Saturday, December 31, 2011

How to make your own mini ironing board

For Christmas I got one of those mini Rowenta irons to use in my craft room.

The purpose of the iron was so I could iron fabric and crafts that I do without having to lug the big ironing board and iron to the basement all the time.

I would always forget to take it back upstairs then hubby was having to go to work wrinkly because he didn't want to go all the way to the basement to iron his shirts.

Well, if I have the mini iron, I needed a mini ironing board to go with it.

I look at the mini boards at WalMart and JoAnn Fabrics and they were almost $30.

I told hubby how much they were and he suggested that we just make one.

I had some cabinet plywood left over from my cupboard project.

I went to JoAnn's and got some batting and material.  The material was on clearance for $4 a yard but then when I had it cut, the lady took another 50% off.  I got the yard (which was all I needed) for $2.  The batting was only $7 and I was able to use my 40% off coupon making it  just over $4.

This whole project cost me just a little over $6.

So I got hubby down to the basement to help me with the cutting.

We first did our measurements of how long and wide I wanted the ironing board to be.

We made it 12" wide and 32" long.

We then drew out the tip and drew the angled lines.

After that, hubby got me started cutting the bottom and the sides.

We used a jigsaw to do this.

Once the sides and bottom were cut, we cut out the tip.

Once everything was cut, we sanded down the edges and curved them a little so they wouldn't tear the fabric.

I then layed the batting over the plywood and trimmed it up.

Then I put the material over top of the batting.

We then turned it over so that we could staple the material and batting to the underside of the plywood.

You want to make sure to pull the material very tight and place lots of staples along the perimeter of the plywood.  Make sure not to leave big gaps between staples.

Cut off all the excess fabric.

And there you have your mini ironing board.

We plan to add some feet to it later but we didn't have any on hand.

I love it for ironing small sewing projects.

I'm linking up with these parties......

A New Year's Resolution

I'm not usually big on making New Year Resolutions.

I can think of things that I want to change and do in the new year but that usually only lasts about a week and then I'm pretty much over it.

One year my resolutions were to write in a journal everyday and have lunch with my hubby once a week.  Well, the journal writing lasted about 2 days and hubby got tired of having lunch with me once a week so that ended pretty quickly.

I used to be really good about sending birthday cards to family members.

Ok, not really good but I was kinda good about it.

Truth is, I stink at it.  Really stink!

My sister would agree.

Her kids were lucky if I could get their cards to them in the month of their birthday let alone on the day of their birthday.  My poor husband's family never got any, I don't think.  I like to think that that wasn't entirely my fault, see; he couldn't remember when all the birthdays were so he would have to call his parents to ask them and then he would forget to tell me and so I would never remember to get a card or it would be too late.  So yea, I'm going to lay that blame on him.

Well, this year my resolution is to get it together and send out birthday cards to our families.  Not just my side but his side as well.  I am taking the burden off his shoulders and going to do it for both of us.  Hopefully I can get him to sign them, we will see.

This week in the mail we got this:

Now it may look like just any old calendar to you but it's not.  It's so much more than that.

My father-in-law must be reading my mind or something because he took the time to write down everyone's birthday in this calendar.

He even wrote everyone's ages.

No I have no excuses for not sending birthday cards to hubby's family.

He has helped me out tremendously.

 I'm going to put this in my office so I always have the birthdays right in front of me.

Thanks to the help from my father-in-law,  I'm sure to be able to keep my New Year's Resolution this year.

He even circled Father's Day for us.

 Oh man, were we that bad??

Probably so.

My most favorite part of this calendar was when I flipped to October. Not only did he have my birthday on there, but he has me a year younger than I actually am.

I always knew he was on my side.

So, Thank you, Ed!

 Thank you for helping me keep my New Year's Resolution this year and for also thinking I'm a year younger than I actually am.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pincushion Tutorial

I saw this awesome pincushion over at  Kim and Kris even have a video tutorial on their website showing you exactly how to go about making one of your own.

As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to make one for my mom for Christmas.  I've been holding off posting the tutorial until she got her present.  I didn't want to give it away.

I started off by printing the free pattern onto cardstock and cutting it out.

