Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fudge Truffles

They are just as good as they look!
I made fudge and, sadly, it didn't set up.  Since I had recently dipped marshmallows in chocolate, I thought about what the fudge would be like if I dipped it in chocolate, too.  It would be easier to pick up by hand in a hard outer chocolate shell.  I figured the outcome couldn't turn out too badly! We liked these so much that my mother is thinking of putting this recipe in her next cookbook!

I refrigerated the fudge so I could cut and separate the pieces onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet, and then froze them.  I used Ghirardelli double chocolate dipping squares and carefully dipped each one and put them onto another wax paper lined cookie sheet.  White chocolate might be something to try, too.

(If you need a recipe for fudge, here is one from the can label I used that works fine, called: Old Fashioned Western Family Fudge.  Type 'old fashioned fudge' in recipe search.  I didn't add the nuts, and I used margarine instead of butter.)

Man, these are a good idea to repeat!  Thank goodness for failed fudge!
Come visit my etsy shop to see my head jewelry and nursing shawls!

Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Make a Pillow Case Nightgown

What is the traditional present that everyone opens on Christmas Eve? Pajamas. Here is a tutorial on how to make a pillowcase nightgown from fabric, not a pillowcase, for your kids, grand kids, niece, or anyone! Use holiday fabric or just her favorite licensed design.

Materials needed for size 10-12 girls:
  • 1 yard 45"(or wider) or 1 1/2 yard 44" fabric for body
  • 8" of 45" or wider fabric for top edge
  • thread
  • 1 yard 1/2" wide elastic OR 1 1/2 yards ribbon.
This shape is so simple, adjusting to make larger or smaller sizes is very simple. Add/subtract 1/2" or so for each size larger or smaller, taking into account height.

Finished garment
measurements are:
8"armhole length

Fits a size 10/12 girl.
1)I found a piece of fabric that looked like it would fit my daughter well- make sure there is space for the body AND the arms to go through.
2)I cut a rectangle out of the folded fabric.
22 1/8"x33 5/8" you can round up or down.
(44 1/4"x 33 5/8" unfolded fabric measurement)
3)I found another fabric to add to the top as the casing for the elastic. You can use ribbon or cord, too. I put it next to the length of the first peice to match the length and folded edge next to folded edge and then cut it to allow for the width of the elastic with 'gathering space' x2 and then add 1/2" seam allowance.
(I only use 1/4" seam allowances- if you are not experienced in sewing I recommend you use the standard 5/8" s.a. Added up it would be 1 1/4" s.a. onto the width of the casing, not 1/2".)
My elastic is 1/2" wide. My casing is 2 1/4". I allowed a lot of gathering space.
4)Sew 'right sides together'.
5)Iron upwards toward casing.
6)Turn under raw edge of casing 1/4"if this is the size of s.a., or 5/8" if that is the s.a. you are working with. Stitch.
7)Mark your armhole length down the sides. Fold your s.a. around armhole and iron. Stitch. Stitch side seam.
*On the folded side of gown, mark the line to cut down the side from the top. Fold over about 1/4" around armhole and use a wide sitch (zig-zag) to 'enclose' the raw edge.
I forgot to do this step BEFORE sewing the casing down. Boy, that was annoying!
8)Fold the casing in half and pin.
9)Stitch next to edge. (HINT: I use a wide decorative stretch stitch because it hides imperfections in stitching straight.)
10)Finish the bottom by folding it 1/4" and folding it one more 1/4" so it is rolled inside its self. Pin if necessary or just stitch as you roll.
11)Use a safety pin to move the elastic or ribbon through the front and back casing. You may want to put 2 ribbons through so you can tie them at the shoulders to look cute, but my experience is that they quickly come untied.
12)Keep the elastic 'too long' until you fit it. Add length to overlap elastic and cut. Add cute decorations, flower shapes, pockets, anything you want- just make sure it's still comfortable to sleep in!

Here is another great tutorial on how to make an 'Elf Cape'. It uses simple shapes. It fits 4t to size 10 girls. Imagine using green knit and faux fur edging around the hood... Perfect for your little elf!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Folk Doll Craft

Here is a project I did a while ago. Little folk dancers made from fabric scraps, lace, cord, and a little hot glue to secure the arms inside.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quilt Pattern Puzzle for Kids

Recently a friend asked me if I would make some quilt shapes with felt on the back to be part of an exhibit at the Children's Museum of Houston.  The exhibit is called "Cum Yah Gullah" and began earlier this year.  My kids really LOVE going to this museum!

So, after making the shapes, and put them together in a few designs and thought they could make a really good activity for kids to learn shapes and puzzle-making skills.

Here is how I made them:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Homemade Christmas Snowglobe

Clearanced Ornaments and Clear glitter
Here are some easy crafts I made with inexpensive materials.  This is easy for kids and definitely fun to make and look at.  In the Winter Scene Jar, the snowman was a miniature I found on clearance at Michael's.  The tree was a miniature on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  The snow is made of clear glitter.  You will want to use glue or sticky tack to keep them down.
Dollar Store Shells and Craft Sand
The Summer Beach Scene is made of shells I bought from Dollar Tree, and the sand I bought a long time ago from Hobby Lobby.  It would definitely be more personal and cheaper to have found the shells and sand from a beach that I visited.
Candle Jar from a Thrift Store
And where did I get these candle jars?  They were at Salvation Army for a good price.  Craft stores probably have plenty of options similar to these.

