Monday, December 20, 2010

Alyssa's Christmas Dress - A Refashion Project

One of my recent refashion projects for Alyssa was her Christmas dress!!

Last year my sister got her this adorable tie dress from a craft fair.  Last year it was way too big - this year it quickly became too short!  She only got to wear it once this Summer!!  But I love the fabric and since it has a lot of red in it I thought it would be pretty for Christmas.  And I had a perfect white shirt to go with it.

So here is the before - the dress and the shirt.

Here is the after!  I took the ties from the dress and made them into a ribbon bow for the front of the shirt. I gathered the material from the original dress to make the skirt.

I added a pretty Christmas sweater I had to it to complet the outfit!

This weekend we went and took Christmas pictures (my hubby happens to be a pretty awesome photographer!  Doesn't do it professionally but he certainly could!!)  Here is one of my favorites we got of Alyssa and it is a good model of her outfit!

(and you can't see from this picture but I love the length of this dress - hits her about mid calf!  You just can't hardly find dresses that long for little girls right now!)

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Don't that look YUMMY?  Can't you just smell it!!  I love homemade bread and have discovered that I love homemade cinnamon raisin bread too!!  YUM!!

I thought I would share the recipe!  I take my basic recipe I have for no-knead bread and add a few steps :-)

No-Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread

3 pkg dry yeast (about 6 3/4 tsp)
3 3/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
10 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp stick margarine, melted
1 tbsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
cooking spray
6 tbsp melted butter, divided
1 cup sugar, divided
6 tbsp cinnamon, divided

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
2. Add flour and next 4 ingredients to yeast mixture, stirring until well blended.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until double in size.  (Press two fingers into dough, if indention remains, the dough has risen enough.)  
3.Divide dough roughly into 3 equal pieces.  If the dough is a bit sticky you may have to add flour to it and knead a few times.
4. For each piece of dough, roll out dough into a rectangle with the short width no wider than the (long) width of your loaf pan.  Melt 2 tbsp of butter and spread out over dough.  Mix 1/3 cup of sugar with 2 tbsp of cinnamon and spread all over the dough. Spinkle some raisins, if desired, over the do.  Then roll up the dough tightly and press seam.  Place in a prepared loaf pan.
5. Repeat the process for the other two pieces of dough.  Then set the three loaves in a warm place and let rice for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. 


Friday, December 17, 2010

My Alyssa was being a monkey tonight!!

My little Alyssa was being a monkey tonight and she actually let me record her!!  Be sure to watch to the has such a sweet ending!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Refashioning Clothes For Alyssa Again!

I have been a refashioning fool lately!!!  :-)  (I guess you could say it is part of Alyssa's Christmas present!)  I have made 12 new outfits for her in the past couple of weeks!!  Yay! Go Me!!  :-)

Here are 3 that I have made!

Project #1
Here is the original onesie and dress.  (The onesie was too small in the snap area, the dress was too short)
I cut off the onesie right above the snap area.  I cut off the bodice of the dress.  I then sewed the skirt to the bottom of the onesie (and then did a top stitch on the onesie part after that).  I LOVED how this one turned out!!
 Here is Alyssa modeling her new dress!

Project #2
A long sleeved shirt that was too short and a dress that was too short
Here are the original items.

 I didn't have to do anything to the shirt.  I just cut off the bodice of the dress and sewed the skirt to the shirt.  This shirt had a lettuced edged bottom so I sewed the skirt underneath that edge.  Here is the finished result.
 Here is Alyssa modeling the new dress.  She really acted like she liked this dress alot!  I think it was very comfortable for her!

 Project #3
This probably has to be one of my favorite refashion projects I have done yet!!  In the picture below is the dress that was too small and the onesie that was too small in the torso area and sleeves.  I did not get the white sweater that was too short pictured in the original picture.  I combined all three to make one dress!

On the onesie I cut off the sleeves and cut right above the snap area.  I also cut off the cuff of the sleeves.  I sewed the cuffs of the sleeves to the inside of the bottom of the sweater sleeves.  I then attached the sweater to the onesie.  I cut off the bodice of the dress and sewed the skirt to the bottom of the onesie.  There was an embroidered pair of ballet shoes that were cut off with the bodice portion.  I patched that embroidered piece to the front of the sweater!  I LOVED the results of this project!!  (it has a very cute 50s flair about me at least.)
 And here is Alyssa modeling the dress!  She wore it Sunday to church!  I thought she was absolutely beautiful (but I also admit I am quite partial! LOL!!)

