Thursday, December 29, 2011

Part IV

Once done with zigzagging both long twisty ruffles, fine the center of each piece and mark it with a pin.

Line up the two pin markings and pin the two pieces together.

Sew the two pieces together so the don't shift around when you wear your new scarf.

I didn't want to use myself for a model, so this is Addie's monkey, his name is Number One (seriously, I didn't make that up) modeling the new scarf. This is so easy, a beginning sewer can do it, and it's a fun way to use up your old tshirts. It took less than an hour, start to finish, including taking the pictures.

Now send me pictures of the scarf you make!

Part III

So now if you hold up one end of the "C," you have a long, twisty ruffle. You can now take out the pins so you have 6 ruffles.

Take two ruffles and pin them together at the ends. Right and wrong sides don't matter since most tshirts don't have right and wrong sides. It doesn't matter if you pin the C's going the same way or opposite. It's just a long, twisty, very forgiving ruffle so don't sweat the small stuff.

If you don't want to sew this, you can use some fabric glue and glue 3 of the C pieces together. Then layer the 2 long twisty ruffles around your neck and tie however you want. That's the Pinterst version. But if you can sew, by all means, continue:

You will sew 3 ruffles together, so you end up with 2 really long twisty ruffles. I sew them together at a 1/4" seam allowance and then I trim that down by half. My OCD requires that I zigzag the seam, but you may do as your level OCD dictates.

Now for the fun part. Set your machine to a zigzag stitch and zigzag over the edge (meaning the needle runs off the fabric - I let my fabric run through at the pressure foot slit) and stretch the fabric as it feeds through. You don't need to jerk it, or use muscle to stretch it, or anything like that. Just a little resistance on the stretch of the fabric will do just fine.

That little bit of resistance causes the knit fabric to curl up so nicely!

So here are my 2 long twisty ruffles. The one on the right has been zigzagged. The one on the left has not. You can see what a difference the zigzagging makes!

Part II

Now is a good time to put some pins in (between the large and small circles) to keep the fabric from shifting when you cut it out.
So go ahead and cut out the large circles.

Now it's time to cut out the small circles. These aren't going to remain "donuts," so you can make a cut from the outside edge (large circle) to the inside circle. It doesn't matter where.

When you get to the small circle line, cut around that circle so you have your donut shape, or "C" shape since it now has a cut in it.

Scarf - Sewing optional, but strongly suggested (Part I)

There is really nothing all that unique or special about me, so I don't generally share my little tricks that I learn because I have an irrational fear that that if everyone knows my secret tricks that I will be even less unique and special. But at the behest of my sister Mie, due to my really bad written instructions, I give you a Pinterest scarf with my own little flair.

So what you need is a tshirt UNPRINTED (mine is one that Jack has outgrown, size youth XL), something round to use for a pattern (I used an embroidery hoop, about 10" in diameter), a fabric marking pen or chalk, scissors, and something to measure with (ruler, tape measure).

So I can get 3 of my embroidery hoops out of the shirt. I have traced around the hoop with my fabric marking pen. Sorry it doesn't show up well, I should have used a white shirt for this. :)

Then you will measure from the circle you just drew 3" inside, making a smaller circle. There is nothing magical about the 3", that's just the width I chose for the scarf. You can make it fatter or thinner, depending on your preference. So now you have the large circle (the one you drew first) and a smaller circle inside of that.

Repeat for all your circles, so you have donut shapes on all. This will now make 6 circles since there are two layers of fabric (the front of the shirt and the back)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I made cupcakes. There is a reason I make cupcakes: you can't really screw them up too much. For our Christmas Eve dinner, I got this brilliant idea that I could make a layer cake. Guess what? I can't.

My beautiful Red Velvet Christmas layer cake collapsed on me (stupid round top!) I had enough time (and surprisingly, enough red food coloring) to make a second Red Velvet cake, although just a boring old rectangle one in my boring old rectangle pan. And so I will stick with cupcakes.

My sister Mie made sock monkeys for my kids. They could not be more perfectly suited to my kids! Taylor's is all green and purple and has a music player and headphones. Jacks is Mario, perfectly fashioned right down to the hat and moustache. Addie's is all girly and sparkly. I think they were the favorite gifts on Christmas.

Taylor also got dishes for her cedar chest, clothes and an iTunes card.

Jack got a Nerf game for the Wii, a remote control helicopter and a suit.

