Thursday, October 30, 2014

Needle Cushion

As I learn more about my sewing machine, I'm on the look out for small, simple projects, but yet

projects of things that I actually want to make or things that are at least useful. As I was perusing PInterest I came across a short and sweet project for beginners on how to make a needle cushion. This is very similar to a pin cushion, but it has a hard backing on the bottom to keep the needles from falling through and getting lost in the cushion or causing stabbing pain when accidentally squeezed.  The project simply required two rectangles of fabric, thread, a credit card and some Polyfill stuffing.

So I picked out a fabric that I had purchased a couple of years ago for another project that I never got to, grabbed my expired Passport America membership card and finished this little project in about 15 minutes. Now I have a cute needle cushion that is functional and pretty! Next on my agenda, a matching pin cushion, because why buy one when I can make one?

I followed the Needle Cushion tutorial at Shiny Happy World for this project.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Girl's Night Out

Saturday night Christina and I were invited for a girl's night out by our girlfriend Beth. We kicked off the evening with dinner and drinks at our local Outback Steakhouse. Upon walking into the bar area of the restaurant, we saw our friends Lydia and Ben sitting at the booth right behind the one we were going to.

After dinner we all ended up at Ten Pin Lanes for a few more drinks and some bowling. I was horrible at bowling at first, but ended up winning the last game, but we still had a great time.

Such a great time that when Lydia and Ben called it a night, we continued on to R Place Pub to shoot some pool and have a few more beverages. (I was the DD and had my last beverage well before we were done bowling.)

As a summary of the evening: good food, good drinks, great friends, many laughs, new stories made, jukebox music, funny drunk bar flies, out too late.  Summary - Fantastic night out!  :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Decorative Fabric Pumpkin

My second sewing project went MUCH better than the first baby-bib project attempt - so much better it can actually be displayed in my home as a decorative piece, as intended.

I'm a PInterest fiend and I came across this cute Fabric Pumpkin sewing tutorial by Danielle Thompson and had enough of the necessary supplies to give it a try.  It was very simple and the only supply I did not have was the plastic yarn needle, which as Danielle states, would have made this project much easier. I will have to get one of those as I plan to make more of these.

I ended up using an 18" x 9" piece of fabric, which resulted in an ending pumpkin size of roughly 17" around and 7" tall ( including the felt stem ) - a perfect size for decor on an end table or shelf. The fabric I used was a light linen. I don't know who makes the fabric as it came from a rummage box of remnants I purchased. The stem is made of a cream colored felt. I topped it off with an orange shimmery ribbon from my ribbon stash and some autumn artificial berry stems that I swiped from another autumn arrangement I have out for the season.

I like that the fabric I used is neutral and the ribbon and berries can be swapped with other colors and items for different seasons, allowing it to remain as a decorative piece year round.

Fabric Scrap Organization

As I launch into my journey of learning how to sew, only two projects in I have realized I am going to accumulate a lot of fabric scraps that are too small to go back with the original roll. I needed a place in my ever-growing cluttered craft room to keep these scraps accessible and clean, yet out of the way. So I rummaged around the house and found an empty large Pup-Corn dog treat container. Perfect!

I soaked the container in a solution of hot water and Dawn dish soap to get the treat smell out and to help remove the sticker label. I then scrubbed the label residue off with a rough sponge and let it dry. Since it was looking pretty plain and boring I dug into my decorative scrapbook paper and stickers and dolled it up a bit.  Now I have a perfect fabric scrap container that is easy to dig around in and keeps my scraps handy when needed.  And it's pretty to look at, too!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baby Bib Blunders

Saturday evening was a quiet evening at home so I decided to try out my new sewing machine for the first time. I have never sewed on a machine before ( aside from a little in home economics back in middle school, which I remember nothing about ).

I started with a very well done video by Diane on how to thread the bobbin on my specific machine ( Janome 2212 ) and set up my machine to begin a project. I went through the entire video step by step and successfully got the machine set up on the first try.

