Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Customized Plant Pots

 The first gift of the season is done. As it should be since it was super easy. I will likely be making several more. The perfect gift for the green thumb on your list, or as shown above with just a fake flower it can be a cute decor item. I am so making a set as a gift bundled along with some seeds for a fresh herb garden. The perfect addition to any kitchen window sill that will provide fragrant and yummy herbs.
 I snagged up these clay plant pots at Joanns (or any craft or garden center) they were 75 cents a piece. I like the tan clay color, but you could easily spray paint them to be any color you wanted.
 I also bought a stencil since it is plastic so re-usable and that means I can make them over and over again. Some black acrylic craft paint, and some cream colored linen. You could use any fabric or even burlap if you wanted.
 I cut the linen in strips that would fit around the base of the pot. Then I lined the stencil up in the center of the strip and painted the letter. The paint will bleed through so be sure to paint on top of something. (like a Jo-anns add minus the coupons of course)
 Then when the paint dries (about 30 min) I used a hot glue gun to add a blob in the center of the pot. Then I first glued the letter in place so that it would be nice and even.
 Then pull each side to the back and hot glue in place. Make sure you pull nice and tight so it has a snug fit. Glue both sides and you are done.
 You could spell anything you wanted, like someone's last name, LOVE, HERBS, initials like S+R for a couple, you could easily do anything.
 You can plant a fake flower if you want it to be easy to care for. Just use some tissue paper wadded up in the bottom to center the flower.
That's it. Super easy gift. With tons of possibilities. (there may be more ideas coming :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is this what laziness looks like?

 I have a pile 30 projects deep of things I am making for the holiday season, holiday dresses, (including one for myself gasp) Presents, decor... the list goes on and on. Everything in a different state of completion. I have just been a little lazy or un-motivated to actually complete them all. So instead I made a top for Abbey. You see this little girl LOVES cats. I mean loves them. She had a kitty shirt awhile back that she out grew it was a sad day. (for her I was ok with it) Then my husband found her a new one. She loves it. If she could she would wear it everyday of her life. It does get dirty, so I decided I would make her a second kitty shirt. To say she was thrilled would be an understatement. It's also about the closest thing she will have to a kitty. I think our neighbor has about 10 so she gets to see them we just don't have to care for them.
 I added some lace puffs to act as butterflies, and the shoulder detail was just an added touch.
 So to start I made up a simple tee. If you need drafting help check here
 Then sew front and back together at the shoulders. Add in the sleeves.
 Then I added the puffs. made the same way I made the corsages here.
 Then sew up the sides and sleeves.
 Add the ribbing to the neckline. Need help with that? Check this post

Then I cut out a cat from some fabric scraps, and stitched it on using a satin stitch (close zig zag) around the edge. 
 Then it was done. A cute little kitten chasing after some butterflies.

 That made one little girl squeal with excitement.
 I kind of love the "puffy shoulders" since it makes the tee shirt different from any regular tee.
And anything that makes this little girl happy makes me happy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Aspen Skirt

 Oh man I had the best 5 day weekend! We do Thanksgiving on Wednesday around here, it started a few years back to accommodate my sister in law who had just gotten married and his family lived here too so they had a hard time deciding where to be on the holidays. We quickly volunteered to celebrate a day early leaving Thanksgiving open to them and it has been the best idea we have ever had. I start cooking on Tuesday and then I spend the entire morning/early afternoon in the kitchen but my Husband always takes either a full or part day off on Wednesday so he keeps the kids entertained and sets up everything. Then we feast, all the family comes over and we have a great evening of food, and games. Then I get to spend the next few days enjoying life with my husband and kids. We eat leftovers, set up Christmas stuff, hung our outdoor Christmas lights, and I may or may not have gotten addicted to Bakery Story on the ipad.... ok I did it got so bad I had to delete it otherwise this blog would no longer exist unless you all wanted to see screen shots from my bakery? I thought not. Anyone else ever get addicted to those things? It's bad I tell you. Bad. So now it's all over and it's time to get back to real life. You know where you accomplish things during the day. So I am starting off really easy. Sharing a simple yet super cozy skirt. I made one for myself even but I didn't get a picture of me, I did snap a few of the cozy girl. We both lounge around in our super comfy skirts and it makes me smile. I am calling it the Aspen skirt because the print and the cozy feel makes me think of spending time in a cozy snow covered cabin. (a true dream)
 I didn't snap pictures of the assembly because it literally comes together in seconds and the "assembly" pictures would be the skirt and waist band before they are attached. I followed this tutorial  Changing only a few things. 1 I didn't want to take the time to finish any edges. So I made the skirt out of two tubes. I folded them in half so the raw edges matched up. (so the top of the brown waist band is a fold and the bottom of the skirt is a fold) then I sewed all the edges together (so you will sew through 4 layers) Then done. And in case you are curious I made the width of the actual skirt just slightly larger than the hip measurement. That way they have a snug but not too snug fit.
 Then that's it. Abbey wears hers with the sweater leggings. I wear mine with just some regular leggings, since I have yet to find a sweater with large enough sleeves :)
so soft and comfy, the perfect additions to any fall/winter wardrobe.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gift Guide {mom's}

