Tag Archives: basics

Banana Crumb Muffins

In high school (many many years ago) my nickname was Betty Crocker. I was always cooking and baking and bringing the goodies to school to share. One might have thought I’d go on to write cookbooks or be a famous chef. Well almost…I did minor in Family Consumer Sciences in college and thoroughly enjoy spending time in the kitchen creating. But alas, that is as far as it goes. Thankfully I married a man with an infinite appetite who is also not too picky about the food on the plate.

I may be passing this love for cooking along to my youngest son, my super “maker” as he is always asking to help “make” with me in the kitchen. He loves adding the ingredients and stirring, mixing, and of course tasting.

The big man is at school today and we have a trio of very over-ripe bananas that are begging to be utilized. Our freezer is literally packed with loaves of sweet breads, banana and zucchini.  So we made muffins. They are easy for breakfasts, snacks and lunch boxes. Nothing like home-made goodness in a school lunch to make you feel loved, right?

Banana Crumb Muffins
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup butter, melted

Topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup nuts (optional-we did not include these)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In a medium bowl, mix first 4 ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix bananas (I use a potato masher to smash-up the bananas in the bowl I will use to mix all the ingredients-one less bowl to clean!), sugar, egg, melted butter.
3. Stir in the dry mixture until moistened.
4. Grease muffin pan (or use liners). I love Wilton Cake Release for greasing my pans. It’s quick one step and easy clean-up. Grease bottom only of pan. Fill cups 3/4 full.


5. Topping: Combine first 3 ingredients then cut in butter until crumbly.
6. Sprinkle over muffin batter.


7. Bake for 20 minutes until muffins are firm.
8. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Enjoy with your little “maker”!
This recipe was originally found http://www.food.com/recipe/crumb-topped-banana-muffins-43509

Advertisements

Leaf Garland Tutorial

About 10 years ago we planted our first Virginia Creeper vine at our previous home. Known for being a fast growing and hardy plant (likely to survived our snowy winters) my husband selected it mostly for its vivid fall color change. We loved it and it grew several feet in the first year!

So when we moved to our new home 6 years ago, we agreed on side of the house needed a good climbing vine to give our “cape-cod, Victorian cottage in the mountains” a little romance. I stopped by the local nursery and selected several vines. Upon my return home, I excitedly planted them and when my hubby returned home was informed that they were NOT what he wanted. They were not Virginia Creepers (I think they were English something or others which in my mind some how correlated with Virginia-yup that is how my brain works-eek!)

So we agreed to see if the new vines survived. I suspect he poured salt on them or something because not one of those vines survived the winter leaving us with no vines the next spring. The new homeowners of our old home agreed we could stop in and take a few slips to replant.  We have successfully transplanted the Virginia Creeper vines which are now thoroughly taking over the one side of the house giving it a charming feel that all “cape-cod Victorian cottages in the mountain” should have. And now that we are into fall, the foliage is changing from green to yellow to red…just beautiful. The hubs was right again! (don’t tell him I said that).

So today my boys ran into the house with handfuls of large red and yellow leaves. They wanted to do something with them. Still in a fog of sickness, I just couldn’t get into any king of major art project. So we made leaf garland….here’s how you can make your own!

Time: 10 minutes-maybe
Materials:
Leaves
Yarn (I think jute string would have been better but was too sick to go rummaging for it!)

1. Cut approximately 3-4′ of string/yarn

2. Begin making a knot (my husband, the master knots-man would know the name of this knot, half-hitch maybe?)

3. Slip stem of leave into open knot.

4. Tighten string around stem.  Repeat a few inches down the string. I would make the knot and then the boys slide the stem in place and tighten the string themselves. They really like doing things for themselves!

5. Continue until you have made a garland to your desired length.

Fabric Jewelry – A Composition

For some reason I really love jewelry in the summer. Maybe because more of my arms and neck are visible with a summer wardrobe (it’s snow country here in the winter). Maybe I have more time to think about adding an accessory in the lazy summer mornings? I don’t know. What I do know is I like these easy ideas for accessorizing with your scraps!

