Tuesday, May 31, 2011

EnVeLoPe SwAp!!

Swap-bot swap: EnVeLoPe SwAp!!
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This one should be fun!

Here is what my partner will find when she gets her package:

I ended up adding a packet of Passover peanut snacks and a few apple tealights after I took the photo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: World's Raggiest Boxer Shorts Edition

This is the story of a pair of boxer shorts. They are cotton with an exposed wide elastic waist that says Old Navy and very soft. They were given to my son but at the time they were a size too big so he didn't want them.

Since I wear hand me down boxers for pajama shorts in the summer I appropriated them. I don't care if they're too big, they're comfortable. They were worn and washed hundreds of times until finally the elastic gave out. No problem, they were too big anyway, right? I simply cut off the elastic, serged the top of the fabric to keep it from unraveling, then folded it down and sewed the fold in place for a very easy casing which I filled with a slim elastic that I tied together at the ends. I wanted to be able to replace it easily if this elastic wore out as well. I planned to wear these for another bunch of years, until they were nothing but threads thank you very much.
Well, the time of the threads is beginning but I'm not ready to let go. So, out come the pinking shears. I cut a couple of patches from a little boy's shorts project gone wrong (the rest of the project went into my box of fabric scraps for Karen's Online Angels quilting projects and the waste into my stuffing bag) and sewed them over the disintegrating areas of the boxers.

You can see the edge of the waistband elastic in this one.

I plan to add patches as needed until there is no more room to patch. ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thought for Tuesday: Rickrack

I love rickrack. My mom used it a lot on clothes she made for me when I was small and I've continued to enjoy it since. While going through a drawer of notions I came across this package of pink metallic rickrack today.

Do you notice the word colorfast on the label? Would you really expect this metallic bit of trim to be colorfast? Well, I wouldn't. It isn't meant, in my world, to be used on clothing that you will wash. It is more a crafty trim item in my world.

Now look more closely:

Notice all the pink staining coming through the label? That was what I saw when I first picked it up. In my opinion, no one should expect this type of thing to be colorfast, so why say it on the label...and then see the bleed right on it? Not the best photograph, I know, but it is reasonably easy to pick out if you try. You can see it a little in the other shot as well. This package has never been wet or abused in any way. I picked it up at a clearance and put it in a drawer, where it has stayed for a few years.

Poor labeling choice, Wrights. I love your products, but this makes me question how truthful you are.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sew, Mama, Sew! May Giveaway Day

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Congratulations, nicmowat!  Check your email when you can, please. 

The Sew, Mama, Sew May Giveaway Day is here! Thanks for clicking through from there to drop in on me. I won a couple of cute things last year and was eager to participate as a giver this year.

Here is what you can win:

You'll receive two of my recycled grocery totes. I make them from all sorts of materials that might otherwise have wound up in the trash - stained tablecloths, curtains that no longer suit our decor, vintage sheets, fabric remnants, even no longer used clothing.

What I think is much nicer about my bags than the ones you buy at the store are that mine are fully washable. Just toss them in the laundry (I drop them in my towel load) and you've got clean bags for every shopping trip. They're especially great for use at the farm - the ones made from tablecloth are a nice heavy cotton that keep the moisture in leafy greens.  At our CSA I bag them and they go straight into the refrigerator in the same bag.  So convenient.

* To enter, please follow my blog and leave me a message letting me know how you're following- in a reader or directly through Blogger.

* I love tutorials, especially ones that help keep something from ending up in the trash and create soemthing useful. For an entry please leave me a link to your favorite tutorial.

* I have been thinking about maybe selling these on Etsy. Do you think $3 each would be a fair price? Tell me in a separate comment.

So you can enter this drawing up to three times, once for following, once for a tute link and once for your opinion.

I will ship internationally.

Please leave your comments by 11:59PM Eastern, Wednesday, May 25th. I will select a winner on Thursday using Random.org and contact them immediately for shipping information.

If your email address isn't available by clicking through your comment, please include your email address or I will have no way to contact you and will have to draw a new winner.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tasty Thursday: Cinqo de Mayo, late report

Late report on my spouse's Cinqo de Mayo meal. I guess the report being late just follows the course, since the meal itself wasn't prepared on May 5th either. It was a day late - I was working on the 5th and got home way after dinner time.

This was so simple to make. We like to buy the guac kits from Trader Joe's. With me being allergic to peppers we simply leave out the peppers they include and add extra garlic. I'm such a garlic junkie and due to a very smart purchase of two pounds of dried garlic cloves at the end of the farm season we have had delicious farm garlic all winter. Never one to let any food go to waste, I save the peppers and use them for other meals, obviously ones that I do not consume.

