Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baking Mixes

I think I need to start looking at blogging as a daily ritual that I need to do in order for me to keep up with it. I miss a few days, days turn into a few more...then several weeks go by.

Anyway, cooking has been the method of creation the last few weeks as I have been trying to figure out ways to reduce my grocery bill.

First off, have you noticed how expensive bisquick is?? Worry no more, I found a recipe on to make your own. And believe me, its easy.

I also found an awesome, healthy pancake mix, also from

I started out just making 1 batch of the recipe so I could get a feel for it and I wouldn't waste ingredients if I messed up!

Once I made up the dry mixture, I put it in a gallon ziploc bag. I am forever losing my recipes in my humongous pile of recipes, so I printed out the recipe, cut it, and taped it to the front of the bag so I COULDN'T lose it. Works like a charm.

And my grocery bill is just that much cheaper each month.

Homemade Bisquick Mix

6 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening

Sift flour, baking powder and salt 3 times into a large bowl. (I don't have a sifter, so I just wisked it for about 5 minutes).

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. (Very important. I didn't cut in enough the first time and got bits of shortening in my dough)

Store mixture in airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 months.

Use whenever your recipe calls for "Bisquick mix".

Homemade Pancake mix

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon baking soda

Additional ingredients for pancakes
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

Additional ingredients for Blueberry Banana Pancakes (AWESOME)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
3/4 cup blueberries (I use frozen)

In a bowl, combine the 1st 5 ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

To prepare pancakes: In a bowl, combine egg and milk. Whisk in 1 cup pancake mix. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until 2nd side is golden brown. Yields about 6 pancakes per batch


To prepare blueberry banana pancakes: In a bowl, combine egg, milk and banana. Whisk in 1 cup pancake mix. Fold in blueberries. Cook as directed above.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tutorial: Basic waterbottle holder

This week I have been working on making water bottle holders for my church's young women to go to girls camp. They go every year, and this year I was put in charge of getting them ready for the girls. So I'm also doing a tutorial for you!
This is a very basic holder, so I finished it in about 20 minutes from start to finish. If I were making one for myself, I would certainly add a lining and use more sturdy fabric.

You'll need to start out with 2 pieces of fabric, one 10"x9.5" and one 2"x45".
We are going to start with the body of the holder. Fold the piece with right sides together so that the 10" sides are lined up (9.5" side is folded in half).
Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew down the length and one end of the square with a straight stitch.

When you are done, it should look like this.
Next, change the stitch on your machine to a large zig-zag (if you have a serger, you can use that instead).
Follow the straight stitch you just did, keeping to the outside of the stitch. This provides stability to the seam.
The next step is to create a square bottom on the bag to accommodate the water bottle.
Using the end you sewed closed, pinch the corner flat so that the seam on the end bisects the triangle you have made.
Going about an inch down from the point, pin straight across. This will be the guide you will follow to sew a line.
Sew a straight line all the way across.
Repeat with the other side.
If you were to turn it right side out at this point, the bottom would look like this.
Next we head over to the ironing board to prep the strap and the hem of the bag portion.

Fold the top of the bag over 1/4" (with wrong side out still) and iron.
Fold over again 1/4" and iron again.
If you don't typically iron your sewing projects, I highly recommend it as it helps keep the fabric right where you want it without a lot of fiddling on your part.

To iron the strap, start out with the strip of fabric wrong side up. Fold it in half and iron down the length of the strip.
Now I like to make things go as fast as I can, and ironing is the most tedious for me. This next step helps it go much faster.

Open the strip you just ironed and fold one edge in to meet the middle crease.
Iron down the length again.
Next, on the side you haven't ironed, fold that side in to the middle crease then fold again at the middle crease. Iron down the length. I do this a little at a time to make sure the fold stays.
So at this point, it will be 1/4 the width you started with. Sew a straight stitch all the way down the strap.
Next we are going to attach the strap to the bag and hem the bag at the same time.

