3 Random Things: Hair Cut, Recipe Problem, Box Tops
Random Thing #1: No more Princess Leah braids, no more Pinterest hair style experiments, no more weeping and wailing over all the snarls! Abby cut off 12" of hair! She is donating her beautiful red strands to Locks of Love. It's always bitter sweet for me when my girls do this, but they love the idea of helping someone out and that's a good thing!
Random Thing #2. While cleaning my desk late last night, I may have discovered why I have so much trouble with my cooking. It seems a recipe was left on my cutting mat at some point. I don't know what it makes, or where the rest of it is, but maybe it went to last night's dinner which would explain why it didn't really turn out!
Random Thing #3. In other kitchen news, I found this in my pantry this morning.
It seems the elementary classes are in competition for the most box tops. I just know I'll be living that scene from Better Off Dead.... you know the one where all the cereal is falling out of the boxes because Lane's little brother has clipped all the coupons. Hmmm, I think I cook about like Lane's mom too. Maybe we need to watch that movie this weekend!
Oh, and before I forget, we have a winner. Congratulations Jen who said, "Long time fan of Cosmo Cricket! Loved seeing you at some of the very early Scrapfests and working with your great products!! Thank you for the giveaway, very cute line!" Jen, if you'll send me your info (julie at cosmocricket dot com), I'll get you your prize.
Happy Friday everyone, enjoy your weekends!!
9/21/2012 9:18:19 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Going Nuts Over Acorns
I've had this idea of wiring acorns together since I made my acorn headband
. I imagined a great tutorial for you all where you would learn to make purse handles, bracelets and napkin rings with free acorns you could pick up off the ground.
Where then is the tutorial, you ask? Well, let me share a personal story to explain why it's missing.
Back in the days before Cosmo Cricket, I spent my time raising kids, taking walks and doing fun little projects... mostly inspired by Martha Stewart magazine. (Stay with me because I do have a point!) One such project was for batik napkins. I melted wax, I stamped it on linen, I died the linen. It was beautiful, just like in Martha's magazine photos. The only problem was that linen with wax in it is a bit stiff and does not absorb much! In fact, just the opposite. I had made waterproof napkins!!!
I reviewed the instructions. There was some fine print I had missed. It said that to remove "recalcitrant" (yes, I remember the exact word) wax you could use a specific cleaner and your iron to melt it out. I went and bought said cleaner. It did not make any difference.
Have I mentioned that I am persistent? I called the magazine. I asked to speak to the editor of the batik napkin column. I asked her advice on my problem. Now, what I say next is completely true and to me, unbelievable. She told me that for each photoshoot they litterally make hundreds of the craft, they pick the best ones and their only concern is how it looks in the photo. She said that their napkins were waxy too. I told her that waxy napkins just don't work. She told me that they don't actually expect people to do these projects.
I however, hope you actually do our projects and this one, although the photo looks great, needs serious tweaking before you would be happy with it. The wire is too stiff to wrap easily around the acorns, but too weak to be secured to the purse as a handle. I need to use some metal D rings to attach the acorn segment, having them wrapped in thinner wire. Also, I need to adapt the gusset before I recommend that you follow my pattern.
But, until I get that done, feel free to use my photo and tips as inspiration.... or just make yourself the card, it's super easy!
And don't forget that we're giving away a huge S'more Love set. Leave a comment on this post
to enter into our random drawing. We'll announce the winner tomorrow.
9/20/2012 9:32:32 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
A Note and Giveaway for Our Friends
I don't want this to sound sappy, but your comments about our blog really mean so much to me. Thanks to everyone that said such nice things. You can't imagine how nice it is to hear!
And wow, some of you that remember things like our Strip Tease papers have been with us for a LOOOooong time! We are really honored.
To say thanks back, we have a great giveaway today. All the S'more Love papers, the chipboard, stickers and the stamps. All you have to do is leave us a comment and we'll pick a random winner on Friday (since it's so late, we are giving you extra time). Good Luck!!!
9/19/2012 12:54:55 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
We Approve This Message
9/18/2012 7:40:17 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Ruffles have Ridges... and tons of cuteness
I use to really try to make this blog funny. So, maybe some of you wonder where my sense of humor has gone?!?!
Well, I haven't lost it... no quite the opposite. As much as I have had the need to exercise my sense of humor lately, it's probably stronger than ever. It's just that sometimes I'm not sure how to balance my life with my job... it's all the same to me. (I'm typing this in my pajamas at 9:25 am. And, I'm trying to hurry because my kitchen looks like school lunches got the better of me this morning.)
