Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making Plans…

I haven’t been too crafty as of late….well, at least that anyone would notice, mostly I’ve been running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, mopping 1,400 plus square feet of tile, painting, organizing,cleaning, vacuuming, and mothering two children…that’s all.  I really need to get my craft room into a state where I actually can get all of the boxes off of the ground and I can actually get some projects done.  Believe me, I have plenty. 

I need to make some kind of black-out curtains for each of the kids’ rooms (and mine if possible), refinish chairs, a bed, a nightstand and a table, make pillows for the loft and figure out what colors I want the other rooms in this house to be.  I hate, absolutely hate the color the main floor is and I can’t even figure out why I hate it.  It looks okay in some lights but it seems like a muddy dingy brownish-yellowish kaki in most lights.  I don’t mind it in the morning but I hate it by nightfall.

I have gotten a couple of things done so far.  Besides painting the loft a lovely shade (or two) of green, I painted the nursery and the downstairs powder room. I also did hold a cookie exchange (where I completely forgot to take any photos at).  It went pretty well I thought.  Even if the main level of our house lacks much furniture and echoed like crazy as children ran around and adults visited.  I had great fun myself.  We did pasta on the menu.  I made penne, linguini, and angel hair and had marinara, pesto and alfredo, as well as meatballs, roasted squash with tomatoes, steamed broccoli, salad and other veggies to munch on.  I even tried making a fruit punch drink which resulted in my teaching one of my friends that the best way to get fruit stains out of a white shirt is to pour boiling water over it while it’s still wet.  It is almost magical how it works!

Of course, I had too much food and we ended up eating the same thing or a variation of for about a week.  I learned that Spaghetti noodles cut work great in chicken noodle soup…so good in fact that my son even wanted the leftovers for breakfast the next day. :D  We also pulled off a birthday party for my daughter in Utah when we were there for Christmas.  Which took a bit of extra planning on my part.

I am so looking forward to the New Year.  I want to finish lots of projects, make my home a place of peace and rest.  A comfortable place where my kids would rather be than at the neighbor’s house :). A real home that my family and even my friends want to be.  That is my goal for the New Year.  To be a better mom, wife and housekeeper.  It’s not the most glamorous goal but that’s what it is!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Baby Boy Bear Cake

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I helped throw a baby shower for my friend Sherrada who’s having a baby boy.  Her sister Kalei and I threw it at my pretty much empty house since we more than doubled our square-footage when we moved and  do not yet have much furniture downstairs and though I have some ideas what to do, I’m not completely sure what colors I want in those rooms yet.  We had a spread of veggies, fruits, cheese and crackers and meats and some sweets Kalei brought and then I made some breakfast casseroles: a baked French toast one and two different egg ones.

I also practiced by piping skills the night before by making a polar bear cake with a bow-tie the night before.  I love the 3D mold I used for this bear.  I bought it a while ago and was excited to try it out.  I think it is tempting me to buy a tilting cake turner so that I can get the detail better on the bottom when I make it again.  I used tip 233 for the fur because I absolutely love the fuzzy look it gives the bear….much cuter than stars in my opinion.

029Here’s our “Brunch” spread.  Kalei brought such yummy things.  It was great that I had her help with the food! 030 Here’s the detail on the bear.  It’s difficult to see the fur and it probably would have been cuter if I did it in brown but I wanted to have white butter-cream since it was a spice cake to go with the holiday season.031    Here’s pretty Sherrada filling out a paper for one of the games.


This is her mom getting ready to guess how big (actually little) Sherrada’s belly is.

040 One of Sherrada’s husband’s  aunts made this with regular grocery bags from the store.  I thought it was such a great idea, I had to take a photo so I can steal her idea.  She mentioned that using lunch sacks with the same idea makes a really cute bag for little cookies or something.  Love it!042

Here’s Kalei with her brand new baby and Sherrada with her darling baby-belly.  So much fun that these sisters are having babies around the same time!