I then decided to try a small, simple project as my first dry run. I chose a Baby Bib Tutorial from Crafty Gemini. I already had some fat quarters of fabric that I had purchased a few years ago for another craft project that never got finished so I chose a cute pattern and started the tutorial. I didn't do too bad for my first attempt, though I should have chosen a project with more straight edges and less curves as a starting point of learning my machine. I also failed to print the pattern at the correct size so when completed the bib turned out really small, more for a baby doll bib rather than a real human kid.  Ooops.  I also didn't cut my two sides of fabrics precise enough and ended up with a couple of holes where the fabric didn't quite meet up and didn't get sewn together.

This project will be reused as scrap for future projects, but it was a fun way to get to know my machine and give a functional purpose to the project, just in case it worked out. I'm sure my granddaughter, Laila, will be my guinea pig for many items in the near future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My First Sewing Machine

I've been kicking around the idea of learning how to sew for several months now. Not necessarily
clothing, though that's certainly not out of the question down the road, but more from a crafy standpoint.  Things like pillow slips, curtains, placemats, mug rugs, hand bags, and perhaps some quilting once I get the hang of things.  Since I don't do any scrapbooking or rubber stamping any more I am in the process of selling any stamps and supplies worth anything. I decided once I sold enough to cover the purchase of a sewing machine I would make a purchase and start learning. I've now hit that magic number, plus some, and the winter months are approaching, so I made my purchase after much research.

This week I ordered a Janome 2212 sewing machine. It's supposed to be a good entry level machine, but built well and usable for all kinds of projects. I didn't want anything too fancy and I didn't want to jump to an embroidery machine until I figure out the basics first, since they are a lot more money and I don't know how well this is going to go.

The machine should arrive today!  I'm leaving for a Florida vacation with my girlfriends today, but it will be here waiting for me when I return. I'm very excited to start learning and have a ton of projects on my PInterest Sewing board.  Hopefully I like it as much as I think I will.  And hopefully I'm good at least a little bit.  :)

Low Carb Mozzarella Sticks

We love, love, love buffalo wings but have been pining for the finger foods that so often go with them. Pine no more! The hubby has found a way to make low carb mozzarella cheese sticks!  And they are oh so simple - next we'll try onion rings and pickles!


  1. Beat egg in shallow dish.

  2. Dredge string cheese sticks or Babybels through egg.

  3. Roll around in bread crumbs.

  4. Freeze for 30 to 60 minutes to help hold everything together.

  5. Deep fry until golden on the outside.

  6. Serve with ranch, southwestern ranch, marinara or other sauce of choice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Low-Carb "Fat Head" Pizza Crust

Original Recipe from FatHead
One of the biggest downfalls for me of maintaining a low-carb diet was my infinite love for pizza and good pizza crust. With this low-carb, flour replacement crust, it is a downfall no more! You won't even know it's low-carb!  This recipe is for the crust only - add sauce and toppings of your choice.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Flour
  • 2 Tbs Cream Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • Garlic Powder or Salt
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Combine mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in a medium size microwaveable bowl.

  3. Microwave for one minute, stir, and microwave an additional 30 seconds, stir again.

  4. Stir in egg and almond flour.

  5. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking and spread on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. (If the dough is stringy, pop it back in the microwave for  another 20 seconds to re-soften).

  6. Sprinkle garlic salt or garlic powder over the dough.
    Dough before baking

  7. Poke  holes in dough with a fork to avoid bubbles.

  8. Bake for 8 minutes. Poke a hole in any bubbles.  Bake for an additional 4 to 6 minutes or until slightly brown on top.

  9. Add pizza sauce, spices and toppings at your discretion (these will add to carb counts).

  10. Pop back into the oven long enough to warm toppings and melt cheese.

  11. Ooooh and ahhhh over how much it tastes like regular crust pizza! And you don't need a fork like most low-carb pizza recipes - eat with your hands by the slice!
When we make this pizza we put a layer of low-carb pizza sauce (Great Value from Wal-Mart), pizza seasoning (or oregano and basil), pepperoni, red onion, mozzarella cheese, bacon crumbles, black olives and crushed red pepper flakes.  Topping combinations are endless!

Entire Crust: 765 Calories; 55.8g Fat; 55.6g Protein; 11.9g Carbohydrate; 2.3g Dietary Fiber; 9.6g Net Carbs