Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thank yous and a giveaway!!

Before I get on to the giveaway, I wanted to say a few thank yous. Firstly - thank you for the sweet comments you left on my color-pop bag. I'm pretty sure I neglected to respond to each and every comment, so thank you for the bag love :)  Secondly, thank you for the comments and emails in response to this post. Each time I read one I felt a little upwards tug to the corners of my lips, as well as to the strings of my heart. You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking a piece of your day and spending it here. Seriously. I love you guys in the non-creepiest way possible :)

I was going to wait to do a giveaway until I reached 500 followers. But recent events have made me realize life is short and to just do things without waiting for a milestone to somehow make it more meaningful. So it's happening today. It's just as good as any other day, no?

One of my very favorite shops to browse is the Fat Quarter Shop. I'm pretty sure they have everything to fulfill any fabric obsession. Any color, pattern, style, genre, you name it. They ship worldwide, and are super-speedy with their dispatching. I picked out a few of my favorites to make you look at share with you.

Berenstain Bears. I think I still have a huge pile of these books in the attic somewhere. I used to loooooove them. 

Ms. Hoey has done it again. I absolutely adore her prints. She even has a Christmas line coming out this summer.

  These are the colors and prints that make my heart happy. Throw in a dash of aqua and I might...MIGHT...do a cartwheel. Badly. But still.

 Every time I see the Poky Little Puppy I hear my nephew's little toddler voice when he found the book amongst our shelves ("Hey! I wuv the poky yiddle puppy!")

 And let's not forget those stash-filling solids.

It's almost embarrassing how many more of these I picked to share and then I realized I might have a fabric problem and should just stop looking before I spend my tax refund (before I even get it).

So anyway - here are the details. I'm giving away one $30 gift certificate (emailed straight to you so no waiting!) to the Fat Quarter Shop to a randomly chosen winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The only thing I ask is that I have a way to contact you -- either leave your email address or make sure it is linked to your profile. If you're concerned about spam, you can leave your email address in this format: sweetbeebuzzingsATgmailDOTcom. This is open to anyone, anywhere, but if you're outside the US be forewarned that shipping rates will increase. I'll leave this open until 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, March 9th, 2012. I'll announce the winner the next day-ish.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flutterby Diaper Bag

Hi, gang! I haven't posted for a few days due to my funk, but I'm moving forward in good stead and actually have a new project to share with you. I sewed my way through Saturday (writing down everything this time as I have a few orders lined up for the same style bag) and have one of the sweetest things to show you. Now, while I DO appreciate more alternative baby patterns and colors than the traditional blue and white or pink and white, the pretty candy colors of this bag made it a complete joy to see come together. I was asked for something with lavender, but all of the things I found were fairly old-ladyish looking. So I went with my gut and I hope this works out (I'll know tomorrow - it's for someone at work). So here she is:

I was working on this bag last week, but made so many mistakes as my mind was anywhere but my sewing table that I decided to start over. It came together yesterday fairly quickly, and will be even quicker next time because I took notes (I NEVER do that and I always regret it).

That butterfly fabric came in pink, yellow, green, and turquoise--if I didn't have the lavender instruction I would probably still be standing in Joann's trying to decide. The stripes were easy to choose. I grabbed that bolt and hugged it to my chest like people were going to be fighting me for it.

I am madly in love with the piping. There is something about the diagonal striping effect that comes from cutting the fabric on the bias that makes me giddy. Honestly, it does (and yes, I know, I'm a nerd). The only thing I'd change about the bag design is the elasticized pockets -- I need to place them a little bit lower to satisfy my own craziness, but they're fine where they are.

I have a hard time deciding on closures for diaper bags. I think that with all the stress on a diaper bag a magnetic snap would eventually tear. And for a zipper I wonder if it would limit how much you could put in one. Never having seen one of my diaper bags in action I don't know how to figure the best closure option, so I went with a simple tie. It keeps everything together, but the ties are long enough for the bag to open wider and still be tied shut.

