Friday Favorites–Meet the Muppets

After working on my Kermit bookmark earlier in the week, I’ve been having flashbacks to the Muppet Show.  I remember when it premiered.  I had spent my young years watching Sesame Street, and then it was as if someone had recognized I was not a little kid anymore and made a grown-up version of my show.  Yep, I was quite sophisticated for a seven-year-old.

Friday Favorites - 10 Muppet Crafts - Crafty Staci

There are no instructions for these Muppet Show Cookies at 1 Fine Cookie, but if you’re talented with one of those frosting-squisher-outer-thingies you could probably pull these off.

The Muppet Show Cookies from 1 Fine Cookie

If you’re a knitter, you might want to give these Jim Henson Muppet Charts from Robin Barnhill on Ravelry a spin.

Jim Henson Muppet Charts on Ravelry

There is some debate about whether the creatures from Sesame Street are technically Muppets.  I’m not here to debate.  Jim Henson was a genius, no matter which camp you’re in and I will be referring to all his creations as Muppets today.  That said, I just love this Yip Yip Alien from WikiHow.

Yip Yip Alien from Wikihow

The best thing about these Sesame Street Hats from Girl in Air is that they’re available not only in kid sizes, but adult as well.

Sesame Street Hats from Girl in Air

Can you imagine a more fun way to hold your glasses than a Muppet?  Check out these Muppet Glasses Holders from djonesgirl on Craftster.

Muppet Glasses Holder from djonesgirl on Craftster

Did you see the Muppet commercial during the Super Bowl?  You can print your own Muppet-jacked car from Spoonful.

Muppet Car from Spoonful

With a little shrink paper you can have your own Muppet charm bracelet.  You can find the template on Disney Family.

Muppet Charms from Disney Family

For a quick, easy Muppet fix, try these Muppet Hand Puppets from Spoonful.

Muppet Hand Puppets from Spoonful

Who hasn’t wished at some point they could be a Muppet?  Rad Megan shows you how you can be Kermit for a day.

Kermit from Rad Megan

You guys, you can design and buy your own Muppet!  They’re called Muppet Whatnot Puppets, and they run just under $100 from Fao Schwarz.  So tempting…

The Muppet Whatnot Workshop at Fao Schwarz

Are you going to see the new Muppet movie tonight?

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Kermit the Frog Magnetic Bookmark

I just finished booking a family trip to Disneyland for the fall, so I’m definitely in a Disney mood.  With that and the new Muppet movie coming out this week, it seemed like the perfect time to create a craft around my favorite little frog:  Kermit.

Kermit the Frog Magnetic Bookmark - Crafty Staci

This bookmark is made from cardstock and has magnets on the inside so it can hold your place in any book.  For the full instructions and pattern, come visit me over at Undercover Tourist!

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait

I find it a little difficult to find healthy snacks when I’m away from home.  It’s even worse that I often end up in the coffee shop, full of cookies and other fat-laden baked goods.  I’ve given up a lot of things for this diet, but I still budget in the occasional Starbucks drink now and then.  Recently, I discovered their yogurt parfaits in the refrigerated section.  The berry version is only 220 calories and it’s delicious.  It didn’t take long before I was wondering if it was something I could replicate at home.  Oh, yes I can.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 1

This actually doesn’t take a ton of different ingredients, and one batch can make 4 – 8 servings, so you’re set for breakfast for at least a few days. 

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 2

Start the granola first, so it can bake while you whip up the fruit compote.

Granola

  • 3/4 cup oats (gluten-free, if that’s how you roll)
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, then stir.  Bake for 15 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Pour onto wax paper to cool.  Once it has cooled, break up some of the larger pieces.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 3

Once the granola is in the oven, you can start the fruit compote. 

Strawberry Blueberry Compote

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (5 – 6 large)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water

Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium low heat until bubbly.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken, around 5 minutes.  Add the blueberries and cook just until they’re heated.  Remove from heat and cool.  Makes about 1 cup.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 4

You can also cook both berries together from the beginning, just be aware that while the flavor is there, your blueberries will not be recognizable in the final product.

