Dans le Lakehouse

Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

August 25, 2016

Komondor Stamped Birch Slice Coasters - Make a Set With Your Own Dog's Breed!

This is one of those easy DIY projects that was just so. much. fun.  Photographing it was the best.  While other bloggers were carefully curating their craft projects with pretty washi tape rolls and cacti, I was over here doing this:

DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse

It's no secret that I've become on of those people: totally smitten with my pup.  I had a dog before Szuka and, although she was wonderful, I do not remember being as deeply committed to my Jack Russel Terrier as I am to Szuka.  That says a lot because sometimes Szuka's stubborn Komondor ways make her difficult to love (like when I'm frantically running down our road and crashing through the woods, bra-less and in my pajamas in the pitch black - because there aren't street lights in the country - trying to lure her home after she escaped during her bedtime pee break).

But still, look at that face!   

Dog in a Canoe

Sometimes she's just the coolest dog around.  We took her for her first canoe ride this summer and she was so chill!  Now when we paddle around the bay, she rests her head and watches the shore, stopping to bark at that bitch Gracie (a miniature Schnauzer she loathes), but otherwise just enjoying the ride.  I can't help but be smitten with this dog!

Komondor in a canoe

When I came across a shop on Amazon that makes rubber stamps of various dog breeds, I immediately looked for a Komondor.  Sold!

I bought it to hand stamp some fabric, but I thought I would do a little experimenting first.  I used my stamp to make a set of DIY Komondor coasters and I love how they turned out:

DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse
DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse

Obsessed with your dog too?  Here's how I made my Komondor emblazoned coasters (they're SUPER simple):

DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse

Supplies:

How to Make Personalized Birch Slice Coasters:

Just like with my painted birch slice coasters, I cut birch slices with a chop saw and then sanded them smooth - peeling off any really loose layers of birch bark.  Next I applied a thin coat of white stain, to lighten the wood a bit so the stamped Komondor outline would stand out more clearly more.  The stain is totally optional, though!

DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse

When the stain dried, I brushed some paint onto the stencil, evenly spreading it out.  I tried a few stamps on a scrap piece of paper to get a feel for it.  I was never much of a scrapbooker or card-maker so this stamping thing was new to me!  I found that trying to apply even pressure took some practice.  With the stencil evenly covered in paint, I eyeballed the center of the birch slice, pressed down and lifted straight up - no wiggling or it smears the design.

DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse

I let the paint dry overnight, then applied a few coat of spray lacquer.

DIY Birch Slice Coaster Stamped with Dog Breed - Komondor Stamped Coaster, from @danslelakehouse

You can glue on a felt bottom or flip it over and spray the other side as well.  You could even paint the other side the same color as the stamp for a reversible coaster.  So many options!

I am really pleased with my Komondor stamp, which is from a company called Rubber Hedgehog.  They have a cute paw print stamp, if your pup's a lovable mixed breed.  There's also a dachshund rubber stamp that's too cute for words.   I can't even look at its face...  Next up, I want to stamp a white blouse with an all over Komondor print.  Then a tea towel.  Then everything Hubby owns while he's at work. 

P.S.  Have extra birch slices?  Check out my painted birch slice coasters and these DIY wood burned birch slice ornaments!
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August 22, 2016

Easy Chocolate Protein Bar Recipe

Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse

The grocery store ran a special deal last week: if we spent more than $250, we got a bonus box of goodies.  Hubby and I definitely didn't think our bill would be that high so we ignored the flyer but, lo and behold, at check out we got a prize pack!  Yikes, groceries are getting expensive.  The bonus box was a nice surprise though, because it had a lot of pantry staples - just not the brand I usually buy.  One day I looked at the ingredients on the deeelicious bonus box granola bar I was munching on and I realized it had a crazy amount of sugar!  No wonder they were so tasty...  Since quitting (but ultimately just cutting back on) sugar I've been reading labels carefully but because the granola bars we got were free, I didn't look.  The packaging was all about "nourishing" bodies, but the label revealed the truth: packed with sugar - fake sugar, real sugar, corn syrup, you name it!  Sure, there were some healthier ingredients, like nuts, but that wasn't the whole truth.  I felt duped.  If I'm going to eat a whole whack of sugar, it better be in a chocolate bar or a sundae - not when I think I'm eating something "healthy"!  

