Monday, October 29, 2012

Sewing: Weekender Bag #2: Cutting It Up

There's a lot to cut for your Weekender Bag...interfacing, fabric, cording...yeah, a lot of stuff.

And there are two schools of thought to doing it....

Option A: Do It All
 Time: Two to four hours of cutting
 Benefits: It's all done at once
 Cons: If you change your mind mid-bag construction, you'll have to get more fabric
 Thoughts: Lots of Diet Dr. Pepper, some chocolate and a good movie will help

Option B: Cut Outside Fabric/Construct, Then Inside Fabric/Construct
 Time: One to two hours of cutting
 Benefits: Feeling like you're actually making progress sooner
 Cons: You'll be cutting fabric twice
 Thoughts: You'll still need Diet Dr. Pepper, some chocolate and a good movie

I work better if I can accomplish little pieces of a big project, so I prefer Option B....and that's how I'm going to approach this bag tonight...cutting out everything for the outside of the bag.

Things to remember before you get started:
- No multi-tasking...focus on getting your fabric cut!
- Directional/large prints: think about how you'll want it to look before your start cutting.

Now, take a deep breath and start cutting!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sewing: Official Support Team

Umm...I'm sorta obsessed with The Christmas Story movie...remember Ralphie Parker and the pink bunny suit Aunt Clara makes him?

I need to go to his house in Cleveland...really, truly NEED to go!

And I was planning on going in December, as I would be in Indiana for our daughter's's just a few hours to Cleveland, right?

And I could visit a few friends and a few quilt shops along the way, right?

But someone said the nasty word...December means SNOW in Indiana and Ohio...lots and lots of snow.

I live in Southern California.  We have rain, thunder, lightening, winds, maybe an occasional water spout over the ocean....but only have seen snow twice where I live.

I have never driven in the snow...I've passed through Chicago airport enough to know snow can mess up airplane schedules...and since my travel would be the week before Christmas, I've decided to postpone my visit until the Spring.

Until my visit, Ralphie Parker will remain my Official Sewing Support Team...but who knows? I might have to make him a pink bunny suit just for fun.....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sewing: Weekender Bag Part 1: Picking Your Fabrics

It's time I finally make Amy Butler's Weekender Travel Bag for me.

First and foremost, I wanted the bag to represent me.

Next, I wanted it to be something I'd want to use over and over again.

Next, I wanted the bag to be able to carry a bowling ball...literally be able to hold the weight of a bowling ball, as I know I will stuff it full of fabrics on my trips.

Lastly, I wanted it to wimpy fabric here!

I've had the best intentions of starting it sooner, fawning over fabrics and even ordering a few that I thought would work. I have lots of FiFi Lapin in the house, along with a bunch of Muffy...and coordinates...lots and lots of coordinates.

But they weren't know what I mean? No sense in making a bag unless it's right.

Finally I got the bright idea to go and play at Spoonflower, creating my own fabric....and I'm in love with it!

My bag will be:
 "The Lady" print will be the outside main panels and pockets.
 Black print will work as the bottom panel, handles, zipper panels, side pocket and pipping.
 Aqua dots will be the interior...both large panels and pockets (yup, I put pockets inside).

As I do somethings different than the actual pattern instructions, I'll keep my camera close to document...and possibly help you along if you're doing the bag.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Edgar at Nine Months

 Nine months?


Yes, Edgar is nine months old and weights just a few ounces shy of 80 pounds.

80 pounds...I just can't believe that one.

80 pounds...four more pounds and he'll be the heaviest dog in the house, but he already wins the title for tallest and longest dog hands down.

80 pounds...he's so skinny, though...the taller he gets, the skinnier he becomes...why? He's certainly not starving...four cups of dog food, two apples and other assorted goodies daily.

His biggest accomplishment this month? Fitting two balls in his mouth at the same time...

He's a big boy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sewing: Teenager Gifts

Teenagers are difficult to please...

And I need to give a thank-you gift...hopefully something they will enjoy.

I had picked up this skull and barbed wire print a few weeks back at Sew Modern not knowing what to do with it, but I think it works pretty well  for this purpose...just a small tote filled with a box or two of candy.

I mean what teenager doesn't like skulls and barbed wire? And if they don't like it, wouldn't they use it just to upset their parents that they have a bag with skulls and barbed wire on it?

Thinking I have this one covered...

Recipe: Garlic Parmesan PullAparts




And a red sauce for dipping!

Can't think of anything better...except I should have added bacon...but then again the Cutie Patootie's brother said it would be good with pepperoni, bacon, turkey, or dinosaur chicken...huh?

Dinosaur chicken?

First thing that popped into my head was the dinosaur had enjoyed a dinner of chicken and then threw it up...I know, my head is severely warped.

Come to find out dinosaur chicken is like chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs...hmmm, I don't know if I'll be using that for this recipe, but the rest sounds awesome.

I will be definitely creating this again, as I can see it as a wonderful appetizer while watching those football/baseball games coming up on TV...but next time I will add bacon and double the seasoning.

