September 29, 2010

Fancy Schmancy Sewing Machine

My mom is visiting for a couple of days and with her came her Serger. I am excited to work on a few projects I have been saving for just such an occasion. Although I will have to have her thread it for me because all of those spools look a bit intimidating.


September 24, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Swiffer Cover

I try to be very environmentally friendly and use reusable products that don't create a lot of waste.  I use cloth diapers, cloth wipes, washcloths instead of paper towels, cloth napkins... you get the idea. But we have tile floors that tend to get really dusty and using the Swiffer sweeper is just so convenient. After seeing my garbage can full of disposable Swiffer sheets I knew I could do better. So I made a reusable cover out of fleece! It works great and can be washed so I won't be creating any more garbage, plus I get the added bonus of not spending another penny on sweeper sheets.

Want to make one? Here's how I did it. 

I cut one 5.5 x 11 inch rectangle and two 5.5 x 4 inch rectangles.  I don't know much about fleece, but mine only stretched in one direction. I cut my pieces so the 11" and 4" inch sides were the lengths that would stretch. (Does that make any sense?)

I pinned my smaller pieces onto the bigger piece lining up the ends. I don't really think this is necessary because the fabric didn't move around much once I put the pieces together, but it only took about two seconds to do so better safe than sorry.

I sewed a 1/4" seam around three sides of the smaller pieces, leaving the middle open. 

I turned it inside out. I would say right side out, but I don't think there is really a right side. I didn't worry about turning under any of the raw edges because it won't fray and really, I'm using it on the floor, it doesn't need to look too pretty.

I put it on my Swiffer and now I'm ready to clean!

I like how it turned out. My somewhat Type A personality wishes I used a white fleece to be able to see all the dirt it is picking up, but I didn't have any white fleece so the green will have to work.

September 22, 2010

Hello, Fall! 

I don't know about you, but I am ready for everything fall has to offer. Hope you all have a great start to what is, in my opinion, the best season of the year! 


September 20, 2010

Flannel Jumper for Miss A

Has anyone else heard about the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley? I hadn't until today, but I feel like I should join considering I have been sewing new clothes for Audrey during her naps for the last two days. I have never sewn kid's clothes before, but it so much fun.

I have been wanting to sew a jumper for quite some time now, but couldn't find just the right pattern so I decided to make my own and am really happy with the results. It was surprisingly easy, from start to finish I was able to get it done during her morning nap. I originally bought some cute corduroy fabric to use, but didn't want to waste it if my pattern didn't work. I am glad I used this piece of flannel that I had sitting around, it is super cute and was very forgiving to sew with. The jumper isn't perfect, but most of my sewing isn't and I don't think she will ever care.

{I told you I had a cute model lined up!}
I used this tutorial from Made By Rae for the tights. It's a great tutorial and was really easy. Although I will need to add a few inches to the length next time, I'm not sure if it is the bulk added by the cloth diapers or just long legs, but they are a little short for her.

September 19, 2010

Win Some, Lose Some

It rained today! If you know me at all you know that this is definitely good. Let me say it again, IT RAINED TODAY!!! Granted it was only for a little bit and it really wasn't very hard, but still, it was rain. Sweet smelling, pavement wetting, dirt settling rain. I went outside and stood in it.

On a very sad note, my current favorite pair of jeans have developed a hole in the knee. Unfortunately, I am not of the mindset that holes are cool. I have a lot of other jeans I could choose from, but these are so comfortable and fit my 3 month post-pregnancy body the best.  Oh well. I foresee them being added to the Goodwill bag very soon... maybe someone else can appreciate the holes more than me.

p.s. I was able to get some good nap time sewing in today. Check back tomorrow for pictures - I have lined up one super cute model!

September 18, 2010

Sticky Buns

We have done a lot of celebrating this past week. Not only did Bryce have several days off (enough of a reason to celebrate), but we also celebrated two birthdays and an anniversary. In my family when there is something to celebrate there must be sticky buns. This is a super simple recipe that we first got from our "Foods" teacher in high school. It definitely is not a healthy breakfast, but it is a great way to start off a special day.

Sticky Buns
20 Rhoades Frozen Dinner Rolls
1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 small box cook and serve vanilla pudding (NOT INSTANT)

Place frozen dinner rolls into a Bundt pan sprayed with cooking spray. Mix together brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and pudding mix. Pour dry mixture over the frozen rolls. Melt the butter and pour over rolls. Cover with a damp cloth overnight. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Let rest for five minutes before turning over. Serve and enjoy!!

September 17, 2010

It's Done!

I am in love with our new guest and craft room. There are still some very small details to finish (like a knob on the nightstand) and I am sure I will continue to make small adjustments, but I am so excited that I cannot wait any longer to share the after photos.

Just as a reminder, this is what it looked like before:

Here is what it looks like now:

It is not a very big room and I love good organization so I tried to keep everything simple and functional. Now when I am working on my sewing projects I have the space to spread out and know where to find everything I need and when we have guests over we have a beautiful place for them to stay. I am so proud of how it turned out and it is full of homemade treasures. Here is a little recap:

Bedding: Target
Pillow: Recovered and accented with a button from my grandma's stash
Headboard: Homemade
Nightstand: $4 Yard sale find (thanks Mom) and 5 coats of "Fuzzy Navel" yellow paint
Telephone: Rotary dial phone from my grandparents... still works too
Wall Art: I painted those! (inspired by prints I saw on etsy)
Craft Table: Hollow core door from Home Depot and legs from Ikea
Ironing Board Cover: Homemade
Wall Shelving Unit: Built by my amazing handyman, Bryce!

