Thursday, January 27, 2011

So, what are you making today?

Every good question deserves an answer!  My project for today -- on another lovely snow day -- is the zippered clutch I'm making in exchange for an apron.  I was sure after making the pink clutch this one would go together quite easily.  Wrong!  My seam ripper and I have been keeping great company today.  In fact, I'm avoiding it right now as I write!! I still have high hopes, though, for something that will look decent.  Here it is so far.  I've used leftover Amy Butler fabric from the apron I made for my mom.
It's hard to see how this will turn out at this point, but this is the front and back.

And... this is the inside lining.  The one side is divided as a card holder.  Loved using a fancy little machine stitch.

Opps...too close.  This is where the ripper comes in!

The piece you may notice in the background -- and in the next picture, is something I started years ago.  I need to quilt it, but as what I'm not sure!  Table runner?  (hmmm...the hearts are all going one direction, so that might not look right.)  Wall hanging?  Any ideas on how to finish it off or what to do with it?

Have a wonderful, "snow-filled" day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Pink Clutch

Hooray for Snow Days and Pink Clutches!  It's finished, and I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Now all I need is somewhere to go.  Somehow taking a pink clutch to the thrift store just doesn't do it! :)  And, yes, for all of you who may be gasping, I DO have more of a life than the thrift store!  Here it is, step by step, and I only had to use the seam ripper twice!

This really is not step 1, as you can see, but I first sewed the basic bag w/ strap, and then the lining with pocket.  

Wow! That's one bright snap!! I used magnetic closures.  They are great, and easy to use.

Next step was to sew the flap.

In case you can't tell, that is a chopstick.  They are great for pushing out corners!

Here is the flap, ready to be sewn in.

Oh boy, this was a bit bulky to sew in, but... it worked!  

The inside lining with pocket.

And ... drum roll, please ... the finished product!  

The front

The side

The back

And those cute little boxed corners! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A new project

I saw this fabric at, guess where? -- Yes, my favorite thrift store.  It's a decorator fabric, probably left over from someone's recovering a chair project or some such thing.  Anyway, I was drawn to it -- felt it, looked at it, and figured it might make a cute, and somewhat elegant clutch.  After all, there are times you need something just a little elegant, right?  Back to the fabric -- it was 35 cents!!  I love it.  Especially when I see written in marker on the edge of the fabric the original price of $18.99 a yard!  I found a pattern on (one of my favorite crafting sites) for something called Simple Party Clutch, and thought it might just fit the bill.  My task today is to find the perfect lining for this little clutch.  Don't you just love the sound of that word -- clutch.  We could say purse, or bag, but no, this is a clutch!  This is where I'm at so far ...

I'll keep you posted on the progress.  I'm really not sure if I would use a pink clutch, but I guess we'll see how it turns out.  I'm also doing a little swap with my niece -- an apron for a zippered clutch.  She's making the apron, and I'm doing the zippered clutch.  There will be more on that later.  It's good to have projects during these winter months!

Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Banana Oat Cookies

A few years ago my Mom gave me a recipe for cookies that use no sugar, oil, or eggs!  They are simple to make, and very good, and they surely must be good for you! I made a batch last night.  They have just enough of their own natural sweetness to satisfy my want for a little dessert.

1/2 c date pieces or raisins -- soak in water for 1 hour and drain.
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup oats; or 1 c. oats and 1/2 c. oat bran
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or almonds (I use almonds ... and add a bit more)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
fruit spread

Mix everything together in a bowl, except for the fruit spread. I add a little bit of flour to make it hold together better (maybe about 2 T).  I'm sure Mom uses whole wheat, but I use unbleached white.  Form into balls (17-18) and make a thumb print on top.  Fill with some fruit spread.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  I make mine on a baking stone and they come off very nicely.  If using another kind of baking sheet you may want to use parchment paper or add a "touch" of butter on the pan.

I keep bananas in my freezer.  Yep!  When bananas start to go brown, throw them in the freezer (peeling and all).  They are great to pull out later to use for banana bread, cookies, or whatever.  If you let them thaw a few minutes the peeling will come off quite easily.  It's really quite handy!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day Project

Oh the joy of a snow day!  It's one of those days that teachers and students, in particular, get very excited about -- an unexpected day at home.  For me it has been an opportunity to get to the sewing machine again.  Over Christmas break I had intended to make some shopping tote bags to wrap gifts in, put stocking stuffer items in, or whatever.  My other projects took me up to the last minute, so I never did get those bags sewn. Today was the day for two of them.  Here they are, step by step!  I found the pattern and tutorial for the Classic Tote on the SewMamaSew blog. (
First step -- after cutting the fabric, of course -- make the front pocket.  The red fabric was purchased at a local craft store.  The heavy-duty blue was a great find at my favorite thrift store (a yard of fabric for .75 or something like that!).  Okay.  I've barely gotten started, but chocolate sure would taste good about now.  I just know there were 2 pieces left in that candy box.  I wonder if Hubby would notice if I ate one of them? 

What!!  No chocolates left!!  Seriously, the box was empty when I opened the lid.  I wonder who....

Step 2:  Sew the pocket on the front piece of fabric.  No problem!

Step 3:  Sew WRONG sides of fabric together.  Opps!  It is even written right there in the instructions .  I am know to be a bit impulsive, and don't you ALWAYS sew right sides together??  Okay, so Step 4:  Correct mistakes.  Pick out all the stitching around both totes.  Watch TV while you are doing this to help pass the time.

Step 5:  Pin and sew WRONG sides together.  Don't forget to add a cute little label.

Step 6:  On inside, open corners and sew across.  This is what really makes a usable tote for carrying groceries!

I forgot to take pictures of the handle and top hem part :)  That would be Step 7 & 8.  

Turn them right side out, and .... OH NO!  I sewed the blue pocket piece in upside down!! :(  I haven't done it yet, but the seam ripper will have to take care of that before using.  What good would an upside down pocket be?!
All in all this was a great, fun project for a snow day!