meta content='blog about crafting, diy, recipes' name='description'/> Over The Apple Tree

Friday, July 18, 2014

Upcycle Hand-Me-Downs, Summer Edition

It's such a bummer to have all these clothes for boys here and now I have a little girl that can't use them...or can she? I'm turning my boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes again! 

Upcycle boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes »Over The Apple Tree«

I pulled out the clothes from storage and found a few pieces that had potential for summer refashions...

Upcycle boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes »Over The Apple Tree«

Overalls Cut Offs...This is the easiest makeover of the bunch! Just cut off pants and pull apart the bottom a bit to make them fray more. I didn't really like the red patch on the front pocket so I pulled it off and replaced with a crochet heart applique


Upcycle boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes »Over The Apple Tree«

T-Shirt Make Over...This shirt is very easy and best of all, when you use knit fabric, you can leave the edges unfinished. Trim shirt as pictured, sew the tops of front and back to make a pocket for the tie. Tie is bottom cut off of adult tshirt. 

Upcycle boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes »Over The Apple Tree«

Upcycle boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes »Over The Apple Tree«

Tie Front Button Up...This shirt definitely took the most patience. I wouldn't say it was hard, but I had to go slow and I hate doing stuff slow! Carefully remove sleeves, and trim fabric up closer to collar. Measure and cut bottom of shirt leaving long sections in front for ties. I inserted some elastic in the back and then sewed up all rough edges. I added some lace to make little cap sleeves.
Upcycle boy's hand-me-downs into girl's clothes »Over The Apple Tree«


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Matryoshka Tote Bag

Time for another Matryoshka project! This one was inspired by a beautiful Matryoshka embroidery pattern from Fifi & Florence I saw on Pinterest. At this time, I'm not interested in attempting to duplicate the intricate embroidery BUT, I have this plain, boring, old canvas tote bag and some puffy paint!

DIY Matryoshka Tote Bag {Over The Apple Tree}  Turn a plain canvas tote bag into a fun art project with puffy paint!

DIY Matryoshka Tote Bag {Over The Apple Tree}  Turn a plain canvas tote bag into a fun art project with puffy paint!

DIY Matryoshka Tote Bag {Over The Apple Tree}  Turn a plain canvas tote bag into a fun art project with puffy paint!


DIY Matryoshka Tote Bag {Over The Apple Tree}  Turn a plain canvas tote bag into a fun art project with puffy paint!

This project is pretty self explanatory but I do have a couple tips:
  • Go slow with the paint and try to make sure there aren't any air bubbles inside
  • To transfer my hand drawn image, I heavily traced lines with pencil then inserted a hard cover book into bag. Place drawing pencil side down and used a coin to rub and press down on paper. It doesn't come out very dark, but I was just looking for a guideline to follow anyway.
The possibilities are endless for designs. I spotted a coloring book with some great images I might try next! Do you love Matryoshka? Check out my other projects here

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Turn A Man's Shirt Into A Skirt

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was just brilliant so the last time my husband was cleaning out his closet, I grabbed one of his old shirts. This skirt is so easy, all you have to do is sew straight lines!


Turn a man's dress shirt into a little girl's skirt {Over The Apple Tree}

Turn a man's dress shirt into a little girl's skirt {Over The Apple Tree}

Turn a man's dress shirt into a little girl's skirt {Over The Apple Tree}

Turn a man's dress shirt into a little girl's skirt {Over The Apple Tree}

Turn a man's dress shirt into a little girl's skirt {Over The Apple Tree}

My daughter loves her new long skirt because it makes her feel like a princess!

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Orange Poppy Seed Cookies

I have an orange cookie recipe I've been making for years and I love poppy seed muffins...hello, let's combine the two! These cookies have a soft cake-like texture and the addition of the poppy seeds gives them a little crunch and a unique flavor. 


Orange Poppy Seed Cookies {Over The Apple Tree}

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 c shortening
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c orange juice
  • 1/2-1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Combine shortening, sugar and eggs with mixer. Add orange juice, orange zest and poppy seeds.

Stir together four, salt and baking soda, then add to the rest of ingredients, stir just till all ingredients are combined. 

Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet and bake in a 400° oven for about 10 minutes or till cookies start to brown around edges.

When cookies are cooled you can top them with orange icing made from powdered sugar and orange juice. 


