Friday, December 27, 2013

Foodie Friday: Must Try Dips

I have something to confess to you, I love a good dip. In fact, I would take an appetizer spread over a five course meal any day of the week. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to dips and it contains 70 pins! So, in the spirit of ringing in the new year, here are some of my current favorite sip recipes.
1. Pickle Dip from Buns In My Oven: The perfect potato chip dip, especially for all of you pickle lovers out there.
2. Eight-Layer Mediterranean Dip from Whole Foods: This dip is super yummy with pita chips and dare I say, a bit on the healthy side of the dip spectrum?
3. Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip from Jamie Cooks It Up:  A perennial favorite in our family. works well with crackers or tortilla chips. (I usually substitute canned green chilies for the jalapenos.
4. Pizza Dip from  I just made this for the first time on Christmas Eve and it quickly jumped to the top of my dip list. Perfect with crusty bread.
5. Buffalo Chicken Dip from Franks Red Hot Sauce: I have been making and loving this dip for over five years now. It goes perfectly with corn chips, especially Fritos, as well as carrot sticks and celery sticks.
There you have it. Some dipping yumminess for you to try. What about you, what is your favorite dip? (You know I need to add to my list!)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Foodie Friday: Cranberry Bliss Bars

Yes, these Cranberry Bliss Bars are calling your name! Even though I have never had the Starbucks version, I knew I had to make this recipe when I saw it floating all over the internet. And bonus, these are the "healthy version!" So, head on over to Gina's blog Skinny Taste and try our this recipe today!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Five Ideas for Christmas Washi Tape

I snagged this great Christmas patterned washi tape on the Plaid Barn. When I ordered it, I didn't really know what I was going to to do with it. I just knew that I liked it and would find some way to use it up. I have been having such fun figuring out different ways of using it and thought that I would share some with you today.
1) Sealing Christmas Cards: I started using it to spice up the backs of the envelopes for our Christmas cards. A couple of strips over the sealed flap added some great visual interest. (I am not sure how the postal service feels about using it this way. I am hoping my washi tape isn't jamming up all of their machines.)

2) Decorating Buckets and Dishes: We had a little hot chocolate bar here the other day and I used the washi tape to turn ordinary buckets and dishes into festive serving pieces. When I was done, I just removed the tape.
3) Christmas Packages: Before I mail a package this year, whether for myself or my business, I have been adding a couple of strips of washi tape. Sure does liven up a plain cardboard box! (Once again, I may be on the postal service's naughty list for this one.)
4) Christmas Present Tags: I usually make some sort of homemade tag for our Christmas gifts. This year, I am using my washi tape. The best part is that I know it will stay put through shipping and hauling.

5) Labeling Containers: Whether you are handing out Christmas treats or just taking a dish to a potluck, this is a great way to keep track of whose is whose. And when you are done? Simply remove the tape for the next time.
Do you have any unique uses for washi tape?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dare to DIY: Give Handmade Gifts: Ladies' Day {Covered Button Earrings}

Sorry, I didn't get around to posting this last week. You see, this little project wasn't completed until yesterday! It is hard to post about something that isn't done! I think that it is worth the wait, though!

The inspiration for this project comes from several craters that I know or follow. Dana from Botny makes the most awesome hand-colored earrings. You can check out her awesomely unique items on her Etsy page. Another crafter that makes some awesome earrings is Emily from Taea Made. Hers are finished with a high gloss. Totally rad. You can find a pair or two of her earrings on her Etsy shop and see some of the other unique items she makes. Also, Lindsey with the Pleated Poppy just released a new line of fabric earrings. Here is her shop where you can also see some of the other great products she produces.

For this project, I purchased the blank button sets at Joann along with the earring backs. I went with 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch because I wanted mine to be dainty, but you could totally go bigger. Then I set to covering the buttons with fabric scraps. This was so much fun! I loved looking through the fabric to find the perfect fabrics for this project. Just keep in mind the scale of the print. If you have smaller buttons, you will want a smaller print.

