November 19, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 19: Let Them Eat Cake!!!

...maybe you've seen me post about my sewist friend Marjie who lives in Pennsylvania.  We met in sewing blogsphere and have interacted throughout the years.  She been a participant in many of my Top's Sew-A-Longs  and I've read her blog MODERN DAY OZZIE AND HARRIETT for years.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times of the year to peek in on her and her marvelous family and all their festivities.

A Sewing Gourmet like myself, Marjie wrote a post for me during my 2016 BlogLikeCrazy that detailed her magnificent Thanksgiving that year.  In case you missed it you can read it here.    Marjie took time from her busy schedule again to help me with this years 30 day blogging challenge.  I asked her to share one of her favorite holiday cake recipes with me; and she shared not one, but two of her delicacies - one chosen by her boys and one chosen by her girls (9 in all).


 "2 Color Cake":  Selected by the Boys

1 box yellow cake mix, divided in half
2 boxes of jello, regular or sugar free, different colors
3/4 cup water, divided in half
1 stick of butter, softened, and divided in half
2 eggs

Beat together half of the cake mix, 1 box of jello, 6 tablespoons of water, 1 egg and 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of softened butter.  Beat slowly until combined, then at medium speed for 2 minutes, until the batter is smooth and creamy.  Pour into one greased 8" round layer cake pan.  Repeat with the other half of the ingredients, and pour into a second pan.  Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Note: the tops of these layers will be flat or even a little sunken.  That's OK.  Let the layers cool, then assemble using whipped cream between the layers and as frosting.  Refrigerate until it's ready to be served.

I usually use orange and yellow or orange and red jello for the layers at Thanksgiving, and then always red and green for Christmas.  The colors don't look to vivid when you look at the layers, but when you cut it, it's just a burst of color!

      AND

 Lemon Sponge Cake:  Selected by the Girls

4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder.

Beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until they're stiff, and set aside.  Beat the egg yolks until they're light yellow, then beat in the remaining sugar, water and lemon juice.  When it's smooth, add the flour, salt, lemon extract and baking powder; beat another minute until smooth.  Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.  Scoop the batter into a greased bundt or angel food pan, then bake at 325F for 30 to 40 minutes.  Let it cool, then sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top of the cake.

This is really light and fluffy, which is why I love it.  Also, with this recipe, since you have baking powder, you don't have to worry as much about the egg whites falling and thus the cake not rising.


No one should be without the proper deserts for the holiday seasons - so I say, let them eat cake - Compliments of Marjie McDonald...

November 18, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 18: The Glam Doll...

... every year the weekend before Thanksgiving is a very exciting time for me.  It's the time that my friend Ebony, creator and owner of "The Glam Doll" comes to town.  I met Ebony about 10 years ago when her husband was stationed here at Robins Air Force Base.  Our  unique friendship began after we were introduced by a mutual friend.  Ebony became an amazing inspiration to me; always full of new ideas and dreams of entrepreneurship.

I watched year after year as she formulated her plan working through one trial after another until she was able to launch her successful business "The Glam Doll".  She has a beautiful Esty Shop that is stocked with wonderful 18" doll clothes made from patterns she designs herself.  Now Ebony and her husband make the long trip from Oklahoma to set up her store at the annual Mistletoe Marketplace.


 It was so wonderful to be able to see my friend again this year and look on as she had three successful days of sales...
   

November 17, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 17: Not Preaching, Just Real Talk...

... as we fast approach the day that we've set aside as a nation to give thanks, I am reminded of things I thank God for not only during this time of year - but daily.   It is so easy to take the good things that have been bestowed upon us for granted. The Bible advises us in 1 Thessalonian 5:17 to pray without ceasing; constantly and recurring. One of the things I pray for AND thank God for daily is pain freedom.  Such is the prayer of people who live with chronic illnesses.  People who have experienced debilitating pain still remember that pain - even on "feel good days".  It is in the midst of remembering that I am prompted to be thankful - does that make sense?

I ran across this little prayer today that asks God to bless hands, mind, strength of body and passion of heart and it was so meaningful to me that I thought I'd share it here.   

Each of these components are vital to the execution of my craft - I need to also add vision to the list.  I realize that all the tools, supplies, fabrics and patterns in my sewing room with which I have been so richly blessed are useless without the blessing of all the rest...

November 16, 2018

#BLC 2018 Day 16: What Sewing Means to Me & Others...

