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Archive for January, 2011

Day 28: 31 Day Challenge – Felt Pillows with Flair

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I have a friend named Jocelyn.  She owns a bakery called Bakery Bar.  She spends a lot of her time decorating cakes.  Jocelyn told me she wanted some pillows for her couch in her home.  I told her that we could make them together.  She basically did one of her cake designs, but in a pillow format instead.  She cut out the felt details and drew the design.  I was the sewer in this project because I am a more experienced sewer than she is.

I used batting to create the inner pillow.  One thick piece intended to be used for floor pillows and some thinner long pieces that one might use for a quilt or blanket, but for this project I used them to wrap the pillow.

I cut up the large piece of batting to the dimensions I needed.  Then I cut out some pieces of knit material to create an inner pillow for the slip cover.

It was fun to work on a new project with new designs that I didn’t even have to think about coming up with.

Day 28: Felt Pillows With Flair

Here is the completed pillow.  I hope Jocelyn likes it!

In case you didn’t read my first blog post about this project . . . this post is part of a 31 day challenge I am doing to bring more creativity, stories and solutions to my life.  I have been using my creativity almost exclusively for work in the recent past and for the month of January I will creating things for my personal life, talking about them and taking pictures.I would love input from readers as to which project you enjoy the most and if I get enough comments on one particular project I’ll turn it into a tutorial after the 31 day challenge of crafting, stories and solutions is over.  So please let me know what you like!

by:jen

Day 27: 31 Day Challenge – DIY Ketchup

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

I made a meatloaf yesterday and realized that I didn’t enough ketchup to top the meatloaf with.  I thought, “maybe I could make my own?”   I remembered that the last time I was at the Victory Bar I had ordered hush puppies that came with homemade ketchup and it was amazing.

I haven’t made ketchup before so I started searching for recipes.  I found this one from Epicurious. I didn’t have any cans of whole tomatoes so I substituted 2 smaller cans of tomato sauce.  I finished it and added it to my meatloaf.  It was unbelievably good.  Next time I think I’ll add a little less brown sugar.  I put the extra ketchup in a canning jar, so we can use it in the future.   Now I want to try my hand at making hush puppies too, maybe this weekend.  Here’s a recipe for hush puppies that sounds great.

Day 27: DIY Ketchup

Here is my modified recipe:

yield: Makes about 2 cups
active time:
20 minutes
total time:
3 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Cook onion in oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes, then put chopped onions in a food processor  and blend until smooth.  Add tomatoes sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour (stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching).

Chill, covered, at least 2 hours (for flavors to develop).

Can be chilled for up to 3 weeks.

In case you didn’t read my first blog post about this project . . . this post is part of a 31 day challenge I am doing to bring more creativity, stories and solutions to my life.  I have been using my creativity almost exclusively for work in the recent past and for the month of January I will creating things for my personal life, talking about them and taking pictures.I would love input from readers as to which project you enjoy the most and if I get enough comments on one particular project I’ll turn it into a tutorial after the 31 day challenge of crafting, stories and solutions is over.  So please let me know what you like!

by:jen

Day 26: 31 Day Challenge – Short Shirt? No Problem.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I have this shirt that is waaaay too short. It’s one of those shirts that every time I wash it it’s a smidge shorter than the time before.  I decided I was going to redo this article of clothing for functional reasons, but also in the process add some detailing to make it custom and unique.

I used a bathing suit pull-over thingy.  What do you even call those things?  Bathing suit cover-ups?  I almost never wear bathing suits and when I do I cover up with my clothes so this cool green thing is getting no use in my life.  Perfect for a redo.

I decided that I going to use the top part of the cover-up at the bottom of my shirt.  To tie the piece together I decided I was going to make an octopus embellishment.  I cut out the octopus out of paper.  Then I laid it down on the shirt and tried it on to be sure that the octopus was placed above my breast and not on my breast. 

Next I cut out the octopus and pinned it onto the shirt.  Notice that I didn’t iron this shirt or the embellishment.  I also didn’t back the embellishment with a stabilizer either.  I wanted to keep this really simple.  If you aren’t much of a sewer a stabilizer is a good idea, but I like to challenge myself and do things in new ways when I can.

I sewed the octopus onto the shirt using a straight stitch of 3.5.  When I was done stitching I trimmed away the excess material.  After I was done sewing the octopus.  I pinned and then sewed the top of the cover-up (the smocking portion) to the bottom of the shirt.  I could have made this into a mini dress if I had wanted to by leaving the bottom portion (the skirt part) of the cover-up, but I wanted a shirt so I cut that part off and used it for the embellishment.

Day 26: Short Shirt?  No Problem.

Here is the completed shirt.  I took two items that I wasn’t wearing and created one super wearable piece that I LOVE.  I hope this inspires you to create something new in your wardrobe from something or somethings that weren’t working for you in your life.

In case you didn’t read my first blog post about this project . . . this post is part of a 31 day challenge I am doing to bring more creativity, stories and solutions to my life.  I have been using my creativity almost exclusively for work in the recent past and for the month of January I will creating things for my personal life, talking about them and taking pictures.I would love input from readers as to which project you enjoy the most and if I get enough comments on one particular project I’ll turn it into a tutorial after the 31 day challenge of crafting, stories and solutions is over.  So please let me know what you like!

by:jen