You will have a front and back body piece, 2 side pieces and 2 oval pieces.  One of the oval pieces can be cut from 1/4 inch thick foam board or plywood as I did.  The other oval piece should be cut from a piece of felt.

I got these 2 bunches of material at WalMart for $10 a piece.  I loved the variety and the colors.

I laid the front and back pieces onto the fabric and traced them with a fabric marker.

I then cut 2 pieces of the side piece.

You can see the outline from my marker here.  It fades away so you're not left with marks on your fabric.

After you get all the pieces cut out, you place the front and back body pieces right-sides together.  You then sew both sides from the top of the neck all the way out to the top of the arm using a 1/4" seam.

This is probably the trickiest part in the sewing.  I had to go back and watch the video just to be sure I was doing it correctly.

You want to line up the top of the side pieces to the top of the shoulder and pin it; then carefully match up the rest of the way down the front piece and the back piece.  Pinning as you go.  Taking your time to make sure everything stays lined up, sew those pieces together.

I started sewing at the bottom of one side then went all the way around the piece to the bottom of the other side.

Turn it right side out and you will have this.

You then stuff the mannequin with polyester fiber-fil.

Make sure you stuff it pretty good so it can be used as a pin cushion.

After that, you will insert your foam board or the plywood in my case into the bottom.

Using a hot glue gun, glue the fabric to the foam board or plywood.

Then apply glue to the bottom of the foam board or plywood and cover with your oval felt piece.

Push it down onto the table to get the bottom flat.

Apply hot glue to the top of your candlestick.

And set the pin cushion on top.

It will look like this.

 You then take a small Christmas ball, put some hot glue on the bottom and push it down into the neck hole.

Finished.  I just love the way it looks.

I'm definitely going to have to make myself one next.

I'm linking up with these parties.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Classic Beef Lasagna and Parmesan Herb Knots

For dinner last night, I decided to try some lasagna. And great big gigantic dinner rolls.

Usually my lasagna comes out all runny and looks more like a pasta casserole than lasagna.

I found this recipe in a magazine and have had it in my recipe binder for several years.

I had never made it but when I was working on my menu for this week, decided to give it a try.

It calls for pre-cooked lasagna noodles, which I love using.  The only problem I have had with them in the past is adding the water to make sure the noodles cook.  I always think it's what makes my lasagna's runny.  This recipe, though, calls for a cup of wine instead of  water.  Huh, that could be interesting.  All I had in the fridge was some Burgandy, so I used that.

It was so good.  The Burgandy went so well with the spaghetti sauce.  I never would have thought to try that combination but you can bet I will be adding wine to my lasagna from now on.

Santa was good to me.

He brought me this.

I was sooooo excited.  I've been wanting a stand mixer for several years but it never quite made it to the top of my list.

I've been making homemade dinner rolls every night for dinner.

To go with the lasagna, I made Parmesan Herb Knots.

They were delicious, but huge.  I think I could have made several more from the recipe than I did.

I haven't used it for cookies or icing or anything like that yet.  We already have so much Christmas candy around that I don't want anything else sweet in the house to temp me.

Try this lasagna.  You'll be glad that you did.



1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

1 container (15oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup red wine

1 jar spaghetti sauce

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and ricotta.

2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally.  Add wine; continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Remove from heat and stir in spaghetti sauce.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In 13x9 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup beef-sauce mixture.  Layer 4 lasagna noodles over sauce.  Top with half of cheese mixture, 2 cups beef-sauce mixture.  Repeat layers.  Top with 4 remaining lasagna noodles and beef-sauce mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

4. Cover with aluminum foil; bake for 40 minutes.  Uncover; bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Makes 18 rolls


2 tsp granulated sugar

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2/3 cup warm water

1/3 cup fat free powdered milk

1/3 cup potato flakes (instant mashed potatoes, unflavored)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

3 1/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning

3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) for topping


1. Combine the granulated sugar, yeast and warm water in mixing bowl.  Stir and let stand for 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and bubbly.

2. Add the cool water, powdered milk, potato flakes, olive oil, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture.  Mix for 2 minutes.

3. Add the parmesan cheese and mix until completely incorporated.  If necessary, add the remaining flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until a soft smooth dough ball is formed.  Continue to knead the dough for 4 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn to coat dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Combine 1/4 cup olive oil and Italian seasoning and let stand while dough rises.

