Sunday, December 13, 2009

Simple to Make Fabric Covered Napkin Rings

On my last post about sewing a table runner, I mentioned that I would be posting matching napkin rings. These napkin rings are super easy to make. No sewing necessary.  All you need is a small bit of fabric and your glue gun, and a toilet paper roll (paper towel roll will work here too).  I'm using the same fabric that I used to create my table runner, so it matches perfectly.  Anyway, let's get to it:


- Fabric of your choosing, cut in a rectangle big enough to wrap around the roll, and stick in on the sides. (~ 6.5" x 3.5")
- 1/3 of a toilet paper roll.
- Glue gun.

How to:

1.  Glue down one of the short edges of your fabric onto the rolls shown in the picture. Make this as straight as possible.

2.  Slowly glue down the fabric onto the roll by putting glue on the side edges, an inch or two at a time, and pressing down the fabric onto the glue.  Continue until the roll is covered, and you have an inch or so of fabric left.

3. Fold in the fabric that's left and glue it down.

4.  Add glue to the one half of the inside of the cardboard (all the way around) and fold in the fabric onto the glue.  Repeat on the other side.

That's it.  Short, Sweet and Simple... with just a dab of danger (I tend to burn myself at least once with hot glue).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Simple to Sew Reversible Table Runner

This past Thanksgiving, we decided to splurge a bit and grow up a bit by buying a new dining set to put in our dining room, where our pool table use to be.  Anyway, the weekend just before Thanksgiving, I was browsing around Joann's and found this fabric that I liked and decided to make a table runner with it.  I also found another fabric that was plain but I liked how it looked with the first fabric.  However, I didn't really know how long my table was when I bought the fabric (we hadn't assembled the table yet) so I only bought 2 yards. Incidentally, this turned out to be a good mistake. :-)  Instead of making it a solid fabric all the way across, I decided to cut it in half and put a small amount of the second fabric in the middle (like shown in the picture). Along side that, I also decided to make it reversible because I wanted some variety.  Anyway, here's what I came up with.

1. I ended up using about 1 yard each of fabric (2), but it all depends on the size of your table or how long you want the table runner. to be. Cut the fabric so that there are 2 fabric pieces of each design with the size of 12" x 1 yard, as well as a 12" x 6" piece of each design.

2.  Make each side of the table runner, by putting the the right side of Fabric A of the long fabric, with the right side of Fabric B with the short fabric on the 12" side.  Sew the 12" side together.  Put the other Fabric A long piece's right side to the same Fabric B short fabric piece, right side with the free 12" side together.  Do the same with the remaining fabric. Something like this.

3.  Put both the right sides of these fabrics together.  Line up the short piece center fabric of each side, together. Pin them together so they don't move

4. Sew nearly all the way around, starting near the middle area, to ensure that the middle fabrics line up. Leave a 6" hole.

5. Iron on some fusible interfacing (optional) to make the runner more stable.Also, I actually did this earlier on (before step 4), but I think it works to do it here instead.

6. Going thru the 6" hole, flip the fabric outside out and iron the edges down.

7.  Sew around the table runner to close up the 6" hole and to give it a sewn finish.

That's it... you're done.  You now have a reversible runner. It's simple and it works. :-)


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Amazon's 25 Days of Free

Last year, Amazon did their 25 days of Free campaign in which they released a new holiday song for downloadable for free on the 25 days til Christmas.  This year their doing it again.

Check out the songs... they're only on Day 3, so much much more to appear.

Oh, and if you're not quite ready for holiday songs, or want something more today is their last day for their $5 mp3 albums.

Happy Shopping and Happy Listening. :-)

If you wanna hear more about the amazonmp3 deals, just follow their twitter feed @amazonmp3.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Looking Back at Thanksgiving 2009

With Thanksgiving done, conferences done, and home improvement projects nearly done, I am hoping to have more fun to share coming up.  I wanna start out with some pictures from this year's thanksgiving. :-).

