Monthly Archives: November 2013

Free Pattern Feature: Feather Boa Crafts

We’ve recently noticed a craft store staple popping up in various holiday home decor and Christmas craft projects: feather boas! Despite their obvious glitz and glam, feather boas can look downright at home when used to decorate your family’s Christmas tree, mantle or another space in your holiday abode.

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Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is dreaming of a white Christmas. She has replaced the typical green holiday tree with a feather tree from her local craft store. You could make this look your on your own by wrapping a wire-framed or white artificial tree in feather boas for a soft, luxurious texture. Elegant crystal glass bulbs and white lights complete the look.

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Chris at Just a Girl shares this festive feather wreath, which doubles as a fall and winter season staple. Grab any wreath form and and glue gun to tackle this DIY wreath. She used skinny feather boas in white to get the look.

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Have you ever crafted with feathers or tinsel for the holidays? Good Ideas for You shares lots of feather boa crafts, including this pair of topiary trees. To make this craft, start with a styrofoam cone and wrap with a strand of feathers or tinsel, pinning or hot gluing along the way. Top with a star or tree ornament of your choice!

feather-boa-crafts-2 Finally, what’s more fun than holiday decorating with your pet? We love this ugly Christmas sweater craft featured at Sew Doggy Style. The classic dog sweater gets jazzed up with a feather boa, mini ornaments and Mardi Gras beads. Happy holidays!

Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream Cake + Hot Fudge

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Mom’s Hot Fudge

Hands down, this is my favorite hot fudge. Maybe it’s because it’s what my mom has made all my life for special occasions and it still feels special when I make it in my own kitchen. Or maybe, it’s because it’s rich, thick, intensely chocolate flavored and I’ve never had a better hot fudge! It’s also easy to make.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I prefer salted)
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cocoa (I’ve tried other brands, but they don’t always result in the same consistency in the final product)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Melt, but don’t boil, the butter over medium-low heat. Add cocoa and stir with a heat safe spatula until it’s incorporated with no cocoa chunks.

Stir in whipping cream and sugar. If it’s lumpy, remove from heat and use a blender to break up any lumps. Heat it on a medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. The vanilla may hiss or steam a bit. When partially cooled, pour into a container with a good seal. When serving, spoon some out and only heat that portion. If the whole batch is heated and cooled over and over the sugar will begin to crystallize.

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And now that you know how to make hot fudge, let’s make an ice cream cake to serve it with!

 

Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 quart container peppermint (or your favorite flavor) ice cream
  • 1/2 package double stuff oreos, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

First, get your ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter to thaw a bit. Crush the oreos into small bits and chunks. I like to put them in a ziploc freezer gallon bag and hit them with the side of a hammer. Stir the melted butter in with the oreos until they’re semi moistened. It’s just enough butter to hold the crust together, since too much better makes the frozen crust hard to cut and serve.

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Using your hands or a piece of wax paper, press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Now, take large spoonfuls of the ice cream and drop them as evenly as possible on top of the crust.

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When finished, use your clean hands to smooth the ice cream and press it down. Put it back in the freezer to harden. After an hour or two, you can pour a 1/4″ layer of hot fudge on top then return it to the freezer.

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To serve, you may have to let it sit out for a few minutes so the outside softens and removes from the pan easier. Use a strong knife heated in warm water to cut. Serve with a pitcher of heated hot fudge and whipped cream! Serves 9 people generously (cut 3×3 for 3″ square pieces) or 16 smaller pieces (cut 4×4 for 2.25″ square pieces).

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Craftsy

If you really enjoy cooking and baking, now is a great time to check out Craftsy’s online classes (and there’s sewing and craft classes too!). You can get 25% off food classes (affiliate link) during the month of November! I’ve taken their free Perfect Pizza class (affiliate link) and it was definitely worth it. It includes a variety of crust recipes and techniques (including gluten free) along with different sauces and toppings. My family has really enjoyed the pizzas I’ve made with the recipes. A friend even told me it was the best pizza he’s ever had! Below is one of my pizzas from the class, before and after baking.

Crafty also has a contest going right now! Just submit your recipe for a chance to win a free food class using the form here.

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Repurposing a Baby Onesie for an Older Child

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My younger son had this train onesie that my older son loved. Every time the baby wore it, older son asked when he’d have his own train shirt. So I promised him I’d turn it into a shirt for him when baby outgrew it. To make it work for an older child, I made the onesie into a pouch pocket on a long-sleeved t-shirt. To do this, first I cut off the front of the onesie. Then I trimmed off all the edges so it was square. On this particular design, I trimmed around the old armholes and left those curves in to get the entire train design.

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After trimming the sides straight, fold it in half and make sure the arm hole curves match up and trim if they don’t.

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Then line it up on the new shirt to make sure it fits. Your new shirt needs to be at least a few sizes larger than the onesie if you need to use the entire width like I did with this design. (My onesie is a 12m and the shirt is a 4T.) 

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After checking that the pocket will fit, cut out a second piece of knit fabric to back the front design piece. Line up the two pieces back to back, right side out and iron them flat.

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Then stitch the two sides together close to the edge. This will help in keeping it from stretching too much when you add the bias tape. (If you don’t want to use bias tape, instead turn your two pieces right sides together and sew a 1/2″ seam all the way around, leaving a few inches open at the bottom. Turn right side out. Iron the opening flat with the raw edges folded inside.)

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Then, use 1/2″ double fold bias tape to sew around the edges.You can use store bought bias tape (what I did) or make your own.

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Lastly just line it up on the shirt, pin well to make sure the shirt doesn’t stretch and sew! I sewed two seams, one each on the inside and outside of bias tape and leaving the sides open. You can see the seams here.

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And my son finally gets his train shirt!

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Bid Now! Announcing the Sari Bari Charity Quilt Auction

Years ago, my friend Sally surprised me with a gift: a tote bag made from recycled Indian saris. The name on the label was Sari Bari. I already knew Sally had great taste, because she tends to buy products from organizations that also do good in the world.

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When I went to the Sari Bari website, I learned that the organization actually employs women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking. In addition to their gorgeous baby quilts that sell like hot cakes, the online shop carries a number of handmade bags ranging from simple totes to messenger bags and makeup pouches. If you are looking to shop for holiday gifts for guys, look no further than Sari Bari’s laptop sleeves or the men’s tee, on sale.

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2013 Sari Bari Quilt Auction

But what I REALLY wanted to talk with you about is the exciting online quilt auction and raffle which starts today! This video shares a little bit more about the quilts you can bid on. (Oh my gosh… the elephant quilt at 2:55 must come to live with me. So cute!) And I also learned that my friend Amy was one of the talented volunteer quilters who made this event possible, so I’m anxious to pop by the auction and see her quilt.


All proceeds from the auction and raffle will go toward supporting Sari Bari’s ongoing freedom work! The quilts often go for very high prices, and the auction organizers wanted a way for everyone to get to be a part. So this year, there’s also the option to buy a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of the unique quilts for freedom. You will be able purchase your raffle ticket for the quilt you choose via www.saribari.com

How to play

You may place bids and purchase raffle tickets at any time between 5pm November 1 and 4:59pm November 10, 2013. Winners will be announced November 11, 2013. If you’d rather just make a direct donation, visit www.saribari.com/donate. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Follow Sari Bari on Twitter and Facebook for updates!

Head over now and see the quilts!

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