Monday, February 13, 2012

Sending Out a XOX

I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone get my. Yep. Went there. Who doesn't like to get a little some'm some'm in the mail right around this time? I firmly believe that you are never too old to make and give valentines to people!
 These little suckers were so cute and I just love the way they came out. A nice pulse, they were actually rather easy to make even if you have little to almost no experience using a sewing machine. And just because I was going to any ways it’s the season to show a little love, I thought I'd give you all a tutorial on these so you can make some for your someone special, family, friends and heck, even that nice cashier you always see at the store. Come on, spread the love!
So here's the spill on what you will need to make these cards:
1- Clear transfer paper
2- Blank cards. (I used cream because my lace was cream but it doesn't matter... get creative)
3- A needle and thread. This is going to be used for the word LOVE so make sure it shows up on your fabric you chose.
4- I used my letter stamp kit to make the words 'sew much' but you can find any old valentine greeting stamps at a craft store. If you like, you can fork over the 25$ and get a nice letter kit (mine is Martha Stewart's and I got if for Christmas so it was something I already had but if you love to do stamping this is a MUST and a great investment!)
5- A ruler. If you have one, use a wooden one, it works better I just don't have one.
6- A pencil and stamping ink pin. You can also use a regular ink pad I just love the way you can put the ink just were you want it and it doesn't leave little marks around the letters. AND a big plus is if your stamp misses something, you can always go back and fill it in with this pin. Not a must but it’s a nice extra for this project. Like I said, you can use any old ink pad you like for this.
7- Lace or some decorated edged ribbon. It’s important that the edge is decorated and not flat because that the whole purpose of it here.
8-colored card stock (for the backing of the card)
9- Scissors
10- Scrap fabric. I used about a foot total for all 12 cards.
Ok, now that you have everything you need we can get started in making them!
Part 1-

The first things you want to do it measure out how far the ribbon is from the edge of the card.
Then mark where you want to make the cut on the front of the card. This is where the edge of the ribbon will get sewn onto the card.
Once you have the front of your card cut you can see what the actual size of the front is. Now you can place your stamp to where you want it. I did this part first but if you like you could decide the placing by cutting out your hearts on the fabric, placing that first and then the stamp.
When your hearts are all cut out, use one as a template on the transfer paper and trace enough out for each heart. Cut them out, and adhere the clear transfer part to the backs of the hearts to make them stiffer.
Not sure why I was holding that up. I think so you can see the fabric side from the transfer paper side.
Then, you want to sew your ribbon and heart to the front of the card. I don't have a photo of this because I found it quite pain staking to actually get a photo of what I was trying to show. I wanted to get a video of it later but alas, forgot. I know bad blogger!
So anyways, if you are new to a sewing machine or feel like you don't want to mess up, my mess proof way was to set my sewing machine to a zigzag pattern. That way if things weren't perfectly straight it wouldn't really show or matter.
I also found that 90% of the time my lace didn't get 100% sewed down... that's okay. Remember, we're going to add a backing so as long as you remember to tuck the side of the lace under and glue it a bit under the backing it should stay down nice and flat.

The last thing to do to the front of the card is sew on your word LOVE. I did this free handed. If you’re not good at sewing or never have before its okay. I didn't try too hard to make it look perfect because I wanted it to look hand stitched and a little quaint so it alright if it looks a little loopy or the letters aren't straight.
The front inside of the card will end up looking something like this.
I already put glue on my card in this photo ( totoallyforgottolistthatinthesupplies. my bad). Just cut out a piece of your card stock to the size of the inside of your card and glue it on.
And BAM! its done, just like that... told you it was easy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Behind the Dresser

Oh how I've been dyeing to share this with you all! Unfortunately it’s one of those things that take WAY longer than anyone expected to finish. It’s as if you start an awesome project and then in the middle of it you stick a massive move across state... in fact, it’s JUST like that! But because I just might wet myself if I don't show you guys something that has to do with our oober-top-secret project here's a little sneak peek. Hope you all enjoy.

