Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Neighbor and Teacher gifts

I just passed out my neighbor gifts and my kids will be taking their teacher's gifts to school tomorrow so I feel like it is safe to show you.  Both of these projects turned out so cute.

First neighbor gifts.  There is a great blog called our best bites, and if you haven't checked it out you should.  Just not yet, wait till you finish my post first.  Anyway it is a great blog with great recipes for real people.  My friends and I love it.  So I decided to use their hot fudge recipe and dress it up all fancy for neighbor/hubby work gifts.  The recipe was simple and the end result quite cute.

I  multiplied the recipe on the blog by 6 and was able to get enough to fill 12 1/2 pint regular mouth jars plus a bit extra.  Which I of course kept for myself.  (I actually had to do this twice once for the neighbor gifts and again for the hubby to take to work).  To up the cute factor I cut 2 inch circles and 1 1/2 inch snowflakes with my cricut to add to the top of the lids.  Then printed up a cute tag added ribbon and I had myself an adorable neighbor gift.  I love the brown, teal and white combo!!

For the kid's teachers I did monogrammed pencil holders.  I have seen these a couple of places on the web and there are some really cute versions out there.  I think mine turned out way cute and I am so excited to give them to our teachers.  At first I was disappointed that I could only find short vases, but in the end I love the look.  Nothing wrong with a little short and squatty now and then.

The best part they only cost me 3 bucks a piece and they look much more expensive.  I got the vases and the pencils at the dollar store.  Then I cut out the vinyl with my trusty Cricut...which I am in love with by the way.  And there you have it super adorable gifts for teachers!  

Felt food tutorial

I bet you thought I forgot.  Nope I have just been severely overwhelmed by the mountain of Christmas projects that have decided to become avalanche.  But as promised here it is...

So I know I am late getting on the felt food band wagon but oh my heck, it is too cute to pass up.  So I scoured google looking for tutorials.  I was sorely disappointed with what I found or rather didn't find.  I found lots of cute pictures and a few minimal instructions but no real tutorials so what's a girl to do?  Well figure it out herself and make a tutorial for the rest of you..that's right who loves ya.  Some of it is pretty straight forward and does not need a tutorial just a few pictures and a brief line or two, however some of these need a bit more.  Speaking of pictures you may notice my unusually grotesque swollen thumb.  I was recently diagnosed with a mystery form of arthritis.  So I promise as much as is possible to crop out the hideousness.   

I made two sets of breakfast, lunch and dinner w/ dessert of course, for my nieces.  I so wish I had found this when my daughter was younger.  I didn't think she would be that interested in felt food now that she is so grown up, you know, being almost 8 and all, but she and her brothers all showed a fair amount of interest so I may need to tackle this again, however it will have to wait until after Christmas.  Anywhoo, I digress I am sure you are anxious to get to the tutorial.

Before we get started let me just say I used the sheets of felt that you can find at Walmart or any craft store.  I know that this felt isn't as nice as what you can buy by the yard, but I wasn't about to spend a fortune on this project.  But by all means feel free if you are so inclined:)

Lets start at the beginning the menu

And we need a bag for all of our goodies right

Materials: 3 and a half sheets of light brown felt cut accordingly

Sew the sheets together like so:


Then sew bag shut:

Now you attach the bottom, this is where it gets a little tricky but it's not terrible so stick with me.  Pin the bottom piece onto one end of the bag like so:

And sew all along the bottom edge.

Now I liked the bag like this and turned right side out so it's up to you which you like best.  I ended up going with right side out.

Now onto the good stuff lets begin at the beginning shall we...
1 Pancake
1 egg
2 pieces of bacon

The pancake is pretty straight forward.  I hot glued the syrup and butter on top before I sewed around the outside edge.

I wanted the syrup to look like it was dripping off the sides like good syrup does so I needed to keep the syrup under control while I sewed the two pieces of pancake together.


So I gathered all the syrup up and pinned it down while I sewed right sides together.

 Then I turned everything right side out, stuffed with poly fill and closed up the opening.  Now you can sew this or hot glue it.  I found both methods have pros and cons and have not decided which I like best.

