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