Saturday, 30 November 2013

Homemade Washi Tape Business Cards

Recently I’ve had several orders for bird’s nest pendants that I knew were going to be given as gifts. While I always include a thank you note to the buyer, I wanted to include some cards that the buyer could choose to include with the gift, showing where the pendants came from.

The first thing I did was create a card using publisher. I included the blog name, website, and Etsy shop in a clean, simple font.

I printed them off on card stock and cut them to size (2 x 3.5).

To finish them off, I added a strip of washi tape (my new love) to the bottom and then trimmed it to size.

I had a very limited selection of washi tape in the town where I live so when I made a trip to the city I bought a few more styles.

I love the simplicity and homemade feel of these cards. At first I was beating myself up because they aren’t nearly as fancy as the ones I saw online but I forced myself to get off Pinterest and get back to reality. I’m not a professional blogger but it’s a hobby that I enjoy. Ditto with jewelry making. The more I look at these cards, they more I feel they are a true reflection of my blog: homemade, slightly imperfect, but made with heart… and of course a little bit of dog hair.

Serenity you

Shared at: Life on Lakeshore Drive, Lines Across, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, Ashley's Dandelion Wishes, 4 You With Love, A Creative Princess, What Meegan Makes, The Thriftiness Miss, Diana Rambles, A Conquered Mess, Serenity You, Snippets of Inspiration, Throwback Thursday

Monday, 25 November 2013

5 Favourite Christmas Posts

I have something to tell you… I'm not decorating for Christmas this year. Yes, you read that correctly. I realize that, as a blogger, it tends to be the most celebrated (and decorated) holiday but J and I are taking the year off.

With that said, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my past Christmas posts with you. Seeing as it's exactly 1 month until Christmas day I thought this would be a good time.

This is my favourite Christmas project I've ever done. I love the simplicity of it and think the burlap paper is the perfect background.

Yum! I hope I'll eventually be able to eat these again.

This was one of my first posts and it used to make me smile every time I looked at it. That's right, I said used to. Past tense. Last year as we were putting away decorations M knocked it off the wall and the frame broke into pieces. While the wreath is no more, the red streak is still on the wall in the kitchen.

I love having parts of our wedding - the invitation and flowers - included in our Christmas decorations.

I had so much fun with this last year, I wish the kids were still here to do it again. Maybe they'll come visit for Christmas in the future. In the meantime, maybe I'll have to start doing an advent calendar for J.

What about you? Are you a big decorator for the holidays? Do you have a favourite Christmas project?

Shared at: Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts, Ginger Snap Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Serenity You, A Conquered Mess, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Lines Across, A Stroll Thru Life, Dandelion Wishes, 4 You With Love, What Meegan Makes, The Thriftiness Miss

Friday, 22 November 2013

Simple Envelope Pillow

While I had my sewing machine out last weekend, I decided to use some of the fabric that inspired the room (and that I used for Benson’s dog bed) to make an envelope pillow. I realize it may seem strange to have such a small amount of the fabric that ties it all together but I’m pleased with how it’s working so far.   

Step 1: Cut your fabric. My pillow is 20 x 20 so I cut one piece 21 x 21, and two pieces 21 x  14. I like the pillow case to be full, which is why I cut it so close to size.

Step 2: On the two rectangular pieces, fold one long edge over about a quarter inch, and then fold it over about a quarter inch again. Iron well.

Step 3: Sew down the fabric that you just folded over.

Step 4: Place both rectangular pieces on top of the square piece, right sides together, with the pre-sewn seams overlapping.

Step 5: Sew around all four edges using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Such a simple pillow and yet it adds so much, although it looks a little lonely. Now I just have to find some more fabric to make a couple more.

Shared at: A Conquered Mess, Life on Lakeshore Drive, C.R.A.F.T., Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts, Fluster Buster, Clean & Scentsible, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Our Secondhand House

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Quinoa With Veggies: Caffeine-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Eating Days 5 - 14

Well, I survived. It hasn't been easy but I've been caffeine-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free for 2 long weeks. I had planned on giving you a breakdown of my meals like I did for days 1 - 4 but I got lazy about writing them down. Instead you get a delicious recipe and a list of foods that have become staples for me.

I had never cooked with quinoa before but I'm in love with this dish. It's a variation of a recipe I got from a friend and I have no idea where it originated.

Quinoa with Veggies

Step 1: Cook quinoa based on package instructions. For mine I used 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. Remove from heat and cool.

Step 2: Chop 1/4 cup each of different kinds of veggies. I used green onion, yellow pepper, tomato (with the seeds scooped out), cucumber (also with the seeds scooped out), and frozen corn.

Step 3: Stir together quinoa and veggies.