I did some extra stitching on the straps and really liked the effect of it. What I didn't realize is that with these looooooong handles there would be a squillion stitches....but I like it a lot so I'll keep doing it anyway. It's just a LOT of stitching.

This side has regular slip pockets with a little extra room to them, and the other side has elasticized-top pockets:

These look like really shallow pockets but it's just the angle of the camera.

I used a pretty stiff interfacing on the lining to cope with the stress of the pockets, but I think it's a little too stiff. It makes the bag feel extremely structured, but I tend to like them a little squishier. Seeing as there is no way in anywhere I'm redoing this one AGAIN it'll just have to do. It's one of those things I know about that non-sewers probably wouldn't, but I guess there's a second thing I'd change about this bag - softer interfacing.

So there you have it. You're going to be seeing a fair few diaper bags in the next few weeks (all in different fabrics) as everyone in my world is having babies or grandbabies or grand-nieces or nephews... It's going to be quite a busy month for me, that's darn-tootin' (hehehe).

If you've made it this far in this long post you get the heads-up on a giveaway coming later this week. So make sure you stop on back for details.

I'm going to go start my new book. Have an easy-breezy Monday, my dears!

Linking here this week:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Hey Peg? Remember that time we went with all those sales people to that Mexican restaurant after work? And Charlie hiccupped so horrendously loud that we thought he was choking and both spilled our drinks trying to "save" him? And then he did it again and dropped his drink? And then we both couldn't stop laughing for forEVer until we had tears running down our legs? And every time one of us got it under control we'd look at the other still laughing and lose it all over again? It was a pretty crazy noise he made...

Remember when I first started my blog and you were one of my most faithful readers (after my mom, of course..)? And you bought me the sweetest little bee applique to keep in my sewing area? I still have it. It's so cute I can't help but think of you and smile while I'm frustratedly seam ripping....

Remember that time you bought the biggest box of marshmallow Peeps and we had those for lunch one day? Or that time we were laughing so hard I snorted (!!!) in the cafeteria and all the surrounding tables turned to look at me and it was quite obvious who did it?

You know what else I remember? The day you said "Guess who has breast cancer..." and the day you said "Wanna see me get my head shaved?" and then "I'm going to be out of work for a while..." All of this I remember, the good and the bad, and it's swirling like a violent whirlpool in my head and my heart right now. I was happily making the prettiest piping ever when my phone rang tonight. And now I'm wondering how I'm ever going to fall asleep.

You fought an excellent fight, Maaahhh-garet. You rest easy now... I'm getting cheese fries for lunch tomorrow. Y'know....how we used to....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Color Pop Bag and Other Bits

What a weird and random day. I was pulled from bed to attend breakfast with my brother and my nephew. OK, lie. Not really pulled so much as lazing around when my brother called and I had to rush to get ready. The other way makes me sound so much less lazy. Then I had to do a return at a store and there's a lovely produce and flower market nearby--I stopped in and bought these beautiful sunrise/sunset roses (not sure if that's what they're called, but that's what I named them):

Fresh flowers make me happy. They seem wasteful as they don't last very long, but it's just so pretty and nice to have them around now and then. Even better when they're only a few dollars.... I also bought these carnations--they should last a bit as many of them are still tight in their buds:

And then--I made dinner! Yes, you read that correctly. I am seriously challenged in the culinary arts, but I made dinner. I made a shepherd's pie. It turned out quite yummy. I had my mumsy nearby for the occasional taste test, but other than being a little low on the salt I did quite all right. My auntie came by and brought scones (which I've never had) and fresh strawberries. They're quite good! My sister had whipped up some fruit dip for the strawberries, and a little dab of that on a scone was very yummy in my tummy for sure.

