Ribbon Border Window Panels ~ Master Bath

When I bought the roman shades for our master bedroom, I almost ordered one for our bath, too. I’m very glad that I decided to go with something lighter. I ended up making a sheer panel for the bottom half and a matching valance at the top. This gives privacy while still letting in light and our view.

Since I do a lot of my projects after the kids are in bed, I got to see the nighttime view first, and I am so excited that I wanted to post it right away, so here is how our master bath window looks with the new window panels:

Tutorial for adding ribbon to window shades by Jewels at Home

Finished window panels with ribbon detail in master bath.

tutorial for adding ribbon to window shades by Jewels at Home

Finished window panels with ribbon detail in master bath.

Daytime view is pretty foggy outside, but I’ll keep trying!

tutorial for ribbon border sheer panels by Jewels at Home

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Ribbon border shade tutorial:

You will need:

  • plain shade or panel: you could use a ready-made shade or sew a simple panel.
  • ribbon: I used bias tape/ ribbon, because I had it around the house. Grosgrain ribbon would look beautiful, too.
  • Heat’n Bond Liteiron-on adhesive. You can buy it in strips, but I cut my own strips from a sheet I already had

Lay out your pattern:

  • Here’s the pattern I used. My bias tape was 1/2″ wide. There are lots of variations, some of which I’ll show below, so go ahead and get creative!
  • Once you know what pattern you want to use, measure out a length of ribbon, including a little extra just in case.
Ribbon layout for shade by Jewels at Home

Ribbon layout for shade

Apply the ribbon:
  • Apply the Heat’n Bond Liteto the back of the ribbon according to the instructions on the package.
  • Peel off the backing in short sections and iron onto your fabric, following your pattern.
  • Mitre the corners by laying the ribbon up to your corner, then folding it back on an angle.
  • I cut tiny triangles of Heat ‘n Bond and slipped them under the mitered edges to help the corners lie flat. You can see in the second picture the difference between adding the extra triangle (left) and not (right)
Heat 'n Bond applied to back of ribbon - shade tutorial by Jewels at Home
Mitered corners on ribbon shade

Mitered corners. On the left, you can see that adding a small triangle of Heat ‘n Bond helped the corners lie neat and flat.

More inspirations!

Here are some other great examples of ribbon borders on window panels and shades. There are so many possible patterns and techniques.

pottery barn ribbon border roman shade

These ribbon border roman shades were sold by Pottery Barn a couple of years ago. I like the use of the wide ribbon and simple pattern. This will be the inspiration for our boys’ shades.

valance with ribbon border

Another simple and elegant ribbon border by Wendy at The Shabby Nest. I would love to do something like this in our kitchen, too!

Go to The Shabby Nest

bathroom with ribbon border shade

I fell in love with this beautiful picture on Pinterest, but I cannot find the original source. If you find it, please let me know, so I can give proper credit. I love the detail on the ribbon border. It was too ornate for our bathroom, but I am looking for a place to use it!

roller shade with border by What the Vita

Pretty shade with border by Elisa at What the Vita. I love the orange ribbon and the way the shade looks layered with the drapes. She used glue to attach grosgrain ribbon to a plain roller shade! I’m going to look at her tips when I do my boys’ shades, since I won’t be able to iron directly onto them.

Go to What the Vita

Some other ideas would be to

  • add a ribbon border along the bottom or
  • add two rows of ribbon around the border, in different colors or widths.

Let me know what you come up with for your windows!

“Jewels”

I shared this post at:

Home Stories A2Z

DIY Wall Initials – This time, for the Girls

Remember these wall initials I made for my kids? I put one up in the nursery already, using 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips.  Besides hanging them on a wall, you could make these letters part of an artful arrangement on a shelf or stick them to the door.  I made mine as big as a 12×12 inch sheet of scrapbook paper would allow, but I would love to make a really large one some time with wrapping paper or fabric.