We actually did a decent job in spacing out the appetizers and the dinner, which let us enjoy both the dinner and the appetizers without feeling way too stuffed. We started out with appetizers at 2:30ish and actually ate dinner close to 8:00.  Here's some of the appetizers (I apologize for the apple pie that made the pictures, oops, we didn't really have that for an appetizer). Starting with the top left and going clockwise: homemade lemoncello, baked crab rangoon, smoked salmon rollups,  bacon and onion quiche, cocktail shrimp, apple pie and in the center, homemade no knead bread.

Here's the table setting.  I made the table runner (not really showing), and the napkin rings, which I'll share the tutorials to very soon.

Here's what was for dinner. Starting left to right, and top to bottom, pumpkin roll, deep fried turkey, mac and cheese, bread, grilled asparagus, bbq pork skewers, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple cranberry stuffing, quinoa with butternut squash, bacon and walnuts, coleslaw, and last of all a slice of the pumpkin roll.

That was it.  Thanksgiving is always a fun time with the family and really let's us take in what we are grateful for, especially the food. :-)  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend... Let the holidays truly begin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Planning for Thanksgiving 2009

Hi all!  It sure has been a while since I posted anything.  Sorry about that, but it's definitely been a busy month.  Anyway, last weekend I finally gotten around to "finalizing" the Thanksgiving menu for this year.  Finalizing is in quotes because, it seems like it's never quite finalized... something always gets added or changed last minute.

Anyway, here's what I have.  This year I did my searches in old magazines, so I haven't found the links to all of these yet, but once I find them I'll update the list.

Thanksgiving Menu 2009

Cocktail Shirmp
Baked Crab Rangoons
Spinach Dip + bread + chips
Quiche (bacon and onion, jalapeno)

Deep Fried Turkey

Mashed Potatoes
Mac and Cheese
Cole Slaw
Quinoa with Butternut squash, Bacon, and Walnuts
(or asparagus rice pilaf)
BBQ Pork Skewers (?)
Steamed California Blend Veggies (Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower)
No Knead Bread

Apple Pie (?) -- got some apples so why not... right? 
Pumpkin Roll (?) -- depending on availability of pumpkin (I heard there was a shortage eeek!)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - probably just going to pick up a Dreyers unless any of you have a good suggestion for this.

I was definitely much more prepared for thanksgiving last year... luckily the same general time line will work this time around.

What are you cooking for thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kumihimo Braided Bracelet

This kind of braiding reminds me of those plastic keychain weaves that we made way back when.  In slightly more technical terms, according to wikipedia, kumihimo is a form of japanese braiding that interlaces cords and ribbons. It doesn't necessarily require a loom, but the loom is mightly useful.  I've created a template for you to download.

ribbon (I'm sure you can use different media such as yarn maybe dmc thread )
kumihimo loom

Download template here.

How To:

- Create a cardboard cutout with the template.  You can glue the template on the cardboard or just trace it.  You can use an exacto knife to cut the circle in the middle, and scissors to cut the little notches.

Okay, so I'm gonna cheat a bit here...

Anyway, the video shows you what you need to know, but the basics are:
1. First,  find the middle of the ribbon (4 ribbons with the of length 4 ft) and tied the ribbons together, then feed the knot thru the hole in the middle of the loom

2. Next, attached the ribbon 2 on top, 2 on the bottom, 2 on the left 2 on the right. I also wrote down ABCD on the template so I know what section I'm working on (just a marker).

3. For the actual braiding, remember, top right goes down, bottom left, goes up, turn disc counter clockwise and start again. :-)

4.  You pretty much keep on doing that til you have the length you want.  It actually takes a lot of time to get a decent length, but it looks great in the end.

 5.  Once you've braided to the length of the bracelet, you can make another knot at the end of the braid, I actually, just took half of the ribbons and made a knot around the other half so the knot wasn't so thick.

There you have it, Kumihimo braiding. I love the design it creates.  I think this should work fine with DMC thread, but I haven't tried it. If you try it with DMC or yarn, please let me know how it goes. :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Super Easy Wooden Clothspin Gift Tags

Here's another option for fancy homemade gift tags.  It takes a bit more time to make than my fabric gift tags but it really brings out the individuality of each gift.  With some precut wooden shapes from Michael's and some wooden clothspins, you have yourself some inexpensive and super easy wooden gift tags.  So, here's how I made them.

