Archive for March, 2013

h1

Dresser Remodel!

March 28, 2013

Hello friends,

I recently purchased a dresser and two nightstands off Craigslist in hopes to transform them into modern furniture pieces for our master bedroom.  I have been wanting to take on a project like this for a long time, but never found the perfect pieces.  I wanted the right mix of quality furniture and detail so a solid color of paint would still allow it to have character.

I ended up purchasing two nightstands exactly like my parent’s night stand they bought in 1978 and a dresser that is of the same make and model (not same drawer layout) as my parents.  They are incredibly fabulous pieces.  They are heavy, solid, and have just the right amount of detail work.

Check out the beautiful before images below and stay tuned for some how to prime, paint, seal these bad boys in a future blog post!

1978 Dresser

1978 Dresser

1978 Dresser

1978 Dresser details

1978 Nightstand

1978 Nightstand

1978 Nightstand

1978 Nightstand details

1978 Nightstand

1978 Nightstand details

1978 Nightstand

1978 Nightstand: Lions

I can’t wait to share the final product with y’all!

Happy hunting,
Amanda

h1

Gnome Garland

March 25, 2013

Hello friends!

I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of some good friends this weekend.  It was a beautiful ceremony followed by a great reception.

Prior to the wedding, I was asked by the mother of the bride to make some new garland for the couple.  After marriage both of their initials will be L.E.P.  The second component of this garland are the awesome gnomes.  This couple is fabulously quirky, and they love gnomes.  (Their cake topper was even a little gnome couple!)

Supplies:
-Felt
-Die Cut Machine (or letters to trace and cut out)
-Gnome Fabric
-Interfacing (Iron on, paper backed)
-Ric Rac (or any ribbon really)

Supplies for Gnome Garland

Supplies for Gnome Garland

Procedure:
1. I started by cutting all the letters out of felt on my die cut machine (have I mentioned I bought a die cut machine? LOVE IT!)  The only mistake I made here was that with these letters, I should’ve used interfacing and doubled up the stiffness of the felt.  (I’ll show you how I made it work later.)

2. Iron interfacing to back of gnome fabric.

Felt Backing on Gnomes

Felt Backing on Gnomes

3. Peel paper layer and iron felt to back of gnomes.

Felt Backing on Gnomes

Felt Backing on Gnomes

4. Individually cut out each gnome with love and care.

Cut out Gnome Close Up

Cut out Gnome Close Up

5. Line up gnomes and letters on ric rac allowing extra on the ends to tie the garland.

Gnome Letter Garland

Gnome Letter Garland

6. Once I realized my letters were too floppy, I went back and stitched along the bottom of the three letters to hold them together.  That got tricky because I had to make sure they were spaced enough apart to not pull and twist each other.

Gnome Letter Garland

Gnome Letter Garland

In general, I love the final product.  The gnomes really make it though!  The bride and groom were so happy with their surprise decor too!

Congratulations, gnomies!  Have a great honeymoon!

Love,
Amanda

h1

Banana “Ice Cream”

March 21, 2013

Hey y’all!

I am so excited about this post because it may be the easiest thing I have ever made with the best return!  I’m quite busy on Pinterest most days searching for dairy substitutes, gluten-free treats, and healthy eating options.  I came across this simple guilt free “ice cream” and knew it must be made!  Let’s dive in!

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients

Ingredients:
-Sliced, frozen bananas (I used 4 bananas)
-A tablespoon of peanut butter
-A teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa

Directions:
1. Slice and freeze ripe bananas until you’re ready to make this easy treat.

Frozen Bananas

Frozen Bananas

2. Break up your frozen bananas and put them in your food processor.  (If you read the link above, she doesn’t suggest using a blender unless it’s one of those fancy ones.)  This process took a little while because the bananas need to be stirred and moved to make sure their being hit by the blade.  At first it seems discouraging because the bananas aren’t looking like anything special, but keep going.  There will be a magical moment when the bananas all whip together and look just like soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Banana "Ice Cream"

Banana “Ice Cream”

3. At this point you can do whatever you want to the bananas.  I added peanut butter and cocoa because I wanted this to be a little bit less guilt free.  (I haven’t had peanut better in almost 3 months! So sad!)  I think it would be delicious with cherries or chocolate chips!

Banana Peanut Butter Cocoa "Ice Cream"

Banana Peanut Butter Cocoa “Ice Cream”

4. It’s that easy!  Serve in your favorite ice cream bowl or cup!  I’m going to go eat a cup right now!  Good any time of the day!

