June 28, 2013

DIY > no sew baby blanket

When I left for my first year of university, one of my aunts gave me a blanket. This particular blanket is like the travelling pants of tie blankets: it has seen me (and some of my friends) through the many milestones of student life.  The good, the bad, and the ugliest of breakups...

I recently became a first-time auntie, and thought that it would be appropriate to give my nephew a tie blanket of his own. Who knows - maybe this tie blanket will see him through many milestones in his life as an infant and perhaps even as a toddler? (I'm assuming he is years and years away from his first terrible breakup.)

This ^ is the tie blanket that saw me through university and beyond. It's also the blanket that I used as a guide and a pattern for a baby tie blanket... no sewing allowed. As always, I did refer to Pinterest a few times to double check some measurements (this particular blog was helpful).

The fabric was purchased recently at Hobby Lobby. I ended up buying 2 yards of the softest fleece that I could find (1 yard of each colour), and cut each of the colours in half so that I was able to make 2 blankets.

Tip: Pick a fabric that has some stretch in it... it will really make a difference!

How to:

1) I untied a few of the knots in the original tie blanket to estimate how long/thick to cut the fabric strips. I found that cutting them long and thin was easiest to work with.

2) I measured the width of the fabric for the depth of the strips, which worked out to be just over 6 inches. I didn't measure each individual strip (it would have taken forever!), but did bust out the measuring tape a few times on each side to  make sure it wouldn't be totally lopsided. I wanted to avoid my typical klutzy-excited errors...

3) The corners were cut approximately 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches. I saved these corner squares of fabric for a future project - not sure what it will be, but figured they had potential for something down the road.

4) Cut strips along each side of the blanket, about 1 inch to 1.5 inches wide. Like I said earlier, I found that cutting the fabric into long and thin strips worked best. I flipped up every other strip so that they were easier to keep track of and kept the project somewhat organized.

5) Last but not least... start tying the strips together into knots! This part was the least time consuming. Don't pull the knots super tight at first, you can always go over them again later so that there are no awkward pulls in the fabric.

And that is it - voila. The final product will look something like this:

Total cost:

Fabric = $18.18 ($9.09 per yard at Hobby Lobby, x2)
Total =  $9.09 per blanket
( * two no sew baby blankets were made this time around!)

June 24, 2013

in progress: volume 2

My partially finished projects are slowly taking over our spare room. Which may or may not result in an organization-themed post in the future...

Here is another little taste of what is in the works:

Yet another YHL-inspired project, the power of (spray) paint, no sew blankets,
initials, that chair with the potential, candle-abras, & thrifty trays. 

June 17, 2013

mini makeover > wooden storage unit

Once upon a time, I posted about some projects in progress... remember? This wooden storage unit (and I really don't know what else to call it... a drawer unit? An organizing system? Nothing short and catchy is coming to mind...) is one of those projects.

I don't know how long I've had this wooden storage unit, and I also don't remember how much I paid for it. All I know is that it was discovered at the GBF, a few months or years ago. I fell in love with the potential organization that these wonderful wooden drawers possessed. I did not fall in love with the butterfly decals, however...

Buhbye, butterflies... 

Rookie mistake: not trying to at least partially remove the decals before spray painting... I think that sanding them down a bit would have made a bit of a difference. In the end, though, you can't tell that butterfly decals once graced these drawers (mission accomplished).

Total cost:

Wooden storage unit = estimated $5.00 from the GBF (similar products from IKEA)
Spray paint = extra from other projects (Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze)
Total = $5.00 (ish)

June 10, 2013

recipe > wonton pizza bites

Today, I'm stepping out in a bold new direction, one this blog has not yet traveled in: into the foreign domain of... recipes. Still considered a DIY attempt and more delicious then the average spray paint project, this recipe would fall under the 'domestic adventures' category I mentioned way back in the very beginning...

I have adapted this recipe from similar ideas found on Pinterest (of course) as well as a Mediterranean version from Kraft Canada.

These little pizza bites are the perfect appetizer for any celebration: a baby or bridal shower, a potluck, a BBQ, a Superbowl party... any night of the week ending with 'y'... they're always a hit.

Without further ado, here is my first recipe...

  • wonton wrappers (see the photo below for a visual reference... I had no idea what to look for the first time these were on my grocery list!)
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce - marinara is also a delicious option. (Side note: you probably won't use the whole jar, I typically use 1/2 to 2/3 of the jar)
  • pepperoni
  • cheese - I use mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan
  • optional: veggies: mushrooms, peppers, pineapple... anything you'd put on your pizza!
Side note: I didn't use exact measurements for the ingredients because I typically wing it and use slightly different amounts of ingredients each time I make these -  depending on how many won ton wrappers I use or what the occasion calls for.


How To:

To start, lightly spritz the muffin pans you'll use with a cooking spray. Place the wonton wrappers in the pans (I've used different sized pans with no issues), one wonton wrapper per cup.


Press the wraps into the muffin cup with your fingers, so that they look like this:

Bake at 350 degrees for 6 or 7 minutes. The wonton wraps will be lightly browned at the edges. I use these 6 or 7 minutes to prep the fillings (pepperoni, cheese, veggies, etc.).

This is where I become a one woman assembly line of pizza magic... First, a spoonful of sauce into each wrapper. Secondly, a bit of cheese. Next is the pepperoni, topped with veggies and more cheese.

Once all the wrappers are full, I pop them back into the oven (still at 350 degrees) for another 7 or 8 minutes (until the cheese is melted).

Cool and enjoy.
Bon appetit... or as the Dutch say, "eet smakelijk!"

June 03, 2013

mini makeover > personalized pillows

One of the goals on my bucket list is to somehow turn my handwriting into an actual computer font. I have no idea yet as to how to make this happen but figure I am still young and technology keeps improving, so the odds are in my favour. (I used to still beam with pride if someone takes the time to comment on and/or compliment my handwriting. Weird, I know. I can't help it.)

With these personalized pillows, I originally thought I'd do a pattern of stripes (one of my favourite things besides penmanship), polka dots, or circles... but somehow I scrapped my plan to practice with a rough copy and started doodling me and the hubby's initials on the cushion covers instead. And am fairly happy with the spontaneous results.

These pillows were inspired by the fine folks of Young House Love. If anyone has had a chance to check out (and be inspired by!) their book, it's #193 (pages 252 and 253).

The only requirements were some plain pillow cushion covers (GURLI x3) plus a paint marker (Tree House Studio).

Since I scrapped the rough copy, Freddie supervised my free hand initial-drawing...

The paint marker didn't show up as sharp or as crisp as I had expected it to. The final effect is on the vintage-y side, in that it looks a bit faded and worn in, which is okay by me. Overall the paint marker was super convenient to use, and I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn't a harsh smell (I assumed it would have stronger fumes, like any other permanent marker).

Total cost:

Cushion covers (x 3) = $14.97 (GURLI from Ikea) 
Paint marker = $3.47 (Tree House Studio from Hobby Lobby)
Total = $18.44