Friday, June 25, 2010

Adler's Pear My Way

Who doesn't love Jonathan Adler? I mean seriously. He's great. And I will admit that 
I don't know a whole lot about him, I've been busy changing diapers, but somewhere 
this pillow popped up and spoke to me. I love pears. I love pillows. Yum. And the 
best part - I knew I'd eventually be able to figure out a way to have it - even I had 
to make it myself.

So I did. :)

Have I mentioned how much I am in love with appliques? SO IN LOVE!  
I'm having the best time - pepito is slowly losing plain white onesies every day.  
I don't have wonder under so I'm using interfacing, but as long as I throw a couple 
pins in it to get started, it's working pretty well.

I love that the pear isn't solid - the trellis is one of my most favorite fabrics ever - but 
never made it into the living room officially in a big way, so it's nice having just 
a touch of it.  And the best part - it was totally free - made with scraps and remnants I 
had lying around!! Gotta love that! Much better than $98, even if JA's is wool and
perfect... It only took maybe 30-45 minutes start to finish - this is also making it on the 
Chrismtas Gift List of possibilities!! Oh the combinations!!!

The only problem is that I don't have any of the cream fabric left over to make a pair, 
I really wanted a lemon pillow for the other chair, so I guess it will have to eventually 
move to the sofa. No big deal - but I'm pretty sure that means I am one pillow short.  
Have to think that one over. In the mean time - I'm tickled pink with how easy and 
happy this one pear makes me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Heart Monograms

I mean, seriously, who doesn't love a pretty monogram?!  I would put initials on every single thing I own if I could afford it/my hubs would allow me too.  They're pretty and classic and just plain fun.  Makes me smile every time.

Enter stage right: our comfy large pillow in the living room.

On a whim (I was bored and had no sewing project for the day) I made a cover for a 16x24 pillow form I had hanging around out of our drapery fabric.  I thought it'd be nice to have the fabric pulled over to the sofa and it is a seriously comfy pillow - can't go wrong - right?!  Well, I knew it would need something to help jazz it up a bit, but in an effort to not make ANOTHER trip to the fabric store, I just left the trim off and decided we'd make do until hubsters would give me permission to buy some trim and then I'd remake it.  Easy cheesey.  No big deal.

see the pillow in question on the right? - yeah - it's naked

And the pillow did NEED something.  It was cute - but was definitely not statement making - and definitely felt a little naked.  Now, I don't know if I saw this somewhere on Etsy, a random blog, or maybe I made it up - but I came up with the idea to make a pillow "sleeve".  I figured it would break up the large floral and maybe that would be all it needed.
now it's dressed up and all pretty

But yesterday, I discovered that doing appliques really wasn't that difficult even though I don't have an embroidery machine and then the monogram was born.  I actually made the pillow sleeve twice, because the first time, like a dummy, I traced the letter with a red pen and you could see faint pinkness hanging out in the stitches. Not cool.  So instead of going to bed like a smart stay at home mommy, I wired myself up and made another one.  Much better.  I traced with yellow this time around.. ;)

And the best part - the first one was done when the hubs got home from work - and he QUOTE "that looks great - did YOU do that?"  SCORE!!!  He loved it and it looked good enough that he was IMPRESSED that I did it!! yay!!!  Gotta love that man!!  I don't think he is even aware of what he did for my self-esteem.

This might make it onto the Christmas Gift List Possibilities for everyone I - if you are expecting a gift from me this year - let me know if this is the one you want - or feel free to ignore this post all together and be surprised in six months! ha!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Strawberry Banana Yumminess

A week or so ago we ate at the club with B&B so they could see William before we left for the long weekend.  Becky had this amazing strawberry banana soup from the salad bar and let William have some and he went absolutely nuts for it.  So when we were at my parent's house, I googled a recipe and tried to recreate it  The recipe I found wasn't quite the consistency I was hoping for - it was too thin - ie. difficult to feed to a busy body kid like mine.

Today became grocery shopping day somehow - probably because we needed food to be able to eat dinner tonight - and I thought I'd pick up the ingredients to try again, only this time with heavy whipping cream.  I just finished it - and from my taste test - it is a success.  It is much thicker, not overpoweringly sweet, and just plain yummy.  Can't wait for it to chill and have some tonight!

In case you want my very first custom recipe (yep, I'm tickled with myself) - and it is ridiculously simple to make so you should - here it is!

1 container of fresh strawberries, sliced
2 medium bananas sliced
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice, I like fresh - cut lemon in half and squeeze one side until you don't want to squeeze anymore :) how's that for instructions?! ha!
1/4 cup sugar - I might go up to 1/3 cup next time
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Fat Free Sour Cream (I'm sure you could use full fat if you weren't counting WW points and it would be even yummier)

I think next time I am going to throw in 1/4-1/2 cup of raspberries - so I will definitely be upping the sugar to 1/3 cup.  Updates on recipe as I make it.  Sam suggested maybe a strawberry extract (do they make that?) if losing 1 banana doesn't cut it (I made it with 3 bananas and we couldn't taste enough of the strawberry)  Sorry y'all - this is obviously a work in progress to perfection but it's too good not to try and so summery!

