Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paperback Book Christmas Tree!

Thank you to: for allowing me to use this post!

I remember making a tree like this when I was very young.  I think this will be a great project for my granddaughter and me to make this weekend!
How To: Make A Paperback Christmas Tree

how to make a paperback book christmas tree, book page christmas crafts, christmas crafts with kids
How To: Make A Paperback Christmas Tree
How To: Make A Paperback Christmas Tree
This decorative paperback christmas tree is super cute, easy to make, and affordable. It’s even a great craft to do with your kids, although I recommend letting an adult do the cutting with the exacto knife. That’s how we do it in my house. I mean, we don’t have kids but my husband is a little leery of leaving me alone with sharp objects. I can’t ever imagine why. (UPDATE: We totally have a kid now but J has still not changed his position on the whole “sharp object” thing)
There are several variations you can make on these trees (like the rolled tree & the full glitter cameo tree in the background) that you can learn to make HERE.
supplies needed for paperback christmas tree tutorial
A paperback book
– you can use one you already own or pick up an old holiday themed book at a thrift store!
An exacto knife
Dry adhesive

Optional supplies: glitter and glue (I used Martha Stewart tinsel glitter in brownstone and gold, as well as Martha Stewart glittering glue w/brush applicator. It’s hands down the best glue for applying glitter.)

Step By Step Instructions For Making A Paperback Christmas Tree
Step One:
Find a paperback book. Oh look, I found a few. That is because I inherited 352580551 paperback books of my grandmothers and they are currently multiplying themselves around my house.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 1
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 1
Step Two: Gently remove the cover so that it is naked. I hope your book is not modest. Mine did some nude modeling back in art school.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 2
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 2
Step Three: Count out 30 pages of your book. This is where page numbers come in handy.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 3
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 3
Step Four: Use an exacto knife to slice down the spine where you’ve partitioned off your thirty pages. Don’t worry, the book won’t feel a thing.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 4
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 4
Step Five: Repeat steps three and four. You should have two sets of thirty pages that look like this:
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 5
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 5
Step Six: Now take one section of the book and lie it on the table so that the spine is facing left, as shown. Grasp the top right corner and fold it down so that the edge of the corner is touching the spine.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 6
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 6
Step Seven: Now grasp the part of the page where the folded edge meets the straight edge. Fold it over so that the part of the page that it already folded from the last step will be flush with the spine. It’s just like folding a paper airplane.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 7
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 7
Step Eight: either fold the overhanging part of the page up, or cut it off. I prefer to cut mine. It will sit well either way.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 8
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 8
Step Nine: Continue to do this until all of the pages are folded.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9a
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9a
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9b
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9b
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9c
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 9c
Step Ten: Take the other set of thirty pages and flip it so that the spine is on the right. Repeat steps six through eight.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 10
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 10
Step Eleven(OPTIONAL): Now hold the book page with the folded part towards you and brush glue along the edges. Then dip the edges into glitter and shake off the excess.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11a
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 11a
Note: when you use the glitter, you’ll have to gently seperate the page edges afterwards so that the glue doesn’t adhere the pages together.
Step Twelve: Lay the folded pages down and apply dry adhesive liberally to the front and last page
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 12
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 12
Step Thirteen: Press the two edges of each set together, lining up the edges. Open the pages and curl around until you can do the same both sides.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 13
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial Step 13
Step Fourteen: Sit it up and let dry! Occasionally you’ll need to add some glue to the very top of the tree, along the inside edge to keep it from gapping but if you use enough dry adhesive that shouldn’t be a problem! Sit back and enjoy all the compliments you get on your awesome tree.
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial
Paperback Christmas Tree Tutorial

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Easy French Toast Casserole!

