Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clumpy Granola Celia Style

This is my third or fourth time making this granola. Every time I do something a little different, but try and keep the proportions the same (i.e. substitute 1 cup of walnuts for 1 cup of pecans).

This time my final recipe ended up with a walnut substitution for pecans since I didn't have any pecans on hand. I had whole almonds that I did a rough chop on . I added a little splash of coconut extract (but still used vanilla) and OH YUM!! I also substituted wheat germ for the sunflower seeds. In one batch I put in some dried fruit the last 15 min. of cooking. It's good, but definitely not necessary. You can always add it after, too. It didn't really get incorporated into the clump during baking. I put it in a gallon bag so you could see about how much it makes. The bag is open in the picture because I kept on snacking...

This is a little on the sweet side, so you can reduce the brown sugar a little. I did that the second time I made it. Still turned out yummy, but not clumpy since the sugar helps bind it all.

Requests for March Challenge??

Just wanted to see if anyone has anything in particular they want to do next month? I know a few of you expressed interest in the Felt Mr./Mrs. Potato Head. If anyone has an easy but delicious recipe you've [recently?] discovered and want to share for the challenge, please do. I'm sure I can always link something in each category if no one has anything in particular in mind.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tool Belt and Tag Blankets

I finished Dean's tool belt and three tag blankets last night. I made a few minor modifications (can I make anything without doing this??? maybe it's my way of feeling like I've created something on my own...). I liked the idea of the velcro strap from the aprons so he could put it on himself, so I widened the strap a little and did velcro. I added his name using this template for the letters. I used fray check on the edges of the letters. I tried doing the no-sew iron on stuff, but it didn't stick well in some areas, probably because of the fray check. So I did end up sewing the letters after I took this picture.

When I asked Matt what he thought he said, "Nice craftsmanship, but it doesn't look like a tool belt! You need leather looking material." So, maybe one day I'll make a "real" tool belt instead of this "cutesy" monster one. If I do make another, I'll probably shorten the hammer loop a little.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Maren's Card Organizer

Yay! I'm finally finished with my card organizer. Well, almost. I will need to buy or make envelopes at some point. I went with the binder route although I liked Celia's idea of the accordian file.

In the binder I included a birthday calander and list of addresses. I have all of our family birthdays listed on my wall calander so I know when they are coming up but I like having them all written down in one place so when I sit down to make cards they are right in front of me. I also included some notes on what sizes to cut the cards and paper to go on top of cards.

It took me awhile to get into the grove since I haven't really made a lot of cards before, but once I got started and found the best size I was able to really go to town and I think I made over 30 cards - enough for the whole year! I followed Celia's advice on card sizes (folding an 8.5x11 in half and then cutting it in half).

I am soooo glad I did this project because I am normally pretty good at getting birthday cards out, or at least I try to be pretty good at it, but I have hated spending the $2-$5 on each card. In the last year or so I decided I wanted to make cards because I figured it would save a lot of money. Over the past year I bought an acrylic stamp set at Costco, a couple of those scrapbooking paper pads, cardstock, and my favorite - I found double sided cardstock with matching border trims at Sam's Club, all with the intent to start making my own cards. It probably sounds a little overboard, but over the next year I will have made up that in cost by making my own cards plus I will have the stamps and paper to make cards for the next several years! And it was a lot of fun!

For some cards I just used double sided cardstock, but I think my favorites are the plain colored cardstock with scrapbook paper. I found that one piece of scrapbook paper can be used for several cards.

Here is the original link.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jessica's been sewing!

These are the tool belts I made.  I think I'll present them for a spring day basket (Easter weekend) and I want to put some thing cute in the pockets, but I'm not sure what yet.  I am thinking about making it a cleaning belt and putting a duster on the side where the hammer goes, etc.  Any other ideas?

