Monday, June 28, 2010

Step Up and Bloom

I had mentioned before, when we were staying with that lovely family from church, that I would share with you how to make this adorable little ottoman (or stepping-stool however you want to use it).  You are not going to believe this - it is made out of four 46oz juice cans.  

It is incredibly sturdy - I can stand on it, and it is just the right size to put in front of the bathroom sink so Charlotte can wash her hands. 
If you would like to make it, here is what you will need:
1 1/2 yards of fabric
(either all the same, or coordinating)
Fabric Pen
Scrap of batting
Polyfil Stuffing
4 empty and washed 46oz juice cans 
Open your cans like this, 
so that the tops and bottoms will still be intact.
Sewing Machine and thread
Yard stick

Step 1:  Lay out the fabric you will use for the top and bottom pieces.  Put the juice cans on the fabric like this - forming a little flower design. 
Step 2:  Using your fabric pen, trace around 1/2" larger than the outside edge of the "flower".
Step 3:  Cut out 3 flowers - two out of fabric, and one out of batting.
Step 4:  Lay out the fabric you will use for the side.  Cut a strip 8" x 38".
Step 5:  Pin the strip to the bottom flower - right sides together.
Step 6:  Stitch around the edge, using 1/2" seam - leave a 3 inch opening.  In the corners of the flower, you will need to take a little pleat.
Step 7:  Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the top flower  (only this time you will be sewing the top flower fabric AND the batting as one piece) - be sure that the openings on the top and bottom are at the same place - this is where you will slip the cans in.
Step 8:  Clip the fabric at the curves.  Turn it right sides out.
Step 9:  Slip the cans in one at a time.  Stuff the top with the stuffing to your desired poofy-ness. 
Step 10:  Hand whip the opening closed.


Friday, June 25, 2010

30 Minute Head Scarf

So because of the big move, my daughter has pulled out the majority of her hair.  It seems to be a coping mechanism that some kids use and it's totally normal.  However, it is very difficult to find cute ways to do her hair...there is a limit to how you can comb 3 strands of long hair to cover an entire head.  Plus it looks way unbalanced because her bangs are still thick, but the back is all thin and patchy.  (I  know I was spoiled because she had SO much hair at such a young age...) Anyway, this is one of my solutions (if you have any more please let me know). 

This literally took 30 minutes last night.  Here we go.
You will need a scrap of fabric that can be folded on the bias, some ribbon, thread, and sewing machine.
Fold the fabric on the bias. 
Measure 16 inches along the fold ( you may need to make it larger if your child is older).  
 Make at mark at 16".  
Take the left bottom corner and fold it up to meet the 16" mark - this will help you cut a straight line.  
 Draw a line from the 16" mark down to the selvage.  Cut along that edge.  
Then cut along the fold that is 16" long.  You should have a triangle. 
Zig-zag stitch or surge the two short sides. 
 Lay it flat and pin on a cute piece of ribbon.  
Top-stitch the ribbon along the longest side of your triangle.  Done.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Gift for you

So since I have been bumming off of my parents and in-laws...I have had a light load of cooking, cleaning, and laundry.  So I had plenty of time to come up with a FULL WEEK ( it may last you longer than a week) of meals for you (and me to use when we move into our new house and I am too busy unpacking to make a grocery list.)  This week of meals is a typical week at our house.  My husband has a gluten sensitivity - not an allergy, but he gets sick if he has too much gluten.  You can learn more about that here.  Anyway, I try to limit our intake.  So you can download the grocery list here. The meals and links for the recipes are below. Have a lovely week - now you have more time for crafting and sewing!


Sunday:  Lunch:  Chicken Pot Pie, Fruit, Mac & Cheese     Dinner:  Homemade Pizza
Monday:  Tilapia, Broccoli, Rice-a-roni
Tuesday:  Bacon-wrapped chicken breast, Sweet potatoes, Southern Zucchini
Wednesday:  Taco Salad
Thursday:  BLT Spinach salad, Fruit, Cheez-it chicken fingers
Friday:  Lasagna, Green beans, Peach Cobbler
Saturday:  Hamburgers, French Fries, Oatmeal Craisin cookies


