Tuesday, May 24, 2011

an olfactory hypothesis

Hypothesis: There is no happier smell than that of bacon frying.

Proof: This morning I tried another recipe out of my most excellent Slow Cooker Cookbook, and it began with the frying of bacon. MAN does that smell good. You can never go wrong when the recipe starts with frying bacon. But it didn't stop there. Add some chicken to the bacon grease, brown on all sides, add some garlic and some fresh rosemary ... and then balsamic vinegar to scrape the bacon bits off the bottom of the pan (I wish you could hear my voice escalating) ... my house smells so good! Everything has been transferred to the slow cooker, but the smells still permeate my being. Yes, bacon is the best.

If you're interested in this slow cooker cookbook (and you are), you should check it out. I bought mine at Costco, but you can find it online if need be: Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever by Diane Phillips. It really is the best cookbook ever.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

just in time for summer

A great knitting website out there is knitbot, and they've just released a great sweater pattern for summer! This one is the Breezy Cardigan, advertised as "the Featherweight meets the Effortless." I've already knit the Featherweight, and I love it. I was actually thinking about knitting it again, in a truly featherweight yarn (I used sock weight last time). But I think I'll try this one instead! I love the look, and I already know I like the pattern from which it was inspired. (Though, admittedly, I doubt I'll get to this soon ... too many unfinished projects to get to!). If you have a chance to knit this one, let me know! And if nothing else, check out Knitbot ... a great website with some fun patterns.

Breezy Cardigan

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pattern Review - Cynthia Rowley 2215

Every Friday afternoon, I daydream of all the wonderful projects and adorable crafts I can do and create, and last Friday was no different. With a new pattern, new fabric and all my matching notions I was all set for a great Friday afternoon.

Well, this weekend it was a pattern by Cynthia Rowley. A simple dress that I thought I could have fun with. Boy was I wrong. Here's the pattern review:

Overall Rating: D

Specific Issues:

-Directions for adding pockets was like trying to read minds.
-Unclear references and bad pictures led to a busy seam-ripper
-Installing the zipper per instructions was a nightmare.
-Sizing was completely off
-Darts don't bring in enough fabric.

This pattern led me to the point of desperation for my very own dress form! What a headache that would have saved me.

Sew at your own risk with this pattern! And let's hope next weekend will be much more fun.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

simple curtains

Its all about choosing fun fabrics, but simple curtains for the kitchen can be super easy but have high impact. I made these fun polka-dot curtains for my new kitchen, recently painted a fun shade of robin's egg blue. I call it my "modern twist on retro 50s" look. Or something to that effect. Anyway, I love how my simple curtains turned out and really put the finishing touch on the new kitchen.

I simply measured the size of the windows and cut my fabric so the panel would be flat. I hemmed the size first with a double fold (no raw edges to see, even on the back), hemmed the top with big enough fold to fit the tension rod through, and gave the bottom about a 3" hem. So easy. After I hung them, I took 1/4" grosgrain ribbon and just looped it over the top, cut it the length of the curtain, then tied it up to where I liked it. Voila!

I did the two small windows first because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the bigger window. The suggestion was made to do the same kind of curtain, only wider, and I'm really glad I did. It looks great! Although, I ran out of ribbon and had to substitute another for one of the ties on the big window ... I'll change it out the next time I get a chance to buy some more.

Curtains are such an easy way to spice up a room, and they don't have to be fancy to make a big impact!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

FREE Patterns

Did you know there are a slew of lovely crafters out there who give away their patterns for FREE? (Insert face of disbelief here.) You can check out a full month of pattern giveaways at this wonderful blog I happened upon this morning.


You can also click on the Free Pattern link in the sidebar. Today's pattern is my favorite, Bali Bliss by Sewing In No Man's Land. So CUTE, right?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

List It! How to create a Treasury List on Etsy.

Creating a Treasury List on Etsy is super easy and such a fun way to organize your favorite things! (unless you want to write a song like Maria Von Trapp.)

Here's a quick tutorial on creating your own wonderful list.

Step 1: Go to http://www.etsy.com/ and click on Treasury in the left-hand column under "Ways to Shop".

Step 2: Click on Create a List under "Curator Tools" on the right-hand column.

Step 3: Here comes the fun part: Pick what grouping of your favorite things you want to treasure and give it a sassy title. You can group literally anything, i.e. stitched leprechans, dresses with yellow stripes, orange flavored candies, silly string crafts, handmade hot pants, etc.

Step 4: Add your favorite products from Etsy using the URL from each shop and voila, you're done!

You can check out my first ever Etsy Treasury List here:

I feel the need to make a "curator" hat . . . something with a feather.