Friday, April 29, 2011

Late to the Party???

Yes, I am late to the party. I am aware that Earth day was last Friday not today. I had the best of intentions to post this last Friday but life got in the way. However I thought this was such a good thing that I am going to go ahead and share it with you now, even if it is late. What is it? Well by now I assume a lot of us are bringing our own reusable shopping bags with us to the grocery store, but what about all those plastic bags we use when buying our fruits and vegetables? I know most people are still using the plastic bags provided at the grocery store and if you are anything like we are, they just get thrown away, they aren't good for anything else that I know of. I felt bad that it was such a waste so I got to thinking of a way to make a reusable produce bag and here is what I came up with. This idea is so simply and an idea that I am sure others have thought of so I am a little embarrassed to show it to you but if I thought it was cool and something very useful to help us cut down on waste, I am sure someone else will to so here you go, Reusable Produce Bags.

What you will need:
ribbon or cording

To make the bags cut out a rectangle of tulle that is 12 1/2 inches by 28 inches. Fold the bag in half so that you have a rectangle that measures 12 1/2 x 14 and sew up the side seams using a zig-zag stitch. I shortened my stitch length and width just to make sure I had a good solid seam.

Trim your threads and fold over the top about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch and sew around the top again using a zig-zag stitch.

Trim your threads again and cut 2 small slits right next to each other, through one layer of tulle on the top hem you just created. This is so you can thread a ribbon or cording through and cinch it up so that none of your fruits and vegi's fall out.

Next heat the ends of your ribbon or cording using a lighter or match just until they begin to melt a little, this will keep the ends from fraying.

Then stick a safety pin through one end of the ribbon/cording and feed it through the small hole you just cut, going all the way around the top hem and coming out the hole right next to the one you went in through.

Tada!!! You are done and you bag is finished, go fill it up and feel good that you aren't wasting another plastic bag. An added bonus, you can wash your produce right in the bag since it is mesh the water will drain right out, making putting away my produce much faster. These bags were so easy and dirt cheap to make. out of 1 1/2 yards of tulle, I was able to make 8 bags. Using my 50% off Joann's coupon I was able to get the tulle for $1.12 which makes that bags roughly .14 cents a piece since I had the ribbon and cording already laying around from another project. Pretty cool and frugal if you ask me, even if it is a simple idea.

I was just thinking, how great would these be to give as a hostess gift or a house warming gift, alongside a couple of reusable shopping bags. A perfect easy, usable gift, the best kind and something I am going to do.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Push-up Mold Giveaway-Second Time is a Charm

Unfortunately, I have tried several times to reach the original winner of the push-up molds and have heard nothing in return which means that I got to pick a new winner today, bummer for the original winner but yeah for the new winner....Lucky number 6

Seema said...

I'd love to win some of these! If I don't though, I may have to buy some! Too cute for words.

Well Seema, it is your lucky day because now you don't have to buy any, yeah!!! I will be sending you an email shortly to get your information.

Thanks again to everyone who played along. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Anthropologie Bag Knock-Off

I was window shopping on the Anthropologie site a few days ago when I came across a handbag that caught my eye.

Image courtesy of
Anyone who knows me will laugh because I don't carry handbags, I have a little tiny coin purse that hangs from my car keys and that is all I carry. I travel light, what can I say. So for me to like a handbag is pretty rare but I was drawn to this one. I liked how soft/romantic this one looked. I liked how the handles of the bag were unique and I liked the lightness of the color/fabric. So I thought, why not try to make one and this is what I came up with, using all fabric from my stash. Yeah for stash busting!! This post will be long, so sorry, I tend to be long winded when I explain something, plus I forgot to take some pictures, oops.

Here is how I made this bag... I made this bag in two different sewing sessions and totally forgot to take pictures the second time I sat down to sew. Hopefully I will be able to walk you through without pictures. First off I cut out my fabric, not having I pattern, I looked at the bag and thought it looked a lot like a rectangle so that is where I started and here is what you will need to make a bag:

2 16 x 12 rectangles of outer fabric & stabilizer
2 16 x 12 rectangles of the liner fabric & stabilizer
(use a bowl to create rounded corners on two of the corners of the bag along one of the 16 inch sides of  both the outer fabric and liner fabric)
1 3 x 48 rectangle of outer fabric & stabilizer (outer side piece)
1 3 x 48 rectangle of liner fabric & stabilizer ( inner side piece)
2 4 x 8 rectangles of outer fabric (these will act as the hoops that hold the handles)
1 3 x 48 rectangle of contrasting fabric for handles & stabilizer
1 rectangle any size for pocket (optional)
10 3 x 12 rectangles of gauzy fabric

Once all of the pieces are cut out,  iron on the stabilizer to all the pieces indicated and lets get sewing. NOTE: all seams were done at 1/4 inch, unless indicated.

