Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Baby Card

Pin It I'm so excited to be doing baby crafts again!  I love making onesies and baby cards and albums.  Here is an easy card I made for a new baby using the Sans Serif cricut cartridge at 1 1/2" for the name.  The star brads and solid colored paper are Recollections and the elephant border & "Ella" paper (not the backing) are K&Company. The paisley pattern I stamped with a paisley stamp I got in the dollar bin at Michaels and the Martha Stewart "sweet pea" purple ink.  Isn't it adorable?  Perfect for such an adorable baby!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Freezer Paper Stenciling Tutorial

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How cute is this?  Freezer paper stenciling is one of the easiest and most rewarding projects you can do, especially for baby onesies!  I used one of the blue onesies I dyed for this project.  Do you want to learn how?  Here's a tutorial. 

You need:

baby onesie (put some cardboard inside to protect the back)
fabric paint (I used Tulip matte paint in Azalea)
freezer paper
foam paintbrush
paper plate (or something to put your paint on)

First, cut out the shape you want with freezer paper.  Freezer paper has two sides- you want the glossy side down as this is what will help stick the freezer paper to the fabric when you iron it.  I used this template from Family Fun to make the butterfly, then drew some hearts for the pattern on the wings.
Next, iron the template onto your fabric.  I used the silk setting (LOW) on my iron and only ironed for a couple of seconds. Notice the purple near the collar?  That's a piece of cardboard I cut out in onesie shape to use when I'm decorating onesies.  You need to put something in your onesie at this point so that your fabric paint doesn't leak through to the back.
Paint away!  I use a foam brush and dab like I'm stenciling.  You want to be careful that you don't get below the freezer paper but also you want to use enough paint so it looks even and bold.
 Let your paint dry.  Add a second coat if you'd like.
 Then just peel off the freezer paper!  The Tulip paint suggests washing inside-out.
Did you follow this tutorial?  If so, send me a link to your projects so I can share!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How to Dye Fabric

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It's baby onesie time again!  I know a ton of people who are having babies this spring and summer, so I knew I had to get busy making some baby crafts!  I bought a few onesies and threw in some other things like a marinara-stained white shirt of my daughter's and a cute white baby hat I had gotten on clearance at Gymboree about 10 years ago and intended on dyeing for my niece, who is now 10.  So I figured at least my daughter could use it if I gussied it up a little. I also threw in some plain white ribbon I'd been saving off packaging just to see what would happen to it. 

I purchased a Dylon fabric dye packet because the packaging is way more exciting than Rit dye.  The colors and pictures are vibrant and fun, which is the look I was going for.  The color I chose was Bahama Blue, which I figured would make a great base for either girl or boy onesies.  I took some pictures along the way so I could make this into a tutorial.  So do you want to learn how to dye fabric?  Here we go!

You need:

Dylon Fabric dye packet

1/2 lb. white cotton fabric (onesies, tees, pants, hats, etc.).  It is recommended that you weigh the fabric.  I did not because the only scale I have is one of those crappy ones that tells you you're five pounds different even if you weigh yourself two seconds apart.  I dyed one size 2 shirt, four ribbons, one hat, and 7 onesies.

Rubber gloves

4 cup glass measuring cup (or I used a 2 cup one and a glass pot since that's the biggest measuring cup I had)

4 tbsp. salt

something to stir with (I used a whisk so it would wash clean of the dye)

plastic bag

stainless steel sink or a bucket to dye in  (I recommend the bucket.  I think my sink may still have a blue hue....)


Let's get started!

First make sure that all of your fabric has been prewashed to remove sizing and is wet.

Next, fill your sink with warm water and stir in 4 tbsp. salt.  The Dylon packaging recommends you use enough water for the fabric to move around freely.  I did not do this because I was hoping if I didn't use too much water the dye would be more concentrated and the color would be bolder.  It ended up being darker than the packaging, so this or the next trick may have worked. 
Add Dylon dye powder to 4 cups of warm water.  (I used 3 1/2 cups, again to try to make the color darker.)
 Stir the dye and then add to the water in the sink.

