Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick and Easy Elf Costume

Here is a fun idea for recycling an old velour top into a child's elf costume...  They make great outfits for the traditional christmas photo...  Why not add a little elvish fun to the photos with upcycled elf costumes.

First, you need a ladies large or plus size pullover style velour top in red or green. Cut out the sleeves at the arm holes, which should leave you with a sleeveless tank top. Set the sleeves aside, be careful to leave the seam down the arm intact. Take the shoulder seams up so the armholes are the right size for your child. From the bottom of the top, sew up at an angle toward the armpit, creating an A line skirt.. Cut away the excess fabric up the sides and in the armpit until you are left with a childs tank dress. You should have 2 triangles with seams cut from the side seams. Open them up and sew them together to create the elf hat. Sew a large jingle bell on the point of the hat. Hand sew a white feather boa around the neck and armholes and hem of the dress for a more elfish look. You can glue gun it on, but then you won't be able to wash it if the dress gets dirty, the boa won't hold up in the wash.

Turning the sleeve inside out, cut a small slit with scissors in the cuff seam insert a piece of elastic or string tied to a safety pin all the way around the cuff, gather and tie tightly. Place the sleeve over your child's shoe and use a piece of ribbon around the ankle. Let the top of the sleeve bunch up and flop over to form a natural cuff on the elf boot. Finish the look off with jingle bells on the toes, and your little elf is ready for their photo op.

Extra touches can be added for a different look... Leggings and a skirt with a turtleneck and the elf boots, or leggings and a vest for a boy elf... A womens petticoat or underskirt from a prom dress can be cut down to make a tutu to go over the whole outfit...

So next time you are in the thrift store and it is bag day, take a look at things with a different eye. There are elf clothes hiding in almost everything.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Affaire

I participated in a holiday boutique over the weekend in Costa Mesa.  I met some lovely ladies and sold a lot of candy.  I will really miss living in Orange County when we move back to the Bay Area next year.  There is a group of artists that gather together once a month and do workshops.  I missed the opportunity to join them, and now I am moving away.  I am still glad I got the opportunity to meet them, and can always visit and network with them even after I move away.

Everyone was asking how I made the fudge and truffles.  They are both super easy. 

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
18 oz of chips, (chocolate or otherwise)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract... (Use the real stuff, it makes a BIG difference in the taste)

Microwave chips and milk on hi for 3 minutes stirring after 1 1/2 minutes.  It is VERY important that there is NO water on the utensil, or the container you melt it in.  The chocolate will seize up and not melt successfully.  when chips are melted, mix until smooth, add vanilla extract, stir vigorously until smooth.  pour out into wax paper lined pyrex brownie pan.  allow to set up for several hours. Cut and serve.

Variations can include: (add after chips are melted and stirred smooth)

1 cup of chopped nuts of choice
substitute vanilla for 1/4 cup of desired liquor
add 2/3 cup chopped marischino cherries and pour shreaded coconut on top and press in
chop one bag of mini peanut butter cups and press in to top
press andes mint chips into top
make with butterscotch chips and walnuts for easy penuche
This is by far the easiest and most tasty fudge recipe ever.

Enjoy and happy holidays