Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Yummy Post!

No awesome vintageness for you today, but I thought I'd share this ah-mazing recipe for Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Stew from PoppyTalk (which if you don't already have in your GoogleReader, you should promptly add!)

A friend made this for dinner and when I asked for the recipe, she said it came from PoppyTalk (I'd already seen the post, but not even thought to try glad she did!)

Besides what's included in the original recipe, when I made it last night, I added zucchini, some frozen mixed veggies, and sweet potatoes (if you want to eat it right after making it, try microwaving your potatoes first, then cutting them up and throwing them in to avoid soup-crunch!)...but you could probably add any veggies you like/have around and it would still turn out great!

We had ours over rice, but I want to try it with couscous and naan!

So easy and sooo good!

Friday, February 19, 2010

How to Make a Dog a Sweater: A (Nearly) Pictureless Tutorial:

re-published, with permission :), from my old blog (originally posted 2.18.08) because let's face it, my dog is cute in a sweater, we're all sick of winter (but it's still here and dogs are cold)...

1. Find a dog in need of a sweater. Any old mutt will do, but dogs with owners are usually more appreciative of your effort, although, homeless dogs probably get colder...Your own dog is a great choice too--he already has permission to wear the masterpiece (some people don't want their dogs wearing sweaters--whyevernot, i have no idea.

2. Find an old sweater. Goodwill is good for this, as are bags of clothes being given away by friends. Make sure you like the colors AND that the colors match your dog's hairtone and eyes. Oh, and make sure the people sweater is large enough and of a somewhat durable material. Knit/crochet is best.

3. Unless your dog is really small, cut the sleeves off the sweater and discard (or save for future, undetermined projects--clutter gives you something to do on a rainy day).

4. cut the sweater along one side seam or both, to give yourself a large, flat piece of sweater. Use the back to make the dog sweater unless you like the pattern on the front better. Or use the front--I really dont' care.

5. Use a tape measure to measure around your dog in three places--the neck, the widest part of the chest, and the narrow part below the ribs but in front of the back legs. Measure from his collar to however far back on his back you want the sweater to go--to the tail is TOO FAR!! Cut the sweater piece to this length + a little for hemming, unless you're able to finagle it so you can use the finished edges of the sweater as your collar/hem. Existing ribbing used strategically looks fabulous and professional! Hem top and/or bottom if necessary.

6. Fold the large sweater-back in half, good sides together, and pin the edges together roughly at the three points measured on your dog. For example: if your dog's neck is 16", chest is 19", and narrow part is 17", you should have three pins in a bell-curve-esque pattern on the sweater (at 8", 9 1/2", and 8 1/2". Sew this on a sewing machine, loosely following the shape of your dog that you see in front of you. Make him sit still; this will help. If your dog is agreeable, slide the completed "tube" onto him far enough to see if you got it right--or hold it up next to him if he's not thrilled about being confined in a yet armless sweater. Resew shape of tube as necessary after measuring on/next to dog. Oh, and the seam should go down the tummy of the pup, not the back.

7. Measure the distance between your dogs front legs. This needs to be pretty accurate. Measure the distance from his collar (or however high you made the neck of the sweater go on him) to his "shoulder." Ditto the need for accuracy here. Measure the distance b/w your dog's legs ON the sweater, placing the seam in the very middle. Pin spot on sweater. Next, measure down from the collar to this spot, the # of inches from your dog's collar to his shoulder. If this looks right, cut a smallish hole (smaller than your dog's leg). Repeat on opposite side. Try sweater back on the dog. Make him cooperate at this point.

8. Stretch and pull the arm holes until they fit comfortably around your dog's shoulders. Remove sweater.

9. Hem or whip-stitch around leg/arm holes. You can finish with binding or some other fabric trim--but i just used yarn and whipped it all the way around each armhole. Repeat on neckhole if you did not finish with a hem in step 1.(jump to step 11 if you have a girl dog)

10. Cut a rectangle from the bottom back edge of the sweater. Make it smaller than necessary as hemming it will open it up larger. This is so your dog does not pee on his sweater. This is one of the most important steps. Measure "down there" on your dog, if necessary. Hem loose edges in same manner as legholes.

11. Put the sweater on your dog and walk him around the neighborhood. Everyone will be jealous, even the cats.Please comment if you have any questions; these directions are vague, I know. Or don't, because you probably have no intention of making a sweater for your dog, let alone letting him wear it. Oh wait--that was before you saw this picture!:

(note: I hadn't yet whip-stitched around the arm/leg holes yet, see how they're starting to pull too large? I used a shade of yarn slightly darker than the sweater--it turned out absolutely wonderfully!!)

Overheard @ Goodwill…

grandmother: Because I want you to grow up to be a lady, not a hoochie-momma. That's why.
8-9 year old granddaughter: BUT Grandma…….!

No idea what they were talking about; still super funny...and made up for the lack of treasures to be had at the u-city g-will last night. Thank goodness Salvation Army came through...2 James Taylor records and some adorable wooden candlesticks. Now if only I could find a decent record player....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Once upon a grimey thirfting trip...

I found these!
but they had pleats:so i did this:

Laz likes!Then came the sewing part:

One straight seam.  Seriously, it's that simple (okay, well almost...)  Ironing is an optional step, but since these will hang pretty "bunched" on the rod anyway, I just skipped the ironing part!  Oh, one out the interfacing (stiff layer added to help pleats keep their shape) as you take out the pleats.
Next, cut a slit, fold under, and stitch down a place for the curtain rod to pop in and out (in some cases, you can just undo the outside edge seam, sewing it back in place while leaving a hole for your curtain rod.  In this case, the liner and curtain were folded together in such a way that simply cutting a hole worked much better).
Quick and messy gets the job done if you aren't one of those even-the-parts-that-won't-show-must-look-perfect kinds of people! !:)

I did alter this a bit for the outside end of each curtain as only one end of the curtain rod will show (the husband cut in half a too-short, left over from 3 houses ago wooden rod).  This way, there won't be an extra flap of fabric to cover the non-end-capped end.  Clear as mud?

Oh, and before the "reveal"...the before (not horrible in that I have a special affection for the roman blinds I made when I was 14 or 15 with the help of my grandma...they're just horribly faded and with such dark walls they just get lost in the bright window space)

But these, these POP! (sorry for the lessening picture quality, the sun was getting icky by the time I was finishing these up)

Behold, the after:
Did I mention these go nearly all the way to the floor?!

See, it's magic; you can't even see how the inside ends of these babies stay up (jimmy-rigged 4" piece of wood (1" x 1" ish) nailed into the end of the curtain rod....hole drilled into the bottom, fitted over a nail pounded into the top side of the window frame).
This is the third set of curtains in the apartment house altered just this way.  Anyone have examples to share?! (send me pics and I'll post them for all 3 readers out there!)

AHH...I almost forgot...keep checking the shop; I'll be posting a great pair of vintage curtains (with pleats!) in the SHOP soon!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ah, life is crazy. There's so much I haven't posted....

*a new awesome cabinet for the bathroom
*the BEST (seriously) EVER (no, seriously) curtains for the dining room (thrifted when the baby sister was in town, and just waiting for their pleats to be seam-ripped out and a nice smooth pocket sewn in)
*how to transition (the right) Christmas deco into Valentines adornment for your home
*a beautiful made-by-hand-and-machine which might debut on Etsy if you all like it enough

alas, the computer with all the photos is at school with the husband right now, so you'll just have to believe me (and bounce over to the store to check out all the new stuff while you wait for me to post actual content! Because you're holding your breath, right?!) ;)