DIY Constellation Tights

DIY Constellation Tights

I love wearing tights this time of the year, and printed tights are a fun way to liven up a drab winter wardrobe. Ever the do-it-yourself type, I recently decided to experiment with customizing my own pair, and what I ended up with is one of my favorite DIY fashion projects to date: starry CONSTELLATION TIGHTS! They’re fun and quirky and even easier to make then I anticipated.

The simple black and silver makes them easy to style with pieces you already have, but if you’re in need of ANY kind of fashion inspo, head on over to AU Gold Standard, the charmingly inspirational fashion blog run by our dear friend Ashley Urban in San Francisco! You’ll see these tights making a guest appearance there (I mailed her a pair).

painting on tights

Did I mention how easy it is to make your own printed tights!? (I’m seriously excited for the possibilities of this medium…) All you need to make a pair like these is a plain pair of tights, a fabric paint marker in a contrasting color, and some scrap cardboard. Heres how:

using fabric paint marker on tights

Lay your leg along a big piece of cardboard, roughly trace the length and shape, and cut this out. You’ll use this as a form to stretch out the tights while you paint on them

Working one leg at a time, stretch the tights over the cardboard form.

For the constellation pattern, I just looked up a chart of all the familiar star constellations, and sketched them onto the tights in a series of dots, lines and small star shapes.

Let each leg dry for an hour or so before removing it from the cardboard… and thats it!

DIY Printed Tights

I picked out all the astrological zodiac constellations, plus some other familiar patters like Orien and the Big Dipper. I made sure to feature my own zodiac constellation (Pisces) and Ashley’s (Saggitarius) front and center for each of our custom pairs!

I didn’t worry too much about the rest of the placement, I just kept adding stars and patterns until I filled up all the space on each leg. They may not have perfect astrological accuracy, but they sure are swanky!

hand-painted star tights

Marsala Mushroom Bites

Asiago Mushroom Appetizers

It’s DECEMBER?  I know I’m not the only one wondering where all the time has gone… after all of the plotting and planning for new recipes to try this year, the “end of the year” work push has left little time for experiments,   I wish there was another month to make the season Merrier and Brighter, amiright? That’s where these little bites come in handy – (basically) three ingredients, and about 25 minutes, and you’ve got a warm and hearty appetizer perfect for any celebration. 

Ingredients:

-4 pillsbury crescent rolls, uncooked

-10 oz. mushrooms

-1T butter

-about ¼ cup red wine, or a little less

-salt and pepper, to taste

-asiago cheese, or other bite-y cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350.  Stem, clean, and dice your mushrooms.  In a large sautee pan, heat 1T of butter over medium heat until the butter just starts to melt.  Add the mushrooms, stir, and sautee about 5 minutes.  Once the mushrooms start to brown completely, add the wine, and turn the heat to a simmer.  Allow the wine to reduce – this should take about 6-10 minutes – and remember to stir often.

Easy Mushroom Appetizer

While that’s going, open your crescent roll can and roll the dough on your counter.  Pinch the diagonal edges of the adjacent rolls together, and cut each 2-roll rectangle into 6 pieces.  Take each piece and lightly press into an ungreased/unlined mini-muffin tin, and wait on your mushrooms!

Sauteed Mushroom Pillsbury Bites

 When the mushrooms are done, allow them to cool for a few minutes so that they can absorb some of the sauce.  Then, take about a tablespoon or so of the mushrooms and place in each crescent rolled-mini muffin cup. I used a slotted spoon for this, so that there wasn’t too much liquid in each cup. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until brown.

I added some Asiago cheese shavings to a few of these little cups for an extra bite.  They are so buttery and delicious, and would make a great pair to a creamy soup, or an addition to your holiday apps spread!  I’m looking forward to making these again using leftover sauteed mushrooms after Christmas dinner…can’t wait!

