Wednesday, December 18, 2013
So I haven't been sewing much lately, but I have been baking.
I got a sudden urge to buy a bread machine. Yup, I'm way behind the times but that's OK. So, I've been making bread just about every day for the last two weeks. However, in order to do so, I've pretty much had to give myself the equivalent of a college course on wheat, yeast, all the various ingredients and the history of bread making in general. I've obviously underestimated bread all my life.
Today, I actually made this bread in the KitchenAid mixer and baked it in the oven, but the recipe was from the bread machine recipe book I got last week. The bread machine was already occupied with another bread treat I'm going to try to freeze for Christmas.
Maybe it's because I'm Hispanic, but I don't understand why cake is called bread just because it's baked in a loaf pan. "Pan", "queque", "torta". "Bread", "cake", "cake"??? English doesn't make a lot of sense sometimes.
So, I bought the West Bend High-Rise Bread Machine from Walmart online because it was a good deal and I just happened to find a $50 gift card to Walmart I'd apparently been saving for this moment for the past three years. I also bought the kindle version of The Bread Love'rs Bread Machine Cookbook.
I made these real quick for my son's dance teachers. And they smelled soooo good baking in the oven. I had to make a couple more for us. The tags are a free download from Lia Griffith. I love her designs.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
I bought this fabric at, what I still call the $2 Dollar Fabric Store. I think it's called Home Fabrics now. They mostly carry discount upholstery fabrics and rugs. They had this fabric on clearance in a cart outside the door. It's very cheap and who knows what questionable, synthetic material it's made out of but hey the pattern, drape and price was right! Especially considering the overpriced quilting cottons or psychedelic, old-lady synthetics available at my local Jo-Ann's, all of which are such poor offerings for kids clothes.
This was a pretty easy blouse to make. The only thing that was difficult was gathering the edges of the neck and sleeves because the fabric frays like crazy. This was also my second attempt at a rolled hem on my serger for the ruffle edges, and I was really happy to have this new skill.
The blouse came out surprisingly nice. I wasn't sure what she'd wear it with at first. She's not really a blousy-type girl. But the yellow capris I made her last year made a perfect match. This is a really cute and wearable blouse if made in the right fabric. I'm not saying discount, unknown fibers is the right fabric. It just needs to be light and a little drape-y.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
[Shirt: Janie & Jack; Pants: previously made Ottobre; Shoes: Gap Kids: Hat: Gap Kids]
The vest was pretty easy to make. The hard or next to impossible part was finding ribbing to match the jersey knit in the same color. Didn't happen. So I had to use the same fabric for the waist band, arm, and neck bands.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
|I know. A half-eaten plate of food probably doesn't photograph as that appetizing. I always decide to take a photo of my plate after I get a taste of it and it's so delicious, I want to preserve it visually.|
Zucchini is about the only thing that is thriving in my little square foot garden, probably because the huge leaves are killing everything else off. I had leftover lamb and rice from my husband's requested birthday dinner and I thought I would add some zucchini fritters to it. I just Googled a recipe and kind of modified it for what I had on hand.
These are sooooo good. Probably too good. Everything fried is good, isn't it. I don't fry stuff often. I even pulled the never-used iron skillet out for these. I shredded the zucchini in the Cuisinart. Super easy. Everyone loved these. I also made the Savory Zucchini Pie last week. Probably a little more healthy and super delicious too.
Monday, August 19, 2013
So this past weekend, I thought we would dedicate some time to the long list of neglected house repairs: re-painting the garage man door and trim, stripping and re-staining the front door, WEEDING, there's always weeding, replacing light bulbs in the outdoor garage light fixtures, etc. Instead, while picking up supplies at Home Depot, I remembered one of the items in my long running, mental to do list & ideas --Replace the hideous chain link fence on my parent's side yard with a gated fence. I've been scheming to do this at some convenient time that they are out of town (you can't do anything with my dad around, it's not fun) and we have plenty of time and the inclination to do it. Well, it dawned on me, while carting the kids around in Home Depot, taking turns going to the bathroom, and trying to remember everything we needed for out little chores, that --Hey! They are out of town! And, we have maybe two days to do this.
My husband thinks I do these things on purpose, but I can't have everything pre-planned out all the time! Luckily, he just rolled with it (for the most part).
The reason I felt a burning need to do this instead of painting my own front door is that there is no access from the front to the backyard other than through the house. There is solid chain link fence on both sides of the house. You can get to the back through the garage man door but, my dad, in his infinite man wisdom made a deck in the back yard many years ago. He decided it needed to transition onto another deck close to ground level and made a little walkway with steps down to the garage door and down to the backyard. I was like, "Uh, isn't that going to make it REALLY hard to get the lawnmower from the front to the back and visa versa???!!!" Well, he didn't really care about that, but it certainly does make it hard, and I suspect other people will be doing more lawn mowing than he will soon so a gate in the side yard was necessary. Plus sometimes, I need a way to sneak back there when the front door is locked.
