Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween Additions - Year 3

I wasn't going to post anything for Halloween this year, but a few people have asked to see the mesh wreaths I created for outside decorations.  So for those of you who are interested, here are the two I made.

Those Eyes!

Yes, this is what caught people's attention on the all black mesh wreath I put between the garage doors.  These large eyes aren't that common yet in the craft stores so make sure you call ahead before you go looking.

Supplies -

1 large roll of black mesh
1 roll silver and black spider web ribbon
6 jumbo pipe cleaners folded in half
1 set large movable eyes

Note - It rained heavily a few days during the month. This wreath got sopped. I took inside for a couple of days to dry out and it was good as new.

Wicked Hat and Legs

I've wanted to make this wreath for a few years now. I didn't really think I would get to it this year, but finally made the effort on Columbus day.


1 large roll of colored mesh
1 smaller width roll of complimenting color
1 roll complimenting ribbon
Embellishments of your choice

Lessons Learned?

There are many tutorials about how to put together mesh wreaths. Here is a very easy one.   Once you make one, you can make others. But watch out, it becomes very addicting!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Save Money and Clean with Old T-Shirts

Recycled Tee Project One: Swiffer Dry Mop Cover

A couple of years ago I came across a tutorial on Pinterest on how to make reusable Swiffer covers. Knowing how expensive the sheets are to buy, I set out to make a few of them and I've used them ever since. I used the family's old t-shirts that I was going to throw out because they had stains on. Creating these was a much better use than throwing them away.  Click here for a very simple tutorial you can use to make them. 

Recycled Tee Project Two: Dusting Cloths

Lay an old tee shirt out flat and cut out two equal sizes of the the shape  you would like.   I used an old ribbed cotton tank top for this project. I've made them out of smooth cotton shirts as well. Sew the two pieces together about 1/4 inch away from the edge. Leave an opening of about 3 -4 inches.

Turn the fabric right side out and pin the opening closed. 

Top stitch around the shape you created close to the edge catching both sides when sewing over the opening 

Use the decorative stitches on your machine to sew through both layers of fabric to keep it secure in the middle. 

Recycled Tee Project Three: Dusters Covers 

I found a simple tutorial  to get started creating the duster. You can find it here. I used a plain, smooth, old cotton shirt for this project.  

I started by cutting out 2,  8x8 pieces of fabric and 2, 4x6 pieces. 

I used an upside down small glass bowl and small glass as a template to round the corners of all pieces. 

Next, place the small piece on the bottom, place the two larger pieces on that, then place the second small piece on top. Pin through all layers of the fabric. Measure and mark a center line. Sew the marked line removing pins as you go. 

Fold the top and bottom pieces to the right along the stitched line. Place the swiffer on the fabric and mark the width of the left side of the  swiffer. Sew from the bottom of the duster up to the end of the small piece curving around the top. Pivot the fabric around the needle, fold the small pieces to the other side then sew down the right side of the center seam, with the same width as you did on the left side.


When finished sewing the channels for the handle, lay the fabric layers flat. Using a rotary cutter or shears, cut strips about 1/2" wide to create the "dusting fingers".  Be careful not to cut any of your previous stitching. 

When finished, slide it onto the handle and look out dust!  When they are dirty, throw them in the wash with a load of towels. They'll be good as new the next time you use them. 

Can you imagine the money you will save if you made a few of these? I love them.  

Lessons learned: 

1. I'm going to try to make the dry mop covers and dusters out of scraps of fleece I have. I think the fibers in the fleece fabric would work well for these projects. 

2. Since I created the duster, I've found another tutorial I might try next time. We shall see which one I like better. 

Happy Cleaning!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bunnies, Peeps and Easter Treats - Part 3

Are They Really the Best Sugar Cookies?   Easter Treats

A long while back I pinned a recipe called the "Best Sugar Cookie Recipe".  For many years I thought
my mother in law's white sugar cookies were the absolute best and I can't remember using any other recipe to bake cut out sugar cookies.  I usually make the cookies two or three times a year and decided to give the "best" recipe a try to see if it really it.

I wish I took more pictures of the process but pictures wouldn't provide a sense of how good these sugar cookies really are. Every claim the author made about the cookies was true: no need to chill, no burnt edges and they really were delicious.  Now I can't say they are the best, but I think they are at the top of the list. Thanks for a great recipe. I'll definitely be using it again.

Even the "one ear" cookie tasted delicious.

Lessons Learned:

1. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need before you begin!

Lemon Large

I must give a shout out to my sis,Val, for attempting and creating these luscious looking cookies.  Yes, they are called Giant Lemon Mousse Sugar Cookie Cups. I'm not exactly sure what recipe she used but you can find it at
 Wishes and Dishes.

To me they look like a monstrous filled cake that could be substituted for the dinner beforehand. Better not though or the cook might get mad. :)

Here's Val's creation with an extra touch of tart on top.

Looks delicious!  Now I'm thinking..... maybe a chocolate cookie cup, vanilla cream cheese mousse, with chocolate chip eyes might be a good goblin treat for Halloween? Val? Are you reading this? ;)

We Love Coconut - Coconut Cream Cheese Pie

This recipe is a combination of  3 others I found online.  Most of my family loves coconut, therefore it seemed a logical choice for dessert this Easter holiday.