Step 4: Stir in 1/8 cup of olive oil.

This is seriously delicious, very filling, and keeps in the fridge for a couple days. 

Besides quinoa with veggies, there are some other items that have become staples for me. 

I take my breakfast and lunch to school every day (except weekends) and tend to eat bits and pieces when I have time, instead of eating fixed large meals. Breakfasts, lunches, and school snacks are usually a combination of the following:

  • boiled /scrambled eggs
  • gf/df english muffins
  • gf/df bread
  • peanut butter
  • Chex
  • soy milk
  • fruit
  • veggies

Supper is the meal J and I eat together so it tends to be a more substantial meal. It has also been the most difficult. We've had to throw away several meals that turned out to be inedible over the past two weeks. Our favourites so far include the following, always served with lots of veggies:

  • gf/df pasta and sauce
  • gf/df nachos with veggies and gf/df cheese
  • chicken (plain, with spices, or in panko crumbs) with potatoes or quinoa with veggies

Also, I'm not one to waste food but there are a few things I've bought that are so gross they got thrown out. In the future I'll be avoiding the following:

  • Tortillas (I thew them away without writing the brand but you can see them in the picture in this post.)
  • Kinnikinnik bagels (but love their english muffins)

The good news is this has worked and something I've eliminated was the cause of my sickness. It has been hard but definitely worth it. For the next two weeks I'll be adding dairy back in and crossing my fingers that I continue to feel healthy. I really hope it's not dairy!

Shared at: The Thriftiness Miss, Meeghan Makes, A Conquered Mess, Life on Lakeshore Drive, C.R.A.F.T., Kathe With An E, Ginger Snap Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, The Crafty Blog Stalker

Monday, 18 November 2013

Dog Bed with Zipper

I love my dogs but really hate having dog beds all over my house. Ok, that may be an exaggeration; they’re not all over but we have two in the living room and two in the bedroom. As part of our bedroom overhaul I decided to make Benson a new bed that would tie some of the colours together and also fit better in the space.

To start, I took a spare brown pillow sham that matched the duvet and cut it in half. This is what I used for the bottom of the bed. I then used the brown fabric as a guide to cut out my patterned fabric. This fabric was the starting point for the entire room and I love it.

Next I put in my hidden zipper. I used the same method show in the video on my zippered pillow post, which is a fantastic video. In case you’re not a fan of videos, here are the step by step instructions, with the pictures above the steps.

Step 1: Sew both sides of the pieces of fabric (placed right sides together).

Step 2: Separate the two fabrics and iron the creases down.

Step 3: Sew along the edge of both fabrics. This will be the flap that covers your zipper.

Step 4: Pin the zipper in place and sew both ends.

Step 5: Sew the zipper into place. I lift the foot of my sewing machine to help it ease over the zipper pull.

Once my zipper was in place I folded my fabric again so the right sides were together, pinned it into place, and sewed the other three sides.

Pretty easy so far, right? Well, next up is when it all went wrong. I wanted to created boxed corners so the bed would have a square shape. I could not seem to get them right. I don’t know why. I’ve done them before. I was just having some bizarre mental block. After sending some time bonding with my seam-ripper and a phone call with mama, I finally got them right.

Last but not least, I turned the pillow case right side out and started stuffing it. I actually bought a couple cheap pillows at Walmart and cut them open to use for stuffing, which was the cheapest way I could find.

I wasn’t sure if it was full enough so I put it on the floor to see. Given that Benson came running over and climbed on it, I think he likes it.

I then put it in place in the bedroom and it looks fantastic. It’s a much better shape for the space and I love the colours in the fabric. I think Benson likes it too and even Raven came to give it a try.

Shared at: A Stroll Through Life, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, The Thriftiness Miss, Meegan Makes, A Conquered Mess, Life on Lakeshore Drive, C.R.A.F.T., Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts

Friday, 15 November 2013

Snowflake Bulletin Board

Just like I’ve been slack on blogging lately, I’ve also been slack on changing the bulletin board in the common area of my school. In fact, I skipped Halloween and Remembrance Day altogether and jumped right from my back to school different fish bulletin board to this snowflake one.

The inspiration for this bulletin board came from Pinterest, of course. I took little bits and pieces from several different pictures. I’m not sure why but most of the bulletin boards I pin link to photos and not blog posts, so I have no links to give credit.

To start I left up the blue background and white boarder. I then used a Cricut to cut out the words “We are like snowflakes; each unique and special”.

I had planned on having the students help make snowflakes but started them myself and, finding them very therapeutic and so did them all myself.

I think this bulletin board is perfect for filling the gap between Remembrance Day and Christmas, and love the simplicity of it. I expect I’ll continue to use it for years to come, although I may make new snowflakes every year.