I sewed myself into a headache last night, and didn't accomplish nearly as much this weekend as I had planned, but I did manage to finish up an order I've had for a bit. It's a bag you've seen many times, but I haven't made it in a long time (which is what took me so long - I almost forgot my order of operations :)

I had a hard time finding fabric for this one. For a million years Joann's has had the perfect black and white floral for this order. I looked for weeks and they didn't have it. The other B&W florals just weren't right, but I found this in the home dec section. It was the closest I could find anywhere (in the real world and on the internet) so I went with it. I had some reservations when I heard 'lime green' for the piping and lining, but I ended up really liking it. I think it would look great in a zebra print too...

I think I've finally perfected the elasticized pockets on the sides. 'Bout time...I think it helps when I actually write down the measurements and what I did the LAST time. Who'da thunk it?

Piping makes everything better. If I were to run for President that would be my campaign slogan. Because you really can't argue with it.

I was going to do a black zipper, but the black and white is verrrrrry busy and I thought it needed to be broken up by a little more color. The green isn't exact but since it isn't paired up against the lining you can't really notice it. It sits down in the bag a little in case the recipient doesn't feel the same way about pops of color here and there.

The lining was originally supposed to be black with lime green polka dots. Do you know that such a thing does not exist? I searched the usual stores and online shops, as well as Etsy and Artfire shops, eBay, everywhere. Every other color combo for polka dots exists but this one. I was disappointed - polka dots are my favorite. But lime green was the second on the list and easy to obtain. I'm quite sure that tomorrow a black/lime dottie print will be available somewhere.

So that's all I've got for now. A busy weekend that wasn't the usual...I've got a diaper bag on the drawing board next - pretty colors will be a nice change from the black and whites.

Linking up here this week:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday (in color order)

Perfect red tulips

 I wish my gathers were as perfect as Mother Nature's

 Tools of the trade

 More on this tomorrow

 Favorite jeans and fuzzy slippers

My life lacks purple. Purple is said to be the color of relaxation. I needed that in my life today. Lots of grrrrrrr moments. I'm off to chill the rest of the day away. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

For fun....

I was tagged by the lovely girls over at To Sew With Love, and I thought I'd play along. It's been a while since I told you random stuff about me in a list formation, anyhow.... :)

Random Things About Me

1.  When people trip/fall I laugh. Not if they're injured--I'm not some kind of sadist. But once I'm sure they're ok I collapse into fits of giggles (and sometimes snorts). It's just that it's such an unnatural state of being and it takes me by surprise (as well as them, I'm sure, as evidenced by the look on their face).

2. I once went through a super-crazy period where I was a major hypochondriac. I used to believe I had fibromyalgia, MS, diabetes, heart disease, and probably something else. It's amazing what WebMD can do to you if you let it. Thankfully I'm waaaaay past that.

3. I often wonder what I would be doing with all my time if I didn't have crafty adventures.I also wonder how much more money I'd have...

4. My favorite job I ever had was working retail. I worked in a pharmacy, and loved dealing with kooks, and cute little old people, and just people in general. I didn't mind the random hours then, but now I'd have a hard time working a holiday or a Saturday.

5. Snakes scare the holy bejesus out of me. I find nothing natural about them, and the way they move creeps me out. I honestly think I'd pass out if I saw one up close.

6. I keep music from a CD called "Strip Tease Classics" on my iPod for when I'm making something boring (like bias tape...ugh). It makes it so much more interesting and fun. But one must be mindful, especially when other people are in the house. Those moves aren't for everybody, bwahahahaha.

7. I don't think my dog likes me very much. I'm pretty sure I'm last on the snuggle list, and only then if no one else is around.

8. A lot of times I wonder just what in the hell is wrong with the world, and if I really want to one day bring children into it.

9. I'm pretty sure you want me on your trivia team.

10. My dad makes the most wonderful homemade onion dip. I literally cannot stop eating it when he makes it.

11. I decided that if I am ever on death row, my last meal request is going to be for my mamma's ravioli. Followed by a piece of German butter cake.

Next I have to answer the questions posed by the ladies, so here we go with that:

1. What's your favorite way of spending your weekend? With hot beverages and crafty adventures. Sometimes a book.

2. Coffee or tea and why? In the morning it's coffee, or no one would want to be around me. Any other time it's tea, because it makes me feel good.

