Be my Valentine ~ a sugar free gift

There is plenty of sugar and food dye going around so why add extra into the mix?  Instead of flower seeds we gave out chalkboard hearts and some chalk.  I used plaid chalkboard paint and painted the wooden heart cutouts that can be found at most craft stores. I was really pleased that I came up with some crafty candy (and calorie) free gifts. They were a big hit and I’m only a month behind with this post! Nice!

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keeping with tradition ~ handmade Christmas

Life (the non virtual kind) keeps us pretty busy at times. I (for obvious reasons) needed to attend to it first and now I am back so let me start first with some delayed Christmas Cheer! Another year has come and gone and so Christmas gifts must be made and added this year was an extra project that came in the form of a brand new blanket for a brand new nephew!

For one, a pillowcase using this design. This tutorial was only tutorial that I found that was easy to follow and didn’t have the extra ribbon or piping. I really liked that it was just the two pieces of fabric. The directions were easy to follow and it turned out great! A word of caution…most fabric is printed in one direction and using the tutorial’s measurements will give give you a pillowcase that you’d have to turn your head sideways to view correctly. So, either buy fabric that can be used in either direction (the Spiderman fabric pretty much worked here) or plan to buy extra fabric so the patten works in the correct direction.

For the blanket I just used a simple crochet. I started to crochet around the age of 8 but never was taught to read patterns. I have to get around to that one day!

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For your viewing enjoyment here is a blast from the past that I never posted. When I was learning to use my machine I made potholders and napkins and added them to gift baskets I made for grandparents. They can be hard to buy for so I thought a basket of fruit and nuts with some handmade items would be perfect. I love the way the baskets turned out complete with homemade hot chocolate powder which also had a mini jar topper to keep with the theme of the fabric.

I can make napkins in my sleep and they are great things to make when you’re learning how to sew. This tutorial is great and my napkins turned out great on the first try! I wish I had a tutorial link for the potholders, but I don’t. I took the easy road and made them without bias tape. I put the right sides together and added the quilting fabric, sewed 3/4 of the way, turned them right side out and pressed the edges closed. Then I sewed around the outer edge to close the opening and give it the bias tape look. I grabbed a roll of tape and taped down where I wanted the quilted lines to go and used that as a guide to sew a straight line. Hope that helps! Happy sewing and Happy New Year! Mrs. Pickle is back :)

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Backpack, Backpack

I always give something handmade as part of my nephew’s Christmas present. One year I gave him the play mat. Last year I made him a cape. This year I gave him this simple purple felt backpack. I made one for Baby D. too. It was very simple to make and right now simple is good. I followed the directions in this tutorial-however I rounded the backpack top prior to attaching it to the backpack.

Verdict? They both love their new backpacks. My nephew added rolled up papers to use as the map.

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A handmade Christmas, literally

I couldn’t get over the cuteness of this project and had to make these with Baby D. It’s just salt dough, primer, paint, and sealant. I followed the directions of this post. However, Mr. Pickle primed the whole ornament. Oh, and I used a Sharpie for the black accent areas instead of paint. I also used Plaid brand paint. I really think their flesh color looks great for Santa’s face. I am just in love…and so were the people who received these as a gift.

I decided that next year we will keep all of the normal tree decorations boxed up. Instead, I’m going to buy a bunch of cookie cutters and Baby D. and I are going to make all the ornaments for the tree. Can’t wait!

Happy Holidays from the Crunchy Pickle Chips :)

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girl’s headbands on the cheap

Baby D and I were shopping at Target and came across a $5 fabric rose headband in the girl’s section. I knew I could make something similar for less so I decided to make some on my own. I really liked making the dress up headband for her. The possibilities for these are endless. Headbands were purchased at the dollar store- $1 for 4.  I bought some silk flowers at the craft store for and also used my felt and ribbon stash for the rest. Here is the result. I think they turned out great, if I do say so myself. The hairband holder was made from an oatmeal container that I covered with paper. Thanks, Pinterest!

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Ribbon flower idea found here.  – i lost the link but I’ll give credit when I find it.

Felt bow (very easy) found here.

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Baby, it’s flu season out there

Where did the time go? November almost didn’t exist for us and things otherwise have been hectic. I have been doing some projects on the side though as the holiday is approaching and also because I like to do projects.

I’m a little bit crunchy, if you haven’t figured that out yet. I love looking for natural or healthy solutions. One thing I decided to do was to make Elderberry syrup instead of buying it. It’s expensive to buy and pretty easy to make. Even easier if you own a French Press; which we do. The French Press made all the difference. Here’s how it’s done. But, I used this recipe as a guide for measurements of elderberries, water, and honey. Want to read about how elderberry can protect you and what you use it for? Please read this. I take no responsibility and this is not a health suggestion. I am simply posting a project. BTW, the recipe makes a lot of syrup. We had used up half by the time I had a chance to take the photo.  Berries (lots left over) $20, Honey $6.

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hummus cookies

You should know by now that I’m a sucker for healthy kid food. Thanks to Pinterest, I came across hummus cakes. Baby D. loves (LOVES) hummus (who would have thought?) so in light of changing things up a bit, I give you hummus cookies, as we call them. I can’t take the credit…please see the original post, but I will simplify it for you.

1 batch of hummus

3 tablespoons flour

mix and drop on cookie sheet (like cookies) and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Store in fridge after they cool. I will do better with the photo next time. On a positive note, the cookies are good!

Note: if you don’t have a full batch of hummus, cut the flour accordingly. Half the amount, use half the amount of flour.


My hummus is packed with veggies. I made beet hummus cookies this morning. On a side note, Baby D. likes roasted beets (another surprise) and beans right out of the bpa free can. So, if you have a picky toddler like me, it’s good to remember that what you think they won’t eat might be what they love to eat.

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