Welcome to the Holiday Gift guide! If you are having trouble finding the perfect gift for the people on your holiday list then maybe we can help you out. We will be sharing, ideas you can make and ideas you can buy (both homemade and from a store)
So today we are starting with all of the mom's on your list.

Starting with the Homemade variety:

Spa Night Gift ideas:
If you are gift giving on a tight budget consider making a salt glow scrub Easy to make, perfect for dry winter skin and you can wrap it up with some at home spa treatment ideas like a recipe for the pumpkin facial or the aromatherapy facial steam. You could even put together a little basket that includes the scrub and some of the other ingredients throw in a chick flick and give the gift of spending the time with them if you can. What is better than spending some R&R together.

Show off the Grandkids:

My personal favorite is making a calendar for my parents. There are a lot of sites where all you have to do is upload your favorite photos and drop them into place. Then they have daily reminders of their sweet grandkids. They cost right around 25 dollars to print and ship. If you are feeling extra creative you can make and print your own calendar using My Memories Creative Suite. Print at home or at a copy center. You can make the pages as simple or as creative as you want, and if you enter STMMMS16240 at checkout then you can get 10 dollars off!

Buying Something Special:

R&R time:

Check out Dolce Dreams for these stunning eye pillows. Filled with flax seeds and Lavender these not only smell heavenly but pop it in the freezer and it becomes a cooling eye mask sure to take away any puffiness. Hand embroidered with a sweet message that is sure to make any mother feel truly blessed. You could also add this to the spa basket for the added treat of a spa-at-home experience.

Adding Beauty to the home:

I found this darling Key holder/flower holder Never mind the fact that I would love this in my home, but what mom wouldn't love this? A little something extra and lovely to hang her keys from. Simply darling.

So there are some ideas for the Mom's in your life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

So it's been a little quiet around here. As it will be for the week. Cooking starts tomorrow (since we do Thanksgiving on Wednesday) Then we have family filled days for the rest of the week included quite the list of things to accomplish on what will be a nice long weekend. I have a few tutorials to share that might pop up this week, but we will see. Friday will be the start of a brand new series! I am pretty excited! We are doing a "holiday gift guide" where we will share different things to make and buy, both of the handmade and just really cool products out there. So if you get as stumped as we do sometimes on holiday gifts for the people on your list then hopefully we can help you out, I am bursting with some truly awesome things I have found and I can't wait to share! 

Today I thought I would show you the simple idea I did last year for the Thanksgiving table name tags. 

I made pinecone holders Tutorial found HERE

And I made name tags with a tutorial to make your own, 
or Free Printables if you wanted.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photoshop winner!!

Can I just say you guys are the greatest! I mean obviously we would still be blogging even if no one read our blog (since once upon a time no one did) You guys are all so sweet! I loved reading each of your comments and it's fun finding out what your favorite projects/posts have been. Pretty sure it was a pretty good hint that I should likely post the final sewing 101 post and my shiwn counter part is way over due for a skin post. She is working on a great one. A post I am in dire need of, taking care of dry skin! Oh man winter is rough, I feel like my skin thinks I am 80! SO yes some of those will be coming, and of course the kids clothes will always continue, (it is my passion)
Now let's get down to the good stuff... The winner of the Photoshop giveaway! so cheerfully selected lucky number 72! (whoop whoop!)

So "Marlie@ crafting, cooking, and cats" Thank you so much for following us!! You should have an email in your inbox later on today to arrange the details!

Thank you everyone for entering I wish I could give one out to everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu! (and last day for photoshop giveaway)

Things are about to get a little quiet around here for the next week. You see it is Thanksgiving! (seriously my favorite holiday) and I host Thanksgiving at my house each year for my Husbands family. This does include cooking everything. I love every second! It's my 5th year hosting and so I have my "schedule" down. I thought I would share some of the recipes I am using, and my menu for anyone who is making some or all of their thanksgiving. I am also so in need of a few recipes if you have them... and since you are all awesome I bet you do.

