Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stash-Busting Snack Bags

I've been home sick the past day and a half and one can only take so many 3-hour naps! I mustered some energy to go through my scraps and put together some reusable snack baggies.

While I prefer a more uniform process (hello, Virgo!), using scraps forced me to make them all different sizes. These range in size from 6.75x6.25 to 5x4.75. I have a whole stack of scraps lined up and destined to become snack baggies.

I must have gone through an orange phase, because I sure do have a lot of orange fabrics! I'll try to mix it up next go around.

p.s. Check out my friend's new blog: PeepThread ...she is so cool.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tutorial: Reusable Snack Bags

You want some snack bags of your own? You can totally make them! Read all instructions before starting, and don't get too hung up on exact measurements/seam allowances. This is simple stuff - you'll do great!

Let's get started:

Start with a 6x12" rectangle of cotton fabric and a 6x12" rectangle of rip-stop nylon:

Cut a section of non-adhesive Velcro about 4 3/4" to 5" (I eyeballed this part):

Place your Velcro 1/2" from the top edge of the rip-stop nylon and center the Velcro to the middle of the fabric horizontally. Pin & sew in place around the edges of the Velcro:

Once your Velcro is sewn down, place the RIGHT SIDE of your cotton fabric to the VELCRO SIDE of your rip-stop fabric, pin, and sew only the top and bottom (short) edges using a 1/4" seam allowance:

Leaving your pieces RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, fold the pieces in half so that the Velcro pieces stick together and you have a cotton half and a rip-stop half. Sew along the long edges leaving a 3" opening on one side (rip-stop end) so you can flip your baggie right-side out:

Turn your baggie right-side out & sew up your opening. You can clip the corners on your cotton fabric before turning for sharper corners:

Flip the rip-stop portion towards the inside of your cotton fabric. It will look like this:

Press & top-stitch your baggie. I did 2 rows of top-stitching using my Velcro as a guide.

And voila! You have made yourself a washable, reusable snack baggie!

I made 2 sizes here - the smaller one is the 6x12" instructions provided here (final: 5 1/2 x 5 1/2"). The larger is sandwich-sized using 7x14" as your starting measurements (final: 6 1/2 x 6 1/2") . I used an actual sandwich bag for the measurements:

You can hand- or machine-wash your baggies. Use them for any of your dry and non-drippy snacks. They're not water-tight, but sliced apples will be fine. These are a great stash-buster too!

Happy sewing & planet-saving!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All Your Cookie Are Belong To Me

D is a big cookie guy - lucky for him, I like to bake! We got this cook book for our wedding, and it is awesome! I made the Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut cookies after dinner last night. They were HUGE!!


Woops, See?

I did NOT need too many of these lying around the house, so I pre-portioned some scoops and froze them for another moment of desperation.

My favorite part was that we were almost out of chocolate chips (we had 1 of the 12 ounces required for the recipe) and so D and I were scouring the kitchen for chocolate bars. We were able to scrap together 9 more ounces of chocolate. Yay! It was plenty. And the cookies were chewy and amazing! I think the secret is the molasses, personally. But I do love me some molasses.

Here's the recipe, if you dare.

Thanks to Sandy & Vince for the book - we love it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reusable Snack Bags

I read this [kinda life-changing] article in Sunset magazine last month. And while I perceive myself as fairly environmentally conscientious, in comparison to this family, I could only aspire to move in that direction (rather than fully adopt such a lifestyle at this time).

I mostly just wanted you to read that article and see how awesomely they live. But it really got me thinking about hyper-packaging (and packaging at all). I knew there was a justification for all my mason jar hoarding!

Anyhow, this inspiration brings us to the crafty section of this post: the revisitation of the reusable snack bag. I did end up sending them to my friend and she & her family loved them! She even ordered more and in different sizes! So exciting.

These are the ones I made for her - the request was that the fabric be not too girly, so her husband could use them too (!)... this information made. my. day. I opted for the super-awesome Echino fabrics that I bought at Purl while I was in NYC:

(hipstamatic shot = color distortion, but in a hip kind of way)

And these are the ones I made for myself. Probably also a fabric that's too expensive and fancy to get food all over, but I saw it at Birch Fabrics and had to have it. Plus, they're washable.

One is sandwich-sized (7x7) and the other is snackier-sized (6x6). I can't even wait to use them!

And if you're good, I might even post a tutorial on how to make your own! (It's rocket science, I tell ya). So get your sewing machines out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Please Tell Me You Know About Kale Chips...

I'm probably the last to know about (or try) kale chips, but I have to evangelize here a second. They are amazingly light and crispy and so un-kaley! Even my nephew who shuns all things green was begging for these little guys.

Here's how you make them:
  • Wash and dry your kale (I've used the darker, flatter Tuscan kale as well as rufflier traditional kale, both are great - use whatever's available)
  • Cut out the center rib of your kale and chop into pieces (3 to 5 per leaf)
  • Toss with a little olive oil and salt (use salt sparingly, these guys shrink up!)
  • Lay pieces in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet (crowding them too much will cause them to steam instead)
  • Roast at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until crispy & still green (don't let them get brown! Brown = bitter)
  • Enjoy!
  • Check your teeth for kale bits before leaving the house
And get used to the phrase, "I want more kale!" because it's gonna happen.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Crafting for Haiti

Well, I'm headed for Haiti this April with a group of doctors and nurses from work. I still can't believe it! I'm feeling a mixture of excitement and hesitation, but I have wanted to do something like this for a long time.

Anyhow, since we must pay our own way to Haiti, what do we nurses do to raise money? We bake! I throw a little crafting in there as well :)

I made a double-batch of my all-time favorite, fool-proof granola recipe and packaged it up! I used those cute little Paper Source labels and my favorite font.

I had some lip balm ingredients left over from some Christmas gifts I made. So I just melted them down, added a bit more peppermint oil, and put it in jars. This lip balm recipe ROCKS, by the way.

And that's really all that's in this lip balm - see? It rocks!

Here's hoping for a successful bake sale (and mission!)!

*If you wish to make a monetary contribution to our mission, drop me a line and I'll let you know how.