Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quiet Book Tutorial

I am so flattered! Thanks for liking for my quiet book. I must be honest. This is a lot of work, but so worth it. This is the quiet book your kids will want to give to their kids. It is built to last and fun to make. 
I know I don't have to do a tutorial on the quiet book since it was the audition project but I thought I would give you the pattern pieces so you can make your own. I'll work on a tutorial and get it out at some future date, but for now, these will have to do.

Supply List
Exterior and Assembly
1/2 yard green (or the color of your choice) canvas
1/2 yard decorative exterior fabric
1 Large button for exterior
1 sheet of pattern making plastic (look in the quilting section at the fabric store)
2 large clipable rings
16 silver eyelets
8 fat quarters of coordinating fabrics. You will use these for all of the pages and will cut most of the pattern pieces out of these.

House Page
1 foot of yellow ric-rac
Flesh colored felt
1 small round red button (for door handle)
2 inches 1/4 in. elastic (for door handle)

Abacus Page
55 orange beads
Industrial cording
3 feet blue Iron on ric-rac

Buttons & Numbers Page
Embroidery floss in coordinating colors
9 buttons

Road Page
Small piece of blue felt
Small piece of green felt
1 8x10 sheet of black felt
2 feet yellow Iron on ric-rac 

Cherry Snaps Page
5 snaps
Small sheet of red felt

Crayon Page
2 large orange button
Small notebook
2 feet of white ric-rac

I hope this is helpful. Have fun making your books and watch for a more detailed tutorial in the upcoming weeks!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quiet Book

Thanks to everyone who voted for my quiet book in the So You Think You're Crafty competition. I am working on a tutorial and it should be up soon! I'm on vacation, which is why it has been quiet over here on Candied Apples.

In the mean time, head on over to SYTYC and check out week 2! The theme is Make Believe and there are some cute things over there! I can't tell you which one is mine, so just pick a cute one!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Shirts

Calder had a few plain t-shirts and polo shirts that we decided needed a little something special. So we found some patches at the thrift store to spruce them up. Check out these beauties!
 They are now Calder's favorite shirts, especially captain and the orange skier.

This pink one is my favorite. It was so easy to do. I just set my machine to buttonhole to get a really tight zig zag and sewed around the patches. It took me about 10 minutes to do all 5 shirts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

So You Think You're Crafty

Good Monday Morning! I am so excited that Season 8 of So You Think You're Crafty is starting! I can't wait for you all to find out which project is mine! Head on over to So You Think You're Crafty to see all the projects and vote for your favorite!

I'd also like to throw a shout out to everyone visiting from SYTYC! Welcome! I'm glad you're here!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Friday! We have had a marvelous week. There was a concert, picnics, a hike, playdates and long walks. Tomorrow my sister is getting married in Idaho and I'm so bummed I won't be there. I'm going to the reception next week though, so that will be great! I'm also looking forward to a fabulous weekend! Not only is Sunday Father's Day but also our 7th anniversary! Yay for us!

Care to know what I wore this week?

Dress: Made by me
Shoes: Target
Bag: Thrifted
Necklace: Target
Okay, time out. Lets talk about this dress for a second. This is McCall's M5804. It is a Hillary Duff pattern. I was rather skeptical when I first bought the pattern but it seemed cute enough. The dress is short, so I added 3 extra inches to the pattern of the skirt. I am so glad I did. I couldn't even hem it without making it too short. So I used bias tape around the bottom.

I like the cross over front but honestly it puckers a bit and I can't figure out why. I should have cut a smaller top I think. Actually I ended up taking in a good 4 inches at the waist before adding the zipper too, so I think the sizing might be a bit off or intended to be really big. I do love the piping I added and the fabrics I chose. Overall, I love the dress and will probably wear it a ton.

Dress: Thrifted Vintage
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Made by me

Necklace: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Dress: Made by me, and then cut by me. I decided it works better as a short skirt than a maxi. Now I need to make another maxi. 
Shoes: Payless
Hat: Target
Shirt: Made by me
Belt: The Limited
Shorts: Eddie Bauer, modified by me
Shoes: Forever 21
Shirt: Made by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shorts: Forever 21
Sweater: Charlotte Russe
Dress: Made by me
Belt: The Limited
Shoes: Thrifted

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So You Think You're Crafty

Remember how I told you I have some exciting news to share?!? 