For the crust:
·       1 ½ c finely crushed shortbread cookies
·       ⅔ c flaked coconut
·       ⅓ cup melted butter or margarine

For the pie filling:
·       1 cup  flaked coconut
·       ½ pkg.   (8 oz.) light cream cheese
·       2  small pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
·       2 cups  cold milk
·       1 cup thawed whipped topping
·       ½ tsp. vanilla

For the topping:
·       Remaining  ½ cream cheese
·       1 cup whipped topping
·       1 Tbsp. sugar
·       ¼ c toasted coconut


1.     Preheat oven to 325°.  Mix ingredients for crust until well blended.
Press evenly into a 9 in pie plate.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

2.   Microwave full 8 oz of cream cheese High for 10 sec. or just until softened; stir until creamy.

3.     Beat pudding mixes and 2 cups milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min.
Add half the cream cheese; mix well. Stir in 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup whipped topping. Pour into crust.

4.     Combine  sugar and the other half of the cream cheese; mix well. Stir in 1 cup whipped topping.  spread over pie. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

5.     Toast remaining coconut. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the pie just before serving.

I hope everyone enjoyed their own special Easter traditions and festivities.  

Now for a break from blogging to finish up with APPR. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bunnies, Peeps and Easter Treats - Part 2

Basket of Bunnies

I saw this idea as I was looking for fabric online.  It looked like a fun idea for an Easter centerpiece.

I started by gathering a bunch of Easter print fat quarters. Always pre wash and press the fabric. 

I folded each fat quarter so I could pin the pattern on four layers of fabric.   I had some fabric left over that I've started an Easter table runner. I'm thinking I'm not going to get that done before Sunday. 

 Each bunny was cut using pinking shears. These bunnies are not sewed right sides together and then flipped to the right side, they are sewed around the outline of fabric. The pinking shears will prevent the fabric from fraying.

After all the bunnies were sewn wrong sides together, each was stuffed and the ends sewed.

Each bunny was given a ribbon tie and are now ready for the Easter parade,

 or rather their Easter basket home.

Lessons learned:

1. Start projects like this as early as you can. Use television time, or sitting in the sun ( if we every get some) to stuff the bunnies. I knew it was going to be a process that would take a little time, but the results were well worth it.

The original project can be found at The Little Fabric Blog . I like the classic linen bunnies on this page too. I might try them from burlap.

Felt Peeps

While Shannon is in the south, I found I needed something to keep me busy during the long rides to visit her. This was my first project made out of felt. It is so easy to work with. These little projects are now my go to "car craft" for those trips where boredom might set in.

This pattern can be found at Micheal Ann Made.  

Lessons Learned:

1. I need to brush up on my embroidery techniques. Instead of using felt for the eyes, I tried I French knot. I'll definitely be doing the eyes and noses over. ( Or maybe leave them on this set as a reminder and for some added character).

Peeps and Posies

Here's quick and easy way to brighten any table or serving area for the holiday.

Start with a container that fits into a container with about an inch or so space when you put the smaller into the larger. Fill with your favorite holiday candy or trinkets.

Fill the inner container with water and plant food and arrange your flowers how you like. I used my Cricut Explore to cut some paper peeps to add.

Lessons learned?

1. I really wanted a square container but couldn't find one in the stores near me. I'll be looking for one the next time I'm at HoLo.

2. The containers used here were just a bit to small. I would have liked to have more room for the flowers. This would work better for a display of a few yellow and pink roses.

I have one more post of Easter treats coming soon.

Hope you are enjoying getting ready for this spiritual and fun holiday.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bunnies, Peeps and Easter Treats - Part 1

Hanging With My Peeps

A few weeks ago I came home from work and found these wooden peeps on the kitchen counter. It was a not so subtle hint to get going on the peeps idea Rich saw on Pinterest. I guess he was bored one day (can't say I feel sorry for him, being retired and all) so he decided to do some wood work. 

After I chose the paint, he primed and painted. 

After the paint, I Mod Podged the peeps and added a layer of glitter to each. 

After they were nice and dry, I spray them with a Mod Podge sealer.  I hot glued some buttons on for eyes and began work on the base. 

Using my new Cricut Explore,  I cut the words from a sheet of vinyl. The new Cricut Explore makes it so easy. It even uses the fonts I have installed on my machine.

I applied them to a painted and Mod Podged 2x4.  Rich finished up by applying the peeps to the board.

What do you think? 

This was a fun project, especially since I  didn't have to cut or paint the wood. Rich is really getting the hang of this craft stuff. I just might have to add to his "honey do" list. 

Lessons Learned: 
1. Next time I'll use a darker color vinyl on the base. 

Have you made any peep crafts? I'd love to hear about them. 

Mesh Easter Wreath

These wreaths are so easy to make.  All you have to do is use twistie ties or chenille stems to  attach gathered mesh to a wire wreath form. 

Since Rich was cutting Peeps (above) I had him cut one out of 1/4"mdf board we had left from other projects.  We both painted a bunny face so it could be added to the wreath. 

I added some ribbon and a few easter flower novelties I picked up from Hobby Lobby (at 50% off), and a colorful door decor was born. 

Stay tuned for part two of Bunnies, Peeps and Easter treats.