Boo Bark

I hope everyone’s January is going well! Luckily, the weather has held out so far and we haven’t had any brushes with a polar vortex or snowmageddon. Since it’s the middle of January, I figured now would be a good time to start getting some ideas ready for Valentine’s Day. Most of the time i like to put a personal touch on my gifts, I feel like it means more that way and since the holiday is about showing love for other people it just makes sense. Last year, I painted a canvas green and drew a celtic knot “H” for my boyfriend to hang on the blank wall of his bedroom above his bed. He loves anything Irish and green and I thought the H would be a nice representation of his family name.

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A couple of years ago I used a silicone mold to melt down several different colors of crayons to make my niece some chunky heart shaped crayons that were easy to hold and fun to look at.

This year, I wanted to start off with a festive snack! I decided to bring back a dessert that my mom used to make when I was a teenager. Before you get the idea that this is going to be some fancy affair, you should know my mom hates to cook or bake. I moved out of her house last July and she hasn’t touched the oven since. I’m not sure where she found the recipe initially but it uses the stovetop AND the oven and was always something that I couldn’t help but scarf down. They’re dangerously addicting, I swear!

VDay Bark

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Baby season

A lot of my friends are having babies in the upcoming months! This is the first year that I’ve really had multiple friend babies due, and I normally like to make some/most of the gift so I have a lot of crafting to do!

This weekend, I went to a baby shower for two of my friends whose baby girl is due in the beginning of March.

I made several things for this shower and I
wanted to share what I came up with!

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Cure for Cold Hands

I just lost the one pair of gloves I had in my house.

Now, I don’t know about where you are, but in Delaware it’s really cold right now, so not having gloves has kind of been an issue. My hands are already cold to begin with, my boyfriend says I’m like a super villain (Ms. Freeze 🙂 ) the way I suck the warmth from everything with my cold hands – and feet too! With actual winter like temperatures starting to roll in, my hands get like ice, especially in the morning when I’m on my way to work. I haven’t had the time to go out and get myself a good pair of gloves, so I thought in the mean time I could whip up some hand warmers to take the edge off of my frost bitten hands. These are super easy to make and can be whipped up in no time. They fit perfectly in a coat pocket and you can make them bigger or smaller depending on the hands you’re trying to warm. After you make yourself a pair, make one or two for family and friends!

Items

What you’ll need:

Scissors
Thread
Needle
Pins
Coordinating fabric – I used a cotton print and a solid flannel, you won’t need much, can easily use scraps
Rice – 1/2 to 2/3 cup

To start, iron your fabric and cut out squares, two from each fabric. I made each of mine 3.5″ square, but if you have bigger hands or you’re making some for a child, you can adjust as needed. I have very small hands, so this size worked for me.

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Next, pin your fabrics right sides together making sure to leave a two inch opening on one side so you can turn it right side out later.

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Now it’s time to do some machine sewing! Thread up your machine and start sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance right after the second pin for your two inch opening and make sure to back stitch. Continue sewing all the way around your square until you get to your last pin and back stitch again.

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Once you’ve finished sewing, trim your threads, clip your corners, and turn right side out. I used a turner to do this to get the corners nice and crisp.

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It’s time to fill your warmers with rice. For the size I made, each warmer took 1/4 cup of rice. If you’re having trouble getting  the rice in, use a funnel or make a makeshift one like my boyfriend did for me out of an envelope 🙂

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This next part is a little tricky. If you don’t mind seeing seams, you can head over to your sewing machine, turn your raw edges under and stitch them. I like things to look a little neater so I decided fold the fabric at the opening over and close it up with a ladder stitch. The graphic below explains it better than I could, but it’s easily my favorite hand stitch. After you’re done stitching, you pull it tight and it closes like magic. Invisible magic.

ladder stitch

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After everything’s been pulled tight I secured the stitch with a little knot slipped through the end of the sewing machine stitches.

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Snip off the thread after the knot and you’re done!

To use them, pop them into the microwave 20-30 seconds, depending on how powerful your microwave is, slip them in your pockets and stay toasty warm!

-Caitlin

hw

New Year and New Crafts

I wanted to start off the year with some creativity. I was sick all of winter break and I wanted to get back to using my brain again. In the middle of some present making, I had the time to make a couple of items. The first was a gratitude jar. I’ve seen these popping up on Pinterest and Facebook, so I thought I’d make one of my own. The premise is that every day (or whenever) when something good happens or something makes you happy you write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you open it up and read about what an awesome year you had!

10409564_10203439422201496_7089937805555287768_nI decorated mine fairly simply, with metallic Sharpie markers and a bit of yarn. I’m into this turquoise-y color right now so I wanted to find a way to incorporate it, so I used the yarn and the paper to bring it in with the gold and silver of the markers.

My next order of business was to make a new wreath for my office door. I’ve been making them throughout the year for each season/holiday and now that Christmas is over but it still feels too early for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d make an interim one that could be used at any time of year if I wanted to sub it in. image1IMG_1213IMG_1214

I’ve got more to make this week, so more pictures will be posted soon!

-Caitlin