It's been awhile since I made my sugar-free zucchini brownie or my avocado protein brownie but since I was now craving granola bars thanks to the bonus box, I decided I better bake some of my own homemade bars!  I wanted something a little less dessert-like and I'd had a lot of success experimenting with protein bite balls so I decided to try something similar.  It's seriously EASY to make homemade protein bars and homemade granola bars - just whirl a bunch of ingredients in a food process until it's a sticky "dough," press into a parchment lined pan and bake.  It's a great way to use up dribs and drabs of ingredients in the pantry.
 
Here's my latest batch of homemade chocolate protein bars:   

Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse
Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse
Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse

I photographed these chocolate protein bars right out of the oven - they were still steaming and warm - so they're especially moist.  I store them in the fridge and they do harden up a bit, but remain very chewy. 

Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse
Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse

Ingredients:
Optional Topping:
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp stevia
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp unsalted sunflower seeds 
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries (look for no added sugar)

Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Protein Bars:

The steps for making your own protein bars or granola bars are so simple!

Grab your food process and shred the carrots first.  Then add the mixed nuts, nut butter, shredded coconut, coconut oil, bananas, brown rice syrup, flaxseed, protein powder, cocoa powder and oats.  Mix until it's all really finely chopped and blended completely, but not quite a paste - you want some texture to remain, not smooth like baby food!  It should only take a few minutes of pulsing.  If the mixture becomes too thick or your food processor struggles, add a splash of almond milk.

Press the mixture into a parchment lined pan (I used 8 x 8 for a thicker bar) and bake at 350 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.  Before the bars are done, melt the coconut oil and stevia in a pan on medium heat.  When the bars have been in the oven for 15 minutes, take them out and pour on the oil.  Cover with toppings: shredded coconut, stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, nuts and seeds or dried fruit (but watch for extra sugar in dried cranberries).  Pop back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

You can skip the topping completely, or just boycott the stevia if you prefer but I find that the tiny bit of stevia in the coconut oil and the chocolate chips adds a hint of sweetness I crave.  The brown rice syrup in the bars (also optional) is not very sweet so, overall, these bars are not sugary in the least.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can adjust to your own taste preferences - and easily make these 100% sugar-free (brown rice syrup is approved by the I Quit Sugar program I followed).

Remove and let cool an hour before cutting up.  Store in the refrigerator in a covered container. 

Bake Your Own Protein Bars! Easy Recipe from @danslalekehouse

Each time I make these protein bars I alter the ingredients a little but they always turn out so delicious - and filling!  
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August 19, 2016

Ahoy! Tour Our Updated Ticon 30 Sailboat Interior

Decorating a sailboat can be a little tricky because there are not a lot of opportunities for accessorizing - much to my disappointment.  For one, there's no room - this is kind of like tiny house living, so minimalism seems key.  More importantly, things can go flying when Lake Superior pummels us, so pottery, potpourri, and anything else we can't shove in a latched drawer is a firm "no," it turns out. 

But there are still many ways to update a 1980s boat interior because upholstery and other textiles can go a long way.  When I shared the first tour of our Ticon 30 sailboat, you got a glimpse of the all-beige interior: beige headliner, beige fiberglass, accented with beige upholstery!  I really find myself warming up to beige, cream, and off-white these days though, so I decided to embrace the beige and find inspiration in a moodier palette, with lots of rich blues.  The cushions were shot - in such terrible shape, that the seller actually knocked a bunch of money off the asking price so we could get them replaced.  I had a lot of fun choosing upholstery fabric and, after much deliberation, Hubby and I decided on a deep blue upholstery (Sunbrella Loft Indigo) which you saw a sneak peek of on Instagram.  Most colors made the beige headliner look dirty, but this rich blue made it look lighter and we figured it would hide dirt and muck well too.  I turned down teal - TEAL - but I like the classic, nautical feel of this blue.  It's such a gorgeous, rich shade and it really changes color when you look at it from different angles, which I love!

