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11  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Craft Room - Ribbon Holders on: January 03, 2012 07:15:20 PM
I'm redoing my craft room. I painted it and put it mostly back together but I'm not quite finished. But I thought I'd post a picture of my ribbon storage area. I had my husband put 4 screw hooks in the upper windowsill. I then used some chain (the kind you hang light fixtures and such from) and attached it to the hooks I then made slings out of fabric and slid 2 dowel rods through on each side of the sling. At the end of each dowel is 2 eye hooks. I attached the slings to the chains with s hooks. I made 5 slings. I also threaded my curling ribbon on to single dowel rods and hung them below the slings.

These work really well. And I can leave the ribbon hanging over the edge of the slings or have it not show for a cleaner look. I could have just used different sized dowel rods with eye hooks on the ends to store the ribbon, but I didn't want to unstring 20 spools of ribbon when I emptied a spool. I didn't worry about that with the curling ribbon because the spools are bigger and there is ALOT of ribbon on those spools.

I can give better directions and take better pictures if anyone is interested.  I didn't realize how blurry this was until I posted it here and on my blog.
12  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Goodie bags and bookmarks on: October 31, 2011 02:50:28 PM
This year I decided to make cute goodie bags for my sons' teachers and aides.  My oldest only has 1 teacher, but my youngest is autistic so he has 7 teachers and aides.  I absolutely LOVE this pattern.

We filled them up with chocolate cake balls and chocolate almond cake balls that my husband made and one bookmark each that my kiddos made.  I had my boys make bookmarks for their classmates instead of passing out candy (our schools aren't allowed anymore).  We've made these coffin shaped bookmarks before.  They are always a big hit.

Here's my oldest (I only helped him with one):

Here's my youngest (I helped him with 14 of them): 

You know the old saying "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" well I'd rather make horse drink water when it doesn't want to than make my son finish up a craft project when he doesn't want to, LOL.  He was "done" after 7.  So I helped him with the last 14 he had to do. 
13  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Pillowcase dresses for my niece. on: October 31, 2011 06:56:11 AM
Well I didn't have girls only stinky boys, so I didn't get to make cute frilly stuff for my kiddos.  But my brother had a girl (yeah!), so I got to make some pillow case dresses for her 2nd birthday.

I picked up some pillowcases from Goodwill throughout the year.

Here was my first dress:

I had to redo the hem of this pillowcase because it had some weird foldover hem.  I realize that kinda defeats the purpose of buying pillowcases to make these dresses (Not having to do the hem), but I didn't know until after I bought the pillowcase.  I liked it well enough but I decided to add some embelishments to the rest.

Pink and white flowers with lace:

I added coordinated lace that I already had in my stash to the bottom of this one.  After I made this one, I decided to add bias tape to the armholes.  It was too much of PITA to fold down the hem for the armholes.

White and green gingham:

I added some buttons and flowers to the bottom of this one and white bias tape around the armholes.

I bought a set of pillowcases for the next 2 dresses, but I embellished them differently for 2 different looks.

Purple with purple polka dots:

I made a purple ruffle out of bias tape for this one and added a bright lime green pattern to it with my sewing machine.  I liked how it turned out, but it took FOREVER to do, LOL.  I also added purple bias tape to the arm holes.

Green and Purple with polka dots:

I added coordinated lace and bias tape to this one.  The colors matched each other better than the picture shows, but it was not a perfect match.  I think it looked quirky but cute.  

I LOVED making these.  Since I have a new niece I hope I get to make more of these soon.
14  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Software for Sewing Patterns & other questions for writing & designing your own on: October 11, 2011 05:57:47 AM
I have several patterns that I'd like to scan into the computer and clean up with a computer program before I offer it for sale.  I haven't messed around with design software in a while, but I'm not scared to learn a new program.  Can anyone reccommend a good program that is pretty user friendly for designing sewing patterns?  Again I'm not afraid to learn new software, I'd just prefer it not to be "stupid hard", LOL. I'd also prefer it not to be really expensive, but if its worth it (easy to use and really flexible), I'll consider it.

Also when writing up instructions do you just use Microsoft Word or do you use another program? 

15  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Jello Shots - Fancy Style on: May 30, 2011 02:29:48 PM
Okay, I'm going to start off this post by stating I don't really do alcohol, so its weird to be posting about jello shots of all things.  But I found this really cool link on instructables for jello shots without the mess and posted in on my facebook.  Long story short my brother in law asked me to make some for the adults at his party this weekend (combination of his annual crawfish party and high daughter's high school graduation).  I asked if he was sure and he said yes.  Well I thought he wanted me to make some similar to what was in the instructable (found out later he just wanted jello shots, he wasn't specific).   Roll Eyes

My husband and I made these together.  We had a lot of fun with them and would have made more but we ran out of time and places to put them in our refrigerator.

