Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

I feel like a broken record, but I'm still doing some sewing on the Halloween costumes. Last week was busy busy and I didn't get quite as much done as I wanted. I also have to admit I was distracted by my efforts to learn about pattern drafting and fitting so I've been doing a ton of reading on the subject. I'm gearing up to make myself a fitted jacket/coat. I have decided to use this project to work out my aversion to making a muslin and taking the time to properly fit the stuff I sew for myself. I know that I'll need to make adjustments for a wide back, full arms and low bust (lol!). I am a tshirt and jeans kind of girl, but I do love beautiful clothes and want to make some for myself. I'm really excited to have a challenging project. I mean I sew for O., but there's no real challenge there, she doesn't have figure flaws to combat, lucky girl.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday's Meal

It's getting cold outside and that has me thinking about a good bowl of soup. My husband adores all things Italian so I thought I'd share this one with you all. Enjoy! Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve with a crusty Italian bread, delish!

1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small onions, chopped
2 (16 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
5 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 (16 ounce) package spinach fettuccine pasta
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Drain fat from pan, reserving 3 tablespoons. Cook garlic and onion in reserved fat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine, broth, basil, and oregano. Transfer to a crock pot, and stir in sausage, zucchini, bell pepper, and parsley. Cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain water, and add pasta to the slow cooker. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes. Ladle into bowl and top with Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm attached!

As you might recall I have several vintage machines and because of that I have tons of machine attachments. I've never really tried to use them. Oh sure, I used the walking foot, zipper foot and the occasional blindhem foot, but never ventured much beyond those. Well, I happened to catch sight of a nifty little book the other day at JoAnn's called "The Sewing Machine Attachment Book" and using my 50% off coupon I purchased it. Not only was it quite informative, but also full of sewing machine trivia that I enjoyed learning about. I learned all about those mysterious feet I had in my sewing box and just how to get the most out of them. It's the secret of how sewist of the past could turn out incredible items with out the aid of modern gadgets such as sergers. I've discovered I lurve the hemmer feet. It's too cool. It makes the tiniest hem without ironing or anything. Perfection. My success using it has inspired me to break open that box and check out some of those other feet too. I'm off to experiment more. Since I have some holiday sewing planned I can see using the ruffler or pleater in my future. Fun times!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

Continuing on the Halloween sewing. It's a perfect day to be at the machine too since the weather is rainy and gloomy. I've finished the Cinderella costume for which I was pronounced "the best mom ever!" I'll get a picture posted as soon as the weather brightens up. I've started working on E.'s costume. It will be pretty quick and then I need to make something for M. I'll finish this stuff up in the next week and then start planning for the Holiday sewing. I still have a few gifts to sew up and I'd like to do an outfit for the kids to take the picture for our family Christmas card.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday's Meal

So, not much of a meal today, but recipes nonetheless. I try whenever possible to use the least amount of toxic chemicals in my home. I'm also frugal and you can make your own cleaners for pennies so that's a big plus in my book too. I have collected a few basic recipes through the years that have served my needs well. The Internet is a wonderful resource to find great cleaner recipes. Search under words like nontoxic or green cleaning to get tons of information.

Multipurpose Cleaner

12 oz. of water
1/3 cup of rubbing alcohol
1 tsp nonsudsing ammonia
1 tsp dish washing liquid
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake well and use on all kinds of surfaces (except painted or marble)

Another Multipurpose Cleaner

1 gallon water
1/2 ammonia
1/4 vinegar
2 tbsp of baking soda

Mix all together in a gallon size bucket. This is great for cleaning floors and bathrooms

Glass cleaner
3 1/2 cups of water
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup alcohol

Pour all ingredients into an empty spray bottle and use on any glass surface.

Laundry Powder

1 bar grated fels naptha
1 c washing soda
1 c Borax

Add all ingredients to a clean 16 oz. container, mixing well. Use the amount of powder recommended by your machine. You may need to experiment to determine the right amount you need.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

So today I'm feeling crafty. I'm working on finishing O's Halloween costume (I just have to put in the zipper and hem the dress) and also making a hip Halloween inspired outfit for her to wear the week of Halloween to school. I'll start on E's costume which shouldn't take much time since it's basically the top and hat only. M. still hasn't decided what he wants to be though, so I need to do some brainstorming. I'm also hard at work on the prize from my next giveaway. This time I decided to do something that has a little bling. I hope you'll like it as much as I do. Stay tuned, I hope to have a picture posted by Friday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's Meal

Have to get dinner on the table in a hurry? Well this delicious casserole combined with rice or egg noodles will fit the bill.

Imperial Chicken Bake

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (I like Italian breadcrumbs)
1/3 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp minced parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 clove of minced garlic
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp of paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Dip chicken in milk, then dredge in seasoned breadcrumbs. Place in lightly greased 13 X 9 casserole dish. Combine butter, garlic and lemon juice; drizzle over the chicken. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until tender and no pink juices come from chicken when pierced.