I love the look of paper bag waist shorts, pants and skirts and my daughter loves dresses, so naturally I decided to combine the two :)
I bought a couple of plain tanks (only $3 each!!) and knew that I wanted to fashion some sort of skirt to attach to the bottom of each one in order to make a simple dress. You may remember this circle skirt that I sewed to one of her old t-shirts?? Well, it is her absolute favorite dress....she wants to wear it nearly every day, without fail.....so I knew I had to make more!
Oh....and her other absolute favorite thing at the moment? Yes, temporary tattoos :) Every night, we have to be SUPER careful to wash AROUND the tattoo.....and we can't declare it old (and ready to wash off completely) until there is only a flake or two left of the original tattoo....it's great.... :)
I just love how the paper bag waist looks! It almost looks like a skirt and shirt separate, but the great thing about it, is that her shirt will never come untucked....because it's really a dress! :)
So she can still be her crazy, grass-rolling, dog chasing, frisbee throwing self and not have to always be tugging, pulling or adjusting her clothes!!
Ah, my baby is getting so big....I just love her!
I have been going through sewing withdrawals for the last few weeks.....Friday night, I couldn't take it any more! I made this hurried tank using an existing tank as my 'pattern' -- I felt a bit like Edward Scissorhands as I cut into the fabric, scraps flying and a devious twinkle in my eye....oh yes, I was back at it!
The results are.....wearable. But what was even more satisfying than the end product, was the process -- that's what I love about sewing! It's a journey -- and (in my case) what you arrive at in the end is always a surprise....
I treated the hem much like a quilt binding...in fact, you may recognize the hem fabric from the binding of my last Queen size quilt!?
And this is what happens when you ask your husband to take a picture... :)
Don't forget, you have one more day to enter my Moving Day GiveAway for a chance to win my Garden Party Quilt! See post below for more information on how to enter -- drawing closes tomorrow night and winner will be announced on Tuesday! Have a great weekend!
MOVING DAY GIVE-AWAY!!!
It's time for me to clean my closets and pack my bags -- The Spotted Lamb family is moving cross-country! Enter for a chance to win my lovely handmade Garden Party Quilt!! Dimensions: 41" X 41" (perfect baby/toddler/kid/lap/throw/picnic quilt :))
Follow this link to The Spotted Lamb's FaceBook page for instructions on how to enter!
Contest will remain open until MONDAY 20th at 9:00 PM PST! Winner will be selected at random and announced on TUESDAY 21st. GOOD LUCK!!!!
Yes, yes there is. Are you about ready to claw your eyes out? Have you sneezed so much that no one in your house bothers to say 'bless you' any more? Are you walking around in a fog because the only way you can somewhat breathe at night is if you sleep on your left side, with one elbow under your pillow and your head at a very uncomfortable 62 degree angle? Yeah....me too. I hate allergy season. But I may have managed to eek out something positive from all of the itching, scratching, sneezing and wheezing!?
I have been working with a group of ladies to organize and host a spring party for over 100 military members and their families -- it's actually been a lot of fun, and thanks to everyone's creativity and hard work, not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.....well, I guess that has yet to be seen, the party is not until tomorrow, so.....we'll see!? Anyway, a few weeks ago I was on my way out to the recycle can with an arm full of empty tissue boxes, with the spring party planning fresh on my mind, when I realized that I was holding perfectly good boxes that could be up-cycled into something for the party. What, you ask? Utensil holders of course :)
One of my biggest pet-peeves at large parties is when the utensils are just thrown on the table, or hidden under potluck dishes -- 9 times out of 10 I forget to grab my utensils and then I end up having to go back to the start of the line, disrupting everyone patiently waiting their turn so that I can reeeeeeeeach through the crowd and fumble around for anything with a pointy end -- I know I am not the only one, because I have been on the receiving end of the constant 'excuse me I forgot my fork' reach and grab more times than not....and as a result, I have narrowly avoided plenty of cascading chips, shifty salads and falling fruits. Well, this is NOT going to happen tomorrow! :) Thanks to these lovely up-cycled tissue boxes!
Here's what to do:
Gather empty Tissue Boxes
Cut off the top panel of each box
Wrap in Paper -- I used plain ole computer paper and used tape to hold in place
Then Cut 2 Strips of Burlap slightly narrower than the width of the box -- fold over the box and tape.
Wrap the entire thing in 2 strands of Raffia, then tie in a bow
You could do many variations of this: use colored or patterned paper, use fabric instead of burlap, use ribbon instead of raffia....the possibilities are endless! These are perfect for large parties, backyard BBQs, any gathering involving food and utensils :)
They are pretty light weight, so I am a little bit nervous about them blowing away should a gust of wind come along, but I plan to put a few rocks at the bottom to weigh them down -- you could also use a few metal washers, some marbles, a river rock, etc. I will try to remember to take a few pictures of them in action at the party tomorrow! Wish us luck! :)
I am very happy to announce that my queen quilt quest is complete! It was such a fun, adventurous and even nerve-wrecking journey -- I am so glad that this customer contacted me to make this quilt for her and even more glad that I decided to 'take the plunge!' Here are some pictures of the finished quilt -- it measures aprox. 86" X 105" -- I had to send it away to have the top stitched (or quilted) since I do not have a long arm sewing machine -- the craftsmanship of the stitching is out of this world! I am so happy with how it turned out....
