Saturday, November 29, 2008

Raisin Pie Update

Well- the pie below? Wrong pie. It wasn't the one my mom ate growing up. It tasted alright, even though it was very unattractive and we didn't even serve it at dinner (not like we were lacking in the dessert category anyhow.) The good news here is that when I got home, I looked at the recipe I had from my grandmother (I'd forgotten it here) and even though the one I found online looked similar, they're not the same. So I may yet be able to recreate this family favorite. For the moment though, we're rather satiated as far as pie goes so I think I'll wait a bit on that experiment. I'd post a picture of the pie I did make, but my camera's gone a little bit missing in all the Hoopla.
ETA- found the camera:

Oh- I've also decided that I just don't like that vodka pie crust recipe. I'll stick with the Cooks Illustrated (other) best pie crust instead.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

My mother has often told me about a raisin pie that she and my grandfather loved. The other night I was at my grandmother's for dinner and asked her if she thought she still had the recipe- and she did. We dug through her recipe box and eventually found a little slip of carboard from the back of a SunMaid Raisin box with a recipe for Sour Cream Raisin Pie. So I'm baking this today for Thanksgiving!
I hope it turns out well enough to evoke the memory of the pies my grandmother used to bake. I'm at my mother's and forgot my usual pie crust recipe at home so I did a search online. I like to use the best pie crust recipe from Cooks Illustrated, which I did find a version of HERE but I also have tried their recipe with Vodka in it a couple times. I'm not totally sold on it (the dough is really soft, thus sticky), but it's so interesting that I have to try one more time to see if I like it or see if I for certain DON'T like it. I'll chill it for longer than I have in the past I think... I'll let you know how the pie comes out!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Button-down Shirt Sleeve Pants

Leland's got some new pants made from Papa's old shirt. I made these just like you'd make pants from a sweater, though of course, with cotton shirts there's no felting involved. Leland wears about 18 mos. clothing and I don't think you'd be able to make these much bigger than that. Well, nevermind- with MY husband's shirts I couldn't make them much bigger.I'm thinking these would be cute with a pocket on the side- maybe from the shirt front?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Really Easy Applique

About a year ago I read instructions on Melissa Haworth's Blog, Under Construction, about how to applique by sewing your applique piece onto iron on interfacing. Though I left an enthusiastic comment I still didn't get around to actually trying it out until recently while decorating some bibs. When I wrote Melissa to tell her I'd finally used the idea, she told me that her new favorite way of doing applique is to just sew the piece onto another piece of that fabric, then stick it onto whatever she's decorating with a bit of wonder under if she wants to stick it on. This has become my favorite way of making little decorative patches (though I have yet to use the wonder under tip. I think that'd be quite helpful for hand applique though.) Here are my own little instructions.

James wanted to get in on all the sewing I've been doing and dug through my scraps to find this cowboy. He told me he wanted it on his stripey shirt so I created this little tutorial in case you'd like an easy way to add a bit of decoration to...anything fabric.

  • Cut out your image- this can be much rougher than I did in the picture.
  • Choose a fabric for the backing- interfacing works, a piece of the same fabric, or for this one I just chose a scrap of black fabric.
  • Right side to right side, sew all the way around your image. All the way, closing the gap.

  • Cut out right next to your sewing line. I find using pinking shears carefully works very well.
  • Cut a slit in the back fabric that you will turn the piece through.
  • Turn your piece inside out and use a finger or bonefolder to press out the seam.

  • Iron.

  • Sew onto intended item. You can hand applique, top-stitch or use your machine's applique stitch. Some patches look really cute when sewn on with a decorative stitch.
  • My model was none too cooperative. He's trying, in this picture, to hide the cowboy and take the camera from me, but it's the best one I got.

Another blog tutorial that was helpful is on Stitch Rip Repeat.
Thank you Melissa and Beth!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Could This Be Our Daily Bread?

Last month Stefani at Blue Yonder wrote about her family's, "Daily Bread." Thank you Stefani! The recipe she posted sounded simple and tasty and I love the idea of making our own bread, but also find it somewhat intimidating. So we tried it out the other night and I'm hooked!