After covering the buttons, I removed the shank on the back and glued on the earring back. And just like that you have a totally unique gift for the any lady on your list.
***Note, I had some difficulty getting the shanks off. I eventually got them off. I have purchased blank buttons without shanks in the past for crafting, but didn't see any this time. I would recommend trying to remove the shanks before making the buttons.***

After assembling the earrings, I punched out a fun shape from card stock, poked two holes, free-handed some doodles, and put the earring sets on the cards.
Look for my children's handmade gift post here.
And my gentlemen's handmade gift post here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dare to DIY: Deck the Halls: Advent Wreath

I have been wanting to start the tradition of having an Advent wreath at our home. Of course, I wanted something a little bit different, so I was dragging my feet on the entire project. I got the boost I needed when I said that I would bring one to church for an Advent event.
I started by looking on Pinterest where I found this blog post on Groovie Mom that featured a wreath that was similar to what I wanted to make. I started by looking for a base for the wreath. I ended up with a white cake stand from Pier 1. (I can't find the exact one I purchased, but this one is similar.) Then I purchased and chopped apart floral sticks for the greenery.
I got mine from Michaels. The hardest part in this project was tracking down the candles. I could find tapers, but finding purple and pink pillars was hard. Finally I got the purple and white ones at Target and the pink one at Hobby Lobby. At first I just laid the greenery around the candles, but it kept falling off and needing to be rearranged.
So, I cut a piece of white card stock into a circle, traced the candle placement onto it, and then hot glued the greenery around the outside edge. That way I can remove the greenery after Christmas and have a white cake stand to use. We have been enjoying our new Advent wreath tradition. Every night after supper we light the appropriate candles for the week and read a devotion out of an Advent book I found online. The girls look forward to it every night.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Foodie Friday: Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake

If you are looking for a healthy past meal, do not click this link!!! If you are looking for a totally delicious pasta bake with cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream, CLICK THE LINK!!! :o)

I recently made this and it was delicious! We all loved it. Like I said, it may not be the healthiest for you, but for a suppertime treat, it is so good. You can find the original recipe here. I followed the directions with the exception of adding heavy cream since I had it on hand, and also adding artichoke hearts that I also had on hand.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dare to DIY: Give Handmade Gifts; Kids' Edition {Superhero Cape and Mask}

My blogging friend, Kim, and some of her friends are hosting a Dare to DIY this month. You can read about it and follow along on Kim's blog Newly Woodwards. This week's challenge was to give handmade gifts. Now that is an easy topic for me. I love to give handmade, either by me or another crafter. The hard part is to post about it without giving a gift away to the recipient. :o) I am going to be posting a different gift idea the first three days of this week. Today's will be for kids, tomorrow's for the guys on your list, and then Wednesday is ladies day.

I recently whipped this superhero cape and mask set up for an order, but decided that it would make an awesome handmade gift for any child on your list. I used the cape tutorial from Nancy's Notions that can be found here. (The pattern is actually intended to be used for the Capes for Kids campaign. You can find out all about it here, but you can sew and donate capes for children living in shelters. Wouldn't it be great to make two capes, one to give as a gift and one to donate to Capes for Kids?)

Using felt, I customized the cape with the child's initial. But you could also use a symbol if you would like. I also created a felt mask with elastic to go along with the cape. This was a fairly simple project. I am sure a beginner sewer could tackle it. And what child wouldn't want a swell cape and mask this Christmas so that they can be their own superhero?
If you are looking for even more handmade gift ideas, you can check out this post from last year with a roundup of some of the handmade gifts I have featured on my blog.
And here are a few more:
Ruffled Tote
Fabric Luggage Tags
Coordinates Frame
Tea Wreath
ABC Cards
Wine Gift Bags

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Dolls: Holly and Jingle

My sister-in-law challenged me to make an ugly Christmas sweater doll for my Etsy shop. I tried to find ugly Christmas sweater fabric, but couldn't.
I did find a funky piece of Christmas fabric that I thought would work, however. (I found the fabric at our fabric warehouse which is closing! Boo!!) Anyway, I set to work on the ugly Christmas sweater dolls. And do you know what?
They turned out too cute to use the term ugly in the title. So, I am now selling Christmas dolls. Meet Holly and Jingle. They were super fun to create and I just love how they turned out.
  If you would like one or a pair or 50! stop on by my Etsy store kiki b omi designs!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Feather Garland and More

It took me a bit to get the Thanksgiving decorations up this year. Finally last weekend, for the Duplo party, I got me rear in gear and got to work.

I wanted something to replace the Halloween pennant banners that I had made. At first I thought that leaves would be the way to go, but then I saw this feather garland, and decided to branch out of the transnational and try something a little new and fun.
And while I love the look of felt, I really wanted something a bit simpler to make. Enter paper and my Silhouette Cameo. (Have I told you how much I love that thing??) I downloaded a feather pattern and proceeded to cut out feathers in three sizes out of paper I had in my paper stash.

Then I simply used my sewing machine to stitch them together. Viola! I added one to our old window that is sitting on our desk along with the Give Thanks printable found here. And I hung the longer one over our hanging picture display.