 Well, I am going to be competing on So You Think You're Crafty season 8! 

Starting next week I will be competing against 7 other amazingly crafty people. I am a bit nervous but really excited. It is basically a weekly competition with one person getting kicked out each week. People vote on their favorite craft without knowing who made it. It should be lots of fun and I hope I don't get eliminated first. How dreadful! 

Here's a blurb from the SYTYC blog: SYTYC is a head-to-head crafting competition. Every 10 weeks a new group of crafters is selected.  Each week the crafters are given a theme and YOU vote for your favorite.  The winner makes a free tutorial and the loser gets ‘sent home.’  

I'll let you know when the first projects are posted so you can head over to vote!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Homemade jam reminds me of my childhood. My mom used to make jam every summer. I remember spending hours upon hours (or so it seemed) stirring jam over the hot stove when it was 100 degrees outside. I never thought I would make jam as an adult. I mean, you can buy it at the store and it tastes fine, but not nearly as good. Now I can't imagine buying jam. If you've never tasted homemade jam on homemade bread fresh from the oven, you are missing out. And I should have you over for some.

If I'm going to go to the effort of making jam I want it to be as healthy as possible. I have an amazing recipe that uses only real fruit and real fruit juice. No sugar or pectin. Just good ol' fruit. This is an easy recipe that doesn't require anything fancy other than a big pot. 

Blueberry Apple Jam
6 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
13 cups blueberries (you can buy 13 cup bags in the freezer section at Costco
2 cans (each 12oz) undiluted frozen unsweetened grape juice concentrate, thawed

2. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine apples, blueberries and grape juice. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently while mashing fruit, until mixture thickens, about 60 minutes. Remove from heat and test to see if it is the right consistency. If not, boil for 5 more minutes and check again.
3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot jam. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. 
4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. 

Notes: I found my canner at the thrift store. It didn't come with the special rack that makes it so the jars don't touch the bottom of the canner. So, I just put a bunch of canning rings on the bottom and they work great.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Small Space Living

My house tour was posted on Bloom a few months ago but I thought I would post it here as well, so you all have an idea of what our space looks like. 

I'm going to tell you how living in a 715 square foot, one bedroom apartment has worked for my family of three. I also have all sorts of tricks to help you organize your home, no matter the size.

This is the layout of our apartment, only in reverse. The kitchen and bath are on the opposite sides, as well as the living and bedroom, otherwise it is the same. Hopefully it will make it easier to visualize the space and that way you know exactly how big my rooms are.
This is our entryway. I found this vintage piece at the thrift store. My husband uses the drawer to store his pocket contents at the end of the day. It is very convenient since it is right by the door and having a designated place keeps him from putting stuff on the kitchen counters. Our most commonly worn shoes live in a bin inside the cupboard below. The rest of the shoes live in the closet in the bedroom.
As you look left you enter the kitchen. My favorite part of this kitchen is the open floorplan. I can see my two year old son playing in the living room while I cook dinner. Here are a few things I do to keep my kitchen clean and well functioning.
  • Before I start dinner, I fill my sink with hot soapy water. That way I can wash dishes as I go and after dinner clean up is minimal. I feel like this is huge when you kitchen is the first room people see when entering the house. If you're having guests, you don't want them to see a sink full of dishes right when they walk in.
  • Keep 5-6 garbage sacks in the bottom of the trash can so you can easily replace it. I store the large box of trash bags in the laundry area so it doesn't take up valuable under sink storage. 
  • Use one kitchen tool for multiple purposes. I use my cheese grater as a lemon zester and my muffin tins for cooking meatballs. The more you can multipurpose your items the less stuff you need. 
  • Counter space is valuable real estate. Even though I make my husband toast every morning, the toaster goes in the cabinet. If you start letting your counters get cluttered with appliances, it will trickle down to mail and other piles of stuff.

Right behind the door is our coat rack. The fact that I love it makes me want to avoid cluttering it up and it creates a designated place for our guests to put their coats.

