Archive for March, 2010

New Coloring Books!

March 31, 2010
Lions and Tigers Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

Lions and Tigers Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

I’ve sewn up a few new custom coloring book designs for the Megnificent Made store! In addition to this new animal print book, you can find whales, apples and pears in fun spring and summer colors.

Megnificent Made takes your photographs and turns them into coloring books. Then, they get packaged in these cute fabric folders that hold a set of crayons! They’re great for travel, keeping kids busy, and make great keepsakes.

Speaking of great keepsakes, now is the time of year many people are looking for unique ones. It’s Graduation time! Everyone loves a little coloring, no matter what age. Why not put together some memories for your graduate’s big day? It’s a unique twist on a scrapbook or photo board. Let friends add their mark on your memories at your graduation party!

Phone Service (or lack there of)

March 30, 2010

This is entirely non-craft related but I just had to share. I’ve had a LOT of frustrating phone calls lately, including poor customer service, morons, long waits on hold, and absolutely terrible automated service.

I feel for this guy.

Learning to Knit

March 26, 2010

Yesterday I arrived far to early to an eye doctor appointment, and it just so happened to be next door to a JoAnn Fabric’s craft store. I ended up picking up a pair of knitting needles and a little $2 booklet on knitting for beginners.

I was lucky enough to have a grandmother and a mother that taught me to crochet when I was little and I managed to get about half way through an afghan that ended up a garbage bag full of squares in the closet. I need much more instant gratification than that.

Despite my failure to keep up with crochet, I had always wanted to learn to knit. I think I like that the needles click, and that the work always seemed very light and flexible when it was done. I know crochet can be too, but mine never was.

Since yesterday I have made about 6 very crooked little bookmarks. They’re ugly and the stitches are terrible but I have discovered what I have always wanted to know….how on earth fabric is created by banging two sticks together.

Now that I know it I am not so sure what to do with it. I looked up beginner projects and came up with a list of pot holders, dish rags and scarves. None of which am I willing to put in massive effort for.

I think my foray into knitting will end here. I honestly cannot think of anything fun that needs to be knitted by a beginner for summer. Can you?

In the mean time, here is something knitted that I cannot make but Vegangurl can.

Fruit Cozy Set by Vegangurl

Fruit Cozy Set by Vegangurl

I don’t know why you would need these but I like that the fruit is dressed up. I guess it would keep an apple clean, but isn’t that what the banana peel is for? Is a banana not already cozy? Someday, I could knit something this interesting.

The Fabric Florist

March 24, 2010

I recently got word from Australia that my last indoor potted plant died. It was a beautiful bunch of curly grass and it apparently went brown slowly over the last few weeks. Before that was a cactus that went squishy and a bonsai tree stuck in perpetual Autumn.

I love the life potted plants bring to a room but I can’t seem to keep them alive. There are some silk flowers out there that are reasonably believable although well out of my price range for a touch of life here and there in the apartment.

Here is another solution from Jane Joss, the Fabric Florist!

Sweet Potted Fabric Plants by Jane Joss

Sweet Potted Fabric Plants by Jane Joss

These beautiful little plants come in these little pots, or longer springs of leaves in vases. I love that she uses bright colorful fabrics in her leaves. They would be fun to switch out to match the seasons. What a great alternative for plant killers like me! Check out her fabric florals in her Etsy store.

St. Patrick’s Day Party

March 22, 2010

St. Pat's Day party

The St. Patrick’s Day Party was on saturday and everything went off great! As usual, we have heaps of left over food but everyone really enjoyed themselves. The crowd was suprisingly shy about the games but once people got goin it was a lot of fun. For St. Patrick’s Day party ideas check out these posts…

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Ideas

Shamrock Candy Pots

How-To Party Puffs

St. Patrick’s Day Menu Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day Beer Mug Flowers

DIY Party Lights

How-To Paper Garland

How-To Rainbow Cupcakes

Megnificent Design

March 14, 2010

You may have noticed a new link in the side bar. I have decided to link up my online portfolio to the blog here with the Design icon to the right.

By night I am an avid crafter, but by day I make my living as a Graphic Designer, photographer and Illustrator. I have worked for many years as an in-house graphic designer for a cafe, as well as for t-shirt design companies, and printers. I am currently working freelance in New York as I await my residency in Australia.

This portfolio has a small sampling of the work I have done over the years and you can expect it to change regularly. There is plenty more to come in the way of photographs and new projects.

Take a look around at my work and consider that I can put my skills to work for you!

Lucky Libations

March 14, 2010

Over the past week I have been sharing with you the preparations for our St. Patrick’s Day bash coming this weekend. I’ve had a strict budget to keep to and I’ve been able to put together some great DIY ideas for decorations, food and last but not least, St. Patrick’s Day drinks!

Clearly oneĀ  choice item for Paddy’s day drinking is Guinness! Guinness can be expensive for a large party though. Instead, try mixing up a Black and Tan! A Black and tan is made by pouring a lighter beer over the back of a spoon and into a glass of Guinness. The spoon will keep your head of foam from deflating or the glass from bubbling over. If you buy a less expensive light beer you can cut the expense down on serving Guinness.

St Patricks Day Drinks

Irish coffee is usually the combination of whiskey and black coffee, but another version is coffee with baileys. Although both of these will be offered for our party, plain ‘ol non-alcoholic coffee will be on hand. Here is a fun way to spice up an old stand by. I’ve rubbed down sugar cubes with mint leaves to infuse them with a touch of flavor and give them a fun green color. Try using cinnamon sticks, rose petals, and lemon rinds. All of these will add lovely color and flavor to your coffee! Save the shredded remains of the mint leaves for a simple syrup.

