Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Scrappy Heart Party

I am hosting a scrappy heart craft party at my home. It will be Sunday February 7Th, from 2pm-5pm. ...The cost will be $20. I will have all the supplies and the machines and the project know how.

This project is perfect for novice seamstresses, ....but also a fun creative exercise for your more experienced sewers. We will hopefully have enough time to make at least two of these bad boys. If there is interest I would be willing to do another party on an evening during the week. I have space for 6 people so let me know if you are interested in participating! You can email me... (bellesouthgirl at yahoo dot com) or contact me through facebook

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bake sale fo Haiti at MLK festival

If you are local to Austin, you should definitely head over to the Martin Luther King festival at Huston- Tillotson today, that follows the community March.

The MLK Community March kicks off at 9 a.m. with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. We will then march to the Capitol for a brief program. Thereafter, we will march to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. The Heritage Council is planning a Cultural Festival which will begin after the March and last until 2 p.m.; it will include all types of vendors and local musical artists to make this year’s celebration the best ever!( from The Austin Area Heritage Council’s website)

A good gal pal and her pretty daisy scouts are manning a baked goods booth for Haiti at the festival with 100% of the proceeds going to the Haiti earthquake relief through the American red cross. They will be there until all the tasty goods are gone.
I made some raisin scones and pumpkin zucchini muffins. If your local maybe me and burger will see you there !
The Bake sale was a huge success . The ladies and lasses raised over $2000 for the American Red cross Haiti relief fund!!! Thanks so much to everyone who came out and donated!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fabric covered Calendar Board tutorial

I was searching for a perfect calendar for my new blue kitchen when I decided why not just make one. Yes I realize we are a half a month into the year and many folks probably have their calendars but can't you always use another? ( or better yet one of the variations I discuss at the bottom). I have so many swatches of treasure fabric that would make a perfect focal point for a wall calendar. What was even more appealing about this project than using treasured scraps as the focal point, was that I made the whole enchilada from things I already had in my sewing studio or around my house. At first I thought I would sew a collage for each page. But a collage for each month is just too I could scan them in right which is nice if I am making 20 but I just want one (or 3 different ones)? And plus you loose the fabric as art effect.OK, as per usual I was making something more difficult than it need be( this is how my creative process unfolds before me) So here is the simple version. I would have one fixed image with changing calender pages. I decided to mount the calender on a fabric covered board with an attached hanger.

Now I have lots to suggest for this project. This can be a no sew project very easily. All you do is use one piece of fabric for the background. If you want to have an image on top of your background fabric you can simply use the heat and bond lite ( my new favorite fusible webbing)to iron on another piece of fabric with your image cut out of it, I want to do a cat silhouette for our Mae Me. If you are opting not to sew you would also need to glue the handle on the top in back.
A word about the heat and bond. I only bought it because my local big craft meglo store was out of Wonder under.With that said ... I love heat and bond lite. It was cleaner, easier and more sure fire in the application than wonder under . However, I have not tried it on wearable art yet. I will keep you posted on those trials. I am afraid it might be a little thick for clothing but we shall see. And of course the heat and bond name is not as super fantastic as WONDER UNDER!
Moving right along I chose to do a patchwork of fabric for my background which of course I used my sewing machine for. I am planning a tutorial that will be a simple patchwork pocket to give ya'll an easy guide as to how I make all these patchworky things. One more suggestion is that you might make a fabric scrap collage as your focal point and just applique it to a larger piece of fabric for your background.
*glue gun
*staple gun
*sewing machine(optional)
*scissors for paper and fabric
*rotary cutter(optional)
*fusible webbing (i used heat and bond lite)
*fusible interface
*loop turner(optional)
*card board
*2" stencils for year label (or other label you might I was gonna write"Yee Haw" on the rodeo calendar but got LAZY)
*one printed calendar you can find one on-line or you could use one of the freebies you pick up at the bank or what have you. I designed this calender board based on an 8.5X11 printable here. I chose two, landscape in red and green


