Monthly Archives: February 2012

How to Make Felt Shamrocks

Man oh man…this week has just zoomed by!  I can’t believe we’re heading into March already…and let me tell you, spring can’t get here soon enough!

Today I have a fun little felt craft for all you lucky Irish lassies out there.  With some left over felt scraps and a needle and thread, you can easily make this felt shamrock, perfect for hair clips, headbands, or whatever you’d like.

All you need to do is cut out four felt shapes that look like this.  Line them up in a row and weave the needle and thread through the bottom of all four shapes.

Here’s what it looks like after the needle and thread have been weaved through all four pieces of felt.

Finally, take both ends of the string and pull, forcing the four felt pieces to bunch up together.  Tie a couple knots to keep the strings secure and you have a cute little shamrock!  You can cut off the excess threads or use them to help secure your shamrock to a package, headband, or whatever you’d like.

Come back next week for a fun St. Patrick’s Day craft using this cute felt shamrock!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Coffee Fabric Roses

Okay, so I love wearing white, but I’m notorious for being an absolute clutz when I do.  Usually I’m fine, but when I’m wearing white, I’m so extra careful that I just end up spilling on myself anyway!

So a few weeks ago I spilled coffee all over one of my white tee shirts.  I was just about to toss it when I got an idea!  I coffee-stain paper all the time for scrapbooking, so why not try it with fabric!

I decided to make fabric roses, like the Felt Flowers I made last week–only using my cut up tee shirt.  I cut out three circles, created roses, and let them soak in a little bowl of cold coffee for about 2 minutes.

After they dried, I had cute stained roses that I eventually will add to a headband or sweater (plus they still smell like coffee!)

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Mini Almond Tea Cakes

Sometimes I dream about hosting a tea party, just so I can think of fun finger foods to make!  I love the idea of people gathering in huge hats and drinking tea from tiny glass cups.  The tables would be decorated with flowers and fun cucumber sandwiches as we listened to classical music in a Jane Austen style sitting room…or out in the lawn as our husbands played cricket and discussed politics.  I mean, I’m not set in stone about it, but that’s a general idea of how it would go.

So to prep for my most marvelous and classy tea party that will most likely never happen as I believe it will (sigh!), I decided to make some adorable little tea cakes, using the Babycakes Cupcake Maker that my brother got for me for Christmas last year.

This awesome little machine bakes tiny cupcakes in about 5 minutes…so it’s the perfect way to test my crazy batter recipes!  This time I decided to flavor up a box of yellow cake mix I had in my pantry.  I added some almond extract and, voila!  Adorable almond tea cakes!

Naturally you don’t have to use the Babycakes Cupcake Maker to make these sweet little things…but it does create the cutest little cakes!  I topped each cake with an orange glaze and an orange peel and ate to my heart’s content…and then some.

Almond Tea Cakes

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix and the required ingredients (usually oil, water, and 2-3 eggs)

2 teaspoons almond extract

Zest of one orange

Juice of one orange

5 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:

1.  Mix cake mix as directed on the package, adding the extract at the end.  Bake in your oven or in the Babycakes Cupcake Maker as directed on the package.  Let cool completely.

2.  Place powdered sugar in a bowl and add orange juice a teaspoon at a time, until your glaze is runny and pourable.  Either dip your cupcakes in the glaze or pour it over all your cakes and top with a little piece of orange zest.

3.  Devour…or serve eloquently with tea and lemon.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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How to Make Curled Felt Roses

Felt is one of my absolute favorite things to craft with.  And at about $0.25 a sheet, it’s no wonder that felt is so popular.

With spring quickly on the way, I’m all about flowers now.  I seem to have a problem keeping real flowers alive, so I’ll settle for fake ones that don’t require a lot of attention.  Plus allergies make having real flowers kind of a drag sometimes.

But, back to felt.  These adorable felt flowers are so insanely easy to make.  This is a great way to use up old felt scraps, by the way!  Add these adorable flowers to bobby pins, packages, pins, or even glue a whole slew of them to a wreath (that’s my next project to tackle!).  Once you make one or two, you’ll be completely hooked on this super fun and felty craft!

Felt Flower Tutorial:

Materials:

  • Felt in the colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • CD
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions:

1.  First you’re going to want to cut a circle out of felt.  You can create a scalloped edge if you’d like to give a nice look to your rose, but it’s not essential.  I’ll do one of each here so you can see the difference.  Use the CD to create a circle and cut it out.  To create a scalloped edge, you can do it freehand or trace the cap of the pen over and over around the circle.