Marsala Mushroom Bites

Washable Pet Travel Mat

flannel pet travel mats

We have been traveling a bit lately for the holidays, which means my two fur babies have had to book a stay in the kitty hotel. To make their trip a little bit cozier, I made them some warm flannel mats for their carriers. Since it’s been a while since we shared our last project for pets on What to do with Lemons, I thought I would share this easy DIY – in case anyone is looking for a way to show their favorite cat or dog some love this holiday season!

flannel pet sleeping mat
These travel mats have three layers quilted together: two sides of flannel with a towel in between, making them soft, warm, and completely machine washable! They are modeled here by my cat Lu, but they’re perfect for cats OR dogs (or rabbits or ferrets or whatever kind of companion animal you call your best friend)!
DIY washable pet mat
You will need: a large piece of flannel fabric (twice the size you want your finished mat to be), an old towel, and a sewing machine.

Start by cutting two pieces of flannel and one piece of towel to the size you would like your mat to be, plus about a half an inch on each edge. I cut mine into rectangles that fit nicely into a cat carrier.

DIY pet carrier blanket
Arrange the layers so that the two flannel pieces face right-sides-together, then lay the towel on top. Pin and stitch around three sides, leaving one of the shorter ends open. Next, flip right-side-out so that the towel is inside the two pieces of flannel and the pattern faces outward.

layered pet mat

sew a flannel mat for your pet carrier
Fold the raw edges under and pin in place, then top stitch along this edge to close.

Finally, stitch some quilting lines across the top to hold the layers in place. I sewed one line down the middle and two perpendicular lines going width wise, dividing the pad into six squares.
cat carrier blanket

These washable mats are great for inside a crate, on the floor, or laid over your pet’s favorite spot to sit (like the back of the couch!). Flannel fabric comes in so many fun colors and patterns it will be hard not to make a whole stack! They make a great gift for pets, pet lovers, or your local shelter!

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

Budget Friendly Instant Oatmeal Packets DIY 

Can you tell I love breakfast now? Well I do, and I will warn you, breakfast posts will not stop, especially now that warm breakfasts are a necessity.  It’s December, and with the wind chill off the water I’m lucky if I’m not an icicle by the time I walk to work.  Knowing that I’ve got a warm breakfast (and my handy french press) to look forward to makes a cold morning much easier.  Oatmeal is a great option for breakfast, and a great bargain at that!  You can always pick up plain oats at a great sale price at the market, which is good for my budget but not so much for my palate – plain oatmeal... not exciting.  But, with a few extra ingredients and hardly any time, you can turn those plain packs into delicious ways to start your day!

Ingredients:

-Instant Oatmeal (I used gluten free)

-Dried Fruit (I like to use the dehydrated kind)

-Spices

-Sugar (optional)

-Ziplock bags

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

Instructions:

Figure out what sort of flavors you’d like, and set spices/fruit aside.  I found a great deal on dehydrated apple/blueberry and strawberry/mango mixes…two large bags for $2!  The catch? They are marketed as “toddler food.”  Don’t knock it until you try it – you’re more likely to find a sale on kids food as opposed to the other brands, and it’s really the same thing.  My flavor combinations were blueberry lemon peel, apple cinnamon, and strawberry mango.  Once decided, label your bags and put just shy of half a cup of instant oats in each one. Next, add in about ¼ cup dried fruit, and 1t of spices.  Here’s the breakdown for my flavors:

Blueberry Lemon Peel: Blueberries, 1t dried lemon peel (can be found in the spice aisle)

Apple Cinnamon: Apples, 1t cinnamon with a few shakes of ginger, clove, and nutmeg

Strawberry Mango: Just the fruit!

I wouldn’t reccomend pre-sweetening your oatmeal packs – they won’t be professionally sealed like the traditional packs, and I think adding the sugar will reduce the shelf life of your oatmeal.

DIY Gluten Free Instant Oatmeal Packets

When you’re ready to eat, just prepare as if it were plain oatmeal!