Saturday, December 26, 2015

Felt Ornaments Tutorial

'Tis the season for gift-giving and I am STILL trying VERY hard to gift as much handmade and up-cycled loving gifts as possible. It has been hard with my past semester's workload, but I had my mind set to do something for each one of my friends. So, I scoured the web to look for things that I could make as soon as I got on Christmas break.

I have always loved felt ornaments, and I knew they would be something I could accomplish easily, so I set out to buy some supplies from Hobby Lobby.

I got everything for 50% off, and also got some supplies that I did not use for this project (bells & sequins) but sometimes when I start a project my mind goes in one direction...when I truly end up taking a completely different path. This project was a bit side tracked, just like that. LOL. 

This is stuff that I truly used: some home-made cardboard shapes, felt, embroidery thread...

...and the ribbon spool from this image. ^__^  You may yet get to see the rest of the supplies, used later on for other projects. Who knows? With me it's always a surprise. HA!

This is how I made my heart pattern. I used an old cracker cardboard box and took advantage of the pleat. I drew my half hart on one side and cut it out, when I got the shape I liked. Drum roll...

...Tah-Daaaaahhhh symmetrical heart (with messy doodling all over it) created.

I repeated the process for the star poking holes at the correct distances then connecting the dots.

I then used the pattern to trace the shapes on the WRONG SIDE of the felt...

...and I cut them out. 

At this point I just free handed some very SIMPLE embroidery on half of my cutouts. YES, OFF COURSE THAT IS A CAT UNDER THE ORNAMENT. ^__^ How could it not be? The fur babies are always trying to help me with my projects and they make sure they put their stamp (a.k.a. hair) on all of my projects. But that's how we roll here...

I cut a piece of ribbon to the desired length and secured it in place with a few stitches. I wanted to make sure it would stay folded the way I liked it, with the print facing the ornament.

I then got a second felt heart, I matched wrong side with wrong side (right sides out) and I hand stitched the perimeters shut. I placed my ribbon sandwiched between the 2 layers of felt and stitched it in place making sure I got as many stitches possible through the ribbon.

I continued stitching all around the perimeter, leaving a small opening for stuffing.

...I used a mixture of simple stitching and blanket stitching for my perimeter (both are easy patterns to learn and tons of videos are available on youtube)...and YES, this is a different cat. LOL. They did take turns hogging my lap while I was sewing. They do get mesmerized by the thread and then fall into an hypnotic coma. O__o

I then stuffed the ornaments (and pushed the stuffing to the corners with fingers and a wooden skewer) and closed up the perimeter. That's about it. 

This is how they look in a grouping. 
I think they came out pretty good.
I gave one each to my Christmas guests as a small homemade token, hopefully they liked them.

Happy Holidays :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vegan Pumpkin-Coconut Bread Tutorial

So here I am...back after a long silence!
My semester has been so busy that I have not had time to post. However, I have crafted some stuff, so I will slowly try to update my blog with my summer/fall projects and with my current ones as well.

The holidays are here, and I found a great recipe for a healthy spiced bread that I wanted to share.

I found the original recipe at and I modified it slightly to our taste. I like that it is a "one bowl batter" so it's super quick to measure, mix and bake. Low maintenance food is my favorite!

(Makes one LARGE plumcake loaf, or a regular loaf + 6 muffins)


1.5 cups flour
1.5 cups dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup cooled melted coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Garnish: 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar and coconut flakes (or shredded)

I added all my dry ingredients to the bowl: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar (I ran out of brown sugar so I added some regular organic sugar from Costco, right side of the bowl) and the spices...

...and mixed well.

Then I added my wet ingredients: pumpkin, coconut milk and melted oil...

...and mixed well.

My coconut milk was mostly solid, so I added some water until I got a batter with the right consistency. This batter is on the heavy side! I then added the shredded coconut and mixed well.

At this point I poured the batter into my loaf silicone mold. I love these molds as nothing sticks to them and it's super easy to peel the cakes from them retaining perfect shapes! Also, no buttering/greasing needed with those pans. Thumbs up to that!

I then sprinkled some coconut flakes to the top (shredded coconut can be used as well)...

...and I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar too.

I baked at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes (it will bake quicker at sea level) and that was it!

This is a great coffee cake for the holidays; it works well in a muffin form too. The muffins do cook quicker, since they are so much smaller. To make sure I was not burning them, I checked them often (around the hour mark) by inserting a wooden skewer into the center. When the skewer comes out clean, they are ready. 

Enjoy your holiday season!