DIY Plaid Flannel Blanket Scarves

DIY

This Christmas I was inspired to go all-out with homemade holiday gifts. In searching for a project I could tackle for several of my family members, I came across a great DIY gift idea: blanket scarves!

Trendy and inexpensive to make (less than $10 per scarf), I decided to give this craft a whirl this holiday season, making one for every female family member I’d be spending time with on Christmas day.

This ended up being nine scarves. Word to the wise, if you’re planning to make this many scarves for Christmas start early (like, early November) to avoid stressing yourself out with a scarf-making frenzy two days before Christmas. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.  

That being said, these scarves would make great gifts any time of year!

The time and energy were well worth it, as these homemade gifts were a huge hit. Now that the holidays are over I’m looking forward to making one for myself!  

Supplies:

  • 1.5 yards of apparel flannel (can be found at Walmart & Joanne Fabrics)
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper

Instructions

  1. Start by trimming all edges, using the plaid pattern as a guideline to cut relatively straight. Don’t worry if you mess up! The fresh cut will make it easier for you to begin pulling your fringe.

2. Fold the fabric diagonally, creating a right angle.

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3. Trim the long end of the fabric so that it lines up with the edge to form a square.

4. Now – get a movie ready as you begin to start your fringe. This part of the process is easy – it just takes a hot second. Here’s what you’re gonna do – using the seam ripper, begin to undo the weave of the fabric, thread by thread. (check out the photo below)

5. You can either create a fringe on two sides of your scarf OR all the way around. Personally, I like blanket scarves that have a little fringe on all sides.

6. Once you’re done with the fringe you can either stop as is or (for extra reinforcement) use a sewing machine to run a quick stitch down all four sides.

Once your done with the fringe, all that’s left is to package it up pretty to give away as a gift! Or, ya know, throw it around your neck and call it yours. 😏

 

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Snowy Pine Embroidery

Art, DIY

This Christmas I went all out in making handmade gifts. In fact, I spent most of November and December unweaving flannel for homemade blanket scarves for all the girls in my family – more on that later.

Aside from the scarves, I also gifted both sets of my parents and grandparents an original hand embroidery.

I decided to do a different design for each couple and the design I’m sharing today is the one I completed for my grandparents.

This design features three snow-covered pines, standing elegantly in a winter wonderland. I was inspired by winter-themed embroidery art I found on Pinterest, and was particularly drawn to this idea as my grandparents can now display this artwork all winter, instead of having to take it down with the Christmas decor.

I would highly recommend a design like this for artists looking to get into fiber art. With its limited color palette and simple line-art design, it’s a very approachable piece. In fact, it only took me a few hours to complete!

If you’re interested in tackling a pine-inspired embroidery, check out some inspiration here.

Happy stitching!

 

 

Celebrating the magic of Christmas with a Nutcracker embroidery

Art, Holiday

There is undeniably something magical about Christmas and the season that surrounds it. Sparkling snow, sweet treats, cheerful music and smiles on even the most sullen faces. Truly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

One story I always found to capture Christmas magic in its own whimsical way is “The Nutcracker.” If you’re up to date with my holiday posts then you know I love incorporating these mystical wooden figures into my work this time of year, usually through drawings.

Last year, I decided to embark on a bigger undertaking: a nutcracker hand embroidery. Measuring nearly nine inches tall and having started the project in early December, I wasn’t able to complete the embroidery for last Christmas – there was a lot of baking and wrapping to be done, after all – and has been tucked away for the past year.

Having finally wrapped up most of my DIY gifts for the holidays (more to come on these later) I decided to pull this little German guy out this weekend and work to get him done for this Christmas.

Finally finished with this massive embroidery undertaking, I’m through the moon excited with how it turned out.

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I can’t wait to display him my house for many Christmases to come! And who knows, maybe every year will be marked with a unique nutcracker piece – but only if I start the piece immediately following Halloween!

Christmas checklist: Inspiration for getting into the Christmas spirit

Holiday

With Christmas less than two weeks away, there’s no better time to inspire yourself and get into the holiday spirit! For everyone who may be feeling a little grinchy this Christmas, here are a few tips and ideas to help you channel your inner Buddy the Elf:

Stir up a Christmas cocktail

Nothing says happy holidays like a stiff, spiced drink! Click here to read more about my favorite Christmas cocktail.