1. Pin the outer side piece around the curved edge of one of the large outer rectangles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top of each side of the large rectangle, (your side rectangle may be too long and may need to be cut a little so that you have that gap at the top of each side of the bag, I had to cut mine, it is not a big deal) and sew. Once sewn, iron open your seam and turn right side out. This will become the front of your bag.

2. Now we need to make and attach the gauzy pieces to the front of the bag. To do this take two of your gauzy rectangles and make a cross with them.

3. Now pick up the piece that is underneath at both ends and pull up.

4. Grab the bottom piece with your other hand and pull, you will see that two loops or a knot are sort of formed.

5. Take this piece and pin it to the front piece of your bag starting at the bottom. Repeat this step 4 more times or until the front of your bag is covered. When full, sew along the edges of the front of the bag to secure the gauzy piece in place, making sure to leave the sides without the gauzy fabric.

6. When sewn and secure, cut the excess gauze from the bag, staying close to the line you just sewed. I then used a sewing needle and tacked the knotted middle piece to the bag just so they weren't floppy.

Here is where the pictures get sparse, so sorry.

7. Take the front piece you were just working on and flip the side pieces up, take you last large outer rectangle and pin, right sides together to the edge of the side piece which isn't already attached to the other large outer rectangle. Make sure that you are leaving that 1 1/2 inch gap at the top just like we did with the first large outer rectangle.

8. Iron open the seams and set the outer part of your bag aside.

9.  Create the lining of you bag just like we did the outer bag except skip the steps used to add the gauze detail to the front. Instead, you can add a pocket or pockets to your liner at this step if you want. To do this, I cut out a rectangle that was 4 x 8 1/2, folded it in half with right sides together and sewed along 3 sides. I clipped my corners and turned right sides out, ironing everything so it lays flat. Then fold over the open side 1/4 inch, iron and pin in place to the lining of the bag.  Top-stitch around three sides of the pocket so that you leave one side open to put stuff in.

10. Once liner is complete, set aside and let's make the loops for the handles to go through. First off create a finished edge on the 4 inch sides of the rectangle by folding over 1/4 inch on each side of the rectangle, iron and sew.

12. Repeat the last two steps so that you have two loops.

13. Now we need to join our bags together. Take you bag lining and turn it inside out if it isn't already. Then take your outer bag and turn it inside out and shove it into the bag lining. Make sure that all the seams line up and that everything is laying fairly flat.

14. Take one of your loops for the handles and sandwich it in between the bag liner and the outer bag along the side and up the 1 1/2 inch gaps you left at the top of the large rectangles, making sure that the raw edge of the loop matches up with the raw edges of the outer bag and bag liner, Pin into place.

15. Repeat step 14 on the other side of the bag.

16.  Sew along both sides just along where you sandwiched your loops.

17. Now for my favorite step, turning that bag right side out. You bag should be open along the top on both sides of the bag. Take your outer part of the bag and flip in right side out. Now flip your liner right side out and shove it inside of the outer bag. This should resemble the bag without handles. your sides should be sewn together and your tops left open.

18. Fold over the top of your outer bag an the top of your bag lining on both the front and the back and iron. Then top stitch around the whole top of the bag.

19. For the handles, you are going to fold  and iron your handle piece in half right sides together so that you have a rectangle that measures 1 1/2 x 48.

20. Sew along one 1 1/2 side and down the 48 inch side leaving one 1 1/2 side open for turning.

21. Turn your handle so that the right side is facing out and iron flat.

22. Insert your long handle rectangle through one of the loops on your bag and then through the other loop.

23. Decide how long you would like the handle to be and cut your handle to the according length.

24. With the two raw ends of your handles, fold the edges of one side into the loop so you create a finished edge...then insert your raw edge at the other end of the handle into this finished edge you just created and sew. You can then adjust your handle so the seam you just created is hidden inside of one of the loops.

So there you have it...if you have some knowledge of how to create a bag, this is a fairly easy bag to make. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I know I may not have explained it well. I will get better at taking pictures, I promise. I just get so engrossed in what I am doing that I forget, oops.

All in all I like this bag and think it is a pretty good knock-off, I just wish I carried handbags so I could used it,  oh well, I guess I will have to find someone to give it to.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Push-Up Mold Winner

I'm so excited to be doing my first give away here on "Em-agination" but before I reveal the lucky winner, I wanted to say thank you to all of you for the very nice comments regarding these push-up Popsicles and my blog in general. They really do mean a lot. Thanks also to those who featured these Popsicles this week and invited me to participate in  your blog parties, it all made for a very exciting week for me. It is the little things that excite me, (don't laugh.)

