Thursday, July 30, 2009


I lamented the loss of Polaroid awhile back on this post. But I've been having fun playing around with some software that will turn your digital photos into polaroid-looking photos. Although not the same as the real thing, the results are still fun.

Click here to get the software.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Market Skirt

There is another fabulous tutorial up at Made for these adorable skirts.

(Photo from Made)

I want to make one today. But this week is already taken over with packing and cleaning and preparing for a trip out West. The sewing machine is definitely coming out when I return.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Handmade Gifts

I recently made a few more One Hour Bags as seen at Ric-Rac to give as gifts. These are very simple to make. I usually spend most of my time trying to decide what fabric to use. You can find the tutorial here.

Another Black Apple doll for a friend who loves to bake:

You can find the tutorial for the doll here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blueberry-Cornmeal Pancakes with Orange Maple Butter

We made these pancakes for dinner the other night and they were fabulous. The Orange Maple Butter is a must.

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
Martha Stewart Living

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter and egg. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined (mixture will be lumpy). (I doubled the recipe and had to add more flour because mine was quite runny.)

2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees (for keeping pancakes warm). Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toss blueberries with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Brush griddle with melted butter. Spoon batter onto griddle 1/3 cup at a time. Sprinkle with sugared blueberries, about 2 tablespoons per pancake. Cook until edges are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and blueberries, adding more butter to griddle and keeping prepared pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven. Serve with orange maple butter and pure maple syrup.

Orange Maple Butter
Martha Stewart Living

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Using a rubber spatula, combine ingredients in a small bowl. Orange maple butter can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week. (Mixing with a rubber spatula did not work for me...I had to mix it with the electric mixer to get the liquids to mix in. Also, I left out the grated orange zest and salt and it was still delicious.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Shirt Dress

When my mom was in town I had to pick a sewing project to work on. I saw this cute dress idea over at Made and had to experiment with it.

My mom did most of the work on this one and I observed.



The next day I tried making one myself, under the supervision of my mom.



We followed most of the directions on the tutorial, but altered the neck and sleeves. We used elastic thread instead of making an elastic casing. It seemed much easier and I like the look. Ben was not ready to part with any of his dress shirts, so I had fun combing through the racks at the thrift store picking out some patterns I liked. I have another shirt that is waiting to be cut up. I have some ideas about changing up the buttons or possibly adding a contrasting fabric along the bottom...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I think I would enjoy being a party planner. Except for that whole part about meeting the demands of other people. So I'll just stick with planning my own parties for now.

I went a little crazy preparing for Amelia's 4th birthday. She decided on a Fancy Nancy party quite awhile ago and I immediately started scheming. We settled on a "butterfly garden party" theme, based on the book "Bonjour, Butterfly." Even though we were rained out and my backyard decorations had to be abandoned, the party was a huge success. I had fun planning it with Amelia and all the girls had fun being Fancy.

The Invitation

I found some Fancy Nancy images online and then used Photoshop to manipulate the word Nancy and change it to Amelia so the invitation would resemble the book cover.

The Decorations

This party definitely called for the Martha Stewart pom-poms. Instructions can be found here. These are very easy and cheap to make. It calls for 20x30 tissue paper, which I had a hard time finding. I found some really cute colors and patterns at Target that were pretty close to those dimensions and they worked well. I stacked them 10 thick.

I scored some paper lanterns at the dollar store that happened to be butterfly-themed. We strung those up across the backyard.

We ordered some 3D cardboard butterflies from Oriental Trading and Amelia and I had fun one night decorating them.

The Activities

All the girls decorated butterfly wings to wear. I found some great poster board at Michaels that was purple on one side and blue on the other. I cut out a butterfly shape on each piece and then punched out two holes in the top center and 2 in the bottom center and strung elastic string through them so they could be worn like a backpack.

They also decorated little bags to use for a butterfly hunt and then they each made a wooden butterfly necklace (from a kit found at Michaels).

The Food

PB&J sandwiches and ham & cheese sandwiches and our favorite fancy French lemonade from Trader Joes.

Lemon scones, shaped as butterflies of course.

Fruit kabobs.

The Cake

In addition to cake and cupcakes, I couldn't resist making more cupcake pops.

I "drew" butterfly wings on wax paper using melted chocolate and then after they had hardened, I put them on the cupcakes. And nothing says fancy like paper doilies! Go here for instructions on making the chocolate butterflies. I used candy melts instead of semi-sweet chocolate.

My first attempt at a four-layer cake. I took the easy way out and decorated it with fake flowers and butterflies from Michaels.

The Favors

Each of the girls got to take home a potted flower. I spray painted small terracotta pots with silver glitter paint and then found some butterfly ribbon to put around the top.