Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick thrift skirt and Linky Party Giveaway - extended!

It is now after 6:00 on Sunday night, 18 visitors away from my 10,000th.  Looks like the linky party might go to midnight, so stop back here tomorrow to see who won!  With only 13 links so far, your chances are pretty good!  Thank you to all who have linked and linked to me for this giveaway.  I appreciate it!!!! Winner to be announced...

In honor of my almost 10,000th visitor to my site, (since I started it in 2008) , I am starting a linky party!  Simply post a link of something you have made recently, follow directions on the linky, and add my "Reap What You Sew Sundays" badge to your side bar or post if you can. (not mandatory)  Please add yourself as a follower too!  That's it!  (Party closes by Sunday April 3rd at 6 pm) But even better, I have a giveaway for the winner I will select randomly from the links posted under this linky party.  A great new to you craft book, either crocheting, quilting, embroidery, how to shop vintage, painted wooden furniture ideas or general crafting, that I will mail to the winner.  Please help me celebrate by sharing your creativity!
Stop back each Sunday evening to see if you have won.  Each Wednesday the linky party will open up again, provided I get to posting and keeping up!  I am new at this, so bear with me!  Here is a sneak peak of the book choices I will offer the winner.

Thrift Silk Dress to a Flirty Skirt 
You will need a thrifted dress, thread, sewing machine, waistband elastic and safetypin.
If you are a sewer, you probably won't need these instructions, this skirt is simply an elastic waist squared design, cut away from the bodice.
 I scored this silk faux wrap dress for $4.00 last fall at Good Will.  I knew it probably wouldn't fit me, but planned to cut it in half for a skirt for myself or daughter.  The border print on it is just charming, and it is a good color with the thrifted cardigan I found on another day. 
 Notice the wrap front, that is stitched down, so it won't leave you exposed.

The hardest part is the surgery, but once you cut the dress in half you can begin trying to measure to be sure it is the right length.  Because the skirt was narrow, I chose to size it down to my daughter's tiny waist size. (26 inches lucky her!)  After you measure carefully to get the right proportions, simply turn under the top edge, I finger press, but you can use an iron if it helps you.

 Once the edge is turned under, turn your top edge over the width of elastic plush a tiny bit more. This makes a "casing" for the elastic to move freely through. Be sure to leave a small opening for the elastic to be threaded through.

After the casing is done, simply pin one edge of the elastic, work it through the opening you left, pushing it all the way around, till it comes out the other side.  Pin, and try it on, adjust the pin to where it fits the most comfortable. Take safety pin out, and sew the edges of the elastic together securely, then, stitch the casing closed.

 Daughter wouldn't model this for me, but I made sure it fits!  She will need some "dress up" clothes for her class trip to Washington, D.C. end of May. I refuse to pay $30.00 for something so simple to make.

Buttermilk Fruit Snacking Cake - revised slightly from a recipe on allrecipes.com

I had a surplus of buttermilk to use up, and we were hungry for something warm out of the oven. This recipe is so luscious, and the two families I shared it with, wanted the recipe!  I adapted it from the allrecipes.com recipe and I wrote it below with my changes.

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups white sugar
2  eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-3/4 cups buttermilk

Any fruit can be added here, original called for 1-1/2 cups mango - peeled, seeded and diced and 1-1/2 cups raspberries  I used a handful of Black Raspberries,


1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). I used a 9x13 pan, since I made enough for 18 servings, not 12.
2.Crumb Topping:  Mix flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon together in a bowl until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Set the topping aside.

3.Beat remaining butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

4.Mix the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, stirring just to combine. After the last of the flour mixture is incorporated, gently fold in the black raspberries. Spread the batter into the prepared pan (the batter will be thick). Sprinkle with crumb topping.

5.Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
I am always generous with my use of nutmeg and cinnamon, you might try using more or less. :)

This picture doesn't do the cake justice, it was so rich and the texture divine!  Keep Buttermilk around, it always makes your baking richer and more tender!

Another breath of spring, here below, daughter got a sunny flower bouquet, out of the blue, from her Auntie Donna and Uncle Bill in North Carolina!  She was so tickled, she whisked it away to her bedroom where she spends alot of her free time.  I convinced her to bring it down after a few days for the rest of us to enjoy!  Thank you Donna, you are sweet to think of her (and us)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seeing green even as our hearts break

Almost a week ago we watched with horror as Japan is dealt with multiple disasters, even today, I can hardly tear myself away from news coverage, just like with Haiti, hoping that more survivors will be found.  I cannot imagine dealing with the challenges both countries have before them, and I say a silent prayer that God will sustain those who survive to rebuild.  My problems, my worries pale in comparison, and I am humbled by the contrast of our comfortable lives against the suffering that is served up each day as reported on the news.  I hope the world will open their hearts and help where they can. For now, prayer, but more practical requests will follow.

We hit a high of 67 degress today on St. Patty's day, unveiling the promise of our flower bulbs; unheard of in our town, where we mark this day with full winter regalia!  Just a few days ago we saw this sight, (again)
and now the sun shines and promises to tease us for a day at least, seeing green...peeking out of the ground!

I left a corned beef in the crock pot today, saw a recipe that called for a bottle of regular Guiness over the spices, cooking slow all day, with the addition of the veggies half way through. It was very tender and the meat held together nicely. 