2.  Cut into your circle and continue cutting until you have a spiral, like shown below.

3.  Starting at the small end of your spiral, begin wrapping the felt around itself until a rose begins to form.  Secure the tail end with a little bit of hot glue.
4.  Place some hot glue on the bottom of your rose and cover it with a scrap piece of fabric.  Cut off the excess and there you have it!  An adorable felt rose!

Here you can see what the plain circle looks like (white), as well as the scalloped circle (green).  Like I said, once you start, it will be hard to stop…and here’s some proof.  I went through all my felt scraps and made tons of felt roses!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Cranberry Granola Biscotti

Coffee and biscotti.  There’s no happier food paring!  These easy to make granola biscotti cookies are perfect with a hot and strong cup of coffee.  While I added granola to mine, you can add whatever you’d like.  Chocolate chips and dried cranberries would be great, cranberries and pistachios, or just plain cookies!  It’s totally up to you!

Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cranberry granola (or whichever flavor you like)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegtable oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, sugar, granola, baking powder, and salt and stir with a whisk.

3.  Combine oil, extracts, and eggs; add to flour mixture, stirring until well blended (dough will be dry and crumbly).  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 7 to 8 times.  Divide dough in half.  Shape each portion into an 8-inch long roll.

4.  Place rolls 6 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; flatten each roll to 1-inch thickness.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Cut each roll diagonally into 15 slices.  Place the slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 10 minutes.  Turn cookies over; bake an additional 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Dark Princess Book Review

Known for his pompous, pretentious, and laborious writing style, W.E.B. DuBois was a writer in a league all his own.  His work is often criticized as being controversial, proud, and sometimes over the top.  Most of his writing focuses on the problem of “the color line” and the quest for racial justice.  Perhaps his most popular and well-loved publication, Dark Princess, is a testimony to his favorite themes of race, sex, and radical politics.

In this political fairytale, heavy with propagandist overtones, Matthew Towns becomes involved in various libration movements to help give freedom and respect to his people.  Having been thrown out of medical school because the Dean would not allow him to pass his last exam, Towns finds himself alone and exiled in 1920’s Berlin.

Down on his luck, Towns walks into a bar where he Princess Kautilya, daughter of a maharajah, and suddenly everything changes.  At first he’s completely taken with her charm and beauty, but soon learns of her intelligence and intellect when she invites him to join the international team she’s heading in which people of color unite against white imperialism.

Filled with everything that makes good dramatic and romantic reading, Dark Princess is a true modern day fairy tale…where a boy becomes a man, finds royal love, and embarks on a quest to find truth and due diligence in a world where nothing is fair or right.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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15 Cute Conversation Heart Crafts

You either love ’em or ya hate ’em.  Those little conversation hearts have been a part of Valentine’s Day gift giving for decades.  Whether you’re eager to say, “Luv U 4 Evr” or “TXT Me” (depending on your generation, I guess!), conversation hearts are a cute and fun way to get the job done.

However, not everything you want to say can fit on one of those little candy hearts…that’s why I’ve gathered tons of craft ideas based on candy hearts that you can alter to say whatever you’d like!  From pillows to headbands, cake pops to body soaps, hearts say it all this year…and we know you’ll just love this assortment!

Brought to you by bloggers, craft designers, bakers, and heart lovers from all over the Internet, I proudly present:

Conversation Heart Mash Up!

1.  Custom Heart Pops from Goodiebites

2.  Paper Conversation Hearts from Make Merry!

3.  Conversation Hearts Scarf from Crochet Me

4.  Felt Conversation Hearts from Christine Chitnis

5.  Wooden Conversation Hearts from Our Seven Dwarfs

6.  Conversation Hearts Sugar Cookies from Brown Eyed Baker

7.  Conversation Heart Wreath from Kaboose

8.  Conversation Valentine Treat Holders from Crafts by Amanda

9.  Heart Shaped Soap from Martha Stewart

10.  Conversation Hearts Candy Pouches from Fun Family Crafts

11.  Valentine Candy Heart Pillows from Sweetie Pie Bakery

12.  Conversation Heart Headband from The Sew Weekly

13.  Needle Felted Conversation Heart from Felt Cafe

14.  Conversation Heart Banner from Punkin Patterns

15.  Conversation Heart Coasters from Sew Chatty

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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