Wednesday, November 30, 2011

day 174: sparkly reindeer food :)

perfect reindeer food ;)
day 174 and its time to get ready to feed the reindeer ... oh come on, there are only 24 days until christmas, of course it's not too early to get it ready.  actually the reindeer food i am making today are for surprise packages for two deserving families in our nearest town we are going to deliver on the 23rd :)  i digress, onto the creation from pinterest today which is on our best bites, what a cool website full of great ideas and crafts loved spending a LONG while there!  i pinned their reindeer food goody bags to my christmas is coming board :)

the free printable tags for this reindeer food are available to download and print from the tomkat studio, so this creation only takes five minutes to do unless you decide to discuss it with your eager children. when i told my two little peeps what i was up to they decided it needed nutritional merit to it ... WHAT?  when they heard me talking about glitter and sparkle they glossed over THAT part and instead were concentrating on the fact some form of sugars should be added to the mix for sustenance .... REALLY?  i wanted pretty and sparkly, they are tramping kids and were thinking more along trail mix (scroggin) to help the reindeer on their journey ... i had nothing to rebuke this, they won and we ended up settling it by adding sultanas to the mix.

what you need

love how the glitter attached itself to the sultanas!

mixed reindeer food

labelled and ready to go in the gift baskets!

outcome:  we have a sustaining, wholesome reindeer mix that sparkles ... does it get any better than this for reindeer?  i didn't mention the fact next year we would have to get some edible glitter as it is likely that once all little peeps are sleeping i will need to clean up the oats and replace them with carrots so the reindeer don't eat the glitter ;)  told you i had a soft spot for reindeer!!

my thanks to our best bites and the tomkat studio for making today's pinterest creation so very easy to do, the process was a delight, even with the input of my peeps!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

day 173: reindeer noses and a mug rug

day 173 and i am feeling particularly crafty today so i made two pinterest creations!

the finished reindeer noses treat bags

the first, of course, involves reindeer ... even more precisely reindeer noses!  i absolutely loved this idea for the kids to give their mates for christmas favours.  zoe from a personal touch made these little goody bags for a craft stall and made the beautiful bag toppers.  i decided to go with these amazing bag toppers from kate hatfield that are freely downloadable and you can have them plain or with text.  i went with the plain ones so i could customise them to be used for reindeer nose toppers :)  then simply add 8 brown noses to the bag and one red one (can't forget rudolf!).  staple together and you have some great gifts for the kids to hand out to their friends.

what you need :)

a finished treat bag :)

the second creation i made today was another xmas mug rug.  i was totally inspired by this one amy made at increasingly domestic.  amy has a wonderful tutorial for achieving this christmas mug rug step by step. i loved the simplicity of it but as i don't own a rotary cutter i decided it would be helpful to my less than straight sewing if i created a paper piecing pattern to achieve this!

my pattern for the mug rug!

once i had the pattern done, it has down to the sewing machine to put it all together!

finished ... and my pattern worked for paper piecing!

we of course had to try it out and see if it worked!

outcome:  both of these creations were pinned to my christmas is coming board and i am absolutely delighted with both!  they both came together easily and were a joy to make.

my sincere thanks to zoe, kate, and amy for all of today's inspiration that had me filling, printing, cutting, and sewing to complete some truly awesome christmas creations :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

day 172: reindeer pillow

the reindeer pillow completed!
day 172 and we are back to my tribute to the reindeer of christmas today :)  we are making a pillow for pollyanna's room (again!) using this awesome tutorial from just crafty enough.  the bonus with this tutorial is it also comes with the pattern to print out for the reindeer, VERY helpful!  i absolutely love the simplicity of the one they made and think i will make some more for the lounge in the future.

i am using a green gingham for pollyanna's one as it is one of the foundation fabrics in her room.  i used a brown felt and cut the reindeer out then lightly glued it in place before HAND stitching around the design.  i don't hand stitch often, it's not my favourite thing to do.  something about time and hand stitching and patience seems to be the issue here, but as it was for a reindeer i made an exception.  then you make the pillow according to the tutorial.  my pillow insert was much smaller than theirs so the reindeer is a little smaller as well to fit the design.

