Tag Archives: DIY

What I did today……

It was a hot one here in So. Cal and in between cooling down in the pool, I was able to be a bit creative.

First off – even though it was super hot here – I have been thinking of Christmas.  I typically start my crafting in July for the Christmas gifts I intend to give out in December.  I started a batch of homemade vanilla extract.  The idea and recipe came from Frugal By Choice, Cheap By  Necessity and if you have not yet checked out her blog – you should!

Here is what my batch looks like  —

IMG_20130630_152521_408The recipe and instructions can be found here.

My next project on the agenda was the Magazine Clutch.  I first read about this DIY on the blog – Stars for Streetlights.  She is so creative and I have made many of her projects.  I have been unable to find a clutch that would work for this project and then WOW she posts that her tutorial is being offered as a DIY kit through Darby Smart.  I ordered my kit right away and waited in anticipation for it to arrive.

Here is a photo of the box – it came with everything you need to make the project.

IMG_20130629_155527_674Here is a photo of the card that was inside -it shows the contents and the step by step directions.



I chose the cover of the magazine (which was also included in the kit) for my clutch and cut it to size.

IMG_20130630_153420_954Here is the photo of my clutch drying after the last layer of modge podge was applied.

IMG_20130630_160836_155I will definitely order from them again.  It is nice to have everything you need when you get the urge to be creative.

Hope you had a happy, productive Sunday!

TTFN – Ta Ta For Now

Well the time has come – Idyllwild “Stitch and Bitch” weekend.  This is the third year my Mom and I are attending this event.  Basically it is a group of about 15-18 women who rent a Bed and Breakfast for the weekend and craft and chat.

The location is in Idyllwild California and the rooms each have a different theme.  This year we are in the Western Room.  We take turns making dinners and breakfasts as a group.  There will of course be wine, wine, and more wine.  🙂

It is a really nice getaway and I have time to devote to my knitting projects, and of course, catch up with my Mom.  I already posted about the two items I am bringing with me here.  My goal is to complete the brown crochet sweater and to make a huge amount of progress on the pinkish knit top.  My Mom is knitting a lime green sweater vest. She was so excited when her yarn arrived that she started knitting right away.  I thought she may have it finished before we left. LOL

Well I better run, Time to pack and get things ready.  I will post pics and a recap of the trip on my return.

Tshuss!!!!!!! (Bye in German)


Idyllwild Women’s Knitting and Crafting Retreat

As you can see by my countdown calender there are only 2 more days until my weekend getaway.  I have been at a loss as to what projects to take with me.  I have finally decided on two.  A crochet cardigan/shrug that I have been working on and the knit top that I had started years ago, but had to open up due to having lost my interest and place in the pattern.

First the Crochet Cardigan –

2013-03-20_19-41-20_985The pattern is from Drops Design and if you have not yet checked out their website you should.  They have tons of free knitting and crocheting patterns.  I am using Lion Brand Cotton Ease yarn in a chocolate brown shade.  I have already finished the back and one front side.  I have the other front side and the sleeves to finish.  The pattern is a bit confusing, but I am determined to see it through to the end.  I know I will finish this project while we are gone.

The knit top –

2013-03-20_19-41-52_80It is a beautiful pattern and I ordered the exact shade and yarn as indicated in the pattern.  The top has many different cables worked at the same time as increases and decreases for the neck and sleeves.  I started knitting this before I was smart enough to take notes in a notebook as to alterations I had made to the pattern and where I was in the pattern when I put the work down.  If you don’t have a knitting notebook – I highly recommend one.   I have decided to make the top not so revealing on top but other than that to keep it the same.  I plan on starting this pattern this weekend as well.

I will post photos and updates once I return.


Yo Gabba Gabba Book

My granddaughter is infatuated with Yo Gabba Gabba!  For those of you without little ones in your life, you may not even know what this is.  Yo Gabba Gabba is a children’s TV show that stars D.J. Lance and his magical boombox.  The Yo Gabba Gabba figures emerge from his boombox and entertain with song and dance.  Each character has their own background, songs, etc.  When I saw the book being made by fellow blogger, Project Four 14  here  I knew I had to make one for my little Granddaughter.

I wanted the book to be some what educational, as well as entertaining, so I incorporated some well placed learning tools along the way.

Here is the cover:  DJ Lance’s shoe with laces that can be tied and untied to practice the art of tying your own shoes.

2013-03-17_07-57-55_872The next page is the boombox.  Closed you can see the boombox – open the flaps and there is a pocket for the Yo Gabba Gabba finger puppets.

2013-03-17_07-58-06_8262013-03-17_07-58-16_1832013-03-17_07-58-26_433The next page is for Foofa.  She is my granddaughters favorite.  Foofa loves flowers.  On Foofa’s page the flowers are buttoned on.  This will help my granddaughter learn to use buttons. I placed the Foofa finger puppet on the page so you can see which one she is.