Combine Fruit, Lemon Juice, and Sugar in food processor.

Whip Heavy Cream until soft peaks form, very small peaks - really until it kind of stands by itself just a touch - we're not making meringue here... ;)

Fold in Sour Cream and then when that's mixed in, Fold in Fruit.

Chill. Garnish with strawberries if it makes you happy and you didn't use all of them before.  Serve.  I'm thinking it is going to be about 12 - 1/2 cup servings.  And in case you need to know - each serving (if 12) is 3 points each.

I think this would be adorable served in tea cups. Ones with flowers on them.  Just saying.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dress It Up & Review It

So, for all the lack in interior design related posts, or really just posting in general, I just want you to know that I have a reason.  It's probably not a good one but my closet thanks me.  I've been selfish sewing for a couple weeks now.  Making skirts and dresses mostly.  Skirts for another day - Today is about the dresses.

When I was working - I lived in dresses.  Especially when I lost all that weight and got to enjoy shopping in the smaller single digits!!  Too bad it was shortlived - got preggo - but anyhow.  Point is - I LOVE dresses.  So girly, fun, and easy to wear!!  My current, post baby, wardrobe was lacking casual dresses for when I wanted to feel pretty but still had baby and nowhere to go but WalMart.  And it's kind of funny - I only buy patterns when they're on sale for $1 - sometimes I'll pay $1.99 but NEVER EVER EVER full price - what a rip off!!  I would cry if I spent more on the pattern then on the fabric itself!  And I never pay a whole lot for the fabric either.  I like to keep my total cost under $10 an item, including zippers, etc. so I stalked remnants and red tag like it's my job and have truly come to love broadcloth.  Cheap, cotton, pretty, tailored.  Love.  Moving on to the fun pictures - though please excuse my facial expressions, less than perfectly clean hair, and the remotes on the floor.

These are three of my most recent favorites...

McCall's M5659

I bought these fabrics at JoAnn's when their redtag fabrics were half off - $1.50 & $1.00 per yard.  I think I bought 3 yards of each...  The print is navy & purple leaves with pink background and the more solid is kinda like a crosshatch texture in purple & pink.  I made this dress weeks ago to wear to a baby shower for a sweet friend (remember the nursery?!)  This might be one of my all time favorite dresses in my closet right this very second.  So very very wearable.  No spanx required - though a racerback bra does come in handy.  If I remember correctly - is was pretty easy to master the directions - curvy sewing and all - but I think when it came to the top I made up my own be forewarned.  And pockets are easy!!  Adds a half dozen extra steps but I miss the pockets when I don't have them.  I highly suggest this one!   You will wear it out!  Mine ends up in the laundry every single week.

Simplicity 2702

I also bought this great green stretch cotton, it does have a basketweave kinda texture but I can't remember the official name for this type of fabric at the moment (mom brain!), at JoAnn's half off red tag sale.  Maybe $2.00 or $3.00 a yard?  Now, I'm fairly happy with how it finally turned out but I will never make this dress again - what a pain!  The instructions were impossible to understand.  Seriously - I didn't know what I was sewing there for about an hour.  I just stared at the gray piece of paper trying to make it make sense.  The collar was the hardest part.  And I ended up winging it - it's fine - just don't look too closely - it's not the neatest sewing I've ever done.  So - cute dress - but no thankyou.  And I'm not sure how I feel about the extreme flutter sleeves.  The girls at school thought I looked cute, and I will wear it again definitely, but I'm not 100% thrilled with it.  Just saying.  So don't make this one unless you are a rocket scientist and don't need the directions.

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2497

YOU MUST MAKE THIS NOW!!!!!!!  Seriously - I am in love.  And you can adjust the size of every piece to make sure that it fits you perfectly.  (I didn't do that and am glued/spanxed within an inch of my life but I got it zipped and that's all that matters!)  I don't think that next time I will put the pockets in.  The zipper overlaps the pocket a bit and I couldn't understand how to fix it - so next time - no pockets for me - or I'll try and figure out a way to put the zipper down the back.  Probably wouldn't be that difficult.  This fabric is just black broadcloth bought with 40% off coupon - so I think 5 yards was around $8.00!!!  It's also REALLY REALLY easy to sew - fabric and pattern - so do it now!  And I obviously made the maxi dress - but there is a mini and knee length cut lines if you don't want it to the floor.  (and the reason I look like I lost a bit of leg - there's a slit and I was hopping to get in front of the timer before it took the picture so there wasn't any time to fluff...)

I mean, c'mon, could the ruffle collar be any cooler?!  And I seriously got stopped while grocery shopping this morning - someone asking where I bought my dress - and I felt so bad when their face dropped when I said that I made it.  But I was grinning slyly on the inside!  THAT is why I sew!!!  (and what's that face I'm making?!  Weird non-smile smile?!!  note to self - cut head off next time...)