Garlic Parmesan PullApart Bread
1 bag frozen rolls
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Take the rolls from the freezer and let sit on the counter for 45 minutes or so.

2. Cut each of those rolls into two pieces and place into a large baggie.

3. Pour your butter into the baggie, letting all of those pieces have a warm butter bath.

4. Throw the dried parsley, Italian Seasoning, garlic and Parmesan Cheese into that baggie and shake to coat.

5. Spray your bundt pan with Pam so your bread won't stick...then put all that bread goodness into the bundt pan.

6. Cover and let stand for approximately two hours....until double in size.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quilting: Edgar Ate My Block!

Today is a bit of a quiet day...
  Because I have no car.  The rats got into the engine, ate some wires, and it's being repaired....

I thought I might work on my quilt again...
  The one I started a few months back...
  The one I've already pieced the blocks together three times...
  I'd really like to finish it....
  I only need to do the sashing on each block and square them up...
  I think it's gonna be warm and cuddly.

And you know what?

   I know it was him...
   He's having issues with eating things he shouldn't...
   Like four pillows, two waterhoses, and .... and.... and...
   He's just a puppy...
   Only nine months old...
   Hopefully he'll grow out of it soon!

Good thing I have some of that Kona Green left over to repair...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sewing: My Halloween Bags

I didn't have any Halloween bags to enjoy this month...and when I saw the tutorials over at Daisy Cottage Quilting, I knew I had to do these!

I was doing the happy dance last week when I received the kit for the big bag and the zipper pouch...and then was Snoopy dancing when I figured out I'd have enough fabric left to do the small bag!

Yes, you heard me right...I did a zipper pouch.  It only took me three attempts and two broken needles to get it in, but I did it!  I still need a bit more work on zippers, though.

I'm in love with the way they turned out...the fabrics are way cute, the rick-rack trim is just perfect, and those little Halloween buttons on the zipper pouch are just the perfect finishing touch! I used them today at the grocery store, and got a lot of compliments from the customers and the store clerks.

One thing I need to remember: add candy to the bag to share with the little ones!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recipe: Baked Spaghetti in Garlic Bread

Too weird? That's so what I thought when I found this recipe on Pinterest the other day.
  Okay...I admit I have a Pinterest problem at the moment..especially when it comes to recipes.

Why would anyone in their right mind ever bake spaghetti in garlic bread?

It called to me...just like waffle sandwiches and milk-chocolate dipped potato chips...

I told the husband what we were having for diner...he just shook his head, almost as if he didn't believe what I said.

And I did it...made a big mess, but I did it...


Things you should know:
1. I have tweaked the original recipe a bit.
2. This is definitely not a recipe for those on a diet.
3. You will make a mess while assembling this recipe...but it is so worth it!

Baked Spaghetti in Garlic Bread
One (1) Loaf Frozen Bread Dough, thawed to room temperature
 or Twelve (12) Individual Frozen Dinner Rolls
Six (6) ounces Spaghetti, cooked and cooled to room temperature
One (1) cup thick Spaghetti Sauce
One-half (1/2) pound lean hamburger meat, cooked and cooled to room temperature
Note: I flavored the meat with 1/2 diced Onion and about 2 teaspoons minced Garlic while cooking.
Eight (8) ounces Mozzarella, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
Two (2) teaspoons Unsalted Butter, melted
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Parsley Flakes

1. Roll your bread dough into a 12X16 rectangle. Let your dough rest for 15 minutes.
2. Lay the cooled spaghetti  lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down the center of the dough.
3. Top the spaghetti with the meat, sauce, and mozzarella.
4. Make cuts approximately 1-1/2 inches along long side of dough within 1/2 inch of filling.
5. Braid strips of dough over filling..right over left, left over right.
6. Tuck ends of bread underneath so you won't loose any filling.
7. Very carefully lift bread with BOTH HANDS onto your prepared baking sheet.
8. Smoother that thing in all that butter goodness, making sure all cracks and crevices are covered.
9. Sprinkle on that shredded cheese and parsley so it looks pretty.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
 This would be a good point to clean up that mess you made while rolling out the dough.
 Remember to breath deeply while it's baking...smells fabulous!
11. Let it rest for ten (10) long, long, long minutes...slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recipe: Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

It's still really hot outside...over 100 degrees today.

I'm gonna use my slow cooker again and try one of those recipes I found on Pinterest...I've been having a lot of luck with those recipes, so I'm hoping for success once again.

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak
2 lbs. Lean Ground Beef
1 envelope Dry Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 envelope Dry Au Jus Mix
3/4 cup water
1 Onion, diced (optional)

1. In a large bowl, mix together the group beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and milk.  Shape into eight (8) patties.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Dredge the patties in the flour just to coat, and quickly brown in your skillet.  Place browned patties into the bottom of your slow cooker, stacking as needed.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, au jus mix, and water.  Pour over your patties in the slow cooker.

3a. If your family loves onions like we do, throw one diced onion on the top of all that goodness.

4. Cook on the Low setting for four (4) to five (5) hours, just until your ground beef is done.