and loves it. Fortunately her favorite color became pink (this began yesterday).

I'll try to fix the flipped picture later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pill box idea

So I got this idea here. And it was so cute that I didn't want to forget about it. I'm not planning on using it for Teacher Appreciation, but I will definitely be using it. I hope Brigham doesn't read this much. If he does, I hope he forgets easily.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Creative Family

I've wanted to do a post on this since I started reading it. The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule is a fun and inspiring book in which she shares a variety of ideas that she has used to bring creativity into her home. The best thing is that they are all simple. Many of the activities she has done remind me of things I did when I was younger. It was refreshing to read and got my creative juices flowing for things to begin doing in our home.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

This year I decided I wanted to dye our eggs using all natural dyes. I'd write down all the instructions so that you can try it sometime, but why do it when Martha already has? Check it out here. We tried spinach (unsuccessful), beets, curry, red cabbage, and onion skins. My favorite were the onion skin dyed eggs. They had a beautiful yellow and brown pattern. The curry produced a light yellow egg, the beets a pale pink, and the cabbage made a blue egg. I left a few overnight and the colors intensified. The blue was awesome. It was a fun experiment and leaves you with a very healthy dinner afterwards.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Best Ever Sugar Cookies

I have found that people definitely have an opinion on what sugar cookie they think are the best. I have tried many, many recipes and this one from my childhood is still my favorite. To be honest, it is probably more of a shortbread cookie, but I use it for most of my cutout cookies. The reason I like it: the flavor (buttery sweet). I also like my cookies soft, so I roll them thick and make sure not to overcook them. They are great with or without frosting.

Best Ever Sugar Cookies

2 C butter (I do half margarine half butter)
2 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
4-5 C flour (I add this at the end just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl...too much flour = dry cookies)
1/2 t mace (optional...I don't always add this)
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter, sugar, & eggs. Mix in dry ingredients until dough just pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Let chill for at least an hour. Roll to about 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface, cut out and bake for 10-12 minutes. Bottoms will be light golden brown. Cook longer for a crispier cookie.

Thumb Bunnies

These thumb/finger print bunnies were too cute and easy to pass up this year.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Don't Eat Pete!

I am in the process of several big projects. In the meantime, I thought I'd share our latest game. Thanks to Becky from my Family Home Evening exchange group last year, we were able to play an Easter version of Don't Eat Pete. I bet you can't guess who thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you don't know the game, all you need is a card with words, pictures, colors (whatever you want) in each square and candy (or food of some sort...I suppose you could use fruit and vegetables if you prefer).
-Cover each square with a candy (we used jelly beans)
-Have one person leave the room
-Pick one square (we picked two to avoid a 2 year old getting every bean on the card).
-Have the person come back
-Person begins eating candy off squares
-When they take the candy from the chosen square(s), yell "Don't Eat Pete!"
That ends their turn and someone else leaves the room and the game begins again until all the candy is gone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jester for the Day

For April Fool's Day, little Miss L got to be a Jester for the day. The days events included making a jingle bell jester hat, painting and decorating bird puppets, a puppet show, learning how to juggle and entertain, and practicing jokes.