Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Super Corgi

Super Corgi
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
And Sully was Super Sully! This costume was purchased in Metropolis on our vacation last year at the Superman Museum. It's made to fit a dog of a much different.....stature than Sully. The cape is the best part!

This year's costume

Originally uploaded by Corgipants
Today I was a gnome lady. Long skirt, long apron, striped knee socks, pointy hat! Based on the Wil Huygen books about gnomes, which I read as research for a swap I did a few months ago. The detail in those books is stunning, even if you aren't really into fairytale creatures. You can see more pictures on my flickr.

Greetings from the Halloween party!

I'm here at the party, dining on apples with caramel dip, apple doughnuts and apple cider! I'll show you pictures of my costume later tonight. Can you guess what I am dressed up as? Here's a hint: With my costume on I am well over 6 feet tall!

And I will be drawing for the Halloween prize package at 10 pm central time tonight! All you have to do to enter is comment on one of my Halloween posts. But please make sure when you comment to enter that I have a way to contact you (comment with your email or make sure it is in your profile) or else I will pick someone else's name.

Happy Halloween!

Yes, the day is finally here! I'd like to share with you this Pumpkin Carol.

It's from this book, which I've had since I was a wee goblin.

Have a frightfully gory and gross Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hall of Halloween costumes

Originally uploaded by Corgipants
Here's a picture of me as Cousin It. That's my actual hair, circa 1992. You can see a lot of other Halloween costumes I've had throughout the years on Flickr. And maybe some dressed-up dog pictures too.

Come to a Halloween Party!

To play along, check it out here.
I'm very excited to participate in this Halloween Blog Party! With the trip and everything, I haven't had a chance to decorate much for Halloween around the house or at work. :( So I am going to try and make up for it here and post a lot of fun Halloween pics. Come join us, hop around to everyone's blog and have some spooky fun!

And each person who leaves a comment today or tomorrow on my Halloween posts (starting with this one) will get their name in the witch's hat for a chance to win a small bubble envelope of Halloween goodies! Please make sure you comment with your email since Blogspot doesn't share those with me.

Great mail awaits!

When we got back from our trip, not one but TWO great swap packages awaited me! (So sorry for the delay in posting, secret pal and swap partner, Mike and I are nursing colds but luckily I took yesertday and today off so I should be back to the swing of things tomorrow.)

First, my Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth swap package! Oh my goodness, when I first opened the box, it was stuffed FULL of candy! Better then going trick or treating, my booty was delivered to my door instead of the other way around!

Farther inside the box were all kinds of treats! Cotton yarn and more cotton yarn! Not one but TWO handmade washcloths! Mango-passion fruit soap and a sachet which is going in my car which smells a little musty (combo of wet dog and sweaty yoga mat). And the cutest ghost and bat stitch markers!

But wait, there's more! A mousepad calendar (never saw those before!), notepad and magnet, Halloween tattoos (definitely wearing one to work tomorrow), a dishcloth pattern book and a kit for making Halloween ornaments! Thank you so much secret pal! But to me, you are still secret. Unless I missed a note, I only know that your first initial is A and that you are from Atlanta. Please reveal yourself so I can thank you properly!

And from a swap on Swap-Bot, I got a darling clothespin doll all decked out in a dress and carrying a purse. And with her came a traveling case full of travel stickers, tags, beads and fun things!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend in Review

Lakeshore loot!
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
We are back from our long weekend of dog show and visiting family. Here's the breakdown:

Drive up-fine until terrible, dead-stop traffic due to an accident on 294 or somewhere thereabouts

First destination-Hotel where the dog show was being held. Awesome welcome goody bag with tons of dog food samples, a free Frontline Plus application(awesome!), food, toiletries, a leash, an ice cream scoop, giant bag clips for dog food bags, bandanna, dog toys, and more!

Small incident with the crate when Mike and I were at hospitality party, Sully has minor freak-out and busts through mesh door of soft-sided crate. Emergency trip to Target for shoelaces to lace mesh back together. Not a problem since. Mike has head cold so we pick up Sudafed (the good kind) while at Target. Bed is extremely hard.

