Projects on My Plate

  • Veda's Birthday Party
  • Sienna's Birthday Party
  • Sienna's Pencil Skirt
  • Pencil Skirt
  • Wardrobe re-do
  • Floral Skirt for Mommy
  • Breck's Bedding
  • Sienna and Veda's Bedding
  • Apron

Monday, November 15, 2010


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Costumes 2010

Sorry I'm such a slacker. This month is definitely a busy one for us, and there have been a few new circumstances thrown into the mix. Not bad, just busier. I had intended on writing up tutorials for Halloween costumes before Halloween, not to mention a few Halloween decor items I had worked on. They'll have to wait until next year.

But for now, I will show you the costumes I made for our kids.

The first, Sienna's, I was really on top of and finished really early. It was actually really easy, which is why I wanted to post a tutorial on it. I'll write one up, and post it in time for costume planning next year! Sienna went as Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. I had wanted to have the kids go as Beauty and the Beast, but I knew Breck would NOT be excited about a Beast costume, and is definitely old enough to care if he got to be what he wanted to be.

Which Brings me to Breck's. I decided to let him be Thomas the Train. That's his absolute favorite character, so I knew it wouldn't be hard to get him to wear his costume (remembering last year's experience). It was fun to do, and he loved it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Table Runner

Okay, I have to apologize ahead of time for the poor quality of the pictures. I was just trying to get done with the project really quick, and thus was not paying attention to the quality of pictures. Lesson learned. I promise I will do better.

Moving on. This is all part of my Black and Silver Halloween decor, and worked out well, because I needed something to give the table a little spooky holiday cheer. The runner itself did not turn out as spooky as I had imagined, which I will touch on a little more later, but I still like it.

For this project, you will need:

About 1/2 yard of fabric of choice
Tulle (I cut 6 strips off of a 45" wide piece of tulle)
Ribbon (one spool will suffice)
Sewing machine/needle/thread

Step 1:
 Cut out 2 equal pieces of fabric, however big you want them. Mine were about 7-8 inches by about 24 inches.

 Step 2:
Put your two pieces one on top of the other, then fold in half, hamburger style...

...then fold in half again so that the top and bottom edges in the picture above meet up (like you would fold up a piece of paper into quarters).

(Please don't mind the crushed goldfish on the ground, we had an incident, and I forgot a few pieces)

Step 3:
This could be a little tricky, but just cut a rounded edge from the ong edge to the opposite side top corner. See picture below.

Unfold them to reveal 2 nice, even squovals! You may need to do a little trimming to even everything out a little, but not much.

Step 4:
Put the right sides together, and sew together, leaving a space to pull it out of, of course.

Step 5:
Notch the edges that are curved to make it easier and lay nicer when you Pull it inside out.
Step 6:
Turn inside out to reveal right sides.Tuck in patch you left unsewn, and sew over top about1/4 inch from edge. Continue sewing around the entire runner.

This one's a little tricky to see, but if you look super close, you can see that this has been sewn all around the edge.

Step 7:
Cut your strips of tulle. Again I was cutting along the 45" wide section of the material, and I cut them about 2-3 inches wide. I used about 6 strips.

Step 8:
Working about an inch from the edge, sew the tulle down by gathering it with your fingers as it travels under the foot of the sewing machine. Your fingers will decided how much gathering is done! Be careful!

Step 9:
Once finished with the tulle border, take your ribbon and do a similar thing as you did with the tulle to gather/pleat it except pleat it less often and make it jagged so it looks irregular. Again, your hands are the ones feeding it through pleated/gathered.

And you're done! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flashback: Halloween Costumes 2009

I am having major issues trying to get myself together enough to figure out what my kids will be for Halloween. I decided I wouldn't worry myself with coming up with costumes, and just ask my kids this year what they wanted to be, but from Breck only got the response of "Macca" (his name for my dad), and Sienna has only told me she wants to wear pants. My ability to get costumes together for them usually banks on the fact that I've thought about it all year long; what they'll be, how to execute the plan, and how cheap to get materials.

Well, as I'm now left to think (and quickly) about what my kids will be for halloween, I will post their costumes from last year, in case you missed them, and in case it sparks a last minute idea for you!

(excerpt taken from Halloween 2009 post)

Breck went this year as the Mad Hatter. It was a fun costume to put together. Here's what I did:

What I used:

Foam hat from JoAnn's, Michael's has them too
White Feather Boa
1 yard Crazy fabric
Boy's White Shirt
Boy's Vest
Boy's Pants
Boy's Wing-tip shoes
One of my old button-down shirts
3x5 card

For the hat, I made a band to go around it, using the fabric. I hemmed the edges, then pleated it, and hot-glued it to the hat. I took the feather boa and hot-glued it to the end of the hat leaving a little space in the front open. On the back of a 3x5 card, I wrote 10/6 which is what the Mad Hatter has on his hat. It's an old-fashioned price tag.

