November 14, 2011

Cinnomn Roll Ring

I saw quite a few people pinning this a few weeks ago. It looked lovely. I pinned it myself, but only because I liked it for the inspiration aspect. I haven't tried the recipe as it's written on the source blog. It might be great or horrible. I wouldn't know. I just knew I couldn't go wrong with the version below.

Sticky Bun Wreath

1 can refrigerated cinnamon roll dough (like Pillsbury)
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In small saucepan, heat sugar, corn syrup and butter over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Pour sugar mixture into a greased bundt pan.

Place cinnamon rolls around pan, overlapping slightly (Pillsbury Grands tend to have 5 biscuits. Non-Grands have 8. That seemed to work. I probably could have gone with 1.5 cans)

Bake at 375 for twenty minutes, or until rolls are puffed, dry-looking and browned slightly.

Let set for 1-2 minutes.
Place large plate over pan. Invert (use pot holders or oven gloves!). Let pan sit on plate for a bit, allowing syrup to drip onto rolls

Grandparent Christmas Gift

This puppy's straight from Pinterest here (Note: I tried to link the blog this came from, but it doesn't exist anymore. Sorry.) I can't embroider. At all. needle crafts aren't my thing. If I can't duct tape it I usually don't do it. But this I could do.

Cloth (like muslin or something easily embroiderable)
Embroidery thread - one color for each hand
Needle (and threader)
Washable marker (I used a sewing-specific one)
Embroidery Hoop

Step 1: Use the cardstock to trace each family member's hand print. Cut out each hand slightly smaller than the tracing.

Step 2: Place fabric in embroidery hoop, aiming for the middle of the fabric (if framing.) Pull fabric taut.

Step 3: Trace around the largest hand outline with washable marker.

Step 4: Thread needle. Start sewing/embroidering along the drawn hand.

Step 5: Continue until the first hand is done. Layer the second hand over the first, following steps 3 and 4 with a different color embroidery thread color.

Continue until all the hands have been embroidered.

Optional: Using the washable marker, write the year or family name near the hands. Embroider with yet another thread color.

Step 7: Remove fabric from hoop. Wash lightly in cool water. Let dry. Iron flat.

Step 8: Trim fabric to frame size. Frame.

Step 9: Wrap and put under the Christmas tree.

Moose Tracks:
Of course I forgot to take a pic before I wrapped the frames. So, you don't get a fully framed shot. My apologies.
I used a gradient of blue colors to donate the boys in the family. I used pink to highlight me (the only chick in this joint.) I feel like it gives another element to the project.
I chose to embroider (ha!) the year underneath the hands. The first one I tried was with a smaller date. That's hard to embroider. So, the second time around I went with a larger "2011". It came out much better.
Again, I have no idea if the stitch method I used is actually embroidery. I'm sure it's not. I went purely on instinct and I'm happy with how it turned out. In an effort to not develop my own language, I'm simply calling my hot mess of a stitch embroidery. Don't flame me.

Turkey Ts

My boys are young enough they still allow me to dress them. And with Thanksgiving coming up, I needed something to dress them in. So, I went to Pinterest. And found this. But, I couldn't find the right fabrics to pull it off. Instead, I found a bunch of fat quarters in coordinating Fall-like colors. So I got a bit creative and came up with a tshirt idea similar. And, because I'm lazy, I went the no-sew route.

Plain tshirt
5 small pieces of cloth for feathers (I used fat quraters for everything)
1 orange-flavored fabric
1 brown-flavored fabric
2 googly eyes
Wonder Under or Heat N Bond (craft section of Walmart carries this stuff)
Cardboard or cardstock
Fabric Glue

Step 1: Wash and dry shirt - do NOT use fabric softener or any kind.

Step 2: Using cardbaord/cardstock, draw out templates: Large raindrop for the feathers, Snowman-like stacked circles for the body, triangle for the beak. Cut out templates.

Step 3: Trace 1 body, 1 beak and 5 feathers onto paper side of Heat N Bond/Wonder Under. Cut out shapes, leaving a border all the way around the traced lines.

Step 4: Iron shapes to the wrong side (back side) or fabric - Brown for the body, orange for the beak, and one feather for each of the ramining fabric pieces. Follow directions on back of package for Heat N Bond / Wonder Under.

Step 5: Cut out body and beak. Cut out feathers (I used pinking shears for that extra feathery look. Not necessary.)

Step 6: Remove paper backing from each piece. Align Body and beak in the center of the front of the shirt. Iron on. Let cool.

Step 7: Arrange feathers on the back of the shirt. Iron on. Let cool.

Step 8: Glue googly eyes on using fabric glue. Let dry.


November 8, 2011

This Little Guy Needs a Name

I made this nameless guy after spying something similar here. The beauty of this little guy is that you don't have to be a seamstress to do this. It's just a few straight lines.

1/4 Yard+ Soft material (I used a blue gray flannel)
Two buttons, preferably not exactly alike
Coordinating fabric scrap
Black yarn
Embroidery thread
Polyester fill
Sewing Needle
thread or sewing machine

Step 1: Double over the fabric and cut out a rough monster shape.

Step 2: Using black yarn, sew on a mouth on the right side of one piece of fabric.

Step 3: Cut out a circle larger than the button. Sew button and circle onto monster. Sew on other eye. Use yarn for both.
Step 3: Turn fabric so right sides are facing each other (you want the "good" sides facing each other. (Optional - pin fabric together around edges. I did not.)