what you need

another pinterest inspired creation done :)

outcome:  COOL, and actually the hand stitching wasn't too bad after playing a game of netball and being exhausted my patience for sitting was extremely high ;)   it was great tutorial and absolutely loved that the reindeer pattern came with it free.  i would show it to you on polly's bed but she is sound asleep ... well maybe i will,

sweet dreams little one with your new friend :)

my sincere thanks to just crafty enough for their crafting, which is surely more than enough with beautiful designs like this one.  definitely worth checking their website out, look at the amazing inspiration on their projects page.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

day 171: a recycled christmas pillow

recycled tee into a christmas pillow :)
day 171 and i am into recycling today.  i am making a christmas pillow for pollyanna out of an old christmas tee shirt she no longer fits.  i got the idea from the quilted blankets i have seen on pinterest that people have made out of their old tee shirts ... aren't they fabulous :) i thought it would be a great idea for the kids christmas tee's but unfortunately most of the designs are top heavy so wouldn't make very "nice" squares!

i decided to use the couple of square ones i did have would make great christmas pillows for the children's bedrooms ... a perfect recycle for some unused items i am not that keen to let go of :)

i used a ruler and a sharpie to square off the design on the front and then cut out the back at the same time so the  pillow back and fronts would match in size.  then it was to the sewing machine for some straight line sewing and the attaching of a couple of ribbons at the back to secure the pillow case in place.

sizing up the tee pattern

a finished pillow in 15 minutes!

doesn't look too bad on her bed either :)

i love the message on this tee, it reminds
me of the sound of music :)

outcome: well this is just a great use for old tees that are still treasured but no longer fit.  i am converted about tee's being the ideal thing to make all sorts of things out of ... it was just SO easy!

my thanks to all those wonderfully creative people who have recycled their old tee's AND then blogged about it so those of us more challenged crafters can find amazing inspiration from you.  my gratitude goes out to you over and over again :)

I'm linking up with:

Link Party


Saturday, November 26, 2011

day 170: christmas wall art, reindeer style!

the finished wall art, complete with red nose!
day 170 and one of my favourite parts of christmas are the reindeer ... LOVE the reindeer, always have, even as a child they were the BIG deal for me and i can name them all without fear of failing!  as a child mum would always make sure we left something out for the reindeer just the same as we did for santa.  usually it was a couple of carrots and a water bowl and in the morning we would wake to find chewed up carrot bits about the deck and a water bowl drunk dry ;)  now my children put out a bag of reindeer food (carrots, apples, and oats) and the water and it is they who wake to see what has been left behind by the reindeer.  aahhh, just another reason to love this season.

there seems to be a limited amount of reindeer christmas trinkets for me to buy this december in nz so i am making some of my own this week and, as such, most of this week will be dedicated to reindeer creations here at pinterest 365!  we start today with a piece of wall art for pollyanna's room ... i have a girly girl who LOVES sparkles and animals (especially jen's dogs) so it's lucky we live on a small farm.  needless to say it was the perfect wall art today for her room as it involves reindeer and glitter stickers.

i am using this idea from pinterest to make some wall art using a 4" x 8" canvas and some scrapbook glitter stickers.  i love that the fullstop is a subtle reminder of rudolf and his famous nose!  i can't find a designer for this work but doesn't it make you just go, that' cool .... ok maybe it's just me and my fascination with the reindeer, but i loved it as soon as i saw it and immediately pinned it to my christmas is coming board.  thanks to bless your sweet heart for attaching it to her tumblr account :)

what you need

add reindeer

add red glitter glue

and you have a fine looking piece of wall art!

outcome: AWESOME, it looks fantastic in her room and i am so happy with it i plan to make one for ben's room (even though his is full of santa's not reindeer) and a pillow one for my room when i can buy a new ink well  in december when no spend november is FINALLY over (november and no spending is getter really boring and old now but it has worked absolute wonders).

once again, i extend my sincere thanks to the original designer of this (whoever you are, you are awesome) and to bless your sweet heart for attaching it to her tumblr account so others to love it :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

day 169: gift for my brother

the perfect present for a twenty plus year old boy!
day 169 and it's time to send off my brother's birthday present (sorry it's late jack!).  i used some reward points i had to get some gift vouchers for him.  i found this wrapping idea, which is just perfect for a university student :)  the idea is from create my event and they use it as a graduation present, which is also a great idea.  actually i think if you have young adults out flatting or at university it's the perfect present for them at any time of the year!  as such, i pinned this idea to my gift wrapping and gift ideas board on pinterest.

