Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Air Travel & Medications

Did you know that medications in their original pharmacy containers are exempt from the TSA's 3-1-1 regulations? Check tsa.gov for more information.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tasty Thursday: Another Variation on Chickpea Salad

I've decided not to call this 'Mock Tuna Salad' any more. First, because there's nothing mocking about it, the stuff tastes great. And second because why promote the eating of fish in any way, even if just using the name of a fish dish to describe a delicious, vegan dish.

This variation has the usual can of TJ's chick peas and Vegenaise. The greens are CSA salad mix. I'm trying to go easy on the salt lately because I'm so darned addicted to it so I used granulated onion instead. And the new ingredient?

Flor de Izote in brine. Yum. Adds a nice tang and just a bit of crunch. I saw a big jar of it in the International section of our little local market and thought it looked interesting. At $5.49 the jar is a bit pricey but I thought it was large enough to last quite a few meals so I gave it a try. I'm glad I did!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: My First Reverse Applique

I'm very excited about this adventure! So excited that as you can see there are two posts today and I took quite a few photos of this project. I wasn't able to decide which to use so you've got a Photobucket slideshow.

The white, short sleeve shirt was such a favorite of mine that around here it is known by name - Midvale School for the Gifted. It was saved in a drawer for (mumble, mumble) six years (mumble, mumble) because I loved it so much I knew I could eventually find a way to wear it again. Midvale had two major problems - it was a 2X, and praise God I am no longer a 2X, in addition to it having quite a few stains on it. The neckband was discolored from age. Funny enough, in the process of remaking these shirts I found that the back of the print is stained too but luckily it does not show through to the front. You can see that stain in the slideshow.

The second shirt is a Large and while I'm a large in Ladies' garments, I am apparently not a Large in Men's long sleeve t-shirts. So it is a little wide around the middle and the shoulders are too big. Being a plain, not well fitted shirt, it wasn't getting much wear. I wanted to resize the shoulders, but the sleeves, despite how large the shirt is, come just to my wrists. Because I am often very cold in the winter I need the length of the sleeves so until I have the patience to lengthen them while taking in the shirt overall, I'm going to leave it as it is. Due to said coldness I generally dress in quite a few layers so the extra space is good for the wintertime layering. When it starts to annoy me I'll adjust it some more.

There were two graphics on the shirt, the large main one on the chest, and a smaller one near the hem, front left. I like the look of shirts with a little graphic at top center back so I placed the smaller graphic there on the project shirt. The large graphic went back to the same place on the new shirt as it was on the original.

The color of the shirt to be appliqued said Frankenstein to me so I wanted to make a Frankensteiny stitch for the project. Good thing - because at first I forgot to change to a ball point needle. It was definitely looking Frankenstein-like by the time I figured it out. But I did eventually catch my error. Since I was going for Frankie anyway, I didn't pick too much of it out. The stitch is my machine's smallest straight stitch, layered next with the smallest zig zag and topped with the largest zig zag. On the front it is flawless. The back has remnants of my experimentation. If it begins to annoy me I'll pick more of the non-ball point needle stitch out.

In the true spirit of Waste Not Want Not, I made pillows for our guinea pigs out of the short sleeves from the white shirt and the panel I cut out from the green one in order to expose the applique. They're stuffed with the other leftover bits of the white shirt.

I love how it turned out and know I will wear it quite a bit now that chilly season has set in.

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Bathmat Edition

As you can see from this photo, our bathmat had quite a large area that had turned to nothing more than strings. The towel next to it was fine, with the exception that the sides were unraveling. I can't remember where I saw the idea of a bathmat woven from towels but I knew these two items were destined to become one.

If anyone reading knows where I found my inspiration please comment, I want to credit the person whose idea it was originally.

Once I had all the strips cut I stitched them in place across one end horizontally and one vertically then wove them into each other, then began anchoring each strip down between the weaves. The first couple of rows I sewed without pinning. I started to get frustrated at the weave slipping out when I worked it in and out of my machine so I took to pinning it.

Then I got tired of pinning and repinning every time something shifted, so I went back to no pins. I felt like it was a lot of work for something so simple, but what it came down to was it was quite a task for my little quarter century old Kenmore. I love my machine dearly, it has been quite the workhorse but two or three thicknesses of fluffy towel and a thick bath mat are just too much to ask of it. I really need to learn more about heavy duty machines because I should eventually add one to my lineup.

As you can see from the photo, it is not quite perfect but it sure is nice. Thick, soft and will keep the tootsies warm this winter.

Two favorite things about this project:

How soft and pretty this turned out.

Hearing the following conversation going on in the living room:

(Phone Rings)

Kid: Hi Dad


Kid: She's in the office. (My sewing room is also the home office & library.)


Kid: Sewing a new bath rug out of the old bath rug and a towel.

