Monday, March 30, 2015

Classy Cook Aprons: A Happy Ending

Remember the warning about unfolding fabric I gave you guys? Well, this "Ooops" has a happy ending: look at the spiffy new apron made from the fabric I sold!

Bev at Classy Cook Aprons purchased my fabric and made it into this very classy apron. Still not a fan of skulls, but I must say, the apron looks nice. Her work is all very cute! Lots of funky aprons in her shop. Check them out!

Happy Monday!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gluten Free Friday: Things I Stockpile #glutenfreefriday

Welcome back, Gluten Free Friday! I missed you. A lot. This week I'm going to chat a bit about the groceries that I stock up on to make cooking gluten free at home easy. Some of these things might be weird! Some might be predictable. And hardly any of them are specialty products. This isn't a foo foo list of fancy gluten free products: it's more of a survival-of-daily-life-list of naturally gluten free products. Once you can start including as many naturally GF things on your grocery list, you can start saving booku bucks.

Alright. Let's rock.

I buy my rice by the 25 lb bag at this cute little Asian market. Most grocery stores sell bulk rice, too. Some days I'll just pop a whole bunch of rice in the steamer and snack on it all day. I use it as a side, as a snack, as a main dish, as a boat for carrying other food. Don't want to boil gf pasta and regular pasta for stroganoff? Serve it on rice. It makes it easy to cook one meal for my whole fam. Less pans. Less crying. More eating. If you are going to start investing in that much rice (which, really, it's a lot cheaper in the long run) I'd suggest getting a rice steamer. Mine's awesome and I use it nearly daily.

Corn Tortillas
My cast iron skillet doesn't get put away. It just lives on my stovetop. Not only is it a handy, easy-access weapon against monsters, it's always ready to make me a quesadilla at a moment's notice. Corn tortillas have been another go-to snack for me. I make quesadillas like it's my job. They're a great, GF snack/meal you can make really fast. Here are my fave variations:
 Cheddar, paprika, onion powder, leftover chicken
Mozzerella, tomato paste, pepperoni, oregano
Peanut butter, banana, honey

Which brings me to my next item:

Peanut Butter
 I also am majorly in love with peanut butter. I just bought a mega tub of it last time I was at the store. I eat it by the spoonful when I start feeling wibbly wobbly. I make Peanut Butter Cookies when I want to pretend I'm eating a protein-packed snack. I put it in smooties. I dip apples in it. I put it on rice cakes. It's versatile and yummy.

Canned Beans
A problem some people with Celiac can run into is a lack of fiber. If you relied on bread products to make up most of your daily fiber count, you are going to have to adjust. I sure had to! One way I got more fiber back into my diet was with beans. I never used to like beans as a kid, but now I'm putting them in everything: soups and tacos especially. I try to always have a few cans in the house so I can quick add a bit of fiber into a meal if I see the potential for it. 
I pretty much always have apples in the house for packed lunches and snacking. I know you can't really stockpile apples unless you have a cold cellar, but I do try to keep them in the house.
Same as apples, you can't really stockpile produce (unless you get the dried kind, which I don't). But I do buy a box every time I'm at the store. I'm serious. File this in the weird pregnancy category, but I hated mushrooms until after Ernest was born. Now I eat them like crazy. I even made (and scarfed up) stuffed mushrooms on Sunday. Who knew?? Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D, another vitamin Celiacs frequently are deficient of. Mushrooms can find a place in almost every meal, so they are a great little supplement.

Tortilla Chips
I love Snyder's of Hanover's GF pretzels, but they are pricey when you end up eating the whole bag in one sitting. Heh. So I try to only buy them once every two weeks, and instead go for tortilla chips. Almost all tortilla chips are gluten free, but my faves are Milagros or Mission. Personal preference, I'm not getting paid or anything. I wish. ANYWAYS. I eat these buggers with hummus like nobody's business. That makes them a healthy snack, right? Hummus is healthy. And they make a good snack that you can share/take to parties and not make everyone feel awkward about eating the stuff you brought because it's "gluten free so only you should eat it." Been there. Done that. Ended up eating a whole plate of cheese dip with my own sad rice crackers because nobody else would touch it. 

Corn Flour
I pretty much always have a big bag of this on hand in case the mood strikes me and I want to make corn bread. When this mood does strike me, it strikes hard and we have about forty pounds of corn bread on our hands. 
Corn Starch
Recipe calls for a sauce to be thickened? Send in the corn starch. If we run out of corn starch, it is guarunteed that I will need it within the next 24 hours. Better to stock up than have runny, sad sauce. Or worse, sauce that is nice because you gave in a thickened it with flour but now that means you have to watch sadly as everyone else enjoys the sauce. Except you. Been there, my friends, I have been there.
That wraps up GFF for this week. What do you stock up on in your house? What items make managing Celiac at home easier for you?

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Drawstring Project Bag Pattern

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern

For some odd reason, I got tired of shoving my project into the diaper bag I now carry in place of a purse. And though my amazing Aunt custom made the diaper bag for me, there were only so many pockets she could include. A project quadrant just wasn't going to happen.