I hope my customer, Ms. B, likes it!?
I like to believe that there is a land somewhere between Heaven and Earth where all things are made of peanut butter and then covered in rich dark chocolate, a land where sweet and salty mingle freely and wafts of roasted nutty goodness floats on the breeze.....what!? Oh, ok....maybe that's a little extreme? Needless to say peanut butter stacks up as one of my all time favorite foods, so when a friend of mine (who actually seems to be even more in LOVE with peanut butter than me) decided to host a peanut butter social, where ever dish includes...you guessed it, peanut butter....I was determined to make something special to bring!
I did some searching online and came across what looked to be the perfect recipe for: Salted Nut Squares I printed the recipe and got to work -- but as you know, I am not very good at following directions and have a VERY hard time sticking with the plan....so my recipe quickly morphed into something different! I used the base of the Salted Nut Squares recipe, but decided to jazz things up a bit with a peanut graham cracker crust, some added cinnamon and of course, chocolate :) What resulted, is SUPER simple to make and tastes nothing shy of amazing!! I am so excited to bring these bars to the party tonight and even more excited to see what other peanut butter creations show up!
CHEWY P-NUT SQUARES:
1 Sleeve of Graham Crackers
1 cup Roasted Peanuts
8 Tbs Butter, melted
1/3 cup Sugar
6 Tbs Butter
3 cups Creamy Peanut Butter
14 oz Sweet Condensed Milk
3 cups Miniature Marshmallows
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Roasted Peanuts
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Make your crust: Add 1 cup of peanuts to food processor and finely chop. Pour chopped peanuts into a medium sized mixing bowl. Next add graham crackers to food processor and finely chop. Add chopped graham crackers to peanuts in the bowl. Next, add melted butter and sugar. Stir to combine. Press crust tightly into the bottom of a 9"X13" glass or ceramic baking dish. Bake for 7 min until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
While crust is baking, add peanut butter and butter to a large microwave safe mixing bowl. Place bowl in microwave and heat for 5 minutes on HALF POWER (PL 5). Stir after each minute. After 5 minutes, add marshmallows to the bowl, and stir. Return the bowl to the microwave and heat for an additional 2 minutes on HALF POWER (PL 5) stirring again after each minute. Once time is up, marshmallows should be completely melted -- stir peanut butter mixture to incorporate. Remove from microwave and immediately add sweet condensed milk and cinnamon -- combine completely. *You can also do this on the stove if you have time and/or an aversion to microwaves :)* Once everything is mixed, pour the peanut butter mixture over the graham cracker crust and spread evenly if needed.
While bars are cooling, add 1/2 cup of peanuts to the food processor and chop to desired consistency. Sprinkle over warm bars. Next, allow bars to cool even more, then add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the food processor and chop. Sprinkle over the chopped peanuts. *You can chop the peanuts and chocolate chips, or leave them whole -- it's up to you*
Finally, cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Once cooled, cut into squares and enjoy!
It has been a few months in the making, but it's now complete! This lovely hexagon quilt was commissioned by and even lovelier woman, who we will call 'Ms. B.' I was SO very hesitant to do this quilt for her -- I warned her that I had never made anything larger than a lap quilt and gave her plenty of opportunities to change her mind about hiring me....but lovely Ms. B never doubted once and, although she might not know it, her kindhearted and trusting emails gave me the confidence to conquer this quilt! Ms. B knew the design and fabrics she wanted, and after a few back and forth emails, I got started!
When I sew a quilt with a detailed design, I often think that the back is just as fun to look at as the front...
The next step is to send the quilt off to a lady here in town who owns a long arm sewing machine so that she can do the actual quilting...After spending so much time on it, and worrying that something was going to go wrong every step of the way, I think it will feel a bit like sending my kids off to their first day of school...I might be a nervous wreck until it returns to me!? :)
More pictures to come once it is completely complete!
