Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Biscuits and Veggie Gravy

Tonite I was craving something savory and comforting. Mmmmhhhh! Biscuits! The leftovers will make great breakfast sandwiches, or a yummy snack with butter or honey. The biscuits were derived from this recipe. I wanted a less sweet variety, so I subbed out the maple syrup he originally called for. I hate having to roll doughs out and use cutters. Re-rolling the dough always toughens it and who really cares what shape they are? Mine were rectangles. :o)

Cornmeal Biscuits with Veggie Gravy
First, prepare your ingredients for the gravy.
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped. (I used about 1/4 of a large Vidalia)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced small
  • 8 spears asparagus, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (I used a combination of button and shiitake)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable stock paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
Chop your vegetables and set aside on your cutting board. Then prepare the biscuits.
Biscuit Instructions:
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cold shortening
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup milk, plus 1 Tbsp
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. I used the pastry cutter to do this. Slice the butter into about 10-12 pieces.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, two butter knives, or your fingers, work the shortening into the dry mix until crumbly.
  3. Add the butter, and continue to mix in. This time, keep the butter in somewhat larger pieces.
  4. Add 1 cup milk. Using a wooden spoon, mix until it starts to come together. Dump out onto a floured surface.
  5. Knead the dough gently until all the ingredients are incorporated nicely.
  6. Roll the dough out to about 10 by 8 inches or so. Fold the right side towards the middle, then fold the left side over the middle. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and roll out again. Repeat 2 more times.
  7. Finally, roll the dough to about 1/2". Using your hands, shape the dough into a rectangle. Cut into 8 or 12 pieces. Brush remaining milk over biscuits.
  8. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 16-20 minutes, depending on size.
While the biscuits bake, make the gravy.

Gravy Directions:
  1. Over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes, depending on how tender you prefer.
  2. Add chopped carrots. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in asparagus, cook 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vegetable broth base and spices. Add flour and mix it into the vegetables. Cook 1 minutes more. Add the milk, stirring vigorously to incorporate.
  5. Allow the mixture to cook and thicken about 4-5 minutes, adding more milk if you prefer a less thick sauce.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve over sliced biscuits and enjoy!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Etsy Goodies

Not a day goes by that I don't go and browse Etsy. Also known as the land of handmade goodness! I'm a firm believer in that what goes around comes around. I like to support other artists. I love the feeling of getting something made with love and respect to our bodies, earth and wallet. You get what you pay for!!!

Recently I got some of this soap from Crystalwood on Etsy. If you want a decadent treat for your skin, add this to your shower routine. Finally a body wash that truely is moisturizing!!!

The scents are truely delicious! This lavender one is made with pure essential oils. She also uses high quality fragrance oils that are almost edible with their sweet aromas. While you are shopping for others, be sure to throw a few of these into your shopping cart when you're on Etsy!

For those that know me a little more personally, you've probably already learned that I removed my dreadlocks a few weeks back. Just ready for a change, I guess. That lead me to a new experience, one that I haven't indulged in for years--15 years, to be exact! Hair bling! Now that my hair is free-flowing and finer in quantity than before, I needed some things to help hold my bangs back. These beautiful jewels from ThePinkCamilla were just what I was looking for.
I have no idea how she makes these, but I've never seen hairpins so gorgeous. Her delicate touch makes your hair sparkle and kissed with love.

My friend Lily has become an inspiration to me and many other crafty mamas out there. I'm so glad she is able to share her art with us in her shop. Her ability to use recycled materials in her work is something immaculate. The final product would have you NEVER guessing it was made from repurposed clothing. She scavenges Thrift stores for usable materials to go into incredible pieces of work. Her spats are one of her new creations. You can throw a bag of scraps at Lily and she will love your forever. All those little bits that drive us nuts, gathering in piles in our sewing room?? Lily transforms them into miracles.
These legwarmers are great! It's such a good way to add warmth to those beautiful dresses and skirts that often go hiding during winter. I love to wear an extra layer to my legs and feet during the cooler months when chillin around the house.

Speaking of cooler months, this pair of slipper boots are such a treat for my tootsies! Australian seller Craftidame created these fun and cheery slipper boots completely by hand. I love how she uses lots of color and texture in her work. These have become one of my favorites! They'll keep you warm and make ya look cute, too!

