Friday, February 26, 2010

Halloween Cuties

Napkin Dress Tutorial – Perfect for a Shower!

Start by taking each side of your napkin and folding it to the center…
Then fold it in half again…

Cut the arms by making a triangle shape cut…
My napkins were too big for small dresses, so I cut off the top part…
Cut a V angle at the top to create the neckline (shoot, I forgot to take a picture of that,…you’ll figure it out)… Glue on a bow and Tada! Finished. Seriously easy and seriously cute!

Only problem is that people are going to think these are too cute to wipe their mouths with! I wanted to try a ‘bridal’ version. Here is what I came up with…

Tell your friends they were super hard to make! You deserve some glory!

Want A Bridal Version.....Here is an idea..
I actaully think that pearls would be prettier!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Valentine’s Play-Dough

How cute are these? What a sweet idea instead of giving cookies or candy for Valentine’s Day , give a gift that keeps on giving, home made play-dough, recipe and a heart shaped cookie cutter . So if you are looking for a cute and sugar free gift check out how she did it !

Play Dough Recipe:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How To Eiffel Tower Vase Centerpieces


What can go in the bottom? You can fill the bottom up with a variety of things to add to the centerpiece. Here is a short list of options if you choose:

  • Fish
  • Fish Gravel
  • Rocks
  • Gems
  • Sand
  • Moss
  • Floralytes
  • Coffee Beans
  • Jelly beans
  • Fake water stuff
  • Real water
  • Colored Water
How To Arrange:

The first simple arrange is both cost effective and easy to do. You could use any type of larger flower for this. Just take about 3-4 flowers, place them in the vases so they are on different levels, and then add some grass like plant or you could add stick like accents. Here is one I put together in 1 minute from some flowers laying around.

Second is another easy and cost effective arrangement. Go to the craft store and find a "bunch" of flowers that you like. Example:

Poof them out, place in centerpiece, and then arrange to your liking.

Very little hassle at all. You could add some more flowers or greenery if you want it more filled in. Here is one we did but added two large purple white lilies and some butterflies to it.

Third way to arrange is with a styrofoam ball or a bouquet holder. For the styrofoam ball, use one that is a decent size (this one is too small, but all I could find to show how)

and that would be soft enough to squoosh onto top of the vase. Use flowers and greenery to cover the ball to achieve the look you are going for. It's basically the same thing with a bouquet holder, but you just decorate the holder the way you want then just stick it in the vase. Many of the pictures below use that method. You can do that for real or fake flowers. It's easier to transport that way as well because you can have the vase and top seperate while traveling.

Here are some pictures from flickr of some centerpieces I found.

1. bright yellow; 2. purple; 3. orange and yellow; 4. orange and red; 5. pretty in pink; 6. white

Fourth is to use feathers! I found this neat tutorial on Save on Crafts. Isn't this neat looking? I might cost a little, but it would be easy to make. The lights used in these arrangements are the floralytes mentioned earlier.

Jelly Bean Bracelets: Perfect Party Favor

Supplies needed to make the Jellybean Bracelets:

  • Thicker needle (I used a basting needle from quilting. Loved it’s “T” head, it made threading so much easier!).
  • Thin Regular sewing needle
  • Thread – I used four strands for strength
  • Jellybeans!!!

Using the thicker needle, poke a hole through, then thread the thinner needle through the hole.
 We had a little bowl of water and a rag to rinse our needles off as we worked. They would get gummed up from the sugary sweetness. The kids loved their bracelets

Rag Quilt Letters

Other ideas….make a Merry Christmas banner with them for sure and maybe a Happy Birthday one. These aren't firm at all, but if you wanted more stable ones you could add some interfacing to the layers as well. Also, you could add velcro or something to the back so they could stick to a felted board, etc.

Materials Needed:

Scrap Fabrics for front
-Fabric for back (I used vintage chenille)
-Quilt batting (I used felt on the lower case letters to make it more stiff)
-Fabric pen
-Sewing machine, scissors, etc.

*****Quick correction:I misnamed the quilt batting as interfacing in the instructions. I only used quilt batting, but if you want stiffer letters to make a banner with, I suggest using a stiff interfacing(ex: JoAnn's & Walmart carry a Craft Interfacing that is really stiff) along with the batting.*****

1. Print out letters to trace. I used Microsoft Publisher to create the letters and made them all the same size and used the same font. You could do this in Word as well, or Photoshop. You could also just free style it, etc. Cut the letters out.

2. Trace the letters onto the fabric that you will use for the top.

3. Cut the letters out in square shapes.

4. Cut out squares of quilt batting and backing that will be the same size of the letter.

5. Make a sandwich of the fabrics and quilt batting. Place the back fabric right side down. Then place the piece of interfacing on top of that. Next, place the top fabric right side up. Pin together. Sew on the tracing.

