a pretty cool life.: August 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Sunday

Hi patient blog readers!

I guess I disappear for weeks at time now...  Sorry.

We've been busy enjoying our last days of summer and getting ready for the first day of preschool this week. 

He's thrilled. 

I want to cry. 

The kid has some nerve growing up.

I also got my birthday present a few weeks early.  Now I, too, can have the unofficial offical blogger pic in the mirror. :)

And because blogland doesn't have enough camera straps already, I'll share how I made mine tomorrow.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vintage sheets

Since Friday, I've gotten a whole bunch of super nice emails.  I guess everyone loves vintage linens like I do!

Anywho, I guess I never really considered selling any of my stash until I got some requests for specific sheets. If someone really "needs" one, how could I say no?

So, if you're interested, email me at cls1981 {at} att {dot} net.  I'm willing to part with a few if you pinky swear you'll love them and give them a good home, too. :)

Happy Sunday

Happy weekend.  Happy day.  Smiles all around.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh yes I did

buy 40 vintage sheets and pillowcases yesterday.  This is only a portion of them.  The rest are still soaking.

So sorry to everyone else in the Chicagoland area.  They're all mine! :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Greetings from the tomato farm!

We're having a bumper crop of tomatoes this year!  I'm trying out all kinds of recipes so I don't waste a single one. 

Many call for the tomatoes to be peeled, and here's a quick way to do it: 

With a paring knife, slice a shallow X in the bottom of your tomatoes.

Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute and then immediately put them into an ice bath until they're cool enough to pick up.

The skin should peel back easily. 

Monday, August 16, 2010


We had a fun weekend filled with birthday parties and handmade gifts. 

A lap quilt for my mom, made of vintage linens:

A tote bag for my sister, made from a super preppy madras and lined in yellow:

And for our next door neighbor who turned one, a crayon roll and applique puppy shirt:

We certainly enjoyed the parties...I hope everyone enjoyed their gifts!

And for the record, it was also my dad's birthday, but he got a stack of books...nothing handmade.  I need to find some manly handmade gift ideas because I just don't think an applique tshirt would work for him. ;)

ps. Hop on over to Cat's blog to see me interviewed today!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In a bind

I finally braved up and learned how to attach my walking foot.  It was really worth being nervous over.

Not.  It took about 30 seconds to change. 

I've spent the past few nights on a date with it and some vintage sheets.

And now I have four quilts that need binding.  :)

I've talked about how I like making my own bias tape for binding, but now I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  I'm really thinking about getting one of these.  Does anyone have one?  Is it worth it? 

ps. Anna talked about serging her quilts before binding them the other day...I've always done the same thing, but was afraid to admit it since my quilting skills are mainly self-taught.  She gave me the reassurance I needed to tell you...it makes things so much easier!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Faking it: letterpress

Inspired by this, I tried my hand at faking letterpress. 


I love how the intentionally imperfect style mimics some of my other favorite projects

And while I was at it, I also made some food gift tags.  I think I like them best!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

I'm constantly trying to think of pretty ways to package gifts and my etsy items.  Lately, I've been playing with paper and my sewing machine.  It's creative, easy, and definitely economical.

And fingers crossed, I may be packaging a whole lot more if I get the chance to sell some of my things in a local shop.  Yay!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dill pickles

As promised, here's my fave pickle recipe.  It's based on a mix of a few pickle recipes I've tried and liked before.  I think this one's awesome because it has just enough spice to it and the pickles stay pretty crisp.  They're not very spicy to me, but feel free to omit the red pepper.

Do you love pickles like I do?  I love pickles.  I mean I really love pickles. 

When I was pregnant with my 3 year old, my co-workers nicknamed him Pickle because I ordered one from Jimmy every day.

I really love pickles. 

This recipe makes 4-5 quart jars or 8-9 pint jars, give or take. 

You'll need:

5 large cucumbers (I just use my regular cukes from my garden)
4 cups water
3 cups distilled vinegar
12-15 dill sprigs
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons pickling spices

Slice your cukes as thick (or thin) as you'd like your pickles to be.

Mix all of the ingredients, minus the dill sprigs, in a large bowl.  Add the cucumbers to it and let it sit for a few hours.

Add a few dill sprigs to each jar.

Tightly pack the cucumbers into the jars with the dill sprigs.

Pour the liquid into each jar and spoon in the spices.

Screw the lids on and refrigerate for 2 weeks. 

Good luck with that.  I usually last about 2 days before I start eating them.  I could wait 9 months to find out the sex of my babies, but not 2 weeks for pickles.  Go figure.

They'll keep in the fridge for a month.  Enjoy!


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