Moogle and Teddie Onesies

Teddie & Moogle

Teddie & Moogle

I participated in a gift exchange recently on a board for moms due in September of 2016, and I ended up getting matched with a mom who loved JRPG’s (Japanese role playing games). I made her some onesies for her little guy featuring iron-ons from two games. (Rob, my husband, helped me pick out good character as his knowledge of JRPG’s is far larger than mine.) I chose Teddie from Persona 4 and Moogle from Final Fantasy. And even though my iron-creation skills are limited to the monochrome world (for the most part), I think these onesies turned out pretty cool!
Teddie from Persona 4

Teddie from Persona 4

Moogle from Final Fantasy

Moogle from Final Fantasy


Swap Gift

The entire gift package!

The Only Team I Need: Flesh Eating Champagne

Rob and I never lived together before we got married, and when we finally did get married and move in together, we had a lot of fun playing Rock Band (the video game). We named our band in the game Flesh Eating Champagne, and the name has stayed with us since. When we need to come up with a team name for trivia or a race, I always suggest Flesh Eating Champagne. It’s only fitting that we have a logo.

Flesh Eating Champagne Logo

And here’s our team on a 5K Glow Scavenger Hunt back in October sporting the logo on day-glo orange t-shirts.
5k-race

Amazing Lower-Carb Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup (with Shirataki Noodles)

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

When it’s cold, we always make more soup, and one of our favorites is Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup. By substituting Shirataki Angel Hair Noodles for the real thing, we enjoy a more low-carb version of our favorite cold day treat.

    Ingredients:

  • 48 oz Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/3 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3/8 cup (6 tbsp.) Brown Sugar
  • Sriracha – We use 2 tbsp., but I recommend starting at 1 and seasoning up based on how you like it.
  • 1 Medium Lime – the juice & the zest
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
  • 2, 7 oz. packages of Shirataki Angel Hair Noodles, rinsed in cold water and drained (We use these from Amazon, because I subscribe to them!)
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Sliced Mushrooms (Any kind will do, I used Portobello in the picture, because that’s what we had in the fridge. Shiitake might be the best choice for this asian-inspired dish.)
  • 1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes (I usually quarter these.)
  • Fresh Cilantro (2-3 tbsp.)
    Directions:

  1. Combine chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha, lime juice, lime zest, and bring to a boil.
  2. Toss chicken strips in corn starch
  3. When broth mixture boils, add chicken, mushrooms, and Shirataki noodles.
  4. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the tomatoes and cilantro.
  6. Let the soup cool 2-3 minutes before serving

Enjoy!

Handmade Christmas Wreath from Christmas Cards Past

I have a problem throwing away things, especially paper remembrances – ticket stubs, cards, programs. There is no logical reason to hold onto the Phantom of the Opera program from my high school orchestra trip or the autographed Penn & Teller program from their performance at Duke, but I still have them. I have quite a stack of holiday cards, and I was trying to brainstorm a way to incorporate the cards into a new wreath. (Our previous wreath was nice, but a very plain wreath of greenery with a simple red bow.)

Interior Shot of Wreath

I can’t say that I thought of this idea all alone; my inspiration was a DIY Clock from Junk Mail that I saw on Apartment Therapy. To make the wreath, my only materials were items from the dollar store, old holiday cards, and a few Christmas catalogs to fill in the spaces. (I only had cards for about half of the spokes.) I made a 3″ wide base for the wreath by cutting it out of foamcore with my x-acto. The interior circle was large enough to feature the star ornament; the outer circle was just 3″ larger than the interior. I used my handy compasses from grad school drafting to get the circles right, but a piece of string could also be used to measure the radii. After I had the wreath shape, I stacked foam to about 1.5″ and hot-glued that to the back of the wreath shape in 4 places to give the wreath some depth. Then I covered the whole frame with ribbon. You can see the back here:
Back View of Wreath

The next step was to roll up the holiday cards. I used the entire card for each spoke and started rolling from the plain side, so the end product would have the most color. And I used a dowel to get the initial shape and help keep the rolling even. In my wreath there are 58 spokes; 29 of these spokes are from Christmas cards. The remaining spokes are pages from the West Elm and Blissliving holiday catalogs cut down to a similar size. I wasn’t worried about the spokes being the same length, but it could be easily controlled if precision spokes are your thing.

