Thursday, October 30, 2008

Place Mat Handbags

My mom introduced me to the idea of making cute and simple handbags/purses/scripture bags out of place mats. Genius! I have made several as gifts and one for myself that I use as my scripture bag. They end up being a perfect size to fit the normal size of scriptures in, plus a little room for your keys, chapstick, and the Relief Society manual. They are super easy to make, essentially 4 seams with a sewing machine and then you attach the handles (can be done in a variety of ways). Some of them turn out to be pretty dang cute, I must say. I like to find cute place mats at Cost Plus, Pier 1, and Target. I usually just buy one at a time, or I will get one of several varieties that do not match at all. I'm sure the store clerks think I am silly.

Here is one I made for my dear friend, Anna. It was one of the first ones I made, and I have learned of better techniques to attach the handles. Sorry, Anna! The handles on this one slide around pretty easily. But I still thought it turned out great. These photos show the front and back of the bag.

You can definitely get creative with these. Like I said before, I have come up with different ways to attach the handles. I also did one where I took a plain red place mat and sewed a black ribbon about 1 inch below the top edge of the purse and then stitched on a black bow. The possibilities are endless, people!

I will post more pictures in the future of other handbags I have made this way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baked Berry French Toast

For our date night meal tonight, I made Baked Berry French Toast served with orange juice in champagne glasses. It was quite the delicious recipe. It is one of those meals that just makes you feel good inside because it is warm and sweet. I loved it, and Landon said we should have it again sometime. The frozen berries thaw into a lovely, sweet sauce (that was Landon's favorite part). I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone. The only tricky part was making sure the bread baked through enough that it was no longer soggy. When I first took it out I thought it was done, but when I touched one of the pieces it was still pretty gooey. Don't be afraid of overcooking it slightly. I liked the pieces that had a little crunch to them. Here is the recipe.

Baked Berry French Toast

- 1 egg
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ cup sugar
- 8 slices ½-inch thick whole wheat bread
- 2 ½ cup frzn raspberries
- 2 ½ cup frzn strawberries (I also used blueberries)
- 1 Tb cornstarch


-preheat the oven to 400 degrees

-whisk the egg and egg whites in a shallow baking dish. Whisk in the milk, powder, vanilla, ¼ cup sugar, and cinnamon. Add the bread, turning to coat. Let the bread stand for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

-lightly coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray

-combine the frozen berries, ¼ cup sugar, and cornstarch, and spread evenly on the bottom of the baking dish

-arrange the bread slices in a single layer over the berries.Bake until the bread is golden brown and the berries are bubbly. 20-25 minutes

-place 2 slices of French toast and some of the berry mixture on each of 4 plates. Spoon a bit of the berry sauce over the toast.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 315, Carbohydrates: 66g, Fat 3g, Protein: 9g


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Purple Scarf for Mandy

I knitted this scarf for Mandy Pratt for Christmas in 2006. At that time she was my friend, and now she is my sister-in-law! Mandy loves purple, so there was no question on what color of yarn to pick for her. I don't wear a whole lot of purple, but I think this yarn is beautiful. I was very pleased with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flowers and Trees

I am not a photographer. But I have taken a few photos that are aesthetically pleasing (at least to me). I especially enjoy taking pictures of flowers and trees. Here are some of my favorites.

Tulips at the Tulip Festival 2007

Pansies - Spring 2007

Single tulip with amazing coloration- Spring 2007

Blossoms- Spring 2007

The little canyon by Landon's grandparent's home in Bountiful- Fall 2007

Rose Garden in Winter Park, Florida- December 2007

New Blog!

Today I had this random idea of making a blog that focuses on all the things I make with my hands. The possibilities are endless really. I can post pictures of anything I make: knitting, sewing, jewelry, recipes, home decor items, photos, etc. I am not an expert in any of these areas, but I love to do them all. And I love the feeling of finishing a successful project. Because I often give away items I make as gifts, I feel this will be a good way for me to remember the items. I hope anyone who comes across this blog enjoys the things I have done.