28 February 2011

Deadlines


So, apparently, all I need is a looming deadline to get things done. I started* this Sunday afternoon and finished it today. Granted, I did have quite a bit of down time today. When my baby girl is sick, she naps (as in NAPS!). Thankfully, she seems to be doing much better this evening. She went to bed happily and fell asleep readily, which means that I finished my project with a few hours of February to spare.

Right so about my February project. Technically, I had sort of a head start. The pattern, batting, and quilt-lining were all cut (I did this sometime back in January) and the true lining was already sewn. I hung our stocking linings this past December because I sort of ran out of time... December is a busy, busy month. All I needed to do was piece, quilt, and assemble. Originally I had decided on a traditional patchwork pattern...but those are finicky...and I kept changing my mind about which one I liked for my daughter. I then saw this amazing show on Public Television about "strata quilts" and I thought something like that might be fun. It was just going to be the snowflake print and the cream, but that bored me and I worried that my daughter wouldn't like her stocking because it was blue and "boring." I found the shiny fabric in my stash and liked that it added another "pretty" texture. I also liked it because it is suspiciously similar to a Christmas party dress my mom made for me when I was little. It came from my mom's stash so maybe it was a scrap from long ago? Anyhow it'll make for a good story if my daughter protests the "blue-ness" of her stocking. I spent all of November last year looking for letter charms. I finally found key chains at one of our local gift shops. So glad I splurged on them.

11 February 2011

Christmas project 1

I've had fabric to make a Christmas tree skirt for literally years. I don't even remember how long anymore. I used to have a pattern for it - I think I gave it to someone thinking I'd never actually get around to making the tree skirt.

But here I am with my 12 months of Christmas and project 1 is - oh yes - the tree skirt! My friend Kera helped me figure out how to cut the pieces without a pattern, let me use her serger, loaned me her regular sewing machine, and showed me how to use bias tape for edging. I obviously didn't finish it in January but here it is! Done!And I did it myself! I had coaching, but no one did any of the work for me.

I did all the cutting at Kera's house and started sewing. Then I brought her machine home to keep working on it here. Adam was rather suspicious that the project would just sit there taking up space until I just returned the machine, but I proved him wrong! HA! One day, he came home from work and I said now that he was there to keep the baby out from under the table (she's crawling now), I could finish the initial sewing. I sat down and got to work. Adam went and got the camera. Punk. I went back to Kera's to use the serger.


For the edging, I got bias tape. I found a teeny little fabric shop here in town (there is one at all! Hooray!) with two cute little grandmas who held the baby and talked to my other 2 girls, or rather listened to SM talk nonstop. I had the tree skirt with me and we measured it and they showed me how to put on the bias tape with sewing on the back, and then flipping it over and sewing it again on the front. Yesterday afternoon, I was kind of restless so I decided I'd do the straight sides that are short. It went pretty quick, so I did the inside circle. By then I was on a roll, so I just kept going until ... with 2 panels left on the final run, I ran out of bobbin thread. AAAAHHHH! So I loaded up the bobbin and got the whole machine rethreaded, and finished.

I'm still a little stunned that I did it.


I'm totally stoked for my next two projects - ideas and instructions here and here. The links are not specifically for Christmas projects, but they will be when I do them! Kera is not getting her sewing machine back any time soon.

10 February 2011

Eggplant burgers

These might sound weird, but they are so YUMMY and EASY! I actually get cravings for them :) There is no real recipe for them, just add and adjust to your liking :)

this makes about 6 burgers:

1 eggplant (large)
Cheese
Green onion
Garlic (if you like)
Breadcrumbs

Peel and cube up the eggplant. Saute the Eggplant with a little olive oil until soft. Then place the eggplant, green onion, garlic (you could saute the eggplant with the garlic too), cheese, and breadcrumbs into the food processor. Add breadcrumbs until you get the right consistency to make them into burgers - depends on the size of your eggplant :) I really don't measure anything, just until it is not too sticky and can easily be made into burgers - just add until it looks/feels right.

Place the burgers in a pan with a bit of olive oil and cook until you get a nice crust on the burger. You could coat the burgers in some cornmeal if you would like a little more crunch/breading/crust on the outside of the burger.

Top with your favorite burger toppings!

09 February 2011

mini coat racks

Adam was getting really tired of the girls' coats always being on the floor by the front door - we had just 4 hooks on our coat rack and were trying to pile more than 10 coats and sweaters up there (2 or more for each of us), plus scarves and a couple of bags. Not working. So we got some scrap wood from the bunkbed - a 1x6 about 12 inches long, one for each of the girls.

I had paint samples from Home Depot for the bunkbed - the Glidden brand paint has little bottles of already-mixed colors and when you take the lid off, there's a little brush attached to the bottom of the lid. PERFECT for small projects like this! I didn't use primer so I put 3 coats on instead of 2. SM and RG were both very excited to paint their own coat racks - it took just a few minutes one afternoon, sitting on the front porch. I sanded them, and the girls painted the first coat. SM decided they should all be decorated with hearts, so I mixed things up a little with the patterns. I used a tiny crafting brush for the hearts. I got the hooks at Walmart, and voila! Coat racks for the girls!

I helped RG get all the strokes in the same direction.

But SM had to do it BY HERSELF!!

Signature colors: SM - pink, JE - yellow, RG - purple. The paint colors: sexy pink, freshcut honeydew, violet shimmer, and the hearts in pink lemonade.

the coat cubby under the stairs

06 February 2011

Goals



I want to be a domestic goddess. I do. So there. It's a lofty goal of course, and it seems all the more loftier since my house at the moment smells vaguely of poopy diapers, dirty dishes, and dead flowers. The downward spiral is a quick one my friends.

But let's talk about goals. I have ones that are more achievable than becoming a domestic goddess. Like the 12 months of Christmas projects. That's doable...ish. January's project was to sew up 8 place-mats. Let me just say that this was an ill conceived idea. Place-mats are cheap. Much cheaper than the cost of materials here. And although place-mats are easy enough to sew, I seemed to get every single one of them crooked. Holy cabooses, it was boring too. All of those straight (or not quite straight in my case) lines, and doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over. It was a battle of wills and for the greater part of January the place-mats were winning. In a come back that can only be described as epic I finished them on Jan. 31. Booyah! Who's winning now place-mats? Who's winning now.

So February's project? I have set the goal of making one of these. I made these stockings last year for family who were visiting. Ran out of December before I could make any for my immediate family.