...it's Happy Fri-yah, and I hope that yours has been fabulous!  Although several people tried to throw a monkey wrench on my "Yah" today, but it didn't keep me from longing for the sweet purrr of my sewing machine.  My thoughts were sort of like a cartoon caption that I saw recently that read:
All kidding aside, you'll find me doing a lot more thinking about sewing than actual sewing.  But thinking about it is an important part of the process for me.  Really, I don't think I ever go one full day with thinking about sewing.  That's what we sewist do!

I run into so many like minded people on social media, and as you know I've become quite the fan of introducing some of them on my blog.  I happened upon Iris Acevedo in the SewMuchTalent Facebook group recently, and couldn't help wanting to know more about her sewing process, and why it seemed she felt so passionate about her craft. I did find out that she also has a sewing blog so of course I wanted you to meet her too.  So I reached out to ask what sewing means to her...

Iris Acevedo, author of The Modest Life Blog


Sewing to me means purpose, creative expression, freedom, opportunity, financial prosperity, connection, sharing and I could go on.  My call to sew came over 13 years ago.  It was something that I always wanted to do.  Even as a child I found myself wanting to learn the craft.  But I was a bit of a shy child and afraid to really try.  Instead I found myself lost in the world of books and doodling 2 dimensional images of fashion dancing models in dresses or skirt sets. I went to catholic school as a child and wore uniform so my sense of fashion didn’t develop until high school. I remember spending some of my evenings sifting through my closet and finding new outfit combinations.  I still do that from time to time. Its fun and helps me to organize my sewing projects.  

When I gave my life to Christ over 13 years ago, I not only got in tune with God but I began to connect with myself in a deeper way. That led me to learn that sewing was going to be more than just a hobby for me.  Prior to starting my sewing business, I was a full-time academic advisor.  I liked what I was doing but it didn’t give me the same level of personal fulfillment or sense of purpose that I felt when I was sewing.  The opportunity to sew professionally came after the birth of my son.  It was through this process that I learned that you could use your talents and gifts to create your dream job.  While I knew that it was possible, I always saw that as something other people could do.  But God gave me the opportunity to see that I too could work my dream job.

I started The Modest Life blog as a way to creatively express myself, focus my craft and to share what I know with others.  I hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams and provide tools and knowledge to help that dream come true.  

I encourage you to drop by to visit at Iris and her Modest Life here:

Instagram: @themodestlifeblog

November 15, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 15: Blogging


...a year ago I wrote a post (here) and talked about why I sew and why I blog about it.  I went back to review that post today and still agree with the reasons I noted at that time:
  1. to keep a journal for future reference of my projects, process and progress
  2. to stay connected to the virtual sewing community
  3. to exercise my writing muscle (thus my participation in the annual BlogLikeCrazy Challenge)
The thing that resonates with me today is that I use the blog to journal my sewing process - from start to finish.   From planning, pattern selection, pattern adjustments, construction, to finished project.  This is all important to me, and very beneficial as a reference to look back on for later use.  This lets me know what went right with the project, and what changes need to be made next time.

What is your method of documenting your sewing process???

 

 

November 14, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 14: What Sewing Means To Me & Others...

...sewing means so much to me; it's my happy place even when every stitch isn't perfect.  I find solace in my sewing room at the end of a stressful day even if I don't end up sewing a stitch.  It helps me release pressure.  I could go on and on about what sewing means to me; but I'm also interested in knowing what it means to other sewists like myself.  So I reached out to the sewing community to find out and wanted to share their thoughts here:


MESHA STANLEY ECHEVARRIA



Sewing is my place of PEACE. It allows ME to be Me. I was in a relationship where I wasn't able to express myself, and both my natural and artistic voices were silenced. Even though I was eventually  able to escape that relationship, I wasn't able to free my mind from years of bondage. Once I began to sew I found my voice and I learned so much about myself. Whenever I feel myself getting down about anything, I get in front of the sewing machine, get to work, and all the negative energy begins to dissipate and I am able to get into my PEACEFUL zone.

You should see all the beautiful things Mesha creates in her PEACEFUL zone:
Instagram:  @keamesha

November 13, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 13: Off the Shelf...

...today I pulled  Sarah Veblen's "Perfect Fitting" book off the shelf.  I've not read it cover to cover as of yet, but I have visited it numerous times searching for fitting help (pants fitting in particular).