Next time I think I'll post the easiest skirt ever - with all kinds of ways to jazz it up without thinking at all.  I hope you enjoyed this installment of "indulging Meghan & her sewing"!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Long Work Weekend

Silly us - what do we decide to do on our Fourth Anniversary weekend AND pepito is at the grandparents house for four whole days?  Relax?  Not a chance!!  We painted the kitchen cabinets and countertops of course!  Doesn't that sound like a wonderful way to recoup from taking care of a sick baby?  Ha!  Though, it is much nicer being in the kitchen at 3am making a bottle now then it was a week ago.

Friday morning I drove baby up to Atlanta to meet my Dad at Grandmother's house and ended up she was having a lunch thing with my aunt/uncle and their kids, a close friend with her baby and an aunt who had managed not to meet pepito yet - so I was there a little longer than planned.  Lucky for me - I got to miss taking down all the doors, with 13 screws each, and painting them.  Sweet.

We've always loved white cabinets, black countertops, checkered floor.  Nothing fancy.  Just simple.  Classic.  Can't go wrong.  This was our plan and we had figured out a way that we could do it NOW and not later.  Well the floor is later, but whatever.  I can NOT look down.  Maybe.  We'll see...  So we had a plan.  (and let me note here, that THE PLAN had been made when we chose all the colors and schemes in the house, not made on a whim, just saying.  there was no backup)

Sam made the executive decision that he wanted to spray paint the doors - fine by me - it's really his deal this time.  The cost was a little more but the finish would be so much better he said.  And truth - the enamel finish is nice.  Shiny - but super cleanable.  Perfect.  So, I get home, change into paint clothes (you know you have some too), and start painting the boxes.  I almost forgot to mention - that we learned the hard way that when painting with spray paint, it is an absolute necessity to make sure you get ALL coats done in a timely fashion.  If you wait until the next day to finish up - you will be stripping the paint off and starting all over.  Yay us. Atleast it was only on five of the doors...

Three coats later - we're done.  Easy cheesey.  We might get to go to bed at a relatively decent hour.  Wait - Sam wanted to hang a couple doors to see how it all looked - and what do you know - the whites don't match.  Of course they don't.  So at 11:00 pm, we're sitting on the floor, well I'm sitting - Sam is pacing like always, trying to figure out what we can do to fix it that hopefully doesn't involve spending anymore money.  I go digging through the storage/paint closet and come out with the only two semi-gloss paints we own.  One is Forest Lichen, our bathroom color, and the other is a leftover from a job, which is a pretty blue gray.

I grab a craft paint brush and crudely put up samples.  We sit.  We stare.  We talk it out.  I really thought we'd have all white cabinets.  But the two tone look could be good.  Or it could be bad.  Very bad.  We don't want to look like we're taking the kitchen backwards.  How much worse than what we got could it be.  Only us. What color should the walls be.  Do you think I could find fabric to make the blue work then and then we don't have to repaint the walls.  But I love my poppies.  And so on and so forth.

We end up choosing Forest Lichen.  I can keep my poppy window treatments, it's less of a contrast, much softer, but we have to repaint the walls.  I just can't make the china blue work anymore.  No big deal.  I'm sure we have a gallon of something that work....  I believe we got one coat on that night, then two more in the morning.  And three fresh new coats on the buffet that was previously D.O.N.E.  Yep - 12 more doors that had to come off with 13 screws each.  Thank goodness we had a spaghetti/garbage disposal incident a couple years ago and needed a drill with a cord - best thing we ever bought.

I'll sum up the rest of the kitchen - we couldn't get the sprayer hardware out of the sink and thought we were going to have to replace our entire sink because of it.  Which was going to be irritating because the only one we could afford to put back was the exact one we have - not in the plan.  But Sam remembered the reciprocating saw and just cut the thing off - 60 minutes and a lot of sink searching later.  I don't know why we can't be brilliant immediately...  Sam redid the plumbing underneath because the pipe had rotted out.  Whoever did it the first time didn't install the pipes at the right level so it never drains right and we will have to do this every year.  No big deal - just add it to the list.  Faucet gets installed without a hitch, I tape off the freshly painted cabinets, and we start painting the countertops.  Somehow we didn't get it quite as even as I would've preferred, but it was hard enough to live without putting things on the counter this time and I don't plan to do it again anytime in the near future.  It's good enough and a vast improvement anyhow.

So - that's our kitchen makeover.  Oh, and Sam spent 2 hours detailing our oven because he's decided it's the centerpiece to our new kitchen.  Fine by me - it was old and dirty.  Plus, he figured out to get the nonworking huge timer box off the top, so I'm super pleased.  Happy new kitchen.  Now, to paint the walls and maybe we'll  be done with paint.  Yeah right - I've said that before! Ha!!


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