Etsy Shop

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Klebfest Craft Show in the Spring/Klein area

Kleb Intermediate School, Klein ISD

7425 Louetta Rd., Spring, TX, 77379

Saturday, December 1, 2012
10:00-4:00 pm

There will be inflatables, food (Chick-fil-a, frito pies, cotton candy, and more), photos with Santa, cake walk, and lots more fun!

I'm doing my second craft show ever this Saturday.  If you live in the area (Spring/Klein) northwest of Houston, Texas, and you like the stuff that I make, I recommend you come because I am selling them for a lot lower than I would on!  People haven't been going to the area craft fairs as much, and I think it's because of the economy.  So, I've reduced my prices a lot (just for the fair.)  Plus, not everyone is in the market for head jewelry.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simple Half Circle Skirt for Children

New Skirts
Simple Brown Skirt

A few months ago I did a tutorial on how to make a simple brown skirt.  I used the same method to make a couple more skirts for one of my daughters.  I did try something new- putting a 'bustle' type piece in the back.  I don't think I'll do it again with the same type of fabric, but it was a good learning experience.  Here are a few pictures of the process, but if you want more details on how to make it, please see my original tutorial on this blog here.

Brown skirt's method of measuring

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Best Homemade Pie Crust for Thanksgiving Easy

Here is the recipe for a pie crust that is the best I've ever had. Whenever I've made this and have seen people leave the crust as habit I feel that I have just experienced cooking blasphemy. This crust is light and flaky- not hard or crumbly!

The crust of the pie is half of the reason I even EAT the pie! Here is the link and website to the recipe shown below. (**By the way, you have to use Crisco brand shortening for it to work the best.) I would also recommend the Apple Pie recipe that I have- but first I need to find it. It is also the best apple pie I have ever tasted. It has lemon juice and fresh apples in it! Mmmm....

From PANTRY COOKING by Cheryl Driggs

1 cup flour
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water

Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until it is the size of small peas or smaller. With a fork, stir in the water 1 tablespoon at a time until well mixed. Using hands, gently squeeze the pastry together until it adheres in a ball. Flatten the ball on a sheet of waxed paper. Cover it with a second sheet of waxed paper and roll it out to the desired size. Peel off the top paper and turn the pastry and the bottom sheet of waxed paper over into a pie plate. Carefully peel off the paper. Push the pastry gently to fit in the pie plate. Trim edges to 1/2-inch from the pie plate edge and fold the pastry under so that the fold is flush with the pie plate edge. Crimp or flute edges. Fill and bake according to the pie recipe, or prick the bottom and sides with a fork and bake at 425o for 8 to 10 minutes. For a two-crust pie, double the recipe. Trim the bottom pastry to the plate edge. Trim the top pastry to 1/2-inch from the edge and fold it under the edge of the bottom pastry. Crimp or flute edges.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Handkerchief Shirt to a Princess Dress

I made another shirt from a pattern that my daughter really liked.  I posted it and a photo of the pattern before here.  I altered the pattern by simply adding length to turn it into a bright pink princess dress for my younger daughter.  It's a very easy pattern if you have experience sewing.  The skirt is a full circle, perfect for twirling!  I originally bought the purple and yellow patterned fabric for nursing shawls, but it was also perfect for a shirt in hot summer weather.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gypsy Wedding Jewelry

 I made a variation of one of my head pieces and wanted to share (I think its one of my prettier ones).    The new one is the one with the pearls.  The first one I made is the one with the coins.  If you would like this one, you can find it here.
Idealeon etsy shop

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ballerina Sock Monkey

My daughter was given a home made sock monkey at church (a reverent monkey that folds its arms.)  It was looking kind of naked to me the other day, so I decided to make a skirt and shirt for it.  It consists of gathered rectangles and elastic- super duper simple.  She pays more attention to the monkey now!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Tissue Paper Flowers Tutorial

My mom lived in San Antonio when she was younger.  In school, they would make tissue paper flowers for the Mexican/Texas culture.  They would actually use a box of facial tissues.  You can use gift tissue and pipe cleaners.  They are very easy and inexpensive.  We used this craft for a non-messy and cheap and satisfying craft for Valentine's Day Party for my child's school class.

Cut the tissue sheets in 4 or 8 sections, depending on how large you want your flowers.
Stack at least 8 sheets of paper.  
Start on the short side and fold them back and forth like a paper fan.

Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center and twist tight like a bread bag twisty.
'Fan' out the paper and carefully pull each layer upwards close to the center pipe cleaner.

Make sure you do the layer on both sides before doing the next layer.

Do this all the way until the last layer, being careful not to rip them.

You can make all sorts of beautiful color combinations.  Have fun!