DIY paper-wrapped wall initials by Jewels at Home0120531-181246.jpg

DIY paper-wrapped wall initials by Jewels at Home

These oversize letters were also the May Giveaway, and Jenny won them for her two girls. While I was working on Jenny’s letters, I made two more for my twin nieces, who are turning one next month! It’s often easier to do several of any project at once, while you have the motivation and all the supplies out. You definitely learn a lot as you repeat projects, too. Don’t you wish you could always start with the second one, after all the mistakes have been made?

I already posted the instructions for making these letters, so I’ll jump straight to the final result!

DIY paper-wrapped wall initial decor by Jewels at Home

DIY paper-wrapped wall initials

Fun with DIY initials by Jewels at Home

With this combination of letters, I just couldn’t resist!!

DIY cardboard wall initial decor by Jewels at Home

Close-up of this pretty paper on the “C”

DIY cardboard wall initial decor by Jewels at Home

Close-up of some more beautiful paper on the “m.”

As you can see, I used lower case letters this time and a different font: American Typewriter Bold.

american typewriter font

And I’ll add one tip if you have to wrap around a small opening. I cut the tabs in a zig-zag pattern, so that they don’t get too short.

Cutting tabs to wrap letters in paper by Jewels at Home

Cutting tabs to wrap letters in paper

Beside the fact that I nearly glued all my fingers to each other in the process, it was so fun for me to make something for little girls, since we have a house full of (wonderful!) boys. I’m also really glad to give Jenny’s girls a piece of home that they can take as they move overseas and just as thrilled to have something unique to celebrate the big one year birthday with my nieces!

Looking forward to another fun giveaway starting next month!

“Jewels”

Easy Coastal Transformations for Ikea Dressers

My dad has a love of the ocean. He grew up spending summers at the beach, and it’s one of those memories that still stirs him. He’s downsizing his main home to a condo and invested in a getaway house near the ocean. A big part of his vision is to have our boys play on the beach the way he did, so I know we’ll be at the house a lot, too.

I’ve been charged with putting his house together, which at times has been a curse (construction project from &$@%!) but is, of course, also very exciting. I can’t deny I love a good decorating project and am fortunate to have this opportunity from my dad. And of course, since we’re by the ocean, I’d love to incorporate elements of a beach house into the design.

One of the many beautiful things the ocean gives us is the beautiful bleached grey patina of weathered driftwood. This dresser from West Elm caught my eye, because of the organic feel of the wood tiles and the fresh look of white against wood.

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West Elm prices are reasonable, but I had a whole house to finish, so I was hoping for a lower-priced option. What do you think when you think of inexpensive furniture? Ikea, of course! Ikea is a real mix of flimsy stuff that is barely worth the low prices and some really fantastic finds. For furniture, I try to stick with their solid wood pieces, which are sturdier and will last a lot longer than paperboard and foil. These Hemnes dressers definitely feel like they’re sturdy and a good value.
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One of the current finishes at Ikea is this gray-brown, which I think has the look of driftwood. The super-easy trick I used was to buy two Hemnes dressers in white and two in grey – all for the price of one dresser from West Elm. I then swapped the drawers between the two sets, and tada! Instant coastal charm with a clean look that will endure!

A simple swap was all I needed for the master bedroom dressers, and the white matches the West Elm Window Headboard perfectly.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

White dresser with gray-brown drawers in the master bedroom.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

For the kids’ bunk room, I wanted to use a surfing theme, so I painted surfboards on the drawers. The designs were taken from some of the bedding in the room. This is a fun coastal look that is great for young kids and still works for teens.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers in the boys’ bunk room.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

How to:
To paint the drawers, I sanded the drawer fronts lightly and sprayed them with white primer. I painted the surfboards with acrylic craft paints then sprayed a clear finish on top.

By the way, I realize not everyone needs multiple dressers, but you could swap with a friend or just paint the drawer fronts for the same effect. It was easy to work with the panels before I assembled the drawers.

Hope you’re getting the calm feeling of the beach from these easy and inexpensive dresser makeovers!

