10.31.2014

Quick Craft: Bubble, Bubble, Toil & ...Pumpkin

I was calling this my 'glass slipper' pumpkin, but when my friend mentioned it looked like it was bubbling... Well, it became the perfect little craft to post for Halloween.
This took about half an hour (and one hot glue burn) to execute, so you could churn out a whole pumpkin patch in time for some Thanksgiving decor, or even bust a few out before tonight's party if you need something extra for your table.

Need:
Pumpkin (I used a mini, but theoretically you could do a giant if you so desired)
Pony Beads (I used clear - Black could be creepy, red could look bloody... options!)
Jute Rope (optional)
Glue Gun
Fake Leaf
I wanted a little something extra, so first I wrapped the indents of my pumpkin with jute rope. Okay, full disclosure: I was originally going to wrap the whole thing in rope, but then got the idea to add beads, and, well, here we are. Anyway. I cut 5 long pieces, wrapping each across the pumpkin and gluing at the top on each side.

Next, I built up the stem of my pumpkin by stacking groups of 4 beads on top of each other. Make sure the glue is set before adding another layer as hot glue can shift as it dries on slippery surfaces.

Last: Bead that gourd. I worked in small sections to be sure the glue was still hot and liquid for the beads to get a good hold. I pulled a fake leaf off some old wreath supplies and popped that on the top. Et voila! A bubbling pumpkin.
Or, if you prefer, the glass slipper pumpkin. I'll call it that again after Halloween passes, because it's too cute to get rid of so soon.
Have fun!

10.27.2014

Random Round Up: Parts & Parties

Busy little weekend around here! I'm happy to report the kitchen cabinets are so close to completion I can practically taste it, and even if it did mean going to a friends' wedding with paint under my fingernails, it was good to get some big stuff knocked off the list.
What's left of a dog toy has become a hilarious study-buddy for Nate.
Sometimes all it takes is a new hand towel to make me feel like it all works together.
A beautiful wedding venue built in the 20's
Post-wedding selfie to prove we dress up sometimes.
Parents-in-law purchased a margarita machine. Somebody had to be the guinea pig!
Have a great week!

10.24.2014

Sheer Coverage

Sheer panels are not a new idea in fashion (ahem, 1990s), but I love them all the same. The problem is, well, they're see-through. That's an earth shattering observation, I know. But I'm a girl who likes fashion to also be functional, and if something is designed only to be worn with a strapless bra (or *shriek* none at all), I will probably think twice about purchasing.

Here's where an easy DIY comes in. Can you thread a needle? Tie a knot? You can probably do this.
image
I ordered a dress online thinking it would work for both a fall wedding coming up and to wear to work. I love a two-fer. The cute sheer panels at the shoulders added a little visual interest and I couldn't beat the price. I was annoyed to find when it arrived that the sheer panels fell directly over my bra straps. It broke up the lines of the dress and - friendly reminder - no one wants to see bra straps at work.

What to do without losing the aesthetics of the sheer panels? Why, line 'em in a stretchy nude fabric of course. I'll let the photos show the step-by-step, but basically I just traced a pattern, cut out my nude fabric, and stitched it onto the inside of the sheer mesh. Sound simple? It was. Check it out:
Remember those leaf-rubbings from grade school? Same idea.
Just lay paper and trace around the raised seams
Perfection not required - It needs to be a little larger than the area you'll
be sewing it on to.
Not cute, but useful.
Pinned my pattern onto the tank top, and cut around it.
Again, perfection not required. You want it a little big.
The excess can be trimmed off once it's sewn on.
Since my nude fabric doesn't have a top or bottom side, I just cut
two of the same pattern piece and flipped one over.
Pinned on - Don't stretch the fabric. It should be lying easily
over the area you're covering: No wrinkles or pulling.
Stitched - Again, perfection not required. I used large stitches
to accommodate for the stretch in my dress fabric.
Et voila! "Sheer" with coverage!
Ready for action. Bra-strap-less action.
If you don't have a janky old tank top lying around (jank top??), there are lots of options for buying that kind of fabric by the yard; Try here, here, or here for starters. Go forth and cover up... without looking like you are!

