Friday, March 30, 2012

Robot Pillow

While shopping for felt to make the space mobile, I came across really cute space felt sheets and just had to make something with them!  I quickly snapped some photos on my phone of the final product.
The appliqu├ęd robot is inspired by a robot painting I found online.
I made a pillow, but since it's felt, it's purely decorative.  I added the ribbon so it can double as wall art.
Robots are fun!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baby Mobile- Space Theme

I love making things for babies!  You can't help but smile as you make something for a new little person that will be entering the world.

Colin and I don't have any kids yet, but we have quite a few friends that are having babies, so I've been making lots of adorable little items.

Our friend Jeanette will be having a little girl soon, and she and her husband have done the nursery in a space theme.  Jeanette found a mobile she liked on a blog, and I worked to recreate it.

Here's my version (I tried to stay pretty true to the original felt characters):
This mobile was so much fun to make!
I used a wreath form (painted it silver) to hang the felt pieces that I hand stitched.  They're hanging from clear, stretchable jewelry wire (well, it's plastic, so it's not technically wire).  The wreath form is hanging from silver jewelry chain.  The hook at the top is a jewelry piece.

And I found a few additional space items while I was picking up craft supplies.
Who knew there were such cute space things out there?!
Baby stuff is so much fun!


Linking Up:
Tip Junkie handmade projects  
The DIY Dreamer

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Healthy, Yummy, Easy Shakes & Smoothies!

I have been on a shake kick lately.  I got a Ninja kit for Christmas, so that's partly why I'm so anxious to mix things up!

I've also wanted to get more fruits and veggies and good nutrients in my system.  I make veggies for dinner, so I wanted fruit for breakfast or lunch.  I don't always have time to prep fruit or keep it freshly stocked.  I also don't have much time for breakfast in the morning when rushing to work, so I needed to it be quick and easy all around.

Shakes are perfect, because you can use frozen fruit!  I buy frozen berries that are already bagged.  Then I buy bananas, peel them, and throw them in a freezer bag.  This also saves me from having to use ice in my shakes-- keeping the flavor at its best!

Here are just a few recipes I've been making over and over.  And over.

I think they're all yummy (because who wants to slurp an icky drink?)!

Drink these fresh!  Just like a banana isn't good after it sits out all day, these shakes are best when you drink them fresh.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Shake
-1/3 cup milk (I use almond or 2%)
-1/3 cup honey Greek yogurt
-2 tbsp peanut butter (I used extra crunchy)
-1 frozen banana
-2 squares of dark, dark chocolate (I use 85% cocoa---dark!  Even though it's too dark to really eat, it's perfect for mixing.)
-2 packets of no calorie sweetener

Throw it all in a blender and blend it up!  This makes one hefty serving or enough to share with someone else.

This shake is perfect for breakfast, because it keeps me full and not tempted to snack before lunch.


Green Monster
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup Greek yogurt
-1 tbsp peanut butter
-1 frozen banana
-4 cups of fresh spinach

Yes, this has spinach in it.  Yes it turns out green.  But you won't care!  It's refreshing and filling.


Fruity Tooty
-Frozen banana
-Frozen fruit (I used mango, strawberries, grapes, pineapple.  The flavor will depend on the fruit you use)
-Splash of orange juice

This is refreshing and great for breakfast or mid-day snack!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am not a dietician or health expert, so please don't use this as a diet.  I'm just trying to stay healthy, and I hope these help you.

Here's some other people's input on some of the ingredients I use:

Benefits of Greek Yogurt:
WebMD
Livestrong

Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
WebMD

Benefits of Spinach:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/479103-is-eating-raw-spinach-good-for-you/

Benefits of Peanut Butter:
Prevention

Benefits of Milk:
Oprah

Benefits of Bananas:
Nutrition Uncovered

Why You Should Eat Fruit & Vegetables:
CDC- Calculate How Many Fruits & Vegetables You Need
Harvard

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 Spring Jewelry

It's officially the first day of spring!  Here are a few jewelry pieces to usher in spring!
You can get each of these at Antique Brick Outdoors!

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Spring Scarves

I couldn't be more ready for spring!  We didn't have much of a winter here this year.  I only got to wear my big coat once or twice.  But I'm so glad to have some sunshine and green grass!

To ring in the spring season, I made a few lightweight scarves.  You can find these at Branch OutThe Green Corner Store, and Antique Brick Outdoors.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bad Blogger!

Something has happened with my blog, so everything looks a little out of whack.

Uh, blogger can really grate on my nerves sometimes.

Sorry about design issues.  I'm trying to get everything fixed.

~Marla

UPDATE 3/16/2012:
Well, the blog looks a little different now.  I was having some issues with the previous design, so I decided to just start from scratch.  The layout is stripped down and simple.  That's kind of how I'm feeling in life right now.  I'm wanting to simplify, so I guess the design is reflecting that.  I have plans for a future design, but I'm going to wait to unveil it.  So for now, welcome to the Marla, Plain & Small blog that is for now taking a design breath and getting down to the bare bones.  Thanks for bearing with me!

HEALTHY Desserts!

I am so glad that someone told me about Chocolate-Covered Katie!