“Jewels”

I shared this post at:

Inspirations from Daily Life – May 2012

I’ll keep updating this post through May and hopefully start a new post each month with some of the photos I’ve taken of inspiring projects and scenes I’ve encountered in daily life.

With all the great decorating blogs and Pintetest, there is certainly no shortage of ideas for design and projects on the Internet. Still, it’s a treat to walk around and find beautiful inspirations in our regular routine.

Kids’ Furniture

These fabulous chairs are in our kids’ school library. They have pages from old children’s books torn, aged, and decoupaged. You could get very creative with these. My friend and I were talking about making a set for the school auction with drawings from the students and their names decoupaged. You could do the same thing for a special teacher who is having a baby, as a shower gift from the class.

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Baby Shower Cake

This was actually the practice run for my friend’s baby shower later this summer. On a marble chocolate and yellow cake, I spread whipped cream and created a duckie picture out of strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple. It tastes fresher and lighter than a traditional cake with sugary frosting, and you can’t beat the cute factor! I’m collecting more cute ideas for the main event!

Duckie cake for baby shower by Jewels at Home

Brick ceiling with exposed beams
This beautiful ceiling has a homey timeless feel. Seen at Portobella restaurant in Carmel, CA. We have beams at our house that have been painted white like the ceiling. I don’t think stripping them is in the budget, but we’re thinking of painting them a dark color for contrast.

Brick-lined ceiling with exposed beams

Brick-lined ceiling with exposed beams

Rustic outdoor canopy/strong>

This alluring outdoor seating area is in the Anthropologie store. I love the intimate and idyllic feeling of a canopy over the table.

Rustic outdoor gazebo with canopy

Rustic outdoor gazebo with canopy at Anthropologie store.

More ideas to come!

“Jewels”

Scrapbook Paper Clothespin Wreaths {Inspired by Kojo Designs}

The idea for these brilliant clothespin wreaths came from Kirstin at Kojo Designs, who made it as a tea wreath, and it is one of my favorite projects.

O Tea Wreath, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You are

  • easy to make
  • inexpensive
  • eco-friendly, reusing items that would other get recycled or trashed
  • a showcase for gorgeous papers
  • frugal, using up small scraps of paper
  • the perfect gift – beautiful, unique, and useful!
  • versatile – start with tea and adapt for many other displays

Collage of wreath ideas

 

I think Kirstin’s tutorial pretty much covers it all. I had only a few variations for making mine. I also loved thinking up new ways to use these wreaths!

Here are the simple steps with my tips.

Creating the wreath base:

  • Cut a cardboard wreath using sturdy corrugated cardboard or two pieces of thinner board glued together. I used a plate for tracing the outside circle and a scrapbooking template for the inner circle, though you could also use a cup. If you are using scrapbooking paper, make sure your wreath is no bigger than 11 inches in diameter, so you can wrap the 12 inch paper around.
  • Cut your paper in a circle 1/2 to 1 inch bigger all around than your wreath. The more room you have the easier it will be to wrap the paper around. I used a beautiful wrapping paper called Hydrangeas by Kate & Birdie. I’ll have more projects with that paper coming up!
  • Center your cardboard base on the paper and glue in place. I preferred to use a glue stick for this step, to give a smooth finish.
  • Cut tabs around the outside and the center. I didn’t cut all the way to the cardboard, so the the tabs would not show on the sides.
  • Glue down the tabs in the back. I used the glue stick here, also.
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Wrapping the wreath base. After glueing the circle in place, cut tabs around the outside.

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I used a craft knife to cut the tabs in the center and held the wreath up to the light to see where to cut.

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I liked the glue stick for glueing down the tabs. It sticks quickly and doesn’t wrinkle the paper.