 Sarah Veblen recently appeared on the online talk show, "That Sewing Blab".  In case you haven't heard of it, "That Sewing Blab" is broadcasted live every Tuesday Evening on Crowdcast.io. The show is co-hosted by Dawn Pengally and Myra Rentmeester, and features a variety of international sewists, pattern makers, business owners, bloggers and Vloggers.  If you tune in regularly, you are bound to see some of you favorites, AND get to ask real-time questions as well.  They also sponsor a variety of challenges; I think I've won one or two of them.

  •  You can watch all past shows on YouTube
  •   Or, join their FaceBook Group
  •   Follow them these hashtag on Instagram here
  •   Sign up for email notifications 
  •   Watch the 128th episode of the show tonight (11/14/18) here

Rather than review "The Perfect Fit" myself, I thought it would be nice for you to hear all about Sarah's fitting/sewing philosophy in her own words. Enjoy!


Note that she mentioned her newly released book "First Time Garment Fitting: The Absolute Beginner's Guide - Learn by Doing" that is going on my WISH LIST right away.  Maybe I should have had that book first!!!


November 11, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 11: Eye Candy & Sewing Inspiration for Your Sunday Afternoon Viewing Pleasure...

...with all of the Big 4 patterns readily available to me (and thank God for that) it has been years since I've had the Burda Style Magazine monthly issue subscription.  I still enjoy being able to get a  sneak peek of the new issues though; and often I catch a glimpse of a particular garment that peaks my interest.  And it's nice that the majority of the patterns are available at BurdaStyle.com, and sometimes as paper patterns at Joann's.  Fashion put to music is an added bonus.  So sit back and enjoy Burda's November 2018 eye candy and sewing inspiration...



November 10, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 10: Free Your Mind and The Rest Will Follow...

... I get so excited at the mention of a great sewing challenge, or when I decide on a new project,  make a new plan, or even set a new sewing goal.  I start each one totally committed and with the best  intentions of making it to the finish line.  But every now and then I run into something that starts to feel like too much of a chore, and my joy disappears.  As much as I hate to admit it, this is what has happened to me with the Make Nine Challenge. 




I've changed patterns several times hoping to reignite my seal for this, but that hasn't worked. I still think it was a great challenge, but maybe it really wasn't a GOOD FIT for me after all.  I could have  skipped right over this and never mentioned it again, but I felt I needed closure.  So I've decided to free my mind and move back into my freestyle mode of selecting and sewing my projects.  Maybe I'll try this challenge again next year, but for right now I'm ready for some sweet sewing relief...

November 8, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 9: Rainy Days and The Sewing Gourmet...

...it has rained CATS and DOGS here for two days in a row.  There is always something about rainy weather that makes me crave a good bowl of soup - a trait left over from my childhood when my Grand Father would make pots of delicious soups or stews for us on rainy or cold days.  The soup of my choice is usually vegetable beef.  I did make a pot of  that when Matthew flew through here as a Category One  Hurricane exactly a month ago.  It's hard to make just a little soup (that is really never really my intention) so I had enough left over to freeze three nice sized containers for lazy days ahead.

Today I wanted a nice pot of homemade Chicken Noodle Soup so that is just what I made.  So it was soup for tonight, and it'll be soup for lunch tomorrow with the balance going into freezer containers.


I know it's much easier to open up a can, but making it from scratch is just one of the ways that I pamper myself.  Here's the recipe that I used with the help of good old Google:


EASY HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Courtesy of  Delish.com

Ingredients
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. diced onion
2 carrots, diced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 celery stalks, diced
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Thyme
32 oz. low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 c. egg noodles
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Note:  For my own twist I added 1/4 tsp. Rosemary, and 1 Bay Leaf.
 
Directions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until softened, 6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  2. Move vegetables to one side of the pot and add chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook until no pink remains, 6 to 8 minutes. Add stock and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil.  
Note: I added all of the stock and the 1/2 cup of water then reduced heat cooked about 20 minutes before bringing to a boil to add the noodles as instructed below.
Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley and serve immediately.


Should you make it, I do so hope that you thoroughly ENJOY!!!

#BLC 2018 - Day 19: Let Them Eat Cake!!!

...maybe you've seen me post about my sewist friend Marjie who lives in Pennsylvania.  We met in sewing blogsphere and have interacted t...