Thanksgiving 2010

I had a great Thanksgiving this year!  It was extra special because one of my best friends, Dayna, came with her new husband Jeff, from Las Vegas to celebrate it with us in our new home.  We had a blast cooking all morning and then taking a break and relaxing and then finishing up at dinner time and having our Thanksgiving Feast together.  We decided that cooking Thanksgiving and having it possible to eat in the afternoon has to take more than one oven.  It really was okay that we had it about 6:30 pm with me.  In fact, I think I was less likely to stuff myself since I had eaten all my meals at a normal time that day and not held off because of the big meal.


Here’s an awful picture of Me and Dayna after cooking all day….right before I ran off to take a shower and freshen up…only to realize that I hadn’t found the box with my blow-dryer in it yet!


Here’s my husband carving the Turkey at the island.


These are my kids waiting pretty patiently for their meal (I gave the baby some faux gourds to play with).  I also am in love with her cute Turkey bib from Carters!

Speaking of faux gourds, I was really proud of myself for noticing some on the bottom self at Joann’s the Monday after Halloween.  They were 75% off and about the same price as gourds from the grocery store but the best thing about these is they will never fade, rot, and are pretty tough.  Love them!  Perfect decorations for a fall flavor.


This is Dayna and Jeff as he is trying to get the “oysters” off of the turkey.


My boy, checking out all of the food on the island and hoping to eat soon.  Really, I think he’s eyeing those sweet-potatoes that are my grandma’s amazing recipe.   They are so yummy.  When Dayna and I were figuring out what we wanted to serve for Thanksgiving she mentioned that she and Jeff both didn’t really care for sweet potatoes and I said that we HAD to make my grandma’s recipe and they would be converted, I was right (most people call them yams but I hear that’s technically incorrect so in order to try not to confuse those who call them sweet potatoes and have had really yams, I’ll just call them sweet potatoes).  Jeff went back for more sweet potatoes than anything else during the meal and even got more in the morning with his breakfast he liked them so much.  They are super easy.   Here’s the recipe:

My Grandma’s Sweet-Potatoes (or Thanksgiving Yams)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash 6 sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork.   Bake Sweet Potatoes on a cookie sheet for 1-2 hrs until soft…just keep an eye on them, it really depends on the mass of them and how dense they are how long it takes but they start smelling sweet when they are getting softer.

2.  Let baked sweet potatoes cool.  Peel off skins or scoop out pulp.  Place pulp in a bowl.  Add melted butter, salt, and milk to desired consistency (just as you would make mashed potatoes).

3.  Grease a 9x13x2 pan and spread sweet potatoes out.  Sprinkle with marshmallows (about 3/4 of a package).  Bake in a 350 degree oven until marshmallows start looking toasty (about 25 minutes).

4.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.


I’m so Thankful that we got to have our great friends join us for the holiday.  It was lots of fun, even if I was feeling a little nutty after moving a week and a half before.  It was wonderful to have them!

Baby Boy “Bear” Shower

I haven’t been blogging much lately, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been up to anything.  In fact, in the last three weeks, I’ve thrown two baby showers, hosted Thanksgiving and in between all that partying/work, our family moved and I have begun the task of painting and decorating each room.  Here are some pictures of the shower I helped throw for my friend Claudia on the 4th of November.  Her little boy showed up yesterday, so it’s about time I put up the pictures.November pics 2010 086 My friend Brooktynn, who’s house we had the shower at thank goodness because I was moving the next week and my apartment was decorated with cardboard boxes from the grocery store, made this cute sign above the buffet table.  I loved that cute paper she used I wish it came out better in the photo.November pics 2010 089

Here’s my darling friend Claudia in all her glowing motherhood glory.  She is so cute!November pics 2010 087 This is a photo of the spread.  Claudia’s been on a fruit and veggie kick since she got pregnant so I thought it would be appropriate to have Crudités and various dips, along with some wraps and French bread for dipping as well.  We had Hummus, Babba Ganoush,  herb vinaigrette, ranch and artichoke spinach dip for the dips along with broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, olives, tomatoes, baby corn and snap peas and a bowl of mixed fruit.  It was delicious and a pretty easy spread to put together.  The trickiest part was transporting it all to Brooktynn’s house. November pics 2010 088

Here’s the cake I decorated.  It has a mini bear on the top to honor little baby bear (that part was actually a brownie since who wouldn’t rather have a brownie than cake?).  The bottom cakes were white with strawberry preserves for the filling since strawberries are Claudia’s favorite.  It was delicious if I do say so myself.

