Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well.. I wanted to show you all some pretty embroidered items that were recently given to me.. but I haven't been able to go through the photos yet (sorry!)... so instead I've gathered a couple random fun things that I think are worth sharing.

First, a tutorial to make this cute little pouch from Three Bears. Don't you love that fabric?

And this! Directions on how to unravel a sweater to reuse the yarn. I love it!

I've been trying to manage my time better lately. I'm a huge list maker (which helps!), but sometimes there's just so much to do that I end up making multiple lists. So I designed a weekly schedule sheet to keep it all straight. And I'm sharing it with you! Because of the sections I made, it will only really be helpful for those of you who blog and have an Etsy shop, but hopefully some of you will find it useful.

Get it here: Download weekly schedule PDF
(for personal use only please!)

So... pretty embroidery next week. Also next week - Election Day!
I cannot wait.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's almost Halloween...

Maybe I'm the last one to see these adorable (free!) Halloween cards, but I love them both and I thought I'd share. And it's not too late to give someone a Halloween card, right? No, of course it isn't. :)
The one above is from Emily from Inside A Black Apple. You can find it here.
The one below is from Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist. You can get that one right here. She even has a printable envelope template!

And just because I like witches, I wanted to share with you this cute knitted witch from The Purl Bee. I unfortunately cannot knit it up because I messed up my wrist by knitting! It used to just bother me a bit only when I was actually knitting, and stupid me, I ignored it. Well now it hurts all the time.. so no knitting for me for awhile. It's pretty maddening... what the heck am I supposed to do with my hands while watching a movie now?! Quilting and embroidery require too much attention (because I'm not that good! ha).

Anyway, sorry for that rant :) ... it's a cute witch though isn't it?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tutorial Tuesday - Matchbook Notepad

Just a note, the title of this post isn’t necessarily a promise for future “Tutorial Tuesdays” (although I think it would be fun if I could pull it off), I just liked the sound of it! :)

Anyway, I've been making a few things as little gifts to include in my Etsy packages and these cute little matchbooks are one of them.

Here's what you'll need:
- Heavy-ish scrapbook paper for the outside. One piece of 12x12 paper will make 8 books. I like the double-sided kind because once you open the matchbook you see another pretty pattern inside. (see photo below) I found that Scenic Route paper is a great thickness.
- Filler paper. This can be anything you want (Junk mail? old school papers?). I used 8 ½" x 14" sheets of old accountant's work sheet paper I found at the thrift store.
- A paper trimmer (or just use a cutting mat, ruler, and xacto knife)
- A bone folder
- ruler, pencil, stapler

1. Cut all of your paper. I cut the filler sheets 2 ¾" square and the scrapbook paper 3"x6". I used 15 filler sheets per matchbook.

2. On a cutting mat, lay out a few of the scrapbook pages, with what will be the inside of the matchbook facing up. Using the ruler as a straight edge, measure over ½", using the marks on the cutting mat as your guide (see photo below). Use the bone folder to score along this line.
3. Fold up the little tab.

4. On the tab, measure and mark with a pencil at 1" and 2". This will be where you staple.
5. Take your little stack of filler paper, put it under that tab and staple staple. I like two staples but you could also just do one.

6. Fold the top flap of scrapbook paper up and around, tucking the edge under the stapled flap.
7. Use the bone folder to get rid of the arch in the scrapbook paper, making that top fold more like a real matchbook. (I hope that makes sense...)

And you're done! Wouldn't these be cute as stocking stuffers??
Oh, and I know this would be easier as a PDF, I'm sorry. I plan on working on that soon!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I won an award!?

The other day I got an award! What a surprise! I got it from The Ordinary Housewife!
So in order to accept the award I need to pass it on to six blogs I love and list six things that I love. Here are the blogs:

And six things that I love:
1. colors
2. Pearl Jam
3. peppermint tea
4. the smell of apple blossoms
5. being outside
6. old movies
Thank you Ordinary Housewife!

