Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Proof that I'm nuts

For those of you who know me you’re probably thinking, “Huh, we didn’t need proof”. For those of you on the fence, let me gently push you over.

Remember the cute little T-shirt dresses I made the other day for my girlies???

Well, I just had to do it…

Oh yes.

I had left over ladybug fabric and leftover t-shirt fabric that I had cut from the bottom of the girl’s t-shirts.

I took one of their doll shirts and traced it as a pattern for the t-shirt part of the dress.

I inspected the doll shirt closely to see how it was put together and copied it as best I could.

Now, I have never made doll clothes before and doubt that I will again. If you sew, throw out all the rules when it comes to making doll clothes. Like don’t fold twice for a hem. Just fold once and stitch. Don’t even think about backstitching (Hitting the reverse button to “knot” the ends of your sewing line). Everything is way too tiny for those kinds of details. This must be where the saying “held together by a thread and prayer” came from.

I also changed how I attached the skirt part. For the doll dress I left the ladybug fabric open until after it was attached to the shirt. I also ironed in a few pleats before I pinned things together.

Once it was together, I stitched up the back part way and put a hem in the rest with a few Velcro closures. Vola!
Did you notice their stylish footwear??? If the dresses weren’t enough I made SHOES!?!

When I presented the dolls all dressed in their new attire my darling daughter inquired… “Are you making shoes too Mama?” “Santa made some shoes out of fabric and cardboard.”

(Thinking to self; Ok, how hard could it be…Santa does it.)

So I scrounged up some felt, craft foam and the ribbon. Pulled out my trusty glues anything glue and went to work.

Ta DA!!!!
What I didn’t think about was that Santa has Elves

I will NEVER


NEVER EVER make doll shoes again.

But boy, the look on their face was worth it!!!!!!!
I am Mommy… I can do ANYTHING (For about 10 minutes then they’ll think something different I’m sure).

Friday, June 25, 2010

T-shirt Dress

I’ve seen cute T-shirt dresses on other blogs and in Esty stores and I always wanted to try making one myself. The impulse finally hit me at the right time and I bit the bullet. My girls and I went together to pick out some cute fabric that would coordinate but not be too matchy-matchy.

I had already picked up a few T-shirts on clearance and now with the fabric in hand I was ready to go.

I roughly measured my daughter from mid torso to knee for the length. Using another dress from her closet I guesstimated the width to be about 1 and a half yards to 4 feet. Once I cut the fabric I ironed the selvage edge to make a hem.

Then fold the fabric with the right sides facing in and stitch the edge to make a tube. After that I trimmed to about ¼ inch from that edge and ran it back through my machine using a zigzag stitch to keep the edges from fraying.

Now for the shirt part…measure about 4 inches down from the bottom of the sleeve and cut straight across the t-shirt.

Then I pined the fabric to the shirt, randomly placing folds or pleats to gather the fabric around the waist (an empire waist).

Here are the finished dresses.

I had some matching ribbon and I found ladybug buttons that I used to embellish the top of the shirt. The two dresses (including the time spent sewing the first one together wrong, ripping it out and sewing it again) took my around 90 minutes.

Not too shabby??? I wish I had done this before the way my girls love to wear dresses.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fun day for Dad

To celebrate Father’s Day we gave our Dada a “Daddy pick day”. He got to pick what HE wanted to do for fun and we all went along to enjoy our time together. His first choice was to go into the city and hit the strip district.

Hold on a minute there cowboy….

Get your mind out of the gutter. The strip district has nothing to do with nudity. The Pittsburgh Strip District is a section of the city where all the freshest foods are delivered to warehouses and market places. It’s about a mile long section of road that is peppered with ethnic markets, fresh seafood markets, fresh flowers, amazing restaurants full of character, and industries turned nightclub.

If your looking for something this is the place to find it. Here is a listing of all the businesses you can find there. For someone who loves to people watching I couldn’t have been happier to go for a stroll in this populated part of town and then for the hubby who loves food and cooking he was in hog heaven.

