Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pretty Pillows

Emma's finished pillow

Claire's finished pillow

These pretty little hanging pillows are so easy to make and are just right for little ones to handle as they learn to embroider. First, pick out the fabric and ribbon that you want...cut the fabric to a 10 x 7 inch size and the ribbon to 14 inches.

fabric and ribbon for pillow

Position your ribbon between the fabric as shown and pin in place. I measured in 1 1/2 inches from the edge of my fabric to place my ribbon. This will allow your handle to be sewn into the seam correctly at the top of the pillow.

how to position the handle...

Allow for a 1/2 inch seam and sew all the way around leaving an opening at the bottom as shown. Clip the corners and trim the seam allowance as needed and then turn so that you have a little pillow ready to stuff.

ready to stuff

This is the fun part for the little ones....time to stuff! Stuff as full as you want and then decide what pattern to use for embroidering. I just freehanded a heart and a flower for mine using a mark-be-gone marker. This simple design is easier for beginners to follow. Next, take a matching thread and handstitch the bottom opening closed.


Gather the rest of your supplies...a little basket with a variety of threads and needles and scissors and let your little one get to work. If you've got a beginner, show them the general technique and let them try on their own. The pillow offers great protection for fingers and such because of the stuffing, they'll just need to watch their fingertips when reaching for the needle to pull through.

What they end up with is a super cute little pillow that will be perfect for hanging on door knobs, closet handles, and even on the walls, as my girls decided. I had to help Claire (3) quite a bit, but Emma (5) was able to control her stitches very well with only a little help. And, how exciting for them to know that they made these themselves...and what a precious keepsake for the years to come :)


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

French Dressing with Garlic....

If you're like me, you're becoming increasingly aware of the incredibly long ingredient lists on nearly every item in the grocery store. Why is it that simple things like salad dressing have a list of about 30 ingredients, most of which you can't even pronounce? This really bothers me, especially since I discovered a recipe for homemade salad dressing that tasted better than any other I have ever tasted! So, I thought I would share this recipe with you....

French Dressing with Garlic

1/2 tsp. dry mustard (in the spice aisle)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
3/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (or juice from 1 lemon)

Mix spices, garlic, and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil in mixture while whisking together. Chill. Shake before serving.

tip: once this dressing has had a couple of days in the refrigerator, it may thicken a bit. If this happens, run your bottle under hot tap water for just a few seconds and it will be of perfect consistency again.

This dressing is a very healthy choice and is perfect for anyone who wants to give their regular green salad a wonderful burst of flavor. It is perfect for low carbohydrate diets, candida-control diets, and regular diets alike. Give it a try...I know you'll love it.