10.20.2014

Random Round Up: Explanation

A part of me feels like I owe you lovely people an explanation for the lack of content lately. There are a few layers of reasons, but it boils down to this: Sometimes, ongoing projects suck the life out of you.
Yep, I'm still working on the kitchen cabinets, and while I'm so excited for oh-so-many reasons to show you the finished product, you've already seen most of the process when I showed you the completed bottom half. So instead of boring you with the same photos of inanimate slabs of wood, I'm ... quiet.
Hang in there though, there are good things ahead. November is Type 1 Diabetes awareness month, so I'll be bringing back my T1D Tuesday series. The coming holidays always get my brain percolating, so there will be some projects happening. I have some sewing projects that I'll share, and yes, the cabinets will be completed and a show and tell will happen (queue the angelic chorus and light shining from heaven).
In the meantime, here's my weekend:
Gotta get in the last of that much-needed yard work.
Fall calls for roasted veggies - Yum! (white sweet potatoes and carrots)
I missed a planned girls weekend and those gems jointly wrote me a love note.
My Huskies made a terrible showing - I still love them, but YEESH. Ugly.
Overnight rainstorm
Have a great one guys!

10.13.2014

Random Round Up: ZzzZzzz

I feel like I sound like a broken record, but I am just tired right now. It seems like everything came at once lately, and that means home projects are super slow going, and stuff that should be done in the blink of an eye gets dragged out over days. Yuck! I don't like having things hanging over my head, so it's been a little bit trying. And you know how much fun tired people are when they're irked. I'm sure I've been a joy (sorry, hubs...).
Like little fall-flavored truffles. Delightful!
Coziness.
We said goodbye to my grandmother-in-law this weekend - Loved the photo tributes.
Every detail accounted for - A layering pro!
Nothing like a little puggle snuggle time to finish out a weekend.
Let's all hope for some smoother sailing (and a little more time for blogging) this time around - Happy Monday y'all.

10.06.2014

Random Round Up: ...Fall?

It seems like the west coast is having a bit of trouble settling into fall - I know it's been in the 90's still in California, and up here in the corner we're hitting a balmy 75 today. Despite still keeping my tank tops in rotation, there are glimmers of fall starting to appear...
A rare and guilty pleasure - SnoBalls (or in the case of Halloween: GloBalls.)
I don't know when this floor ever "worked" in a room, but I liked it.
Beer making = Science. Nate whipped up an autumn brew.
More kitchen cabinet work: Before, Sanded, Primed. Same drawer front, same light.
And I think I mentioned starting the workout program P90X3 a while back... well, roughly 60 days or so ago since here I am on day 62. Yep, I've stuck with it! I plan to do some form of review and or recap by the 90 day mark. It's been an interesting journey so far!
image
Have a great week everybody!

10.03.2014

Easy Upgrade: Truffle-Stuffed Cupcakes

Wanna get some major oohs and ahhs without much extra effort?
Spoiler alert: For me, the answer to that question is always, always YES. So, shot in the dark, I'm guessing you're on board. Plus I'm about to say the words truffle-stuffed cupcakes, so now you're hooked for certain.
Nothing extra to bake or stir here, just two little tricks that make that box of cake mix transform. First, bake your cupcakes as normal. Then, when they're coming fresh out of the oven (i.e. still piping hot), take a sharp knife and cut a small 'x' in the top of each cake. Try not to hit the bottom of the pan, but slice as deep as possible. Then, unwrap that truffle and stuff 'er in. Like so:
video
Next trick? Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, grab a spatula and a sandwich bag. Scoop your frosting out of the can (or okay, if you go by Ms. Crocker, scoop it out of the mixing bowl) and into the bag. Seal it closed, getting as much air out as possible. Snip off one corner, about the size of a dime. With one hand firmly grasping the bag, squeeze the frosting out of the cut corner in a circular motion on each cupcake. 
You'll probably take a few to experiment with pressure and speed, but you'll just be forced to eat the 'mistakes'. Shoot.

The frosting will cover the hole, so that problem is now solved. Dust with sprinkles, especially if you're using chocolate frosting. Because you don't want any allusions to, well, you make your own assumptions about what a pile of chocolate frosting looks like.
Each time I make these I get asked where I bought them, followed up by an incredulous look: "Wait, you made these?!" They're great with any flavor of cake and any flavor of truffle. I can't wait to do mint chocolate for the holidays... Enjoy the compliments and the deliciousness!