When this was just an idea in my head, I thought we'd do vinyl fence with virtually no up-keep but since this was spur of the moment, we used these pre-made cedar panels from Home Depot. They are eight feet long, so we had to cut them and re-assemble the ends. I didn't get a real Before picture, because we were all about getting it done marathon style and by the time I felt leisurely enough to take a photo, the husband had already taken the chain link fence down and we had made some progress getting the posts in.
I will tell you, this took two full days. I had to leave my kids (3, 5, and 8) in the house and back yard unattended most of the time with only the TV to babysit them. Every time I went to check on them, I would discover that they tried to feed the dogs too many times. I even found the Super D (the 3-year-old) walking around the yard with a small glass bowl of dog food as snacks. They tried to eat everything in the refrigerator despite my adamant demands that they not touch it. Getting projects done like this is like the Amazing Race, exhausting, messy, frightening, and testing. It was also 96 degrees the first day and then there was a thunderstorm!
Soooo, I was so happy that we were able to do it! I even had to install a small retaining wall to fill the gap on the right caused by the slope of the yard. I also did a tiny area of pavers under the fence so it won't get muddy in there. I had to severely cut down the two thorny rose bushes in the front just to get in there. Those things are brutal!
So my parent's should be coming back home today. First, hopefully they will notice (they're elderly). Next, I hope everything is level. I know my dad will check for level. And last, I hope my kids didn't clog the toilet in their house or leave some other kind of unintended pleasant surprise.
Labels: DIY Home
Friday, August 2, 2013
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
I got this special German edition of Burda magazine a few weeks ago, and look who's in it. This is the Godet Skirt I made last December in a fuscia stretch velvet.
I left the magazine out to see if anyone would notice. Yes, people (regular, normal people that don't sew) actually do pick it up to peruse it at my house. Yeah, no one noticed. My kids were pretty excited about it though.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
This is currently my favorite breakfast:
- Kodiak Whole Wheat Flapjack mix pancakes
- with fresh mangoes
- and Kodiak Raspberry syrup (there's also a Marionberry syrup that is equally good)
Delicious! And if you eat this outside, it's even better.
If you're trying to make the switch from white flour baked goods to whole wheat, like I've been trying to do for a few years now, this pancake mix is a sure winner.
This also helps explain, why there are less posts about sewing and crafting. I've been concentrating my efforts on eating yummy things.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
She had a trench from the Gap I loved so much, she wore it for about four years which is like wearing something for half your life when you're child.
When I saw this in the Ottobre issue, I was determined to make it before she got to old for the cuteness of it.
I had a heck of a time finding fabric. I really liked the orange color in the magazine but couldn't find anything like it. There was a whole incident at the Bernina store with the lady that decided to cut me down to size when I asked for help finding "cotton poplin". She told me there was no such thing. All poplin is polyester. Took me to some hideous 70's polyester. Yes, I had told her I was making a child'r trench coat. When I politely tried to get her to not help me anymore, she through her Major in Fiber at me. Insane. Then I found this blood orange, unmarked fabric on sale for about $4.00/yd which I'm pretty sure is COTTON POPLIN and bought it. Then she tried to force me to buy matching thread. It was horrible. I barely made it out of there without blowing my top.
I'm sure she would balk if she knew that I didn't use matching thread ON PURPOSE. I used hot pink. Yes people, hot pink with blood orange. I would have liked to find duck egg blue for the buttons, but no such luck so I had to settle for these gray ones which somehow happened to be the most expensive buttons at JoAnn's.
I was very happy with result despite getting off to a disappointing start. I expected the welt pockets to go quite well but I they weren't as smooth as they should be. The pattern markings simply weren't enough for me on this one. I also messed up by forgetting to do the double top-stitching on them and had to do the second line after they were already on. It's not too noticeable though.
Here's a peek at the lining. It's white cotton with light green/gray dots. A fabric I already had in my stash.
It was freezing when we took this photos. She was a good sport and was very happy when I told her to just put on a hat and that it was OK to be cold in the photo..
And last, I found a great source for European shoes and was so happy when they opened an online store. That is until I went to pay. I had to swallow hard several times before clicking the submit button. I store these beauties in my closet to insure nothing happens to them and maybe they can become an heirloom her daughter can wear someday.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Blendtec is having a Smothie Stash Contest on their facebook page. Vote for our photo or enter your own for a chance to win a Blendtec blender.
I've been making smoothies for the kids for about a year and recently ventured into hummus. I even made my own tahini yesterday (for the hummus). Ironically, I didn't even know what tahini was before yesterday. I also made sun butter for my nut-allergy guy. It's a great way to ease your way into a healthier eating lifestyle.
Monday, May 6, 2013
When I spotted this camera fabric at Hobby Lobby, I couldn't help myself, I had to make something with it. Why not a dress. I picked out the white with black pin dot fabric for the yoke for a bit of contrast and also decided to add the aqua piping in between the yoke and bodice for a bit of color interest and playfulness to the black and white.
I made the size 128 cm which is probably still a bit big on Monkey Pants' slender frame but that's OK. Aside from the little fabric variations, I did engage in a bit of totally unnecessary nonsense with the yoke. The pattern has a facing but I decided to do a full lining and then realized I would have to put the facing on there anyway to be able to finish the top edge. Overkill with lining the yoke. But Monkey Pants does have an appreciation for smooth seams.