A Maine Icon

I am having a hard time believing that this coming Monday is Memorial Day, and with it the unofficial start to the summer season. In a normal year, I wouldn’t need the calendar to remind me of the start of the season; I would be able to tell by the flurry of activity in my small coastal Maine town. As we all know, nothing is normal right now. This year is definitely different: the local beach finally opened up last week after being closed for 2 months, and there is a quiet sense of activity and anticipation as seasonal homes are being aired out, and local businesses and restaurants are preparing to, once again, open their doors. Soon.

I love the summer season. When you live on the coast, this is the season you dream about and endure long, harsh winters for. What’s not to love about spending warm sunny days near the ocean! And what could be more synonymous with a day at the beach than a “bean” bag–an L.L.Bean tote bag. The beach and their bags just go together–especially when you’re in Maine.

I have spent this past week working on creating my own paper version of the classic L.L.Bean tote bag, and I decided the best way to show you what I came up with was to create a step-by-step tutorial. I promise you there will be more pictures that yada-yada, so not to worry!

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I started by looking online at the traditional L.L.Bean tote bag, and making a list of what features make their bag so iconic. This is the list I came up with:

  1. Neutral bag color
  2. Solid contrasting bag base and all-in-one bag straps and handles
  3. Triangle-shaped contrast on sides of bag
  4. White stitching on bag base and side straps/handles
  5. Front pocket
  6. Logo label to right of pocket

The one and only L.L.Bean bag I have ever owned looks just like the one pictured above, with the addition of a front pocket and a logo label to the right of the pocket. I have added these two features to my list.

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This is one of their current bag choices, and it has the front pocket and logo label to give you a visual reference.

Keeping my list in mind, I started working on my bag. Luckily I didn’t have to start from scratch–I was given a tutorial for a L.L.Bean bag by a fellow Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, Mary Kate Scott, at a stamping event she hosted last Fall. She used her bag, which was her original design, to hold raffle tickets, and she graciously shared her pattern instructions with me after the event. I pulled out her instructions and took a closer look at her version. Mary Kate’s bag was designed to hold 3 1/2″ x 5″ notecards, so it was fairly tall. She used ribbon for the all-in-one bag straps and handles, and included a plain front pocket on which she stamped her initials.

Using her measurements and instructions, I made a prototype bag. After I was finished, I knew I wanted to make some changes to the design–namely, I wanted to shorten the overall height of the bag; I wanted to use cardstock for the side straps and handles; I wanted to use patterned paper for the front pocket; and I wanted to add a logo tag. What follows is the tutorial for my version of a L.L.Bean bag. NOTE:  Cutting instructions will be provided at the end of this post.

BAG FOUNDATION

The basic bag structure is made using a pattern that has been around for a long time called Box in a Bag. It involves making a simple box and then wrapping a strip of paper around the outside of the box to form the bag. This is what it looks like when it’s finished:IMG_7747

and this is what it looks like from the inside:

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I chose white as my neutral bag color, and navy for my solid contrasting color. Make sure that when you are making your box that you glue the box tabs to the outside of the box, so that you look at a seam-free box on the inside. I also started wrapping the white strip of paper in 11/16ths inch from the left side of one of the long sides of the box. This way the paper seam can be covered up by a side strap. (more info to follow on this)

FRONT POCKET

I made the pocket out of navy gingham paper and added a thin strip of red paper at the top. I centered it on the long side of the bag with the seam. I made marks at 7/8″ and 2 7/8″; measuring from the left side of the bag, and adhered the pocket between those two marks. Make these same measurement marks on the back side of the bag.

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BAG STRAPS & LOGO TAG

I cut 4 strips of navy paper for the bag straps that are the same height as the bag, and my logo tag was made out of a small square of red paper. I scored the tag so that I would have a tab to glue under the outside edge of the right side strap, and I added navy stars as my “logo”.

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I started adhering the side straps with the one to the right of the pocket. Before I stuck it down, I held it up to the bag and attached the logo tag at the height of the pocket.

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The other 3 straps were attached–the strap to the left of the pocket nicely covers up the seam, and the back 2 straps were attached to the outside of the measurement marks I made earlier. I purposely placed the seam in the front of the bag, so that when you look inside, the back of the bag is clean and seamless–its just more professional looking.

