Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas is for...


Sugar cookies on Christmas morning, even when you don't have vanilla extract (why??), or maple syrup (left it at my old place!), a suitable substitute. So what do you do? Using the previous recipe, substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract for 3 tsp lemon drop martini mixer, add 3 tbs butter for easier hand-creaming, and an extra tbs flour because you added too much liquid ingredients. Use a sawed-off portion of an upholstery fabric tube (covered in aluminum foil and saran wrap) as a rolling pin, a cup as a cookie cutter, and a cake pan for a cookie sheet, and you end up with a little over two dozen amazing cookies!

Lessons learned: unpack kitchen tools and buy what I don't have, buy vanilla extract (and lemon!!), make do and mend!

One of Mark's Christmas wishes, for his "cubby" to be padded (still working on the pads for the walls, heh).

The boys' litter mats are about half done...

here's a close-up of the quilting I did on one of them. My first time trying stippling, done in between lengths of painter's tape.

The project from Linen, Wool, Cotton I was working on, fruit bags, for Christmas presents! Two down...ten to go. Hmph.

Hope everyone had a good one! There's one minute left in mine. I'm gonna go pretend we've got some mistletoe.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

sunday stash #3

It's close enough to tomorrow, right? Well, if I wait, it won't get done.

sunday stash 3

sunday stash 3

A few new goodies for the vintage sheet stash. In each image, the far right fabric is a flat sheet. The rest are pillow cases. Hard to believe so much awesome material can be had for $11.

Hmm....those pastels....I'm seeing a pretty cute baby quilt...

a few of my favorite things

You know, in the Christmas spirit!

mark's beard
1. Mark finally shaving his beard after 2 months. This was taken (at his request, shh!) minutes before.

babylock and cats
2. Baby George, Baby Jay, and Baby Lock.

cinnamon stick exchange
3. Participating in my first swap, at the Quilt Sampler. I'm thinking about getting a stamp of my blog address so I can tag all the paper pieces. I'd really love to have some local quilters as readers.

4. Working on long-neglected UFOs, and getting better acquainted with my "new" Pfaff 1221, aka The Quilter.

moda's oz
5. This charm pack, Moda's Oz, I picked up last week. And charm packs in general. The quilt in #4 was made from one!

my wishlish

I'm fairly certain Mark and I have agreed to not exchange Christmas presents. His family might give me a little something...? But I'm not going to ask them for anything, of course! Apparently my mom is just giving me money. She just got an early birthday/Christmas present of a root canal (cost of $1600 without dental insurance), so I doubt it will be much. But here are some things I'm really loving, wanting, needing. I'm sure I'll end up with most of them eventually, but they will probably have to be presents to myself.

(if anyone knows of a good, sharp, comfortable seam ripper please let me know!)

(omg! are they really worth $37 each? I love them so much.)

& more bobbins for my Pfaffs.

saturday projects

or: "Why the curtains are still not done after two weeks."

christmas sewing

Finally getting started with sewing for Christmas. Luckily I picked a fairly simple project (I hope) that works for everyone, so I can whip them out assembly-line style. Just because you don't spend weeks on presents doesn't mean they're not thoughtful!

Everything is serged and ready to be pre-washed. The plaid is going to be combined with some white terry to make litter mats for our boys. The gauze and osnaburg are going to be a few little somethings from this wonderful little book:

I will share more when they are finished.

apple empanadas

Second project for today was making these yummy apple "empanadas". I realize I did empanadas wrong, technically. This is a recipe my aunt gave my mom and I when I was quite young. Of course, it's been lost since then. My aunt now lives in California, taking care of my uncle, who has fairly advanced Alzheimer's, so I didn't feel comfortable asking for it again.

Here is what I managed to work out on my own...

2 tbs water
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
1 can apple pie filling
4 soft-taco sized flour tortillas

In a saucepan on medium-low heat, combine water, butter, sugar, cinnamon and honey. Stir to combine and let simmer, stirring regularly, for a couple minutes. Set burner to lowest setting while working on the next step. Use 1/4 can of apples for each tortilla, rolling them up burrito-style and placing them fold side down in pan (I used a metal baking pan but have decided a small, square glass pan would have been best to keep the sauce from caramelizing and burning). Then take the remainder of the "juice" from the pie filling can and stir it to the sauce you have prepared. Pour sauce evenly over the empanadas and place in 350° oven for apx. 10-15 minutes. Cut in half, top with homemade (just kidding!) vanilla ice cream, and enjoy. Makes 8 servings. Nutritional information: don't know, don't care.

