Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mind blowing cake decorating tip.

I cannot believe I forgot to include the amazing tip I used in frosting my ninja bread men in the last post. Do you know how to use a piping bag and not make a mess? The tip is from Karens Cookies but I found the video at Dollar Store Crafts. It made me dig my piping bag out of the back of the drawer. I never use it because it's a hassle to clean. Go watch the 2 minute video. You will think, "Why did I never thing of that? It's brilliant!"

Place your frosting or whatever you are going to pipe in a pile in the center of a piece of saran wrap. Roll it up like a Tootsie Roll. Put the whole thing in your piping bag with one end sticking out the bottom. Snip that off, pipe away, no messy bag or hands to clean up afterward. That didn't help did it? Go watch the video. It makes it clear and easy to understand.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My ninja bread men will kick your gingerbread men's butts

As I noted here this summer, I am a Pinterest addict. I am up to almost 1,000 pins. Ridiculous, I know, but I LOVE it and it is so inspiring. Anyway, last Christmas friends gave us ninja bread men cookie cutters. They are hilarious. We don't really like gingerbread cookies or sugar cookies but I knew I needed to make ninja bread men. Then I remembered making gingerbread ornaments when I was a kid that smelled wonderful but lasted from year to year, but I needed a recipe. Pinterest to the rescue!

The "dough" recipe is from Martha Stewart via Pinterest. It's just 1 c. cinnamon, 1/4 c. applesauce and 1/2 c. white glue. Poke holes with the end of a straw so you can string a ribbon through. Then either let it dry for 24 hours or put it in the oven at 200 degrees for around 2 hours or until it's dried out. I did have to use a bit more glue and applesauce than her recipe called for. 

The "frosting" is homemade puff paint, recipe courtesy Delaware County Moms via Pinterest. It's just equal parts flour, salt and water. You can add food coloring or paint if you want it to be colored.

I know you are jealous of my ninja bread men cookie cutters, but you can make ornaments with any cookie cutters or just shape the dough with your hands. We used the last little bit to make ninja stars to go on the tree too! Hilarious!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My legs are WARM!

I am obsessed with tall boots with long socks or leg warmers. Yes, leg warmers. No, I'm not confused about what decade it is. I'm not talking about 80s leg warmers over spandex in neon colors. These leg warmers are worn under boots so no one will ever know that they aren't really socks. I've seen them all over at stores and online. Some for as high as $80!!

I'm on a budget and even if I wasn't, I could never spend $80 on a pair of socks. So I decided to make my own. $12 at Salvation Army got me 6 fairly ugly sweaters in random sizes - and now I have 6 new pairs of leg warmers to wear as boot socks!

Like them? Do you want to make some too? Here's how:

( I used a serger, but I think you could zigzag stitch all the places I serged and still end up with the same effect.)

Step 1: Acquire some ugly sweaters at a thrift store. Make sure the knit has some stretch to it because, in all likelihood, your legs are bigger around than the sleeves of most tops.

Step 2: Measure from your heel to the back of your knee and add 1 inch. Measure that length from the cuff of your sweater.

Step 3: Cut both sleeves off. Stay perpendicular to the sleeve - don't follow the shoulder seam.

*At this point, slip the sleeve on your leg. If it is loose at the top (3 of my 6 pairs were), turn them inside out and serge up the underarm seam to make them smaller. 

Step 4: Cut a small (1/2 inch) slit at the underarm seam and serge all the way around the raw edge.

Step 5: Flip the edge in and ZIGZAG stitch with about 1/2 inch seam allowance.

And you're done!

Unless you're not done. I thought I was, but then went a bit embellishment crazy.

I sewed buttons on 5 pairs and trim on 3.

Learn from my mistakes: Decide from the beginning which will get trim and buttons - then put the trim on BEFORE the buttons. I sewed the buttons on first and they were constantly in the way when I was trying to put the trim on. Also, don't forget to zigzag trim on and stretch the knit a bit as you sew. You need to be able to get them over the widest part of your calf, even if the trim doesn't have any stretch.

I left the argyle ones unadorned, but they are super long so I can put them up high above my knees or slouch them down a bit for knee high length.

Good thing I have seven pairs of tall boots because I want to wear a pair of these every day!

Update: Here's a really bad picture I took with my cell phone this morning but you can see the cream lace pair with brown riding boots.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Produce pouches

It seems silly to use plastic produce bags when I make the effort to use fabric totes at the checkout lane. I have purchased several sets of mesh bags that work wonderful for fruits and veggies at the grocery store or at the farmers market. Somehow they always seem to wander off. I'm not sure if I'm accidentally throwing them out occasionally, if they're blowing away when I'm not looking or if some of the friends, family and strangers who are always so impressed with them "borrow" a few here and there. At one point in time, I had 20 in 4 different sizes. The last time I took count, I was down to six!