One of the 12 projects I have done is her Christmas dress!!!!  I can't wait to get pictures of her in it!!  I will be sure to post pictures and the details of that project when I do!!

I love this whole refashioning thing!  It is fun to think of new ways to do it - the projects are fast to put together and my husband loves the fact that it saves us money on clothes!  HA!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Need an easy homemade gift idea?

Are you needing an easy homemade gift idea that your kids can do for family members?  Then head over to this post on my Watson Handmade Christmas blog!  (my family members please restrain yourself from heading over there so you don't ruin your Christmas surprise!!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seth's Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Seth has been loving learning how to play tic-tac-toe.  I thought it would be fun to make him a tic-tac-toe game!

This was another felt project - I love working with felt - it is so easy to work with!!

I just took a black square of felt and sewed red rick rack to make the game board.  I then cut out x's and o's from red and white felt.

On the back I sewed two rectangles of felt to make pockets to keep the game pieces in.

I then added snaps and rick rack handles so that you can close it up and carry it with you!

I sure hope Seth enjoys pulling this out of his stocking!

Alyssa's Bear

I made a bear from one of Alyssa's baby blankets!!

The tutorial I got did not have clear instructions at all and it ended up being quite a struggle and the feet have got this curve in them that I don't think they are suppose to have but I think overall it turned out very cute!  It is very soft and very snuggly - and a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be :-)

I think Alyssa is going to love it - club feet and all :-)  (my hubby said it looks like the bear has club feet...oh well)

Mr Potato Heads

A little while back I saw a tutorial for making a felt Mr Potato Head that I thought really cute.  When our kids saw the Toy Story movies just a few weeks back and fell in love with them I thought these would be cute to make them for Christmas.  When I went searching for the tutorial I found out that Hasbro asked that blog to remove the tutorial.

But I realized that I could figure out how to make these without a couldn't be that hard, now could it?!?

I thought the results turned out to be really cute!  Don't you agree??

I was trying to make them with the pocket for all of the items attached to the back but I wasn't using my brain and didn't think to leave some give in that piece of fabric so that I would have room in the pocket to put things (so if you try this yourself then don't make your pocket peices the same size as your other body pieces.  It needs to be slightly larger so there is room in the pocket)

Thankfully my mom had the idea to make a backpack to put the items in!  (I actually did this project at her house on black Friday!)

Here are all of the pieces.

I hope my boys love these!  I know I sure do!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Virtual Christmas Tour of My Home

I have seen several blogs of people posting pictures of their houses all decked out for Christmas and I like to see them.  It's like a virtual tour of homes.  I thought I would join in on the fun as well!

We got our house all decorated last night.  The boys had a blast putting ornaments on the tree!  Alyssa LOVED all the pretty, shiny ornaments but at first HATED the idea of having to let go of them and put them on the tree!  She was throwing some bad fits!  But she eventually got the hang of things and started trying to help!  :-)

The fun part will be keeping her from removing the ornaments in the next month!  It might be quite an interesting month!

Now for the tour - enjoy!!

Our nativity scene (and the wreath hanging above is one the kids and I made last year)

My table!!

My centerpieces with a couple of my snowmen :-)

More snowmen - and my lighted potpourri vase)

A view of my 'wall of lighted garland'.  :-)

My pretty mantle with our new stockings!  I just love our new stockings this year!

Each stocking has a monogram pen!  (of course mine and Alyssa have some rhinestone bling on them!)

This is probably my favorite Christmas figurine!  It makes me laugh everytime I see it!  We have had it for years.  What is so funny (at least to me) about it is is the 5 o'clock shadow on Daddy Snowman!  He didn't always have that...but the first year we had him we were burning the tealight that came with it and the smoke from the flame hit the snowman just right!  We now laugh at him every year!  Is he not adorable?!?!

Better watch out - Santa is watching you!!!  :-)

And most of our ornaments have some special meaning associated with them!  It is so neat every year to think of the memories as we are putting the ornaments on the tree!  Of course since we now have kids we have such sweet sweet memories of their first Christmas!

My boys were so little here!  They grow up way too fast!

This poor ornament was one of Aaron's from his first Christmas...we have never gotten a picture put into it! How sad is that!!

Aww - but we did get his picture in this one!!  Look at that beautiful smile!!

And I think it is quite funny!  Seth has quite a few 'Baby's First Christmas' ornaments (of course because he was the first child) but not a single one of them were ornaments to put pictures in!  But this one is still one of my favorites of his!

I hope you enjoyed your tour! :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Basic Pie Crust Recipe

I thought I would share a pie crust recipe that I found!!  (Pictured above is an apple pie I baked this first attempt at a lattice crust!)

