Monday, June 30, 2008

Easy Flannel Baby Blanket

This is a great project for beginners and the finished blankets are PERFECT for babies...just the right weight, soft, and bigger than the flannel swaddlers from the store so baby stays swaddled up tight. They are the blankets I use most for my babies!

To make your own double-sided flannel baby blanket, you need one yard of flannel for the top, 1 yard of flannel for the bottom, and a spool of coordinating thread. Cut the two pieces of flannel so they are equal sizes and straight/squared up on all sides.


With right sides together, sew all the way around the edges, leaving about a 5 inch hole for turning it right side out.

Flip the fabric right side out, push the corners out until they are square, then press the edges smooth and flat using an iron. Don't skip this step! Trust me---if I say you should iron something, it's a necessity because I hate ironing! Using a decorative stitch, sew all the way around the outside of the quilt. This should seal the hole used to turn the quilt right side out. Now stand back and admire your handiwork! You're all done!



If you really want to impress your friends, try the self-bound flannel baby blanket. It looks so fancy, but it's not much harder to make!


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Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Thrifty Mama's Guidebook

If you're a thrifty kind of person, may I suggest reading The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. I found a copy hidden in a far corner of my parent's study. I am sure it was a present from my well-meaning but slightly nutty (and award-winning "weird" gift-giving) Granny. But what else is a girl going to do while keeping an eye on my kiddo during a 1 hour bath? So I started reading. Wow. This book is the third in a series, and now I want to get my hands on the others. Amy shares SO many amazing tips on a huge variety of subjects. I'll share just one of her brilliant ideas with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chocolate Lava Cakes

When I got married, I received a strange set of ceramic dish thingeys from a great aunt. I had no idea what they were until my mom saw them and said, "You got ramekins? I am so jealous!" After learning their intended use, I have come to love my ramekins! I especially love making this recipe for molten lava cakes. YUM! It is a really impressive dessert that is really simple to make and will satisfy even the most addicted chocoholic. If you aren't lucky enough to own ramekins, you can use 8 jumbo or 12 regular muffin cups lined with paper liners.
INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter
8 ounces chocolate chips
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons flour
6-8 ramekins

Garnish:
1 6 oz container fresh raspberries rolled in sugar right before serving

DIRECTIONS
Place butter and chocolate in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and repeat for 15 second intervals until chocolate is fully melted. Be careful not to overheat or the chocolate will seize and you will have to throw it out and start over. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour until just combined.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Place them on a cookie sheet in the middle rack of the oven.

Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes.

Now for the tricky part. Wait about 5 minutes for the cakes to cool. Use a butter knife to loosen around the edges. Invert a plate over the ramekin and turn the whole thing over. Hopefully the cake will come out without breaking. If not, at least it will still taste good. If you aren't feeling up to trying to invert it, just serve them in the ramekins.

Top each with sugared raspberries and serve immediately. This would also be great with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Photo from allrecipes.com

Baby Shoes

My project for today...these adorable little "Robeez" style shoes for baby brother. I am so excited with how they turned out. I made shoes. How cool is that?! I think my husband was seriously doubting my ability, so it's always nice to prove him wrong. haha. I used the online tutorial at http://stardustshoes.blogspot.com and then added my own flair to give them the look of a tennis shoe. I have no idea what size they are and I wasn't sure how tight to pull the elastic, but once little brother is here, it will be easy enough to make them fit right. I will definitely be making more...and probably stock piling a few to give as baby shower gifts. Yay!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Magnetic Quiet Book






Here's a project I "completed" a few months ago...I am still adding to it and changing things, so I guess it will never be done, but you know what I mean. I made this quiet book for my daughter to take to church. Some of the pages are religious, some aren't. Some ideas are original, some aren't. This is a huge mesh of stuff from friends, the internet and my very own imagination. Each page is made of cardstock that was painted with magnetic paint, then laminated. All the pieces have little magnets stuck to the back. And these are only a few of the pages.

More magnetic quiet book pages here and here.

