November 17th, 2011
Anyone on your gift list can use a new kitchen towel, I promise! Let’s face it, kitchen towels are extremely functional, but have constant turn over… so, why not make them fabulous too? Hi, Janell here for another idea for a quick and thoughtful gift–make one for your own home while you are at it.
I am sewing with Jen Allyson’s fabulous Christmas fabric line: Holly Jolly from Riley Blake.
- Fabric for decorating towels
- Towels to be embellished
(helpful hint: when possible pre-wash and dry your fabric, especially when using dark colors to prevent them from bleeding color onto your towels)
- Additional trim such as ribbon, lace or rick rac
- Scissors, sewing machine, measuring tape, thread and straight pins
- Measure the width of the towel. Cut the fabric strips the width of the towel, plus one inch. I like to layout my towel with the fabric and trim so I can see what the over-all effect will be.
- Measure trim the width of the towel plus 1/2 inch and cut.
- Turn under 1/2” on each long edge and press with your iron. Turn under 1/2” on each short edge and press.
- Load your bobbin with thread that is the same color as your towel and the top thread the closest color to your trim and fabrics. You may need to switch colors for the same towel, but keep the bobbin thread consistent.
- Pin your fabric and additional trims with straight pins onto your towel. Now you are ready to sew!
- Start with the fabric and edge-stitch along front pressed edges of strip, through all thicknesses.
- Decorate with more fabric strips and embellish with coordinating ribbons, lace, or ric-rac.
Pair your finished towel with your favorite bottle of hand soap and you have a wonderful gift that you’ll be proud of giving and the receiver will be pleased to get!
October 19th, 2011
I will use my Holiday Planner to keep myself organized this Holiday season. I have big plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving dinner will be served at our house this year. So I will be including a shopping list and menu. I will also start collecting any recipes I think I might want to use. This way I can find it all in one place and have them available when I am shopping. How will you use your planner?
Here is a Free Downloadable Shopping List + Menu from Jen Allyson for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and general Holiday that you can put in your Holiday Planner.
Click on the images below to download the PDF files.
Before I can get too excited about the menu, here at the Lake house we are starting a new project…. We need a new wall oven. This means we get to pull out the old one, demo some sheet rock and cut a new hole. After 23 years, wall ovens have changed in size. Lucky for me, Jen posted the most wonderful Project Master List and Project Notes for free download.
And when that new oven is installed, here is a fall family favorite recipe my Grandma Norma always made for us kids.
Persimmon Drop Cookies
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ cup butter
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 egg beaten
1 cup nuts (we use a mix of walnut & pecan)
½ tsp. salt
1 cup raisins
Beat till creamy: pulp, soda, sugar & butter
Add: egg & beat well
Sift flour & spices
Add: flour, raisins & nuts to creamy mixture
Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet
Bake 375° 12-15 min. Makes 3-4 dozen
Click on the form images above to download a PDF version of my printable holiday menu forms. The downloadable PDFs in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany and images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this or any of my forms are available. Forms are a free download AS IS.
October 14th, 2011
Hey everyone! Today I have a fun and easy craft project for you. I’m calling it a Jewelry Shadowbox with Fabric. I’m creative with names like that, yo.
When I was younger, I seriously would wear the SAME jewelry every day. Literally day in and day out, I’d wear small gold hoop earrings, a gold necklace with one charm, and one of my sister’s (stolen borrowed) rings. Once every few years I’d get something special, like a new charm or my high school ring, but pretty much it was the same jewelry all the time. Let me ask you – why on Earth was I limiting myself????
Since then, I have opened myself up to the world of jewelry! This has a lot to do with the fact that both of my bffs are now jewelry reps for home-party companies (though two separate companies). So I’ve had a few parties for them and it has been great fun! However, it has created a need for storing all this new jewelry I’ve acquired.
For Christmas last year, my husband bought me this wonderful large jewelry box that I keep in our master closet. But in the mornings, I’m not always completely awake and that can make picking the necklace I want quite a challenge. So I went to the power of the interwebs and searched around for a solution. Enter the Jewelry Shadowbox with Fabric.
Here’s how I did it:
I started with a plain shadowbox from A.C. Moore. I used a 40% coupon. I got the 11×14 size, because I wanted it to be a little bit on the larger side. I also used Krylon aluminum spray paint (purchased at Walmart). I also sent my husband to Lowe’s to get some of these hooks to screw into the top of the frame. I screwed them in every inch and a half or so. I actually enlisted my husband’s help again, because my hand was starting to hurt after like three hooks (I’m a wimp!).
