Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In case you didn't know...

I was sooooo excited to complete a sewing project from start to finish all on my own.  

I got my inspiration from The Cottage Home, I saw one of their pillowcase projects on Pinterest.  I looked over the directions and knew I could pull this off on my own.  

One of the first things I learned at my lessons was how to do a french seam.  The french seam gives the inside of a garment/project a clean finished look, no unfinished/raw edges exposed.

I picked colors that would match my current bedspread, even though I wanted to make a pillowcase with the most adorable fabric that had popsicles on it.   While at the fabric store I also picked up a rotary cutter, mat and ruler.  This made the cutting easier.  

The project was called the 15 minute pillowcase, and it took me about an hour.  I really took my time and followed the directions, which is essential for a someone new to sewing.
 I really was pleased with the final results, just ask my family, I walked around the house with the pillow showing them for two days.

Sewing Part 2

A while back I had talked about the duvet covers I was sewing for the boys rooms.  The first one took me weeks to do, with the help of Joyce, my sewing instructor of course.  The second one went faster. and I felt the sewing was better too.  I guess practice really does make perfect, and I use "perfect" loosely.  I still needed help from Joyce, but I was able to do more on my own than I expected.

I was nervous about doing button holes, and I think you can probably understand.  But it went smoothly, I did them myself at Joyce's house.  She stood by in case I panicked.

This is the top of the duvet with button closures.

The duvet is reversible, and I used the embellishment that was already on the sheets for the backside.  This way if I did use the reverse side it wasn't just a "plain" sheet.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Knock You Naked Brownies


Well it certainly has been some time since I sat down to do some writing.  I have been busy playing scramble on the ipad and reading a book (if you can actually picture that), those are in addition to the things life generally brings like dinner, laundry and kids activities.

     I haven't gotten away from baking and crafting, as those are things that I do love to do.  So one night I was headed to my friend Barb's for a night of card making, I didn't want to go empty handed so I broke out my new Pioneer Woman cookbook.  I flipped through the pages looking for just the right dessert to bring and what did I see but "Knock You Naked" Brownies.  If the name wasn't catchy enough I don't know what would be.  A quick view of the recipe and I was off to the supermarket for a bag of caramels.

     So I get home and I start unwrapping caramels to get them in my new double boiler, I was itching to use that thing.  The for the can of evaporated!  I only had sweetened condensed milk in the house, but I was not going back to the supermarket, I can improvise.  I used the sweetened condensed milk, but I also added a splash of regular milk as sweetened condensed milk is thicker than the evaporated.

     The recipe also called for a 9X9 baking pan, which I didn't have.  I did have a 8X8 baker so that was going to have to do.

     I have to tell you these brownies were a hit with my husband and I quote "Please don't leave those brownies at home again, take the whole pan with you next time.  I was like a junkie eating them, they are so good."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

Well it was really a perfect day for St Patrick's Day.  Sunny and close to 70 degrees.  I remember years when it was so cold and windy that it was actually torture walking up Fifth Avenue, but I wouldn't let the weather keep me away.

Many years have gone by since I marched with the NYC Transit Police Department, which was disbanded in 1995 and merged with the New York City Police Department.  For a few years after the merger we continued with our own Emerald Society.  Those were the days...

This year I broke out my St Patrick's Day stamp and made some cards.  I found some Irish sayings that fit perfectly around the edge of the cards.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sewing Part 1

Well, I have to say for years I wanted to learn how to sew.  Of course I put the cart before the horse and bought a sewing machine about 10 years ago one Black Friday in Walmart.  I thought I could read the instructions and it would all fall into place.  Needless to say I was sadly mistaken.  

Okay, now lets talk about the present.  I have been taking sewing lessons from a woman who is has the patience of a saint.  I went there a few times and she would go over the basics, threading the machine, putting the bobbin in, making the bobbin.  Then I would go home with homework and panic, show up for my lesson and tell her I thought about throwing the machine out the window.  Well I have gotten past that and am working on my first official project, duvet covers for my boys.  (I did have another project I had started on my own and that was an apron that I never finished, and barely started.  Enough said)

This night I was working on sewing ties onto the duvet so that the down comforter will be secure when inside the cover.  That task went off without a hitch, except for the one make I forgot what I was suppose to do there.

Phase 1 Duvet... check.

Phase 2 Duvet... this weeks lesson.

I will keep you posted.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Zucchini Sticks

One thing I really enjoy as an appetizer out at a restaurant is zucchini sticks, so when I saw them on pinterest I pinned them.  The recipe is from King Arthur Flour and it comes with a great dipping sauce, well it comes with a recipe for the dipping sauce.  The sauce isn't your usual run of the mill marinara for the sticks but a sweet onion sauce, yummy.

I started with the cutest petite zucchini from Trader Joe's, I quartered them and salted them for about half an hour.

Rinsing off the salt, then drying on a paper towel.

Instead of dirtying up another bowl, I put the dried sticks into a ziploc with the egg and shook up the bag.  Then laid them out in a single layer on parchment brushed with olive oil.

Well when they came out of the oven they were delicious, a hands down keeper.  The sauce was good, but I felt like it needed a little horseradish or cayenne for a "zip".  What did I do before pinterest?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Will you be mine?

Valentines day is right around the corner and I wanted to make cards for my husband and two boys.  I recently purchased a heart punch because I had some ideas.  I also found some inspiration from pinterest of course, using paint chips.  You can find lots of shades of colors and they are free.  I took one of each from the red family.