Creating the clothespins:

  • You can find wood clothespins online or at a hardware or craft store. Try the dollar store, too!
  • Cut strips of paper the width of the clothespins. This is a great way to use up all sorts of small scraps of paper that are too beautiful to waste. To cut the thin strips, I used the trusty quilting ruler and mat I used in making the fabric growth charts.
  • Glue the strips to the pins. I used white glue to attach the paper to the clothespins, because it soaks into the porous surface of the wood and leaves a smooth finish. I spread the glue on one pin and then pressed it against a second one, to get a thin layer that completely covered the side of the pin.
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I used a quilting ruler and mat to cut precise strips of paper for the clothespins.

glueing onto clothespins

I used white glue for covering the pins with paper. By pressing two pins together, you get a thin even layer of glue.

Covered clothespins

Wow! These clothespins are so beautiful!

Finishing the wreath:

  • Using a glue gun, attach the pins around the wreath, with the clips facing outward.
  • Loop a ribbon around for hanging. You could also use some adhesive strips on the back, if you don’t want to see the ribbon. I like the 3M picture hangers I used for putting up the oversize wall initials.
glueing pins to wreath

Finish the wreath by glueing the pins in place with a hot glue gun and adding a ribbon to hang it.

 

Endless ideas!

I made several of these wreaths for Christmas and birthdays recently, including teacher gifts, and they were always a big hit. I made them in a variety of colors for many different looks

While I gave the wreaths away with tea bags, my friends and I have found new uses for these beautiful wreaths. Here are some of our ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too!

  • Appreciation wreath – My friend Monica used hers to write messages of appreciation to her kids. She used index cards cut in half and wrote in a different color for each child.
  • Inspiration board – I’m using mine to pin ideas for craft and DIY projects.
  • Photo display – what a pretty way to display your favorite pictures!
  • Card holder – for holiday cards, birthday cards, business cards.
Inspiration wreath

I’m using my wreath to organize ideas for projects. I might need some more pins!

I think there are lots of great uses for the decorated clothespins themselves, too. You could

  • Mount the pins on a rectangular backing for a memo board or photos.
  • Put magnets on the back to use on fridges or magnet boards. If you don’t have a fridge that holds magnets, you can stick the clips directly on the fridge with a removable adhesive, which is what I did with these clips for kids art.
  • Set up a “clothesline” art gallery and use these pretty clips to easily hang and change the kids’ projects.
  • Clip together papers or swatches to organize your office or craft room.

Thanks again to Kirstin at Kojo Designs for this wonderful project idea. It has become a standby for me, and I hope you will let me know if you come up with new ideas for these beautiful wreaths and pins!

“Jewels”

Stenciling on Fabric – Lampshade and Pillow

Have you seen these fabulous pendant light drum shades at Room and Board? I’ve been drooling over them for years, with all the gorgeous prints and colors. They’re a splurge at several hundred dollars a shade, but they are really beautiful. Go check out all the beautiful and funky prints they have!

Zinnia Cool Pendant

Galbraith & Paul drum shade from Room and Board in Zinnia Cool pattern.

As always, I was wondering if I could make something like this myself, and in browsing ideas, I found some great examples, including this one from Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. She did a beautiful job on her shade and had great instructions that helped me conquer my apprehension about this project!

laura's lamp

Yellow floral stencils on a lampshade by Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. A perfect DIY inpsiration!

I was so excited to get started, I rushed to the craft store to pick up my supplies and get to work! I stenciled the lampshade in my craft studio and while I was at it, I also stenciled a piece of fabric for a throw pillow. I used Laura’s basic instructions and discovered a few tips along the way, so here’s how it went:

Supplies:

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Supplies for stenciling on fabric.

  • Stencils – I used Mini Peony and Mini Mums by The Crafter’s Workshop.
  • Stencil brushes or sponges – These sponge “pouncers” are inexpensive, easy to use, and washable for reuse.
  • Paint – I had a variety of acrylic craft paint around, and I did mix some to get the colors I wanted. It’s optional, but I also added some “textile medium” to my paint, which makes the paint more flexible when dried. This wouldn’t be an issue for the shade, but I thought it would help on the pillow. I mixed the paints in paper bowls.
  • Tape – I used painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place and mask off any areas of the stencil I didn’t want to use.

