May 31, 2012

The 2012 JCWSELWPOI, Updated

Also known as the 'Just-in-Case the World Should End To Do  List, Which is in No Particular Order of Importance."

Now that we're very nearly halfway through 2012 (already!?) I thought I'd give an update on the 2012 JCWSELWPOI, originally posted in January. 

If you have no clue what I'm on about, click here to read the original post. 

Here's the original list in its entirety: 
1.) I'm so making baked Alaska. BOOM. The gauntlet has been thrown, bitches.

2.) Learn how to play the guitar.

3.) Ride on a motorcycle.

4.) Sew a dress from a vintage pattern.

5.) Visit Taliesin. Here I come, Frank Lloyd Wright! This trip also may or may not include the House on the Rock.

6.) Buy a 1950s dress.

7.) Donate to the local animal shelter.

8.) Watch these classics: Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction, North by Northwest, Schindler's List, and To Kill a Mockingbird. 

9.) Make a souffle.

10.) Sleep under the stars. This one might be tricky, because I hate bugs. We'll see.

11.) Watch 5 sunrises in a row.

12.) Get in the car one morning and take a road trip without knowing where we're going.

13.) Go on a picnic.

14.) Have my favorite photos that I've taken printed, and hang them in my home.

15.) Plant a tree.

16.) Become a micro-lender on

17.) Make 2 vegan desserts.

18.) Eat 5 foods I've never eaten before.

19.) Print out all my digital photos and put them in albums, so that I actually have physical copies of them. I'm 4 years behind on this. Help. 
20.) Finish reading Don Quixote.

Ho-kay. So I've accomplished a few things off my list. And am wondering why in God's name I wanted to finish reading Don Quixote.

- Vegan desserts - done!
- I watched Casablanca. And now I get what all the fuss is about.
- I've purchased some vintage patterns, and have so far made 1 dress and 1 skirt.

- And there has been a slight change of plans - I'm no longer planning on visiting Taliesin, just The House on the Rock. This is hopefully going to happen sometime this summer.
- Digital photos? Done! I almost had a heart attack when I saw all those prints, but I persevered.

- I had some of my favorite photos printed and hung them on a wall in the living room. I'm cheap frugal, and used frames from the dollar store.

- I made a Brownie Baked Alaska. It was tooth-achingly sweet, but good.
- I donated to the local animal shelter after I saw the pictures of all their cute pit bulls.
- We planted an apple tree in the backyard.

Six more months to go! My husband is looking forward to getting me on a motorcycle, so I have no doubt that I'll accomplish that one. Unfortunately.

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May 29, 2012

Bloodhounds Are Lazy, Right?

In a word, no. Until they get older. Behold!

What a freeloader.

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May 26, 2012

Garden 2012

The garden is planted! I feel very proud of myself. I planted a bit early this year because the weather has been so agreeable. This may or may not come back to bite me in the ass. We shall see.

This year's garden is pretty small; I've only planted 6 things. Beets, lettuces, spinach, corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. All the favorites, and none of the stuff that won't get eaten. These are raised square foot garden beds. That desperately need to be weed-whacked, but we'll ignore that for now.

We've also planted an apple tree! Hopefully it will cross-pollinate with our lonely crab apple and we'll get some fruit within the next few years.



So far, so good. It will be a successful summer if no one gives me a zucchini the size of a garden gnome. I mean, honestly. There's only so much a person can do with a zucchini the size of a garden gnome.

Anyone else planted a garden this year?

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May 24, 2012

My Favorite Sandwich

I do not recall how I came up with one, nor can I explain why I like it so much. My husband thinks it's an abomination, but he likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with cheese, so his opinion doesn't count.

Take an everything bagel and toast it. Spread it with a little bit of butter. Get some fresh spinach leaves and smoked mozzarella cheese. I use a piece of smoked mozzarella string cheese, cut into chunks.

Throw it all together.

So good. Smoky and salty, garlicky and delicious.

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May 22, 2012

'The Modern Family Cook Book' by Meta Given

This cookbook was originally published in 1942. I found this revised edition, from 1961, in Goodwill.

Love. Ignore my post-its sticking out all over.

We've all heard about menu planning, and how important it is, right?

Yeah. For every month out of the year, a week's worth of menus. 1961, yo.

The recipes run the gamut from from old fashioned (how to make coffee with an egg, pork scrapple) to stuff that just plain sounds delicious, like blackberry cobbler or stewed chicken and dumplings.

The book doesn't just have recipes, but is loaded with tips - everything from nutritional values to freezing and storing food. And it was definitely published with a certain audience in mind...

I plan on making a few of the dishes from this cookbook, and sharing some of the tips. I bought this book to sell in the Etsy shop, but I don't think I can let it go!

Keep Reading "'The Modern Family Cook Book' by Meta Given"

May 20, 2012

Butterick B4386

Well, I got back in the saddle.

After my complete failure with a vintage Vogue pattern, I picked up some Butterick patterns when they were on sale. This is a modern pattern, but is very reminiscent of '60s sheath dresses.

This pattern was rated 'very easy'. In my mind, 'very easy' might as well be called 'moron'. As in, if you can't even manage this, you're a moron. Buy retail. 

