Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bottle cap tacks....

The day has come…. I have completed the long awaited bottle cap project. For those of you who don’t know I have been talking about making this project for months and have pestered my friends into saving tons of bottle caps for me. (Thank you to everyone who contributed) So after a lot of talk and not a lot of action I finally completed the project last night! Yeah!


The supplies were pretty simple and inexpensive. Card Stock, 1” hole punch, thumb tacks, hot glue, craft glue, resin, an image (or multiple), and bottle caps!

I decided to do an alphabet set of tacks so I scavenged the internet for a free font download and came across a typewriter key font which I love. (This site has a lot of interesting fonts; you should definitely check it out.)

  • Download the font or image you want to use and scale it to fit in a 1” circle.
  • Use the 1” hole punch to make the bottle cap inserts from the image.
  • With a dab of craft glue adhere the 1” circles to the bottom of the bottle cap.
  • Allow to dry.
  • Once the drying is complete, mix your resin solution and pour into the bottle caps. (At this step you can play with the effect you want. If you overfill the bottle cap you get more of a bubble effect) WARNING: Make sure you do this is in a well ventilated area because it STINKS!
  • Once all the bottle caps are filled allow to dry (it took mine about 12 hours to completely dry)
  • Once dry all you have to do is use a little hot glue to attach the thumb tacks and Whah lah! You’re done.

Enjoy ~Julie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Pie" pops and other mishaps...

By now I would say that most people who frequent food blogs have heard about, seen, or have tried pie pops. I first saw them in July on Luxirare and have been obsessed with the idea of them ever since. The idea is genius and the product is so cute and charming. How could they possibly go wrong?

I started off by making 2 homemade fillings - for the banana filling I mashed 2 ripe bananas and added a couple teaspoons of cinnamon and for the blackberry filling I minced a pint of blackberries and added a couple teaspoons of sugar. I used premade cherry and apple pie fillings, but cut the pieces up so that the filling would fit in the crust circles. I also bought pillsbury premade crust - the ones that are flat in the refrigerator aisle - so that I didn't have to make them myself.

So, once everything was set up, I happily rolled out the crusts so that they'd be a little thinner and use a 2.5" circle dough cutter to cut out 22 circles from one premade crust. I added about one teaspoon of filling to 11 of the circles, put the lollipop stick in, sealed with a second crust circle, brushed with egg whites, and popped them in the oven at 375 degrees. After 15 minutes they were finished and looked BEAUTIFUL. I couldn't wait to try one so I gleefully picked up a banana pie pop and put the whole thing in my mouth. Wow. There was so much crust and so little filling. The crust sucked all the moisture from my mouth and I thought I was going to choke on what should have been a delightful bite of pie! I know that the Luxirare blogger said that she enjoyed more crust that filling, but I thought I'd at least be able to taste more than the whisper of filling flavor. So disheartening. I didn't even bother photographing them because I was so depressed over the whole incident, but this is what they looked like (maybe not quite as perfect):

Image from Luxirare

I don't know if I did something wrong, has anyone else tried these? I've read elsewhere online that they used 3" circle dough cutters, but I figure that while it may increase the amount of filling you can fit, it will also increase the amount of dough.'d end up with the same issue, right?

After that I had to think of something else to make for Valentine's Day to bring into work so I thought candied lemon peels would be delicious. I went to and searched lemon peel and so I clicked on the first one, Tangy Lemon Peels Dipped in Dark Chocolate from Cooking Weekends and followed the instructions because I had never made these before.

These are what they should have looked like - image from Cooking Weekends blog

The instructions say to parboil the lemon peels for about one minute in order to remove some of the bitterness - that made sense to me, so I did it. Then the directions say to mix one cup of water and one cup of sugar over heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then add the lemon peels and allow to simmer for about an hour. Done and done. After my pie pop disappointment I had my mom taste these first and I feel a little bad about that. They were bitter...with an awful aftertaste. What the heck? I looked online and other recipes for candied peels and they said that you should boil the peels for 20 minutes and then change the water 4 times (so boiling for a total of 80 minutes) in order to remove the bitterness. Then you're supposed to simmer in the sugar water for 2 hours. Granted, this was the most extreme version, but I only had 3 oranges so I had to get it right this time (I used all the lemons the first time so I had to switch to candied orange peels).

The candied orange peels were delicious, but they were so soft by the end of it that when I rolled them in sugar and dipped them in chocolate they kept breaking into little pieces. Only a handful were left intact. *sigh*

Other V-day weekend sadness included making homemade roasted tomato soup that ended up tasting pretty similar to canned Cambell's Tomato Soup and being in an accident on Saturday morning in the Michael's parking lot...I should have known that things were only going to go downhill from there.

Oh well.

Monday, February 15, 2010

fuzzy felt friends....

I made these little guys about 6 months ago with the intention to put them on baby onesies, but then I realized if my husband found baby clothes, he might have a heart attack. And since I am not sure if his life insurance policy is up to date, I would rather not risk it. :) So they have been sitting in my sewing box for months. I have decided to share them with you guys and with a little magic (Photoshop) I was able to put them on onesies without my husband discovering a baby-r-us receipt.

The monkey (or dog depending on what you see) and the lady bug are made from simple shapes cut out of felt and sewn together using embroidery floss. My only worry would be washing them. I don’t know how the felt would hold up in a washing machine. Although this project could be easily duplicated using cotton instead of felt. I would also love to see Meg’s snail on baby onesies. Hmmm…. I am thinking there could be an opportunity here.... We will see. ~Julie

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Random want...

I've been working on a new pillow lately (surprise, it doesn't include felt) and I will hopefully have something to show you by the end of the week. At least a progress post, that is. In the mean time I have been browsing online for various whatnots and came across this jacket:

(Picture by

Behold, the King Street Twill Bow Trench Coat by Kate Spade. I love it, but at $645 I just don't think I can justify buying it. *sigh* I have many weaknesses in life (felt, shoes, pillows, antiques...) and coats have become a more recent one. Must...resist...

Oh well, I'll go back to my pillow and hope that it cheers me up. Also, speaking of pillows...would anyone like a snail pillow or a felt elephant? I'm not really sure what to do with them since I live in a microscopic apartment that is already overflowing with things.  

Until we meet again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

colored paper, hole punches & a little bit of glitter…

I just wanted to share some of the cards I made recently. I splurged and bought a bunch of new hole punches and had to try them out.  I will admit they are very spring themed, I think I had a touch of cabin fever.... Enjoy- Julie

lunch time valentine…

Inspired by my post last week, Meg and I plus the other girls in the design department tried out the felt fortune cookies. They turned out great and they were super easy!

All we did was cut out different sized circles from the felt, glued a piece of wire down the middle (hot glue-much faster), covered it with a strip of coordinating felt or ribbon, folded it, and inserted a fortune. (Directions from Martha Super cute end result and it only took us about 20 minutes to make a handful. If you make a bigger circle you can add Hershey’s kisses inside. This would be such a cute little surprise inside a kid’s lunch box or a great place to hide an engagement ring!!! (hint… hint… Frank :) ) And you can always package a couple of them in a cute takeout box for that someone special. Enjoy…. Julie