To assemble the parfait, start with 2 tablespoons of the berry compote on the bottom for 8 servings, or 1/4 cup for 4 servings.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 5

Add 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt for either number of servings.  I like Zoi.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 6

Top with 1/4 cup granola for 4 servings or 2 tablespoons for 8.  You should have a little granola left over.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 7

After you’re done looking at how pretty it is, mix it all together and enjoy.  Oh, and it’s still pretty.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 8

One thing I really love about the Starbucks parfait is that the granola is in its own container so it doesn’t mix with the yogurt and get soggy.  You can just dump it in when you’re ready.  After a little brainstorming I solved that problem with my homemade version too.

Save and wash an empty applesauce container.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 9

Fill it with the granola and top it with a piece of foil.  Put it upside down on top of the wide-mouth jar lid and twist on the ring.  The foil keeps it in place!  I shook this and it didn’t budge.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Reuse applesauce container to hold the granola - Crafty Staci

Here’s the REALLY good news.  If you make this recipe into four servings (as shown in the first photo above), each one will have 206 calories, which is 14 fewer than Starbucks’.  If you make it into eight servings, as shown in my awesome travel container here, it’s only 125 calories!

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Reuse applesauce container to hold the granola - Crafty Staci 2

Healthy on-the-go snack problem?  Solved.

Friday Favorites–St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve spent my entire life thinking I had some Irish ancestry, even on days other than St. Patrick’s.  As it turns out, I’m more likely Scottish.  I even have a family castle and a once-every-seven-year reunion in the homeland.  I’m also a distant relative of Sean Connery.  As exciting as all that is, it’s a little disappointing too.  I liked being able to claim a little legitimacy in my Kiss Me, I’m Irish pin.  But aren’t we all just a little bit Irish this time of year?

First of all, just for fun, here’s the castle:

Duart Castle

I don’t think they’re going to let me move in anytime soon, but I might be lucky enough to visit one day.

10 St. Patrick's Day DIYs - Crafty Staci

Corned beef and cabbage is really an American version of Irish food, but dishes like this Authentic Irish Colcannon from Boulder Locavore are much more traditional.

Authentic Irish Colcannon by Boulder Locavore

I love the simplicity of this St. Patrick’s Day Clover Canvas Art from Lovely Clusters.  I actually think this would work outside of the holiday as well.

St Patrick's Clover Canvas Art by Lovely Clusters

How fun are these Leprechaun Hat S’mores from Hostess with the Mostess?

Sometimes basic and inexpensive projects wind up being the most impressive, like these Thrifty Hurricanes from Two Twenty One.

Thrifty Hurricanes by Two Twenty One

This Leprechaun Crunch from Yesterday on Tuesday looks fun and tasty, but what I want to know is, who has to eat all of the Lucky Charms with no marshmallows?!?

Leprechaun Crunch by Yesterday on Tuesday

Again, so simple, but this Leafy Spring Wreath from Dollar Store Crafts would be perfect for a subtle St. Patrick’s Day decoration.

Leafy Spring Wreath by Dollar Store Crafts

I know some kids who would enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day Coin Dig from The Pleasantest Thing.  And I know one who hates getting messy and really, really wouldn’t.

St Patrick's Day Gold Dig by Pleasantest Thing

These Shamrock Cupcakes from Easy Cake Decorating are just brilliant.

I think the hardest part of this felt St. Patrick’s Day Garland from A Subtle Revelry would be cutting out all those shamrocks.

Easy St Patrick's Day Garland by A Subtle Revelry

I think the photo says it all when it comes to this Pistachio Pound Cake from The Candid Appetite.

Pistachio Pound Cake by The Candid Appetite

Go find someone to pinch (on Monday!)

Stained Glass

Have I ever told you guys I work with stained glass?  After four years, it’s getting a little difficult to remember what I’ve brought up and what I haven’t.  I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast, so there’s not much hope of that changing.  Anyway, let me tell you about my glass work.

It all started many years ago when I was a loan officer for a credit union.  I had a long drive to work, and on the way was a stained glass shop.  I would always admire the projects hanging in the windows and I thought to myself that one day I’d take a class and learn how it was done.  That went on for a few years, then I quit my job to stay home with the kidlets.  I never lost my interest in glass, but honestly the idea of having sharp glass around the little ones was a little too terrifying.

Ten years ago, I happened to skim through our local community college’s list of non-credit classes, and there it was – Stained Glass for Beginners.  I showed up for the first class to find only eight students, including myself.  By the second session we were down to six.  One of the girls said she was only there because her grandmother had bequeathed some glass tools to her, and her friend came along because her boyfriend worked for a window company.  I was the the lone student on the last day.  Ours was the second-to-last time the class was ever offered, so I’m glad I took the opportunity when I did.

