Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's All Greek to Me!

My husband is Greek. And he's an amazing cook, so really I had no right to attempt to make my family a Greek meal.

Things did not go as planned. The menu was lamb burgers, tabbouleh and a tomato / olive/  mint salad. Well, there was no organic lamb at the market, so I went with beef. Then, I had no bulgar for the tabbouleh, so I used quinoa instead. The tomato salad came out fine and the only hold up there was picking off all of the juicy caterpillars who were munching on my mint.

Oh well! The Greek liked it! And sometimes, that's all that matters!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Everything's Coming up Sippy Cups

My husband used to bring me, he showers me with bouquets of sippy cups....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Starter Pillow

I'm calling this tutorial the "Starter Pillow" because it was the first sewing project I ever made and it is perfect for beginners. So I present to you:

Let me start off by saying the second I saw the new Melody Miller collection, I was smitten. My first love was the viewfinders in multicolor:

But apparently, I wasn't alone in my sentiment and I couldn't find any of this fabric available for purchase anywhere!!!

So I hate to say I had to "settle" for the Transistor Radios in orange because I love this pattern as well and it turns out, this color scheme goes much better with our living room decor. 

The pillow I made was 18 x 18, but this same tutorial will work for any size pillow, but obviously the fabric pieces have to be adjusted depending on the size of the pillow. 

I started by cutting three pieces of fabric. Piece #1 was 19 x 19, Piece #2 was 19 x 10 and piece #3 was 19 x 10. 

You may be wondering about the math here. Shouldn't piece 2 and piece 3 add up to 19 instead of 20? But since this is an envelope pillow, you want there to be enough room so the pillow doesn't bulge out the back. In fact, if your pillow is super can even make that third piece 19 x 11. 

Be careful how you cut piece 2 and 3. Visualize which way the fabric needs to be cut so that the pattern will be the same on the front of the pillow and on the back. I.e. if you have dogs sitting up on one side of the fabric, make sure that when you cut pieces 2 and 3, those dogs still look like they're sitting up and not lying down! The 19 inch side of all three pieces should showcase your fabric in the same direction. (Does that make sense? I'm over thinking know what I mean and if you don''ll learn when you do it wrong...ha!)

I am not one to wax poetic on the benefits or ironing. I am quite lazy and don't iron unless it's imperative (I also don't pre-wash fabric, which is a big no-no....) But I will say, that for these pillows, I always iron the seams down on piece #2 and piece #3 (the 19 inch side or long side) about 1/4 of an inch:

And then 1/4 of an inch more. 

Once you've done that to piece #2 and piece #3 it's time to sew these seams down as close to the edge as possible. 

For this pattern, instead of picking a neutral color, I went with the orange thread so it would pop. 

 Now it's time to assemble all three pieces. Lay your pieces down. Piece #1, right side facing up and then Pieces #2 and #3, right side facing down. 

Pin around the perimeter of the entire pillow and sew! (I always default to a 1/2 inch allowance.) 

Once you've finished sewing, trim your corners.

Turn the pillow right side out...admire and then stick your pillow inside and enjoy!!!

A very easy way to give a face lift to any room! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ye Haw, Cowboy!!

My sister gave Doodlebop a fabulous cowboy hat for his birthday, which reminded me that I still have my stick horse from when I was a kid. But the getup wasn't complete without a vest!

Thanks to Made's Celebrate the Boy month, I was able to follow her great frontier vest tutorial and this "Woody" vest was born!

If you're feeling super ambitious (which I wasn't) here's a tutorial for a home made hobby horse that I came across a few months ago from Whip-up. 

Now....ride like the wind......

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cinnamon Buns: A Labor of Love

I've never made cinnamon buns before and after seeing a recipe and scrumptious photo in a Sweet Paul magazine, I decided that Sunday's rainy-dare-I-say-monsoon-like weather would be a perfect day for some baking. 

They took a long time! But came out SO good! A perfect companion to a strong cup of coffee. 

Mr. P. got in on the action and set up a lemonade stand in the house for various people who came over throughout the day. He was proud of his hard-earned $2.50. 

While it's sunny in California today...looks like the rain is coming back with a vengeance over the next three days. 

Bring it on!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free Giveaway: Felt Friends from Japan

It's time for another giveaway! And have I got a treat for you! TWO OF YOU will win!!!

I was recently sent two copies of this newly published felt creft book, Felt Friends from Japan by Naomi Tabatha. 

Inside, you'll find over 86 toys and accessories to make including felted friends:

coin purses:

bunnies (just in time for Easter!):

flower accessories:

Each project comes with step-by-step illustrations that are clear and easy to follow. So fun! So cute! So....felty!!!!

You can win this book three different ways:

- Add a comment TO THIS POST ONLY = 1 entry (While you are more than welcome to post comments to my other blog posts, only comments to this particular post will enter you in to the free giveaway.)
-  Add a comment to this post + become a follower = 2 entries.
-  Grab my button (just copy and paste the html code onto your blog) - if you do this, please be sure and let me know you've done so in the comments box. + become a follower + add a comment to this post = 3 entries. 

