Sunday, October 31, 2010

Penguin Felt Applique

Halloween is over, and we here at DHS will be starting our winter/Christmas activities now!!  Don't worry, we're not completely passing over Thanksgiving, BUT there will be lots of Christmas-themed posts from now until December 25th....there are just too many things to go over...and we want to give you plenty of time to get your projects done.

Our first Winter tutorial is the Penguin Felt Applique.  Clinton and Heidi Sage had these last year.  Clinton's still fits, so I went ahead and made Heidi Sage and Baby #3 new ones to coordinate.  The Penguin is a great craft because it can be worn through December and January!

These shirts/onesie were done with felt applique.  Felt Applique is very simple.  I have found this washable felt at Michael's and Joann's.  It is called eco-fi (polyester fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles).  I found it mixed in with the other other felt so you have to look for the eco-fi sticker.  It took lots of digging.  BUT it's important to look for this particular type of felt....BECAUSE IT IS WASHABLE!  :-)

Courtney found this Peguin online and I printed it out and cut it apart to make my pattern. 

Here is the pattern you can "Save" to your computer and enlarge as necessary.  If it would be easier for you, we can also email you the pattern in a jpeg file.  Just email us at and put "Penguin Pattern" in the subject line.

Next, you want to iron on the Wonder Under to your three colors of felt--black, white, and orange.

Next, the patterns should be traced onto the corresponding colors.  The beak and feet are orange. The background body is white.  And the foreground body and wings are black.

Cut out the pieces.

Then peel the paper off of the back.  Iron the black body on top of the white body.  Stitch around the eyes and the tummy.

I used a loose zig zag that looks like this.

Next, iron on the beak and stitch around it.

The first thing that will go onto the actual garment are the feet.  Iron them down and then stitch around them.

Next place the penguin body to the onesies overlapping the top of the feet and iron.  Stitch around the black before adding the wings.

Iron the wings on and stitch.

Add some button eyes and you have this cute little Penguin Shirt.

To make Heidi Sage's a little more girlie, I added a bow.  

Take 5 inches of ribbon.

Make the ribbon into a circle and sew it in the center.

Now the Penguin has some sass.

Heidi Sage's outfits usually come with a coordinating bow for her head.  I found this flocked tulle at Hobby Lobby.  I used the large bow measurements for the black flocked tulle and the medium bow measurements for the green dot.  After making both bows I stacked one of top of the other.  (Bow measurements can be found here.)

Just waiting on Baby #3 to get here so we can wear them.  

Clinton can still wear his from last year so we are ready for the Holidays.  (Not a great pic, but at least it shows Clinton's shirt...and camo boots!?!)

We found out last year that after washing the felt appliques they ball up a little so I bought a fabric shaver at Joann's.  Shave the felt a little and it looks like new. 

**Don't forget to enter our Penguin Applique Supply Giveaway!**

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Decorating for Toddlers

So, I realize it's nearly midnight on Halloween Eve and not awesome timing for a Halloween craft...BUT it was a last minute idea in our house, so it might work as a last minute idea in yours!

My husband L-O-V-E-S the idea of traditional pumpkin carving.  Every year we go through the process of picking out pumpkins, drawing out a pattern, and then carving them as we spat curse words under our breath because neither of us has a real talent for it.

However, I opted to completely pass on the whole process this year.  With so little free time on my hands these days, I'm very selective about how I use it.  And since my kids can't really do much with it, it's something I'm happy to pass on.  Hubby still managed to get a couple out on the porch...but I let that be his battle.

This project involves small pumpkins (or large).  NO digging out slimy seeds.  NO carving with knives.  And some potato head pieces you might very well have scattered across your play room floor.  I was looking for a new home for ours when I came up with this idea.  Heidi Sage plays with her potato heads at least once a day...and picks them up...well...umm...never.  So they often end up jabbing the arch of my feet.

Along with your potato head pieces and pumpkins, you'll also need a hammer and a screw that's about the same size as the notches on your potato head pieces.

You simply hammer in the screw where facial features should go.  Just like so...

And it will make perfect little circles.  Just like these...

I placed the pieces in as I hammered the holes to help judge where the next hole should be.

This was my first creation.  It was quickly ripped out for a little girl who was ready to get her craft on!

And then there was a little boy who didn't want to be left out of the fun...

They would make a face, cheer for themselves, rip them out...and start all over!  I love projects that last longer than 5 seconds!

This was the final result.  Heidi Sage created a 3-armed monster with no eyes, but a charming crooked smile.  Clinton created a gorilla.