3. Facebook or Twitter and why? Facebook. Because I don't have a Twitter account.

4. Is there anything pink within ten feet of you? Of course there is. A quilt and an afghan.

5. Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it? I actually let the rain do it.

6. Where were you and what were you doing last week at this time? I was laying on the couch, sneezing and coughing with a nasty cold.

7. Your dream vacation is? I have several. And they're all based on books and such (PEI from Anne of Green Gables, midwestern towns from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, stuff like that).

8. What is your favorite perfume? Pleasures by Estee Lauder

9. When drinking your soda, straight out of the can or in a glass? I always pour soda into a glass. When I drink it, which is rare. Someone told me once that ladies drink from glasses and that stuck with me (though I am far from a lady ;)

10. What is your favorite family tradition? Anything we do at Christmas time.

11. Muffin or cupcake and why? Cupcakes. They have icing.

Geez-a-lou this is longer than I thought. Now I need to pick eleven people. I am really bad at limiting my picks on things like this, so I'd like to open up the game to anyone who wants to play. Just leave a link in the comments if you do and I'll stop by. Now I need to list eleven questions for you to answer if you play.

Here goes...

1. What is the first craft you remember making?

2. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

3. Would you rather spend a day with an insightful kid or a wise old person?

4. Would you/have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

5. Cats or dogs?

6. What's a fashion look you'd love to try but don't think you could pull off?

7. Do you bite your nails?

8. Quilts or afghans? Why?

9. If you could have dinner with a celebrity (movie star, politician, etc.) who would it be?

10. What was your favorite class in high school?

11. If you could splurge on one thing right now, what would it be?

I know that's a lot...if you made it this far, thanks :)  I do believe this is the longest post I've ever written... I'm hoping to have a new bag to share with you this weekend. Is it weird I'm really excited that I get to make piping? Happy Fri-deeeeeee!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Your ta-dahs! Only slightly after the fact....

Hi kids! How's tricks? Do anything fun for Valentine's Day? I didn't. Well, I played Quizzo at a local watering hole but no romantic goings-on for me, which is fine. I'm not a mushy-mush like that. Not that there's anything wrong with it--I'm just not the hopeless romantic sort. I'm a giant sap, so you'd think I would be, but I'm not. I'm a puzzle like that.

Anyhoodle--remember my Wavy Top Tote sew-along that I held in June? I had started a Flickr group for anyone to pop their makes in, but never posted anything that was posted in it. I'm very naughty like that. So I thought I'd share a few lovely totes that found their way in there. Click the picture to go directly to the source - thanks for posting these, ladies!!

I love the colors and the fabrics for this one. I'm thinking I had that main fabric in a different colorway, but I have none left to check.

Front of small wavy top tote
The Asian-inspired fabrics on this one are pure elegance. Anyone know what that black fabric "says?"

started my christmas gifts!
It doesn't get any more personalized than this :) I love the embroidered touches on this one.
Decked Out Battle Betty Bag
 Uhhhhhhhhh wow! What great little touches with the embroidered label and that adorable flower! If my name was Cynthia I'd try to steal this one.

Battle Betty Bag
I loooooove that aqua and lime for the straps - what fun fabrics!

This one wasn't in the Flickr group but was found on this forum. I like how she switched up the handle style to suit herself. 

Have you made a Wavy Top Tote? I'd love to see it! Pop it in the Flickr group or send me an email if you feel like it. If you've made anything based on something you've seen here on my blog I'd love to see those in the Flickr group, too.

I'd like to do another sew-along (which I guess is a fancier way of saying 'giant tutorial') so if you've got ideas for things you'd like to see made leave me a comment and I'll see what I can get together.