Onto the egg.  Oh what a cute little fried egg.  This is one of the easiest morsels and honestly one of my favorites.  You need two pieces of squiggly cut, off white circles, you don't want them to be perfect circles.  and a smaller yellow circle for the yolk.  I hot glued the yolk on then stitched around it not because it needed to be reinforced, but because I liked the way it looked.  Then sew right around the outside edge.  No need to sew right sides together because I think this looks more eggy...that is totally a word (Bethanie!)  Oh sorry.  Anyway leave an opening for stuffing, stuff then stitch closed.  My oldest son said I should have put poly fil under the yellow circle for the yolk too.  So you can do with that bit of 10 year old advise what you will.

Bacon.  The bacon was too easy.  Cut wavy pieces of dark brown.  I just free handed this, no measuring.  So use your best judgment.  Then stagger and  hot glue smaller wavy pieces of light brown to the top.  Be careful not to use to much, it can turn nasty pretty quickly.  And no one likes nasty bacon.

Your choice of sandwich: PB and J
Ham and cheese with lettuce and tomato

Here is all the pieces needed to get started.

The bread was definitely the trickiest part of lunch.  I used four 4 x 4 pieces of off white felt and four 1 x 9 pieces of light brown. 

Next cut 1 of the long brown strips in half and sew 1 half to 2 opposite sides of the off white square:

Do the same thing with the other two sides, it should look like this:

I do not have a picture of this next part so hopefully this will make sense.  Sew the other off white square to the OUTSIDE edge of the light brown with right sides together.  When you are finished it will be like a little hollow box.  Leave about an inch unsewn to turn it right side out and then stuff.   Then close it up.  Repeat for the second piece of bread.

The cheese was easy cut a 4 X 4 square of yellow and then cut it on the diagonal it you like. 

Cut a circle of red for the tomato and stitch a "tomatoey" pattern in the center...or just leave it plain.

For the lettuce cut a wavy green square and stitch "veins."

The ham is a rectangular piece of pink sewn to look like folded ham.  I have also seen bologna if you want to go that route. 

The chips are off white ovals.

The bag is just 3 pieces of green sewn together.  Sorry no measurements.

Peanut butter: Wavy square of light brown
Strawberry Jelly wavy square of pink (you could also do purple for grape jam)

Fried Chicken (or chicken on a bone as my kids call it)
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Green beans
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Pieces for Dinner

Dinner is all pretty straight forward...until you get to the pie.  But we will get to that later.  First the easy stuff.

I did the mashed potatoes just like the pancake only with off white felt and a slightly different shape.  The gravy is hot glued on and doesn't drip off the edge like the syrup on the pancake.

The green beans are  made from a piece of green felt folded in half and stitched in a subtle ark on the fold.  Then cut out.

The drum stick is two pieces of brown sewn right sides together leaving the end where the bone goes open.  Turn right side out.  Stitch around the two bone not turn right side out.  Stuff chicken with poly fil.  Slide the bone just barely into the chicken and attach with hot glue.

Ok now onto the monster of this whole project.  The pumpkin pie.  If it weren't so darn cute I would have left it off the menu, but like I said too darn cute!

So I actually did this two different ways.  I will try to explain both.


The main components of the pie part are 2 strips of orange fabric 5 x 2 (or 3, I can't remember) and a triangle that is 5 x 5.  Sew together to make this:

Now here is where it gets a bit tricky.  The crust.  The first one I made I used on long piece for the bottom and side crusts.  The second time I separated the two.  Honestly both ways were about the same so do what works for you.  I only have pictures of the separated version (which honestly just adds an extra step because you have to then sew them together).  Clear?  As mud, perfect!

Fold top square in half and sew together:

If you were using one long piece you would fold the top down later.

Attach to bottom of orange piece stitch around bottom and up the sides leaving an opening at the top where the crust and the pie would meat.  All of that would be right sides together.  Turn right side out and stuff.

This is where I struggled so much and why I tried 3 different methods...only two are worth mentioning.  Attaching the orange to the side (or back) crust.  I finally used a glue gun and covered it with "whipped cream"

Whipped cream:

1 long strip of white and a white circle sorry no measurements.

I realize this totally looks like a tampon, sorry for that.

Run a loose stitch through the center of your long white strip.  Then pulling on the top tread ruffle the felt.

Hot glue to pie where the crust and the pie meet on the top.

For the extra dollop on the side. fold your circle in half and do a stitch at the very top of the arc.  Then fold the other 2 sides together and repeat.  That really could have used some pictures sorry.  Hopefully the picture below will help you understand what that means.  I also added a bit of velcro on the bottom so it would stay on top of the pie if needed. 

