Saturday, November 20, 2010

Truck blanket

Ok, so I know I promised to get the pyrex cozy post up this week, but I had another project that was keeping me up at night with ideas... so, introducing... Bug's truck playmat!

I got the idea from Crafty Cupboard and her crafting with the stars 3rd round entry. I loved her idea, but knew that Bug would get sick of the barn theme quickly, many dreamless nights later I came up with the final idea. It is still going to take some reworking to get it as spiffy as I'd like (the garage especially), but now I know I have the skills to make him and Munchkin a large floor quilt with all different sections (fairgrounds, zoo, farm, grandma's house, etc.) so that is my next BIG project.

When all is said and done, this only cost me $10 to make! (actually closer to $5, but I that is because I already had a ton of felt sitting around)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey day!

Ok, think about it. It is the evening of thanksgiving, dinner is done, everyone is stuffed to the gills and all that is left of the beautiful turkey is a bunch of bones with remnants of meat hanging on it. Most people would throw it out at this point, but I have another idea for you... Turkey soup!
It is pretty easy, but for a helper recipe try this one! It is perfect for those "black friday" mornings or freeze it and reheat for a quick flu season "get well" treat.
ps. I should have the pyrex cozy tutorial up by friday... the holidays are keeping me pretty busy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I haven't forgotten you!

Don't worry, I will have a new tutorial soon... this has been a crazy week, so I dont forsee having the time to type it up until early next week. "What will it be?" .... how 'bout a Pyrex cozy? ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Paraffin Wax Jar Candles

I love candles, especially jar candles. I enjoy giving them as gifts for house warming or holidays, however I am not a huge fan of the "designer brand" prices and much prefer making my own (because of the savings, quality and love put into them).

They are easy to make, but there are a few things you should know before you attempt them, so here is a quick tutorial:

How to Make Paraffin Wax Jar Candles

Supply list:

Paraffin wax


Candle Jars (or any jar)


Candle scent

Wood spoon

Two stock pots, one smaller than the other (or double boiler)

Tin foil

cookie sheet

multi purpose thread



Oven mitts

(Keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case)

First fill your large stock pot with water and place on the stove with medium heat.

Break up your wax into manageable pieces with your hammer. I purchased a 10lb slab for $7.96 at Hobby Lobby (normally 14.99... thank you 40% coupon) this slab will make a lot of candles, but buying in bulk is cheaper in the long run if you plan on making quite a few. Decided now if you want all of your candles to be one scent and/or color. If you do, it makes the process go much quicker. We are going to proceed as though this is the case.

Open your jars and prepare the wicks. I use multi-purpose thread, which I tie around the wick in the middle at the height of the top of the jar. Then I tape each side of the string to the sides of the jar, making sure the wick is centered and the strings are tight.

Lay out a sheet of tin foil on the cookie sheet. place all of your prepped jars on the cookie sheet.

By now your water should be simmering, or about to... put your small stock pot into the larger one and add your wax slowly to the small stock pot (not the one with water!). Turn the stove heat down to medium low. Add the color crayon you'd like your candles to be to the wax. You may have to add more than one if you are doing a large batch to get the desired color. I find that adding varying shades of the same color (like several different blues in different quantities) gives me better colors with more depth.

Stir your wax as it melts, make sure it doesn't get too hot too fast, otherwise it will form large bubbles that will pop hot wax everywhere or it can catch fire. NEVER leave you wax unattended when it is on heat, this is a job best done when the little ones are sleeping so that there are no distractions.

Once all of the wax is melted, turn off the heat and add your scent... stir it thoroughly.

Now carefully pull your small stock pot out and pour the wax into the jars. Be careful not to spill, but if you do it is ok, that is what the tin foil is for ;) .

If you have a little bit of leftover wax, that is great! Put the small stock pot back in the warm water, but don't turn on the heat. Use this wax to fill in any dips or holes in your jars when they cool. You can use a fan to speed the cooling wax process.

Finally, cut your wicks down to about 1/4th of an inch above the cooled wax, add some ribbon, or a label and enjoy!

If you wait for the sales to be in your favor, these become a really affordable gift... each of my candles cost around $3.00 to make!
($20.00 - jars (20) , $4.00 for 20 wicks, $7.96 - wax, $5.00 -ribbon, $9.00 -candle scent, $0.25 - crayons /20 candles )

Thanks to all the awesome pattern makers!

When I started looking through the DIY blogs I notices an awesome trend... almost anything I wanted to make had a tutorial or pattern out there! I have tried a few things so far and I'm having a blast!!! (and saving money, which is a huge bonus)

First I tried these adorable fleece winter hats for the boys, pattern courtesy of From an Igloo. I love how they turned out, especially because each of them only cost ~$2.00... compare that to the $15+ they charge in the stores and it was definitely worth the time.

(The hats weren't quite finished in this picture)

Next I tried the "Hobo Bag" from MADE... It literally took me minutes to whip up a cute little sac for my 2 yr old. I see TONS of possibilities for these bags; Large ones for sorting toys, small ones for wrangling baby socks in suitcases when traveling, organizing our double diaper bag by person, gift bags, ... just to name a few! I can't wait to make more of them!

(Fabric courtesy of craft fair left overs :) but Bug seems to love it )

There are dozens more that I can't wait to try... now it is only a matter of finding sewing time!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I have run into a problem...

I am dying to quilt, but I cant pick a fabric. Maybe it is a fear of commitment (lol, yes, me... the girl who got married at 20 and had 2 kids by 25), I keep thinking "what if I put all of that work into it and hate it? What if Hubby hates it?"

Lets be realistic, cute fabric is costly and I'd be super bummed if I bought a bunch of it and then ruined it with my first quilting attempt, which is very likely. I started a quilt a couple of years ago, purchased my fabric, cut the squares, and ended up hating it half way through and haven't looked at it since. Is this something every fledgling quilter goes through, or is it just me? there are tons of fabrics I love out there, too many to choose from in fact. I continue to hold onto this dream of having an exquisite quilt on each bed and a beautiful one adorning the back of the couch that I can switch out with other beautiful quilts for the holidays. The truth is I can't even pick fabric for pillows for my couch, it feels like too big of a commitment... lol, I'm ridiculous, I know.

Ah, a girl can dream... maybe someday I'll figure it out....