So tell me, why do you love the blog? How much personal Julie-life is too much? Can we get some rules for me to follow... I'm really good at following rules. In fact, I don't even like to take a different road than advised by my GPS, even if I do know a shortcut. (There's a longer story that I could relay here, but I'll wait for the rules.)
While you guys get them compliled, I did up a project for our paper loves and our fabric lovers. I hope you enjoy them!
On Pinterest, I found an awesome tutorial for this gathered clutch
that I made with our Odds and Ends fabrics. I have two more ready to go, but I need to get to the store for more zippers. They sew up really fast.... once you've picked out your fabric and got it all cut... that took me nearly forever!
I loved the look of the clutch and wanted to try something similar with paper. So, armed with Gluber strips
, I thought I'd give it a try. Here's how it turned out and a tutorial if you want to make puffy ruffles on any of your projects (you can make them un-puffy too... you'll see!).
To make my ruffles, I started with the Gluber strips on the backside of my center rectangle of cardstock. Then I pressed, gathering as I went, a 2" strips of tissue sewing pattern paper (which I LOVE!) onto the Gluber strip.
When you have this part assembled, flip it over and stick it to your card base. It's awfully cute as is and I'm sure I will make many cards this fall, without going onto the next steps.
But, since I wanted to try containing both edges of the ruffle like with the clutch, I added two more Gluber strips on the top and bottom edge of my card base.
At first, I put the paper down, very lightyly, without making it puff. It's cute that way, but I wanted it to feel more airy and so I very gently lifted the paper of the glue. (If I had pressed it into the glue, it would never have come off, so make sure you are committed before you press!)
I decided to use a pencil to add some space inbetween the ruffle and the base.
Then I trimmed the edges and added some cardstock stickers to finish off the look.
All you have to do now is decorate the strip however you like!
9/17/2012 9:37:35 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Congratulations to our Blog Hop Winner
Well, the hop has come to an end. Please head on over to the Moda blog
to see how to piece all your blocks together and to give a HUGE thanks to Lissa Alexander and her team for coordination the hop.
Are you ready...
The winner is Monica Massanyi
"I live in Sagamore Hills, Ohio, a township between Cleveland and Akron. I love the small town feel, close to the cities. I love having the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in my backyard."
Congratulations Monica. Please send your info to julie at thecomstocks dot us and I'll send you those cute jelly rolls!
Happy quilting and sewing my friends!
9/15/2012 7:03:47 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
DIY: Fabric and Acorn Headband
I have never had access to acorns before. They are not common in Utah, but in Austin, they are everywhere. I have literally had to assign my kids the job of sweeping them off the deck so that we can walk without killing ourselves. But then, I realized that acorns are just like little organic beads. Hmmmm, that got my crafty brain thinking.
From a previous experience, I know that crafting with the Great Outdoors can lead to little worms and bugs in one's home. So, I did some research on how to de-bug your acorns before you use them.
There are lots of differing opinions from freezing them, to cooking them long and warm, to cooking them short and hot. Being an impatient person, I cooked them short, 10 minutes per side, and hot, 350 degrees. I promise, no bug survived it because the sap came bubbling out any tiny bore holes in the acorns.
Now that my acorns were de-bugged and cleaned up I was ready to cover them in fabric. I cut a 2 1/2" strip of fabric from selvage to selvage and sewed it in half lengthwise with a 1/4" seam allowance. This got turned right side out... and the best part, you don't even have to iron it.
Tie a simple knot 1 1/2" inches from the end of your fabric, drop in an acorn and then tie another knot. Keep going until you get to the other end, or until it's long enough for the size of your head minus 1-2 inches.
To make the headband comfortable to wear, add some elastic at the base of the neck. If you don't have elastic, you could use a ponytail. Just fold in the raw edges, then fold them over the elastic and top stitch in place. (For a more professional finish, I suggest switching out your bobbin to match your top thread, and planning to have your knot under the fabric! I was being sloppy I guess!!!)
I like to take a photo of one of my girls modeling our projects so you can see how cute they look when worn. Alas, my daughters have been so busy with school stuff that they were not around. I tried my other model instead.
It seams her head is a wee bit too small. I even tried it on Eric, but his head was a wee bit too big and he promised to kill me if I put his photo on the internet!