Anyway here is how they turned out:

Limes are lime jello with tequila - funny story my husband had to ask one of my neighbor's for a cup of tequila when we were putting these together
Oranges are orange jello with orange rum
Lemons are lemon jello with Absolut Citron (lemon flavored vodka)
Strawberries are strawberry jello with creme de banana
Watermelons are watermelon jello with Absolut Kurant (black currant flavored vodka) in a cucumber shell

Some of it stacked in the frig:
These 2 cake pans held all of the lemons, limes and oranges after we had cut them.  We had several more pans holding the strawberry and the watermelon jello shots. 

Here is what the watermelon jello shots looked like before we cut them.

Hints and Tips - if you decide to do this:
+  The watermelon cucumber is neat looking but if they got too warm, they sweat and the jello would not stay in place, so keep them very, very cool.
+  Use a very sharp knife when cutting the wedges, or like we did, an electric knife.
+  When preparing citrus, cut from stem to blossom end to cut the fruit in half.  Then peel the fruit out to clean out the shell.  With limes, you may also have to cut the white line in the middle then turn the fruit inside out to get it out.  Limes were a PITA and I won't do them again, unless specifically asked.
+  Don't cut off too much of the bottom of the strawberries.  Strawberries are hollow and the jello will just pour through if there is a hole.  If you find this happened to you, pour some of your extra jello (if you have any) into a different container and after it has set, you can use that to stuff the strawberries.  Its not as pretty but it beats wasting a strawberry after you prepped it.

Additional ideas:
+  Our original idea for the watermelon jello was to use chunks of watermelon and create a cup, but we didn't have a small tool to carve out a cup for the jello.  So we would have had to cut the chunks too big for bite size. 
+  Apples could be hollowed out into a bowl shape like the citrus and filled with jello.  We were going to do this and fill them with cranberry jello, but we ran out of time and space.  We even bought caramel with the idea of dipping some of the apples too.
+  We bought a pineapple to do similar to what we were going to do with the watermelon.  But after that didn't work, we didn't bother. 
Really the skies the limits with this idea. 
+  Instead of cold water use ice to get the right amount of cold liquid, to keep the potency of the alcohol when the hot water is added.

Here is the original instructable:
We didn't really look at the recipes on this instructable.  I think my husband found some recipes somewhere else.  But we did get the idea from here.

This would also be cute without the alcohol for kids parties.  My sister in law asked me to make some for my nephew's birthday that he could enjoy.  He was pretty disappointed that he couldn't have any of these because they were for adults only, LOL.  And yes, they were well guarded from underaged revelers  Wink
16  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Washcloth suckers on: May 18, 2011 11:27:15 AM
A friend of mine wanted a baby shower gift for a mutual teacher friend.  I made wash clothes out of micro terry and flannel.   Then I rolled them up added ribbon to keep them in place and make them look purty Cheesy , added a popscicle stick, wrapped them in celophane and tied them off with ribbons and put them in a small goldfish bowl with a few loose wash clothes in the base.  I added some pipe cleaners in matching colors that I had curled around a pencil  on one end to shape them for a little added interest.  I think they turned out well. 

17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Gift Bows (IMG big) on: May 18, 2011 08:54:48 AM
I wasn't sure where to put this post.  I had nasal surgery in January.  It was pretty minor surgery but I couldn't do anything while I was recovering.  I couldn't see well (between the surgery and the meds, my vision blurred), so I couldn't read, look at the computer or watch TV.  I couldn't see well enough to crochet or knit, so I needed something pretty easy to do that wouldn't take a whole lot of focusing.  I popped in some audiobooks on my MP3 and decided to make some bows from curling ribbon.  I have had this in my mind for a while and had been putting off experimenting.  Well this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try.

I used a flower loom.  Mine has 3 different ringed rows of pegs.  It is a Studio twelve loom from the 60's or 70's.  I've seen similar flowers made out of some kind of plastic straw, but I couldn't find any easily, locally and I couldn't go shopping for supplies.  I've made flowers for gift bags out of yarn before, so now was my chance to try out the idea of using curling ribbon.

