Friday, July 31, 2009

Ladybug Bow Holder

My girlfriend's daughter, Ellie, is just 3 months (to the day!) older than my daughter. Ellie's momma is getting ready to move her into a toddler bed, and thus has decided to redo her room. She is trading in her original nursery decor of Carebears and pink EVERYWHERE and has opted for a ladybug theme.

I made this to give her some motivation for doing the actual redecoration. It was fairly simple to make and I'm very pleased with the results. I also LOVE that the ladybugs at the bottom are kissing (or telling secrets).

I painted the wooden plaque red, with black around the edges and on the back (after some MAJOR get what you pay for!). I also did Ellie's name in black, with a small black heart at the end (in case you were wondering). The ribbon is 1 1/2 inch grosgrain (I think...I'll have to check that detail) and I also attached a sawtooth picture hanger on the back for ease in hanging. The kissing ladybugs were the finishing touch!

All in all, it was a perfect gift for Ellie. I also tucked in some hair bows that I made as a bonus :). Never hurts to get in some more practice!

There are more detailed pictures of this project on my Flickr account here.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Garden glories

I had debated about including this post in my blog, but decided it was just as worthy as anything else! And since I used my brand new apron to aid in this little project, I suppose it is perfectly appropriate.

We acquired some garden veggies from my mother-in-law, by way of her neighbor. (That's how we do it here in Kentucky. We are blessed, and then pass our blessings on to others!) I nearly hit the floor when I saw the zucchini that she gave us! The pictures really speak for themselves...

In all, we were given a handful of pickling cucumbers, two zucchini, and one lonely yellow squash. I have plans to use the smaller zucchini and the yellow squash in a pasta dish. My husband loves cucumbers, so those are all his (although I did take three or four to my mom and dad). The only thing I could think to do with that HUGE zucchini is to make zucchini bread.

I used two different recipes, but the one that I will save for next time is Paula Dean's Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. In fact, I already have it saved on my computer. (I won't mention the other one because it came from a recipe book I LOVE, but they weren't very good.) After all was said and done, I made one loaf, 24 muffins, and 9 mini loaves using only two-thirds of that zucchini. I took the other third to my mom and dad with some of those cucumbers.

Some notes about the Paula Dean recipe:

1. The recipe is actually what I would call a "double recipe". It makes 2 loaves of bread. Or 24 muffins. Or one loaf and 12 muffins. You get the idea.

2. Since it is what I call a "double recipe", you'll need some large mixing bowls. I don't have very large bowls, so I lost some dry ingredients while I was mixing the dry and wet together.

3. "In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended. " When I got to this part the first time, I used my hand mixer, naturally. The second batch I made, I beat the eggs by hand. I continued beating by hand after I added the sugar. It was just a hunch, and it may have been a coincidence, but I think the second batch was better.

4. Finally, this tip may just be personal preference. On my second batch I only used slightly more than 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, rather than the full cup the recipe calls for. The bread is plenty sweet enough without all the chocolate, in my opinion :).

Hopefully those tips help someone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The First Project

The first project to come out of The Attic Studio was selfishishly done for myself. I have a habit of expending my creative energies for others, but I wanted this one project to be for me. All me.

I had just purchased a new sewing machine to replace the 50's era machine my granny gave me a few years ago. I had no idea that all my frustrations with sewing could be attributed to the sewing machine...I thought it was me!

I headed off to the fabric store, in search of a pattern that didn't seem too daunting. I finally decided on an apron. It came together fairly quickly over the course of a week. I only worked on it about an hour at a time--during my dear toddler's naptime, bedtime, and my husband's weekly trips to the stockyards with his grandfather.

In the end, I'm so proud! I finished sewing something that I love, while only ripping one seam! It is sure to be something I wear often. I'm even thinking about making some more as Christmas gifts for some of the women in my family.

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