Thursday, November 15, 2012

Girl's Apron

My first Christmas gift is made! Yay me :) This year we are doing a homemade Christmas because I have been student teaching the past 12 weeks, and with only one income, we are needing to be a bit scrappy. So, all my wonderful (at least in my mind) ideas and projects will become part of your viewing pleasure... Lucky you! :)

My first project was a child's apron. I got the original idea from this pinterest idea. However, I didn't find the cutsie potholder. The ones I saw were all mellow and clam and just not quite right for a little girl's apron. Apparently these shoppers don't like the cute girlie potholders in their kitchens... So, I settled for two plain dish towels in a pretty purple color-little girl's favorite color. 

Please keep in mind that I am not a professional seamstress. I just get by...

As you can see, my lighting is not so good. Sorry, but my phone is the best camera I have.  The color is closer to the picture on the right. We also have the most lovely 70's colored carpet in our basement. Yes, we have to deal with that everyday, so you will have to too. Sorry. The left picture is what I started with times two. The picture on the right is what I cut in half for the top half of the apron.

I started with the top half of the apron. I folded it and sewed it to the size I wanted, making sure I sewed up the sides I had just cut to ensure no fraying would take place. You certainly don't have to, but I lined up those spaces/lines that are on many terry cloth dish towels. I wanted to make it easy and for me, and sewing on a pre made line was easier than trying to get a straight line any other way. As you can see, I lined up the foot of the sewing machine to the already there line. Yay for easy!

Then I added some ribbon to tie around the neck. I simply sewed it into the fold on the back of the towel. 

If anyone really knows me, they would know that I goof up on things quite often, like this... I sewed the ribbon for the neck to the front of the apron top. I'm such a genius! So, if you make this or any sewing project for that matter, make sure you don't do what I did. Learn from my mistakes. 

As I sat there wondering what I wanted to do I contemplated a seem ripper, but those stitches were TINY. I figured I would just cut it off and fix it later. You will see how in a minute or two, depending on how fast you read this turing-out-to-be-quite-lengthy-post.

Walah! Finished with my apron top with my little ribbon mishap clearly there.

Now for the bottom half...

I had extra towel fabric that I did not want to waste, so I decided to add a pocket. Again, I wanted to match up the lines as best as I could. Clearly, I did great on the vertical lines; not so great on the horizontal lines. It's okay, it's only a simply project for my daughter. Besides, it kinda stands out this way.
I sewed the pocket edges under, again, using the already there lines to make it easy.

I wanted the pocket to stand out a bit, so I added a little green ribbon to the top of the pocket. Luckily for me, I was thinking this time and added the ribbon before I sewed the pocket to the apron part.

The next step is to add the two halves together. I centered the top half with the bottom half, and then turned the top half upside down over the bottom; sewed the two together and had something that finally resembled an apron.

I wanted to add a ribbon around the waste as a way to tie the apron in the back. I centered the ribbon and pinned it. Then simply sewed it on. This was probably the most difficult part of the project because I wanted to make sure I had the ribbon covering the bottom half all the way across, as well as coving the top half just part of the way. It sounds confusing, but it really isn't that bad, and it really wasn't that hard.

Finished apron sans embellishments. If you look at the original that sparked my creativity (ha!) it has a cute little pattern on the potholder and the towel. I knew I wanted to add something to my plain apron. I also needed a way to hide the ribbon mess-up on top. 

Thus enter ribbon flowers...

Start with a felt circle and a knot tied at the end of the ribbon. 

Begin twisting and wrapping the ribbon around the knot hot glueing as you go. I'm sure you can use some other type of glue, but hot glue was easy and quick for me. Be sure the you are twisting the same way each time. With this flower I was twisting out. 

This flower I was twisting in. Once you do a couple of these, it becomes really easy and they actually look better the more you do. Hum, imagine that, getting better with practice. You know, my mother told me that would be the case with my piano practicing as a kid. Why I didn't believe her, I'm not quite sure. Now trying to instill that in my own kids is probably as hard as it was for my mother. Sorry mom!

Again, I was twisting in with this one. I found that twisting in was easier for me, but give it a shot and see what works for you. Continue twisting and gluing until you have covered the felt or run out of ribbon. Tuck the end of the ribbon under and glue to the bottom of the flower. If you have extra felt showing, just trim it away.

All my flowers. I think they turned out so cute!

Remember how I said that hot glue was quick and easy for me? Well it was, but it came with a cost. Ouch! I burned myself several times and finally realized that if I left it on my thumb I didn't burn it as badly. Instead, I collected a nice little glob of dried hot glue on my thumb. 

Last step. Organize and reorganize the flowers on the apron until you are satisfied with their positions. Here is how mine turned out.

Remember that ribbon mess up? Yah, can you see it now?

