Almost Vintage Apron

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'd like to start today by saying welcome to my followers. (All 4 of you! Ant doesn't count.) It has been really great wandering through each of your blogs and Etsy shops. Thank you all for taking an interest in my ramblings, and hopefully you'll find something useful mixed in somewhere.

I'd have to say that the person who most influenced my crafting abilities would have to be my Gramma. We lived in her basement "apartment" until I was seven which meant that I spent quite a lot of time upstairs driving her crazy! She used to crochet, cross stitch, make Christmas ornaments, and sew the outfits for most church plays. Looking back I think she probably taught me to work with plastic canvas in order to keep me quiet for 5 min. 

Anyway, over the summer she finally cleaned out her craft room and got rid of tons of "great stuff". (If you craft you know what this means!) Bags full of lace and ribbon, fabric, plastic canvas, buttons, etc. At the time I didn't have room for any more supplies and I knew we would be moving soon, so I passed most everything up. (Very very hard to do!) One of the things that I did take was her patterns. Most of them are old patterns for little girl clothing, most likely used to make something for me of my aunt when we were little. 

I was flipping through those patterns today and found a relatively new one for an apron. Now, I love to cook and I also tend to spill things on myself, so why on earth do I not already own an apron? Why should I not make myself one? So I found some cute fabric and went to town. Unfortunately it has been ages since I have used a commercial pattern, and the new pack of bobbins I just bought were the wrong size for my machine so it took a little while, but I eventually ended up with this...

Now that it is finished, I kinda feel like the ruffle is too long making the red seem over powering. Maybe it will grow on me, if not, I can always shorten it. Of course I wasn't wearing it for 2 min. before I spilled something on it, but at least we know it works. For anyone interested, the pattern is here. You can make either a half or a full front apron with it, but they are so simple, that if you have any pattern making skills you can probably make something very similar on your own. 

If you have been following along, you may remember this cheesecake recipe that I posted for Valentine's Day. Ant decided then that we had too many sweets in the house so I have just now finally gotten it made. His verdict was that it turned out "Fantastic!" and that he needed another slice right away. I'm trying to convince him to take half to work and share, but that is still unresolved. lol.

Well, Once Upon a Thread finally starts tomorrow and I am so excited to finally share some of the things I have been working on! Now I just have to decide what to share first. 

♥Momma Tart 

Running Tally:
#57 - Half Apron


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm not sure what happened to me the past few days. I got so excited about the upcoming projects for March that I jumped right in and barely came up for air! I've been trying to make good use of the time that I have the Hubby home to entertain Tiny for me and have been in a flurry of sketches, scissors, and craft store runs. I already have 2 projects completed (though still in hiding) with a growing list of more than 20 to go. How did this get so out of hand so quickly?!?  I know my goal was to post something everyday, but I definitely think some of these ideas are worth the wait. I also have a bunch of non-storybook crafts planned for next month, so I promise things will be back to normal by Monday.

In the mean time, here are some cool things I've been finding around the inter-webs: (Click on pics)

Bunny love
Get ready for Easter with Retro Mama

I have to make one of these for Tiny Tart!!!!
Celebrate Boy with I Spy...SpencerandElizabeth

Adorable Set of 4 Felt Animal Cracker Cookies - Wonderful Gift Idea
This set was already sold, but they are too cute not to share!
From DaisyDayDreams on Etsy

These little guys would be soo cute on a Spring Time cake!
from Martha

Have you noticed a theme? Yep, I am SUPER ready for spring to be here. I'm hoping it gets warm enough today to make our first playground trip of the season. It is so much more exciting now that Tiny can actually run around and climb on things! And if we tire her out I'll have even more time for crafts. Yay! Hope everyone's weekend is going well. See ya tomorrow!

♥Momma Tart

Book Party!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Since I was up one on my count, I decided to use today to work all the kinks out of my elephant pattern and maybe even get started on the tutorial (or read that book that I've renewed twice already :( ) So I started thinking about how to get the Ellie "just right" and decided to give it a try out of knit material. Thus Ellie #3 was born...

...and fed pretty well after a good ear gnawing!
She is a reincarnation of one of my old T-shirts and didn't turn out too badly after a little tweaking. It was beyond amazing that she was actually finished before 10 am! I was just about to suck it up and try another version with woven fabric when I saw Katy at No Big Dill had posted this...

