Wednesday, February 29, 2012

day LEAP DAY! lets make cookies!

the spreadable, very edible cookies!

day LEAP DAY ... yes in my pinterest 365 this day is a bonus creation day!  didn't think to look ahead last year when i started and see how many days were in february, but as it turns out it's a bonus and i decided this sort of day deserved cookies :)  who am i kidding, the cupboards where borderline bare and the peeps and my husband are looking for goodies to snack on as the weather cools down for autumn.

this recipe is courtesy of mel's kitchen cafe.  after pinning this to my recipe must do's board, i went to check out the her website, this site is full of the most mouth watering yummy things, the pictures alone had me drooling!

the recipe does require the heavy machinery to be lifted out, but apart from that it's a straight forward recipe of just adding in the ingredients as the mixer goes around ... there is something mildly soothing about watching the mixer go around ... ... ... ... ... ... i must get more of a life, honestly ;)

the mix

outcome: these cookies SPREAD, and i mean SPREAD like wildfire .... off the tray and onto the next tray and onto the bottom of my oven (anyone want to come and clean it??).  so the next tray's i put in i gave the cookies more room and put less on the tray, that just gave my cookies the all clear to spread EVEN FURTHER!  ben was one happy chappy ... why?  ... as he was watching the oven while i was preoccupied he asked if he could have the biggest cookie, i said sure absent mindedly as often happens when it gets to the end of a busy day and i am over making sensible decisions.  HE was looking at this ....

the happy boy
i told him if he thought he could get dad to agree to go without a cookie, it was his ... he had no chance ... thank goodness!  he was proud enough to get one over me not to worry about my reneging!   there is no doubt, after the two i had this evening, these cookies are mighty tasty .. unfortunately for my waistline, but i will worry about that tomorrow!  if you can figure a way of not getting these to spread so far, these cookies taste so very, very good.  and if you don't mind the spread and a thinner cookie these are definitely a must make :)

my thanks to mel's kitchen cafe, i loved the taste of the cookies, if not the fact i now need to clean my oven!  luckily it's the taste i care about and i will definitely make them again, just to check i didn't go wrong with the recipe, which is always a definitely possibility!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

day 264: ranch dressing mix

whip this lot together and you have your own homemade ranch dressing mix :) 
day 264 and i had a quandary until a few days ago.  a LOT of the recipes i was pinning to my recipe must do's board on pinterest called for a ranch dressing mix in the list of ingredients ...  no such thing have i found in new zealand, it's hard enough to find the tuscan seasoning ;)  this irked me no end because the recipes sounded so good and i wanted to try them! well wouldn't you know it, someone has done me a huge favour and pinned a homemade recipe for a ranch dressing mix to pinterest ... THANK YOU PINNERS!

so today's creation is to make the said ranch dressing mix from scratch so i can have it on hand to make, well, ranch dressing, but more importantly a whole pile of crockpot recipes that have it as a key ingredient!  now you are with me, right?  thankfully the clever erin from $5 dinners (which i now follow, who wouldn't!) gives us this recipe and the best part is it only has six ingredients~!  this took .. oh ... two minutes to make, amazing for a problem that was so serious.

the ingredients ... plus pepper
the finished ranch dressing mix :)  yes indeedy, these are happy days :)

outcome:  it's getting closer to autumn here and that crockpot is going to get some serious use over the coming months so no ranch dressing mix was becoming almost emergency status ... but alas if like me you can not find it at the grocers, you can now make it at home EASILY!  in the meantime, i couldn't wait to taste the flavour of this mix so i put it on the chicken we barbecued tonight and it was sensational ... yes, i love ranch dressing but not as much as i love my new favourite herb mix!

my biggest thanks goes to erin from $5 dinners for solving this major issue for me ... honestly where would i be without the lovely pinners of pinterest and people like erin who try to make the world a much better place for all of us ... my crockpot dinners for the coming season have been saved ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

day 263: scrabble inspired easter trinket

the easter decor trinket inspired by all the scrabble tile ideas on pinterest!!

