Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fancy Braid Headband

While shopping at Target saw a simple braided headband. Upon closer inspection I found it was made by weaving gray cotton fabric in to a thick 8 strand braid. I thought, "Hey, I could totally make this!" So here it is:

I started with an old white t-shirt I no longer wore. I cut off the sleeves and the hem at the bottom. Then I cut the fabric in to strips about 1-1 1/2 inches wide.

To hold the fabric still, I taped the ends to my coffee table. (In retrospect I would have tied the ends in a knot then taped it to the table.)

This is fun part! First, start by taking the outer most stand on the left and weaving OVER-UNDER-OVER. Next, weave the outer most strand on the right UNDER-OVER-UNDER, and across the first outside strand. And REPEAT!

As your braid gets going you want to tighten strands so they are even.

You should end up with a braid about 1 3/4 inches wide and 14 1/2 inches long. (The measurements will vary depending on how tight your braid is.)

Next, you will need scraps of your fabric, an elastic hair tie (about 2 1/4 inches long), and a glue gun.

Wrap your scrap fabric around the end of your braid and one end of the elastic hair tie. Get as much glue in and around the hair tie and fabric, without getting glue on the outside of the fabric. Continue to glue other end of the elastic to the braid. Let dry about 10 min. before wearing.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mary Poppin's Beach Bag

There is nothing this bag cannot hold. 3 Towels, umbrella, bag of chips, 3 bottles of sun screen, a few water bottles, pair of jeans, 2 shirts and a sweater, with room to spare. It was a little bigger than I had intended.

I started with 1 yard of cotton duck, which is a thick canvas-like material, and 1/4 yard of another accent print. I decided how long I wanted to make the bag (25 inches) and how wide I wanted the bottom to be (14 inches). Then I cut the sides to match measurements of front and bottom.
You want to make a 1 1/2" seam on the tops of the sides, front, and back. It's easiest to sew each piece to the bottom, then sew the sides up.

For the handle, I used nylon rope. To do that, I had to put in metal eyelets. I used the Sew-ology ones, which come with tools to hammer the pieces on.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pants to Shorts in Style

Growing up, one of the most embarrassing moments was walking out the door with jeans that were cut into shorts. They fray and unraveled like nobodies business and by all means the legs were never the same length. However, with the Daisy Duke, underwear like shorts these days I decided to give the "home-made-shorts" second chance.

     1. I started with a pair of jeans that were tattered
         at the bottom, but still fit on the top. 

2. While wearing the jeans I marked about two
 inches below my knee cap (which leaves enough fabric to roll). Then I cut the legs. Here is the tricky part, making the legs even. I folded my shorts in half and recut the longer leg. (They don't need to perfectly even or straight. And be careful not to cut them too short.)

 3. To prevent fraying and to add a little style, I folded the ends over twice.

4. And to keep the fold, I made two knot stitches on each side of the hem.

 Ta-Da!! Cute, functional, and modest. They have been worn twice and have held up great.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day at Galveston

FUN FACT: Memorial Day, which is the last Monday in May, was originally called  Decoration Day. It was to honor those who had sacrificed their life fighting  in the Civil War by decorating their grave. Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971.
This year we had the Coltons come down to visit us. It was an eventful weekend to say the least. Our favorite part of the weekend was Galveston Island. The weather was warm and the water just below lukewarm. The only drawback was the 3 feet barrier of seaweed between us and the water. It was just wide enough that jumping would only get you half way across. If you could get past the carpet of seaweed, you were constantly reminded of its presence by the smell wafting through the breeze.
We found a not-so-friendly sea creature that had washed up on shore.  A Portuguese Man o' War is a pretty little bugger. It has long limbs that can paralyze small fish and cause painful whip-like stings on humans. (Thanks Wiki for the info.) We tried to ask a life guard what we should do with it, unfortunately they weren't very helpful. So we decided to give it a proper burial by throwing it in the garbage bin. Better in the garbage than someone else finding it and getting hurt, I guess.

At any rate, it was a perfect day at the beach. Thanks Brent, Cheryl, Cara, and Daniel!

Fried Pickles

Everything tastes better fried, it's a fact of life. Pickles are one of my favorite fried items. About 2 years ago, Bruce and I celebrated our first anniversary at The Garden Restaurant that sits on top of Joseph Smith Memorial building. It was our also our first time eating fried pickles. After the first bite Bruce turned to me and said, "you can make these at home." It took me 2 years to find a recipe I liked and to get the courage to try.
It was messy, gooey, and delicious. Here is the recipe for anyone who wants a challenge.

1. cut the spares into 1/2" chunks.

 2. You are going to coat the pickles in flour mixture. In a baggie mix 1cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper
3. After coating the pickles in flour, dip in a milk mixture. In a bowl mix 1 egg and 1/2 cup buttermilk.

4. After the milk bath, coat pickle in a cracker mixture. In another bag, or on a plate, mix 2 cups finely crushed saltines, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp dried dill weed, sprinkle garlic salt and lemon pepper.

5. Finally, drop the pickles in oil that has been heated to about 350 degrees. Once the pickles are a golden brown on both sides, place them on a plate with paper towel. Let them cool before eating.
*For an extra something yummy, mix up your favorite ranch dip recipe to dip the pickles in. 

Here is the original recipe:
Restaurant Recipe
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. Food Network Kitchens have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.
Fried pickles
2 cups dill pickle chips
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups finely crushed saltines
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

In a large plastic food-storage bag, mix together the flour, salt and black pepper. Place the pickle chips in the bag and shake until they are well coated.

Mix together the eggs with the buttermilk. Place the crushed saltines on a plate and mix in the cayenne and dill weed. In batches, dip the flour-coated pickles into the eggs and then lightly dredge in the saltines. Place cracker-coated pickles on a large plate or sheet. Repeat until all the pickles are coated.

In a large, heavy skillet heat 1/2 inch of oil on medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Cook the pickles for one minute or until golden brown, turning once. Depending on the size of your skillet will probably have to do in several batches. Drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately with your favorite buttermilk dressing.

Yield: 2-4 servings