So the big question became: Do I tangle the project by shoving it into the diaper bag, or do I take another large bag out with me? I, for some reason, own zero small, manageable bags.

Guess what? I decided to make some.

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern

And this one is the first! I scored the blue floral fabric at an epic thrift store score back in Utah and have been planning on bag-ifying it since I saw it. I trolled and trolled Pinterest for the right bag pattern (and the right cookie recipe and the right homemade cleaning product and the right know how it is) and came across this pattern from Sew Serendipity. It's a lunch bag pattern that was being offered for free by Sew Mama Sew and I knew it was right.

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern
I did a few minor adjustments (namely to the handle) but for the most part kept the bag as it was. The pattern makes a very very nice, roomy project bag without being hugemonsterous.

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern

I opted for a single sided handle in order to make the bag more clip-to-the-diaper-bag friendly, but you can do whatever you want. I don't care. I'm not the boss of you.

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern

I feel kinda fancy with the wooden beads on the draw ties. I was thinking about NOT putting them on because for some reason I was feeling particularly anti-hardware at the time, but I'm so glad Other-Side-of-My-Brain convinced me otherwise. The look so nice! And professional. And stuff. Unlike those last few sentences.

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern

Yeah, I don't actually use those knitting needles, they are more for show. Big long wooden needles look better in pictures than my tangley circulars I enlist for every project. More rustic.

Straight needles are rustic?

Hush. Agree with me. You know I'm right.

Last in Line Shop: Drawstring Project Bag Sewing Pattern

My thoughts on the pattern:
-Go with a med-light Peltex on the outer body of the bag if you are using thick fabric like me.
-The strap is very customizable. I could even see this as having two straps for a weirdy cute little backpack!
-Gathering the drawstring segment made that part a bit unmanageable to sew. In the end, I measured (read: completely guessed on) some pleats to ease the top into the bag.
-It's AMAZING that all the seams are enclosed. Nothing is more lovely in a pattern to me than a project that effortlessly encloses all the seams.
-Also, you don't have to turn the draw strings. Because, why should you be subject to that torture? I just ironed them out like bias tape and sewed them shut with some edge stitching.
-Oh, and I didn't include interfacing on the lining. Because I'm a rebel and believe that if you can leave out interfacing, do.

I'm going to be making quite a few more of these, I think. They are quite quick once you get all the pieces cut out! I've actually already finished one other one!

Happy Tuesday!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Unfold the Fabric: A Public Service Announcement from Last in Line

Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line

Once upon a time there was a girl named Carolyn and she went shopping. She went shopping in a big city while her husband was busy at a meeting. She felt proud of her ability to drive a large van around the big city and not hit anyone or anything. She was also proud of her ability to write out directions for herself to the places she wanted to shop.

Burning with all this pride, Carolyn set out to +CraftyPlanet to see what she could find. To her joy, she found a cute shop filled to the gills with cute fabric. She decided to buy a lot of it.

She mostly bought fat quarters: some plaid, some raccoons, some polkadots, some flowers. Then a section of bagged yards of fabrics caught her eye. There was some very pretty colors all folded up in those glossy little ziplocs. Maybe she should buy a yard! Make something bigger!

So, carefully, she selected a color pallet that suited her. Then Carolyn wondered, "Should I open the bag and unfold the fabric?" She could only see a small section of the pattern from the way it was folded, but she really liked what she saw. All paisley and filigree. Not wanting to be THAT customer who opens up packages and makes everyone angry, she decided to just buy the stuff.

Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line

And that's just what she did.

Fast forward a year (A YEAR??), Carolyn got pregnant, moved out West, had the baby, moved back, and finally settled in to a new, more permanent apartment with her little family. The bagged fabric came out West, but sat untouched. The bagged fabric came back to the Midwest, but sat untouched. Until two weeks ago when at long last, Carolyn decided to take stock of her fabric stash and plan projects for what she had amassed.

With joy, images of cute sleeping shorts and pillow cases danced in her mind as she at last unfolded the fabric to find:

Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line


Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line

So many skulls staring back at her with their dead, flowery eyes. Carolyn is not a fan of skulls. Not at all. And her dislike of them is strengthened when she is expecting a lovely floral pattern to pervade the fabric she bought long ago.

Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line

Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line

Had the selvedge been showing, surely the name of the fabric alone would have put her off. But no. No such luck had she. Let this be a lesson to her and all crafters of her kind:

Unfold the Fabric: a public service announcement by Last in Line

Always unfold the fabric.

My mistake is your gain, if you are into skull fabric. I listed the yard on my Etsy. You can find the listing here! I am hoping it finds a happy new home where it'll be used for a great project and I won't have to see it every time I open my fabric drawer. Heh.

The Specs:
1 yard "Indigo Skull" in Pool & Aqua by The Alexander Henry Fabric Collection

Happy Tuesday (and St. Paddy's Day!) y'all!!