day 263 has arrived and one of my dear friends scared the beegeeze out of me today when she said it was only a month until easter ... holy *$*@*@;^% where is this year going?  anyway, while i mildly panic at the fact we haven't yet saved a bean for our 5 week trip away at the end of the year that is coming up WAY too fast,  i felt inspired to make some easter decor today to put out in a couple of weeks time.

if you have ever been on pinterest, you would know there is a big love of scrabble tiles for all kinds of uses including wall art, coasters, ornaments, trinkets, cupcakes, tags, necklaces, and most other things you can think off for the home! i have even made scrabble frame art for my niece and nephew as part of pinterest 365 :)  today i thought  i would kick it up a gear and use letter dice from a game i had as a child called word yahtzee to make a little sideboard easter trinket.

all you need for today's creation is some dice with letters not numbers and some craft glue.  then you use a sentiment and glue it all together ..

the word dice

the sentiment that fits with the word dice ... this is the hardest part!

let glueing commence!

the final trinket, finished and ready for when the easter décor goes up :)

outcome: REALLY easy,  but you have to admit cute!  i love little things like this for decor, understated but people are immediately attracted to them because it's made of something everyone can relate to .... and seriously whether you are good or bad at scrabble, who can't relate to it!

my thanks go to the MANY wonderful creations i have seen on pinterest using  scrabble tiles  ...  it totally inspired today's creation and that is what pinterest and my 365 challenge are all about :)

day 262: a christmas quilt block

the finished quilt block ... cute even if i do say so myself!
totally forgot to blog about yesterday's creation because it was done first thing in the morning on a busy day!  it was a classic case of done and forgotten :)

day 262 and today's creation i have wanted to start for a couple of years but never had the confidence or know how to do.  today, i thought i would take the plunge and make a start.  a couple of years go when my gran passed away, mum found all these little christmas cross stitches she had been made and also given in cards.  i really wanted to preserve them in a quilt but have been so intimidated by the whole quilting craft i have never done anything about it ... until today that is!

i was inspired by a paper piercing quilt block i had seen on pinterest by fairyface designs and that got me thinking ... i could make a paper pierce block each week until christmas and then put the quilt together during december, then it wouldn't be overwhelming or stressful!  i decided my blocks would be 8" x 8" squares and i would end up with about 40 of them, so that will make a nice sized quilt for the sofa :)

as i mentioned, i was inspired by this design from fairyface designs (it's pinned to my quilting board) and used it as a guide for making a paper piercing pattern on a sheet of paper.   i then photocopied it so i could use the same pattern again throughout the quilt and began sewing with a very cute little vintage santa :)

these are my gran's little christmas cross stitches i want to preserve :)

these quilting fats were given to me by ben for christmas, he was really excited i was going to use them finally, but asked that i make a real quilt not a rag one with them as he didn't like that one!  thanks for the honesty ben!
today's little cross stitch i used with my paper piece pattern

outcome:  i've started!  i was really close to my gran and so this one of those projects that is very dear to my heart ... i didn't want to stuff it up because it's not like i can replace them :)  i feel a sense of relief now and am really happy to have it underway ... it was an absolutely bonus the the quilt block lots cute too!

my greatest thanks to fairyface designs for giving me the inspiration to finally start this project ... and also to my dear friend dee who showed me how to paper piece before xmas, which gave me the confidence to undertake this creation ... you rock my sweet :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

day 261: brownie trifle with a neapolitan twist

brownie trifle with a neapolitan twist :)
day 261 and we are out to dinner tonight and i wanted to take something new and sweet ... enter brownie trifle.  i love trifle and the thought of making one with brownies was too good to refuse!  this one from positively splendid looked really yummy but i also liked this one from rock recipes with the strawberries.  i pinned both of them to my recipe must do's board and figured i could do a mash up recipe that used elements of both :)