i am using a frame i already had and then printed off a backing sheet.  then it was simply a case of attaching the vouchers and sealing the frame.

what you need

the finished present!

outcome: pending, but its such a great gift for a boy who is HARD to buy for!  i am totally stoked and even if he does "break" the glass straight away at least it should make him laugh and is better than just putting vouchers in a card for a twenty something boy who's going to toss the card as soon as he gets it :)  totally cynical sorry but so true of my brother ;)

my thanks to create my event for this fantastic idea to that makes giving vouchers or money far more fun, especially for university guys and girls who need it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

day 168: 31 home-made taco seasoning

a bit of this, that, and the other and you have home-made
taco seasoning :)
day 168 and i am making some home-made taco seasoning today ... yes home-made, who new you could do that before pinterest!

this lovely, and very easy looking recipe comes from maggie at smashed peas and carrots.  there are a number of reasons why i am excited about this recipe but mostly because i can control the amount of salt and chilli that that goes into it to suit my family.  it was pinned to my recipe must do's board.

i got out all the ingredients and then mixed ... and that was it.  i didn't add in the onion or garlic powder as i use fresh of both in almost every evening meal and prefer the flavour of fresh onion and garlic. the hardest part was finding the lid to the container i chose to keep it in (i really have to sort that horror of a cupboard out).

gather the ingredients and measure

put them all into a clip lock storage container and shake
to mix, then you end up with the most wonderful smelling
taco seasoning :)

outcome:  this smells so good, honestly the kitchen still smells yummy from it! i plan to use this seasoning heaps for tacos, home-made burgers, stews, all sorts! i loved the fact that i could adapt to suit the kids with regards to spiciness and keeping the salt really low. the best part is knowing exactly what's in it and not having to decipher the additives on the back of the packaging :)

my sincere thanks to maggie at smashed peas and carrots for this taco seasoning recipe.  maggie also does lots of crafting and other amazing looking recipes so i of course signed up to join her using google connect!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

day 167: paper piecing for a mug rug

a mug rug for my mum to use during december :)
day 167 and i am going to try and use my new found skills in paper piecing (a type of quilting) to make a christmas mug rug for my mum.  the one i made the other day is getting SO much use i definitely need to make one for everyone!  i found this paper piecing pattern from azpatch for a candle on pinterest and thought it would be perfect for my mum's mug rug.  the pattern is pinned to my christmas is coming board.

i printed off the pattern and enlarged it slightly to make it easier for me to sew!  the next job was to find some fabric and cut pieces to fit each numbered space.  then it's a case of sewing in the order of the numbers and then finishing the quilting process by something dee call sewing in the ditches (i think that's what she said anyway!).

the finished mug rug :)

outcome:  not too bad for my first effort at paper piece quilting on my own!  i was so engrossed in the process though i did forget to take photos along the way, so today their are only after shots!  i am really enjoying starting to quilt and i think it has made a huge difference starting off with some small things and using this method ... so much easier than trying to match large squares together!  i can't thank my dear friend dee enough for helping me learn this technique, you are such a sweetie my lovely friend :)

my thanks to azpatch for this wonderfully free paper piecing pattern that enabled me to make the cutest christmas mug rug for my sweet mum :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

day 166: chocolate banana cake

the very large chocolate banana cake, unfortunately right
after this picture the battery in the camera asked to be
charged and i couldn't get another picture of it cut with
the dusting of icing sugar :(
day 166 and i am back to the kitchen today in another attempt to fill my baking tins!  today we have some very ripe banana's to use so i went to pinterest to find a banana something to make.  it took me quite a while to find a recipe i had everything for ... does everybody put sour cream or cream cheese in their banana cakes?

i eventually found this chocolate banana cake recipe from joy of baking.  i had all the ingredients and in the second paragraph it had this to say:

Chocolate Banana Cake is a snap to put together. Fifteen minutes is about all you need. It is more like a quick bread in that you do not use a mixer, just two bowls.

yes indeedy, that was me sold and printing out the recipe after pinning it to my recipe must do's board.

