Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday

On my sewing table this week: Baskets for a rapidly impending baby. This pattern is from Baffin Bags on etsy - I've bought her storage baskets and they are fantastic. She sells this pattern as well so if you'd like to make your own you can. She also has a cute variation to turn them into Easter or Halloween baskets. I'm not getting paid to say any of this, just really like her :-)
Two mini quilts I'd like to get finished up - this ROYGBIV mini scrappy trip around the world, right now it measures 15.5" square. I think I may add a small white border - maybe 1 1/2" before I quilt it.
Then this mini flying geese made with a subtle batik as the background fabric, which I though added some visual interest and paired really nicely with Malka Dubrawsky's fabrics. This one measures 14.5" x 18" and it's ready to go. Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Halfway to the weekend people - just hang on :-)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finish it Up Friday :: Mini Messenger Bags

We had a play date recently with some of our favorite friends who have two lovely little girls, one almost exactly the same age as ours and one about sixteen months younger. Harper and I wanted to do something to make it an extra special day and I know this mama appreciates handmade so I used this tutorial from Zaaberry that I love - quick, easy, adorable - to whip up these cute bags. Then Harper helped by picking out some goodies to put in each one.
The rainbow stripe is a home dec weight fabric from IKEA. Oh how we love you IKEA! The gray was a twill I had in my stash from Hancock's. Here's where a well-stocked stash let me make these without even having to leave the house. Gotta love that.
We figured the flower button pins would be an easy way to tell the bags apart. Flower Button Pin tutorial from Artsy-Crafty Babe and be fore-warned, they are addictive once you start making them! But on the upside, them you have a stash of them to grab when you need one!
And yes, I put a bird on it ;-) Bird fabric is an Alexander Henry print, also from my stash for the win.
Filled with some fun little treats these bags make such fun gifts and they are the perfect size for toddlers/smaller kids. Harper uses hers all the time and cracks me up with a) the assortment of random junk she wants to carry around with her and b) how grown-up she looks when she's carrying it! My dear husband thinks I've somehow turned her into a bag carrying kid but I've assured him that girls are just born with that gene!

I'm thrilled to have something actually done around here and I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Decadent, right? I consider myself to be an expert on peanut butter and chocolate from years of research. These are some of the best cupcakes I've ever made using that magical combination and everyone who tasted one pretty much agreed.
The cupcakes are made with cocoa powder which is nice because I always have some in my pantry.
The addition of the cream cheese to the peanut butter frosting added just enough extra richness to make this frosting like peanut butter fudge. I may have eaten all the extra with a spoon. Seriously.

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake Recipe (or cupcakes ;-)

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl:
2 C sugar
1 3/4 C flour
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

stir with whisk to mix together and get rid of any lumps.

Add wet ingredients to flour mixture:
2 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla

Mix with electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes. Then gradually mix in 1 C boiling water. Batter will be thin. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full and bake 22-25 minutes (mine only took about 18 min). Done when toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 30 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting from MakeBakeCelebrate

1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C peanut butter (I used Jif smooth)
4 - 6 C powdered sugar
2 - 3 TBSP milk

Cream butter and cream cheese together until well mixed, then add peanut butter and vanilla and mix well. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, original recipe called for 4 C but I needed about 6 to get the consistency and flavor I wanted. If needed add milk one tablespoon at a time to get desired consistency. Use to frost completely cooled cupcakes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

Whew, back from vacation and slowly recovering. Why is vacation sometimes so much more exhausting than real life? So I'm easing back in with a little ROYGBIV scrappy trip mini. I added the ruler so could get an idea for the size...small. But I think it might be the start of something bigger. I'll keep you posted.
Then I got all my Flea Market Fancy re-prints, ah, I mean legacy prints cut into many, many 9" squares for a patchwork quilt a la Kelby Sews. I always love how how her quilts turn out, fingers crossed mine will look as nice.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chipsters

