Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fleece Burp Rags

As promised, here are the directions for how to make fleece burp rags with the whole "rag quilt" idea in mind...

1. Cut your fabric. I used fleece on the back and a white cotton fabric for the front. After washing the fabric, I cut them into 8 x 20 inch pieces (you will only need one cut of each fabric to make one burp rag).

2. Round the corners with your scissors.

3. Snip the rounded corner 4-5 times about 1/2 inch in from the edge...

4. ... then, with the wrong side of the fabric up, fold down the corner and iron flat. Continue doing this until all sides of your fabric are pressed down.

5. Pin the wrong sides of both fabrics together and stitch.

I like the double stitch look, but I don't have the option of dual needles with my sewing machine. So I used a straight stitch about 1/2 inch in from the edge of the folded fabric (white cotton in this case) and then did another straight stitch right along the edge of the white fabric. Sure made a nice finish!

6. Trim off excess fleece (I kept a half-inch border of fleece around the edges).

7. Snip the fleece around the edges to give it that rag or fringe look.

TADA!!! You're done!

Now you have cute little fleece burp rags to match your easy little fleece baby blanket. Fun stuff eh?

recycled towels

I've been really involved lately. Go here to my other blog to see ...
Now for todays post ...
Do you have tired towels, a little tattered and torn but still thirsty? Well here's a little idea I've done for quite some time. You recycle them into kitchen dishcloths. Here are the extremely simple steps.
1. Cut them up into squares avoiding any holes or really thin spots. Mine are 13" this time. There are 6 of them.

2. Edge them. I used a serger, but a zigzag stitch would work just fine since they are just recycled, not fancy.
3. That's it. Your done and you have some heavy duty dishcloths that will last for a long time.

They make great dishcloths ... thick, recycled, repurposed, no cost ... lots of good reasons to do this.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Container garden-sort of

We recently moved into a rental house and I wanted a container garden for my backyard. I did not want anything too permanent because it is a "rental". So I went to the hardware store and got some cinder blocks, stacked them two high and viola-- instant garden space. Because of the shear weight of the blocks, it does not need any cement, grout, or glue to keep it together. Add dirt and you have a little container garden.

See how my garden grows! --Tara

I hate lamp shades. They are so hard to figure out. What I've concluded about them is to never, ever buy them separately from the lamp. Or to add blue flowers. Which is the mistake that happened here. I had a perfectly good drum lamp shade. Plain, but good. Here's the problem: I always think plain is just not enough. In this case, it should have been. So, after I added the blue flowers, the shade looked a little too wedding-cake-ish. Not going to fly on the lamp. Not at all! So I had to laboriously pull (rip) each fabric flower, (which had been attached very well!), off of the shade. It left horrible pock marks of hot glue all over the shade where the flowers were attached. See here:
Poor lamp shade. It was still very useful, but I just couldn't leave the hot glue unattended. (You never should. Says so right on the hot glue label.)
So, this is how I fixed it. I know-- pretty unoriginal idea to just add ribbon around the edge of the shade, but I already messed it up so badly before that I just couldn't dare to hurt this poor lamp shade any more.
Nice and clean. Much better.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ear Infection Home Remedy Idea

My little girl had an ear infection. Actually it was a double ear infection. Her ears were also so jam-packed with earwax that the doctor (D.C.) couldn't see passed it to the ear drums. So I took an eye dropper and filled up her ear canal with Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). I had her lay her head to the side for all of this. I let it bubble until it slowed to almost a stop. My other daughter called it a volcano. The H2O2 ate away at the earwax. We then filled a bulb syringe with warm water and had her tip her head the other way so we could flush her ear. We made it a game and let her say, "One... Two... Three... SQUIRT!!" It was hilarious. She would wiggle a little bit from the burst of water, but it didn't hurt her at all. We were successful in removing the extra and hardened earwax this way. After it was gone I filled up the ear canal again with H2O2 to clear up the infection. Within 24 hours her symptoms were gone and there was visible improvement on the ear drums. The doctor said that whenever you feel a cold coming on, put a drop or two of H2O2 in your ears since most illnesses begin in your ears.
Good to know.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lady's Chair