I also followed Maren's idea of a double sided skirt.  It was so fun and simple to make and my almost 4 yr. old has worn hers 4 days straight now (she does switch sides each day though).  I know it needs to be washed, but its just so fun to see her appreciate and enjoy it.  My 2 year old loves hers but has a hard time with spilling and is in the final stages of potty training.  I think skirts are a good idea for potty training girls b/c they're so easy to pull up and down, but girls that age aren't aware of appropriate behavior in dresses, so I'll probably have her wear shorts underneath anyway.  I'm planning on making them each another one for spring day too, only the next one will have sparkles.  wowzer!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wood Peg Dolls

I thought I would get a head start on Bella's birthday gift since I figured it would take me forever (her birthday isn't until August). I was planning on just starting these dolls yesterday, but it turns out that the paint drys pretty quickly and I was able to work on all the dolls at the same time. I think they turned out okay. Although, since I made them I see all the flaws. After I finished them and they were mostly dry the kids got up on the counter where I had put them and started playing with them so some of them need touchups. I think I am going to add some rosy cheeks and am still debating on whether or not to add mouths. I am also going to spray paint them with a glossy finish. I discovered after buying mine online that Michael's sells 2 sizes of boys and I heard that JoAnn's sells the girl version although I haven't looked myself to see if my store carried them. Also, I bought a 3" mom and dad but after putting them in my small house thought they were too big. I used the next size (2 3/4" ?) for parents. I got my doll house at Michael's (my local one didn't carry them)it is a two shelf CD tower/doll house. I can't wait to work on that. I have little wood pieces to make into beds, tables, fridges etc. I had so much fun working on the dolls and am very excited to get started on the house. I don't know if I can wait until Bella's birthday!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Celia's Card Organizer

I'm not 100% finished, but I have the majority done. Some of Matt's are going to be store bought "funny" cards, and I haven't bought those yet.

Here's what I think will work best for me and my organizational personality.

An accordion file folder labeled "blank" and Jan-Dec.

In the front I have one sheet of paper (printed up in word without anything fancy) that has all of the birthdays and events.

In the blank slot I have thank you cards and unclaimed birthday cards (in envelopes) so I can easily grab and send them if something arises.

In each month slot I have a card inside an unsealed, addressed, and soon to be stamped envelope for anyone with a birthday I chose to send a card to (mainly brothers and sisters and parents with a few in-laws and nephews on Matt's side there are just too many people to send a card for every birthday!).

Then on google calendar I typed in each birthday and set it to send me an email the week before the birthday so I remember to drop it in the mail so they get it on time.

Hopefully I can get my Christmas cards made early in the year too and add it to this. I'm just all papered out to do it right now.

About 2 years ago I went through a paper crafting phase and bought quite a few double sided cardstock sheets on sale. Shortly after I bought them I switched to fabric and haven't done anything paper since!! I tried to keep them all simple with similar elements so I didn't have to think too much. But because I was using up what I had, they don't all match exactly. Here are a few of the cards I made. (inside the bird one it says "happy bird-day")

My repurposed skirt

Here's the skirt I was talking about. I made it when I was pregnant. It was the only maternity skirt I made with a smaller width elastic. I wish I'd made them all with this elastic because it's the only one I can wear while not pregnant.

The ruffle on the original was a horribly tedious task. It took a long time and in the end didn't turn out exactly how I had envisioned. I thought it worked ok at first, but after a wash or two it just didn't lay right. Since I really liked the fabric, I figured I'd change it to what I want now. I like the new version much better. I have more of the pink fabric, so I might try and cut the ruffle and use it on a pink skirt body.

I made both of these without a pattern. I used the Sew What! Skirts book and it guided me through making my own pattern.



Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sew frustrated!!!

I just finished re-purposing a skirt I made when I was pregnant. As I was putting my machine away, I hear my 2 y.o. say, "Dean doing hard work." I turned around and he had my scissors and was cutting my skirt!!! On the one hand, it's kind of cute he tried to do "hard work" like mom. On the other hand, HE JUST CUT MY NEW SKIRT!!!!! Note to self, put the scissors away FIRST!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Birthday Calander Template

Has anyone started on their card organizer yet? I just sat down to start it and I found this great birthday calander template if anyone is interested. I love it. I also typed up all of my addresses in Excel and realized I have a lot of old addresses! I still have to get a binder. Any thoughts on size for those of you who may have started already. Can't wait to sit down and try my hand at making a few handmade cards and envelopes. (I googled evelope tutorial and found tons). I'm actually really excited about this project. It is going to stretch me a little bit since I am both unorganized and un-paper-crafty.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This was going to be a comment, but it made me post it weird so I turned its own post.Lisa- I'd love to see how your chore cards turned out, I think I'm going to make some.  If you have pictures of the other projects you've done. I'd love to see them too :)  I'm so impressed with us, really we are quite amazing in all that we do!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My goals for this month are to:

1) make granola

2) make a card organizer


3) oil my sewing machine!