I found this recipe at - an AWESOME website on how to live frugally and smart!

(I have learned though through my experiences with pie crusts - IT PAYS TO HAVE A PASTRY BLENDER!!  For the longest time I did not have one and always tried the two knives method (which is not easy) and my crusts never turned out quite right.  I got one of the pastry blenders (realized that you can get them at Wal-Mart for about $5!!) and what a difference it made!!  My two knives never got to the crumb consistancy that a pastry blender can do!!  It makes a much better, MUCH better crust!

Anyways - that is just my tidbit of advice :-).  Here is the recipe - enjoy!!

The Best Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. cold water
Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don’t overmix. Mix just until the dough sticks together. Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pie crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie sprinkle sugar on top. Crust can be frozen in balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.

(oh and by the way - the pie pictured above is an apple pie.  I used the sugar free apple pie filling (made with Splenda) and sprinkled some extra cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the filling to give it more of a homemade taste!)


Happy Thanksgiving!!

My New Homemade Bread Recipe

If you are anything like me then you love homemade bread!  But if you are anything like me then you shy away from it because of the time required to make it!

I found a very easy no-knead bread recipe that makes BEAUTIFUL bread loaves that are VERY VERY tasty!!  I thought I would share the recipe with you :-)

I got this recipe out of my Cooking Light cookbook!

No-Knead Bread

Prep: 20 minutes
Rise: 50 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

3 pkg dry yeast (about 6 3/4 tsp)
3 3/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
10 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp stick margarine, melted
1 tbsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
cooking spray

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
1. Add flour and next 4 ingredients to yeast mixture, stirring until well blended.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until double in size.  (Press two fingers into dough, if indention remains, the dough has risen enough.)  Spoon dough evenly nito 3 (9x5-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray.  Let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Made Hiccup dolls to match our Night Furys!!!

If you have seen the movie 'How To Train Your Dragon' then you know that one of the things that makes the movie so good is the relationship developed between viking-in-training Hiccup and Toothless, the Night Fury.

If you saw this post then you know that I have made a Toothless plush for my sons and my nephew.  Well, my mom, sister and I decided that they needed a Hiccup to go with them.

I did some research online tutorials for dolls that I could make work (that would be easy too) and decided on this tutorial.

Here are pics of my result!  I was pleased!  I hope the boys love him!

This is also being posted in Watson Family Christmas

Friday, November 19, 2010

A giveaway I am DYING to win!!

OMG!!  I found this giveaway for a bundle of sewing patterns that I would LOVE to win.  Here is the link to the giveaway!! Go check it out and see if this is not right up my alley!  Especially with everything I have been making for Christmas this year!  I LOVE all of these patterns!!  OMG!  I wish I could win this!  It includes a doll pattern and doll clothes pattern, purse pattern, apron pattern, other plush toy patterns...OMG!  I love them all!!

Wish me luck (I guess you could enter too if you want...but you would be diminishing my you really want to do that to me?!?! - HA!!!)

And yes I am blogging because I get three extra chances if I blog about the giveaway!!

Oh please let me win!!!

Ok...I will let you get back to your day now!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Toothless plushies!!

OMG!  I can't believe I finally finished this project!

My nephew's favorite movie right now is How To Train A Dragon.  In fact a few weeks ago they came up and brought the movie and we watched it.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the movie.  My boys fell in love with it as well!

So when I found this tutorial to make a Toothless plushie I decided that this needed to be another Christmas present!  This will be my Christmas present to my nephew and I thought to go ahead and make one for each of my boys while I was at it!

This was probably one of the most challenging sewing projects I have done yet!  There were about 25 pattern pieces!!  And some of the steps were difficult to figure out but I did!  And I am glad I stuck with it!

I enlarged the pattern pieces by 200%!!  The final doll is a dimension of 36" from tip of head to tip of tail!  (I found one online for not quite this big for $250!!!)

I can't wait to see their faces on Christmas!  I especially can't wait to see my nephew's reaction when he opens his!!

Here are some pics (they don't do it justice...I am not a good photographer and could not figure out the best way to get photos to show you what these are like!  Yes there are flaws (it is my sewing so there are going to be flaws!) but I still think they are cute!

Oh - and I probably should state I made these with black felt!  Felt is very easy to work with :-) That was a plus for this project!

Here is a full body view - like I said they measure 36" from tip of head to tip of tail.  The wing span is 45"!

Here is a belly shot - sorry it is blurry!

I'm ready for something a wee bit easier! :-)

(I am also posting this is Watson Handmade Christmas)
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