Saturday, April 23, 2011

Edible Birds' Nest...aka, Last Minute Easter Dessert!

What a crazy week we have had! Last Saturday we had to take the little man to urgent care because he had a high fever that just wouldn't go down with medication. Turns out the poor dude had tonsilitis *sad face*. THEN it was back to urgent care Sunday morning because I somehow managed to strain a muscle in my shoulder going to bed the night before *double sad face*. I got some awesome pain meds and a snazzy new sling out of it. Thankfully we are both back to our old selves again!

Today's tutorial is actually a recipe, and an easy one at that. There is absolutely no measuring! Hurray! I've seen these little edible nests all over the interweb this year and figured they would be a cute and fun Easter dessert for the kiddos. They took about 30 min from start to finish. (Just enough time for me to watch a DVRed (DVR'd?) episode of Extreme Couponing.) Just a warning before you get started though! Your hands will be extremely messy! If you let the kids help out expect a nice big ol' mess. I did mine while the boy napped. My nerves can't handle another mess today ;)

Supplies Needed:

Chow Mein noodles. These can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store.
Chocolate that melts well. I used Wilton's candy melts.
Wax Paper
Cookie sheet (or a pizza pan if you're me)
Candy to use as your eggs (jelly beans, mini chocolate eggs, whatever!)

The first thing you will do is melt your chocolate. I just threw mine in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring each time. It's very important to not overheat your chocolate! Overheating it WILL ruin it.

Combine your chocolate and chow mein making sure to evenly coat the noodles.

Now comes the fun part! Take a handful of your noodle/chocolate mixture and put it onto your wax paper. Form it into a nest, and make sure you leave a decent sized opening in the center.

See! I told you it was messy!

Once you've assembled all of your nests, pop them in the freezer for about 5 minutes so the chocolate can set. When that's all said and done you are ready to place your eggs. I used the Cadbury mini eggs. You can use whatever you want though.

And here's the finished product:


Monday, April 18, 2011

Yarn Wrapped Easter Eggs

I know I know. Where's the mod podge tutorial!? Have you ever had an idea or a desire to do something so strongly that you couldn't focus on anything else until it came to fruition? That's what these yarn wrapped eggs are for me. Hold tight, that tutorial IS coming :)

I love yarn. I love how versatile it is. I especially love when the local craft store has it on sale. The idea for these eggs started with these cute little Easter trees that I came across at Target the other day. They were so cute that I had to scoop the remaining four up and bring them home with me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I had a pack of plastic eggs leftover from Parker's Easter basket (yes, I'm one of those people who already had her son's basket prepared and tucked away weeks before Easter) that I wanted to hang from the branches of the trees. Unfortunately the vision in my head and the reality didn't exactly match up. I had some pretty, bright, very Spring-like yarn that I picked up at Michael's earlier that day, so I decided to wrap it around my plastic eggs. What a difference it made! I adore the way the eggs look now! I even pulled out some of my buttons and glued them on a couple of them.

Cute huh?

I will say this now, while this is an easy project, it is time consuming. It's something you will want to start when the kids are napping or in bed for the night. That's the main reason why I only made four eggs ;) It always comes down to me being lazy!

You will need:

Plastic eggs (I used small ones)
Hot glue gun and sticks
Ribbon (for hanging your eggs)
Trees (or whatever you want to hang your eggs on)

The first thing you will want to do is place a dab of hot glue onto the top point of your egg and then put your ribbon on top. Then tie the ribbon in a knot. This will serve as the hanging piece of your egg:

Next, take the end of your yarn and glue it in the center of the top of the egg like so:

Bring the yarn down and glue it to the bottom of the egg:

Bring the yarn back to the top of the egg and start wrapping it around it like so:

Continue wrapping and gluing your yarn around the egg until you have completely covered the egg. It will look something like this:

You can either leave it as it is or you can embellish it a little. I felt it was a little too plain so I added a few button "polka dots".

I followed the same process for my second egg:

My third and fourth eggs started the same way as the previous two, but I wrapped them differently. Instead of going around the eggs with the yarn, I went up and down with it:

This is what one of the last two eggs looks like:

And the finished product!

I love it!

Be sure to head over to Facebook and "like" my fan page! When we get to 20 followers/likes there will be a giveaway! Who doesn't like free stuff?!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Not a Slacker!