Ellie's blanket has been sitting so close to done this whole time because my machine began to break threads every 2 minutes and it was not worth re-threading that many times. After a bit of research and realizing that I had not oiled my machine the whole 5 years I've owned it I figured its a lack of maintenance. I got it from free-cycle and without a manual (which I recently bought on line) and I had never seen anyone oil their machine, so it never occurred to me I should do so! SO... word to the wise, my crafting friends! Maintain your machine! Hopefully I haven't ruined it, though I suppose it could be a good excuse to upgrade, eh?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Felt Mr./Mrs. Potato Head

I first saw this on Make it and Love it right before we left on our Christmas vacation. I decided to make it as a last ditch effort to have a quiet toy for Dean on the plane rides. He didn't really play with it much then, but I have found him playing with it in his room from time to time while he is in time out. =)

I just love the angry eyes!

What? What did I do? (I love his mustache. hehe.)

You can still do the crazy combos I thought were hillarious as a kiddo.

And this is on the back where I'd have put a long strip of velcro to hold the extra pieces.

I think it's a great idea. I made my own body and parts templates, and I didn't make the back pocket. If I were to do it over, I'd put a long strip of the soft velcro (loop?) on the back and just attach the spare pieces there. Or make a bag that has a long strip of velcro. Otherwise the scratchy velcro (hook?) kind of "tears up" the felt. I didn't stuff any of the pieces except the body, mainly because I was trying to get it all done quickly. I just used two pieces of felt for each thing. It worked fine.

Skirts for Bella

I know this is not part of this month's challenge, but I thought I would include it as well.

I decided last week that since I made a special dress for Lou Lou for her blessing it might be fun for Bella to have a cute new skirt as well. I had been dying to make this ruffle skirt from Grand Revival for quite awhile. I recently found this cute Alexander Henry print (the brown one) at JoAnns and was anxious to use it. I also found some gold tulle in the remanant section and got it for really cheap and wanted to somehow incorporate it into a skirt for Bella.

Originally I thought I could use the tulle with the brown print, but I decided to go with the ruffle skirt instead and make something a little dressier for Lou's blessing day. So the Inside Out Skirt was born. I used some of the leftover champaign silk from Lou's dress and paired it with the tulle. I thought it would be fun to have the tulle on the outside instead of underneath. I think it looks really cute. And it took me probably less than an hour to put together. It is pretty self explanatory, but if someone wants a tutorial I would be willing to do that. Bella wore it on Sunday with a white t-shirt, white shrug, white tights and black shoes. So needless to say it looked much better than with her choice of shirt and shoes here.

Ruffle Skirt

Although I used the tutorial for the construction of the skirt I used my own meausurments for waist length and height of ruffle. Oddly enough my meausurements for a 2 year old were significantly bigger than for the size 5-6 in the tutorial. Am I totally crazy. I would like to see how the skirt in the tutorial fits on an actual little girl. I am wondering if mine is a little more full??

Inside Out Skirt


Heart Garland

I really enjoyed this craft and it was as the name suggests, super easy. In fact, after I cut out all of the hearts I sewed them together with Bella on my lap at the sewing machine. She liked choosing which colors to use next and passed me a heart every time I needed a new one. I used 7 different colors of wool felt and I only used 1/2 sheet of each color(1/2 sheet divided into 3 stips). A little goes a long way. And as you can see this garland is super long. I love how it turned out. I love all the colors and I love all the different shapes and sizes of hearts. So fun. And so cute!

Here is the link again.

As a side note, I probably mentioned this already but I have a really hard time finding cute felt around here so I bought most of this wool felt on Heather Bailey's online store. For those of you in Utah, there is no shortage of cute fabric shops (so jealous!). Material Girls is one in South Jordan that I hear is really good and I beleive carries great felt - ya know, if you are interested. I'm just jealous I can't go there myself. And I will admit, since I know I am not the only one, that I used to hate (and I mean really hate) fabric shopping. Now it is one of my favorite things to do.

