Care Package #1

November 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm (Food, General Crafting)

My fiance is deployed for the holidays, so I’ll be keeping his spirits up with some care packages. Here’s the first one I sent out to him– it’s a combination Halloween/Birthday/Bits from Home theme–

Besides a birthday present from my mom (I had already given him my presents) I made him some airplane cookies:

All wrapped up in wax paper for their long journey!


Since I can’t be there to light the candles and sing to him, I wrapped it up and glued the candles to the ribbon. I hope he likes it!

I also made him this– a latitude/longitude keychain featuring the coordinates of where he is and where I am, seprated by a heart.

(This keychain can be purchased from my Etsy shop here )

And a little overview of everything I sent him– an Advent calendar to count down to Christmas, a People magazine so he can see everything that happened here with Hurricane Sandy, some Nutella (he had mentioned that he missed eating Nutella), a bag of candy corn, two bags of his favorite trail mix, the keychain pictured above, his cookies and a gift from my mom.

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Care Package #2 will be posted as soon as he gets it– and this one I am stoked to show off! Stay tuned!

ETA: he loves the advent calendar I sent to him!

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Halloween Wrap-Up

November 19, 2012 at 2:03 am (Food, General Crafting, Holidays)

My fiance’s office had a Halloween party where families could bring their kids and let them go trick or treating through the building– everyone was asked to dress up, and we all brought a snack for the party afterward.

I made Witch’s Fingers Chocolate Covered Pretzels– they were so easy!  I melted down green chocolate wafers, dipped some pretzel rods into them, and then pressed a sliced almond onto the end for the fingernail.  They looked freakishly realistic yet totally awesome at the same time!

For our costumes, I wanted to do something awesome, but I had the large problem of not having a sewing matching out in Washington, so whatever we were had to be something that could be “constructed” without sewing.  After much deliberation (and Pinning), I came up with the idea of being Where’s Waldo, and his girlfriend Wenda.  I figured we could go to a thrift store and find red striped shirts (and a denim skirt for me), and at the very least, we could get a white shirt and paint it.  Lo and behold, we hit up a Goodwill one night, and within minutes each had a red striped shirt, a red hat, and I even found the perfect denim skirt.  A trip to Walmart a few nights later got me red stockings and red and white striped socks!  The black glasses were courtesy of the dollar section in Michaels.  All in all, both of our costumes combined cost less than $20 and we were a hit at the party!

ETA:

We also carved our first pumpkin together.  Nothing major (or elaborate, as I usually do!), but it still turned out cute.

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Long Distance Pillowcases

November 19, 2012 at 1:51 am (General Crafting, Sewing)

While I was visiting my fiance in Washington, I had a few hours to kill each day while he was at work.  Generally I kept myself busy with my pictures, blogging, working out and crafting.  One of the crafts I worked on was hand embroidering these two pillows as a surprise for him before he deployed.  I got the idea from some screen printed pillows I had seen online, but I thought the embroidery made a nice touch.

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Etsy

November 19, 2012 at 1:42 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve finally decided to take my crafts to Etsy!

Almost three weeks ago our area was hit with Hurricane Sandy, and in the days following, everyone up and down the Jersey Shore began coming together to help volunteer, start fundraisers and donate supplies to shelters.   I began looking back through old pictures I had taken of the Jersey Shore and started posting them on Facebook.  A few people contacted me and said that they would like to buy some as a rememberance, and that got the gears running in my head.  So two weeks ago today, I opened an Etsy shop and listed some of my Jersey Shore photographs, and told customers that if they purchased a picture, I would donate $10 from their sale to the Red Cross.  My Etsy shop has been open for exactly two weeks, and I have raised $160 for the Red Cross so far.  It’s not millions, but every little bit helps!

While I was listing the pictures, I figured I might as well get my behind into gear and list some of my metal stamped bracelets as well.  Originally, I was going to do military and Disney sayings on my bracelets, but in light of the hurricane, I stamed out some bracelets that said “Jersey Girl” and “Jersey Strong” and they have been selling like hotcakes!

Click Here to check out my Etsy shop to see what’s for sale!
Here’s a small sampling of what is available in my shop.

Jersey Strong Bracelet:

This is a “no matter the distance” keychain– it’s for those who have a loved one far away, due to a move, deployment, etc.  I will stamp the coordinates of your location and their location on a large washer.

This is my Jersey Shore subway art print:

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Roasted Soy Sauce/Worcestershire Pumpkin Seeds

October 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm (Uncategorized)

My fiance and I carved our pumpkin yesterday, and before we did so, he asked if we could roast our pumpkin seeds. I had never done this before, so I looked up a bunch of recipes and used what I read to come up with my own, and it was so delicious I want to share–

Mmmm….before and after 🙂

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Soy Sauce/Worcestershire Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe is for 1 cup of pumpkin seeds– if you end up with more or less from your pumpkin, adjust as needed.

Clean your pumpkin seeds well– I rinsed mine 3 times, and then let them soak in warm water for a half an hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 275*F

In a bowl, melt 1T of butter. To the melted butter, add 1/4 t of garlic powder, 1t Worcestershire sauce and 2t soy sauce and mix well. Pour the mixture over the rinsed and drained pumpkin seeds and toss to coat well.

Prepare a pan by lining it with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and pour the seeds onto the foil. Spread the seeds out so they are in a single layer. Sprinkle salt over the seeds and bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

When the seeds are a golden brown, remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Store in an airtight container (if there’s any left!)

