Tutorial: Gingerbread Man Ornament

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I am really excited about Christmas presents this year because I am going to make a lot of them myself. Since this is my plan, I am starting to make them this month. I really hope I can get them done in time!

Here is a tutorial on how to make your own cute gingerbread man ornament. I was inspired by the tutorial from my sparkle on how to make a matryoshka doll ornament. I made this last year. It was my first try at embroidery and I haven’t looked back!

Supplies:

wool felt (brown for body, pink for cheeks, vest color of your choice) I ordered mine here and highly recommed it

embroidery floss (white, pink, color to match vest)

thread (white)

seed beads (for eyes, buttons, I used white iridescent)

scissors

embroidery needle

sewing needle

stuffing

1.  Print out pattern. Or you can free hand draw if you have a gingerbread man shape you like. I actually used a cookie cutter!

If you want to print this picture, just click the image to open and then right click it. Save the image and you can resize it in paint to whatever size desired.

2.  Cut out pieces from felt. Cut two gingerbread men from the brown and two vest pieces from your vest color of choice.

3.  Stitch the vest pieces onto one of the gingerbread man pieces with a split stitch.

4.  Next add the beads to the vest for the buttons and to the face for the eyes. I used the sewing needle and some sewing thread for this part. The embroidery needle has too big of an eye to fit through the center of the seed beads I used.

5.  Now add the mouth with another couple of stitches of the split stitch.

6.  Next add the cheeks. I cut out very small circles from the pink felt. Attach with a running stitch.

7.  Now, attach the back of the gingerbread man with a blanket stitch. I used white floss because it looks like icing!

8. I added a loop with a large knot at the top of his head. I placed it as I was blanket stitching around the top and stitched through the knot I made. You can also glue it in with fabric glue as recommended by my sparkle.

9.  Continue to blanket stitch until you are about 1 inch from where you started. At this point, you can stuff him. I added just a little bit of stuffing and used the back-end of a crochet hook to stuff it in the arms and legs. You can also you a pencil, pen, or chopstick!

10. Finish off your blanket stitch!

11. Enjoy!

There are a multitude of shapes you can make into ornaments like this. Let your imagination run rampant!

Run: Wind (not like it, but into it)

Tags

, , , ,

What is it about wind?

Whenever I’m running and it’s even the least bit windy, it seems to blow in my face no matter what direction I run in. Do you notice this phenomenon?

This year I am committing to running at least 3 days a week, rain or shine, through the winter. Last year I got lazy and hardly ran during the winter at all. Then I paid for it when I started training for a half marathon and had some IT band problems. It took three months of PT, but I did end up running the half and even beat my time from the year before. That’s another story!

Today I did it! I went out in the rain, ran three miles, and feel much better for it. I never said I was going to run far…

What keeps me motivated? The thought of running on nice summer days without IT band issues! And a really nice rain proof jacket.

Dessert: Peanut Butter Popcorn

Tags

, , , , , , ,

What do you need on the day after Halloween? More candy? Ok!

This is one of my favorite recipes for dessert when I want something peanut buttery/chocolatey but don’t want to wait for cookies to bake. By no means did I invent this recipe. Just adapted one from food.com.

Necessities (well not really, feel free to add in whatever toppings you desire):

8 cups of plain popcorn

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 peanut butter (or other nut butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional:

1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more)

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

rainbow sprinkles

First cook your popcorn. I use a whirleypop. They are the best popcorn cookers around. Set aside.

Then, combine the corn syrup and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stirring frequently (not necessary to stir constantly, but don’t leave unattended!).

Once it’s bubbly, add in the peanut butter. At this point you should stir constantly so the peanut butter doesn’t burn. Once the mixture is smooth, turn off the heat.

Add the vanilla. Stir.

Pour over the popcorn. Stir to coat.

Add topping(s) of choice. Stir to combine. For my batch, I just added chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

Headband Tutorial

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

(Image by anthropologie.com LLC)

I love headbands right now. Maybe a bit too much. I wear one almost every day. But hey, who’s counting right?

I have a few headbands from Anthropologie that I have worn to death. The fit is so comfortable and easy that I just can’t stop buying them. I always thought that it would be easy to make, I just never tried. However, I recently bought a bunch of ribbon and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Inspiration has struck!

Here is how to make your own Anthropologie inspired headbands from ribbon or even fabric if you’d like.

Supplies:

16.5 inches of ribbon (or fabric)

16.5 inches of felt, trimmed to match the ribbon width.

