Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kitchen Curtains

I had to take a break from the playhouse today, (only one side left!) so I fixed these little kitchen curtains I made several weeks ago. We are very close to our neighbors, so I wanted to have some privacy but still let a lot of sun in, so I made them cafe style in this bright yellow Ikea fabric.

I used up every bit I had, but they still came out a little too short on the bottom:

So today I finally added some extra gray fabric to the bottom. Love yellow and gray together. Looks much more finished now too. Well, in real life it does. Taking good pictures of rooms and decor is difficult!

It's really not that dark, here's a picture that shows the gray fabric better.
And it only took me about a year and half to make our kitchen a little home-ier, so yeah, I'm pretty driven. 

Today's crafting soundtrack: Mumford & Sons. I've been listening to their new album for about a month straight, and it shows no signs of stopping...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kid's Chicken Recipe

I have always tried to make most of HG's food. He is old enough to eat some meats now, but also in that stage where he won't eat anything pureed. He used to love chicken pureed with sweet potatoes and carrots or apples and onions, but now he wants to eat everything with his fingers. So far, he hasn't really liked eating little pieces of grilled chicken, and I haven't wanted to resort to frozen, uh, chicken-shaped products.

But yesterday I discovered the perfect way to prepare chicken so that he loves it. He ran a train on these little chicken fingers.

You need 1-2 boneless chicken breasts, 1-2 eggs (use one for each breast), crushed Ritz crackers, a couple tablespoons of butter, and some grated parmesan cheese. 

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut each breast into about 8 thin strips. Beat your eggs in a shallow bowl, and in another shallow bowl, put your cracker crumbs and cheese. I used about 1/2 a sleeve of Ritz and a small handful of parm for each chicken breast. Cover strips in eggs, then crumb mixture. Lay them out in your greased pan and drizzle them with a little melted butter. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 8-10 minutes. 

Great success! I even had a couple for lunch myself.  :)

I adapted the recipe from this book by Annabel Karmel. (She just used cornflakes instead of crackers, and no cheese.)

I have loved this book. I'm not much of a cook, so it has really helped me a lot in making his food. And it has great recipes for kids of any age, so I know it will come in handy for a long time. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to make baby food, or just healthier stuff for their kids. 

ok, back to cutting out felt...

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I'm all done with the first panel! (and almost done with the second.) Now I'm really not so worried about getting it done in time. After I drew out my designs and just got started, it's been hard to stop.

Sneak peak:
The pocket holds little stuffed shapes that will velcro on to match the other shapes. For them main pieces I decided to use duck cloth, since it is cheaper than wool felt, but will hold up better than craft felt. For the embellishments, the felt is wool-blend, but I used many 40% coupons :)

The whole design will be based off of this:

I've been pretty preoccupied with circus trains ever since I read Water for Elephants. Then I remembered that my brothers and I had this 70's Fisher-Price set when we were kids. The colors are perfect for felt. Did anyone else have this train set? I LOVE it. 

Can't wait to show you the whole thing soon!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Technical Difficulties.

I can't find the battery charger for my camera, or the cord to import to my computer. So I can't post pictures of anything I have been working on until I find them. So I guess it's not really "technical difficulties," it's just "Jessica-being-flaky-difficulties."

I am way to distracted to read blogs that don't have pictures, so in order to not become one of those (not that there is anything wrong with those), I will show you what I am attempting to make HG for his birthday...

one.      of.         these:


I actually just got nervous now that I have made a declaration to the interwebworld that I am doing this. Now I have to show you the finished project and I have to have it done by his party on the 9th. You can cyber-shun me if it doesn't happen. I will deserve it.

These are acceptable excuses for you not to shun me if I don't finish:

1. House fire.

2.  Termite invasion.

3. Sudden terminal illness.

4. Evil elves throw acid on my sewing machine.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The only sewing around here...

has been in my skin this week.

I went 27 years of life without getting stitches, until Tuesday. I felt like I was 11 lying there getting my hand stitched up.

I was doing dishes while HG was napping, and as I was washing a wine glass with my hand down inside, it busted and cut right through my middle knuckle. I looked down and saw my bone. Then the blood came and I panicked a little because I knew HG was about to wake up. So I taped some paper towels around my hand and called Nick. He got home pretty fast and thankfully, the boy didn't wake up until he did.

So now I have frankenfinger.

Anyway, I was planning on leaving for TN to visit my parents that afternoon. Thankfully, they didn't take too long at urgent care so I still left on time.

We've done some bouncing.

Discovered mommy's childhood toys.

Terrorized Harley.

And bonded with Nana.

I also wanted to show you how talented his Nana is at making things.

This is the quilt she made for the guest room that used to be mine. Isn't it gorgeous??!?!

She is an amazing quilter. I feel like I have too much sewing ADD to do quilts, but I really do wanna try someday. 

(Side note: I made that picture on the right when I was in first grade. It won an art contest at the mall. It's "The Mona Lisa Shopping." I don't know how exactly, but my drawing skills have steadily diminished since first grade. So I cling to this colored pencil masterpiece as the one good piece of art I have created.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Find me elsewhere

Started doing a little blogging over here. You can visit me there today in fact, if you'd like.

