Monthly Archives: January 2010

>I’m a gal who likes a list…

>I need to chronicle my upcoming projects so that I don’t forget them, or get behind.

-Cloth napkins (already have fabric, just need to cut and sew) One Day Project
-2nd dress (have all necessary fabric) Two Day Project
-Gift for preggo friend (I have nothing, but I don’t need it done until May) Two Weeks
-Knitted leg warmers (have nothing, well, maybe, but probably not) one-two weeks
-Knitted mary janes (I could dig into my stash for this, I think) one week

That’s what I have now. I’m sure more will come up. The napkins are a priority, but I really want to make the dress. Dang. I really should just start on everything but the gift and work quickly. I should get the gift done as early as I can so I can mail it off and not be stressed over it. Then I need to get my butt in gear and make stuff to sell this summer.

I think for next year it’ll be good to work on stuff to sell during the winter and spring. It seems like craft fairs are during the summer and pre-holidays so it would be kind of nice to “stock up” on items when I’m most likely to be trapped inside my house anyway.

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>My Handiwork

>So, as promised, here are the pictures of my first dress. I got more fabric today for what will be my second and I plan on starting it on Sunday. That will be my project for next week. I do believe I will finish my book tomorrow, since I only have about 60 pages left.

Front

Back

I also finished Jack’s elephant (he calls her “Elephy”) and he’s sleeping with her right now. He’s been carrying her around all night and that makes me proud. I love making something that people feel they can’t be without. Hee hee.


>Beans, Beans, The Musical Fruit….

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I stumbled across this recipe while searching vegetarian recipes with high ratings, to just get some ideas of things to make for dinner. Since Mexican food is my absolute favorite, I decided I would try it. It seemed easy enough and sounded good, plus it has tons of great reviews.

I usually buy refried beans in the can, but even the vegetarian ones have “natural flavor, soy lecithin, and soybean oil.” I put it in quotes because it’s taken right from the list of ingredients that way. Sadly “natural flavor” can be anything, even MSG. They are not required to specify. Well, I believe in Europe they are, but not in the good ol’ USA. Plus we are trying to limit how much of our food money goes to corn and soy. No, not corn on the cob and tofu, I mean, the processed crap that is in just about everything we eat. By “we” I me all of us that eat a Western Diet. Once you know what it’s hiding as (*see below) in your food, you will be stunned what they put it in. For starters, it isn’t good for you and also, we don’t really like the politics that surround it, so we are trying to eliminate it where we can. Plus, I’m trying to avoid canned stuff as much as possible. Companies aren’t making it well known (for obvious reasons) if they use BPA in their can linings, and that’s scary.

I must say we used all black beans in the recipe. We also used a dark, Mexican beer. It made them taste different than normal refried beans, but still very good. If you didn’t want the beer, you could always use stock, broth, or water. Also, you can omit the jalepenos, use less or more, or a completely different chili. We had canned green chilies on hand, so that is what we used. This recipe is very healthy, easily altered to fit your tastes, and it makes a ton! We each had a bunch on nachos the other night and still have a large container full in the fridge. I may use some this week and then just freeze the rest.

Now that I’ve done it, I’m pretty certain I won’t be buying canned beans again. So far I’ve completely eliminated the need for store bought sandwich bread and rolls, and now I’ve got beans! Hmmmm….pasta….you may be my next challenge.

* Corn Derived Products

* Artificial Flavor
* Ascorbic Acid
* Aspartame
* Caramel Color
* Citric Acid
* Corn
* Cornstarch
* Corn syrup
* Dextrose – used in most hospital IVs
* HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)
* Invert Syrup
* Maltodextrin
* Natural Flavor
* Sorbitol
* Saccharine
* Xanthan Gum
* Xylitol

>Breathing Again…Sorta

>It’s amazing how little you appreciate things like breathing until they become a horrific struggle.

I’m about to leave to snag a bagel and (hopefully) my W2, while on my way to the chiropractor. Then it’s off to Joann’s to get fabric for another dress. I’m super excited about this. It wants you to make the dress out of frou-frou fabrics but I won’t be doing that. Not because I’m opposed to wearing those fabrics, but because I’m scared to death to sew with them. Plus, in certain fits, they cling to the places on my body that my child and my love for all things starchy have destroyed.

I’m also back in the game when it comes to my morning chore. Laundry and dishes are already checked off the list for the morning! Wahoooooo!

I have to finish that elephant before Jack comes home, or there will be hell to pay.

