Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine’s Day Bowl

I love Valentine’s Day for so many reasons. One being, it’s a small glimmer of festivity in the cold, harsh, gray, bleak days of our New England winter. Second reason being that I can decorate with hearts and pink and pretty things and get away with it. Third, of course, is because my darling and I can treat each other to a special day or night, focusing on us. That being said, we are strong believers in the motto “Valentine’s Day is just a day”; in other words, don’t save the special lovin’ and spoiling for this one day – celebrate that love as often as you possibly can (within reason, we’re only humans here). But basically, flowers are not only allowed on Valentine’s day and neither are steak dinners or back rubs.
I like to decorate for Valentine’s Day, but I’m not into the cheesiness. Probably because I don’t have kids, but more likely because my style is simple. Less is more, in my book. I like my space to be visually interesting, but not overwhelming. I often find myself vigorously de-cluttering or cleaning when I’m anxious because visual clutter is over-stimulating to me. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m alright with that.
That being said, my Valentine’s Day craft for you is a pretty bowl that can be used year-round or not. I bought a damaged dinnerware set a few years ago and every once in a while I’ll pull it out and decorate a plate or some bowls for a holiday or a gift. They’re easy to display and they’re practical – two thumbs up in my book.
Supplies you will need:- white, ceramic oven-safe bowl
- oil-based paint pens (I used Sharpie)
Decorate your bowl as desired, then place in cold oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees, bake for 30 minutes and let cool in oven. (Allowing the bowl to preheat and cool down in the oven will prevent cracking from quick changes in temperature.)
IMG_0042 The Beatles said it best!
I would recommend this bowl be for decorative uses only – particularly if you use gold paint as I did. I do not know if this paint is food safe. That being said, if you decorate the outside of the bowl, you shouldn’t have an issue.
Spread a little love this week <3
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Bridget XOXO

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Heat Pack

Wow, New England is definitely living up to it’s snow standards this year. For a while there I was convinced that this would be a light snow year. I was wrong, obviously. Our house has been hit with almost two feet of snow in the past week. That’s a lot of shoveling. And a lot of back aches. I’ve been meaning to make us a new heat pack for a while since I discovered how easy they are to make.  That being said, it was put on the back-burner (no pun intended) over the holidays. Now that snow is here and backs are aching all over the country, it’s perfect timing for this tutorial.
Supplies you will need:
- 1/2 yard fabric (cotton or flannel)
- cotton ribbon cut into 2 x 24” pieces
- bag of uncooked rice
- The Usual Suspects: sewing machine, thread, scissors
1. Start by cutting your fabric into two rectangles, each 10” x 21”.
2. Place your fabric rectangles right sides together. Then, sandwich one piece of ribbon in the center of one of the short ends of your rectangle sandwich, with a small amount sticking out. (please look at the picture, this part is challenging to explain)
 IMG_20150202_173325_146   IMG_20150202_173318_145
3. Pin and sew your fabric sandwich together on three sides- the two long sides and the short side with the ribbon sticking out.
4. Turn right side out, pushing out corners. Topstitch same three sides with 1/4” seam, but stop 1” from open end. This will allow you to turn in the end and sew your opening closed later.
5. Now for the fun part. And the tedious part. Hold on to your patience… it’s worth the end result! Start by pinning every 3 1/2” along both sides of the pack. These will be used as guides for sewing as we add rice.
6. Add 1 1/4 cup rice to your pack. Sew along the rice from first pin to first pin, closing in the rice you just put in there. This requires some finesse. push the rice out of the way as you go and take your time. Don’t worry about running over rice, it won’t ruin anything.
IMG_20150202_175000_092 IMG_20150202_175115_935 IMG_20150202_183057_071
7. Repeat the process of adding rice and closing in each pocket until you have reached the top. You should end up with 5 total pouches of rice.
8. For the last pouch, add your rice, then turn in the end of the pouch and pin closed, adding the end of the last piece of ribbon to the center. Topstitch the end closed twice – once with a 1/4” seam, then closer to the end for double coverage. This is just to make sure no rice pops out if one of those seams comes loose with rough-handling.
- For heat: heat in microwave for one minute. Reposition and heat in 30 second increments until hot, not to exceed a total of 2 minutes.
- For cold: put in freezer overnight to enjoy as a coldpack.
- Handwash with water and mild detergent, let air dry for 24 hours before use.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stay warm, everybody!
Bridget XOXO

This tutorial was featured on Fridays Unfolded!!