for this recipe i am using:
  • one brownie recipe (see below if you would like this really easy recipe, you can even get the peeps to make this one!)
  • strawberry jam
  • strawberry jelly mix
  • vanilla custard
  • whipped cream
  • blueberries for garnishing
  • chocolate for covering the top 
yeah, that's probably enough ingredients for one trifle!  make the jelly and let it half set.  spread the brownie with a thick layer strawberry jam and then roughly cut into 1-2" pieces. then its a case of layering it together: first the jam covered brownie, then the semi set jelly, then a layer of custard.  then repeat the layers one more time.  finish the trifle off with a layer of whipped cream and decorate with chocolate roughly chopped or grated on top.

the brownie smothered in jam 

half the brownie in the bowl ready for the layering process to begin

layers finished, now for the cream topping followed by blueberries, and roughly grated almond chocolate
the finished trifle ... it was so yummy!
outcome: it was REALLY good!  i enjoyed having a trifle that was different from the usual sponge and fruit one. i was worried it would be really dry with the brownie in it and no fruit but it wasn't thanks to the jelly.  this is definitely something i will make again, especially when you need to take something as a dessert during summer :)

my thanks to the two awesome recipes i mashed together today, the  rock recipes  neapolitan one and the full on chocolate and brownie trifle from positively splendid ...  both awesome looking recipes that inspired my trifle today :)

brownie recipe
melt 6oz of butter.  add 12oz of sugar to the butter and whisk together. add a tsp of vanilla and whisk in.  then add 3 eggs and whisk each one well into the mix before adding the next egg.  then add 5oz flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 2 oz of cocoa and whisk it all into the batter.  put the batter in a slice tin and bake on 350F for ~ 30-35 minutes.

Friday, February 24, 2012

day 260: rugby/football subway art

today's creation  thanks to some free subway art from the girls at eighteen25 :)

day 260 and we are in full rugby preparation here today ... we have stocked up on blue foods and treats, got the ingredients for homemade hamburgers, made some team goodie bags, and now we just have to do a little more decorating.  we all support the blues EXCEPT my little worm in the apple barrel ben who supports the crusaders :(  he adores the players in the crusaders team and no amount of coaxing will make him change his mind!

the treats and the treat bags i made and put together today for the start of the season
today's creation helps that as it's a piece of subway art.  unfortunately most of the awesome football subway art i came across on pinterest was for american football, so the sayings on them weren't all totally appropriate for our national code of football, that being rugby union.  i did, however, find this piece of subway art from the girls at eighteen25 that was definitely worth doing and worked for whatever team sport you needed it for.  the original intention of this subway art was as a gift for coaches (such a cool idea), but for today's creation it is also ideal as subway art for the beginning of the rugby season.  even better news is this subway art is also free to download ... yippee~!  the idea is pinned to my autumn comfort board, were all things rugby and crafty can be viewed!

all you need to complete today's creation is a printer and a cheap frame ... that's it, just print and fill the frame!

the cheeeap frame and the freeee subway art ... good economising today, steveeee will be happy ;)
now we are looking more like a home that adores the game of rugby!

outcome: thank goodness today's creation was a simple, timely one as we had plenty going on!  the subway art looks awesome next to the rugby letters i picked up at typo ($20 for the word and heart) .. love that store and they have a super deal on letters at the moment 3 for $10!  well our house is looking much better now and after i have finished this post it will be time to sit down and watch the second half of the rugby .... unfortunately for me the blues are currently behind, needless to say my sweet boy peep is rubbing it in : }
thanks so much to the girls at eighteen25 for another awesome piece of subway art, i think there subway art for all occasions is probably my favourite of everybody's ... have a great weekend you guys :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

day 259: rugby decor

the rugby season is about to start ...
day 259 and i am VERY excited  because tomorrow the rugby season kicks off and i can't wait.  i decided this year we would have some rugby decor about the house, starting with today's creation a rugby ball wreath?!??  not exactly sure what you would call it but i plan to use it like a wreath and show my support for our local super rugby team the blues.

