Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Finds: Handmade Sweaters



I love sweaters.  Cozy, comfy, sweaters.  Whether they be a cardigan, pullover, or vest, sweaters are a very practical option for this time of year when most days the mornings are chilly, and by mid-afternoon it's warm and sunny.  But just because they are practical, they need not be boring.  From gorgeous hand knits, to one-of-a-kind upcycled's, these handmade sweaters will surely keep your little ones both warm and fashionable this Fall.

2.  Upcycled Toddler Zipper Sweater by Rachel's Recycled
3.  Chic baby girl wool sweater coat by Eva Handmade
4.  Boy's Classic 1950's Varisty Style Sweater by Katherine Rose Designs
5.  Knit Aran Cable Toddler Cardigan and Hat by Fashionable Kids
6.  Eidelweiss Upcycled Felted Wool Sweater by Gock's Frocks
7.  Baby Owl Vest by MOOII Handmade
8.  Chic Argyle Upcycled Baby Girl Cardigan by Tina B Designs
9.  Retro Green Cardigan by RC for Kids


- Shannon

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taste: Blended Iced Mocha

Making a blended iced mocha at home is easier than you may think.  And with the result being such a delicious and refreshing treat, why not give it a try?  For this recipe, you will need frozen coffee ice cubes, so if you are planning to make this for a specific time, be sure to start the night before to allow time for freezing the coffee. 




First make sweetened coffee ice cubes. Brew a large pot of strong coffee. Add a 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk and stir until well blended. 


Pour the mixture into ice cube trays (I needed 3 trays). Freeze overnight.



To make your blended drink: 

Set an ice cube tray on the counter for about 10 minutes. One tray makes about 2 servings. It’s helpful to lay some plastic wrap on the counter to invert the coffee cubes on. Put all the coffee cubes in the blender, add about 1 cup crushed ice, 1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup. Blend to combine, adding more milk if needed to liquefy. Taste it, and add more chocolate if you wish. Pour into glasses, and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. 

For a variation, leave out the chocolate and add your favorite coffee syrup or caramel.



- Jen

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Finds: Fresh Picked!


With Autumn quickly approaching and school back in session, it seems everyone has apples on their minds this time of year.  Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn, McIntosh, Golden Delicious...there are so many varieties of apples to choose from, each with their own unique flavor.  Just like the real apples, these fresh picked handmade apples each have their own unique flavor, too.  Enjoy!

1.  Wool Apple Hat by My Market Stall
2.  Polka Dot Apple Set by Pumpkin Butter
3.  Rise and Shine Apple Orchard Wall Art by A Mother's Art
4.  An Apple a Day Layered Boutique Hair Bow by For the Love of Zebra
5.  Back to School Magnet Set by My Kangaroo
6.  Autumn Apples Bib by Old Chateau
7.  5 Little Apples Felt Wall Art by Twig and Bird
8.  A as in Apple Nursery Wall Art Print by Lindsay Brackeen
9.  Granny Smith Needle Felted Jingle Rattle by Niko and Nonnie
10.  Red Apple Dress by Evie and Liv
11.  Apple Tree Wooden Toy Play Set by Armadillo Dreams
12.  Vintage Chalkboard with Apple by Nonnie June

- Shannon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Create: Quick and Easy Decorative Pillows


I wanted a lot of pillows to decorate my new sofas but I didn’t want to pay a lot for them — mostly because my tastes change often, and I wanted the flexibility of being able to take the pillow cases off and change them up. I saw this style of pillow case in one of my favorite big name high priced furniture catalogues and thought they would be easy enough for a beginning seamstress with limited patience like me.

They are pretty simple to make and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Each pillow case took me less than an hour, and I figure I got 9 new pillows for about $110.


Supplies:
  • pillow form (I used a 16 inch square form)
  • ½ to 1 yard of fabric, depending on the size of your pillow form (I used 100% cotton quilting fabric)
  • Large button (1½ - 2 inches)
  • 3 inches of 1/8 inch wide elastic
  • Sewing supplies (sewing machine, scissors, pins, thread, etc)

Directions:

Step 1: Cut your fabric.

For the back piece: Add 1 inch to the size of your pillow form and cut a square. For example, if your pillow form is 16 inches square, cut your fabric 17 x 17 inches (you may need to add 2 inches if your pillow form is really thick).

For the front piece: Cut fabric the same width as the back (in our case, 17 inches). For the length you will start with the same measurement, but then add 3 inches of overlap for the closure plus a 1 inch seam allowance (so 21 inches total).

Divide your front piece: Cut a straight line across (width-wise) about where you think it should be divided. A little above halfway is what I did, it doesn’t need to be precise.



Step 2: Hem overlap on the front pieces.

Fold over ¼ inch of overlap edges and iron. Then fold over ¼ inch again and pin both pieces.



Prepare elastic. Make sure your elastic piece is long enough to slip over your button and tack it together (you’ll thank yourself when you go to sew it on).



Pin elastic loop to the top (shorter) piece. Move it down a little so you are only sewing through one piece of elastic at a time.



Now you can sew your hems.



Step 3: Sew front and back together.

Lay the back piece face up, and place the two top pieces face down on top of it, so that the right sides are facing. Be sure to place the hemmed overlap edges towards the center (they should overlap about 3 inches). Line the cut edges up at the sides and pin around the outside edge.



This is the fun part! Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew around all 4 sides in one long seam.



Step 4: Finishing!

Trim your corners.



Turn your pillow cover right side out. Good job, you’re almost done!



Stick your pillow form inside your new pillow case and decide where the button should go. Take the pillow form out and sew the button on. Put the pillow form back in and enjoy your new pillow!


- Jen
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