Our instructor was a guy who looked like he belonged on a beach somewhere.   He started class by telling us a story of dropping a piece of glass and splitting his foot between his toes, as a warning to wear sturdy shoes.  He stood in front of us in flip-flops.  However, he was an excellent teacher.  In contrast to my fear that my kids would get within 100 yards of anything sharp, he was teaching his 7-year-old twin boys how to cut and solder.

My first project was this sun, which is still hanging in my dining room.  I love that beautiful, swirly glass…

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 1

The next thing I tackled in class was this coffee cup.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 2

Starting a third project was a little ambitious, but I was hooked and I didn’t have any of the big tools of my own yet, so doing it at home wasn’t an option.  I finished this candleholder just as my instructor was packing up his stuff.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 3

By the time Christmas came that year, my sweet husband had made sure I had the tools I needed to work with glass at home.  I made this hummingbird for my daughter.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 4

And Spiderman for my son.  This was a tough one because of all those skinny fingers.  Of course, later the kids both decided they had outgrown these and gave them back to me, but Spidey hangs above my craft room door.  All that work was NOT getting stored away in a box somewhere.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 5

I made this fairy for my grandma.  I was so happy with the way she turned out.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 6

I made a few more things from patterns I had found in books or online, like this brown bear who is an all-time favorite of mine.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 7

But then I got brave and started creating my own designs.  I started with fairly simple projects, like this mountain.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 8

I really love making things that are three-dimensional, so these flowers sit on top of the fan, as does the tree on the mountain above.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 9

Another design feature I really like to use is curled wire, like this pumpkin’s tendrils, so I use that one quite often.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 10

I started to get brave, and made my daughter this flip-flop Zen garden.  She’s held onto this one so far.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 11

You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but the light shade over my dining room table is probably the most difficult glass project I’ve ever made.  It looks simple, but the beautiful red glass that had me under its spell wanted to break everywhere except where I meant for it to.  These were supposed to be solid panels, but if you look closely you can see that I had to add some seams to fit some pieces back together.  Fortunately, it’s much more interesting this way.

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 12

In addition to everything here, I’ve made lots of gifts, jewelry and Christmas ornaments.  My most recent project was this candle holder for an Etsy teammate in a gift exchange I participated in…

Stained Glass - Crafty Staci 13

…two years ago.  That’s right.  All my glass supplies have been sitting collecting dust for over two years.  Glass is like fabric – it’s pretty, so I would buy it without a thought to what I might do with it.  I have a large box of glass and everything I need to make something.  Or several somethings. 

Now for the big question:  Have I cut myself?  Oh, yes.  More times than I can count, although never so badly I’ve needed stitches.  I’ve also burned myself and probably added a little extra lead to my system.  But I keep coming back.  I think it’s time to break out the glass again.

Quick Tip–Craft Floss Storage

I told you last week about how I’m going to be a bit limited on what I can talk about here between now and the end of July so I don’t ruin any surprises for my daughter’s wedding.  I’ve been thinking about starting a series showing you some quick sewing and craft tips I’ve learned over the years, so this seems like a great time for that.  Welcome to the first in my series of Quick Tips!

I use craft floss, or embroidery floss often when I’m crafting. 

Quick Tip - Craft Floss Storage - Crafty Staci 1

The problem is, it tends to end up looking something like this, despite my best efforts.

Quick Tip - Craft Floss Storage - Crafty Staci 2

If I throw it back in the box this way, the next time I need it I’ll take one look at that mess and move on.  I realized my empty sewing thread spools might help solve the issue.

Quick Tip - Craft Floss Storage - Crafty Staci 3

These are the perfect size to hold a skein of craft thread.  The end slips right in where the thread end is normal held at the bottom of the spool.

Quick Tip - Craft Floss Storage - Crafty Staci 4

Neat and tidy!

Friday Favorites–DIY Recipe Storage

Since two of my more recent projects have involved finding ways to store my crazy recipe collection, this seemed like a good day to find out what other people are doing about it.  There are so many ideas out there that at least I know I’m not the only one with a recipe hoarding issue.