this idea is pinned to my autumn comfort board and comes from amanda at my heart's desire.  i love how she and her friends got together and made diy decor to support the teams they follow in football, so cool!

we support the blues super rugby team as i mentioned and they are a team made up of the upper north island's best players.  as such, my rugby ball had to have a blue's flavour to it and instead of the burlap the girls used to make their's from, i have chosen to do mine in felt.  in between the two layers of felt i have used some quilt batting to make it a little more robust and bulky.

what you need for a rugby wreath thingee!

the batting that gives it a bit more substance
going through the process
done, another creation bites the dust!
a closer look!
outcome:  this is so cute, such a great idea for a bit of sporting décor in the house!  i love that it shows support for our team and is something totally out of the whimsy box i NEVER would have done without pinterest!  makes me smile just looking at it :)

my thanks to amanda from my heart's desire for this neat idea.  love how you blogged about it and showed us craft challenged people with limited inspiration a great idea that you can't find on store shelves ... well not in this country anyway!

and as for the prizes from last week, here's a closer look!  ...

jen's booby prize :)

the real prize pack for michelle aka hey mickey!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

day 258: bi-fold wallet

hey presto ... one hour later and you have a cool, unique wallet :)

day 258 and i am making myself a wallet today as the one i purchased while on holiday is sadly falling apart :(  today's bi-fold wallet tutorial comes from modest maven and is pinned to my sewing diy board on pinterest.

i love creations like today's as they give me a chance to use some really pretty fabric's on something small and very handy.  i chose my fabrics, and used my handy dandy present from santa (a rotary cutter) to cut out all the pieces of fabric, then began sewing and within an hour i was done!

the pieces for today's creation and my rotary cutter (i'm quite proud i own such a serious craft tool!)

the card pockets ready to go
ready for the finishing touches and turning the lining in.
the finished wallet, in action!
outcome: cute, no coin compartment but this is perfect for all my cards.  one day i will learn to sew a zipper into something and solve that small problem.  in the meantime i have a really cool wallet that uses very cute fabric and was not too hard to sew together.  the tutorial was really easy to follow with plenty of pictures so you can't go wrong :)

my thanks to modest maven for the awesome tutorial that has solve my wallet issue without costing me a cent :)  love that, and that it was so easy to put together.

i have heard from both hey mickey (hi michelle) and from jen so their give away boxes will be packaged up tomorrow for everyone to have a REAL peek inside :)  the next give away will be around st patrick's day and i am thinking we will go green :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

day 257: pyjama pillow

the finished pyjama stash pillow!
day 257 and after my mammoth day at the sewing machine yesterday i wanted an easy creation for today.  i found this pj pillow tutorial by virginia of gingercake on prudent baby and thought the concept was fantastic.  i pinned it to my sewing diy board and thought one of these pillows for ben to stash his pj's in would be perfect because he is forever losing his jammies down the back of his bed.

i can't sew circles and while i absolutely adore the one made by virginia, i needed to create something that used straight lines!  i decided a square overlapped pillow would do the job nicely and it sounded easy enough for me to attempt today.  i have added a few more pictures than i normally would of the process below to show you how i made a square one.  just in case you too were scared of sewing circles and wanted to make a square one!

the pillow uses one piece of fabric and one piece of quilters batting and that's it for what you need bar the sewing machine.  as this is for a ten year old boy's pj's i went with an elongated size.  if it was square i figured the pillow would flop down too much so i went with a low rectangle shape. i also added in the batting so that if their weren't pj's inside the pillow would still hold it's shape.