Happy guilt-free desserting!
-Amanda

h1

Aquaman Cake

March 18, 2013

Hello,

I know you read the title and thought, “Oh, Amanda must have an eight year old son who just had a birthday!” but you’re wrong.  I have a brother-in-law who just turned 30 and needed an awesome cake!  That’s right!  When my sister turned 29 she got a Hello Kitty cake and when her husband turned 30 he got Aquaman.  I love those two!

Aquaman Cake Topper

Happy Birthday!

When Melissa first approached me about the cake I did a quick search.  The cakes that exist with an Aquaman theme are quite ornate and over the top.  It was entirely too much to take on so I decided to go with a different approach.  I knew I needed to use his colors and symbol and incorporate water.  Instead of using fondant, I decided to go with a buttercream frosting using a star-tip for decor.

Ingredients/Supplies:
-White Cake (I used a box mix)
-Your favorite buttercream recipe (Find my favorite here)
-Gel Dye in desired color
-Star Tip (any number works)
-Any other cake decor

Directions:
1. Bake 2 nine inch cakes.  This time around I used silicon pans to help with level cakes.  (I was too lazy to take out my leveling strips.)

2. Once the cakes are baked and cooled, I glaze each cake with an apricot glaze.  (I use apricot preserves melted down in a saucepan.)

3. This is where you make your favorite buttercream icing.  I make a full recipe of my favorite from the link above.  This is ample to crumb coat the cake and do a decorative design (see below).

Aquaman Cake

Aquaman Cake

4. I used yellow, green, and orange to dye my icing.  I estimated how much of each color icing I would need for my specific Aquaman design and it worked out perfectly!

Aquaman Cake

Aquaman Cake

5. In regards to my design specifically.  I was commissioned to make an Aquaman cake with no other specific direction.  I had to do some research to learn more about this animated figure I knew nothing about.  After much research I decided on the logo of Aquaman.

Aquaman Cake

Aquaman Cake

6. Of course, you’ll notice the super awesome guy in a speedo adorning the cake.  I wanted to find an Aquaman action figure, but those aren’t easy to come by or get quickly so when I saw speedo man, I knew I had a winner!  (I also applied some gold edible dust over the logo to help it seem  super!)

Aquaman Cake Topper

Aquaman Cake Topper

Aquaman Cake Topper

Aquaman Cake Topper

Happy Birthday, Happy Cakes, and Happy Cake Topper!
-Amanda

h1

Stitch in Time: Progress

March 14, 2013

Hello!

We find ourselves at a good time to update the antique family quilt progress.  A couple weeks ago I went out and made some purchases of supplies to help mend the quilt.

What I bought:
-4 yards of natural muslin
-Heat N Bond
-pink fabric to match
-Orchid fabric to match
-1930s replica fabric for dresses

I instantly washed the muslin to take out any sizing that might be in it and dried it without a fabric softener.  I don’t want any chemicals to damage the original fabric the muslin will be touching.

Then I trimmed the quilt.  It was scary to think about cutting this beautiful old quilt, but I know it’s for the best.  I channeled the thoughts of the original quilters and how much they would want their quilt to be preserved and last even longer.

quilt edge

Tattered and Torn Quilt Edge

Cutting Quilt Edge

Cutting Quilt Edge

Once I cut the fabric off, I could tell the original color of the fabric isn’t as pink as I thought it would be.  It appears to be a shade of purple-pink rather than solid pink.  I ordered some 1930s replica solid fabric off the web in both Orchid and pink.  The orchid is perfect to the original fabric color.  I have decided to use it in to bring to life the original color scheme.

The next step I took was to remove the little girls who were damaged or needed to be completely replaced.  Below you can see some images of removing the girls.

Yellow Sue Bonnet Sue

Yellow Sue Bonnet Sue

Pink Sue Bonnet Sue

Pink Sue Bonnet Sue

I knew each girl was well stitched by the detail and precision of the black blanket appliqué stitching, but once that was removed, I found each girl was sewn down delicately and so well it was hard to find the stitches.

Close up of stitches

Close up of stitches

The other neat part about cutting apart the quilt was to find the original, unchanged colors in the fabrics.  One little girl’s dress looks like red bubbles, only to uncover there were originally blue dots in each red bubble!

Red Bubble Dress

Red Bubble Dress

Here are a few images of the quilt in it’s current cut apart state.