For this project I am sure you can use regular felt as well. It would be a little bit cheaper, but I must confess that I have become a felt snob. I love wool felt. It really is much nicer than the regular stuff. That being said I do still use regular felt - especially for felt food. Anyways...


Is this of interest to you?

I told my family about our blog and my SIL referred me to this ucreate blog that gets lots of hits and her latest post asks for new craft blogs to spotlight.  I don't know that this is the blog we'd want to try and get spotlighted, but I know Maren and Celia were/are both interested in doing an etsy shop? Maybe you could and get your stuff spotlighted on the ucreate blog for some effective advertising, or change this one a bit so its more spotlightable? (i.e. delete this post)

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'll choose....

I think I'll try the tool belt for this month and I've been talked into the card organizer since I don't do cards, but I really should send more cards than I do. So those will be my two for now and hopefully I"ll be able to finish them in time for next month.  JoAnns is having a sale on Pres. day, so now that I'm planning on being a crafter this year I hope to get some supplies at their sale.  Where and how do you guys find affordable crafting supplies?  I know most of these projects don't require much, but I just thought I'd ask and see if any of you have tricks to share on stocking your craft room.

Also with our admin rights you can add yourself  to the comment notification option so that when anyone leaves a comment it gets emailed to you.  I just did it and recommend it to all of you too so that its a little easier to check on this blog.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chore cards

I know Lis mentioned she was interested in pictured chore magnets for her kids. I remembered these free printable cards for morning routine and thought it should be easy enough to make these for any sort of chores. Laminate them and use magnets or punch a hole to use on hooks maybe. What chores are you thinking of picturing, Lisa? I think it's good for kids to get in the habit of chores, but I'm still trying to decide what a 2 year old can/should be expected to do...

And do you use some sort of reward? Or do they just do it because it's part of their routine?

Dean's apron

I finished this last night. When Dean came into the living room this morning and saw it he said, "Walter's new pillowcase." haha. His grandma made him a pillow case for Christmas that was the same color as the apron.

Some of my mistakes: I didn't read the instructions closely. I read "1/2 in. seams" but failed to notice that the neck and waist pieces were supposed to have 1/4 in. seams. I also thought it said 3/8 in. elastic, but it really said 3/4 in. Lucky for me, because the 3/8 elastic fit perfectly in my small straps. The straps were super hard to turn, but I actually like the size they turned out. Oh, and I forgot to pre-wash. Oops. Hopefully it doesn't look wonky after washing and drying. I'll let you know.

Things I'd change next time: Once I forced Dean to try it on (he REALLY didn't want to), the neck strap was a little longer than I wanted and the waist was waaaayyy too big. I'd probably cut the waist strap by 2 inches and the neck by 1-2. I added a lined pocket.

The two fabrics are Robert Kaufman Fundamentals and Robert Kaufaman Animals gone wild.

Aprons for Bella and Buddy

I know I already posted these on my blog, but I will post them here as well. Bella loves Loves LOVES her apron and wants to wear it wherever we go.


February craft challenges

For the Love! (Our Seasonal Craft)

Yes Valentine's day is in about a week, but there's still time to get your lovie dovie crafting on with:

The Easiest Felt Heart Garland or a Valentine's Fabric Flower Wreath

Get it all together! (Crafting for ourselves)
I don't know about you, but I have become increasingly postally impaired with the onset of blogs, email, and the like. Since it's the beginning of the year, I figure it's the best time to get "real" cards organized so they don't fall by the wayside. Like Maren said, whether you make your own cards or buy cards, it's nice to have them all in one place, ready to go! You can even have stamps on the cards so you just have to drop it in the mail box the week before the birthday/ mother's day/ father's day.