From the kitchen you walk into the dining area. It is small but functional.We have a gorgeous table that didn't fit in the dining area of the apartment, but just wait, it is in another part of our house.
This is my creative zone. I use the cabinet on the left to hold sewing and craft supplies. My sewing machine lives under the desk but is always plugged in for easy access. I use the vintage suitcase to hold my current project so it is easy to get out and put away in a matter of seconds. I highly recommend creating an area where you can have quick access for creativity.
Here's the living room. This is a very busy place. It is where we store ALL of my son's toys, watch our very small TV, read and hang out. I avoided hanging anything on this wall to give the eyes a place to rest. It also feels more open and clean to me. The green bins in the TV console hold most of the toys. He has plenty of toys, they are just stored in bins with lids to make it easier for him to put them away himself without looking like a mess.
This is the other side of the living room. There is one more toy box behind the little chair by the window. The bookshelf in the corner holds board games and a few books. To make everything seem larger I avoid using rugs, coffee tables or having too much furniture on the floor. All of our furniture has legs to give the allure of more space. The magazine rack is actually a wine rack that I screwed onto the bookshelf. It is perfect for keeping magazines close but eliminates the need for another piece of furniture.
The cabinet next to the sink holds all of my husband's clothes that aren't hanging up. My clothes are on some shelves built next to the washer and dryer, on the other side of the bathroom. It is nice not having to have a dresser for our clothes.

This is the bedroom. You can access it from the bathroom or the living room, creating one large circle.  This is great for a little boy who needs space to run. We have some very creative storage ideas going on here. We have a large 6-8 person table that we really like and didn't want to get rid of. So, we used it as our headboard. One added bonus is that there is about 4 inches of storage behind it, so all of our unused picture frames and the table legs go there.
Our son's clothes go in this dresser. The cedar chest holds all sorts of stuff, our china, my son's too big clothes and a few other things that we use but not often enough to keep out.
I love my jewelery storage. The necklaces, rings and broaches go on this corkboard. The earrings go in the red jewelery case. It's easy to see what I have and I think it looks good.This is super easy to make!

 There is a walk in closet in the bedroom. This is where we store the rest of our clothes, shoes and Christmas decorations. The bedroom also has a storage closet that we use for all of our baby gear, clothes and accessories that we want to keep for our next kid. 

I think most people can get by with living in much smaller spaces than they are living in. It does take some time to figure out what works for the space you have, but you can definitely make it into a space you love. When we moved here 11 months ago, I got rid of everything I didn't absolutely love. It was so rewarding to donate so many things and I felt so free of clutter I didn't even like that much. Now, before taking anything into my home I must absolutely love it. It doesn't matter how much it costs, if it isn't worth taking up the valuable space in my home, I don't want it.

Do you have any organization tips to share?

California Eggs Benedict

A few months ago my husband discovered poached eggs. He makes them almost every Saturday now and the whole family loves them. I occasionally make mine into Eggs Benedict, which is great but a little heavy. I found this amazing recipe for California Eggs Benedict and wanted to share. It is amazing. You really can't go wrong with avocado, basil, roasted tomatoes and cheese sauce. Check it out. 

California Benedict
From Katie SweeneyCalifornia Benedict Ingredients
6 roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise into four thick slices
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flesh of 1 1/2 avocados, diced
3 tablespoons basil, julienned
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/3 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Nutemg, for sprinkling
4 large slices of sliced sourdough, lightly toasted
4 poached or fried eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the tomato slices on a baking pan covered with foil. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. In a small bowl mash the avocados to make a spreadable paste. Mix in the basil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the milk and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. It will thicken. Remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  5. To assemble, spread each piece of toast with a thick layer of mashed avocado (about 2-3 heaping tablespoons). Cover with 4-6 slices of tomato. Top with a poached or fried egg. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the cheese sauce over the top of each egg. Enjoy with a knife and fork immediately.
Serves 2-4.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This Week, In Outfits

I'm excited to show you what I wore this week. I didn't realize how much I loved this. I do. I love taking pictures of myself in cute clothes. How vain. I guess. Anyway, here's what I wore.
Shirt: Down East Basics
Pants: Made by me. I love these. A lot. 
Shoes: Thrifted Dr. Scholls

Necklace: Made by me
Dress: Vintage from Etsy

Necklace: Some weird shop in the mall
Shirt: Shade
Skirt: Made by me

Necklace: Made by me
Shirt: Re-fashioned by me
Shorts: Jeans turned to shorts, by me
Shoes: Thrifted Dr. Scholls

