February 18, 2014
I admit it. I have a problem. I am addicted to bags. I don’t really go for those overpriced leather bags that are plastered all over with a brand name. I’ve always been drawn to colorful fabrics and relaxed looks. I like Vera Bradley bags, but I have to be careful with those because some of them look like bags that old ladies keep their knitting in. You walk a very fine line, Vera.
I don’t anticipate getting over this addiction anytime soon. Case in point: a few days after finishing my purse from hell, I decided to make another one. I couldn’t help myself; I had the fabric and a new pattern, and I wanted to have a non-stressful purse-making experience.
This little number was a dream to make compared to last week’s. And I love love love it.
Inside it has a pleated pocket,
and a zipper pocket. And a shiny snap.
The final size is a little smaller than I anticipated, so I’ll use it when I don’t have to carry along a sippy cup, three toy cars, and a bag of fishy crackers. (When I figure out when that is, I’ll let you know.)
Speaking of which, today I made this drawstring bag for Little Guy’s cars. (Two ends of the sewing spectrum right here, people.)
He is an obsessed little boy, and for his birthday he got a number of additions to his already large fleet. I don’t mind the amount; I just don’t want them parked all over our floor. Little Guy even helped pick out the fabric. He wanted the one with the “fancy cars.”
It was great to have a few days of non-stressed-out sewing!
February 14, 2014
Valentine's Day is pretty low-key at our house. We don't like crowded, overpriced restaurants, and I don't like how so many women think they can treat their significant other however they want and then expect gifts in return since that's what Hallmark dictates. I don't need to be told when to tell my loved ones I love them, and all the public declarations of love and humble-brags about gifts on Facebook is enough to make me gag as much as they did when I was single.
That being said (or complained, or ranted), I do like to whip up something heart-themed just so I can use a cute cookie cutter or two.
I never used to like making cutout cookies until I found some great recipes from Our Best Bites. The cookies hold their shape, which was always a problem for ones I made in the past. My snowmen and Christmas trees always looked like they were on steroids.
A heart for each of my boys. Baby, by the way, turned two a few days ago. Two! It still baffles me that I have a small person running around my house, speaking in sentences, and laughing hysterically at funny parts in his favorite movies. With him no longer a baby, I guess I can't really call him "Baby" on my blog anymore. So he has been rechristened "Little Guy." I will probably call him that when he's 16 too. And now I'm thinking of him being 16. Wah. So I'm going to go tell him I love him, without Facebook, without flowers, and without a card. I don't think he'll care that he doesn't get those things. But he'll definitely be demanding some of those cookies.
February 4, 2014
A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I was excited for some fabric to arrive in the mail. It was some cute fabric to make into a purse—a reward for myself for getting my Etsy shop opened. And here it is:
I love the fabric. And I love the lining fabric:
This thing has custom piping,
a phone pocket,
and an inside zipper pocket.
And now that it’s done, I think the sewing gods need to give me a reward for getting through this project. I found a new gray hair this morning that I know is directly related to this $#@!*% purse. (A gray hair that I promptly pulled out, thank you.) I found the purse tutorial online months ago, and I’ve had my eye on it since then. I finally decided to dive in as my Etsy projects slowed down. Now, when I follow sewing tutorials I follow the instructions exactly, and I study the photos to make sure I’m doing everything correctly. I’m a perfectionist. Or just kinda OCD. Which is why I was so frustrated. The photos showed steps that weren’t included in the written instructions, and some of the measurements were wrong. My seam ripper has never gotten so much mileage. Some of the stitching looks like the Bride of Frankenstein was practicing to give her husband a few more scars. I even BROKE A NEEDLE in my sewing machine, people. That’s frustrated sewing, right there.
When I was done grumbling, whining, and pulling my hair out (hopefully some gray ones were included), I asked Husband if he wanted to know everything that was wrong with the finished product. He said no. It looked great and that was what mattered. Aw, he’s so sweet. But I wanted to tell someone and thought I’d complain to y'all. But then I stopped and looked at my new purse again, and thought, “You know, self, you’re the only one who sees the flaws. That’s a pretty darn cute bag, and a year ago you couldn’t have even defined what topstitching is, let alone made a whole purse. So, be HAPPY with it and be PROUD of it. Now go eat a cookie.”