Friday Favorites - DIY Recipe Storage - Crafty Staci

A recipe box is a pretty traditional method of storage, but I loved the added personality of the spoon on this Bent-Spoon Recipe Box from Country Living.

Bent Spoon Recipe Box from Country Living

What I really love about this one are the chipboard tabs inside this recipe box from Paper Vine.

Recipe Box from Paper Vine

This Turn-Style Recipe Holder from Debbie Hodge is pretty enough to double as kitchen décor.

Turning Recipe Holder from Debbie Hodge

This Easy Recipe Card Holder from Make and Takes is perfect for those times you just need to focus on the one card.

Easy Recipe Card Holder from Make and Takes

If you want to be able to plan your recipes for the week, this hanging recipe holder from Shivaya Naturals will come in handy.

Meal Time Organizing from Shivaya Naturals

This recipe binder from Food Storage Made Easy is simple and smart.  The recipes are color-coded on cardstock!

How to Organize Your Recipes from Food Storage Made Easy

If you don’t have a dedicated cookbook shelf in your kitchen who says you can’t add one?  Check out this Easy Kitchen Island Addition from The Endearing Home.

Easy Kitchen Island Addition from The Endearing Home

In addition to all the recipes I’ve printed and written on cards, I also use my tablet in the kitchen.  Based on the food splatter in some of my more often-used cookbooks, I try to keep it off the counter and protected.  This Swing Down Cookbook Rack from Family Handy Man would probably save my screen.

Swing-down Cookbook Rack from Family Handyman

This Kitchen Tablet Holder from Mamie Jane’s is made from a cutting board and Scrabble tile holder.  Love this.

Kitchen Tablet Holder from Mamie Jane's

This Cookbook Chair from Thistlewood Farms definitely wins for most unique storage idea.

Cookbook Chair from Thistlewood Farms

Now I kinda want to go cook something.

DIY Cookbooks

I have a dilemma, and I’m going to be up against it for the next five months.  I’ve got lots of things to make for my daughter’s wedding in July, but I’ve been forbidden by the bride from writing about any of it here until the wedding is over.  I’ve made a few cute things lately, but this radio silence is keeping me from showing them to you yet.  I can tell you, come August you’ll probably get sick of hearing about wedding stuff.

I was working on something today that lead into a non-wedding project, so THAT I can share.  This is my cookbook shelf my husband built into the end of the island when he remodeled our kitchen.

DIY Cookbooks - Crafty Staci 1

See that empty space on the top shelf?  It was completely full of recipes I’d printed, cut from magazines, etc.  This is just a sampling.

DIY Cookbooks - Crafty Staci 2

I also had a giant binder I’d stuffed recipes into the last time I decided to tackle that pile, and it was so big it was falling apart and was almost impossible to pick up any more.  I decided it made more sense to sort the recipes into categories and have a book for each one.  If you remember my Fiesta dishes, you know I’m not afraid of rainbow colors in my kitchen.

DIY Cookbooks - Crafty Staci 3

After much hole punching, I slipped the recipes into their appropriate binders.  My goal was to have a little room to add to them, but I’m a little worried about the dessert book.  That would be the already-stuffed yellow one on the end.

DIY Cookbooks - Crafty Staci 4

The binders I used have the clear plastic so you can print a label and slide in down the spine, but as I said, this was an off-shoot of a project I was already working on, and that involved my vinyl cutting machine.  I had a little trouble getting the vinyl to stick to the binder, so I hope these survive.

DIY Cookbooks - Crafty Staci 5

I love how these look, all labeled and colorful and organized.

DIY Cookbooks - Crafty Staci 6

Thanks for joining me for that little break.  Now, back to wedding crafting!

Friday Favorites–Nautical

Today’s Friday Favorite topic was inspired by my lunch yesterday.  As I was enjoying a tasty bowl of salmon chowder, I started thinking about all the nautically influenced crafts and fashions I’ve noticed lately.  It’s a trend I really like, and I’m always happy to see it come around again. 

Friday Favorites - 10 Nautical Crafts - Crafty Staci

Until I read it, I never would have guessed that these Decorative Nautical Pilings from Miss Kopy Kat began as foam pool noodles.

Nautical Pilings from Pool Noodles from Miss Kopy Kat

I can’t even imagine the amount of patience required to make this Herringbone Driftwood Table from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs, but totally worth it.