Also, I posted my lunch bags in the shop. Man, I went through so many different designs/sizes/fabrics before I decided on these! It's nice to finally see them finished. I wish there were some school-aged kids in the family, I think they would be great to use as gift bags for Christmas. But adults would love them too. ;)

Oh, and about Christmas.. I know it's not even Halloween yet but I'm starting to get ready for the holidays.. like making lists and planning and such. That's all I've allowed myself to do so far (I'm trying to hold off until after Halloween)! I'm one of those people that think Thanksgiving doesn't get the attention it deserves.. but really, how can you get everything accomplished between Thanksgiving and Christmas? There's just too many crafty projects I want to do. So once Halloween is over, get ready for some Christmas posts every once in a while.. I have some fun things to share.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Birthday Cheesecake

Cheesecake was requested and I was happy to oblige.. when I made the apple pie from this book, I noticed the recipe for this cheesecake. Wow, so good. It has a cookie dough crust. How can you go wrong with anything with a cookie dough crust? And does all cheesecake have lemon zest in it? Because this one does and I love that.

The only bad thing is is I'm afraid the poor apple pie will be forgotten about in the fridge! (I think I'll freeze some of it..)

Happy Birthday, Brian! I love you! And thanks for waiting so patiently while I took this photo! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cute Crafty Projects

While cruising around to various blogs I found a few cute projects that I love..

An adorable free embroidery pattern from Craft Pudding.

A tutorial for a sweet little needle book/sewing kit from Nini Makes.

And The Small Object shows us how to make fabric covered floss bobbins. What a great idea, no?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Giveaway Winner & Pie

Congrats to Bitter Betty, the winner of the giveaway!! And thanks to all of you from the party for stopping by my blog, I had fun! Hope you all visit again! :)
I made apple pie the other day, sooo tasty. I used the recipe from this book. It's a really good book if you love desserts like I do. I love that they include a short history for most of the recipes and the book includes pretty much every dessert that's worth making. Careful though, you'll want to make them all. :) Everything I've made from it so far has been very good.. and you can't beat that price.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Party and a Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to everyone visiting for the party!
Thank you Vanessa for hosting!
(I just found out about this party earlier this week, so I'm kind of bummed I didn't have time for a few things I wanted to do.. But I'll post them eventually if they work out right!)

I have some fun photos I took last night at a Halloween event, a few recipes and a giveaway.. hope you find something interesting!!

We had a great time last night at Greenfield Village. The dinner at the tavern was pretty amazing.. we ate by candlelight while a fiddler walked around and played music.

And then when we finished dinner, we went out into the night..
We found a bride still waiting for her beloved, he's been dead a long, long time..

We found a haunted mill.. Watch out! There's a black cat!
At Sleepy Hollow we spotted the headless horseman! Spooky!
Late last night I heard cackling outside.. I looked out to see a witch flying by!! :)

And did you all know I grew up in a haunted house? It's true, but it was only my great grandfather and grandmother, so we were family! :) But toys used to start up all by themselves, we'd feel a tapping on our shoulder only to find no one there, cups would fall out of cupboards, our cat would totally freak sometimes and hiss and hide, and we'd hear their dog barking and a man talking on the porch. Well..even if they were family, it was pretty scary when I was little!

How about some recipes?..

pumpkin torte
2 c crushed graham crackers
1/3 c sugar
½ c melted butter
2 eggs
¾ c sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 c pumpkin
3 egg yolks (save whites)
½ tsp salt
½ c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c milk
1 envelope plain gelatin
¼ c cold water
3 egg whites
¼ c sugar

-Mix crushed graham crackers, 1/3 c sugar and melted butter. Line a 9x13 pan with mixture.
-Beat 2 eggs, ¾ c sugar and cream cheese. Spread on top of graham cracker mixture. Bake 2 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.
-Combine pumpkin, 3 egg yolks, salt, ½ c sugar, cinnamon and milk. Cook until thick.
-Mix gelatin and water. Add to pumpkin mixture. Let cool.
-Beat 3 egg whites and ¼ c sugar until stiff. Fold into cold pumpkin mixture. Pour over cooled crust.

