Thursday, January 31, 2013

fabric woven bracelet

I am the queen of fabric scraps (so much so, there might be a giveaway coming soon.) Luckily, there are plenty of great things to make with scraps and today I'm sharing an easy one.....

The Fabric Woven Bracelet: (or necklace or anklet)

 photo photo17_zpsf150f82d-1_zps7cd8b1fa.jpg 

materials needed:

-scrap jersey fabric strips cut into one inch strips and measuring a total of 60 inches (don't worry if you can't get a 60-inch strip. 2- 30 inch strips are just fine or 3-20 inch strips. You get my point. 
- your fingers! (they play a major role in this project)

Let's get started:

Cut your fabric into 1-inch strips (see above notes). In the example above, I cut 2 30-inch strips. (I like this striped jersey fabric because I get two colors for the price of one and all I have to do it cut along the lines to get my strips.)

Attach strips together to make one long, continuous strip: cut a little slit at the end of each of your strips. Take the other strips and pull through the hole. 

Once it's about halfway through the hole, take the base of the strip you've just put through the hole and put it through the hole in the other end of the strip, thereby binding the strips together into one long strip. 

Then you can spell silly things with your strips. I tried writing the word "weird" with my strip, because who tries to write in cursive with a strip of fabric? Instead, I wrote fun, which it really wasn't. Cursive has never been my forte.

weave the strip over your ring finger and in front of your pinky finger:

Then continue behind your pinky and in front of your ring finger. 

One more big loop in front of both your ring and pink finger (that's your top, big loop) and place the long tail of fabric behind your fingers. You are ready to start weaving!

take the first loop you made on your ring finger and bring it up and over the second loop and off your ring finger completely. 

Do the same with the loop on your pinky finger - up and over that top loop and then over your pinky. 

Take the long tail that's behind your fingers and wrap it around the front of your ring and pinky finger again. (I've underlined that step above.) Repeat the weaving process taking the now new, bottom loop up and over the ring finger and then the pinky finger. Wrap and repeat until you reach your desired length. 

As you weave, tighten the bracelet knots by pulling on both ends of the jersey. You want tight even knots throughout. 

** a note about length. Because this is jersey, it stretches, so aim to make and tie off your bracelet a bit smaller than your actual wrist size. This will make for a tight fitting bracelet, which I think looks better for this sort of thing. If you aren't a fan of the clutch bracelet, then just make it a bit bigger before you tie it off. 

Finish off the bracelet by removing the two remaining loops from each finger and weaving the long tail of jersey through those two loops. Tie into a double know and clip excess fabric.

Show off your new bracelet!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

somebody got a haircut

So, it took almost 4 years, but Doodle finally got himself a professional haircut. 

Sure, Mom hacked off pieces from time to time, but this time, it was the real deal. 

He had fun playing with a toy helicopter and checking it all out in the mirror. 

He was happy with the results and so was I! I wanted to make sure they kept him looking like a scruffy little boy! 

For the first time since he was born, you can now see his cute little neck!

And, to humor me, I was sent home with a lock of hair stapled to a piece of paper that says, "baby's first haircut."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

cauliflower crust pizza dough (gluten free)

I have a confession to make. 
Remember that pizza I posted last week? Well, that's not real pizza dough in the photo. In fact, it's cauliflower. For realz. 

After reading the book, Wheat Belly, over the break, my husband and I decided to try eliminating wheat from our diet. In 2 weeks, he had lost 16 pounds. I'm hovering around 6, but I'll take what I can get. In any case, it led us to revise the way we prepare food. We do a lot of cooking around here, so eliminating wheat isn't too daunting. And the book offered up a cauliflower crust recipe that inspired my own interpretation here. The basic idea is that instead of a traditional wheat crust, you use baked, mashed cauliflower. No, it doesn't taste at all like pizza dough, but it gets the job done and you feel good about eating an entire pizza!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 head of cauliflower
2 eggs
regular pizza toppings of your choice (tomato paste, cheese, vegetables, etc.)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Steam a head of cauliflower. 
3. Place cauliflower in blender and blend with egg, until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. 
4.  Spread cauliflower mix on a pizza pan (I like to line mine with foil for easy clean up) Bake for 20 minutes. 
5. Remove from oven and add your tomato sauce and regular pizza toppings of your choice. 
6. Place in oven again, this time for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower crust turns golden brown. 

Slice and enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

washi tape roundup

I'm loving all the work being done with washi tape!! So playful and colorful! Here are some projects I hope will inspire!

1. washi tape stir sticks 2. washi tape bandaids

3. washi tape keyboard 4. washi tape vase

5. washi tape car track  6. washi tape flag bunting

7. washi tape bike  8. washi tape reception cards

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

les miserables monsters

I have created les miz monsters.

Let me back up.

When I was around 9 years old I saw Les Miserables at the Shubert Theater in Los Angeles and was smitten. I became obsessed with the soundtrack and memorized all the words.
Cut to 27 years later I think I was equally excited to see the movie. We ended up with a copy of the film and I vaguely explained the storyline to Mr. P. which intrigued him enough to want to see it as well.

So at 10 pm over winter break, when normal bedtime rules were obsolete, we snuggled in bed and watched it.
Before you judge my parenting, let me stress that yes, I fastforwarded all the scenes of prostitution, the bawdy innkeeper scene and the revolution scenes. 
I watched as my kids became smitten in the same way that I had.

But then things took a turn for the obsessive.

How have my kids become Les Monsters? Let me count the ways:

1. They spent an entire weekend recreating Lego sets of various scenes from the movie.

opening scene 

2. Upon retrieval from preschool, Doodle (age 3), when asked how his school day was complained, "Nobody knows how to play Mes Liserables with me!" Typo intentional.....he called it that for the first few weeks.

