Tag Archives: way back craft

Elena’s Cookies

Many, many years ago, my then four-year-old and I came up with a cookie recipe by using ingredients we had on hand. I say “many” because that child is now almost 14!  At the time, I was home with two small children during the day.  My hubby and I shared a car, so I was often transportation-less and many recipes and crafts were improvised using whatever we had on hand.

After making up this batch of cookies a couple of times, I posted the recipe on the relatively new allrecipes.com. I still go back from time to time and am always amused to see it still there after all these years!  I’m happy to report that, for the most part, the reviews have been good.

I won’t post a photo because I don’t have one and it’s been many years since either of my children ate infant cereal, which is one of the ingredients.    My memory of these cookies is a mild flavored, moist and scrummy cookie!

see the allrecipe version

* 2/3 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup applesauce
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup dry infant cereal
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup wheat germ


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix the shortening, applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
3. In another bowl combine the infant cereal, flour, baking soda, salt and wheat germ. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Spoon tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until just set. Let cool on wire racks before storing.

Happy baking!


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This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of this craft blog.

Way Back Craft: Paper Piecing Evolution

Livejournal user lady_whitehaven turned on the Way Back Machine for me today when I found this post over at the Livejournal community quilting.

The dragon is an old design that I came up with way back in 2006 for a project that never quite made it to fruition.  That was probably a year after I started designing.  When I look at the original pattern, I can really see how much my design skill has evolved.

Sometime in 2007, when I had finally tested the dragon and realized how complicated it was, I pulled it off of sewhooked to be redesigned and then (apparently!) forgot about it.  I have since tried to be more careful about what patterns I post untested.  If I’m even a little unsure of the pattern design, I’ll hold onto it until I’ve had the chance to test it myself.

New, cleaned up and simplified version:

“Green Dragon” Pattern

The original version looks okay, but the pattern is scary, messy & has too many pieces!

First scary dragon pattern

When I woke up this morning, I had no intention of redrawing or reworking a pattern. I had kids to get to school (done!), a hubby to drop off at the airport (done!) and groceries to buy (um…not so done!).  Thank you, lady_whitehaven, for inspiring me to have a second look and give the “Green Dragon” a second life.

“Green Dragon” is now housed on the Paper Pieced Pattern page at sewhooked. If you give it a try, or any of my other patterns or projects a try, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of Sewhooked flickr group.

Have a happy weekend!

coming soon – Guest Designer profiles!

This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of this craft blog.

Cauldron Pin Cushion

Pin Cushion Cauldron

Halloween is almost here and I’m in the mood for pumpkins, bats & cauldrons!  With my Harry Potter love, I’m usually in the mood for those things, but it’s always a bit heightened this time of year.

The Cauldron Pin Cushion came out of a discussion over at Harry Potter Crafts some years ago about making useful items that had HP flair.  I had a stockpile of little cauldrons left over from Halloween that just struck me as needing to be pin cushions.  I’ve since made about a dozen of these useful little beauties for friends.  They’re easy, fast and cheap to make!

  • Plastic Cauldron Party Favor (available during Halloween & St. Patrick’s Day at party stores)
  • marbles or pony beads for weight
  • polyfil
  • fabric
  • needle
  • thread
  • scissors
  • glue gun

cauldron pin cushion

Gather your supplies (weights not shown)

cauldron pin cushion

Cut a circle about twice the size of the cauldron out of the fabric. Stitch a straight running stitch around the outside.

Cauldron Pin Cushion
Pull the running stitch up about half way to gather the fabric circle.

Cauldron Pin Cushion

Add weights to the bottom of the cauldron, top with polyfil. Add polyfil to the fabric circle, pull thread tight.

Cauldron Pin Cushion
Squeeze hot melt glue under the lip of the cauldron. Push fabric into the cauldron, making sure it catches under the lip.

While we’re talking cauldrons, how about a paper pieced one as well?  This is one of my earliest designs created for the Harry Potter quilt completed in 2007, My Magical Lens.

Harry Potter Quilt

Get the Cauldron pattern here!

Harry Potter Quilt

This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of this craft blog.

Happy Crafting

This tutorial is also available on cut out + keep

Halloween Bats Tutorial

Easy Felt Bats

Every year, my family and I break out our big orange and black box full of Halloween decorations, cauldrons and punched aluminum candle holders. Folded and tucked into the side of the box are these sweet bats we made years and years ago. They’ve adorned several front doors, including our current home of almost ten years.

Halloween Bat Door Decoration

Super easy and adorable to boot, these anything-but-scary Halloween bats take about five minutes to whip up.


  • Felt Bat Template
  • 1 piece of black acrylic felt for each bat
  • scissors
  • pin
  • hot melt glue gun & glue
  • google eyes
  • round magnets

Gather your supplies

Fold the acrylic felt lengthwise in half. Pin the Bat pattern on the fold.

Cut around the bat shaped pattern, leaving the fold intact. Fold fabric out.

