Thursday, September 29, 2011

Felt Flower & Burlap Wreath

Several weeks ago I woke up one morning and decided we needed to purchase some fall crafting supplies.  A few hours later, the girls and I were out the door to visit just about every craft store in town.  I'm pleased to say that I didn't spend a ton of money, but did come home with some ideas and supplies for fall projects.  One such project was a wreath for the front door.

You may remember this wreath that I made for 4th of July

In case you're new here, I simply wrapped some burlap around a foam wreath form and attached fabric rosettes with safety pins.  You can read about it here.  Since I had used safety pins instead of glue, I simply detached the rosettes and had a blank slate to work with.

I found some felt squares at JoAnn's in these shades

They aren't the traditional 'fall' colors, but I liked the blue with the pumpkin orange color, and since my home is decorated with a lot of blues, I wanted that to tie in with my front door decor.

I found a tutorial here for making felt flowers and followed the instructions.  Basically, you cut a circle out of felt and continue to cut in a spiral form until you reach the end of the circle.  

You end up with a long strand of felt and this becomes your flower.  

The center of the flower should look like this

Gather the center in and then continue wrapping the felt around itself, tightly, to form a flower shape.

this is the underside of the flower

Once you reach the end it should look like this:

The great thing about these is that they don't have to be perfect.  See that extra bit of felt sticking up?  Well, once you finish the flower, you can simply cut off these imperfections to make it look better.

I used three different colors of felt and cut different sized circles (the bigger the circle the bigger the flower) until I had the amount I wanted.  

Now for the glue gun!  I placed a little bit of glue in random spots on the felt to make it hold together.  Then, I cut a piece of felt big enough to cover the entire back of the flower.

Then, I applied some hot glue to the flower.

Pressing tightly, I attached the piece of felt to the back and trimmed it to size.

I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted the flowers to look, so I just placed them on top of the wreath until I found what I wanted, and then took a picture so I would remember.

As I was looking for some more glue sticks to finish the project, I came across some brown yarn, so I decided to use it as well.  I just wrapped it around the wreath and sort of made an 'x' with it in different spots.

Instead of attaching the flowers with safety pins this time, I decided to go ahead and just glue them on.  Hopefully I won't have the heat issue I did over the summer, which caused my wreath to fall apart.

Here it is on the door and I love it!

Linking to:
Not Just a Housewife
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Sweet Little Gals'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baked Potato Casserole

I apologize for my absence the past few days.  The girls and I have been at my parents' house and I've barely opened the computer the whole time we've been here!  It has been nice to relax and spend time with my family.  On Saturday I ran in the 10 mile race that I mentioned in my post Run Mama Run, and I'm thankful to say that I finished the race.  I'll share more on the race later, but let me just say that my body hasn't been this sore since I gave birth to my first child.

We're driving home today and I can't wait to share with you some projects later on this week!  For now, here is a yummy potato recipe for you.  My mom made this for us this summer and everyone loved it.  I altered the amounts to just feed our family of four, but as it is written it would easily serve about 10 people.  One of the best parts about this recipe is that you use red potatoes, one of my favorites when I don't want to skin potatoes.  Just leave them like this:

I even made my mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving last year with red potatoes, just to save some time.  I was apprehensive at first when I found out this recipe calls for mayonnaise, but you can't even taste it in there, so don't be alarmed.  Enjoy!

Printable Version

2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cubed and cooked
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons minced chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl combine the potatoes and bacon.  In another bowl combine the remaining ingredients.  Mix all together and spoon into a greased 4 1/2 quart baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 325F for 50-60 minutes, until browned and bubbly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Blue Ladybug Winner!

The winner of The Blue Ladybug wristlet/clutch is:

Comment #18, Cassidy 
Congratulations, Cassidy!  I'll be contacting you soon regarding your prize.

A special thanks to the Blue Ladybug Mamas for sponsoring this awesome giveaway!

Be sure to keep up with their blog for some awesome tutorials.  

Linen Wrapped Lampshade with Matching Trim

When we registered for our wedding, we tried to be careful to register for items that weren't too trendy, so we could hang onto them for a long time.  The two matching lamps in our family room were such items, and I still love them!  However, because of the dog and our children, one of the lampshades was broken.  We used it broken for several months, but it was really starting to bother me.  Crooked lampshades are eye sores.  So, I looked at Goodwill every chance I got, but never found anything I liked.  Plus, having two lamps,  I needed matching shades to complete the look I was going for.

