favorite mojito recipe

mojito

I don’t ever want to forget this recipe so I am posting it here.  The original source is at food.com –  but you never know when a recipe will vanish from the internet.

10 limes- squeeze juice and get rid of pulp {10 limes typically makes 1 1/2 cups juice}
30 leaves fresh mint
3/4 cup sugar {don’t use simple syrup!}
1 cup white rum
club soda, chilled
-Place mint and sugar into a pitcher.
-Using a muddle stick mash to release mint oils, and dissolve sugar into juice.
-Add lime juice and muddle a bit more.
-Add rum and lots of ice topped with club soda. Adding more club soda to glasses if a lighter drink is desired.
-Garnish with fresh mint and lime slices.

sometimes i get an idea

…and I just can’t let it go of it until I’ve sewn it up.  I knew, when I bought those baby legwarmers {best baby attire trend ever!} that I’d have to complete that rainbow.  I paper pieced  the rainbow, backed it with interfacing and just sewed it onto the skirt–raw edges and all.  I cut off the end of one leg from an old pair of jeans to make the skirt.  It has a simple casing with an elastic waist.  And that’s it. Just a whole bunch of baby outfit making fun that brought some brightness and cheer to an otherwise dreary and rain-filled week.

oh hi!

It’s been a while. How about an update?

::We had a nice, quiet Easter at home. I don’t normally share recipes, but this lamb was incredible. It’s the second time we’ve made it. I added gorgonzola cheese to the stuffing as a compliment to the feta and used spinach instead of mixed greens. We will make this again, and won’t wait until next Easter to do it.

::We went to the EcoTarium and did things like this in Worcester, MA with my cousin and her lovely little family. It was such a great visit. I am so glad they no longer live on the other side of the country. I made them a draft catcher as a housewarming gift. I love the patchwork bit. And the linen. I actually sent it to them while there were still drafts to be caught. {Minor miracle.}

::Baby girl is a full fledged homo-erectus. And a cute one at that. She is now bunking with her big brother, so my sewing machine and supplies have been upgraded from the front porch to her old room, a.k.a. the guest room. My husband is devising plans for a cutting table that will hover over the bed. All of my fabric looks so darn happy all stacked up on the shelves. {I will show you around soon.}

:: I made a puffy pouch for my new sister-in-law. Fantastic tutorial here. I cut out three other pouches and have done nothing more with that fabric. This is very typical behavior for me. I am always distracted by the next shiny new thing.

::I know about a gazillion pregnant ladies/new moms right now and want to make pretty things for all of their babies. Almost all of these folks are having {or have just had} girls. I am thinking pink. I really need to get to work.

:: I am working on a color wheel quilt with a friend who lost her dog recently. Its a memory quilt of sorts. We’ve sewn together the arcs and are picking out background fabrics. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

::My sister’s-in-law wedding is coming up in June. Besides a few top secret bridal shower projects I’m working on with two other bridesmaids, I am going to make clutches for the bridal party. I’ve tried out a couple of designs and think I may have finally settled on the exact one I want to try to replicate. The smart thing would be to use a tried and true pattern. But where’s the fun {and cursing} in that? I would also like to make the Oliver + S Birthday Party Dress for my girl to wear to the wedding, but I’m assuming that I will run out of time.

::I signed up for a fun swap. As if I needed one more project. But with this one, I actually get something handmade {for ME ME ME } out of the deal, so I am excited.

:: Speaking of ME ME ME, Liesl sent me the best apron ever. Just because. How sweet is that? (See top photo.) I owe myself an entire post on how great it is to be part of such an amazing community of crafters and show off just how generous so many people have been to me in the past two+ years.

::Having said that, the crafty community can be pretty creepy too. People stealing photos from blogs and claiming sewing projects {and children!} as their own? It’s horrible. I haven’t made a final decision yet, but I am leaning toward face-free shots of my kiddos from here on out.

