Saturday, April 30, 2011

Flowers On My Mind - Part Deux

My daughter had such fun wearing her pink headband to church that I decided to make her another one.  One to match the white, fluttery, bohemian dress I found on sale at my favorite children's clothing store - Naartjie!

 I chose to make wrapped flowers this time instead of the singed edge ones I tried last time.  The result is absolutely beautiful!

Here is how you too can make this super easy craft!
  • organza type material (I just used a left-over piece so I don't remember exactly what it is.)
  • headband
  • pearl beads
  • felt
  • needle & thread
  • glue gun and glue sticks
The fabric is soft and fluttery.

 Cut the fabric into 2" wide strips.

 Cut the felt into circles.  I made a graduated set with one large, two medium, and two small circles.

 Measure the fabric strips.  The large circle used a whole strip.  The medium circles used strips with 6" trimmed off. The small circles were 1/2 a strip.

Tie a knot in one end of the strip and begin wrapping and stitching with the needle and thread.

Add the pearl beads to the center of the roses after you finish wrapping and stitching.  The large flower used 6 beads, the medium roses used 5 beads each, and each of the small flowers have 3 beads.

large rose with beads

finished flowers with their corresponding felt circles

I had a ragged 1" piece of fabric left from one end of the fabric scrap.  I secured it with hot glue to one end of the headband and wrapped it tightly before securing it with hot glue at the other end.

leftover fabric piece

Wrap it tightly!

Use a thick line of hot glue to secure the felt circles to the underside of the headband.

hard to see hot glue

Add a lot of hot glue to the felt circles and attach the roses. 

With all of the felt circles attached, begin securing the roses.
Now it is all over, but the modeling....

First try....

Maybe we'll try Pooh...
Or no model at all....
I love the little strings shooting off from every direction.  It matches the feeling of her dress perfectly!


I think this headband looks just like a little tiara!

I am linking this project to some of these great link parties.  For a complete list click the Linky Party page at the top or click here!



Party Button


A Crafty Soiree

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Friday, April 29, 2011

What a HOOT!

Years ago, my mother-in-law was trying to explain this breakfast that she made frequently when my husband was young.  She called the dish "Hootenanny Pancakes."  I had never heard of them before.  Luckily she found a recipe for me.  It has become a favorite breakfast at our home.  Over the years I have figured out the secrets of the Hootenanny and now I will share them with you...

My son calls this dish "castle walls."

 Hootenanny Pancakes are just a version of a popover.  The basic recipe is as follows:

Hootenanny Pancakes

1 cube butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1 tsp. salt

Optional ingredients:
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg

The optional ingredients will not really add a lot of calories, but it will give the finished dish a richer, almost French Toast type of flavor.  Sometimes I add them, and sometimes I don't.  It is up to you.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Melt the butter in the oven until slightly browned.

Combine and blend in blender: milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Slowly add the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the flour blending constantly.

Pour into baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Serve immediately with syrup.

Melt the butter in the pan until slightly browned.
Ingredients ready to go.

Wet ingredients


It is impossible to time the finishing of the browned butter and the pancake batter exactly perfectly.  To ensure the greatest lift and the fluffiest pancake, blend the batter on HIGH for 30 seconds right before pouring it into the heated pan with the browned butter.  

Browned butter
Leave the pan in the hot oven.  Pour the batter straight into the pan. 

20 minutes.  DO NOT open the oven door during baking. 
The heat of the oven is what makes the castle walls rise.  Do not open the oven door to check on the progress.  This will deflate the lift of the pancake.  The flavor will not be affected, but the look will.

I tried to take photos through my oven door every five minutes, but they didn't really turn out that well at all.  Anyway, here is the finished product!

This is the finished pancake. 

The "walls" begin to fall immediately after removal from the oven.

With pure maple syrup and milk.

With fruit syrup.....MMMMMMMM!
If you would like a printable recipe, leave me your e-mail and I will send it to you.

I will be linking this recipe to these and other great linky parties.  To see a complete list click the Linky Party page above or click here.

Tuesday Night Supper Club


Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Lost Week

While sitting in my son's karate class last Wednesday, I began to feeling the achy, prickly, tickle across the back of my neck and shoulders.  You know the one.  The feeling that says, "I'm getting sick."  I also began to feel a slightly sore throat.  It was pretty much down hill from there.

I (like you) have no time to be sick!  I have two small children to chase.  I was preparing for an eagerly awaited visit from my in-laws over Easter.  Sunday was my big choir performance at church.  I'm the director of the choir so I couldn't just claim illness and stay home.  And of course, I had projects to finish (and then blot about) all planned.

I went to the Urgent Care on Thursday afternoon, and the diagnosis was strep throat.  I had strep back in 2000, and I remember it was awful but not this awful.  The pain in my throat kept me from eating for 5 days, and I lost 5 pounds.  (I am not advocating the strep throat diet by any means.)

I was not the best hostess while my in-laws visited.  They were very kind and thoughtful and tried to find ways to help ease my misery.  They also never noticed my barely dusted shelves and the smattering of crumbs on my carpets!

Throughout all of this, I have managed to do laundry, cook (barely), and keep my children bathed (more often than not).  Yesterday, I replaced the motor in my master bathroom vent fan (Thanks, Dad for walking me through it).  That project took an extra trip to Lowe's to complete, but don't they all, let's be honest here!  The fan has a bit of a whir.  I'll need to climb up there and do some fine tuning, but a whirring fan is better than no fan at all! 

