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.