Full Year Card Organizer

And for those of you who want to make your own cards, here are a few ideas:
simple birthday cards
card ideas for the not so crafty (scroll down, the whole blog is card ideas)

Wrapped around your little finger! (kid crafting)
Or their little waists. Aprons and tool belts for the kiddos. Since Maren recently completed some aprons and I just finished mine last night, I figured we could do this one this month.

child's half apron
Montessori child's full apron
child's tool belt

Recipe recommendations:
Clumpy granola : This is my current favorite granola recipe. Easy peasy, no fuss, and delicious.
Peanut butter granola: This was a favorite growing up and it's still delicious. For the record, the last time I made it I felt I wanted it a little more "peanut buttery", so next time I make it I'll only use 4 cups of oats instead of the 5.

Now get to crafting (or cooking) and tell us how it all turned out for you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I'm just popping in real quick. I am trying to get ready for the baby blessing tomorrow, but I wanted to let you all know that you have admin rights so you can help maintain the blog if so desired. Celia and I both have a text box on the side with a little info about our crafting selfs. And Celia added the nice throwback picture (love it!). Feel free to add a bit about yourself if you want.

what do you think of our craft room?

Lisa, I took the picture I had of the sewing machine and opened it in Adobe Photoshop and painted it black and white and paint-bucketed the fence behind it. Celia tweeked it so it will fit in the box and added the nice lettering. Then I just "painted" the thread. I hope this will be a craft room each of you enjoy visiting, so if there is something that you dislike about it or want to change we can do that.

Also, since we all have different interests I was thinking that each month we can come up with ideas in three different areas. One could be a seasonal craft. We can post links and ideas of crafts that we would like to do that season. It could be decorations for our homes or a craft to do with the kids or whatever. Second a craft for ourselves/homes. And third a craft idea for the kids. That way we can all pick and choose and share ideas within those realms. Also, we can post anything else craft related we do that month even if it doesn't fit into one of the categories. I just made a couple of skirts this week that I will post when I get a few minutes. What say ye?

I will start with a few seasonal related projects that I hope to do this month.

felt heart garland

valentines fabric flower wreath (from my very talented sister in law)

Also Lisa, for the card table play houses, my sister in law also did a tutorial for that and here is a felt play house done by Homemade by Jill.

Any ideas for a craft for ourselves or for the kids this month?

(Or if you think that idea is lame, I promise I won't cry myself to sleep)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Lisa's input

Maren, I love the header - very cute! Its the shadow of the toy machine you got for Bella - how did you do that?

Mdawg, I definitely appreciated your post :) I bet you'll be able to teach your girl to sew buttons herself pretty soon!

So, instead of sending another email I decided to post things here. Sorry I don't have links for all of the ideas. I really should go do laundry instead of searching internet right now!

These are things I've been wanting to make:

Cloth baby toys (I have a friend that made these for her little girl)

chore magnets (pictures of chores to do for me and kids)

boy dress-ups (cowboy, prince, animals, etc...)

girl hair barrettes

more felt food

table runner

I also like these projects from your list (I've been wanting to make these too):

Montessori works

greeting cards


bean bags


felt food

while looking at links I found this table cover, too which I've recently thought of making but hadnt found a picture yet, though I'll make mine simpler.

After making this list I'm realizing that I've been wanting to do lots of these things for a long time! I bookmark cute crafts all the time and am usually only motivated by making them as gifts or for my children. Realistically I probably wont be up for making much this year, so my ideas are not very weighty.

I've found that when I want to do something, if I have a place where I record it, it puts my mind at ease, even though I may not have time to do it for a long time, so it will be nice to have all these ideas in one place to look back at when I do have time!

Most of my free time is going to reading and I want to research a bunch about montessori. I'm not planning on sending Ruth to Kindergarten next year and I'd like to do some homeschool at home (based on montessori). I have made a lot of younger montessori works and have collected a lot of materials to make others, so of all the projects, this is probably the one I should focus on, though the others are so fun!

This is a very fun idea, Celia!

Does this count as a craft-worthy post?

What did the pants say to the funny sewing machine?

You leave me in stitches!

That is the extent of my sewing skills. I know I'm in trouble when a button falls off my daughter's shirt and she replies, "That's okay. We'll just take it to Grandma's." But, it is true that I would like to improve. So thank you, girls, for the motivation.

Welcome to Apartment 90!

A virtual craft room for a few very close (but distant) friends. Let's share our ideas and get started!