Tag Archives: how to

Finally, Our Own Baby Quilt!

IMG_7836After making three community baby quilts this year, I was so happy to finally be able to make our own baby quilt.  IMG_7845I decided on a chevron strippy pattern because of how many adorable vintage and new prints I had leftover from all of the other quilts, and the chevron is simple and modern looking no matter how many different prints you use.   IMG_7837I backed the quilt with a navy and red woven ikat dot print and bound it with navy cotton chambray.  The backing and the binding are really what help to make it look modern and cool.    Here’s how I pieced the strips!  Continue reading

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Heirloom Wedding Book

I just finished turning the photographic fabric panels and muslin from one of my best friend’s chuppah into a hardcover book for them to have forever.  Let me begin by saying this gorgeous wedding book wasn’t my idea, I was merely the craftsman in this post, but I always love sharing a beautiful idea.    As you can see from the photos, Sarah and Ryan’s chuppah was a stunning combination of branches, unbleached cotton muslin and white fabric panels printed with photos of their story, from their ancestors to their childhoods to their own new family together.   You could certainly make a quilt out of the panels as a keepsake, but I loved the book idea because it will last a lot longer.   Continue reading

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DIY Woodland Nursery Decor

Faux elephant, unicorn and lion taxidermy in Italian linen!

Faux elephant, unicorn and lion taxidermy in Italian linen!

My need to nest has been seriously delayed by our apartment hunting and packing to move, but I managed to squeeze out a few wonderful goodies for the nursery before I trade my gigantic studio space for a much, much smaller one.   Even before I knew it was a boy, I knew wanted a light and airy magical woodland nursery where bears play banjos and mice are pirates.   Luckily, what I wanted would have worked for either!   Continue reading

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DIY Stuffed Animals: How I Made Two Awesome Dragons

dragon13My nephews asked sweetly if I could make them stuffed dragons with their names on them, adding even more sweetly that “they would make REALLY good Christmas presents… if I needed any ideas or anything”.    I told them I’d think about it, but what I didn’t tell them was that I had never actually made a stuffed ANYTHING, and that I wasn’t really sure I knew how.    This post is less about the specifics of the dragons themselves, and more about how I patterned them and how you could use the same techniques to pattern any animal!      Continue reading

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DIY Truffles

Truffles are the easiest candy to make at home, they are basically composed of only two ingredients and you can flavor them in a million different ways…which makes them the best Christmas gift EVER!

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I carved a large stamp for the truffle boxes (click the image for the video tutorial), stamped one in red on white paper, scanned it and printed a bunch on sticker paper. They still look hand stamped but they are all perfect and low maintenance.

Since truffles are mostly just heavy cream and chocolate, you can either pre-infuse the cream with flavors by using a steeping method (whole ingredients left in hot cream for 30 minutes and then strained out) or you can add flavorings or liqueurs to the melted mix.

The basic ratio for the simplest truffle is 1 cup of heavy cream to 1 pound of chocolate (a mix of bittersweet and semisweet).    The basic method is this:  heat the cream to boiling, remove it from the heat for 30 seconds and then pour it over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Add a tablespoon of dark brewed coffee and a little vanilla to heighten the chocolate flavor.  Let sit at room temperature until firm, scoop and form into balls and roll in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

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SUCCESS! Left to Right: Holiday Spice, Peanut Butter and Pretzel.

I decided to make 3 “truffles” this year as my Christmas gift using the steeping method…although one is really just a classic peanut butter ball!    After successfully making a delicious Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream this summer by steeping the cream with buttered cinnamon toast croutons, I thought, “why not try this same technique with pretzels?”  The resulting “Pretzel Truffle” is subtle, but delicious, while the other “Holiday Spice Truffle” is punchy and perfect with every one of my favorite flavors this season.   How you can make your own truffles and my recipes from this year after the jump! Continue reading

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DIY Christmas: Amazing Gift Wrapping

Gifts spend 99% of their life wrapped, under a tree, and exposed to the world…so why not make them look just as incredible and festive as the rest of your decorations?  And don’t you just LOVE opening up a fantastically packaged gift, even if it’s not really what you “always wanted”?

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Brown Kraft paper is cheap and a perfect base for stamps and (very) glittery ribbon. You can buy it in the mailing section of any store that sells boxes or padded envelopes.

Some years, I come up with 2 or 3 different wrapping themes and stick to those so everything coordinates beautifully under the tree.  That way, I also only have to buy a few different papers, ribbons and toppers.

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Twist tinsel-like pipe cleaners into cursive gift tags!

This year, I decided instead to use up a bunch of Christmas ribbons and decorations I’ve had around for years.  I limited the paper choices so they still belonged to the same “world”, but otherwise,  I went all out!   Here are some of my favorites:

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This woodland paper is adorned with a plaid fabric ribbon and I used a red pipe cleaner to simultaneously decorate and attach a large bottle brush tree and plastic deer. Paper from The Container Store.

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I jazzed up this navy and white ski lodge paper with tinsel yarn, lots of glittery floral picks and glittered bells. Paper from The Container Store.

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I finally got to use these silly plastic Santas and 1950’s-looking holly! I love how they perfectly coordinate with the simple red and white polka dot paper. Paper from The Container Store.

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Your Next Christmas Mission

(I’ll be peppering all of my posts this month with my favorite things to buy this holiday season!  Click on the images to buy them yourself.)

Artwork by Erin Rachel Hudak. 100% of the profits will go to the Humane Society Disaster Relief Fund to help displaced animals after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.

Rosella eco resin rings with gold flakes

It’s the second week of December, so here is your mission for this week: Get those cards and gifts written, packed and shipped!   I know it might still seem early to you, but I promise this is definitely the week to get your homemade cookies, cards and gifts out there so they arrive on time.  Shipping now means you can take advantage of First Class Mail (packages under 13 ounces) and Parcel Post (packages over 13 ounces), which is WAY cheaper than Express or Priority…and don’t be duped by Flat Rate boxes!! If you don’t have something heavy to send, this will sometimes be 5 TIMES the price of weighing and shipping normally.

This year, (after a huge baking disaster last year), I will be making truffles on Tuesday for some far away friends, so my photos and recipes will be coming soon!  Jeff and I had a hilarious time shooting our photo for our Christmas card this year and I promise to reveal it once I get the actual cards sent later in the week.

Gift Shop Brooklyn sparkly clutch.

Here’s my own To-Do list for this week:

  • December 10th:  Make truffle grocery list and shop for supplies. Photoshop labels for truffles.  Finish shopping for Jeff and Joan (my mom).
  • December 11th: Make truffles all day!
  • December 12th: Pack truffles and wrap.  Fill out Christmas cards and address. Prep to ship everything.
  • December 13th: Ship all Christmas goodies.  Make party grocery list and prep charts.   Pull together Christmas party outfit.
  • December 14th: Party prep.  Design and print food labels.  Start decorating house and set up photo booth.
  • December 15th: CHRISTMAS PARTY!  Prep and cook all day.

    This is our 2011 Christmas card "album".  Just a little teaser for what's to come!

    This is our 2011 Christmas card “album”. Just a little teaser for what’s to come!

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