The last steps were to hot glue the spokes to the base in a radial pattern, add gold ribbon for hanging, add a gold bow, hang the gold dollar store ornament in the middle, and finally I added some bells to up the holiday-ness of the wreath. I thought it was important to keep the wreath accents in the same color (gold), because the rest of the wreath could be pretty busy.
Wreath Hanging on the Door

Now we have a wreath that is inexpensive AND is made from the love and kindness of our friends and family. It’s perfect. As we get more holiday cards over the years. I will probably just replace the catalog pages with real cards.

Escapades in Quilt Squaring

One of my favorite projects of the new year is the metaquilt project; it’s an online version of a quilting bee (the “meta” part refers to the online community where all the quilters come from). Each month, one quilter mails out the fabric for her quilt to all the other quilters, and then we all mail completed squares back to her. It’s a quick way to get lots of quilt squares done. We also have enough fabric to do two squares in each month’s fabric–one for the original quilter, and then one for our metaquilt. At the end of the bee, each quilter will have two quilts–the quilt they made for their month & the metaquilt that combines all the fabrics. I haven’t started on my metaquilt yet, mainly because I haven’t decided on a design yet.

I have finished two squares – Naturalist’s Journal Quilt (January) and the Wonky Rainbow Quilt (March). The Naturalist’s Journal square went well enough. It was my first experience sewing; it was thrilling to actually make something with my machine.
January Square

The wonky rainbow quilt was another story entirely. Inspired by a gorgeous Anne Brauer quilt called Rainbows of Summer, this quilt used a modified version of an overlapping squares tutorial. We made only the center block in the tutorial, but upsized it to a 12.5″ square. At first, I thought my square was going well; everything was assembled without mishap. It wasn’t until I was preparing to mail the square off when I realized my 12.5″ square wasn’t 12.5″ on all sides. It got down to 12.25″ on one of the sides. (I think the problem was that I didn’t cut my initial strips long enough. I was aiming for 15″, but the directions said to cut free form, and I must have been way too relaxed about that step.)

Bad Rainbow Square

This 1st square is not big enough!

I didn’t have enough fabric left to do a completely new 12.5″ square, but I sewed the fabric I had left into the strip panel called for in the first stage. Then I cut out the middle section of my bad square, used it to make the central panel of the new square, and added the two side panels from my new strip panel set. Voila! It is not exactly what the tutorial called for, but I think the look is the same.

Good Rainbow Square

The finished Wonky Rainbow Quilt Square

And now I’ve got some cool remains to use in my metaquilt!

Remains of the Rainbow Square for the Metaquilt

Remains of the Wonky Rainbow for the Metaquilt!

Flower-Shaped Paper Ornaments

Variety of Ornaments
In preparation for the holiday season, I’ve been making paper ornaments. These ornaments are perfect for wreaths, trees, garlands, or as my favorite use — a gorgeous substitution for a traditional bow when you wrap a gift. It’s amazing how pretty folded & cut paper can be!

Variety of Packages

Today, I’m going to just post some pictures of the ornaments I’ve made (along with a link to my Etsy shop where these ornaments can be purchased). AND tomorrow, I’m going to post a tutorial where you can learn to make these ornaments yourself. The ornaments are infinitely customizable — like snowflakes, but they remind me more of flowers in their execution.

I’ve made the paper ornaments out of patterned & solid colored papers,
Star Shaped Ornament

Cream Colored Ornament

but my favorite ornaments are made from catalog paper! (In this case West Elm & Free People; such pretty colors!)
Recycled Paper Star Ornament

Recycled Paper Heart Ornament

They’re a lot of fun to make; they’re pretty easy to make; and they can be used for so many things! If you’d like to purchase a set of these, just check out my Etsy shop here: JulepStyle.com on Etsy!

Halloween Wreath

Semi-Homemade Halloween Wreath

This past weekend, we had a lot of fun getting in the spirit of the season and decorating for Halloween. In an effort to better document my Halloween exploits, I’m going to try to post a project each day.

