Keeping it Simple: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Motivate Me Monday #81










Saturday, July 30, 2011

Silhouette Saturday: Wedding Gift

It is summer time, so that means that it is also wedding time!!! Last weekend I went to a wedding and had to come up with an easy idea to make. This one took me about 10 minutes and cost $5, so it was just prefect!


This is how I made it:
1) I cut out the letters using my Silhouette SD. I do a few "tricks" to get the most out of my vinyl and money. The letters measured to be 15" long and instead of using 15" of vinyl, I separated the word into "john" and "son" and only used about 8". And other trick I used, was clear contract paper instead of transfer paper. Did you know that a roll of contract paper is only about $6 too, much cheaper!

2) To use the contract paper, I cut out a piece that was 4"x8" and then placed it onto my clothes a couple of times. It's a little too sticky if you don't.

3) I then placed the contract paper onto the John piece and rubbed with a stick

4) I lined up the vinyl onto the glass of the frame

5) I did the same thing for the son. The best part about the clear contract paper, I know exactly where I am putting the vinyl!

6) I did the same thing for the est. 2011 and in 10 minutes, I had a personalized wedding gift!

I used my Expressions Vinyl in colors: purple and silver! It matched perfectly to their wedding colors!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Post: Occasionally Crafty

Hi everyone, I'm Valerie from Occasionally Crafty! I am super excited to be here on Keeping it Simple today- Kaysi's blog is one of the first craft blogs I ever started reading. So many of her projects have inspired me over the past few years, so I am honored to be her guest today.

At Occasionally Crafty, I like to make simple home decor, cute clothes for my kiddos, and fun seasonal crafts.






Today, I have something I think (hope) you're going to love! I love to decorate for different holidays and seasons. I used to just do Christmas, but with all the inspiration in blog-land, I decided I HAD to get some decorations for all the other fun times of the year! I've been doing it for the past year and a half now. I especially love Pillows. There are so many cute pillows out there, and I want to make all of them! The only problem is, all those decorations take up a lot of space- right? So I got to thinking- what if you could just use ONE pillow to decorate for all the holidays and seasons? My mind got spinning, and I got creating. Here is what I came up with: A Pillow for All Seasons.




That's right- these are all pictures of the same pillow. You make (or reuse) one pillow, and only have to store the decorations! Want one of your own? Here's how to make one:

Supplies needed:1 pillow form, batting, or old pillowNeutral fabric to fit your pillow form (if sewing your own cover)- amount will vary2 rectangles of light colored fabric for background- amount will vary but a fat quarter should be plenty1 rectangle batting (Warm n Natural, etc)Basic sewing suppliesSewing MachinePatterns, fabric/felt, embellishments for seasonal accents, as desiredVelcroOptional: Paint/Freezer Paper/Xacto knife or craft cutterOkay, let's get going:1. To make this work, you need a neutral pillow, or one with fabric that will go with all the seasons/holidays you want to decorate for. I sewed a burlap pillow cover for an old pillow I had in my closet, but this would be a great way to use a pillow with a small stain or unsightly design. If you need help sewing your own pillow cover, here are a few tutorials that will walk you through it: Envelope style- http://raegunwear.blogspot.com/2011/06/tutorial-quick-envelope-pillow-case.html Zippered- http://www.theshabbychiccottage.net/2011/02/zippered-pillow-cover-tutorial.html



2. Next we will sew the background for our seasonal accents. Cut two squares or rectangles to fit in the center of your pillowcase front, adding a half inch all around for a seam allowance. Mine were 8 in x 7 in. Also, cut one rectangle with the same dimensions from your batting.




3. Line up your fabric rectangles right sides together, then place the batting at the bottom. Sew around all four edges, leaving a few inches open to turn right side out. Before turning, clip corners.

Turn right side out. Your batting should now be in the middle. Poke out corners with a crochet hook or something similar, then press. Topstitch around your square, making sure to close the opening you left.




4. Attach your completed background to your pillow. Since we're "keeping it simple" here, fabric glue or hot glue will work just fine. Make sure you use plenty and give it time to dry. I chose to attach mine using a blanket stitch (shown here) just to give it a little extra decoration, but it's totally up to you!






5. Now you're ready to make and attach embellishments. I am giving directions to make one large embellishment and a word strip. Adjust for your own personal style.

- Decide where your embellishments will go. Attach velcro to your background square. I put one piece, rough side up, on each side of the top for wordstrips, then one large one in the lower center of my square for an embellishment. Unless your pillow is going to be thrown around your house, this should suffice to keep any embellishments in place. The soft side will go on your embellishments.




6. Now, let your imagination run wild! You can make birds or flowers for spring, stars for patriotic days, pumpkins, Christmas trees, hearts for Valentine's day, a shamrock for St. Patty's- you get the picture! You can use felt or fabric, ribbon or found materials- whatever you can imagine, you can create. To get you started, I'm including a pattern for a pumpkin and a Christmas tree. I used craft felt and embroidery thread for my pumpkin, and I used scrap fabric (with a little fray-check on the edges) for the Christmas trees. They're held together with good old fabric glue. To use, click on the image below to get to the full-size image. Then right click and save to your computer.



7. Finish up by creating seasonal word strips, if you so desire. I cut one inch wide strips to fit my square (mine were about 6 1/2 inches) out of some scrap fabric, then used freezer paper stenciling to create my words. If you need a little help with that, there's a tutorial here that will guide you along.




Now, all you have to store is your decorations. My clutter-prone self is happy.