There are a couple more pairs in her shop, so go ahead and grab them before they sell out. You will be SOOOOO glad you did!

Finally, some fine jewelry to talk about. Irish seller Made For An Angel struck me when I came across her listings in a recent Etsy browse. I love the rustic feel to her pieces. A jeweler that is literally beating her metals into art. This Amber ring called for me. The flowers just add to the hand-crafted appeal that drew me in.
She will make her jewelry in your choice of stone. It won't be long before the treasure is in your hands, packed and shipped with love, promptly and safely.

I love Etsy!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

I've been diggin' on some roasted squash lately! Last Saturday we made roasted butternut squash soup, and cheese quesadillas to go along with it. Sunday I wanted more squash! This turned out so good! Both hubby and I went back for seconds!

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese

  • 4 oz whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of colby, cheddar and parmesan)
  • 2 cups diced roasted butternut or acorn squash. (I used a combination of both)*
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • breadcrumbs

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and bubbly, stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the flour. Stir until combined with the butter, then allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the can of milk and vegetable stock. Whisk and stir until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add all but 1/4 cup of the cheese and all of the squash. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Pour into a greased dish. Mix a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and add to the top of the pasta.
  4. Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until top is golden.

*For roasting the squash, you can do it two ways. I peeled the squash with a vegetable peeler (Not easy to do with the acorn!), cut it into cubes, then tossed it with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, until tender--about 20-25 minutes. You can also just cut the squash in half, rub with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast, cut side-down, for about 30 minutes or more. Just slip a knife or fork thru the flesh occasionally to see if it's tender enough. Then scoop the squash out with a spoon and cut up.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm baaaack!

I feel so ashamed that it has been nearly 2 months since my last post! I'd been busy with festivals and am actually relieved that the vending season is over for me. No Apple Butter festival for me this year. Just getting kind of sick of the white-trash-vibe and inconsideration for handmade items in my hometown festival. It's kind of sad, how many people around here just don't "get it" when it comes to one of a kind handmade items. Dollar General opened a new store here in town, and I think the community is stoked.

I finished up the vending season close to home, at the Watermelon Park Festival. The fest was small and laid back. The music was awesome and the crowd had a calm, friendly vibe. I ended up packing up and leaving on Saturday afternoon, with reports of a rain storm on the horizon, that wouldn't end for the rest of the day. Maybe I copped out, but the thought of sitting in a booth in the cold rain didn't sound fun to me, so back home I went. Many of my friends stayed for the rest of the day and enjoyed more bluegrass music.

This gal really loved my corduroy and cotton skirt and came back to pick it up just before I left on Saturday.

This happy lady loooved the Sun batik HEMP sundress and put it right on. Moments later, she put on some of my batik panties. I never thought I'd see not one but TWO ladies putting on my hand-dyed panties right inside the booth. Let's just say I wasn't quite ready for crotch-shots, but happy to have the sales!

My memory was somewhere else when I packed up for the festival. I hadn't realized until I was at the venue that I had forgotten to pack the top to one of my canopy tents. Duh!! We jimmy-rigged a top out of side-walls and grip-clamps. It worked for the dry day, but when it rained overnight on Thursday, we woke to a drippy ceiling the next morning. Our friend Tom saved the day when he pulled out an extra tent top and it happened to fit my frame perfectly! Note to self: add "tent tops" to my master vending list for next year!!!

I've been getting caught up with custom orders and starting on new ones here in the Potomac River Goods studio. I finished up pair of patchwork shorts yesterday, for a trade to Burt, who I met at Floyd Fest, and saw again at Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Here's the shorts I made for Burt, but they ended up being a bit too small for him. After a few adjustments, his new shorts are ready to be shipped out. (new ones not photographed)
I don't normally do copywritten images for my appliques, but I made an exception for Burt, who was really eager for me to do so. The patches are a collection of hemp/organic cotton and recycled poly from previous works, all hand-dyed by me. There is even some potato dextrin-dyed pieces in grey. The pockets were a bit of a challenge, but seemed a lot easier the second time around. I just might be doing more of these, because I really like how they feel when you slip your hands inside.

