Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

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I love a good carrot cake, don't you? It seems so grown-up and elegant. An adult eating vegetables that are disguised as cake. I've used this recipe for our last 14 Easter Celebrations. It's always a hit. It is nut, pineapple and coconut free! It is incredibly moist and the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting just melts on your tongue! I added candied carrots to mine for that sophisticated look, but honestly, this cake is just as worthy of your swoons when it is made as a simple sheet cake. 

Best carrot cake ever with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Every time I bake this cake, I remember the first time I did. We were living in Manhattan, Kansas and I was a newlywed with a baby on the way.
Simple Nut Free Carrot Cake

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Knock Off Vintage Bobbin Spools

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I had a couple people comment on the bobbin spools in my Spring Mantel Post, so I thought I would do a step by step tutorial on how easy these are to make!
You can find vintage spools or bobbins ,in all shapes and sizes, at all different price points, at thrift stores, antique shows or on websites like Etsy or Ebay. But they are just as easy to make yourself!
Knockoff vintage bobbin spools

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Mantel: Peony "Spring Banner" Wreath, handmade bobbin spools and Radiant Orchid Artwork

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I've had some requests for my Spring Mantle so I'm sharing it with you today. It's pretty basic, with lots of Spring-y colors! I love the radiant orchid, the hot pink and light pink, the whites, the green from the flowers, the violet from the oversized glass candle holders, and the aqua from the mason jar and the lace on a spool. I'll warn you the post is picture heavy, but I wanted you to get a sense of the scale of all the pieces. My house doesn't get much sunlight on the mantle, and indoor photography is not my forte (neither is outdoor!), but I hope you enjoy the pictures non the less!
Springmantel decor small

The mantle has the same cherry mirror that stays up all year long (It matches Hub's bookcases). In the center I have my Spring wreath (would you like to hear more about how I made that?). Each side flanks the wreath with flowers and handmade bobbin spools that are made to look like the old vintage ones!
Spring Mantel Colalge MajHoffTakesAWife
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Old Sewing Studio

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I'm so excited to be a part of this blog hop! I love seeing where people create, and I hope you enjoy this tour of my old studio.

Craft Room Tour button

Yes, the title says the "Old Sewing Studio". This was my studio that I used several years ago while I was selling on Etsy under the name "GrantziePantz". My shop is still there, but I no longer do the sewing that I used to. Since I have transitioned from sewing to more general crafts and blogging, I decided a change was in order. Which meant the "Great Room Swap of 2013". Yes, it's been that long. And yes, my "new studio" is far from completed. I'm hoping it will be much more warm and cheerful, more organized, and more "my space". Don't get me wrong, my old studio was all---my space. But it was set up to sew as a business and so although sewing was at my fingertips, not much else was. 

Bernina Serger in Sewing studio

My Bernina Serger. She is a workhorse. Also a overstitch machine. It was an investment, but I'm so glad I bought her

My sewing room when we first moved into this house was in the largest bedroom. I felt guilty about it, and moved it to here--the smallest bedroom (it's now of course back in the biggest room, LOL). Sewing for me was therapeutic. We had moved 2500 miles away, I had just had my 4th child, my thyroid was going crazy, and frankly so was I. Every night, when the insomnia crept in, I hid in my sewing room. I would sew until all hours of the night. It was a welcome relief to the thoughts of worry and anxiety that filled my head at night. I would work until my eyes would hold themselves open no more, and finally give in to the rest I needed. 


Sewing Studio Grantzie Pantz Designs

The basic layout of my studio at the time. A table flanked by 2 bookshelves, holding fabrics galore. My ironing board agains the window, the cutting table on the opposite wall. The large kitchen table held my embroidery machine, my sewing machine and my serger. Since then, I have acquired another serger & machine.

The white toy box below the table holds scraps.


Fabric Stash GrantziePantz Studio

A peek into my stash at the time. Lots of Sandi Henderson (Farmers Market is still my favorite), some Patty Young, and a few imports.

Janome 9500 in sewing room

My trusty Janome. This girl has been with me since 2003 or so. She is worth her weight in gold. 

Longaberger wrought iron stand with fabric strips

I sold Longaberger baskets for years, and my sewing studio housed a bunch of them. In the top basket are strips ready to piece into a quilt. The top two held notions and the bottom held books, magazines and manuals.

Little bookcase for sewing patterns

A small shelf held patterns, notions, serger thread and an extra iron. The top had my postal scale which was handy for my Etsy store!

Collapsable Cutting table

The cutting table here was collapsable but was pretty much always up. Projects ready to sew in the bins, lots of sewing gadgets in the baskets and rulers galore. I wear the apron when sewing, and the lanyard keeps my small sewing scissors around my neck so I don't lose them.