My husband is obsessed with those terrible frozen soft pretzels you find at the grocery store. You know the ones, they're perfectly molded, a lovely yellowish color and if you cook them according to the directions on the box, they come out hard as a rock!? I can count on him to ask me to grab at least 4 boxes every time I head out to replenish our sundries....and like any man-child, I can also count on him to finish those 4 boxes in about 4 days....I don't get it. They're terrible. And what's worse, is now he is getting our 5 year old hooked on the yellow cardboard :)
This has to stop. So, I happened across this awesome recipe for Auntie Anne's Copycat Pretzels over on CookingClassy's Blog! (I'm having trouble getting her Blog to show, so I have written the Recipe Below) I have made this recipe twice since discovering it a few months ago -- it's my husband's new favorite recipe (just to give you a visual, every time I mention 'hey, I'm going to make those homemade pretzels again' he lets out a Homer-esque drool...yes, they're that good!) and those frozen pretzels are all but a faded memory at this point. BUT, and this is a BIG BUT....the original recipe left me frustrated beyond belief!! The first time, I spent hours trying to perfect my pretzel twist, twirl and flip but never even got anything resembling a pretzel to form. The second time, I figured I would go with the pretzel nugget, and spent just as long trudging through gooey pretzel slop trying to chop everything into perfect little nuggets...frustrating..... THIS TIME I thought, what on Earth is keeping me from just taking handfuls of dough, rolling them into balls and then dredging them in the pretzel bath!? Nothing! So, that's what I did -- saved myself TONS of time, and frustration, which is music to this mom's ears!! Here Is the Original Recipe:
Auntie Anne's Copycat Pretzels
1 cup Milk
3/4 Tbs Active Dry Yeast
3 Tbs Light Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Butter, melted
2 1/4 Cups Flour, plus an additional 1/2 cup as needed
1 tsp Salt
1/6 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Warm Water
Warm milk in a microwave safe bowl for 1 1/2 minutes on high. Pour milk and yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk until combined. Let rest for 5 min.
After 5 min, add brown sugar (yeast will bloom), butter, 1/2 Cup Flour and salt to milk mixture and whisk until blended.
Switch attachments to the dough hook, add remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and knead on medium low speed until elastic. If needed, add an additional 1/4 cup flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or line with silpat or parchment paper. Ready the pretzel bath by combining baking soda and warm water in a shallow bowl. Uncover the dough and punch down several times to deflate. Pinch off dough and roll into balls (aim for about a ball the size of a ping-pong ball). Once all of the dough has been rolled into balls, begin dunking each ball into the bath and transferring to the baking sheets.
Bake pretzels in oven for 7-8 min. Until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool slightly. When ready to eat, drizzle melted butter over top and sprinkle with coarse salt or cinnamon sugar! If you will be serving several at once, you can also use a large ziploc to toss the pretzels in butter. These also taste terrific without the butter along side a mound of mustard or cheese sauce! I've even had them with honey and cinnamon cream cheese! Experiment with different sides!
The kids can even help with rolling the dough! My boys got a huge kick out of watching the pretzels 'go swimming' before being placed on the cookie sheet :)
Piles of Pretzel Pillows! ...On the cooling rack...
I doubled the recipe to make plenty of pretzels to store in the freezer, that way my husband still gets the experience of taking out a pretzel and plopping it in the microwave :) Hope you enjoy!!
I think I mentioned that one of my 2013 sewing resolutions is to learn how to make (simple) clothes!? Well, I have been very anxious to get going, and wanted to share with you my first attempt at making pajamas! :)
It's sort of a long story....but this little shorts and long sleeve shirt set started as a nightgown....I have been using The Trendy Treehouse's tutorial to make my daughter a series of peasant dresses -- super cute! This tutorial is so easy and so versatile, you can make short, 3/4 or long sleeves -- a dress or a tunic top! I decided to change the fabric to a knit jersey and use the same techniques to make a nightgown. Only this time, feeling confident, I decided to 'get fancy' and taper the body of the gown to fit my duaghter's measurement more closely.....except that I made them a little too close! Not enough give around her ribcage :( and although this didn't seem to bother her (she still wanted to wear the 'super cozy jammies' every night), it pained me to see them so snug on her. So.....I decided to chop the gown in half, cut out two leg holes, sew an inseam, add some elastic around the waist to create a simple set of shorts that I thought she could pair with one of her already existing PJ tops.....but oh no, she still wanted the too snug top half....alas, we have ended up with this, not nearly perfect, but cozy and practical none the less!
So, whether you're looking to make a peasant dress, a super cozy nightgown, a PJ short and shirt set, or some hybrid of the three, give this tutorial a look see! Luckily, I have another yardage of jersey knit sitting in my fabric stash...hopefully I can get the gown measurement right this next go 'round :)
2012 was quite a busy year! And what I find most interesting, as I look back at my sewing projects over the last 365 days, is that a large majority of my time was spent sewing key fobs rather than quilts...I made nearly 400 key fobs in 2012! Crazy!? I have enjoyed every moment of my sewing adventures this last year, and as I continue to watch my kids grow and become (a little) more independent, I too wonder how I can grow as a sewer....my sewing resolution for 2013 -- learning to make clothes! :)
I am thankful every day for the decision I made 2 years ago to start this blog, my Etsy store and my adventures in sewing -- I really, truly and honestly do not know where I would be without it! I encourage you all to branch out this year, find a hobby that interests, and even intimidates you, no matter how big or small, and go for it!
Here is a quick glimpse back at the quilts I made in 2012!
I am hosting an End of The Year Sale until the 6th in my Etsy store! Take an additional 20% all quilts! Enter code: HAPPY2013 at checkout to receive your discount!
I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2013!