December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

 Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas
I hope your day was just as wonderful as ours.

See you in 2011!

December 14, 2010

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Audrey and I are headed to a holiday cookie exchange today. It didn't take me long to decide to make Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies to bring. This recipe has become my go-to recipe when cookies are needed. People LOVE them. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, but even I think they are pretty good. I didn't create this recipe, but for the life of me, I don't remember where it came from.

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies (yields 24-30 cookies)
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and both sugars. Mix in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time.
3. Add the cocoa powder and mix to combine. 
4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly combine into cocoa mixture until just combined. 
5. Stir in chocolate chips. 
6. Scoop cookies onto a baking sheet into approximately one inch balls. I use an ice cream scoop, which makes it really easy. 
7. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cookies will appear underdone. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack. 

I think the other moms will be pretty happy with these.

December 9, 2010

I have something a tad bit embarrassing to admit.

(drum roll please)

I do not know how to USE. A. PATTERN.

Yeah, you know, those things that you buy in the envelopes with the pretty picture on the front of whatever you plan on making. The things that I am pretty sure everyone uses when they start to sew because (supposedly, I really would have no idea) it tells you what to do. Yep, no idea where to even start!

I'm really not sure how it happened. I think it may have stemmed from my penny-pinching ways and not being willing to shell out $15 on something I could just wing. Or maybe it was because the first thing I made after getting my sewing machine was a tablecloth and it was just a rectangle... that couldn't be too hard, right? I didn't need a pattern to tell me to hem the edges and I'd be done. Nonetheless, somehow I have gotten here and I look at those envelopes and feel a daunting sense of dread because I'm not sure what to do after I take out the tissue like paper. Am I supposed to cut out the pieces or use some fancy tool? What if I cut in the wrong spot? What is up with all those little triangle looking things? What is a notion and why is it called that? You get the idea.

That leads me to this...
Simplicity 3709.  A pattern that doesn't involve pleats, or darts, or sizes of any kind. A one size fits all kids "busy book". A pattern I bought when I found out I was pregnant, long before I knew if we were having a boy or a girl, long before I was even showing. It was my "oh my gosh, we are having a baby" buy. I didn't buy baby clothes, or books, or socks (we got a lot of baby socks when we found out I was that normal?), nope, I bought Simplicity 3709. And, sadly, to this day it still sits untouched on my sewing table because ... well, because it's a pattern.

All that is to say I'm tackling my fear of patterns and making Audrey a busy book. My goal is to have it done by Christmas. I have my fabric store coupons ready and I will be heading there tomorrow to get all the supplies. Wish me luck!

December 8, 2010

Reversible Christmas Stocking

As it is Audrey's first Christmas I thought she needed a stocking of her own. A trip (or two) to the fabric store, some cutting, ironing, and sewing and now she has a reversible, monogrammed stocking that hopefully she will be excited to use for many years to come.

I'm a little late to the party as there are many tutorials on how to make a stocking floating around the blogosphere, but just in case you were wondering, here's how I made mine.

Trace a stocking you already have onto paper to make a pattern, making sure to add several extra inches at the top so it can fold over.

Then using the pattern, trace and cut out two pieces of your outside material and two pieces of the inside material. Make sure to turn the pattern over for each material so that you can put right sides of the same fabric together. Also cut out two pieces of batting. 

You'll have to excuse the poor picture quality, I was sewing late at night and had very poor lighting.

If you want to add a monogram or other embellishment now is the time to do it. If not, just disregard the next step or two.
{I on the other hand, didn't decide until I had already moved on to the next step, so my pictures look a bit funny because the two pieces of lining are already sewn together half way.}

To make my monogram I used pretty much the same technique as the bird applique. Only this time I did two layers instead of one. If you are doing a letter or something that has a direction to it, make sure you trace it backwards.
Next, figure out where you want it on your fold. It will look upside down compared to your stocking, but remember that the top will be folded down. Iron it on and then sew it.
Now pin right sides of your fabrics together (outside fabric to outside fabric and inside fabric to inside fabric) and sew all the way around leaving the top open. 
Turn the outside fabric out and the stuff the inside fabric inside of it. 
Next, stuff a piece of batting on each side of the stocking between the two fabrics. Smooth it all down and you should have something that looks like a stocking. At the point you could turn the edges under and sew the outside fabric to the inside fabric and be done, but I decided to finish my edge with some double fold bias tape. 
The last step is to fold down your stocking and decide where you want a hanger to go and sew it on. Again, I just used bias tape because I had it and I liked that it matched. And now you have a super cute homemade stocking. Plus, since all the seams are finished you can reverse it whenever you want.

Here's to hoping your stocking gets filled with lots of goodies Christmas morning! Sadly, I think Audrey's will stay relatively empty this year.

One Month To Win It

December 6, 2010

Time Flies

I've been a bit absent lately. We have been going nonstop since Thanksgiving and having so much fun. I also have been doing some sewing, but as of right now I don't have anything quite ready to share so instead here are a few highlights of the past couple of weeks in photo form.

{An afternoon at the park}
{A photo shoot in her new tutu}

{Hunting for a Christmas tree}
{A weekend at my parent's cabin}