I've got this set ready for my fall decorating. I can't wait!





Well, there you have it. I hope my directions were clear enough- please feel free to shoot off an email to me if you have any questions- occasionallycrafty (at) yahoo (dot) com. And, of course, I'd love to see you over at my blog or on my Facebook page anytime! Thanks for reading- now go get creating!

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That is AWESOME!! I need to make one of these, thanks so much Valerie for the great idea and tutorial!!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guest Post: Belle's Bazaar

Hi all! I am Heather from Belle's Bazaar and I decided I needed an outlet from my busy life of 3 kids, 1 husband, tutoring and husband's schooling. This has been surprisingly helpful to remind me that I still have a brain!! My blog is a mish mash of a bunch of things: Muffin Mondays, Thinking Thursdays (all about books), Fat Fridays (the best fattest desserts ever!) and crafts mixed in. I hope you enjoy what I have and any input you have would be great!


These originally began as strawberry crepes and I wanted to make them pretty, so I started adding more stuff. When we tasted them, they tasted like banana splits!! I am serious! I was pleasantly surprised and so were my kids who had 3 each. (Won't even mention how many my husband had!)=)

This crepe recipe comes from a woman in my church who is pretty much the most amazing woman/mother/person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing! 7 chilren, homeschools, seemingly endless patience and on top of that, cute as a button! So, I knew this recipe had to be great!!

1 cup flour

1 1/4 c. whole milk ( I have used 1% and it is fine.)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 heaping tablespoons heaping butter, melted

Mix and mix and mix except eggs and butter, until there aren't any lumps. Add the eggs and butter and mix again. Chill in fridge for half hour.

While it's chilling, cut bananas and strawberries and make the SECRET WEAPON! Yes, this is the secret weapon that makes these crepes taste like banana splits. I had this dip at a playgroup 3 years ago and we make it every summer. It is heaven. It is easy! It is perfectly perfect!

Mix large cool whip and large vanilla pudding. Have also used sugar free everything and it tasted exactly the same!

Heat skillet to medium heat. Spray. Spoon 3 T of batter onto pan and swirl around till coats pan. Let it cook 1 minute until the top isn't wet anymore. Flip and cook for about 30 seconds more.

This is so easy! Your kids will love it! I am on a mission to fill with more fun stuff.

Add mini chocolate chips and a bit of syrup and a bit of cinnamon. You can use anything you love on a banana split, nuts, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, but please no cherries!!!

If you have even read down this far, let me know what you like in crepes?!


Those look yummy, I want to make some now, thanks Heather!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crib bedding

When I was pregnant with my little girl, I found the cutest fabric!! It just screamed my name. You've probably know by now that I love green and I especially love it with blue and brown. So when I saw this fabric I just fell in love with it and I knew that I had to do something with it. I immediately redid her car seat.

Well I knew that I wanted to make her some crib bedding with it too. So I did just that.

First I made her a crib bumper. I made it like two extremely long pillows. I even stuffed it with pillow stuffing. I just have ribbon on the sides to tie it to the crib.



Then I made a crib skirt. I bought a crib skirt at a garage sale for $1, so I just cut off the bottom of it and used the white fabric. I used brown fabric and then ruffled the fun green fabric.



And then finally I made some fun curtains for her window.

I just love her room!!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Marshmallow Fondant

Today I am over at the Expressions Vinyl Blog, go check it out!


I am not much of a baker. I haven't made cookies from scratch since I was 16, I accidentally broke my mom's food processor because the brown sugar was too hard. I have been afraid of it since then. Whenever I make cookies, it's from cookie dough and whenever I make a cake, it's from a box. A new family moved into the ward and my new friend is crazy talented with baking, cakes and cupcakes. She even has a blog called Frosted Happy. She is amazing and I wanted her to show me how to make the marshmallow fondant, because I love everything crafty!


This is what you'll need:
16 oz mini marshmallows
2 lbs powder sugar
2-5 tbs water
Crisco shortening

This is how I made it:
1) First placed some wax paper on my counter

2) Put the marshmallows into a bowl and 2 tbs of water and heated it in the microwave for 60 sec

This is what it looks like after 60 seconds

3) Stir and then put it into the microwave again for 60 seconds

4) Stir it up until it is smooth

5) Add half of the powder sugar and stir

6) Grease the wax paper with shortening and then 1 cup of powder sugar onto the wax paper. Then add the marshmallow mixture.

7) Knead the marshmallow (like kneading bread) to combine the powder sugar. Once all the sugar is in the marshmallows, add more sugar 1 cup at a time. The marshmallows will need to feel like gum, not too soft but not too hard. If you need it to be harder, then add more powdered sugar.

This batch makes about 3 lbs of fondant. You can store it in Saran wrap, coat it with shortening and double wrap it, and it stays good for while. Store in a zip lock bag.



You can add concentrated food coloring to it but dipping a toothpick into the color and then into the fondant. Knead the color in.

If you ever need the fondant to be harder, add more powder sugar and if you need it to be softer, add shortening. To get the fondant to stick together, dampen it with water. You can use toothpicks to make it stand up.

I did this with my kids, they decorated these cupcakes with cookie cutters.

And then these are the ones that I made (and a friend, she made one for her dentist husband. Fun, huh?). I was doing a summer theme.



It is so much fun. I can't wait to do this for my kids' birthdays! I am truly an amateur, you can do great things with this. My friend, Jo, is amazing.

Here are a few of her creations:


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