Friday, February 29, 2008

Easy as 1,2,3!

Did you know you can make homemade dinner rolls in under 90 minutes including the rise and bake time? I mean holly cow! These are phenomenal! You can find the recipe here. I highly recommend them. I usually have to go through a dozen recipes before I find something I like, but not this time. I double the recipe and it gives me a bakers dozen of rolls that fits perfectly in my corning ware dish. Just make sure you use bread flour. In this version I substituted 1.5 c of whole wheat flour and they still baked up tall and scrumptious.
Freshly rolled into little buns ready to be proofed.

Just after 30 minutes of raising in the warm, moist oven.

Exactly 20 minutes in the oven. Soooo GOOD!

If you have never made homemade bread before, but wanted to give it a try... here is the perfect chance. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thrift store hidden gems

I am in the process of playing around with a few new bag designs (did I ever mention I love this part of the process?) and I wanted to add some hardware to the feature list. Only to my dismay, I was in sticker shock at the retail price tag of snaps, clasps, D rings, and the like. A snap was $2.50. Rings 2 for $1.60. Add zippers, interfacing, expensive 'bought new from the store' fabric, and you are looking at some hefty material costs. Then their is labor. I actually figured out my hourly wage from my real job and then used that as the cost of my time to make bags. Heh. I can hear people complain now. "I can get a bag cheaper at Target!" Well you can. It's hard for some people to value handmade goods sometimes when they are in the Wal-mart state of mind.

But I digress. Back to my thrift store finds. I made my way to the 50% off sale at Salvation Army and started rummaging through the purse/bag piles. I had a whole arm full of purses and was getting weird looks from the other shoppers. I mean some bags are just plain ugly. But if you look past the stains and dirt and bad design you will find a whole treasure of hardware to harvest. Before I made my way up to the register I looked in my wallet and only found 2 dollar bills plus change, so I had to put back most of my selection. So two purses costing me a whopping $2.12 got me all of these.... Sorry. It's a nighttime photo.

But you know what's really bad? When you pull out your wallet, lay it on the counter to pay for your thrift store purchase and the sales associate tries to ring it up. I guess the 4 plus years I have been using this wallet is really showing. Is it time to get over the fact it's still functional but fug ugly and get a new one?

Monday, February 25, 2008

WIP- New bag for me!

This weekend I started the cutting and construction of a new bag for work. I wanted something classic and simple on the outside with a touch of detailing flair and very summery and colorful on the inside. My idea was to detail the denim outside of the bag with pin tucks. Of course I have to make a little zippy pouch to work through my idea and see if I would visually like it. I gave it 2 thumbs up and started cutting and sewing. It take a little bit of time, because I carefully measure everything, make sure its all square, iron it into place and then sew- for each one. No messing around on this one.

This is one of the outside pockets all ready to be sewn with the main panel, but since this morning I changed my mind and want a pleat in on the pocket. Do I have enough fabric to recreate? Let's hope so!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


My sister came down from college last night for visit, er drop off her taxes. She arrived in time to visit with some friends for a prime rib dinner. This morning we enjoyed the classic egg, cheese, and bacon toast sandwich (heavy on the cheese) before she had to leave to head back to school. But before she left I finally got a picture of that HUGE bag I made her. She has been taking it everywhere, so it seems to suit her needs. Goody.

It has one large slip pocket and a 12'' zipper pocket on the inside with a key fob. This is defiantly a weekender bag. It has a 5'' gusset for even more room and a magnetic closure. I hand sewed on two snaps on each gusset so she can slim the bag down a bit if she wants.

A closer up of the pleats I love so much. I used a contrasting kelly green thread to tack them down about 3'' on each side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Call me lame, but I just discovered that Moo Cards exist. I think they are so cool! I'd love to turn some of my photos into little business cards. Fun, fun, fun! But if any of you have any advise on what works best in terms of photo quality and if there is a color discrepancy, please let me know.

Just to warn you, I think this summer will be the season of pleats and pin tucks for me. They are all I am sewing now. (And I think several other people have the pleating fever as well. Do you?)