Basic supplies
2-5 colors curling ribbon
flower loom
tape (used to hold the beginning ribbon in place on the back while you wrap)
yarn needle
Double sided tape
optional supplies:
ribbon shredder

I tried different techniques for different looks.  Some I simply wrapped, finished off the center:

Some I cut the ribbons after I secured the center, but did nothing else to them:

Some I wrapped additional colors around the longest posts, and after securing the centers, I cut the some of the longer loops and used scissors to curl the ribbon:

Some I wrapped the longest pegs, then unwrapped them (I was getting the length of the ribbon I used to wrap the longest set of pegs), used a ribbon shredder to shred the ribbon, the rewrapped the longest pegs.  Then wrapped the longest pegs with unshreded ribbon and finished as normal.  I left the shredded ribbon in loops but I cut and curled the unshredded ribbon from the longest loops:

Some, I wrapped across 3 of the longest posts.  Then wrapped llike normal.  After is was secured and pulled off the loom, there were really long back loops (the ones wrapped across 3)  I cut those in the middle and curled them so that there would be longer curls:

Here are the ones that I did between sleeping and a few other things (I got bored just doing these):

You can see the ribbon I used on the spools in the background, I also took pictures of some other looms that you might be able to make some of these on:

Here are the supplies:

Here is the back of one with the double sided tape on it:

Here is some in use for my son's birthday:

The thing I like best about these bows, is that they don't get messed up easily like normal gift bows, so you can make a bunch in advance and don't have to worry about them not looking good. They can be stacked and not get smushed and out of shape easily (Unless flattened by something heavy) And they are pretty cheap to make.  Those spools of ribbon usually only cost between $2-$3 a piece, so you can just buy the colors you want/need.
I'm in the process of making more of these for teachers' gifts for the end of the year.  I like to give unusual but useful gifts.  I plan to use an empty 2 liter soda bottle as the packaging.  I saw a really cute video on youtube to wrap gifts that way.  
18  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Ghostbusters Party on: May 18, 2011 08:12:22 AM
I didn't get alot of pictures of my son's party stuff.

For gift bags, I chose plain lime green bags and printed pictures of the Ghostbuster's sign from the computer.  I cut them out and glued them on the gift bags.  I bought green candies from Party City and some other misc. stuff to put in the bags.  I couldn't find any Ghostbusters party supplies.

The Birthday Boy wore a purple shirt with the Ghostbuster's logo on it that I had picked up from Target.  I drapped the food table with black corduroy fabric then layered some black and white ghost fabric over that.  I made a few ghosts to put on the table from dollar store wedding bells draped in 2 layers of cheese cloth.  I thought my husband had taken pictures of all of this (we usually do) but I found out that he only took pictures of the cake.  We also made lime sherbert punch and labeled it Slimer slime punch.  We bought plain green and plain black napkins, plastic ware, cups and plates for the party. 

Here is the cake my husband made:

10 Candles on the cake and the birthday boy:

We don't generally do alot of organized activities at our parties. I prefer to let the kiddos play however they want.  But this year I bought little bags of legos (all the same) for about $3-$4 each.  Anyway, it was really loud and crazy until we had the contest to see who could put together the set fastest, then there was absolute silence.  I bought a Harry Potter IQ game for $2. to give as a prize (Like I said, I couldn't find anything Ghostbusters).  I thought I'd share that as a good game for boys birthday parties.  Its pretty inexpensive and the kids can take their legos home with them as a party favor when they are finished.  Its not messy and its amazing how quiet the party got when the boys were racing to see who would finish first.  My son won, but I told him he couldn't have the prize, LOL.  So it went to the next one to win.

The boys concentrating on their legos:

My son is still obsessed with ghostbusters but hopefully we can have a different themed party next year or maybe there will be more ghostbusters stuff available.
19  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Crocheted Heart sucker covers (lots of images) on: May 18, 2011 07:35:54 AM
I needed something to make the kiddos' classes and teachers for Valentine's Day celebration (or as their schools call them "Friendship Parties").  I racked my brain and finally decided to write a pattern a heart pattern.  I crocheted 2 hearts and then stitched them together, leaving a large hole in the top so the sucker could slide in and a small hole in the bottom so the stick could come out.  I let my 10 year old pick the colors that he wanted out of my yarn stash.  I made them out of cheap ole' Red Heart Yarn. 


Picture of all of them together:


These next 2 are made from the same varigated yarn with totally different looks.  Of course we had to have some "MANLY" boy hearts, LOL.

Green, this is my son's favorite color, so we had to make some green hearts, LOL:

And last but not least a close up of the multi colored pink and red.  This was the closest I had in my available stash to pink.  I have boys and never needed pink cheap yarn, LOL:

I also made plain red and white hearts as well.  Red crochet never photographs well for me and I forgot to take pictures of the white, but you can see them in the group shot well enough.  They were a hit.  I gave some to Speech teachers, Piano teachers and doctors before I took pictures, so I made more than what was pictured.  They were pretty well recieved. 
20  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Snowmen Candy Cane Covers on: May 18, 2011 07:18:47 AM
I know, I know, I've been uber slow about posting.  I haven't down loaded my camera in a while and before I knew it, months had gone by and I still had stuff to post so here it is.

I made these Snowmen Candy Cane Covers for my sons' classes & teachers for the winter holidays

And of course, I didn't make sure I had a good shot, so this is my only shot of the candy canes.  I think I made between 60-70 covers. 
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