Sunday:  (I make the pot pie and mac and cheese the night before, then after church just heat them in the oven for 20-30 minutes while you slice the fruit)
  • Tilapia: Heat some oil in a skillet.  Coat the fish in breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until it flakes with a fork.
  • Steam Fresh Broccoli in microwave
  • Rice-a-Roni directions on box
  • Bacon-wrapped chicken breast:  Heat a skillet on medium heat.  Wrap each chicken breast with one piece of bacon.  Cook about 6 minutes on each side, until cooked through.  When the second side is almost done, slice 1 or 2 slices of pepper jack cheese and place on top of each breast.
  • Wash sweet potatoes.  Poke each one with a fork.  Bake in the oven for 45 min - 1 hr on 350.
  • Southern Zucchini 
  • Taco Salad:  Brown the ground beef (or turkey).  Add the taco seasoning and black beans.  Chop up tomatoes and avocado.  Layer the salad like this:  Tortilla chips, lettuce, meat/beans, cheese, tomatoes, avocados, salsa, and sour cream.  (one of the easiest meals EVER)
  • BLT Salad:  Cook the bacon.  While that is cooking, chop up the tomatoes.  Toss together with spinach leaves and your favorite dressing ( I use blue cheese).
  • Slice the left-over fruit from Sunday
  • Cheez-It Chicken

Friday, June 11, 2010

Aprons and cookies

This week we have made coordinating aprons for Charlotte, my mother-in-law, and myself.
 Donning our new aprons we set out to make my mother-in-law's favorite cookies- Oatmeal Craisin. 
So yummy (...and kind of healthy...they have oatmeal in them....does that count?).  
This is a great cookie dough to make and have on hand because it freezes really well.  I generated a recipe card for you to download or print with this cookie recipe on it -you can make your own recipe cards at this adorable site.  This is the step-by-step...although I will admit the pics are more of Charlotte than cookie we go :)
Step 1:  Mix the sugar and shortening.  
Step 2:  Add the eggs.
 Step 3: Sift the dry ingredients.  (bonus sifting tip:  Instead of using a sifter, use a whisk - it gets out all the lumps just as well)
Step 4:  Mix in the vanilla.
Step 5:  Add the coconut, craisins, and oatmeal and stir.
Step 6:  Roll the dough into balls.
Step 7:  Put some granulated sugar in a bowl.  Wet the bottom of a glass, dip it into the sugar.  Press the cookies flat with the sugared glass.  It makes them nice and sparkly.
Step 8: Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. 
Enjoy with a nice cold glass of milk!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ayurvedic Approach

Being a massage therapist, it should not surprise you that I am into all kinds of natural medicine and healing.  I love using what God has given us on the earth to heal ourselves - essential oils, herbs, spices, nutritious foods.

( I also believe that God gave doctors the genius minds to come up with wonderful Rx and cures for horrible diseases.  We must have a balance between the old, natural way of healing and the new modern cures.)  Anyway, one of the methods I like to study is called Ayurvedic Medicine (pronounced  I-yur-vay-dic).  It is one of the oldest forms of medicine and it originated in India.  Now before you go worrying that I am getting all voodoo on you, remember this - God put these things on the earth for us to use.  Just because some cultures connect God's medicinal solutions with their religious beliefs does not mean that you are a part of that religion if you use these methods. Ayurvedic medicine is about balance and using the plants and foods indigenous to your region as a way of healing.  One of the main principles of Ayurvedic medicine is the dosha.  There are three doshas and they determine the type of constitution you exhibit.

If your dosha is out of balance,  you can become ill.  Here is a great quiz (it's fun to take even if you think all of this is hullabaloo) that will determine your dosha and tell you how to become more balanced.  I have been trying to balance my dosha lately (are you laughing?) and I really feel like it has helped.  So there - light your incense, go meditate, balance your dosha ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gather Your Roses - Pillow Tutorial

My inspiration came from this Rosette pillow from Anthropologie ($58). 
It is really simple to make and adds a very elegant touch to any room.  Ready?  This is how I did it -

Step one:  Cut out a 22" square for the front (the larger you make the front the more "gathery" it will be) and a 17" square for the back.  
Step two:  Using a basting stitch, stitch around all four sides of the front - gathering it to 17" as you go.

Step three:  Pin the gathered front to the back, right sides together.

Step four:  Stitch around (1/2" seam) leaving about a 10" opening in the center of the bottom edge
Step five:  Turn it inside out - the top will be loose like this:

Step six:  Stuff the pillow with your 17" pillow form
Step seven:  Pin the closing

Step eight:  Gather the loose fabric on the front into the center, forming a pouf - wrap a rubber band around it.

Step nine:  Using a needle and thread, hand gather below the rubber band, pulling the thread tight as you go.  
Step ten:  Once you feel it is securely gathered, remove the rubber band and poof out the rosette.  Hand tack the edges of the rosette to the pillow.

Step eleven:  Lastly hand-tack the opening closed and toss it on a bed!