Here's the latest work in progress:
I dye all of my pieces in small batches using all kinds of plastic containers. Today was one of those days that I shuffled items into other containers just so I could use them for dyeing. I've got several tree batiks started in the green bath. When they are done curing, I will let them air-dry and then wax over the piece again. The green will become leaves on the trees. Then they will be dyed a darker color (not sure what shade yet) to reveal a tree with leaves. Other items in the dye are fabric, and other batik pieces. The rust brown piece in the square container is the beginning of a cat shirt for my niece. I made my sister one for her birthday several years ago, and she wants one, too! The colors will be different, but the spotted kitty is nearly the same as her mama's.

Here are some pics of a wedding dress I did earlier this Summer. Kate's wedding wasn't until September, so I held off showing off the pics as to make the dress a surprise to her guests.
Kate's wedding dress was inspired by my original Goddess Dress design, with a few modifications. It was constructed of natural hemp/organic cotton muslin, and trimmed with the same fabric dyed royal blue, earthy green and chocolate brown. I was really happy how it turned out!

It's been getting pretty chilly out here in the woods, and Autumn has officially started. I'll be working on more warm clothing and accessories over the next few months. Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Whole Wheat Bruscetta Tortellini

Run on out to the garden and git some! This simple meal is quick to prepare on a Summer's night, and uses herbs and tomatoes from your own garden.

Whole Wheat Bruscetta Tortellini
  • 1 package whole wheat prepared cheese tortellini (or any flavor you'd like)
  • 2 Tbsp each chopped basil and parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella bocconcini (tiny ball size)
  • 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all ingredients and put in a bowl.
  3. When the pasta is done, mix thoroughly with the tomato mixture.
  4. Top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a sprig of fresh basil
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Zucchini and Black Bean Burritos

If you're growing zucchini in your garden, you're probably up to your ears in them and are looking forward to a new way to chow down on these suckers.

These delicious burritos re-heat nicely and can be stowed in the freezer for later in the year.

Zucchini and Black Bean Burritos
(makes 4)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped
  • 1 chili, chopped fine (use whatever you'd like, I used a mild Poblano)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 4 flour burrito-size tortillas
  • 2 ounces each pepperjack and cheddar cheeses, grated
  • oil for drizzling, or oil spray

  1. Heat oil over medium high heat and add the onions. After about 4-5 minutes, when they soften, add the carrots. Continue cooking until carrots get tender to your liking (5-8 minutes).
  2. Add garlic, zucchini and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, until zucchini starts to get tender. Stir in spices.
  3. Pour in the black beans and add the spinach, and continue to cook for another few minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Heat the tortillas briefly on the skillet or in the microwave to soften.
  6. Divide the filling in the pan into 4 portions, by slicing thru the center, then slicing the other way, like a pizza.
  7. Lay the tortilla on a clean surface and add the burrito filling. Add 1/4 of the cheese, then roll up.
  8. Spray or rub with oil, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the burritos and continue to cook another 7-10 minutes, until the burrito gets browned to your liking.
  9. Top with your favorite toppings and serve. I used guacamole, sour cream and salsa.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

I'm still here, folks! Just been super busy again with these Summer Festivals!! Here's a quick and super tasty salad that is really refreshing!

Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad
  • 3 large Heirloom tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 4 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Combine ingredients and allow to chill for at least an hour. That's it!

Garnish with basil sprig. This makes a big salad, about 8-10 servings, so cut it in half if ya need to.

We had it with fettuccine with pesto and a cucumber salad.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

How ya got here, June 2009 Edition

Recent search queries to this blog:
  • Make her wee
  • Peeking at panties with toe camera
  • Drunk bunny Hookahville
  • Cooking for idiots
  • panty pictures kitchen oven
  • abuela fuck
  • panty giveaway 2009
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Friday, June 12, 2009

What's shakin on the homefront

Maybe ya been wonderin' where I'm at?? Well, I've been super busy preparing for Summer festivals, including my favorite--the Rothbury Festival; which you can read about here.

I'll share a few sneak peeks of some new pieces.

This one is made from hempcel (hemp and tencel blend). I dyed it to a lovely mauvy-deep lavender color using Procion Dyes.