Braided Fabric Bracelet from Craftaholics Anonymous– so easy, I’m making oodles of these in all colors…use regular cotton and use fray check on the edge if needed or fold raw edges inward before braiding.

http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/easy-fabric-bracelets-and-tutorial

Fabric covered bracelets from Fave Crafts. Use plastic or wood bracelets and cover them with strips of fabric…super easy!

http://www.favecrafts.com/Bracelets/Fabric-Scrap-Bracelets/ct/1

Fabric covered Necklace from Elegant Musings by guest writer Tilly and the Buttons

http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com/2011/03/springtime-accessories-fabric-necklace-tutorial/

Amy Butler also has a tutorial for a similar necklace here http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/pdfs/FabricNecklace.pdf

Scrap Fabric Necklace from Smaller

This one I can’t wait to try out…small and colorful! Would coordinate nicely with the first bracelet, right?

http://smallmagazine.typepad.com/smaller/2009/06/small-projects-scrap-fabric-necklaces.html

Button Necklaces from Very Purple Person

Super cute, easy, fast and would coordinate with the button earings in the previous post.

http://verypurpleperson.com/2010/04/fabric-button-necklaces.html

Ruffled fabric necklace from Craftaholics Anonymous

Sooo sooo easy!

http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/vintage-ruffle-necklace-with-tutorial

Fabric Earings – A Compilation

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  -Pablo Picasso

Those scrap piles keep growing faster than I can  and sew projects. The summer months have been busy with farmers markets and art festivals.  So I thought I’d give you a sampling of fabric earings tutorials I found on the www. Hope you enjoy!

Fabric Button Earings from blog Casa de Lewis

Made these, like a jillion pair and love them. Note a metal glue, like a super glue vs hot glue gun worked better for me

http://www.sadalewis.com/2011/06/fabric-button-earrings-tutorial.html

.

Fabric Scrap Earings from DIY Fashion

This would be so funky…just might have to make these for a night at Music on Main

http://diyfashion.about.com/od/diyjewelrymaking/ss/ScrapEarrings.htm

Recycled Water Bottle and Fabric Earings from Fave Crafts

This one also has a YouTube video if you prefer the video tutorial.

http://www.favecrafts.com/Green-Crafting/Repurposed-Reverse-Fabric-Earrings

Fabric and Wood Earings from The Craft in Me

These look really easy and I like the look. They would probably be really light-weight too!

http://thecraftinme.blogspot.com/2010/04/fabric-earrings.html

Stack-em Up Fabric Cubes

I have 4 friends that are all preggers right now! It is such a fun time with babies arriving soon!  I’m a little inspired by all the baby-mania and here is a fun way to use up some scraps and create lasting toys for those little ones in your life!

Level: If you can sew a straight line-you got this one!

Time: about 30 minutes

Materials:

Scrap fabric – 3 prints (A, B, C) , 2 pieces of each print cut to 4″ x 4″ square for a total of 6 pieces

Light weight iron on interfacing (Pellon 911FF)

Thread

Stuffing (poly-fill works well)

1.  Cut out 6 4″ x 4″ squares of fabric and interfacing.  You should have 2 pieces of each print (A, B, C)

2. Iron interfacing to Wrong side of each piece of fabric.

3. Using this diagram, stitch squares together to form block.  Stitch fabric A-B-A-B. Then stitch fabric C to end piece A, stitch second piece of C to the bottom of the same end piece A.  Stitch end piece A to end piece B to form main square of the block. Then stitch pieces C to A then to pieces B. Leave a small opening for turning and stuffing when you stitch the last 2 pieces together.

Download the template here http://www.scribd.com/doc/97938721/Fabric-Cube-Template#fullscreen

4. Turn right side out. Stuff with batting.

Hey there Hot Dish!

Let me confess, I do not quilt. I have attempted a quilt or two but recognize that I do not possess the patience needed for quilting.  Or maybe I use up my allotted patience with my boys and therefore am left with none for quilting.  Right now, I enjoy the project that can be completed within a few hours leaving me with an accomplished feeling.