I finally decided to purchase plain white shades from Target because they were the style and size I wanted.  I knew they wouldn't stay that way, but it's taken me awhile to get around to sprucing them up.  Yesterday I finally tackled one of them and I love how it turned out!

Months ago I came across a tutorial for a lamp on Stephanie Lynn's blog, Under the Table and Dreaming.  I love the lamp she made and what caught my eye was the method for making trim for the lamp.  So, following her tutorial for the shade, here's how to do it.

Cut the fabric to size of the shade, with a little extra for mistakes. (I didn't realize that these were tapered drum shades until I got to this part.  It would have been much easier if they weren't tapered.  Oh well!).

{sorry no picture here, but I think you get the point}

Attach the fabric with adhesive spray, smoothing out the fabric as you go.

Use hot glue to create the seam of the fabric, folding the fabric over to give it a crisp look.

Here's where the genius part (in my opinion) comes in.  Use 5/8-inch stitch witchery to make the trim!  If you've never worked with this before it is wonderful and easy to use.  It fuses fabric together and is great for hems and other projects that you may not want to sew.  In fact, I used it for my linen drapes.

So, wrap the stitch witchery around the top and bottom of the shades to measure for length.  Then, cut a strip of fabric this long, and about 1 1/4 inches wide.  Place the stitch witchery in the center of the fabric strip, and then follow the manufacturer's directions to fuse.

Repeat this for both trims and then attach with hot glue around the edges of the shade.

Now, you have matching trim that for your lampshade that gives it a finished tailored look.

The fabric I used was a 1 3/4-yard linen remnant that I picked up for $1.75.

Don't forget to use always look for remnant fabrics when you're fabric shopping!  You never know what you might find!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip

Fall officially begins in just two days, so that means lots of fall recipes to come, some decorating and enjoying my favorite time of year!  I first made this dip about two years ago for my older sister's baby shower and loved it.  It's not your typical sticky caramel dip (although I love that kind too), so it feels a bit lighter and perhaps healthier.  You could use it for all kinds of fruit, but being traditional, I just prefer to use it for apple slices.

This recipe comes from the amazing lady who catered our wedding, and I've never been disappointed by anything she's made!  When I came across the recipe in the cookbook from my parents' church, I knew it would be great when I saw that she had submitted it.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip
Printable Version

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1 (4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a medium size mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add the sour cream, milk, pudding mix, vanilla and lemon juice, beating well after each addition.  Chill, covered, until ready to serve.  Yield: approximately 4 cups.

The original recipe calls for reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream, but I just used the full fat versions, so perhaps my twist is not as healthy as hers.

source: A New Taste of our Heritage (church cookbook)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Place Card Holders

Fall is just around the corner and I can't wait!   This year I decided to tackle some fall crafts, so I'll be sharing those with you in the weeks to come.  When I couldn't sleep one night, I came up with this idea and I like how it turned out.

Want to know how to make them?


-Styrofoam balls (I used 2-inch size)
-Orange Glitter Paint (I used the new Martha Stewart multi-surface glitter paint in fire opal)
-Foam Brush
-Wooden Circles
-Brown Spray Paint
-Bobby Pins

1. Paint the styrofoam balls using the foam brush to gently dab the paint in place.  I tried first by squeezing the paint directly onto the ball, but found it worked better to dip the brush in the paint and dab.

2.  While the balls are drying, lay the wooden craft circles on newspaper and spray paint.  Once dry, flip over and paint the other side, making sure to cover the edges as well.  Why use these?  Stryofoam is pretty light, so these help the pumpkins to stay in place when they're finished.

3.  Once the pumpkins are dry, gently push down on the top to create a flat surface on the bottom of the ball. Then, using your thumb, gently push on the top of the ball to create a flatter top.

