Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Subway Art Printable

Sine there was some interest in the Thanksgiving subway art printable, I decided to include one for Christmas!  I can't take complete credit for the Christmas one as it was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, but I created it to suit my tastes just a bit more.  Just click the image, save it to your computer, and enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Subway Art-FREE printable!!

My teacher word art was so popular a few months ago, I thought I'd make a fun Thanksgiving one!  Best part:  this one isn't personalized so you don't have to "order" it!  Feel free to click on the image (to make it larger), right-click on your mouse, and save it to your computer!  It should print nicely on an 8.5"x11" piece of paper or cardstock.  Just remember:  FREE means for personal use only; not for mass-redistribution or monetary gain.

However, if you choose to download it, leave a comment because if there's loads of interest, I'll do one for Christmas too.  :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homemade Baby Gift

Here's a little baby gift that I made recently. 

I found a reference on etsy of the onesie and thought it was super cute. I didn't save the image or reference, but I used the same idea. I just cut out a bunch of circles, laid them out on the onesie how I wanted them and sewed a line straight through them.

 For the skirt I just made up a pattern on my own. HERE's a great reference for the
average sizes for certain baby ages. I used this as a reference when making the skirt.

For the shoes, I used THIS pattern that I blogged about earlier.

I also have a fall wreath that I need to post about! Stay tuned!

Monday, October 24, 2011

And the winner is...

 I decided to go straight-up old school for the drawing because the excitement and anticipation are just so much greater when you get to draw a random slip of paper!  Way better than some online random number generator.

Anyway, without further adieu...

...the winner of the My Memories Software Giveaway is...

Catherine:  I'll be sending you the winner code.  :)

For those of you who are super-bumbed you didn't get to win this giveaway, you can still purchase the software and use the $10 off software AND a $10 off coupon for the My Memories store by using  STMMMS45229 at checkout.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Memories Software Giveaway!!

Liz, from My Memories, contacted us to see if we wanted to do a digital scrapbooking software giveaway.  We couldn't resist!

The my memories suite software is easy to use, has great layouts to choose from, and various free elements to get your creative juices flowing.  The software isn't limited to just scrapbooking either.  You can create cards, videos, and photo books too!

So here's the deal:  My Memories would love to give one of our readers their own FREE DOWNLOAD for their my memories suite software.  And, as a special deal for all of our readers, they gave us a Share the Memories coupon code STMMMS45229 that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software AND a $10 coupon for the store!  There are loads of fun scrapbooking kits and album templates choose from.  

I created the following scrapbook layout using one of the easy layout templates and some of the free elements which are included with the software.  Oh, and some wonderfully-dated photos from my high school days.  :)

I also made this Christmas Card:
So how do you win this incredible giveaway?  There are a few different ways to enter.  Choose one, or multiply your chances by completing all five!

  1.  For entry #1, go to the My Memories site and browse through their adorable paper packs and layouts.  Then, leave a comment here on our blog telling us which one(s) you love!
  2. For entry #2, follow the My Memories Blog, then leave a new comment here letting us know you're their newest follower.
  3. For entry #3, follow us here at This & That Creative and leave a comment letting us know you're our newest follower!  Already a follower?  No worries, just let us know in a comment.
  4. For entry #4, "like" My Memories on Facebook and let us know in another comment!
  5. And finally, for entry #5, "like" This & That Creative on Facebook.  Don't forget to leave another comment.
This giveaway will end Friday, October 21, 2011, 11:59 PM MST.  All comment entries must be posted before then!  The winner will be announced the following week, so stay tuned.  Good luck!

And don't forget, even if you don't win the giveaway, you can still use the Share the Memories coupon code STMMMS45229 that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software AND a $10 coupon for the store!

Friday, October 7, 2011

DIY Christmas Stockings

What's that you say?  It's not Christmastime yet?  Well, at my house we prepare for the holidays virtually year-round because then, when November and December come, we can relax and enjoy the holiday season rather than become self-loathing hermits who refuse to go out in public because of the craziness.  My shopping is finished (just waiting to be wrapped), I'll be making candies soon, but the stockings I was able to do over the summer!  I digress.  