I promise I haven't forgotten about you! It's been kind of crazy around here. I spent yesterday baking dozens of cookies for a family gathering tomorrow, and this morning the little man and I went to the local craft fair. I got a few goodies and a lot of great ideas! We came home, had lunch, and while he napped i decorated all of my cookies.Then it all went downhill. My poor little Parker started running fever and has been a bit clingy. I won't be able to do any crafting until (hopefully) tomorrow night. I shall return!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why I Don't Have a New Tutorial Today

I had an easy mod podge picture frame tutorial planned for you today, but a certain someone was in need of a little extra mother/son time. Being the good mother that I am I gladly obliged :) So, instead of whipping up a cute frame for you I did a little bit of this:

And a little bit of this:

Followed by a little puzzle time:

Then a little light reading:

And then this happened:

Needless to say, the mod podge frame will have to wait until I get these babies fixed tomorrow (hopefully!). I don't know about you, but I think utilizing an extremely sharp exacto knife and a power drill while half blind is pretty much a terrible idea. It was a pretty awesome day until my glasses broke though. Thankfully my husband is awesome with a roll of masking tape. He saved the day and rigged them until tomorrow. I may look totally nerdy, but at least I can see now ;)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mini Tote: Birthday "Surprise" Part 1

I have an embarrassing problem. I am horrible at keeping secrets from my sister Ashley. HORRIBLE! She's the same way though, so I don't feel bad when I spill the beans about a gift I'm giving her. She and I have always been this way. I can't remember the last time either one of us has been surprised when we've opened a gift from each other haha. What's the point in giving a gift to someone if you're just going to tell them about it beforehand?! I have no idea. It makes no sense at all. No one will tell us what they've gotten for us either because they're afraid that we'll tell each other. I'm 28 years old for crying out loud! This behavior is something a 5 year old would do! Oh well! :)

That being said, today's tutorial is actually one of Ashley's birthday gifts. Her birthday is on the 22nd. It will actually be her "golden" birthday because she will be the ripe old age of 22. My baby sister is all grown up *sob*.

Let's get this party started shall we? This little bag is quite simple to make. The most labor intensive part is the flower that I will be showing you how to assemble. I love this tote. I think it's the perfect spring/summer accessory. All of my supplies were purchased at Hobby Lobby (aka my home away from home).

You will need:

A medium or small cotton canvas tote
A ruler or measuring tape
Your handy dandy hot glue gun
Three strips of ribbon, ric rac, or both. You can even use fabric!
Buttons for embellishing
A felt circle
A roll of 1.5 wide ribbon (which will be used to make the flower)

Let me preface this by saying I'm not big on measuring. I'm more of an "eyeball it" kind of gal. I do this for two reasons. 1., I'm lazy (ha!), and 2., I'm not the best at reading a ruler or measuring tape. Inch and half inch increments I can do. The rest makes me say "duuuhhhhhhh". Aren't those little clothespins holding the ribbon together adorable?! I saw them one day and couldn't pass them up. I'm a big fan of anything small. I guess it's one of the reasons why I love babies and little kids so much ;).

So, the first thing you will want to do is lay your ribbon on your bag and figure out your design. In this instance I used two different patterned ribbons and ric rac. I really love using different patters in the same color scheme together. Once you figure out your placement, cut your ribbon making sure to leave a little overlap on each side.

Use your glue gun to glue the pieces onto your bag. Then trim the excess length. I like to go back and put just a little bit of glue at the ends to make sure it stays in place and doesn't fray.

This next step can be a little tricky at first (not to mention kind of time consuming), so if you are unsure about making this flower you can always make one of the fabric rosettes I posted here. If you're feeling brave, patient, and willing to sacrifice your fingertips to some extremely hot glue read on!

I'm really not sure what this flower would be called, and I definitely can't take credit for its creation. I stumbled upon it a while back, and can't remember where I found it so linking it is kind of impossible. I would love it if I could remember because I want to give credit where credit is due! This is what it looks like when it's finished. I love it!

This is where that roll of 1.5 inch wide ribbon and the felt circle come in. Grab your ruler and cut six 2.5 inch long strips, and six 2 inch strips. The first thing you are going to do is dab a bit of glue in the corner of a piece of ribbon and fold it over like so:

Repeat this step on the other side, making sure that your ends don't meet. Continue doing this with the remaining 11 pieces of ribbon.

