Friday, April 27, 2012

KCWC - Spring 2012 v2

Today I finished up another dress for Sprout as part of Elsie Marley's Kid's Clothing Week Challenge.  She's newly in love with her American Girl doll, who is called either Julia, Juliette, or Kazzi, depending on the day.  I decided to make matching Popover Dresses for Sprout and her doll. The dresses are going to be a gift for Sprout's fourth birthday in July, so I don't have a photo of her modeling her new duds. 

The bodice is made using some DS Quilts fabric and the contrast is a vine print that I ABSOLUTELY DIE FOR that I picked up at Superbuzzy earlier this month.  It couldn't be a more perfect match.  Sprout's dress features a bit of yellow ric-rac and her doll's dress is identical except white lace replaces the ric-rac.

I think between now and July, I'll add some Velcro to the doll's dress straps so that Sprout can dress the doll herself.  Beyond that, it's a perfect pattern.  As with all Oliver + S patterns, it's well written and the finished dress is simple and classic. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thumb Print Cookes

My husband has been traveling for business this week.  He'll be back tonight, but I've been missing him in his absence.  Earlier this week, I promised someone that I'd pass along my recipe for Chocolate Thumb Print cookies - they don't call for eggs and she had mentioned that she was baking egg-free lately.  These cookies were my husband's favorite as a kid - he had an egg allergy and this cookie recipe was in high rotation in his home.

I always smile when I come across this recipe.  It was one of the first things I ever made for my husband when we were dating.  We'd been together for about 6 weeks and I was head-over-heels in love with him.  When he happened to cc me and his mother on some random e-mail, I began plotting a way to ingratiate myself with his mom.  I ended up sending her a private e-mail asking for one of my sweetie's favorite recipes to surprise him with.

She sent back this cookie recipe and it did the trick.  I scored mega bonus points with the woman who would eventually become my mother-in-law and after settling down from the mental freak-out that I'd been cavorting with his mom, my sweetie was also pleased.

Anyway, after digging up this recipe, I decided I had to make a batch for his arrival this evening.  They made a delicious mid-afternoon snack for me and I think he'll enjoy them tonight after a long week of food on the go.  That is, if there's any left by the time he gets home.

Chocolate Thumb Print Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. brown sugar
1.5 c. flour
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

powdered sugar

3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. corn syrup

Mix butter, salt, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add flour and milk until batter comes together.  Add chips.  Shape into 1" balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm and then make a thumbprint in the center.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 or until slightly golden.  [I like to re-press the thumbprint while still hot.]  Cool and then roll in powdered sugar.

Melt chocolate, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla in a double boiler.  Heap into center of cookies and cool to set. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCWC - Spring 2012 v1

Are you familiar with the bi-annual Kid's Clothing Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley?  I love it - it's always the kick in the pants I need to start working on a summer (or winter) wardrobe for my kids.  The challenge is to sew kids clothing for at least one hour each day for a week. We are two days in and I've put together this lovely twirly dress for Sprout. 

When we saw this Popsicle print by Lisette at JoAnn Fabrics a few weeks ago, Sprout was smitten.  She immediately asked for a popsicle dress and I knew I wanted to make a twirly dress for her - the girl loves to spin.  This dress is made by combining two patterns - the Henny Penny dress that the lovely and talented Ramona created, and the twirly skirt tutorial from This Mama Makes Stuff.    Apart, they look like this and this, and both are lovely, but they are especially fun combined. 

That said, I don't think I'm going to add the twirly bottom to Ramona's pattern again.  I love her dress as the pattern is written and the dress really does have a full enough skirt to begin with.  Plus, it was kind a pain to attach a different skirt to the bodice of her dress - it is much easier to just cut out the a single piece dress pattern.   But I do see myself making the Henny Penny dress lots more and also using the twirly skirt tutorial again and again - both patterns are so awesome. 

I'd love to hear about what you're making as part of KCWC.  Do drop me a note and let me know....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Things That Have Been Keeping Me Busy

I've been so busy lately - things just feel like they've been going nonstop and I'm not exactly sure why.  I don't *think* that my life has been any more busy than usual, and yet I can't get enough of a handle on things to find time to blog.  Plus, I've been very active on my Instagram feed and I feel like I'm keeping up with people that way even though it's not nearly as comprehensive as a proper blog post.

In the past month, I've...

...spent my time urban foraging for enough mulberries to make jam later in the season.  They are a bit of a pain to pick and are messy as anything, but so sweet and delicious that it's totally worth it.

...gone on a ladies weekend with some dear friends and found some quilty inspiration as I stared at the ceiling of the steam room for a [glorious] hour or so.  It's not easy to take a photo in a very dark and very steamy room, but this image is seared in my head and I hope to be able to translate it to fabric sooner rather than later.

...been working diligently to keep my dastardly neighborhood squirrels out of my garden.  I have new snap peas that are showing up and my blueberries are starting to ripen, but I am fighting a very uphill battle to keep my goodies out of the paws of the wildlife. 

...finished up a commissioned quilt.  I made a quilt very similar to this one a few years back and was asked if I could recreate it with brown centers for a soon-to-arrive little boy. I don't think I'll ever tire of HST quilts.

 ...participated in the LAMQG Earth Day market bag swap.  I made this Jane Market Bag (which is an awesome pattern and a very versatile finished product).  I used the new Lisette popsicle print, which I am totally smitten with.  I paired it with some pink handles and a brown selvage pocket.  It now lives with Missy - I hope she enjoys it!

I do hope to get a better handle on blogging, especially since I still have lots more percolating in my sewing room and because next week is the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley.