Monday, February 22, 2010

Creating a Button

Somewhat Simple participated in Craft School Sundays over at Creative Jewish Mom on how to make a button with a text box code below for cutting and pasting here and if you have ever wanted to create a button with a text box users can use to link back to your blog for any reason this is a good way to get your feet wet.

I decided to create a featured on button for my other blog Unique Unusual or Interesting for those that have been featured can post on their site and created the following using Photobucket and the instructions indicated. 

This is the first time I had used Photobucket for editing and I like the animated lettering option and I also liked the animated mask sticker, although their selection for animated stickers is very limited.  Another drawback is if you don't set the size right it will not always resize correctly and had to start over when it wouldn't resize the completed picture to 200 x 250 and I ended up scraping it and starting all over. 

The color coded instructions over at make it a world of difference to edit the coding you will need to copy and paste then edit to the location where the photo is at, although you will need to download the code and instructions in order to copy them.

I am not HTML literate and I end up deleting some of the code recommended (specifically the code for 200 x250 as it showed up as text) but it did not affect the functionality of the button.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Revamped Shoes

Give new life to an old pair of shoes.

These are my "errand running" shoes that I wear all of the time and unfortunately there was a hole on one of the sides of the shoes but other than that there are in good condition, so I decided to revamp them.

Items used:
  • 1 pair old shoes
  • Amazing Goop Glue
  • 1 yd grommet tape
  • 1 broken zipper (off a zip up hoodie)
  • 2 decorative stones
  • clothespins
  • Scissors
  • Scrap of material
First I cleaned the shoes then used a small scrap of denim and glued it on the inside of the shoe to repair the hole in the side.  I next glued the grommet tape, starting at the back of the shoe around each shoe then secured it with clothespins to hold in in place while it dried.

For the decoration on the top of the shoe I removed a broken zipper from a hoodie.  

I had the decorative stones left over from another project (I got them at Dollar Tree for $1 for a bag) and applied glue around the circumference, teeth side up, and glued the zipper to it wrapping and gluing until I came to the end.  Once it was dry I glued it each to the top of each shoe.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wardrobe Refashion - Signed Up For Another 4 Months

Wardrobe Refashion is a site where users pledge to not buy any "new" manufactured clothing but instead pledge to "refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items" or make with your own two hands for the term you sign up for and you pledge to post what you have created to share with the other refashioners on the site. You can sign of for 2, 4, 6 months or life.

I have a lot of things that I plan on refashioning that I haven't gotten around to yet as I am still digging stuff out of the closets to decide what to keep to refashion before donating the rest to Goodwill or Salvation Army in between job hunting.

Overall it has been positive experience.  It was a little painful not hitting the after holiday clearance items, but it did save me a lot of time as well as money as I didn't even bother checking the racks.

My 16 year old son was rather horrified when we were at the store and wanted me to buy him some new jeans and I told him that I couldn't due to the pledge.  As he wanted a certain pair due to how they looked and fit he spent his money and bought a pair jeans with his Christmas money and gave me several pairs along with a pair of shorts to patch up for him.  

Nicki at Wardrobe Refashions is accepting applications up until 2/28/10 if you want to join in on the fun.  To sign up go to   For more information on the rules go to

Even if you aren't up for pledging, I highly recommend checking out all of the creative upcycles over at Wardrobe Refashion as you are likely to get an inspiration to upcycle something you have in your closet.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Goody Box from Ice Cream Container

Upcycle and ice cream container into a cute goody box for Valentine's Day!

I am using this a cookie container to give out cookies for Valentine's Day treats and it can be used for storing other things once it is empty.   It took about 10 minutes and costs almost nothing to make.

Items used:
  • Ice Cream Container - empty, washed
  • 2 colors Decorative gift wrap or scrapbook paper
  • Marker or pen
  • Scissors
  • 1/4 inch ribbon - 20 inches
  • Pre-made bow or bow made from wire edged ribbon ribbon
  • Glue stick or craft glue
  • Glue Gun and glue stick
Lay the container on the paper, putting it on the corner end and flipping over until it will cover the circumference of the container.   Mark on the paper then cut.

I used a Blue Bunny Brand container which is made of plastic and narrower at the bottom than it is at the top, so I did end up cutting the paper into two segments and then overlapped on the sides. 

Rub a glue stick on the container (or use craft glue) and glue the paper to the container.  I do not recommend using the glue gun as it give a lumpy appearance.   I used mylar gift wrap from Dollar Tree, but other themed wrap or scrapbook paper could be used.  Glue the paper to the container. 

For the front, I cut out the letters "LOVE" freehand from the mylar, but any different paper from the wrap applied to the container would do.   Glue on with glue stick or craft glue.

For the back I cut out a heart freehand and glued it down with a glue stick.

For the top,  put the paper right side down and put the lid on top of it and trace around it with a marker or pen, then cut out and glue to the top with a glue stick or craft glue.

Starting at one of the edges on the lid, apply a bit of hot glue on the lid at a time and glue the ribbon around the edge.  I used a silver grey ribbon.

Apply hot glue to the bottom of the the pre-made bow or to make you own, use wire wrapped ribbon and fold over itself into approx. 4 inch long strip, wrap around the center with a string and tie off the pull each piece of the bow out.

Glue the ribbon to the lid and it is ready to fill with goodies.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Indiana Quilt Block for The Great State Quilt

This square was created for The Great State Quilt project by Danielle over at The Starving Art Journal where she requested volunteers for the 50 US states to decorate a 5 inch quilt piece which will be sewn together and donated to a Children's Hospital and I volunteered for Indiana.

I am not a quilter, so working with a 5 inch square so designing it with only fabric and thread was a bit of challenge.   I decided to cut out the basic shape of the state, a blue horseshoe to represent the Indianapolis Colts and a basketeball to represent Hoosier Hysteria (basketball).

All of the fabrics beside the square that was sent to me are from my fabric stash and I ironed on HeatNBond on the back of each item then ironed them, then stitched them down (the horseshoe is entirely hand stitched).  The only fabric I had that was close to the color of a basketball was a piece of fake fur - I hope it doesn't confuse the kids to much to see a fuzzy basketball.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don Pablos Copycat Salsa

Tasted just like they serve at Don Pablos restaurant.

We used to have a Don Pablos restaurant in town and we used to go there all the time.  Sadly, it closed a few years ago, but I was excited to find this recipe for a copycat version

It was super easy to make and only took a few minutes to make.  I used a food processor and it worked, but I would recommend using a blender instead if you have as it completely filled the food processor and was messy to mix and to pour into containers - if you use a food processor you might want to cut the recipe in half.

The cost was minimal - I estimate I spent less than $3 and ended up with two large jars that had previously housed 32 liquid oz of Walmart salsa.

When tomatoes are in season, I will use fresh instead of canned

Food processor or blender
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained     (Approx.  3 1/4 cups fresh diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup onion (1 small or 1/2 medium)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
1 14-15 oz can diced tomatoes (Approx. 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes)

Remove seeds and chop jalepenos.  You may want to use plastic gloves if they are very hot.

Chop onion

Put 1/2 cup of  the diced tomato into the food processor or blender and puree.  Once pureed, add all of the ingredients except the last can of tomatos and pulse until blended

Add the last can of tomatos and pulse until mixed.  Pour into sterilized jars.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Denim Flowers Barrette

Upcycle an old pair of jeans scraps into a flowerly barrette. 

Items used:
  • Jeans scraps (5 12 x 12 inches square pieces)
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Cardboard
  • Needle and thread
  • Hot Glue Gun 
  • Barrette blank

The scraps were taken from one of the legs of this pair of scraggly old jean.

The principal for making the flowers here is the same as the rolled paper flowers here:

For the two outer flowers, I cut 2 12 inch x 12 inch squares from one of the legs and stacked them on top of  each other, right sides up, flipped them over and on the wrong side of the fabric drew a spiral like the one below on where the spirals were about an inch wide.   For the center flower, I only used one layer of fabric.

I then cut out the spirals and rolled them starting with the inner spiral outward and would stitch the layers loosely with a needle and thread. Here is the bottom view of the rolled flowers.

I put the barrette blank on a piece of cardboard and drew around it with a pen, making it slightly larger than the barrette and then cut it out.

I put the flowers with the 2 layers on each end and the one with 1 layer in the center, scrunched them together then glued the bottom of the flowers to the cardboard.

I then glued the cardboard to the barrette blank.

Valetines Day Sweatshirt

 This is something I made a long time ago for my son, but I wanted to participate in Crafts In Bloom project to re-fashion an article of clothing and I wasn't able to get what I had planned to make done.   He is 16 now and is horrified at thought that I ever dressed him to look "cute"

I posted a how-to over at Out and Keeps-day-sweatshirt.   It is super simple and very inexpensive and doesn't require any sewing; just used Heat'n Bond and ironed on the appliques/hearts and red and white fabric paint to finish the edges and lettering.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cottage Cheese Quiche

Real men do eat quiche if they are told it is pie. 

In the 80's there was a popular book entitled "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" by Bruce Feirstein which was really more a satire of "what real men" should and shouldn't do, so to be on the safe side I called it "Cottage Cheese Pie" until after it was consumed by the men to whom it was served.   

They liked it except they are onion haters and I couldn't sneak it by them despite finely chopping the onion.  Next time I was asked to leave out the onions (maybe go with a clove or two of garlic).

The recipe is from windhorse23 over at Recipezaar
Ingredients for quiche:
  • Prepared unbaked pie shell
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
  • 1 small onion
  • Dash or two of  salt
  • Dash or two of pepper
  • 2 eggs 
 Topping:   1/2 cup crushed fried onions or seasoned breadcrumb

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  If there are not already holes in the prepared pie crust, poke holes in it with a fork then bake for 3-5 minutes.  Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Chop onion.

Mix Cottage Cheese, Onion, Eggs, Shredded Cheese, salt and pepper

Pour mixture into pie crust

Bake for 30 minutes, remove and add topping.  Return to oven for another 15 minutes.  Remove and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Heart Shaped Bon Bons

I saw the cake bon bons over at Sumo's Sweet Stuff - and it was my inspiration to make heart shaped ones.

Items needed:
  • 1 box cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Water
  • Non-stick Spray
  • 1 can of frosting
  • Heart shaped tray(s) or cookie cutter 
  • Potato Masher or large spoon
  • Candy hearts, colored sugar, chocolate sprinkles or other decorations
  • 1 small ziplock bag
  • Freezer
  • Wax paper
Makes approx 3 1/2 dozen.

Mix cake according to package. I used a Strawberry cake mix which used the mix 3 eggs, 1/3 Cup oil, 1 cup water and bake at 350 degrees for 32-36 min for 13x9 inch pan. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, spoon the cake and all but 2 tablespoons of the frosting (keep for decoration).

With a potato masher or large spoon, mash the icing and the cake mixture together until it is sticky.

In the bottom of a heart shaped mold (or sprinkle cookie sheet if spooning into a cookie cutter) sprinkle candy hearts , sugar or chocolate sprinkles. I got my mold from Dollar Tree and I only used one and repeated the process.

Spoon dough into the mold (or spoon onto cookie sheet and cut with cookie cutter). Place in freezer for approximately 10 minutes.

Line a 13x9 pan with was paper. Remove from mold (if mold used); flip right side up.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of frosting into a ziplock bag and close it. Smoosh it to one corner than make a small snip in the corner and squiggle it over the hearts.

After there are icing squiggles on the hearts, place pan in the freezer for 10 minutes before putting on serving plate to make it easier to work with (otherwise will be smooshy).

I am linking this up to Today's Creative Blog. Currently there are over 200 other projects linked up.

I am also linking up to Show And Tell over at Blue Cricket Design.  
Go over and check out all of the other crafty creations!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Free Blogger Background

I changed my background for my Blogger using a free template from Sugar and Spice using the "Tied To You" format under the "Love Is In The Air" collection, although there are several other holiday and seaonsal collections to chose from.

Unlike many where you have to change the HTML code in the layout and mess up other things on your page, for these templates you change it through "Add A Gadget" instead.

It was super simple; just click on the name of the layout you want and click on the name of the link and it will take you to a page that will give you the code that you will need to copy and paste into the "'HTML/JavaScript'" under after clicking "Add A Gadget".     It is also super easy to change back to your old blog - just go in and delete the code, or if you want to try out another layout at that site, just copy and paste it in what you have deleted.
If you have a Blogger account, I would highly recommend going over and playing around to see if you like any of the layouts that are there better than what you have now.

Disclaimer:  I have not received any compensation for recommending this - it was listed in a Valentine's Day Roundup of templates over at Love Actually