taco seasoning.

TACO.jpgRecently I noticed that just about EVERY taco seasoning in the grocery store had sugar in it. I even noticed that some of them had milk! Who would have thought?? Well I found that I can make my own, have it taste just as good, and use seasonings I almost always have on hand.  We make tacos about once a week in our house, and this is our new go-to taco seasoning.

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix together and add to your taco “meat” (we usually use uptons seitan).  Add 1/2 cup or so of water and simmer until water is evaporated and seitan is cooked through.


umbreon hoodie


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I transformed this black hoodie into an umbreon hoodie from pokemon. I dont really have clear directions on how to do it since I kind of just watched various videos and looked at other hoodies online and sort of just figured it out myself, but this is a run down of what I did.

You need a black hoodie
black, red and yellow fleece
corresponding thread
sewing machine

First i cut all the pieces out. I cut the ears (black and yellow), the circle for the top of the head (yellow), the eyes (red), the eyeball slits (black), and tail (yellow and black – Not pictured)

I first pinned and sewed the eyes to the front part of the hood. Then did the same for the circle that goes on the top of the hood in the center. The ears I cut in half, and then added the yellow stripe in the middle. I sewed all three pieces together. Then sewed the ears together, turned right side out and stuffed with stuffing. I figured out where they would live on the hood and cut a slit in the hood, then put the bottom of the ear through the slit and sewed it up. I did the same for the other ear as well, and pretty much the same thing for the tail. I didnt stuff the tail though, so it doesnt get in the way when you sit.

There are some you tube tutorials that show some of this in better detail.  I didnt have any patterns, i just kind of winged it. Its far from perfect, but it made my little guy happy.

popsicle stick bunny.

popsicle stick bunny.jpg

Easter is right around the corner – Here’s a fun craft you can do with kids – I find hot glue works better than elmers glue, so you might need to assist with that part. These make fun little puppets!

You need:
popsicle sticks
pom poms of different sizes
googly eyes
pipe cleaners

First, twist a pipe cleaner around the base of your popsicle stick.
Glue a big pom pom to the top of the stick, then add the nose and googly eyes.
Cut pipe cleaners to make ears, and then glue to the back/top of the head.
Glue a smaller pom pom ball to the back of the popsicle stick for a tail…and you are done!

2 zip hipster bag: revisited.

hipsterbagThis is my second attempt at this bag.   I made a practice one a few years ago, and decided to make one I would actually use. I used canvas last time, and I think that might have been the better choice, but I’m happy with the way this one turned out. I needed a purse a little bit bigger than the one I currently have and this does the trick!

This really is a great pattern. Its really really detailed, and explains everything with photos, so its really thorough and easy to follow. I had a bit of trial and error, but once I made an error, it was really easy to figure out how to revise. And just like that, I have a new bag!

pipe cleaner ninjas.


I found this post on pinterest and knew that as soon as milo saw it he was going to be ALL about making these. The fun thing was, after we figured out how to do the first one, he was able to make the second one almost all by himself. So they are really easy for kids to complete. He needed two, so that they can have a battle.  He wants to make one in every color!

Heres what you need:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Colored drinking straws
  • Plastic pony beads
  • Wooden beads for the heads
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sharpies or markers

here are the steps, but i definitely reccomend checking out the original post for photos of how to do it!

1.  Twist 3 pipe cleaners together in the middle so they are kind of like a star shape. Make sure that you do at least a couple of complete twists, or the pipe cleaners won’t stay together.

2. Slide 3 pony beads over both of the legs together.

3. Cut a drinking straw into 8 1″ segments.  Slide two segments onto each arm.  Slide two segments onto each leg with a pony bead in the middle of the leg segments.

4.  Twist the extra pipe cleaner into hands and feet.  For the hands, I made one loop for the “hand” and a smaller loop for a thumb.  Then I wrapped the excess around the wrist to help keep the straws from sliding off.  For the feet, I just made one loop and then wrapped the excess around the ankle.

Step 5:  Draw a face on a wooden bead and slide it over the top two pipe cleaners. Twist the two pipe cleaners a few times, cutting it off, and putting a little Tacky Glue on the pipe cleaner ends to keep them from untwisting.

snood, revisited.