4. Punch dough to deflate and divide into 18 equal portions.  Roll each into a 12-inch rope and tie into a knot.  Place on prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 35-45 minutes.  Brush lightly with herbed olive oil mixture.  If desired, sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of the optional Parmesan cheese.  Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake until lightly browned, about 15 to 18 minutes.


I'm linking up here....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I will be taking some time off to enjoy the Holidays with my sweet little family.

We would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


The Turner Five

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Creamy Dreamy White Cheddar Grits

Having been born and raised in the Midwest, grits were never a part of our daily staple.  In fact, I had never tried grits until about a year and a half ago.  A friend of mine had made them for a luncheon she was having and insisted I try them.  They were delicious and I was so bummed that I hadn't tried them sooner.

I guess the deliciousness comes from the fact that they were the ones they make at The Flying Biscuit Cafe.  I hadn't ever been there before but after trying their grits recipe, I just knew that I must try the rest of their food.  Luckily for me, they have a restaurant very close to hubby's office.  We have met there several times for lunch.

So, without further ado; here is the recipe for Creamy Dreamy White Cheddar Grits from The Flying Biscuit.


6 cups water

2 cups half-and-half

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 cups quick grits

1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1.  In a saucepan, combine water, half-and-half, salt and white pepper and bring to a boil.  Slowly pour grits into boiling water while whisking the entire time.  (Watch out for splattering; mixture is very hot).  Reduce to low head and continue to whisk often, until thick and completely smooth, about 10 minutes.

2.  Add cheese and stir gently until cheese melts.  Whisk again to combine.  Turn heat off and allow grits to rest 5 minutes.  Add butter and stir until completely smooth, silky and shiny.


Be warned, once you make these, you will be hooked.  The recipe makes a huge pan full so I hope the rest of your family will eat them.  Mine won't and I always end up with tons left over.  Grits just aren't the same the next day, so I don't make them often.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Open House

We finally got our Christmas decorations put up inside and outside.  Of course I could only get pictures of all the lights when it is dark out.  This was the best one I got.  The other ones were all blurry.  It would have helped if I had used my tripod but I was just to lazy to walk into the house and get it.

So this is the outside.  Each year hubby adds a new element to the outside decorations.  This year he added a cross and manger.  You can see the cross to the left of the tree but the manger, which has lights, isn't on.  Not sure why.

This is our frosty.  We've had him since the movie "Christmas with the Kranks" came out.  I just love that movie.

The front door.  Look at all those power cords.  Geez!

So, come on in.

The first thing you see when you walk through the door is our 10 foot Christmas tree.  And the loveseat.  Poor thing, it just doesn't have anywhere else to go during the month of December.  And the dog just had to get in this picture, she wasn't in the mood to listen to me when I told her to get out-of-the-way, I guess.

This is the view of the dining room from the entry way.

The is the view of the formal living room directly across from the dining room.

Another view of the formal living room from the dining room.  The front door is to the left.

This is also the room that houses my fun tree.  This tree actually belonged to hubbies parents.  It came home with us one year after they got a new tree.

Each year I get an ornament from the beach for this tree.

One day I would like to have this tree filled with snowman ornaments.

This is in the entry way directly across from the dining room.

The 1/2 bath, which is off the entry way, also gets a little Christmas cheer.

This is the view from the family room (at the back of the house) to the front door.

The kitchen gets a little decorating.  I try not to do too much because then it just gets in my way when I'm doing all my baking. Not to mention, the kids still load up the bar with all their stuff.

We decorate the window in the breakfast area.

One of the end tables in the family room.

The coffee table.

 These glass trees were full of M & M's not too long ago.  My daughter (and hubby) have figured out how to lift the lid slightly to let the candies fall out.

Our 10 foot family tree.

This tree is decorated in red and gold and most of the decorations on it belonged to my grandmother.

Last but certainly not least; our fireplace.  You can see our mantle up close and personal here.

Well this sums up the tour of the downstairs.  It's always such a fun time decorating our house every year.  I just love all the lights from the Christmas trees and of course all of my snowmen.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...