We didn’t play any games (at Claudia’s request) but instead we put together scrapbook pages that Claudia can just add photos to since life gets pretty hectic once the baby actually arrives and that’s when you need it done, we thought that would be fun.

It was a little crazy to give a shower the week before a move but it was great fun and I’m glad I did it!  I hope Claudia enjoyed it too!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Costumes 2010

This years costumes are finally finished!  I’m so excited to show them off!  I know they’re not as amazing as the costumes that some people make but I think they’re pretty cool.

The first costume I decided to make was armor.  It actually took some convincing because my boy wanted to be a prince.  But since I pretty much made a prince costume last year (in a way) I really didn’t want to have to do the same thing again.  So I put on my best sales-woman approach and pulled out our “Narnia” collection book and sited all of the pictures that “The high King Peter” or “Prince Caspian” wear armor.  It worked!  He wanted armor after that.  The funniest thing about the whole scenario is that he still wants to be called “A prince, in armor”.

at home 016 

Here he is, looking fierce!

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I love his stance!  So tough!

And because I never know when to quit….I also made some other accessories to make his costume more versatile.

at home 044

Gritting his teeth with determination.

Now for the part that I’ve been waiting for my whole career as a mother!  My little girl’s outfit!  I have been wanting soooo badly to embellish clothing with glitter for years so I went all out and went crazy!  (Some of the material actually came glittered already, which was helpful ;) ).

And here she is, my little Fall Fairy:

at home 019

I’m so happy she kept the headband I made on.  The trick was to tell her how pretty she looked the second I put it on and push her hands away from trying to take it off.  I’ve had to do that every time I’ve put it on her, but it seems to work. 

at home 021

Back wing view!

at home 027 

Side view of her dress.  I loved the little petals on this pattern…thus why I had to make it when I saw it (besides that it came in 1/2 size….not many patterns this cute do!)  

at home 033   This one is just adorable to me!  I love her sweet little face and her pretty blue eyes!

So yes, I went a little crazy, and a little over-board.  But the point is, I’ve also had a LOT of fun. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pleated Pillow Plus…

About 6 weeks ago, my husband came home from work asking me if I was willing to do a little sewing for someone that he worked with who wanted some pillows made.  I thought “pillows?” “they’re a snap!”.  Ha.  Little did I know that the day I started them my machine would decide to break and become totally unusable.  We ended up at the shop twice and then gave up and bought a totally new machine. 

We went with a simple Bernette 66 for Bernina that hopefully will last for years to come.  I really loved the service at the store those ladies were all so nice to me, besides the other perks (such as warranty and free maintenance/cleaning for a year…etc). My machine also came with three classes which I learned some amazing tips from such as: Make sure you thread your machine’s upper thread with the foot down because this sets the tension properly….this is one trick I still need to master.  Also, only turn the side needle-positioner wheel (whatever it’s really called) towards you and  never away as this messes up tension too.  I never knew!  I am sewing better than ever! I’m also thrilled with the foot power that I know have from the courses I took.  I was so excited to start on the pillows that I was supposed to make in this material that I LOVE!  I took the courses before starting and I’m so glad I did.  This was a pretty fun project though a little nerve racking trying to make them perfect for the girl I was making them for :).

Here’s a photo of what they look like in her cute newly-decorated apartment that she sent me.  I also designed the middle pillow myself because she wanted a more embellished pillow but not too crazy.  I love how they turned out!