Essentially it is a month long storybook craft fest and since we LOVE books at our house, I have to be a part of it! So of course I dropped everything to get started on a plan and before I knew it my elephant was forgotten and I was holding an entirely different stuffie that is a character from one of Tiny's books! I'm not going to share him until the project really gets started in March, but he came from this book...

Not too hard to figure out who I made, but he is still gonna be a surprise. Click on the Once Upon a Thread button and start planning what you are going to make!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#56 - Kiss Kiss Stuffie

Monograms and Makeovers

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's a double craft day! That sure doesn't happen often with the attitudes that Tiny Tart has been having lately! Why do they call it the terrible twos if it starts right after she turns one? Did I just get a fussy kid? Ant says she does take after her Mommy a lot! Hopefully this chills out before she heads to kindergarten and I'll be able to fit in a bunch more crafts! Or I'll just have another baby and start the process all over again. ;)

Today I made these snack containers...

Ok, I didn't make them, but I did cover some old baby formula cans in paper to make it easier for Ant to tell what is in each one. They are so much easier than boxes with the plastic bags in them. We used to fill them with different kinds of baby cereal when Tiny first started solids. Now we have one for crackers, goldfish, cheerios, and cookies. If you have older kids this might be a good way to store snacks that they can reach and get out themselves, or even crayons and other small toy pieces. It doesn't need to be a formula can either, just a canister with a easy to remove lid. Cans from nuts, juice concentrate, and even some coffee grounds would work. Just watch out for sharp edges on the inside.

The next project is something I've wanted to do for some time. Ever since I made these pillows I knew I wanted to add a monogram to one of them. Now even though I have been doing cross stitch since I was very small, I have never done any "real" embroidery. (I'm not counting these cards.) Luckily my first try turned out pretty well and just needs to go through the wash.

I have no idea how I've managed to make it this long without giving embroidery a try, but now I'm addicted! I have seen so many adorable patterns lately that I may just have to start making Tiny some clothes just so I can embroider them! This has really caught my eye, and this too, and this. AHHH...Cuteness!!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#55 - Snack Container Makeover
#56 - Pillow Monogram

Tasty Tuesday - Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I promise that one of these days I'm going to post a recipe for a healthy meal, but it isn't gonna be today! We haven't had this pizza in awhile now, and decided to treat ourselves to it rather than eating out. There really isn't any specific list of ingredients since I know everyone likes their pizza differently, but these are the directions for the most basic version. 

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

You'll need: 
(I really do just wing it. Amounts should be based on the size of your crust and your tastes.)

~pizza crust - I use the Pillsbury in a tube, but you can get fresh from a pizza shop or whatever you choose. 
~alfredo sauce - About 3/4-1 cup. My homemade version is below.
~cooked chicken - It can be cubes, strips, ready bought, whatever you like. I chop up a chicken breast and saute it in a frying pan. (1 lg chicken breast)
~shredded mozzarella
~butter - melted (3 T.-ish)
~garlic - you can use smashed cloves and add them to the butter during melting, mince it, or use powder. I use powder just to be quick. (2 cloves)

Roll out your crust onto a cookie sheet (or stone if you swear by those) and brush the edges with the melted butter. If you didn't add the garlic to the butter sprinkle it over the entire crust now. Spread the alfredo the same as you would tomato sauce and top with the cooked chicken. If you are shooting for a "lite" version you could stop there and bake it, but I never can! Sprinkle with a thin layer of mozzarella (a little goes a long way!) and finish off with a few dashes of thyme. Now bake per the crust's directions.  

If you don't care for thyme, just leave it off and add something you like. I just feel it adds that missing something. (oregano, basil, pepper flakes, whatever!) It is very easy to customize just like any pizza! Ant likes to add bbq sauce to his, but we have added mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon (so bad...I know!) and tons of other things. Go ahead and make it your own.

**Please note**
You would think that this will come out pretty salty because of all that cheese, but sometimes it is actually lacking. Taste it for yourself and then add salt after baking if needed. Things can vary quite a bit depending on your ingredients.

Homemade Alfredo

This is something I make almost every week and save in a jar in the fridge. I have made it so many times that I just kinda throw everything together and add more until it seems right. These directions are based on my best guesses about how much of everything I use, so please don't be surprised if you need to add a splash more cream, a bit more cheese, or what not. 

