Friday, September 30, 2011

Wine Glass Coasters

September is National Sewing Month.  For the last day of the month, I thought I should post a sewing project.  (just barely made it -- Thank goodness I'm in PST) So here goes.

These are sewn wine glass coasters.  This is a perfect project for some coordinating fat quarters.

- fabric square (8"x 8")  (This worked for all but one of my wine glasses - for that one, I could have used a 9"x9" square).

Here's how to make them:

1.  Fold the diagonal with the wrong side out.
2.  Sew mostly around the diagonal, leaving a small opening in the middle of one of the sides.  (I find it makes a more perfect straight edge when your opening is in the middle.
3.  Turn it inside out (or right-side out), using a pen or a dowel of some sort to make crisp corners.
4.  Iron the triangular piece.
5.  Sew a line along the long diagonal edge.
6.  Fold the 2 corners up to make a square.  If necessary, you can iron it down like this.
7.  Sew around the square.

That's it.  Your coaster is complete.  Remember to make coordinating fat quarters in a set, rather than the same fabric.  That way, it can work as a marker too (so you know which wine glass is yours).


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Angry Birds Pinata

Last week, a group of us submitted a pinata to a pinata contest at work.  We created an angry bird from the popular video game, "Angry Birds". An entry to the contest included a pinata kit containing a bag of flour, crepe paper, ribbon and a balloon. I didn't get a chance to take pictures as we made the pinata, but here are some pictures of our bird and our setup.

It took us about 4 lunch sessions to finish the bird.
 First session:  Blowing up the balloon, making the paper mache paste (2 parts flour: 3 parts water), and covering up the balloon with paste and newspaper.  We let that dry til our next session.  I'm not sure how long it actually took to dry, maybe a day?

Second session:  We got to pop the balloon (which made the best sound ever as the balloon separated from the dried up newspaper mache form.  We began cutting the crepe paper in strips (about 6 in), and cutting slits in them.  Attaching the crepe paper moved fast and easily, because we attached three crepe paper strips together before attaching them onto the bird.  We also attached the beak and covered it with smoother uncut yellow crepe paper.

Third session:  We continued covering the bird with red and white crepe paper.  We also rolled up some crepe paper and taped it and glued it up on top (also where the balloon hole was).  This formed the top feathers of the bird.  We cut some white and black felt make the eyes and eyebrows. It was mostly complete at this point.

Fourth session:  We used black foam for the tail, made a small slit in the back, to fit it in.  Lastly, we put together some props for our display.  We included a nest with some wooden eggs painted gold and some crocheted angry birds and pigs.

We had completed our pinata, and now awaited its judgement.  We left our display and came back an hour later, where the public voting box was opened so we could cast our votes.  To our dismay, three of our golden eggs were gone.   We had no clue where they went, til someone told us that a blue jay had actually swooped down and stolen the eggs.  We did notice a blue jay in the nearby trees screaming at us while we investigated the disappearance of our eggs... now we know why. Ironically, s/he was quite angry at us.  I guess it tried to get the largest egg as well, but couldn't carry it away.  Hope it's not trying to hatch them.

Anyway, we walked away with the People's Choice Award, T-shirts, a gift certificate, and best of all bragging rights and one heck of a story to tell.  The competition was fierce and the experience was fun.  Here are pictures of the other entries.

Thanks to the Hispanic Leadership Committee for hosting the pinata contest, and a special thanks to my team members who did an absolutely amazing job with the pinata.

For more information about making your own pinata check this site out:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wire Rose Ring

Last year, I went to the NM Balloon Fiesta.  While there, I had the chance to check out a few of the art and crafts booths around town (and in Santa Fe). We had loads of fun, and got tons of ideas.  One of the things we saw were wire rose rings, similar to this.  Well for one reason or another, I didn't buy one.  When I came back, I had wished I had bought one.  Anyway, decided to try to figure out how to make it myself.  This site helped a good deal:

So, what you need:
 - craft wire (they come in great colors) about 9 or so inches (you can trim it later if you want)
 - a rod about the size of the ring you want to make. A highligher or glue-stick works well.  If you have a ring mandrel, that would be even better.

Here's how to:

1. Wrap the wire around the rod so it completes two revolutions around.
2. Where the loose wires meet, wrap wire over each other, so they interlocks.
3.  Taking one wire at a time, slowly wrap the wire around the other the interlocks on a clockwise turn.  Do only a half turn at a time, then repeat to the other wire.  After the rose is as large as you want it (maybe a full revolution for each wire), each wire should be on opposite sides of the ring.

4.  Wrap the end of the wire around one side of the ring and try to hide the end so it does not scratch you.  Do the same on the other side of the ring with the other wire.

That's it. :) Try incorporating beads to add to the design.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

White Wine Sangria

This is a nice drink to enjoy on a warm summer evening.  I've tried white wine sangria before, tho this is the first time I decided to try making my own.  Strangely, I've never liked the white wine sangria's that I've tasted in the past.  And I never understood why, because I do like some white wines, and I do like fruit... so what the heck!  Anyway, I decided to make my own, with things I liked. So, I used a white wine that I like and fruits that I liked.  Turns out, I do like white wine sangria.  :)

Here's the recipe:

2 lbs cut up fruits (I chose: white peaches, tangerine, and strawberries.  You can choose pretty much whatever you want.)
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup triple sec
1 bottle of dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc.  You can choose what you like).

How to make the sangria.

1.  In a pitcher, add the fruits, and mix in the sugar, pressing on the fruit lightly.
2.  Add triple sec and mix.
3.  Wait 15 minutes
4.  Add white wine, and refrigerate from a few hours to a day.
5.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Multicolored Crayons

Years ago, on accident, I made some of these multicolored crayons.  I accidentally left a couple of crayons out in the sun, and when I got to them, they were soft, so I kinda squished them together and brought them inside.  I twisted the crayons and shaped them into sticks before they hardened back up, and thus a multicolored crayon.

This time around, I made them on purpose.

What you need:
 - broken crayons
 - silicon ice mold, or a old mini muffin pan. (I haven't tried lining with cupcake paper.  I got my mold from ikea)

Here's what you do:

1.  If the crayons aren't peeled and broken, do so. This is a good way to get more life out those tiny crayon pieces, or just go to Target or Walmart during back to school shopping and get a new package for super cheap.
2.  Place the crayons in the ice mold (don't overflow or it might pour out when it melts).
3.  Put out in the sun (or if it's not a super super hot day, try in your car, just be sure to put the mold a flat, leveled surface or the melted crayon wax may drip out.)  It'll still need to be somewhat warm so that enough heat is around to soften the crayons.

4.  Once the crayons have melted together, pull them out of the heat and bring them inside and allow the crayons to harden mostly.

5. Flip the tray over to some newspaper or something. Using the silicone, you can use the other side to push out the crayon.  If you have trouble, try putting the tray into a shallow pan of hot water for a few seconds. Make sure the water doesn't hit the top of the tray, you just want to get the outer walls of the cups to heat up and release the wax crayons, it shouldn't take long.

That's it.  Once they've cooled and hardened, you can use them as any other crayon.  This also makes great stocking stuffers for kids, just package them in a clear bag and put a ribbon around.