Now for the drum roll please...the lucky winner of the push-up molds is......
Just a note, there were 28 comments, I gave everyone one entry even though
they may have more than one comment on the post, thus making a pool of 24 entrants,
hopefully that makes sense

nellana said...

I am a new follower and I love this idea. I really hope I win them. my hubby would love to eat these.

Nellana, I will be sending you an email shortly.
 If you didn't win and would like to purchase some, just shoot me an email christianandem(at)gmail(dot)com, they are $1.00 per mold plus the cost of shipping which I can quote when I know how many molds you would like to buy. Thanks again, Emily

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Moss Wreath

My name is Emily and I love wreaths, I admit it. Some people have shoe addictions, I think I have a wreath addiction. I love changing the wreaths on my front doors. Have you priced wreaths, they can be spendy but not this baby, this baby was made with things found at the dollar tree which means I made this wreath for about $5.00, not to bad huh.

For this wreath, I used a foam wreath form (say that three times fast) and covered it using some Spanish moss securing it to the wreath form using some floral pins.

I then added a little bit of reindeer moss to add some color. The wreath at this stage is very pretty and could easily be left as is but I couldn't leave well enough alone.

I decided I wanted to spruce it up some so I added a tiny nest with robin's eggs and some tiny blue bobbles. A perfect little spring wreath on a perfectly red door!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apothecary Jar

Last year, my daughter and I discovered this great store called Scrap. Why is Scrap so great, well for one it encourages everyone to reuse things that might normally be thrown away. Secondly, the prices are a steal and third, I can go in there with my daughter who love to just sit down and create, give her a couple of bucks and she can get a whole bag of things to create with and be set for hours, even days of creativity. If you are in or around Portland, give scrap a try, I think you will be surprised at just how great it is.

The last time we went in to the store they had lots of great stuff, we got loads of bottle caps to make bottle cap magnets with, fabric scraps to teach little miss K a thing or two about sewing and they had a shelf full of these plain glass jars that were 4 for $1.00 so I picked up four and thought I'll figure out something to do with them.

Borrowing some inspiration from the girls at Shanty 2 Chic, I made an apothecary jar. Now all I need to do is find some shorter candle sticks so that I can make a set of these beauties. As you can see I used my "em-agination" and fancied up the jar just a little bit, using my favorite crafty tool, the silhouette craft cutter to cut out the leaf pattern using self adhesive vinyl. I then used the negative image of the design as my stencil for the glass etching, giving the jar the frosted appearance. Other than that, I pretty much followed what the girls over at Shanty 2 Chic did when creating their jars. So pleased with the results, thanks for the inspiration Shanty girls!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

DIY Push-up Popsicles & a Give Away (now closed)

As a child I loved those Popsicles known as Push-ups, do you remember them? They were a cross between ice cream and a Popsicle, maybe like a sherbet, either way I loved them. I know they still make them today and I have had them recently but they just weren't as good as I remember them from when I was a child, maybe my taste buds have matured but one thing is for certain, I still love the idea of the push-up Popsicle so imagine my excitement when I saw these beauties from sprinkles cupcakes. I however wasn't excited by the idea of eating cupcakes in a new cleaver way, no I was excited by the packaging and the possibility to make my own push-up Popsicles in any flavor my "em-agination" can think up. I had to find where I could get my hands on these babies and find them I did. Once they arrived, off to work I went making my own push-ups and they didn't disappoint.
The first flavor I made was a take on the Jello pudding pops that were everywhere when I grew, yet impossible to find today. So easy to make, yet so yummy. Here is how I made them.
1 Box of pudding, any flavor
2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cup of cool-whip or whipped cream
crushed Oreo cookies

Mix the pudding into the milk, let set until it starts to thicken. Once slightly thickened, fold in 1 cup of whipped cream (that has been whipped to form peaks.) Spoon into the push-up molds and then spoon in the remaining whipped cream on top and sprinkle crushed Oreo cookies onto the whipped cream. Freeze until hard and enjoy.