 - precut wooden shapes from Michael's
 - clothspin
 - tacky glue (or wood glue, whatever you have on hand).
 - various paints for paint wood  and a paint brush.
 - Sharpie pen to write the name.  You can paint it on too, but I'm just not that talented. :-)

Preferably you'll want to pick shapes that will cover the clothspin completely.  I've played around with shortening the cloths pin by just cutting of a small amount of each side, but really, it's just easier to pick different shapes.  You might get away with cutting just one side (the one that's getting glued to the wooden shape) - but I haven't tried it (if you try it, please let me know how it goes).

1.  Put a small amount of glue onto one side of the cloths pin, as shown and glue it onto the back of the wooden shape. You'll know which side the back is by where the sticker was located and let me tell you, those stickers do not like coming off. I'm just saying.  If you're wooden shape isn't completely flat, you might need to clamp it down some way while the glue dries.  I just used a hair tie to hold it in place.  Just let it dry now.

2.  Once it's dry, you can remove the clamp, and clip it onto somewhere.  It sure does make it handy to paint.  Paint to your liking.


3.  Write in the name and clip to gift.

Gosh, I have more pictures than I do steps.  See I told you it was easy.

Happy Gifting!

(oh, and yeah, I do realize that Christmas is two months away. :-)  but if someone can request my Christmas wishlist this early, I can start posting Christmas crafts this early. hehe.  Besides, those two months go by fast.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And the Winners of Rad Linc Crafts First Giveaway are...

First and for most, I'd like to say thanks to the three entries of Rad Linc Crafts very first giveaway contest.  I have to admit that I was initially bummed that only three people entered my giveaway.  But, the further I thought about it, the more I realized that this is actually okay, because for my very first giveaway, I'm going to be able to give the prize to each person that entered.  My first plan was to only have two winners.  Instead, I've decided to extend my giving mood and give it to all three entries. 

So, the winners are:

Jules @ Moon Cat Farms
and Digital Misfit

Congratulations to each of you.  Each of you have won 10 fabric gift tags (7 tags of your design choice, and 1 each of the 3 other designs), and a gift card holder of your design choice, with a slightly different but corresponding inner fabric (like the picture).  Please email me your address ( so I can ship out your prizes. :-)

Thanks again for reading and for entering into my giveaway contest.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rad Linc Crafts: Free Giveaway #1 - Fabric Christmas Gift Tags and Gift Card Holder

As recently promised, I'm super excited to announce my very first giveaway here at Rad Linc Crafts.  Woo hoo!  I made some of these gift tags last year and decided to make more this year.  Here's the tutorial on them. In addition to the tutorial, I just created the template for the tags that you can download here.

This year, I've decided on 4 different fabric designs.

The Giveaway is 10 of these gift tags (design of my choosing, but will be strongly swayed to the comment that you leave..  I've left them unstamped so you can add on a bit of your own touches to them.  Since, I'm in the giving mood, I'll also throw in a gift card holder (not necessarily the one pictured). I'll give them out to TWO lucky winners.

So, the rules:

1.  Make a comment on this post stating which tag you like the best.
2.  Followers of Rad Linc Crafts who comment get two entries (meaning two chances to win) everyone else, gets only one entry. Followers are not automatically entered into the giveaway, you must post a comment below.
3.  Contest officially ends Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 11:59 pm PST.
4.  Winners will be announced on the following Sunday or Monday.

Let's Do This!!!  Good luck and thanks a bunch for reading Rad Linc Crafts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicharon Adventures Turns Two! Fabric Stitched Piggy Card

As I have mentioned before (around this time last year), my cousin and friend have a clothing company named Chicharon Adventures.  Well, this past weekend they celebrated their 2nd year anniversary.  This past year seems to have just flown by, and a lot of good things came their way (collaborations with stores, bands, an awesome new look, and even more cool designs)... proving to be yet another successful year for them.  I'm quite proud of their accomplishments and wish them further success in the future.  Since, I couldn't make it to their anniversary bbq this past weekend, I decided I'd make a card to send to them.  I made a card last year too.

