Monday, June 30, 2008

When the Moon Hits Your Eye... Burda 7822 Young Fashion Teen Jumpsuit

I'm sure you can just imagine L's face!

At the fabric store, the cute Alexander Henry print Tsukiyo sleeping owls were what you saw --- and we thought the oriental style print would be a good pairing with the slightly oriental style pleated legs of View B 7822.

I did add 1 3/4 inches to the middle above the waist adjustment line and an extra inch at the shoulder. If I were to make it again, I would move and combine that inch to 2 3/4 and then shorten that same amount at the leg length adjustment line to get that cute length.

The problem with 7822 is not the pattern itself, but finding the right fabric. You need a solid (always take a cue from the pattern photo - if Burda shows a solid, stay away from a larger print.), with a good weight. Shirting fabric is too light, as I discovered during the trial run earlier. Maybe a nice washed, soft linen? The suggested fabrics are cottons and linen blends. With the dearth of fabric stores and fabric options, unless you have the perfect fabric and right height (I think you need to be at least 5' 10" to wear this and L's over 6 feet tall), this is going to be doomed. It is also a quirky, trendy style -- L thought she would like this, but it turned out differently than what she expected (even without the moons) and "not her. " C'est la vie - stepping outside your comfort zone is the fun and sheer entertainment value of fashion! Everytime we step up to the sewing machine it's a whole new game.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Kenny Loggins, "Nobody's Fool" 4:18

Chilled Red Pepper Soup - Slow Cooking Thursday Crockpot Challenge

This was from the June 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine, page 202. Click here for the recipe.
First, you should really like red peppers, and you may not be as fond of them for awhile after trying this. And you better have a strainer ready. It sounded promising, but it looks like ultimately what's left over will go down the drain, hopefully not clogging it.

Despite the Kitchen Aid immersion blender, there were still sticks of rolled pepper skin found hidden the next day. Ick. It is supposed to be served chilled overnight. Do that, as warm it tastes awful - awful!. I strained it and will try a little again later today...third time's the charm, right? But I'm not optimistic and I won't be adding this to my recipe notebook.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sneak Peek at this week's Slow Cooking Thursday & Crockpot Challenge

Yes, this same skillet pan did pull double duty this morning. I love it but it is is so big and awkward, I didn't want to go two rounds wrestling it back into the cupboard. Besides, these red peppers from Costco weren't long for this world. The red ones are always the first to go.

Chocolate, it's what's for breakfast!

Via Chocolate Chip Pancakes! Here's our current recipe, modified by several along the way over the years.

2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart mix
1 egg
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Stir ingredients until blended, use a 1/4 cup measure and pour onto hot oiled skillet or griddle. Cook until bubbles break on surface, turn and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Makes 15-20 pancakes, depending how many are offerings to the pancake goddess. Seriously, I make them only 2-3 at a time. Any more and the goddess gets them.
You can freeze the extra, use within a month for a fast weekday morning breakfast. Freeze between sheets of wax paper and nuke for a minute or two depending upon your microwave.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Which Burda Pattern am I Sewing Today?

Burda 7822 - A jumpsuit for L. I'm combining Views A and B - the pleated bottom of View B with the bodice and two front pockets of View A. I made a trial run and found I had to lengthen the upper part 1 1/2 inches. I'm playing it safe and adding 2 1/2 inches, as I can easily adjust the difference in the shoulder seams before finishing.

I think everyone has a jumpsuit fashion cycle in their teens - here's mine circa 1976 --

Yum! Blue Diamond Natural Vanilla Bean Almonds

I saw the advertisement and found these at HEB for $3.59. They had three of the four varieties (no non-salt, odd?). These taste great! Not sicky-sweet, more like French Vanilla, satisfying your crunch and sweet tooth needs. 24 of them/1 ounce has 160 calories, 14g total fat, 1g sat fat, 25 mg soldium, 190mg potassium, 7g total carb, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 6g protein.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Make It Mine - down for the count

Not only is Make It Mine the magazine ceasing publication, but the plug is also being pulled on their website and cool blog. So hurry on over there before June 30. Thank you to Sharon, for letting me know.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's (and Tomorrow's) Favorite iPod Workout Song

Mudcrutch, "Scare Easy" 4:34

I might as well post tomorrow's workout song, too, I love this CD!