Of course I redid the chalkboard for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law had emailed me this idea and I went with it and made it my own. And added a turkey made by Peachy.
I kept my mini pumpkin hurricane from Halloween and flanked it with this printable I popped into a frame and a canvass print.

I have a great fall table runner from my mom that fits perfectly on our skinny table at the top of our stairs. That coupled with a frame I made, a wooden pumpkin basket filled with some gourds, and this printable backed with a Silhouette cutout, finished that table.

Finally in the entryway, I gathered up all of our mini pumpkins and gourds, added some candles, and this printable in a frame.
These new decorations coupled with having a busy week are about all that held off the Christmas decorations this year! What about you, did you decorate for Thanksgiving or have you already started on Christmas?
I am linking up with Dare to DIY.
Go and check out all of the other great ideas!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas Craft Show

This weekend I got into the upcoming Christmas spirit a bit early by participating in a local Boutique. It was held in connection with a holiday tour of 7 decorated homes in the area. 
As usual, I was a crafting whirlwind right up until the night before the show, but all of my work paid off with a great booth and a good show. I had my every growing and changing menagerie of up-cycled friends there, in addition to my art caddies, large and small, and crayon rolls. 
As a special to the show, I also offered some Christmas scrappy bunting. It was my biggest booth to date, 10 feet by 10 feet. Mr. Cherry helped me plan my booth floor plan once again. (I am so thankful for a suppirtive and helpful husband!! Especially one who has such better spacial skills than I.) I used my basket and hook set up on my craft paper covered peg board walls. 
I also added two small Christmas trees to each side. And of course I had to get out my vintage Christmas linens.

And since it was a two day show, there was some inevitable down time. I had brought along my Christmas cards and almost finished working on addressing them! It feels so good to get ahead a bit.

I would like to use this time as a little reminder to you all of the importance of shopping handmade and small local businesses all throughout the year, but especially at Christmas. 
A small order can make someone like my day. Before you go out to Target and the mall to do your shopping, maybe take a look at your downtown and see what gifts you can purchase there. 
Or stop by Etsy and browse all of the great handmade items for the people on your giving list. (And if you just so happen to need something for a little person, my shop is kiki b omi designs. I hope to have it filled with soon!!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Little Man Tie Tee Shirts

Have you ever seen the Blume line of products for kids? So many fun ideas! A friend recently sent me a request to make her adorable little boys some Blume inspired Little Man Tie Shirts since she couldn't find matching shirts in the correct sizes. She wants to use them for their family's Christmas pictures. Isn't that going to be awesome?
I started by purchasing plain red shirts. I found mine at Target. Then I took a man's tie and cut it down to make a tie for each shirt. I wish I could tell you how I ended up making the tie, but it was really by trial and error. After stitching the ties up, I decided to connect them to the shirts with velcro. That way they can be removed for washing.
I can't wait to see your little men in their tie shirts, Jenny!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Foodie Friday: Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

I made these Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs a few weeks ago and we all enjoyed them. I did make a couple of minor changes to the original recipe from Spend with Pennies. I started by adding some dill pickle relish to the mix, because what is a cheeseburger doing without any pickles, I tell you? I also didn't have any bacon on hand, so I used bacon bits. (I know this is a bit of a travesty, but it is what it is!) I also just used shredded cheese rather than the cheese cubes the recipe suggests in an effort to get them in the oven so that we could eat. These were a yummy meal for our family and one that we will make again. You can get the recipe here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Purse: Go Anywhere Bag by Noodlehead

While shopping at our warehouse fabric store recently (which is closing, by the way!!!! So so sad.) I came across these green quilt weight fabrics that I just couldn't leave behind. I didn't have a project in mind, but knew one would come to me. And it did! I decided to make up Noodlehead's Go Anywhere Bag. I have made one of Noodlehead's patterns in the past and found it to be a great e-pattern and the Go Anywhere didn't disappoint. I did make a few modifications. I repeated the divided pockets from the front on the back. (For me, I knew that more pockets would be better than the one large one.)
I also decided to add a zipper. (It is just a way of life with two kiddos that my bag doesn't always get placed right side up. A zipper closure ensures I am not scrambling all over the Target parking lot trying to find various items from my purse.) I also added a key clip, as I hate digging to the bottom of my bags trying to find my keys. I ended up making the handles with webbing wrapped int he quilt weight fabric. (An idea I grabbed from the Noodlehead Divided Basket pattern.) In addition to the quilt weight fabric I used a chambray and a mid-weight denim that I already had on hand.
I love how the chambray looks with the accent fabrics and the denim lining adds a nice weight to the entire bag. This bag has a great sized interior and the addition of the six pockets on the outside work well for sippies, sunglasses, and other odds and ends. I am loving it.