Use hot melt glue to attach google eyes, being careful to use only a dot of glue. Use pattern placement as a guide.

Use the same method to add the magnets to the back of the bat, using the placement shown on the pattern.

Two sizes of eyes.


Looking great!

Once the glue has dried, your batty friends are ready to display!

This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of this craft blog.

Happy Crafting!


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this tutorial also available on cut out + keep

Way Back Craft: Golden Snitch Antennae Ball

snitch 005

I’ve been crafting Harry Potter-themed items since my first reading of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philospher’s Stone for those outside the U.S.).

When I turn back my brain to 1999, I’m quite sure one of the very first things I made was a Golden Snitch. That first Snitch was not an antennae ball, but a soft version with actual feathered wings that my kids played with during their enthusiastic quidditch matches!

You can find many of my Harry Potter craft ideas both on sewhooked and in the Harry Potter Crafts section of The Leaky Cauldron.

Snitch Antenna Ball
by Jennifer Ofenstein

  • 1 ball-shaped antenna ball
  • spay primer
  • gold paint (either spray or oil based in a can)
  • 2 gold brads
  • white craft foam
  • Wing Pattern
  • a skewer or chopstick
  • old box or piece of Styrofoam
  • box cutter or Exacto Knife
  • hot melt glue OR Tacky Glue
***Please Note: When using spray paint work outside or in a well ventilated area***

Place the antenna ball on the skewer.

Poke the skewer into the box or Styrofoam. This will hold the ball in place for painting and give it a place to dry.

Prime the antenna ball. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for drying.

Use gold paint to paint the ball. If using spray, follow manufacturer’s directions.

For brush on, if you have enough, dip the ball in the paint and allow most of the paint to drip back in the can before carefully placing it back in the drying area. Allow to dry overnight.

Cut two wing shapes out of the craft foam.

Using the Exacto knife, cut a small hole in the base of each wing and on either side of the ball where you want to place the wings. Do this by gently pushing the blade into the ball. It does not have to be very deep, just enough to poke the brad in.

Use the tip of the scissors to score the center of the wing (as shown on pattern). Do not cut, just create a gentle groove. This will help with the feathery shape of the wing.

Snip along the wing to create a feather shape (as shown on pattern). Stop 1/4″ from the scoring line.

Poke the brad through the hole in the wing. Place a dab of glue on the cut in the hole cut earlier in the ball and then push the brad into it, positioning the wing how you want it as you do so.

Repeat for the second wing.

Finishing touch – tack the wings together to keep them from drooping while they are on the antenna of your car.

This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of this craft blog.

Happy Crafting!

this tutorial also available on cut out + keep

Way Back Craft: Ariel’s Blanket

Ariel's Blanket Ariel's Blanket - The original blanket
Queue this pattern on Ravelry!

Printable Pattern

Ariel’s Blanket was made as a replacement for a special little girl that had loved her blanket to pieces.

Her mom found me online through my first crafty website, Jen’s Crochet & Crafts and we later met so she could show me the blanket and I could meet her daughter. I agreed to make it, if she’d pay for the yarn and make a donation to the blanket charity I volunteer for, The Linus Connection. She agreed and the replacement process began.

The blanket is a recreation made as close to the original design as possible. It was my great pleasure to crochet this for Ariel. It’s been at many years now, since I made Ariel’s Blanket. I hope she still has it, and loves it as much as she did the day I gave it to her!

Red Heart Baby Sport Pompadour Yarn: small
amount blue, yellow, green, peach & pink
(approx. 1 – 1½ oz.), 40 ounces white
For one square: small amount for center color,
approx. 2 oz white)

PC= Popcorn
Ch 3 counts as DC in PC st
Size “F” Hook

Finished Blanket is approximately 44″ x 54″

Row 1: Starting with center color, Ch 6, join with sl st. Ch 1, 12 sc in loop. Join with sl st.

Row 2: Ch 3, 4 dc in beg sc [drop loop from hook, insert hook in top of first dc, pull loop through to make first PC] ch 4, sk 1 sc, 5 DC in next sc, follow [ ], ch 4 around until you have 6 PC.

Row 3: ch 1, sc in same st. 7 dc in ch sp, sc in petal join st around. (6 “Petals”)

Row 4: ch 1, sc in same st, [ch 5, sc in next sc] around, join with beg sc with sl st.

Row 5ch 3, 4 dc in first ch sp. [In next sc: Dc, ch 3, dc. In next ch sp: 4 dc. Dc in sc. In ch sp: 3 dc, ch 3, 3dc] Dc in sc, 4 dc in ch sp. Repeat [ ], join with sl st to top of beg ch 3. Finish off.  (This seems very odd, but it works out!)

You should now have a square with equal sides, 9 stitches per side with a ch 3 in each corner.

Row 6: Join white in any corner sp. Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in same corner space. Ch 1. {[Dc in each of the next 3 dc. Ch 1] Repeat [] to corner space. In next corner space, 3 dc ch 3, 3 dc,ch 1}, Repeat {} around. Join with sl st at beg ch 3.