 

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Canvas Sign

October 16, 2012 at 2:33 am (Uncategorized)

I wonder how many of my posts from here on out will have the word “Pinterest” in it?  This one will be no different!  I love all those handmade signs that you see on Pinterest, so I took some ideas from them and came up with this one:

I basically started with a canvas, and covered it with fabric, and then used my Cricut to cut out letters.  After I marked off straight lines, I laid out and stuck on my words– lyrics to a song that means a lot to us… “It’s always better when we’re together”.  After they were stuck on, I painted the whole canvas with fabric paint, and after I patiently waited for it to dry, peeled the letters off to reveal the fabric below.  I love how it came out, and it looks great with these two frames from Hobby Lobby that I picked up!

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Lots ‘O Pillows

October 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm (Uncategorized)

Besides the Instagram Coasters , another thing my fiance asked me to make him was some pillows for our new couch. He just asked for “something black”, but I can’t be that boring, so I picked up a few remnants from the fabric store in shades of brown, beige and black and made a bunch of pillows for him. (The moustache is our favorite!)

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Instagram Coasters

October 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm (Uncategorized)

My fiance and I just got our first place, and one of the first things he said he wanted was some coasters– before he could go out and buy some, I assured him that I’d make some that would not only be better than anything he could buy, but would hold a lot more memories.

A little backstory here– this past summer, him and I went on a (half) cross-country road trip through the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington, and besides taking over 5,000 pictures on our two-week trip, I also Instagrammed the heck out of our trip.  I knew those square pictures would be perfect for making these coasters.

It’s not a very complicated process, but it was time consuming– basically, I printed my Instagram pictures 4″x4″ and purchased white 4″x4″ tiles.  I used craft glue to paint the sides of the tiles white, and then used a glue stick to glue the pictures to the tile.  To seal them, and make them waterproof, I poured a 2 part resin epoxy on the top, and smoothed it to the edges.  The resin gives the tiles a glass-like quality, and protects the picture from whatever is sitting on it.  I loved the way they came out, and so did my fiance– and so far, they’ve proved to be very useful!

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Amy Butler Weekender Bag

September 20, 2012 at 12:46 am (Sewing)

I did it! I did it! (Imagine me doing a happy dance…which I actually did when I completed this…)  I actually completed the holy grail of sewing patterns…the Amy Butler Weekender Bag.  I’ve had the fabric for this bag for about 3 months, the pattern for about 3 years and I’ve wanted to make it for waaaay longer than that.  What stopped me you ask? Several things– finding the perfect fabric was key (I finally found it in a tiny, hip, fabric store that I dragged my fiance into in Spokane, WA called The Top Stitch.  Yup– this Jersey Girl travelled all the way to Washington for the perfect fabric– if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is!), but really, it was all the negative reviews of this pattern found online.   I seriously have never read a positive review about this pattern, and yet, every sewist who lays eyes on it must, must, *must* make it.  I guess it’s a right of passage…. or maybe it’s the bragging rights? Maybe it’s a sickness? Who knows.  Whatever it is- when I first saw it years ago, I knew I had to make one.

I finally got up the courage this weekend to tackle this huge endeavor.  I’m going away next week (back to Washington– I may have to stop into the fabric store to show it off!), and I thought it might make the perfect carry-on bag, and now that it’s done, I know it’ll be perfect!  The excitement of having this bag in front of me is already starting to cloud out all the bad memories of sewing it– the cutting….and cutting….and cutting (there’s over 50 pieces), the piping (made from scratch nonetheless!), and oh– that stiff peltex and layers of interfacing.  In the end though- it was worth it.

Without further adu– my beast of a bag! (Seriously- it could be considered a small piece of luggage rather than a bag!)

A little recap:

Closeup of the fabric chosen.  It’s from the Amy Butler Home Decor “Lark” line– it’s called “Charcoal, Floral Couture”  Purchased at the Top Stitch in Spokane, WA.

The infamous pattern!

50+ pieces!

I used one of the many tips I read online and “pinned” my bag with clothespins rather than straight pins.  Seriously– nothing was penetrating the 10 layers of fabric that I had to sew through at one point.

Speaking of sewing through all that fabric…. here’s the first of 4 sewing machine needles I bent or broke:

Not only that, I broke two separate sewing machines! (Thankfully, they were both fixable)

Some tips and changes I made:

First of all, if I were to make one again, I’d invest in a welting foot.  I used a zipper foot, but even then, I had to sew some seams 3 or 4 times, getting a little bit closer to the piping each time.  It was a pain!

I’m also glad I took the time to line up the fabric for the pockets– makes for a much more polished finished look!  (I also doubled the pocket pieces and added a second set of pockets on the inside of the bag.  Four outside pockets is nice, but I like to have some organization on the inside too!

And last, I couldn’t believe the handles were attached with a little line of sewing!  I made mine more secure by sewing a box with an “X” inside.

All in all, it’s a great bag.  I might consider making another….but not any time soon!  My fingers need a little R&R from being pricked by needles and alllllll that handsewing to get the lining sewn to the inside of the bag (ha– you should have seen me sewing the lining in…I practically climbed into the bag to do it.  I wish I had a picture!).  But, I do love it’s size– it’s all ready to go here with my magazine and water bottle!

I think I might add a handle cover and a zipper pull, but it’ll have to wait for now!

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Mini Polaroid Magnets and Pins

August 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm (Uncategorized)

{Part 2 of who know’s how many posts it will take to catch up on my backlog}

Yet another Pinterest-inspired project. I saw these mini Polaroid magnets on Pinterest and just knew I had to make them with some of my favorite Instagram pictures.

I used the template provided at this link: http://www.ambrosiagirl.com/blog/tiny-polaroid-magnets/ but I changed up her directions a little bit. I mounted mine on some scrap matboard, and to seal it, I mixed up some resin and poured it on top of the pictures. The resin gave the polaroids a nice, glass-like finish, and made them extremely durable, especially since I attached pin backs to some of mine and put them on various tote bags and purses. They’re just so cute, I can’t help but smile when I see them!

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