Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Over the course of my life to date, I've made many things.  Several memorable ventures stick out in my mind such as:
  • Glitter Play-Doh earrings with needles sticking out of them that I expected my mother to wear
  • The classic I Love You Mom alphabet necklace--white round alphabet beads strung on hot pink flimsy thread as the "necklace" portion)
  • A yellow gingham curtain for what I called the "playhouse," which in reality was a pig house with a flat metal roof that sat on the other side of the fence in my backyard.  Don't worry, there were no pigs in there.  Oh, and I wanted blue, teal and fuchsia sequin trim on it...
  • Candles shaped and scented like desserts, such as cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies
  • Glycerin soaps--once I made my grandmother a bar of cinnamon and oatmeal soap, in which all the contents sunk to the bottom of the bar.  :(
My days of craft have since improved and look more handmade in what I hope is an aesthetic way and not in a my-ten-year-old-made-this-for-you way.  I've become totally addicted to sewing apparel.  It's turning into my thing...Sewing clothing is great for me because I really enjoy sewing (so I'm going to spend the time and money on it anyway), and if I can wear what I sew then I don't have to buy as many clothes (not that I really have to buy clothes, but what girl doesn't like a new shirt every once in a while?). 

I have a suggestion for beginning apparel seamstresses:  start with a simple, A-line skirt, maybe even a wrap skirt (that was my first apparel project).  Skirts are more forgiving than shirts, as I learned when making my second piece of apparel, this white shirt.  And also, it is a good idea to become familiar with garment construction in general, as it will save you a lot of time.

If you're a super seamstress and/or thinking of opening a sweatshop to produce your fabulous designs (or you feel like doing something silly), you should play this game.  Fashion Incubator wrote a little review for it if you're interested in reading it. 

Yesterday, I ran across a craft that I'd never heard of or even considered.  It involves violently shaking a printer.  Check it out.

For dinner the other night, I fashioned a chicken parmigiana casserole.  I love casseroles for two reasons, deliciousness and longevity.  Hip hip hooray for casseroles! 

 Here's the recipe:

1/2 box thin spaghetti cooked al dente
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (I used a Rotisserie chicken)
1 1/2 jars red spaghetti sauce of your choice (I used 1 jar of Classico tomato and basil sauce and it was not enough because I like it super saucy)
fresh whole-milk Mozzarella, sliced
breadcrumbs (I used semi-stale sourdough bread made into crouton-sized toasted pieces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a casserole dish, layer the ingredients in the following order: spaghetti, chicken, spaghetti sauce, Mozzarella, breadcrumbs.  Cover top with foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden.  Obviously, if you want to get gourmet, you could make your own sauce or add some fresh herbs, but I was in the mood for quick...if you try it out, tell me how it goes!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, I'm in Love (even though it's Saturday)

...with this red cabbage plant that my dad and mom are growing in their garden!  It looks like a giant flower, yeah?

...with this quilt my great grandmother made out of fabric from which my grandmother sewed clothes for my mom and her three sisters when they were young girls.

Look at the fan quilting she did by hand.  I loved seeing this quilt; I'd love to hand-quilt sometime.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Ole House

Friends, I introduce you to the cottage.  Below are just a few photos to give you a sneak peek before coming to visit!

I am obsessed with these double doors and am trying to decide what kind of wreath/door hanging to put together for it...any ideas?

This is the living room (My dad made the coffee table, isn't it awesome!  He made an extra special table that is sitting beside my bed in my bedroom, which I'll show you at a later date.).

This is the mantle in my bedroom.  My great aunt gave me those vintage wooden spools of thread from her sewing stash, along with two gorgeous framed needlepoint canvases that she made in 1967, which are hanging on both sides of the turquoise mirror.  Those little white bud vases were my grandmother's and they match a lamp that is on the far left side of the mantle, which you cannot see in this photo.

I like to remind myself that most things are a work in progress (unless it's a finished sewing or knitting project, hehe), so while the new house isn't perfect, it's good for right now.  :)

H.'s mom gave me four tomato plants that needed reviving, two pink Germans and two Mr. Stripeys (my favorite tomato ever), so I replanted them and will hopefully have fresh tomatoes by the end of August!  It's my first potted tomato garden, so we'll see how it goes.  Happy Monday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday, I'm in Love

...with my green toes!  I got my second ever pedicure yesterday after work, and to follow the summer 2011 trend, I went with a bold, non-conventional color.  China Glaze's Four Leaf Clover.  I kind of love it.  What do you think, too much?

Below is a long-awaited photo of the first shirt I ever made:  the Amy Butler Anna Tunic.  To new apparel seamstresses, I would not recommend sewing a shirt for your first project; I kind of had a tiny meltdown, which included H. telling me that I turned into an R. monster.  I would not recommend trying an Amy Butler pattern for your first piece of homesewn clothing either.  While they have a very professional and finished look, I got really frustrated by my amateurness and not knowing exactly how to do everything the pattern asked me to do.  The instructions were very thorough, but as my second apparel project, I did not enjoy making it, which defeats the purpose in my opinion.  However, I learned a lot on this project and I do love wearing it!

The red fabric used for the brooch matches the fabric-covered buttons
on the back of the blouse, my favorite part of the shirt.

Also, check out this sweet link for 52 free dress patterns

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dear Journal

I opened my journal up this morning and it flipped to an earlier entry dated February 22, 2008.  This is the only thing I wrote that day:

When I hear the word "scholar," I think of chocolate chip waffles.

That's the stuff journal entries are made of...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday, I'm in Love

...with my red skirt with white polka dots!  Get ready for me, July 4 because it's soooo on!  I may take a bite out of history on Monday and hit up the "the great birthday of our republic" celebration at Monticello.  Gotta do TJ proud by rocking the red skirt!

...with the below image I spotted on A Cup of Jo.  It's in Norway; wouldn't you kill to be there right now?

...with Clementine Izze!  There's nothing like a big slab of chocolate cake and one of these babies in the middle of summer.  Fruit juice + sparkling water.  Get some.
In love with anything this Friday?  Have a wonderful weekend!