Mudcrutch, "The Wrong Thing to Do" 4:09

That's Tom Petty! Be sure to download the bonus track version for $13.99 from iTunes. You'll get two videos (for this song and "The Wrong Thing to Do") "Special Place" is the bonus track. (Yes, you'll want it. Just pony-up the $2.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Independence Day Sale - July 3/6
Vogue patterns - $3.99
McCalls patterns - $1.99
50% off notions, interfacing, sewing and quilting cutting tools

July 10/12
Buttterick patterns - $1.99

July 17/19
Simplicity patterns - $1.99

Penzeys - Free Tuscan Sunset Italian Seasoning Coupon Code

The newest issue of Penzeys One has a coupon for a free 1/4 cup jar of Tuscan Sunset Salt Free Italian Seasoning. If you are ordering online, the code is 16539C. Offer expires August 31, 2008.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Coldplay, "Viva la Vida" 4:04
(Probably a little late to the dance with this one, isn't it on everyone's iPod by now? My yoga teacher even uses it in class!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Netflix Stars - The Comeback

4.75/5 stars Finally! A Netflix we can't wait to get the second helping/next DVD. L and I loved it, T didn't. We couldn't get over how much we liked Lisa Kudrow's wardrobe and how the colors just worked for her. Then again it is from HBO and the Sex and the City's Michael Patrick King. Once you get past the first episode-pilot, it gets much better and sucks you in. The stepdaughter is Luke's daughter from Gilmore Girls - quite a 180!

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Lenny Kravitz, "Where Are We Runnin'?" 2:41

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Burda 8316 Young Fashion Teen View B Pants with View A Pockets

Repeat winner - this time Burda 8316 View B with the patch pockets of View A. I liked the pockets - they are self-lined and the top turns into a belt loop. L picked out an irridescent clear button (La Mode "Crystal" #47224) for the closure - we skipped the drawstring - and I kept the "Sour Apple" Maxi-Lock serger thread left in the serger from 7804 and 7802 to add a little fun to the seams and edges of the black and white print.

Garden Update - Plumeria

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Felt Up at Jo-Ann's

The first time, I attributed it to a hyper clerk with a fiber fixation, but then it happened again yesterday, at another Jo-Ann's!

Apparently when you buy buttons or patterns or thread, AND buy fabric - it sets off their suspicion alarms, even if you directly walk 4 feet from the cutting table to the register.

The first time, hyper clerk literally patted down my fabric--
Yesterday, the clerk actually opened up my folded fabric--

Both times I just gave them a look, more incredulous than angry. Next time, I'll say something. Evidently someone has sold their soul for a card of buttons. Perhaps the new shoplifting profile, at Jo-Ann's at least, is a 40-something female...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sewing Hang Ups

Finally took down the preschool cork board and carbon-dated the stuff I had tacked on there at least back to L's toddler years. This looks much nicer (The Board Dudes, found at Target).

The Dog Days of Netflix continue

Fool's Gold - at least we let this one play through, hoping it would get better. Yes, nice abs, Matthew, and pretty scenery - but it is a snore bore. Suffice to say proof Matthew and Kate don't have the longevity pairing of Tom and Meg. 2/5

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry -- Not as offensive as you might think, but still a little, more on the silly side... What was fun and also kept it in the DVD player was to see all who appeared in it -- including Richard Chamberlain!? Check Special Features, many were not credited. 2.5/5

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Dwight Yoakam with Buck Owens, "Streets of Bakersfield" 2:49
Just Lookin' for a Hit

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

After the storm clouds

Right before sunset, facing East...

Kraft Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is from the recent Summer 2008 Food & Family Kraft Foods magazine, page 29. For a free subscription (and coupons, too!) go to their website

Our family rating - "Um, it's OK" (deciphered - we're hungry and we'll eat this, what's for dessert?)

I liked the cream cheese, but subbed the 1/3 less fat version. I thought it was a little heavy on the cumin, I would cut it back to 1/2 teaspoon. To my horror when stirring it all together, it started to resemble tuna fish and looked so unappetizing. Too white, too deconstructed. And also too dry. I popped open a can of chicken broth and tried to smooth it out a little, but it only looked worse! Without a backup plan other than PBJ, I valiantly carried on. Then I used the Heart Healthy/Low Fat tortillas, and while better for you, cardboard is more flexible. So I doused those with some chicken broth, and then before popping into the oven, poured more over them, topped with cheese and covered the pan with foil, hoping heat and steam would fix it all.

If I make it again, I would use longer pieces of chicken, perhaps even more dark meat, cut back on the cumin, use thinner and smaller tortillas and keep that can of chicken broth handy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

One Month From Today ---

B-Limey Green Plaid!

Crazy fun combination for summer with Burda repeaters 7804 (top) and 7802 (pants). I used scraps of the plaid as the bias finish on the armholes and neckline (which in real life is the same shade lime green in the pants, it just didn't photograph well). And besides black fishnets (that would be a whole 'nother blog!), what other way to cover 45" long legs than in plaid?