Orange Poppy Seed Cookies {Over The Apple Tree}

Orange Poppy Seed Cookies {Over The Apple Tree}

Orange Poppy Seed Cookies {Over The Apple Tree}
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

10 Tips For Being Crafty On A Budget

For me, craftiness is not optional. I enjoy making things myself but it's not just a hobby, it's my lifestyle. There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not creating something or trying to figure out how to create something. I go to sleep and wake up plotting and planning my next project. The majority of my projects stem from one simple idea...I want to save money! If I see something I like and I can make it cheaper myself, that's what I'm doing. Like most families, mine is on a tight budget, which has gotten even tighter this year. Since we have to prioritize our spending, if I want to be crafty, it has to cost little to no money or I can't do it. Period.
10 Tips for being crafty on a budget from Over The Apple Tree

No worries, I have ideas! Most of my projects I post are done on the cheap. Here are my tips for being crafty on a budget:
  1. Finish those old projects: You know what I'm talking about, those projects that you got all the supplies for, maybe even started and never finished. If it's because you chickened out, got lazy or plain old just forgot...do it now! 
  2. Upcycle or Restore: Before you throw something away see if maybe you can re-purpose or restore it! It kills me to throw things away that might be used for something else, especially fabric. Don't worry I won't be on an episode of Hoarders anytime soon, but I do have a small stash of potential future project supplies and I have no problem picking stuff up off the curb that can be fixed up.

    Curbside window turned decorative frame for pressed flowers
  3. Shop smart with coupons! The big craft stores like Michael's and Joann's always have coupons. You can cut them out from the paper, print from their website or have the cashier scan it directly from the store's app on your smart phone! The coupons are usually good for % off one regular priced item or % off your entire purchase. I have literally bought one thing at a time to get the 40% or 50% off each item at Michael's! Sounds crazy and maybe it is, but sometimes it's well worth it. Remember to check online for supplies as well, you can find amazing deals on eBay. If you buy online, shop around and always check for coupon codes before you purchase. You could be missing out on great deals or free shipping if you don't. 
  4. Shop discount: Dollar stores carry a variety of cool things you can use for crafting and their inventory changes all the time. Thrift stores, garage sales, Habitat For Humanity and Craigslist are great places to find supplies and cool stuff to refurbish or upcycle. Never underestimate the power of spray paint...instant makeover! 

    Thrift store framed art turned chalk board
  5. Online tutorials: You want to learn how to crochet, knit, sew, decorate a cake? Instead of paying for a class, just look on YouTube! Just about anything you might want to do or make, someone out there has made a video for it. 
  6. Use your scraps: When doing any project, there are almost always leftovers. Pull 'em out and see what you can do with them. Not enough fabric scraps for a whole quilt? Quilt a pillow instead. Have a ton of different color yarn? Make a multi color blanket. Summer vacation is upon us and within days or maybe even hours you are going to hear the dreaded, "I'm bored!" Beads, glue, paint...give it to the kids and let them go crazy! Check Pinterest for kid's crafts

    Using scrap fabric I made a fun monster patch to repair jeans
  7. Library books: Not everything has to be found online, you remember books right? It is well known that I love my library(you can read about it here) and there is a huge section dedicated to crafting. You can find books full of ideas and patterns...for free! That Martha Stewart magazine subscription isn't in the budget anymore? They have magazines at the library you can check out too!
  8. Buying in bulk is not always smart: Yes, that 2 lb bag of buttons for $4.99 is a good deal but if you only need two buttons, pay the $.99 for the two! Unless you know for a fact that you are going to use them in the future, you just wasted $4, it's just not worth it. A great thing they have now are the sample sizes of paint at the hardware stores. It is completely unnecessary to buy a whole pint of paint if you don't need that much, It will only end up in the trash.

    Princess mirror makeover with sample size paint from Home Depot
  9. Stock up when it's on sale: Ok, I just got done saying don't buy it if you don't need it BUT when I got into extreme couponing I learned that you buy when it's on sale not just when you need it. For items that you use regularly or know you are going to need in the future, stock up when it's priced crazy cheap! 
  10. Sell your finished products: When I started crocheting again I wanted to try so many new things but let's face it, my family doesn't need a different hat for every day of the week and I couldn't justify spending the money on the supplies. An Etsy store was my solution. I can have fun crocheting anything I want, sell it online and make a few bucks to buy more stuff to make! 
I would love to hear about how you get your craft on while staying under budget!