Stenciling

Basic stencil:

  • Tape the stencil securely in place
  • Put a small amount of paint on your pouncer. If you load on too much paint, it will run under the stencil and smudge your pattern.
  • Lightly dab through the stencil, moving only up and down. Don’t brush side to side, as this will also make paint run under the stencil.
  • Carefully remove the stencil and blot the back on a clean piece of paper to remove any excess paint
  • Repeat!
20120517-164124.jpg

Tape your stencil in place and lightly dab on the paint.

Adding a color:

  • Wait until the first color is completely dry.
  • If you are going to overlap designs, like I did, think ahead about which color you want to be “on top” and start with the colors that are on the bottom.

Finishing the fabric:

  • This is not necessary for a shade, but for a pillow or other fabric that will be touched and possibly washed, you’ll want to set the paint. When the paint is thoroughly dry, iron the stenciled fabric from the reverse side with a dry iron on medium-high for three to five minutes to set the colors. You can repeat this on the front, laying a thin cloth over the stenciled fabric, so the paint doesn’t stick to your iron.

Finished stencils!

Here is how the shade looked before:

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A simple drum shade. Pretty, but I wanted to add some color!

And here’s the finished shade:

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Drum shade transformed with floral stencils in blue, green, and silver. I dare say, I like this better than the inspiration shade!

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The random pattern of stencils gives a different look from every side. And it makes it easier, because you don’t have to worry about lining up the pattern.

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Lit up at night. No, I’m not tired of looking at it. Can you tell?

Here’s the finished fabric. I’ve got a lot of pillow projects lined up, so I should work on those soon!

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The stenciled fabric, on the bottom, will be a throw pillow for the daybed. The colors coordinate with the hydrangea print paper I found. I’m making desk accessories and some other projects with the paper.

“Jewels”

This project is shared at:
The Shabby Nest

Painted Gold Stripe Tray {by Ari}

DIY decorating projects aren’t just great for saving money. I love the feeling you get when create something that is exactly your vision and absolutely unique. And it’s even more fun when you can share the experience and results with friends. I’m so pleased to introduce you to Ari, my friend, neighbor and fellow working mom/ lover of crafts and decorating. We’ve worked together on quilts for the school fundraiser and shared great times painting furniture and antique hunting. Recently, she got the inspiration to paint decorative trays, and I caught the bug, too.

We picked up some old trays at the flea market last week, and Ari wasted no time getting to work! Here’s the tray she started with, which is one if a pair she picked up for $15 total.

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This play tray has a cool mid-century feel, but it’s definitely plain. Just wait until Ari works her magic!

Using an inspiration she had found, which is included in my earlier post on ideas for decorating trays, she decided to paint gold stripes on it for her dining room.

To start, she painted the inside of the tray with a base of white and let that dry overnight. Then she used blue painter’s tape to mask off this great stripe pattern. Chevron and zig-zag patterns are so popular right now, and this is a great play on that idea, without feeling overly trendy. There are metal corners on her tray, so she masked those off, too.

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Use blue painter’s tape to mark off your pattern. This is a nice play on the popular chevrons and zig-zags.

Now for the fun part, she sprayed the entire tray with metallic gold spray paint. After letting it dry thoroughly, she removed the tape, and WOW! I can hardly recognize that plain old tray. The result is so sophisticated and will look great in the dining room.

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A glamorous transformation for a flea market find. The gold really shimmers and the stripe pattern is so sophisticated.

We have more big plans for decoupage and stencils on trays. I’m also thinking this technique would look great on a wooden box. Come back soon to see how everything turns out.

“Jewels” and {Ari}

Decorative Pillows to Sew – Idea Book

Inspirations for Pillows

Happy Mother’s Day! (Well, for many years, I didn’t find this day happy at all, because it made me feel my mother’s absence even more, but with three little ones of my own, it is happy again, and I celebrate the many wonderful memories of my own mom, whose creativity and talent are constant inspiration for me. So, if this is a hard day for you, hugs! And I hope it will get better.)