But I will leave you with this:

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


1234 and 5.

I think I just need something like that unimposing little aqua one by my bed. Then I won't have those red digital numbers emblazened behind my eyelids when I wake up about 30 minutes before Hendrix is going to wake up, and I'm so annoyed I can't fall back asleep. 

Yes, I did just make up the word emblazened. I give you all permission to add it to your vocabulary.

good nightzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to Sew

So I think I have at least a few friends who read this blog who are just starting to sew or are thinking about learning. Well, obviously,  I think you should DO IT.

I just started a couple of years ago because I wanted curtains for our very tall windows and couldn't find any that I liked. So I bought fabric I liked and had my mom show me how to use her old machine. I remember her sewing and making things my whole life, but for some reason I never showed any interest in it before.

Then, two Decembers ago, my parents bought me a very nice new Singer machine. I was pregnant at the time, so my need to make things for my baby suddenly kicked into overdrive, and now I had a fancy machine to oblige. Now I spend a little time sewing or creating at least every day or two. I think I would go insane without it.

Anyway, once I learned to use a machine, the internet taught me to sew. I discovered the vast black hole that is craft and sewing blogs, and I decided to just try stuff. That is still how I'm learning to sew. And if you are interested in doing the same, here are some amazing resources for you: (If you already sew a lot, then you can tune out now, because you probably know about these.)

  • The Sew Basic series at Ruffles and Stuff. This is really a great place to start- supplies, fabric, winding a bobbin, even just sewing a straight line. Really clear to understand and accompanied by great photos. Also, if you have a little girl, she has the absolute cutest tutorials for girly girl stuff.
  • Make it and Love it also has a series on sewing tips. This is next step stuff, like how to finish seams, use interfacing, use patterns, things like that. But also check out all her great tutorials because she also has great pictures that make it easy to follow.
  • Need more than pictures? There is a series of four sewing basics videos here. Also, I love watching the videos at ThreadBanger.  They're especially helpful if you want to get into making and altering your own clothes. And I haven't checked youtube, but I'm sure there are a slew of video how-to's there.
  • I was very excited to see that Design Sponge, the best design site ever, seems to be starting a sewing 101 series as well. The first installment is my starter project, making curtains
  • And if you haven't figured this out yet, become very good friends with One Pretty Thing. Using the search box, you can literally find out how to make ANYTHING. I love it- it's the Dewey Decimal system of making. 

Ok, that should be enough to get you started. You will mess things up a lot, so buy a seam ripper.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Katie did a doily

I was so excited to see that Katie tried my doily shirt and posted it on her blog!

Check her out here. I might like her's better than mine! 

(If anyone else out there tries it, I would more than delighted to see!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Baby Gift: Taggie Monsters

The backs are made of soft white minky and they each have an empty wipes bag inside so they crinkle when squeezed. Nick says I should name them so...

This is Douglas. He works at the popular monster theme park, Yensid World, doing roller coaster maintenance.

This is Mr. Ron Foxy. He is a jazz musician in LA.

This is Sookie. He only devours bacon. He does love cupcakes, but not for eating, only for playing soccer with.

This is Fitzgerald. He is from New Zealand. He has an impressive collection of ant farms.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Tonight I got to spend some quality time with my boys at a medieval-themed-goat-happy-spring-beer-guzzling-celebration.

We headed down to the old neighborhood (OTR) for Bockfest 2010.

HG can barely contain his parade excitement.

There was a rolling beer goat pushed by monks...

a goat on a segway...

and a goat who thinks he's a dragon in a Chinese New Year parade?

I love to see Main Street so full of life like this.

We used to live in that middle building with the rounded windows. Top floor. It was pretty much the most amazing apartment ever. And it was above the very cool 1305 Gallery.

Around the corner you can see the new mural. Nick says it's done by the same guy who did Obama's famous campaign poster.

When it's warm we will be bringing him down here much more often.

Sometimes we really miss living here. But only sometimes.  (Nathan, stop your pouting, we don't want to move away from you.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Run Job Short Film

Another creative friend of mine has done something amazing!

Please go check out the very funny Zac Sullivan, starring in Run Job.

You can find the trailer on the media page.

It may not be suitable for work. Or children. Or people who are sensitive about naughty words.

Otherwise, PLEASE go check out the site, because then it will become the most popular little indie film on Google and then all the film festivals will want to show it and then everyone will realize how hilariously brilliant it is and someone rich will say, "Hey, I have loads of cash, please come to Hollywood and make a feature length film! Pretty please you're sooooo brilliant!" (because that's how rich people talk.)

And then they will be rich and famous and live happily ever after. the end.

That's how these things work right?

Monday, March 1, 2010

To Do List

Make several more of these.

Finish up some baby gifts inspired by this:

Do this to this piece of Marimekko I bought here.

Plan a little boy's first birthday, possibly inspired by this,


and this.

Why is it always so satisfying to make those little check marks on our silly lists? Really, sometimes it's better than chocolate. 

"We could be day time drunks if we wanted. We'd never get anything done that way baby..."