1. measure and cut the following

1.Card board(I used a home depot moving box)15"x26"
2.Felt for backing 15"x26"
3.fabric for background 17"x27.5"
4.fabric for hanger 11"x2"
5.fabric behind hanger 18"x3"
6.fabric or felt for year applique' 7"x3"
7.fusible interface 15"x26"
8. trace your year or other label (backwards) onto the back of the fabric that you have back with heat and bond and cut
(to make it all smoother make sure all your cut fabric is pressed)
I am an eyeballer.... so I cut my cardboard, then use that to cut my felt and so on...I am not saying you should be like me but you can see from my results that eyeballing it can get the job done.

2. Sew the hanger. Press the fabric for hanger 11"x2" in half length wise. sew with 1/4" seam allowance the entire length of hanger. turn right side out using your loop turner(if you do not have this simple extremely helpful tool use this as an excuse to get one they are cheap and invaluable for turning tiny tubes)Press.

3. Attach hanger
. Make a sandwich starting with the background fabric right side up the hanger looped inwardly and centered on the top edge of background fabric topped by fabric behind hanger 18"x3"right side down. Pin it all in place
sew along entire width of the sandwich edge with about a 1/4 "to 1/2 " seam allowance catching the hanger and press the seam.

4.Make your Year label and attach ~I used felt on one and fabric on the other. You could sew them on or just heat bond them, like I did. I probably would have used pinking shears on this but I will tell you my dirty little secret, I do not own any pinking sheers! (and yet I still am able to make stuff). attach the year label to your background fabric, I sewed mine on but you could also heat bond this. Which ever attachment method you choose, make sure to position your label relative to all of your design elements including the parts that you will fold over . I put mine at the top.

5.apply interface to center back of background fabric.

6.measure and mark the center of your fabric and the cardboard at both ends .

7. Glue background fabric to the cardboard. lay the fabric wrong side up with cardboard on top, Line up your center marks on top and bottom. You want this to be tight and even so I start at the top flap and glue right under the seam that you made with the hanger attachment. Then I glue down the flap. Then I flip it around and glue the bottom edge next pulling evenly and tauntI glue the sides the same way. I trim the corners a little to keep it from being too bulky under the felt backing.

8. Position and glue felt backing. I start again at the top here and glue across the top then slowly down the sides just doing a little at a time and pulling evenly and tautly on the felt watching to make sure I am hiding all my messy underlings. Then trimming off any excess
9. Attach the calendar. I stapled the calender all together first in the center then I use the staple gun and stapled the calender onto the board. I did not press to hard here so the staples would not come out the back.10. hang it up and start planning

There are a bunch of variations for the use of a fabric covered board I have been thinking of while typing this. I will share a few... It could be a kids award board for chores or potty training or homework charts and such. It could be a to-do board with a planner attached . Or a kitchen shopping center with pockets for coupons and a weekly sales fliers and a pad for grocery lists . You could make a mail organizer with in and out going slots and a calendar for marking bill due dates. There all kinds of free printable planner forms on this site. And of course you could use a more general lable or none at all, and use this as a calendar board every year just by replacing the calendar sheets every year.
have fun and if you make it I would love to see it!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy new Year!!!

I have been itchin' to share a few merry moments so here we go!!

we made LOTS of cookies this year , these are KG's new favs . I adapted a sugar cookie recipe to make these chocolate and peanut butter chip kisses. I will share the recipe later....and I finally had a helper!!
Burger got an awesome pressie from his daddy. KG decided to make burger an easel and I must say it turned out super duper fabulous! One side we painted with chalkboard paint and the easle itself we painted dino squad green for our lil' dino lover We are finally settling in and getting over the haze of the years ending festivities. I love the new hose and cannot believe all the room we have . Cannot wait to share pics of My very own studio!! I wish you all a lovely start to the new decade....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

For your comfort, "Chick & Dumplin'"