And so I am, and I am, and I did. That voice in my head is pretty awesome sometimes.
And so you can enjoy those cute fabrics without all the pain and suffering, I'll be having a giveaway on my Facebook page to celebrate that the project didn't kill me off. Enter to win one of these lined zip pouches I made from the leftover fabric!
January 26, 2014
Woohoo! My Etsy shop--Catch Some Sunshine--is officially open. YAY! It has certainly been a labor of love. Labor because...well, duh, it's been a lot of work. Love because I love every item in it and I hope they all find good homes.
You can click on the two Etsy links over there on the right side of my blog, or access my shop directly at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CatchSomeSunshine.
You can also join my Facebook page, where I will post updates about my shop, feature new items, and have giveaways. Who doesn't love free stuff? My first giveaway is coming up soon. In order to be entered in it, you'll need to like the Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/catchsomesunshine) Thanks to my awesome readers for your support!
January 22, 2014
Yep, that's right. You get to read one of my lists. I love lists. You knew that, right?
Random Things I Am Excited About
-Tonight I finished the last tote bag to launch my Etsy shop. Now I just have to figure out the whole shipping thing and I'll be in business! Stay tuned.
-Baby's recent sleeping issues seem to have passed. Now I'm going to go find a big piece of wood to knock on.
-I have some fabric coming in the mail tomorrow that just might make me clap my hands and squeal quietly. (The delivery trucks usually come during Baby's nap.) After making tote bag after tote bag, I decided to reward myself when all my Etsy launch stuff was done. I'm going to make myself a purse. Yes, I realize that any normal person would say, "I'm going to reward myself and buy a purse." Yes, I'm weird. You knew that, right?
-I have a couple of facial products coming in the mail on Friday. [clapping and quiet squealing ensues] That probably sounds relatively unexciting, but I love stuff like that. And when I really need it for... well, let's just say that even though I'm not a hashtagging sort of person, the hashtag hanging over my head these days would be #hatingmymidthirties.
-It has been sunny and clear, and the snow in our backyard is melting quickly. I know it's only mid-January and Mother Nature is just teasing me, but a girl can dream.
January 14, 2014
I know a lot of people don’t like January. It’s a letdown after the excitement of the holidays, and it’s snowy and slushy and freezing. (At least where I live.) But I like the first month of the year, especially this year. This past December I was stressed, Baby had sleeping issues, and we were all sick. January came as a welcome calm. I like getting back into the swing of things and moving on with life and fun projects and sewing.
But I’ve talked enough about sewing lately. I need to get back to food. [running to kitchen to get food] Okay, I’m back. [burp] I gifted myself with a new stand mixer and I’ve been trying it out on various recipes to make sure I want to keep it. The other day I made bread. I haven’t made bread since before Baby was born almost two years ago, so getting my hands into some yeasty dough again was awesome. And then I toasted some and slathered it with butter and homemade (not by me) jam.
(And, yes, if you know me and my relationship with fruit, that is slathered.)
And then I sat down and enjoyed January.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy too. Try it. It’s easy peasy!
1 ½ cups warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
½ cup honey, divided into two ¼-cup portions
½ tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 ½–4 cups whole wheat flour (plus more if needed)
1. Put the yeast in a large bowl and add the warm water. Add ¼ cup honey and stir. Let it sit for a few minutes until it starts to bubble a bit.
2. Pour the other ¼ cup honey into the water/yeast mixture and stir. Add the 2 tablespoons melted butter and stir again. Add the salt and stir again.
3. Add the flour 1 cup at a time and not add the next cup until it’s at least moistened. Continue adding flour as needed until the dough forms a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour.
4. Knead the dough for 3 minutes until it becomes harder to fold. Form into a loaf shape and place in a greased 9x5 pan. Push the dough down so it touches all four sides. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30–35 minutes.