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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Guest Post - Pocket Pillowcases Tutorial

I am really excited to share with you this next guest post. It's from my super, crazy, talented friend Meags. I love to get together with her and hang out, be creative and drink hot cocoa into the wee hours of the morning. She's just got this creative streak this one and there's probably not a whole lot she can't do. When she told me she had a guest post for me I was excited. Now this is something I'm going to have to try for Buddy Boys, he would love this.

Hi! My name is Meaghan and I live over at, but I'm happy to be visiting my dear friend Nancy's blog!

For Christmas I got the idea to make Pocket Pillowcases for all my nieces and nephews. They were fairly inexpensive to make (if you can get a deal on your fabric) and I think they're pretty fun. OK, so lets get started, shall we? All you need is roughly 1 meter of fabric and some corresponding thread.
I measured from an old pillow case I had. Leaving room for a 1 inch seam allowance and a 4 inch hem, I figured 25 inches should be long enough.
Now you have two pieces. One side is obviously for the pillowcase and the rest will be for the pockets.
The width was a bit tight, but I did have a little space along the side of the fabric to leave for a seam allowance. I couldn't afford to buy two meters of this awesome Cars fabric, but I have a specific nephew who is going to freak out! He's a big Cars enthusiast. This is also the reason the pattern is sideways and not length ways. But I'm OK with it and I don't think my aforementioned nephew will mind.
Next, cut out two pockets. You can make them any size, but I decided to make one larger and one smaller. The closing flap is the same width of the bottom and you can make it however long you want. Mine is 2 inches and cut at an angle for another 2 inches. the bigger pocket is 8x8.
And one smaller one is 6x6.
Your cutting is done! Now let's head on over to the iron. Fold the sides of the pocket, 1/2 inch and fold over again, another 1/2 inch and press. Do the same to the top and bottom.

Pin your pocket and it should look like this:

Fold the edges of the top pocket flap the same, 1/2 inch folded over twice. Pin and press.

Do the same for the other pocket. The two of them will look like this:
Moving on to the pillow, fold over 1 inch and press.
Fold over another three inches and press.
Mosey on over to your sewing machine and zip along the top of your pockets.

Then sew along the sides and pointed edges of the closing flap.

Do the same on both pockets, they should look like this:

I bought these circular velcro sticker things to close the pockets. I would do it differently next time. It was impossible to sew on the sewing machine because of the sticky backing gumming up the needle. But I bought a pack of them, so I decided to use them anyway. Be sure when placing the velcro dots that they are lined up on the top and bottom to close properly.
I just hand sewed them.
Pin your pocket to the outside of your pillow. I placed mine lower to the bottom but it's totally up to you where you place it. I also placed mine facing sideways to correspond with the fabric but again it's up to you.

Sew along the sides and bottom of your pocket, leaving the top edge of the pocket you already finished open.
Here's the bottom attached.
Pin the top of the pocket flap above the bottom part of the pocket. Make sure your velcro lines up here as well.
Sew along the top.
I sewed two lines along the top just to secure it.
Do the same with your smaller pocket. I decided to place mine on the side close to the hem. This is an extra special pocket that holds extra special teeth! Putting the pocket here makes it easier for the Toothfairy to leave stuff in there too!
Sew the smaller pocket the same way you sewed the larger one.
Now that your pockets are attached, fold the fabric for the pillowcase in half and pin along the sides and bottom. Sew and turn right side out...

And here you have it!! Your finished pillowcase!!!

Have you seen these cute mini books? They're the best size for hiding in the pockets.

And a loonie fits great in the secret mini inside pocket! Not that I ever got a whole dollar from the tooth fairy. I only ever got 25 cents tops, but inflation and what have know how it is.
There you have it! A totally simple and comfy Pocket Pillowcase! Thanks for having me on your blog Nancy!
G'Night!! xo Meaghan

Thanks Meags, This is such a cute idea! And just so you know the toothfairy only gave me 25 cents too! I even think once I got a dime.....seriously!
Wasn't this a fun guest post. Meaghan and I have something fun up our sleeves for the month of December so you'll have to stay tuned. We're going to do the "12 Days of Christmas Crafting" and have some great idea's to share with you. I'm also going to be havnig some giveaways but you have to be a follower of this blog to get in on the fun, so get following!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jessie - Rest of Costume