This should make about 4 servings:

Heat 1 cup of cream and a Tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan until hot but not quite boiling. (It needs to be able to melt the cheese or it will all stick to the bottom of the pan.) Add 1 cup of good quality parmesan cheese (Using Kraft will not work!) a handful at a time while stirring. If you feel it clumping stir a bit before adding more and check that your heat is high enough. Continue until all the cheese is added and thoroughly mixed in, then turn the heat way down and let it set to thicken. Now is the time to taste test and see if it needs more cream or cheese. You can also add a little garlic powder. If it seems runny but tastes good then you did it right. If it feels grainy then you added the cheese too fast or your heat was too low. Turn up the heat and keep stirring, but some will still stick to the bottom. 

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#54 - Chicken Alfredo Pizza

****Super Hooray for breaking 100 page views today and also getting my very first comment!! (Hey, the little things make me happy!)****

I Helped with the Dishes!

Monday, February 21, 2011

One chore that I absolutely dread is doing the dishes. I will scrub toilets until I pass out, but don't make me wash silverware! I know that sounds dumb, but I just hate it. In the move into this new apartment we gained another bedroom, but lost our precious dishwasher. :( 

Luckily I have used my mind powers to convince Ant that he should do the dishes at night after dinner since I sweep everyday (I find I dislike hardwood floors too!) and I'm at home with Tiny (aka. The Terror) for almost 12 hours. I also get to lay on the guilt that dinner is almost always started, if not ready, when he gets home along with the normal things like laundry, grocery shopping, and packing and unpacking the whole house during the move! (Yes, I did pack everything and since he was in that accident he even missed half the day of moving!) If you ask me, doing dishes and scooping the litter are cake compared to what "equal" would be asking, so No dishes for me!

Every now and again I feel a little guilty though and try to help out. I always use as few dishes as possible, reusing the same glass and (most of the time) plate for the whole day. And in my attemps to be even more helpful, today I made him this...

an environmentally friendly dish scrubbie! 
Ha ha, it looks like a pop tart!

I got the pattern from Tales and Yarns, and it came out a pretty well on the first try.  The beginning of the pattern is a little confusing until you understand what you are trying to do, but once you get it, things are pretty simple. All you need to know are single and double crochet. The picture below might help if you get stuck.

Ant used it tonight and says "It works pretty good." which is guy speak for it didn't give me any trouble, but I'm a bit leery of crochet. I thought I would have won him over with the swiffer, alas it was not to be. Even so, I hope he takes to it well enough that we can stop buying sponges for good and just have a stash of these that we send through the washer. 

Around the house we have been discussing the major undertaking that has become Tiny's bedroom. Since I never got to decorate a nursery when she was born, I'm making up for it in full force now. I thought we had everything planned out and even began making things to hang up. (the pom poms, hair clip holder, and wall flowers) But in the past few days the design has changed completely and new problems seem to arise every hour. The major obstacle is that I want to paint a wall mural and can't because we are in an apartment. How I wish for a house! Last year my Dad and I even made plans for a bed like this so we are ready when the time actually comes. Ant says to paint on paper and hang that on the walls, but paper and toddlers never seem to mix. Maybe soon we will figure out a solution and I'll be able to share an entire room full of projects with you! 

The only thing I know for sure is that this little guy will ABSOLUTELY be involved and maybe some of his friends!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#53 - Crochet Dish Scrubbie

Happy Hooker

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I wasn't sure that I would be able to work on a project today after all the chores we had planned, but I didn't want to fall behind again, so I tried the divide and conquer method. Cut out the fabric while Tiny is eating breakfast and Ant is in the shower, fold and iron seams during the movie, and sew everything up while Tiny is in the tub. By the time we put Tiny in bed I had a finished crochet hook holder.

I love the way it turned out. Now I can finally get them out of the votive where I've been stashing them.

This weekend turned out to be extremely productive and we are finally caught up on most of the house chores. I'm really on a roll with all this organizing, so hopefully I can keep it up awhile longer. Everything in its place and all that. Who knows where this could lead. I might even catch up on all the tutorials I'm starting to back log! 

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#52 - Crochet Hook Holder

Join us Saturdays at for
 the weekend wrap up party!

Ta Da!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Super quick (since it is past my bed time) I would like to introduce you to . . . 

Percival and Priscilla Pachyderm!

I made Percival yesterday, (Recognize the fabric from these pillows?) but he needed a bit of fixing in the gusset area, so today I whipped up Priscilla, my little 2.o version. I think they are super cute together, but something is still going a bit wonky in the leg area. I guess that means they will soon be having a few children. Yay! 

