Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Child's Purse

Eden loves bags and purses and such. I thought this fabric would make a cute one (it is leftover from the diaper changing pad).

What do you think?


  • Sturdy fabric (I used canvas) 16" x 12"
  • Decorative fabric (I just used this cute lady bug cotton) 12" x 12"
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Strong Ribbon (for handles)
  • Measuring tool (ruler or tape or whatever)
  • Pins
  • Velcro or other fastener (optional)
First of all, cut out your fabric. The black is 16" x 12" and the lady bug fabric is 12" x 12" (in order to make the lady bugs right side up on both sides of the purse I cut two pieces and then stitched them together as seen below - if you have a pattern that doesn't have a right side up you can just cut one piece of fabric):

Fold each piece in half and iron:
The crease will be your sewing line:
Fold both pieces of fabric the other direction and iron again:
Hem your top fabric (my lady bugs) on both the top and bottom (but not sides).

Line up your folds so that the larger piece (my black) is underneath right side up and the designer fabric (lady bugs) is on top also right side up. Pin along the creases and then sew:
I used a zig zag to sew my seams:
Now, put right sides together (your fabric has become one piece now) and sew the two sides. You just created a bag with front and back pockets.

Turn the (black) fabric inside and sew around it (creating a hem for the top of your purse).
Turn the bag inside out and take the bottom points and match the bottom seam with the side seam so it forms a triangle like this:
Sew a seam approximately 1.5 inches in from the point of the triangle - repeat for the other side. Now your bag has a flat bottom.
Sew your straps onto the bag (I did a decorative zig zag on my straps to continue the decorative look). To sew the straps, I do a box seam - I sew about 8 stitches then pivot and sew 8 stitches down, pivot, 8 stitches across, pivot, 8 stitches up. It makes a nice secure seam that also looks nice (I used black so it didn't compete with my red thread).
I chose to sew velcro onto the two sides of my purse so that Eden can fasten it and keep her stuff from falling out. You could do a button or a hook or nothing at all:
The end.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Food Friday - Wrapped Garlic Chicken

Today is the last day of YW Camp - yippee!

In honor of the camping tradition, here is a recipe you can use next time you go camping:

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 large sheets aluminum foil
1/2 t salt
1 C sliced mushrooms
1 can Cream of Roasted Garlic Condensed Soup
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • Place 1 chicken breast in center of each sheet of foil.
  • Lightly season with salt.
  • Top each breast with equal portions of mushrooms, soup, and rosemary.
  • Fold foil in half over chicken; seal all edges with double fold seals.
  • Bake at 425 for 20 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink in the center)
Although this recipe is for a conventional oven, It would work great on a grill or in a dutch oven or even right in the fire pit (think tin foil dinner!).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Picture Tile Wall Hangings

Do you want to make some adorable picture hangings like these?
Let's get started then!

  • Photos (or other pictures)
  • Straight Edge (metal ruler)
  • Utility Knife
  • First Aid kit (keep it on hand for when you slice your finger using the utility knife)
  • Vinyl Tile Scrap (you can usually purchase these at Lowe's or Home Depot)
  • Ribbon
  • D Rings (you can get these at any sewing or craft center - like Hobby Lobby or Michaels)
  • Adhesive (tape, glue gun, or whatever your adhesive of choice is)
  • Pencil
  • Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors (or not, if you have another way to fuse two sides of ribbon together)
  • (optional) Hair Dryer
1. Choose what kind of pictures you want and then take some photos (or cut out pictures from a magazine or whatever)

2. Measure your tile slightly smaller than your picture (like 1cm smaller on each side) and then cut it.
2a. Using your pencil, mark the tile on the paper (the stuff that covers the adhesive).
2b. You should cut it on the paper side as well. Use the straight edge and utility knife and make several slices along the same line until you have made it through enough that you can bend/break the rest of it in a straight line. (I just looked online for a good tutorial and didn't find one but I did read several places that indicated it helpful to heat your tile using a hair dryer - I haven't done it but you can certainly try it.)

3. Peel the paper from the tile and place your picture(s) on the adhesive side.
3a. Smooth the pictures so there are no bubbles.
3b. Use the utility knife to trim the pictures so that they are flush with your tile.
4. Decide how long you want your ribbon to be and cut it. You will be folding it over entirely so take that into consideration.