This next one is made from the same blend, but dyed a multi-color purple, rust, even a bit of yellow. Each of these skirts take about 3 yards of fabric, and it's not cheap! But it's really amazing how these feel when you put them on. Half-circle style, with an attached waistband/ties with carriers around for multiple sizing. I also put pockets on the side of each one.

A big event did take place last month. I really don't like to bring ANY kind of negativity to this blog and try to keep everything on a positive note. Cuz who the hell wants to read about ya bitchin???

Well, here it goes. Having been a few weeks, I've managed to recoop a bit. At Delfest last month, we had to leave early. The fest was to run Thursday thru Sunday night, but on Saturday, a rain storm proceeded to rip my entire display down. I've NEVER been in such a terrifying moment in my whole life. What started out as big rain drops turned into hail, lightning, and then TERRIBLE winds. I had two great vending partners with me this time, and we began doing the usual rain maintenance. Pulling the sidewalls down, moving items from the areas prone to leakage, pushing out the rain from the bellies that form at the canopy cover, etc. Then the winds picked up. We each held on to a compromising leg--meaning ones that weren't weighed down by gridwall or weights. After the front tent lifted up from the wind, with all 130 lbs of my partner Rebecca, hanging onto it, we knew there was no way we were going to beat this storm. We ran for cover inside my cargo trailer, and held the doors shut, peeking out from time to time to check out the destruction.

2 hours after the storm started, we began the clean up. Both of my canopy tents were destroyed, the legs and arms snapping like small twigs, and all of our beautiful merchandise was thrown into muddy water. We were walking around in a big huge sponge, littered with what had become our home for the weekend.

The devastation immediately took effect. All the items that we spent so much time on, were thrown down in an instant, with no relief from mother nature.

We are okay. Most of my merchandise is okay, too, although some pieces are ruined, and will need to be discounted or given away. It just made me think how quickly things can change, for apparently no given reason.

We later found out that an actual tornado had been in the area. In the end, my canopy tents lay in the destruction graveyard, which we started in the center of the field. We saw at least 10 tents in the pile as we drove off, defeated.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right??

Leaving on a positive note, here's some mini tarts you can drool over. I got to use my thrifted French mini tart pans and felt so food-network-y.

Spinach, mushroom and caramelized onion

Chocolate chocolate raspberry dessert tarts (still one left!)
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Batik Panty Winner!!!

Congratulations, Merry!!! Merry was one of my customers during this last month to purchase something from my shop.

I hope you enjoy your free panties, Merry!!! Pin It

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Argula and Mushroom Stromboli PLUS a sneak peek!

As I was reading my bloglist in the late morning today, I came across Vegan Dad's post on Stromboli. I immediately went to the kitchen and busted out the bread machine. I hardly EVER make bread or dough without it.

The simple dough recipe is as follows:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups Bread Flour (I just added 1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten to regular flour, which is the same thing)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast

Add those to your bread machine, according to the manufacturers instructions.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. You'll also need to pre-heat your pizza stone in the oven at 400 degrees.

Arugula and Mushroom Filling
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 package Gimme Lean, Sausage Style
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, chopped (about a half cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp each: thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • 2 large handfuls of Baby Arugula (I used about half a box of organic)
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat and saute the sausage, breaking it up with the back of a spoon until lightly browned.
  2. Add the mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes, until the juices come out. Add the garlic and herbs.
  3. Stir in the baby arugula, a small handful at a time, tossing and turning the ingredients until the arugula wilts. Add water if the pan dries out. Continue to stir and cook for a few minutes more. Turn the heat off and set the filling aside.

Cut about 2/3 of the dough and roll out into a long rectangle. Save the reminder for a small pizza for yourself. The dough will keep in the frig for about a week.

Spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce over the top, then add the filling, leaving about a 1 1/2" border of dough. Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese. I used some cheddar, a 4 cheese Italian blend, and some sliced Havarti.

Cut 2" wide slits along the long sides. Fold the short end over the filling, then overlap the side pieces of dough, creating a braid.
Mine looks a little bit like an idiot tried to braid it. Whatever. It tastes good, and that's all I really care about.

Brush with milk and bake for about 2o minutes. Mine cooked up in about 15, so keep an eye out.