My daughter, Tara, entered a contest with a recipe that she created.  If she wins they will feature her recipe on their website.  I was wondering if you would all go vote for her for me.  If you vote, they are giving away (3) $500.00 gift certificates and you could win one of those!  Her recipe is called: 
Easy French Toast Casserole
by: Tara of Unsophisticook
Here is the link:
You can vote once a day and increase your changes of winning the gift certificates.  Not many people on the site, so chances should be good, even though I am claiming one of those gift certificates!  LOL  She is a very good cook, so you might want to try out her recipe!  Thank you so much for helping me!  Cindy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costumes!

I told my daughter a couple of years ago that I wasn't going to make Halloween costumes any more.  It costs a lot of money to make those things.  The last time I did it, it cost me $50.00 and I made my granddaughter an Aladdin costume. She looked so cute and she walked out the front door, some boy came up in my front yard and knocked her down and it was muddy out.  She was mud from head to toe and had grass stain on her knees.  She hadn't even got her first piece of candy.  She was crying because she was all dirty and I was not happy either.   I decided right then and there, I was done. 

Well this year my youngest granddaughter saw a pattern at Walmart that she fell in love with.  She batted her eyes and asked me if I would make it for her.  I broke done and said of course.  It wasn't much work, but I broke my promise to myself. 

She wants to be a cat, so she picked out pattern Simplicity 0890.  It is more like a hat and here are the pictures.  My husband put it on acting silly, so I snapped his picture.  I better not tell him I put in on my blog.  I would hate what the retaliation would be.

Then my oldest granddaughter said she was going to be in the parade this year for band and will be carrying one side of the banner.  She wanted to dress up like Minnie Mouse.  She didn't want regular ears, of course, she wants sparkly ears and a sparkly bow and she wants them bigger than you can purchase.  So once again, I got the eye batting and had to come up with some kind of Minnie ears, bigger and with sparkles!  The sparkles are not showing up, but they are there.  My other 5 grandchildren live an hour and one half away.  It is probably a good thing!  I don't know if I could take the eye batting from seven of them at once!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Halloween Quilt

Hi everyone!  Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Things have been hectic around here.  My youngest daughter is staying with us while her house has some repairs done on it.  So that is three extra people around here.  I am tired!  Lots of extra wash and extra meals.  That is a big change from cooking for just my husband and myself.  This should be the last week and things will get back to normal.

I did finish a quilt that I started last year.  I purchase this at Hobby Lobby and it is just a whole cloth design.  I love to buy those and see what I can do with them to bring them to life.  This is a little scarecrow that I worked on.
There were three extra pieces, two crows and the sunflower.  I sort of gave those a 3-D effect.  I added a little batting behind the extra piece and did some free hand stitching on them and attached them on top of the copied design at just a tiny bit different position to show it off.  It turned out really cute.  I also did some hand stitching on the face to bring it to life.  Here is a closer picture.

There is some stippling on the black background and hopefully you can click on the picture to enlarge it so see some of the detail.  This is so much fun!  You should try it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Daughter and Granddaughter made a video for Pillsbury!

Here is a video of my daughter Tara and my grandaughter Addie making a video for Pillsbury.  They traveled to New York as a mother, daughter team.  It turned out really cute if you would like to watch it! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How To Make An Art Smock or Bib!

Well its that time of the year!  Back to school!  One of my younger grandchildren needed an art bib.  She is "Hello Kitty" crazy, so I had to find special material.  I made a simple bib and she was so excited.  I drew up a bib by using the top of a pattern for a shirt or dress and then just sort of changing the bottom to make it into the bib part.
I ironed some fusible light weight plastic over the front of the bib.
On the back of the apron, I cut out two layers and sewed them back to back to give it a little more weight since the front of the bib had the plastic on it.  It pretty much made things even. 
 I then used my coverstitch machine and added black extra wide facing all the way around the bib.
Next, I created two elastic tabs to attach to the front and back sides of the bib. This way she can just pull it over her head and it won't slide off of her. 