That's all I've got for now - later taters!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blahs, bags, and guilt

I've been feeling poorly and sorry for myself for a few days. I felt so stuffy, congested and blah that I had to take a sick day on Friday. And I'm going to just toss this out there for pure snippiness--I was laying on the couch, absolutely miserable, and my sister asked if I wanted tea or anything. I had just finished a cup so I said no. My brother came by and asked if I wanted anything. The first time he asked I didn't. I asked my dad (a bit later) if he would make me toast. You know what he said? He wanted to know why I couldn't do it myself. The nerve! No sympathy from the paternal unit. But you know what? My brother got up and made me some perfectly toasted toast, buttered to perfection. So this week's cool points are awarded to my bro, and my dad still owes me toast.

That being said, I haven't gotten much sewing done, which is bugging me because I have so much of it. That should all be back to normal this week, though. However--I do have a bag I made about two weeks ago to share with you. A friend of mine has an uncle recently diagnosed with cancer. As seems to be the case all too often these days, he is lacking medical insurance, so his family and friends are putting together a beef-and-beer fundraiser to help with bills. I donated this bag to one of the baskets being raffled, and as I frequently make bags for this family (seriously - they're my three best customers) I've been informed they're all hell-bent on winning it.

I've made this bag many times before, but it's such a good size with lots of pockets. Plus it goes together pretty quickly without a ton of fabric. I've been wanting to use black and white with yellow for a long time, so I decided something like this would be a good bag to experiment on.

I had a hard time with the gusset. TWICE I managed to mess it up a bit. I tried to fudge it in, but it didn't have a good look to it at all so I'm glad I bought extra fabric (I just might be used to messing up :)

I love the inside It's nice and cheery but not obnoxiously bright. I could have used plain black, but I personally don't like black linings. They make me feel like I'm looking into a deep abyss with nothing there but my echo. I know. I'm weird. But because of that I try to avoid lining bags in plain black. Besides, I like the secret pop of color a lining can give that no one else can see.

I made a matching zippy pouch to tuck inside for all those little things that rattle around in the bottom of a bag. I replaced the pull on the main zipper with a larger one, and had a length of zipper tape left from what I trimmed off the inside pocket. So as not to waste either I combined them, and I think it looks kind of cute.

It tucks inside just so, surrounded by slip pockets and a zip pocket. It all closes with my favorite kind of zipper closure - the suspension bridge. Or whatever the technical term for that is.

And heaven knows one can't forget the fabric on the zipper :) For those with eagle eyes I trimmed that stray thread right after I took these photos. I know you were worried.

So that's what I've got. I finally scored the fabric I've been looking for (custom order) so you'll get to see that next week. I have to hop to since I've been a lazy mess for almost all of the past week. I also got a new computer and have been transferring files and all that jazz. I still need some tech support (a.k.a. my brother-in-law Matt) to make sure I got everything right, but I think I might be good to go. We'll see. I feel so guilty, though! Do you ever get like that? There was nothing wrong with my old laptop--I just needed a bit more juice. But I brought home the new one and I feel like my old one feels neglected and unloved. My mom actually wants it so it'll have a good home, haha. I did the same thing with my sewing machine - I felt awful getting a new one a few years ago, but I'm so glad I did. Can you tell I'm Catholic? Did you ever see so much guilt over nothing? I'm blaming it on the Nyquil. I hope I'm not usually this crazy sounding. Maybe I should go to bed. I think I fried my brain with all my computering today. Have a loverly Monday. I don't wanna go to work tomorrow.

Linking up here this week:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wonky All Over

Moooaaaannnnn. That's supposed to be that whiny moany sound that everyone makes when they have a nasty cold. Because I have one. It snuck up on me from nowhere and my entire face hurts and leaks. Sorry, that's gross. Plus the coughing. It's fun. And I sound nice and wheezy like Ray Charles when I laugh. And the worst part is - I have no appetite. Woe is certainly me, my dears.

The theme for this month's quilt blocks is wonky. We're a match made in heaven. Sort of. As it so happens, I try really hard to make my quilt blocks nice and straight. They just prefer to be crooked. So when I try to make them wonky they look a little too even. I had to start over and make really drastic angles to get the right level of wonk.