Phew. That was a lot of updating. Thanks for sticking with me through all of that. What have you been up to lately?

sewing lessons

All images from the Oliver + S website.

A big part of me wanted my Christmas gift this year to be sewing lessons. However, the time I have to create is so limited that I didn’t want to spend any of it in the car. So instead, I signed up for some sewing lessons of the stay-at-home variety, in the form of a stack of beautifully designed Oliver + S children’s clothing patterns. I’ve already tried my hand at the lovely {and free} popover dress pattern and am moving on to view B of the Jump Rope Dress, because a certain almost-one-year old needs something to wear at her birthday party. And that same little girl will require a cute dress for an important wedding in June. Who knows? Maybe her brother will get a pair of sandbox pants out of the deal.

True to my sewing nerd tendencies, I have been spending my lunch breaks at work holed up in my office reading the patterns. Since I’ve only just begun to cut out the Jump Rope Dress, I can’t really provide a pattern review, but I can give you my early impressions. The instructions and accompanying diagrams are painstakingly clear. I actually understand the process of constructing a placket simply by reading the pattern instructions. Normally I need to have the fabric in front of me in order to “get it.” I am excited about the range of new skills I will learn by making some of these pieces.

Night knitter is my Oliver + S pattern sewing hero. She doesn’t get caught up in the crazy busy prints to which so many of us (myself included) are drawn. Her fabric selection is guided by a simple principle. She tends to dress her daughter in a way that she would want to be dressed. I plan to keep that in mind as I work my way through these patterns. I’ll let you know how it works out.

P. S. Good thing I don’t speak/read French. Otherwise, I’d probably want these adorable patterns too.

slap bracelet napkin ring tutorial

This is a very quick and easy project. A patchwork version would be great for busting scraps, so I am going to enter this into Sew Mama Sew’s scrap busting contest. If you don’t want to buy inkjet ready fabric sheets, you can stamp the names onto a piece of twill tape instead. And if you don’t want to use actual names because you never know who the heck is coming to dinner, use nicknames instead. The Mr., The Mrs., Wino, Hippie, Rasta, Fashionista, Punk, Artist, Biker, Raconteur, Rock Star, Chatterbox, Wanderer, Chef, Shopaholic, and Frequent Flyer are some that I’ve used before. If you don’t even want to give it that much thought, choose a theme. Do you love The Sound of Music? Then use: Maria, Captain Von Trapp, The Baroness, Rolf, Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa…just don’t forget my favorite, little Gretyl. Throwing a Mad Men party? Then Don, Betty, Pete and Peggy, it is! Just be careful not to offend whoever picks the “Midge” napkin ring. {Joking.} Are you a Brady Bunch fan?

OK. Enough said. You get the idea.

Click here to download the two page pdf tutorial. Click here and here to see them in action. And do let me know if you give it a try. I’d love to see what you come up with (my flickr group is here) and would be glad to be alerted to any errors.

*Note: I bought my slap bracelets here.

lemonade stand

The birthday party was a ton of fun.  More on that later. Just wanted my family to see my favorite photo from the day.  And bid a slightly teary-eyed farewell to my sister and my sweet-as-a-lemonade-stand niece. Love you guys.

new favorite thing

I think I have a new favorite thing to make.

The Princess and the Pea is no stranger to the crafty blog circuit, but it was first drawn to my attention by a good friend who sent me this link one year ago. I’ve been thinking about it, on and off, ever since.

Inspiration was drawn from this book and these pages, in particular. The perfect little bed is from wonderful etsy seller Peter of Meadow Weeds Farm. (Meg at Sew Liberated posted about beds that she ordered from this seller, so I took note. I custom ordered a bed that is smaller than the one he typically sells. To give you an idea, the mattresses on the bed measure 8″ x 12″. ) The doll is Mimi Kirchner’s free pattern from the Purl Bee. I sized the pattern down to 75% without a problem. I love everything about this pattern, but I did think that the face was a little too grown-up for the one year old who received this gift. I also wanted something that looked a little sleepy. So, instead, I copied the face of this adorable Black Apple doll.

