Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dwipe & Burp Cloths...

A couple of days ago I posted some photos of projects that I've been making the last couple of weeks for a couple of granddaughters that will arrive in February and March. Here are a few more of those projects...

A number of years ago I made this pattern for a Diaper/Wipe Tote. I named it the "Dwipe," and have been selling the pattern in my Etsy shop ever since. If you need a quick homemade gift for a mother-to-be, this should be your go-to gift. It's such an easy pattern to sew and it's something that will be used for years by the new momma (and daddy).  It's a small case where a parent can store essentials -- a travel case of wet wipes, a thin changing pad, and a few diapers. This tote can also come in handy for the parent who is training her child. One can put a change of clothing into the tote in case of emergency. This mini-tote can then be placed in a glove compartment, a purse, or a diaper bag. I made a bunch of these some months back and have been giving them away ever since.

I've saved the best for last. These are the easiest little gifts to make you will ever find, but mothers and fathers love these crazy burp cloths. Years ago one of my daughters-in-law asked me to make her some of these, and they've been a hit with the new mommas and daddies in our family ever since. They are basically a pre-folded purchased cloth diaper that has been fancied up a bit. Here's the simple tutorial I published years ago. It'll show you how to make these cute and practical gifts...'

{Once again, these fabrics are from of Hobby Lobby.}

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Looking forward to more grandbabies...

Hi there. Yup, I'm still alive. You might have thought otherwise, but I've actually been very busy these last few months with "life" and a new part time job. I was offered a job in retail in October for the holiday season, but got news last week that they wanted to keep me on. The job is mostly part time, so I still get to enjoy the hobbies that I have in the past. With the holidays behind us last week my hours reduced considerably and I was able to start and finish a bunch of baby projects. We have two granddaughters due very soon -- one will arrive in February and one in March. I can't wait to meet these little angels. I'm almost finished with the quilt below. Generally speaking, I'm no quilter. It takes patience and perseverance to be a quilter -- two qualities that I have in short supply -- but I wanted to make a quilt for one of the little ones so I chose this "easy" disappearing nine-patch quilt as the pattern. I love these fabrics. They're from Hobby Lobby. There are 10 or more complimentary fabrics from this line. I've got to finish the binding and I'll call it good...

I also made a few receiving blankets. I usually do two sides of flannel for these blankets, but I did one side regular cotton fabric and the other flannel on these. Here's the tutorial for these extra large receiving blankets...

Here's the Maggie the Taggie Owl that I made from the pattern I sell in my Etsy shop. My daughter-in-law used this pattern to make her infant a taggie blanket and put a crinkle paper between the fabrics so it not only had tactile stimulation, but a crinkly audio stimulation as well. She used a couple of the plastic/paper bags that houses the cereal in boxed cereal. Those make the perfect crinkle "paper" for these taggies! Just save one or two, unfold them and sew them between the fabrics!

I love the ribbons they currently have at Hobby Lobby that are complimentary to their fabric lines. Sooo cute!

Later this week I'll show you a few more things I've made. I love sewing for these little ones. It's my way of welcoming them into our family and letting them {and their parents} know they are loved.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye...
the first day of school!

Clockwise, starting top left:

Linen Pencil Case
Cupcake Wrappers
Pencil Sharpener
Paper Clip
Fine Art Photograph

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye something...

Clockwise, starting top left:

Decorative Pillow
Infinity Scarf
Venice House Bracelet
Rustic Flower Crown
Pocket Mirror 

Wishing you a fun-filled weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye...
shades of blue.

Clockwise, starting top left:

Wishing you a trouble-free weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday...

I hope you're having a nice day. The last few weeks have been busy ones for me. First, a daughter and her little family visited for a week. Then, most of the rest of the kids and their families came for a reunion, and last week I went to Indiana to help my son's family with their new little one. It's been busy and fun. I'm back to my "usual" (whatever that is) routine, so I thought I'd share some pictures of the garden today. The relentless heat and sun of this time of year always creates a challenge in my garden. No matter how much water I pour on my plants, it just doesn't compensate for the high temps and the scorching sun. In about a month, the plants will get a break in the hot weather and they will perk back up.