6. If you desire, you can quilt it or just leave it.

7. Trim the edges of the three layers. Leave at least 1/4 inch around the edges of the letters.

8. Clip the raw edges. Make clips straight into every seam allowance. Stop before you reach the seam allowance.

9.Throw it in the washing machine and then the dryer. They will come out all raggedy around the edges.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baking Bread

How to take care of your sourdough starter:

I just ordered this today (2/17/2010) and can't wait to get it.  I have made my own, but have heard that this is the BOMB!! 

Congratulations! You've just received a jar of King Arthur Flour's fresh sourdough starter. Your sourdough starter may look a little the worse for wear after its trip to your home. It may also have a sharp, astringent odor; this is normal. What it needs is food (King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour) and water; for best results, use chlorine-free tap water, or bottled water. Let's get your starter ready for baking:

Here's your container of starter.

1) Add 1/4 cup lukewarm water to the starter in the container. Stir to dislodge the starter, and shake/stir to combine. Pour into a large glass or ceramic bowl.

2) Add 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water and 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All- Purpose Flour (hereafter known simply as "flour"). Mix till well combined.

3) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature (about 70°F) for 8 to 12 hours.

4) After 8 to 12 hours, the starter will be bubbly.

5) Stir the starter, and discard about half. Mix in 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1 cup flour.

6) The starter will be fairly thick, like pancake batter.

7) Cover the bowl, and let sit at room temperature for another 2 to 4 hours, till bubbly.

8) Stir the starter, and divide it in half; discard half, or give to a friend.

9) Feed the remaining half with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1 cup flour.

10) Again, the batter will be thick. Lumps are OK; don't bother to stir them out.

11) Cover the starter, and let it rest at room temperature for another 2 to 4 hours.

12) The starter will be bubbly, though not as bubbly as it might have been after its earlier rises.

13) Stir the starter down. Place it in a stoneware or glass container, loosely covered with a lid, or a screw-on top, not fully screwed on. Refrigerate it until you're ready to use it in a recipe.

To make "fed" sourdough starter:

Most sourdough recipes will call for 1 cup or so of "fed" sourdough starter. Here's how to turn your refrigerated starter into "fed" starter.

1) Up to 12 hours before beginning a recipe, stir the starter and discard 1 cup. Or give 1 cup to a friend, or use 1 cup to make waffles. However you do it, you want to get rid of 1 cup of starter.

2) Feed the remaining starter with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1 cup flour.

3) Let it sit at room temperature, covered, for 4 to 12 hours, till bubbly. It's now "fed" and ready to use in a recipe.

4) Once you've removed however much starter your recipe calls for (usually 1 cup), feed the remainder with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1 cup flour. Let this remaining starter sit, covered, at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until bubbly.

5) Stir down, return to its container, and refrigerate.

To keep sourdough in the refrigerator:

If you're not planning on using your sourdough starter for over a week, take it out and feed it once a week, if you remember. But starter that hasn't been fed for a month or more will still probably be just fine, if you follow these steps:

1) Your sourdough may have a substantial layer of green/gray/brown liquid on top. That's OK; it's simply alcohol from the fermenting yeast.

2) Stir the liquid on top into the starter below.

3) Keep stirring till it's smooth, then discard 1 cup (8 1/2 ounces).

4) Add 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 1/2 cup lukewarm water.

5) Stir till smooth, then cover and refrigerate it; no need to wait for it to become bubbly.

Sourdough Waffles or Pancakes

Crisp, feathery light, and with a delightful, mild tang, these waffles evoke memories of Goldrush days in California, when sourdough pancakes, biscuits, and bread were served to miners morning, noon, and night. This recipe also makes great pancakes.

Overnight Sponge

• 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 1 cup sourdough starter, straight from the refrigerator (not fed)

Waffle or Pancake Batter

• all of the overnight sponge
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda


1) To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup.

2) In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk.

3) Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.

4) In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.

5) Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.

6) Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.

7) Serve waffles immediately, to ensure crispness. Or hold in a warm oven till ready to serve.

Tips from our bakers

o Want to make pancakes? Simply cook the batter in rounds on a griddle, rather than in a waffle iron.

Sour Dough Starter

I've had so much fun baking bread lately with my sourdough starter, but I was frustrated. Why wasn't my bread *pretty* like at Panera or the bakery?  It tasted good, but it was dull looking. None of the recipes I read said anything about getting a pretty, shiny, crackly crust. What was the secret?  Well...Here You Go!!brush wiith beaten egg!

{See that shiny crust?}

So, if you want a shiny, golden crust on your bread, just brush the top with beaten egg right before popping it in the oven!