These were two boneless chicken breasts, bought on sale for $1.99/lb. I remember when I wouldn't buy chicken breast unless it was .99/lb. Now my price point is $1.99. Do I sound like someone's mother or what? But enough reminiscing like an ancient soul.

I poured a tiny bit of olive oil in an oven safe dish and placed the breasts on top. I sliced the peppers up in matchsticks and laid them, alternating colors, on top of the chicken, then dusted with local garlic and onion powders and some freshly ground black pepper.

Cover with foil, cook on 325. I wish I'd had an after photo to show you but as soon as it came out of the oven he dug in. It got rave reviews. Something so simple to prepare yet he talked about it for two days, asking where I got the ingredients, the idea, etc. I have to say, I think the simpler the idea the more interest there is in it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: UnPaper Towels

I haven't bought a roll of paper towels in years. Now don't let me give you the wrong impression - I can't seem to prevent my spouse from buying them for use in his car, but I have not brought a roll of paper towels into the house in probably five years, maybe more.

But instead of buying fabric to make UnPaper Towels with, I like to take the recycling approach. Surprise, surprise, huh? The sweet fall leaves fabric you see here used to be a pair of pajama pants. Yes, it's true, all our old pajamas become UnPaper Towels. It is hard to see in the photo, but the pile on the left is the reclaimed fabric after I cut out all the seams and ironed it flat. The pile on the right is the finished product, serged all around with wooly nylon. I use the serging process to make built in loops at each corner. I use those loops to secure the towels to the paper towel holder over my sink. The towels are in the same place everyone is used to them being. They work for all the same things, only they're much prettier and don't create waste. In fact, for quite some time they are keeping themselves out of the waste stream.

When they become too soiled they get put in the rag bag. Once there they can still be used many more times, until they do eventually get tossed in the trash. But even then I feel good about how much work I've done with them as UnPaper Towels and as rags.

Do you use UnPaper Towels? Do you make them or purchase them?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Hats for Online Angels

Two strand acrylic foldover brim toddler hat made on the red loom. The pink yarn was from the OA Breast Cancer progressive lot auction from a few years ago. I still have a bunch more of that yarn. It is really nice to work with. The multi was from a package of yarn someone sent to me to be used for charity crafting.

Four newborn acrylic two strand hats from the blue loom. The sparkly yarn is in Christmas colors. I got the yarn on sale at holiday time a couple of years ago. These are self-brimmed in a different stitch. In the lower right corner there is a rollover brim preemie hat, also off the blue loom, made from a soft nylon I got in an OA auction lot.

You should visit their auctions when you can, there are great bargains to be found.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quick Pick 5 Package Swap #3

Swap-bot swap: QUICK Pick 5 package swap #3
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Here is what my partner found in their package:

This is what I found in mine:

Are those socks AMAZING or what? I can't wait to wear them. The Post Its are coming to work with me - no more plain boring notes stuck to my desk. The stamp says 'laugh' - I should bring that to work too. ;) I may even share the beads with my daughter. It was such a fun package to receive. What a sweet partner!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Send me a Tote and a Note #3

Swap-bot swap: Send me a Tote and a Note #3
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OK, OK, before you ask why I would send a tote that has Crime Scene Cleanup on it to a perfectly nice lady, let me say that her profile listed quite a few crime shows as her favorites. So in addition to two of my recycled curtain totes I included that one. I hope she gets kick out of it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tasty Thursday: Onion Rings

Now that the Spring holidays have come and gone we have a blast buying up all the Passover Kosher stuff. It's such a luxury to find anything that is vegan and gluten-free on clearance, that we pick up some shelf stable treats even if they're not the healthiest things. It's just once a year, right? These onion rings were really quite tasty. And I got a huge kick out of the bag. Why? Take a look:

Onion flavored onion rings. Who would have thought? ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April Stash Bust - 2nd Annual

Swap-bot swap: April Stash Bust - 2nd Annual!
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Here is what my swap-mate will find in her box. Yes, I said box. There was no way I could fill just a 6x9 envelope. Not that it is a gigantic box, but I'd like to think that at 7x10x5 it is 3x thicker than a stuffed envelope would have been. This requires two photos.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Travel Tip Tuesday: American Express Platinum benefits

Platinum Cardmembers, have you read the recent mailers sent out by AmEx? Have you selected an airline and signed up at Transform Travel? Why would you pass up $200 in airline credits? Even if you don't normally travel with extra bags or do things that incur fees, I think everyone should sign up. I did. I decided that I'd use the credits to do something I don't normally do on planes - watch for-fee movies.

What will you do with your $200?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Follow My Blogger Blog swap #2

Swap-bot swap: Follow My Blogger Blog! #2
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I joined this swap because I really love finding new blogs to follow. Whether you found me through the swap or not, please leave a link to your blog so I can come visit!