HANDLES

The handles were cut from navy paper and are the same width as the side straps. I measured down 1/2″ from the top of the bag and made 2 marks on the inside of the side straps. I curled each handle strip and attached each end on top of the side straps just shy of the 1/2″ marks. I followed the same steps for the back handle.

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COLOR BANDS

The final step is to wrap navy bands around the top and bottom of the bag. This not only helps to create the illusion of the contrasting bag base, but the bands also cover up the handle seams and unfinished edges.

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Tada–my L.L.Bean bag is finished and I”m so excited– it looks so authentic! I didn’t end up adding the white stitching or the triangle side pieces–this is a small bag and there isn’t room for the triangle pieces, and I thought the white stitching might detract from the clean look of the design.

Now that I had the design and measurements solidified, I made several more bags. I couldn’t help myself!

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I couldn’t have a navy bag without making a red one, and I’m glad I did. I love the red version, and I think it’s because the L.L.Bean bag I own is red and white.

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I also made a few in pastel colors, and I embossed the word “Enjoy” in white embossing powder for the logo tags on these bags.

That’s it my friends–we are at the end of my “bean” bag story. I so appreciate you stopping by today, and I hope you are all healthy and in good spirits as your part of the country begins to slowly open up. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Box:  2 1/2″ x 4 3/4″; score each side at 1/2″
  2. Bag: 3 1/4″ x 11″
  3. Pocket: 2″ x 1 7/8″
  4. Pocket Accent: 1/8″ x 2″
  5. Side Straps x 4: 1/2″ x 3 1/4″
  6. Logo Tag: 5/8″ x 5/8″; score at 3/8″
  7. Handles x 2: 1/2″ x 7″
  8. Contrast Bands: 1/2″ x 11″

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars, Stripes and Sailboats

Let me start by saying that it wasn’t my intention to spend my afternoon crafting, but sometimes impromptu crafting just happens and it is so much fun. And, believe you me, I ended up having more fun that one person should have on a rainy afternoon!

I was looking for some pictures on my computer when I ran across this picture:

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This was the window display of a paper store we walked by, and my heart skipped a beat or two when I saw this. I took this picture and then went into the shop to find out more about these absolutely adorable sailboats. I learned that all of these sailboats were made out of wrapping paper from a simple origami pattern. My favorite design was the polka dot paper at the bottom of the rows, so I ended up buying some of that paper, and left the shop thinking that the first thing I was going to do when I got home was look up how to make an origami sailboat.

Fast forward 2 years. I still have the wrapping paper, and I have bookmarked a pattern for a sailboat, but nothing more. Well…..I really can’t explain all that happened in the next 2 hours–all I know is that this picture sparked an idea, and the results of that idea were totally unexpected and totally awesome.

I began by making a sample sailboat from the pattern I had found. I started out with a 5″ square piece of wrapping paper, and ended up with a sailboat that was 3 1/2″ wide. I thought that was too small, so after some additional experimenting, I settled on a 7″ square piece of paper which gave me a sailboat that was 5″ wide. So it’s important to keep in mind that the end design will be smaller than the initial size paper square you start out with.

In what seemed like only a matter of minutes, I had four sailboats

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You could easily end up with a whole fleet of these babies in a matter of a few hours; it’s that quick and easy! I love the contrast of the white sails against the navy paper, and the pattern gives directions on how to accomplish this. The sailboats in the window display don’t have the contrast, so my best guess is that 2 squares of paper were adhered back to back before folding.

This is the point where things got interesting. I now have 4 sweet, navy and white polka dot sailboats; what am I going to do with them? The number 4 ended up being the key to the end result–I thought about all of the things I would need 4 of something for, and one of the first things that came to mind was table settings. And the rest goes something like this:

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I put one of the sailboats on a plate to check for size, and what hit me wasn’t anything to do with the size of the sailboat, but the fact that I had some major work to do to dress up this plate. Talk about boring! This was a situation! I definitely liked the size of the sailboat in comparison to the inner portion of the plate, but I needed to add something that added color and height, so that the sailboat would have some presence and take center stage.