This need to feel as I have accomplished something probably stems from the chaos of living with 2 toddlers where nothing ever feels accomplished, not the laundry, not the dishes, not the cleaning, organizing, etc.  As quickly as one task is checked off my list, the same task is added back to the bottom of the list….

Oh well….these darling Mug Rugs and Hot Dish pads are the perfect project to leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished something today!  They make fun little gifts for all occasions, new home, new job, new baby, wedding, or just because!  And I LOVE that they put all my beautiful little scraps to work!

Level: If I can do you it you can do it-no quilting experience necessary

Time: About 1/2 hour – 45 minutes per rug depending on size

Materials:

Lots of scrap pieces cut 1 1/2″ wide by at least 4″ long

2 pieces of fabric for the border about 2 1/2″ x 7″

Backing piece of fabric 7″x7″

Fleece or natural cotton quilt batting for the interfacing 7″x7″

Bias tape (see how here https://justcutthescrap.com/2012/03/07/scrappy-bias-tape/)

1. Select 9-10 of the 1 1/2″ pieces.Stitch them together lengthwise to create a 7″ x 4″ panel.

2. Stitch one border piece to the top (long side) of the pieced section. Do the same with the other border piece and stitch to the bottom of the pieced section.  You now have a square approximately 7″ x 7″. Note: if your piece is larger than this, trim to 7″ x 7″

3. Place fleece/batting on the wrong side of backing.  With fleece side up place the pieced square WRONG side down on top of the fleece.  Pin.

4. Here’s the fun part. Set your stitch length to about 4.  Now have fun. As you stitch move the square around creating swirls, zig zag, circles, whatever you want. Have fun with it. If you are more familiar with using a walking foot for quilting please do so.   The wavey lines I created here remind me of the bamboo forests in Hawaii.

5.  Fold bias tape over the raw edges, pin in place. Topstitch through all layers of the bias tape and quilted square. Fold end of bias tape under so there are no raw edges and back-stitch to secure.

Create a larger pad to use as a Mug Rug, serve tea and cookies on it, use as a traveling mouse pad, trivet for larger pans or mini table runners for your side tables in your living room or bedroom.  Get going and be creative!

Shown here at about 13″ x 10″ I made the pieces in the center 1 1/2″ x 5″ long and used 2 extra border pieces about 10″ x 3″

Here’s a sample of a variety of pads I made last night using a very small shoe-box size box of scraps from my studio and whatever material I had on hand at home.  I even created a mini pad 4″ x 4″ perfect for a coaster!

I Love Montana

If you live in Montana then it is most likely because you LOVE it!  The outdoor adventure, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, etc.  Our summers are too short but that makes us appreciate every sun-filled moment and savor every warm breeze. Montana is the romantic subject of movies, music and books and it’s every bit of amazing as you can imagine.

Honestly, it took me a little while to come to appreciate where I call home. And on frigid winter mornings I sometimes have to look with purpose for the beauty, but it’s there, always. So to honor the rugged land I love to call home, here  you go!  You live here? Brag about it….you’ve earned it!

Level: Eazy-Peezy

Time: 20 minutes

Materials:

Wonder Under double-sided lightweight interfacing

Scrap fabric

Felt -for the heart

Thread

Iron

1.  I googled maps of Montana online and used one as a template (yes I pressed the paper on my screen and traced it from the monitor).  Show your home pride and make your own state shirt!

2. Select your scrap fabric big enough to fit the state template. Cut a piece of Wonder Under a little bigger than the template. Iron to the WRONG side of fabric

3. Trace template on the paper side of the Wonder Under (make sure that the image will be facing the right way once cut)

4. Cut out image, iron to shirt. Using a small zigzag stitch, stitch around edge of the state.

5. Using a small piece of felt, cut a heart (tip: fold felt in half and cut a 1/2 heart so that it is even on both sides-think Valentine cards in Kindergarten)

6. Place the heart in the area that you live. stitch it to the applique and shirt  stitching by hand or using short straight stitch on your machine.

Bamm! You’re done!  Flaunt it!  You love your state, now show it!