So when it comes to Thanksgiving we always start with appetizers! They serve a dual purpose, entertaining company while they wait for dinner, and they keep the kids out of the kitchen begging for food. (do your kids do that too?) Jude is actually a HUGE help in the kitchen but about 1 hour before dinner things get crazy in the kitchen and Jude gets impatient and is just ready for food, so the appetizers are perfect. I try to keep them as kid friendly as possible.
This year I am making this:

I am not positive that I will carve a pumpkin for the bowl although I love the idea, throwing it in a bowl is super easy. The kids will love it and I am pretty certain the adults will too. 

I am also having pumpkin bread. This year I am going to make this one:

Recipe found here cream cheese swirl, yes please!

We will also have a shrimp platter as per tradition. (don't ask how that one got started) 

Now for dinner:
Turkey of course but I don't do a whole turkey. No one ever eats the dark meat, the bones are a hassle and it takes up a whole oven while baking. So I always pick up a turkey breast roast. They are a pretty good size. We normally do two to feed 10 but this year I am doing a pork loin roast as well so I am doing 1 of each. Turkey is super easy. I throw it in the crockpot the night before with a few cloves of garlic (chopped) Salt pepper, and a McCormick Grill marrinade packet. (they come in several flavors and are delicious) Add water to cover and cook on low until dinner time. Always perfect and delicious and I don't have to worry about a dry turkey. 

For the pork loin roast I will roast it along with the carrots and potatoes following the recipie I pinned from Martha Stewart. 

A favorite each year is roasted butternut squash. It is so good and each year I make it a little different than the last. 

This year I am adding apple (cored and chopped) and putting them in a roasting pan with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and just a hint of red pepper. 
Sweet savory, and salty mmm....

For the best cranberry chutney I have ever had, and everyone even avid cranberry haters loved this. I followed the recipe (via pintrest) Only I skipped the grand mariner and used pure vanilla instead. Then I added some cloves and cinniomon. This year I am going to step it up a little more and add some pomegranate after the cranberries are chopped plus you make it the day before and let it sit so it's the perfect cranberries!

Also on the Menu, but nothing special:
Broccoli (with lemon and garlic)
Mac n' Cheese (for the kids)
Mashed potatoes
Juilleined potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Jello Salad
Butter rolls

Do you guys have a killer stuffing, or broccoli recipie you care to share? How about your favorite must have item for Thanksgiving dinner? 

Dessert is fairly low key this year:

As soon as I saw this trifle I knew I had to make it for my husband for Thanksgiving. And I am pretty sure I gained 5 pounds just looking at it. Seriously though it has to be good!

We will also have a cherry almond pie. (I am winging that so if you have a recipe you love please share!)

Lastly a pear crisp torte with pears fresh from our tree, it's a little recipe I made up and it is so good. I will get around to sharing it one of these days.

So let's hear it, are you cooking this Thanksgiving? If so what are you making? What is your favorite recipe?

Also remember that Friday is the last day to enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Indian Summer Tunic

 Are you having unseasonably warm weather? We keep thinking that winter is here, and that maybe we will even get some snow here soon. However the days keep getting sunnier and warmer and we have been loving some fall weather! The midwest chick in me is really wanting some snow, but as long as it comes before Christmas I will be ok. So I made an indian summer tunic for Abbey which is a twist from my favorite summer tunic. Remember the chevron tunic? Well this go around I added sleeves.
 I still love the buttons down the back...
 And the little cuffs on the sleeve. But who can resist a big circle neck line?

 So as I said I followed the same idea HERE only like the original pattern I did have the circle go all the way to the shoulder and I cut in a neckline. Then I cut out a sleeve piece, and cut a triangle slit in the bottom edge. I made a small facing for the slit.
 Then with right sides together I sewed the facing to the slit.
 Then turn the facing to the back.
 At this point you should have the tunic front and back sewn. Then instead of finishing the arm openings, you will sew your sleeves in place...
 Like so.
 Then with right sides together sew the arms and sides together. (following the black lines)
 Then with a rectangle folded length wise I sewed the raw edge to the bottom of the sleeve. I folded under the edges that hung over the edge.
 Then top stitch the cuff in place.
 Sew some buttons on the cuffs to secure the flaps.
 The last thing I did was I added the buttons to the back (real this time) I also made a felt dahlia flower for the front.
 I love the oversized neckline.
 Textural flower, and sweet cuffs.
 The perfect little top for enjoying the last little bit of fall weather.