I am getting back to "normal" (whatever that means) little by little.  I am still a little low on energy so I am giving myself until the end of this weekend to get my act together.  Next week I will be back in business!  You can look forward to lots of fun and craziness ahead!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ready for the Easter Parade

I purchased this dress on clearance at Costco for $6.97 (If the price ends in a 7, the item is on clearance!)  The fabric was a delicately soft lightweight knit - perfect for Arizona's HOT summers, but when I got home and tried it on I realized that I looked absolutely AWFUL wearing it.  In despair I shoved it into the back of my closet.  I was planning on throwing it into the next pile of charity donations until I came across the New Dress A Day blog.

Yes, that is a bag on my head.  I would not be caught dead in this dress!
This author, Marisa, is just into her second year of making over $1 clothing items found at flea markets.  She turns them into cute, totally wearable, current fashions that she wears to work, out with friends, and even to a wedding!  I figured, if she can be creative, so can I!

With a package of elastic and some 1 1/2" wide black ribbon, I can make this CUTE!  I CAN! I CAN!!!      *scroll to the very bottom of the post to see the AFTER*

I decided that the first thing this dress needed was a trim.  I spread it out on my cutting mat and removed the top of the dress cutting just below the arm holes.

A rotary cutter made this sooooo easy.
Next, I labeled the front of the dress with pins.  This dress has pockets that face toward the front, and I didn't want to get finished and realize I'd put the details on the back.  :)

Looks a little like an ink blot test.  Don't you think?
Fold over and pin a casing, leaving a space open through which to feed the elastic.

Stitch down the casing.  Pull the fabric tightly to sew loose, flexible stitches if you don't have a machine designed for sewing knits.

Thread through the elastic and stitch the ends together.  Sew the hole that you left in the casing closed.  Adjust the gathers of fabric so that they are even. 

I always pin one end to the garment while I'm threading through the other end.

Snip a hole in the front of the waist casing.  I chose a spot over the right hip.  This is for the ribbon to pass through.  Since this fabric is knit, it is not necessary to finish the edges of the hole. 

Use the same method as above and feed the ribbon through the casing on the outside of the elastic. 

In goes the ribbon.
Trim the ends of the ribbon on the diagonal so that they do not fray. 

You are DONE!  The finished skirt is slightly longer that the original dress, but I do not mind the extra few inches.  It really isn't much because the casing uses up the majority of the extra fabric.  The pockets sit lower now (low on my hips), but it really doesn't bother me.

The super-busy pattern is so much more manageable now that it is only half of the outfit.  Next, I'll show you how I re-did some t-shirts to make a top to go with my new skirt!

 I began the top of this outfit with some Internet research.

I had to take a picture of the juxtaposition of the ultra-modern technology sitting behind the technology from the middle of last century!
I knew that I had seen a tutorial somewhere, on some blog about how to make a ruffled flower on  a shirt.  Alas, I searched and searched and didn't find what I was looking for.  I did find lots of other great stuff.  (Sigh, projects for another day!)  So, in the absence of what I knew was out there just beyond my reach, I decided to wing it and make it up as I went along.  Here we go.....

I laid out the t-shirt ($4 at Walmart) and freehand drew a circular pattern across the left shoulder. 

You are getting sleeeepy!
I old-school measured the diameters of the circles by tracing along the edges of the circles with a flexible measuring tape, and I recorded the lengths on paper so I wouldn't forget them.  I added 1/2" to the lengths to accommodate a finished edge on the ends of the ruffles.

Measure twice, cut once!

First, I cut off the band at the bottom of the other shirt.  Then, I cut strips off of that shirt starting at the bottom.  I used my rotary cutter ruler to determine the width of the strips.

In hindsight, I should have purchased a larger sized shirt for this!
I sewed some of the strips together to make longer strips to go on the outer circles.  Then, I ran a gathered stitch along one edge of the strips.  I folded the leading edge of the strips over slightly at this time.  Next, I gathered the strips and adjusted the lengths to match the measurements I'd taken earlier.

Gather and adjust.

I pinned the gathered edge of the strips to the lines on the other shirt and sewed down the strips.  I pinned one ruffle at a time beginning with the largest circle.  Be careful not to sew over anything you don't want sewn!  I sewed first with a straight stitch and then again with a zigzag stitch to make the sewing more stable.  Finally, pin down the edges of the ruffles along the color and stitch closely to the edge.  This tacks down the edges of your ruffles and gives the piece a finished look. 

Sew first with a straight stitch and then with a zigzag.
I can't make ANYTHING without having to use the seam ripper at least once!

I had to pull on the outside edges of the smaller ruffles to get them to lay flatter.
I still had to fill in the hole in the center of the ruffles.  I thought about several different things to accomplish this, but I decided to go with a twisted flower of sorts.  I took the leftover band from the bottom of the t-shirt and began twisting it and hand-stitching it into a circle.  I made it large enough to cover the raw edges of the smallest ruffle. 

Twist and stitch!

Finally I hand sewed the twisted circle onto the shirt.  I went around the outside edge and then I took several stitches through the middle to keep it from puffing up and looking odd.

Stitches through the middle.


For under $20 (and a few  hours) I have a completely cute new outfit to wear on Easter Sunday.  Hooray!

I don't have any pictures of me wearing the finished outfit because right now I'm feeling a little under the weather.  I'll update this post on Sunday AFTER church!  See you then!

I am linking these and other great linky parties.  To see a complete list, like Quilt Story, click here!



Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


504 Main

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Well, Wednesday's "a little under the weather" turned into Thursday's Strep Throat!  That is why Sunday's "after church" update became Monday afternoon's.  I did go to church yesterday for a little while,  (I am the choir director and as such was in charge of the meeting's special musical numbers.)  but I was beat by the time I got home.  O.K. no more blathering.....Here is the dress............(plus a helper in her flowered headband). 

Ta da!

I did get lots of compliments while I was wearing this outfit.  It was cool and comfortable even while conducting the music.  It's a keeper!  Thanks for stopping by!