When we were picking out supplies she also asked my advice on what to do for a flower arrangement.  I was so flattered that anyone would ask my advice on anything…it was a nice feeling.  This was my suggestion for the flowers…she thought of filling the jar with beans which I love and suggested she paint them.  It looks awesome!002[2]

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Fondant Cake

I finished my fondant and gum paste class at Michael’s last night.  I’m pretty pleased how my cake turned out.  It is white with yellow black-eyed Susan’s on it.  I’m really glad I decided to add the leaves because I think they give it a lot of movement plus a more whimsical feel.  I really like the “eyelet” ruffle I did on it to.  It makes seem kind of vintage or something.  My teacher seemed pretty pleased with it and took tons of photos…maybe to do something similar?  Anyway,  I’ve always been so terrified of fondant before taking this class. I’m glad that I no longer am nervous of it.  In fact I just wish I had more time to do cakes!  It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty pleased!013

My Susan Cake


Side view.  Those eyelets can use a little more work but they are slightly tedious…especially trying to do them before the fondant dries out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Felt Choosing Cubes

(This past 3 months!) I’ve been subbing for the Primary Chorister.  I made these little cubes to try to motivate the children in Primary to #1 be quite so I would pick them #2 have reasons/variations to repeat a song and #3 because felt does not get destroyed as fast as paper does  and #4 it’s a sneaky way to teach musical terms. 

You could use these cubes for other motivation, such as which chore to pick for the day or what kind of activity to do when your children are arguing…there are so many possibilities!


The kids LOVE it when I pull these out!  So glad I came up with them!

Here are some of the different things I put on them:


Leave out a word

crescendo (grow louder)

decrescendo (grow softer)

fermata (hold a note)

rall.  (slow down)

accelerando (speed up)


Staccato (short and bouncy)

Largo (smooth)

Legato (slow)

Forte (loud)

piano (soft)

allegro (fast)


Boys only

Girls only

Right side (of room)

Left side (of room)

No teachers


Cheap Baby-Doll Bed

If you ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you quite frankly “I want to be a daddy!”  He loves babies and kids and he’s always asking if we can have 20 kids in our family…of course my response is always “Nope!”  He has a baby doll that he got when he was almost two and in that stage where all that little toddlers love babies. 

When his baby sister was born last December, my mom came to visit laden with matching items such as blankets and pajamas for his baby sister and his baby doll.  It was very thoughtful of her.

There have been many times when my laundry baskets have been confiscated by Christian to use as his baby’s bed.  Until one day after a visit to Sam’s Club when I realized that one of those dumb half/cardboard box things they give you to load your giant items into was about the perfect size and shape for a baby bed.

So, Christian picked some paper that he liked and I mod-podged  the thing and made a cushion.  Now it’s a very cheap baby bed that I won’t feel guilty about discarding when his love of his baby doll has bid its last farewell and I can use the cushion as a toddler pillow for one of his sibling(s)…


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Royal-Icing Flower Cake

I finished my Cake Flowers and Design class at Michaels last week.  Here is my finished product:


I’m getting better at piping flowers though it sure has its own learning curve.  I thought I’d go crazy in class when the teacher first showed us how to do it.  So, I went to the Wilton site and found some tutorials.  Hurray for tutorials!  Christian thought it was really weird that I was watching a movie that wasn’t a real movie…it was women talking and holding bags of icing…  It really helped me.  That’s for sure.


Here’s the side of the cake with the basket-weave pattern.  I think it looks okay.  I would like it to be better though.  I guess I just need to practice some more.  Jared’s work will be pleased.  They were very happy when I made Jared take this cake with him.  Thank goodness.  Who wants to eat their own creation?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grey Ruffled Dress…

In July we had a wedding up in Utah to attend for my cousin.  I needed something to wear that would fit me, be cool in the heat, and be appropriate for a wedding. 

After spending some time looking at dresses and not really fitting anything (my post-pregnancy body is a little more "hippy" than usual) I decided to try my hand at making my own dress. I pulled out one of my favorite patterns that I tried and never was happy with the results. Then I headed to Wal-Mart (The only store with fabric that was open within a 10-mile radius) and picked up a remnant of some grey cotton material that had some stretch to it.

I decided to add a ruffle to it as a lot of dresses right now have ruffles and little fun feminine details and I wanted to be special too (besides the fact that the ruffle made the dress a little more modest was a bonus).