The block itself was fairly simple. It was squares-in-squares log cabin style blocks. It was slightly difficult to do in the red and white (the busy-ness of the prints and all that), and my placement could be a bit better, but overall I'm pretty satisfied with this one. I used strictly scraps, so some of the logs don't match - it just adds to the wonk. I held it up to show my mom and she said "Oh, it's crooked!" To which I replied "Thank heavens!!"

It's a total brain shift to sew this way on purpose. I'm actually very curious this month to see what else I get to sew crooked.

I've got so many projects going on right now my head might start spinning. I've got my ripple afghan, and the blankie I started for my nephew (not the Z-man - the one my sister is going to have. She found out, and it is certainly, without a doubt, 200% a lad). I'm really liking the way it's working up but I have to keep it secret for a bit. I've got a handbag order, plus a few diaper bag orders. I stopped taking orders for diaper bags, but I keep getting so many requests and I hate saying no so I'm at it again. I've got those quilted table runners still under the needle, and the springtime runner I'm making for my mom. That may or may not be it, but it's enough to even just think about and feel overwhelmed. Especially when my head already feels ready to pop.

So that's that. Next up? The latest handbag I made for a charity beef and beer fundraiser. I really wanted to keep this one :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Creativity Training

Stick with me here - I have to give some background first. Today at work was day one of our annual departmental meeting. I had to sit and listen to people all day long. All. Day. Long. Some of it was interesting, a lot I was familiar with, and all of it required much more caffeine than I usually take in. It is very difficult to sit still and behave for hours and hours and hours without also feeling sleepy.

The big boss (my boss' boss) gave quite an interesting presentation on packaging innovations. I work for a metal packaging company - you've probably eaten or drank from one of our containers, and if you're in Europe a lot of those pretty tins they sell there are probably made by my company. Part of the boss-man's job is to lead the team tasked with developing creative packaging solutions to meet customer needs, use fewer resources, increase shelf appeal, stuff like that. One little blurb on one of his slides said "Creativity training." I was so intrigued by how you train someone to be creative I made him backtrack to that point (I'm sure my direct boss would have preferred that I ask something a bit more relevant, teeheehee).


I'm not sure about you, but I don't consider myself to be creative. I really struggle to come up with ideas sometimes, and feel quite the genius when I unnecessarily reinvent the wheel. I am at my best when I have to be - if you handed me a few things and said "Make me a bag" I'd be able to come up with something unique. Walk me into Joann's Fabrics and say "Make me a bag" and it'll never get done. Too many choices can be just as bad as too few. When I asked for the nutshell version of creativity training (which sounds fun but I believe is only for the product design engineers) he gave me a couple ideas I thought I'd share with you.

First was something called "reverse brainstorming." It's where you come up with ideas to achieve the opposite result from what you want. Ford engineers (I picked this arbitrarily - I have no idea about Ford specifics - I drive a Subaru) may have sat around coming up with ways to make their cars less fuel efficient, slower, etc. with the true intent of circling back to improve upon those things. Or, for a crafty example, making bags takes time (sometimes a lot of it). If I wanted to apply reverse brainstorming, I might think "I should sew all the parts that require black thread at different times from those that require green so I can constantly change my thread/bobbin. I should not have all my materials at hand so I have to keep running back and forth." I know...not the best example... but I'm a little tired and don't feel like thinking of how I could make it worse in an effort to make it better :)

Second was "shrinking the box." So often we hear "Think outside the box." You know what's outside the box? Lots of stuff. Too many choices. The idea with shrinking it is narrowing your parameters and being creative within those. I usually get orders for a specific type of bag in specific fabrics and I can sleep my way through the stitching. Other times I get "Oh, just do whatever you think looks good." Oy. Sometimes I get "It needs to be yellow, with at least four pockets. And straps long enough to go across my body." Narrowing it down like that yet allowing some freedom makes it soooo much easier to create something more unique. A finite design area isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I don't know about you guys, but I thought these ideas really had something to them. I'm not sure if I'm presenting it great in a "crafty" way as opposed to an "engineering" way...but I'm sure you folks are creative enough to get what I'm shooting for here :)