Dog Show-Sully gets his first leg toward CD title (1st place), first leg toward RA title (2nd place) and a 1st place in Rally Novice B. (See pic of loot.) Very happy!

Shopping at Mitsuwa-Grocery list includes: Panko breadcrumbs, fresh pastries shaped like crabs and pumpkins, Rement miniature sets!!!, much Japanese candy and tiny bento box paper cups

Bed is still very hard.

We discover a nail in our tire, Mike very nicely offers to sit at Walmart getting it patched while I watch tv and pack up.

Drive was scenic and much more exciting than our normal route to WI!

Next destination-Hotel in WI, bed is much improved! Room has two fireplaces, but no real fire in either.

Dinner with in-laws goes well. Sully meets three new dogs and hangs with them fairly peaceably.

Jenna now has Mike's headcold but has softer bed to recuperate in. Herbal tea, whirlpool bath, soft tissues help too.

Ate in a mine shaft-themed restaurant for lunch.

Dinner at in-laws, dogs behave, things are good. Nice to relax, no to-do lists, no email, no phone.

Long drive home, 6 hours as usual but seemed longer because the drive up was broken into two relatively equal chunks.

Goodwill, scored a skirt for my Halloween costume and a new (to me) wool coat. I can't stand to pay $50 or more dollars for a coat when I can get one every year or so at Goodwill for $6!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Long weekend

Cat in a basket
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
The act was complaining the there have been too many pictures of the dog on here so here is a picture of Redkins. (aka Redderick, Red Army, Load, Red Kitten, Skitten)

But this post is still mainly about the dog. We are taking a long weekend up to the Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Cub Specialty. We'll be competing in Rally and Obedience on Friday. Then we'll be visiting my husband's family in WI since we will be halfway there already! Sully's first trip to Grandma and Grandpa Z's house! Wish us luck and we'll report back next week!

Fall into Autumn Topic of the Week

This week's topic:
"How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the cloth and goodies you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!"

So far, I have enjoyed keeping in touch with my sending and recieving pal! I really like secret pal exchanges and the secrecy that goes along with it, sending anonymous ecards and such. I haven't recieved anything yet but I'm sure I'll love it when it gets here. The weekly topic has helped me keep in touch and reminded me every week that I am part of the group. I haven't been able to visit as many people's blogs as I would have liked, I've been busy preparing for our dog show this weekend/4-H starting up this fall but when I get a chance, I'd like to at least pop in to everyone's blogs at least once. The hostesses have been very helpful, answering any questions I had and dealing with a little bobble there at the start.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sully, the YouTube Star

Inspired by Corgi Tails' cute videos of the week, here is our own contribution to cute corgi videos on the internet! We made a couple, you can see the rest if you go to our YouTube page.

A Nutritious Post

I received my package from the Fruits and Veggies swap I hosted on Create a Connection. Carolee sent me this awesome multi-media painting! And some recipe cards which look very tasty! Thanks!

Speaking of fruits and veggies, there are heaps of them over at A Year At Oak Cottage's Sarnies event! Remember my Delectable Grilled Cheese? Granny Smith apples, Edam cheese and Blackberry jam, all melted together! Vote for it if you are so inclined, there are prizes at stake!

And, speaking of food, I want to hear about your family's holiday menus. I've posted before of my love of menus. I love how different people combine foods. And I love how different food combinations become almost obsessively ingrained in your mind. In my mind, you can't have noodles without mashed potatoes and a hot roll. You can't have meatloaf without applesauce, corn and mashed potatoes. And holidays menus are particularly fraught with these peculiarities, different for each family. In my family (my mom and dad), our holiday menu is basically:

Turkey, from which turkey and noodles is made of some of the meat and the rest of carved up.
Mashed potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Hot rolls
Sage stuffing (dressing really because it's not cooked in the bird but on the side)
Pineapple and lime jello salad
Cranberry and carrot jell-o salad
Relish tray with sweet and dill pickles, black olives, carrot and celery sticks
Pumpkin pie with cool whip
My sister's famous German Chocolate pecan pie (really, her recipe was in Taste of Home)

What does your family have?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tutorial for Dog Cookies

Oc-Tute-ber tutorial #8 for:
Ma's Seven Way Dog Cookies

This is my Ma's recipe for dog cookies. They're not hard to make but if you just don't have time to follow ALL of these steps, you can buy the mix here (and benefit a good cause-the Yorkie Angel Patrol). My mom and other helpers put together cute little baking sets that include cookie cutters and mix and come in a reusable cloth drawstring bag.