I’m making some throw or accent pillows for our home. Sewing straight lines is a doable project for me, and I like to make pillows using some of the same fabrics that are in other parts of a room (such as the upholstered chairs in our dining room and my craft room), to tie the space together.

With a beautiful fabric, a very simple pillow design will work well. There are also many ways to add interest and details to your pillows, and I’ve been collecting some of those ideas to try:

Embellish with Ribbon:

Ribbon motif pillows

By Caitlin Wilson Textiles. Click the picture for details.

grosgrain ribbon pillow

I like this pattern shown at Better Homes and Gardens. They used fusible web to attach the ribbon. Click the picture for more pillow ideas on their website.

These ribbon details on simple pillows gives a classic and elegant feel. You could also do a simple square.

Use Contrasting Fabric on Back:

reversible throw pillows

I love the look of a different color on the front and back. This picture is from Grosgrain, where Kathleen has some tips on making a quick pillow cover.

Embellish with Buttons:

button pillow

Add a letter or other pattern with buttons. This is a beautiful example by Peggy at Letter Perfect Designs on Etsy. (And I’m not just saying that, because it’s a “J”!) Click the picture to see more beautiful button art!

3-D Felt Embellishments:

butterfly pillow

These three dimensional felt butterflies are so sweet! Click the picture to see the tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens.

Piping/ Welting:

pillow with piping

This pillow is made by Weego Home. Click on the picture to see their stunning collection.

A stunning print like this would be beautiful on its own, but I love the piping detail. Here’s a tutorial on eHow for applying store-bought welting or piping. I’d love to learn how to do that!

Silhouette:

silhouette pillow

This incredible pillow by Weego Home is cut velvet appliqued on linen. I think you could get a similar look with painting on fabric, though obviously, it won’t have the rich feel of this original. Click to see their collection.

Pieced Pillow:

pieced pillow

I like the use of panels made from two fabrics, especially the way it is asymmetrical. This pillow is from Anthropologie, though it is no longer sold.

These are some of my favorite ideas – what are some of yours?

Hope to post my new pillows soon!

P.S. Don’t forget that there’s a May Giveaway. Comment on any post by May 15, and I’ll select a winner to receive a custom wall initial.

“Jewels”

Shoebox Makeovers – Mani-Pedi Kit and Decorative Box

I’m lucky to have a sister for so many reasons – she’s the one person with whom I can be completely myself and share all the funniest and saddest moments. As a fun bonus, little sis loves designer shoes, and I get the beautiful boxes!

Today is definitely TGIF. Work was busy this week, and I’m ready to shift gears for the weekend. Tomorrow is our school’s annual dinner, and I love the chance to get dressed up and enjoy some time with friends. I don’t get fancied up often, but I decided to paint my nails tonight and was reminded of how easy and fun it was to decorate this shoebox to organize my nail polish and accessories.

Easy mani-pedi kit made from an old shoebox.

Easy mani-pedi kit made from an old shoebox.

Mani-pedi kit inside

There’s enough room for nail polish and accessories. I love the damask lining of this box. You could add your own to a sturdy plain box.

This box was already lined in that pretty metallic damask, but you could glue in a paper or fabric liner to any sturdy box. I used a ribbon and some stickers on the outside to cover up the printing, and now practical little me gets to feel girly and pink once in a while.

shoebox decorated for display.

This beautiful shoebox has a ribbon closure. I added scrapbook paper to the outside.

Another of my sis’ shoeboxes is in our living room. This time, I glued some scrapbook paper over the printing, and it’s ready for display. (Yes, putting photos in frames is on my to-do list!). The style of this box, with the attached lid and ribbon closure gave me the idea to cover some extra test kit boxes from work. Hope to show you that soon.

Okay, now go raid your (sister’s) shoe closet and create your next project!