We have a bumper crop of lettuce this year. It's shaded throughout the day, so the sun doesn't bother it too much...

Many plants in my containers are struggling, but the geraniums love the heat.

My morning glory are beginning to bloom. I love going out early in the morning and seeing their beautiful deep purple faces!

Luscious impatiens have completely filled the planter boxes we made last spring.

Wishing you a nice Bloomin' Tuesday.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye some...
summer fun.

Clockwise, starting top left:

Pineapple Low Socks
Summer Mug
Pineapple Planter
Tea Towel
Hair Tie Bracelet

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Children's Ice Cream Shop... the big reveal!

A few weeks ago on a blog post I mentioned that I had bought a used TV stand to repurpose into an ice cream shop for children. I finished it shortly after that post and it's time for the reveal. You might remember that I talked the cashier at the thrift store down to $5 for this "beauty." {I'm embarrassingly cheap when it come to repurposing items.}

Here are the steps it took to repupose this TV stand into a fun treat shop for the grandkids...

1. I disassembled it -- the top, kick plate, knobs, and cupboard doors all came off.

At this point, the back of the TV stand became the front of the ice cream shop, so when I refer to the "front" and "back" I am referring to the front and back of the new ice cream shop.

2. I applied a coat of Kilz Original Oil-Based Primer on all the pieces.  I also bought a piece of hard board and cut it to size for the front of the ice cream shop. {There was no "back" on the TV stand before.}

3. I used Behr "One to Remember" and Behr "Misty Isle" to paint the shop. These are beautiful colors reminiscent of peach and mint chocolate chip ice cream -- perfect for the little shop.

4. When the pieces were painted, I reassembled the stand -- turning the top around to the (now) front of the ice cream shop and placing the kick plate on the front of the shop. The hard board was also put on the front of the shop. New knobs were placed on the cupboard doors.

5. I bought two 1-1/4" x 48" round dowels at Home Depot. Two round holes were drilled in the top of the shop. I also cut two 2-1/2" cubes and drilled a hole through both of those. They were glued to the inside of the shop to help secure the bottom of the dowels. {See below.}

6. Strips of cotton were cut 1-1/2" x 16" to make the fabric banner. It was strung across the dowels.

7. A cute ice cream sign was purchased from Amazon to add to the front of the shop.

8. Two "Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Scoop Sets" were purchased. This magnetic play set makes it easy for little ones to scoop up the ice cream and place it on the cones!

The result was more than I'd hoped for... 

The ice cream shop was revealed at our family reunion. It was my hope the little ones would enjoy playing with something new. It did not disappoint...

It was especially fun when the adults got into it and ordered real ice cream from the kiddos. 

From a junkie old TV stand to a fresh new children's ice cream shop, this repurposed item was one of my favorites of all time!

My thanks to Mindi, at My Love 2 Create, for inspiring this project with her Frozen Treat Stand!

And one more thing... aren't my grandkids adorable!?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bloomin' Tuesday...

I have a few random photos of our garden today for Bloomin' Tuesday. 
Isn't summer glorious?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye some...
peachy-pink mint goodness.

Clockwise, starting top left:

Scandinavian Rug
Vintage Typewriter
Tooth Fairy House
Nursery Decor
Party Pinwheels

Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Children's Ice Cream Shop...

A week ago I got inspired. Mindi at "My Love 2 Create" made a sweet Frozen Treat Stand for her children. She repurposed a nightstand to create a darling toy that will undoubtedly serve her children for years. Mindi inspired me to create an Ice Cream Shop for our grandchildren. Most of them will be here in a week for a family reunion, and I thought a new toy like this might capture their attention for awhile. A couple of days ago I found this beauty...