Let me know if you try it, and what sort of changes you make! I'm always interested in improving my creations.

(last) sunday('s) stash #2


Seriously, I meant to post this last week, but the restaurant we were "borrowing" internet from went out of business. We contacted Mediacom to get our own wifi, and there is no cable signal to the building. In fact, according to one of their operators, no one in our building has ever had Mediacom internet or cable, which seems, really, next to impossible. They say there might not even be cable running down our road, which is just silly as we live on the most important East-West street that runs through the downtown area. My theory is that they're blowing us off because they're in the middle of a mainframe changeover.

The above stash is a vintage curtain panel (being converted into two non-pinch pleated curtain panels), and Kona Cotton in School Bus (I think). Check out more amazing painted florals at True Up.

Monday, December 7, 2009

officially moved in

The new home, a loft above Flame, a local fancy steak house, was found in a hurry. The decision to share it was made in a hurry. In short, the person I had been living with previously was asked to leave her home. As always I will be keeping it classy and leaving it at that. Plus, I'd much rather focus on....



king of the loft

the other kitty, Jay
and Jay.

The gang is, as a matter of fact, all here.

christmas tree
And we are totally ready for Christmas.

Lots more pics of the place over at my flickr.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

keeping busy


I promise, I didn't go into a failure-induced craft-coma after my last post. I have proof, even!


Crossing off one thing from my "things to do after the craft show" list, I painted my stool. If I had to guess, I'd say I've had this thing since I was in middle school. At my mom's house, it was used as my side table, dinner table, homework desk, sewing and craft workbench...I can't count how many glasses of orange juice I spilled off of this thing! (okay, hopefully it was just the one, but it was a traumatic experience)

Mostly now it serves as a portable table for my sewing machine, when I want to sew on the bed or couch. And now it looks brand new, like it's actually a part of the decor instead of a dirty little workhorse.


I've also been quilting feverishly on this beauty, instead of packing. Packing you say, but I thought you just moved 3 months ago? Well, yes, I won't go into the gory details now (or ever?), but soon there will be pictures of my amazing new loft, which I am sharing with my amazing new roommate (hint: it's a boy!).

The quilt is my first queen size, and is about 1/9th of the way done, so don't expect completion pictures from me any time soon.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We will be spending the day at Mark's grandparents house with his family. If only it weren't 30-something degrees!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

first show: bust

My apology for not posting sooner, life has turned more hectic than I ever thought it could be, and that was after the craft fair was over! But I'll get to that in another post.

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

Set-up didn't go too terribly, nerves let me get up at 6:00 a.m. even though I hadn't gone to bed until 12:30. I did forget to bring chairs (duh!) and had to ask a tired, sickly boyfriend to drag his butt out of bed at 8:30 a.m. to bring them to me. I have to say, formally, that I couldn't have done this thing without him.

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

I met a few very nice people, and talked to several others. I really appreciate all the nice comments I received, however small. I just really wish someone would have bought something.

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

I don't mean to whine. It looked like very few others sold anything, either, which is sad. There were some very talented crafters there, considering how small it was. Turnout was poor, that's all. And to the three people who did buy something from me (even though we already knew each other), thank you!

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

My mom came up from Arkansas to spend the day with me, because she is the best mom ever, ever.

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

She and Mark were my little helpers! And kept me from going totally insane, both from nerves and frustration.

Nixa Fall Craft Fair

See, we had fun, don't worry!

Now, thanks to the wonderful Whitney (Mark's big sister) all my crafts are going to the Rock'n'Roll Craft Show in St. Louis. We'll be going up there the day after Thanksgiving and hopefully it will be a really great, productive weekend away from home.

Friday, November 13, 2009

tommorrow, tomorrow!


The tables are at the venue, the last of the business cards are printed and ready to be cut out, most of the sewing is done (shhh!), and I am so, so ready for tomorrow!