 These next few parts require a little folding and a lot of hot glue getting on your fingers. You will need to place a dab of glue almost in the center at the bottom of your fabric pieces, then fold one side over. Make sure you leave enough overlap to fold it back over again! Hold it for a few seconds so the glue can set. It sounds trickier than it actually is. Here is an example of what you will do:

Next, put some glue on the bottom corner of the "wrong" side of your ribbon, and fold your flap back. Hold for a few seconds.

Repeat this step on the opposite side and each remaining ribbon. They should look like this when you are finished:

 Set the smaller ribbons to the side and grab your felt circle. Glue a large ribbon to the felt like so:

Glue a second ribbon directly across from your first:

Continue gluing the remaining large pieces onto the felt. You will have room to put two at the top and two at the bottom. Once you've finished placing the six large ribbons your flower will look like this:

Follow the same process using your smaller pieces of ribbon.

Finish your flower with a button, pearl, little rosette, or whatever you want. You can even use a bottle cap if you want!

Now that we've gotten the flower out of the way, it's time to decide where you want to put it on your tote. I chose to put mine in the top right corner of the bag. Once you have your placement figured out go ahead and glue that sucker down.

We're in the home stretch here people! You can stop here if you want, but I felt that this project wasn't quite complete. I rummaged around in my bag-o-buttons and found three buttons in different colors and sizes. You can sew them onto your bag of course, but I didn't feel like hunting down a needle and thread for three little i glued them. Remember the part where I said I was lazy? :)

And there you have it! One completely unique, totally adorable tote perfect for spring and summer! This bag isn't just going to be given as a purse, it's also going to be used as a gift bag for the awesome bib necklace I'll be making next. Smart idea right? I hope you have a blast making your very own tote! I'd love to see pictures of finished products too *hint hint*!

And I hope you like this bag Ashley because I know you're reading this tutorial. Maybe next year I'll be able to keep a secret...or not ;).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fabric Rosettes

I've become quite obsessed with these little flowers in the last month or so. They're super easy to make, take about 5-10 minutes, and look adorable when they're done! They're also pretty versatile. You can put them on practically anything! I've embellished cardigans, t-shirts that, a chalkboard, and several hair clips and headbands. Like I said, I'm obsessed!

My sister and her sweet baby girl came to visit a few weeks ago. One afternoon while both kids were napping (I know, it's a miracle!) I dragged her out to my craft room to teach her how to make these flowers. My sister is probably the least crafty person I know, sorry Ashley it's true :), and she knocked about 5 of these out in about 10 minutes or so. Now she's addicted to them.

Your supplies will vary depending on your plans for these sweet little flowers, but you will always need the following four items:

Fabric (or ribbon or even yarn!)
Felt-try to use coordinating colors
Hot glue gun

For now I'll just show you the basics. I'll go further into detail with the different things you can do with them later.

First you will need to cut a strip of fabric. The length of the fabric is all up to you, but keep in mind that you will be twisting and folding it so a small piece isn't a good idea. I usually measure mine to be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide. It was quite late when we decided to take photos of the tutorial, so we just rummaged around my craft room until we found some fabric and felt. Please excuse the not so cute (and not so matching) color choices :)

 Once you have your strip of fabric cut the length and width you want, grab it at both ends and start twisting it. You will want to twist it fairly tight.

That's my sister Ashley. She was a good sport and helped me with my tutorial :)

After you've twisted till you can't twist anymore, fold your fabric in half and let it roll onto itself.

Next, grab the open end (where the two ends meet), dab on a little hot glue, then roll it into itself. Hold it in place for a few seconds so the glue can set some. The following picture will give you a visual of what I mean.

Continue rolling your flower around itself, making sure to glue it in spots so it doesn't fall apart on you. You don't want to have to start over!

When you reach the end of your twisted rope of fabric take a look at both sides of your flower. Choose the prettiest side then glue the end to the opposite side like so:

Put your flower to the side and grab your felt. Cut a circle (it doesn't have to be perfect or exact) a little bit smaller than your flower. This will serve as the back to the flower and also help ensure that it doesn't fall apart on you! Hot glue the back of your felt and stick it on the back of your flower like so:

 And that's it! You've successfully made a fabric rosette flower!  Turn it over and admire your handiwork.

Welcome to the addiction! If you have any problems or questions don't hesitate to ask! Now go forth and make rosettes until your little heart is content!