September 13, 2010

Play Nice

I don't stereotype or at least I try really hard not to (because, let's be honest, on some level I think we all judge and have preconceived ideas... but that is a much bigger topic than I want to get into.)

That being said, if I were to stereotype a group of people, oh, let's say crafters, I would think creative, artsy, laid back, bubbly college girls, old ladies sitting in rocking chairs with knitting needles, soccer moms making costumes for the school play, you get the idea. I definitely wouldn't think mean! I have been to three craft stores in the last two days (obviously, I am not finding what I'm looking for) and at each one the employees were less than nice and definitely less than helpful. Maybe its that craft stores don't hire crafty people or that they were having an off day or that they were really busy (even if it didn't look busy)... I'm not sure, but it just seems like everyone could be a little nicer.

That's all.

Happy Monday to everyone!

September 11, 2010

Baby Food: Peach Puree

Audrey is still a few months away from entering the world of solid foods, but that isn't deterring me from beginning to make baby food for her. Around here "homemade" is the name of the game, so it is only reasonable that that would also extend to her food. It isn't that I have anything against the store bought baby food, but this way I know exactly what she is getting - nothing but pure fruits and vegetables. At this point, I am only making purees when I have something leftover that we aren't going to eat before it goes bad. I figure it is a good way to avoid throwing food out and even if she doesn't eat it in the end, I can always throw it into a soup, sauce, or anything else I am making. So far I have made a carrot puree and a zucchini puree, but the best was the peach puree I made last night. When Bryce tasted it (yes, we always taste them, I wouldn't want to give her anything we wouldn't be willing to eat) he said it tasted like candy and I would have to agree. Roasting the peaches made them so sweet. I could see putting this on top of ice cream or mixed in with plain yogurt or even spread on toast.

Peach Puree

Wash peaches, cut in half, and place flesh side down in an oven safe baking dish. Fill with about 1 inch of water.

Roast peaches for 1-1.5 hours at 400 degrees.

Puree roasted peaches using a food mill or a food processor. At first I was peeling off the skin and then I decided I didn't care. The food mill caught most of the skin and what did get through didn't give the puree a bad texture.

Use an ice cube tray to freeze into cubes. I used four peaches and it made twenty cubes, each one is two tablespoons.

September 9, 2010

Sneak Peek

I have been having so much fun transforming our old and boring guest room and office into my new craft space and guest room. I am thrilled to have a dedicated space for my sewing and craft projects. Although we have done a lot to the room already, it isn't quite ready for the final reveal. There are still pillows to sew, more paint to paint, and some wall art to finish.


Here is a sneak peek of the latest project I finished - a new ironing board cover. I decided not to paint the walls in here, so I knew I needed a pop of color. I think the yellow will do the trick.


September 6, 2010

Cooking Disasters

I like to cook. No, actually, I LOVE to cook. Although I still have a lot to learn about baking and cooking, I usually do pretty well making tasty food for us to eat. But, there are those times when it just doesn't work out as planned. I can remember making a sweet biscuit recipe when I was a kid that I had found in my "American Girl" activity book. I was so excited to make them and to have my family eat them. Sadly, I misread the recipe and put over a cup of salt in the dough. It goes without saying that they were basically inedible. I haven't had many other major recipe catastrophes since then... until a few nights ago.

I had found a recipe on for Chipotle Chicken and Rice. It looked really good and had positive reviews so I knew I wanted to try it. The day I made it was an off day to say the least and I was just happy to have a meal ready for when Bryce got home from a very long day at work. When I went to give it a quick taste after I had put it altogether I knew that something had a gone horribly wrong. It was spicy! And I mean, down a glass of milk because my mouth is on fire, spicy. And trust me, I can handle spicy food. In an attempt to figure out where I had gone wrong I went back to the original recipe. This is the line that did me in "2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced." My brain read "2 cans chipotle chiles in adobo, minced," which made for one very, very, very spicy meal. Even Bryce, who puts hot sauce on everything, thought it was too spicy to eat. Unfortunately, the whole meal got dumped and we ended up having to go pick something up. On the upside, I think the recipe (made correctly) would be really good. Had the version I made not been quite so hot, I would have really liked it. I can't wait to try the recipe again!

September 1, 2010

Pasta Mama

This is not the prettiest dish to look at and I have no idea why we started calling it "Pasta Mama", but none of that even matters. This dish couldn't be simpler or more delicious. If you like bacon and garlic, you will love this. With only a few ingredients, all of which we regularly keep on hand, this pasta is a great go to dish when you are short on time, ideas, or motivation. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Pasta Mama
3 Slices Bacon
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
5 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 package Spaghetti
3 Eggs
1 cup Parmesan Cheese

In a big pot of salted, boiling water cook the spaghetti until al dente. In a large skillet, cook the bacon.  (I only use three pieces of bacon in the pasta, so yes, that fourth piece was just for me!)

When the bacon is done remove and chop into small pieces. Pour off some of the excess grease from the pan leaving enough to saute the onions and garlic. Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon grease until softened, 5-10 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and add the cooked noodles. Stir to combine.

This is the fun part. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. With the heat on medium low pour the beaten eggs into the pan and stir.

Continuing to stir, cook for 2-5 minutes until the eggs are slightly cooked, but still creamy. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir until just melted. Serve and enjoy.