Monday, December 31, 2012

Thread Spool Christmas ornaments

Coat and purse hangers are only two of the thousands of projects a person could dive into with thread spools.  I remember seeing thread spool ornaments in JoAnn Fabric and a few blogs with repurposed vintage thread spool projects so I decided it was time to dwindle the inventory and add a touch of my hobby to the Christmas decor:

This project I liked because I could also use some of the old jewelry I had from the brooch bouquet I made for the wedding.  Of course, mine didn't come out nearly as cute but it was still fun.
Thanks, Brookelynn Morris!

Other thread spool ornaments using scrapbook paper and embellishments:

 ... and beads to add a festive touch:

Sushi Baby Gift

I really wanted to make something functional for my sister-in-law who was having her third child.  In a search for ideas, I found a tutorial for a binky leash on the Sew4Home site and a cute gift idea for baby items folded and placed like sushi from the Creative Dollar blog. 

The Creative Dollar uses rubber bands and trash bags as the seaweed wrap for the sushi but I liked the idea of using the handmade binky leashes.  To wrap the sushi rolls, I used the ribbon that came with the wash clothes and fish toy.

Mug rugs - for every occassion

I find that I generally keep every piece of scrap fabric because they come in handy for little projects.  I came across this great tutorial from the Sew WE Quilt blog to create a functional item using even the smallest piece of scrap fabric. 

Since I have a lot of Christmas fabric, I used the larger pieces to make a larger coffee table mug rug for the holiday season.

My husband enjoyed it so much that I made him a smaller one for his desk:

Christmas Cheers for Organization!

This was a Christmas of car organizers, make-up brush rolls and travel accessories.  These easy ideas came from the Sew4Home website.  I LOVE this site, full of great ideas for nearly every aspect of your life.

Travel make-up brush rolls:

Pencil cases and mini notebooks:

Car organizers with upcycled trash bags:

Travel accessories organizer and shoe bag:

More upcycled trash bags for the car:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Squished Penny Jewelry - Because You Can't Use Them For Anything Else!

That's right!  You can't use squished pennies for anything else other than stuffing them in some collector book that's going to sit on the shelf and collect dust. 

I found this great idea from the EPBOT blog and, with the help of my lovely assistant, Husband, turned some SanFran and CT squished pennies into a very simple bracelet.

Ice Cream Ornaments

Mom's annual cookie exchange theme for this year was Ice Cream Social.  She made mint chocolate chip, peppermint and vanilla ice cream in addition to chocolate bars (that come from mars!), white chocolate cranberry cookies and peppermint cookies.  It was a sweets feast complimented by mini meatballs, baked brie with cranberry filling, cheese and crackers, taco bites, veggies and dip, hot apple cider and wine, wine, wine.

Mom starts thinking about party favors in July and this year we decided on ice cream ornaments.  I looked at several styles of handmade ornaments and decided to use this idea from the Icing Designs blog.  The end result was a quick and cute holiday ice cream ornament.

Mom's Exploding Visit to SanFran

Mom's bags were packed the same day my brother and I asked her to visit - woah!

Mom had never been to San Francisco, let alone Northern California, and, needless to say, she had a blast!  Two weeks was clearly not enough time but it was enough time for her to enjoy a visit with two of her kids and relax from a crazy year.  What better way to remember her time here than scrapbooking her visit?  An exploding box! 

I found the tutorial from the Glitter Adventure blog.  At first it seemed a little intimidating with all of the steps but once I had the materials, the base was easily created in very little time!  I think the hardest part was picking out which pictures to use.  For a first time exploding box, it came out to be very cute . . . 

. . . and Mom loved it!

Simple Chocolate Treats

I am a simpleton.

The almond joys I made a few months ago turned out gigantic and were difficult to eat without making a gigantic mess so I decided the next go would be something bite sized.  These turned out to be perfect.  They take two bites (unless you're my husband who pops the whole thing in his mouth) and are just as satisfying as the "real" thing.

1. Lined mini baking cups with melted chocolate
2. Filled with coconut filling using a small cookie dough scoop
3. Placed one slightly roasted almond in each cup
4. Topped with ~1 teaspoon of melted chocolate
5. Let candies set in refridgerator

This recipe is very, very easy to make and I found it on the Greens and Chocolate blog.

But now what do I do with leftover chocolate??  More marshmallows!  These cute candy cane marshmallow treats came from the Liv Life blog.

I also went back to stuffed, dipped marshmallows.  I stuffed the marshmallows with larger chunks of crushed candy cane, dipped in leftover chocolate and rolled in smaller crushed candy cane.  It's a peppermint frenzy!

More chocolate, still?  No problem!  Husband and I are fans of chocolate dipped pretzels.  I still had toffee chips from my failed attempt at homemade twix and my last marshmallow frenzy and leftover pecans from Thanksgiving - perfect for chocolate dipped pretzel embellishments!
I chose salted versus unsalted pretzels.  I really like the salty n' sweet mix and these mini pretzels are perfect for satisfying a mini sweet craving.