Saturday, January 31, 2009

Homemade Energy Bars

It's an exciting day today because I just made my own energy bars! They taste a little Cliff Bar-esque, but not quite as moist or as sweet (a good thing).

I used this recipe from Sunset Magazine. And, per the usual, I didn't make the recipe as written (I'm a rebel like that). I used raisins instead of cranberries (it's what I had), pecans instead of peanuts, orange zest instead of lemon, and I used a few dates to supplement the figs. You could probably mix things up quite a bit - and even throw some chocolate chips in there for good measure.

For all you over-achieving soccer moms out there, I think you should probably make these for an after-game treat.. unless anyone on your team has a nut, dairy, wheat, or egg allergy or if they're under 1 year of age. Then they wouldn't be so good.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I've been working much of the afternoon on my triangle quilt. I hope to have the top pieced before I got to bed tonight. But now that all the rows are complete, I thought it a good time to take a little intermission and practice my eraser-carving skills.

I used this embroidery pattern I had printed out a while back. And I finally got some ink that can be used on fabric. I tested it out on an little leftover scrap of fabric from the quilt. I felt very surgeon-like carving such a small design.

I think I should do a cupcake next.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hello, My Name is Lemon Offloader

You know, I am a good person. I like to help. And mostly, I like to help people offload their surplus fruit. I helped my friend, Kim, offload about 5 lbs of lemons from her tree. See, isn't that nice of me?

I've been drinking lemonade all week and making lemony vegetables, lemon vinaigrette and ooh! Lemon bars sound good too! Maybe I'll make some of those, but then I might accidentally eat them all and that's not so good. I guess I could give them away....

Oh, and it's possible that I've been eating a lot of these too. Naughty. Maybe I shouldn't buy them in the first place. I will probably not give these away though...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Padding Compound

Ever since I saw this post, I've been obsessed with finding this stuff. I haven't been able to find it tangibly anywhere, and online it costs just about as much to ship as the product itself costs. But I just bit the bullet and found it here for the best price.

What's it for, you ask? Well, with this stuff you can make your own paper pads. Just stack papers together and paint the compound along the top edges. In about an hour, you have a personalized tear-off pad of paper.

And who wouldn't want that?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bedtime Reading

I accidentally (ahem) stopped into an art supply store before work the other day and literally gasped when I saw this book.

It has been basically impossible to get for the past couple months...and there it was, along with 2 other copies just sitting there for me to snatch up.

So, I'm not necessarily turning my craft (whichever it is, I may just prefer dabbling) into a business. But it's enlightening to know what all goes into it. Maybe this will steer me even clearer of business, who knows? but I've always said, it's just as important to know what you don't want as it is to know what you do want.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fancy Foamy Deliciousness

Stopped by my favorite little coffee kiosk and got me a gorgeous little cappuccino. What a great way to start the day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stimulating the Economy

Remember when I said I was going to try to use the things I already had instead of buying more? Because I already have so much? Yeah. So, I've mostly been good, except...

Well, there was some drama (and maybe some crying) about my sewing machine and someone who wanted to dismantle my entire machine (and therefore charge me bundles) in order to resolve a simple jam and remove a broken needle which came out simply by my turning it upside down...(the jam did not resolve).

And so I decided to drive the hour to Eddie's to have the real deal fix my machine. Turns out it was a super-simple problem that was fixed within 30 seconds. I almost cried this time too, but because I was so relieved and because it was perhaps the greatest customer service experience of all time (Obviously, I super-highly recommend this place if you live in the Bay Area).

(Am I totally geeking out right now?)

...To make this long story long, I was so happy, I just wanted to buy something from this guy! So, after seeing this, I have been coveting this fabric. My version will be way less cool, but I just had to use this fabric. So think of it not as "falling off the wagon" or a "moment of weakness," but as an "gesture of gratitude."

Oh, yeah. I bought this too. Thought it would make sweet little napkins.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Feet

I had a weak moment at Anthropologie yesterday and bought these...

...and a bag of other things I'm too embarrassed to confess at this time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Long Time No Stamp

I had a very productive start of the year... and then we went on a road trip, had to make up for lost time at work, then I had some sewing machine problems, bla bla bla... and I fell off the bandwagon.

I decided to take another quick crack at stamp-making. This one is pretty small and therefore jaggedy, so forgive me, I will do better. But I'm pleased with the initial attempt.

I just used regular old erasers and tags from Office Depot. And my carving tool of choice? A scalpel.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Necklace, Chickens, and Apples

Someone very thoughtful bought me this necklace for Christmas:

Que a-do-ra-ble, no?

This very special someone also sent a flock of chickens to a family in need in my name. This might be my favorite gift of all.

And my roommate knows me so well - I have always wanted one of these:

I used it immediately and made a delicious vanilla applesauce (with real vanilla beans - so fancy). Heavenly!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Rounding Out

I started this project many moons ago, and come 12/31/08, I didn't want to have any leftover projects to carry into 2009. This one has been sitting in a bag in the corner of my room begging to be completed. So, determined, I finished the sucker around 10:00. These are all remnant scraps from this quilt kit.

The back was from Peapod. But the binding leftover from some duvets I made for my neice and nephew. I love how it's darker than the background and sort of frames the quilt. It's approximately crib-sized.

And, as you can see, I didn't have any contiguous pieces of batting, so I scrapped together that one as well. I don't even know if that's "quilting legal," but I'm sure it's been done before. We'll see if it holds up.

While I'm proud of myself for finishing and pleased with the outcome, I'm pretty much over this fabric now. Goodbye.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Use it Up. Wear it Out.

This year, one of my resolution is to use what I've got before buying more. I frequently revisit one of my favorite quotes,

"Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without."

I think it was first said during the Depression. I thought it appropriate to resurface the intent.

In the spirit of making do, I started this Flock of Triangles quilt by you-know-who:

I wanted to use up all the leftover blues and all the off-white I bought, but changed my mind about. Then I thought it too monochromatic, so I threw some green in there. I think I'll run out of the ivory, but I have some starker white that I could just use, or I may tea-stain it a little to match the others. I'm serious about this "being resourceful" thing. And now that I'm done cutting out all the triangles, I think it's going to be quite a bit bigger than I anticipate.

I've got some sewing to do...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hot Diggity

When I went home for Christmas, I had to make the customary fabric store for nothing in particular, but hoping the spirit moves me.

I found these in the sale bin for $5/yard! Shazam!

I bought enough of the blue and yellow to back quilts with, because I just love how soft the Heather Ross fabrics are. And I'll hoard the pink until I can think of the perfect project.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Year of the Matryoshka?

D bought me a couple of Japanese craft books for Christmas (yay!) - we have no idea what they say, but good thing the illustrations are clear. One is a household craft book and the other is a stamping book.

After looking through (I can't exactly use the word reading) the stamping book, I was instantly inspired to use the rubber block and carving tool (clearly, I am not an artist...I have no idea what the real names are) I had in my craft bin downstairs to make this:

Is that not so cute? It's about 1,000 times the size and about 1/1,000 as intricate as the ones in the book, but I thought it a good first effort, and I'm definitely up for more. I love the little bits around the image that showed up on the stamp.

So, maybe this will be the year of the matryoshka obsession for me. First the measuring cups and now this. Hmm.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Soup Zealot

Happy New Year, by the way!

It was "clean out the fridge soup" day.

Need more broth. Or to eat more veggies so they don't end up in the strictly-leftover soup.

But maaaaan is this soup good! Especially them brussels sprouts - trust me on this one.