“Jewels”

Creative Banners and Cupcakes for a Cause

Bake sale! Don’t those words just conjure all good things? The smell of fresh baked treats, hanging out with friends at the sale table, raising money for a good cause… add to that the fact that I was asked to make some crafty signs to advertise our bake sale, and I am in heaven!

For the past four years, a group of my coworkers and our friends have formed a team for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I’ve always been excited by this event, but I was hesitant to join – partly out of the logistical hurdles of training and walking with small kids at home – and partly out of a fear that after working with people with cancer in my job and having lost my mom to breast cancer, participating in this event might lead to emotional overload. I can’t explain why, but for some reason, this seemed like the year that I wanted to make the Avon Walk a part of my journey.

As part of our fundraising and team-building, we are holding a bake sale this year. If you are in San Francisco and can come by the UCSF Cancer Center at 1600 Divisadero Street tomorrow (Friday, May 11, 2012) from 12-3, you can support our team and taste what I guarantee will be a delicious array of treats. We will be outside the cafeteria on the lower level.

The Signs:

These were certainly not works of art, since I threw them together at the last minute, but I still had fun with the design. I had some cake-themed papers from a large pack, so those were the inspiration for the colors. Of course, the pink also tied in to the Avon and breast cancer awareness colors.

I made the cakes stand out from the poster by folding a paper “spring” on the back. And the little pennants give a sweet homemade flavor, just like our desserts!

bake sale banner

I hope our homey bake sale signs with the cheerful pennants attract lots of hungry customers!

The Goodies:

The slight incongruity of selling sweets to raise money for a health-related cause has not escaped me. While I will no doubt be indulging in the brownies and truffles some of my friends have planned, I decided to offer a slightly healthier option, with the banana bread recipe my mom used when I was little. This recipe is in a notebook she gave me when I got married. It has a lot of our “comfort” recipes from childhood and blank pages to record my own. I’m so very glad I have this book. I’m sure it’s just the description she transcribed from the magazine or recipe book, but the sentence “Very ripe bananas and slow cooping are the secret of this banana bread” makes me feel like my mom is sharing a secret just for me.

recipe book

I love seeing my mom’s handwriting in this recipe notebook she gave me when I got married.

Banana Bread:

Very ripe bananas and slow cooking are the secret of this bread.

4 medium very ripe bananas

1 1/4 c sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 1/2 tsp baking soda

4 eggs

3 1/2 c flour (I mix some whole wheat in)

1/2 c oil (you can use butter for a richer taste)

2/3 c buttermilk (you can substitute yogurt or add a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of regular milk and let the milk sit for five minutes)

Peel very ripe bananas. Combine with sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat at high spee for 1 minute (can use blender)

Mix in eggs, one a time; then mix in flour

Add oil and buttermlk Combine and beat for 2 minutes

Divide batter into two loaf pans

Bake in preheated 275F oven for about 1 3/4 hours

It’s hard to get a lot of very ripe bananas, at least in this house, because they keep getting eaten. This recipe calls for four, so if we have one or two overripe bananas, we put them in a bag in the freezer to save up until we have enough for banana bread or hubby’s amazing banana waffles.

The new thing I’m trying this time is chopping some of the bananas into chunks and folding them in at the end with the chocolate chips. I had banana bread from Tartine Bakery on Guerrero, which I think is very possibly the best bakery in the city, the other morning that had the small chunks in it, and they were caramelized and delicious!

chunks of banana

Chunks of banana mixed into the batter for a fruity flavor and sweet caramelized morsels.

I love this bread with walnuts and chocolate chips, but we appear to be out of walnuts tonight, so I will have to “make do” with chocolate chips only. Hubby recently articulated that he thinks nuts ruin baked goods, while I think they make them – they’re crunchy, rich, and I love the bit of bitter taste of walnuts against the sweetness of a cookie… obviously he’s wrong, right? He did make me a batch of chocolate chip cookies with nuts for my birthday, and he presented them to me, saying, “I put nuts in these, even though I don’t believe in it.” That’s love.

Sweet dreams!

“Jewels”