Spring Clutch

Have you ever bought something that came in a fabric bag that you liked and you couldn’t throw the bag away? Because this happens to me all the time. I have a little fabric bag collection going from shoes, sheets and even my Moby Wrap. If you have no clue what I’m talking about here is a picture…

My Mom bought an amazing duvet cover from Pottery Barn a few years ago and it came in this bag… I had to have it. I knew it would come in “craft-project-handy” one day and I was right. It only took me about 30 minutes to make because it was already halfway done for me.

Take out the drawstring and sew up the top.

Fold the bag into itself, take the top that you just sewed shut and make that new bottom. Make sure the two layers are completely touching.

Now sew a line around what is now the top of the bag. This will make it easier to sew the zipper on. I added one of my fabric labels.

Now add the zipper. I bought these zippers from an Etsy shop last week and I love them! They were much cheaper than in a craft store and even came with a zipper pull, it was hard to choose a color with this fabric.
Start with one side of your bag. Now- I know making a traditional zipper pouch would hide your zipper, but first of all I don’t mind the exposed zipper and secondly this way is much quicker. I am big on free time these days so I dont waste it! Pin one side of your zipper to the inside of one side of the pouch.

(outside view)
My zipper was 14″ and my bag was about 12″ so I needed to make my zipper shorter. It is easy, just pick the place where you want your zipper to end and handstitch about 5-6 times around the zipper. You can actually cut the zipper after you do this, but I just tucked mine into the bag.
Sew this first side using your zipper foot if you have one. Tip: move the zipper around when you are sewing so that you dont have to sew around the actual zipper and your line will look uniform.

Do the same thing on the other side. Pin your zipper and sew. You will want the zipper to be open to sew this side.
There are you have it, it literally too me longer to write this post. Also, I feel good about actually crafting somthing out of this “free” fabric!

Cobb Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Spring has Sprung so you know what that means… It means it’s only March here in Houston and its in the high 80′s. Yes its true, its hot already! Which makes me want to eat cold things so if you live somewhere that is snowing right now, please excuse my Springy Salad post. You can bookmark this recipe for when you need it!
First of all can I say that I am a sucker for any Vinaigrette so my favorite part of this salad is the dressing. The Cobb Salad is pretty traditional, we used:
Green Leaf Lettuce
Grape Tomatoes
Grilled Chicken Breasts
Hard Boiled Eggs (which I can never get to look pretty, any tips?)
Goat Cheese
Just line the ingredients up over the chopped lettuce…
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 c olive oil

Monogram Plate

Last night, after sulking all day about my crafting slump, I crawled in bed with my copy of Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts (best book ever). I think I am healed, I knew Martha would help!  I remembered something I have been thinking about – of a Chevron Striped Plate. Let me explain, I have a plate collection on the walls of my dining room, they all mean something and they all have a story. I even have two plates from two of my great-grandmothers, one of which is handmade. I thought a modern looking Monogrammed Chevron Plate would really give the wall a fresh “springy” look.
Plate Wall
-paper for the monogram
-Mod Podge
-Silhouette (Cricut or an exacto knife)
I wanted to do a Chevron Stripe on the background of my plate but any graphic pattern would work. I, of course used my trusty Silhouette! First of all you need to clean your plate so the vinyl will stick. Measure the center of your plate making sure to measue the curves of the plate too. Mine was a little over 10″ so I made my chevrons 10.5″ long. In my Silhouette software I used the chevron shape (which was the free shape of the week a few days ago) and loaded my premium vinyl into the machine.
About the Monogram… did you know that you can search “free fonts” in google and there are millions of  fonts that are way better than the stadard loaded on your compuer. All you do is downloard them to your computer, then install them and they will show up in all of your programs like Power Point, Word and your Silhouette Software! So, I searched for a free Monogram Font and found the perfect one. Here is the link. Make your last name inital larger than the other two initials because that will be the one in the middle. Load your bright colored cardstock and cut!
I have no scientific instuctions on how to place your vinyl, if you are a perfectionist I’m sure you could measure but that is just too hard for me. So I eye-balled it. Just make sure to get out all of the air bubbles.
Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge down on the plate. I didn’t Mod Podge the outer ring of the plate. I used the Matte finish because it’s my favorite.
Carefully place your letters down, make sure they are all pressed down well by using a pin or tweezers and get out the air bubbles.
Apply a top coat of Mode Podge to the inner curcle of the plate. Make sure to get in between all of spaces in the letters and again, pop the air bubbles with a pin because they will dry funky if you don’t.
Now just wait for your plate to dry, and hang that baby up, it looks so profesh!

Go Green and Double Desserts

Well, I have to admit something… I have crafter’s block. This hasn’t happened since I was in college and I was forced to draw the human figure ten times a day, everyday. I have some ideas and projects that I want to get started on but by the time the boys are asleep, I’m exhausted. My excuse is nursing a baby ’round the clock and having a crazy toddler. Hopefully I can start on my shower curtain this weekend!

In the meantime, I would like to feature one of my favorite people ever… My Mom! We had a little St. Patty’s Day Dinner at her house last night. She cooked us Corned Beef with Cabbage, I brought homemade Mac and Cheese and the best part was that she made not one but two desserts! My mom is an amazing baker and cook. So last night she made Chocolate Irish Cream Whoopie Pies with a side of Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream!! Beer and Ice cream, yeah you can believe it! The Ice Cream recipe was courtesy of The Brown Eyed Baker. My Mom loves her blog and just introduced me to it, I really love her food pictures.

For the Whoopie Pies, my mom made her traditional “cookie” part of the Whoopie Pie but it is top secret so you can just google a Chocolate Whoopie Pie recipe. The best part was  inside, the Irish Cream Frosting. Traditionally a Whoopie Pie calls for marshmallow creme but my Mom uses butter cream frosting- so much better. Here is her recipe.

Irish Cream Frosting:

1 stick of butter
8 oz cream cheese
3 c powdered sugar
1/4 c Bailey’s
1 tsp Vanilla
Green food coloring

Wish me luck that I get some sleep/crafting done this weekend, but then again how could I resist this…

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