I really was going to try my hand at freezer stenciling for the shirt but I just didn't have the time. I free handed the paint on the shirt and then used red bubble paint to do the red accents. I just looked at the picture and tried my best to make it look the same. This was a fun costume to make for Coconuts. What do you think? Does she look like Jessie?
I think it's pretty close. Happy Halloween, hope you get lots of cute little trick or treaters at your house.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


OK so apparently I lied. There are going to be a few more Halloween posts. Initially I didn't think I'd get to the making of my kids Halloween costumes. It's tax time and well this week I pretty much worked two full time jobs, so costume making initially just didn't make the cut. But low and behold I found some time. My kids are going to be Jessie and Woody from toy Story. We tried to use what we had in the house as best we could but I just didn't have cow chaps for the Jessie costume. We got the pants at a local thrift shop and bought some fabric paint and here you have it. I cut the crotch out to make them into chaps. I didn't quite have enough time to properly hem the pants so I just folded them up and stitched them with my sewing machine.
This cowboy hat I got at the dollar store for maybe two bucks at the most. It was perfect for this costume. Can you believe it was actually in with the Christmas stuff. Love it. I then took some white yarn and sewed around the brim to make it look more like Jessie's cowboy hat.

Well there you have it. I'll post the pictures of my kids in their costumes when they are done. I still have to paint the back of these chaps in cow print. I think I'm addicted to fabric paint. My mind is wondering to all the fun stuff I can do with fabric paint.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Halloween Goodness

Coconuts unfortunately had to miss her Halloween class party today. I didn't want her to feel left out so decided to make these for her to share with her class. I hope Mrs. G doesn't mind. We made a similar version of this at our card night this month. You'll see it on the last picture the green card with the witch. I didn't use my good paper for these cause frankly lets be honest. the kids just want the candy anyway. Monica once again came to the rescue tonight to share her talents, paper and stamps with me. TT (which is what I call her) never disappoints. We also had a virgin daiquiri to celebrate her biking accomplishments. Way to go TT!
Here's the whole lot of it. Notice the witch card on the end. These are fun and I sure hope Ms. G doesn't mind children hopped up on sugar tomorrow.
This is my last Halloween post now on to more festive stuff, including making that pumpkin jelly roll.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Balls

Dare I utter the words Christmas before Halloween? With each passing year my Christmas baking starts earlier and earlier. This year I blame it on Meaghan well maybe Monica too. You see our good friend Monica was getting ready for this baby shower, which happens to be her FIRST GRANDCHILD (so exciting!). All hands needed to be on deck to help her throw a super great shower for her daughter in law (who is also our really great friend). The three of us got together to make the shower invitations and as we sat chatting, Meaghan couldn't get Christmas off her brain. she wanted to know what our traditions were, what we baked, what parties we were planning. OK, OK yes we even had the Christmas music October. This is when it all came out that Monica was going to make PB Balls for the baby shower. Of course we had to help her out with that too, 'cause that's what great friends do right. Then it turned into lets triple the batch and make them for Christmas while we're at it. There, now you know how Christmas baking came to be in October. Back to the tutorial for making PB Balls.

Peanut Butter Balls

2 2/3 Cups Peanut Butter
1 Cup Butter
4 Cups Icing Sugar
2 Cups Rice Crispies

Chocolate Coating

12 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
3-4 TBSP Wax Pellets (I know it helps keep the chocolate hard)

The first thing your going to want to do is melt the chocolate chips and the wax pellets in a double boiler. If you don't have one just use a heat safe mixing bowl over a pot with water in it. We put the stove on Med until the water heated up and then we turned it down to Med-Low. The reason you want to do this first is that even though the chocolate chips melt quickly it takes longer for the wax pellets to completely melt and mix in properly.

Next your going to cream together the butter and peanut butter well. Then add the icing sugar and rice crispies. At first it will look pretty powdery but eventually you will get it to look the way it should.
Roll out the peanut butter mixture into balls of roughly the same size. Set them on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet. This makes clean up way easier you'll see why soon. Then place them in the fridge for a good hour so they chill and become hard.