It’s not odd at all to walk past someone set up with a grill right on the street cooking an on-the-go snack for you. The smells are all encompassing from the fresh bread baking to the coffee house to the fresh ground spices to the competing grill masters offering up Asian to Mexican to anything in-between.

After parking we strolled down one side of the street meandering through flea markets, street vendors and dodging in and out of the most interesting mom and pop shops. There was so much to see. The kids were intrigued by every little detail. I found some homemade soap that smelled good enough to eat.

She was set up with a small table on one of the corners but if you’re interested she sells them here too.

Shortly there after we made our way into Penzeys Spice Shop. It’s a fairly large store that sells nothing but spices. This is the place to kick your cooking up a notch. I entertained the kids at the coloring table in the back while the hubby got to go from bin to bin enjoying the various aromas. We left there with Curry, Cumin, Adobo and smoked paprika. I see some flavorful couscous in our near future. Next was a stop at Wholey’s Seafood market. It’s fun to just watch the skill of the men and women working there as they fillet the fish. In the back you can see large tanks of live fish and lobster. In the front of the store you can order up the special of the day or go over and watch your sushi being plated. My son was thrilled to watch the toy train run its track around the perimeter of the ceiling. It was getting close to lunchtime but we decided to continue walking and see what else we came across. From here we crossed the street and slowly worked our way back down the other side of the street.

We usually have brunch at Pamela’s Diner (they have the most amazing crepe style pancakes EVER!) but this time we opted for Asian… alfresco. We came upon a makeshift restaurant Hmmm, OK, so it was an empty lot between two buildings that had a truck up on blocks and then a particleboard counter around the one side. Next to that they had a tent and some plastic lawn chairs and a folding table. Did you ever notice that place like this sometimes have the best food??? We hit the jackpot! We got sesame chicken, chicken fried rice and a few spring rolls. Everyone was very pleased with the food and we gobbled it up like there was no tomorrow.

We even shared a few morsels with the overly friendly birds that came begging for a taste.

Then we strolled through The Pennsylvania Macaroni Co (est.1902). This is a must-stop place. They have a great deli and awesome breads. There was a table set up out front with fresh baked goods and so the kids got a black and white cookie. Mmmm, three happy (and quiet) kiddos. Right afterwards we popped into Stamoolis Brothers just a few doors down.

It’s a great deli and market specializing in cheeses and olives and other Greek favorites. They are always willing to talk with you about your choices and cut from the large wheels of cheese. With left there with some yummy cheeses, grape leaves and baklava.

Which we promptly broke into and munched just outside the door.

Before we found our way to the car I got to run inside a fabric store and then into a jewelry shop. As we drove out of town at 1:45, this was the line to get into Primanti Brothers Restaurant.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned them before but I don’t know in what post. Anyway they make these ginormous sandwiches. This is a must stop if you’re ever in the strip district. (Maybe we'll go there next time).

Back home the little man and the big Daddy took a nap while the girls and I watched a movie. After naps the kids had dinner while Daddy and I nibbled the cheeses and sipped some wine. Then we made a last minute decision to go to church this evening so the big Daddy could have his Father’s Day morning sleeping in and being leisure.

After the evening mass we hopped over to another local church for their annual festival. In a quick hour there, we won a few prizes, picked up a small bag of cookies and headed back home. The hubby and I sampled the espresso we bought earlier (with a little Sambvca) while we watched the kiddos catch lightening bugs.

What an awesome day. I think we all had as much fun as the big Daddy. I hope you had a good time Bubba.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

For everyone who is a Dad, Grandfather, Godfather, Soon-to-be Dada and the sweet, caring, loving Men who are “like a Dad” to so many, I wish you all a special Father’s Day weekend!!!!
Don't ever underestimate the influence that you might have in someone's life.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Craft for Dad

Father’s Day is just around the corner. I have the kids make a T-shirt for their Dad every year. You can see last year’s shirt here. This year I thought I would step it up a notch and get just a little more creative.