Herringbone Driftwood Table from Sarah M Dorsey Designs

This adorable Pocket Sized Magnetic Fishing Set from Doodlecraft would be a great activity to keep in the car to entertain the little ones on their way to school.  Fish…school…

Pocket Sized Magnetic Fishing Set from DoodleCraft

Out there in cyberland, this quote is attributed to a number of people and places, but I love it, regardless of its origin.  Get this Smooth Sea Printable from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff.

Smooth Sea Skillful Sailor Printable from Sumos Sweet Stuff

This Kaleidoscope Mariner’s Compass Quilt Block from Trillium Design on Craftsy would be a great way to add a little nautical feel to a room without necessarily using traditional colors.

Kaleidoscope Mariners Compass from Craftsy

This DIY Shelf from My Home Ideas would perfectly in a seaside cottage.

DIY Shelves from My Home Ideas

This Seashell Sailboat from Spoonful is easy to make and combines two nautical favorites – shells and boats.

Seashell Sailboat from Spoonful

These Wire Work Anchor Necklaces from RefreshingDesigns on Etsy are just beautiful, and there are tons of color options.

Wirework Anchor Necklaces from RefreshingDesigns on Etsy

I’m not sure from the instructions, but I think this Life Saver from Traveling with JC is made from a foam wreath base.  Great idea!

Nautical Life Saver from Traveling with JC

These Lighthouses from My Insanity are a great recycling craft, and any of the components could be substituted with whatever you have available that fits.

Lighthouse from Me and my Insanity

If you have any doubt about the popularity of nautical décor right now, a quick search on Etsy turns up nearly 200,000 items.  That’s a lot of rope and anchors.

Skirt Save

The police department my husband works for holds an awards ceremony every year.  It’s always nice to see the officers and citizens recognized for their hard work and bravery, and it’s a good chance for our law enforcement family to catch up with each other.  Tonight’s the night, so I decided to make a skirt to wear that I’d bought the ingredients for last week. 

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 1

I have a few comments about this pattern.  First of all, I never pay more than about $2.50 for a clothing pattern.  There’s already too much risk involved for me without paying $15 to $18.  This one was $1.  Second, I like the different style options available on this one.  Last, but not least, this is only a 2 hour pattern if you are paying attention and not trying to do several other things at the same time.  The rest of this story can only be blamed on me, not Simplicity.

Cutting this out was a breeze, as it only uses three pattern pieces.  The first step is just stitching the two from pieces together, then the sides.  Piece of cake.  Had I just stuck with one thing at a time, instead of bouncing between this project and another, everything would still be fine.  You can probably imagine by now, that’s not how this went.  This is what the waistband should look like once it’s sewn on.

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 2

After stitching the original seam, stitching a second seam next to it for added strength and zigzag stitching over the edge to make sure my unravel-prone fabric would stay together, I held the skirt up and found this.

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 3

That, my friends, is the outside of the skirt.  With the exposed seam for the waistband.  I just sat there staring at it in disbelief.  A lifetime of sewing, and I was going to lose this skirt to a dumb mistake.  There was no way this fabric was going to survive ripping out three seams and still be viable.  I thought about cutting off the waistband and starting over, since I had a little bit of fabric left to cut a new one, but that would mess with the shape and length of the skirt. 

Instead of throwing a fit, like I wanted to, I laid it down gently on my work table and walked away for a few minutes.  That moment of clarity was enough for me to realize all I needed to do was cover up that seam.  Bias tape to the rescue!

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 4

This tape, folded, is about 3/4” wide.  I ironed the seam down toward the bottom, then pinned the end of the tape on, barely covering the seam at the top to prevent shrinking the casing for the elastic.

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 5

For the rest of the tape, I just laid it in place as I sewed close to the top edge.  When I reached the end, I cut the tape, folded the end under and stitched it over the top of where I had started.  I sewed close to the bottom edge to finish it off.

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 6

After that crisis was defused, I closely followed the directions to add the elastic and hem the bottom.  Once I was finished, I tried it on and was happily surprised.  I love the black trim at the top and would actually add it on purpose if I had it to do over again.

Skirt Save - Crafty Staci 7

What did I learn from this?  It’s especially important when working on a project outside my norm, like clothing, that I pay attention to what I’m doing and not try to multitask.  Also, don’t throw away a project just because I made a mistake.  I can guarantee I’ll get to put that life lesson to use again someday.