5. Loop the ribbon through the D ring and pin it like this:

6. Using your zipper foot, sew as close to the ring as you can get. If you don't like to sew, you can think of another way to enclose the D ring. Perhaps you could use fusing tape (Stitch Witchery) and iron the two pieces of ribbon together.
7. Adhere the ribbons to the backs of your tiles and hang. (I honestly used Scotch tape - several pieces - to do the job.)

8. Hang on a wall in whatever fashion you want.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Food Friday - Skillet Chicken with Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 C thinly sliced onions
1/2 C finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes*
1 C Cream of Roasted Garlic Condensed Soup
1 C chicken broth
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

  • In large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, cook chicken until brown on both sides.
  • Arrange onions and tomatoes over chicken.
  • In small bowl, combine soup, chicken broth, salt, and pepper; mix well.
  • Pour mixture over chicken.
  • Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
Calories: 230 (if you use fat free chicken broth) per serving.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Ruffled Skirt from Pants or Shorts

Eden has hit that stage when she just wants to wear skirts all the time. Forget dresses or even pants, she could live in a skirt. The problem? She only has one. So, I thought it would be fun to make her some skirts.

When looking through her clothes, I found a pair of shorts that someone gave us. She has TONS of shorts and I thought these would be a good beginning to a really cute skirt. I had bought some fabric on sale and realized it would actually match.


This is what I came up with (without buying anything new - I love that!)
Do you want to make one too? Come on, you KNOW you do!

Here is what you'll need:

  • A pair of shorts or pants that fit your child in the waist and bum
  • 1/4 to 1/2 yard of fabric
  • Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments (ribbon, buttons, whatever)
  • Sewing Machine
Project Time: approximately 30-45 minutes (if you have done some sewing and know how to baste or gather, a bit longer for a beginner)

Start out by cutting the shorts or pants above the crotch (you can measure your child down from the waist and determine how long you want this part of the skirt to be).

Next, measure the fabric for the rest of the length of the skirt (however long you want your skirt to be minus however long the cut off shorts are plus a one-inch seam allowance).

Now, cut the full width of the fabric (45") at that length.
Now, finish the edge of both your shorts and the fabric (I used my serger but you can zig zag on your sewing machine if you don't have a serger).
Next, connect your fabric by sewing the two "short" edges together (right sides together - so the seam is on the "inside").

Now baste along the finished edge of the fabric. This is so that you can pull the thread to create a gathered ruffle. You'll want to set your stitch length to a high number (I did 4.5). A longer stitch length makes gathering easier.

Now, gather your fabric by pulling on one thread. If you want a more detailed tutorial on gathering, see here.
Once you have your fabric gathered to the right length (to fit your top piece), pin it (right sides facing) to the top piece and then sew into place (don't forget to move your stitch length to normal).
Now hem the bottom (hint: I used the finished edge of my fabric and so I didn't have to hem). You may embellish with ribbon or whatever and you are done!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food Friday - Chicken with Red Pepper Sauce

2 slices of bacon
4 skinned, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 C chopped red onion
1/2 t ground coriander
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 C Salsa
1 Red Pepper, chopped
Fresh Cilantro, chopped

  • Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.
  • Remove bacon from skillet; crumble and set aside.
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper.
  • Add chicken to bacon drippings; saute 2 minutes on each side.
  • Remove chicken from pan.
  • Add onion, coriander, and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes.
  • Stir in salsa and bell pepper.
  • Return chicken to the pan.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Sprinkle with crumbled bacon; garnish with cilantro.
Calories: approximately 190.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Reusable Coloring Pages

This is a REAL simple tutorial.

What you'll need:
Printed Coloring Pages*
Card Stock

All you do is
  1. Print out coloring pages.
  2. Glue coloring pages to each side of the card stock.
  3. Laminate.

Let your child color with regular crayons.

Wipe the crayon away with a tissue or cloth.

Color again.

Rinse, repeat.

I told you this was easy!