You should now have 5 clusters of 3 dc with a chain sp between on each side with ch 3 in each corner.

Row 7 & 8: Sl st to corner sp ch 3, 2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc. {3 dc in ch sp to next corner. 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in corner}. Repeat {} around. Join with sl st at the top of beg ch 3.

Row 9: (do not sl st to corner) ch 3 (counts as first dc), 1 dc in each dc to corner. {[3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in corner], 1 dc in each dc to corner}. Repeat {} around.

(for added variety, row 10 can also be in a contrasting color)

Row 10: ch 3, PC in next st, 1 dc, PC, 1 dc, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in all corners), 1 DC, pc, 1 dc, PC around.

Row 11: ch 3, DC in each st around, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in corners).

Row 12: ch 1, sc in each st around, 3 sc in corners. Finish off.

Make 20 squares. Join squares 4×5 either with whip st or sc. Add border.

Border: ch 3 counts as first stitch

cluster = 3 dc, ch 2, sc in 1st ch, 3 dc

(Here, your cluster is 3 double crochets with 2 chain stitches, then you single crochet in the first chain stitch you just made. This makes a point in the middle of the cluster. You then make 3 more double crochets to finish the cluster.)

Join white in second sc of corner, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, sc in first ch, 3 dc, skip 1 sc, sc in next ch, (cluster, sk 1 sc, sc in next ch, cluster), around.

Each square should have 6 clusters, not counting corner clusters.

Join with sl st, finish off, weave in ends.

Happy crafting!

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This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of the blog.

Ariel's Blanket by Cathie Morales

Way Back Craft: Marble Backsplash

Once upon a time, we were renters. Every place we lived in belonged to someone else. The color and interest we had were from fabrics and furniture. I could not wait until we had our own place so we could add and change color whenever we pleased!

One of the first projects for my kitchen when we moved in nine years ago was a backsplash. There was originally nothing behind the sink except wall. The paint was peeling and just kind of nasty. I had been collecting different colors of florist marbles and the two came together one night in a stroke of inspiration. It’s been about eight years now and the backsplash still looks as good as it did then!

D-I-Why? Well, because it’s my house and I can!

Marble Backsplash
© Jennifer Ofenstein

● Clean, dry scrub brush
● Florist marbles (flat on one side), washed and dried
● Tile Adhesive in a tube
● Pre-mixed grout
● Sponge
● Grout Sealant
● Latex Gloves (optional)

1. Scrub off loose paint with a dry brush.

2. Using tile adhesive and marbles of your color choice (the amount depends on the size of your space), apply in a pattern or design pleasing to you, leaving a small (about 1/4″) gap between marbles.

3. Allow to dry according to label instructions.

4. Using fingertips (with latex gloves if you like), apply premixed grout. It only takes a small amount. This and the adhesive can be found in the flooring department of your local home improvement store.

5. Smooth grout until it fills all the gaps.

6. Following manufacturer’s instruction, use a damp sponge to wipe grout from marbles.

7. After proper drying time, apply a grout sealer, following manufacturer’s instructions. It’ll make your grout last longer and help it stay cleaner.

Additional information: The window surround is not grouted. The windowsill was contoured using Plaster of Paris to make it look more like stone. This was painted over with the same color as the wall paint.

The beautiful stained glass was made by my mother-in-law, Carol Ofenstein.

This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of the blog.

also published on cut out + keep

Get Back Jack!

Jack-O-Lantern finger puppets

Once upon a time, I had a kindergartner. She was five years old, and was my oldest child. Halloween was, and had always been, our favorite holiday. When it rolled around, I wanted to make something to share with her class. It needed to be easy, child friendly, and cute. Jack was born, as were about 20 of his brothers. It was eight years ago now and my then five year old is thirteen and about to start eighth grade. Times have changed, but Jack is still easy, child friendly…and cute!
Crochet Pumpkin Finger Puppets
also makes a great magnet or pencil topper!
  • Small amount worsted weight yarn: Orange, black, green
  • H hook
  • tapestry/yarn needle
Pumpkin Body: With orange, make 2 (for fridgie, make 1): Ch 4, dc in 4th ch from hook 11 times. Join with sl st in top of ch 3. Leave a tail about 8″ long for stitching later. Jack-o-lantern face: Using black yarn with yarn needle, make Jack-O-Lantern face on one circle. Finish off. Joining the the halves: Using tail, and a yarn needle, join two circles by whipstitching through both sc. Leave an opening at the bottom large enough to put your finger or a pencil inside the pumpkin. Finish off. Stem: With pumpkin facing you, sl st in sc one st to the right of center. Sc in next st, sl st in next. Turn. (Do not ch 1) Sl st in next two st. Ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook. Sl st in next 3 ch, sl st again in base sc. Finish off. If making a magnet or fridgie, only make one circle before adding the stem and then glue a magnet to the back. Happy Crafting! p.s. If you make this or any Sewhooked craft or pattern, I would love to see it in the Sewhooked Facebook Group!

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