Sadly, this blog is a bit sleepier than I'd like these days. Pop over here if you'd like to know why.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Chirstmas!

Click through to watch it big!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


The absence of snow has always been pretty standard for my Christmases. With just a few exceptions, it's a pretty green holiday season in the Pacific Northwest. And these days it's a pretty beige holiday season in the Middle East.

So why did I get so obsessed with making snowflakes this year? I even woke up early on a Saturday eager to get out of bed to pick up my scissors. I probably shouldn't have told you that.

I even hosted a snowflake making contest.

I blame this tutorial.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Stitching

Have I mentioned my Hump Day dinner group before? Every Tuesday a few friends and I gather for delicious food at one of our homes. This past week we had our Hump Day: Christmas Edition, and I was so excited to pass out the little secret project I had been working on (and staying up way too late to finish).

Like I hinted before, my amazingly talented friend Julia designed me 6 unique embroidery patterns. It had been awhile since my last stitching, but I fell back into the habit fairly quickly.

I didn't have much of a choice for the tea towels, but I like how each color turned out. The plaid cloths were especially difficult to stitch. I traced the design onto thin paper, stitched right through, and carefully ripped the paper off. A few of the stitches went wonky as a result... but it was my best solution with my resources on hand.

Happily, each design matched perfectly to a recipient:
... Shera made us delicious hot chocolate so the mug went to her
... the loaf of bread to Molly for her creative vegetarian "beef" wellington
... Hannah bakes pies frequently so the pie goes to her

... Sarah baked chocolate cupcakes last year (that Molly sat on in the back seat of my car, which I still find hilarious)
... Jen's strawberry dump cake made her the obvious choice for the strawberry
... and the veggie for me, the veggie of the bunch!

Oh, and in case you're slightly confused... our work week falls Sunday to Thursday, that's why we call Tuesday "Hump Day" and not Wednesday!

Merry Christmas, Hump Day Ladies!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Sewing

Sadly, my sewing machine has been living in its box under my coffee table for far too long. I was worried it was getting a little too comfortable in there, so I pulled it out last week.

I needed a gift for a Secret Santa exchange and I had a feeling the recipient, Sarah, would appreciate something handmade. And if not, she'd probably like the tiny fondue set that I paired with it. And if not, she's certainly like the milk chocolate that was also included!

The fabric is from Ikea. I love the little houses but I'm so over the textile selection in Abu Dhabi.

Unfortunately for Sarah, her and her husband share initials... which surely means Skylar will be fighting for his chance to wear it too.

Merry Christmas, Sarah!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Applets and Pouchlets

I have a secret project in the works that called upon the talents of my go-to design friend. I knew she'd conjure up a wonderful design for me... so I wanted my item to exchange to be something great. Unfortunately, I was not feeling inspired. I was resolved to do something easy that didn't require fancy supplies but looked extra special.

Finally, I found it. At first I was bored with the idea of making another zipper pouch... but this one is different.

There's a ruffle!

I used some fabric I bought on a whim from Daiso (love that place too much, much much). Happily for me, the edges were already surged... making it easy for me to make my own ruffle (instead of reusing as the tutorial suggests). The exterior fabric is from Ikea, leftover from previous projects.

I felt like the pouch needed something extra... a scrap of red felt did the trick.

A few days later I made a cousin pouch in a different color way for a friend's birthday.

It felt good to get the sewing machine out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Required Eating

I think a bowl of homemade soup with homemade croutons should be required eating when returning home from a trip. Comfort food.

... almost as good as sleeping in your own bed after 7 nights in strange sheets.

In other news, I'm back from Nepal.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I love homemade costumes. They're the best. Costumes that require minimal purchases? Those are great too. This year's costume required a piece of foam board, craft paper, yellow poster board, and a brown marker.

Et voila!

French toast! (Accompanied by that one ultra annoying backpacker at your hostel).

If I'm counting correctly this was my third food costume. The first was a candy bar in childhood and an ice cream cone the year before last.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bulgur Chickpea Salad

Do you say "chickpea" or "garbanzo"?

I grew up saying garbanzo, but everyone over here seems to prefer chickpea. Both are nice, I suppose. Last week I made a bulgur salad to use up some left over bulgur I had sitting around. Turns out, it was delicious. The original recipe is here, but I'll write out my changes below:

Added 1 small cucumber sliced into coins
Half the amount of oil
Half the amount of lemon juice

If you add just a bit of (soy) feta, that's delicious too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

World Go Vegan Week

This week, October 24-31, is World Go Vegan Week!

Curious to try out being a vegan but not ready for the commitment? Now's the time!

Check out some delicious vegan recipes at:

And a few of my favorites:

Vegan Zucchini Brownies

Vegan Zucchini Brownie

Bean Dip Provencal

PS: I'm not vegan myself... just a vegetarian walking pretty close to the line.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Bit of Summer

I wasn't in town for Father's Day this past year. Although I had a few books sent to my dad, I wanted to do something more personal for him as well. I included a note saying I'd make him the baked good of his choosing while I was home for the summer.

I had a hunch he'd choose the granola... instead he asked for the same pies I made him last year.

Maybe it will become a Father's Day tradition.

Monday, September 27, 2010

First Forays in Quilting

I have admired modern quilting for a long time. Every time I see a new quilt by Ashley from Film in the Fridge I get inspired to try one for myself. There are so many amazing designs out there to choose from. Feeling a little brave this summer, I took my first little step towards quilting.

When Julia requested placemats in exchange for my beautiful new masthead, I thought this would be the perfect chance. I could make four small little quilts giving me plenty of practice with piecing, quilting, and binding.

