Archive for August, 2011

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Felt Wreath

August 29, 2011

Today’s post is going to reveal two important things about me: 1. felt is one of my favorite things to craft with and 2. I am obsessed with wreaths. Seriously.

I made a felt wreath (adapted from the book “Fa la la la Felt”) with my aunt and cousins so you’ll be able to see some great variations.  It’s pretty simple, follow along!

Materials:

  • One wire hanger (NO MORE WIRE HANGERS! – just had to get that out there)
  • Wire cutters (small ones are good, I only had HUGE ones.)
  • Scraps of felt (or precisely cut pieces like me)
  • Tape (I used painters tape, duct tape would work too)
  • Ribbon or extra felt

Procedure:
Cut your wire hanger about 3 inches to the side of the hook.  Force the hanger into as circular of a shape as possible since you want it to look like a round wreath in the end.  You will feed pieces of felt onto the longer side of the hanger until you fill it up.  My cousin used scraps while I used strips.  The way you feed them onto the hanger determines how they will look.  You’ll see my wreath is very uniform because I pushed the felt all the same way.  My aunt’s wreath is not as uniform and much fluffier because she twisted and turned her felt as she pushed it onto the hanger.  Have fun with it!

When you fill up your hanger you can tape the wire together to close the loop.  We ended up twisting the wire to hold it in place and then taping it.  I then wrapped the hook of the hanger with burlap to give it a finished look.  Voila, it’s done!  And you can make it whatever shape you want since it’s wire!

Above is my aunt’s wreath!

This is my cousin’s wreath!

Above is my wreath, and it’s on my door!

Happy crafting!
-Amanda!

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T Shirt Yarn: Necklace!

August 22, 2011

I cut up an old t-shirt and made lovely yarn (see last Monday’s post for a tutorial).

I found all sorts of really fun projects that could be done with this new yarn of mine and decided to start with a necklace.  Now I actually cut this yarn out differently than the tutorial says and I’ll explain that here.

How to:
1. Lay out the tshirt you want to cut flat on your cutting board (if using a rotary cutter).


2. Cut the shirt just below any text and right above the hem at the bottom.
3. Cut this portion of the shirt into strips so you end up with loops the width of the tshirt.  They can be as small as 3/4 of an inch to 2 inches.  The shirt will fold into itself so it shouldn’t be too big or too small.  I cut mine 1 inch wide.

4. After they are cut, pull the loops until they fold over and look like yarn.

5. Cut one end of the loop to have one long strand of tshirt yarn.

6. Leaving anywhere from 3–12 inches remaining, secure the clump of yarn (minus one piece to use at the end for tying) under a heavy piece of furniture or vase so you can braid a tight necklace.  I ended up with 9 pieces of yarn in this segment so I split it into 3 groups of 3 and began braiding till I had the same distance at the other end that I left at the top.

7. Bring the two unfinished ends together and tie the leftover strand of yarn to secure the braids from undoing.

You have a finished necklace!

Variation: once you finish step 2, you could splatter paint, or dye your t shirt to make it more exciting.

Happy Braiding!
-Amanda!

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T-shirt yarn!

August 15, 2011

I recently learned how to make t-shirt yarn from many blogs out there in the blog-o-sphere.  (Is that what it’s called?  very sciency if you ask me.)

Anywho, I have a million old t shirts that I keep telling myself I’ll either quilt or make into a scarf, so now I can add “tshirt yarn” to that list!

Here’s a great tutorial on how to do it:

http://mousechirpy-polkadotpineapple.blogspot.com/2008/03/tutorial-t-shirt-yarn.html

 

*UPDATE: Another good tutorial is here:  Recycle Tutorial – Making Of T-Shirt Yarn | Free Pattern & Tutorial at CraftPassion.com

My following posts will involve what I did with my tshirt yarn!

Happy yarning!
-Amanda!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 8, 2011

David was going on a road trip recently so I decided to make him and the guys in his car chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  I didn’t do a lot of research, I just opened the nearest book and started baking. This recipe says it makes 60 cookies, which is not true.  I think it made 40, but I doubled it.

Chocolate chip cookie recipe from “Art and Soul of Baking” by Sur la Table.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste, yummy)
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces good-quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks, or 1 cup dark chocolate chips
same as above of milk chocolate
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Procedure:
1. Preheat ove to 350 and position oven rack in center.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium-low speed until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes.  You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat just until blended after each addition.  Add the vanilla and blend well.  Scrape down the bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the flour mixture all at once.  Blend just until there are no more patches of flour.  Scrape down the bowl.
4. Add the chocolate and nuts (if using), and blend on low just until combined.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure there are no more patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.
5. Using the small ice cream scoop or spoon, portion tablespoon-sized mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, spinning the sheet halfway through, for about 10 to 14 minutes, until the cookie are golden brown at the edges and still a bit pale in the center.  If you want crisp cookies instead of chewy ones, bake them a couple extra minutes.

Store cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Obviously, they did not last that long, but they were yummy.

The process wasn’t too extensive and they were really yummy.  Some of the best dough I’ve ever eaten.  Seriously.

Try them for yourself!

Happy baking!
-Amanda

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Coming Soon!

August 1, 2011

Hey Cut.Bake.Stitch. Followers!

I was a bad blogger this week and prepared nothing to post.  Although that sounds bad, I want to let you know I did about 5 crafts this weekend and I cooked too!  I’ll prepare those blog posts so they’ll be ready to go the next few weeks.

Here’s a preview:

  • T-shirt yarn!
  • Braided t shirt yarn necklace
  • T shirt yarn crochet ball
  • Felt wreath (with variations)
  • Embroidered pillow case
  • Chicken Salad
  • Chocolate chip cookies

Ok, I think that’s everything I’m going to blog about over the next few weeks.  Ha!  I did them all in one week too!   (Some with the help of my aunt and cousins.)

I hope everything is going great in your world, reader.  My craft room project has been put on hold due to a very busy schedule on my part.  But I promise to return to it soon.

Thanks for reading!
-Amanda