Now, you probably have to love crafting as much as I do to be so pleased by this, or at least know how matter of factly she made the last statement as though her father should know if I was in there SOMETHING was being remade into something else.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Passport Cards

Traveling to an international destination by air? Make sure to have your Passport book. Passport cards are only acceptable for travel by car or ship, and then only to limited destinations. Be smart Be prepared. Always take along your Passport when traveling. You don't want to get to the airport and find you haven't got the proper identification in order to travel to your destination.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tasty Thursday: Spaghetti Squash

Delicious for any time of the day, this is CSA share spaghetti squash, topped with TJ's edamame hummus and a couple of shakes of San-J Peanut Sauce. Yum.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Torn Loom Knitted Hat

I made this hat from some yarn I despise working with because my Mom asked me to. It was a battle to loom and Mom only got a few wears out of it before my lack of coordination with the yarn while constructing it caught up with her, snapping a stitch which obviously caused a big tear in the hat. I love Mom but there's no way I can battle this yarn sufficiently to make it a hat again.
As you can see I've frogged the hat, wound the bits into balls and have some left over that will go in my 'stuffing bag' which itself is a post for another day.

I plan to use the recycled yarn for the brim of a new hat for Mom, the bulk of which will be made with much friendlier to work with wool, as opposed to this synthetic chenille.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Lap Infants

Children under the age of two years may travel by air on an adult's lap. Be prepared to prove the child's age with a birth certificate or passport as if in the airline's opinion the child appears to be over the age of two you will be required to purchase a seat for the child at the airport. FAA regulations require everyone two and older to occupy their own seat. That means that if your child turns two while you're traveling they must have their own seat for the portion of the trip that occurs after their birthday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sometimes I just can't believe how lucky I am. Thank you, God, for all the blessings, tiny and huge, You continue to provide every day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Paper napkins

Grabbed a quick meal out somewhere? What do you do with the wad of napkins the eatery stuffed into your takeout sack?

Although I eschew their use, I do occasionally end up with some paper napkins. Rather than tossing them when I'm done with the meal-on-the-go I store them in my car for quick clean ups, as tissue substitutes, or to clean sunglasses on the run.

How about you? What uses should I remember for next time I come into a supply?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Hyatt Place Orlando Airport Northwest

This is a nice, moderately-priced property. While the focus is business, it is also family-friendly. The rooms were clean, comfortable and well-equipped. The lobby area is comfortable and airy.

There is the standard free continental breakfast, which you can supplement by ordering quick service items such as eggs, bacon and breakfast potatoes for an additional, but very reasonable fee. Ordering is done by kiosk, located in the breakfast area. There are food options for other times of the day as well.

The property is well lit, has adequate parking and offers a shuttle which was staffed with pleasant folks knowledgeable about the area.

The rooms are set out as a mini-suite, bed and sitting area separated by a floor to ceiling divider which runs about a third of the length of the room. The sitting area is open to the desk/kitchenette area, all of which are well-proportioned and spacious. The vanity, off the sleeping area, has plenty of counter space and is separated from the toilet and tub/shower area by a door.

When looking for a nice place to stay near MCO I will definitely visit here again.

Photo: The living room area of our accommodation.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Made It to Wardrobe Refashion!

On my 3rd try I finally made the cut! You can see my first post here!

The Pledge

I, Crunchysews, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed, Crunchysews.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Four

One of the fun advantages to repurposing sewn goods is the shortcuts you can glean by reusing features of the original item. A few years ago my mom gave me some decorator curtains she was no longer using in her house. I've used bits and pieces for different projects, but still had four large panels, plus tiebacks and a couple of valances.

They were very soft lined curtains. The fabric seemed just right for the pillowcases I've been working on and the bonus was that I reused the original deep hem for the pillowcase hem, saving me several steps in the construction.

I plan to use the liner - original hem intact - to make myself a muslin of a blouse. If the muslin works I'll likely dye it and wear that as well as the projects it is a test for. Now to figure out what to do with the gorgeous pin-tucked tiebacks. Any ideas?

Photo 1: Curtain hem now pillowcase hem.
Photo 2: Tied up with a ribbon scrap.
Photo 3: Boxed and ready for donating along with others made from stash fabric.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday

Many folks don't know that when you book airline tickets through a travel agency the agency does not share your contact information with the air carrier. This includes the online agencies. Why is this a negative, you ask?

Let's say you've booked far in advance. Airline schedules change periodically. In this example you've purchased a ticket on the 10pm flight. For whatever reason - airport curfew changes for instance - that flight now departs at 8pm, but without your contact information the airline can't notify you. The only number the carrier has is of your agent, who is notified, but more often than not, does not pass that information on to you. While one should always confirm their flight details the day before, many folks don't. That results in the passenger showing up at the airport and finding out they've missed their flight. And if it is the last flight of the night....well, you get the picture.

Please, if you've purchased air transportation through a travel agent, call the carrier and have them add your phone number to the record.