Oh, and can you believe I missed my one year blogging anniversary? Shame, shame on me. Belated parties are still fun, right?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New color pallet = new sewing projects

I have been building this collection of fabrics for quite a few months. I think it started with some pillow cases received in a swap (can't remember which one!) and then after bringing home some thrifted fabric I found out they coordinated quite well. Along with the old yardage and pillow cases there are two vintage aprons in the pile, but most importantly all the materials were previously loved. This is the beginning of a new summer blanket I plan on sewing together. However, minus the polka dot fabric, all of the fabric pieces are pillow case size or smaller. So I have some more collecting to do.

(If you have some vintage/thrifted fabrics that would coordinate well and want to swap for stuff, let me know. Maybe you also are collecting fabric for a future sewing project I can help you out with? Or want to expand your color pallet?)

So they are stacked proudly in my sewing room to continue to inspire me every time I see them. And if you have been reading my blog, you may remember that I have said I would not start another blanket until I finish my "4 year quilt project". Little does my husband know that tonight after a soft taco dinner, I am moving my sewing machine to the kitchen table and he is helping me maneuver the denim quilt to finish the edges of the quilt. Then it's off to the laundry mat to be washed and dried (rinse and repeat) until its soft and frayed. I can't wait! I already spoke with the lady that owns the local coin op and she said as long I dropped off some quarters she would wash and dry my quilt as many times as I want that way I can pick it up when I am done working. YAY !

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Red and Turquoise Swap

Awhile ago, Mary Ann posted a blog entry about expanding her color pallet to enjoy a new phase in creativity. I made the suggestion/ challenge of using red and turquoise for the new year and we made it a swap.
Beautiful tea towels find their home immediately in my kitchen!

I recently received my end of the swap and let me tell you, Mary Ann knows how to stuff a box! It was like digging into Mary Poppins bag. Never ending! I loved it. And it was full of inspiration. I would say half of the items already are strewn around my home. Like the turquoise place mats that are already in the washer. Then we have the bundle of zippers and vintage trims.

Here's a sampling of goodies I got! Now take a look at the red clothes pin hanger. I need to find about 6 more so I can hang some sheers in my sewing room. How cool would that be? Thanks for the great idea Mary Ann! Oh, and did you happen to notice the AWESOME cards she made with vintage dress patterns? I got a bunch of those. It's going to be hard not to hoard them. AND FABRIC! Most of which found their way into my next project pile! It was a perfect compliment to the vintage and thrifted fabrics I have been collecting to make a summer blanket/quilt! More on that later.

And magnets! She sewed red crepe paper to make little envelopes to hold recycled Altoid tins that housed a whole host of homemade magnets! I love them! My house is getting cooler by the minute.

And, I have to give homage to Mary Ann's incredible thrifting skills. Mad skillz. She found me a pair of Kate Spade sunglasses to compliment my spring/summer look. The only 'problem' is I have already started wearing them and they are currently in my car, in the cold, amongst the snow, and I am in my pj's at the moment. I promise an action shot in the near future. Really awesome.


Friday, February 8, 2008


Day 5 of extreme head cold invasion.

That about sums it up. I missed a lot of work this week, but really, who wants to be around a red flaky nosed, stuffy head, who can sneeze and cough with out warning every minute or so?

Thank goodness the 3rd season of Lost made it into my little hands. And blogs. I read a bunch of posts. Commented on none. I blame the sickness.

No sewing to speak of. Oh, except I did fix the fitted sheet for our bed that ripped in the corner.

I did clean up my environment today in hopes it would make me feel better. That just made me very tired. Robitussin made me feel better.

I have been drinking my fluids, but so far the only noticeable difference is increased snot production.

This cold better not stick around much longer. Normally, I rebound a lot sooner than this.

Maybe a post worth reading will happen this weekend. Maybe.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Before I go to work this morning

Oh geeze. Have you looked outside? It's a raging ice storm here. It has warmed up to 32 degrees since I got up this morning and the roads seem to be OK. I do have my car started up to start shedding the sheet of ice that is blanketing it, but I am still debating about work.
But, while I was eating breakfast I browsed some of my favorite shops and saw Oriri Draco Design was having a huge sale! I don't even knit and I still ogle over her fibers. And it really is a steal to grab these at the price she has them at. I know how much work she puts into each and every skein. I just thought I should spread the word, and whoever decides to pick up the deep violet yarn pictured above is one lucky knitter. It's my favorite!