*I printed the coloring pages from the new nursery manual. You can find them here. Click on the right picture column (there are usually two pictures, a painting or photo and then a coloring page, the coloring page is usually the one to the right). These are what I take to supposedly entertain Eden during Sacrament Meeting. It doesn't always work. Eden doesn't understand why she shouldn't provide commentary through Sacrament Meeting the way she does the rest of her life. I'm so glad that I encouraged her to have good verbal skills by giving her a running commentary for the first year of her life. Now I will spend the next many years listening to her running commentary. Smart, I am.

Monday, June 8, 2009


This Gardenia bush was the only thing left after we had the front trees cut and after we removed the ugly (my thought, not Phil's) irises. It was very sickly looking and it didn't look like it would make it through another summer. I convinced Phil to keep it and give it one more chance. Well, with a little pruning and lots of rain and watering it looks great. It is even producing blooms! Yeah!!!

This gardenia bush is at the side of the house. It has done much better than the front one and looks great too.
I have always loved gardenias. I think they are so delicate and yet strong. I love their velvety pedals. Of course, the scent of a gardenia is strong and beautiful. I picked this one and gave it to Eden. She sniffed it (an act that somehow engages every facial muscle) and declared, "mmm, it is deee-licious mommy."
This is one of our fire plants. It is so amazing that the same plant produces different colors. We like them lots.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Paid Forward - #1

Remember this post?

Well, I got one of my handmade gifts done and in the mail. Becca said she wanted me to create something for her cousin who was expecting her first child. She told me to think of a gift that we got and loved and see if I could make one. I immediately thought of our great diaper changing pad/bag.

I wondered if I could figure out how to make one.

I did!
I think it mostly turned out really well. I may have to refine my process and start making these more, it was pretty fun.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Dressing Cube

I wanted to have some fun toy to help Eden learn her "dressing" skills. After looking online for different toys I came up with the idea to create my own dressing cube. There are lots of tutorials out there to help you make a block so I won't be redundant. You can look here or here or here for that.

So, now that you've looked over those tutorials and understand how to make a cube (or block) I will show you how I made a dressing cube.

1. I made a list of the skills I wanted to teach: zipper, buttons, snaps, tie, velcro, etc.

2. I cut out 6 squares (mine are 9 inches squared) using a canvas black fabric I just had on hand.

3. I looked through old clothes (hers and mine) for items that could be repurposed.

4. I found this fleece jacket with HUGE buttons. Eden loved this jacket last fall but it is too small now. I cut out the middle section then pinned it to one square. I sewed a seam on each side (so the middle is still open unless buttoned shut.
5. I found this pair of pants that were well-worn but that have a button, zipper, and tie. It also has great pockets so that was an added bonus. I cut out the section I wanted to use and sewed it onto one of the canvas squares. It is sewn on the bottom and along the sides but the top is open.6. I found this shirt of mine that was well-worn and headed for the garbage. It has a great zipper - I especially like the pull on the zipper. I cut out the section I wanted and serged (you could zig zag) around it so it wouldn't fray. Then I sewed it on one of the canvas squares.
7. For the velcro pieces I decided to use felt and cut out my daughter's initials. I first made a pattern for the letters.

8. Next, I sewed the scratchy side of the velcro onto the "extremities" of the letters.
9. I did a zig zag around the part of the letter that would be open and then I pinned the "base" onto my canvas squares. I zig zagged the base on so it was secure. Then I sewed the soft side of Velcro on to the right spots on the canvas square. The picture below shows how the stem of the K (the straight line) is secured to the square while the arm and leg are loose unless fastened with the velcro. (The reason you want to put the scratchy side on the felt is because if it is on the square, it will snag the felt and create problems.)
10. For the last square I needed to present snaps. I thought it would be fun to make some flowers and so I made some yo yos (see tutorials here, here, or here) and fastened some ribbon to them and then one part of the snap on the back. Then I cut out some felt grass and sewed it on to the canvas square - leaving the top part open (forming a pocket of sorts). Then I fastened the other end of the ribbon (stem) inside the pocket. Finally, I sewed the other part of the snap onto the canvas square in the appropriate places. This makes a cute little flower garden. The flowers can be inside the grass pocket and then "grow" up and be snapped into place.

Here is a picture of the final block. Eden is quite proud of it and is learning her dressing skills.

Let me know if you have any questions. Also leave suggestions for how this can be adapted. Have fun!