I took out the guts and the glass of the shadowbox and went to spraying. I am not at all a pro spray painter, but it’s pretty much fool proof. I did about 3 light coats of paint and just touched up as needed. My grass also got a fancy makeover in the process. Doesn’t that leaf look kinda cool as aluminum??
The hooks obviously got a makeover from gold to matte aluminum in this process as well.
Once the spray paint dries (read the bottle for specifics), time to take it inside to make-over the guts! Here are my supplies:
Spray adhesive, quilt batting, and the Riley Blake Designs Lost & Found by Jen Allyson for My Mind’s Eye Black – Main fabric.
I started by adhering one layer of batting to the shadowbox backing. I felt it wasn’t ‘cushy’ enough, so I spray adhered another layer of batting on top of the first. This is the front of the backing with the first layer of batting cut close.
Then there’s the back. The good part about the back? NO ONE SEES IT!
I used my good pal Scor-Tape to adhere the batting to the back of the backing. I made it tight, but not too tight because I wanted the backing to be able to bend a bit to fit inside the shadowbox snugly.
Then I spray adhered a layer of fabric to the front of the batting and used Scor-Tape again on the back. I tried to use the ‘wrap the corners like a present’ technique. Remember what I said about no one seeing the back???
Here is the finished backing put into the shadowbox! You can see the sides and the bottom were able to bend enough to fit snugly into the frame.
And here it is in it’s new home, holding some of my favorite necklaces.
Now my necklaces are sitting right on my dresser where I can see and grab them easily in the morning. It’s fun to decorate your house with the same things you use to decorate your clothes!
Have a great weekend everyone!
October 5th, 2011
Let’s stay focused and stress free this Holiday Season with a fun yet functional planning binder. Holly Jolly by Jen Allyson is the perfect fabric to cover some old unused binders to create this holiday binder. I dare you to only make one….
What you need to make binder cover:
- Your choice of binder (I have tons of used binders laying around the office ready to be covered and up-cycled or you can purchase one)
- ½ yard fabric for front (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask)
- ½ yard fabric for back/inside (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask, Lost & Found Basic Shades Slate)
- 2 fat quarters for inside pockets (I’m using Gray Holly Jolly Damask, Red Holly Jolly Dots)
- 1 piece of fusible batting & optional lightweight interfacing for pockets
- Optional: lace, ric rack, ribbon, vinyl, binding
First start by measuring your binder. Open the binder and measure from side to side. I just used my cutting mat. This is a 1.5″ binder and the length measures 21.5″ inches. The width (top to bottom) is 11.75″ inches. So to cut the outside of your cover you will add 1″ inch to both the length and width. For a standard 1.5″ binder you will cut your outside fabric 22.5″ x 12.75″.
You will also cut a 22.5″ x 12.75″ piece of fusible batting. Measure from the edge of the side towards the rings to determine the width of the pockets. I cut mine 12.75″ x 10″, you will need 2 (And you will need to cut 2 of the interfacing). I cut the small pockets 6″ x 10″ (red dot).
Once everything is cut out you will need to fuse the batting to your outside piece using the manufacturer’s directions. Then you can start the fun part of embellishing your front…. I cut a piece of the Red Holly Jolly Dots, pinked the edges, gathered it and sewed it down the front on the right side.
I then added jumbo ric rack to the middle of the ruffle stitched down the middle. Next you will need to finish the pockets for the binder to slip into. Take the small pockets and finish one of the 10″ inch sides. I just folded it down a quarter inch, pressed then folded again and topstitched. You will layer these small pockets with the larger pockets and baste the edges.=
I measured in 2′ inches from the right side on the left pocket for a pencil/pen holder. This pocket will be closest to the rings to allow for room for the pen or pencil. You will bind one 12.75″ inch edge of the 2 pockets.
Now let’s put it all together with 4 simple strait seams! Lay out the outside piece right side up (you can see the gray Damask in the middle). Lay the pockets right side down, bound edges in the center, on the outside piece and pin the 12.75″ sides. Sew down these 2 sides. Take it back to your cutting table and measure the whole piece and cut your lining piece (Basic Shades Slate) to fit, pink the short sides of the lining. Layer this lining piece right side down on top of the main piece and pin the long edges.
Again sew 2 simple strait seams along the long sides. Turn the lining right side out.
Now turn the pockets right side out.
Now you can slide your binder inside the pockets.
And there you have a covered binder that is sure to keep you in that Holiday spirit…. Now all you have to do is fill it!
September 2nd, 2011
If you have some time today, check out my cute interview at the Fat Quarter Shop Blog. they asked me all sorts of personal questions like what my favorite snack food is and guilty pleasure!! There also is a photo of my pantry… it doesn’t get more silly than that!