Here is her finished bib!!
She also had to have her name put on her lunch box and back pack.  What I do here is cut off part of the straps on the back pack because they are always so long.  Then I took a lighter and singed the edges of the parts that I cut off and that keeps them from unraveling.  I then used this extra part of the straps to make name tags. so I added a little something to her zippers!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Janome Ruffler Foot Coupon

If you have a Janome sewing machine and watched my new Ruffler foot video, you might be interested in this coupon.  Janome just posted a 20% off coupon for the Ruffler foot.  Here is the link:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Starching Petticoats!

  I received this post by email from Joy and wanted to share it with everyone: I would of loved to see these petticoats floating in the wind.  I would of been a youngester at that time.

In the late 50's we wore petticoats that we wanted to stand out as much as possible. We washed them by hand in sugar or plain non color gelatin(like jello) and then we hung them on the outside clothes line between out stretched on several lines.
I don't remember the recipe. Maybe some one else who is 70 to 75 remembers the recipe. I would also love to have it.

I wanted to check again to see if anyone else remembers this recipe.

I found this on the internet:
Sugar and water solution is my favorite. I've not had any problems occur using this mixture and I've lived in Hawaii, Nevada, Florida and California, high dry deserts to humid sea level conditions. Nor has any piece shaped using this solution been attacked by insects. I recommend using Mod Podge Matte Mat finish on your piece if you'd like to protect it further from moisture. This will produce a permanent finish. I apply two coats using a sponge allowing the piece to dry between applications.

Recipes (2 methods):
    Bring equal portions of sugar and water to a rapid boil, remove from heat and cool slightly.
      Bring water to a boil, and add sugar. Return to a boil and boil for a few minutes, or until like thin corn syrup. For best results in molding, boiling time may vary. Try experimenting in 2 minute increments for the best time for your climate and area. General rule of thumb, less boiling time results in longer drying time, while boiling too long may result in sugar crystals forming
    Dip piece in solution, gently squeeze out excess being careful not to twist or wring the piece. Shape according to pattern instructions.
      Cool the cooked mixture slightly and dip piece in solution, gently squeeze out excess being careful not to twist or wring the piece. Shape according to pattern instructions.  
      This produces a non-permanent hard finish which allows the natural feel of the crochet to come through.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Starching Kitchen Curtains!

Now that I have my bathroom and bedroom finished, the rest of our house needs a good cleaning.  That dust from sanding just travels everywhere.  So I am spring cleaning in the fall.  I just washed and starched my kitchen curtains and thought this might be something good to talk about.

My curtains were not that expensive but I thing they look wonderful.  I wash them and then I dip them into straight liquid starch.  Hand wring them out and let them line dry.  They come out almost not even needing ironed, but I did to get the points nice and straight.  The liquid starch is getting harder and harder to find but I still had some on hand.  I would like to get another bottle, so if anyone sees it anywhere, would you please let me know what store carries it? 

Now when you dip your curtains into the liquid starch they will look like they have a tint of blue to them.  When they dry this disappears and you would never know.  Here are the pictures of my curtains.  They hang so pretty and are very stiff and won't even move out of shape.  This was a technique that my grandmother Mergel use to use for crochet.  She made all kinds of things, but I remember a pair of little tiny high heel shoes the most.  They were green and white and oh so cute!! I use to love looking at them when I was small and dreamed of wearing them.  Isn't it something how little things stick into your mind and stay there your whole life.  She also use to mix up sugar and water, I believe, to also stiffen things.  Does anyone have the recipe for that? 

You can click on the pictures to enlarge for a closer look.  At least I can on my computer!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A New Technique Using Your Ruffler Foot and Oh So Beautiful!!

I have my new video finished and it is my new technique using your ruffler foot.  I saw a pillow in a magazine that I just fell in love with.  I wanted to try and recreate something similar.  My first plan was to use Floriani's new product called Heat N Steam.  You iron their interfacing to the back of your fabric, do some quilting or stitching, and then steam it and it shrinks up.  Looks really pretty!  I looked at JoAnn's for it and they didn't have it, so I looked on line and it is very pricey!  It was $20.00 for a small sheet!

