Friday, October 29, 2010

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bags

About a month ago, Jen over at The Finer Things blog, posted some reusable Halloween totes. What a great alternative to the plastic pumpkin or shopping bag!

I thought they were so cute that I decided to make one for each of my nieces. Jen was kind enough to post my project as a follow-up to her original post. Thanks Jen! 

~ 4 sheets of 9" x 12" stiff felt. For one bag, I used 2 sheets of orange with 2 sheets of glittery black. For the others bag, I used 2 sheets of green and 2 sheets of glittery white.

~ Embroidery floss and a needle

~ Thick yarn 

~ Halloween shapes made out of craft foam

Scotch Maximum Strength Adhesive (this worked well for the felt and foam)

For the front and back of the of the bags, I used the full sheets of felt, no cutting needed. Then for each side, I folded the 3rd sheet of felt in half, lengthwise and cut it down the middle. To make the bottom, I cut the last piece of felt to be the same thickness as the sides. You will have about 3/4 of a sheet left over. 

To sew the pieces together, I lined the sides up flat and used a simple stitch that also became the border. 

Once all of the pieces were sewn together, I cut the yarn to the length I wanted for a handle and sewed it into place on either side at the top, inside of each bag. To make sure the handle would be strong enough to hold a bag full of candy, I cut small squares of felt and sewed them right on top of where I attached the handles. Not only does this reinforce the handles, but it also covered the ugly knot at the end of the yarn. 

The last thing was to decorate! Rather than create my own shapes from scratch, I saved some time by buying pre-made foam shapes and gluing them on. Each bag got a spooky ghost and pumpkin, but on the other side, one got a haunted house while the other got a witch's hat. This glue took about a day to be fully dry, but they seem super sturdy now.

I can't wait to go trick-or treating with the girls on Sunday and see how well they hold up! 

Have a Spooktacular Halloween!!

all images via The Finer Things

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Introducing... The Inspiration Pad

When I was in high school, I lived about 4 hours away from my best friend Liz. We exchanged letters all the time and somehow our letter writing became a contest to see who could write the longest letter or who could find the most creative paper. I wrote her a letter on a roll of toilet paper once. And on another occasion, I made a tiny book from giant graph paper {the size of a big desk calendar} and then filled it. I think she won the award for lengthiest letter, though; I believe it was somewhere around 30 pages. At that point, we were pretty much sending each other a diary so we decided it was time to start cutting back...

When I saw this notebook, it reminded me of sending Liz those letters that were almost like a puzzle to read. It would definitely be a challenge to read some of these pages!

Found on Dornob, Images from Behance Network

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Comfy Chic

The leaves are changing and autumn seemed to have settled in, but in typical Delaware fashion we are expecting an 80 degree day today... at the end of October. In this state, you must have clothes for every season on hand at all times, but I'm going to pretend that I didn't see the weather report and show you these great winter finds. 

With over a dozen variations, this one jacket by ErinAlexandraKlym would be a great addition to any wardrobe. And since it's made out of soft fleece material, it you can be stylish and cozy at the same time.
Available at Etsy

I'm totally a "flats" girl - you will only find me in heels on special occasions so I'm loving the riding boots that are out this season. I always have trouble finding boots that don't have a tall heel, but not this year! 

These Clarks Mia West boots are available at Zappos

Monday, October 25, 2010

S'mores Brownie Experiment

So I decided to go the easy route for the first round of s'mores cupcake experimenting and I used brownie mix instead of making chocolate cake. I created a bunch of variations using brownie mix, graham cracker crust and, of course, marshmallows. Here is how it went...

Some of them had a graham cracker crust bottom. A few had a marshmallow.

For the ones on the left, I mixed the brownie mix and graham cracker crust together. The ones on the right had brownie mix with a marshmallow center.

To top them off, I either put graham cracker crust crumbles or brownie mix, depending on what the other layers were. 

And once they were close to being done, I melted a marshmallow on the top of some. 

The results? Well I had my house-mates all try them (including 2 four year olds who always say exactly what they think) and the winning combination is....

Graham cracker crust on the bottom, then a layer of brownie with a marshmallow in the center and topped off with another marshmallow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I can't remember exactly when I first saw Christien Meindertsma's urchin poufs, but I have yet to get them out of my head. They just add something fun and unusual to a room. If you can afford one from HUG it will be hand-knitted in the Netherlands with New Zealand wool and will even have a tag with the name of the sheep that your pouf is made from. Since I don't have a spare $975 to spend on an over-sized pillow, I looked around for some alternatives...

These colorful poufs are available at Huset for $98.

And Ferm Living makes a square version. I love this colorful stack!

CB2 has a slightly more affordable pouf for $79.95.

And for you crafters out there, Pickles has provided instructions to make your own pouf. This might be a good enough reason to learn how to knit!
Found on Apartment Therapy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Typewriters Reborn

There is just something about a typewriter… the sound of the pounding keys, the nostalgic feeling, retyping an entire page when you make a mistake in the last paragraph…

OK so not everything about a typewriter is great and after years of working on a computer it would be really hard to revert back to a typewriter. However, USBtypewriter has created the best of both worlds by converting typewriters into USB keyboards that you can use with your current computer! How cool are these? If you have an old typewriter lying around in your attic collecting dust, you can send it away and have it turned into one of these beauties! 

{and in case you were wondering, there are toggle buttons which allow you to use buttons such as Ctrl, F1 and Esc}

Friday, October 22, 2010

Who Needs a Campfire for S'mores?

With a family member who works for a baking supply company, we have a lot of cupcake wrappers in our kitchen. I've been meaning to collect some fun new cupcake and muffin recipes to try out and today I figured out where to begin... Design Crush featured adorable chocolate cupcakes with a single marshmallow on top and they got me thinking about s'mores cupcakes!

I'd never had one or seen one, so I began thinking of the tastiest way to make them and I came up with an idea - A graham cracker cupcake with chocolate chips and this toasty marshmallow on top. But then I Googled "s'mores cupcakes" and found these scrumptious looking goodies...

This recipe from Bakerella suggests baking a cupcake with half graham cracker batter, half chocolate batter and a marshmallow center. Then the cupcake is topped with more chocolate and another marshmallow.  This gooey dessert would be sure to satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth.

In these two recipes, you bake chocolate cupcakes with graham cracker crust at the bottom. Then you top each cupcake with a whipped marshmallow frosting which gets toasted with a torch. How pretty do they look!

Image from Beantown Baker

Image from Martha Stewart

 So many ideas and combinations to play with... I'll just have to start baking and let you know what I come up with!