Sunday, February 28, 2010

Make an apron from a bed ruffle

So my favorite sewing projects consist of a couple things.  Sewing with something that is re-purposed, and something that takes less than 30 minutes.  I found a cute bed ruffle at the thrift store when I was pregnant with the baby and was going to make curtains out of them but I made some out of pillow cases instead (I will post on that project later...they turned out pretty cute!).  Well the nice thing about bed ruffles are they are already "ruffled" which I don't know how to do and am slightly scared to do anyways.  I love to cook and wanted to make an apron for my daughter for when she gets older.  I posted direcitons on how to do this but I will preface this by saying I am not an expert at sewing!  I am not sure how easy to follow this will be so if you have any questions just comment and I will try and answer them :)

Isn't it cute!  It turned out a bit bigger then I wanted but I still have almost the whole bed ruffle left.  I could probably make her aprons in enough sized to last her her whole life.

I used this little girl's apron I found at the thrift store as a template (I got this for .75!!).  As you can see I just laid it flat on the ruffle and then marked each side of the apron.

You can't see the mark to well but you probably get the idea.

Not the best picture but what I did here was I measured the ribbon I wanted to use to tie in the back.  This was 1 1/2 inches so I measured 3 1/2 from the top of the ruffle.  I also measured a half inch from the first mark I made.  I did this on the other side as well.  I made marks along the top of the 3 1/2 inch mark so I could cut straight.  Then I cut up the sides. 

Fold over, iron, and hem.

Do the same to the top.

Lay the ribbon down...

fold over the fabic...

and sew from the stop of the ribbon's side to the top of the ruffle as shown above.  If you want to be sure you get the ribbon in there you can pin it.  I prefer to do things the lazy way!  Hehe...  You can then sew the top of the top hem along the top of the ruffle to make sure this stays closed.  I did not.  Once again...I like the lazy way!

And here it is again!  Next I want to try a skirt and then maybe a dress.  Oh the possibilities!  I hope I didn't make these instructions over complicated...please let me know if you have questions!

Apple sauce butter pancakes

So we have like a million jars of this "apple butter" I tried to make.  Ok maybe not a million but like 9.  Anywho I wanted to make it a bit chunkier and with less sugar then regular apple butter.  I really like how it turned out but I don't use a lot of apple butter so I still had 8 jars left.  One of my first jobs was in a little diner and the best thing they served were pancaked with apple pie filling dropped on top of them while they were cooking so the filling was in the pancake.  Good stuff!  I decided to use some of the chunky apple butter sauce stuff I made (like that title?).  They turned out really good so I wanted to post the recipe.  You could use applesauce or applebutter with the same results.  The recipe is as follows:

2c Flour
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1-1 1/4 c milk
1 c saucy type apple product
2 tbsps melted butter
2 tbsp vanilla extract
*optional add some cinnamon as much as you like

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and melted butter in sepperate bowl.  Mix in flour mixture.  Add saucy apple product and mix.  Cook like you would a pancake and enjoy!

Also we got these in the mail today...

You screw these on to almost any jug type product.  Milk jugs, pop bottles, juice containers etc.  We got them from the Bountiful Gardens.  We got two so that if we can try a giveaway here soon.  :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sewing your own kids clothes and an easy to make kids hat!

Sewing has been the one craft I really had a hard time with until recently.  I think the thing I got stuck on was patterns.  They frustrate me soooo much!  I am talking about the one's you buy at JoAnn's.  The sizing is never right, a lot of times the directions aren't written clearly, and there are hardly any pictures!  I am a visual person so I really like how to pictures.  Well I just love all the cool sewing blogs out there and the free patterns people put on them.  Usually they are full of pictures which is awesome!  I have been making a lot of clothes for the wee one and I just love how they are turning out!  The best is when you can make clothes out of something you already have.  I use old shirts, pants, and bed sheets to make all sorts of stuff.  I found a new blog today called Confessions of a Sewing Dork.  I was so excited to find another self proclaimed dork!  She has great patterns too.

