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

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pincushion in Blues and Greens

A friend has recently taken up sewing so a pincushion seemed like a good gift for her this Christmas. Like the note cards, it didn't use up too much fabric but it was fun and easy to make.

These prints are a few of my favorites and I'm glad they look so nice together. I probably should have put a few pins in the cushion for the photo... but you get the idea.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainbow Fabric Note Cards

For Christmas gifting this year my goal was to work with what I had. I have way too many craft supplies that I will soon no longer have space for. While this project didn't use up very much fabric, it helped me deplete a good chunk of my blank note card supply.

I liked making these note cards so much before
that I decided to do them again, just a little different. Instead of sticking to one color palette, I used them all! Rainbow style.

I made two sets of six cards each. I hope the recipients like them as much as I enjoyed sewing them.

Oh, and please ignore my dirty windows. That's the desert for ya!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm turning my apartment upside down right now and came across a few projects I don't think I ever shared.

Almost two years ago I took a few pottery classes at Abu Dhabi Pottery. I enjoyed the class and the instructor, but the cost kept adding up. After about three months I decided to call it good.

In all I made six pieces, but these two are the only ones I actually like.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

UAE Cookies

Yesterday was the United Arab Emirates' 40th birthday. I had some frozen cookie dough on hand so I made cookies for a little get together Mike and I attended last night.

I improvised the frosting this time by mixing a dash of vanilla and 3/4 cup powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of cream. (Soymilk would have been my first choice but strangely all I had was the cream.)

I love vanilla refrigerator cookies*. Vanilla cookies with vanilla frosting. I guess that's a bit boring but I love them. Every time.

*I've always used Betty Crocker's recipe from my Mom's cookbook until I moved so far away. Many of the recipes online are missing ingredients (which is really weird) but this one seems to work just fine (even with egg replacer).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cubes of Pesto

I can't remember where I first heard this idea, but I like it.

Make up a big batch of pesto and freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray. Once solid, pop them out and seal the cubes in a freezer safe bag. Now you can have single servings of pesto whenever you want! Perfect for dropping into a bowl of tomato soup.

My basil plants were getting over loaded a few weeks ago so I thought I'd give it a go. Worked like a charm.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Zipper Pouch / Flat Bottom

A friend's birthday was a the perfect occasion to get my sewing machine back out. It had been too long, especially since I have so much fabric sitting idly in my drawers. (And zippers too!)

I decided to sew up a flat bottomed zippered pouch but I elected to follow this tutorial instead of just winging it like I did before.

The lining fabric is one of my favorite prints. I like how the two fabrics look together.

Happy Birthday, Jen!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Last week it was my turn to host Hump Day dinner.

I decided to recreate my favorite sandwich from one of my favorite Portland food carts, The Grilled Cheese Grill. My favorite part of eating at The Grilled Cheese Grill is that you get to eat your food while sitting in a converted school bus! It's such a fun feeling to be eating a childhood favorite on a bus!

Beverage: Soda water with lemon/lime and Capri Suns (you know to go with the grilled cheese!)

Salad: Apple and sunflower seed with honey mustard

Soup: Tomato with homemade pesto

Sandwich: Havarti cheese, tomato, and dijon mustard grilled on a whole wheat baguette

Dessert: Peanut butter chocolate covered bananas

I was laughing at dinner about how all of the foods I prepared don't exactly photograph well. Soup, melted cheese, and lumps of chocolate aren't the prettiest of things, but at least they taste good!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baby Turbans

A few weeks ago I arranged another trade with Julia. I was in the mood for a new header (have you seen it?), and she suggested I make a baby item for her new little girl.

I browsed through a few archives and finally found the perfect project, a baby turban. It sounds silly, but they are pretty cute.

I made a simple pink version and a purple and red version that's a bit more fun.

I found the directions here (which refer to it as a headband, psh!). The turbans themselves are actually made from a pair of tights so they are stretchy and smooth on the baby's skin.