I'm off to tuck in with my latest issue of Mollie Makes and then head to the land of nod to recharge for another round of meeting F. U. N.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Easy Peasy Fudge

Yesterday I had to finish up a handbag. The handles, to be specific. I hate making handles/straps/etc. I don't know why. So, to delay the inevitable, I decided to clean out the microwave. Then I did the dishes, and cleaned the kitchen, and straightened up a bunch of stuff. I wanted something else to procrastinate with, so I decided to make some fudge. The easiest fudge ever, mind you. It's not boardwalk quality by any means, but it's still yummy and quick to whip up if you need some sweets. This is probably the only recipe you will ever see here on this blog, as the culinary arts are lacking in my genetic makeup (which isn't fair because my mother is the most amazing cook ever). This stuff is super easy to make, and you don't really need pictures but I took them anyway, so let's go :)

You need: one 16 oz. of cake frosting, one 12 oz. bag of chips, a little bit of salt, and an extract (I used vanilla, but now wish I had used mint - I loooooove creamy mint fudge). You can use any combination of chips and frosting, but I'm using vanilla for both.

Melt your chips. I stuck the bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals and gave it a stir until it was nice and creamy smooth like the photo above.

Add in your frosting and stir. At this point, I added in a half teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can use almond, mint, whatever. I also added in a quarter teaspoon of salt to tone down the sweetness.

Lightly grease a 9x9 pan and pour in your 'fudge,' spreading it evenly around. If you want to, add some sprinkles now. Then stick it in the fridge for at least an hour to set. 

Cut it into squares. Put it in a container, and store it in the fridge (it'll keep for about a week).

Happy Sunday! I've got a combo birthday/Super Bowl party to go to. It's actually in my house, so I don't really have to go anywhere, but I have to put on real clothes and some makeup. Have a good one!

Linking up here:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fluttery Hearts Tutorial

Hi gang! Last week I guest-posted over at Craftionary with a cute little Valentine's Day craft. In case you missed it,  I'm reposting it below.


I've got a quick and cute garland tutorial for you today. You can do any size, any shape, any color, and it's kid-friendly too! I'm making mine for Valentine's Day, but if something else suits your fancy the same 'rules' still apply (as long as the shape is symmetrical).

You're going to need paper (I'm using scrapbook paper but you can use construction paper, computer paper, tissue paper might even work), a sewing machine or a stapler, and a needle and sturdy thread (I used Perle Cotton #8). If you want to add any embellishments like glitter or stickers or rhinestones grab those too.

Once you have your shape figured out (I'm going with hearts), cut out 4 in varying sizes. I have a stencil that makes this easy, but you can certainly freehand them, or you can find something in Google images.

Stack them up:

Sew them straight down the middle:

OR, if you don't sew or have a sewing machine, simply grab a stapler and click a few down the center:

Then, you take each of the shapes in turn and give them a little fold upwards. This gives them a nice, 3-D fluttery effect.

You can make as many layers as you want, as long as each is a different size. If you're using plain white paper you can pretty them up a bit with stickers or whatever else would work. Once you've got them all made, take a needle and a piece of string long enough to suit your needs - simply stick the needle under the stitches or through the staple loop on the back.


String them all up and hang your sweet little garland wherever you need a little brightening. We have a dark hutchy-shelf thing in the kitchen (can you tell I don't write an interior design blog? haha) that does well with a little bit of color in front of it, so I thumbtacked it up there. It looks simple and sweet, and not overbearing and obnoxiously Valentiney:

And I need you to have a better view of those polka dot flowers, just because:

Red and white polka dots are my favorite, followed closely by yellow and white. I'm afraid I made an unattractive grunt-of-excitement noise when I saw these for $1.00 in Michael's last week.

So that's that! Back soon, lovelies!


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