2, 8 inch pieces of elastic cord

thread

seam ripper (if you’re like me)

Fray Check (seriously awesome stuff!)

Cut all of your ribbon and felt to size. You may have to sew two pieces of felt together. If you do, just press the seam open with your iron and line up the seam halfway between the two ends of the ribbon. This ensures that the seam will be in the middle of the headband and least likely to be visible.

Next, pin the ribbon and felt wrong sides together. Sew one side together as close to the edge as you can. If you pick a thread color similar enough to the ribbon, you won’t be able to see if you accidently don’t sew through the top. This happens to me when I try to sew very close to the edge. As long as you are sewing through both the felt and the ribbon most of the time it will work perfectly! Make sure to leave about 1/4″ unsewn at each end. Be sure to backstitch.

Now, sew down the other side.

Next, if you remembered to leave the ends unsewn, fold the ends of the ribbon and felt in and press. If you forgot like I did, just rip the seams out to about 1/4″ and fold.

Tuck about 1/2″ of both of the elastic cords through the open end of one side.

Sew through all layers at the ends. Sew about 1/8″ from edge. Repeat once or twice to make it sturdy.

See how unpretty my edge sewing is! But it doesn’t matter since it will be under my hair. Now, repeat the last few steps to tuck and sew the elastic onto the other side.

All you have to do now is add some Fray Check to the ends of your thread and trim. You’re all done!

Enjoy!

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

A few other projects from the year

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Here are a couple of things I made over the last year. I made another diaper bag for a friend. The only change I made to the original pattern was to quilt each piece. You can purchase the pattern here. Here is a link to my earlier diaper bag.

I plan on adding a zipper to the top of the next one I make.

I also made my friends a wedding quilt. I used the colors they chose for their ceremony. The quilt top was from a tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew called Pinwheels in the Park.

The back is my own design. I found a good example of a sunflower online and used a large plate to make the center circle template. I put together a patchwork of squares from the pinwheel scraps and cut out the circle from that. Then I drew one petal and used the same template for each other petal from various yellow fabric. I appliqued the flower to the background fabric. I ended up measuring the gray background a little short, so I added leftover yellow to the edges. Looks like I meant to do that!

Next I embroidered their names and wedding date on the bottom corner of the back. Finally I quilted the pieces together. I am so happy with how it turned out!

Okay, enough procrastinating for now…

Busy Year!

Tags

, , , , , ,

It’s been a long time since my last post. I started a new job at the hospital in town and finally said goodbye to my old job. The switch from 12 hour day shift to 8 hour evening shift has been quite the adjustment! I am finally getting into a routine and so now it’s time to get back to creating. Especially since the weather has turned cold and rainy here in the Pacific NW!

Here is a quick run down on what I’m currently working on!

Friendship bracelets. Tutorial here. It’s quick and easy. You can make them in just a few hours and they work really well for layering.

New fat quarters from Anna Maria Horner for Christmas presents.

And her new needlework book! I can’t wait to try some of the techniques. I’ve been meaning to try embroidering a lamp shade á la Anthropologie

Baby quilt, of course. I have to get it done! I love the green + blue.

And last but not least, I couldn’t go without another bag pattern or two….

Off to finish that quilt. Pictures to come!

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tags

, , , ,

I have been baking an enormous amount of cookies for Christmas gifts. Here is one of my favorite recipes.

Necessities:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp hot water

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups flour

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in the hot water and add to cream mixture along with the salt. Stir in the flour until mixed. Add in the chocolate chips and walnuts if you are using them. I generally don’t add walnuts, but I’m sure it is good with them!

 I use a large scoop to measure my cookies. It is an obscenely large pile of dough and unfortunately for my thighs, that is what I use.

Cook for 21 minutes if you are using large dough balls like mine. You may have to play with the timing a little bit. I have a gas oven at home. When I cooked these at my mom’s house with an electric oven, they cooked faster. A good way to tell if they are done is if the edges and the bottoms of the cookies are light brown when you lift them from the tray.

Enjoy! These are a great chewy chocolate chip cookie to give as a gift. Or if you are like me, to eat for yourself!

Easy Steak Dinner

Tags

, , , , , ,

This is one of my favorite and easiest dinners to make on the grill. My husband was working late so this is the plate I saved for him in the microwave!

You will need:

2 steaks (your choice of cut, I like tri tip or sirloin)

Marinade (I used McCormick’s Montreal Steak Marinade)

Olive oil

A couple big handfuls of Spinach

1 Red onion

1 Zucchini

1 box of Crimini Mushrooms

4 cloves of garlic

A bunch of fresh Basil

Salt & Pepper to taste

About 30 minutes!