It’s definitely starting to get cold here, so a new snood was in order for miss stella-bean. Her one from last year started to unravel, so I knit her this one up, making it a bit taller than last year’s as well.

You can find the pattern for sale, here.
These are pretty easy to make too, if you are a beginner. You just need to know how to knit in the round. I dont decrease the stitches like the pattern says to, and I had to you tube how to bind off a different way so that my stitches werent so tight.  This year’s version turned out much better!

Stay warm!

crosses baby quilt.


I finished my second quilt! Again, this one was made with scraps on hand. And it was really fun to make. This one sewed up ALOT quicker b/c 1.) it was baby sized and 2.) the rectangles are all different sizes, some of them long. I really want to make more of this one! I loved how it turned out and I think it would be nuetral enough for a boy or a girl. I would definitely like to try making one like this a little bit bigger too.
Im happy to report that NO needles were broken in the making of this quilt. This time around, things went MUCH smoother, so that means i learned alot from my last quilt.
However, i definitely could use some more help in the binding area. I made my binding 3 inches this time and that helped significantly, but i dont understand when machine binding, how you are able to sew into the ditch on one side and capture the binding neatly in the back. I have to sew the back and then my binding is all over the place on the front.  Thank goodness for transparent thread, but i would definitely like to figure the trick to this….Theres no way im handsewing this binding on! There has to be a way!

This is the pattern I used to make this quilt. It was so easy to follow – so now i just have to figure out how to make it larger! would love to make this adult sized!

magazine collage.

I went to a friend’s house for some collage-crafting one evening and this was the result. Ive never done a collage before, so I was a bit overwhelmed with the possibilities. We cut up alot of magazines, postcards, flyers, etc. and had some found objects (I used some string and a feather) – and just went to town. I was mostly drawn to colors with mine, so i was looking fof different colors and textures that pleased me. And I added some animal elements. Was hoping to add some type, but just didnt find anything that jumped at me. So this is the finished piece. When i showed it to milo he said “oh. thats wierd.” haha.  Hoping there is some more collaging in my future! This was really fun.  I think it would even be fun to do with the kids and see what they come up with!

plush bunny.


I made a variation of this pattern for christmas here, and I made another one, using regular fabric and an old sweater (for the ears) recently for my friend who had a baby. I recently got a new sewing machine and needed to break it in, and this was the perfect proejct. It takes about an hour to actally sew once you get the pieces cut and it turns out pretty darn cute! One day I will try making it from felt, like the actual pattern calls for, but for now its been fun seeing how the project comes to life using patterned fabric.

you can find the pattern here.

my first quilt: finished.

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The quilt is finished! Im quite happy with it, although its far from perfect! This was a great learning experience and I actually enjoyed it.  The finished size is probably just a little short from a full size bed; I just kind of eyeballed it, making something big enough that Milo can use and grow into a little bit.

Once i finished piecing together the top I thought I was close to being done.  Unfortunatley I had about 5 more hours of work cut out ahead of me. And since I brought everything downstairs to work where I had a bigger space, I wanted to power through this. This probably explains the far from perfect part because I was getting pretty tired. I used an old sheet for the back of the quilt.

Edging: I had some difficulty here – First with understanding it, then with executing it. I made my original edging 2.5 inches, but I think i will work with at least three inches next time to give it a little more wiggle room to work with.  Also I chose to machine show it on when i sewed it on one side, it goes through it on the other side so i have to figure out the trick to making it neater.

Some tips/tools that definitely helped me through this

  1. a walking foot.  I got mixed reactions from friends saying I didnt need one – but since my machine is new, i didnt want to break it, so i opted to get one – I did break four needles however though towards the end, and the walking foot fell apart, but I dont think I could have gotten through this quilt without doing serious damage to my machine.
  2. transparent thread. what?!! didnt know this even existed.  I read somewhere to get nylon, but i couldnt find any, so i used polyester and im a little nervous its too weak, but time will tell. I was kind of racking my brain trying to figure out how I was going to pick ONE color of thread that worked well for the entire quilt, since it was so multi-colored.
  3. youtube. when in doubt, youtube it.

So I kind of power-through-ed this one, trying to get the hang of it. The purpose was to make something using scraps, and I definitely succeeded and love how it turned out – so much I already started another one….