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1  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / stuffed animal dress for Mardi Gras 2011 on: March 11, 2011 02:35:45 PM

I just posted about this on my own blog, but I thought I'd share it here as well in case anyone is interested! This was my recent Mardi Gras costume - a dress I covered in stuffed animals! I managed to sew through my finger on the sewing machine for the first time ever making this thing, and it ended up requiring a mixture of machine sewing and hand sewing, and a whole lot of seam ripping to get those stuffed animal guts out, but it was worth it! Here are a couple of before and during shots:



I found a denim halter dress at the thrift store, which was too big, so I altered the size of the dress, and added some extra fabric into the skirt to make it fuller, and then basically patchworked the animals onto it. For most of the stuffed animals, I left the stuffing in the heads and took out the rest of the stuffing (although I left it in some on the legs or arms... it kind of depended on how I placed the different animals onto the dress).


It was a LOT of fun to wear, and VERY soft!
2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Vegan Black Bean Soup from Scratch (Mostly) on: January 15, 2011 01:46:47 PM
I just made this vegan black bean soup on Thursday and posted details to my blog yesterday, but I thought I would share it here as well.

Since the weather has gotten cold and weve had a package of dried black beans sitting in the pantry forever, I decided to make some black bean soup. I had checked out a whole bunch of recipes online for black bean soup, but I didnt strictly follow any recipe in particular. Here is what I did:



First I soaked the 1 pound package of dried black beans overnight. Rinsed and drained them. Then I diced up about half an onion and a whole jalapeno. Sauteed those in some olive oil for a couple of minutes. (Note: depending on how spicy you like things you may not want to do a whole jalapeno. We like spicy things.)


Then I added some garlic salt, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and minced garlic. I am my mothers child, so I dont really measure anything when it comes to spices. I just keep tasting and adding as needed along the way. I thought about adding cayenne pepper too, but refrained until I tasted how spicy the jalapeno would make it. If you like it SUPER spicy you could add some cayenne or hot sauce along the way. After adding spices, I added vegetable broth and then added the black beans. I simmered this whole concoction on low for about forever. Well, almost all afternoon, checking on it and stirring and tasting often.


After it had been simmering for a few hours, I also added a can of Mexican-style tomatoes with green chilies, a can of pinto beans, and a can of corn. (Note: if you want to speed up this whole process, you could also use canned black beans instead of dried black beans. I used the dried beans since we already had them in the cupboard.)


Next, I ran about half of the soup through our Vitamix blender, to give it a creamy smooth texture.


Then I put the blended soup back with the chunky soup and continued to let it simmer until the black beans were thoroughly cooked and it was super tasty and delicious.


Okay, so my addition of a giant handful of cheese on top makes it not vegan, but until that point it was. Obviously you dont have to eat it with cheese if you dont want to. We also served it with some tasty garlic bread I found at the supermarket. Dave approved. I am the master of one-pot cooking!
3  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / my Mardi Gras Indian tribute from recycled materials (plus a lot of sequins!) on: June 21, 2010 09:30:13 PM


Last summer I participated in the 3rd round of Worn Again, a local recycled fashion show here in New Orleans (actually it started in Virginia for a couple years before the organizers moved here). I was recently doing some work to the outfit I made for last year's competition - I plan to donate it to the local museum where I work so I had to tack down a few sequins better. (I wore it on Mardi Gras day this year, that's when the picture above was taken.)

My entry for Worn Again 2009 was a tribute to the amazing Mardi Gras Indians - I won an honorable mention for my design. There were so many truly amazing designs. The top 30 or so hit the runway, out of approximately 70 designers who signed up to participate in the event. Ive participated in each Worn Again event held so far here in New Orleans, and this summer I've actually been asked to be one of the 3 judges! Pretty exciting, as it keeps getting better each year Basically designers sign up, and then they get a random trash bag filled with unwanted old clothes and fabric scraps. You never know what you're going to get until you open that bag. It's very challenging but a lot of fun. I've got pictures from all 3 years on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uproar/sets/72157605628516932/

Here's a video my boyfriend took of my walk down the runway during last year's show: http://vimeo.com/5667617
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