Tiny Tart absolutely loves elephants, and makes a little raspberry trumpet kind of noise whenever she sees one. I was thrilled when she made the noise at Percy. At least I know they are recognizable. lol. Hopefully I can get the pattern straightened out soon and share it with you guys.  (Oh gosh, I just had an idea of making the tails loops and linking them up in a parade!!! What have I gotten myself into?) I really enjoyed the process of making stuffies, so look for more critters in the upcoming projects. 

Now I'm going to bed before I pass out! Good Night.

♥Momma Tart

(Update: I'm still working on the pattern and have made a knit version here, but I think I'll save the tutorial for the Once Upon a Thread party that is going on at No Big Dill in March!) 

Running Tally:
#51 - Stuffed Elephants

Make Me Pretty

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things are starting to look a bit different around here, and I like it. Yesterday I saw this great post form Laurie the Tip Junkie about how to make your blog more appealing. I have been bugging the hubby lately to sit down with me and help me change my page from the basic blogger template, so this was perfect. After reading a few of the ideas, I picked something cute and started mixing things up. Now I'm going through thousands of backgrounds looking for "the one".

Do you know how hard it is to find something that is cute, shows your personality, matches the theme of your blog, and will appeal to the masses? No wonder so many of the most popular blogs are just white with great headers! I still haven't found what I'm looking for. The one I'm using today seems a bit too dark for what I'm looking for, even though it is cute. So the search continues for something that fits just right.

Just a day in my life...

Anyway, the craft for today (#50 Yay!) is so cute . . . totally amazing . . . one of the most awesome things I've ever made!

Too bad I ran out of fiber-fil and am not going to be able to show you the finished product until tomorrow. I will give you a hint though; it involves my very first homemade stuffie pattern. I'm so excited. Tiny Tart even recognized what it was supposed to be, so it must be pretty good.

Stop back tomorrow and find out what the Mystery Stuffie is!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#50 - Mystery Stuffie

Operation Organization # 2

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm not sure how it happened, but Tiny Tart's drawers have been taken over by hair clips. I don't even think we have ever bought her any, but between the ones gifted from the cousins and the ones I made, I'm finding them everywhere. Since dresser space is at a premium here (and the walls are very boring) I decided to get them out of the drawer and up on the wall where they are easier to control. 

I've seen tons of different styles of these, but they are all essentially a ribbon attached to some thing. They have some really cute ones on Etsy,  (SugarBearBows, BouncingOffTheWalls, MayCrimsonMagnificence, AmandasAngels) but since crafting is what I do I had to make my own. 

First assemble the supplies:

Wooden shapes (Michael's)
(I forgot a wall hanger, but you can just use a piece of ribbon or even 3M stickies.)

Note about shapes: Make sure you look over the shapes in the store very carefully. Most have chips, glue spot, or are just plain wonky. Be warned.

Next, prime your wood with liberal amounts of baby drool! Or you could just go ahead and paint.

You'd think her Mom would put a clip in her hair! Right?

When everything is to your liking and dried out, get out the trusty glue gun. You only need one length of ribbon, but I really liked the swirl pattern on the blue one so I glued them together just because. I also couldn't decide between the butterfly and dragonfly so i painted both. Ant picked the butterfly this time, so the dragon is packed away for another project. I also found that the tulip was very light so I found a washer to glue to it and weigh it down. 

Now assemble. I glued one end of the ribbon to the bottom of the butterfly and the other to the top of the tulip. Attached the washer, and also made a little loop out of extra ribbon as a hanger. 

Imagine how easy this would be if you bought already painted shapes! I just couldn't find any I really liked, but that would make this a 5 min. project! And I only spent $4 on wood and ribbon! (I already had the washer, paint, and glue.)

 The directions for the clips in between the purple and pink bows can be found here and here.

In other organization efforts, yesterday I folded a tote and a half worth of my fabric stash and ended up with this!!!

The bookcase now looks too sad for all this
awesomeness. Maybe I should paint it!

 Can you feel my pride radiating from your computer screen?!? Never in my life has my fabric been this organized! The idea of having everything out in the open where I can see what I have, what matches, and even how much I have, honestly it gives me the shivers. Too bad it is in the middle of my bedroom instead of a glorious craft room, but oh one day... (back to reality). I thought it would get me in trouble with the hubby for him to be able to see what all I have (I'm still not finished folding), but he said "...That doesn't seem like much..."  WHAT! Do my ears deceive me? That sounded like permission to buy more. Doesn't it sound like that to you??? So I asked (walking into trouble) "Does that mean you want to go buy me more?" He replies with a shrug, "Sure."  Bless him!!! And if you ever hear me say a bad thing about him remind me of this day!!!