Anyway, here's what I came up with. It's a the fabric CA pig, machine stitched onto a card with hand embroidered details.  Here's what I did.

- card stock and /or blank card.
- CA pig or other design that you want to put in a card
- heat n bond fusing material
- fabric
- dmc thread and needle
- button for the nose

1.  Adhere fusing material to fabric. Cut a small piece of the fusing material. Keep the protective paper on one side, and iron together.  Cut the fabric if you'd like.

2.  Transfer the pattern onto the fabric.  I just drew it on.

3.  Cut out the outline of the pattern. Remove the protective paper from the fusing side, and iron pattern onto card stock.

4.  With a sewing machine, sew the outline of the pattern using a zig-zag design.

5.  Put some tape on the back so the thread doesn't come undone.

6.  Use a needle and pre poke holes near where you'll be embroidering, for instance the eyes.  A few holes on the bottom side of the eyes and a few holes on the top side of the eyes were sufficient.

7.  Thread the dmc thread and sew thru the pre poked holes so the eyes look like they should, on the right side of the card.  Don't worry to much about the wrong side of the card, because it can be covered up. Embroider the other face details.

8. Place the button on the card at correct location and make marks for where the button holes are.  When buying the button, remember to get a button with 4 holes.  Use those marks to pre poke the button holes.

9.  Attach the button to the card using only vertical lines for attaching the button.

10. On the wrong side of the design, tape down the dmc thread so it doesn't come undone. 

11. Cover the wrong side with a cut out piece of card stock.  Do the same to the other inner face of the card.

12.  Write your message, place in envelope and send it off. :-)

Happy Anniversary, Chicharon Adventures.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DIY No Bag Microwaveable Popcorn

Upon my last inspection of store bought microwaveable popcorn, I noticed that there was a lot of ingredients of which I had no clue what they were. I kept thinking, why do they make the simplest things so complicated... I mean, it's just corn that's popped, or at least it should just be corn that's popped.

Anyway, I did a google search on diy microwaveable popcorn and found that many people has had success in making popcorn using paper bags with kernels in it. This was great, and I thought to myself, once I get a paper bag that I can use, I'm gonna try it. Well, I did finally get a paper bag and I tried it, and it worked, but I had a lot of unpopped kernels -- must have taken it out too soon. I didn't attempt stapling the bag because I just don't believe it's a good thing to do. (Even if Alton Brown's staples didn't spark -- not a chance I'm willing to take), but it worked with a couple of folds on top. Anyway, this worked well enough but I wanted a better way to make microwaveable popcorn without having to wait for a paper bag to come my way (sure, I could just buy them but I just didn't want to).

So I decided to do some more google searches. And voila, amidst all the comments I read thru, someone suggested using a glass bowl with a plate on top. How simple was that... and I had both of those items... yay me! Well, I decided to give it a shot. I don't really think you need a tutorial on this, but I'll give one anyway.
(Note: all the measurements are guesses as I didn't really measure anything)


- Glass bowl (big mixing bowl is good)
- Plate
- Popcorn kernels (1/4 cup or so)
- Olive oil (1/2 tsp or so, optional)
- Salt (a pinch or two, optional)

1. Place the popcorn kernels, olive oil and salt in a bowl. I mix it a bit but I don't think it's necessary to do so.

2. Place the plate on top of the bowl, and place the whole thing in the microwave.

3. Microwave til you hear 3 sec before pops.

4. Remove bowl from microwave... be careful as the bowl and plate will be hot. (use oven mitts). You may actually want to put the popcorn in a different container before eating so you don't accidentally touch the glass and burn yourself.

5. Eat. Enjoy. Make more and start the movie. :-)
- Try adding garlic powder, parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper as possible toppings... these can be added after the popcorn is popped.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Loom Knit Beanies with a Visor

A long time ago, I saw a knitted beanie with a visor featured on one of the RSS feeds I subscribe to. I thought I starred it, but I can't find it. Oh well. Anyway, I ended up googling it and I found that a lot of people were looking for it too. Also, the ones I did find, seemed to be for regular knitting, of which I haven't really gotten a hang of. So, I decided to get the general concept and make my own with a loom.