One of the oldest projects on my Halloween to-do list was to make a wreath. Last year, I bought a spooky-ish (but plain) black wreath from CVS on 60% clearance the week after Halloween was over. The wreath sat in our Halloween bins in the attic all year. I got it out this past weekend and decided to spice it up with some dollar store items: Centipedes, roaches, a fly, spiders, a ghoul, and the dollar store spooky gray cloth. Total budget for this wreath ended up being about $5, and we’re pretty pleased with the effect.

Knitting Bracelets

Although it has been some time since I’ve posted, I’d thought I’d feature a project that I really enjoy knitting for friends–bracelets! I recently made this bracelet for an amazing lady’s birthday present. Before sealing it up in the gift box, I took a few pictures for julepstyle. Each knitted bracelet I’ve made has been very different, but I’m pretty pleased with how this bracelet turned out.
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Weekly Sketch – my husband listening to music

We went to Brookgreen Gardens Friday evening for their summer evening concert series. It was fun, and I drew my husband as he enjoyed the scene beside me.

ETA — Is it super-obvious that I hate drawing ears?

Deviled Eggs – with Bacon!

There’s only one kind of deviled egg recipe in the world that I’ll eat, and it’s this one. I grew up on these deviled eggs, first from my grandma, then my mother. Now I’m sharing the recipe because there are entirely too many deviled eggs recipes on the internets that don’t have bacon!
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Butterscotch Bird’s Nest No-Bake Cookies

When I was a kid, I used to love the Butterscotch Haystacks. This recipe modifies the traditional haystack recipe by shaping it like a bird’s nest and adding eggs to create a really cute (and tasty) spring dessert recipe. (I was totally inspired by the No Bake Easter Nest Cookie Recipe at Prudent Baby.)The other best thing is that it’s super easy to make.
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Changing the Curtains for Spring

Our front door has a big decorative glass window in it. To give us the feeling of privacy in the evening, we hung a curtain on the door. At night, we go into “lockdown.” This process simply entails pulling the curtains on the front door and kitchen window that looks out onto our front porch.

In the fall, I hang a gray velvet curtain (matches our couch) from Anthropologie –the Viceroy Velvet Curtain. (One of my splurges with our house). I found a matching gray curtain at TJMaxx and used the iron-on hem tape to shorten it to fit our kitchen window. (There was no way I was going to buy another Viceroy Velvet and massacre it.)

Viceroy Velvet Curtain

Viceroy Velvet Curtain Closed


Viceroy Velvet Curtain Open

Viceroy Velvet Curtain Open


Gray Curtain in Kitchen Closed

Gray Curtain in Kitchen Closed


Gray Curtain in Kitchen Opened

Gray Curtain in Kitchen Opened

When Spring comes, I switch out these gray velvet curtains for something , lighter, friendlier, and more colorful. I found two curtains at Pier One on sale when we first moved in; I loved the colors and snatched them up. I hung the one in the kitchen from it’s bottom hem instead of using the loops (again using the iron-on hem tape to shorten the curtain to fit).

Curtain at Front Door Closed

Curtain at Front Door Closed (Plus Cat)


Curtain at Front Door Opened

Curtain at Front Door Opened (Plus Cat)


Curtain at Kitchen Closed

Curtain at Kitchen Closed


Curtain at Kitchen Open

Curtain at Kitchen Open

Sorry for the poor quality of all the open curtain images; I couldn’t get my lighting settings right when I was taking pictures.

Spring Wreath (plus how-to)

Spring has definitely sprung. This weekend, Rob and I began our spring update to our home and yard. The first item of business was replacing the Winter Yarn Wreath I made in January with an updated spring wreath! I made our new wreath with a straw wreath, yarn, bias tape, paper flowers, and colorful buttons.
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Flower-Shaped Treat Box How-To

One of the blogs that I read everyday is Prudent Baby. They have really cute projects and generally inspiring posts. They also have lots of contests for various prizes, but I usually don’t enter because their contests are usually sewing-related (and I am not a sewer–yet). However, on March 17th they announced a, “Sweet on Paper Contest,” to win an 11×17 Brother Printer. I really need a new printer, so I developed this flower-shaped box as my entry. The azaleas that are starting to bloom around our yard to signal the start of spring were an excellent source of inspiration.
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