The recipe:

dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached or all purpose flour
1/4 oat bran
3/4 cup dry milk
1/2 cup oatmeal (ground fine in the blender)
2 teaspoons beef or chicken bouillon (optional, I don't add this)

Step one is grinding up your oatmeal. You can use either quick cook or old fashioned, it doesn't matter.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

To this, add your wet ingredients:
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water

And ONE and only ONE special ingredient from the following list:
1/4 cup dried cheese
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup dried veggies, chopped fine
1/4 cup dried fruit, chopped fine (not raisins)
1/4 apple sauce
1/2 to one small jar of any baby food (meat, fruit or veggies)

The key to this step is waiting to add the hot water until after you add your special ingredient. You can see I am adding a jar of stage 2 sweet potatoes
baby food. (I add the whole jar because, really, what am I going to do with 1/2 jar of baby food? If it was pineapple or fruit salad flavor, I'd eat it but sweet potatoes? No thanks.) If I had added water beforehand, it would have been way too wet because really if you add the whole jar, you won't need much water at all, maybe a tablespoon or two. If you add dried cheese as your special ingredient, you will definitely need more water. The consistency you want is like sugar cookie dough because you will be rolling it out. It should not stick to the bowl.

Which brings us to the next step! Roll it out. I forgot to take a picture of this step apparently, but I roll it out onto a couple of sheets of cling wrap. This is because I do not use cookie cutters. I make cookies by the sheet and cut them into snaps, as I will show you next. But you can certainly roll it out, cut cute shapes with cutters and transfer them onto a cookie sheet. I do that for special occasions like Sully's birthday party but for everyday cookies, I make snap biscuits.

I flip my rolled-out dough onto a cookie sheet by laying the cookie sheet face down over the rolled-out dough, bringing it toward the edge of the counter and then quickly flipping both so that the dough lands on top of the cookie sheet. Then I peel the cling wrap off, which is what you see here.

You might remember this pizza cutter action from the egg noodles tutorial. I am very fond of the pizza cutter, it's my secret weapon! I cut the dough first in one direction and then in the other to make small squares. If the dough sticks to your cutter, lightly flour the top.

Here's a sheet of cookies, all ready for the oven. You do not need to separate the cookies before baking. You are essentially perforating the dough so that once it's baked, they snap apart easily.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip all the cookies over. This is easily done since they can be flipped with a large spatula in sections. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. I usually let them bake until the edges are just turning a darker brown. Cool completely until they harden. Break into individual cookies and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tutorial for Dog Tie

Oc-Tute-ber Tutorial #7 for:
Dog Tie (or Cat Tie, I suppose, if you are so inclined)

This week, all of our tutorials will all focus on our furry friends.

If you like the idea of dressing up your pet but you have the challenge of owning a male, it can be hard to find cute clothes. You can go the khakis and t-shirt route and have people think you actually think your dog is a furry child. Or you can go the sailor suit/biker costume route but I think those are just silly. Unless you're a sailor or a biker. One fashion accessory that can be dressed up or down is the tie. You can have a goofy light-up, plays music Christmas tie. Or you can have a snappy gray on gray silk tie. I'm fond of really tacky 70's ties so I scour garage sales and my husband's tie rack. :)

What you'll need:
a tie you don't mind cutting up
thread and needle OR sewing machine

First, measure your dog from the point of the collar to where you want the tie to hit. Corgis are, of course, a little short so ties are much easier to make for a taller dog, more dangle room. Sully measures about 6 inches from collar to where I want the point of the tie to be.