A quick and easy project with pretty cute results.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Last night I hosted my first Hump Day Dinner of the year.

Beverage: Strawberry lemonade Italian sodas, or soda water with lemon or lime

Starter: Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta

Salad: Caprese, fun way to serve but actually provides too much salad per person in my opinion.

Main: Nectarine pizza

Dessert: Chocolate cake, just upside down cupcakes with warm frosting poured over the top

I can't speak for everyone at dinner, but this meal was kind of awesome. I loved the pizza and felt a little sad when the leftovers were finished off this evening. I was also sad when I realized the avocado mixture didn't make it into the fridge. Luckily, I have about a bajillion more cupcakes chillin' in the freezer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Microwave Popcorn

When Molly clued me in that you can make microwave popcorn without a packet of "microwave popcorn," I was amazed. What a cool idea!

Then, the more I thought about it, I became a bit frustrated. Why didn't I know about this before??? It's so simple. It's so easy. And it actually makes a lot of sense. How did those commercial microwave popcorn brands have me so convinced?

All you need is a paper bag (which can be used many times), a piece of tape, popcorn kernels, and of course, a microwave. The rest of the directions are here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


With the start of the school year, not too much is happening over here with cookery and crafts. I've been making a few new flavors of Italian sodas (cherry-lime and strawberry), but I thought it might be too boring to keep sharing essentially the same thing!

I did finally join Pinterest though. I can't say I'm obsessed yet... but I did dream about it all night. Right now I'm just working on pinning my bookmarks so I can actually see all the recipes I've been wanting to make.

Come find me!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Birthday Pie

Mike's birthday was yesterday.

It was the perfect excuse to eat apple pie for breakfast.

I've posted about my favorite pie crust recipe before, but I'll do it again.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup water
2/3 olive oil
pinch of salt*

Mix all of that in a bowl until a ball forms. Divide the ball in half to create the top and bottom. Bake at 425 for about 45 mins, covering the crust until the last few minutes.

So easy.

*I decided to add a bit of salt this time for flavor. I think it was a good choice.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lime Italian Sodas

Last night while waiting for my rental car to be delivered (only took 2 days!), I decided to make lime syrup. I loved the raspberry Italian sodas I made this summer and was eager to make another version... but with fruit that is accessible and cheap in Abu Dhabi. Limes!

To make the syrup I boiled 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar. Then I removed it from heat and added two sliced limes. I let the limes steep for about an hour and strained out the pulp. I sealed the syrup up in an old lemonade bottle so it was ready for me after work today.

Now I'm thinking of other flavors? Kumquat maybe?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Dopp Kit

This project was in my sights all summer. It's a dopp kit. Or I suppose you could call it a toiletries kit, but that's not as much fun.

I followed a tutorial at Purl Bee and then went off in my own direction. The tutorial creates a bag that's not lined or waterproof. A toiletries kit that won't survive a spill didn't seem like a very good idea. To fix that problem I created a liner for the inside. I used iron-on vinyl to make the liner waterproof and hand stitched it in. Now, if something spills inside I can just wipe it out.

I think it worked pretty well. The liner made the shape a bit funky but that will change when it's filled with soaps and shampoos.

I'll be testing it out on my travels this summer.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vegebration Thank You

Ok, this is my last Vegebration related post. But I had to say thank you to this year's hosts, Jenny and Kevin.

We took these photos late after everyone had left. It could have been a 2am thing but playing them back on the camera kept making us laugh. Prime opportunity for another stop motion.

Thank you, Jenny and Kevin!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vegebration Video

Since 5 years of vegebrating is kind of a big deal, we made a little video to commemorate the occasion. Let me just say, setting up a stop-motion shoot in the middle of a party... slightly challenging.

One thing I love/hate about projects like this is that you always think of better/different ways to do it after you finish. Like maybe including some of the guests in the video? I swear, it wasn't just Jenny and me there. We weren't the only ones eating cupcakes and pie.

