Saturday, June 30, 2012

DIY Brownie Bites

You've had the Whole Foods Brownie Bites, right?  They are amazing because A) they are brownies and B) they are the perfect size and C) there is edge all the way around the brownie.  When left in a room with a pan of brownies, I cannot restrain myself.  That pan of brownies is as good as gone...and the corners and edges will disappear first.  I don't know what it is about a brownie edge...just the right amount of delicious....

Woah.  Brownie fantasy.

After realizing that I could bake pretty much anything bake-able in a muffin tin, I realized I could make my own Brownie Bites!  My whole world has since been transformed (well, my whole brownie baking world, but sometimes that feels like my whole world).

Collect the necessary ingredients.  Box of your favorite brownie mix, and whatever else the box says you need:

Mix it all together, and grease your muffin tin really well in each cup compartment.  Then place spoonfuls of the brownie batter in to each cup, almost to the top.  The batter will rise some, so don't overfill.

For baking, set your oven based on the instructions on the box.  As for timing, I start mine off at 20 minutes, and then dip a toothpick in the center of one.  If it comes out clean with no batter residue, then they are done.  If not, then keep them in the oven, checking them every 5 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.

When they are done, let them cool completely.  I know, it's hard to wait that long.  But this guarantees that they will stay intact when you jimmy them out of the cups.  I slide a plastic knife down  and then along the edge of the cup.  They normally free themselves easily.

Once they are out of the muffin tin, I can't promise they will stick around long.  I call each one an individual serving size, but I've been known to eat more than the recommended serving size in one sitting.  What can I say, brownie edges are my weakness, and you get 360 degrees of brownie edge on each of these.  Enjoy!


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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Diaper Motorcycle

My last post was about a baby gift set I made for my girl Natalie and her little one's (who STILL hasn't made his debut yet!  Foot tapping....) shower.  Well, being the matchmaker that I am, I actually set Natalie up with Michael, a fellow I work with.  They fell in love, and here we are...waiting...for little Max....any day now!!  Anyhow, we also threw a work shower for the soon-to-be-parents.  We work in transportation safety, and Michael works on motorcycle safety in particular.  While doing some research, my colleague came across this masterpiece with an awesome tutorial by SweetAprils:

In the words of Rachel Zoe, "I die."  For realz?  It's a DIAPER MOTORCYCLE.  Could this be any more perfect for Michael?  And could it be any more awesome in general?  I think not. 

After letting out a few squees and giggles from our cubicles, we decided it had to be done.  I took to Babies R Us and bought the necessary supplies.

I must apologize here for the quality and limited number of photos.  We did the assembly at my office with limited time.  It was just not the appropriate place to be taking pretty blog photos.  So iPhone quality photos is what you get.  Hopefully more friends will have babies and I will have more opportunities to make more of these and take fancy photos.

Michael and Natalie's nursery is a jungle theme, so I chose the monkey to be our motorcycle rider.

We followed SweetApril's extremely detailed tutorial, which proved very helpful and super easy to follow. 

A few areas of the motorcycle frame needed stablizing, so we used some straight pins here and there.  What we ended up with was this adorable composition:

Sadly we couldn't find a helmet small enough for this little monkey...otherwise he would be ready to ride! 

PWW Button Katie's Nesting Spot Photobucket
  Whatcha Got Weekend @ Lolly Jane
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monogrammed Onesie & Fancy Burp Cloths

My girl Natalie is about to have a baby any minute (seriously two weeks ago she experienced pre-term labor, but they stopped it -- keep that baby baking a little longer!) and for her shower I wanted to make something personalized for her little man.  Enter a monogrammed onesie and some fancy burp cloths.  I took inspiration from this pinned adorable monogrammed onesie with some good applique tips here.

My little monogram would be the letter "M" for Maxwell (so cute, I cannot wait to meet the little guy).  I started with a Newborn size Onesie, and fused some lightweight Pellon interfacing on the inside to stabilize the cotton. 

I had already fused the same lightweight Pellon to the back of my polka dot fabric, so then I cut out my "M".