Aren't they awesome!!  I used this pattern to make them.  What a great way to re-purpose old wool sweaters!

I really like these ones.


I also made this hat out of an old shirt.  I just did my own thing on this one.  Is it possible to die of cuteness overload because I think I might!!! 

Oh my gosh stop it it's too cute!  She looks like she should be in the next showing of Fiddler on the Roof. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Re-purposing stuff and starting our plants!

I have a big problem throwing things out but sometimes there are things you just can't use for anything...or can you? 

When we bought our house all the windows all had mini blinds on them.  I just can't stand these things but we had them and a small part of me was glad we didn't have to buy window treatments.  Well one of the things I dislike about these things is that they break so easily.  I was getting ready to throw it out when I thought of this idea!

Plant markers!  Yay!  We needed something that we could use to label our seedlings.

This is the shelf that we bought for our plants.  John hung some lights from hooks and is going to get some chain so we can adjust the level of the lights.

We are reusing our containers from last year so I soaked them in bleach water to kill all the yuck from last year.  We plan on starting more on our own this year and eventually doing it all on our own.  Some things we just don't have the room to start here.

It's not a job well done in less you make a big ol' mess!  We started our broccoli raab, kale, and I did a couple of swiss chard just to see if it will do ok.

Oooooh I can't wait for fresh veggies!


One of my most favorite hobbies is thrifting (or treasure hunting as I prefer to call it).  I think that thrift stores are an amazing way to save money and to recycle and reuse wonderful stuff!  I just wanted to share some of the awesome things I have found over the past couple of months...

I found these two today.  The box is an old bridge game.  Well duplicate bridge whatever that is.  It looks like it has never been played with...and it probably never will.  I just thought the box was so cool!

Awww how cute!  The good old days...

Who would get rid of this?!

That is the icing on the cake isn't it?  I just loooove the look of that label.  I'm not even going to tell you what I paid for this...ok yes I am!  2 bucks!  The only bad thing about this case is it has a very distinct old lady perfume smell. (No offense to old lady perfume...I love me some Chanel # 5)

I have no idea what this is but I couldn't pass it up!  Maybe an isulator cap?

Can you say Industrial Chic?  Apparently people actually collect these metal staplers and this one is pretty rare. 

Groovy huh?

I believe these are rather Cottage Chic.  Hehe!

So yes I love my little collection of treasures!  As you can see my pictures aren't the best...anyone know of a decent $300 ish camera?

Monday, February 22, 2010

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Fruit and Veggie Wash

I have been looking for a better way to clean my produce lately.  Since we have to buy a lot of our produce from the store in the winter it is really important to get them as clean as possible.  I remember my grandma cleaning her produce with vinegar and when I did a little research I found this page which claims that if you spray hydrogen peroxide (the household kind, it will say 3% on the back) and then vinegar it is ten times more effective than vinegar by itself.  I just want to say that you should never mix these two in the same bottle as it is very dangerouse.  I bought two new spray bottles to keep these in so I can have them out to use when I need them.  Just spray one then the other and rinse under water.

Making our own cleaners has been a big step for us.  They are usually safer, cheaper, and use less packaging. 

A confession....