Step 4: Using either a sewing machine or do so by hand, sew around the outside of the monster, making sure to leave a space large enough for you hand to fit through. I left the space at the top.
Step 5: Trim corners, making sure not to clip sewn thread. The clipped corners will allow you to turn the corners rightside out easier.
Step 6: Turn your monster right side out. Use a capped pen or corner turner to help push the corners out,.
Step 7: Stuff him, making sure to use small amounts of fill to stuff the arms and the legs.

Step 8: Using embroidery thread, stitch the hole up. I chose to stitch all teh way across the top (making sure to not make it too good looking). This made the hand-stitched area look kind of like hair. I also didn't have to worry about making the seam perfect.

Step 9: Using a needle and embroidery thread, thread 3"ish long pieces of thread through the top of the monster (half of the thread on each side). Double knot the thread. Continue at random intervals across the top of the monster. Now you have hair!
Step 10: Name him (I still have to complete this step)

Moose Tracks:
I'll be making another one of these very shortly. I intend to make it a girl by adding a bow and using a heart shape for the backing of the eye. As long as the fabric is soft, it'll be perfect. Don't worry.
Oh - sorry about the sideways pictures. I'm pretty sure blogger hates me.

Fall Argyle Wreath

This bad boy I made for my front door. It's inspired by about seventeen million different wreaths pinned on Pinterest. Go search for "wreath" and you'll see what I mean. It's why I can't source just one. There isn't just one.

3 sheets green felt
1/2 sheet purple and yellow
Gray yarn
Foam wreath
Fall decorations
Gel glue
Pretend the picture above has all green felt (I used the brown in a pinch - I only had two sheets of green)

Step 1: Cute each sheet of green felt in half (the long way). The cut each half into 1.5"ish strips (the short way)

Step 2: Glue the strips to the wreath, overlapping slightly.

Step 3: Cut the purple and yellow felt in half (long ways). Then cut each half into quarters. You should end up with 8 small rectangles for each color.

Step 4: Cut diamonds from each rectangle (fold in half twice over. Cut off the corner. Ta-da - a diamond.)

Step 5: Glue diamonds to wreath, alternating colors and overlapping tips slightly.

Step 6: Wrap the yarn at an angle in one direction (clockwise) until you get back to where you started. Tie off yarn underneath. Repeat in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise).

Step 7: Glue fall decoration over the area you like the least (like if you had to use brown felt when you ran out of green felt.)

Step 8: Hang!

Moose Tracks:
I kind of liked the color blocking I unintentionally created with the brown felt Perhaps I'll make one for Christmas that's color blocked Christmas colors. Seems fun.
If you're hanging this outside, I'd suggest backing the wreath with a donut of cardboard or some coordinating/matching felt.
I haven't done so yet, but I fully intend to line the edge of the wreath (where the felt end and the back of the wreath begins) with a length of brown ribbon. All the way around. It might be cute.

High Altitude Candy-making Conversion

I live about a mile up (not the Mile High City), which means everything boils sooner, the air is thinner, and ski resorts are only a few miles away. So, in order to create delectable candies, you have to do a little converting of the recipe. The table gives you both the stage name and the temperature range. However you choose to do it, keep an keep on your boiling sugar.
Happy candy making!

Candy Thermometer Readings for:






Creams, Fudges, Fondants

Soft Ball





Firm Ball




Divinities, Taffies, Caramel Popcorn

Hard Ball




Butterscotch, English Toffies

Soft Crack





Hard Crack




Healthy Turkey Meatball Stoup

When the weather starts to turn, I always make up a pot of Meatball Stoup. The word stoup (stolen from Rachel Ray) is a cross between and soup and a stew. The basic recipe is from Seinfeld's wife. The beauty of this sucker is the veggies snuck in. And, instead of bothering to cook and then puree my own veggies, I simply use baby food. yeah, you heard me. Baby food. Get the good stuff (like Gerber) that's literally just pureed veggies. The Stage 1 tubs come in 1/4 C. increments already. No measuring. Easy peasy.

Healthy Meatball Stoup

1Tbsp Olive Oil
1 sm onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sm zucchini, chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 C (1 tub) pureed carrots
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 C reduced sodium beef or chicken broth
3-4 oz whole wheat pasta shapes (bowtie, wagon wheels, small shells, etc)
3 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
1 lg egg
1/4 C (1 tub) sweet potato puree
1/4 C nonfat milk
2 Tbsp grated parmesean
1/4 tsp pepper and paprika, each
1/2 lb ground turkey

In medium bowl, mix together egg, sweet potato puree, milk, Parmesean, pepper and paprika together. Stir in cubed bread. Let set for 5-10 minutes (while you chop vegetables or start the first step in the cooking process.)

Stir mixture into paste. By hand, mix in turkey.
Form into mall meatballs. I use a 1tsp cookie dough scoop at first. When I actually put teh meatballs into the soup I break each mound in half to form tiny meatballs. Meatball size is totally up to you.
In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add in onion and garlic. Cook until onion is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add in zucchini.

In blender, puree the tomatoes (with juice) and carrot puree. Add to pot, along with salt and broth.

Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add meatballs to the pot, one at a time. Make sure to put the meatballs in different places along the bottom of the pot.

Let simmer for two or three minutes before stirring (to set the meatballs).

Add in pasta. let simmer until pasta is soft (follow package directions).

(Optional) Sprinkle more Parmesean on the top.

Moose Tracks:
Seriously - baby food rocks for things like this.
Add in other vegetable as you see fit.
I serve this with bread and butter. It kind of takes away from the healthy aspects of the soup, but who cares.