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Juice Newton, "Queen of Hearts" 3:26

Netflix (no) Stars - Semi-Pro and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

I am embarrassed to admit they were in my queue, we wasted 15 minutes of our time, and we couldn't drop them in the mailbox fast enough. These have to be the worst movies we've seen all year. Awful! I don't even want to post their DVD covers...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Free Jar of Penzeys new BBQ 3000

And this is for the 1/2 cup glass jar worth $5.39! The store coupon was attached to the current mailed catalog, "Summer of Q 2008" I just received yesteday; and the previous catalog, "Grilling Time 2008" had a bunch of recipes using it. Here's a link to the recipes. Call to get on their mailing list for these catalogs (800/741-7787). Or you can order it free online with coupon code 20251C. Offer expires August 3. I also like to add 3-4 teaspoonfuls to one can of tomato sauce, a dash of liquid smoke and a dash of celery seed to make my own BBQ sauce. You'll never hit the bottle again!
Update 8-24-08 -- I've gone back to the Penzeys Barbeque Seasoning. I like it better combining into a sauce. I think the BBQ 3000 is better as a rub and for grilling.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Martha Stewart on iTunes!

Martha has free video podcasts on iTunes! They range from 2 1/2 minutes to just over 14 minutes. There are 27 podcasts for June, focusing on Father's Day, Graduation and 4th of July recipes, crafts and party ideas. Pick and choose, or grab them all.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Blondie, "One Way or Another" 3:36
The Best of Blondie

Over the past couple of years, I've seen this lady working out on the treadmills and in the weight machines area. She's older, but I had no idea how old - I pegged her at early 60's at the most, and looking very good. Today overhearing locker room chat a few aisles over, she was talking to another older lady, who I've seen swimming and doing water exercises (the treadies look out over the pool). Imagine my shock (and motivation) when they started discussing their ages - swimming lady - 80! workout lady - 78! and the trips they take - 80 year old - South Africa last year, 78 year old - annual trips Argentina. Perhaps it's good genes or a combination of good genes and taking care of what you've got and still have working. After the younger left, I started chatting with with the other lady and expressed my admiration they both looked so good and not their age, and how I hoped I could someday attain their grace and attitude. She said no problem, she herself only started working out at the age of 70! So lesson learned today - it's never too late to start and stay the course.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Burda 7802 View C - Pants

These Burda 7802 pants were exactly what I was looking and sewing for - easy and fabric-versatile. As mentioned earlier, the drawings and catalog photo do not do 7802 justice. These were more fitted and less baggy around the waist/hips/butt than pictured. Sometimes you just need a narrow-ish, straight-legged, non-lumpy and comfy pant to wear underneath tunic or untucked-in tops. I sewed these as-is lengthwise, so they do run long. They also sewed up in less than one hour. Yay! I'll be making these again - in fact, I've got two more cuts of fabric set aside for them.

Netflix Stars - Kings Go Forth

4/5 stars -- I saw the "trailer" for this on TCM and they made it sound good. An entertaining way to wile away a couple of hours on a hot day inside with the A/C and a bag of coca-cola gummi candy. (Gotta postpone that blood test again!)

Crockpot Challenge and Slow Cooking Thursday - Split Pea Soup

This is a combination of many different recipes, including Mable Hoffman and Martha Stewart and me!

1 pound package green split peas, rinsed
1 ham bone
2 carrots, diced
9 cups of chicken broth, or water with 4 1/4 teaspoons Penzeys Chicken Soup Base
a few shakes of California Seasoned Pepper or regular black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried fennel
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Combine all ingredients in 5 quart crockpot. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours (check at 6 hours if your c/p is fast and peas look mush-able). Remove bay leaf and bone, and pick off any edible-looking ham pieces, set aside. Use an immersion blender to puree. (Or you can process in a regular blender). Keep or return to the crockpot on Low an additional 1/2 hour if desired. This also freezes well in quart sized Zip-Loc baggies - stack and freeze flat on a plate to save space.

Jo-Ann's Firefly Frenzy sale - June 15/21

A few of the deals --
Simplicity patterns - 2/$3
50% off thread and buttons
50% off Red Tag fabrics
50% off interfacing by the yard
50% off sewing and quilting cutting tools (the price range is from $2.99 to what the heck costs $162.99?!)

Latest from Hancock - Project Runway Fabric

Some of the Sunsational Savings Sale items starting today through Sunday, June 15 --

99 cent McCall's patterns
50% off buttons and sewing machine needles
$1.77 Maxi-Lock serger cone thread

And also on sale through June 18 per the circular, I didn't see the rounder in the store, 30% off Project Runway prints by Robert Kaufman, regular price $8.99 (!) sale $6.29. Shades of brown, turquoise, paprika, salmon done in zippers, safety pins, pins, "Make It Work", notions and models. I have no idea what you would do with them. . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Netflix Stars - The Other Boleyn Girl

4.5/5 Even with historical inaccuracies, and a little squirmy towards the end, this was still a good movie. And L swears that the "B" necklace Anne is wearing is similar to Betty's in Ugly Betty!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Second chances - Burda 7802

Sometimes you just have to shake your head at some of the Burda photos in the catalog and website. I passed over Burda 7802 many times, as I'm sure others have, too. I mean, look -->

But take a second look at the technical drawings...
Perhaps a sum of the parts is greater than the whole - a dress, a top, pants. And the seaming and fabric opportunities. Potential therein.