But in all honesty, I have no idea what to do with most of this fabric. I know I have already gone through my stash once and given my Gramma a whole tote for the women she knows who make quilts for the nursing homes. The shocker is that most of this was free! When I was in college, there was a HUGE donation of fabric to the school, and we were allowed to take whatever we wanted. When I say HUGE I mean it. Picture a Black Friday sale, because that was what it was like. All of us Fashion Design girls were leaving there with TRASH BAGS full of fabric. Now the only problem is I have no idea what the fiber content is of anything. Each time I have to burn a corner to find out what I'm working with. Somehow, Iaccrued massive amounts of lining type fabric and it's gonna take some real creative thinking to get rid of all that. For now maybe I'll just bask in the glory of my organizational skills. Let's worry about getting rid of it after I get it cleaned up.

♥Momma Tart

 Running Tally:
#50 - Hair Clip Holder

Every little bit helps (my sanity!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

After visiting the craft store yesterday, the creativity bug must have come a biting, because I finally finished up two projects that I have been mulling over for some time. Admittedly they are not difficult projects, but useful things around the house that I needed to put behind me so I can move on to the "good stuff". 

Now I know Christmas is way over, but I have started thinking about next year. Since we are a one income family now buying Ant presents is getting difficult. He just looks at the debit/credit statement and knows exactly what he's getting, or at least where it came from. In an attempt to circumvent the same situation next year, I made a Christmas Fund Jar. As far as projects go this is just stickers (the perfect font) on a jar from Ikea. No big deal.

Sorry, I haven't learned how to take pictures of glass.

Every month Ant puts $20 into my jar, and by the time Christmas shopping time rolls around, I'll have a "secret stash" that I can use to get his presents. Now, I did consider the online shopping issue. If I need to order something online, I will use my $ to buy a gift card (like a Visa or such) and go about my shopping. I'm sure there is a "better" way, like through a bank (We did Christmas Club in my town.) but sine we have no idea how long we will be living here and our only bank branch is in the city, this works best for now.

In other news I have deemed Tiny Tart old enough to start learning about time out. At first I thought 15 months was too soon, but she seems to understand everything we say and I wanted to get a jump on learning about consequences. To my surprise it really took. She gets that if we do something bad we have to sit on the "spot". She has a little timer that counts down one minute and she sits and waits until we say she can get up. 

Right now the only rules are No hitting or yelling (the ungodly high pitched wail). Those are automatic time outs. For anything else she gets a warning (or 5 in Ant's case) and then she has to sit for not listening. Each time we sit her down we get down on her level and tell her what was a "no-no" and then ask her to sit until we say she can get up. When the time is up we repeat why she had to sit and ask her to give us a hug to say she's sorry. The only problem we're having is that she doesn't quite understand that hitting involves the cats too (poor buggers).

The mat was a $2 chair cushion from Ikea. Then I just slopped on some white acrylic paint and that was it. I was initially only going to write Time Out, but having the rules there helps Ant (who isn't home for much of the disciplining) and I to stay on the same page. Next year we'll add a min. to the timer, and maybe another rule to the mat. 

Now I'm off to work on unpacking my fabric totes. I'm trying to make everything more accessible, but who knows what treasures I'll find in there! 

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#48 - Christmas Fund Jar
#49 - Time Out Mat

Tasty Tuesday - Parma-Wrapped Chicken

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'd like to start off today by saying Hi to all the German visitors I seem to be having lately. I know I'm very new at this, and it may be a fluke, or crazy computer error. It may be all the same person, but it is nice to know someone "might" be looking. lol. Anyway, welcome, and feel free to say Hello. 

* * * * *

So, how was everyone's Valentine's Day? Was it everything you expected and more? hehe. I thought not. Mine actually went much smoother than planned, but that was probably because we only had dinner (which I cooked). I did wake up to some poems and Hershey kisses taped to the wall though, so that was a plus. (Thank goodness the cats didn't knock them all down before I woke up!)