~As I drudge through my 7Th day of sickness, and I open a can of chicken noodle for me and the lil one to eat, I wish I had a roasted chicken carcass in my fridge (instead I have thawed deer chili meat...later about that). If I did have a carcass in my fridge I usually have the breast meat in tact or in a baggy. That is where this recipe usually starts for me.
I originally got this recipe from Mae Me about 5 years ago after KG and I were first married (or right before?).... I still have that thick scrap of printing paper with the words chick& dumplin etched on it in neon pink sharpieCan you see the way my little brain works? I can't, but this worked for me, for years and now I find my 'chick and dumpli' have completely evolved....ok so KG reads this post and says to me "you realize the recipe is written on the back of one of our wedding invitations"It was actually just a scrap from a our handmade by, ME, wedding invitations...oops!?!, So for the record it was right AFTER we got married....

~When I first started making this recipe I used to start by boiling the chicken. For our taste, legs and thighs (our favorite part of a chicken) with onion garlic and celery then I would fish out the bones and finish the recipe(usually leaving some small sharp bones, Ouch!) . At the time I had only been a meat eater for a short while and I had never roasted anything and did not realize the prolific~ness of a whole roasted chicken. Nor did I realize that one should try never to boil meat that you intend to eat unless it is cased like a sausage or already cooked with the flavor locked in by searing or roasting(again incased). When I started roasting chickens ( yet another post ) I realized we had enough meat usually for 2 or 3 more meals(two dinners and 2 lunches) plus all these bones for stock, KG was really getting into stock making.

As for the tattered recipe card I realize I only look at it now to remind myself that it is 10 min for the dumplings. So here is my adaptation.

*Chicken about 2-4servings gotten one of these ways
roasted whole chicken and bones this is what I do (usually the day after we had legs and
thighs leaving me with breast meat and bones)
Or you could roast 2 leg quarters and pull that meat off and use the bones for stock
or pan cook a couple of breasts and use store bought stock.If you do this use the saute
pan to cook your breast meat then set the meat aside and cook your veggies in that pan.
*Stock about 2 cups home made plus 2 cup of h2o
or 3 cups store box stock.
*frozen or canned southern style biscuits
*3 TB unsalted butter
*2 TB olive oil
*1c heavy cream
*Finely chop the following veggies
*1 Small onion
*2 carrots
*2 celery stalks
*2 garlic cloves
*1-2 tsp garlic salt
*2 TB herbs De Provencal
*1tsp ground sage or 1 TB fresh sage leaves
*salt and ground pepper to taste

Here is how I get my stock (I think this is probably a non -traditional method).
Boil bone and vegetable remnants( we have a gallon zip lock bag in the freezer for when we the extra stuff that we don't usually use in food we eat and also things that are about to go bad, I also through the bones of the chicken in the freezer if I am not making my stock right away.)
If you have no veggie remnants use about: 2 carrots 2 celery stalks 4 garlics 1/2 and onion and a small handful of whole pepper corns. I usually just fill the pan with water and reduce i down to around 2 or 3 cups and I strain the stock. This is usually 2 hours at least. I just do it early in the day and then keep checking it. I leave it covered for most of the time.

In another pan ( the pan shown is my favorite soup pan it is a very wide lidded saute pan)
I saute on med high in 1 TB butter 2TB olive oil onion, garlic, celery,carrots,until tender add in all herbs and garlic salt and ground pepper About 10-15 min total here. Add coarsely chopped chicken, allowing things to get nice and crispy but not burned probably 5-7 min. De glaze your pan with about a cup of your stock making sure to get all the yummy bits form the bottom of your pan loose with your stock. Add the rest of your stock and enough water to bring the liquid up to about 3 cups, and cook over medium flame for 30m or so. Add cream and 2 TB butter and simmer on super low for another 20 in or so . Mean while cut biscuits into quarters. Now gently add your biscuits, cover and cook for ten min(leave the cover on for 10 min no peeking) After that remove lid allow a VERY low boil for another 10 min or so. This is why I like to use my widest covered pan I think the more surface area you have the better for your dumplings. I know That maybe I should make my own dumplings and one day I will but this seems to work fine for now.