Coming later….pics of 1st dress, elephant, and how I made refried beans while stickin’ it to the man.

>A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!

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Ok, this is not about palindromes (although that would be much more awesome), but instead about a new PLAN I had today. Since I’m beginning to feel The Crud leaving my body, I am rejuvenated and want to get more crap done. I mean, I always want to do more stuff, but it’s easy to just say “Do More Stuff” but it’s much more effective to put parameters on it.

So, this plan isn’t set in stone, I try to be flexible. Obviously, unexpected things like a week-long illness can’t be planned out, and I don’t want to be too hard on myself. I just want to put a basic structure in place for the things I like to do, namely craft and read. So, I have decided that each week, I will attempt to read a book and make something. Now, if the “something” I have to make is huge (like a project for a certain fetus that I’ll be starting soon), I know in advance it could easily take longer than a week. Or, I could finish it in the week, but no reading will commence. Either way, I’m ok with this. Basically this is my way of making the time for things I like because it’s easy to look around and say “Holy crap, I just cleaned, why is this place so messy? I’m going to kill everyone, why can’t I just have a pristine house all the time???!!!???” And then I stew instead of doing stuff that makes me happy. So I’m going to turn a slightly blind-eye to the tiny Lego pieces all over my floor, and the ever-overflowing bucket of recyclables that needs to migrate to the bins on my porch, and make a cute dress or crochet a headband or something.

I figure, at the very least I’ll have 25 craft projects and 25 books finished by the end of the year. That ain’t too shabby! Plus, for an English major, it’s really sinful if I don’t keep reading. I mean, I’m not teaching, or writing for academia, so I may as well be reading. See, in college, they fail to mention that unless you are teaching, or writing professionally, you are pretty much screwed with an English degree. So, I suppose I should keep up on the reading so that I can at least live up the notion that I am well-red and therefore, better than most of my peers. (They also teach you that last part, it’s subtle, but it’s in there. See also, Communications and History majors.)

Plus, I figure I can get a good grasp on making my own clothes. I think that is a super cool skill to have because then you can do this:


Ok this obviously isn’t the real Sound of Music, but I couldn’t find a photo of the exact scene from the film. I think you get the idea though. Furthermore, it should be noted that about once every year, there’s a day (I think usually a Sunday) where some channel plays Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music back to back. This is as close to I get to a religious experience. Considering I no longer have any living grandmas, Julie Andrews is welcome to adopt me as a granddaughter anytime.

So, yes, the plan is starting now. Today I already have put together all of the pieces for an stuffed animal elephant for Jack, which just needs to be stuffed and top stitched tomorrow, and I have also started reading In Defense of Food which they should probably just give to kids in high school in lieu of Health class (which we all know is joke anyway).

>The Crud

>Somehow I managed to finish my dress and I’ll post pics of it soon. I’ve been sick since Sunday. I was feeling a little yucky on Saturday, but the momentum of SSS kept me going without really thinking about it. I thought today would be the downturn of the illness. Although I don’t feel as bad as yesterday, I can barely breathe out of my nose and still can’t hear out of my right ear.

I really wanted to read tonight but I can’t focus on anything long enough. I wish I had a humidifier and a neti pot. I don’t want to go out and buy them.

I think I’m going to curl up on the couch and hope that tomorrow I’ll begin to feel better.

I need to browse the internets as well for some more fabric. I have two or three more dress patterns to tackle now.

>Dressin’ It Up

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Recently I got some super cheap dress patterns from Joann’s and tomorrow I’m taking one out and I’m going to cut the pattern out and take my measurements and such. I may even lay it out on the fabric and cut my fabric pieces. This reminds me, I really need to get my damn scissors sharpened. They aren’t horrible, but it’s time.

I’m excited, and nervous, for this project. It’s going to be a little tricky because my waist is (*wince*) larger than it should be, according to all of the patterns. See…when you are looking at the sizing on the back, it shows bust, waist, and hips. My bust and hips are within the proper limits, but mama loves her brewskis, if ya know what I mean.

I think I should be able to figure it out, but this definitely makes me want to invest in a dressform. Years ago, I thought about getting one, but decided against it because I wasn’t sewing as much then. It would just be so much easier to put the stuff I make on there, and adjust, instead of having to continuously try it on and try to figure out what the heck I’m doing.

I’m going to be leisurely about this. There’s no rush, and I want to make sure to get it right. I am very excited though. It will be one step closer to being self sufficient and to not feeling like crap when I try to buy stuff in stores and it doesn’t fit right.