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Turn up the tunes

Listening to Christmas music is a sure-fire way to inspire holiday joy. I love listening to it while I’m working on projects in the studio. Bing Crosby on repeat, please.

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Get your DIY on

Make a homemade ornament or gift! Words can’t describe how fullfilling it is to make something with your own two hands. And it only gets better when you give homemade goodies away to loved ones.

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During this time of year, I also love making wreaths. Check out my tutorial here!

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Turn the oven on and open the spice drawer!

Nothing makes me happier during the holidays than baking, especially cookies. This year my family started a new tradition: Christmas cookie baking day! Everyone brought two doughs with them and we spent the afternoon baking and sharing laughs over Christmas cocktails and record music.

Set up your own Christmas cookie baking day! Make up some gingerbread dough, invite your friends over and spend time cutting them out and decorating together. Pour some eggnog (or wine) and enjoy making memories.

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Practice gratitude

Get away from the commercialism by taking a moment to remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for – there is no better time than Christmas! This year I am especially grateful, celebrating my first married year with Andy, and in our new house none the less!

It truly is a wonderful life.

Only 12 days until Christmas!

Sketch, bake, carve: Reconnecting with my creative side post-wedding

Art, Baking, Holiday

This month has been crazy! Andy and I were married on Oct. 6 and departed immediately after for our honeymoon trip of a lifetime to Maui and Kauai.

It was magical and perfect, and we couldn’t have asked for a more memorable October.

While I’m sad to have these amazing life events behind me, I’m also, admittedly, relieved. For the first time in over a year and a half I finally have some free time!

This week I’ve been having fun using my free time to get back to being creative and get into the Halloween spirit.

Sketch

The first item on my creative agenda following our honeymoon was to get back to sketching. I’ve always been a “Hocus Pocus” fan and I definitely had the Sanderson sisters in mind when I was creating this pen & ink sketch:

Bake

I also decided to get creative with cookies. I’ve made cut-out cookies before, but decided this time to try something new and decorate them with royal icing — I’m all about trying new things!

The decorations came out far from perfect but they were a lot of fun to make. I would highly recommend this chocolate cutout cookie recipe, which tastes very similar to a chocolate sandwich cookie. Pair it with Alton Brown’s recipe for royal icing which comes out so shiny and beautiful (don’t use my application as basis for judgement!).

Carve

And, of course, no Halloween is complete without a Jack-o-Lantern. Andy and I carve pumpkins every Halloween and I have to say, I think his looks better than mine this year!

Note to self: Next year, remember to buy a carving kit. The chef’s knife just isn’t cutting it anymore!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

How to preserve fresh pears

Food

One of the things I’m loving the most about our new house is the flourishing pear tree in our back yard. This is (apparently) a great year for pears, and Andy and I are currently overrun with them.

As much as we love having natural, fresh fruit at our disposal, there is absolutely no way we are capable of eating all of these pears before they go bad.

Accepting this reality led us to look into different methods of preserving our bounty.

Pearpicking

After doing some Google research I quickly learned that there are dozens of ways to preserve this fruit, some easier than others.

Naturally, I gravitated towards the easiest solution!

Here is perhaps one of the easiest ways to preserve fresh pears:

  1. Wash and peel your pears
  2. Core and slice (be really careful – peeled pears are very juicy and as a result, difficult to hold on to while slicing!)
  3. Bring two cups of water and one cup of sugar to a boil
  4. Boil the pears for 2-3 mins
  5. Drain
  6. Let them cool
  7. Throw them in a freezer bag and stick them in the freezer
  8. Done!

Use this method to keep your pears fresh for up to six months!

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Feeling like a real bride-to-be

Life Update

Less than 50 days to go and I am in full wedding mode! A HUGE thank you to all of my friends and family who took the time to throw me a beautiful shower this Saturday at the Bullthistle Brewery.

For those who planned games, organized cupcake & stationary, took photos and traveled from far out of town to be there, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It means the world.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Food

I found this recipe on the 4th of July when I was looking for something cute, simple and delicious to make for the holiday festivities — not to mention easy to eat while we sat around the campfire watching the fireworks!

This Tyler Florence recipe was ridiculously easy to put together (you can make the whole thing in the food processor!) and was a huge hit with my fiancé’s family.

I’m a big fan of anything lemon and this sweet and zesty bar certainly hit the spot. Another bonus? You can make them the night before!

Find the full recipe, here.