Friday, December 12, 2014

Three minute Three ingredient MICROWAVE mint fudge

Since I'm all about last minute gifts and preparing for the holidays this year…my 3 minute 3 ingredient mint fudge is a must! a few years ago I gave you this 3 minute fudge...well with the holidays in full swing lets add a little holiday twist to it shall we?

This fudge can go by many names: simple mint fudge, increase your jean size fudge, make your friends fat so you look good fudge...but i went with the "make you wanna make it cause you don't have time to keep up with the perfect homemaker down the street name": 3 minute, 3 ingredient mint fudge.

Seriously, it's so easy that you can whip this bad boy up for neighbor gifts in like well...3 minutes. and have it look like you slaved away for hours when really you made it and then ate some before you brought it over.ready to make some?
ingredients needed:
 1. 14 oz condensed milk

2. one 14 oz package of semi sweet chocolate chips, one package of 10 oz Andes mint baking chips
3. Three tablespoons of butter one

*optional garnish is crush candy cane candy

1. combine in your bowl your chocolate chips and your Andes mint chips
2. add condensed milk, butter, and mix in.
3. microwave for three minutes, stir till smooth.
4. pour into a 9 x 9 pan for thick squares or a 9 x13 pan for thin squares

 *to garnish if you'd like get some candy cane looking candy, and crush them
 *sprinkle on top, and let cool.
 tada! place them on a cookie platter, or in a little bag for neighbor gifts, or just eat them all, i don't judge.

yum yum!
See you at the Gym on January 1st. ;) 

Monday, December 8, 2014

EasyTeacher Gift

 These days life is fast. Between band, swimming, orchestra, and writing books, and all other things (I'm stopping with that because I'm getting tired just by writing it) there hasn't been much time for about anything other than a fast craft here a fast craft there, spend time with family and then do it all over again. So this is right up my alley on fast quick get it done and off the to do list and we get to give our teachers (who deserve a freaking award and chocolate cake to go with said award) a nice home made gift that literally took me like less than 5 minutes to make (the tote bag, the zipper bag only took like 20 because I can make it in my sleep because I make them all the time)

So here's how to make a super simple tote that will take less than 5 minutes to make. I've seen bags like this done with embroidery floss and those are super cute! But takes more time than i have…sooooo enter our super fast version:

materials needed:
 -Bag from Walmart ($2.96) or Joanns has them as well and you can buy a 3 pack on Amazon if you have multiple teachers you want to make bags for.

-FABRIC PENS from joann's are like $6 or on  Amazon  (wow, those are priced more than joann's! Go to Joann's people)

-Ruler, washable pen or pencil

On the bag I went off the outside part of the handle and drew a red line down. (or you can make dashes like it was done on the header picture)

Next I marked with the blue pen every 2" and then proceeded to draw line the dashed line with my ruler as my guide.
-Next with the washable pen (or pencil) I lightly wrote the name in cursive so I could make sure I liked the placement if I didn't then I could erase the pen with lightly damping the fabric.
*note: the fabric pen will run if you wet the fabric right after you draw on the canvas. Let the marker air dry and let it set before you try to remove the erasable marker. And when you do just lightly dab.
-Lastly draw on top of your temporary written name.

Have a little bit of time? You can make a fun little extra by using my Color block zipper pouch pattern and embellishing it a little!
-Make the zipper pouch just like the instructions in the pattern, I used Moda's ruler fabric. (I believe the fabric is called potluck by Sandy Klop. :) 
-Measure 2" from the left side, and draw a dashed line in red, then measure down every 1" and make a marking with the blue marker. This will be your guide for the blue dashed lines. 
-Mark just like you did on the canvas bag the name of the teacher. 
-Drawn on top of temporary marked name. 
Totally awesome gift for your awesome teacher. In no time! :) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

V and Co: Toasty rice Hand Warmers with Lavender

This is a post I did a few years ago. I actually had to make some more of these because my kids requested some and so did the husband…it's been a little chilly here so I thought I would reblog this in case anyone needed to make some more or if you missed it the first time around! :) 

the other day my son came in with a pink nose and yelled "MOM! I'M FREEEEEZING! do you still have that rice bag thing you made? can you heat it up?"
yeah i still have my rice bag feet warmer i use it all the time, because i'm like always cold.
so i said "yeah, i have it, hold on." i heated it up, gave it to him. as that son was warming up with oohs and ahhs coming out of his mouth, another one of my sons walked in from outside with pink nose in tow, and complained "hey i want that!"
they proceeded to fight over it...
and well at that moment the light bulb went off.