Here I am at the wedding…

Utah Trip June 29-July 5 324

It turned out pretty nice I think.  After the wedding my sister sent me a link to this dress to show me how similar they are.  It only cost me about $5 to make this dress… that’s a little better than $130 don’t you think so?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Patriotic Treats

Mostly due to my cake decorating class, I have decided to volunteer making desserts for everything that I can.  Our ward had a Patriotic Party last week and since I will be out of town for July 4th, I thought it would be super fun to actually make something patriotic.  So, I did cupcakes and a cake.

 IMG_4631 IMG_4632

I kind of went crazy and did any patterns I could thing of with the frosting I had left-over from my class and other practice sessions (thus the strange blues I used).  My very favorite ones are the red stripes and the dots.  If I had two 12’s I might have done just dots and stripes in both colors rather than doing everything that entered my mind :).


I also decorated a cake so that I could practice getting the frosting on smoothly…I think I’m getting better though the uniformity of the dots on the border could use a little more practice.



Here’s my little boy doing the “hover” around the treats once he woke up from this nap.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Let them eat cake….

As some of you may know, I’ve started taking a cake class at our local Michaels.  Around Mother’s day I was really depressed and lonely feeling.  Jared and I decided that I need to have more to think about than the in-and-out day-to-day mommy things and do something that is for me.  Of course we both are school addicts.  For me at least I think it’s the feeling of accomplishment I get while I’m working on a course as well as the challenge of staying organized and getting assignments completed.  I didn’t necessarily want to take a college course though with the way those are priced.  Since I enjoy crafting and sewing we called the local Michaels to see what classes were available.

The only ones offered at that time were Cake decorating classes.

Honestly, I make the UGLIEST cakes known to man, woman and children kind.  They taste great but they lack in the looks department.  Part of this may be that I don’t like frosting.  I scrape it off to the utmost bare minimum because I really hate the taste of it.  When I decorate a cake I’ve always tried to keep it as thin as possible.  Well, those days are over.

I’ve decided that this is the best time in my life to practice decorating.  Vivian is almost 6 months, I will take the three courses offered over the next 3 months and (hopefully) by the time her birthday rolls around I can make her a cake that is not only delicious but nice to look at (at least until we eat it).

Jared went into Michaels with me a few days later and we signed up for my class and got the supplies listed by the instructor.  I was honestly a little shocked (and still am) over the lack of complaints about price from Jared.  I knew it was going to be expensive but I didn’t know if he comprehended it.

I took my first class last Wednesday.  I got really excited when she told us that to make black icing it’s best to start with chocolate (duh, why didn’t I think of that when making Christian’s 2nd Birthday cake?!?), and that you use thin icing to ice cakes not thick because it pull up on the cake (mistake from Christian’s 4th Birthday).  I’m so excited to know that if I really just learn the proper techniques, what in the heck each odd looking tool is, and have the right materials, I too can make a good-looking cake.  What a relief.  I was really thinking it was just me and that I’m incapable of making something good-looking that you eat.

I’ve been practicing as much as I can and this is what I made last night…

june 2010 019

I still need a lot more practice but at least I forged ahead.  It took me about 4 hours from the time I pulled out the supplies until I had cleaned them up (I baked it the night before).  The icing started melting (thanks to AZ heat) and I still need to work on uniformity, straight lines, control…etc, but I think I’m getting better.


Here are some of my frustrating cake decorating experiences from the past four years:


#1   Here’s Christian’s 1st Birthday cake.  Look familiar?  Actually, I didn’t really end up decorating this.  I got all ready to do it, freaked out and let my wonderful sister-in-law Megan, who’s pretty dang good, take over.

Christian'sBirthday (8) 


#2  This is from Christian’s 2nd Birthday.  He wanted a lion cake.



1) I didn’t find the pictures I had printed out of a cartoon lion before I starting to frost

2) I feel like a complete idiot about this, but I got brown and black food coloring at the store, started from white frosting, and worked my way up; only to realize later that chocolate is BROWN!!!