I wanted uber-cute-personalized-trendy-not-too-christmasy Christmas stockings. Pipe dream?  NO.  First, I had to find the right "shape."  See, we're big stocking-stuffing people and I needed it to be large enough to accommodate my visions of stuffing grandeur!  So I did what any great, creative mind would do...I went rummaging through my mom's holiday decor boxes to find my childhood stocking (which is large and sturdy enough to hold an orange in the toe, followed by an apple, banana, bottle of shampoo, and other trinkets-galore).  I set the stocking on my cutest-ever chocolate and white damask fabric and cut out my stocking shape.  Remember to cut two!
 Next step was to cut the lining for my stockings.  Again, remember to cut two!  I wanted my family's stockings to be all matchy-matchy, but still personalized.  Enter:  lining fabric!  I love red and brown together, and those just happen to be the colors my living room is already decorated with, so I chose different red fabrics which showcased both my personality and my husband's.  He got baseballs, I got hibiscus flowers.  One day, when we have babies, they will have different red linings.  But don't you worry that I've already cut out four more brown damask shapes in anxious anticipation!
 Furthermore, I wanted my stockings to be heavy-duty enough to take the wear-and-tear of the ceremonial stuffing-hanging-all-around-holiday-merriment, so between my damask and red lining, I also cut a piece of quilt batting.  I stacked my pieces accordingly to get ready for the sewing.
Because I was planning on binding the stockings with personalized bias tape, there was no reason to sew the pieces right-sides-together.  Easy, eh?  Therefore, I just serged the exterior fabric/batting/lining pieces together.  It was pretty slick and much quicker than having to turn them afterward.
Next came the bias tape adventure.  I had never made my own before, but it turned out to be MUCH easier than I expected!  I used the same lining fabric and created this tutorial (posted earlier) if you're interested.  If not, any ol' bias tape will do!

After attaching the front and back of the stockings together using the bias tape, it was time to work on the minky cuff!  That's right, minky.  See?  You know you love these stockings.  I used the heaviest interfacing I could find to put inside the minky.  Seriously, this stuff was like cardboard.  It wreaked havoc on numerous machine needles, but it definitely keeps the shape nicely!  I just measured the stocking opening, doubled its length (for the front and back), and then left a 1/2" seam allowance.  I cut the interfacing and then wrapped it in the minky.

 I serged the two ends together, and then inserted a hangy loop (extremely technical term).  Hint:  If you insert the loop the way I did, it make the stocking hang at a lovely angle.
Sew up the loop edge and pin the minkly closed (nice and tight) around the interfacing.

 Then, slide the cuff over the stocking opening and match pined edge to the opening.  Sew around the edge to attach the cuff to the stocking and...voila!...

 ...You have a broken needle...A LOT of broken needles actually!  I had to include this photo purely because I've broken plenty of needles in my day and have never seen one bend in such a fashion before snapping.  Amazing.
 Anyway, what you REALLY have (besides broken needles) are uber-cute-personalized-trendy-not-too-christmasy Christmas stockings.  I added some layers of grosgrain ribbon and little floral button embellishments.
 But wait!  There's more!  I also found these  silver monogram pins which made them even MORE personal!  I pretty much love how they turned out.  Now go make your own.  You know you want to.  Get it done before the holiday season so you can enjoy that time of year rather than stress it!
Note the cute, personalized bias tape?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

teacher subway art

I kept seeing these super cute teacher-themed subway art images on Pinterest and I knew I just HAD to have one for my classroom!  I took pieces I liked from some images I saw and incorporated my own ideas as well.  Let's just say I'm stinkin' pleased with the way it looks!  Furthermore, I found a website which will print it on vinyl and enlarge it (25.5"x33") for $25!!!  That's right, vinyl.  NOT paper.  Even the Kinko's poster printing couldn't beat it.  I'm pretty stoked to see how it REALLY looks.  If you're a teacher/know someone who is/just want a great teacher gift and would like a personalized copy, just leave a comment with the name you'd like inserted and your e-mail address and I'll send it out as a .jpg.  You can have it enlarged yourself, or just print it on an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper and frame it!

As of Saturday, October 8, 2011, the free subway art offer is no longer valid.  Thanks for your interest!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fondant Cakes

A lot of people avoid making fondant cakes because they think it's too difficult. It's really not that bad though. It's a little time consuming, but once you get the hang of it, using fondant is pretty easy.

I started by baking the cake in 6 inch and 9 inch cake pans. Sometimes I make the cake from scratch...not this time. Boxed mixes work great and they are huge time savers. One tip: let the eggs sit out a bit before you add them to the mix.

After the cakes have all baked and cooled, wrap them in seran wrap and put them in the freezer. I usually bake the cakes a few days before. It's easier for me to spread out the process. Once the cake is frozen, you'll need to level it. You can use a cake leveler (you can get them at any craft even sells them) or you can just eyeball it.

I wrapped and froze the leveled cakes because I didn't have time to do more. You don't really need to freeze them again after leveling though.
Ready to assemble the cake? For the top layer, cut out a circle of cardboard slightly smaller than the diameter of the cake. They sell precut circles if you'd rather just buy one. Wrap your circle in foil.

Get your leveled cake (look how even the top is...perfect...and if you let your husband have the dome you cut off it might make his day)...

...put a dollop of frosting on the foil covered, cardboard circle...and the put the cake on top of that. I have the circle sitting on parchment paper. This is just to make moving the top layer around easier.

Frost your first layer.

Then place the next level on, leveled side down. So the part that is a little browner and was on the bottom of the pan will be on top. This gives you a smooth surface with nice corners to work's also a lot less crumbly.

Apply a crumb layer of frosting or dirty ice...same thing. Basically just frost the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting. Try to make it even. While you let that level set up (I sometimes put it in the fridge for a while) you can assemble your other teir. Once the crumb layer has set up a bit, frost your cake again and try to make it really smooth.