Our Valentine's dinner was something Ant and I both really love, but I rarely ever make. The combination of prosciutto, goat cheese, and red wine, (things we never have on hand) can make this dish a bit pricier than our normal dinners. So we use this as one of our "special occasions" dishes. You know the ones you only break out on anniversaries, birthdays, or other celebrations (promotions, special guests, etc.). 

Since we both have a very strong attachment to Italy, (We met, and married there, as well as named our kid after one of it's ancient rulers!) this dish makes for a special bonding time where we can look back on our trips and experiences. Lately with job prospects, moving, and the general "joys" of toddler-hood we have needed "us time more than ever so for a special treat we tucked the kid in early and had an actual date night (in the living room) candles and all.

See, we had such a great time I forgot all about you guys. Sorry!

Parma-Wrapped Chicken
serves 4

4 skinless chicken breasts
3 1/2 oz full fat soft cheese, flavored with herbs and garlic 
(I use Chavrie with basil and roasted garlic, in the little green pyramid box)
8 slices prosciutto (not too thin or wrapping will get tough)
2/3 cup red wine (Ant says Chianti or Pinot Noir I have no idea since I don't drink)
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Make a slit in the side, along the length of each chicken breast.
2. After stirring the cheese to soften it, spoon cheese into the pockets in the chicken.
3. Wrap each Chicken breast with 2 slices of prosciutto and secure with string. (I admit to using sewing thread.)
4. Add wine and chicken stock to a large skillet and bring to a boil. When the mix starts to just boil add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
5. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and let simmer 12-15 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
6. Remove chicken and keep warm.
7. Reheat the sauce and boil until thickened. 
8. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

The recipe also suggests adding other things like finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the cheese, but I've never tried it and can't say how good it is. (I don't really care for tomatoes.)

Now I'm off to the craft store to get more goodies for the week ahead. Hopefully I'll stay out of trouble, but probably not! See ya tomorrow.

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#47 - Parma-Wrapped Chicken

Meaning of Love

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love - 
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, esp. when based on sexual attraction.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection.
3. a person toward whom love is felt.
7. affectionate concern for the well-being of others.
8. a strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking
11. a score of zero in tennis.
14. to need or require

Webster's dictionary
(There are 19 total!)

Whatever meaning of love you prefer, Happy Valentine's Day!

My library books are starting to pile up, so I wanted to work on a quick project today that would let me get some reading in when Tiny Tart goes down for a nap. It's kind of ironic though that what I decided to do was cut up a dictionary! I have had these since elementary school, and with the use of computers, they have pretty much become obsolete. But rather than tossing them in the recycle, I decided to cut them up and use them for projects. I have seen lots of things going on with text lately, from wall art to decoupage furniture. Some of the ideas are really neat so I thought I'd give it a try.

For my last Valentine's project I got my inspiration from these on Etsy. (search paper heart garlands) 

Picture from PaperPolaroid in Pennsylvania

Picture from 5280bliss in Colorado

Picture from Bookity in the UK

Each shop has their own version of personalization, and the wedding garlands are really cool. It's a neat idea to have decorations at your wedding that wouldn't be too "fussy" to hang in your home afterwards. I also think the one made from maps is brilliant. If you are an avid traveler you could have a heart from all the locations that you have been. It's definitely a more creative idea than push pins on a map. (We collect magnets. Losers, I know!)

Any way, it was pretty easy to figure out, just grab some paper (my dictionary, turned to: heart) a stapler, and a cutting utensil. I used my Fiskars paper trimmer thing (check picture below), but scissors and a ruler would work too. Once you choose the depth you would like your heart (1 inch for me) just start cutting strips. My pages were just less than 9 1/2 inches tall, so that is the length I stared with. This made my final heart 3 3/4 inches tall. I only used two hearts instead of the 4 pictured above, so my strip lengths were 9 1/2 in. and 8 in. (2 of each).

With all of the short edges (1 in.) lined up, stack a short, 2 long, and another short strip. (If you are making more hearts think steps up and then down the other side.) Now pinching the layers together at the bottom (1 in.) fold two strips down on each side and line their bottoms up with the 4 you were already pinching. Staple through all 8 layers close to the edge. You will now be able to see the heart shape, but the halves will kinda peel apart. Pinching the 4 center layers slide your fingers up until you have the shape you like and add another staple through these 4 layers only. (I only have one of those mini staplers to work with, but if you have the large one (like a normal person) you can measure up the 4 layers and staple before folding the strips to each side.) 