Simple solution? How about $3 for 12 in two sizes! 1 yard of mesh on sale for $1 plus one spool of ribbon for $2. Less than two hours later, I had 8 small bags and 4 large ones!

I just serged around 3 sides and around the opening at the top. Flipped the top down about 1/2 an inch and zigzagged that all the way around. Snip two little slits on one side and use a safety pin to slide the ribbon through. Tie a knot and viola! They're cute, they're cheap and they are environmentally friendly. Never a reason to use plastic bags for produce again!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wee li'l pumpkins

Last month I visited a friend in Brooklyn. She had the cutest tiny velvet pumpkins that she had bought in Kansas City. I very badly wanted to pack them up in my suitcase and bring them home. However, she appeared to be rather attached to them too, and she'd been nice enough to let me stay the weekend at her apartment, so I thought better than to repay her kindness by stealing her things! Instead I came home and made my own.

My camera was really struggling with these. I think it was actually the bowl they are in. Clockwise from left they are navy, red, purple, green, burgundy, magenta and orange (center). I bought gourds and small pumpkins, snapped off their stems and let them dry before glueing them on.

I just love how the stems look on the fancy, jewel-toned velvets. Makes me think of Cinderella for some reason.

I started out with five. Then decided I wanted more colors, so I went back to the fabric store (and grocery store for pumpkins) and made two more - one of each color for a total of seven. That wasn't enough, so I made a second of each color. What the heck am I going to do with 14 tiny velvet pumpkins? No idea. Don't care. I love them.

These three are my favorite. Again, the colors are off. They are magenta, navy and burgundy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's another giveaway!

Not mine this time but over at Andrea the Kitchen Witch's blog she's giving away A Cook's Book for Cooks by Stephen Crout.

The giveaway is open until Wednesday and is super simple to enter, so take 5 minutes, read the post and enter to win!

Monday, November 7, 2011

And the Ghastlie winner is...

#129 Julie!

Julie will receive:

Ghastlies half apron

Ghastlies coffee cozie


Ghastlies bookmark

Congrats, Julie! Thanks to all 157 of you who commented and entered to win! And a BIG thank you to Madam Samm for putting this Ghastlies Blog Hop together.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One amazing lady

Today my Grandma Vera passed away. She was definitely a one of a kind. She had 13 children and more than 80 grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her and my grandpa have been married more than 65 years. This photo is from their honeymoon to California in the 1940s and is my all time favorite picture of her.

I believe this is her senior picture. 

Rest in peace, Grandma. You were one heck of a lady. We'll miss you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Día de los Muertos

This year for Halloween I was a Day of the Dead skeleton bride. 90% of the costume was the makeup, which I thought turned out fabulous. I used Tulip brand face paint, which was wonderful! Great coverage, went on easy, stayed dry (with baby powder), and washed off clean at the end of the night. I used Tulip brand rhinestones and skin glue - which also stayed on perfectly. (No, I am not being paid to endorse Tulip, I was just that impressed!)

I put two black roses and a feathered head piece from Mood in my hair.

I painted a black turtleneck from Good Will with the filigree bones and glitter. The dress is compliments a costume swap with Andrea.

I even carved my pumpkin like a Day of the Dead bride!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mrs. Tonya Ghastlie

I am so happy to have found so many other Ghastlies loving women in the blogosphere. I had a blast last week checking out everyone's ghastlie creations and entering to win prizes. YAY! Now it's finally my turn to share!

My very first Ghastlies project means so much to me for several reasons. When I found this fabric line, I was not a quilter - and had no desire to become one. I loved the fabric so much, I bought it anyway. At the time, the only use I could think of was a quilt. (I know now that is NOT the case at all!) But I am actually glad that I didn't think to make other things with it - because now I am a quilter and I love it and it's all because of the Ghastlies!

So this is my very first quilt - made start to finish completely by me with no idea what I was doing the entire way through! Now, why do I love quilting? Many, many reason, but the number one reason is it makes me feel close to my grandma. She passed away nearly a decade ago - much, much too young - but she was a beautiful person and wonderful quilter.

I owe a big "Thank You!" to the Ghastlies for making me a very happy quilter.

On to the projects:
Queen sized Ghastlies quilt. 

Scrappy Ghastlies pillow.

Two sided Ghastlies bookmarks.