The next page is dedicated to Toodee.  He has ice type structures surrounding him. I placed his finger puppet under the ice arch.



The next page belongs to Muno.  He is a cyclops character and it looks as though he hangs out among the rocks and mountains.  To me the arch on this page looks like rainbow bridge out in the desert.  Can you see him on this page?




Next we have Brobee.  He is sometimes shown with a sad face.  I decided to make him happy to live in the forest surrounded by majestic trees.  I even designed a tree stump for him just like on the TV show.  Can you spot Brobee?

2013-03-17_08-00-32_591Last but not least, my favorite character – Plex the robot.  His page is the rocket ride page.  I sewed the rocket to a ribbon so it can actually move around between the pages.

2013-03-17_08-00-45_665I had such a great time with this project and I thank the blog Project Four 14 for the inspiration behind this book.  I hope you will visit her site and check out her book and let her know I sent you.

Working with felt is so easy and designing each of these pages was so much fun.  If you decide to make a book like this, please share your photos.  I welcome comments and questions so let me know about those as well.



Artisan Baked Bread

2013-02-22_10-32-21_982As promised I am posting the bread recipe I have been using over the past few weeks.  The recipe comes from the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.”  I purchased this book several months ago and never actually tried to make any of the breads.  Recently I have been baking my own bread instead of purchasing store bought bread so I decided to give this book a whirl.


Here is the basic recipe and it makes 4  – one pound loaves.


3 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 Packets)

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt

6 1/2 cups all purpose white flour


1.  Warm the water slightly, it should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or preferably in a resealable, lidded plastic food container.

3.  Mix in the flour – kneading is not necessary.  Add all of the flour at once. Mix with a wooden spoon, fork or with a high capacity food processor with a dough attachment.  You need only mix until all ingredients are wet.

4.  Cover the container with a lid and allow to rise until mixture almost touches the lid.  This could take from 2 – 5 hours.



One the dough is risen, put it in the refrigerator (covered) and it will last for 14 days.  It is easier to work with dough once it has been refrigerated. When you are ready to bake, dust a little flour on the top of the dough and on your hands.

2013-02-28_15-22-48_761Pull up a chunk of dough about the size of a large grapefruit.  Form the dough into a small ball – don’t knead – this should only take about 30 – 60 seconds.  Dust a cookie sheet with cornmeal and allow the dough to rise for 40 minutes.

2013-02-28_15-22-53_81420 Minutes before baking start heating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  While the oven heats your baking stone (tray you will be baking the bread on) should be in the oven as well on the middle rack.  Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf that won’t interfere with the baking bread.

Dust flour on the top of the bread and slash with a knife several times.  After the preheat 20 minutes have elapsed slide your bread onto the heated baking stone in a swift motion.  Pour one cup of hot water into the broiler tray – do this quickly but carefully.  The steam that arises from this process will aide in giving the bread a nice crust.

Bake the bread for 30 – 40 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack.  I usually bake bread every 5 days or so.  Enjoy!



Galaxy Dress

Last year I came across a post on the blog Stars For Streetlights  for a galaxy dress.  You can view her tutorial here. I had the perfect dress and was just waiting to have enough time to complete the project from start to finish.  Well the other day I decided to make the time.  My first attempt was thwarted in that I sprayed the bleach – nothing happened – who knew that you could buy color fast bleach!!!!  So attempt number 2 – using the correct bleach had a much better effect.  See the results below.



049I really like the way it turned out and it was so much fun to wear.  What do you think?  I think I will make a galaxy scarf next.



Idea Book

So often I get catalogs in the mail and I look through them and get inspirations on outfits (what clothes to put together) jewelry making ideas, decorating ideas, craft and sewing ideas, the list goes on an on.  Instead of keeping all the magazines or overloading a bulletin/peg board, I decided to make an idea book.

I purchased a plain notebook from Target.  It has lined pages, but unlined works fine too.

009Here are some of the magazines I will be going through this evening.  When I find something I like I cut it out and glue it in my book.  Sometimes I will write something about the photo – something like this – “this sweater would look great with my blue skirt” or “Christmas gift idea.”

010Here are some of the photos I have already chosen and are waiting to be put in my book.

011And here is a look into my book.  I refer to if often and update it as I find things of interest.

013What is your inspiration?

Jewelry Making

Sometimes I get the bug to make some jewelry.  It could be because I am looking for the perfect necklace to go with an outfit, or I find something in a magazine that I like, or maybe even find a cute charm or some beads that I can see made into earrings, necklaces, or bracelets.

A few years ago I received a kit from my parents with tons of beads in different colors, sizes, and styles.  They also gave me a book on beading.  I taught myself some techniques and have been making jewelry ever since.  I am sure that if I took a class I would learn many helpful techniques but for what I am doing, my skills are fine.  I find it very therapeutic and would recommend you try this if you haven’t yet.

Here is a photo of the necklaces and the pair of earrings I made yesterday.