Guess what I found at a thrift store. Oh, just a way cute chair for my little Lady's bedroom! It's even a bit shorter than most chairs so my little Lady's legs will fit just right for quite a while. This is how it started. Brown. And really upholstered. UPHOLSTERED?!? After I primed and painted the thing white (and taped off the real upholstered -beige-bluh- seat), then I said, "I have no clue how to take off the springs and burlap wrap underneath this very comfy cushion." What do you do when you have no clue? You staple and glue! B actually had the idea, good for him. I stapled the new fabric right over the top of the old by tucking in the new fabric as I stapled so I had a clean edge. The corners were tough. But B helped me muscle our way around them. I had to buy gimp to edge it. I had some pom pom fringe that would've been fun, but would've been pulled off too easily. I tried using different kinds of glue to hold the gimp down. Nothing grabbed fast enough. So, I ended up with the trusty hot glue gun. I know I left some skin under that edging, and it's not the most permanent thing to hold down the gimp. But, it will work if no one starts pulling on it. Let's hope, anyway. Here she is. Finished and ready for the ball.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easy Easter Eggs

Today, we made these Easter eggs.
Instead of buying a kit to dye eggs, I did a little online search and we found a super easy way to dye eggs.

You will need:
Hard boiled eggs
white vinegar
food coloring drops

Fill a coffee mug with about 2/3 cup of water, add about 1 tsp of vinegar and about 6 drops of color. Use one mug for each color you decide to do, but I just did the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) The measure ments do not need to be exact, just close. Also, you may want to line the work surface with newspaper to keep the serfice dye free.

Decorate the eggs before you dye them. We used crayons to get a "resist" look. White crayons are really great, but we did not have one, so we used orange. We also used masking tape cut in shapes (hence the flower and heart). My little beauty girl did not wrap the tape tightly on her egg and what we got was a tye die effect (blue egg with white stripes) We dipped the eggs into the cups of color and just let them sit. I fished the eggs out with a normal spoon and dabbed the excess fluid on a paper towel. To make other colors, we diped the egg in the light color first. Take the green one for example, yellow and blue make green. So we did yellow first, then blue. Then we removed the tape.

This is an easy craft idea that that I did as a family activity. Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

White Chocolate Easter Egg Nest

If you're like me, I'm still trying to figure out what to serve for my Easter dinner. I want the whole experience to be artistic in some way. Unfortunately, I've only figured out what to do for a little sweet treat that really doesn't have to do with the dinner much. No matter what, it will be incorporated in my Easter Feast, and I hope you enjoy it, too.
Here is the White Chocolate Easter Egg Nest.

What you need:
  • Candy eggs ( I used Cadbury Chocolate Eggs)
  • White Chocolate/Almond Bark (I used a Russell Stover chocolate confection--the chocolate is already perfect and melt-able)
  1. Gently melt desired confection in a double boiler to the point where it is spreadable, but not runny.
  2. Use a spatula to put chocolate into a plastic baggie.
  3. Smoosh chocolate into a corner of your baggie, making sure to remove all air bubbles.
  4. Cut a small portion out of the corner of your baggie, and make sure the top is twisted to keep a constant flow of chocolate coming out.
  5. Make circles and half circles in different sizes on the wax paper and let set. I think it turned out better when I had small blobs at the ends of my half circles and where I began my full circles. It allowed dimension in the project.
  6. After chocolate is set, gently peel it off of the wax paper. I did this by lifting the whole wax sheet, and bending it under the chocolate so the paper was peeling off of the chocolate instead of the chocolate off of the paper...clear as mud?
  7. Then artfully stack circles and half circles to create a nest (like what I pictured below), and put candy eggs inside. I would suggest that you construct each nest on the plate you will be serving the nest on. I will put mine on individual plates at each place setting because the way I designed it, it's a finger food and won't stay together solidly. Each ring comes up easily, and you don't get chocolate overload.
Happy Easter!

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