And I didn't want to be left out either.  So I used the big pieces from the container on my big pumpkin that I opted not to carve.  Best idea I had all day...

Happy "Carving",

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The Girl Creative

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Cake Pops

For those of you who are not familiar with Bakerella, let me offer this link to introduce you.  She is the goddess of cake balls and cake pops, and other sweet delectables.   And rumor has it my sister got me her new book for Christmas.  Awesome.

So, anyway...for the past couple of years I have been playing around with cake balls.  And this past April, I made 600 of them for Chelsea's wedding to serve as the Groom's cake.  A delightful story...I was 8 weeks pregnant, had two toddlers hanging on me, and working in a kitchen under construction...but that's a story for another day.  (But I guess if you're really looking for a dose of crazy, you can read it here on my forgotten blog.)

Clinton's Halloween party was this morning and I had decided to make really cute Jack-O-Latern cake pops for the class.  As a perfectionist, I was a wee bit disappointed with how these turned out...but they got rave reviews this I decided to go ahead and post...  (Now, you can follow along with my post, or go over to Bakerella and learn from the pro herself!)

What you'll need:
Cake mix (any flavor, I used chocolate)
Frosting (any flavor, I used chocolate)
Candy Melts (I used orange and green)
Lollipop Sticks (you can find at your local craft store)

Prepare the cake mix as directed...

Let the cake cool.  COMPLETELY.

Take a fork and shred the cake into crumbs.  If there are any crispy edges that won't break down, just toss them out.

 Your shredded cake should look like this.

Add a dollop of icing.  This is exactly how much I used.  Not sure if "dollop" is a real measurement, but Daisy sure makes it sound like it.  Use your fork to work this into the crumbs.  I take at least 2-3 minutes of constant incorporating to make sure it's blended all the way through.  It should be just moist enough that when you squish it in your hand it smashes together and stays with very little to no crumbling.  Be careful though, it's easy to get too much icing in it...then you'll find yourself back in the kitchen baking another cake.  Boo.

I use a cookie dough scoop to make sure all of mine are the same size.  I put it next to this tablespoon so you can see the relative size of it.  Typically, I use one scoop per cake ball.  However, since we just wanted to pass out one treat to each kid, I did these with two scoops.

I have found these don't roll like dough.  Instead it's a little more mashing and molding to get the right shape.

These were my helpers.  Whew....will I be glad when I can have a glass wine again!  :-)

Normally, I use almond or chocolate bark and thin it with Gulf Wax.  But since I wanted these to be pumpkin colors I used Candy Melts.  I found out after the fact, these bad boys work better when thinned with shortening.  I did not know mine were a little thick and clumpy and not as perfect as I like...but those three year olds this morning didn't seem to notice as they inhaled them.

Now there are different ways to melt down chocolate and candy melts.  You can use a double boiler (or a makeshift one).  You can buy a Wilton candy melter at your craft store (apparently this is the way to go!).  Or you can buy an Electrolux cook top like I have that has a chocolate melting eye on it.  See that little tiny flame in the middle??  It's amazing and I'm in love with it....and if our house ever sells, it may be the thing I miss most about it.  And try not to judge the stained mess all over my STAINLESS steel.  I'm a messy cook.

 So, the first thing I did with my melting and dipping was dip my Lollipop Sticks.  I just wanted to dip the ends green so I could have a "stem" on my pumpkin.

So, I dipped them into this... so...

...and they were taking forever to harden, so I cut the ends off of styrofoam cups, turned them upside down, and poked the sticks through them.  I then sat them in the freezer to harden.  I'm sure at this point I went and took a nap or something...ha!!

Once they hardened, I stuck them into the tops of my molded "pumpkins" and put them in the freezer overnight.

The next day I got out the orange candy melts and melted them down.  I used two bags for this.  AGAIN, use shortening to thin this down.  If only I had known....

I was unable to take pictures of the actual dipping phases, because I was using one arm to carefully swirl the pumpkins out of the orange thickness....and the other arm to fend off a three year old who just wanted, "One meat ball.  PLEASE!"  The child won't eat real meat balls, but he insists on calling my cake balls meat balls.  Whatever.
So, that's it.  Mine were supposed to have faces drawn on with edible markers.  But I either got a faulty package that was all dried up, or they're not worth the $8.99 that Joann thinks they are.

I think you could use miniature chocolate chips to make a face on them before the orange candy sets.  But without a face, they're great for the whole month of November.  These would also be very "fallish" if done with a spice cake and cream cheese icing.  Mmmm....

Feel free to share your fall sweets creations on our FB wall.  We're always looking for cute ideas!

Bake happy,

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