This is the crumb layer - see how you can see the cake through bits of it? I didn't take a picture of the fully frosted cake.

Now it's fondant time. Wilton sells fondant. You can get it at any craft store (or again, walmart). You can totally use store-bought fondant. It's convenient and super smooth and really white. And it tastes gross. I've used it and it's great, but I prefer using homemade fondant. It's much cheaper and tastes much better. There are recipes and tutorials all over the internet. I might post a making fondant tutorial sometime...but seriously they're everywhere.

After you make your fondant, you can color it. For this cake, I wanted soft pink, hot pink, and purple. I use wilton gel to color fondant. It's a lot brighter and bolder than just food coloring. But you can use food coloring if you like. It works too. For the soft pink, I used hardly any pink gel. I used more for the hot pink. And then I mixed pink and blue gel to get the purple I wanted. It kind of looks greyish in the pictures, it's not...promise. To mix your colors, twist and knead the fondant until the color is even. Before:


I sometimes wear gloves (latex and powder free, food handling gloves) to dye the fondant - just because I don't want pink and blue hands all day.

Roll out your fondant and then lay it over the cake. Try to keep it smooth.

Cut off the excess. I use a pizza cutter.

Smooth out your fondant and repeat with the other tier. When you have both tiers covered, it's time to stack them. Get some dowels or lollipop sticks (again, sold at craft stores or walmart) and cut them to the height of your cake. Then push them into the bottom tier to support the top tier.

Use a few.

Then add a little blob of frosting in the center, and put the top layer on. Now you can add your borders or decorations.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fondant Roses

I'm making a birthday cake for my neice. I've used fondant for a few cakes but I wanted to try and up the ante a little bit. So I decided to give fondant roses a try.

I started by rolling out some fondant and cutting out small circles - I just used one of my piping tips to cut out the circles.

Grab a circle and start smashing it a little with your finger tips. Especially around the edges. This will make them thin and they'll curl under a little.

Roll the first circle around itself.

Start adding more circles on one at a time (after you've smashed up the edges a bit). You can use a dab of water to help them stay if they aren't sticking well.

I used 9 petals for most of the flowers. But pretty much just keep adding until you think it looks good. I didn't take a picture of just one rose finished. But here is the cluster of roses I put on top of my neices birthday cake. I'll post a picture of the completed cake and some instructions for that soon.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bias Tape Tutorial

A friend of mine expressed some frustration she was having while making some flower girl dresses and how the bias tape at the fabric store just wasn't the right color she was looking for.  She then decided to make her own!  HA!  I had never thought of that before, so I went to work attempting to figure it out.  Here's a tutorial if you're ever in need of "matching bias tape" and the fabric store doesn't have what you want.

Step 1:  You need to "square" your fabric so it can be cut on the bias.  To do that, just take one of your corners and fold the fabric down along the opposite edge to create a triangle (just like folding a rectangular piece of paper into a square).  Don't just cut strips off the rectangle, or it won't "stretch" like bias tape.

Step 2:  Using a rotary cutter and ruler, measure the strips for cutting.  I wanted the bias tape to be about 1/2" wide, so I cut my strips 2" wide to allow for the folds.

**Note**  The bottom, longest strip has a folded edge along the bottom, so just open the fold and cut it apart.
 Step 3:  Match up the slanted edges of your strips with the right sides together.  You'll want it to create a right angle so that once the angle is sewn, the fabric creates a longer strip.  Also, notice how my edges hang over a bit on each side?  That's to allow for the seam.
 Step 4:  Press open all slanted seams.  You'll also have to do some trimming of threads and seam allowances so the strip of fabric is even.
 Step 5:  Press the fabric in half.
 Step 6:  Open the pressed fabric and fold the edges ALMOST to the center, but not all the way.  This is a bit time consuming, but not difficult.  There are actually super-cool tools you can purchase to do this part for you.
 Step 7:  Re-press the tape along its center so the edges are now inside.
 Step 8:  Add to your project just as you would any other bias tape!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Carseat Cover/Nursing Cover

I love objects that have more than one purpose, so I am very excited about this carseat cover that also doubles as a nursing cover.

I love the poncho design of the nursing cover to allow side coverage while breastfeeding (especially when babies start to kick the cover with their little feet). I started out with 1 1/2 yds of fabric. I used home decor. fabric because it's heavier and lays better.

Next, I cut a slit in the center. I made it big enough for my head to go through and allow for comfort but small enough that it would rest on the carseat right. The size of this slit will differ based on your preferences.

After cutting the slit, I trimmed the edge of the fabric so it wouldn't drag on the floor when put on the carseat. Again, this will differ based on your preferences. I ended up trimming about 4" all around.

Lastly, I used yellow bias taping to trim the edges. On the corners of the slit, I did do some reinforcing stitches before applying the bias taping. I just didn't want it to tear further.And there you have it! A very easy, very useful project!

Maybe one of these days I'll get around to posting a project that has nothing to do with babies, but for now, stay tuned next Wednesday for a new and improved cloth diaper tutorial!


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