Monthly Archives: February 2014

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The purse is cursed

Before it all went wrong...

Before it all went wrong…

I measured everything in triplicate, created an actual pattern piece instead of free-handing the design and the damn thing still turned out cattywampus.

I measured everything in triplicate, created an actual pattern piece instead of free-handing the design and the damn thing still turned out cattywampus.

Completed :)

Completed 🙂

To summarize: one side is longer than the other, the inner lining is noticeably smaller than the outside, and stitching can be seen where it oughtn’t on the inside clasp attachment. All we need is an outraged gentleman with a cracked monocle and a terrible first date type situation to round things out…

On the bright side, it does actually fit a credit card and/or ID, keys, and (barely) a tube of chap-stick.  Since it’s adorable, and can in fact serve its stated purpose, I’m gifting it to my awesome older sister.

I think the main culprit for any sizing issues can be linked to the material used for the outside of the purse–it’s surprisingly heavy duty and thick, and I neglected to iron down the seams after turning it right side out.

In general, I am opposed to ironing. And dry cleaning. Well, and most household chores, but it is in fact possible to have an entire wardrobe full of items that don’t require the aforementioned hated activities. (I regularly do laundry, if inquiring minds were wondering).

Aside from any lingering frustration over its imperfections, this was a fun piece to work on, and it was inexpensive too.  I bought the metal clasp at Jo-Ann’s Fabric store for two bucks and change, and the outer fabric was a gift. I’ve got about two yards of the gorgeous red and blue patterned cloth left so I’ll either be making a skirt, or practicing my purse making skills some more. Or making a fifties styled apron. Oh, the possibilities!

V is for Vodka!

Or Valentine’s Day, if you’ve got to be that way. It’s all good! Granted, there’s commercialism, weird expectations within relationships and too much pink floating around, but on the other hand there are cute gift ideas, great music and tomorrow there’ll be sales on chocolate. YAY!

I made a tribute piece in honor of the day–

textiles, hoop art

There’s plenty of fish in the sea, right? Be careful out there!

Browsing Etsy when they’re doing promos for holidays is so much fun. You never know what you’ll find! Today’s winner is this Dita Von Teese prayer candle. You know, if you’re worried that tonight’s burlesque routine won’t be received well. Ahem.  Haven’t found the perfect mood music? I’m loving Butterfly Boucher’s “Life is short”.

Just remember, even if your Valentine’s Day extravaganza isn’t perfect, you can hardly do worse than the person who gifted this little gem to his lady love back in the early 1900s.

 "For The New Woman! With St. Valentine's Heartiest Greetings and Best Hopes that she will receive another (moustache) - With A Man Attached." Courtesy of York Castle Museum /PA Wire

“For The New Woman! With St. Valentine’s Heartiest Greetings and Best Hopes that she will receive another (moustache) – With A Man Attached.” Courtesy of York Castle Museum /PA Wire

Super awesome split pea-(potato)-garlic soup

It starts with a bag of potatoes. Now, if you go to the store you can buy a cute little bag of pre-washed, perfectly sized organic golden-whatsit potatoes that are perfect for one person, but they’re expensive okay? So I buy the economy sized, reasonably priced bag of russet potatoes.

And then comes the countdown of whether I can eat them all before they go bad…

Anyway.

So there’s a bag of potatoes staring at me with eyes that are starting to freaking grow and I need to go ahead and use them, but I don’t actually want want potato anything. And thus came the criteria for this meal:

1. Use other ingredients that will disguise the potatoes

2. Create the the fewest number of dishes to wash possible

3. Expend minimal effort and attention  when making this dish

I realize that real recipes can give you great results every time, but I look those things more like guidelines anyhow, so use the following as inspiration, not the gospel, alrighty?

You will need:

A crockpot

Water

Dried split peas

Potatoes

Salt

Pepper

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (or equivalent)

Bacon grease (technically optional, but makes the soup exponentially better)

Fresh garlic (optional, but you’re super lame if you skip this ingredient)

Pine nuts (optional. What? They were in the cupboard)

Coconut milk (optional)

Sesame seeds (optional)

I dumped about 1.5 cups of peas into the crockpot, followed by cubed potatoes until the crock pot was roughly ⅓rd full, as well as two cloves of finely minced fresh garlic.  Next, I added a couple of spoonfuls of bacon grease, BECAUSE I CAN. I bought sesame seeds a while back and never figured out how to really use them, so I added a handful for texture, and a handful of pine nuts, because pine nuts make everything better.

Add water and coconut milk in equal amounts until all those ingredients are completely covered, and then some. It all cooks down so no need to panic.

Dump in salt/pepper/Lawry’s salt to taste, turn the crockpot on high, and leave it alone (stirring occasionally) for a few hours or until you remember it’s cooking. At first the garlic will smell overwhelming, but don’t stress. It really mellows out over time, and just adds a pleasant undertone when it’s done. If you like spicy things, be brave with the pepper shaker and go to town! The soup is finished cooking if the potatoes are no longer crunchy when you taste test. I cooked it until they were a bit mushy, so that the consistency of the soup was more creamy/stew like. I’m using this as the main dish for a meal, and all together it makes around 5-7 servings.

Let’s rate this thing, shall we?

Overall deliciousity out of ten: 10

***

Dishes used: 3

Knife

Cutting board

Crockpot

Difficulty level: 2

Fine motor control required

Sharp implements are used

Time spent actively cooking: 15 minutes

Score: 20

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I’ve got ninety-nine…

…things that I need to remember to be thankful for. When upheaval strikes, it’s hard not to hunker down and go into survival mode. That usually involves eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, copious amounts of tea, and a phone call to various and sundry family members. And some Disney movies.

Then I paste on my stiff upper lip, move on, and get down to business.

It’s a tried and true process that works pretty darn well, but at this point I’m trying to cultivate a state of thankfulness that acts as deterrent to all those ‘the sky is falling’ type thoughts. Writing lists of things to be thankful for sounded boring and pointless (what do you do with them afterwords? Make a paper airplane?) so I’m embroidering them instead.

It’s an abbreviated form of meditation created in movement—as long as my thread doesn’t snarl at any rate.  We’ll see how long it takes to fill my hoop with thankfulness 🙂

My thankfulness project

My thankfulness project