Addie got a new doll stroller, clothes, and other small stuff.

Lane got tired of me complaining that I don't have any decent serving dishes and totally surprised me with some nice ones from Crate & Barrel and some new exercise clothes (which is a good thing since old tshirts around my house are an endangered species!)

Things that have been keeping me busy . . .

I almost made it through Christmas without having a Full Blown Christmas meltdown, but didn't quite make it (see Red Velvet Cake above). I took on my usual Too Many projects, but managed to get them all done without totally freaking out. So here are a few of the things I made:

This skirt is for Addie. I had plenty of fabric left from my ruffle skirt experiment, so I whipped this up. Other than the fact that it totally needs to be ironed, it turned out really cute, and super floofly which is just what Addie loves. I also made her another skirt from some of her old jeans and another fabric remnant and a belted oversized shirt, from yet another remnant. My pack-rat tendencies finally pay off!!

This I made for my neice Kassie. I saw it on Pinterest and loved it. I actually had to break down and pay for a pattern, but it wasn't much.

Double Chocolate cupcakes with mint buttercream frosting, topped with crushed candy canes. I never got one for myself. I hope they were good.

Another Pinterest find. Excuse the photo, I was taking it myself in my bathroom mirror. I cut up one of my old red tshirts to get this, and it's actually pretty cool. I cut up another old red tshirt for another scarf, but haven't yet photographed it. I like both of them so well, that I have gifted them to some other people, whether they want them or not. Old tshirts are no longer safe at my house - anything that looks old and ratty or too small becomes mine to do with as I choose. If you have too many old tshirts at your house, I will gladly take them off your hands!


Taylor finally got to go to a date-dance at the high school. That whole Waiting-til-She-Was-16 thing nearly killed her. Stupid summer birthday. She invited a boy to Girl's Preference and she said they had a really great time.

We found her what I consider to be The Perfect Dress at Nordstrom for a reasonable price. It fit her just right and was long enough in the skirt, high enough in the neckline, and had sleeves. That is a pretty tough combination to find these days.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The cutest thing ever? Oh yes, I think so.

I saw a skirt similar to this on Pinterest, but again the instructions were lacking clarity for this old addled brain. It took me several sheets of paper, a calculator, and an embroidery hoop to get it all figured out, but it ended up working just like I thought it would, with a minor exception. Evidently I have lost some pounds/inches since the last time I used the pattern that I was using as a guide and thus the skirt is a little baggier than I intended. It's all good, though, since I got the fabric from the dollar bin at Walmart since I was experimenting, so this experiment only cost me $6. And now that I have it figured out, I will try again with accurate measurements and a fabric that I actually like. All in all, I would call the experiment a sucess, since I really like the floofyness of the skirt. I am, after all, a girly girl at heart.

I made a coconut cream pie for Thanksgiving. Sure, I used instant pudding, but it's the first time I've made coconut cream and I did toast the coconut all by myself. Note to self: DO NOT multitask when toasting coconut. It goes from not-even-a-little-bit toasted to WHOA-I-let-that-go-too-long in an instant.

Much to Lane's chagrin, I only did one apple pie instead of the two I had told him I would do. Now I owe him an apple pie since Jack almost single-handedly polished it off.

So, are you ready for THE CUTEST THING EVER???

Here it is:

I guess Hallmark started a Fisher Price series that I was unaware of. This is the 2011 ornament. I played with this when I was a little girl for hours and hours and hours. It was my favorite. So Hallmark has reproduced it in an ornament with all the details exactly perfect. It opens up, the car is in the driveway, all the people are just how they should be, and the doorbell even rings! The cutest thing ever!!!


Here are two of my Scarletts. I'm not entirely sure why Lane took the pictures he did.

And of course the Fra-Gee-Lay ornament. Yes, it opens, and yes, there's a Major Award inside.

Tree #2 - Lane's Tree. He likes white trees so we got this one a few years ago. The lights on it are more pastel-y and I really like the way it looks. This is the tree where we put the homemade ornaments, since it is in the family room where we spend most of our time. Hallmark may have my money, but the homemade ornaments have my heart.

And this year we have expanded to Tree #3. I got if for less than $10 on Kohl's clearance last year, and the downstairs family room really needed a tree too. I have to start out small and warm Lane up slowly to the idea of 3 full size trees. 'Cuz it's comin', baby. You know it's coming.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's pretty much like Porn to me. And to Shauna.

