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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / The Tinkerbell Bag on: April 15, 2010 11:27:27 PM
A good friend is preggers with the first offspring.  I'd been planning on making a diaper bag for months but kept postponing it.  I got the invite to the baby shower last week Monday.  When's the shower? This Saturday.  Not a biggie I've got a whole week and a half, right?  First lined bag project sure no problem!  Good grief was I in for it.  I think I sewed the whole thing twice or more.  Thankfully it's done a whole day early and I could take pics of it.  

The outside fabric was a cheapie calico I bought from JoAnn's about 15 years ago.  They still make the print!  The inside fabric is from Wal-Fart's meager fabric selection, but they were the only ones I could find a cute Disney print around me.  I used Sew Baby's Double Duty Bag pattern although it's basically a Jordy bag with an interior pocket panel.  Instead of doing the two-toned exterior for a reversible bag, I taped the two pattern pieces together.  

The bag stands on it's own due to interfacing both fabrics with Pellon Decor Bond. The pattern said to use Craft Bond.  Pellon has either Craft Fuse or Decor Bond.  *Hint* the heavier the interfacing the more likely it is to come loose from the fabric.  The Decor Bond was pretty stiff on it's own.  I'm surprised any stuck.  For the straps I used two layers of lighter interfacing left over from another project and I think it behaves better than the Decor Bond by far.

Outside standing on it's own without any props or fillers.

Inside shot

Inside shot with baby stuff.  The pockets are substantial, three on each side and all about the same size.  I've got a bottle with packaging, a portable baby wipe container, and pacifiers with a baby powder all on the pockets of one side.

2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Thread Storage? on: March 28, 2010 11:38:36 PM
I've been collecting more of the Gutterman (sp?) thread which is on the long thin spools instead of the standard short fat ones.  I have a thread holder which I don't like as the top comes off too easily.  What do you craftsters have for your thread storage?
3  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / "Reusable" grocery bags on: March 18, 2010 09:54:43 PM
I have about a half dozen reusable grocery bags that I got as freebies from the local grocery store.  They're the $1 bags they sell by the register that are kind of soft like fabric but wash up like plastic.  Think the Wal-Mart black bags but in green.  I've been using them for shopping but I know as soon as I wash the fabric it's going to pill and fuzz all over.  I was going to make new bags with the plastic bottoms but what to do with the old bags? My default is to donate them to Goodwill but I was hoping for a better option.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Recovering Wool Yarn? on: January 04, 2010 10:24:18 PM
I tried making my BF a hat for Christmas.  Since it was a suprise I couldn't get good measurements and his head is huge (24" band size).  I did my best to make one that would fit, but fell short.  In an attempt to save the project I tried washing in cold water and putting it in the dryer on low.  It shrank in length but not much in width, just the opposite of what I was looking for. 

The question at this point is the yarn was 2-1/2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.  A substantial chunk of change went towards the materials.  From what I hear is once the wool has been washed it doesn't want to frog.  Almost as if the strands weld themselves together.  Is there any way to save some of the yarn I used or chalk this one up to an expensive learning experience?
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Drawstring bag & Tote on: December 18, 2009 05:53:09 PM
I made my first two bags this week.  I tried starting with the tote at a friend's house on Sunday but didn't bring the fabric for the second half of the strap.  I worked on the drawstring bag instead. 

Both are adapted from the book Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes. I changed the drawstring bag to have the string anchor to the bottom of the bag for a shoulder strap.  The tote is the Tiny Tote and I squared out the bottom (gussets?) based on a tute I found through Craftster. 

6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Pumpkin Mini Muffins on: December 07, 2009 12:25:01 AM
I baked up a batch of yummy mini pumpkin muffins for a quick holiday treat:

I found this recipe at http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=36267  For my oven about 14 minutes with the mini muffin pan was the perfect baking time.

It's very low in fat and a little fiber from the pumpkin.  I'm working on boosting my whole grains so I'll be finding another cake recipe but it's a good starting point.

I heard Libby's is or soon will be running out of pumpkin due to poor crops for the past two years.  The only places I could find canned pumpkin was Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Beginner Sewing Classes on: December 01, 2009 10:38:49 PM
I've inherited a vintage (1960's) Kenmore sewing machine in that wonderful shade of avocado green that I would like to put to use.  The problem is my sewing stopped after the home ec classes back in 7th and 8th grade and I wasn't very good back then either. I'd like to take some classes to learn how to sew and I'm not sure where to go. 

There's sewing shops in the area and their websites say they teach quilting or embroidery classes without any mention of clothing. The second option is to go to the community college.  I've taken adult education classes for other things at the community college but there's a serious lack of communication between the instructors and the college as to the curriculum on several of their classes.   The third option is Jo-Ann's although I have concerns as to the instructor's expertise, more trying to figure out the screening process of the instructors.

Any thoughts, comments, experiences that might help in deciding which route to take?
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Peppermint Hot Cocoa? on: November 23, 2009 02:55:25 PM
I've got a recipe for regular hot cocoa that I would like to make peppermint flavored.  It's going be a Christmas gift stored in an airtight container.  I'm not sure how to add the flavoring.  Should I use an extract, dried leaves, or peppermint flavored chocolate bits?

9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Cream of Whatever Soup Mix on: November 23, 2009 09:23:11 AM
Someone on this board was asking for an alternative to the canned cream soups. I don't remember who it was to reply to the appropriate post.  I found this recipe on one of the other boards I'm on.

Cream of Whatever Soup Mix
(Makes the equivalent of 9 cans)

2 cups nonfat powdered milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients, mixing well.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

To substitute for one can of condensed soup:
Combine 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1-1/4 cups of cold water in a saucepan.  Cook until thickened.  Add to casseroles as you would the canned version.  

IMO, I would store the powder in the freezer if not used within about a month.  Once the powdered milk is open it has a short shelf life. 
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Airlines & Harmony Options? on: October 10, 2009 11:14:49 PM
Has anyone tried bringing the Knit Picks Harmony Options needles on board?  Any issues with security?
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