Javert walks along the Seine

3. The children like to re-create Javert's suicide by listening to his song, jumping off a chair and then "floating down the river" which entails lying on the floor on one's back and pushing their way across the floor. This can go on for a 10-minute stretch. At least the floor is getting clean.

about to jump

4. Mr. P. (age 7) made me sit in the car in our driveway with him for thirty minutes in order to finish listening to a Patty LuPone interview where she talks about her time playing Fontine.

5. The soundtrack plays all the time in our house. I mean, from the moment they wake up til after they're asleep. We wonder what the poor dog thinks through all this, maybe, "if I have to listen to I Dreamed A Dream one more time I'm going to run away and find a new family with a more varied musical taste."

6. They spontaneously bust out all 7? 11? 25? parts of One Day More.
the barricade is built

7. They have us googling when the next theater production will be coming to town. Sadly for them, it doesn't look like it's coming to L.A. anytime soon. Which leaves us with the following choices, Sacramento, Baltimore or Raleigh. Hm....

8. Did  I mention I am now forced to listen to the music 24 / 7? In the car? In Los Angeles traffic?? Adds insult to injury.

9. For some reason each child has a different version of the soundtrack playing in their rooms at bed time. Mr. P. listens to the original Broadway production, while Doodle prefers the original London cast. At night, there is a cacophony of sounds - dueling casts, emanating from their bedrooms, each more dramatic than the other. It's totally maddening! 

10. When leaving Doodle's preschool with both children in tow, we wondered why there were so many helicopters flying around, so we turned on the radio and learned that a high speed chase had just ended in a car accident and the men were now running away on foot in our exact location. (welcome to Los Angeles). I explained to the kids that those men must have done something to make the police want to chase them, to which they both responded with great glee, "Like Javert chasing Jean Val Jean."

I could go on, but I'll spare you. The music to Starlight Express is looking good at this point. Almost.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

what I ate #13: ahi sous vide

We had to try fish in the sous vide. It came out so delicious! First the tomatoes went in. 

Then the fish. We served it with a tomato olive tapenade alongside brown rice, carrots, haricot verts and potatoes. 

yum yum!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

cuddle time

This is what I miss most about vacation time. 

See, even the mommy and baby orangutans at the zoo were capitalizing on their cuddle time. (that baby was just about the cutest thing I've ever seen)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

brussel sprout, bacon and lemon pizza

I love an interesting pizza, don't you? Today, I'm sharing a tutorial for a brussel sprout, bacon and lemon pizza. There's something about that baked lemon that gives this pizza pie an extra zing! (note: you DO eat the rind for this one)

pizza dough (prepackaged or make your own)
1 can of tomato paste
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 a lemon cut into thin slices
6 raw brussel spouts (each leaf individually removed from the sprout)
bacon (three cooked slices, broken into smaller pieces)
red pepper flakes to taste

Prepare your pizza dough. I love Martha Stewart's simple pizza dough recipe. Roll out dough into a 9-inch round. 

Spread tomato paste over dough. 

Cover with mozzarella cheese.
Add bacon, brussel sprout leaves and thinly sliced lemons. Season with red pepper flakes to taste. 

Bake according to dough manufacturer / cooking directions. 

Bon appetite!

Monday, January 14, 2013

my first bubble dress

I made these two bubble dresses over the vacation. One for my niece and one for a close friend's daughter.

The pattern comes from the blog, Straightgrain. 

It's the first time I've ever attempted to line an article of clothing. And I used a great tutorial specifically on lining dresses from Kitschycoo.

If you make this dress, my only advice would be to sew less on the back seam as my niece had trouble getting her head into it, so I ended up ripping the seam and resewing in order to accommodate her head. Also, the tutorial recommends using elastic and a button to close up the back. I went for a clasp closure instead as I thought it would be easier to sew.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

sous vide, mais oui!

This is a tale about the sous vide machine  I bought for Mr. Meremade in September of 2011 for his birthday. This poor, neglected present sat unopened, alone and abandoned in its original packaging in a cabinet in the kitchen. Apparently, getting to know a new technique, such as sous vide led to him to feel a bit overwhelmed and he was convinced that by using it incorrectly he would give everyone listeria.

Cut to the other night, when confidence (and a few inspirational episodes of Chopped and Top Chef) led to a renewed sense of courage and out came the sous vide!

For those of you unfamiliar with this technique, it involves placing your food in vacuum sealed plastic bags and then submerging those in a temperature regulated bath of continually circulating water. The results: perfectly cooked food!

It took a village (okay, 4 cooks) to figure out how to work the sealer.

Then into the water the bags went.

I knew this process could take a while to warm up to, so in the meantime, I prepared a carrot soup with tahini and crisped chickpeas thanks to Smitten Kitchen. It kept our bellies full as we explored the instruction manual and Thomas Keller sous vide book, Under Pressure, that was also part of the original present.

We sous vided (okay, that's not a real verb) chicken, oranges and fennel. The end result was chicken breast with ouzo, fennel over fennel puree with marcona almonds and oranges.

I can't quite articulate how incredible the chicken turned out. Just cooked evenly and perfectly with no tough exterior. It was crazy good! And the fennel puree was my second favorite part of the meal.

For dessert, I made simple gluten free coconut snowballs and chocolate covered strawberries.

We drank lots of wine in order to prevent any spread of listeria (clearly the alcohol would kill off any unwanted bacteria, right?).

A ridiculously good meal. And we all survived, to my husband's delight.

And guess what we prepped tonight? Tomatoes and carrots for another meal. I think Mr. You-Know-Who just likes using that vacuum sealer contraption.