What do ya think??? That’s a sun, a butterfly and a (foot) lobster in case you were wondering. Any ideas on what hand print designs I can do next year????

Do you have any Father’s Day traditions?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yummy Summer Treat

Here’s an idea for a cool, eat-on-the-go summer dessert. It’s a twist on the traditional S’more and you don’t need a campfire to make them. OK, so you do need a freezer.

Frozen S’mores

Graham Crackers
Chocolate Ice Cream
Marshmallow Fluff
Wax Paper

Tear out several sheets of wax paper and have them stacked up ready to use. Break your graham crackers into squares. Coat all pieces with marshmallow fluff. I used the backside of the spoon to scoop and spread the fluff. While you’re doing this prep work, have your ice cream sitting out to soften. Spoon out ice cream to fit on one square of cracker and top with another marshmallow coated cracker. Wrap each sandwich up in it’s own sheet of wax paper. Put the tidy little package back into the freezer for at least an hour. If you’re taking them with you pack them in a cooler with plenty of ice.

The kids loved them!
What’s your favorite summer treat???

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day

We’re pretty patriotic around here. You might have noticed we were fairly decked out in flags for Memorial Day. I tear up when the star spangled banner plays. I guess it comes with the territory. I mean people around here set their chairs up at least a week before the 4th of July parade. (I’m not kidding…it’s at least a week in advance and you better not mess with someone’s chair).

Anyway, I thought I would go over some flag etiquette.

First off let me just review the meanings for each color.
Red: stands for courage
White: is the symbol of purity and innocence.
Blue: is the color of vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Flags should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset unless given a spotlight. Unless for some very special reason, a flag should NOT be displayed in a storm or rainy weather. In no case should it touch the ground. It should be raised briskly and lowered solemnly.

When hung from a pole, the blue field should be against the pole and always at the top. When hung vertically or horizontally against a wall the blue field should be to the left for the person viewing the flag.

When displayed in the middle of a street it should hang vertically and the blue field should point north (or east for a street that runs north and south).

When a flag passes during a parade, men and women not in uniform are to place their right hands over their heart.

To dispose of an old tattered flag you need to drop it off at the local post office. They should all have a flag drop box.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pesto Anyone?

One of the things I planted during my weekend project was some basil. I love to use fresh herb for all my summer cooking. I usually have them on the back deck but with full sun all day it can be a challenge to keep them healthy. This year I thought I would try them on the front porch. They seem inviting and they can get a reprieve from the harsh sun there.

It didn’t take long for the tiny plant to fill out.
It was just calling my name and I know how good it is for the plant to get cut back so it grows in even fuller. So no time like the present for a little pesto.

2 cups packed Basil
2-3 Cloves Garlic (I use 1 or less)
1/3 cup Pine Nuts
½ cup Olive Oil
½ cup Ramano Cheese

In a food processor or blender add the pine nuts and the basil and pulse it a few times. Add a little garlic and start to stream in some olive oil while the processor is running. Check the texture; add in some cheese and maybe some more olive oil. Blend. Salt to taste and you’re done.
This is great over pasta, chicken, backed potato or I like it on slices of baguettes with a little mozzarella sprinkled on top.

What fun summer cooking do you enjoy?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Grand Re-opening!!!

I’d like to announce the re-opening of my jewelry business. Well, I never really closed. I just shut down my old web site. I’ve been making jewelry all the while and now my new site is up and running!!!!

Not all of the search engines have indexed me yet but Google just picked me up and recently started listing me. I hope the others will find me soon.

To go with the new site I have a new name.
Rebecca Designs

This new site will be small and easier to navigate. I no longer have a shopping cart and all that means is that I will no longer accept credit cards. Payments will go through pay pal and orders will be placed via E-mail. Simple.

I still have several items sitting on my workbench that need to be photographed and I hope to add them soon. Since my almost 5-year old tripped and stumbled back onto my tripod, photos are slightly more challenging/time consuming. I didn’t want to wait any longer to show off my store but check back and see what I add in the weeks to come.

Please let me know what you think!


Happy Shopping.