all that is required for today's creation.
start by folding over and then folding over again along the shortest side of the fabric.
iron the folds in place so you have a good overlap, then measure your batting to fit.  make sure you cut your batting 1/2" narrower than the width of the fabric ...
... the reason you want your batting smaller is so you don't sew it in the first seam of your french seams, this means when you turn it inside out your batting won't cause any bulkiness.  it's at this point you realise my sewing knowledge is limited but that the photos help you figure out what i am trying to say ;)
its during the second sewing of the french side seams that you sew the backing in place.
turn out so you have the right side out, the batting should now be sewn in place with the side seams and you are finished
the completed pillow stuffed with the boy peeps pj's!
much better than trying to find the missing top or trunks down the side of his bed :)
HAPPY days, my friends, happy days!
outcome: really cool, and it looks good on ben's bed too, not to mention i will now be able to stop fishing behind his bed looking for missing pj parts!  i love when a creation is pretty to look at, easy to make, and has a useful purpose ... they are definitely my favourite kind!

sincere thanks to virginia of gingercake for the wonderful concept AND the tutorial is really indepth and would be easy to follow if you are into sewing circles!  as for prudent baby let me just tell you, the tutorials and all they offer are completely addictive ... there were so many projects i wanted to try, i didn't know where to start!

Monday, February 20, 2012

day 256: raw edge quilt

my first completed quilt .. quite proud am i!  it's so late it's actually wet in this picture so the colours appear a lot darker than they actually are :)

day 256 and i am bravely going to start my other new year's resolution today ... to learn to quilt.  i have wanted to learn to quilt for ages.  a dear friend of mine showed me how to paper piece for quilting mug rugs and i absolutely loved quilting using that technique.  i wanted to venture into something bigger with today's creation and make a raw edge quilt.  after weeks of not being able to sew because of my torn hamstring, i now feel it's good enough to be able to sew, so this week i am making up for a lack of sewing by doing a whole week of sewing creations from pinterest :)

i am using two tutorials to make my raw edge quilt because they both had brilliant ideas and there were parts from each i wanted to use!  the first one is from bloom, the quilt is stunning but the actual quilting bit looked a bit complicated for my first go.  as such, i am also using kelly's tutorial from the complete guide to imperfect homemaking, she made her's as a gift for her daughter on christmas eve!  kelly uses a simple cross as her quilting and that seemed like something i would be far more capable of doing!  both quilts are stunning and the tutorials are also pinned to my quilting board on pinterest.

because i wanted to get this finished today, and it's a monday so i spend most of my day teaching the peeps, i cut out ALL 42 top squares, 42 backing squares, and 42 fusible batting squares last night.  it took me 2 1/2 hours so i was VERY pleased i did that part last night!

last nights work .. these are the fabrics i chose to make the quilt out of

this is the part i did last night, 42 tops, 42 backs, 42 fusible inners ... a LOT of cutting :)

you then iron the three pieces together and start sewing ... a lot of sewing!  once i had finished that part, i worked on putting seven squares together in a row, then began sewing the six seven square rows together ... are you still with me ;)  once that was done, i used a 1/2" seam and sewed right around the outside so i could rag the outer edge aswell instead of binding the quilt.  i can't bind, it scares me senseless i have yet to perfect my technique so will leave that part for another day.  then it is ideal to sit down in front of some good tv and start cutting all the edges down to the sewn lines ... this take a GOOD while and i saw a number of shows on the food channel before i had finished :)  then it was into the washing machine for its first wash ... at this point i was seriously considering whether my first quilt would come out of the wash still in one piece with the amount of cutting i had done ...

the quilt pieces sewn together ready to be cut along the raw edges. 

cutting along the raw edges

i took this photo of it in the washing machine in case it came out shredded!

and this is what it looked like after two washes!

outcome:  this was a LONG creation day for me at the sewing machine but it was absolutely worth it ... i am totally hooked and if you are a family member it is highly possible you will be gifted a quilt in the future :)  as this is my first quilt, this one is destined for my bed.  all that cutting and sewing was definitely worth the outcome :)  i love it and feel really proud of what i made today ... not perfect, but still beautiful.

my sincere thanks to the raw edge quilting tutorials from bloom and kelly at complete guide to imperfect homemaking, your tutorials got me through my first quilt and have me addicted to yet another craft ... go figure!