Monday, September 13th, 2015
This past weekend we had such lovely weather, sunny and cool – exactly as I like it. We stayed awhile outside and caught up with some yard work, relieved that hot and humid summer days are finally over.
I was also in the mood for sewing. I didn’t want to start any long and complicated project, just something quick and easy to make and finish in a few hours.
Something that I really like sewing is pillow cases. It doesn’t require much time, thinking, or material. With just a few scraps of fabric in different patterns I was able to sew a few pillowcases for my daughter’s bed.
With three yards of muslin I was able to make 4 pillowcases and then added the cuff piece to complete the right size of the pillow. Adding a cuff piece does take a little longer, but I think it looks really pretty and adds color!
I finished the pillowcases with french seams, so there are no raw edges, stray thread or any fraying. In this way they look neat and tidy inside and out.
The possibilities are endless. I also added buttons in one of the cuffs and sewed two cases all in the same fabric print. Even old pillowcases can be recycle and embellish with any little bit of fabric.
I also have quite a few plain ones in king size that for sure will get a makeover very soon. Actually I think there is a lot of pillowcase making in my future.
Thursday, Sept 10th, 2015
Legos… Do you know any kid that doesn’t enjoy putting together those tiny little pieces? My son played for years and literally hours until recently, when he decided to keep just a few of his favorite ones, and give away the rest of his collection to his sister.
I cannot tell you how surprised she was! She could not believe that now she owned all those legos and that she would actually even be able to play with them, considering that all this time she had to “stay away” from them.
Up to now the extra pieces were stored all inside one drawer. Now that we needed to move them out of my son’s bedroom, we decided to bring them down to our basement.
I knew he had a good amount of legos (obviously we were the ones buying them, and he also got so many as gifts) but I never imagined the quantity that has accumulated in the last few years.
Evidently we needed to come up with a solution that would fit into the new space with plenty of storage. After checking in stores and on-line, I found a few possible options but either they were too formal, not the right size or color, or quite costly.
The best option was the Tarva drawer chest from Ikea. For the purpose, price and versatility this was perfect for us, especially because it is sold untreated and I really like the idea of being able to refinish it in the way I wanted.
I stained the top, sides, and legs, and for the front of each drawer I used the same paint color on the walls (Behr – creamy white). I also sprayed the original handles in gold paint just to match up with other details in the room. The process of organizing them by color took a while, but we did a little bit everyday and now it is much easier to find the pieces.
I also installed a couple of shelves and placed a table and a few stools next to it. This part of our basement was not really used for anything and so I’m glad we designated it as a playing area.
As you see, there’s still a bit of a mess on the table but the good thing is that now everything has its own place and can easily go back inside the drawers.
To be fair though, our cat is the one making most of the mess, climbing on top, playing with the legos and knocking them down on the floor… but, that’s another story…
. Friday, September 4th 2015
My friend Laura is the best baker I have ever known. Every time we get together she amazes us with exquisite dessert, one better than the other. She would try a new recipe and it always turns out to be perfect.
Last night, when Laura came for dinner, I made dessert and obviously felt a little nervous about my basic skills in the baking department.
I thought that a raspberry lemon cheesecake was the perfect choice, mainly because there’s no baking involved so there was no chance for me to mess things up… and I swear they tasted heavenly!
If you want to give it a try here are the ingredients and the instructions:
1- In a bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs and 1 tbs of sugar and butter (melted)
2- Press the crumbs into the bottom of your serving dish to form a crust layer.
3- In another bowl mix the sugar and lemon zest together.
4- Add cream cheese and beat until smooth using an electric mixer. Then add lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until well blended then add in the raspberries.
5- Pour your mixture into your serving dish over the crust, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
6- As a final touch, add some raspberries and fragrant mint leaves.
I used individual serving dishes, but this recipe can be adapted into a whole pie too (for example a 9-inch graham crackers crust would require to be chilled for 3 hours before serving) and instead of raspberries you can also use strawberries and blueberries as well.
This dessert is fresh, creamy and delicious and an excellent choice to enjoy on these final hot summer days before my favorite season of all arrives!
Wednesday, September 02nd, 2015
When the lovely Kristine from Townmouse asked who would like to test the Adelaide Sundress pattern I immediately “put my hand up” and offered to be part of the testing team.
I already had the opportunity to sew the Isabella Flutter Sleeve top and I loved it. I had never work with downloadable PDF patterns before and was a little nervous, but now I find it so convenient and easy to be able to start sewing right away after just one click from her Townmouse Etsy shop.
I truly love this dress. Isn’t adorable? I couldn’t decide which color fabric to use, but knew it would look beautiful in any one I chose.
In the end I opted for blue only because of course, her first choice is always pink. Even so, she is very happy with her new dress.
I also love the fact that there are no tricky zippers or closures to sew, I really-really hate sewing zippers (most of the time I find myself having to unstitch them a least a couple of times before they’re sewed the way they’re suppose to be sewn).
Kristine will also adapt this dress pattern to make a top. Too bad it won’t come in my size!
The Adelaide sundress pattern goes from the sizes 1 to 10 and it’s available right now as a downloadable PDF Pattern. There’s a 10% off discount on any purchases valid until the end of September on the Townmouse Etsy Shop.
I’m currently running an end of the summer SALE on selected Night Lights on my Etsy Shop!
There’s a nice selection of pastel colors or you can also request a special order in any color you want!
Check it out! The offer lasts til the end of September. You can find them here and see what else is available for you!
Thursday, August 20th, 2015
When it comes to baking I must admit that I’m not really good at it, but these apple tarts are so easy to make and so delicious that I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
Here are the instructions:
For the pastry mix flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to combine.
Add butter and pulse until the butter is in small sizes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake for 45 minutes until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking.
When the tarts are done, heat the apricot jam together with water and brush the apples and pastry completely with the mixture.
Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature and add a hefty scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor!
And… here we are in full swing back into the routine.
The down side: getting up early, having breakfast at separate times, rushing against the clock, packing lunch boxes, beating the school bell, checking binders and homework, cooking healthy dinners, going to bed early, etc, etc, etc.
The good side: Having the whole morning by myself, reading the news in quietness, sipping my coffee without interruptions, and eating quick simple lunches…
Wait a minute, I wrote more bad than good… but the good is so worth it!
And also I may add, blog posting more often ;-)
At first I thought it was just me, but whoever I speak with, everybody seems to agree that time is indeed flying by. It’s crazy. And scary.
This year I will be forty years old (age entirely unwelcome). My son will start the “teen” years and my daughter will be 11.
Where did the time go?
It seems not long ago we were attending “end of the year school programs” and putting backpacks away.
Now I am buying supplies because in one week school starts again and I’m sure that after that, which will probably feel like a split second, we will be getting ready for x-mas break.
This summer literally flew by!
What really makes me sad is how fast my kids are growing up.
My son’s hands are way bigger than mine and his voice is getting as thick as my husband’s. My daughter is blooming and becoming a big girl, and amazing me everyday with observations that leaves me surprised and puzzled.
I remember their “toddler stage” and how exhausting it felt, but I would trade anything in the world for them to be little again.
I know, it sounds cliche but I so want to be able to stop time.
They’re growing just in front of my eyes and I realize how fast they’re on their way to adulthood.
Everyday I try to remind my self how much I need to hold on to these days and enjoy and treasure every moment, because truly time it is flying by.