Friday, 25 November 2011

Baby Ella Mae

Baby Ella Mae was born on November 4th, 8 weeks premature. Ella only weighed 3lbs. at birth.  She is absolutely adorable!

This is a newborn hat that I knit, and it's soo tiny, but it's still too big for little Ella. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

3-D Snowflakes

Here is a fun and easy craft to do with your kids. You may need to do it along with them, depending on the age of your children, but the best part is that you won't have all the little cut-outs all over your house that you get when you make the typical snowflakes!!!  Enjoy!

Materials needed to make 1 snowflake:
  • 6 pieces of paper (I used computer paper, but if you want them more decorative, use scrapbook paper)
  • tape
  • scissors
  • stapler
1.  Fold the sheet into a triangle (only if your using a rectangular shaped paper, you need to make it square).

Cut the extra section off the bottom, to make a square.

2. Fold your square back into a triangle, and then fold it once more into a smaller traingle.  Begin to cut slits into the traingle, making sure that your cut starts on the folded edge, and going the length of the triangle, but stop a little bit before the edge.  I did five slits, you can do more if you want a more detailed snowflake.

3. Open up the triangle, and now you have a square.

4. Fold the two centre cuts, and tape them together.

5. Flip the square over, and fold the next two cuts together and tape them. 

6. Continue flipping the square over everytime you tape new pieces together, until they are all taped.

7.  Repeat these steps 5 times, until you have 6 sections.

8. Now line all 6 sections up, matching the tips of each section together and staple them at the tip.

9. Now open the snowflake up, and tape each section together with a small piece of tape.  And there you have it, a funky, more modern looking snowflake.

Friday, 18 November 2011

DIY Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

For a couple of years I have been looking for a "unique" looking tree skirt...not your typical "red, green and gold"  tree skirt.  So I  thought I'd give it a try, making me own.  I didn't really have a pattern, I just knew I wanted it to have ruffles.  This ended up being quick and easy, and what I have had in mind in terms or style, and the best part I got the colour I wanted....PINK!!  You will need to use a more stiff material, I got mine in the tapestry section of the fabric store. 

Items needed:
  • 4 yards of material
  • a sheet
  • sewing machine
  • tape measure
  • glue gun
1.  Using a tape measure, mark and cut a square out of the sheet that is approximately 4-1/2 feet x 4-1/2 feet. Fold the square into quarters, then over itself to form a triangle with the folded center at point. Cut base in a quarter circle (Image 1). Cut a small quarter circle out of the point (Image 3). Open the skirt until it's folded in half and cut along the radius on one side of the center hole only (Image 4). This will provide a hole for the tree trunk and a slit in the fabric so the skirt can be placed under the tree. 

                                                      Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

2. Using sharp scissors, cut three 10 inch strips of material. (or how many you need, depending on the amount of layers you want) To create ruffles, run these strips through the sewing machine using the longest stitch length your machine has.  When done sewing, pull the boobin thread until you have the amount of ruffles you like, being careful not to break the thread. 

3. Using the glue gun, begin gluing the ruffle to the sheet all the way around, beginning at the bottom and working your way up.

4.  When your circle is filled with all the ruffle layers, measure around the circle at the top of the skirt and cut a piece of material double that size in length and about 4 inches in height. This piece will be used to cover up the thread showing at the top layer of ruffles.

5.  Begin glueing this strip of material to the top of the skirt to give a more finished looking edge.  Make sure that you leave an inch hanging over on the top to glue down onto the back of the skirt.  You will need to pinch the material, onced glued down, to give a little of a ruffled look.  Once you have worked your way around, flip it over and glue the top done onto the back of the tree skirt.

6.  Place the finished skirt under your tree and fluff up the ruffles to give a fuller look.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

John has been asking me to make sweet potato fries for dinner for a while now, but I've always been turned off of making them because I've heard so often from other people that they never crisp up in the oven.  "The fries always just steam in the oven and get soggy."  Well not anymore!!!!!  I've found the secret to making crispy sweet potato fries.....and it's just one simple ingredient..........corn starch!

  • sweet potatoes (amount depends on how many people your feeding)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Chipotle Mayo
  • mayonaise
  • chipotle chili spice (Epicure)

1.  Slice the sweet potato in french fry slices, not too thick, but not shoe-string thin. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Put about a tablespoon of cornstarch in a plastic bag, and place the sweet potato fries in.  Balloon the bag and shake the fries around, until they are coated.   (do a little less of a cornstarch coating then I did.)

3.  Place on a non-stick cookie sheet, and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the fries, and use your hands to toss them, until well coated.   Arrange on the cookie sheet so that no fries are touching each other, the more space between the fries, the better they'll crisp up.

4.  Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.  Flip the fries over, and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

5.  While they are cooking, start making the chipotle mayonaise.  I don't measure when making this, just put as much mayo as you think you'll need for your fries, and then add as much chipotle chili spice (I got mine from Epicure) as you and your family like...depending on how much "heat" you like in your food.

I served the sweet potato fries with ribs and a mixed veggie medley....delish!!!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Boys Hats & Mitts

Here are a few of the new styles for boys hats that I promised....I'm still working on more, so keep checking for updates!!!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

I'm always trying to find new ways to make chicken breasts exciting.  I found this recipe the other week and thought it sounded delicious, but still looked quite easy, which is always a bonus........and it was sooooo easy and very, very good.  It's all mixed in one bowl, with a quick roll in bread crumbs and a few minutes in the pan, and your chicken is complete!!!
The recipe says it makes 4 chicken breasts, but there was enough stuffing left over to have made 6 chicken breasts.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
4 strips of bacon, diced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
2. Stir together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and jalapenos in a small bowl.
3. Cut a pocket horizontally through the thickest side of each chicken breast, and fill with 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Secure with toothpicks.

4. Roll the chicken breasts in bread crumbs to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 8 minutes per side. If your chicken breasts are thick, like mine were, they can be finished in a 350-degree oven.