Quilt Progress

Quilt Progress

Quilt Progress

Quilt Progress

Quilt Progress

Quilt Progress

I’ll update soon as the quilt begins to return to a complete state!

Happy quilting,
Amanda

h1

My First Time: Spaghetti Squash

March 11, 2013

Hello friends!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

I have never cooked or even eaten spaghetti squash before this attempt.  I am not sure I would’ve ever tried, but David went to the grocery store and came home with one.  I asked why he bought one (considering I’ve never made one and it wasn’t on the list).  His response, “You told me to buy vegetables on sale.” So here sat my challenge: figure out how to cook spaghetti squash.  There are a lot of theories on how to cook spaghetti squash, just do a quick search and you’ll come across lots of ideas: cut on the equator, microwave, roast, don’t cut open, cut open.  You get the idea.  Here’s how I did it.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:
-1 spaghetti squash
-Butter
-Salt and Pepper
-1 jar spaghetti sauce
-1 pound ground turkey
-Italian seasonings

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the pan.

2. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half (not along the equator).  Scoop out the seeds and insides.

3. Coat the squash with a small amount of butter (or oil) and then season with salt and pepper.  Place the squash cut side down on the greased pan.  Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Turn the squash over and cook for 10 more minutes.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

4. Remove the squash from the oven and let it sit for 10-20 minutes.

5. Using a fork, pull out the inside of the squash.  It easily comes out and instantly looks pretty!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

6. While the squash is cooking, cook and season your ground turkey and warm up spaghetti sauce.

7. Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

I think we’ll be making this again soon!  Seriously yummy.

Happy Eating,
Amanda

h1

Homemade Baby Quilt

March 7, 2013

Hello!

Ok guys, this is another project I have been dying to blog about, but like the wooden sign, it was a gift – for the same person! I decided early on to make my future niece a custom quilt just for her to roll around on, snuggle in, and have for life! I picked the fabric before I decided on the pattern or shape of the quilt and then ran across an adorable quilt I just had to try. The pattern is from the book Little Quilts 4 Little Kids by Heather Mulder Peterson.

finished quilt

Finished Quilt

The pattern is called “Oh Baby” and it feathers a name and could be done in a couple different ways.  I chose to make it with yardage rather than a charm pack.   I bought fabric called Vintage Modern from Moda because it has a more grown up little girl quilt!  I also chose to back the quilt with a minky fabric so it would be soft and snuggly for my sweet future niece to cuddle with.

Quilt top and Green minky

Quilt top and Green minky

Process:
-I followed directions according to the pattern for the top of the quilt.  (I don’t want to outline them here since the book is for sale.  Pretty sure that would infringe on copyright. But buy the book, it’s cheap an has some great patterns!)

-I also encountered an issue with the fabric I chose: I used a beautiful houndstooth, cut all my pieces, then realized it wasn’t printed on the grain and all my strips were twisted.  I pretty much had to start all over and re-sew the top, but in the end, it was worth it!

-I used a die cut machine for the letters in the middle, which meant I needed a wider strip of fabric for the middle.

-For the letters in the middle, I used Heat N Bond on the back of the grey fabric before I cut out the letters on my die cut machine.  After they were cut out, I attached the letters to the middle strip of the quilt.

-The next step was to iron tear away stabilizer on the back of the houndstooth where the letters were ironed on.  This helped during the embroidery process.

Tear Away Stabilizer

Tear Away Stabilizer

-I do not have an embroidery machine, but I do have a fantastic sewing machine with lots of different stitch styles.  I picked a beautiful X stitch to outline each letter in for the finishing touch.  I used a dark grey thread to highlight the lighter grey letters.

Embroidered edge of letters

Embroidered Edge of Letters

-After finishing the quilt top, I cut a square of the minky green fabric and batting.  I basted all three layers together before quilting it.

basted

Basted Quilt

-I decided to tie the quilt with embroidery thread rather than machine quilt the blanket.

-I went with an eyelet ribbon for the edge to play up the girly, baby fun. I folded the top and bottom layers into the middle and inserted the ribbon between the two layers.  I then top stitched the edge to finish the quilt.

Quilt Top

Finished Quilt Top

Quilt Back

Quilt Back

I was very happy with how the quilt turned out.  I haven’t made a lot of quilts for other people, but I am so excited to be able to give a homemade gift to family!

Happy Quilting,
Amanda