I made the bow tie by cutting two 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 rectangles and sewing them together, wrong sides out, but leaving a little space so that I could turn it right side out. Stitch up the hole once this is done. I ironed it flat, then sewed a little band around it to gather it in the middle. I then sewed a longer band, and attached it to the bow tie. Then you put velcro on the tips of the band.

The Jacket was an old shirt of mine, that I took in the sides, and cut up the length in front to look like a "tailed" jacket. It was of course, complete with tails in the back. I trimmed the edge of the collar, to give it a more jacket look than a shirt, and ironed it down, to give the jacket collar effect as well. I put a faux pucket and kerchiff on the front too.

The rest of it was just his normal dress clothes, though I put the shirt collar up, and ironed the tips down to look more like a mid-1800's collar.

Sienna's costume was fun.

Here's what I used:

1/2 yard white fabric
Blue Dollar Store onesy
Blue Tulle
White Stockings
Black Mary Janes
Black ribbon

The Apron was the main thing that I made for this. I didn't use a pattern, I just looked at the picture of Alice from the Disney movie. I couldn't find an apron for a little girl like that, so I just took measurements of Sienna and where I wanted everything to hit, and it was actually pretty easy!

The skirt was a tutu, so check out my tutu post from last Christmas to see how to make those. I'm pretty sure most people know how to make those by now though, so you probably don't even need to get instructions.
Then I put black ribbon in her hair, put on her stockings, onesy and shoes, and she was ready to go!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Branches

These are pretty self explanitory. Just a fun, cheap, and easy idea that I thought would add to my "black" halloween decor. I had to wait until night time to get these branches, because we live in an apartment complex, and I didn't want management to see me cutting down the branches of one of the trees.

Once I cut them, I painted them with black acryllic paint, and lightly brushed them with silver over the top. I'm not sure that I would recommend these to be put away in storage for a year though after Halloween is over. It seems like they would break easily. It may just be something I do every year, unless anyone out there knows how to store branches!

Here they are with my Halloween Pumkins.

And here's a close-up so you can see how I painted them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Potato Pancakes

Last Sunday I was really craving some Brinner, but didn't quite feel like just the average pancakes or scrambled eggs, or omelets, etc. One of my favorite places to go on a Saturday morning, pre-student life, was the Old European Breakfast House. My mouth is watering thinking about it. We literally lived less than a quarter of a mile from this magnificent place, so it became quite the Saturday morning tradition for us before we moved to Moscow.

I would always get the Scandinavian Cake Plate, the most mouth watering plate of any cake-like thing for breakfast you can think of. Among these cakes were potato pancakes. As I remembered this last Sunday, I realized what kind of brinner I was looking for. Some good ole deep fried potato pancakes!

I looked for a good recipe, and finally tweaked one for myself. The result??? Let's just say I'll probably be making these way more than I'll be willing to admit.

If you'd like to try it out, and if you think these cakes would be up your alley, here's the recipe:

Potato Pancakes

2 potatos, washed and shredded
3 eggs, beaten
1-2 (to taste) tsp. dry chopped onions
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil of choice for frying

Optional extras:
Lemon juice
extra salt
Sour cream

Once your potatoes are washed and shredded, pat them dry with a clean rag, paper towel, or anything that will absorb the moisture really really well. Place dried off potatoes in a bowl and add next four ingredients. mix thoroughly.

Heat oil in a frying pan until it is hot. By large spoonful, drop potato mixture into the oil , and immediately flatten out, so it takes the shape of a pancake. Let it fry for a little until you start seeing the edges turn brownish. Flip over and let it get golden brown on the other side.

Take out of the pan and place on a paper towel (or two) to drain.

This part is optional, but oh so delectable:

While they are still hot, drizzle lemon juice on the top of them. Follow with buttering them like you would a pancake, then sprinkle with salt from a salt shaker after that. Then spread sour cream over the top as a "syrup".

I'm also pretty sure hollandaise sause would be amazing on these...but then again...what doesn't taste a thousand times better with Hollandaise???

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Apparel: Knit Strips Scarf

I've seen a lot of those scarves lately that are basically a bunch of strips of knit fabric bound up into one scarf/necklace. I thought they were really cute and I wanted one, but of course I didn't just want to buy one...I knew I could make it!

It's super easy...all you need is an old t-shirt you aren't wearing anymore!! (and of course altering supplies such as scissors, sewing machine and thread)

Here's my old t-shirt. It was in my highscool- "I'm-a-punk-rocker-and-like-all-black" phase.