"stop it. i'm going to make you each rice hand warmers."
i started and then couldn't stop making them.

trust me you wont be able to make just one set either, you'll be making a mountain of them because of how cute they are, but also because you'll need to make extras for extra little(or big) hands that will seek shelter and warmth from being in the cold.
it's already been known to happen over here. true story.

*these are also great last minute neighbor and teacher gifts. :) 

ready to make your own?
materials needed for one set of hand warmers:
*grab some rice (i used white long grain, because that's what we eat)
*scrap of fabric (it just needs to be enough to fold over to cut out 1 strip (double fold) at 3 1/2" x 6"
*those strips of fabric cut again in half at 3 1/2" x 3"

to assemble hand warmers:

1. place right sides together for both sets of squares.

 2. using a 1/4" seam allowance sew along one side of your squares.
 **instead of doing each hand warmer separately, *chain* your squares.
to chain your squares sew your first seam and then instead of cutting the threads, place your next square to be sewn. you will end up with a couple of stitches that will not sew onto any fabric, hence making a chain.

this will be helpful is you are doing a lot of hand warmers.
 3. after you have sewn one side on all your squares, you can cut your *chain* like the picture above.
 *here is a picture of all the squares having one side sewn and then had the chain cut.
4. sew three sides of your squares (using the chain method for each side)
5. the fourth side sew your seam and leave a 1 1/2"  opening in the middle of your seam. (back stitch at the opening so it does not rip open for the following steps.

 6. once all four sides are sewn, cut at an angle your corners making sure you do not cut through the "X" your seams make.
7. turn inside out, and using a pin pull out your corners as much as you can.

 8. for filling we are using rice, so you will want to get your rice and if you have a funnel use it to get the rice inside the opening. (i made my own out of paper shaped into a funnel)
 8. fill up your hand warmer at least 3/4 full.
**add some lavender for a calming smell.
 9. and hand stitch closed.

*warm in the microwave for 15 seconds.
*hold in your hands and warm up your digits.
*can also be used as eye packs (freeze them for cool packs, or warm them for warm packs)
*i do not recommend heating them up for longer amounts than 15 seconds as it may cause burns on skin.

so far these have been a huge hit at our house, and at the neighbor's house, and with my kid's friends that have come over.

 i am including this Warning with these little guys:

i can not be held responsible for boys using these as hacky saks and or pelting mechanisms. because trust me...mine have and yours probably will too. 
in cases where some of the hand warmers go missing...please go look in your daughter's playhouse...because they make really cute barbie pillows.
consider yourselves warned.
i hope your house enjoys them as much as our house has.
we'll talk soon

Monday, October 13, 2014

Good tidings

 Well! That was fun. And it's good to see most of you are on the same page on colors you'd like to come back (hello eggplant and orange!!) and some other additions of yellows, corals, neutrals, reds, blues, more greens…but yeah it was the eggplant and the orange and the yellow. NOTED!

Now lets pick a winner congratulations to:
 Lisas Mom said...
I'd like a red to orange or orange to yellow ombre. Eggplant would be awesome!

for being the winner of a lot of color theory scraps. :) perhaps you can make a scrappy trip along quilt with them! :)

Well, Market is right around the corner and I have been working a lot these days on sewing for that, and for my books (pre-order them on amazon!)
and on some other fun stuff as well.

Some of you have been saying you miss my "noisemakers" presence on the blog. I know I do too. When I started this blog 7 years ago, my intention was to keep my husband up to date while he was deployed on our life back at home without him. What it ended up being was an opening to so many wonderful friendships, and opportunities, none that I could have even imagined…and as those 7 years have passed, my children grew up. My oldest is almost 15. And our move to the midwest has been absolutely amazing for him, and our family. And while I used to on a regular basis in the past write on the blog about being a mom to these amazing 4 individuals, they were young, I wrote generalized funny situations that I had as a mother of them. But at some point they grew up into mini adults/people with their own stories to tell and lives to live and create…and I felt like it was time to step back and stop telling my version of their story on the internet.
Oh they still say/do dumb hilarious things, but they are so much more than that. They are intelligent, caring, hardworking, selfless, spiritual, AND funny. I don't need to broadcast it for them, I don't want to embarrass them, and honestly, I don't want to hurt them. They can be these people to their close friends and family and individuals they know personally. So, yes, that's why no more funny/embarrassing/tear jerking stories about my children.
BUT I don't want to leave you hanging like Veronica Mars did in their final episode when they thought they were coming back for another season. I will give you a little bit of closure and give you a small update on each of the kiddos from where I left off telling their story to where they are now:

