Monday, October 28, 2013

Korker Ribbon Hair Bow

A few days ago I posted on how to make korker ribbon.  I mentioned that I wanted to try to make korker ribbon hair bows to put into my Halloween Treat Bags.  Well here are the results.
This is the first ones I tried.  I cut the ribbon at 6" which gives a longer waterfall effect.  These looked so cute on my little girl.  But she would NOT let me take a picture of her.
These are the second set I made.  For these the ribbons are cut at 4". 
Here are the third and fourth set I made.  All of these are cut at 2.5".
I am not going to post a tutorial because there are so many good ones out there.  And I feel really tutorialed out (is that a word?) right now.  Here is the one I learned from.

I found that using a needle and thread to sew the ribbons together worked best for me (it is the third method in the linked tutorial).  Then I hot glued the ribbon bow to the barrette.  Pretty simple.  I liked the needle and thread because it kept the ribbons in place.  These ribbons can get pretty unruly.

One thing I have learned is that you need to use a whole lot more ribbon segments than you think you need.  I used 18 or so in the above pictured bows but really should have used 30 or more each!  That is a LOT of ribbon.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Scrapbook Tag Album

Next weekend we will be visiting with my mother who lives in another state.  I decided to surprise her with a small photo album.  I really like the look of small random bits put together to form a whole. 
For this project I used three different shaped scrapbook tags and one pocket with insert.  Each was use two or three times to make the album.  For each album page, I cut two tags of the same size and shape from two different papers then glued them together.  The pocket made its own page.  Each album page was two whole punched for the binder rings.  Then I added the photos and other random bits.

This project I cut with my Silhouette Cameo but it could easily be done without a die cut machine.  Each album page is 2.5" high.  I purposefully made the length of each page/tag a little different so that elements would show down through the layers.  In general the album pages are 6" long.

The front page is a simple rectangle tag with trimmed corners on one side.  This tag came with my Silhouette Studio software but I have several similar tags among my scrapbook templates and punches.
The second page is the Cut Out Tag 1 from Bird's Cards which can be found here
The pocket with insert is the Library Pocket Tag from the Silhouette Online Store which can be found here
 The photo above is upside down and for the life of me I cannot make blogger load it correctly.  Does it drive anyone else crazy that blogger takes it upon itself to decide which way is vertical for a photo?  This was the first time blogger put the darn thing in 180 degrees wrong though.  No matter how I change it, save it, and upload it again, blogger sticks it in upside down.  So I give up but I like the page so I am keeping the upside down photo in the post.
 Here is another pocket (and this picture loaded 180 degrees upside down too). Happy crafting.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

How to Make Korker Ribbon

I have been pondering what to put into my daughter's Halloween Treat Bags for her friends besides candy.  I have been to dollar stores and craft stores and target and have found a few small things.  They need to be small to fit in the bag.  I am tired of all the pencils and erasers going around.  I mean just how many does one household need?

Then I wondered about hair bows.  Well they sure are not cheap (at least not when you are buying five or six at a time).  I wondered if could I make them.  And that set me off on another learning quest. I love learning, don't you?

I looked at a number of hair bow pictures and liked the ones with those corkscrew ribbons the best.  Turns out those are called korker ribbons.  Apparently this is very old news to most of the world.  But it is new to me so I am sharing my personal new discoveries with you.

One does not necessarily just buy korker ribbon, although there are a number of esty and ebay sellers out there.  One makes korker ribbon.  No ribbon, no hair bow.

Turns out making the korker ribbon is pretty easy.  First you need some ribbon.  I liked this combination of pink, brown and white.  These are all 3/8 inch wide.
Next you need some wooden dowels cut to 12 inch lengths.  The dowels should be 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, or 5/8 inch in diameter.  The smaller the diameter of the dowel the tighter the curl of the ribbon.

You also need wooden clothes pins; two per dowel.

Start by twisting the end of your ribbon around the dowel a short way then clamp the end in place with the clothes pin.  Who ever came up with this method is a genius.  Continue to twist your ribbon around the dowel to the other end.  You don't really want the ribbon to overlap on itself.  And leaving gaps between the ribbon wraps will give you a looser curl.
When you get to the end of the dowel, clip the other end with another wooden clothes pin.
Wrap as many dowels as you have and put them on a cookie sheet.

Next they go in a 275 degree oven for 25 minutes.  When I first read this I thought someone was making a joke.  No joke; go bake that ribbon. 

I also read that lighter colored ribbon takes more effort to curl than darker ribbon.  I found this to be true with the white ribbon which did not take the curl nearly as well as the brown ribbon; but I think it is probably more a function of weave and material rather than color.  So for some ribbon that doesn't take the curl right away (like my daughter's hair) you may need to repeat the baking process.  Let the ribbon cool between bakings so you don't scorch it.  Also, you can try to mist the ribbon before baking to help steam the curl.  I also read you can try spray starch then let it air dry.  I haven't tried the starch but might give it a go.