I just cut off the top so I had the straight trunk of the shirt left.

From there I cut the strips. I cut them about 3/4 - 1 inch in width

And there they are.

I stretched them out a little at this point so the rolled into themselves a bit.

And there they are... again.

Now figure out how long you want them to hang down. Put them around your neck to see how far they go. decided how much of the length you want to take off, if any. If you do want to take some length off, then bunch them together, and make one big cut in a single line, then trim the ends to however long you decided you wanted them.

 Now you're ready to sew. Make sure that the ends are rolled up before you sew each one down. This ensures they stay rolled after they're sewn into place.

Sew them one at a time, one right after the other.

 Repeat for other side. This is what it looks like when you're finished with this part.

Now, with it laying flat, as pictured above, loosely roll it up a little on each sewn end, so it it looks like a tube, and matches the picture below.

Once you have a straight tube of sorts, take just one of the ends, and twist it once or twice, depending on how twisted you want it. See below. I twisted it once.

Join ends together now, keeping all your rolling and twisting in place in your hands until you reach the sewing machine. Sew the ends together.

Now all you need to do is to make a little covering to go over the ends that you sewed together. I just used a block of fabric from the sleeve of the same t-shirt. I didn't take pictures of me attaching the strip on, but just cut it as wide as you think you need it to cover up the ends, and sew it around the scarf. You can then hand stitch it in place so it doesn't travel down the scarf.

This is what it looks like attached.

And then you are finished! Here she is!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Apparel: Victorian Collar Scarf

This is another one of my "Fall apparel" Projects. Please don't ask me how I did it...I don't remember! Well, I'm half kidding, if you really want a tutorial on this, I will post one, I just didn't really pay attention to what I was doing as I was making it...I just sort of...did it! I can tell you though, that I used the shell stitch, and to get the ruffle, I did a scalloped-edge border, then 2 dc in every stitch on top of that. The lace is two pieces of lace gathered, and sewn to the scarf.

I love the ruffley look of the turn-of-the century Victorian period. Since scarves are really the thing right now, I wondered if making a Victorian collar of sorts would be cute. I was really pleased with the outcome, and it's really warm too, so it will keep me warm when it starts getting a little colder!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What To Do if Your 3 and 2 Year Old Make Your Walls Their Art Project

Does anyone else in the world feel like they are constantly looking up rememdies on the internet for how to remove stains, especially those involving permanent ink??? Or is everyone else really smart, and put everything potentially damaging in places toddlers can't reach? Please tell me I'm not the only one. Please say that you too have spent many a day searching the internet for remedies sharpies, permamnent ink, kool-aid, and paint.

If you are in fact anything like me, then you may find this post helpful. A few days ago, we had company over for dinner, and while the kids were "being so good" on their own upstairs (and evidently in the kitchen as well), we decided to play games. The sad part was, the entire kitchen was being destroyed right in front of us, and we didn't even notice. The kids decided to take a permanant marker (not a sharpie) and color on all of our cabinets, laminate flooring, carpet on the stairs, table, walls, oven, get it. When we finally did notice, the damage had been done both upstairs and down.

Here are some pictures of the upstairs, we had been working on the kitchen for a while when we took pics, so no pics of the kitchen.

Well, I used my trustee google yet again, and found some interesting remedies for permanent ink. What I found was that different things worked for different surfaces.

For the Cabinets, I used a Magic Eraser

For the flooring I used nail polish remover...though interestingly enough, our acetone np remover didn't even budge the stain, while our non-acetone np remover wiped it out with ease.

For the carpet we also used the np remover

For the oven bleach worked alright, though for most surfaces, bleach was completely useless. I was in shock.

The walls were tricky because of the texture. I used a combo of np remover and bleach, though the np remover removed a bit of the paint as well.

I didn't use everything I found as remedies to use. Here are some other suggestions I did not try:

WD 40
goof off
cooking spray

You must be willing to really try everything to get it out. You can be sucessful, but it's a lot of work. In my experience, I've found that nothing will remove permanent ink with a couple of swipes. You've got to scrub and scrub!

Hopefully this helps you out a little bit, and hopefully you can feel better about your parenting skills by knowing that you are not the only one whose children use your house as their pallette...or maybe because your kid's never done this and mine have.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whadaya Know...More Hats.

Here's my latest updates on hats for the Farmer's Market. I branched out a little this year and am making other things for it too, which I will post about shortly.

And just in case you wanted to see what it looks like on the cutest, picture-hating little girl ever...

This hat is actually a fushia color...though in the picture it looks red. The color combo was inspired by my friend Sandi's little girl's bedding.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

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