Thursday, July 22, 2010

Moving...New Apartment to Decorate

My husband and I are moving to a new apartment at the end of this month! We're excited in some ways and not in some ways. We're excited to meet new people, be closer to his new job, and it will be fun to have something new to decorate. We're not excited to leave the people here, pack!, and I have to take down everything I've decorated here. I also will have to figure out how to switch everything over. For instance, here we have two bathrooms and I've decorated them both, but in our new place we only have one! The styles are completely different too so it's not like I can just combine them. I'll figure it out though :)

So I may not be posting too much over the next few weeks, but there will be a lot to come after that!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chicken Cordon Pizza

We have homemade pizza quite a bit and I like to experiment with new toppings and sauces and such. We had a really good one tonight :) We had chicken cordon bleu last night and there was a lot of sauce left over in the pan. So I saved it and used it on our pizza tonight. Yummy! I rolled out my pizza dough, covered it in the sauce and topped it with chicken and green peppers. It was really good!

Sauce Ingredients:~ 1 can cream of chicken soup
~ 1 cup sour cream
~ 2 tsp. lemon juice
~ 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
(~ 1/2 cup Pepperjack cheese)

Everything except the Pepperjack cheese was used in the sauce last night. I used pepperjack cheese on top of the chicken though and as it melted some got mixed into the sauce. This is of course optional, you can use any kind of cheese you want. But having a bit of pepperjack did give it a nice kick!
This pizza dough recipe comes from my older sister and is the best that I've tried! It's very simple too!
Pizza Dough:
~ 1 T dry yeast
~ 1 cup warm water
~ 1 tsp. sugar
~ 1 1/2 tsp. salt
~ 2 Tbsp. oil
~ 2-3 cups flour
~ Italian seasoning (optional)

Dissolve yeast in water; add sugar, salt, oil, and flour. If desired, sprinkle in Italian Seasoning before rising--this is not required but it adds some fun Italian flavor (I didn't add this tonight but I have before and it's delicious!) Place in greased bowl; let stand until doubles in size--usually about 40 minutes. Grease the bottom of a pan and shape. Especially good when cooked on a baking stone. Bake at 375 for 15-17 min. Makes 2 pizza crusts or 1 thick crust.

I usually double the recipe and freeze half for later. It doesn't roll out quite as well after it's been frozen but it's still works and then we can have pizza even more!

We had good old-fashioned pepperoni too :) This one's always good!

Sewing Lessons Week 6

Sorry I haven't done one of these in awhile! I canceled my lesson the first week of July because I wasn't quite ready to start my new project. (Last week I just forgot to post...sorry!) My husband and I went to visit his parents over the 4th of July weekend and while I was there I went to their neighbor's house for a little lesson on my sewing machine. She's a Bernina dealer and she's actually the one I got my machine through. I have a little Bernette machine. She showed me all the ins and outs of it and I was surprised to learn it could do so much!
Last week I started my new project! I'm making a table runner quilt and I am so excited! It's coming along quite well and I love how the colors are coming together. I'm hoping to finish in another two weeks (crossing fingers!) but it may take me 3 or 4 more.

Here are some things I have learned in the last few weeks:

1. Whenever you get a new sewing machine take a class on it or find someone who can teach you the specifics of your machine! I learned all about the different stitches I can do, different feet I can attach for different things, how to keep it clean and running smoothly, etc.
2. I love rotary cutters! I'm awful at cutting straight (did I miss a lesson in kindergarten or something? Because I really am so bad!) so rotary cutters are my life saver!
3. When picking out fabric for a quilt find some fabric you like to build off of. A good starting fabric should have 3 colors in it. Then find some fabric that matches one of those colors but for extra flair look for pieces that match the accent colors, not the main one.
3. When laying out your fabric for a quilt there's really not too much rhyme or reason as to which should go where. If you're making hourglass squares (a square made of 4 triangles) you do want to try and match lights with darks, but other than that if you think it looks good, then go with it :)

That's about it :) I'll keep you posted about my progress with this table runner. I got the pattern online at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Re-covered pillow #2, Gathered Pillow

I re-covered one of our old pillows a few months ago and just did a simple pillow cover. It looks fine (click here to see that project), but it's the only pillow that I did and it looked awfully lonely sitting there on our couch... So, I decided to give it a companion! :)

I wanted to make this one a little fancier so I decided to do a gathered pillow. This was my first time doing a gather on anything! I was kinda n.e.r.v.o.u.s. but I decided to go for it! I followed this tutorial here on Make It and Love It.