In other news, this week has been quite a creative week for me. Last weekend, the Earth Day Fest in Shepherdstown was such a success for me, it really got me inspired to work my butt off.

This dress will be my fifth dress just this week. Here's a sneek peak of one that was just finished up today:
Many of the items I've been creating will not be listed on the site or in my Etsy shop. They will be for summer inventory, heading to one of the festivals I'll be at this Summer. You can check my Facebook Fan Page for specific dates and information. Pin It

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thinking of buying Handmade Clothing?

As many of you who read this blog know, I am a handmade clothing artist, amongst many other forms of textile art.  I'd like to think that most of you who read this blog own or have owned a piece of handmade clothing.

What made you buy it?  Was it the overall appearance of the item?  The attention to detail?  The originality of the piece?  Was it the artist themselves?

As with many things in life, our own work can benefit from looking at the situation from the other side of table.  Put yourself in your customer's shoes.  Why should I buy this item?  What am I looking for? How would I find this item? What search terms might I use?

I came across a kick-ass website today that talks about the details of handmade clothing.  They discuss what to look out for, when buying a one of a kind piece from an artist.

Pricing can sometimes be 2-3 times the cost of store-bought items. 


These pieces we make, are the textile creations of the images we hold in our souls.  Our own art.  We express our vision thru the combination of textiles and threadwork.   Each piece carrying it's own feeling and symbolic  reasoning.  As with all artwork, it is hard to come up with a price for each piece.  My own pricing system refects the cost of supplies, and my time making the item, from selecting fabrics, dyeing them, down to the last thread snip.  And yes, I do snip my threads from EACH piece!

Why do you buy handmade?

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Heads, Shoulders, but what about his Knees and Toes?

On our way to the gym this morning:

Tim: I'm just gonna get rid of ALL the sweets when we get back home.

Me: K

Tim: No need in having it around.

Me: I'll just hide it.

Tim: Yeah, you'll hide it in the garbage can!

Me: Well, it's not like I've been pigging out on candy (remembering the reese's cups candy wrappers from his lunch on the couch yesterday afternoon)

Tim: Uh huh

Me: Well, I mean, just some of the Easter bunny. It's not like I've been hogging down on that. . . I just ate his head off. . .

Tim: Uh huh

Me: Okay, and maybe some of his shoulders, too. . .
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Batik Panty Giveaway!

For the next month, each purchase from my Etsy shop will be entered into a FREE batik panty giveaway drawing!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

On Thursday, May 14th, I will use random.org for a drawing of each sale from my shop.

Limit one per person.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Batik Booty

A couple of weeks ago I got 56 pairs of panties from the UPS guy.  This will be just the start of my Spring and Summer inventory of batik panties.  These have become a great seller here in my shop, and I'm excited to get them to more than one festival this year.   I began making a lot more of these late in the summer last year but actually made my first pairs several years ago.   I had ordered a few different styles last summer, but finally settled for the Boy short style after the other two styles ended up sticking around a lot longer.

The photo above shows the beginning of some that will get waxed again and go back into the dye.  Here's what it looks like when I'm waxing a piece.  I usually stretch it with an embroidery hoop, as it helps the wax penetrate the fabric.  Most of the times I sketch the designs in with pencil, but sometimes I just go for it and do it free-hand.  

I got started with about 20 some pairs in this last batch.  I say batch because I like to do several pieces at one time when I do batik.  No sense on dragging out all the supplies and messing up the studio just for one pair of drawers!  I mix up my dyes in small batches, and like to use up all that I've got at one time so it doesn't sit around and lose its' strength.  A lot of the times I have more dye than I need when I finish my batik clothing pieces, so the rest of the dyes get thrown onto random pieces of fabric I have here, a lot of which lately has been hemp.    

The latest dyed piece will go to a friend of mine who has traded a lovely skirt with me.  I will get pics of me in the skirt and her package I'm working on now.  Lily's trade from me will be many dyed goodies!  Here's a pic of the applique of Lily's skirt from her Myspace page: 

The applique is just beautiful, isn't it!  I've already worn the skirt 3 times in the past week!   More photos to come of new inventory and me in this skirt!!

An Award!

