Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wedding Budgeting

Planning a wedding is a big job, and a really fun job, but it can be hard to stay within your budget. When we started planning my wedding, Dad told me I could spend a certain amount of money. While it was great to know how much I could spend, I was a little lost, because I didn't want to spend it all up right away and then be stuck; but I didn't know how to keep from doing that either. So I looked around on line for wedding budgeting ideas, and I found this Easy Budget Wedding Worksheet. They give percentages of the total wedding budget that each part of the wedding should cost. It makes it so easy! Just decide on a budget, use the worksheet to figure out how much you can spend on your dress, flowers, rings, reception, and go shopping. It really helped me to know I could spend X amount of money on a certain category. Since our budget is very small, we cut out things from the planner (like the transportation category--limousines just don't fit into a frugal wedding!) that we didn't want, and used the money in another category. You can use this budget as a spring board to build your own. This budget planner really helped me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Garlic Onion Buns

I developed this recipe three days ago, and only made a small batch just in case we didn't like them. Well, all the buns got gobbled up, and I made another batch this afternoon! They go especially well with soup. I think they are becoming a new favorite at our house.

1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm milk (110*)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup very finely chopped onion (or to taste)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or grahm flour
about 2 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 beaten egg
poppy seeds

In a 4-quart mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing the salt with the flour, and work them into a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and somewhat glossy.

Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover it with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 12 equal size pieces and shape each into a round ball. Flatten slightly. Set the rolls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover with a towel and let them rise again for about 30 minutes.

With a very sharp knife or a razor blade score an X in the top of each bun. Brush the buns with the egg, and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the buns from the baking sheet at once and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Monday, May 18, 2009

How to turn a pair of jeans into a skirt

The first step is to find a pair of jeans or other pants to use. When I am looking for pants to make into a skirt I look for pants that are slightly snug around the waist and have straight or slightly flaired leg. These styles make a nicer skirt. You also need a large piece of denim fabric, an old skirt, or another pair of jeans to fill in the jeans with. Here I am using another pair of jeans that I cut the legs off of to get a large enough piece of fabric to use. It is fine to sew together pieces of fabric, or make one long seam down the center. As long as you like the look, go with it!

Next you rip out the inner leg and crotch seam. This step is rather tedious, especially if the jeans you have chosen have a lot of top stitching. I don;t pick out every stitch. Usually I'll pick out a few, the rip as far as it will go, then pick out a few more, and so on. That makes it go a little faster. After you have this seam completely torn out, rip out a little of the center front and back seams. The goal here is to make the fabric lie flat. When you have first ripped out the inner leg seam, you will see, when you lay the jeans out, that the crotch still curves up. Keep ripping until it lays flat. Do this in the front and back.

Now that you have everything ripped out, lap one crotch piece over the other. Pin it down, and try it on. If it fits, proceed to the next paragraph. If not, try to determine what the problem is. If you have a "bubble" under the lap over, you probably need rip the seam a bit higher, and lap it farther. If the skirt feels too tight, re pin the lap not quite as far as before. This is a difficult part of making these kinds of skirts. Because just about every pair of jeans is cut a little differently, there is not one way to do this. You just have to keep pinning and trying on until you have the look and feel you want.

Now lay your skirt on the floor or a large table. Spread the legs out so that there is a V shaped opening between them. Take the fabric you are going to use, and lay it inside and under the V. Pin the fabric in. You may need to iron under a seam allowance. Or leave it to fray. Pin the fabric in the front and back, and try the skirt on again. Once again, if the skirt seems to bubble, you have spread the lags too far apart. Re pin the seam with the legs closer together. If the skirt is too narrow, spread the legs a little farther apart. Keep repinning and trying on until you are comfortable with your skirt.

You can see here that I spread the legs way too far apart. They need to be re pinned closer together.

Correctly pinned front

Now you can sew. I usually sew a double seam. One right next to the edge, and again 1/4 inch away. Sew all the way from the bottom up the lap over. Be sure to sew up into the original topstitching, and back stitch to prevent it from coming apart.

All that is left is to hem your skirt. Trim off any excess fabric. I usually press under 1/4 inch, then 3/8 inch, and sew the hem twice. Once right along the edge of the hem, and again 1/4 inch away. Or you could run two rows of stitching around, and leave the edge to fray.

Enjoy your new skirt!

Some other projects I've done.

You can use overalls, too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Card Idea

A few months ago I designed a card that I thought would make a very pretty wedding invitation. Jonathan and I were courting at that point, but I stuck the idea back in the corner if my mind, just in case. When the time came that Jonathan and I were engaged, and I was making the wedding invitations, I knew exactly how I wanted to make them! You could use this design to make any occasion card.

The card base is 8 1/2 by 5 1/2. Make two folds at 2 1/8 inches from each side so that the card opens down the center. Decorate each side with embossing, then a punch. You could vary the design by using rubber stamps, stickers, or rub on's to change the theme.

For more card ideas, visit There Is No Place Like Home.


Since most of my readers are personal friends, a lot of you already know this. But for you who don't...

Will you marry me?


We have been engaged about a month now, and wedding plans are full underway. We have set the date for July fourth. It's coming right up! Wedding preparation is the reason for the sad lack of blog posts. But I have some new ideas, so I should be posting more again. Don't give up on me yet. :)