Note: Be careful if you're using a pie pumpkin.. one Thanksgiving my dad was cutting the pumpkin up for my mom for this recipe and he cut his hand and had to get stitches! Not fun!

popcorn balls
(I got this one from Martha)

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
¼ cup brown sugar
3 quarts popcorn
1 cup m&m’s

In a large pot, melt butter. Add marshmallows and sugar. Allow marshmallows to melt. Add popcorn and m&m’s and mix. Make balls from the mixture. (Butter your hands first so they don’t stick to all of that marshmallow goo)

apple pumpkin pie
From Mrs. Gardiner’s Receipts, 1763
3 cups pie pumpkin
3 cups apples
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
Pie crust

Peel pie pumpkin. Cut off seedy parts, and cut pumpkin into slices. Peel and core apples; cut into slices. Place bottom crust in 9” pie plate. Sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar over pie crust. Layer apples, pumpkin, and sugar in pie crust until full. Dot filling with butter, and cover with top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Note: You can find a great recipe for pie crust here.

And my first giveaway!
A fun Martha Stewart banner, a wooden skeleton ready to be decorated, orange hot chocolate, lip balm, bookmarks, vintage stickers and seals and, (something practical!) one of my many lunch bag prototypes that will very soon hit the shop. Oh and a cute little orange drawstring bag that I stamped a bat onto. :)
Leave a comment by 8pm est Monday, Oct 20th and I'll pick a number at random. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

free calendar download

Here's a neat download from A Print A Day, a Carnivorous Plants Calendar. Scroll down on her blog because she has lots of other downloads.

Oh and tonight Brian and I will be going here for this. I'm so excited! We love Greenfield Village and go all the time but we've never been to the Hallowe'en event.. it should be fun! (If you're in the Detroit area, the Holiday Nights at Christmastime is lots of fun too)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lobster and Swan

I found this Etsy shop, Lobster and Swan from the Creature Comforts blog today. I love her "Estate sale" lots (like the one above). Just looking at them has me dreaming about all the wonderful things I could create with such a lovely box of treasures.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Few Things

First, I added a few vintage items to the shop, sweet little Olga here being one of them.

And this! A Halloween Blog Party? Looks fun! I wish I knew about this sooner! :)

And finally, a couple things I found on the Craft blog today:

A Mary Poppins softie from My Paper Crane. Isn't she fantastic?

And a homemade recipe for lotion from Wabi Sabi Baby. I made some lotion a few years ago but it had to be stored in the fridge and I forgot about it! I've been meaning to find one that didn't need to be refrigerated and it seems like this one doesn't need to be, but it would extend the shelf life if it was. This one only calls for olive oil, water, and emulsifying wax. Simple! That's how I like it. (I just looked and found emulsifying wax at my favorite site, Mountain Rose Herbs. You can get 1lb for $5.90)

Monday, October 13, 2008

out my backdoor

Dover Clip art

I can't believe I haven't shared this yet! If you're not familiar with Dover Publications, they have tons of books, many of which are filled with royalty-free vintage images, perfect for all kinds of crafty projects. Well if you go to their site on the "free samples" page, or right here, you can sign up to get a sampler email every Friday. You'll get a mix of things, like coloring sheets, games and puzzles, short stories, origami projects, and the clip art I already mentioned. Last week I even got paper dolls of Obama and McCain!!
I think it would be fun to use the games and coloring sheets to make little activity books to give to kids at parties so they have something to do. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who's a sucker for vintage clip art! :) So check it out!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I've been tagged!

The Ordinary Housewife tagged me so I'm supposed to share seven things about myself you probably don't know. Here they are!

1. I very rarely eat red meat, but I love ribs.

2. I met my guy Brian on the internet about nine years ago. He’s from Georgia and I’m from Michigan. We didn’t meet in person for two years (because I was 15!!) but we’ve been together ever since. aww!

3. When I was 11 I broke my arm ice-skating in our ditch.

4. My parents let me have ducks when I was younger. They lived in the backyard in a pen that my dad made. It featured a kiddy pool sunk into the ground (which they got filthy again as soon as I cleaned it) and a rabbit hutch with the legs cut off. The ducks eventually went to live on a friend’s farm. :)

5. I can’t stand mushrooms. I hate that I dislike them so much because it seems like they’re in all sorts of great dishes.