I was given this award by Jan over at Wyldewood Papers Blog for my RAOK post.  That was so nice of ya,  Jan!!  Thank you kindly!   I shall repay the compliment and give this award to:


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Award-Winning African Peanut Stew

Once you make this dish, you will wish you made an even bigger pot. And when that pot is gone, you can't wait for African Peanut Stew night again! You may remember the African Peanut Soup I blogged about back in Nov. This one is much heartier, yet still can make a kick-ass summer night meal when you're kickin' back some cold ones! Definitely one we will be cooking at the Spring and Summer festivals!

What award did this win? Mine! It's the kick-ass pot-luck award! I brought this to a pot luck at my friend Amy's house a few weeks ago and it was gone within the first two hours! All that was left was some shriveled up ol' beans and a crusty crock pot! I wished I'd set aside some to come home to, but instead I made another even bigger pot. We ate the stew with cornbread at the pot-luck, but I bet biscuits or a crusty loaf would be good too!

African Peanut Stew

  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Sweet Potato, cubed
  • Collard Greens (about 5-6 leaves), chopped roughly
  • Spices: 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cinn.
  • 1 can Chic Peas
  • 1 large can chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tb Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup veg. broth
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Edamame (Soy Beans) or use any bean you'd like
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts
  1. Saute onions, sweet potato, carrots and 1/2 tsp salt in 3 Tbsp olive oil for about 10-15 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add chopped garlic, and collard greens. Continue cooking 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in spices, allow to cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add chic peas, tomatoes, peanut butter, vinegar and veg stock. Bring a boil and cook 15 minutes.
  5. Add Edamame and cook 5 more minutes. Stir in peanuts and serve.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

For her wee Bum

My dear neice celebrated her 2nd birthday last week. I can't believe it myself! My dad made her a wooden table and ordered matching chairs. I decided to make her some little seat cushions and make it a family affair.

I bought 2" foam from Joanns. We traced around the seat of the chair to make a pattern from an old paper bag. I cut it out and traced it on the foam with marker. Turns out the piece I bought was the PERFECT size!

Next came the cutting. I used the best serated blade I have in my knife collection--this shitty wavy-type knife. It worked, though.

After cutting it out and wrestling with the knife to get thru the damn thing, I trimmed it a bit with some scissors.

Not that our angel of a child ever would, but just in case, I covered the cushions first in clear vinyl so that any spills would easily get wiped away. The outer cover would be washable.

Vinyl is not like any other fabric for sewing. It gets sticky. You can put tissue paper under and above your stitching area to keep it moving, or, go on eBay and get a Teflon foot like I did. Use a long stitch length when stitching vinyl to prevent a perforated edge affect on the seams.

Next came stuffing the vinyl covers. I folded the foam in half and stuffed it inside. Ya gotta keep it squeezed the whole time or it will start to tear the seams. Mine did just a little, but what the heck--it's on the inside and I jsut stitched right over it. Close the seam by pressing the whole cushion down, and moving your needle all the way to the left.

I made the cushions with 2 different fabrics, so she'd have a choice. Also, in case one side gets dirty, my sis can flip the cushion over for one more go before it goes in the wash. I used a pink fabric all around the sides. On one side, I used the matching print from the fabrics we used for her crib set and quilt. The other side is this weird looking mouse print. I wanted this to be easily removed for washing, so I put zippers on the sides. Good thing I checked the pattern once again for the placement of the velcro tabs because I almost positioned those in the wrong place like I did for the zippers!

Ahh well. The next set will be postioned properly. At least Mya can look down and see the print in the right direction when she's sitting at it!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hmmm. . .

So I've been working on this patchwork skirt for the past 2 days. Just a few hours each day. . . .
Now I'm letting it drop before I hem it tomorrow (it's bias patchwork).

All that hard work and I'm beginning to wonder if it just looks freaking stupid!

ahhhh well. . . .

a much anticipated SEWING post coming up tomorrow folks!!!! Pin It

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm doing it! RAOK

Random Acts of kindness.   Something you do for nothin'.