Thanks to Kevin for doing all the photography and taking my direction like a pro. And grr to vimeo. The synchronization keeps getting messed up during the upload.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vegebration #5

This year's Vegebration (Vegetarian + Celebration) was full of good food and good friends.

This year's soup was a mild black bean and the salad was spinach, mango, and avocado. Kind of incredible. Everything on the table was delicious and well prepared. Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of every dish.

Jenny and I made little flags for people to fill out so that every dish could be proudly labeled.

Custom soda labels were also essential.

I was happy to catch up with old friends and make new ones too. Scheduling was a bit tricky this year and the festivity ended up being on a weeknight. That meant a few friends couldn't make it from out of town, but they were in my heart nonetheless.

5 years later and being meat-free is still one of the best life decisions I've ever made. That feels pretty good.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nectarine Pizza

Jenny and I made this pizza last night. It was pretty good but with a few more tweaks I think it could be really really good. I'm looking forward to making it a few more times and getting it just right.

Fruit on pizza is definitely something I've warmed up to over the past few years. I don't usually like my sweet and savory mixing, but pizza is a pretty good exception.

We paired the pizza with homemade raspberry Italian sodas and Bob Dylan on the record player.

A good night.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Circle Skirt Take Two

I loved my first circle skirt so much, I figured I better make another one while my sister and her serger were still close by.

This time I chose a Denise Schmidt fabric that I like quite a lot. I wish I had a close up shot.

Sewing up this version was a lot faster. The only change I made was to reduce the waist measurement by a few inches so it would hit at my natural waist. We didn't use the tutorial this time but if you're interested, it's here.

My sister did the parts I didn't really want to do. Like fixing my mistakes and sewing the elastic on. It turned out to be a pretty good deal for me. I thanked her by letting her win at rummy.

Thanks for the photos, Jenny!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Circle Skirt

I bought fabric back in April with the intention of making a circle skirt. Didn't happen.

I brought the fabric home hoping to use my sister's serger to get the job done. I was smart enough to rope her into the project as well.

We followed this tutorial loosely but mostly I just did what my sister told me to do. She knew the way. She knew the way so well that I let her finish the job.

I kind of love my new skirt. Nice and breezy but an appropriate Abu Dhabi length.

And don't worry, I thanked my sister with a homemade Italian soda.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Raspberry Italian Sodas

Lemonade and iced tea are usually my favorite summer drinks, but today I was in the mood for something different: Italian Sodas!

They are so simple to make, I never realized.

I made a simple syrup of 1 part sugar and 1 part water, added raspberries, and strained the seeds. Pour about 1/4 cup in a glass, fill it up with soda water, and top off with whipped cream.

Pretty sweet!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Cherries taste better when you pick them yourself using your shirt as a basket.

It's true.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sugar Snap

It's getting a bit late in the season for snap peas but if you can find them I highly suggest you try this recipe from Lottie and Doof. It was the first thing I made when I arrived home this summer.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Hump Day Recipes

The end of the school year was all about surprises. I had to keep so many secrets that sometimes it was easier to just stop talking.

One of the bigger secrets started out as a going away gift for Molly. We knew that she'd miss our weekly Hump Day dinners. Creating a cookbook of our recipes for her to take with her seemed like the perfect solution.

front cover, back cover

Everyone contributed recipes for side dishes, main dishes, and desserts.

Of course, midway through this secret mission, Molly's plans changed! At that point the going away gift turned into a "we're so happy you're not going away" gift!

Compiling the cookbook was a lot of work. I couldn't have done it without the help of the group and Sarah in particular. That being said, the outcome was well worth the effort.

(photos by Molly)

[I used and would recommend the site to others. The software you use is pretty good, although it does have a few formatting bugs that made me want to rip my hair out. Subsequently there are a few formatting errors in the book.]