Oldest noisemaker and oldest boy: (farthest left) Was struggling with friends and school. Had a hard time with Dad being gone overseas, and continued to have hard times even after Dad came home.
Second noisemaker and second boy: (farthest right) Was doing well considering the situation. Took on the role as the protector of his older brother.
Third noisemaker and third boy: (second in from right)Always smiley except when he wasn't. Loved cereal and being near his older brothers.
Fourth and Youngest noisemaker and the only girl: (only one wearing pink) Ruled the roost and was completely different from her older three brothers. Brought pink into our house, and was attached to me in a backpack at all times, or had to have at least one hand on me at all times.

Oldest noisemaker: Is in freaking High School, almost 15 he is, picked up playing the trumpet and plays for the HS marching band (and they are pretty good too!) He's also in the 9th grade play "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." He also plays baseball for the city league. Through these activities he has made some really great friends, and is a wonderful young man (with flair ups of being a teenager but we don't hold that against him) He talks about going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is thinking about going to school to be a Physical Therapist when he gets back. (the kid is pretty darn amazing considering where we were like 4 years ago. He's gone through a lot in his small time here on earth and we couldn't be happier with how he's taken life and spun it in a positive direction for himself.) He also loves reading books, skateboarding, pizza, and listening to instrumental music.

Second noisemaker: Is in middle school, is almost 13, getting straight A's, got braces, and no longer feels the need to protect his older brother. As a matter of fact they are more friends and have a lot of fun together. He was able to do the lego league last year in 6th grade, and is now devoting his time to swimming. He has been doing the swim team for a few months and loves it, and is super excited to start competing for his school this winter. He plays in plays the cello for the school orchestra. (he's a great example to us of being a hard worker) Has accomplished sewing a small quilt and is waiting for his mom to have some time to teach him the next step of quilting and binding it. (probably Christmas time) He's already stressing over colleges, even after we've told him to relax a little he's only in 7th grade...He also loves anything mexican food wise, oatmeal, skateboarding, and reading ridiculous amounts of books.

Third noisemaker: Is a brainiac in math and science, is almost 11, likes to skateboard, hang out with friends building legos, and plays baseball for the city team. He just earned his Webelos in boy scouts and is working on getting his arrow of light. He's enjoying his last year of elementary school and has started playing the Viola (and is showing that he is catching on pretty fast!)  This year he sewed his first quilted pillow top for his bed and has plans to make a quilt for his stuffed animals. He's a little obsessed with turtles and penguins. He's still a smiley kid, except for when he isn't, still loves cereal, and being with his brothers but can be found playing stuffed animals with his younger sister when he has to (even though he totally likes it and won't admit it). 

Girl noisemaker: Still rules the roost, just turned 8 and was baptized, is super girly girl through and through but can handle playing and tagging along with her brothers when they let her. Wears dresses and skirts every single chance she can, still best friends with her dog, and has a lot of human friends as well. She is known amongst her peers as a funny nice friend who is kind. She hasn't decided what she wants to play instrument wise, I keep telling her she should do drums but we might go with piano first. We'll see what she picks. She's still is my little shadow and has started to sew a few small projects for her dolls. I find her "crafting" on her own all the time and she's got some talent I tell you. She loves anything with a bunny on it, or bunny shaped, or basically bunnies in general. She likes Mac and Cheese and watermelon, and black olives and she reminds me that by this age all her brothers were knew how to ride bikes and ride skateboards, so what are we waiting for. Sheesh.

Our children are our lives. We work hard to protect and love them and give them life lessons so that at some point they can protect themselves and be honest, good, kind, virtuous, individuals who will make where they are a better place. At least that's what we're aiming for. 