St Patricks Day Drinks

Our fancier drink is going to be a Champaign cocktail mixed with green Cream de Minthe liquor. I bought plastic Champaign glasses at the party store and printed out little flags with Irish slang on them. Mostly insults…it will be fun to get everyone in the feisty Irish spirit! Download my St. Patricks Day Champaign glass flags here! StPatsFlags

I have decided to rim the glasses with green sugar and a mint simple syrup. Dying sugar is easy. Get a rubber glove or wrap a finger in plastic wrap to keep your fingers dye free. Fill a small bowl with sugar and add one or two drops of food coloring. Rub the sugar around until the lumps of dye disappear and your color is even. For the simple sugar, put in the left over shreds of mint from the sugar cubes in a pot with equal parts sugar and water. Dissolve the sugar and heat on low to make the sugar. Let the mint steep in the syrup to absorb the flavor. Strain it in a bowl and you can use it after it cools to rim the gasses!
St Patricks Day Drinks

For the designated drivers and non-drinkers of the party, we are putting together a green punch. Sprite or 7-Up with lime sorbet and pineapple juice is an easy, inexpensive mix!

Please read more about all of the St. Patrick’s Day ideas and enjoy the holiday!

Previous post include

How To (Shamrock Candy Pot)

March 12, 2010

One of many in a string of St. Patrick’s Day Party posts! This post will show you how to put to use the paper flowers I taught you how to make in my video tutorial. For St. Patrick’s day I changed the shape to a shamrock…but it’s the same idea.

St. Patricks Day Planning

You can do this the easy way and just cover a box with pretty wrapping paper, but I wanted mine to hold candy. Cut four 6×6 squares of foam core and wrap them in pretty wrapping paper. I got this roll from Party City for 99 cents.

Glue all of the edges of these pieces together to make a cube. On the inside, to make it a bit stronger, use the hot glue like caulk on all of the joints.

St. Patricks Day Planning

Set the cube down on top of some foam core and trace the cube on the inside to cut a shape that will fit inside the cube. Cut it out and wrap it with the wrapping paper.

Push this last piece down inside the cube about an inch from the top. From the bottom inside again use the hot glue like a caulking gun to secure it in place.

While holding that inside platform from the bottom, poke a hole in the top to insert the stem of your flower. Secure it with hot glue around the stem.

Fill it with candy!

St. Patricks Day Planning

Decorate the box with ribbons or cut outs. I filled mine with skittles to match my rainbow cupcakes. I had looked into green M&M’s but they’re so expensive! Try dying jordan almonds in a bag with food coloring, or selecting Jelly Belly Jelly beans in the bulk candy section is even a little more cost effective.

How To (Party Poofs)

March 11, 2010

Here is a super easy party decoration that can also be used in beautiful baby room decor.

All you’ll need is:

  • 8 sheets of tissue paper
  • scissors
  • pipe cleaner or wire

To start, accordian fold your stack of 8 sheets of tissue paper together. Around the center of the stack of folded paper twist the pipe cleaner or wire.
St. Patricks Day Planning

Cut the ends of the stack to either a rounded end or a point.

St. Patricks Day Planning

Start to pull out individual sheets of the tissue paper towards the center fluffing them out.

St. Patricks Day Planning

Fluff and round the ball as you go. I hung mine with thread from the metal twist in the center of the ball.

St. Patricks Day Planning

Ta Da! Check out all of the St. Patrick’s Day party ideas in my “How-To” section. Menu ideas, decorations and drinks!

St. Pat’s Menu Ideas

March 11, 2010

Lets talk food!

This week I’ve been sharing my party preparations for our upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Party. While it’s a little too early for me to be cooking up treats to photograph for you, I can at least share recipes, links and ideas so you have time to get cooking before the holiday arrives.

First I’d like to mention my Baked Potato Bar! I’m so excited about it because it’s not just a treat its a very social way of eating. Everyone gets to make a custom snack, and it couldn’t be easier on the chef! It’ll be as easy as popping foil wrapped potatoes in the oven before guests arrive and setting out bowls of everyone’s favorite baked potato toppings. You can even get creative with some fancy toppings. Here are a few I plan to leave out when the day arrives…

  • cheddar and broccoli
  • chili
  • melted cheddar
  • sour cream-chives
  • greek yogurt and olives
  • sauted garlic mushrooms
  • baccon
  • some fresh chopped herbs
  • flavored EVOO and Balsamic

If you’ve got more ideas for the potato bar please share!

Second big menu item will be our Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza. You’ve gotta have the dish on this holiday but it’s not exactly party food. This pizza is a fun twist on the dish that is much more party friendly. Get the recipe here!

In addition to my rainbow cupcakes that I’ve already posted on, I found these celtic knot cookies from Sprinkle Bakes. They look yummy and she says they’re quite easy! Its also something I’ll be able to make ahead of time.

I’ll be putting out some green goodies. Watercress Soup is apparently quite Irish…or so I have been told! I’ll be serving this watercress soup recipe served in shot glasses. Some other ideas might be green deviled eggs either with pesto or food coloring. Irish cheddar is delicious so some Irish Cheddar Fondu could be a big party hit. Cut up breads with a clover cookie cutter to add some charm. Party favorites like Spinach and Artichoke dip could be a green party food, or even guacamole (although not particularly irish).

One favorite of mine every St. Patrick’s Day is my mom’s Irish Soda Bread. She makes it with raisns and craisns and it’s so delicous warm with a cup of tea. She’ll be making some for the party…and I hope some extra for the week or so after!

Keep your eyes peeled for more party decoration ideas coming up, as well as drink ideas!