After about a year, I did replace the cutting table with this double duty cutting/ironing board. I shot the pictures in the playroom at the time.

double duty cutting ironing sewing table 

Dress form bulletin board

A spot in the corner had a mannequin for Etsy pictures, business cards in a basket, a cork board for swatches and a chalkboard for current orders.

It wasn't the most glamorous room, but it certainly functioned well. Today I dream of a studio that is painted and pretty, with decorator touches in every corner. This room certainly wasn't the warmest coziest room, but in it I was able to sew the baby blues away. I found joy in creating new things, things that couldn't be destroyed. After a day or endless dishes, laundry and diaper changes, and doing it all over again---it was nice to make something and know the job was done. I made boutique outfits galore, sewed for the girls I would never have, made burial gowns for precious babies who were angels too soon, and warmed people's homes with quilts. I'm excited to see what is in store for the new "crafting space". 

Here is a picture collage of a sampling of the boutique outfits I created. 

The pictures are taken by the fabulous Kari Bruck Photography  

Kari Bruck Photography GrantziePantz Desgins

A quilt, one of many that graced the studio...

Sandi Henderson Amy Butler Quick Baby Quilt

A Baby Burial Gown that I sewed in tears for my friend's precious daughter (Sadly, also not the last)

Catherine s Angel Gown

And one more look back of the studio……..

Sewing Studio Grantzie Pantz Designs


Be sure to check out all the awesome rooms on Angie's blog--she's doing the tour for 1 week! WOW!  The Country Chic Cottage

If your following the hop, you might have stumbled here via Carla! Thanks for dropping by! If you haven't seen Carla's craft room view it here! 

The next stop on the tour is Roeshel @ DIY Showoff! View her amazing craft room here! 

As always, thanks for stopping by! Please leave comments and tell me about your craft space. If you could design your dream space--what would it have?

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Easy Spring artwork using canvas frames!

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Happy Monday all you fabulous people!

I'm so excited to tell you that I'm guest hosting over at the Mom It Forward Community Blog!

I'm showing you how to make inexpensive artwork for your home---just in time for spring!

Easy Spring Artwork using Pantone color of the year

Be sure to hop on over HERE to get the step by step DIY tutorial! 

Spring Printable closeup

Recognize that artwork in the frame? That was the FREE Spring Printables I posted about yesterday on the blog. 


Also, really hop in at the Mom it Forward community! They have something for everyone--including fun twitter parties!

It's a great way to connect!

Have a lovely week!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Free Spring Printables! Spring has sprung!

Pin It Spring is certainly in the air in Texas---we have bluebonnets everywhere! I'm busy working on Spring crafts. For one of my crafts I needed 2 spring printables, and since I whipped them up, I wanted to share them with all of you lovely people! Please feel free to download the files. The actual artwork fits a 4 x 6 frame, but will print out on an 8 x 10.
Here is the first one:
Spring Has Sprung free printable

I love seeing mourning doves in my backyard and so this quote was quite fitting. 
Mourning doves spring free printable

I can't wait to share with you later this week what I did with these fun printables! What about you---are you putting touches of Spring around your house? 
**If you have any issues with the printables please let me know and I will try to help. All printables are free for personal use only, thanks!
Have a wonderful day lovely reader! -Mrs Major Hoff (Sara) Pin It

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quick Easter Craft: Decoupaged plank wood Happy Easter sign

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The following post contains affiliate links. 
As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

I’ve been busy crafting up a storm the last 2 weeks. I’m hoping to post more of the projects over the next few weeks. I wanted to share this quick project today. 

Easter Sign cricut decoupage


I had a ton of left over plank wood after planking the little boys room. I decided to paint a few with some Americana Decor Chalky Paint and Decoupage them. For this one, I simply cut out the letters for Happy Easter on my Cricut Expression. The flowers are 3-D flowers that you can also find on Cricut’s website. I love the whimsy they provide! I used hot glue for the flowers to stick, but the letters I brushed lightly with modge podge. Once that dried I covered the sign again with modge podge. Hot glueing the flowers on was the last step. 

Full Easter window with sign above

I simply placed the sign atop my vintage window. Sorry for the crummy iPhone pic.

Here is a closer view:

Happy Easter Flower plank art

One of the reasons why I’m sharing today’s post is because Cricut is having a fabulous sale right now. If you hadn’t noticed—you can see on my sidebar that “I’m a Cricut Fan”! Have you seen the new machine? It’s beyond amazing! I have been using my Cricut Expression for a few years now and LOVE it. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t recommend it to you :) Be sure to check out the sales that Cricut is running right now. 

Until April 6th, all cartridges and images will be 30% off (Sorry-no machines, supplies or embossing). Use coupon code: SPRING30 to save 30%


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