Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Macho Gazpacho

I'm addicted to gazpacho these days. I know, a little late in the season... Thank goodness tomatoes are still abundant and cheap here in CA.

It's so easy and refreshing. Here's my dad's Andalucian gazpacho recipe.

Start by soaking a chunk of day-old bread in some ice water (no ice is fine too).

In a blender, fill your blender about 3/4 full with peeled tomatoes (however many that takes)
Add 1 small onion (or 1/2 med to large)
1-2 small cloves of garlic (trust me on this one, a little goes a LONG way)
about 2 T olive oil
1-2 T red wine vinegar
and your soggy chunk of bread

Blend it up, taste it, add salt and pepper to your liking.

My dad likes to put his through a food mill to get rid of all the seeds. I don't mind them (I actually don't even have a food mill, plus I'm a little bit lazy). And if you do decide to put it through a mill, you don't need to remove skins at the beginning.

Ta-da! Serve chilled or at room temperature.

In Sevilla, they have gazpacho bars where you can add hard-boiled egg, onion, cucumbers, and other toppings. I like it with egg, cucumber, and a drizzle of olive oil. De-lish!

Quilted Scrappy Heating Pad

Inspired by Denyse Schmidt's heating pad cover, I slapped together this one:

I tried to just be whimsical about the whole thing, grabbing scraps I had at the top of my pile, not thinking too much. It came together rather quickly (that means 2 hours, I'm slow). It's backed with a yummy, cozy fine-ribbed corduroy in lime.

This is my favorite part.

And this was an "oopsie," but now it's my other favorite part. Next time, I might go for a more neutral quilting thread color. Oh well, I guess that means I have to make another one...

Now I just gotta wait for a backache or "sweatah weathah."

I've Got Problems

The problem is this blog...again. Too many fun and easy ideas that I have to try (I have no choice!).

Today I made this little storage cube:

What? You can't be sick of this fabric yet! I still have TONS of it, but slowly dwindling (thank goodness). At least it matches my room.

Maybe I'll use it for storing sewing supplies.

Or maybe I'll use it to hold my popcorn...since I cut up the box to stabilize my cube.

I may need to make 30 or 40 more of these...because what I need is more containers to hold more crap.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Little Dolly

Lookie what I made! Isn't she so cute?

Her name is Kit by Wee Wonderfuls. She likes science and is good at karate and stuff....you know, just like me.

She's wearing a little corduroy jumper.

I broke the (my) mold a little bit. I like it. But maybe I'll set her eyes a bit wider next time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Heart Biscotti

In between quilt squares, I made a little batch of biscotti. Man, I love biscotti. Today I made maple walnut, in honor of autumn.

And this book rules, especially the triple ginger lovers biscotti. The ones I made today are not exactly in the book - I just swapped one kind of nut for another and added some things (I tend to do this).

If you do get this book, let me make one recommendation. After the second "bake", leave them in the oven at about 250F for another 20-30 minutes. That way, they get nice and dry and crunchy. I like my biscotti break-your-teeth hard.

Serious Progress

Remember this post 100 years ago? D's 2007 Christmas present? Well, embarrassing, but that was the last time I touched it. Until today!!

I thought I could bust out all the rectangles today but, alas, I only assembled 16 of the 28. Humbling. At least that's over half way, right?

And yes, of course, there are polka dots....silly. Teeny, tiny ones.

The mere cutting out of the pieces was daunting to the point of paralysis. But now that it's actually underway, I'm excited and motivated (yeah, we'll believe it when we see it). Stay tuned!

Couldn't You Just Eat Them Up?

This past weekend, I went to San Luis to spend some time with la familia. Here are some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

Makaio, 3
Offering me his cupcake - delicious!

Maile, 1
Not in love with the camera, but definitely a happy baby.
Wearing a shirt my dad made for my sister when she was a baby
(he went through a batiking phase, you see).

Malia, 7
Doing a little pre-game ironing.
And see what she's ironing? That's my girl.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The (Copied) Pattern Worked!