Reversible Ghastlies mug cozies. 

Ghastlies fridge magnets. 

Ghastlies Dinner serving tray. 

Ghastlies half apron.

I have one more Ghastlie project I'd like to show you, but it's not mine. My friend Staci over at One Girl made a dress from the white Sebastian print. And a cape! They are amazing! Check them out!

And now the best part: The Giveaway! What can you win? Ghastlies goodies of course!

The winner will receive the Ghastlies half apron, plus a Ghastlies mug cozie and bookmark. To win, subscribe to or follow my blog using the links at the top left or in the right sidebar. Then leave a comment telling me what your favorite Ghastlies project has been (mine or from other Ghastlie ladies' in the blog hop. You can see all the projects so far on my Ghastlies Pinboard) That's it! I will leave the giveaway open through Friday, November 4th and announce the winner on Monday, November 7th. Don't forget to leave your email or some way for me to contact you if you win.

I will also randomly choose one commenter to submit to Madame Samm to win today's grand prize. That winner will be announced here later this week. (UPDATE: Mrs. Pickles won the daily prize. MY giveaway is still open through Friday, November 4th!)

And don't forget to visit the other Ghastlie women who are posting today:
Mrs. Tiramisue Ghastlie
Mrs. Angela Ghastlie
Mrs. Pauline Ghastlie
Mrs. Karin Ghastlie
Mrs. Barb Ghastlie

Have a Ghastlie Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghastlies Blog Hop - Week 2

Welcome to week two of the Ghastlies Blog Hop! Just in time for Halloween, I and 50 other Ghastlies loving ladies have put together some great ghastlie projects for a blog hop! The blog hop was coordinated by the one and only Madame Samm who has also arranged for some great giveaways - daily and grand prizes. Many of the ladies (including myself) will have a giveaway with our posts as well.

If you have the Ghastlies fever too, here's where to find the cure this week:

Monday, October 31st
Mrs. Tonya Ghastlie (That's me!)
Mrs. Tiramisue Ghastlie
Mrs. Angela Ghastlie
Mrs. Pauline Ghastlie
Mrs. Karin Ghastlie
Mrs. Barb Ghastlie

Tuesday, November 1st
Miss Daisy Ghastlie
Mrs. Dana Ghastlie
Mrs. Elaine Ghastlie 
Mrs. Gramma Sheri Ghastlie
Ms. Suz Ghastlie

Wednesday, November 2nd
Mrs. Jane Ghastlie
Mrs. Laura Ghastlie 
Mrs. Mary Ghastlie
Mrs. Michelle Ghastlie
Mrs. Dawn Ghastlie 
Mrs. Mary Ghastlie

Thursday, November 3rd
Mrs. Sharon Ghastlie
Mrs. Corrie Ghastlie
Mrs. Cheryl Ghastlie
Mrs. Linda Ghastlie
Mrs. Pickles Ghastlie

Friday, November 4th
Mrs. Nan Ghastlie
Mrs. Gmama Jane Ghastlie
Mrs. Joan Ghastlie
Mrs. Nancy Ghastlie
Ms. Susan Ghastlie
Madame Ghastlie

As I mentioned earlier each day we will have a giveaway. Some of the other bloggers have made special projects to giveaway and we will have daily SPECIAL PRIZES from these sweeten the CAULDRON....

Some of our Sponsors:
Alexander Henry Fabrics - lot's and lot's of Ghastlie Fabric
Colonial Needle - sewing basket
Janes Fabrics - Kona fabrics in PINK - fat quarter bundle
Reliable Iron - orange Velocity 50
IHAN ( kelly ) - aurifil threads
Coeurdalenegifts - 2 sets of Halloween lights
Forth Worth Fabric Studio - gorgeous gift set of Ghasltie fabric
Creative Grid - 3 Rulers their top 3
Blue FIG - wheeled bag in PINK
Beam N Read and custom Ghastlie Buttons

The winner will always be announced on Mdm Samm's Sew I Quilt blog. To win, follow directions of the daily bloggers and make comments on their blogs.

I hope you enjoyed week one of our Ghastlies Blog Hop and I'm happy you're back for week two! My featured post and giveaway is tomorrow! Don't forget to come back and enter to win - there is double prize potential!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ghastlies Blog Hop Pinboard

Update to the Ghastlies Blog Hop: I've created a board on Pinterest of all the projects. There are already 17 from today's 5 Ghastlie ladies! Follow the Ghastlies Pinboard here!

Don't forget to visit the 5-6 ladies daily to win great ghastlie prizes! There are links to this week's featured bloggers on the below post!


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