Necklace: Made by me
Shirt: Shade
Skirt: Made by me
Shoes: Thrifted Dr. Scholls (I wear these a lot!)
Shirt: Made by me
Apron: Made by me
Shorts: Target

I made jam today, thus the tired look in front of the stove. I will have to share my recipe with you soon! Also, I have great news to share next week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fruit & Animals

 This was my latest haul from Costco. My friend Ariel and I have an awesome system where we go together and then split the food while we eat hot dogs and pizza at the restaurant. Our kids love it, we love it. We do it every few weeks and get a ton of fruit and vegetables. My latest favorites were these tiny pears and the strawberries.
The June photo challenge for today was animals. We don't have any animals at our house and  so I decided to photograph our owl. My son picked this out at the thrift store. It was an ugly brown with creepy yellow eyes. We spray painted it as soon as we got home. Now we all love it. Calder carries it around the house and talks to it. So, I guess this is as close to an animal as we get.

3 Month Supply

In the LDS church we are told to have a three month supply of food and other household necessities. This is to help us in times of need. Times of need could be large catastrophes like tornadoes and earthquakes and more personal needs such as a job loss or health problems. I also think there is a certain level of self discipline that one learns from building a supply. 

That being said, I don't have a three month supply. I have been thinking a lot about it and I need to get one. I can't really use the excuse of lack of space anymore. I have friends with small amounts of space who make it work and so can I. The other excuse I use is that we don't eat the same things twice all that often. We love to try new recipes and I can think of 5 recipes we repeat in a 3 month time. To fix this I asked Jason which meals he could eat once a week for three months. Thankfully we came up with a good variety. And, as Jason pointed out if we HAVE to use our food storage as our only food, we'll be pretty happy to eat just about anything.

To get myself started I found this amazing Excel spreadsheet from Food Storage Made Easy. I decided what we would eat every week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Multiplied that by 4 to get a monthly total and the spreadsheet does the rest. I love it! I now know how much peanut butter I need for a 3 month supply. I feel like this is huge for me. 

My plan for building my supply is buy one or two extra things per week. I am not a good couponer but I will watch for sales and knowing tuna is on my list I will stock up when I see it is on sale. 

Once I have built up my supply I intend to use it. I chose recipes we eat so it should be easy to work them in to our regular meal plan. 

I am happy to share my recipes and spreadsheet if anyone is interested. Our dinners include Black Bean Soup, Greek Orzo, Thai Peanut Pork and Heart Beans & Sausage.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday In The Know: Re-purposing

Re-purposing is everywhere. Seriously I know you've all seen the tutorials on turning a man's dress shirt into a little girl's dress. I love this idea because it is an awesome way to give something a new look and it really lets you be creative. Here is a list of some other re-purposing tutorials you should check out:
Trousers to little boy vest
Trousers to little boy pants
Sweater to wreath
A WHOLE wardrobe
Pillowcase to laundry bag
Dishes and candlesticks to cupcake stands
Fence board to headboard

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crocheted Booties

About a year ago I bought this adorable pattern for crocheted boots from Mon Petit Violon. I have made it so many times I almost have it memorized. It is one of my go-to gifts for baby showers. I adore them.
Recently I tried adding leather soles and I really love them. I've tucked a pair away for our next kid. Nope, not an announcement.
I would say it takes about 2 hours to make a pair, which is pretty good for a baby gift. I like to use a bamboo yarn because they are incredibly soft.

High Angle

This is the view from our roof to the ground below, 14 stories below. As I was taking this picture my little boy said "Mommy, don't drop your camera". Don't worry, I didn't.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Today's post is nothing about sewing or crafting but it is something I've been thinking about lately. 

The future of books. 

Conveniently today's Photo Challenge is books, so it ties right in. I promise.
I, like many people, have an e-reader. I love it and don't really have a desire to buy real books in the future. Of course, sewing books with patterns are the exception. I doubt our book collection will really grow but I also doubt we'll get rid of all our books at any point. I like the way they look, I think the books on your bookshelf says a lot about you and I feel it adds to your home. 

Libraries are starting to offer e-books for loan. I can't wait until my local library starts doing it. I absolutely love the idea of borrowing a book and never having to worry about late fees. 

So, do you currently have an e-reader? Do you think you will be buying book in 10 years? Do you think libraries will still be buying books in 10 years? Do you think we will still have libraries?


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