Slide the strap up under the fold you created in the bag.
Fold over so that strap is coming up away from the bag. Pin to keep it in place.
Repeat this on the other side. I lined it up with the point on the bottom to make sure I was even with the other side.
Going slowly, hem around the edge of the fold you created. Going slow allows you to keep from catching another part of the bag in your seam!
Once you have sewn all the way around, turn it right side out so we can place a seam to stabilize the straps.
Use the smallest zig-zag stitch and sew right along the edge of the bag where the strap comes out. Repeat on other side as well.
It should look like this when you are done.
 Place your bottle inside, and go for a walk!

Monday, March 7, 2011

nursing cover

Today's project is an answer to many, many women's prayers. A lot of you can sympathize with trying to nurse your baby while out and about, with only a receiving blanket to cover you up. or just your shirt. I'm rather shy about anything showing, and that includes my stomach and sides! These nursing covers are all over the place, but I like making them just for the recipient, just how they like it.

I had no idea what I was doing when I started, but had an idea of how it should turn out. ha.

The first one I made, she wanted it double sided. We found 2 fabrics, boning, and a pair of D-rings. I used a yard of fabric for each piece so it would cover really well.

The boning is used to make the space between the neck strap bow out for easier viewing of the baby.
I was very pleased with out it came out!

A double sided cover can get pretty hot, especially in Arizona and in the summer. When my sister had a baby, I just made a single layered one, with lighter fabric so the baby wouldn't suffocate.
If you want to embark on a nursing cover on your own, there are lots of tutorials to be found. My go-to is always Ashley at Make it and Love it. Her tutorials are always easy to follow, plus she has lots of other crafts and sewing tips.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kids monograms and message board

For Christmas 2 years ago, I wanted to make something super cute for my sister's family, since I had their names for gifts. I wanted to stay away from one large gift for the whole family to help each kid feel special.

I decided to make monograms for each child to hang in their room.

Mod Podge was definitely my best friend again on this one. With all the little things I added, I was afraid they would pop off or the letter stickers would peel, etc. So it mod podged over the whole thing once I was done. That stuff was not going anywhere!

For my sister and her husband, I bought a set of 8 shutters on ebay (got into a bidding war with someone). I REALLY wanted THESE shutters.

Using two, I painted them black and put them together with the hinges that came with them. The binder clips are supposed to hold messages on there, but I think the next time I make a set, I will need to come up with something different.
I think the next time, I want to make a shallow box with the shutters as doors. You would then open them up to find a chalkboard/white board inside.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Monogrammed Trifle Dish

I made this dish for my Mom long before I heard anything about Silhouette or Cricut or any vinyl cutter for that matter.
I did this using contact paper, actually. I printed the letter "E" off the computer in the size/font I wanted, then traced it backward onto the contact paper backing (where the grids are). I used an Exacto knife to cut it out by hand. Which, let me tell you, takes patience and slooooow moving. It was easier than a letter with curves in it.

In the future, I could totally use a Silhouette (hint hint husband)... anyway, using the outline I cut I put the contact paper on the dish and covered the exposed glass with glass etch cream (you can find it at Michael's or any other craft store). Leave for 5 minutes, rinse, and you are done!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nursery Dresser

This project was a fast and easy one. and cheap.

A neighbor gave me a dresser when I was still in college. It has really good bones to it, so I just couldn't see it going to waste! The original color is white, so I just did a top coat of white again to freshen up the color.

I hated the knobs, so I did a cheap-o makeover using leftover paint from the baby's room to paint the knobs.
You see where I left the wood exposed? makes it easier for painting, but then I cover it with matching scrapbook paper. To do this, I started by using the knobs to draw an outline for the circles. For the handles, I measured how wide I wanted the paper to go, and cut strips of that width that were about 3 inches long.

Attach with mod podge. See that little slit? I cut that to overlap the edges so I wouldn't get bubbles in the paper.

 The next step is to mod podge over the paper to seal it on and let it dry for several hours.

And now you have cute updated knobs/handles!

So there is your new dresser on the cheap. I love the pop of color against the white. If I had my wish, however, I would definitely get some of these lovely knobs from Anthropologie:

Darling, I tell you.