Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fun with Silhouette Interfacing pt.2: Monogrammed Throw Pillows

Well it took a few weeks, but I finally got my sewing machine back up and working, and thus, I was finally able to make this monogrammed slip cover for a throw pillow.

This is another great use for Silhouette fabric interfacing.  If you missed my first, more detailed post about how to use it, click this link: "Fun with Silhouette Interfacing pt.1: Dish Towels." The great thing about using your silhouette is that it can cut more intricate shapes for such applique.  So let's get to it. 

For the pillow slipcover itself, I found the following tutorial online that was pretty easy to follow:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Specialty Shaped Cards, Silhouette

First, I apologize for the late post.  I was working on my Silhouette Fabric Interfacing pt.2 project, and had a little hold up with my sewing machine.  (Making pillow slip covers--stay tuned!)  So after dealing with sewing machine issues for a few hours, I decided it was time to make some cards instead.

I know that my "Bridal Shower Invites" post a few months back has been fairly popular, especially among Pinterest users. I am glad that so many of you have enjoyed it.  Being inspired by that, I decided people might like to know how to create their own "specialty shaped" cards using their Silhouette and their own shapes of choice.  So here are some detailed instructions:

First, I have examples of two main types of cards:
1.  The "Great" and "Turtle" cards, which are mirrored images of themselves (i.e. the shape of the card is the same, front and back), and--
2. The floral card, in which the front of the card is different than the back.

Both are useful types of cards to know how to make on your own, to design just the type of card you have in mind.  So here we go.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Labeled Herb Pots with Chalkboard Vinyl

Last year my roommate grew her herbs on our windowsill in empty Ben & Jerry's ice cream cartons. This year (those having disintegrated), I opted for this instead:

This is super easy, and cheaper than buying a pint of Ben & Jerry's (though, perhaps, not as tasty). Plus, you can reuse the pot as many times as you like and just erase the label since it's written on...bu bu buuuum-- chalkboard vinyl. Using a chalk-marker makes it stay on, even when you over-water the plant and the water comes dripping down on top of it (trust me, I've already done it plenty of times), but can be erased easily with water and a cloth.  Labeling it in this way means that you can reuse the pot as many times as you want to switch "crops."  Plus, it just looks darn cute.

To make this, you only need a few items:

Small pot (about $1)
Craft Paint
Sponge brush
Small piece of chalkboard vinyl, and chalk marker (or real chalk)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fun with Silhouette Interfacing, pt.1: Dish Towels

I like cute things.  This simple dish towel, for instance.

It's cute, and I like it.

I have an old roommate who's bridal shower is coming up in a few weeks and I thought making a fun little kitchen package for her gift would be fitting, seeing as how we used to like to cook together and share our "kitchen creations."  We were both learning the art of cooking from our third roommate, Olga--a natural in the kitchen.  I still have some frozen pumpkin in our freezer left over from when she lived here... . Maybe I'll actually get around to making that homemade pumpkin pie sometime.  Or maybe I'll just call Olga.  (If interested in deliciousness, you can check out her personal cooking blog here:  Mmmmmm.)

To make the decorative portion of the dish towel, I simply used some scrap fabric, some Silhouette Sewable Fabric Interfacing, and a needle and thread.  I also used Flour Sack Towels, in case you are wondering on the type of towel.  (You can use these for culinary uses like straining, and cheese and pastry making as well. I picked mine up at Wal Mart.)

First, cut a piece of interfacing about an inch or so larger than the image you want to cut.  Place the rough side of the interfacing onto the back of your fabric, then press down on it with a hot iron (set to the appropriate temperature for the type of fabric you are using) for about 2-3 seconds.  That's all it needs.  Cut away your excess fabric.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fourth of July Cake Topper and Party Treats

I LOVE the Fourth of July.  Love the fireworks, the patriotic music and feeling in the air, the barbecues and summer foods, and especially the gratitude and chance to honor those who fight for our country and freedom.  It is one of my most favorite times of year.  So much to celebrate and be grateful for.

Though there is obviously a serious overtone and purpose to this celebratory time of year, it is also that-- a time of celebration.  And with that comes food.  Right?  We know that every reeeaally good celebration includes food.  :) For instance: cake.