So, here I am wearing it. This is not really my look... I don't even wear much jewelry... and I feel too old to be wearing this! You can see my discomfort in my expression if you look closely. But, I promise on a girl about twenty years younger than me, it's darling!
9/14/2012 9:59:00 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Thrifty Thursday: Coaster Instagram Album
Now that the kids are in school, Eric and I love to take a break and go out for lunch on occassion. It was last week, when we were at the Snack Diner on South Congress, that I realized my coaster would make a perfect DIY mini album for square Instagram Photos. I discretely put our soggy coasters in my purse as we were leaving. A couple of lunches later, I had enough coasters to make my mini!
A standard size for coasters, is 4". So I knew that this would be a small album. I want to get smaller rings (these were all I had) so that this can fit in my purse. It is so fun for me to look at and it reminds me of all the good things I have in my life!
(I swear, I have to strap this kid down and hook him up to an IV to get him to hold still long enough for a photo! He's fine now which is great, and I did get some good pics out of the whole ordeal.)
I simply cut square backgrounds (the muted colors in Mr. Campy and Art Angel are perfect with the vintage effects of Instagram photos) and used some tiny type stickers. The whole book took less than an hour. (The chipboard letters on the front didn't match and so I painted over them, but with everything else going together so quickly, I didn't mind.)
Now for a story.
Jack brought me this paper yesterday. He was sad because he didn't like how his faces were drawn. All my compliments on his artistic style did not appease him.
Having raised his older siblings, I was prepared with a great solution to this problem... or so I thought. I told him about a great artist named Picasso. I told him that Picasso was really good at drawing people, but that he decided drawing things the way they really look was boring (yes I know, I am improvising here) and as the artist, he could draw them any way he wanted. Then, we did a google search together so that he could see some Picasso portraits.
I pulled up one of my favorites for him and was telling him why I liked it, pointing out how it didn't look like a "real" face when Jack burst out, "He draws faces even better than me. I won't ever be able to draw as good as Picasso."
Note to self: Don't set the bar quite so high next time!
9/13/2012 9:46:32 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Fall: Quilts, Baking and Gardening
Over the weekend, I read all your blog comments. You can still enter the contest for our Odds and Ends and Salt Air fabric giveaway here.
On Friday afternoon, I got a sweet surprise in the mail..... a quilt made with Odds and Ends fabric. Can you believe someone would make this for me? (The way I've layed this for the photo, you miss that the design also features an XO pattern that is awesome.)
She even welcomed me to her home state of Texas!
For some reason, every fall I get this urge to try baking and cooking.... it seems I never learn my lesson! This weekend, I tried making bagels. Hmmm, maybe after a few more tries I'll get it down. I don't give up easily!
The dough turned out fine. I have had years of trial and error making bread dough (like I said, I don't give up easily) and so I did have some idea of what I was doing. I shaped them into bagels and let them rise... so far so good.
Then it said to boil them for 7 minutes, flipping them once. I'm not sure where I went wrong. Somehow, my bagels absorbed the water instead of cooking in it. They were so wet, that slimy and foamy bagel parts were falling off them when I took them out. But, I told myself not to worry because they needed to bake for 30 minutes and that would fix it.
After 30 minutes, the bagels were still wet. I baked them for 5 more minutes. The tops were starting to look done on a few, but the insides were still slimy. 10 more minutes. The tops were done, but the insides were still slimy. Another 5 minutes... the tops were burnt, the insides were still slimy. Hmmmm. Any suggestions?
Maybe I'll just stick with my planters.
I have high hopes for my container gardens. My basil plants that were dying in their too-small pots in my kitchen window are making a comeback in their new patio planters. Feeling encouraged, I might try some grape tomato plants in containers too... but first I have to find a way to keep the squirrels and birds from eating them.
If I do... my kitchen problems may be solved.... caprese salads are one of my few specialities!
9/10/2012 9:44:44 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Moda Blog Hop: Greetings from Austin, Tx
Welcome to our blog hop day everyone! I'm Julie Comstock and that is my hubby Eric. We are the designers for the Cosmo Cricket line of products and lots of other fun stuff including our Moda fabric line. Our current collection is called Odds and Ends. You could win some today along with a past favorite, Salt Air.
Before we get to all that though, let me tell you a bit about my current hometown of Austin, Texas. I have lived in Austin for 3 months, having just moved from Providence, Utah. Maybe we are still in a bit of culture shock. Take a look!
