Category Archives: Crafting

8 lbs of Powdered Sugar

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Yep – it took 8 lbs of sugar to make 25 Giant Santa Claus Cookies – that and a new(ish) oven.

With the oven possessed, I looked to see if there was anything on cheap Craigslist.  My oven just isn’t worth fixing.  For the near the same amount it might be better just to find a used oven.  Sorting by lowest to highest – I found two ovens listed in my $150 price range – one was a white Bosch oven with no picture.  I didn’t even know Bosch made ovens?

The lady had redone her kitchen and loved her Bosch range but went with all stainless steel.  (I know I’m going to offend EVERYONE here but I hate stainless steel appliances unless they’re used in a modern industrial look)  She texted me pictures and told me it was gas and convection.   She took my offer of $120.00, assured that it went to a good home.

Dr. Malibu came over to test it out.  We put the oven in the self-cleaning mode, lit up the burners and made dinner.  Sautéed breaded chicken, risotto and cauliflower were cooked to perfection.

This delayed my plans of baking.  So Saturday morning with Thing 2 at my side we made another batch of gingerbread and started piping, flooding and flocking.  My kitchen and dining room looked like a bakery exploded.
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The pressure was on this year.  I had to step up my game because last year Kendra pulled out the Salted Carmel Shortbread cookies.  I went with a giant Santa Claus face.   Thing 2 and I were dubious about the design. We’d seen enough pictures on the internet to know this had the potential of a Pinterest Fail.  But those Santa heads turned out great and I was flattered that a few people at the Cookie Exchange were taking pictures with them.   I was especially happy to have the time to spend with my friends who I sometimes only see once a year at this party.  I know I’m not the only mom who feel’s like Cinderella, when every weekend is hijacked by your kids social/school/sport calendar.  This is a mom only party where we can all relax, catch up with each other’s lives and take a moment to breathe!  Oh, and the cookies!  The cookies are just an excuse but there is something so lovely and magical about a table bedecked with a large assortment of delicious baked goods.  It means its Christmas!

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Custom Made Boot Shapers

Here’s something you didn’t know you needed (until now) Boot Forms! Or boot shapers if you prefer.

Every inch of space is utilized in the Lake Balboa Bungalow.  That’s why one of my favorite pieces of furniture is an antique book case that my mom gave me when I was 13 to house a bell collection.  It fits perfectly into a nook in the hallway.  The shoes are happily showcased here, accessible and safe from puppies with a shoe fetish.

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As you can see, there’s little room for boots and I have too many don’t have a closet big enough.  Previously, my boots were hung in the closet with pant hangers.  I tried those expensive boot forms but they slip out of the boot and break easily.  Somewhere I saw boot forms for sale and realized these would be easy to make and a great way to ensure that my boots stay in good form.  They keep the tops of tall boots from slopping over and prevent damage from the pant hangar clips.

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It’s a quick and easy project.  Because boot styles vary and because few people wear my Cinderella size six, it’s better to make custom forms for each individual pair of boots.   If you’re learning to sew – this is a great project!

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Draft the Pattern:
Lay your boots on some cardstock or cardboard.  A cardboard box or unfolded cereal box will do the trick.
Line up the top of the boots with the top edge of the cardstock/cardboard and the front side with the side edge.

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Note: Boot is wrong direction. Line up the straight edge of the boot with the front or straight side.

Trace down the back side to the heel and stop.

On the straight side, mark approximately where your ankle ends.

Remove the boot and sketch a curved line from the ankle to the heel, rounding the edges.  Cut out your pattern.

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Mark your Fabric:
Fold your fabric right sides together.

Trace the pattern onto your fabric – this is the SEWING line.

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DO NOT CUT on this line.  You will cut about 5/8″ OUTSIDE the line.  No need to be precise here – just give yourself enough room –not too close to the sewing line.  You can trim it AFTER you sew.  I use my serger which does both.

Pin in a few pieces to keep it together.

Make the Loop:
Sew a 7” x 3” rectangle piece of fabric into a tube.  (You should have some scraps left) Turn right side out.

Fold in half and pin with the tab inside the two pieces of fabric, matching the raw edges.

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Sew the Boot Form:
Sew along the pattern line, sewing the tab into the top.  Leave a 2 – 3” gap along the straight edge.

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Turn the fabric right side out and stuff with batting (or scrap fabric) .

Finish the boot by sewing the gap closed either by hand stitching or with your machine.

The tabs are handy to attach a standard pant hangar to hang in your closet or simply to grab to remove the boot.

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Have fun making these!  I’d love to see some pictures of yours!

Wine Cork Tree for the Holiday Days

 photo WineCorkTree3_zpse3998258.jpgThere is no better way to celebrate the holiday spirit than with a spirited holiday decoration!

Due to popular demand, these wine cork trees are individually hand crafted with approximately 100 corks.

Note the vintners on the corks tree and you’ll see this required downing almost $800 in wine and one bottle of champagne!     You’re welcome!  (actually I had a little help from my friends)

These trees are gorgeous as is or decorated with your own holiday flair!

Please give my Etsy store a visit and let me know what you think!

Before and After

I’ve been hating the chair I’ve been using for my bedroom vanity.  It’s too wide, it’s always in the way and it’s too tall. It’s a good chair in the wrong place.

The search was under way for a vintage stool.  I had a really fabulous one but Thing 2 desired it for her room and it fit her bedroom décor perfectly.  Besides, I needed something with a smaller footprint that could almost disappear in my tiny bedroom.  It also needed to be a lower so I can see into my make up mirror.  I felt like I’m hunching over my mirror – something I’m not used to since I top out at 5 foot.

Last Saturday, on my way to get the Prius a badly needed wash I spied an estate sale.  I love a good estate sale.  Especially if it’s a TRUE estate sale – not a “we think our crap is nicer so we’re calling it an estate sale.”  I love to walk in and feel like I’ve stepped into the past.  The furniture, the carpet, the appliances,  Grandma never updated.  These are the types that yield treasures.

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Vintage Vanity Stool

It looked like slim pickings as I walked in.  I chose the path of least resistance – choosing the less crowded back bedroom.  There it was – sitting by itself and ignored by everyone else.  Who would want this drab little stool with its tacky brass and brown combo?  Me!  Me!  Oh, I’ve been waiting for you!

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Drab Brown Stool Seat

The vinyl brown cover was carefully removed and a pattern was made.

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Pattern from the Stool Base

The frame was sanded down and gilded with pretty silver finish.

A small piece of faux white ostrich leather fabric from my stash had been saved just for something like this.

It was sewn into shape and a new button was fashioned with pink fabric just to lighten things up a bit!

It’s sooooooooooo much better now!  The stool takes up less room.  It’s the right height and it feels oh so glamorous!

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Vintage Vanity