So I believe that part of the beauty of blogging is you can really focus on the part of yourself you like most.  Only write about that part.  Well although I am tempted to hide it Ijust can't lie.  I am a big, huge, dork.  Hehe.  I got a free counter for the blog a few days ago and I check it waaaay too much.  Well this morning, following the usual routine I sat down with my cup of coffee and checked the blog counter.  Yesterday it was at 43 so I am hoping maybe 45 today?  Wait...117?!  Woohoo!  Someone likes us!  As I scrolled back up the blog I noticed a comment.  Woohoo!  Our first comment!  Even better it turns out to be the talented Kimara from Wee Folk Art.  Wow it's like a celebrity too!  No seriously the stuff at there site is super cute stuff!  I like to fancy myself as a crafter although I mostly just follow the tutorials of talented peeps like these ladies over there.  This reminded me that I found a great fabric in my stash to make there super easy rip and tear napkins.  I got it for a dollar a yard!  It is that really soft fabric you find in the quilting section.  I still have no idea how it will wash.  I would like to have used some plain old cotton fabric but the only pattern I have is a kid's pirate pattern.  I know my son would like it but I wanted something a bit nicer.  Hehe.  The last ones I made were from a linen fabric that was really hard to tear.  I got red in the face trying to do it.  I probably could have some decent biceps if I had made a few more! 

Also me and hubby were at the mall and I saw these really cute flowers in the window of Anthropologie.  On closer inspection I realized they were made of pop bottles!  How cool is that?!  Well we don't generally drink pop here but my dad came over and brought some 20 oz. bottles with him so I thought maybe I could try it?  I think it turned out well.  Here is what I did...

I Cut the top off of the bottle.  I found a serrated knife worked best.  Obviously be careful!  This is not a good craft for kids as you end up with a very pointy finished project.

Peel off label.  Here are some idea's on how to get the glue part off. (I wouldn't suggest using the light fluid idea...especially if you have any kind of open flame in the house!)

I used the rigdes at the bottom as a guide to cut line from the top cut end to the bottom end all the way around.  I then folded each flap down and held it with a clothes pin. 

Get the clothes pin on really good as I had a few fly off. Do this all the way around and keep them like this for a couple of minutes to ensure they stay like this once removed.

I then cut the petals.  I made mine pointed as you can see but you can cut them rounded or any other way you want.  I them folded it down in the middle and held each one with a clothes pin.  Do this all the way around.

Here is the finished product!  Kind of cute huh?  Anthropologie had  bunch of these in groups in different colors, sizes, and shaped.  It looked really great.  I think this would be wonderful at a baby shower or wedding for the super eco peeps out there!

I also think that I might leave a note for hubby to drill a hole in the bottom of this so I can try putting a christmas light though it.  I can just see his face when he reads that note!  The thought of it makes me laugh till I have tears in my eyes!  I' m not the only one out there whose husband just doesn't get some of the things she does am I? 

P.S.  I would like to make a pattern for my produce bags.  It is pretty simple and I am hoping people would enjoy making these. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seed germination

One of the things we tried last year for the first time was saving seeds.  We had seeds left from the ones we bought last year.  I have read that seeds lose germination rate as they get older so before I waste time and space planting them.  This seems like a really easy way to test them.

Just put your seeds in between a paper towel and wet it.  Put it in a jar, seal it and put it somewhere warm.  Hopefully in a couple days they will start sprouting!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Sometime I have an idea and it is just soooo cool I think no one else can possibly have thought of this right?!  Well in the last post I had talked about re-usable produce bags.  I did not want to buy them but I was sure I had something around the house that would work.  Well I was saving my old onion/orange bags to crochet some dish scrubbies out of and I decided to use those for my produce bags...

I crocheted a drawsting on the top of the bag to keep it closed.  I think this is soooo cool!  I googled it to see if anyone else had thought of this and I found one page where a lady crocheted some handles on a bag but I really like the drawstrings.  They keep the produce in.

Also I made some cloth napkins.  This is something I have wanted to do for awhile.  I had some of my great-grandmothers, some I found at thrift stores, and then I made a couple.  I used the rip napkins pattern I found on Wee Folk Art but it didn't work so great for this fabric.  Since I got so much of it I am going to try and figure something else that works out better.  Hopefully I can post on that later this week.

If you don't like to make things yourself the thrift store is a great place to find napkins.  I got the ones on the top left for .25 each with 75% off so I paid about 6 cents each!  Not only are these way less wasteful then paper napkins they are a money saver too!  Always a plus!