Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Now I can finally post some of the items I've been working on for Christmas gifts for this year.  There are always more things that I had hoped to get to, but I'm happy with these - and I hope my friends and family are as well.  I did have one giant handmade gift flop this year, but more to come on that one later (maybe - if I can still pull it out of the flop pile and re-work it).

First - yet another ric rack baby blanket.  This one was for my friend to give to her new grandson expected to arrive in a few weeks.  I just don't seem to tire of making these - they're easy and really adorable. 

This pack-n-play fabric doll (think paper dolls made out of fabric) set was made for another of my friends to give to her granddaughter.  I don't have any little girls in my life - but I was dying to make this.  So she is the lucky winner!  The fabric is from the Happy Ever After line by Riley Blake.  This pattern is included with the large pack-n-play set I hope to make 'en mass' this spring with my sister.  This really is such a cute line of fabric - hard to resist!
Here are all the pieces - dolls, clothes, hats, a crown, and of course, the "pack".

And the pieces all fit inside the little holder.

And it folds up all nice and neat.  Adorable.  Now - looking at this picture, I wish I would have sewn a cute pink button on the outside flap over the velcro stitching.  Oh well.

And this is an eyeglass lanyard for my mom.  I was looking at these trying to find one that I liked to order for her.  Then I slept on it, woke up the next morning and went "duh".  I can make one of these myself.  So there you have it - a long silver chain with a little embellishment and a metal circle at the end for the glasses to slide in.

Everything looks better with a few pearls and a silver bead added to it. 
Simple but just enough detail to "cute-i-fy" it!

And finally - a tote bag for a friend.  I had seen this pattern for a fat quarter tote bag from the Cottage Home and had wanted to make one.  Super easy and really fast to work up - which was good since I waited until the last second to whip it out. 

Here is the inside.  And really, can you ever have too many tote bags?  I say no!

Happy holidays.
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Monday, December 17, 2012

German Pancakes

One of my favorite breakfasts is "German Pancakes".  At least that's what we know them as.  My mom used to make them for us when my brother and sister and I were kids.  I've also heard them called Dutch Baby pancakes or Oven pancakes.  Whatever you call them - they are still one of my most favorite breakfasts - - call it comfort food. 
Well I came across a pan made just for them.  Normally I just make them in either an 8x8 baking dish or if I'm doing a big batch, I'll use a 9x13 baking dish.  This oven-safe pan has the perfect curved sides and is just the right size.  I do need to remember to lower my oven rack next time just to keep the edges from over-browning.

But here it is - my recipe:
German Pancakes
4 T butter - let it melt in the pan in a 400 degree oven as it warms up.
Mix 6 eggs, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk.  Some recipes recommend a blender for the mixing - I like just a big bowl and a good whisk. 
Pour the mix in with the melted butter and pop it back in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Top with your favorite syrup and/or powdered sugar.
Um, um, good!!!!!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Fleece Blanket Service Project

 Husband's work is doing a service project for the holidays this year - fleece blankets.  They are donating them to the elementary school where his office is.  We decided to make our own instead of buying pre-made blankets.  I love being able to choose the fabric you want - - and fleece is so much better now than it was even a few years ago. 

I cut the blankets and fringed them.  Husband was responsible for tying all the fringe.  These blankets always work up so fast.  Here is our pile, ready to go to the office.

The girl ones:

 And the boy ones:

Another Christmas project done - check!

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Quote Wall

We have a bathroom in our house that started out being just "the MAIN" bathroom, but is really just an extra bathroom on the floor that has all the bedrooms.  The master bath and the downstairs bath are the rooms that really got used so this one never got "decorated".  It was mainly just "hang a few things on the wall" - you know . . . the things that don't really have any other wall to go on and don't look completely hideous in a bathroom.  Well it stayed that way for many, many years.  Then along come a couple of boys.  This is now their bathroom.  One day, a while ago, I got brave and pulled all the mish-mash of stuff off the wall.  It really just didn't fit and wasn't them. 

And there that blank wall stayed while I looked everywhere and pondered what I should put up on their wall.  I even asked them for their advice - they had no solution.  I wanted something that wasn't too "babyish" because I didn't want to have to update it as they got older.  I thought I had a few prints selected from an Etsy shop but I just wasn't sure that those prints would work in their teenage bathroom (and sadly, those teenage years will come all too quickly!). 

Then I came across this blog entry from Pinching Your Pennies about her quote wall.  What a great idea.  Call it brainwashing, call it the power of positive thinking, call it whatever you want.  But over the years I know that my boys will be spending a lot of time in this room.  Why not have some positive, uplifting quotes for them to look at.  As an educator myself, I know that studies have been done that show that students actually don't really pay much attention to the bulletin boards in their classrooms.  And therefore I know this wall will not stand out to them when they're older - but I'm hoping that one day, just when they need it most, they might walk in here and glance up and what they read might make their day a little easier. 

I ordered some quotes in multiple colors from various Etsy shops and downloaded some freebie quotes from other blogs.  And how much do I love the Costco online print shop - just upload files in the comfort of my home (in my jammies), and then pick them up all shiny and pretty the next day.  I picked up some white canvases and ModPodged the prints on.  A few 3M Command strips later and I have a wall full of quotes that I love!

Husband thinks the wall is a little busy . . . I say the busier the better.  Whatever grabs their attention.  I was going for a variety of colors and sizes.  I think I succeeded.  Here are the quotes: I think I can, I new I could from the Little Engine book; There is something good in every day - source unknown.

We can do hard things (love this one!); Dream beautiful dreams and then work to make those dreams come true (son #2's current favorite one) - from Spencer W. Kimball; and If you want to be happy be good.

 Last we have CTR (Choose the right); What I love most about my home is who I share it with; and from Winnie the Pooh - Always remember . . .

I love them all - heck, I love walking in there and feeling just a little better when I read them.  I hope my boys will too!

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