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Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY: American Girl Doll Jean Skirt

Over the holidays my granddaughters received two American Girl dolls.

While they were thrilled with their dolls they wanted some special outfits to change their dolls into. Of course mom and grandma wanted to oblige and buy them tons of those cute name brand American Girl Doll clothing. Haha, have you seen the price of those outfits? What's a grandma to do? I figured how hard can it be to sew doll clothing? I jumped on line and searched for free 18" doll clothing patterns. I found lots of nice little pattern to print off and make affordable American Girl Doll Clothing at about the cost of printer paper. First I found a wrap skirt pattern here. I printed that pattern off and found an old pair of jeans for the fabric. I am always finding ways to recycle so this was a no brainer.
I cut the pattern pieces out and placed them carefully over parts of the jeans that did not have paint on them. This piece needed to be on a fold.
I then pinned the pieces together. Stitched the sides.
Press the seams open. It will lay neatly that way.
I then stitched the hem.
At this point I deviated from the instructions. I had some fold over elastic from an other project that I felt would make the skirt waist band simple to complete. I stitched the elastic along the top stretching the elastic just a bit. 
Finally, I added a bit of Velcro for fasteners. This will make it easy for little fingers to dress her doll with out help.

Two wrap jean skirts ready to go. I will be making a few other pieces this week as I do I will share them with you. 
I hope you all are staying warm while Mother Nature keeps sending all this snow. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Homemade Silver Tarnish Remover

Many years ago we made a trip to Casablanca and purchased this lovely Tea set. Over the years it has become extremely tarnished while in storage.
I cringed when we brought it out a couple weeks ago. I was almost ready to put it away and save the work for another time. I then thought why not search for a recipe for homemade silver tarnish remover. I found several recipes online and tried a few. They all seemed to work a little but since the set has been tarnished for so long the tarnish was not going to disappear without a fight. I then thought why not combine all the recipes together and see what might happen. So, this is the recipe I finally used. 
Tarnish Remover
ceramic bowl lined with aluminum foil 
1 cup vinegar
2 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp salt 
2 cups boiling water

Mix ingredients carefully as the vinegar and soda will foam up over the bowl if it is not deep enough. Also take care not to be burned by the boiling water. Dip the tarnished silver into the mixture. I waited a while letting it soak a bit. If your silver is precious you should probably purchase an actual silver cleaner. Or better yet have a jeweler clean your silver for you. Any way I decided to give this a try. After removing from the mixture I rubbed the pieces with a soft cloth. I then used a little toothpaste to finish the polishing. The paste I used was plain white without baking soda or whiteners.  
I still have some work ahead of me. But I think they are looking much better. Oh, if you decide to use tooth paste of which I do not recommend be careful not to scratch your pieces. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Coconut Flour Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

While on a mission to find a healthy treat that is gluten free for my grandson I came across a recipe for pumpkin bars. I decided to try and make it gluten free and this is what I came up with.

Coconut Flour Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/3 C butter milk
1/3 C honey or another sweetener (maple syrup, agave syrup)
2 1/2 table spoons butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C pumpkin puree 
1/3 C Chocolate Chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 deg. Spray a 9x9 baking dish. 
Mix Coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chocolate chips together in a medium bowl.
Blend eggs, butter milk, sweetener, butter, vanilla and pumpkin together then add to dry ingredients. Mix well. press into baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes until the bars spring back when touched. It has a definite coconut flavor. 
Hope you enjoy. What kind of bake goods do you like to snack on during the winter season?