Post on magnetic paint here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Little Bag

Lately I've seen so many adorable bags/purses on Etsy and different websites that I just had to make one myself. I found these cotton fabrics in my mom's fabric stash (thanks mom!) and knew they would be so cute paired with red. I think this may be my favorite color combination on the planet (until tomorrow when I like something else...haha). The fabric was pretty flimsy by itself, so I used Pellon to give the bag some structure. It is lined and even includes an inner pocket to hold my car keys. This was so fun to make and let me tell you, it's very addicting. Now that this one is finished, I want to make more!

I LOVE Yard Sales!

Summer is here...it is officially garage sale season! Can I just say I am so excited?! It's like treasure hunting. I've had great success buying clothes for big sister and baby brother. I guarantee you won't find a cheaper way to buy kids clothes. And as long as you are selective, you can get CUTE, stylish things in good condition. So, for those of you who are new to this, here's how I do it:

1. On Friday night, check the local newspaper, Craigslist, and any local online bulletin boards that advertise garage sales. Write down all the addresses and a brief description (like if they mention they have a specific item you are interested in or if it's a really large sale).

2. Get on Mapquest and hunt down the addresses. Either print out a map and make dots for each location or just write down basic directions (I live in a podunk town, so it's easy to find addresses).

3. Make a "route" so you hit all the sales in one part of town before moving to the next. Trust me, this step is important. It will save you time and gas money. You may also want to consider which sales you want to stop at most and put them at the beginning of your route.

4. Make sure you have cash...preferably lots of $1 bills and quarters.

5. Get up early on Saturday and hit the trail! With garage sales, the early bird gets Baby Gap and the lazy bird gets poop-stained onesies.

One more thing. Some people may say they don't have time for garage sales. It takes me about an hour on Friday to collect addresses and make my route and then about 1 1/2 hours on Saturday morning. That's NOT a lot of time, especially considering that if I stayed home, I would probably still be in my pj's at 10:00 on a Saturday. :)

Here is what I got last Saturday:
All of it cost a whopping $5. Yep. $5 for 5 shirts, one romper, one adorable zip-up fleece, a white sunday shirt+tie, tiny sneakers, overalls, and 4 pairs of pants. And almost all of it is Gap or Old Navy. Yay!

I also bought a crib mattress for $2, which I am going to use for big sister's bed when little brother takes over the crib. I was shocked when the lady said she would only charge me $2 for the mattress...most I have seen are $15-30!! And it's clean with no rips/problems. Major score.

And just so you know these results are not just a fluke, here's what I got today:

8 shirts, 4 pants, and 9 sleepers for $7.
So how much money did that save me? Well, I figure if I bought all this stuff new (and I'm just guessing on prices, but I'll guess on the low side), it would be around $120 for the stuff I got today and another $120 for the stuff from last Saturday. Even if I bought all these clothes second hand from a thrift or consignment store, my guess is that it still would have cost me at least $65.

To sum it all up:
New: $240
Thrift Store: $65
Yard Sales: $12
Let's just say I'm one happy thrifty mama!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Circle of Friends

This page was fun to do. It's another design team assignment for I Am A Scrapaholic www.iamascrapaholic.com. Most everything is from their June kit. I absolutely LOVE the bird/circle rub-on from Bo Bunny! If you look closely (click on the picture to see it larger) at the snowflake in the center of the flower, I covered it with Diamond Glaze and micro beads. It's so sparkley and pretty in real life! I have to say, Diamond Glaze is one of my new favorite products. It came in the June Kit and has been really fun to play with.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June Guest Designer at I Am A Scrapaholic

Hello friends! I'm really excited to say that I will be guest designing at http://www.iamascrapaholic.com/ for the month of June. They sell fantastic monthly kits full of awesome supplies and my job is to show off all the fun stuff you can do with the kit. This is the first page I've made for them. The package came in the mail this morning and I just couldn't wait to get my hands on all the gorgeous stuff. If you want to see more, go to their webpage and browse the gallery.
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