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blueberry Basil Scones

Since my return from an epic West Coast road trip, I've been dreaming of the Blueberry bourbon basil donut I ate at Blue Star Donuts in Portland, OR. Most would say it's a stretch to mix basil and blueberry. Maybe that's why you don't see it that often in the culinary world. But Blue Star is on to something. The aromatic, earthy flavor of basil perfectly compliments the juicy, semisweet berry when combined.
Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

Not adventurous enough to tackle homemade donuts, I turned to something I can handle in the kitchen, scones. The scone is a beginner level pastry that is perfect for the baker who needs instant gratification. No cooling the dough or letting it rise, just mix and throw in the oven for a few minutes for an instant but made from scratch pastry. Once you have a reliable basic scone recipe, like my inspiration from Smitten Kitchen, the potential flavor additions are endless.

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree
Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

Blueberry Basil Scones
Recipe adapted from Dreamy Cream Scones
Smitten Kitchen

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Temp: 425 degrees

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup minced basil, split in two portions
Dash of sugar for blueberries
Splash of vanilla for blueberries

1. In a small bowl toss the blueberries, half of the basil, and a dash of sugar and vanilla. Set aside for later.

2. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to a medium bowl and mix well.

3. Add the cold butter cubes and the remaining basil to the dry ingredients and using your clean hands or a handheld pastry mixer, work the butter cubes into the flour mixture until a crumbly dough forms. 
(Large chunks of butter is ok in the mixture, they will melt when baked and add to the lightness of the scones.)

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

4. Stir in the cold heavy cream into the mixture and combine with a spatula. Take care not to over mix. The dough might be sticky, it's ok to sprinkle a little more flour in it, but don't go crazy.

5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. I use the parchment paper I am going to bake them on for ease of transferring to the pan. Split the dough in half, and form into two mounds.

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

6. Starting with one half, quickly pat the dough into a circle about 1in thick. Layer your blueberry basil mixture on top of the first circle. Pat the other half into a circle of the same thickness and lay it on top of the blueberries, sealing the edges with your fingers around the circle.

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

7. Using a floured knife, make 4 cuts through the dough to form 8 slices, but do not separate the dough yet.

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree8. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden on top.
I like to start with 10 minutes and then check every two until done. 

The results are a creamy delicate scone with hints of basil and bursts of blueberry throughout.
Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree

Blueberry Basil Scones, Over The Apple Tree


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Friday, May 23, 2014

Matryoshka Wood Burning

My new Matryoshka project!

I've been working on this on and off for a while and finally sat down and actually finished it! I have tons of scrap wood in the garage and I have been thinking about trying a wood burning design for a while now. Since I'm going crazy with Matryoshka dolls right now...why not!

Matryoshka woodburning and water color project, Over The Apple Tree

First thing's first, decide on a design...
There are so many options for these dolls, it was really hard to pick how I wanted this to look. in the end the simplest design to burn won. I'm not a wood burning master, so I figured why make it harder than it's already going to be.


Matryoshka woodburning and water color project, Over The Apple Tree

Transfer your design...
After I decided on the design I cut it out and then traced with pencil on the back. I flipped it over and traced again, transferring the pencil mark to the wood.

Before I started to burn the wood, I used the wood burner tip(not turned on) to score my pencil marks. Since my wood was so bumpy, this made it easier to stay in the lines and gave me less opportunity to mess up when the wood burner was on.


Matryoshka woodburning and water color project, Over The Apple Tree

Burn the design...
Turn on your wood burner and go for it! I've used mine a few times for other projects, but if you haven't used a one before, practice on some scrap wood first. This way you can get a feel for how fast to move and the pressure to use.

My original plan was to just burn the design and stain the wood, but then I wondered what would happen if I put some watercolor on there. It gave it color without covering the wood grain, which I love.

Matryoshka woodburning and water color project, Over The Apple Tree

Seal with polyurethane...
When I was done I added one coat of matte polyurethane to protect the watercolor. I'm thinking I'm going to add a hook on the back so I can put this up on the wall. 

Matryoshka wood burning and watercolor project, Over The Apple Tree


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