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Friday, October 31, 2014

Peanut Butter Ball Bats - Halloween Treat

 
Halloween treat, cute Halloween snack idea

This is a special Halloween edition of my blog!  My office is doing a Halloween Treat Competition and I am excited to share my entry with you ! 

I used this post from One Sweet Appetite as my inspiration, but instead of truffles, I made a favorite of mine - peanut butter balls. 

First step: make the wings. 
 
Print out a bat wing pattern and lay it under a sheet of waxed paper.  Then put your melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner.  Use your piping bag to trace the outline of the wings onto the waxed paper and then fill in.  I started out trying to make a fine outline, but then found that a thick outline produces sturdier wings.
 

My Dad insisted these were dinosaurs...
Then make your peanut butter balls - 1 stick of butter, 1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter, 1 tsp. vanilla and 4 cups of powdered sugar.  Mix together and form into balls.  Then refrigerate.
 
 
Halfway through the refrigeration, stick the bat wings into the sides.  I was so excited at this point - it was going to work!
 
 
Melt your chocolate - I like using a makeshift double boiler.
 
 
Get your pieces ready (using your cute bowls from World Market, if possible).
 
 
Baaaaats!!
 


Halloween bat treats

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chalkboard Tape Gift Bag

 
 
At Walmart, I found a new discovery - chalkboard tape.  I bought it, knowing I'd figure out uses for it!
 
 
 
I had a birthday present to wrap, so I decided to test it out!  I found chalk writes very well on it and erases just as well.  I think a great use would be at a party to label food and drinks.  But today, I put it on a gift bag, wrote happy birthday and added a bunting embellishment.
 
For this project you'll need:
a plain gift bag
chalkboard tape
chalk, a chalk marker or paint pen
scissors
a variety of washi tape
 
 
 
It's pretty self explanatory - just put a strip of chalkboard tape on your gift bag.  Cut pieces of your washi tape into the shape of bunting.  Stick it to the tape/bag.  Then connect the pieces of tape with your chalk marker and write happy birthday. 
 
 
What else would you use chalkboard tape for?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Mummy


My office decided to have a pumpkin decorating contest (no carving) so I did a quick search online for inspiration. 
 
My first thought was some kind of gold metallic pumpkin.
 
 
Pretty, but maybe a little boring for a contest.  Then I saw a cookie monster that I thought was pretty cute and unexpected, seeing the pumpkin in blue.
 
 
But, I'm not an artist - I was pretty sure my attempts at painting cookies would not turn out so well.  I considered ninja turtles.
 
 
Again, cute, but not sure about my abilities to draw...on a pumpkin.  My next thought was to make Olaf from Frozen, using two pumpkins.  I never saw this picture, but it's exactly what I had in mind.
 
 
Really well done, but, I work in a law firm...I'm not sure the attorneys would really get it.  Then I saw a Mummy Pumpkin from BHG.com.  It was perfect - no drawing needed, Halloween themed and unexpected!
 
For this project you'll need:
a pumpkin
cheesecloth
fabric stiffener
2 googly eyes
black paint/brush
exacto knife
hot glue gun
glow in the dark paint (optional)

Cut the cheesecloth into strips measuring 12x4 inches.

Fold in half VERTICALLY. (Emphasis on the word a result of my not paying attention and folding horizontally and wondering why it looked weird.) Spray with the fabric stiffener and wrap around pumpkin.





Let dry.  Then hot glue googly eyes on.


Cut 4 strips of cheesecloth to 6x4 and fold in half vertically.  Then spray fabric stiffener on and arrange across part of the eyes.


Using your exacto knife, cut out a small mouth.

 
Paint the inside of the mouth black.  The final step is to brush glow in the dark paint over the mummy!
 
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Color/Texture Book for Baby

I saw a DIY color book for babies online and was inspired to make one for my nephew.
 
 
Since my nephew Henry is 3 months old and is at the earliest stages of discovering colors and textures.  I wanted to make him a personalized, soft book.
 
 
I had fun going to the fabric store and choosing a variety of fabrics and I knew I had probably 3/4 of the needed fabrics at home in my scrap fabric box.

For this project you'll need:

iron-on transfer paper
computer/printer
3 different 3.5x3.5 squares of fabric in the following colors (30 total):
 -red
 -orange
 -yellow
 -green
 -blue
 -purple
 -pink
 -brown
 -black
 -white
10 3.5x3.5 squares of fabric in white
8 other 3.5x3.5 squares of fabric (different colors) for the cover and back
rotary mat/cutter (optional)
sewing machine

I used this tutorial from stitch/craft to make this project.

Step 1:  Print the colors listed above on iron on transfer paper, being sure they will fit onto a 3 in. square, as well as any title or back cover words you want, .  Also they have to be printed as a mirror image.
 
 
 
From this point on, iron after each step.

Step 2:  Cut your squares and lay out your design.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 3:  Iron on the words to the white squares.
 

Step 4:  Sew two squares of each page together (bottom two and top two).

Step 5:  Sew the top and bottom of each page together.
 
 
Step 6:  Sew the title onto the cover page.
 
 
Before the next step, I evened up my squares - if you are a good seamstress, this probably isn't necessary!
 
 
 
 

Step 7:  Sew the pages together by placing right sides together and sewing 3 sides together (not the left/binding side.)  The pages to sew together are as follows:
front cover/red, orange/yellow, green/blue, purple/pink, brown/black, white/back

Step 8:  Turn pages inside out so right sides are facing out.
 
Before binding, I decided to add crinkly plastic (I cut up my takeout bag from McAlister's!) to the inside of the pages.  I know Henry will enjoy that - hopefully it does ok in the washing machine!

Step 9:  Cut a strip of fabric to serve as the binding.  Press the top and bottom edge under.  Place right sides together of the book cover and the binding and sew raw edges.  Note: This step was CRAZY hard.  The tutorial I followed made it look like an easy last step - it isn't!  my stack of fabric was about 3 inches thick and it was almost un-sewable, if that were a word.
 
 
 
 
 

 It's a little rough, but I think baby Henry will enjoy it!

 What a cutie, reading his new book!!!


 

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