pretty topped jars

I found this idea on Pink Street and I thought it would be a pretty way to organize my craft area. I thought I would share a little tutorial on how to do it, although it is very simple to do.

paper scraps
modge podge
small craft brush
jars with screw lids

1. Wash jars and make sure to get off all parts of the label. I found that if I soaked the jars in water with dish soap and then scrubbed them pretty well, I could get it all off. Allow jars and lids to dry.
2. Lay the jar lid, face down on scrap paper and trace it with a pencil. Sketch a circle around that one that is a little bigger - at least a little thicker than the width of the lid. Cut slits about 1/4 inch apart that are cut up to the pencil tracing of the lid. Coat the inside circle with modge podge and adhere to the lid. Press down with clean fingers.
Coat 2 or 3 strips at a time and fold over the edge of the lid. Do this until all strips are adhered to the lid.
3. Turn lid over so the pattern is facing up. Coat with modge podge and then let dry. Screw lid to jar.
I am going to use one of my jars to hold small fabric scraps.


naked thanks

My friend, Ashley, sent me a link to the blog Naked Thanks a few months ago and I have been meaning to post about it. Two women from DC post their hand written thank you notes every day "in an attempt to become more appreciative human beings."

I think this idea is fabulous! And they are hilarious!

Even if you have had a hellish week, writing a thank you note is not only a nice gesture, but might make you feel a little better.

So in an attempt to become a happier human being (and more appreciative, I suppose), once a week I am going to follow in their footsteps and write a thank you note too. Besides, I will finally get to use all that stationary that has been collecting dust. I am thinking Sunday is a good day to post these considering it is the end of the weekend and a good time to reflect upon the past week.

And, as long as I have an address, I will actually send them. So, beware world! Be prepared to have your mailboxes stuffed many thank you's!


successful sewing weekend

Well, it was almost all successful. I royally messed up making over one of the FH's button down shirts. I was trying to make it into a dress and it looked really good until I tried making the sleeves fancy. It is at the point of no return. But you win some, you lose some. And this was definitely a learning experience. At least it wasn't with fabric that I had bought at the store.

I also made a toile desk cover for the office makeover. And, I got to learn how to use my new serger that the FH got me as an early birthday present!!

But my most successful endeavor this weekend was my trip to Hancock Fabrics. All Simplicity and Butterick sewing patterns were on sale for one dollar and 99 cents, respectively! This was great because normally they are around fifteen dollars.

Here are some patterns I bought:
I got this one so that I could try and recreate this J. Crew skirt:

So I got a violet fabric at Hancock fabrics.

Butterick B5316

I am probably going to use one of the three Butterick patterns to sew a dress for my future goddaughter's baptism.

I want to make this dress if I have time to wear to one of the many bridal showers I have in May. (And maybe I will attempt one of the jackets too!)

And I would like to make this for one of the weddings I am going to in June.

Hopefully, I will have the time to do all of this! I may have to leave one of the dresses for later.


is a diy wedding dress safe?

So yesterday my mom said that if I was open to the idea, we could use the fabric from her wedding dress to make my wedding dress. She said her wedding dress had a lot of texture (which I want) - the fabric has cording or something. I asked if we could just get rid of the 80s sleeves and I could try to fit into it. She weighed 90 pounds when she got married. I do not.

Now, before I go ahead, my mom is not completely out of her mind. She does have a degree in fashion and costuming or something. And I had considered maybe getting someone to make my dress instead of buying one in a store.

I guess I am just a little nervous about it. It feels a lot safer to go into a store with a dress that is already made which would just need a few alterations. But then again, a dress made just for me - that would be pretty awesome.

Here are a few things we have gone over so far:
1. Her dress is white. I not only want ivory but for my skin tone and the time of year we are considering, I think ivory is a must. She thought of this before I said anything and said we could dye the fabric ivory. I am going to trust she knows what she is doing here.
2. If she designs it how do we get it from paper to a dress? Well she and I decided that it will be way to time consuming to sew it ourselves. We have someone who has sewn dresses for me before when I was younger so she could probably do it. And I guess we could mix and match dress patterns to get exactly what we want.
3. She did not preserve her dress. And she just stuck it in a box and hasn't looked at it. Hopefully it is still in one piece.
4. My parents are divorced. Is it bad luck to use the same fabric from their wedding? I am assuming the strength of your marriage has nothing to do with what dress you wear that day. But that is just me.
5. How will we know what looks good on me? I guess we would still go wedding dress "shopping" but it would be more for style and cut and less about finding one dress.
6. Could I still have some lace detail which I love? I guess if the cording gives it enough texture then it might be ok without it.