Double your measurement. This will be how long we will cut the tie from the fat pointed end. (Unless you are going for the 80's skinny tie look, then you can cut from the skinny end.)

Finish the cut end by folding the edges in and then pressing the two corners inward to create a slight taper on the end of the tie. I hope you can see that in this picture. Sew directly over the end of the tie, catching all the layers.

Now from the skinny end of the tie, cut a piece about 5 inches long, cutting off the point if there is one. Stitch the ends together, creating a loop. This will be our "knot" in the tie. Turn so the raw edges face the inside.

To put the tie on, fold the tie over your dog's collar with the pointy side on the outside and the flat stitched end on the inside. Then thread both ends through the "knot" loop. If your dog is very vigorous, you could stitch your "knot" loop to the back of the tie so it doesn't fall off but I find it stays on pretty nicely and I like the assurance that if it gets caught on something, it can just slip off with gentle pressure.

Fall Into Autumn Topic of the Week

This weeks topic:
"Are you the type that likes to go to participate in all the fall festivities like apple picking, pumpkins, decorating for the fall, hay rides, baking fall goodies, etc. or do you just sit and count the days till Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah?"

Oh how I do love fall, everything fall! I love the weather, it makes being outside so much more enjoyable than dreary, rainy spring, hot, steamy summer or blistery cold winter. But I can't say that I do too many organized fall activities. I enjoy walking the dog and tend to take longer walks on nice fall evenings. We usually each carve a pumpkin and we might visit the local orchard (though it's a little touristy with it's goat pen and hokey trinket shop). On the farm, we were big on bonfires or even smaller-than-bon-size fires in the fall but here in town you can't burn things. I do wish there was more time between Halloween and Thanksgiving though. As soon as you put the tombstones, skeletons and purple lights up, you have to take them down to put up the turkeys and gourds!

On a different note, keep your eyes peeled here this week as our tutorials will be featuring items to make for you four-legged friends!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

When I Grow Up

At the concert the other night, Mike and I were undoubtedly the youngest people there minus a boy who looked to be about 14 and had obviously been dragged there by his grandparents. I know it wasn't a totally rockin' concert but aren't there some people without gray hair that attend events at arts centers? Besides us?

Yesterday I hosted a tea party for two of my friends who each have two little girls. We had finger sandwiches and little cookies and jell-o orange wedges and fruity teas and many other fun things. Fairy wings, poofy skirts, and stuffed animals were in large supply. I wore an apron and a tiara! And Sully, our Royal Corgi guest of honor, graced us with a visit to receive fistfuls of cookies from each girl.

This is a trend with me. I fit in with the very young and the very old, it seems. But the trend isn't just with me! I'm reading Rejuvenile by Christopher Noxon, which is about the growing trend of adults to adopt childlike attitudes and occupations. One word for them (for me, dare I say?) is kidult. Kidults collect action figures or jump rope or read the funnies or have a slinkie on their desk. Kidults wear pigtails or play video games or join co-rec soccer teams. There is a vast spectrum of kidults from those who have a secret train set-up in the basement to those who decorate their entire house in Hello Kitty.

Our Park District is great and we're lucky to have it but just like every other Park District, they cater to the young (under 16) and the old (over 55). I can't wait til I'm 55 so I can go to Bunco, Breakfast and Bingo, Paddleball, Potlucks, Mystery Trips, Hayrack Cookouts, Halloween Brunch, Name That Tune and a host of holiday activities! I guess most people my age are having kids and so their time and attention is mainly taken up by their children's activities. But I really wish they'd offer more for adults then just fitness classes and softball. Maybe I'll paint some wrinkles on and wear a hat to the Fall Tea or Gingerbread Making!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Egg Noodle Recipe

Oc-Tute-ber tutorial #6 for:
Egg Noodles

When the weather turns chilly and you want some warm, stick-to-your-ribs food, noodles really fit the bill. My family always did turkey and noodles at Thanksgiving and Christmas but at our house we do noodles cooked in veggie broth served over mashed potatoes. Maybe you buy those over-processed packaged noodles. Or maybe you live near an Amish community and shell out WAY too much money to those nice ladies in the bonnets. I'm here to tell you, you can make and stash away your own noodles for less than $1 a bag! This is my mom's recipe, with tips and tricks direct from her.