I found the following recipe to use after tonight's dinner, on Allrecipes.com.  It says: "use leftover corned beef from St. Paddy's day or canned, combined with macaroni, cheese, cream of chicken soup, and vegetables. The assembled dish should be refrigerated overnight  or in the morning before cooking due to the fact of using uncooked macaroni."

Corned Beef Casserole  serves 4
Corned Beef Noodle Casserole RecipeIngredients:
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 pound processed American cheese, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (12 ounce) can corned beef or 1 cup of corned beef brisket, chopped
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
1 (10 ounce) package green peas
1. In a large bowl, mix together the macaroni, cheese, onion, green bell pepper, corned beef, soup, milk and peas.

2. Place this in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

4. Allow dish to come up to room temperature.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Comment here if you try this recipe, using uncooked pasta sounds a bit like a lasagna recipe I have.  Usually I only post tried and true recipes, but I am projecting using this within a day or two, unless hubby fights me to use the leftovers the way they are. completed pic is of a casserole made by the recipe contributor.

My next post will show a repurpose of a thrift store silk dress.  I bought it without trying it on, but I was mainly eyeing the beautiful silk wrap bottom for its fabric, or at the very least a skirt.  I will post what I came up with on my next post.  Here is the dress before...  Watch for the after!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Designing and dreaming of spring!

In this post: a tut on making a vintage linen hanging towel, and painting metal accessories to match your bath...and life as we know it, even though it is still cold out!

Have I whined enough this winter?  Finished the antibiotics and am still snorting...I'll leave that topic, I am making friends with a "neti" pot now, hope to say this works, and I can get on with my life. 

I enjoyed a quick trip to Oxford, Ohio last weekend to see my highschool/college chums Karen, Donna, Marlys, and Nancy last weekend, battling torrents of rain, and then snow on the way back.  Spring cannot come fast enough that is for sure! My hostess friend Karen, and her 2 other baby boys, seen on left, her lovely home she built with handy husband Dave on right.

I have been on a small buying spree, that began innocently last week, when I heard a smaller Joann Fabrics nearby was closing. This meant alot of fabric is 50 percent off and patterns only a quarter! I haven't sewn for myself much, but suddenly I am dreaming of designing new outfits from the batch of patterns and fabric I picked up. A nubby tan linen for pants or capris, and some embroidered linen in white and earth tones for a stylin blouse with a big bow, I'll make in black. I have to clear an area in my sewing room, but I think it will usher in spring to have some new clothes to look forward to.

Along with new projects, are some older ones that I have unearthed recently.  I have a number of linen towels, that need restyling and now that I have a guest bath again, I need some decent hand towels.  Here is a short tut on recycling those little gems, you might pick up at thrift or antique shows. 

Linen Guest Towel Restyle
Begin with a vintage narrow linen tea towel.  I keep a box of pieces and parts of needlework, stained or damaged that I try to re-fashion into a component of the hanging towel. I liked the tulip cutwork on this stained piece, on the right; I was hoping to make it useful again.

I centered the design, after excising the flaws and placed it on another piece of some coordinating darker calico, and cut two pieces the same size, as well as 1 piece of poly quilt bat, for a little stability.
  I checked the length of the towel, for this project it will be ok, but if the towel is really long, I fold it in half, and gather the center with 2 rows of stitching and apply my towel topper to it in the same manner I make my "Powell" potholder towels.  (I might have some examples in my etsy shop, or will soon as of this post!) 
Begin running two rows of gathers at the top of the towel, pull gathers so that the towel will stretch across the topper evenly.

After you pin and sew the towel to the front panel of the topper, right sides together of course, press,

 I then fashion the loop to hang it to a towel bar by making a rectangle out of the embroidered scraps, sew all around, turn to the right side.  Place raw opening on top of topper, machine baste across; it will be caught inside.  Not shown, turn the bottom of the triangle shape, the longest side under, clean finishing the edge. Sew all 3 sides,  then pull everything through the open side, then press. 
Finish the back of the hanging towel by sewing the open bottom to the towel layer, using an invisible slip stich.
I like to use a vintage button, to hide the fact that velcro is used as a closure.  But you can also make a buttonhole in the tab, and have the button actually function instead of just look pretty.

Voila, I like that this towel looks great in my new guest bath.  I knew that vintage piece of linen would end up being useful again!  Try this with your bits and pieces of linen and needlework, don't let them sit idly by when you can class up your bath or kitchen with some charm from yesteryear!
This gives me one more opportunity to show off my bath, which until this post was also missing a towel rack.  Here is another idea to use those miscellaneous garage sale finds to match your fixtures.  I found this wrought iron towel holder a couple of years ago, way before I knew what my colors or metals would be.  I bought the paint you see below, to try to match my oiled brass hardware.  I painted the iron, using an old brush, that would allow the black to show through.  It really matches my faucet and shower fixtures now, so I hope to hang my new towel on it real soon.
One more little show and tell item, I recently sold the Linen Rose Pillow (you see in my Linky Party Badge on top of my blog) through my Etsy site, Traci from Washington State sent a picture as it now sits proudly in her daughter's Adalyns nursery.  I just love how something made by my hands traveled across country to grace a little girls' room!  Humbling and awesome at the same time!

Copyright Info

Please respect the Creative Commons Licensing, and do not copy pictures or content without permission from me. Creative Commons License
http://the4rsramblings.blogspot.com by The 4 Rs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://the4rsramblings.blogspot.com.

Join the party, "Reap What You Sew, Sundays"



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog

Stat Counter