~ Old, ugly pillow
~ Scrap fabric

To start off with, I needed to cover up the ugly pillow I started with. Even once the original cover was taken off it was pretty ugly, and since the fabric I used it kind of see-through I went ahead and just made a really simple, white pillow case.

The next step was to cut out the fabric that I wanted to use for the gathering part. I wanted mine to end up with the measurements of 15 x 16. Whenever you gather something you want to double the length of the gathered part. So I cut out a piece of fabric that was 15 x 32. I figured out where I wanted my gathers to be, roughly every 2 1/2 inches apart for me. I placed pins every 2 1/2 inches at each end and in the middle of the fabric, just to make sure I stayed pretty straight :)
To make a gathering stitch, make sure that your machine is set to the basting stitch (usually just the longest stitch it can do) and sew straight down so that you've sown a straight line down the fabric every 2 1/2 inches. Make sure that you DO NOT back-stitch at the top and bottom!

Once I sewed all of my lines down the fabric (with OUT back stitching) it was time to start gathering it :) To gather, take the top thread and just pull to gather the fabric together. On the first one I did the other end came out! whoops!! So after that I started pinning down one side to a new piece of fabric that had the dimensions of what I wanted my finished gathered pillowcase to have (15 x 16). Then I just pulled away and adjusted so that the gathers were even.
Now that the gathers were all done, I needed to make sure that they would stay in place. So I sewed the two pieces of fabric together (my gathered top and the extra 15 x 16 piece it was pinned to) right on top of the gather stitch. I had some excess fabric left over so I just c-u-t that off. If you do this make sure you don't cut too much off :)

Now all I needed was to add the back! :) I cut out yet another 15 x 16 piece and placed right sides together. Then I sewed around the edges leaving just enough room to stuff the pillow inside. I turned the pillow case right-side-out and then hand-stitched the last few inches.

Voila! How do you like it!

That looks much better than one lonely pillow doesn't it? Especially since this one has PeRsoNaLiTy :)Cost:
~ Old, ugly pillow $0.00
~ Scrap fabric $0.00

Gathered Pillow Case: Total Cost ~ $0.00! Wahoo!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Princess Party: Cupcakes

A mom of one of the girls brought over these adorable cupcakes! I just had to show you a picture of them!
Aren't they cute!? I love them! I bet you could buy these little crowns at any craft store or maybe even a grocery store. I think most grocery stores sell little cake decorations. Cute!!!! And a great way to end a Princess Party :)

Princess Party: Pin the Crown on the Princess

This is another game we played at the Princess Party (click here to see the Wands we made). It's pretty self-explanatory. My sister drew a princess on a big piece of paper and then they each had a paper crown to try and tape on top of her head :) They all really liked this one!

~ Butcher paper
~ Paper crowns
~ Tape

~ Butcher paper: $1.00 (? this is a guess, sorry)
~ Paper crowns: $1.00 (probably less)
~ Tape: $0.00
~ Blindfold: $0.00 (just use a bandanna, a soft belt or even an old rag)

Princess Party Pin the Crown on the Princess: Total Cost ~ $2.00

Princess Party: Wands

My sister threw a Princess Party for her 3 year old daughter and I got to help! It was so much fun! We had six little girls over from the neighborhood and did all princess things! I did everyone's make-up and they got their fingernails painted from my sister. We also had them do this cute little craft.

~ Stickers (glitter stickers of course!)
~Glitter glue
~Elmer's glue
~ Ribbon
~ Paper stars
~ Dowels
~ (and tape)
You could of course use different materials if you want

Here's a picture of one all done and just drying off. The glitter glue needed some time to dry. These 3 year olds were pretty good!
Another one...
Here's a finished wand :) I didn't take a picture of the putting together process but it's pretty simple. Tape the ribbons to the back side of one of the stars. Then glue the dowel right in the center of the back and then glue the other star right on top. Make sure it's completely dry before you let your little girl play with it.
Cute huh?! I didn't buy the materials so I'm not sure how much it all cost, but I doubt it's very much! Here are my guesses:

Total cost:
~Stickers (glitter stickers of course!) $2.00
~Glitter glue: $2.00
~Elmer's glue: $0.00 --use what you have
~ Ribbon: $1.00
~ Paper stars: $1.00 (probably less. Or even better--use some construction paper you already have!)
~ Dowels: $1.00 (?? I've never bought these but I imagine they're not much more than that)
~ (and tape) $0.00

Princess Party Wands: Total Cost ~ $7.00