In hindsight... not so sure that was a good idea.

I loved piecing each placemat. This phase of the project actually went quite smoothly and quickly. The quilting bit only required straight lines, no problem.

Unfortunately, when it came to the binding... things were pretty horrendous. The vision I had turned out to be ugly. Like, U-G-L-Y. But you know this was only decided after cutting and attaching the binding to all four placemats. Special thanks to my sister for teaching me the proper way to use a seam ripper (what had I been doing all these years???). After the ripfest and the purchase of new binding, the motto became "I don't give a _____!" until the job was done.

Did I mention I was operating on a strict timeline? I finished the placemats the day prior to returning to Abu Dhabi.

It was a high stress situation.

The only redeeming factor was the very gracious recipient who set them to work straightaway.

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Masthead

Did you notice my pretty new masthead? Thank you Julia!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Color, Less Nikon

I always feel a bit weird advertising my camera brand on my strap. Plus, it's just not all that pretty. This quick and super easy camera strap cover tutorial was just the ticket.

My only complaint is the wrinkles in the fabric after lugging my camera around Scandinavia this summer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Luggage Tags

It's a very lonely feeling to be the last one standing at the empty baggage carousel after a long international flight having only collected one of your two checked pieces. And it's a very frustrating feeling to realize that you did not put ID tags on your luggage.

But it's a very happy feeling to have your luggage delivered directly to your door the next day.

In order to avoid repeating a very foolish mistake, I decided to sew up a few luggage tags for my return trip. Originally I planned to use oil cloth and clear vinyl, but ended up using the same material used for reusable shopping bags. The clear vinyl proved too finicky to work with, so it went out the door as well.

I printed out a sheet of address labels from The Small Object onto a thick cardstock to serve as the informative bit. I filled out my details, tucked the paper snugly inside, and attached the tag.

I'm very please to report that the tags survived their maiden voyage to Abu Dhabi, keeping my luggage identifiable the entire ride.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stopping Motion

A highly anticipated goal for the summer was to make a little stop motion film with this lady. With only days to spare we jumped into production. It's amazing how much time and effort goes into what boils down to just a few short seconds. Not to mention all of the scaling back we did during the creative process.

Considering all of our challenges (like working outside on a windy day under a tree pelting you with hard fruit of some kind), I think we produced a pretty cute little film.

Click through to view it larger.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adventure Awaits Apron

When I saw this fabric at Bolt a few weeks ago, I knew it I had to use it for something. It didn't take me very long to decide just what to sew. My friends who were married earlier this summer are heading out on a three month honeymoon through Europe... so an apron featuring travel destinations seemed like the perfect shower gift for the bride.

I didn't complete it in time for the shower... but since I had already made her the picnic sets, I figured that was okay.

I followed the basic measurements from Bend the Rules Sewing and added a quick little square pocket.

The bride liked it... and someone else did too!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Embroidered Pouches

This past spring I had a lovely surprise package of fabric show up in my post box. Two sweet friends from home drove all the way out to the mighty Fabric Depot and picked out fabric in my honor. I was incredibly excited to open that package!

I just had to sew them a little something to say "Thank you!" for their thoughtfulness. I decided to make these pleated pouches from Skip to My Lou. Very simple but still offered a step up in skill from the pouches I made last summer.

Darby picked out the light pastel fabrics.

And Nikki picked these bold prints.

To add more texture and make it all a bit more interesting, I embroidered the design on one side of the pouch.

Thanks again, ladies!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


In search of a new baking adventure, I decided to test out my pretzel making skills. No, not the soft pretzels... I've never really liked those. I'm all about the hard and crunchy kind.

After searching a few blogs for recipes, I came across this one here. It called for a beer bath, but I wasn't up for that this time. I also just used a baking spray on the bites instead of the recommended egg wash. And although it doesn't look like it, I did top the pretzels with sea salt. It's been a few days and the grains have crumbled off.

The next time I bake these I want to experiment with nutritional yeast and make cheesy pretzels. We'll see... it was kind of an all day event!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Last night we celebrated the fourth annual Vegebration (Vegetarian + Celebration)!

The event marks my anniversary with vegetarianism and is my gentle way of encouraging others to make the commitment as well.

Like always, incredible food was on the menu. Everyone brought delicious dishes to share and enjoy. I was giddily hovering over the table in anticipation.

Even the chickens had a good time knowing none of their buddies were up on the table.

Thanks for making it another incredible meal, friends! (And super special extra thanks to the hosts, Ashley and Joel... and to Taune, for coining the term "vegebration").

Friday, July 23, 2010

Picnic for Two

I really like picnics. Food just tastes better when you eat it while sitting on the ground. Since picnics make me happy, I decided I should pass some happiness over to my soon-to-be wed friends. You can never have too much!

Hopefully they will take many picnics together with their new placemat/utensil/napkin rolls.

I really enjoyed sewing this project. First, because it's always more fun to sew for the ones you love, and second, because it was easy but involved enough to keep me interested. I think I'd even like to make myself a pair...

I looked at a few different rolls before deciding to read through this tutorial. The brown stripe on the outside I added myself to break up that big chunk of tealy blue. I like it.

So did the bride.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hanging Bits

One of my loveliest friends is getting married this summer. We had her bridal shower tea party this past weekend. My job was to think of some sort of decoration.

My first thoughts went to this link of colorful goodness. The Matron of Honor gave her approval and I spent the night before slicing and sewing paper.

I can't lie, the mobiles looked pretty awesome during the shower. The photos don't capture it.

And I'm just going to pretend that they didn't start dropping one by one as the clock ticked on...

Look, it's me and the bride!