Here is Jack, our seven year old. He used to swim indoors in Providence and even inside it was cold enough to shiver! Now he likes to swim outdoors at Barton, Springs. The locals tell us the water here is really cold. HA ha ha ha ha!!!! They don't know cold!
Here I am in Providence at the local cafe for lunch. I used to always order a hot cup of coffee to warm up my insides. In Austin, I only drink iced coffee, or my absolute favorite, iced green tea!
I don't think you can see all my bug bites, but I am covered in them. In Texas everything is bigger... and with wings! I have killed more bugs in the last three months than all my life in Providence.
I've also done more shopping. In Providence, we did most of our shopping online because, well, there just aren't a lot of options. (There isn't even a Target!) Now, I can go to stores for anything you can imagine, but boots are a must!
Both cities have great ice cream. Utah State University is famous for Aggie Ice Cream and it is delicious, but the illustrations painted on the walls of Amy's Ice Cream in Austin make this place our favorite. (And, for adults only, you can even get ice cream with alcohol in it, something that would NEVER be found in Utah. Alas, I have yet to try any because I just love chocolate.)
One thing is for sure Austin is more quirky, more artsy and more celebratory of uniqueness and that suits this mis-fit family perfectly!
Tell us where you live and what you love about it and we'll enter you into a drawing for those two jelly rolls. We'll announce the winners on the 15th. While you're waiting to find out if you won, download this awesome block that the Moda team did up for y'all. Oh my heck, did I just say y'all?!?
Download Julie Comstock - Sew Sweet Sampler (9-02-12)
It's super easy to make, in fact I conquered it myself and if you remember my last blog hop effort
, that is saying something! (I did have a little trouble with my tension which made my block pucker slightly... if any of you have any tips for me for next time I'd love them!) I'm planning on three more blocks to make a runner.
Thanks for dropping by,
And don't miss the other bloggers!Brannock and Patek
9/7/2012 7:39:27 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Fall is coming. I know this because my kids are back in school, not because the temperatures are cooler!
We are expecting a high in Austin of 104° and somehow, even though this is uncomfortably hot, we are adjusting. In fact, Eric flew into Salt Lake last Friday where the temp was 76°and felt cold.
When we lived in Providence, anything above 72° was hot. Now that anything below 80° feels cold I'm curious to see how we feel during and Austin winter!
Anyway, I am excited for fall and winter. I like pretending to be all domestic. I always try my hand at baking something and this year I plan to sew a quilt. I'm starting today with the free block pattern we'll be posting tomorrow on our Moda Blog Hop
The hop actually started on the 5th, and I have to apologize for not getting you the following links. There is a free block pattern at each stop and contests for prizes. You definitely want to check it out! Barbara Backman
Me and My Sister
The stops for today are:Blackbird Designs
Wish me luck, I'm off to conquer the block that Lissa Alexander sent my way yesterday. I'm feeling really optimistic about this one!
9/6/2012 8:23:24 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
19 Signs You've Been Married Too Long
September 2, 1993 Julie met Eric in Logan, Utah to tie the knot. 19 years later, they are forgetting their own anniversary.
I guess that's the first sign you've been married too long. Here are 18 more!
18. You finish each other's sentences... or just pretend you did and quit listening early.
17. You know how the other takes his coffee, tops his burger and prefers his eggs.
16. You can recite the exact order and idiosyncracies of the other's bedtime routine.
15. You can't sleep without him in your bed. In fact, even if he is in bed, if he can't sleep you somehow know and can't sleep either.
14. You now look like each other... and he's even starting to look like other member's of your family.
13. You have finally won the battle of getting a family pet. I was an early achiever... it only took me 16 years!
12. You have lost the battle between cottage charm and mid-century modern. George Nelson lamp anyone?
11. You can admit that you never did like Elvis Costello and that mixed tape that he made you was sweet, but never played.
10. He can admit that he doesn't like board games... even if it's playing them with you.
9. You don't have to ask him if something makes you look fat because you can just see it on his face. You can still get mad at him for it though! (Yes, I realize logically it isn't his fault that something makes me look fat, but it is his fault for thinking it!)
8. He no longer freaks out at buying feminine products. He may even call from the store to ask if he should pick up any.
7. When he uses your tweezers to pluck his nose hairs you don't get grossed out.
6. He expects you to use his razor and has started shaving in the shower since that's where you leave it.
5. You tell him when he has something stuck in his teeth and if he can't get it out, you remove it for him without even a second thought.