What you'll need:
2-3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

Put your flour in a large bowl. You can add the baking powder if you'd like, mom says it makes them more tender. Add one egg at a time until it holds together enough to roll out.

Air on the side of too sticky rather than too dry. Once you've added the third egg, if it's still dry add a tablespoon of water at a time until it holds together. Too dry and the noodles with be hard to roll out and they'll be tough.

Flour your hands, take about 1/3 of the dough and move it to a floured surface. Roll it out as thin as humanly possibly. My mom is a much better noodle roller than I am but she's had more practice too. The thinner they are, the less doughy they'll be, they'll puff up more and be oh so tender!

Now cut you noodles. Mom does this differently than I do. I just pizza-cutter then into long strips which tend to be uneven but they'll taste the same. Mom cuts the rolled out dough into strips about 3 inches wide, stacks those strips and then cuts them VERY thin across the narrow part of the stack, making shorter, skinnier noodles. These dry faster and also are easier to package into bags to save for later.

Once your noodles are cut, you can drop them into boiling water or broth and eat them right away. Or you can dry them and save them for later. Just lay them out in a single layer on newspaper or tea towels and let them dry completely before bagging them. Noodle-making day was a big event before the holidays. We'd get out all the card tables, top them with newspaper and spread out batch after batch so we'd have enough for the big noodle season to come.

Noodles (thinly cut) should completely dry overnight. If you're a little leery about storing egg noodles just in a bag in the cupboard, you can also store them in the freezer after drying.

Home on the range?

On Friday, we went to see Riders in the Sky! I won tickets at lunchtime from a radio station but I was thinking about buying tickets if I didn't win them. We've seen them once before and it was a nice show. I do like me some cowboy music and they were doing a centennial tribute to Gene Autry. It was a nice enough time but occasionally when listening to songs about cowpokes and herds and calves and pushin' dogies I start to think about the actual subject matter. It's a nice enough imaginary picture, cowboys and horses and sunsets and I'll tap my toe to a tune about that. And while I prefer not to eat meat, purchase leather items or display a pair of horns on the front of my Yaris, I don't judge those who do or who make their living from that industry.

I read Ree's Confessions of a Pioneer Woman like a lot of you, and admire all she has learned and become. I have the opposite experience as her, coming from a farm to live in the city. Her stories and pictures often remind me of the lives of my family and my sister's family and some of the things you accept when you are part of the system. And so, one of my thoughts during the concert, during the song Ridin Down the Canyon, was of a recent Pioneer Woman post about shipping cattle, the modern-day equivalent of a cattle drive I suppose. Not exactly picturesque to think of electric prodding animals into trailers, but that's another reason I do like Ree's blog. She's showin' it like it is, only ever so slightly skewed toward a more romantic-comedy cattle ranch then probably actually exists, and people can see, learn and make decisions for themselves. I'll continue to listen to my cowboy songs and daydream of lonesome cowboys, driving cattle with no end in sight, no feedlot or butcher, just cacti and coyotes and a slow-moving herd. I'll leave you with the Cowboy Code:

1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be a good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Glossy pages!

Bella Dia posted the other day a timeline of the magazines that have dotted her life. I love magazines too and have since I was small. So here is my list:

Muppets magazine
Barbie Magazine
Cabbage Patch Kids Magazine
Weekly Reader
Mad Magazine
Horse and Rider
Horse Illustrated
AKC Gazette
Mother Earth News
Woman's Day
Country Woman
Taste of Home
Family Circle
Pac' O Fun
Crafts N Things
Family Fun
Martha Stewart Living
Mary Engelbreit Home Companion
Light and Tasty
Vegetarian Times
Better Homes and Gardens
Good Housekeeping
Country Home
Cottage Living


groovyholly's got us thinking about scents and memories over at Create A Connection.

