Saturday, August 20, 2011

Can you say "sewing frenzy?"

It seems like the busier I am at work the more I want to sew. It's SEW relaxing! Do you see what I did there?  Giggle. Anyway, this week was ferociously busy getting ready for an event today (CARE Fair for those who know what it is), and of course yesterday I decided I wanted a new shirt to wear. So I bought the fabric, washed it, ironed it, traced the pattern, cut the pieces and sewed the shirt together all last night.

Last summer I drafted a shirt based on one I own. It turned out pretty well, but parts of it bugged me. Corinnea had bought a pattern which was almost exactly what I had drafted and it came out perfect! After seeing several versions of it throughout blog-land I broke down and bought the pattern. I didn't like having a tie in the back (it bugs me when I'm driving) so I drafted it to sew in the "belt" around the back. I also split the back to have a different fabric on top. That wasn't part of the original pattern.

The pattern I used is Simplicity 7188 in Germany (which is the version I used) and Simplicity 3750 in America. The bird fabric is from Aviary 2 from Joel Dewberry.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Katagami Tunic

I made two tunics with this pattern (Simplicity 2191) before cutting into this amazing Katagami fabric. Have you seen this fabric? It's SO pretty! The whole line is beautiful. I think it has a neat backstory too. This was the fabric I was testing the pattern for, and for this one I went with cutting the pieces on the bias. So now it's super comfy! The temptation will be to wear it every day...

BUT luckily summer is finally sticking in Germany! I am marking the official (official for my blog's purposes) as August 15. It has finally gotten warm enough to use the air conditioner in the car! Seriously, last week I was still using the heated seats, and this week AC! Yeah!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flowers, flowers and more sugar - I mean flowers

I bought myself a little present. This set of cutters. It came in yesterday.

This is just part of what was in the box.

So all other plans I had for the evening were immediately changed and I spent the rest of the night making these.

Look at this rose! I mean, come on! It was SO easy!

So I HAD to make cake. The best carrot cake ever, to be exact. Carrot cake cupcakes.

And here's some beauties up close. 


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Trench Coat that never got blogged

Way back before Jennifer moved she gave me a trench coat pattern and this awesome corduroy. It's been so long I can't remember all the details... Corinnea, did you cut the pieces out? I think that's when I got introduced to pattern ease. At any rate, I did make the coat and Mary took some awesome pictures one really misty day. And then I lost the camera memory card. Grrrr. There was never another day so perfect so I never got pictures taken again! But today I decided to change purses and when I cleaned out the old one I discovered a hole in the lining. I dug around inside to retrieve all the things that had fallen through and low and behold there was the missing camera card! And the pictures! So, now you all get to see my trench coat! Sorry, I don't know what pattern it is. I didn't write down enough information before I gave it back to her. Thanks so much for the fabric and the pattern Jennifer! I love the coat!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I ♥ Pandas

Haven has been crafting! I came home the other day and she had been making panda stuff. She was inspired by stuff on Etsy and then made her own versions. So she ended up with a panda figurine, necklace, ring, and phone case. The figures are Sculpey clay and she hand sewed the phone case out of a t-shirt and a sock! I love that! I have been dying to encourage her to use the sewing machine, but know if I suggest it she will resist. Well, last night she finally asked if she could use my machine. Absolutely!!! I even refrained from complaining about the mess she left in the room afterwards. Shhhhhhh... don't tell her she's crafty!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Simple Goodness

I've had these starred for awhile to try, but just got around to it today. Where I saw it was Ruffles and Stuff and she called it a Larabar. I've never heard of a Larabar, so I call it peanut-raisin fish. Doesn't that sound delish? SOOOO simple and really tasty! It's just 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup raisins, and 1/8 tsp salt. I don't have a food processor so I used my blender and it worked fine. I pressed them into a silicone fish mold from Ikea and voila! Peanut-Raisin Fish. I wanted the same reaction as her kid, which was "ooh yum mommy! I want them everyday!" or something like that... Ethan said, "eh... they're ok." Then he came back a few minutes later. "Um... I was wrong, they aren't just ok. Can I have another one? No, maybe two. Are you going to eat that one? Can I have more?" Hehe! Oh, and as an aside, she called them "sugar free" but actually I think she meant "no sugar added" since the raisins of course have sugar. And if you have peanut allergies in your house try something else. I want to try cashews and dried cranberries next. Mmmmmmmm.....

EDIT: I tried cashews and cranberries. It was ok, but actually not as good as the peanuts and raisins. Plus the cranberries had a ton of added sugar. I think the joy of the peanuts and raisins is that they taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

In other news, Haven has been exhibiting the "Younger Story Telling Gene" in which tiny fish become a giant catch, etc. Today I was explaining how the meat was a little crispy because of a mishap with the gas grill. Then Haven added to it: "Then there was a huge fire. It almost caught the house on fire. People were screaming. Babies crying. Then the neighbors house almost caught on fire. People running for their lives...." She sounded JUST like my brother when he tells stories! Straight faced and as if it really happened! This is a trait my brother picked up from our father who is the master story teller. (remember the one about the salmon?) I just didn't know that Haven could inherit this gift half way across the world!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Reason to Make Cake

Deanna once said something like once she decides to learn something she keeps practicing until she masters it. I can totally relate to that. When I get a bee up my bonnet to learn something I become absolutely obsessed until I can do it perfectly and then I get bored and learn to do something different.

So, where does that leave me with this cake decorating thing? Well..... I clearly need more practice. This is actually much more challenging than one would think. Therefore, I see a lot more baking in my future. I have two exhibits to prove my point. In order to practice I have researched cakes on the internet and have been modeling mine after pretty ones I find. Here's my side by side comparison of my progress.

Exhibit 1
Clearly the layers are not right. I think I should have had two layers on the bottom and one on the top, or maybe three on the bottom and two on the top. And my flower is too big, but at least it's the right shape. But look how smooth and perfect her fondant is! I need a better recipe I think.

Exhibit 2
Well, the layers are a little better. (I was only doing the top two layers.) But her flowers are soooo beautiful! Look how thin hers are. So dainty and realistic. But hey, at least my frosting coloring is right on!

Well, just wanted to keep it real. Most of the time I only post the stuff that turns out nice. Since I don't know how long this learning process will take I thought I had better document the not so good stuff along the way too. I see more cakes in my future!

PS. "Her" in the picture comparison is Cupcake Envy and her cakes are AMAZING!!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Birthday Cake

WARNING! Lots of pictures ahead!

So the other day I saw a cute mini cake in an ad and thought "I can do that." So I started researching mini cakes. Then I got this urge the other night and HAD to make mini cakes! Since we were having people over to celebrate Rob's birthday I thought it was the perfect reason to make cakes. These were all made from one cake mix and one recipe of fondant. The recipe is fine except that I had to add a lot more powdered sugar to make it firm enough to mold. So... here's the cakes:

Rob's Birthday Cake

And one for each guest:

Here they are all together on the counter looking pretty.

There wasn't enough cake for the kids to have their own, so I made them these little cupcakes. The colors may be weird for the animals, but that's what I had left!

These cakes are about two servings and super sweet. So I knew the guests wouldn't finish their cakes. The ziplock containers were the perfect size for them to take their cakes home.

And since it was Rob's birthday, there were presents!
DELICIOUS homemade Tiramisu, a wine refrigerator to take care of all that wine from Italy, a cool iPad stand for use in the kitchen to read recipes, and fun espresso cups.

And our little dinner party.
Happy Birthday Rob! We love you!