I then decided to play around and see if I couldn't do something on my own that would look nice.  I don't know what made me grab the ruffler foot, but it just seems like this giant foot should be able to do something besides make a simple ruffle.  Then I hit the jackpot, and created row after row of ruffles on a single piece of fabric and it is beautiful!!  It also is very easy to create.  I took something that looks like it would take days to create and did it in 45 minutes.  You must watch my video and see how I made this pillow.  I Love It!! 

Here is the link:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lining For Baskets!

I made some liners for my baskets over the weekend.  They will be going into my bathroom.  My new cabinet is open under the sink and my plan is to put these baskets on the bottom shelf and I measured and they just fit perfectly.  On the top shelf, I am rolling bath towels to keep there.  I don't have enough and the store where I purchased them has been out of them.  They told me they would be in last Tuesday and they didn't come in.  I checked yesterday and still no towels.  It is making me a little nervous.  I want them all to match!  Here are the baskets that I covered.
I also have been working on a new video and I would like to finish that this week!  So you can watch for that!  Cynthia

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How To Custom Fit Your Bath Mat!

Well, I am still buying bits and pieces to finish my bedroom and bath.  Today I purchase a new microfiber bathmat.  Oh so soft and cushiony when you step on it!  The only problem I had was with the fit.  As you can see in the following picture, it just did not fit where I wanted it to go.  It was just a little to large. 
What I did was I took my seam ripper and removed the stitches that held the binding on in the area that I was going to remove.  I did not cut the binding or rip out stitches any farther than was necessary.
I marked the area that I was going to cut out as you can see the purple line.  I trimmed a little at a time to get a nice tight fit.
Now here was the hard part for me.  I had to finally learn after all these years the necessity of hand basting.  This was one of those projects that the hand basting was necessary.  I did the hand basting on the top and bottom of the binding to replace it on my new cut edges.  This was necessary to hold the top and bottom  binding in place while I sewed.  For some reason, I just don't like to take the time for this step, but I am learning how much this step helps in these tricky sewing projects.
I have the binding all sewed back on.  There was a rubber substance on the bottom of the mat, so to sew this, I placed a piece of tissue paper under the bottom of the mat.  If I did not use this, it would drag on the sewing machine and be unable to advance to sew.  This is what the rubber substance is for, to hold the mat in place and it did a really good job of that. The tissue paper enabled me to sew easily. After sewing, I just tore away the tissue paper off of the back side of the mat.
All Finished!  Here is what the mat looks like now!  A perfect fit!!  What do women do that don't sew!!!  I just can't imagine!!!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Jean Shorts and Fabric Painting!!

Allura, my granddaughter,  has been at it again with the fabric paint.  Tara, my oldest daughter, (Allura's Aunt) sent her a picture of this pair of jeans and she fell in love with them.  She changed things around a bit, but this is her version of the flag shorts.

First we cut an old pair of jeans off to make them shorts and gave them a ragged edge.  All I heard yesterday afternoon after we fringed them and washed them, is are they dry yet??  She was so anxious to get started.  Here are her steps to creating the jeans. 

First we put some old towels in the shorts just in case there would be any fabric paint bleed through.  She then started one edge and used fabric paint to paint the entire section royal blue.
Next she started on the left panel and taped off with painters tape one inch sections and striped the shorts red.  She covered up the fringe at the bottom and around the pockets with the tape, so she would not get any paint on those edges.
She then moved back to the right panel and used a stencil and added the white stars.
This fabric paint drys pretty quickly so by the time she finished the stars she could go back over to the left side and she put painters tape over the red paint and added the white paint and she was finished.
Here are the finished jeans!
Aren't they cute!  Please leave her a comment for encouragement.  She is only 12 and really starting to get into designing her own look!