1) Throughout childhood and even adulthood certain people always smelled different to us, what scents remind you of a loved one?
Old Spice (in the classic ceramic bottle) reminds me of the special times when my dad would clean up, shave and put on one of his fresh western shirts (instead of a work shirt). These occasions were rare but the smell of Old Spice almost always meant something special was happening. I had gotten all A's and we were going out to dinner. Grandma was in town and we were going into town for lunch. Or I was about to graduate from High School. My dad didn't go to school plays or open houses or spelling bees. That was mom's job. But when the occasion was really worth celebrating, Dad would pull himself away from work and the garage and the farm to accompany us into town.
2) Are there any scents that remind you of a special place or time in your life?
My Grandma A's bathroom was FULL of rose-scented soaps and candles. It had pink rose wallpaper, pink toilet cover, rug and towels. My failing memory seems to recall even the fixtures were pale pink but it could have just been the haze of rose-scent clouding the room.
3) What are some comforting smells for you?
I love the smell of clean sheets. Throughout my childhood, my dad smoked in the house. When you are constantly around cigarette smoke, you no longer smell it but you also don't smell much of anything else. When I would spend the weekend with my sister, I would be amazed at how GOOD her house smelled. The bathroom smelled like air freshener, the beds smelled like detergent and fresh sheets from the cedar closet, the kitchen smelled like apples and lemonade or coffee and muffins! Clean sheets with a hint of cedar are a dream come true. I love sniffing pillow cases!
4) Do you use any form of aromatherapy in your home or throughout the day?
I have Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint lotion at work (relaxing) and their sleep and passion scents at home. The sleep scent to me smells like the bug spray at had at Girl Scout camp one year and puts me straight to sleep thinking about zonking out after a night of giggling in that tent.
5) What scents evoke the most powerful memories for you?
The smell of musty wood chips reminds me of 4-H. Horse shows at county fair grounds, dog obedience classes at the stock pavilion, seminars in someone's barn, taking care of my own animals. I was socially awkward at school but when I smelled wood chips, I knew there was at least someone around that I had something in common with and I was somewhere where I could handle what was thrown at me.
6) What are some of your favorite scents/smells?
Dog feet! I love the corn-chip-ish smell of dog feet! I also like candles that are fruit or baked-goods scented. I love soap that is Oatmeal, Milk and Honey scented. I like fresh pine and citrus scents too!
7) If you had to describe yourself as a scent (or combination), what scents would you be?
I would be a kitchen smell, probably a batch of snickerdoodles baking with a background scent of a soapy sinkful of dishes. I would call it Aprongstrings.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fall Into Autumn Topic of the Week

Flash Your (Needle) Stash
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
This week's task is to flash our (needle) stash! So here is my needle-holder with most of my needles. Some of my circs are hiding underneath. Most of my needles (except for the Boye Balene needles) are hand-me-downs are garage sale finds. I recently cleaned out my doubles and here's what I have to offer anyone who wants to trade:
size 13, 10 in.
size 7, 14 in. (2 pair)
size 10.5, 1o in.

size J crochet hook
size I crochet hook

Offer me whatever you got! Fabric, candy, ribbons, whatever!

Pinecone Ornament Tutorial

It's my 100th post! No, I'm not giving away anything awesome, sorry. Well, I am giving the world this spiffy new tutorial for Oc-Tute-ber!

Oc-Tute-ber Tutorial #5 for:
Ribbon Pinecone Ornaments

Our tutorial for today is available on Whip up. Thank you to Kathreen for posting it and hopefully getting some more publicity of Oc-Tute-ber! And thanks to Craftzine for the mention!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ribbon Lanyard Bracelet Tutorial

Oc-Tute-Ber tutorial #4 for
Ribbon Lanyard Bracelet

Those who have made lanyards at scout camp will be familiar with the weaving used to make this bracelet.

What you'll need:
4 pieces of ribbon, each 2 yards long (For this bracelet, I used 1/4 inch wide but you can use any size or combination of sizes)
Needle and thread

Overlap the centers of all four ribbons as shown here. Secure these together by either lightly tacking together with needle and thread of adding a drop of glue to each intersection.