I know. I know. I'll just bet you're all dying of jealousy, but this little wonder is all mine. I found her at a local thrift store for $6.99. I'm embarrassed to say that I talked them down to $5.  I'm cheap like that.

To make it into an Ice Cream Shop, I disassembled it. I'm going to make the back of the TV stand the front of the Ice Cream Shop, so the top and kick plate need to be turned around to face the other way and I need to mount a piece of 1/8" hardboard on the front of the ice cream stand (originally the back was open on this TV stand).

I chose these luscious creamy dreamy colors to paint the stand...

Behr "One to Remember"

Behr "Misty Isle"

Those colors remind me of peach and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Wish me luck in reassembling it and the decorating. I'm ridiculously excited about this project!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chocoflan {Mexican Chocolate Flan Cake} ...

I celebrated a birthday last month and on that day my neighbor brought over some of the best cake I've ever tasted. Truly. Take a look at the photo below. It's a Mexican Chocoflan. {Chocolate Flan Cake} Tasting it will ruin you for life because you will want a piece every day.

It's beautiful, isn't it? It was made by my friend's friend, who is from Mexico. That day I knew I had to learn how to make this delicious concoction. I started with an easy recipe from Betty Crocker on the internet using a cake mix. Below is the result...

Not as pretty as the original, but I was incredibly grateful that the cake came out of the pan easily and in one piece. However, the texture of my cake wasn't as dense or chocolatey as the original, so I tweaked the recipe further. First, I've always preferred Duncan Hines cake mixes over Betty Crocker, so that was an easy change. I chose Classic Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. I also added 1/4 cup {natural unsweetened} cocoa, which raised the chocolatey level to my liking and made the cake less sweet. One of the things I loved about the original was that it wasn't as sweet as a typical cake in the United States. I glazed the pecans with a little sugar to add a crunch to the top of the cake, and I added more caramel to the top of the cake than they had suggested in the Betty Crocker recipe. Here's the result of those changes in the recipe...

Awesome yumminess.

I don't know if my pallet is particularly discerning, but, to me, this tasted very close to the original. It was delicious. My tweaked recipe is below. Not only is this tasty, but it's easy to make too!

Mexican Chocoflan

1 jar (12.25 oz. caramel topping
1 box Classic Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 cup water 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated) 
1 cup milk
4 eggs

Sugared Pecans:
1/2 to 1 cup pecans

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).  Grease a 12 cup fluted tube cake pan with butter. Take the top off the caramel jar and put the jar in the microwave for 15 seconds to heat the caramel and make it thinner to pour. Pour 1/2 - 3/4 of the jar of caramel topping (6 oz. - 9 oz.) into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate the remaining caramel topping. 
  • In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, 3 eggs and cocoa in an electric mixer on medium speed till the cake mix is blended about one minute, scraping bowl occasionally. (Do not over-beat. You want a more dense cake, rather than light and airy.) Pour batter over caramel topping in pan.
  • In blender, place flan ingredients. Cover; blend on high speed until smooth, about 40 seconds. Slowly pour mixture over the batter in the pan. (Flan mixture will mix with the batter as you pour, but they will separate during baking, forming 1 layer of cake and 1 layer of flan.)
  • Place cake in large roasting pan in the oven. (I use a metal 9x13 pan.) Add one inch of hot water to roasting pan, so that your cake pan is sitting in a water bath.
  • Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake pan from water bath to cooling rack. Cool completely, for at least one hour. 
  • Place serving plate upside down on the cooled cake pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. 
  • While the cake is baking or cooling make the sugared pecans. Make a simple syrup -- about 1/4 cup water to 1/2 cup sugar (1 part water to 2 parts sugar) in saucepan. Stir in pecans and cook until liquid is gone and the pecans are covered with sugar. Then spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Sprinkle these on the top of the flan. You can also use fresh fruit, as in the first photo.
  • This cake can be prepared the day before, in fact, the cake is more moist and the flavors are better the second day!