Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Here is a beautiful post from Wish Jar Journal to get you all fired up about your handmade holidays.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hey, wanna see a bunch of ribbons and trims that I sewed onto a vintage sheet:


Check it out! You like that? Well there's plenty more where that came from.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Hidden Kitchen was magical. Here is super host (for whom I now have a little bit of a food crush) Dennis' recipe for Crema de Limoncello. Make sure to read the comments for instructions on how to make Limoncello as well, we tried some that had been aged for two years and diners commented that it tasted like drinking a flower.

Friday, November 16, 2007

snowflake before

Today's crafty progress, snowflake before and after.

snowflake after

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Recipes for the weekend (which starts for me tonight!):

Vegetarian Borsch
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

balance is good

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

simon grooming jayne

To be honest, I'm surprised I've made it almost to the middle of the month before relying solely on kitties for the day's content. I'll just say it: they are sooo cute!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy things for the middle of the week:

1. Pj pants made out of bedsheets - brilliant! I especially like the wide legs and how it looks like she used the top hem of the sheet for a natural decorative cuff.'

2. Last night I lit the pilot light and turned on our heater all by myself. Now we can have heat whenever we feel like it.

3. Just signed up for Sacramento's Run to Feed the Hungry. I am super excited for this, such a wonderful way to spend a crisp Fall morning. p.s. we walk.

4. We have reservations at the Hidden Kitchen this weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How have I never heard of Zafu before? This is incredible: you answer a bunch of questions on this website and then it tells you what jeans will fit you and how they will look. That picture up above is exactly how I want my jeans to look, and it's my number one match, The Sweetheart $30 at Old Navy. I ordered them and I'll report back if the fit recommendation is true or not. According to Zafu, here's how they are supposed to fit me in three key fit areas:

Waist: What makes this jean ultimately wearable is that it sits higher than most low rise jeans and will provide great coverage at the rear. There may be a teeny bit of snugness at the waistband.
Hip & thigh: This jean fits perfectly through the hip and the thigh and looks sexy. The stretch denim fabric skims close to carve out your curves without feeling tight.
Seat: You'll have a smooth fit across the seat without fitting too tight, and these jeans have the seat flattering angled pockets that brings out the well-formed curves of your butt.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

trees in progress
Works in progress for holiday fest 2007! I am simultaneously feeling like I've gotten a lot done and like I'll never be able to make it. These trees are really fun and will make a great display. The ones standing up are made from thrifted materials.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fall is here! It's raining and pouring today and we've had two successful baking experiments:

Whole wheat beer bread - this is yummy, but it does include about a cup of white flour. I wanted to try it out pretty much as written before experimenting with all whole wheat. I didn't have bread flour so I just used all purpose instead. This was my first time making bread with the mixer instead of kneading and mixing by hand. Shockingly, it was much easier.

Apple-Walnut Cake - for over a month I've been looking for my ideal apple cake recipe, a search I've restarted from last Fall. This isn't it because my ideal apple cake recipe is more of a biscuit type cake with struesel on top. I mainly used this particular recipe because it looked so easy and I'm getting tired of putting so much energy into not finding the right recipe. One of the reviewers mentioned that the base is basically a blondie dough and they're right, but with a ton of apples it turns extra moist and fantastic. So good! While this is not my ideal, it is awesome in a completely different way.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Crafty work day today, I made a lot of progress but still nothing to show for it. I'm trying to realize economies of scale by doing a lot of one thing at at time, right now I'm doing a bunch of trees and dream pouches. I wonder if I will regret this plan when I am sewing in zipper after zipper. The best part about crafty work day is the view:
the view

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I really like these crazy stockings from Free People. They're a little bohemian yeti for me but a great jumping off point for making my own stockings, something I've been meaning to do.

I particularly enjoy the use of pom pom.

Two of my favorite things: cute husband, embroidered pillowcase. He really loves being photographed when he's still trying to sleep for the last ten minutes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Alright, I suck at NaBloPoMo. This week has been ridiculous. We will have black bean pumpkin soup this weekend and put everything back together. To get through the next couple of days, let's check out some more etsy favorites:

Hobbledehoy - It's true love, I really love this shop with hand dyed and handspun yarns. These are the kind of yarns I would make if I'd ever learned how to spin (sorry Mom!). The gal has been promising a large update in the next couple of days so I've been obsessively checking. Oh, and the prices are really reasonable for artisan handspun.

Monday, November 05, 2007

pillows 07 145

Hee! This is a little onesie I made especially for a little baby that was born too far away. Hopefully this message will sink in and her parents will move closer immediately!
Just a few days in and I've already fallen off the NaBloPoMo waggon! Yesterday was crazy: new babies were snuggled, gigantical life decisions were made, tears were shed, cuddles were shared. Big deal stuff that drives blogging right out of your brain, even when you do have an extra hour. Let's just pretend this never happened.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

apartment kitchen

This is what the kitchen looked like earlier this afternoon as I waited for my sugar to caramelize to make this tart, a tryout for Thanksgiving.
It was very good but I drastically underestimated the amount of slivered almonds we had in the freezer. I subbed pistachios for most of the almonds and they were alright but the crisper almonds would've been a nicer texture with the soft caramel and cranberries.

I came home to the November Anthropologie catalog with these:

Both versions of an idea I've had on my mind for about a year now: make clothes with quilts. I think either a nice fitted jacket (maybe mandarin collar?) or comfy robe would be great candidates. For the jacket, obviously fit is a major concern, but for both the seam finishing would be crucial for a nice garment. Either a lining or maybe just trim the seam allowances and finish with binding or twill tape? Will have to think about it for next year.

Friday, November 02, 2007

As you can see, I've taken the pledge! This holiday season I am not only trying to make handmade things for other people to give as gifts, I'm also making sure all of the gifts from me are handmade too (well mostly, there are a couple of useful items already planned out that are not handmade, but sshh!). I've done a lot of embroidery so far and a little jam making. I'll also be doing a lot of etsy shopping (as per usual, ahem). The one thing I will not be doing this year is buying random industrially produced crap for those people on my list who are a little difficult to shop for. Also, I think it's pretty universally agreed that good books count as handmade since the author put so much of him or herself into the finished product.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

By way of starting back up again here, I will be participating in the dreaded NaBloPoMo. At the same time I will be preparing to participate in these two craft fairs:

Charr's show!

To start getting in the mood for handmade holiday purchases, here are a couple of my favorite etsy stores:

Rhymes with Luck - gorgeous jewelry with a vintage feeling, made by a very creative friend of my family.

1AEON - natural fantasy inspired hand silk-screened t-shirts. I started trolling this shop to find gifts for my husband (Mr. Fantasy!) but ended up getting a t-shirt for myself as well. The shirts themselves are beautiful and soft and the designs are incredible, really nice vendor to work with as well if you do a custom order.

Hottoffee - fused glass jewelry. I own 3 or 4 pairs of these earrings and wear them all the time. They are beautifully made and simple but the layers of glass make them so special. Also the dangley earrings are held onto the hook with a little piece of metal in the shape of a heart and one is imprinted with the word "you" and one with "me." How cute is that!