I wanted to make a few festive treats in honor of the 4th, and decided to share them with you, in hopes that you'd feel inspired for your 4th of July celebrations.  

Cake and Cake Topper

I started out with this delicious red velvet cake with blueberries.  The cake itself was just from a box.  I used Rainbow Chip frosting for some added hints of color and a festive feel (it reminds me of a type of hidden confetti).  The blueberries were extras from my Fruit and Rice Krispies Treat sparklers, which I'll mention further down in this post.   The blue star at the base was made by melting some white chocolate chips and adding blue food coloring.  I then put it into a resealable plastic bag, cut a small corner from the bag, and piped some designs onto wax paper.  After they chilled, they easily removed from the wax paper.  Only put them on, however, right before serving, as they get soft again fairly soon. 
Add food coloring to your melted white chocolate to make colored filigrees! 
Because I wanted to invoke the visual feel of stars and sparklers, I thought a cake topper supported by bamboo sticks (like the sparkler sticks) would be a nice touch.  I found a simple "stars border" to cut from my Silhouette library collection (the one I used is still currently available on the Silhouette Online Store) and just used tape (how uncreative) to attach it to my sticks.  I also wrote-in the phrase you see on the finished product. 

I think it turned out pretty cute, don't you?  :) And even better that it was easy.  :)  

Rice Krispies Treat and Fruit Sparklers

I saw the idea for these on pinterest, thanks to  They actually took more than five minutes to make (the Rice Krispies treats take some time, especially including time to cool), and you'll want to serve them soon after making them, but they sure are adorable.  

To make the star-shaped Rice Krispies Treat, make the treats according to directions, but place them on a wide brimmed cookie sheet, so they aren't too thick. Once they have cooled, use a star-shaped cookie-cutter to make your shapes.

Hint:  Follow the recipe exactly.  I generally put in more marshmallows than the recipe calls for, and that made these "melt" a little bit easier out in the heat. I.E. they didn't want to stay on the sticks as well because they were extra soft.  It did, however, make it possible to mold in some of the "excess" cut-away portions into the mold if one section was ever too thin.  ;)

After you have your stars, thread on strawberry, blueberries, and then your star onto a bamboo stick/skewer.  Tie a colored ribbon with a knot beneath the strawberry to keep the fruit from falling down, and voila: instant treat.  

To add to the decorations,  I decided to display mine with a small "suggestion" to bring to mind what they were meant to be representative of in the form of the word "Sparkle." Using some excess trimmings of silver foil sticker paper I had on hand, as well as some scrap double-sided adhesive sheet (make the most of those scraps!!), I made a little sign to go along with my treats.  I used a Q-tip to clear off the extra glitter that caught like static to the foil. 

Use scraps of specialty media sheets to make some added pizazz and sparkle to your festivities!
My jar was a simple mason jar (actually, a cleaned out jar from some long forgotten food I once purchased) with a picture of the American Flag tapped on (so as to easily be removable) and wrapped around with some jute. I filled the bottom of it with clear stones to help hold the sticks up.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Festive Toothpicks

These are pretty simple.  Melt some chocolate (be sure to add a bit of shortening or oil to your chocolate so that it stays smooth and creamy), dip your strawberries in, then dip them in blue sprinkles.  The end.  Oh wait, I forgot: Then eat them. :)  If you want to make them even more cute, add these simple little festive flag toothpicks.  

To make the little flags, I used my Silhouette.  First, I used a label shape that was symmetrical so that it would perfectly match when folded in half.  I created my desired designs, and used Silhouette Sketch Pens to draw the inner portions.   I found that the fonts were a little harder to read at this size, so the shapes worked a bit better, unless you have specific "sketch" fonts (such as what I ended up using for "God Bless America").  

I had a few more scraps of some Silhouette Printable White Sticker Paper (again, get every use out of those scraps!) and used that for these flags.  Using regular paper and then gluing or taping them would also work.  The sticker paper was just easy because it already had an adhesive on the back.  Then I wrapped them around some colored toothpicks and stuck them in those strawberries.  A simple thing that I think added a lot, as with each of these projects.

I hope these gave you some fun ideas!  I know I had fun making them (and eating them)(the treats).  Freedom really is/was sweet, in this case.

Here's to you and a wonderful, festive, celebratory 4th of July!  Happy Independence Day, America!