She has a ton of gluten free recipes, and everything she makes is vegan.  Oh, and in case you couldn't tell by the title of the blog, every recipe has chocolate in it!  That's my kind of blog!
I made Katie's Deep Dish Cookie Pie, and will definitely be making it again!
There's no flour in it and no dairy.  You'll have to go to her page to check out the ingredients-- you'll be surprised!  But I guarantee you won't care what it's made with once you taste it!
The best part (besides the chocolate): The pie has around 200 calories per slice as opposed to 700 calories for a traditional deep dish cookie pie.  These pieces are huge, and I usually fill up before I can finish a slice. 

Go check out her page.  You can thank me later ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Losing a Furry Family Member

If you have ever had a pet that was treated like a part of your family, then you know that it's hard to think about losing them.

I grew up with dogs.  We always had at least one at a time if not more.  When I was 11, my dad, brother, and I went to the Humane Society the week of Thanksgiving to pass time while my mom was shopping.  We found the most adorable puppy and brought Mom back to see it.  That cute puppy came home with us, and we named him Max.

When I was 13, my family and I moved to a new town.  I was heartbroken and having a really hard time.  Max also seemed to be confused by our new home.  That was a really hard time for me, and it helped having Max.

Max loved to chase squirrels and jump in the air.  He loved wading in the lake but not completely getting under the water.  He loved giving sugar (kisses) and having his ears rubbed.  He loved popcorn and peanut butter.

Max didn't always love strangers, but he was loyal to his family.

Max was at my house for one night this weekend while my parents where in town.  Max at age 15 was having trouble getting around.  This weekend he was having trouble keeping any food or water down.  Despite all that, his tail wagged when I walked in the room, and he got excited when I bent down to talk to him.  And he gave me sugars.

Monday morning my parents took him to the vet since he had had a rough weekend.  And the vet said there was nothing to really do.  Max is now laid to rest in the backyard under a tree.

My heart is hurting.  If you've never had a pet like Max, then I know it's hard to understand how someone can hurt over the loss of an animal.  But if you have had a pet like Max, then you know it's a pain that's hard to console or explain.  I'm sure that I'll always miss Max.  He was my childhood.  He was the picture on my desk at college that reminded me of home.  He was the one I kissed on my wedding day before I went to the church and again before I left on my honeymoon.  He was always the welcome home that I needed.

I last saw Max on Sunday night when I drove home to surprise my parents for their 35th anniversary.  I walked in the house, and Max slowly got up and followed me around the house with his wagging tail and smiling face.  I knew the end was near, but I wish I had given him one last kiss.

When I was little, I asked my dad if our dogs would be in heaven.  He told me that God knew what made us happy and knew what we loved, and it was possible that seeing my pets again would be part of the blessings of heaven.  It may sound selfish and shallow and silly, but there is a part of me that hopes that is true.  Max was a huge part of my life.  He laid by the side of my bed while I read books out loud to him, while I cried, and while I prayed.  I may not see Max again or I may and that might be one of the numerous blessings of heaven.

Today is hard.  But I have memories that will always be with me.  I miss you, Max.
^my first pictures with Max^
^my last picture with Max on Saturday ^

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Tutorial: Pillow Pallets

Note: Google deleted several of my blog pictures. It was a sad day, because this was the only place that some of these photos were ever saved. I'm sorry that the step-by-step photos are gone. I came across a picture of one of the finished pallets so you could see what it looked like completed.

If you're on Pinterest, then you've probably seen the pillow mattresses.  And there's even a blog to show you how to make them.  So why am I blogging a tutorial?  Well, I made it a little differently.  (And because I can.)


My friend Jen wanted some made for her two girls, so she took them to pick out fabric and let me tinker with a new way to sew them.

Material:
Pick out two fabrics-- one for front and one for back.  If you get 2 1/2 yards of each fabric, you'll have plenty left over to make a bag (you'll see at the end!)

Instructions:
1. Cut the front and back pieces each to 74x34 inches.

2. Lay right sides together.

3. Sew three sides together with a two inch seam.
The two inch seam gives you plenty of material to play with in case you ever need to let a seam out or if you decide to serge the seam.

4. Iron the seams open.

5. On the side that you didn't sew, we need to make a hem.
a. I folded the fabric in about an inch and then folder it over again.
b. Iron the hem flat.

6. Sew the folded hem with a straight stitch

7. Cut the corners where you sewed up the sides, so that when turned inside-out, the corners will pop out nicely.

8. Turn the pillowcase inside out, and iron down all the seams.

9. Now let's make pockets for the pillows!
a. Measure down every 18 inches and make a mark.
b. Sew a straight line evenly across (through both layers of fabric) at each mark.
c. Sew a second line to make a strong seam.
You will have three seams to sew to have pockets for four pillows.

Stuff the pillows into the case!

I didn't want to put the girls' pallets on my floor, so I threw back the covers and tried it on my bed!
It's so comfortable!  And you can fold the top pillow under to be propped up!

It all folds up nicely for moving from place to place!
You can take the pillows out and wash the case and pillows separately!  Much easier than squeezing the whole thing in a small washer!

Since I had fabric left over, I made the girls matching bags to carry their cases in!

This project took a Saturday with time to spare.  I even took sewing breaks to do some cleaning!

Let me know if you try or if you have any questions about the instructions!

Or let me know if you want to hire me to make some for you!


Linking up:


  

The DIY Dreamer

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