I'm game, I'll take the chance. I loved how Burda 7804 turned out and it's become one of my favorite summer tops.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Ma Ya Hi (Numa Numa Mix) 3:40
Dan Balan, Ultra: Workout 01
(it's the first one on the list if you search under Ma Ya Hi on iTunes)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Burda 7966 View B - Circus Capris

Let's just say Burda 7966 may be better suited for the shorts view. Before I made the longer version, I wanted to check the fit first with less fabric capris in View B.
T said, "These look like circus pants!" Uh, back up the train there - "You think these are clown pants?" "No, circus pants" Okaaay. "Well, they look very patriotic," he offered, realizing he is on the couch and I am standing in the way of a quick exit, verbally and physically. L is rolling on the floor, speechless with laughter.

It may have been the length - I sewed them as is out of the envelope, not a flattering length on me and they looked longer on the model. Maybe she has short legs? Or perhaps the fabric - which was a striped pleat-y cotton with some body, probably meant for shirting fabric instead.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Kenny Loggins, "Vox Humana" 4:14

Netflix Stars - Scoop

0/5 This only just reminded me why I don't like Woody Allen movies with Woody Allen in them. Glad we bumped up to 4 at a time with Netflix for the summer!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Burda 7966 View C - Shorts -- Triple Play!

Here's the third one of this short series (click here for the first post/first pair). I used a tie-dye print fabric for the casing to showcase the heart colors. This pattern is definitely going into the TNT Hall of Fame in the shorts category!

In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight on the USA Network debuted last week and we loved it. Catch the new episode at 9 PM (CDT). Lesley Ann Warren is a hoot, and Cristian de la Fuente from Dancing with the Stars is hot!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Meerkat Manor, The Next Generation begins tonight!

8 CDT/9 EDT on Animal Planet!

Garden Update - Cleome

Cleome "Sparkler White" bloomed earlier this week for the first time. I like it because the blooms hang around and aren't a one-shot. (Cool photo effect due to A/C cooled camera going outside into heat and humidity!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Burda 7966 View C - Shorts, Part 2

Burda 7966 shorts, Part 2 -- with contrast casing in black linen.
These shorts are also frugal with fabric - you only need 1 yard of 45", not the 1 1/2 yards stated on the envelope.

Garden Update - Figs and Bananas

"Club Fig" - the birds fly by daily to check on the progress

Yes, we have some bananas --

Bobbin Breakdown

Thank goodness it happened today instead of during the construction of L's volunteer khakipants Tuesday night! Per "Peggy's School of Sewing Machine Repair," I'm hoping it is the bobbin case. I noticed when I changed thread colors this morning, the bobbin case didn't click in and then after stitching about 3 inches and having it jam with thread barf on the underside...WTH? My machine never does that in the middle of sewing. At the beginning if I'm not careful to make sure the thread is under the presser foot it will happen but not mid-seam. So of course, what do I do? Rethread and try again, with the same result. I think after almost 20 years of taking the bobbin case in and out, the spring would wear out eventually, even on a Viking Husqvarna. I was able to find a bobbin case and I'll be able to pick it up tomorrow morning; I can finish hemming L's shorts by hand and cut out the other pair tonight, but still - I hate the feeling of not being able to use my machine - now, today, tonight!

Update 6-6-08: It turned out to be the bobbin case after all - whew! The replacement one fit and stitched perfectly.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

The Weepies, "All This Beauty" 3:17
Sex and the City Original Soundtrack

Slow Cooking Thursday and Crockpot Challenge

Easy! Wrap ham in foil, pour 3/4 cup water in bottom of crockpot and cook on Low 4-6 hours. I'm able to fit the butt cut ham better than the shank into the crockpot. The shank is usually cheaper, but this time Kroger's sale price was only 10 cents per pound different between the two and I was able to find a smaller 7 pounder. It just fits in 5 quart Big Blackie.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Netflix Stars - Square Pegs

2.25/5 - Some memories are best left in the past. I enjoyed this show back in the early 80's and looked forward to the DVD arrival last week, but it didn't age well. L and I tried to watch it. The laugh track was distracting. The so trendy at the time Valley Girl cadence of Tracy Nelson's character went right over L's head - "Why is she talking like that?!" We managed to watch the first episode - "It will get better, it was just the pilot," to L's fast-forwarding through the second and by the time "Pac Man Fever" started, she said, "I can't take it anymore!" The series was loaded with surprise guest appearances. Give it a try for your own nostalgia purposes, but it's just not appealing to the current teen generation.