Pinned the "M" to the Onesie, making sure the inside fused interfacing was centered underneath.

To make things more managable, I basted the "M" first, so it would stay put once I started my zig-zag stitch for the outline.  Although, it looks kinda cute with just the basting...

All ready to go, I did a wide zig-zag stitch around the "M" for the border.  I am still getting the hang of maneuvering my machine around corners and angles, but it's pretty good, especially for working around a tiny Onesie with my machine!

The coordinating burp cloths were super easy and fast. I used regular Gerber pre-fold cloth diapers as the base. I used a ton of these as burp cloths in the first 8 months with my baby.

 I cut out my fabric to roughly 18"X6". I folded under approximately 1/2" (or whatever length it didn't overlap the cloth too much) on each side and pressed it down.

I pinned the fabric to the burp cloth and stitched around 1/4" from the edge.  Fancy burp cloths complete!  An adorable personalized gift set for a new baby!

Here's to hoping he's not too big for the Newborn sized Onesie when he makes his big debut!!


Photobucket freckled laundry
Party Button Photobucket I Heart Nap Time

Creative Itch
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Striped Sweater Refashion

Pinterest really has a lot of awesome stuff, and has provided me with hours upon hours of drooling over food, fashion, home decor, but mostly the DIY tab.  I love it there.  I find so much inspiration of stuff to try (someday).  I try to be realistic and pin projects that I really think I could accomplish. 

I'm particularly fond of refashioning old clothes in to new garments to wear.  So when I stumbled across Merricks Art, I thought I had found my sister from another mister. 

There are a few pieces of my wardrobe I plan on refashioning.  I finally set to work on the first one.  I recieved a hand-me-down cardigan/scarf thingy...I don't really understand them. 

While I felt awkward trying to wear it, the knit was so soft, and I really dug the thick stripes.  It had to be transformed.  I originally thought - skirt - but changed my mind since horizontal stripes should never go around my lower half.  Plus, a knit skirt like that would get stretched out immediately after putting it on - Frump City, no bueno.

I went at this sans pattern, which is a huge challenge for me.  I also wanted this top to be a boatneck.  I had never made anything with a boatneck before, and here I was going at it without a pattern.

I cut the wings off this sweater - I don't know what else to call them.  To prevent the knit from unraveling, I zig-zag stitched the raw edge.

I didn't plan on the zig-zag causing the edges to stretch and ruffle.

I wasn't pleased about this, but I pressed on.  I pinned up the edges, and basted in about 5 inches, so I could gather the sides.

I gathered the basted edges, then sewed the raw edges down, turned it right-side-out, and tried it on.

It felt really flimsy, and I had not gathered enough on the sides - the boatneck was more like 80's off-the-shoulder.  I tried it on my dressform to assess the situation.

Not only was it flimsy, but I really didn't like the black hem stitching that was showing through the grey knit.  I tried it on about 12 more times before deciding it would not do.

I cut off the top grey stripe, and started over with the black stripe on top.  Instead of gathering the shoulders, I pinned some pleats to bring in the fabric, and to reduce the bulk.  To stablize the knit, I sewed bias tape to the right side of the raw edge, then folded it open and that became my seam allowance.

Thinking of the boatneck concept, I wanted to make sure the top would fit over my head, and not look too confining, so I left the back piece with a bit less pleating.  In hindsight, I should have just made the same amount of pleats, because it didn't look right with that extra few inches of fabric going around the back of my neck -- due to the bias tape, it was too rigid to drape or lay flat.

I sewed about 5.5 inches from the outside shoulder to the opening of the neckhole.  I ended up hand-stitching some additional pleats to take in the excess fabric around the back of the neck.

Once I was satisfied with the neck opening, I topstitched both sides, tacking down the bias tape, and giving it a polished look.

I stitched up the sides, and presto!  An awesome new look just in time for summer!

Check me out, trying to be discreet with my fancy new camera remote -- it's hard to take a shot without pointing that thing directly at the camera!


I Heart Nap Time I'm Topsy Turvy Sew Chatty Creative Itch Photobucket freckled laundry Photobucket
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