Now I know that if you start with chocolate black is faster to get.  It probably took me at least an hour to get the little amount I need to be black.


Honestly, this cake wasn’t that bad all things considered but it took forever to do and just made me frustrated when it was taking so long.


#3  This is Christian’s rocket-ship cake.  I think that my ideas are actually pretty fun but it’s my execution that stinks.  I used a #10 can to bake this cake and let me tell you, it took FOREVER just to bake (thank goodness I learned my lesson from the previous year and started two days ahead).   It looks a little more like the tin man’s hat than anything.  The icing was the problem on this one as was most everything.  I think if I did two #10 cans it may have worked better.  The icing on this just wouldn’t get smooth but now I know that I must have icing consistency problem.

CHRISTIAN 3RD B-DAY cropped blowing candle


#4 Christian’s 4th Birthday was a “Book of Mormon Hero” theme so we used two 9X13 baking pans.  I sliced each one in half and then layered them on top of each other.  I used sandwich cookies for the rings and then used black piping gel for the lettering. 



The biggest problem with this cake is that it started falling apart.  I have now learned that you actually should add a little extra water to cakes in AZ as well as thin your icing a little more because it’s just too dry here and the icing started to pull up on a dry cake.

I’m really hopeful that these cake decorating courses will really help me.  Jared has been teasing me because I’ve been dreaming up all of these ideas for cakes since I started the class and my sleeping dreams are full of decorating cakes.  What can I say?  I get excited about something and it becomes an obsession until I get skilled.  I also have signed up to bring a dessert for the ward party this weekend and have begged my friend Christina to decorate her son’s 1st birthday cake next week. Hooray for extra practice that I don’t have an opportunity to eat!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Infant Play Mat Combining Functionality and Design…

One of the things that I indulge in way too frequently is watching HGTV.  I don’t love all the shows, but I think the real problem is that as the ability to buy a house is approaching, I’m completely enamored in the idea of knowing what I want to do with my someday home.  Good grief, I’ve wished for a home since I was 14 and I asked my mom why she did something a certain way and she said “You do it your way when you have your own home”.  My favorite shows have designers staging or redecorating (I love “Divine Design”!).  Jared is a HGTV addict too but he’s much more interested in Holmes on Homes and the Home Buyers shows. 

One of the common threads that I’ve found in all this TV watching is that a lot of parents let their children’s toys overtake the main rooms of their homes.  In my parent’s home toys were banned from the front room.  This is fine and dandy if you have a family room as well as a living room.  But for those of us who have less space it’s tricky.          

I came up with a wonderful solution… I designed a tummy-time play mat that uses the colors of my front-room and is a piece of art—using a bold contrasting pattern while mixing patterns and not being too garish—a visual delight.  I used a combination of cotton, velvet, valor, and faux suede to indulge the tactile sense. The leaves make crackle noises while the centers of the flowers squeak.


Now my baby can play on the floor in happiness with lots of stimulation and my room still looks organized and modern.  I’m considering opening up an on-line shop to sell these.  I would customize them to match the colors of the room that they were made for (not necessarily the nursery colors).  What do you think?  Would you pay for something like this?  Or would you rather have a pattern and make your own? I am planning to design some that are more gender-neutral/masculine as well if this idea is well-received.  If you do like it, what would you pay for something like this? 


Constructive comments would be very welcome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Repurposing Store-Brand Box


When Vivian was born, I got a darling gift-set for her from a woman in our ward.  It came in an equally cute box.  The only problem was that it had the store name on it.



Not a problem.  I Just added this…



Now it is ready to hold her darling memorabilia!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Add a little protein to your diet with something easy and delicious…

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while as it is one of my favorites and is really healthy.  When we lived with the 93-year-old woman who’s son and DIL were on their mission, part of the deal was that we have Sunday dinner together every week and then have the same thing for Monday night and then have a weekly game of scrabble.  She made the salads which was really great because I honestly hate to chop.  It has something to do with being a klutz and needing my fingers intact to play the violin…  So anyway, she introduced us to some very interesting, some very boring and some delicious recipes in the 18 months we lived there.  This recipe is by far my favorite one that she shared (I honestly am addicted).   I changed it around a little (as I do almost everything I cook).  What I really like to do with this is double it and have it for dinner and then for lunch the next day.  For those of you on diets, this is full of protein, fiber and good oils.  Bon appétit. 


