Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweater Mittens

A while back (okay honestly in December I think), I went to a craft fair where they had some adorable sweater mittens, but I didn't have $30 to spend on a pair of them.  Sad day.  Instead I started scouring the web for a free pattern, but wasn't that surprised that I couldn't find one that worked well.  I did find a few, but they weren't very accurate and didn't make sense proportionally.  Five attempts later, I finally figured one out myself.

What do you think?  What should I do to make them better (or do you miraculously like them this way already)?  I'd love to hear your feedback!

The cuffs on the white pair turned out a lot better than than teal pair.  I'm still trying to figure out why and how to fix that so the wrist cuff lays flatter.  (I think they look a lot better on, but since I already mailed off this pair to my sister-in-law, I can't take any more pictures of them on to prove it to you.)

Some constructive criticism would really be great!  How would you want them changed if I were to send a pair to you?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soup and Homemade Bread

Yesterday, I was making one our family's favorite winter meals: Potato Bacon Cheddar Soup.  Even the girls gobble it up!  It's a crockpot meal, so that makes me love it even more.  Maybe someday I'll have to share the recipe with you.  What do you think?  Would you like to try your hand at it, too?

I felt inspired to try my hand at some homemade Italian bread, and I was ecstatic to find that not only did the bread turn out but it tastes amazing with the soup.  It was a little overkill; the recipe creates two gigantic loaves of Italian bread, but I guess that's not all bad because it will freeze, and I won't have to bake any more bread for a while.

So what's your favorite soup and bread combination?  What fills you up and warms you to your core?  Is there a recipe for soup or bread that you just love and can't get enough of?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Essentials Bag

For Christmas, my husband's family always does stockings.  I didn't grow up with them, so the concept is still a new one that I struggle each year to figure out what in the world I'm going to do for.  This year, I made all of the girls a little thing I like to refer to as The Essentials Bag.  If you have a giant purse like I do, you know that it's easy to lose stuff in the bottom of it that you need but maybe don't use all the time: chap stick, lotion, lipgloss, etc.  You know, essentials.  (My list is a lot longer, but I don't want to scare you.)  A smaller zippered bag that can fit inside of my purse sounded like the perfect solution!

I wish I knew which website I got this idea from, but my inspiration was pre-Pinterest, and I foolishly didn't bookmark it.  So to whoever it was who geniusly came up with the design for this bag, I'm really sorry that I'm not giving you the credit.  I got the tutorial for how to make a basic zippered bag from MADE and embellished it from there. You can find the basic tutorial for how to make a zippered bag here.

This Essentials Bag is for my niece, who just turned 10.  Happy birthday, Liz!  While she probably doesn't have a gigantic bag that needs some organizing, I'm hoping she can get some good use out of it anyway.  A girl can never have too many purses and bags, right?

UPDATE:  I found the original designer, Anna Graham over at Noodlehead.  She even has a tutorial for how to make the bag.  (She calls it the Gathered Clutch.)  Hop on over to Noodlehead and check it out!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Distressed Photograph Canvases

It's been a really long time since I posted any projects.  Not that I haven't been working on things, and not that I haven't been taking photos of them.  Mostly, I've been trying to finalize a bunch of patterns to post online for free and haven't gotten around to getting them completely to my liking and scanned in for uploading.  Eventually some free PDFs will be coming your way.

For now, this is another project I've had on my to do list for a long while and finally had the time to do: distressed photograph canvases.  

I originally got the idea from Delia over at delia creates.  If you want to find out how to make your own, here is the tutorial over on her site.

The pictures are from the photo shoot with did for their one-year birthday with Aubrey and Emma's godmother Skyler.  She's such a gifted hobby photographer, and we all love her and are thankful that she's such a special part of our lives.

There are two things I really love most about this project.  It's really inexpensive, especially if you can get the canvases and gel medium on sale with 40-50% off coupons for Michael's or Joann Fabrics (I think I calculated it to about $7 a canvas after my savings).  Also, it's a project that's easy to work on for five minutes and come back to later without having to really start over or try to figure out exactly where you were at.  With these two, I need projects like that!

A couple tips I'd give out would be to be patient and not work on a canvas too long in one spot.  I'd advise letting it dry and coming back to it later or moving on to a new spot on the canvas so that you're not rubbing on the same wet spot too long (or you might rub some off).  Also, make sure you're liberal with the gel medium, and don't rub too hard to make sure the picture is pressed down on it.  I know you want to press hard enough that it sticks well and you've gotten rid of all the air bubbles, but if you press too hard, your picture might end up looking a little like this:

I already apologized to Ryan for taking off a chunk of his forehead, and I'm sure someday I'll hear about it from the girls how my face magically has the least damage.  It wasn't on purpose, I promise!  You can tell where I spread out the gel medium too thin with an old credit card because there are lines where the corners pressed in.  Luckily I left enough of the gel medium to stick to most of the picture, and it's not too bad.  I would have liked to leave our faces completely on the picture, though, without chunks and lines missing.  Oh well.  I guess I learned for the future.

Overall, I love them and am so glad I found a way to have canvases hanging in our house that I can afford!  Imagine our dining area walls without them:

Doesn't it look so much better?