To begin weaving, fold the first ribbon down over the one underneath it.

We work first in a counterclockwise direction so continue to fold down the next ribbon across the one beneath it.

And the next

And finally the last

When you fold the last ribbon over, slip it under the loop of the first ribbon you folded down like so. Tighten all four ribbons.

After going around counterclockwise, reverse the pattern and fold the ribbons across working in a clockwise direction. Begin this round with the ribbon you just passed under the loop.

Continue repeating these two, tightening the ribbons after each round, until your weaving measures 3 1/2 inches long.

Then repeat on the opposite side of where you tacked your ribbons together. Stop when the entire piece measures 7 inches long.

To fasten both ends, sew a criss cross stitch through each of the four squares and cut the ribbon close to the weaving.

Then give the bracelet a full twist and butt the two ends up gainst one another. Whip stitch the edges together.

The bracelet will look small but it stretches to fit over your hand.

You can also find this tutorial over at Cut Out + Keep.

Friday, October 5, 2007

5-A-Day Swap

garden's bounty
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
This weekend (Sunday night) is your last chance to sign up for the 5-A-Day Fruits and Veggies themed swap I am hosting over at Create A Connection. We'll be swapping (with one partner) at least once fruit or veggie themed item (preferably handmade) and at least one recipe featuring fruits and veggies. Come join us!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hankie Tussie Mussie Pocket Tutorial

Oc-Tute-ber tutorial #3 for:
Hankie Tussy Mussy Pocket Tutorial

I LOVE hankies! I collect hankies. I have over 100 easily. And sometimes you find some extra cheap because they have a tear or stain on them. These are cute little pockets made from vintage (or repro) hankies. You can get 4 pockets out of each hankie if it isn't damaged. But I have a hard time cutting a hankie that is perfectly lovely and unmarred. So I usually use my stained or torn hankies. You can see in one of the photos that this hankie has a tear in the middle of the left side, but because of its location, I could still get 4 pockets out of it! Bonus!

You'll need:
Hankies, their size determines the size of your pocket, I like to use fairly large ones, at least 12" square. The one in this demo is 16" square.
Fabric glue
Ribbons and rickrack
An Iron
Heavy starch

Start by ironing and starching your hankie heavily. I usually spray the starch on one side, iron that side, then flip and repeat so that it is nice and crisp. Try and keep it as square as possible.

Then you'll have to do the unthinkable, CUT a hankie. It was hard for me the first time because I love them but just remember they'll still be around and in a more useful and adorable form! Cut your hankie into four equal squares.

To make the pocket we will be folding the corners in on the diagonal. This photo shows you the fold lines.

Now, I assemble my pockets using glue because I like things quick and snappy! But you could easily hand sew each of the next steps using a running stitch for a homespun look. To do it the quick and snappy way, apply a thin line of glue along the edge of one folded-down corner. You can see that I have cut a piece of junk mail to fit inside my pocket because the glue with seep through thin hankie material and you pocket could stick together and cease to be a pocket but more like a stiff, gluey hankie.

Fold the other edge onto the glue and press. Now it's time to start embellishing! Choose some ribbon or rickrack for the front of your pocket. Glue this to hide your glued seam.

Next, we apply ribbon or rickrack to the inside of the pocket. Measure out a length that will go completely around the edge. Apply a thin line of glue inside the front of the pocket. Starting with the center of your length of rickrack or ribbon, apply this to the center front inside your pocket.

Follow that by applying a thin line of glue to both top edges inside the pocket. Here is our pocket with rickrack glued along the entire inside edge.

Next we apply our hanging loop. Make a loop of ribbon, gluing together at the raw edges. Then glue this loop to the top back point of the pocket.

To cover up our raw loop edges and any glue seepage from the inside ribbon/rickrack, we apply ribbon or rickrack to the outside edge using the same thing line of glue method. Also make and glue a lovely bow onto the front, which I forgot to do until after the photo shoot so it's missing in my completed shot above. Oops! Here is the front:

and back of our finished pocket:

These are great for holding flowers and candy for a little gift!