I am pleased to report that this pattern was indeed very easy. The interfacing screwed me up royally, but that's all. I shall attempt it again at some point, now that I have tackled the Dread Monster that is interfacing. This particular pattern is called a 'Six Sew', meaning there are 6 variations to choose from, all based on the same basic dress. I made dress D, a sleeveless sheath dress with pockets.

Nearly falling off a tire. Yes, barefoot, because I'll be honest here - 98.7% of the time, winter or summer, homegirl don't wear no shoes. Unless I'm leaving the house. Because fine establishments tend to frown upon bare feet.

Dress - Butterick pattern B4386, dress D
Belt - thrifted

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May 18, 2012

70s Romper

I saw this chambray romper on Etsy and added it to my favorites. An hour later I went back and bought it. I just had to have it.

It's like a onesie for adults. 

I bought this from the lovely Isla at A Fine Day for Sailing. And then I found out she has a gorgeous blog by the same name. I highly recommend it.

The romper is a bit large, so I cinched it with a belt at the waist and called it a day. My favorite part? The gingham trim.

Romper - A Fine Day for Sailing,
Belt - thrifted

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May 16, 2012

Random Frugal Tip of the Day

Save your leftover little chunks of soap to:

1) Make homemade laundry detergent.


2) Use to mark fabric during sewing. It works great on dark fabrics, and you don't have to buy tailor's chalk.

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May 14, 2012

Reuben Pizza

Pizza crust + thousand island + thinly sliced corned beef brisket + cheese = happy times. So delicious, and so much easier than standing over a stove making a bunch of sandwiches.

Easy peasy. I'll even walk you through it.

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a large baking sheet and dust it with a bit of cornmeal. Smush either store-bought refrigerated pizza dough or homemade dough out onto the baking sheet, mushing it all the way into the corners. Top it with thousand island dressing. For homemade thousand island, add a bit of ketchup and pickle relish to sour cream and you're in business. Leave a 1 inch border all the way around.

Add thinly sliced or shredded corned beef brisket. Add as much or as little as you like. The meat goes underneath the cheese so it doesn't dry out in the oven. If you want sauerkraut, add that too. Then top the whole operation with cheese. Mozzarella or Monterey Jack are good choices.

Throw 'er in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown, and then...yum.


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May 12, 2012

How to Pin Curl Long Hair

This tutorial is long and meandering, but I pinky-swear promise that pin curling is not difficult. Once you get used to doing it, it usually takes less than 10 minutes to curl and less than 10 minutes to style once the curls are dry.

The whole idea behind pin curling is that the curls can be brushed out into smooth waves that frame the face. With long hair, the curls no longer frame the face, but instead are brushed into gentle waves.

Finally, the thing to remember about pin curls is that the way I curl my hair may end up being very different from the way you like to curl yours. How I curl my hair may look kinda crappy on your head. I recommend trying pin curling several times, curling and styling the hair in different ways, you find what suits you.

Just like rag curling, this is a wet-set. Do this at night and sleep on the curls, or pin it in the morning and take them out at night. If your hair starts to get too dry while you're curling it, wet it back down again to make it more manageable.

To pin curl your hair, you will need:
- Damp hair
- Setting lotion or other styling product (optional)
- A comb
- Bobby pins or alligator clips
- A scarf (optional)

First, brush your hair to remove tangles. If your hair doesn't like to hold a curl, apply setting lotion or whatever product you like. Make sure the hair isn't too wet, or the curls won't dry. Part your hair wherever you prefer.

I like to start with the sides of my head. The photo below illustrates how I curl the sides - 2 rows of 2 curls for a total of 4 curls on each side of my head. The circles represent the curls.

Start with the sides, top row, first curl. Take a section of hair about 1 inch by 2 inches. Wrap the ends around 2 or 3 fingers. Then remove your fingers from the curl, keeping the curl intact. Roll the curl all the way up to your scalp. Secure it with 2 bobby pins crossed in an X shape or with an alligator clip. If your hair is quite long, the curls will be large and may be difficult to secure to your head. Use additional clips or pins as necessary.

Repeat with the first curl, bottom row. 

Then finish the remaining curls.

I do one large curl on the top of my head. 

Then I curl the other side of my head just like the first side.

The back of my head ends up being a free-for-all. I fit the curls in wherever I can.

To protect the curls I like to tie a scarf around my head. 

So. Keep the curls in for 8-12 hours. I like to do this at night, sleep on the curls, and take them out in the morning.

Remove all the bobby pins or clips. There's no elegant way to do this, just get in there and go nuts.

Next, get thee a brush and ATTACK! Well, okay, don't attack your head. Bad advice. Take one curl at a time and gently brush it in the direction you want it to go. The hair will hold this shape once its been brushed. I wanted the hair to curl towards my face, so I brushed it in that direction.

The difference between the two sides - the side I brushed is soft and wavy, the unbrushed side is still tightly curled.

Brush out each curl. If you're brushing them all the same direction, then you can brush whole sections of hair at a time instead of each individual curl. Note - some people prefer to use a round brush for this. I kid you not, the one time I tried that, I got the brush stuck in my hair. So yeah. I prefer a paddle brush.

When you're all done, it will look something like this. Ignore the flyaways. Ahem.

Give it a try! 

Keep Reading "How to Pin Curl Long Hair"
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