Okay, I'm nervous...maybe very nervous. But however tomorrow goes, I know it's going to be great.

For anyone visiting this blog after coming to the show on Saturday, before I can make it home and write up a recap...
I know it isn't much right now, but I have big plans for this blog! I hope you'll bookmark it, or add it to your blogroll, or "follow" it, or however the internet bloggy world works. Coming soon, I hope, will be an online shop, which will include anything that didn't sell Saturday (second chance sale!), new items I'm making all the time, and some extra special items from my vintage clothing collection. I'm also looking forward to creating some really awesome and helpful tutorials on repairing and altering your own clothing.
More tomorrow, or Sunday, depending on how tired I am after the show. :) My MOM is coming up from Arkansas to see my booth! She is my inspiration for doing craft shows, so obviously I couldn't be more thrilled.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

new booth banner

Who needs to have things to sell when you have this amazing banner to put on the front of your table?


I really did finish it at around 2:30 a.m. so I think that's a decent excuse for the awful photo.
I'll have a better one when it's finished (stitching around the letters, ties at the corners). And when everything else for the show is finished, so I can photograph that stuff too. You know, the stuff that will actually be for sale.

The top half is a tan, heavier linen which was once the bottom of an Eddie Bauer wrap skirt I hemmed at the shop (more upcycling!). The bottom half is a lighter weight gray linen I bought months ago when I was working at the fabric store (stash busting!). The letters are odds and ends + Steam-A-Seam2.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

sunday stash #1

At the very last moment, as I am likely to do.


I'd like to call this first (of many, hopefully) Sunday Stash, "The Best $20 I Ever Spent (On Fabric. This Year. Probably.)"
I mean, come on, I can't keep track of all the twenties I spend on fabric. Ahem.

Twenty amazing discontinued FQs for a dollar a piece. Snagged from The Quilt Sampler accidentally when I was going to pick up my serger they had worked on. If you live in Springfield, near Springfield, or ever happen to be passing through, I highly recommend you pay this store a visit. It's a real joy.


I fell asleep at around 10:30 p.m. while cutting out Christmas stockings. It's never a good idea to do sewing projects in bed, because you inevitably end up drooling on your stack of fabric, with scissors and pins just inches from your face.

This lead me with a bout of insomnia at 5 a.m., so I took the time to be a bit productive, and updated the blog links over on the sidebar. Previously I was going through my Firefox bookmarks any time I wanted to catch up on my blogs, so I'm pretty thrilled I can just come to my own blog and have a peek at who's updated recently!

There are some really delightful reads over there...much better than mine, so I highly advise checking some of them out!

Okay, now to try to get back to sleep before the sun comes up. I have a big day tomorrow, a lunch date with Elliot! It's our first time hanging out together alone (besides when I'm babysitting, but that doesn't count) and I'm so, so excited.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

halloween pt. 2

Okay, time to show off my goofy costume!
I'm not really good at being things that are recognizable. For example, last year I was the best darned home-made Katy Perry you ever saw.


The jumper was sewn using a vintage pattern I snagged off ebay. Kind of painful considering I get most of my vintage patterns for 10c or so from thrift stores. But I needed something specific!

Now this year...I was a fish. The rainbow fish. A rainbow trout. A "Big Fish" (for my roommate's Tim Burton costume party, natch). Whatever, just a fish!

TFTE halloween '09
Here I am with my good friends Blake and Laura.

TFTE halloween '09
The tail, of course, the most important part.

TFTE halloween '09
And a really terrible photobooth-closeup of my gills/makeup.

The outfit consisted of:
a dress slip (underneath, for warmth and decency)
a skirt slip with the slit worn to the front, the hem pleated to the back with fabric attached for a tail
a gray nightgown with strips of fabric (previously hems of dresses I salvaged from the trash at work, yay upcycling!) ruffled and attached
tights and FISHnets
amazing feather fake lashes for gills

We spent the night at a First Teenager Ever house show, and it was fairly uneventful for me. Not so much for everyone else. The evidence...

TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09 TFTE halloween '09
TFTE halloween '09

Click for larger at my flickr. Hope everyone had a fun, safe, creative Halloween this year!