There you have it a whole days worth of felt food.  If you decide to give it a shot send me some pictures and if you figure out an easier way to make the pie please let me know! 

Check out Homemade by Jill for some great pictures.  I got lots of my ideas from the pasta.  I think that is my next felt food project! 

More cute stuff

So Jill is super awesome and has shared more cute crafts with us.  She is a little crafting machine these days.  So check out her way cute and way thrifty ideas.  I promise you wont be sorry.  I am not sure what is going on but I can't get any of her pictures to post here, so be sure to check it out for yourself!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Super fun giveaway

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
New sewing Machine, Xyron 900, Clothes, Cricut accesories, happy kids on Christmas morning
2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?

Cabbage patch
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle? 

A quilt
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child? 

The surprise radio from my parents
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year? 

Zhu zhu pets (good luck right?), Transformers, music mixer
6. What is your favorite holiday food? 

Pumpkin pie and the mints and cashews my grandma gives me every year
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays? 

Felt food, felt potato head, Teacher gifts, neighbor gifts
8. What is your favorite holiday movie? 

9. Favorite holiday song? 

Angels we have heard on high
10. Favorite holiday pastime?

Looking at Christmas lights...from the warmth of a car or a van, as the case may be:)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Calendar

Whoo hoo, our first craft that isn't mine. My friend Jill from Spaces for Faces, who you might remember from one of our fabulous give-a-ways and awesome tutorials, has sent me a link to this adorable advent calendar. And if I didn't already have a million things I am working on for Christmas I would so be doing this. This would be a supper cute gift to give to someone. Hmm maybe if it is for someone else I could fit it in...hmm well anyway check it out. If you decide to give it a try leave me a comment with a link and I will show it off here for all to see. You can do that with any of the crafts you see here for that matter, we would love to see your twist on things.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The festival of felt

Felt is my new favorite material. Here is just one reason why...

Meet Mr. Potato Head. As I was blog hopping one day I came across this adorable idea on make it and love it. I had to try it. And since I am trying to make at least some of my Christmas gifts this year I had the PERFECT excuse. So this is one of Van's presents.

Because there is a perfectly good tutorial on make it and love it I wont give all the details but there are a few things that are different about mine.

The hats I made actually fit on top of the head rather than velcro to the front.

I did make the pocket larger like she suggests, but it is still not quite enough space.

I made a set of girl eyes and boy eyes...although the girl eyes look a bit angry, those lushes lashes took on a bit of attitude.

So there you have it a super cute potato head!

Now here is a bit of a teaser. What could I possibly be making with these little beauties...

Ok so I am sure it isn't that difficult to figure out but stay tuned anyway I am working on a tutorial...I am so excited!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Golden Christmas wreath

So this project has been done for a while now. My excuse for not posting it sooner besides being out of town for Thanksgiving is this, we moved our computer down stairs and the sd card with the pictures on it was, well, upstairs. So yes just laziness with a bit of forgetfulness. But it is here now and that is what counts right?

But before I go any further I have to correct a typo that was brought to my attention by my well meaning (smarty pants) little sister. In an earlier post I showed you my magnetic (ingenious) job chart. Well apparently I spelled vacuum wrong. So to all of you who noticed I am sorry I have seen the errors of my ways and I promise to watch my spelling more carefully in the future.

Now that that is out of the way we can get on to bigger and cuter things. Like this adorable wreath which now hangs on my not so adorable front door.

So the idea behind this wreath was to keep it cheap and it was. All of the supplies were purchased at the dollar store. Sorry I don't have a picture of all the supplies pre-assembly. But here is the list:

1 wreath
5 tubes of gold ornaments (15/tube)
1 roll of ribbon
1 cute ornament (I cut mine in half)

So for around 8 bucks I got a pretty cute little wreath. Here is the basic assembly.
Start by hot gluing the ornaments to your wreath staggering the ornaments to cover the wreath as much as possible. In retrospect I think it would look more finished if I had painted the wreath gold before I started gluing on ornaments...but hindsight is 20/20, and because the color of my wreath was pretty light it isn't too big of a deal.

Once your wreath is covered with ornaments it is time to dress it up a bit. I played with the ribbon A LOT to get it how I liked it. So use your imagination and do what you like best. Here is what finally worked for me:

I used a knife to push the ribbon in between the ornaments all the way around the wreath.

And here it is no my not so cute door...I told you! Anyway the wreath helps a bit. There you have it a quick easy cheap and sparkly wreath.
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