Once the 25 minutes is up, take the ribbon out of the oven and let cool completely.  This really does not take more than a couple of minutes.  Watch out for the metal springs on the wooden clothes pins.  That metal can hold heat for a long time.

Once cooled, take off the clothes pins and slide the ribbon off the dowel. 
The last step is to seal the ends of the ribbon so that it doesn't fray.  I had some FrayBlock on hand from my quilting.  But there are many products out there including clear fingernail polish.
Remember to seal the ribbon ends for each cut you make. 

My next trick will be to try to turn this awesome korker ribbon into a hair bow.  Wish me luck.  I will keep you posted.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Banana Pumpkin Bread

It is the season for all things pumpkin and I love pumpkin bread.
But this morning I also had some sorry looking bananas that needed immediate attention.  Which got me to thinking, why not banana pumpkin bread?

I took out my banana bread recipe and my pumpkin bread recipe and created this banana pumpkin quick bread recipe. 
I was hoping it would turn out well but you never know when re-writing a recipe.
It turned out wonderful!  So here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Banana Pumpkin Bread

2 1/4 cups flour (I use freshly milled multi-grain flower but all purpose works just fine too)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbls baking power
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mashed bananas
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk (for sour milk add 1/2 tsp white vinegar to the milk)
1/3 cup softened butter or coconut oil (I use coconut oil)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl add 1 & 1/4 cup of the flour along with the rest of the ingredients.  Mix on slow until combined.  Once combined, beat on high with electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Add remaining flour, mix well.  Pour batter into greased loaf pan (9x5x3 inches).  Put in middle of oven and bake 1 hour plus 10 - 15 minutes (check at 1 hour but expect to need another 10 or 15 minutes).  This is a very wet batter meaning it will take longer to bake than and average quick bread.  Check doneness by inserting a tooth pick or wooden dowel into the center.  If it comes out clean, the bread is done. 

Turn out onto a cooling rack immediately and let cool completely.  For best results, wrap tightly and let sit overnight.  But I can never wait that long!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Halloween Treat Bags

Each Halloween my daughter and a few of her neighborhood friends exchange special treat bags.  Sad to say that my daughter's are usually thrown together at the last minute because Momma (that's me) has failed to plan. 

This year I am trying to stay on top of things.  This rather broad category of "things" includes the Halloween treat bags, my daughter's birthday party (which falls between Halloween and Thanksgiving), and Christmas.  I don't have an answer for Thanksgiving yet.  Oh and did I mention we are trying to buy a business and house in another state, relocate my practice, and make the move before Christmas?  My mind is full.   
I put a black paper behind the spider web cutout in this picture so it is easier to see against the patterned paper.  I won't use the paper once the bag is full of treats.
Back to the Halloween treat bags.  So now that I have my new handy dandy Silhouette Cameo die cut machine I am motivated to handle some of these tasks in a crafty way.  I found a few free cut files for various treat bags (from various holidays).  Then I found a few Halloween themed cut files.  After some editing, learning, and general toying around I came up with this spider web window treat bag.
I like the spider web because you can see what is inside the bag but you don't need to cover the window with plastic or velum.  Also the spider web is not inherently scary (or evil). OK when you walk into one unexpectedly, yes then the spider web is both scary and evil but that is a whole different issue.

After making a few bags, I used this free cut file from to make a tag which I tied to the bag with orange, black, and white raffia.  The raffia goes through the top flap and the back of the back so the bag can be tied shut.

On the back of the tag I printed "Happy Halloween" with my daughter's name in a Halloweeny font. 

I am now feeling very accomplished.  Time to work on the birthday party.  Stay tuned!

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Leaf Book

My kindergartener loves leaves, especially fall leaves.  We have made several leaf books over the years holding her precious collections.  This year she is even studying leaves in school.  So of course she wants another book to hold her latest collection. 

We haven't gathered the leaves yet because it has been raining so much but I did get her leaf collection book done. 

I purposely blocked out her name in the photo above but you get the idea.  I made this book with my latest toy, a silhouette cameo die cut machine.  Oh I love this machine.  But I think you could easily make this book without it.

I used tabbed recipe cards which I cut out of cereal boxes (free chip board) as pages.  I covered both sides of each page with scrapbook paper cut to the same size. The recipe cards are of course turned on their sides for the book pages.  I made them 6 inches high and a little over 3.5 inches wide.

I decorated the front cover with various leaf shapes and letters.  I added some extra detail and depth with colored pens.   

Then I punched two holes in each page (using the first page hole punched as a template).  I could have cut the holes with my silhouette but didn't think about it until later.  Last was to put the whole thing together with 1/2" binder rings.  
 Next we will gather some leaves, add some embellishments, notes, and labels.  Super simple. 

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