As I was making these, I couldn't decide if I would be entitling this post:
"I Don't Know Why I Thought This Would Work"
"I Don't Know Why I Thought This Wouldn't Work"

Well, it worked - phew!

(how do you take a photo of your own pants?)

I took a pair of my scrub pants and shoved one leg into the other. I pinned them down to get the front pieces, and flipped them over, adjusted them, and cut out the back pieces.

I overlocked all the edges, which excites me very much. See my superfast needle? (am I so daring taking an action shot while sewing?)

And voila! Lounging in my lounge pants. They look a little like chef pants, but at least I can go outside in them to move the car or something without embarrassment.

May I make a drawstring recommendation? Take the drawstring that comes through the tunnel from the right and thread it through the left hole. And take the left drawstring and thread it through the right hole. So they will sort of criss-cross inside the tunnel. That's how scrub pants are threaded and it's A) easier to tie, and B) easier on your button holes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

(Really) Wide-Leg Pants

I finally made the wide leg lounge pants from Amy Butler's book. I had been anxiously awaiting this awesome fabric (from the time it arrived, I think it was only about an hour before it was washed, dried, pressed, and on the cutting mat...bee-in-bonnet type thing) to make them with.

(this was the best shot I could get...)

Pattern reading is not my forte, so I decided I would carefully read every word of this pattern.... except the part about sizing that comes before all other instructions. Sweet. Yes, they're a size too big (better than too small!) so I'll be fixing that. Also, they are REALLY wide. I'm talking skirt-like. So, I may be bringing in the leg width as well. But pleased as punch about my button holes! (suppose I shouldn't be that pleased, considering I have a button hole-making foot and a machine that does all the work....)

Next project, make my own pattern from my Urbane Scrubs - those seem to fit pretty perfectly with a decent flare. Thanks for the hint, Laurel, about stuffing one leg into the other.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Check It

There's this problematic website that is giving me too many ideas. As if I don't have enough trouble as it is curbing my creative temptations...

So, what's a girl to do? Give in, of course.

I made this cutest little checkbook:

And then, of course, I cut the pieces too small the first go around (it's a requirement when I craft, just so you know), so I had to make something with my mistake. It's not pressed and the elastic is too loose, but once I fill it with my new camera or a big wad of cash (kidding), it should fit fine. Pardon the fact that it's not pressed.

This is the leftover fabric from my pin board, take 1. So, it's a good little stash-buster too. Cute-a, no?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birthday Goodness

Well, I'm 31 now. This is the first time I feel different...which is not bad, but feel like I should start acting like an adult. Maybe.

But here is one thing I will not give up despite my age: Rice Krispie Treats. Many of you know this is my all-time favorite food. As in, if I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, this would be it.

And look at the birthday "cake" D made me, fashioned after the cake Katy made me on THE 9/11.

(not a great shot, sorry)

This is a 3-layer rice krispie treat "cake" separated by peanut butter on the bottom layer and nutella on the top. Can you say HEAVENLY??? I mean, it was heavenly - are you kidding me? It was devoured in 1.5 days, if that.

Thank you, D. You are my best ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rugby Duvet

Guess which of my favorite little ladies is getting a new bed spread? Now Miss Maile can finally hang with the big kids.

Inspired by this quilt (which is so much cooler than what I have created), I made matchy-matchy bedspreads for my "babies."

Malia's is light pink with thin espresso stripes and wide flamingo stripes (all Kona Cottons)
Makaio's is green with thin espresso stripes and wide blue stripes.

Since they all share a room, they needed coordinated, yet personalized bedding, right?

Well, Hello There

I just went away to Lake Tahoe for a few days - and look what was waiting for me when I arrived home.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Summer Harvest, I Have Loved You

Figs stuffed with roasted walnuts, topped with blue-cheesy brie, and drizzled with honey. Heavenly!

Plum galette from this cookbook. I recommend mucho (the book and the recipe both).

Can't wait for them pumpkins!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Business in the Front

The tie onesie was a hit! I simply had to make one for little Cade, in town from Oregon. It will go great with his khakis and pocket protector.