6. When I was a kid I was obsessed with the Rocky movies. I think it may have been the slow motion fight scenes with the blood and spit flying through the air.. Now I sound completely crazy. Ha!

7. People used to think my cousin and I were twins. We would let them think we were and made up crazy stories about our parents and the house we live in. (Like we have pet monkeys or we each have a hot tub in our rooms. lol)

I'm supposed to tag seven other people but I don't always follow the rules, sorry! :) So if you're reading this consider yourself tagged! If you do it, post a link to your blog in the comments. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Halloween House

Over on the Small Object, Sarah's been posting some great Halloween crafts that I just fell in love with. Like this Halloween house. Or these ghost walkers. Or the spooky pose-able skeletons. I have some unfinished mini houses I'm saving for Christmas projects.. but I may just have to make a haunted Halloween village instead. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boo to Bottled Water

The No Impact Man blog has a post today about bottled water and using reusable bottles instead. The Center for a New American Dream has a campaign to Break the Bottled Water Habit that I think is great. Also on the blog is a very interesting video from Nightline everyone should watch.
Instead of entirely repeating what's over on that blog, I thought I'd share what I use and where to find it. For the past few years, I've been using my much loved Sigg bottle. As you can see, it's had a tough life! I take this thing everywhere - school, work, hikes, the beach, shopping, working out.. everywhere. I got it from this site. And last Christmas I bought one for Brian from here. Brian's bottle looks much, much worse than mine due to a little mishap with an exercise bike petal and the cement floor. :) They're aluminum, so they dent easily.
As much as I love my bottle, when this one kicks the bucket I think I'll replace it with a Klean Kanteen. I like that they're stainless steel and they aren't "coated with a patented secret formula liner" as the Siggs are, even if they promise they "will not leach anything harmful into your beverage". No thanks! ;)
So if you can, go read the post, take the pledge, watch the video, and feel good that you're no longer contributing to the 38 billion bottles that go into U.S. landfills each year. 38 billion.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Handmade baby toys

A few weeks ago I started watching a sweet little baby girl a couple days a week while her mama's in class. She's just now starting to hold on to things, so I thought a few handmade toys were in order.

Knitted and felted wool balls from this book. It's a great book, especially if you're just learning how to knit. You could start at the beginning and work your way through the entire book. A tip about the balls: hand felt them instead of doing it in the washing machine as the book recommends. The bottom ball in my photo was felted in the machine and it didn't turn out anywhere near as well as the ones I've hand felted.

Knitted and felted rainbow chain. This one I made up myself with some trial and error. I cast on 6 stitches on a double-pointed needle and made an I-cord until it measured 6". I then sewed them together with the tail yarn and felted them.

And finally, I made a few Fabric balls from a pattern from the Purl Bee. They were fun and quick and used up some of my scraps. All good things.

Oh, and she loves them all. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More for fall...

I had a busy day today so I didn't get the chance to post what I was originally planning on... but I found a couple fun things to share. If you haven't noticed already, I love fall and Halloween.. Tomorrow I'm going to show you some of the great Halloween items I've found on Etsy. :)

First up, this amazing looking pumpkin spice cream cheese spread recipe from Pinch My Salt. I must make this.

And some sweet Halloween embroidered coasters from Green Jello. I found them from the feeling stitchy blog.. scroll down because there's some other cute fall/Halloween embroidery projects. *sigh* Now I really want to embroider something. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Muffins... in the forest

I've been wanting to make muffins for a long time now, so today I did. :) I looked on and I finally decided on this one, although I changed it a bit.
Here's what I changed: I used 1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (in the recipe it's the other way around), 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar (recipe calls for 1-1/4 c. sugar), instead of the apple butter I used apple sauce, and for the 1 c. raisins I used a mix of craisins, cherries, peaches and raisins to equal 1 c.
They turned out great! Next I want to try the apple pumpkin muffins but I think I'll omit the topping. I looovvveee pumpkin.. and I'm so glad that it's October. Pumpkin season!

Oh and I made my first treasury! They're fun.. I may be addicted. I'm still surprised I even got one on my first try.. Find it here.