One of the other pictures I ran across before all of this crafting began was of the rosettes I made to decorate the outside of my hand pie envelopes several years ago:

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I had a “eureka” moment, and decided to make some rosettes for the sailboats to sit on. I’ve never made large rosettes before, but I decided there was no time like the present and dove right in. The width of the inner portion of my plate is 7″, so I started with 7″ squares of paper. I cut 3 squares for each rosette. I accordion folded, or fan folded, each square in 1″ increments and then folded each strip in half and taped it together:

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From there I taped all three sections together, and when you attach the last two parts together, you get a rosette:

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I topped each rosette with a starburst circle to cover up the middle, and now was the moment of truth–were these rosettes going to transform the plates from “why bother” to “wow”?

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Oh I think so, hand’s down! At this point I am kind of in shock! Decorating my table for the Fourth of July was the furthest thing from my mind 2 hours ago, and yet now I am staring at the sweetest; most charming table decorations ever! These decorations combine both the nautical and patriotic themes in a way that I never would have imagined, and I couldn’t wait to see what the table looked like with all four places set!

And so, that is the tale of how I went from a picture of a window display

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to a table display

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all in 2 hours on a rainy afternoon. I was so excited with the end result that I couldn’t wait to show you. I did add some tiny star table scatter, which I know is impractical, but it looks good. Sometimes impractical is worth it!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part IV

I am down to designing the last 5 tags for this final bag style:

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The inspiration for this tag came from a Christmas ornament that I gave my husband several years ago. He has worked in corporate finance his entire career, and when I saw this ornament, I knew I had to get it for him. It is actually hanging above the towel hooks in our powder room, and, each time I look at it, I am reminded that I have always wanted to design a card or tag based on the concept:

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I think this is such a clever ornament, and I just love the play on words! I wanted each of my tags to feature an iconic, summer image, and surfboards definitely fit the bill.  The more I thought about the basic concept; the more I could picture the beginnings of a tag design in my mind. Since I have always wanted to re-create this idea, and since there is no time like the present, I decided to jump in and see what I could come up with. I can’t wait to show you how this tag turned out!

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I don’t own any surfboard stamps, so, just like with the flip flops, I found a template on line and reduced the scale to fit the tag base. The basic idea I had was to have 3 surfboards leaning up against a palm tree, so here is how I set the scene:

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The illusions of sand and water were created by sponging the inks directly onto the white background. The design was beginning to come together, but the pink board was too dark, and the surfboards look like fish. They needed definition and embellishment!

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Much better! Now all I needed was the lettering, and this is where I struggled. I had two options for the lettering stamps I chose to work with: I could either have white letters on ink squares

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or brown letters on colored card stock

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The original idea I had in my mind was to use the brown ink blocks with the white lettering, but when I laid it all out, I began to second guess myself. So I spent three days stamping all of the options pictured above, and, in the end, it came down to either the brown ink squares with the white lettering, or the brown letters on the pink card stock. I was really trying to stay away from using a lot of pink, so, after all of this time and effort, I circled back around to my initial choice.

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I glued the individual letter squares onto a card stock strip to keep them straight.

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And here it is; my finished tag. May I introduce you to my version of a summer “board meeting?! This tag took a lot of time, and trial and error, but I am really happy that I stuck with it. I love the final result, and I think this would be a fun tag to use for a summer company gathering. You’ll notice that I attached the tag with a mini clothespin rather than tying it on. After all of the time and effort I put in to this tag, I just couldn’t bare to punch a hole in it!

I’ve come to the end of my summer gift tag challenge, and I have designed and created 20 tags in a little over 2 weeks. Here’s a look at each individual tag:

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I set out to make bright, colorful tags featuring iconic summer images that coordinated with the 4 different bag styles that I found in my “stash”. I definitely think I accomplished my goal, and, as a result,  I have a basket full of fun tags to use throughout this season.

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Do you have a favorite? Each tag is so different from the others, and I did that on purpose–I wanted to end up with a fun assortment of choices that would work for a variety of recipients and gatherings.

I have mixed feelings about this challenge coming to an end–on the one hand, I have thoroughly enjoyed designing and creating these tags, but, on the other hand, I could use some time to restore a sense of order to my craft room. It’s a situation! Thank you for spending this time with me, and I hope we can continue to get together more often this summer. Until next time, take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part III

Today I will be focusing on creating a tag for the solid teal bag:

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and this tag is inspired by a trip my husband and I took to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park this past weekend. As you stand atop the summit of Cadillac Mountain, you have a panoramic view of Southwest Harbor and the Atlantic ocean. The boats in the harbor and out on the water look like small white specks from the mountain top. My pictures certainly don’t do the views justice, but you can at least get a sense of the scale of the harbor below:

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I love seeing the sailboats out on the water, so today’s tag will feature a sailboat and also a more neutral color scheme. The following pictures will show how this tag came together from start:

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to finish.

Since my other two tags have trended more to the feminine side, I wanted to mix things up and create something that is more masculine and versatile. The sailboat image; the stars; and the nautical color scheme all work together to accomplish this goal. The sailboat fits really well on the oval shape of this tag, but I needed to fill in a lot of white space around it. Splitting up the sentiment into separate words is a great technique to take up some of the extra white space.

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Looking at this picture, I am amazed at how this tag totally transforms the feel of this gift–the bag color by itself is definitely feminine, and yet when combined with the tag and plain tissue paper, it takes on a more neutral appearance which would be suitable for any recipient.

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I am 3/4ths of the way through this challenge–15 tags made; 5 tags to go. I am just “sailing right along” with these tags (I apologize–I couldn’t help myself!) and my basket is filling up nicely. I hope you’ll check back for the final part of this series, as, in my opinion, I have saved the best for last! Have a great week, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat, and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part II

As a quick recap–I found some gift bags in my craft room two weeks ago, and I have challenged myself to make summer gift tags for each of the four different bag styles. In Part I of this series, I made a tag to go with the polka dot teal bag:

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and today, in Part II of this series, I will be designing a tag for the solid pink bag:

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I want this tag to be bright and fun, so that it stands out against the solid background of the bag. In thinking about that goal, colorful flip flops came to mind, so that became the starting point for this tag. I played around with the flip flop stamps that I have, but I just couldn’t come up with a pattern that I liked. So, I abandoned the stamps and found a flip flop template on line. As my Mom used to say: “Sometimes you don’t try harder; you try different”. I will now let my pictures tell the story of my design process from start:

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to finish.

Once I had the template enlarged to my satisfaction, I cut the flip flop bases out of three different patterned papers. The patterned paper isn’t as sturdy as regular card stock, so I backed each tag with white card stock for extra stability. When I looked at the tag bases together, the navy ones were too dark, so I made additional lime green and teal flip flops to bring the total back to 6. Once I added the flowers and the sentiment, these flip flops really came to life. These tags are bright; they are fun; and they are the perfect summer decoration for these pink gift bags! They are nothing like I had pictured, but exactly what I had wanted to accomplish!

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Fun tags can’t be attached to the bags just any ole’ way, so I used the dog tag chains instead of bakers twine or clothespins. I got the idea from a new pair of shoes I purchased this past weekend. There was a key chain attached to one of the shoes with this type of chain. Inspiration is everywhere!

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I am halfway through this challenge, and my basket is half full with these colorful, summer gift tags.  They just make me smile! Stay tuned for Part III, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

 

Summer Gift Tag Series–Part I

Look what I found as I was going through my craft room last week–

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Talk about charming gift bags! Just look at those colors; and those scallops; and those polka dots!  I am just as excited seeing them now, as I was when I purchased them last spring. The bags came packaged in sets of 10 for each color, so I have a total of 20 bags. The colors are so bright and happy, and I can just picture how cute they would look for summer gifts. BUT….. gift bags need tags. I need to make some tags.

I have issued myself a challenge to make 5 tags for each of the 4 different bags over the next several weeks, and I will be posting my tag designs and finished projects for you to see. I can’t wait to get started, as these bags are too cute to spend another summer in a bin!

I chose to start with the tag for the polka dot teal bag, as this is my favorite, hands down! My goal is to create a tag that is bright and playful, like the bag itself. I’m going to try something new and different today by just letting the pictures take you through my design process from start:

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to finish.

I’m really happy with how this tag turned out, and I definitely think I accomplished my goal of creating a bright, playful tag. I wasn’t sure if I would use the black and white paper on the tag base, but I’m really glad I did. I think all of the black elements help ground the tag, and provide a nice contrast against the bag color. I hadn’t planned on adding anything to the middle of the flowers, but I didn’t like how they looked with open centers on the tag.

The more I looked at this tag, however, the white space bothered me, so I tried adding the center dots from die-cutting the flowers around the tag.

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Wow–I can’t believe the difference these 3 little cardstock dots make! Not only do they help fill in some of the white space, but they also mimic the polka dots on the bag. I know I have said it before, and I’m going to say it again now–paper crafting is all about trial and error, and you should never be afraid to experiment with your ideas.  You never know when you might end up with a happy little discovery, like I did today.

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5 tags down; 15 to go.

Before I close for today, I have one more picture for you of one of these bags all dressed up and ready to use for a gift:

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It’s true what they say–it’s all about the packaging!

I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. I will be back with another tag design soon, so stay tuned.  Take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

Mason Monday–Lids and Cork Sheets

Hi everyone! I am back today with another “Mason Monday” project, and this one involves using wide mouth lids and bands. No jars; just the lids. I have been working on this idea for almost a week now, and it really started out as an experiment.

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I have a set of these coasters, and I love the combination of the galvanized metal and the cork and how striking the embossed white seashell looks against the cork background. I have always been curious as to whether I could duplicate this design using mason jar lids as the base, and, since I could use some coasters for our outdoor seating area, I decided it was time to find out.

Before I could even start this project, I needed to make sure that I had stamp images that were proportional to the size of the cork circles, and that I could emboss these images on to the cork. I would have loved to use seashells, but all of my shell stamps were way too small. I did find a set of chair images that looked like they might be large enough, so now it was time to see if the detailed images would emboss well on the cork. I am happy to report that the embossing went well, and here is what the chair images looked like on the cork circles:

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I really thought that the uneven surface of the cork would make it difficult to pick up the fine details of each of these chairs, but that wasn’t the case at all! You can see each image very clearly. I’m so excited! This project was dependent on being able to emboss on cork, and now that I have accomplished that, I can start working on the jar lids.

Here is a picture of the adhesives and paints I used on the mason jar lids:

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I started by gluing the lids to the bands with E6000 adhesive. I tried hot glue first, but it was too thick and bulky. Once the lids were secure, I whitewashed each lid with the white chalk paint.

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I then applied a thin coat of the vintage chalk paint, making sure to leave areas of the white paint exposed. I wanted the lids to have a distressed, worn look. Once the paint was dry, I adhered a plain cork circle to the bottoms of the lids for furniture protection.

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I couldn’t wait to put the embossed cork circles inside the jar lids to see how they would look!

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I liked the contrast of the embossed cork against the paint color, but these coasters needed something else; they lacked personality and charm. I turned my room upside down and tried all kinds of things, and here is what I finally came up with:

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All it took was some lace and tiny, satin roses to take these coasters from “bland to grand”, and now they have the personality and charm that they were lacking. I used the fine-tip glue pen pictured above to attach the lace to the lids.

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I finally have coasters for our outdoor seating area, and they couldn’t be more sweet and charming! They are ready for some sittin’ and sippin’, and I can’t wait to use them.

This has been a fun experiment and project to work on, and I’m glad you could join me to see how these coasters turned out. Have a great couple of weeks, and I will see you back here after vacation. Take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Mobile App”

I hope you are enjoying your area’s Fourth of July festivities, as well as some time with  family and friends. This is the third and final post for “Barbecue Week” here on my blog, and  I have an idea for a healthy appetizer. I have also created a to-go box to serve it in; hence the title “Mobile App”!

I have been following The Pioneer Woman–Ree Drummond–for a long time. Having grown up in western Nebraska, I felt an instant connection to this woman who lives on a ranch in Oklahoma. I own all of her cookbooks, and, in fact, I stood in line at the Tattered Cover Book Store in downtown Denver, CO to have her sign my copy of her first cookbook.

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I think her recipe for Watermelon Pico De Gallo makes one of the best summer appetizers around, and what’s not to love–it’s colorful, refreshing, and healthy to boot. Just look how vibrant all of the ingredients look together:

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It’s a labor of love, for sure, as it takes some extra time and effort to dice everything up, but you will not be disappointed with the end result. People appreciate having a healthy option, and you can’t get more guilt-free than this–especially when you serve it with vegetable tortilla chips!

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Doesn’t this look incredible? The best part is, it tastes as good as it looks! It’s cool and crunchy, and the sweetness of the watermelon balances out the flavor of all of the peppers.

The hard work is done; the pico de gallo is ready. Now let’s talk about serving it.  This is an appetizer that works well when it’s served in individual portions, so that people can just “grab and go”. Let me show you two ideas I have:

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I found these treat cups at my local dollar store, and I filled each one of them with the pico de gallo. This would be an easy way to allow guests to take the appetizer to anywhere in the backyard, but there’s no place for the chips. They would have to go on a separate plate.

So I challenged myself to design a box that could hold both the treat cup and the chips, similar to the boxes your food comes in at sporting events.

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I found these treat liners at Michaels this week at 50% off, and I used the gingham and stars patterns to line the inside of my simple box design. I started with a 12″ x 9″ inch piece of paper, scored each side at 2 1/2″, and put the box together.

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There isn’t anything complicated or fancy about the boxes, but the treat liners make the boxes food safe and they are the perfect size to hold both the pico de gallo and some chips. Now this appetizer truly is portable and mobile, and guests can take it anywhere they want to be.

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Mission accomplished! After I had taken all of the pictures, my husband and I each took a box and enjoyed our “mobile app” out on the deck with a glass of wine. The box helped brace the cup as you tried to get some pico de gallo onto a chip, which is an added bonus!

Thanks for joining me for “Barbecue Week”–I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas and designs with you. Have a happy Fourth of July tomorrow, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

P.S. Did you happen to notice the watermelon towel in some of my pictures? My nephew’s wife, Jodi Kostelnik, made it. She creates and screen prints food-themed designs onto hand towels, onesies, tote bags, etc., and the watermelon print is one of her newest additions to her shop. Visit her website here and enjoy looking at all of her clever designs and gift items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Pies and Diaper Folds

Welcome back to Part II of “Barbecue Week”! It’s Friday, and the long Fourth of July weekend is about to begin. I can’t believe that tomorrow is July 1st–where did June go?!

In keeping with the focus on barbecues, today I have a fun dessert idea that would be perfect to serve at or take to a cook-out–hand pies. Sweet, round, fruit-filled miniature pies. The concept is brilliant, and I can’t think of anything more American, or better suited for a Fourth of July barbecue than hand pies. They require no cutting or serving; guests can just grab them and eat them on the go.

My vision was to make both strawberry and blueberry filled hand pies with star cut -outs in the middle of the top crusts to carry out the Fourth of July theme. I had picked up this recipe card at Stonewall Kitchen recently, which I thought would be perfect for the blueberry hand pies.

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After a little more research, I found a strawberry hand pie recipe that I liked, so all that was left was for me to put on my apron and get to work. I will share the links for both recipes at the end of this post.

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Both recipes provided instructions on how to make hand-made crusts, but I used prepared pie crusts instead.  I wanted my hand pies to be round, although they can be made in all kinds of shapes–half moon, triangular, rectangular, etc. I did make each of the fillings, and the blueberry filling consisted of both blueberry-rhubarb jam and a cream cheese mixture.

Blueberry filling_1.jpgStrawberry filling_1.jpg

The blueberry fillings were pretty liquidy–how’s that for a technical cooking term! Because I didn’t want all of the filling to escape out the star-shaped hole, I followed the recipe exactly and just cut a slit in the middle of the top crusts. The strawberry filling, on the other hand, was very congealed, so I did use the star cookie cutter on those top crusts.

Here’s what my pies looked like just out of the oven:

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the blueberry,

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and the strawberry. Look how sweet my little pies look with the star cut-out. In the end, I could have used the star cut-out on the blueberry pies, as the filling didn’t seep out of the slits at all.

While the pies were cooling, I started working on a packaging idea, which is where the diaper fold comes in. The diaper fold has been around for a long, long time and when all of the folding is done, you end up with a pouch. The best part about the diaper fold is that you only need a square piece of paper; no special tools or adhesive is needed. Just a square piece of paper.

Let me show you:

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I chose to use parchment paper, as it is food-safe and I really like how crisp and white it is. After some trial and error, I determined that I needed to start out with a 9 1/2″ square in order to fit the hand pies.

Start by folding the paper corner to corner to form a triangle:

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Next, fold one of the bottom corners over to the other side, making sure that you have a straight line across the middle of the triangle.

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Repeat with the other bottom corner.

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Fold down the top flap, and you’re done. The flap keeps everything closed together–as I said, no adhesive is needed.