Here we are at the 2nd Annual Shake Rattle and Run 5k sponsored by my friend Kendall. It's all just for fun, no "good cause," other than having a good time. He had a 5k for anyone who wanted to do it and a 1/2 k for the kids. This worked out perfectly because Addie has wanted to do a 5k with us, which just ain't happenin', and this was not only a short distance but also FREE (I do love me some free outdoor fun!), and also she could wear her Halloween costume. Lane did the 1/2k with her, and I think they may have been the last ones in, but you would never know that from how excited she was to finish.

Lane sat with Addie while Jack and I took off on the 5k. Jack went almost 1/2 way before giving up. I didn't finish because it got too dark for my comfort zone, but I did about 2.8 miles, according to Kendall's best guess. He had my time recorded at 40 minutes, but I don't know what it really was since I visited with Lane and Addie and ate a donut before I went and checked in, so 35-ish minutes maybe? This will go down in my running history as the Bloody Toe race since I sliced my toe open and bloodied up my lovely white running shoes due to poor toenail trimming.

I have finally discovered my own form of Porn - Pinterest. It's all craftiness and food and homemade wonderfulness galore. I've tried out a few things I've found on there, these cupcakes being one of them. Clearly I need to work on my piping skills, but you get the idea nonetheless. I took some to work and no one there seemed to mind that I'm piping-challenged. I really need to suck it up and take a class.

Addie had her birthday on Halloween and she had asked for a new Barbie with a horse, so that's what she got. The grandma's etc. came through with lots of clothes so her diva-ness was satisfied with both toys and clothes.

This is more Pinterest fun. I found a skirt on there that I really liked, but the posting was from a catalog, but then the poster had provided instructions for her own version of the catalog skirt. So I followed her instructions and it was really pretty blah, and not at all flattering on me, even though it looked just like her sample skirt (although not hideous orange). So I stomped around the house in frustration for a little while before I remembered that the pure genius of stretch knit fabrics is . . . wait for it . . . the STRETCH!!! So I zigzagged around the edges again, this time s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g it out as I went and, just as I expected, the knit curled right up. This little revelation, albeit delayed, made all the difference in the world and I have to say - I'm lovin' the new skirt. It's incredibly comfortable, as stretch knit tends to be. So yeah, I'm pretty much all that.

Monday, October 17, 2011


A few weeks ago I tried out a Snickerdoodle cupcake that I found on Pinterest. It was only ok, I didn't love it. I may try it again with a different frosting, this is cream cheese.

So October (or at least, every other October) at our house means apples, and apples, and more apples, and still more apples. Our apple trees are Rome and they seem to be perfect for just about everything. We have a bumper crop again this year, so we'll be busy on Saturdays for the forseeable future. My kids, as you can guess, are thrilled.

On Saturday, I baked 3 apple pies. I love the way the apples look when I'm cinamonning them up for the filling, and the sugar makes the apple juices start to run . . .

Here is my first kettle-ful of apples, which I obviously filled a little too full. Few things in the world smell as good as apples slow cooking on the stove on the fall. It is all terribly homey and cozy.

And then the apples cook down to a golden delightfulness that looks gorgeous in mason jars and makes me feel all domestic and Mama Hen-ish.

And then the apple pie sits on the counter taunting me while I clean up the apple mess (it looked like an apple explosion mess) and make dinner, adding even more to the domestic queen feeling I had going. I made up a huge pot of chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles for dinner and some cheddar garlic biscuits.

I love fall.

I love all the football (college, of course. I can live without the NFL), the crisp air, the autumn leaves. I love getting out my sweatshirts and sweaters and putting the extra blanket back on my bed. I love having soup for dinner, and baked potatoes, and chili with breadsticks, and stew. I love having to wear my super soft little socks on my feet when I lay around on Sunday afternoons. I love filling up all those empty mason jars that have been accumulating over the year. I love making Christmas plans, thinking about what to make (or buy if I can't come up with something good to make) for each person on my list. I love sipping hot chocolate while we watch Psych and Mythbusters on the DVR.

It's a precious time of year, the twinkling of an eye that passes far too quickly, the time between the start of fall and the annual Full Blown Christmas Panic that arrives around Thanksgiving. No matter what the song may say, this is the most wonderful time of the year.