4. When he hears your spider scream, he comes running with shoe in hand yelling, "Where is it?Where is it?"
3. Using the same tooth brush no longer grosses you out.
2. You can pee in front of each other. I can't even pee in public bathrooms easily, so that is really saying something!
1. When you fart in front of each other, unless it's really comment worthy, nobody even bothers to notice.
PS: Here is the sketch for the above layout. Enjoy if you'd like.
9/5/2012 11:07:58 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
DIY: Simple Reversible Headband with Changeable Accents
I am not anything if not persistent!
I had this great idea for a headband that you would be able to pull our ribbon slides on and off of.
I knew it would be a bit tricky, because it would need to be able to open. I tested 1/4" elastic to see if two layers of it would pull through the slides. Nope, once the fabric is added it was too bulky.
I ran to the store to pick up some string elastic. I was so confident that it would work that I didn't test it at all. You can already see where this is going, can't you?! But don't worry, in the end it all works out and you can use all my hard learned lessons to make your own without any trouble!
To make the headband, you can use this simple pattern. It will be completely reversible with the button flipping to either side so that it doesn't press against your head either way.
The directions are on the pattern, but if you are a visual learner like myself, you may enjoy these pics.
(Cut out your fabric and sew it right sides together. Leave openings as indicated on pattern. Press.)
(Thread elastic through the opening on one end, knot and then hide knot inside headband.)
(Thread floss through the other end. After the headband is top-stitched, you will use the floss to tie on your button.)
Once you make your headband, you will find as I did, that the knot in the elastic cord is too fat to fit through the slide. UGH! Oh well, now I can run pretty stuff through the slides and then I'm just sure I'll figure out how to get them on the headband!
At first, I thought maybe I could add a tab around the headband and alligator clips to the slides I had made so that they could clip on and off the band.
I didn't like this because the pinch part of the clip stands away from the head 3/8" which bugs me and it makes one side of your bow fluffier which bugs me too. But it wasn't a loss because I think the tab is really cute as is. Also, it inspired me to make more tabs and glue them to the back of my slides.
Now they all slide on and off with ease. And when you consider that the headband is reversible, you get lots of options. (My model left me part way through my creative process, not being nearly as persistent as myself!)
If you want even more possibilities, make one tab out of the soft side of velcro. Then make some Gluber flowers and add a bit of the scratchy velcro to their backs. Oh yeah... one headband, tons of looks!!!
9/4/2012 9:11:36 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post
Super Easy, DIY Wooden Button Bracelets
Before we begin in our button bracelets, I want to let you all know that the Moda Blog Hop
is coming. And, as always with Moda blog hops, there is sure to be a lot of fun and really awesome prizes! So mark you calendars.
Now onto our button bracelets. Do you remember these wooden buttons that we just released?
Well, I saw a post on Pinterest for making button bracelets and got all inspired. Am I the only one that actually makes things from inspiration on Pinterest?
Let me give you a tip for making these super easy. Make a "needle" for pulling the twine through the button. You can do this with super-heavy-weight thread like I did. Or, if you're not too lazy to walk up the stairs to your bathroom, floss threaders meant for flossing with braces are perfect.... they are also wonderful needle and bead threaders by the way!
You can see below that I can even pull four lengths of the twine through the tiny button hole with this technique although I found it quite impossible to pull more than one length through without my "needle."
Most of my bracelets are simply two lengths of twine, each folded in half and each pulled through one of the button holes and then knotted with a lark's head knot (pull both ends through the loop).
But, I wanted to try one with the buttons strung together for a fancier bracelet. With the first button, I made one side just like all the other bracelets, but this time I added another button to the right, skipping the closest hole and threading from behind up through the next one.
Next your take your twine down through the hole you skipped. Then, on the backside, take the ends between the two strands of twine to make a little knot.
Continue these steps until you have as many buttons strung together as you like. Don't worry if they are flipping around to the wrong side as you're working. Once you are done, you will flip them all the right way and the tension created when the bracelet is tied to your arm will hold them there.
To finish off, on you last button, you will go through the first hole, bring your twine to the backside and knot off leaving an empty button hole on both sides of your bracelet.
Now you can finish your bracelet just like I did for the single button bracelets (with two lark's head knots).
Have fun with it! And wear them with pride knowing that you don't just look at crafty stuff.... no, you actually make it!!!
9/3/2012 12:14:29 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post