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Here’s what the pouch looks like inside. This is going to be a perfect for the hand pies! Now it’s time to dress these pouches up–I can’t serve my cute hand pies in plain white pouches!

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I ended up making some paper rosettes and decorating them with layers of stars. The rosettes reminded me of the buntings you see everywhere, and they also mirror the round shape of the pies. My plan was to tie some baker’s twine around each of the pouches, and then tie the rosettes onto the twine.

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I didn’t like how this looked, however, so I went back to the drawing board. I ended up making double baker’s twine bows and I tied the rosettes to the bows.

 

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And there you have it–really cute, food-safe diaper fold pouches for my sweet, round, fruit-filled miniature pies! Wouldn’t you just love to serve or take these cutie pies to a get-together?! Better yet, wouldn’t you just love to sink your teeth into one of these cutie pies?!

Speaking of taste, I know you’re dying to see the inside of the pies, and I’m not going to disappoint you:Blueberry on plate_1.jpg

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It’s hard to see in the close-up picture of the blueberry pie, but the two different fillings really didn’t mix together during the baking. If I were to make these again, I would add the cream cheese filling first, and put the blueberry-rhubarb jam on top, so that the blueberry filling showed through the star cut-out. And, how did it taste, you ask? It’s not bad–you definitely need the cream cheese mixture, as it tones down the tartness of the jam. I don’t think I would make the recipe again, however. I think I’d be happier with a blueberry filling similar to the strawberry one.

Now on to the strawberry:

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The strawberry pie gets my vote, hands down! This is exactly what I wanted–a round hand pie with a star cut-out in the middle of the top crust. The filling was congealed enough that it didn’t ooze out during baking, nor did it ooze out when you broke it in half. And the taste–simply divine! I would definitely make this recipe again–the filling isn’t complicated to make, and the whole process goes pretty quickly if you use prepared pie crusts.

Before I go, I just have one more thing to show you:

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Look how cute this diaper fold pouch is as a silverware holder! I’m telling you, these pouches couldn’t be any easier to make, and they are so versatile. The sky is the limit!

Here are the recipe links:

http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/jam-filled-hand-pies-R2219.html

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/strawberry-hand-pies/

That’s it for today, and I’ll look forward to seeing you again on Monday for Part III of “Barbecue Week”. Enjoy your weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Charming” Wine Bottle Tag

It’s “Barbecue Week” here at Made by the C. With summer in full swing, and Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to design some projects with backyard barbecues in mind. Between today and next Tuesday, I will be featuring three different ideas of what to make and/or bring to a barbecue, and how to package it up. Whether you are hosting or traveling to a get-together, I hope that you will find some inspiration during this 3-part series.

It’s always nice to bring a hostess gift in addition to your food contribution to a get-together, and you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of wine. So, for my first project, I designed a unique wine bottle tag that will set your bottle apart from others. After all, you know what they say, “It’s all in the packaging”!

I’m going to be using the very first stamp set I ever bought on this tag. I know I’m going to be dating myself, but I purchased this set back in 2005. It’s long since been retired, but it is still one of my favorite sets and I look forward to using it every summer.

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The images are perfect for barbecue- themed projects, and I have never seen another set with images as versatile as these since then.

As you can see in the picture above, I chose a red, white, and blue color scheme, and I made 4 different oven mitts, which will become the stars of this tag.

Wine Tag start_1

With the top part of the tag completed, it’s now time to focus on turning these 4 oven mitts into wine charms, which will get attached to the middle part of the tag. I took hoop earring wires that I purchased at my local craft store, along with a few additional supplies, and turned them into wine charms.

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The one thing that I discovered is that you need to use a jump ring to attach the oven mitt to the hoop earring wire, in order to get the mitt to lay flat.

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Once all four wine charms were completed, it was time to finish up the tag. I added more gingham paper to the bottom of the tag, and threaded some white baker’s twine through some punched holes. I tied the wine charms on to the tag with the twine, wrapped some coordinating paper around the wine bottle, and my project was done.

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I am in love with how this turned out! The tag with the wine charms would make a great gift by itself, but put it on a bottle of wine, and you are sure to impress your hostess! This tag would make even a cheap bottle of wine look like a million bucks. It truly is all in the packaging!

Thanks for stopping by today, and make sure that you come by on Friday for part two of this series. Enjoy the rest of your week, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C