Start by marinading the steak in your favorite marinade for about 30 min in the fridge. The marinade I used was 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp seasoning. You could just as easily use sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes if you don’t have any Montreal Seasoning on hand!

Start the grill. Heat to about 300 degrees or so. Or if you are visual like me and have a gas grill, put the burners on 3/4 high.

 Then, chop your onion, slice mushrooms and zucchini.

Next, heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in two saucepans over medium heat. While this is heating, you can start cooking the steak on the grill, about 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness. When the oil in each pans is hot, add the onion to one pan and saute for about 5-7 min, until transparent.

 Add the zucchini to the other pan and saute for about 2-3 min.

Then add the mushrooms and basil to the zucchini pan.

While this is going on, it’s probably about time to flip your steaks.

Now the onions are about ready for the spinach. Add a couple big handfuls. It looks like a lot but it will shrink down quite a bit as it steams.

Your spinach and onions should be almost ready. Top with salt and pepper.

Now that your zucchini and mushrooms are tender, top with pressed garlic cloves.

Only cook for 2 more minutes or so, garlic burns pretty fast.

A really important part about cooking at my house is the helpful dogs that pick up food that flies on the floor. This happens a lot. Bella knows when I’m cooking to stick close for floor goodies…

Once your steak has reached about 145-150 degrees F on a meat probe, or it feels firm when you flip it if you don’t have a probe, you can pull it off the grill. If the steaks you are cooking are the same size as mine, it should take 8-10 min to cook to med rare.

Looks good! I don’t like super rare steak, so I let mine rest under tin foil for a couple minutes while I served my veggies.

Garnish the mushrooms and zucchini with parmesan cheese if you like.

Dinner is Served! Or waiting for your husband when he finally gets home. Enjoy!

In quilting news, I have all of my big blocks cut out for the Sanctuary quilt. Now to cut all of that sashing…

Also I am going to work on a felt stuffed elephant today. We’ll see how that turns out!

Finished!

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Cold Fog

Last night I made the matryoshka doll ornament I talked about yesterday. She’s pretty cute. Definitely going to be using these for Christmas presents. (Pattern from my sparkle)

The final fabric for the diaper bag got here yesterday so I was able to finish the bag this morning!

I love it! (You can find the pattern at Watermelon Wishes Etsy Shop)

Next up, quilting and more quilting! I have way too much fabric right now. Amy Butler’s newest collection made it into the last order from Fabricworm. Oops.

Something Little and Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Tags

, , , , ,

Since I am still waiting for my new piece of fabric for the diaper bag, I decided to finish a little project I have been working on. It is from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches. I made the check book cover.

 

I used fabric from Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush and Lou Lou Thi Collections.

It only took a couple hours to make and turned out really cute!

Yesterday for dinner we had Chicken Pot Pie Soup. We are trying to eat less carbs because we are going to Hawaii for Christmas! I have been craving chicken pot pie (which I can’t have right now) and also soup (luckily I can have!), so this was the perfect solution! I used a recipe from Women’s Day Mag. Here’s How it went.

First chop up 2 carrots, 1 stalk of celery, 1 parsnip and the white and light green part of 1 leek.

 Meanwhile, melt one tbsp butter in a large pot.

Add the vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes.

Then add 1/4c flour. I used white whole wheat flour. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Then add 6 cups of chicken broth,

2tsp fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Bring this to a boil.

Then add 3 chicken breasts and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. If you want to have crust with the soup, now is the time to cook it. Open pastry and cut into 12 rectangles. Bake for about 12 minutes. I had to skip this step. Someday I will make this soup again with the pastry! It sounds so good. Also while the chicken is cooking, this is a good time to cut up 4oz of fresh green beans into 1 inch pieces.

When chicken is done, remove from broth and shred with a fork.

Add green beans and cook for 5 minutes.

Add shredded chicken back to soup. Remove from heat and top with puff pastry if using.

Enjoy!

Today I am working on a new project from my sparkle for Matryoshka Doll Ornaments. My sisters and I are going to make them over Thanksgiving when they come to visit. I want to do a trial run to see if we would need more supplies.

Also, yesterday I found a fat quarter quilt pattern from Fat Quarterly’s 2nd issue. It’s called the Sanctuary Quilt and it is a modern rectangle and triangle quilt that will feature the prints in large pieces. I am going to use the teal and coral fat quarter set I ordered from Fabricworm.

Well, I had better get to work!