This is what our dresser looked after we sanded it down. Sadly, it’s the only full picture of the dresser before its finished. You can kind of get an idea of how 70's it was because even after taking off the dresser pulls and sanding it down, it still had prints were the pulls were. The awesome part of this though is that it used to be my grandfathers and he gave it to use for free! With all the materials we had to get for it still came under 60$ for the whole project! Which if you ask me is a super good deal considering they sell stuff like this at antique shops for $100 plus!
This is the only photo that shows the color it originally was. Yeah, ick! Hubby and I even had a full conversation about why anyone would want to cover a nice wooden dresser with a ugly poop brown instead of just staining it to bring out the 'better brow' wood color. Beats me and I can assure you all, that this poor dresser will NEVER be this color brown again as long as it lives in the Blanton house!
Here's a nice photo of the detail around the bottom of the dresser. You could call it the one saving grace of the dresser because it’s what made me fall in love with it and decide to give it another try at life. Because it was clearly dead before. Ha.
I love how it’s so masculine without being over the top or modern looking and how it ever so slightly says 70’s. It kind of reminds me of Arizona (where we took our honeymoon) so it’s a bit sentimental.

The last photo I'll post for you all is a bit of what’s going on now with this beauty.
Well folks, that's all the sweets you get for now; and though its taken us just over two months for get it almost finished, I think its well worth the wait.
So what are you all doing this weekend? any big projects being done or are you just chilling with friends and watching the Super Bowl? Any one have some great Super Bowl recipes to shear or brag about? Love to know whats going on. Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Bit of Bread and Butter

Opening the windows and breezing out the warm fresh smell of homemade bread is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do as a house wife.
 Ever since I realized that its cost about 1.50$ per loaf of bread instead of the 2.50$ a loaf or higher at the store I don't think I'll ever go back to buying bread. It also tastes better and has no preservatives in it (which is a big plus to me)! I do have to say though, that it DOES get harder quicker so if you makes this recipe and think you won't use BOTH loafs I suggest storing one in the freezer in a bag (I snag extra bags from the produce isle when I go grocery shopping so I don't spend extra on zip-lock bags and just tie the end nice and snug). Another great thing I like to do with this recipe is mess with it! Yep mom, I fiddle with a recipe. I like to add in herbs or cheese or bits of chopped up sweet peppers or jalapenos for the hubby to turn this already-great-for-sandwiches bread into fancy-smansy bread to serve with homemade butter (recipe included) to serve to guest so I have a little wiggle room before dinner or snakes are ready!

 Well enough about it already. I'm sure you’re all drooling now so here's the recipe!
  You will need: a medium bread pan and or a baking sheet, a LARGE mixing bowl, plastic wrap or aluminum foil, a rubber spatula, casserole pan

  • 6 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1 1/2 Tb spoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tb spoon salt
  • 2 Cups warm water
  • corn meal or oil
1.     In your large mixing bowl add the flower, yeast, and salt. Mix together well.
2.     Add in the warm water and stir just until it’s all combined (it should be rather sticky but not wet or dry). 
3.     cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and set in a warm place ( I put mine buy the fire but if you don't have or use your fire place you can put it on the preheating stove)
4.     Preheat stove to 400 F and let bread rise for 3-4 hours. 
5.     Once bread rises powder your hands with four (this is going to get messy so you might want to take off any jewelry); separate the dough into two. 
6.     You can roll it into a ball and bake it on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal or coat a bread pan with a little bit of oil either way the loaf will come out find. It all depends on if you want a loaf or a round. Now is the time to add herbs or any extras that you might want in the bread if you like. 
7.     Cut a slit in the top of the loaf before baking (you don't have to do this but it helps the heat escape and if you don't the loaf will make its own tear later wherever). 
8.     Add 1-2 cups of water to your casserole pan and place it in the preheated oven on a rack just under the middle rack. Put the loaf in the over on the middle rack and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the bread is golden on the top and a knife shows clear when the loaf is pierced. 
Homemade Butter
You will need: an electric mixer, a medium mixing bowl, and an air tight container (I use old jelly jars). 
Ingredients: Heavy whipping cream (yep... that's it!)
1.     Whip the whipping cream on high until it is past the point of a stiff peak. It will start to turn yellowish and become hard to whip and somewhat solid. This is butter! I like to add just a little bit of garlic or salt to mine to make it taste just right on fresh bread but you can eat it just like this! 

Word of caution: this is NOT butter made for baking with it is too soft. This is butter spread and will not work for baking recipes. But hay, it sure is amazing on fresh bread or muffins so enjoy!