Here's how I did it.

Materials and tools:

- Knifty Knitter Round Loom (whatever size you want, tho my template was only tested on the green one)
- Yarn (I like the thick wool ease ones)
- This template
- dense cardboard (like the one you find in the back of a notebook)

1. Print out the template and cut it out, then draw that shape onto the notebook cardboard and cut that out.

2. Begin creating the hat just like a regular beanie. Here's a link to a previous post, where I explain how it's done.  Continue til you're going to fold up the brim (just before Step #6.)  The length of step 5 will depend on how wide the template.  The template's width is about 1.5" so you'll want the brim (pre-folded) to be a bit larger than 3" (the additional length is to accommodate for the fold).

3.  Fold up half of the brim, and place the cut out template on the unfolded half.  Continue folding the brim with the cutout within the folded brim.

4.  Continue making the hat following the rest of the directions from the previous post.

5.  Once you've finished off closing the hat, the last thing to do is to slowly turn the brim so that the big curve is on the bottom edge of the brim.

Easy, isn't it? 

Reference: Easy Loom Knit Beanies

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Crockpot Tomato Sauce

This year was a good year for cherry tomatoes in the garden. Unfortunately, not much of the other tomatoes grew, so I had a plethora of cherry tomatoes and not much else. Ugh! Anyway, I could only give away and eat so many, so naturally I began thinking of ways to preserve the tomatoes so we can enjoy the goodness during the off season. I decided to give a crockpot tomato sauce recipe a try. (Well, I didn't really follow a recipe but I think it turned out okay). Don't forget to rinse your tomatoes.

With most tomato sauce recipes, they tell you to go thru the process of seeding and skinning the tomatoes. No way, was I about to do that to a million cherry tomatoes. So, I pretty much figured, the seeds don't really bother me, especially with cherry tomatoes because they're usually so small and the skin so thin... So, I just threw it all in the blender and bzzzzz. If you want to limit some of the skin and seeds you can definitely put it a couple of layers of cheese cloth. It may take a while to drain.

Once it's all blended up, pour the whole thing into the crockpot, add in whatever ingredients you want to use within your tomato sauce. I sauted some garlic and onions, and threw it in. In previous sauces I've added in other fresh herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, chives, and a some thyme along with the onion and garlic and even a couple of tablespoons of sugar.

Turn on the crockpot onto low and let it go for 5 to 6 hours. I also stirred occasionally to make sure nothing was sticking in the bottom, and to check the thickness. Once those 5 to 6 hours are up or the sauce gets to as thick as you want it you can now choose how you want to store it. (if you like your sauce to be somewhat thicker like marinara, you can optionally put in a small can of tomato paste -- I read somewhere that you loose some flavor the longer you cook tomatoes. Never noticed it, but thought I'd mention it.

In storing the sauce, you have two good options. One is to freeze it. Place the sauce in a freezer suitable container and put it in the freezer. Give enough room to account for expanding liquid. The second option is to can the sauce. I forgot to take pictures thru the process of canning, but we used a pressure cooker canner. Put a tsp of lemon juice in each jar before you put the sauce in. Next, place 2 inches of water in the canner, and bring to a boil, Then place the jars in (on a rack) the canner and close up. I believe we processed the cans for 25 minutes taking an average of all the times we saw online. Don't forget that the processing begins when the cooker is pressurized (or the weight on top begins to rock). Once the 25 minutes are done, just turn off the stove and walk away. You want the cooker to release the pressure slowly as it goes back to room temperature. I left it alone and opened it up the next morning, but I was also doing the canning close to 11 at night.

And there you have it... Crockpot tomato sauce for your use throughout the rest of the year. We use it for several things such as pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and marinara sauce. Usually, we will add some tomato paste to it at this point, which is why I didn't bother putting it in during the crockpot cooking.

 [Update 10/13/2009: I just found another recipe for slow cooker tomato sauce.  ]