There are some dresses that I love that I know I can't afford. So if we could try and come up with stuff I already like that would be perfect.

I guess I just need some reassurance. I think if it all works out it would be absolutely awesome. And I guess the back up plan would just be to go and get a dress. What do you think? Have you done this or do you know of anyone that has made their wedding dress? (Pictures would be great!!)

My mom sent me pictures of some quick sketches she did. This is an idea for the front of the dress with and without a bolero.
This is an idea for the back of the dress. Not the final ideas. Just starting to brainstorm...


snowpocalypse 2010 (part 2 or 3 or however you look at it)

More snow is supposed to arrive on the shore AGAIN tonight. The FH and I decided to go to ACE Hardware to get some shovels because a) he needed some for the office and b) our shovel sucks. ACE is the only one in Salisbury that had shovels in stock today.

When we drove up to ACE we realized that the parking lot was packed so I jumped out of the car to get a head start. There was a line of bundled up people at the door. I just figured the line for the register was long so I stepped ahead to past the line when I was stopped by the ACE bouncer. The line was to get into the store! I don't even think I have seen this much security in a bar. And bars have drunk people!

Last week, apparently, a fight broke out over a shovel. How could I miss that?! Just imagining this scenario in my head made waiting worth while. Along with the FH's inappropriately loud comment about how much one gets paid to be a bouncer at ACE Hardware.

Well we stood in line to get into the store in order to get into another line for shovels where a man asked you what you wanted. They ran out the shovels we needed. Ugh.


super bowl birthday cake

Since the FH was out of town for his birthday, we decided to have some people over for the super bowl (despite the blizzard) and have a little birthday cake. The FH has always liked the colts so I attempted to make him a birthday cake, Colts style.

It turned out decent - I just wish I had made my decorative icing little stiffer.
I am not much of a baker so I just used a yellow cake box mix. I made the chocolate icing from scratch, though, from a recipe I found in the Joy of Cooking cookbook. It is very stiff which made it an ideal canvas for decorating. I like it because it is not super sweet. Give it a try if you like...

about 2/3 cups
from the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook

I doubled the recipe to cover the cake and fill in between the layers.

1 Tbsp of butter
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
6 Tbsp of whipping cream
about 1 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler.
2. When chocolate and butter is melted, add and beat in whipping cream.
3. Add, until desired sweetness is reached and icing is smooth, confectioners' sugar and vanilla.
4. Spread while warm.

* You don't need an expensive double broiler from the store. Make one yourself with a glass bowl (that is oven safe such as Pyrex) that is significantly bigger than the pot you are going to use. Boil a small amount of water in a pot (make sure the boiling water won't touch the bowl). Then melt your chocolate and butter in the glass bowl.


Black Bean Soup

I was discussing with a friend, Julie, that I wanted to find a really good black bean soup. I really love the black bean soup at Panera but my one attempt at making it myself was kind of icky. Julie sent me a recipe from RecipeZaar and I tried making it this past weekend. It was delicious! I actually think it is better than Panera's.

serves 4 - 6 people

Make this for an easy and cheap meal and save the leftovers for lunches during the week.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/4 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 small chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, undrained
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin*
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1. In a pot, combine first six ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add half of a can of beans, salt and cumin and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Puree soup using an immersion blender or food processor.**
4. Add the rest of the beans to the soup.
5. Combine cornstarch with 1 1/2 teaspoons of water.
6. Add lemon and cornstarch to soup. Cook until thickened.

* I don't really measure unless I am baking when it comes to spices. I took the whole container of cumin and tried to sprinkle it in and a lot more came out so I would say I added a little more than a teaspoon. This is why you pour some in your hand first.

**I don't own and immersion blender and my food processor is very small so I took a little at a time and put some in the food processor and then put it back in the pot and took some more. Since I was mixing the pureed and unpureed soup, I defintiely didn't get all the chunks out. This worked out alright since I had finely chopped my vegetables. I actually think I prefer it this way so you can see what is in the soup.


My type of mail: someecards.com

My friend, Alissa, sent me an e-card from someecards, today. The e-cards on this site are free and absolutely fabulous. But I will warn you, if you are easily offended, you should stick with Hallmark.

If you want to tell a friend how much they mean to you...
If you want to congratulate someone post nuptials...

They even have a section called "Cry for Help..."

And to all of those guys out there - remember Valentine's day is in less than 14 days...

Thank you, Alissa, for making my day a little brighter!