So yes, they are all doing great…I appreciate the time I was able to write on this blog, and the support I received when they were smaller, when I was a struggling single mom, while my husband served in the military. I will forever be grateful for that time when I needed that, but now is a new era for me, one where I let my children tell their own stories, because it's time to start to let them be who we've been trying to teach them to be. 
Thank you for your support, and if you are a long time reader, thank you for sticking with me, reading my words as I tried to make sense of my role as a struggling military wife. Thank you for your support as I turned around and grew a side business. Thank you for your support as we went through and dealt with a loss of a job, having to uproot our family, having to leave all we've ever known to live somewhere new, dealt with heartache, lost a parent, saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and thanks for your support in the time of upswings as well. 
I am a very blessed individual. This does not escape my thoughts ever. Even when in the middle of a trial, I am blessed to wake up the next day. 

And with that, I will say that my children may make appearances on the blog, but this is mainly where I will continue to show what I'm making and what I'm doing, with a silly story here and there of how I fell, or missed a flight, or angered the angry lady behind the counter at the chinese restaurant. (story for another day)  because those things still do and will probably continue to happen to me. 
K, thanks for listening. 
We'll talk soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Fall V and Co Patterns

Hi there! I'm finally ready to show you my new patterns for this fall! I'm very excited about them and we've been working really hard on them for a while. :) Ready?
Okay first up we have Super Star:

Super Star uses every single print in the line. YES, every single one minus the ombre gradients. It's Fat Eight friendly and is a very fun bright quilt and easy to put together.

My daughter really loved it in her room for the afternoon it sat in there so I could take pictures. She was a little cross with me when I started to take it down and put back her room how it was before.
 This quilt consists of HSTs and squares, and would be a great and easy pattern to teach from or to tackle if you are on the newer side to quilting. Or if you want a fun and fast quilt to make this one is a good one to tackle. :)
It comes in one size: Medium Throw 64" x 80"
Super Star Quilt PDF

Next is Fadeaway:
This is the first of the two patterns just using the gradient ombre fabric in my line. It comes in two sizes: Baby 48"x 48" and Medium Throw 64"x 80" .

In the pattern we give you instructions on how to cut the fabric and place the fabric to give the quilt a neat effect of fading from dark to light in the quilt. This is one of my favorite quilts I've made…but I think I say that of a few of my patterns every time I show them off. Whatever, it's a favorite! :) 

 This baby size is 1/2 yard pre-cut friendly…yes, you can order 1/2 yard precuts of just the gradient ombre and make this baby quilt. It would be the perfect baby quilt for your nursery, or to give as a baby shower gift. :)
Fadeaway Quilt PDF

Then there's the quilt that is HANDS DOWN my favorite quilt ever…Ombre Lonestar:
Again just focusing on the ombre gradient fabric…I wanted to create a quilt that would really show the gradient fabric together and to show it off in a spectacular way. I had this quilt in my head for a long time, and I finally got it in fabric.

 And of course it looks quite spectacular on an Iowan barn.  :)
 ...and in my home. :)
 This quilt is 64"x 64" square uses all the gradient ombre fabrics…and is down right spectacular. :) Ombre Lonestar Quilt PDF

last but not least we have our zipper pouch this time around with some yummy texture the Honey Comb Pouch: 

 Since I started making zipper pouches, I've been hooked to them and can't make enough of them. I make them in all different sizes so I can carry lots and lots of stuff, and feel organized
This  time around we made the larger pouch large enough to carry a LARGE Aurifil cone and your pin cusion and rotary cutter and some fabric and whatever else you can try to stuff in there. The smaller pouch fits threads, scissors and whatever else you need as well. 

 I would have to say that this is my favorite zipper pouch pattern I've made. and can't wait to make a few more of them in different colors. :)
Honey Comb Zipper Pouch PDF
Now because I am so excited about my new patterns I'm offering a 35% discount of all PDF patterns including the new ones. Just type 35COLOR at check out for the savings.  This offer will be available through this Saturday the 11th of October.

But I feel like my blog has been neglected for a while and we've not done any fun giveaways…SO…

for a chance to win some Color Theory scraps (strips of fabric varying in size and I'll fill a flat rate box full of them) tell me this:

What ombre gradient color from the bella solids would you like to see that we don't already have? Would you like to see eggplant back? (yeah me too. We'll probably make that happen) But seriously tell me what other colors do you want to see? Maybe we can make it happen. :)

Just one entry per person please include email like this: VandCo (dot) Info (at) Gmail (dot) com if you do not have email attached to your profile. 
Sale and giveaway ends Saturday and I will pick a winner on Monday. 
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