Saturday, June 30, 2012

Busy Day at Home

So I'm staying close to home today for the most part today.  Just don't have any errands to run or places I absolutely need to be.  So while waiting for a friend to call with a fabulous adventure, or just to summon me to hang out, I figure I might actually get some things done around my apartment.

So far I've been fairly productive.  Not as much on the cleaning front as I'd like (not being a fan of cleaning), but I've done much better on the crafting front. 

Gardening: I got a 5 pot pyramid thing from my mom that I filled with potting soil and actually planted some seeds in.  The seeds are a bit old (a bit is being generous) so we'll see if they germinate.  I'm keeping a positive outlook though.

Cooking: No cooking yet today, but I did heat up some of my leftovers from last night for lunch.  Just a stir fry, but I had garlic scapes this time which I picked up at the farmer's market near my job.  Never cooked them before so figured I'd give it a shot.  Definitely a bit tough, don't think I cooked them long enough.  Instead of rice I made some quinoa to mix in at the end.  Other than that, just half a yellow pepper that was on its last legs, some onion, and the ever present garlic.  Those glass jars I've been saving came in handy for the extra cut-up veggies.

Sewing:  Two parter here.  On the business front I finished the second piece of a recent commission.  The first piece was just replacing some clasps on a pair of dress pants that had come loose.  The second piece had me pausing for a bit to make sure I was sure on my strategy.  Basically the pants have a pretty white stripe in a navy fabric.  Unfortunately one of the seams has the fabric meeting at an angle so there was a spot of a lot of white where it looks like the fabric is pulling apart or something.  Not nice.  So I took in the seam just a touch so you saw the navy fabric instead and you can't even tell.  Much better.

As for personal sewing - 1) I had a soft t-shirt fabric dress I picked up to wear around the house but it was too long so it has been hanging since I bought it.  Had to hem it 3", but hopefully now I'll wear it since it is super comfy and does me no good on a hanger. 
2) I took in the necklines on two shirts (identical with different color patterns) that gaped open if I bent forward AT ALL.  I just took in each neckline an inch only along the actual neckline.  I did not do anything to the shoulderseam or top-of-sleeve.  The patterns are so busy that you wouldn't notice.  I used the same technique on this shirt and it is even less visible on these shirts because the fabric is more loose and drapey.
3) I replaced two buttons, one each on the back pockets of a pair of jeans.  The way the pocket flaps hung outward was driving me nuts, but I've been too lazy to fix it.  Step in day of being a homebody - two buttons added and I feel much better.
4) And speaking of replacing buttons, I have a pair of linen capris that I haven't been able to wear for over a year because both buttons above the zipper had come off and I never bothered to replace them.  Since it is getting hot here as summer rolls in, linen capris might be handy.  So I found two (non-matching) buttons in my stash that are roughly the right size and sewed those bad boys on.  One is slightly too big, but works.  I'm trying to not be bothered by the non-matching-ness of the buttons.  Casual pants, and who is going to notice besides me.  Or if they do notice, care at all.

So that is the roundup so far.  I apologize for the lack of pictures of all this productivity.  My computer is down so I am using my old netbook.  Which is finicky.  So I don't like to ask too much of it.  If I'm lucky and the company sends me a new motherboard then we'll be back in business on pictures.  If not, then, I'll try to figure something out.

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Pledge

I hereby pledge to not buy any new craft supplies, excluding notions required to facilitate projects such as thread, zippers, etc., and to use what I have to do future projects. 

I have a ton of fabric.  Boxes stashed neatly under my bed galore.  Plus boxes of assorted supplies for assorted crafts.  I need to use this stuff up.  I admit it, i am a hoarder, but I also love to craft.  So everytime I go to a craft store i end up buying more.  I figure free stuff from freecycle or craigslist free section don't count because I'm not spending any money.  But I am hoping to get back into making clothing for myself and refashioning other clothing to refresh my wardrobe.  To this end I want to focus on fabric and un-used clothing I already have first.  Use up my stash.

I definitely don't want to buy anymore new fabric for now.  I've been trying to be more environmentally friendly, and I think using what you have and re-using clothes has to be more eco-friendly than buying new fabric for every project.  I'll make it work somehow.

It is exciting because what projects I work on will, to a certain extent, be influenced by the fabric I have.  This could get interesting.  Once I get going I'll keep y'all up to date on the adventure.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So busy, top secret for now... and an update

So I haven't been posting regularly lately.  Sorry about that oh ye few, but faithful.  I promise to try and do better.  My real job has been crazy busy up until recently with long hours.  But freedom is mine!  Or at least normal employment hours are.  It feels a bit like freedom though.

I've been working on a super secret project whose details shall be shared in time.  I don't want to jinx it, so I won't give particulars.  But wish me luck!  I am hoping it turns out well.

Update!  I started a side business for hemming and mending.  I figure I have the skills, why not try to make a little cash right?  So many people these days don't want to learn how to do it themselves and would rather just pay someone else.  I even had my first customer!  Paid and everything.  I was so excited.  I'm a real businesswoman now, hehe.  I feel a twinge of guilt charging people I work with, but kindof defeats the purpose of having a business if you just waive the charge all the time.  I offer for free as a favor to friends though.  I like to help out my friends.  If they want to pay me, that is their choice.

I'm really trying to crack down and clean up my place so I can get my craft table out and start some real projects.  I have patterns calling my name for some nice summer skirts and shorts.  Since it has been killer hot here lately I could use them.  Maybe even a sundress or two.  Craziness!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Something a Little Different

I don't normally post food stuff on here.  But this recipe is the first one I've tried altering to be gluten free and it worked!  Long story short I have digestive problems and supposedly eating gluten free is helpful so away I go.  The recipe is below with my substitution in parentheses.  It originated from a Pampered Chef cookbook I used to have.

Beef Tamale Bake

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used brown rice flour)
1/2 baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
2 egg whites
3 tbs butter (I used oil so the "crust" came out a little heavy)
1/2 lb ground meat (I left this out because I didn't have any)
1 jar salsa - approx 16 oz
1 can beans, rinsed and drained - approx 15.5 oz (I left these out)
1 garlic clove, pressed (I just spooned in some pre-minced garlic, probably a bit more than a clove's worth but I like garlic)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese (I left this out because I can't eat cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray your baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray.  (I used a 13x9 and the crust seemed thinnish, but I was also substituting the flour and butter so that might contribute to it not rising as much.)

2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk in water, egg whites, and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Pour batter into the baking dish.

3. Cook ground meat until no longer pink and drain.  Add salsa, beans, garlic, chili powder, and cumin to the cooked meat.  Mix well and bring to a boil over medium heat.  (Since I didn't use meat or beans I just mixed the salsa, garlic, and spices in a bowl and skipped to the next step.)

4. Spoon the meat mixture over the batter to within a 1/2 inch of the edge.  Bake 20-23 minutes, or until crust is set.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese.  Let stand 5 minutes.  (I baked mine for approx. 30 minutes, probably because of the oil substitution making the batter a bit more moist.  Obviously skipped cheese step.)

5. Cut into pieces and serve.

Yields approx. 8 servings