No one will ever know. Except for the fact that I just told the world... 

I wanted to post a shot with the apron on, but because I didn't want to show my little girl, I used a stand in while the girls were at school. Thanks little man! It's quite big on him, but it will work well for my little girl. 

Yay, one gift down several to go.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My To Do's

I like to make to do lists to help me stay organized, and as I said before I usually loose them. This will be my first to do list that I CANNOT loose! Yay. You can consider this list a preview of what is to come. I have so many project roaming around in my head for the upcoming holiday season that I just need to get them written down. Here goes...


  • Name card project with kids
  • Turkey Marinade
  • Activity for Thanksgiving day
  • Tablescape ideas
  • Pumpkin Pie


  • Elf on the shelf plan
  • Gifts
    • Quiet book
    • Paper dolls
    • Finger paint
    • Child ties
    • Head bands
    • Maxi skirt
    • Hubby's gift (not saying much here yet, I want him to be totally surprised!)
    • The stockings were hung sign
    • Felt food
    • Ball wreath
    • Apron
    • TP art
    • Cereal box notebooks
    • Kids' gifts to day care provider
  • Meal plan
  • Snacks plan
  • Christmas Eve traditions
  • Bake, bake, bake
    • pfeffernusse cookies
    • mint cake
    • snickerdoodles
    • rosettes 
    • spice cookies

Baby Boy's birthday:
  • Car track
  • Activities

Wow, my list looks ambitious! I hope I can get it all done. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Green Tomato Salsa

So, this was done quite a while ago, but since I'm iced in my house--okay, not literally, but it is pretty icy outside and there is no way I'm going out there today--why not get caught up. Besides, earlier I promised that once I posted about this green tomato salsa, I would get started with holiday crafts! I have so many cute things in mind. Now, with this one done, I can get started on some crafty things. 

I have made this salsa for two years now. Last year, the growing season left me with tons of unripe tomatoes and they were going bad inside before they ripened. I did not want to waste them, thus one of my favorite recipes came to life. Actually, I just found it. But I usually make it slightly different. Here is the original recipe. I made it the first time with green peppers from my garden since that is all I had. I'm pretty sure I also used lemon juice instead of lime juice.

It was so good that I had to plan to make it this year. We planned for green tomatoes. When the time came, my wonderful husband stopped by the store after work to pick up the ingredients. Unfortunately, he bought out all of the red peppers before we had enough, so he picked up some yellow ones too. This year the only change I made was the peppers. We had red, yellow and green. I did different batches with each of these to see which we like best. I'll have to let you know...

We had so much that it took me all day. When the boys came back from hunting, they even sat down to help. I had tons of helping hands that you will see. It really helped!

First batch with red peppers.

Onions, jalapeƱos, and cilantro. We cut them first, then used a chopper to make them chopped. 

We had quite the system going. Washing, cutting, chopping, weighing, cooking. It was a huge process.

Yellow peppers.

 You can see there is a difference between red and yellow peppers.

Again, here is the link for this recipe. It is so good and quite different. It is not like regular salsa, it's much better!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cake Balls

Okay so a crazy long time ago when it was my daughter's birthday in way back in September, she wanted to take something special in to her classmates at school. We thought about cookies or cupcakes, but that's done quite a bit. I wanted to try something different and did not want to hand out so much sugar to a classroom full of kindergarteners. I suggested cake pops.

I had heard about these for awhile, and wanted to try them. Not being a huge fan of cake myself, I thought these would be great. a few bites of cake and then done. Plus there are some really, really cute ideas out there for decorating these things. Mine didn't turn out as cute as some, but it was my first time... give me a break.

I found a great tutorial here. I even watched a video with it. Here's how mine turned out.

Crumble the baked cake mix and add frosting. I used canned cream cheese frosting. Please, please, please follow the Diva's Can Cook suggestion and DO NOT add too much frosting. I seriously hardly added any frosting.

I put these in the freezer to chill while I cleaned up my cake baking stuff.

Then, I got my brown chocolate melts out and set everything up to stick the sticks in the cake balls. I refrigerated these overnight, as I only had evenings to work on these. This part I must have messed up because throughout the next step, these silly sticks would not stay put. They kept coming out of the cake balls even though they were dipped in candy melts before I stuck them in the balls. 

Dip in more candy melts. Like I said, many of the sticks came out of the cake balls while I was dipping.

Little miss wanted brown and pink. Too cute together.

I used two boxes with holes poked into them to decorate, store, and serve these cuties. 

Add decoration. Some are much cuter than others, but they all tasted the same. And kindergarteners really couldn't care less, right?

I put plastic bags over them and tied them with pink ribbon to keep them "sanitary."

Final product.

I think they enjoyed them. No, I'm sure about it. It is sugar and oh so cute who wouldn't enjoy them?