You can mix and match these options any way you'd like!

This contest will close on Sunday, April 2nd and two winners will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, April 3rd.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Succesful Saturday

Today was a good and productive day!

A little homemade kale, broccoli and white bean soup made for a great night's sleep!

We're all feeling a little bit better, which makes for more patience and more energy. 

Mr. P. and I got up early and went to the farmer's market. 

We saw these colorful Calla Lilies and they reminded me of that experiment from elementary school where you put the celery in the dyed water and the whole stalk turns blue. There's no way Calla Lillies come in these colors....right?

We came home and had my parents over for some homemade waffles topped with market berries and bananas and "snow" as the kids call powdered sugar. 

Mr. P. saw a bowl of lemons and wanted to make lemonade. Leave it to my husband to whip up some simple syrup out of water and sugar so that all that needs to be added is the lemon juice. 

I made a pillow (I meant to make two but I ran out of fabric). I'll be posting a tutorial for this envelope pillow sometime next week. 

My husband went on a Whole Foods run (we had friends over for dinner) and came back with an array of items that made me so excited!

First was the unbelievable looking jar of sage honey complete with honeycomb. I'm not sure if you can actually eat the honeycomb or if it's just there to take up space in the jar so they can charge you more for it. But it has me intrigued! 

Since we're both on antibiotics (ugh) for our bacteria / virus whatever-it-is, I asked him to get some probiotics drink to replenish all of the good bacteria the antibiotics kill. He came home with a new brand made by Siggi's (they're known for their amazingly delicious Icelandic yogurt.)

Probiotics never tasted so good!

And finally, at the farmer's market I had bought some raspberries to make more jam with. You'll recall my successful apricot jam adventure and then my not-so-successful blackberry jam that refused to congeal and left me with blackberry liquid. Thank you to those from the blogosphere who took the time to teach me about pectin! Since raspberries are a low-pectin fruit, my husband picked up some pectin that I added to the jam mixture. It's bottled up in the fridge and we'll see how it comes out tomorrow morning!

Tomorrow, it's supposed to rain...somewhat of an anomaly in Los Angeles. I'm hoping my Sunday involves more soup, fresh pots of tea (with that awesome honey!) and perhaps some indoor fort building and NO COUGHING!!!!! (ya hear that lungs!!!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pirate Sword Belt

After making Mr. P. these two pirate swords (see my how-to here) we thought it would be fun to make a holster belt to go with them. After all, a pirate needs to be hands-free at times, in case he has an important phone call to answer. Let's face it, today's pirates are much more technologically advanced than the pirates of yesteryear. 

This is an easy sewing project that took about 30 minutes and can be custom made to fit whatever "weapon / accessory" needs your child may have. 

Place your swords in and enjoy!!

Virtual Sewing Project

Etsy Labs is offering a virtual sewing class on March 21!

They will be holding an in-person class at their Etsy Labs in Brooklyn,  New York, brought to you by Bags for the People. But for those of you who are no where near there, we can also join virtually!

Click here to read more and find out what materials you need for the project!

                        (Photo courtesy of Esty's Blog, The Storque.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lounge Wear and Shots

I know I'm feeling a bit better because my sewing projects are ramping up again. But man, this cough lingers on.

I made these comfy cozies over the weekend for Doodlebop who now has the ick. I figured he could use some comfortable lounge wear. My husband thinks they look very 70's.

I should have made them in Mr. P's size too (although I think 5 might be too old to have an animal print slapped on your rear end.) Both kids are home lounging today as Doodlebop is not feeling well and Mr. P. - well - he had a traumatic experience this morning getting his tetanus shot and begged me to let him stay home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lovely Time Suck

Escaping into a magazine, even for five small minutes is a welcomed reprieve from the trials and tribulations out in the world.

I recently discovered this Sweet Paul magazine and the Spring 2011 edition focuses on kids crafts, food and clothing. It's a beautiful magazine and can be downloaded for free!

Just click on the image below. What a  sweet gift!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Cutlass and Sword

Click here to see the accompanying Pirate Belt Tutorial. 

Mr. P. really wanted  to buy a pirate sword over the weekend. I told him we could make one instead. He was very worried about the metal looking authentic. I promised him it would shine. 

Materials Needed:

Cardboard box
aluminum foil

I decided to make him two different types of pirate swords: a regular straight sword and a cutlass (a curved sword). 

I began by sketching the outline of the sword on a cardboard box. 

Then I cut the shape out using sturdy scissors. 

Next, I began wrapping my sword with aluminum foil. Mr. P. loved helping out with this part. You have to break the aluminum into smaller pieces in order to negotiate the curvy parts. 

If I hadn't been pressed for time, I might have painted the handle, but he wanted to play with it right away so I decided to use a Sharpie instead. 

Cutlass complete!

I repeated the same procedure for the straight sword. 

Despite the lack of enthusiasm in his eyes (he was feeling a little run down on Saturday) he loved his new toys!

Stay tuned later this week when I show you how to sew a pirate belt in which to house these two swords!