i did exactly as the recipe suggested and it was done and in the oven in ten minutes.  cakes do not get any easier than this to make!  35 minutes later a very large looking cake came out of the oven and my hopes of tin filling were beginning to take shape.

it is a very runny mixture

into the tin for baking

and out of the oven this beautiful looking cake came
35 minutes later
outcome:  this is a superb light, very moist chocolate cake with a hint of banana taste.  the texture is definitely that of a banana cake but the taste of the banana is subtle.  the family loved the cake.  i didn't frost the cake with anything except a dusting of icing sugar and that turned out to be a good decision.  it really doesn't need anything as it is quite rich for a light cake.  definitely doing this cake again, especially when i need something sweet for large groups :)

many thanks to joy of baking for testing this recipe from best summer weekends cookbook by jane rodmell.  the cake was delicious and has filled a baking tin for today at least!

Monday, November 21, 2011

day 165: berry cookie bars

the slice ... before they ate it
day 165 and i am into the kitchen today to do some baking for the tins.  monica from lick the bowl good has come up with another mouth watering recipe for cranberry cookie bars ... they look so very very delicious!  unfortunately there are no cranberry's in this mothers cupboard so i am making these bars with frozen mixed berries instead.

this recipe does call for the heavy machinery to be lifted out of the cupboard but as the bars looked so good and i had all the ingredients i figured it would be worth it.  the only changes i made to the recipe were using the frozen mixed berries instead of cranberries and i didn't sprinkle with the additional sugar.  apart from those minor variations, i followed the recipe and they were in the oven in ten minutes.

before baking

after baking

before the eating took place, just as well they took the
photos ;)

outcome:  i am assuming these were awesome.  you will notice on my side bar in the blurb about me i mention that i have the full support of my family in this 365 undertaking.  i put these bars into the oven and realised i hadn't left enough time to get them out before i went to play netball so my sweet husband said he would take them out at the right time and take some pictures for me to post with ... perfect.  when i returned home i found the baking tray on the table HALF EMPTY ... apparently these were so good warm, my support crew went ahead and ate half of them!  mental note, double the recipe the next time i make these as they didn't even reach the tin let alone fill it :)  the recipe doesn't make heaps but even so they were so tasty even i had two pieces!

thanks to monica from lick the bowl good ... i think ... my visions of filled baking tins didn't quite happen but i do have a really happy family and it is all thanks to her wonderful recipe!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

day 164: fabric bucket

the finished fabric basket ... this one is about 9" high 
day 164 and today i had the best day sewing at a dear, dear friends.  dee and i made fabric buckets today for my pinterest creation ... i tell ya, there is nothing better than spending the day chatting about crafts and crafting!

a while ago i pinned these fabric buckets from 2 little hooligans to my sewing diy board and today we decided was the day to make them ... so we did!  the tutorial from christina is fabulous and we were done with our two buckets in just over an hour.  christina even provides you with a pattern to print if you want to create a nest of three buckets.  dee had a large picnic plate that we used as the base and for the sides you just measure the circumference of the plate and the height of the bucket is to your pleasing.

the red gingham one is mine and the one with the
cool retro lamp shades is dee's ... next up you add the lining

lining added and the bucket is all but
complete with just the heading stitching to do
my completed bucket, just needs some felt holly don't you

outcome: OVER THE MOON!  these buckets were a joy to make and the final outcome is so awesome!  i plan to make many more in the next couple of days.  the red gingham one i made today is going to have a felt holly attached to it to make it a christmas one!  i also plan to make two sets of nesting buckets as christmas presents for family they worked so well!  my house will soon be littered with these buckets as they are so useful and you can make them purpose sized for your needs ... how cool is that :)

a very big thank you to christina for this brilliant tutorial on making fabric buckets, they are simply a joy to make and so incredibly useful.  her site is amazing, full of fantastic crafting and wonderful eye candy as well!

we were done so quickly with the fabric buckets, my sweet friend dee, had time to teach me paper piecing for quilting.  i had the BIGGEST thrill today, i ACTUALLY quilted a mug rug, complete with a christmas tree.  AND the mug rug even works ... check that out!

i still find it amazing that i quilted this mug rug today!
i couldn't have done it without you dee, thank you
so much my friend :)

i'm off to find more christmas mug rugs to pin to my boards so i can make one for each member of the family!