The boys helped out of course- though when took the dough out of the Cuisinart to knead it some by hand, neither of them were interested in touching it. We live at 7000 feet so I'm never sure how well baked goods will do, but this came out great. The only adjustment I made was to cut down the rising time the second rise. Oh, actually I substituted brown rice syrup for honey since I was out of honey. Oh, uh, I also took it out of the oven a bit early because we were HUNGRY. So this is a forgiving recipe! Next time I will let it bake longer though to get a nice crust.

After trying this recipe I got all brave and made rolls the next night. I think I could be into this homemade bread. We'll make Blue Yonder's Daily Bread again today. I may have to slow down (but not really just yet)- all this tasty bread drastically increases butter consumption!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Test Shots- Product Photos

Aack! Last night I spent some time trying to get a few decent photos of things for my shop, but no. They came out all wrong. The first one- well that apron not actually 'on' someone just looks like road kill. No good. I'll have to get my sister over here and take pictures of the aprons on her.

This bib with the harsh shadow I don't like and I think I need it to be really easy to take the pictures, so probably just laying things down, not hanging them.

Which is what I did here, (not that I expected to like the look of my carpet in the photo.) I'm thinking though, with the intensity of the flash on my little digital camers, I'll have to take the pictures during daylight in a well lit place so the flash isn't necessary. It just is too bright and ruins the color. Gee, that sounds doofus-ly obvious when typed out.

Oh well, here's to getting pictures taken today and actually listing things!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paper Doll Papas

This is SO much fun to do with the small person of your choice. James chose "Special Art Time With Mama" as a reward he could earn recently and yesterday he cashed in his certificate while Leland napped. To make it special I made up a basket of supplies and brought them into his bedroom at his little table and cut out these dolls we could decorate, figuring I'd give them as an idea and then let him take the lead. It was great. I just dove in and started drawing faces and he grabbed his own and got to work.

What was most fun is was hearing him tell stories about them. His were "all Papas." One of them didn't like clothes, one liked hats and one wanted a face. Once he had a face he started demanding food and we had to make him a plate! He was so excited that I'd made them hold hands and wanted to know how I'd managed that, and then he wanted to know all about my dolls, and eventually took to helping me dress them too. After maybe 20 minutes he said, "Ok, Mama, I'm done!" and then helped clean up. We will be doing this again for sure. I left all the doll supplies together so we can grab them easily. Whether you have paper or fabric you've got to try this sometime. You never know what those Papa dolls will be up to!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vintage Fabric Bias Tape

Ooh- I'm just loving this bias tape I'm making. I'm just using the Clover Bias Tape Maker (which I only got recently, and it's so much easier to make this now). The red fabric came from an antique shop in Oregon and the light green is from a friends attic. I can' wait to see it sewn up on an apron. I think this tape looks so cute, I'm thinking of making up a few yards to sell. It's the sort of thing I'd like to find. I wonder what other seamstresses think... Maybe I'll check out what other homemade bias tape goes for on Etsy.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Caledar Cover in Progress

I'm working on a little calendar cover that can hold a calendar, a pen and a note pad for lists.
This is what I've got so far- it holds a 3x5 note pad on the right and on the left flips open to a small calendar.

Then it folds up with a flip, flip.

I was going to make it a button closure like the crayon wallets, but since it would probably be in and out of purses or pockets I think instead I'll just make a longer elastic loop that can loop around the entire thing to hold it closed. I've got to futz with the length of the fabric a bit too to make it right.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coloring Wallets

In a couple weeks my husband is moving his office into our house and the whole place has been in one big upheaval. Of course this is happening right while I'm trying to get ready for this craft fair, but oh well. Luckily my mom is making some stuff for the booth too. Also, I'm so glad I found his pattern for a coloring wallet from JC handmade.

She sells the PDF pattern in her Etsy site and it's easy to follow. These are fun to put together, she allows for you to sell what you make and my son loves his (the one shown below). Last time we went to the grocery store he told me- Don't worry mama, I have my check book! as he carried his coloring wallet to the car.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Studio Shot

Sitting in my comfy chair, about to put Halloween pictures on the computer I looked across the room and liked the little collection of thread and other flotsam on top of my drawers on my sewing table.

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