Today I'm going to buy a random person lunch.  I plan on hitting the road later on today, and as I pick up my lunch, I'm going to pay for the person behind me.  A drive-thru will be more inconspicuous--my vehicle quickly whisking away as the person reaches for their wallet, only to hear, "the lady ahead of you treated you today."
Because, why not?
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Split Pea Lentil Curry

Super easy, hearty, and great as leftovers!!! Add chopped celery and spinach if ya got it. ..

Split Pea Lentil Curry
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup lentils (I used brown)
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onions and carrots in 2 Tbs olive oil until the onions begin to turn translucent--about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and continue sauteing for another few minutes. Add the spices, lentils, veg stock and seasonings.

Bring to a boil and turn the heat down. Cover and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes or more, or until the lentils are soft enough to your liking.

Serve over rice and top with fresh cilantro. Pin It

Monday, February 23, 2009

Whole Wheat Poppyseed Bagels

Last weekend I made some of my favorite bread. I love to use this recipe for wheat bread since it's really soft and delicious. The only change I made was to use melted butter instead of melted shortening--cuz who the hell wants to eat that? It makes two loaves, so I decided to make half bagels and half cinnamon walnut bread.
The bread was soooo freaking good! We ended up eating it for dessert and breakfast with some fruit salad when my girlfriends came to visit me last weekend. Most of the bread was gone before trying it any other way, but I bet toasting it up and slathering with some butter, that bread would be drool-worthy!

All of the bagels had poppy seeds, and some had some dried onion flakes and garlic salt, for sort of an everything bagel. I'm still on the look-out for fennel seeds. I'd like to try to make Vegan Dad's lunch meat again--which I wasn't that thrilled with, but with a few modifications, I might like it better. These were big bagels--too large for my liking. It feels like you'll gain 10 pounds eating a full bagel, so I've been cutting them in half. Next time I will form them smaller, but still wide enough to make sammies out of.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just for the FLOCK of it!

I wanted to let you know how kick-ass the Flock browser is. For some reason, Mozilla Firefox has been giving me shit lately. It will freeze up, and I can't do anything on my computer. I have to reboot, and, well, who the hell wants to do that?

What I love about the Flock browser:
  • A sidebar that can load up your myspace, facebook, flickr, also loads up e-mail alerts, and, one of my favorite, has a blog browser. Each time you get new mail, RSS feeds, comments, friend requests, etc, a little icon turns orange on the side-bar tab.
  • A media stream you can load up above your browser viewing window. You can easily scroll thru pics for a smile or inspiration while you surf
  • easier screen shots. Oh gawd, I love those things.
  • Faster loading times (for both web pages and the program itself)
  • Each time you open a new window, you can view a series of mini screen shots of your most frequently visted websites. Just click on it and BAM! you're there! Also has a column for recently closed windows, in case you wanna go back.

Now if I could only get a little flashing alert that lights up on my laptop so I won't have to sit down here, even just to check for new stuff. Cuz that's when I get distracted and start stumbling and google-image-searching and you-tubing.

Sorry to bore you with no pics today.
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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Empanada Throwdown

Last weekend my family gathered for an early birthday party for my dad, and an empanada cook-off. We all brought different ones, 6 in total. My mom made her traditional empanadas, using ground turkey, chopped hard boiled eggs, raisins, olives and spices, and another kind with smoked mozzarella. I love how mom brushes hers with egg and sprinkles sugar on top.

My sister-in-law brought two kinds, spicy turkey, and (my favorite) spinach and feta. My brother-in-law brought the winning chicken, corn and cheese empanadas (which I obviously didn't try). It was interesting to see the differences in shapes and textures. My mom used frozen puff pastry sheets. Pie crust was used from both in-laws, but I chose to use a can of Grands biscuits.

I carefully peeled each biscuit into two, getting 16 pieces from one can. I rolled each round out to about 6 inches, and filled with some mashed up black beans that I'd sauteed with garlic and spices. I added a pinch of shredded cheddar, then topped it with a small spoonful of chopped bananas, which I'd also cooked briefly in some olive oil and salt. After folding them over and sealing, I also brushed mine with beaten egg, but they are just as good without.

The sauce was a mixture of sour cream, mayo, a splash of milk, lemon juice, chopped garlic, and a pinch of thyme, basil, and savory.

The possibilites are endless with these little delicious savory treats! Pin It
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