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

Here's quick trip down memory lane - for more photos of the "before," check out this post.  The "before" photos were snapped with Hubby's phone when the boat was still tarped, so the quality is different but it's also shinier and gleamier now because I went through a bottle and a half of teak oil and removed about 16 garbage bags of stuff. 

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
BEFORE
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
BEFORE
When you first clamber down the companionway into our boat, this is the view now:

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

We were both surprised by how much stuff was left behind by the former owner - some of it useful, some of it not.  We spent weeks just sorting, emptying, cleaning; I vacuumed the headliner, scrubbed surfaces, sorted through drawers, oiled teak.  Meanwhile, Hubby worked on the engine and tackled various repairs.  The unexpected de-cluttering set us back a little and it's part of the reason we launched so late in the season, but it was necessary - and oddly satisfying!

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

On the port side (I've gotta learn this!), is a settee with fold down table and also a neat bed extender - plus the galley (kitchen).  I changed the design of the settees a little, asking the upholsterers to remove the tufting and square off the corners for a cleaner, more modern look.

I didn't show you the teak table when it's open in the first tour - it folds down and another section slides out to reach the other settee.  Such a clever design!  I like that it can fold completely out of the way. 

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

The little galley is adorably tiny and I absolutely cannot picture whipping up anything more than a sandwich in there right now, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  I'd love to find a cute vintage stove and maybe replace the sink and faucet at some point.  But for now, a good clean and some irresistible (clearance) melamine bowls from HomeSense do the trick!

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

On the starboard side, there's another longer settee, the navigation station, and quarter berth:

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

Beyond the little door is a bank of tiny drawers, hanging storage, a teeny tiny bathroom (the "head") and the v-berth with more drawers.  Fun fact: if I need to, I can scramble up the hatch in the v-berth onto the deck surprisingly nimbly.   

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

This is the view looking toward the stern (back):

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

I love the new upholstery fabric and fresh new mattress-grade foam (so comfy!).  My DIY ice dyed pillows look perfect in here and really brighten up the space!  Now that it's clean and we're using the boat, I'm assessing what else we can do to spruce it up.  I have a secret Pinterest board just brimming with nautical crafts and projects...

Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse
Tour the Before and After of This Updated Ticon 20 Sailboat @danslelakehouse

There is some terrible wall covering in the head and little storage area that I'd love to cover up, but I need to figure out what can withstand the moisture.  We're eyeing a cute nautical wall sconce for more light - plus we'd like to upgrade the existing interior lights.  I'd love to make some DIY fitted sheets and some sturdy, washable, cozy blankets - maybe a quilt?  That would be fun - and daunting.  I have pinned some cute macrame projects too because a woven hanging fruit basket would be adorable.

Any ideas?

A huge thanks to Sunbrella for providing the Loft Indigo fabric.  I am absolutely thrilled with the quality of the fabric and the gorgeous, deep shade of blue.  I'm already eyeing up some other nautical fabrics to have our forest green bimini re-done...   
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August 17, 2016

How to Sew a Pillow with a Flapped Zipper

My Mom and I disagreed a little when sewing my DIY ice dye pillows for the boat.  I wanted to do a chunky exposed gold zipper but my Mom wanted to do a flapped zipper, like we usually do.  We discovered that a pretty, smooth gold zipper is around $21 bucks here (yikes), but I really wanted an exposed gold zipper - "so nautical," I argued.  We rummaged around our local Fabricland until we found a less expensive option.  Once we got it home, however, my Mom was worried that the somewhat rough teeth on our cheaper gold zipper would chew up my new boat upholstery from constantly being rubbed against it.  She suggested we go back to our DIY pillow with a flapped zipper idea.  I wanted an exposed gold zipper.

Here is our tutorial for sewing a pillow with a flapped zipper.