Adding the string is a personal preference, if you would like them hanging vertically place the string in the center of your sandwiched papers before stapling. If you would prefer a garland you can punch holes through the hearts themselves, or add another small strip of paper in the center of the pile like the ones picture above. Once you know the process it is pretty easy to make them your own. 

Now thankfully the Valentine's crafts are finished. I was surprised to find how limited it made me feel, but the crafts were cute, and I now have a bunch of decorations for next year! It does make me very happy to be back working on whatever the supplies or my whims lead to. 

What are you making for dinner tonight? My recipe is up tomorrow in another Tasty Tuesday. Don't miss it!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#46 - Dictionary Heart Decorations

Operation Organization

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know I'm supposed to still be doing Valentine's crafts, but since I have the hubby home with me today I decided to put him to work helping me finally hang my pegboard! I have been looking forward to this for awhile now. I actually acquired the board from the retail store I used to work at over 2 years ago. We used these sheets in the front window display, and when they were ready to toss them, I snatched them up and sent them into storage (aka_Dad's basement).

When we moved here I knew I could finally put that pegboard to use. We thought we would be really short on cabinet space so the initial plan was to hang it on the kitchen wall as a place for pots and pans. We later found room in the cupboards for all our kitchen supplies so I can use my pegboard for a much more important purpose...Craft Organization!

This first piece has to be shared with Ant as part of the office desk organizing, but if everything works well I have a second sheet that I can hang in the bedroom that will be strictly for crafts. Right now everything I use in stored in those plastic three drawer tote stacks, drawers of a dresser or shelves on the book case. I have to dig through tons of other stuff to find that right pen or ribbon, or even a needle. It only makes it harder when you have a toddler trying to "help" find what you need. This way I can hang everything above four feet where I can get to it and she can't. (So Exciting!!)

So, after much managing (me) and manual labor (him) this is what we've got! I know it's not much, but considering we did it sans drill, with warped wood, into cement board, I'm pretty impressed with us.

That ugly yellow table is a project quickly coming up to bat. It was free,
but Yuck! I also hung that desk calender today. Hopefully this will help the
crafts flow much more smoothly! Now we need some color!

I wanted to add some kind of trim around the edges, and give it a fun paint job, but we decided to just give it a try first until we figure out if we like it and can get the layout situated to our liking. I also have tons of ideas about things that I can attach to the board that can be used to hold other things. This is an ever expanding ongoing project!

♥Momma Tart

Running Tally:
#45 - Peg Board Organizer

(Yea! I'm caught up...for now!)

P.S. I updated the post from yesterday about Stitched Cards. Go check it out!

Love that keeps you in stitches...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I am super in love with this project, but am out of time for today. This will just have to be a teaser until I can get the instructions typed up tomorrow. Also, I am really excited about the project I have planned for tomorrow. Stop back and check out my amazing organizational skills! ***Hint Hint: Who loves pegboard?***

Ok, now that I have a few minutes I can explain the very simple process behind these cards. Let's start with the embroidered I Love You first. All you need is a piece of paper (card, envelope, etc.), a needle (large-ish), embroidery floss, and a pencil. Just write out your message and then use you needle to punch holes along the line. (Curves will need closer holes in order to translate fluidly.) Now just erase the pencil marks, thread up your needle, and follow the holes. (Like dot-to-dot!) So easy. (If you are working on an envelope, watch out for the glue strip, I totally forgot. Luckily I'm not mailing mine.)

For the cross stitch version you'll need the above supplies plus graph paper and tape (masking is preferable). Mark out your desired pattern on the graph paper. (I chose a heart.) Tape your patterned paper onto the front of your card and poke through the corners of each square that is filled in on the paper. Don't forget the ones around the edges. Then remove the paper and start stitching your X's. Refer to your graph paper for any different colors you may have used. When you are finished the back may look a little yucky, so you can glue a bit of paper over that area to clean it up. 

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture after I punched the holes.

This has super potential in so many other crafts. I am already planning a cute flower card for my Gramma for Easter, but I think this could also make a really nifty scrapbook effect. I'm not very good at scrap-booking, but I have my eye on a die cutting machine which would be amazingly helpful if I try again. Let me know what uses you find for this idea in your projects!

♥Momma Tart

(Ant says this should count as one project, but embroidery and cross stitch are totally different techniques. Am I right??) 

Running Tally:
#43 - Embroidered Envelopes
#44 - Cross Stitch Cards
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