Friday, October 23, 2009

Pin Cushion Project

Last week, I made the most beginner of beginner projects in the Sew Everything Workshop Book, which was the pin cushion. It served two purposes- I needed a pin cushion, because I didn't have a pin cushion and it gave me a chance to jump back into sewing. The project was successful, and in the process I was able to re-purpose a pair of fuzzy socks that had holes but which I hadn't thrown away because...I have problems throwing things away. So I used the socks to stuff the pin cushion instead of buying polyfill. Economical AND environmentally friendly. Not to mention emotionally friendly since I didn't have to throw away the socks that I clearly had some unnatural attachment to. (I'll say right now because anyone reading this will probably find out eventually anyway- I have a real issue feeling sorry for inanimate objects and therefore have trouble doing things like....THROWING STUFF AWAY.)

But I digress. I was very successful in my pin cushion project and made something that is super cute AND functional!


The only problem was that I didn't use my sewing machine. It was a small project and I sew pretty quick by hand, so instead of learning how to use my new machine, I just went ahead and sewed it by hand. It didn't even take me an hour from start to finish, which was cool, but before I do any larger projects, I need to learn my machine!

So that's my goal for the weekend. To learn my machine and make a pillow. I have the fabric cut and all I need now is to bite the bullet and get acquainted with my Brother. :)

I think I should give it a name. Make it a friend. I'll think about it and let you know what name I come up with for my new sewing friend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Successful Thursday Mealtime

Tonight I made the Maple Dijon Potatoes and String Beans from Vegan with a Vengeance and can I say...AWESOME. I also had a pack of tempeh in the fridge that was getting dangerously close to it's use by date, so I used the glaze on that too (my husband used it with chicken) and it was ALL AWESOME. Smiles all around. And leftovers! Whee!

Not only that, but last night I finished a painting for my friend's housewarming.

(The painting is way more vibrant in real life, it's not the greatest picture...but whatever...I'm trying to get more comfortable posting things I've painted, so...there it is.)

It's been a successful week of making stuff!

I have another yummy meal planned for hopefully that will set off a successful week-END of making stuff. We'll see how it goes. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where I've Been and The Slightly Altered Focus of this Blog

Where have I been lately? Good question! I've been...MAKING STUFF! It all started with finding out that cheese is not my body's favorite. See, since I didn't eat much meat before, and now eat even less now that I'm trying to be vegetarian, cheese was my primary source of protein...along with a frequent veggie burger. So with cheese out, most of my diet disappeared.

So I got to thinking, if I want to, you know, get some nutrients once in awhile, I'd better start cooking. So I went online and got the awesomest cookbook EVER: Vegan with a Vengeance. I've made cookies, and muffins, and tofu, and stir fry, and stuffed shells (sans cheese = AWESOME!), and tacos, and...more cookies and muffins.

This is amazing to me, mostly because I am not someone who ever had a desire to cook- I found it an annoying necessity and relied mainly on frozen microwavable entrees and take out. Needless to say...that's not that good for you (at least as much as I was doing it) and it’s also expensive...and being that I am also now on a pretty strict budget...this is good for both my health and my wallet. It’s also better for the environment with less packaging, less animal products, and less chemicals used to produce the food I'm eating. The biggest discovery during all this though, is that I'm enjoying it! I LIKE cooking… make things that are actually EDIBLE...and all while having...FUN?!! Who knew!?

Well...THAT’S NOT ALL! As I was cooking and realizing- “Hey...I can do this!”- I was also trying to do more reusing and 'repurposing' of household items to, again, help my budget and the environment all at the same time. One of the things I wanted to do was to repurpose some of my extra sheets and comforters I have laying around to make a DIY dog bed for my poor geriatric Pomeranian and THAT idea led to the purchase of a sewing machine from which led to wanting to make my own placemats (I never could find any I liked)...which led to my mom getting me the Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp...which led to...a crafty DIY addiction! (And yes…I’m a little late to the DIY game…)

This "I can make stuff" mindset led me to look around at all the paintings I have sitting around my house (I’ve taken a watercolor class every Wednesday for the past three years)…which led me to think...I could sell prints of these...which led me to think "and note cards! I can make note cards!" which led me to think...I can make prints, note cards, AND stuff I can sew...which led me to think...I should open up a shop on Etsy!

So. That's what the last few weeks have been for me: Lots of new ideas and a sort of refocusing of my life, which was LONG overdue.

So as a result, this blog might be changing focus a little and I'm going to focus more on posting the various projects I undertake using my goals to be greener by reusing things I already have (sometimes with the help of an awesome sewing machine), cooking my own vegan food (I'm not totally vegan when I'm out, but I don't make anything for myself that isn't), and attempting to raise some money for my family (and a favorite charity) by selling some things on Etsy! Still Eco-ing Myself...still going vegetarian...but with a new and improved focus!

Stay tuned...and if anyone is still reading this...thanks for sticking around. :)