I think the reason why I love this project so much is that the stack of twelve little mattresses resembles a carefully folded pile of brand new fabric that has been fresh cut from the fabric store. Know what I mean?

she won!

Island Auntie’s proposal received the blue ribbon!   My sister wrote that she is amazed by all the support she received.  I told her that I was not.  She is an incredible person and anyone who knows her would do whatever they can to help her out. People who don’t even know her, in this case, were happy to assist too. Thanks again for helping push her into the top spot.  I promise I will stop pestering you now….

Anna at Three Sneaky Bugs was the winner of the giveaway.  Have you seen Anna’s blog? She comes up with some great activities to do with her kids and has sewing and knitting collaborations with her mom.  Her sister sews too. I still can’t say what the giveaway gift is, but I plan to post a tutorial next week. Anna, I will be in touch about your fabric preferences, etc.  

The top photo is from a recent trip to a fire station in a sizeable city nearby.  My BFF’s dad is the recently retired Deputy Chief, so the Little Guy and I got the grand tour.  It was like heaven on earth for our boy.  He got to “drive” each truck in the station, slide down the pole, and see a few trucks go out on calls.” What a fun afternoon. Here are a few more pics:

Thanks Deputy Chief! We will tagalong with you any time.

celebrating…plus a small favor

This rather large bundle of fabric was my personal little way of celebrating the arrival of our baby girl.  I really have no business buying more fabric, but I have been dreaming of dresses and allowed myself to shop away.  From top to bottom:  the two dots are Patty Young’s Andalucia, then Amy Butler’s Belle, the apples and the one just below them are Sandy Henderson’s Farmers Market, followed by three from Joel Dewberry’s Aviary line, another Dewberry but this one is from the line called Chestnut Hill, more Amy Butler, plus some of Heather Bailey’s Freshcut and a bit of Tula Pink’s Flutterby.  I think the green check is Holly Holderman, but I really can’t remember.  All purchased at Quilt Home, which has a great selection and excellent customer service.  I probably won’t make any dresses smaller than a 2T because I’ll want her to wear them for longer than a month or so, but it will be fun to start developing a handmade wardrobe into which she can grow. Now, if she will just let me sleep through the night, I could get to work.  

On a totally unrelated note, could I ask you a small favor?  My sister, known in these parts as Island Auntie, has written a grant proposal that will allow her family of three to make their modest and amazingly sustainable two-bedroom home on the Big Island in Hawaii truly off-grid and more environmentally friendly.  In a word, they are seeking more solar power so that they can become less dependent on a noisy, less eco-friendly generator.  The deal with this grant is that the public chooses the recipient.  So if you have a moment, please click over to her proposal, scroll down half-way to the VOTE button, and give it a click.  You’d be helping out an amazing little family a ton and I would be extremely grateful. Here is the link.  Thank you!

not everyone loves a photoshoot

But sometimes screaming baby photos are just as cute as the smiley ones. Especially when the baby is bundled in a gown that was handmade with love by her Grandmama.  And wrapped in a blanket made by a friend from my work.  Lucky kid!

When I opened the gown, I really did not think it was homemade.  I asked my mom a couple of days later and she told me that she made it herself.  I hope to one day develop the patience and skill to embroider little details like this sweet lamb and include them in my gifts, but until that day arrives, I will leave all the super cute stuff to my mom.  She’s great at it.  Thanks Grandmama!

The handmade gift giving was extended to the big brother.  Smoothpebble sent this adorable little camo pouch to him complete with an ice cream truck that fits his Thomas the Tank Engine tracks.  Now the trains on the Island of Sodor no longer go without dessert.  Phew! Thanks so much , Jackie.  He loves his new truck and his mom has sort of hijacked the pouch for her purse.  (And that outfit you sent with the elephant print is perfect in so many ways.)