White Bean Tuna Salad

2-3 Servings

-1 can white beans rinsed and drained well (or you can use dried that you’ve soaked overnight and boiled for at least an hour though I usually do two).

-1 can tuna  (Preferably Italian in Olive oil)

-1 cup of parsley, fresh, chopped (or to taste I usually only do about 1/4 cup)

-1/4 cup finely diced red onion (green onions are good too and then you only need 1-2 chopped)


-3 Tbs olive oil

-2 Tbs lemon juice

-salt and pepper to taste


1. Rinse beans in colander until no foam appears.  Let drain, pat dry  with paper towels.

2. Drain oil from tuna and discard; put tuna in mixing bowl.

3. Add beans chopped parsley, onion, and gently combine.

4. In small bowl, whisk olive oil and lemon juice.  Gently mix dressing into salad.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5.  Will stay good in refrigerator for a day or two.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Make-believe Sheath or Scabbard Tutorial

So Christian has ruined a belt and two ribbons that he has tied around his waist and used as a sheath while playing prince and so I promised to make him a sheath or scabbard.  I think it turned out rather well.  I think the next time I try this I’d like to try real leather though because the nature of his play is a little rough if you know what I mean.  He loves his sheath and it’s the thing he always has on at home if he’s not asleep. :)


It wasn’t too difficult though I wish that my eyelet’s worked better…they didn’t set well into the material so they turned out to be just holes but they look pretty cool if you ask me (the holes I mean).  It gives it a rustic look.  I’ll get more heavy-duty eyelets made for belts next time.

Materials Needed:

Sword (for measuring)

1/4 yd faux-leather/decor vinyl or other sturdy material


heavy-duty needles

scrap of contrast material



1. Place sword on material and fold over.  Leave at least 2 inches on each side of the sword.

 IMG_2678  IMG_2680

2. Fold bottom portion of scabbard in half and round off with scissors.


3. Measure contrasting material to match width of scabbard and cut to be 3 inches long.IMG_2682 IMG_2683

4. Fold bottom edge of contrasting material 1/2 inch.  Press.


5. Pin Contrast over top portion of scabbard.


6. Sew in place using a decorative stitch if desired

 IMG_2691 IMG_2692

7. Cut remaining material to be 6 inches wide and 5 inches longer than waist intended for (i.e. waist was 20 inches so cut material 25”x6”).


8. Cut a piece that is 6x5 for loop.


9.  Mark belt starting 2” from edge every inch for four inches.


10. Sew in female side of snaps at markings.


11. Fold Belt in half and then overlap  (as a belt does) and mark where male side of snaps go across from female snaps.  Sew snaps at markings (no photo).

12. Should have all three pieces prepared.  Can embellish by adding eyelets, grommets, or holes. 


13. Fold over top edge of scabbard and sew in place (can use a decorative stitch if desired)

IMG_2707 IMG_2708

14.  With right sides together fold scabbard in half and sew along the side 1/2” away from edge. IMG_2709 

15. Fold belt portion in half right sides together sew 1/2” along edge. Turn over.


16.  Fold in outer edge and hand sew with a heavy duty needle about 1/8” away from edge (this is very thick). IMG_2726

17. Sew top and bottom portion to area of belt desired (depending if you want it to snap in front, the side, and if it’s for left or right handed use).


18. For loop portion, fold in half right sides together so that it measures 6x2 1/2 inches.  Sew 1/2” from edge. IMG_2728

19.  Turn out.  Sew raw edges together 1/4” from seam.


20.Turn and slide onto belt.


21. Tada!   You’ve got a great accessory for your little prince, knight or solider!  IMG_3037


I just love this little guy.  He’s so expressive and isn’t he just totally made for drama?