Shared at: Serenity Saturday, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker

Friday, 8 November 2013

I'm Pretty Sure I'm Going To Starve: Caffiene-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Eating Days 1 - 4

Let me start by saying I’m not a doctor, dietician, nutritionist, or member of any other profession that means I know what I’m talking about. Honestly, I’m probably the last person who should give advice. This is just my personal experience, nothing more, and hopefully it’ll help someone else who’s in the same confused, desperate, hungry position as I was.

I haven’t really mentioned it but I’ve been unwell for a while now. To make a long story short, after trying to find the problem for almost a year, my doctor sent me to a specialist. While there I was told that for the next two weeks I was to have no caffeine, no gluten, and no dairy. I was then told to reintroduce one type of item at a type in two-week increments. If that didn’t work I had a few additional things to try and an appointment to go back in a few months.

I didn’t think much about it, left the doctors, and did some Christmas shopping while I was in the city. It wasn’t until I started my two-hour drive home that it hit me: NO CAFFIENE, NO GLUTEN, and NO DAIRY. I also don’t eat beef, pork, or seafood. What was I going to eat? While I realize I was being a little dramatic, I cried a lot on the drive home, trying to figure out what I could eat.

FYI, all these photos were taken with my iPhone so they're not fantastic but I'm a visual person.

Day 1 was a mess. I made do with what I had in my house, ignoring nutrition and focusing on survival. Below is the breakdown.

Day 1: Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast: banana, peanut butter
Snack: cashews
Lunch: veggie (onion, peppers) and egg scramble, tomato
Snack: Chex cereal
Snack: grapes
Supper: chicken breast, mini-potatoes in olive oil, corn
Snack: grapefruit

Shopping trip 1: Stocking up on gluten-free / dairy-free.
The soy milk is already in the fridge.
After school on day 1 I went shopping. I was able to find some things that would hopefully help me plan meals and keep from starving.

Day 1: Supper
Day 2 was still kind of a mess but not as bad as the day before. Below is what I ate.

Day 2: Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast: veggie and egg scramble
Snack: banana
Lunch: salad (lettuce, carrots, sprouts, red onion, mushrooms), chicken, homemade dressing
Snack: Cheecha Puffs
Supper #1: gluten-free pasta, tomato sauce, green peas
Supper #2: bread, peanut butter, banana
Snack: grapes

Day 2: Supper #1 aka Total Nastiness
Two suppers? Well, it turns out you can’t make a baked pasta dish (where you precook the noodles and then mix it all together and bake it in the oven) with the gluten free pasta I bought. It was so bad both J and I threw it out.

Day 2: Supper #2
At this point one of my super amazing friends (whose wedding you can see a little bit about here) came to the rescue. She does training and meal planning and all that good stuff, and was kind enough to send me meal suggestions. The list was a huge help and gave me ideas I would not have thought of on my own.

Day 3 was the first day I sort of felt like I had a handle on this eating thing, largely thanks to the meal suggestions. It was also the first day I wasn’t starving constantly. Below is what I ate.

Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast: smoothie (soy milk, cranberries, banana, cashews)
Snack: grapes
Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, toast, peanut butter, salad (red onion, tomatoes), homemade dressing
Snack: banana
Supper: corn tortillas, veggies (mushrooms, onions, green pepper), gluten-free/dairy-free cheese, salsa
Snack: grapes

Day 3: Shopping Trip 2. I was so excited to buy gluten-free, dairy-free cheese.
A friend told me there was gluten-free/dairy-free cheese at a local supermarket and I was all over it, as you can see from the supper I ate.

Day 3: Supper
This beings me to today. It’s day 4 and I’m feeling semi-confident. I’ve actually planned all my meals for the next week and have a list for grocery shopping tomorrow. Here’s what I ate today.

Day 4: Breakfast
Breakfast: honey nut Chex, soy milk, strawberries
Snack: banana
Lunch: corn tortillas, veggies (mushrooms, onions, green pepper), gluten-free/dairy-free cheese, salsa
Snack: grapefruit
Supper: chicken (dipped in egg and then fake Panko crumbs), fries, green peas
Snack: Potato chips!

Day 4: Supper
The fake Panko crusted chicken was delicious!
Did you know that a lot of potato chips are gluten-free? I’m limited in flavours because of the dairy, but still very excited by this! In fact, I’m sitting here with my bowl right now, about to enjoy them while watching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. That doesn’t seem strange at all, does it?

Shared at: Serenity You, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Maison de Pax, A Stroll Through Life, Kathe With an E, Sugar Bee Crafts, Fluster BusterDandelion Wishes