The second flavor I made was a raspberry cream push-up. Here is how to make these.
1 box of jello, any flavor, I used raspberry
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cup of whipped cream or cool-whip
 raspberry for garnish

Mix the jello into the water just like the box instructs, 1 cup hot water, 1 cup cold water, let set until the mixture cools, (not hardens, you still want it to be in a liquid form) and fold in 1 cup of whipped cream. Pour into the molds, top with the remaining 1/2 cup of whipped cream and top with a raspberry.
I love how you can see the bands of color in this push-up, so pretty. I can't wait to come up with even more flavors, using different things like yogurt, juices, fresh berries etc. These containers are so cool and can be used again and again, just what we need on a hot summer day (when we get one) and a great activity to do with the kids, create your own Popsicles. We also poured straight juice into the molds just to see if they would leak and they didn't so a straight juice push-up Popsicle is also a possibility. As an added bonus, you can also make cake shooters too, just like you would find at Sprinkles Cupcakes.
So you are asking, where do I get those cool molds, right??? Well I had a hard time finding them and when I did they were only sold in large quantities so I bought a large quantity. Do you want some without having to buy them in a large quantity, well today is your lucky day because I am going to give you a chance to win a set of 10 push-up molds. All you have to do is follow my blog (if you aren't already a follower) then come back here and leave a comment telling me you are a follower with a way to contact you if you win. I will close the give-away on Saturday April 23rd at 9 AM (pacific standard time) and post the winner here. Good luck!!! By the way if you are already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me you already follow and you will be entered to win. If you don't win, I will also be selling the extras I have for $1.00 a piece plus shipping, not sure what that will be but if you would like to buy some, send me an email or leave a comment with how many you would like to buy and I will figure our the shipping cost and get back to you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Favorite Food Friday: Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons are my all time favorite cookie. I love them, so you would think by now I would have figured out how to make them, but no. I have been destined to eating them only when I go to a coffee shop and only if they carry them. Well no longer, I have finally found out how to make them and make them I will. There are lots of recipes out there for coconut macaroons, some that call for sweetened condensed milk other that don't, the recipe I ended up using was found on the NPR site. This recipe looked simple and only had a few ingredients all of which I had on hand so I would say at this point I am "WINNING" (sorry couldn't resist the Charlie Sheen joke.) Here is how I made them.
Measure out your ingredients, there is only 5 ingredients so pretty darn easy
Mix them all together in a stainless steel bowl
Set over a double boiler and cook while stirring until the egg whites thick and turn opaque, see how they are no longer clear in the picture and are sort of a creamy white color, that is what you are going for.
Don't forget to let the mixture cool so that all the liquid absorbs into the coconut, if you don't you may have runny cookies or really dry ones if you leave it in the bowl. Spoon onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. As you can see I used my Silpat but you could use parchment if you don't have a Silpat. Let cool and than drizzle them with chocolate if you want or eat them plain, I prefer plain.

I totally could eat them all but I know better than that so I decided to package some up as little thank-you gifts for some really great people around my children's school, people who may not always get recognized or thanked such as the the janitor, the lunch lady, the librarian etc. This would also make a very cute teacher appreciation gift, they are very cheap to make but have a wow factor to them. I'm hoping they will brighten a few people's day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lacing Cards

My kids love lacing cards, oh boy do they ever. The problem is most of them are really pretty flimsy and get bent and ruined pretty quickly, plus it is hard to find ones that are cute or in a theme that your kids may be into. So of course my "em-agination" was sparked and out popped this idea for what I think are some pretty cool lacing cards.

Oy Vay...this one wrinkled and tore so much,
I am hoping that with a clear coat it won't be so noticeable.

How did I make them you are wondering, well they are really easy and really cheap. First off, I picked up a piece of basa wood at Micheal's that was 4 X 24 X 1/4 inch thick and cut it down into 4 (4 x 6) pieces. I then used my favorite tool, say it with me, the Silhouette craft cutter to cut out my images. The Olivia images are from a new line they just released oh my gosh how cute are they. I simply chose the size I wanted, printed it out and then fed it through the Silhouette where it cut out my image, easy peasy. I did the same with the trucks, another image I bought from the Silhouette online store, print and cut. I then used Modge Podge to glue a 4 x 6 piece of scrapbook paper and my image onto my basa wood and let dry. Once they were dry I measured out my holes and drilled right through all 4 pieces at once. I haven't sealed my cards yet, but I will just to give them a finished look and longer durability, I will probably used a gloss finish such as Diamond Glaze.
I plan on wrapping them up when the clear coat is dry and giving them as a gift. To who you ask??? Well my son's kindergarten teacher gave out a letter at the beginning of the year and asked that through out the year if we wanted to give gifts that we try and give gifts that can be used in the classroom such as donating a book to the classroom library or buying new pencils or markers that often get used up as the year progresses. A great idea I thought and we have done those things for Christmas and such but Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up May 2-6 with May 3rd specifically being Teacher Appreciation Day, so my son will be giving these to his teacher as an appreciation gift, one that can be enjoyed by the whole class.