4.  Place a glob of hot glue in the center of the wooden circle and press the ball down to attach.

5.  Insert a bobby pin (open side up) into the top of the pumpkin.

6. Make place cards or buffet labels and insert into the bobby pin.

I'm not a big Halloween person, but these would look really cute with a jack o' lantern face painted on them, maybe like this:

Chocolate Cake, Pinterest Style

*Don't forget to enter The Blue Ladybug giveaway for the chance to win a cute wristlet!*

This morning I had a facebook message from someone asking for ideas on chocolate layer cakes.  Besides the fact that it made me hungry for chocolate cake, it drove me to look around Pinterest for some ideas.  Let me tell you, there are some great looking recipes out there!

Hot Chocolate Layer Cake with Homemade Marshmallows

Chocolate Truffle Layer Cake

Ultra-Moist Amazing Chocolate Layer Cake

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Buttercream (I think this is my favorite and I might have to make it for my sister-in-law when she comes in a few months).

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake

Which one are you drooling over right now?

Baby Wipes: Good for more than just a baby's bottom!

Okay, so maybe this is a strange title, but after my daughter's incident of coloring on the carpet the other day, I decided that there must be many ways people use baby wipes.  Here's a list of a few things I came up with:

1.  Removing deodorant residue from clothing.  Have you ever gotten dressed to then look in the mirror and see deodorant spots all over your shirt?  I'm sure I'm not the only one who answered 'yes'.   Simply take a baby wipe and wipe that sucker off!  Bye-bye deodorant streaks!

2.  Wiping off wet paint that has spilled on the molding while painting.  I'm one of those who paints without using painter's tape, so there is an occasional drip on the molding.  During a recent paint job (which I'll reveal soon), I spilled paint and rather than going all the way downstairs to get a rag, I opted to try a baby wipe.  It worked like a charm!  I only tried this with paint that was wet, so I can't vouch for its effectiveness if the paint is dry.

3.  Cleaning spilled items off of the carpet and upholstery.  I have found this effective with crayon on the carpet, but I read that it works with coffee stains as well.  There is a coffee stain under my couch, so maybe I'll tackle that and let you know!

4. Clean your computer's keyboard.  After shaking off the dust, simply rub a baby wipe over the keys to give it a fresh look.  Be sure your computer has been turned off before trying this one.

5. Shine your shoes.  Quickly rub a baby wipe over your shoes for a quick shine!

6.  Removing makeup.  Apparently, this is a secret among models, but it supposedly works well on black eyeliner.

(source:  a mix of my own experience and Reader's Digest)

What creative ways do you use baby wipes? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Sponsor & Giveaway from The Blue Ladybug Boutique

I’m so excited to announce to you today a new sponsor, The Blue Ladybug, an online shop which sells handmade children’s clothing and accessories.  Here are some of the new items just released for the fall:

And, just a few of my favorites:

This is a limited edition item, and I love it!  There is also a matching pair of shorts to make it a brother/sister set.
Aren't these ruffle jeans adorable?!  Cute and versatile.
Fabric Ties for your little man, with a velcro strap: genius!

Big Boy Belt with velcro fastener and tons of fabric choices

Not only do they carry children’s items, but they have also started carrying special items for ladies.

Fabric Wristlet
Ruffled Scarf

Fabric Necklace

Two very talented ladies, Laura and Mary Beth, known as the Blue Ladybug Mamas, run this shop and I have to tell you that I’m constantly amazed at what they do.  Both are busy moms and yet they carve out time to have a business.  I first met Mary Beth, quite a few years ago, and it’s been fun to follow her as she got married, had her first child, opened this shop, and now to see how well their business has done.  She probably doesn’t know this, but I’ve been watching their business expand ever since they started and I’ve really enjoyed watching it grow!

The Blue Ladybug is giving away this gorgeous wristlet to one lucky Only From Scratch reader.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

Head on over to The Blue Ladybug, look around, come back and leave a comment telling me which item is your favorite.

For a second entry, go on over to Blue Ladybug Mamas, and become a follower of their blog. (Be sure to leave them a comment too!) Come back over here and comment that you’ve done so.

For a third entry, ‘like’ The Blue Ladybug on Facebook, come back and comment saying you’ve done so.

For a fourth entry, become a follower of Only From Scratch, either via email subscription or by Google Friend Connect, and leave a comment here saying you’ve done so.

For a fifth entry, ‘like’ Only From Scratch on Facebook, and leave a comment here saying you’ve done so.

Winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, September 21.
(Limited to those with a US mailing address)

Happy Wednesday!