Thursday, December 5, 2013

Flannel Board Fun

After sewing a pint-sized Santa hat, eight beanbags, and a toddler dress made from an adult shirt earlier this week, I needed a no-sew project yesterday.  So I made a flannel board, which I've been meaning to do for at least a year, and several sets of felt cutouts to go with it.  I got kind of carried away, actually.  It was so fun!

To make the board, I just cut the flaps off of a flattened corrugated cardboard box (I used a USPS flat rate board game shipping box), then cut a rectangle of flannel about two inches bigger on each side than the flattened box.  I spread the flannel on the table (softer side down) and centered the box over it, then folded each side of the cloth over and hot-glued it about six inches at a time, so the glue wouldn't harden before I could press the fabric to it.  I did opposite sides first, so I could pull it taut.

Here are photos of all the sets I made yesterday.  I did it all freehand, but if you're not comfortable with the idea, I'm sure you could find simple patterns with minimal Google-ing.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pinterest Pinup: 3-2-1 Mug Cake

The original post called this 1-2-3 Cake, but I think 3-2-1 makes more sense.  As if mug cake wasn't simple enough already, this one is made from boxed cake mix!  I did it twice and it worked beautifully both times.  I don't think it matters, but I used Betty Crocker cake mixes. The first time I did chocolate, and the second time I did strawberry.

Once you've got the mix in your cupboard, all you need any time you want cake is a mug, a fork, a Tablespoon, and two minutes!

If you're making dessert for a small group (not more than 6), you can even use the same mug over and over to make multiple cakes and just turn each one out onto a plate.  I did that when my in-laws were visiting a couple weekends ago, and they seemed very impressed.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Etsy Product: Pocket Dolls

I've completed another set of Pocket Dolls for my Etsy shop!  A variety set of five dolls is $12.

Here's the previous set:

I must say, my favorite part about making these is doing their hair!

You can also order these individually custom-made as Mini Me Pocket Dolls for $3 each.
It's fun for little girls to have a doll that looks like themselves, but there are even more possibilities!  Imagine giving your daughter a doll that looks like Mommy, so she can take you to school with her.  Or get a set made to represent your little girl with her sisters, cousins, or friends.  Or get a set made to look like her favorite characters, such as Disney princesses.  The options are only limited by your imagination!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


The good ship Sunshine & Sunbeam Crafts has launched on her maiden voyage!  Here's a peek at what's available:

Simplified Recipes: Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan Bread

Mr. T and I both LOVE Chicken Tikka Masala -- also known as Butter Chicken -- with Naan bread, but I only make it two or three times a year because it's an elaborate process of marinating and cooking that spans hours and takes a lot of dishes.

I recently thought, "There must be an easier way," so I googled "crock pot chicken tikka masala" and... score!  I quickly discovered that almost all of the links referred to the same recipe by Cooking Classy, so I pinned it and told Mr. T that as soon as we caught up with the dishes, I would make it. That day arrived this weekend.  It was great!  

As I was making it, I thought, "I bet I could make Naan with Rhodes Rolls."  So I googled that, too, and found that Simply Modern Mom had already successfully tried it, doing exactly what I had imagined, with the addition of garlic.

Not including utensils, the entire process takes six dishes/pans: a cutting board, a mixing bowl, a small cup or bowl (used in both recipes), a crock pot, a rice cooker, and a frying pan.

You can click on the two links above to view the original blog posts with these ladies' recipes and photos.  I made some substitutions, mostly to work with what I already had in my kitchen (because I generally don't stock fresh seasonings: I always use powdered).  My simplified versions are given after the jump break.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pinterest Pinup: TP Pumpkins

This idea for a festive fall bathroom decoration comes from Smashed Peas and Carrots.  It's just rolls of toilet paper wrapped in fat quarters, with rolled-up brown paper stuck into the tubes. Easy peasy! (Pun intended.) I did these three in about five minutes. And after Thanksgiving, the fat quarters will go back in my fabric box, and the toilet paper will be used for... *ahem* ... its intended purpose.

The Extra Thirty Seconds

So, a piece of advice I've been giving myself lately is, "Take the extra thirty seconds."  There are so many things that I habitually pass over or procrastinate because I'm hurrying to my next task or activity, but the accumulated weight of them always ends up adding stress to my day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Hello, dear readers. I'd apologize for going so long without posting, but I never had any followers to begin with, so never mind that.

I've had a busy year, but now that Sunbeam is a little older, I'm past the postpartum period, and we've successfully moved from one state to another, I feel ready to attempt this again.  I've completely redesigned the blog, including changing the title and address.  Once I get a little more savvy, I'll try to coordinate it with my various other online presences, like Pinterest, Twitter, and my soon-to-be Etsy shop.  Stay tuned!