Here's Vanna, I mean Meaghan cheerfully dipping the chilled PB balls into the chocolate. You see two chocolate bowls going as we had tripled the recipe and needed a ton of chocolate to get them all done. I believe we got close to 100 PB balls out of the whole thing.

There are two spoons going as you need to roll them to get the excess chocolate to drip off otherwise it will gather around the bottom of the PB ball as it hardens.
These look really great if you serve them in a silver or gold mini cup cake foil. I can't wait to sink my teeth into these at Christmas time. As a working mother who also has a family business I need to prepare early so I too can enjoy Christmas and have a stress free Holiday Season. Next on my Christmas baking list is Pumpkin Jelly roll.
In case you don't already know her this is Monica, she's the one semi responsible for Christmas baking in Oct and she's also the one who got me into canning my own salsa. That stuff is liquid gold. I can't seem to bring myself to buying the store stuff. I'll show you how to can salsa some other time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Cards

Who in this crafty blog sphere doesn't like fun paper, or cards or hanging out with your girly friends? I have a group of my friends that get together for "Club". We have a stampin up demonstrator who comes along and we make fun cards and things. There's always yummy food too and we laugh lots and have a great time. Last month we made Halloween stuff. Isn't this a cute card with the owl peeking out.Coconuts loved this next one. I think I'll give it to her for Halloween cause there's no point in hanging onto it, it won't last for ever....
This one is my favourite one we did because there is a fun surprise inside. I might make this one for Coconuts to give her school friends for a fun treat.
See isn't it fun. Although if she's going to take it to school I think I'll change out the gum for some other more kid/school friendly treat. I think Mrs. G would want to strangle me if I sent all 23 kids 6 pieces of gum each. That may just be a recipe for disaster.
Oh and can you believe I've already started my Christmas baking. I'll post about that next....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guest Post - Orange Rolls

I have tons of awesome friends that I love. But I also have my BFF who fortunately for her has a wonderful Military hubby who has a fab job that allows her to be a stay at home mom. Unfortunately for me this means that said hubby's particular employment will ensure that BFF and I will be skyping if we wanna hang out and see each other. But that's OK cause I'm hoping for a Christmas visit from BFF and her family this year. Her name is Lucy, well not really it's Tanya but we call each other Lucy. I may share that at later date so feel free to call her what you like. Here is a guest post from her.....

I stay tuned to Nancy's blog as I have always admired her creative talents. Being a BFF and all, I decided I would try to aspire to her level on the cooking front. Truth be told, I got a lot of help from my friend Rae Ann. Here is a guest post of one of my new favourite treats, Orange Rolls. Similar to cinnamon rolls but WAY better in my opinion.

Milk Bread for Cinnamon Buns or Orange Rolls:
4 Cups Flour + 3-4 Cups more
2 TBSP Instant Yeast
2 Cups Milk, Warmed to 105-115 Degrees F
10 TBSP Butter Melted
6 TBSP Sugar
2 Eggs (Optional - It will make it fluffier)
1 Tsp Salt
Add enough flour for moist but not sticky dough. Kneed 10 min. Cover, let rise until doubled (1 to 1 1/2 hours), punch down.
For Orange Rolls - 2 dozen
Divide dough in half. Roll each into a 12" x 16" rectangle. Spread with Orange Paste. Roll up the dough. Slice into Rolls. Place each roll in a lightl greased muffin tin. Let rise 45-60 min. Bake 15-20 min at 350f.
Orange Paste:
1 Cup Sugar
6TBSP Butter
1 Orange Rind Grated
Start by making the you can see the Bosch was fully capable to making dough for 6 dozen rolls.
We separated the dough into 6 even amounts and then you roll each amount of dough out flat in a rectangle about 12" x 16 "
Next you spread the orange "Paste" over the whole thing.
Then you carefully roll up the dough into a log shape.
You proceed to cut the log into about 12 pieces and place them in a muffin tin or on a baking sheet, cover and let rise for at least half an hour, bake and enjoy.

Signing off from Winnipeg, MB....Lucy (aka Tanya Kinner)

Don't they look delish! Alright Lucy here's the deal you make it out for Christmas and you show me personally how to make these bad boys! Not sure that we need to make 6 dozen thought 1 dozen should be enough.


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