Saturday, March 16, 2013

Recycled Sweater Purse

3 of my nieces birthdays are coming up and I thought I would make something for them.  I have been on an upcycle kick using jeans, corduroy, wool and cashmere sweaters.  After doing some researching on pinterest and craftsy I looked thru my stash and got to work.  So far I have 2 completed, and one more to go....

This one is my favorite so far. I like that it is lined and a bit smaller, which is great for an ipad, a book, etc.  Jump over to Make It and Love It for the tutorial.  Total time for this bag was approximately 1 hour. 

The second one is from the Upcycle class on Craftsy.  Super easy and approximately one hour to complete.  

I hope they like them:)  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jeans and Corduroy

Lots of jeans and cords on my work desk....let the cutting and fun begin.  :)  

Unfortunately I can't spoil what the finished project will be. Stay tuned for more to come! 
What are your favorite upcycled projects? 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Babies are so much fun to sew for.  And as everyone seems to be having baby girls, I've stocked up on fun and girly fabrics:).  Since I'm not a mom myself (yet!), I have gathered essential information from my sister in laws on what is helpful, necessary, and nice to have as gifts.  The biggest recommendation I have received are homemade crib sheets, burp cloths, sleep sacks, and receiving blankets.  

The Crib sheets and receiving blankets you buy in stores are usually cheaper material and smaller sizes. They are great projects for beginners, and thankfully don't take a lot of time to complete. 
  You can check out the sewing pattern for crib sheets here.  

I love to embellish cloth diapers, as they make awesome burp cloths.  Inspiration for this project came from here, here, and here.  I used Minky for my fabric of choice, which makes it nice and soft for the baby.  And since most of the times the store bought cloth diapers are not "square" I utilize my serger to finish the project.  

I have been on an Owl kick recently and could not help myself to this project.  Suzanne from Just Another Hangup created this pattern - Maggie the Taggie Owl.  Very simple to make and very cute!! You can see the mom to be loved it!  If you would like the pattern, here it is

Thanks for checking out my recent sewing projects.  Enjoy! 

Children's Play Tent - Fun at the Beach

Let's Pretend - Fun at the Beach play tent

For Christmas this year, I decided to make a group gift for my nieces and nephew.  I browsed around for ideas and came across play tents and decided to go for it.    

For the most part the project was pretty simple to put together.  I used felt for the fabric which made it simple to machine applique the shapes, animals, etc.  The most time consuming aspect was creating the pattern itself and hand drawing the different things added to the scene. It is best to use dimensions of the table you plan to use; I took the measurements and added 1 1/2 inch to all sides to allow for 1/2 in seam allowance and a little room to ensure fits over the table. 

Another plus is that it is easy to store, as it simply folds up into a bag. 
 My favorite scene is with the Lighthouse and Sailboat: 

I think it turned out great and the kids really enjoyed it! Now they will have something to look forward to play with at Grandma & Grandpas house! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Favorite CSA Recipes 2012

This summer has been a great summer for food.  It's amazing how well you can do with the CSA (community supported agriculture) after some practice.  This was our second season with Farmer Daves, and my husband and I decided to step it up to a full share, which typically serves 3-4 people.  I think overall we have wasted less and have learned to adapt to what is in season.  It definitely takes some work, but with a little planning and utilizing canning / freezing methods to preserve, you can make your vegi's go a long way.

My favorite vegi cookbook has got to be Simply In Season.  This cookbook is sorted by season, which is great if you belong to a CSA.  Also, the index is very helpful if you want to see for example all the zucchini recipes.  All the recipes are simple, not to complex and easy to make up after work for dinner.  Also there are many options for substitutions depending on what you have on hand.  My favorite recipes from the book include the Chilled Gazepacho Soup, Summer Squash Skillet, Roasted Summer Vegetables, Sweet and Sour Swiss Chard, and Summer Pesto Pizza. Every time I open the cookbook, I find another recipe that I can't wait to try.

Other favorite recipes include:

Luanns Kale Salad - a wonderful fall salad with yummy apples, kale, and nuts.

Paula Dean's Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. Absolutely amazing!  And it freezes well too:)

Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup ---wonderful!  Can you tell I had a lot of Kale to use! :)

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats --- Great way to use up all those zucchini's!

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette -- This recipe kept well. We also put on top of lettuce.

Garlic Scape Pesto - Amazing! We made a big batch, froze in ice cube trays and have already almost used it all.  We made pesto pizza, used it with summer squash skillet, pasta.  so yummy!!!

1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t salt
Black pepper to tast
extra virgin olive oil to consistency that you like
handful of basil

Combine in bowl of food processor. Pulse until well combined. Use or place in ice cube trays to freeze. Once solid transfer to freezer ziplock bag.

** I have also used arugula in place of basil.

Salsa Verde - Chicken Enchiladas

This green salsa turned out great! We used it for chicken enchiladas, but you could also eat it with chips or even fish tacos! I divided this in half as we didn't have 4 pounds of tomatillos. Refrigerate covered up to 5 days.  You can also can the salsa by using boiling water method.

4 pounds of tomatillos, husks removed
1 T olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 cup distilled white vinegar 
1 pound yellow onions, chopped
1/2 chili peppers, stems and seeds removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 t salt

1. Preheat broiler. Wash and dry the tomatillos.  Lightly brush half of the tomatillos with oil and arrange on baking sheet with step-side down. Broil until blackened in spots. Remove and cool to room temperature. 

2. Puree the remaining raw tomatillos with the vinegar in blender or food processor. Remove to large saucepan. Puree the onions, chili peppers, and garlic with the cooked tomatillos and any juice left in the pan. Add to saucepan.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  Approx 10-15 minutes.  STir in the cilantro and salt and remove from heat. 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kale and Ricotta Ravioli

This recipe is oh so easy (on a side note this will take some time to assemble the ravioli!), and oh so yummy!  It would also be a good way to use up your Kale from a local CSA, or farmer's market you may shop.  And using wonton wrappers (usually located in the produce section), cuts down on the prep time.  And best of all, this recipe makes 48 ravioli, so you will def. have enough to freeze for another night = a quick and easy meal.

The recipe is from Everyday Food, March 2012.

You will need:
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 Bunch of Kale (3/4 lb)
1 3/4 cup ricotta
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 garlic clove, minced
48 square wonton wrappers
4 cups marinara sauce, warmed

1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook kale until tender, approx 4 min.  With slotted spoon, transfer to colander.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water and finely chop.  In medium bowl mash together kale, ricotta, Parmesan, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper

2. Assemble ravioli; Arrange 6 wrappers on work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered with damp towel. Spoon a scant tablespoon kale mixture in center of each wrapper. With a fingertip, moisten edges of wrapper with water, then fold over filling to form a triangle and press to seal.  (Flatten area around filling to eliminate air pockets.) Place ravioli on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

3.  Return salted water to boil, reduce to a bare simmer.  Drop half the ravioli into water, one at a time, stirring gently to prevent sticking.  Cook until al dente, about 3 minutes.  With slotted spoon, transfer ravioli to a paper towel lined baking sheet, arrange in a single later and let drain briefly. Repeat with remaining ravioli.  Top with sauce and enjoy!

**You may chill uncooked ravioli wrapped up to 1 day, or freeze in a single later, then store in a ziplock bag up to 1 month.