 Add your fabric!
Stir for 15 minutes.  This is the boring part.  Maybe a good time to do squats?  Then stir periodically for 45 minutes.
Put on your gloves and remove dye, rinsing in cold water.  I used the plastic bag to put the dyed fabric in to transport it to the washing machine.
Wash your fabric in warm water.  I ran these through the heavy soiled wash cycle 3 times and the water was still a little blue.  You might want to recommend to whoever you give these to that they wash these by hand or give them some color catchers just in case.  I was thrilled to find that these were still very bright!  :)
Finally, hang your fabric up to dry away from heat and sunlight.  (Not sure why this is, but it was in the directions on the packaging.)  Now you have beautiful dyed fabric gifts to give to others, or (as I plan to do) to continue to craft with!  Stay tuned to see what these turn into! 

How cute is this hat?!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photography Tricks- Improve your blog photos for 50 cents or less!

Pin It I have two new favorite photography tricks to share with you.  The first I found online at I Am Momma- Hear Me Roar (http://iammommahearmeroar.blogspot.com/2010/06/photography-tips-part-1.html).  I think white makes a great background for blog photos and makes them look so much more professional.  The trick is to just take a picture using a piece of poster board.  To take a picture of the item using white under the item and in the background, simply prop it up against the wall like this:


Then I just got down to floor level to take the picture, which is where the next photo trick comes in.  I learned this from a girl at a craft party. Basically you just take a piece of plain white paper and hold it flush against your flash.  It takes a photo from looking too bright and glowy like this

and just softens the light a little like this


Try it!  It really helps to improve the look of photos when you need a flash, but hate the way a photograph with flash looks.  So there you go - 2 tips for improving your blog photos for less than 50 cents!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Creme de Menthe Brownies Tutorial

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I got this recipe from my BFF Sara's mom.  These are so tasty and really easy to make.  You need:

Boxed Brownie Mix (oil, water, and egg for the mix)
3 tbsp. Creme de Menthe liquor
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup and 6 tbsp. room temperature butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
a bunch of Andes Candies

Spray a brownie pan and cook the brownies as directed on the box.  Allow to cool, but do not cut.


Then chop up the Andes Candies.


In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, creme de menthe, and powdered sugar.



At first it might look a little like leprechaun turds like this, but keep going.


That's better!  Use this to frost the brownies.



Next, melt the 6 tbsp. butter and chocolate chips over low heat in a saucepan until smooth.



 Then pour over the frosted brownies.  (Excuse the Mug rootbeer can in the background.)


 Smooth out an even coat.


Before the chocolate ganache has hardened, sprinkle on the Andes Candies.


Wait for the ganache to harden before cutting into squares.  Doesn't this look delicious?


These were a huge hit at the party as well.  These would make a perfect recipe for St. Patrick's Day if you're into celebrating with green things.  I've got a ton of extra creme de menthe left now, so expect a few more recipes featuring mint.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oreo Brownies

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For all you oreo & brownie lovers out there, this is your perfect dessert and it's so easy to make!  I used a regular boxed brownie mix, poured half the mix into the pan, covered with a layer of oreos, then topped it off with the rest of the brownie mix.  They taste like brownies with just a hint of oreo and are DELICIOUS!  They were a big hit at the dessert party I made the invites for.  I have one more brownie recipe that I made that I'm making into a tutorial that should be up soon.

I absolutely love oreo recipes!  My hubby is a huge oreo fan even though he's not much of a dessert person, so we often make oreo recipes.  Here is a recipe for Oreo Truffles.  We make these every year during the holiday season.
http://www.bakerella.com/grocery-item-goes-gourmet/

I've seen a lot of people making red velvet cake-covered oreos lately too.  Do you have any favorite oreo recipes to share?

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