:)

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

First decide on the pillow size (we made 16"x16", 18"x18", 20"x20" and 22"x22" pillows for variety).  No matter the size, we added about a 5/8" salvage seam.

Once you've decided on your pillow size and added the salvage seam allowance to your measurement, cut out two squares of fabric.  If you've dyed it like mine, or it's reversible, decide on the front and back.  Place the two squares together, right sides facing inward.  Determine zipper placement; we centered it and left an inch on either side of the zipper.  Use pins to mark this placement: 

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Set the zipper aside and sew the bottom of your pillow shut, using normal stitches outside of the zipper but, where the zipper will be, use a basting stitch - the largest stitch your machine can do.

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

When you're done, snip the basting every inch or sew.  You want it to remain sewn together, but easy to open later.

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Fold the front of the pillow onto itself below the line you just sewed:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

With the front of the pillow pushed out of the way, pin one half of the open zipper onto the back of the pillow, face down, with the teeth right up against the seam you made (it should be touching):

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Here's a closer look:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Attach the open zipper, sewing from the closed end of the zipper toward the open end of the zipper, using a zipper foot.  The needle should be on the left side of the zipper foot.  Most zippers will have a different stitching/texture to provide a guide as to where to stitch (usually about halfway):

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

And then you've got this:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

I'll zoom in a little:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Fold the freshly sewn zipper underneath the pillow and close the zipper.  Pin the front of the pillow out of the way, so a tiny strip of the back of the pillow is exposed:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Move the zipper foot so that the needle is now on the right side.  Sew in the same direction - bottom of zipper toward its opening (same direction as last time).  The point of this step is to anchor the strip of the back, so the zipper sits nice and flat. 

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

This is what it should look like:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Here's a better look:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Take the whole pillow, open it up and face it downward - with back of zipper toward you:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Keep the zipper foot as it was in the last step.  Now sew the side that hasn't been stitched yet.  Start where you left off, sew across the zipper tape (beyond the zipper stop), pivot and keep sewing along the un-sewn edge to affix the zipper to that side.  When you reach an inch from the other end, pause.

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Before you get to the end, open up the zipper and move the zipper pull away from the edge, toward the area you've already sewn down.  Anchor your needle, lift the presser foot, lift up the front of the pillow and with your fingers gently pull apart where basting was cut.  Your pillow should open easily and you can move zipper pull down so you can sew past in nicely.

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Then you have this:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Now open up the basting you sewed in the first step:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

Making sure to keep the zipper open (so important, lol), flip the pillow so the right sides are facing inward and sew the edges of the pillow with a 5/8" seam allowance:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

When the pillow is finished, and turned right side out, this is what the flapped zipper looks like:

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse
How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

When she's right, she's right: this flapped zipper looks polished, plus the zipper won't chafe my brand-spanking new upholstery job on the boat!  Mom's clever, she's really clever.

How to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper | @danslelakehouse

For a look at how I made the ice dye fabric we used, be sure to check out my post on ice dyeing.  Or if you're looking for a smaller project, take a peek at my DIY ice dye napkins!  We're got other sewing tutorials too, like:

How to sew a mitered corner (for polished DIY napkins and other linens):

How to sew mitered corners | @danslelakehouse

How to sew a fell seam (perfect for making a tablecloth from too small fabric):

How to sew a fell seam | @ danslelakehouse

How to sew a self-lined fabric clothespin bag:

How to sew a DIY fabric clothespin bag | @danslelakehouse

How to sew a pot holder (plus the right heat shield material to use!):

How to sew a pot holder | @danslelakehouse

How to sew back tab curtains:

DIY Back Tab Curtains | @danslelakehouse

How to sew gathered curtains:

DIY Gathered Curtains | @danslelakehouse

Check out all of our sewing tutorials here - and let me know if there are any others you'd like to see!  This fall and winter I hope to tackle sewing dresses from vintage patterns, taking clothes in, finally finishing my embroidery project (oy), and some other fun sewing projects, but we're taking requests...
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