I know it may seem a bit ridiculous to be baking in July when it's the height of summer here in the States but I couldn't help it. I needed something homemade. PLus it's been crazy rainy here so it at least looked cool outside (such a cruel joke when you open the door and it's 90 degrees with 94% humidty, ugh).
These are adapted from Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett, which is an excellent cookbook. Many recipes I wanted to make right away. Plus a sectional on savory cookies which was an interesting twist and they all sounded appealing too Happy hour beer with cookies? Yes please!
Also the first cookbook I've bought for the nook. In the interest of bookshelf space I thought I'd give it a try. It worked, I mean I have all the recipes but honestly I don't think my love of actual books will ever wane. Except for travel, not lugging a back-breaking bag of books with me I'm happily able to give up.
Oh and these cookies are HUGE, very coffee house chic. And very, very yummy. Have a great weekend everyone!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chipsters
1 C butter, melted
1 1/3 C peanut butter
1 1/3 C brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temp.
2 C quick oats
1 pkg milk chocolate chips - I used Ghiradelli for this recipe and they are BIG chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a large bowl then stir in peanut butter, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth. If your mixture is still warm let cool a bit before adding eggs - no one likes scrambled egg cookies ;-)

Add eggs and then oats, let stand for a few minutes so oats can soften. Then stir in flour and chocolate chips. If your dough seems really soft refrigerate it for a little while. I did this because our kitchen is so warm this time of year and I didn't want them to spread too much.

Use lined baking sheets - I used silpats and a 2" scoop. This scoop seemed too big to me but since they really didn't spread it worked out fine. Flatten the cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass or a fork.
Bake 11 - 15, the tops should be just set and the bottoms golden brown on the edges when you pull them out. Let sit on sheets for 5 minutes and the tops will set as they cool. Finish cooling on wire racks.

I got 32 rather large cookies from this batch. Harper loved helping me stir but then wouldn't eat them because they looked "funny" which I"m guessing came from the oats. Fine by me! I never complain when I get all the cookies to myself, I'm wise like that.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Crazy about Calendars

Happy Fourth of July to everyone in the States! I sincerely hope you're someplace warm and sunny, unlike here in GA where it's rain, rain and more rain. With a side of flooding and no chance of fireworks. Boo. So I thought I'd share something that's turned into a great once-a-month project at our house, you know, in case you're stuck inside and looking for something to do.

My child LOVES calendars and she comes by that completely honestly as I do too. She was always asking when things would happen, which day and how many days away things were, so I decided to make a calendar kind of like the job chart in her classroom at school.

For each month you'll need a poster board, 15 small sized envelopes, glue, stickers, markers and a hole punch. My talented husband took a photo of Harper against an empty wall in our house (can you tell we started making these in February?), printed the photo, glued it to card stock and cut it out. She moves it to a new day first thing each morning. We also put birthdays and trips and other special events on the envelopes so you can see when they'll happen.
I buy the self stick envelopes because licking 15 envelopes is just gross. Trust me on that. stick the envelops shut, fold them in half and cut. Glue them to poster board in a grid of 5 across, 6 up and down. If a month has 31 days we just add a slash to day 1 and put them both there. I glue the envelopes and do the tape.
We started adding a little piece of tape at the top of each envelope to our flat Harper doesn't get stuck going down in each day. Of course washi tape is more fun and we love the Target brand and the Kid Made Modern (also sold at Target). Dollar section also helps us out greatly with our sticker collection.
Then Harper has started writing the month at the top and writing the numbers on each day. Good practice writing and learning the months of the year, plus I love her cute little handwriting.
The she stickers the life out of it and we hang it up - I just use a couple 3M removable hooks on a wall in the kitchen. It takes us about an hour from start to finish and we've really looked forward to making a new one each month. Some months have a theme, some months are more Hello Kitty or Dora based on which amazing stickers we're feeling most at the moment ;-)

Anyway, hope you all have a great day whether it's a holiday for you or not! Back tomorrow with a yummy cookie recipe for the weekend.

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