Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sewing Under the Influence

We've been working overtime the last couple weeks to prepare for the Maple Valley Craft Bazaar, getting everything planned out and bulking up our stock. This weekend it was especially nice weather so we decided we might as well have fruity summer drinks even if we aren't outside enjoying the sun.
I'm getting ready to go run some more errands for the show so in the mean time here are a couple treasuries we've been featured in. Tomorrow I'll be posting some items from other artists that will be attending the bazaar.

The frst treasury is from our friend Jenna from Jenna's Red Rhino, who is so kindly lending us her two dress forms for the bazaar this weekend so we can better display our work. Thanks Jenna!

The other treasury is from one of our fellow Upcyclers, SpiritJug, a husband and wife team from Omaha, Nebraska who sell up-cycled accessories.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Accessories in our Genes

We're back! Actually we've been back... since last Saturday... but it's been busy and you know how it goes. But now that the dust has settled again, I have some time to write a little about our trip. Cami and I went on a mini vacation last week with our mom to Florida to visit our aunt and grandparents. It was a pretty mellow trip filled with lots of family time, afternoon naps and swimming to cool off. Okay fine, maybe it was only in the high 70's, but come on, we're from the Northwest, that's like a 30 degree jump! Needless to say we spent as much time as possible enjoying the air conditioning.
Family Portrait: (from left to right) Mom, Grandma, Mandy, Aunt, Grandpa, Cami
As long as I can remember, one of the most fun things to do when visiting our grandparents is rummaging through my grandma's sewing room. This is of course the grandma we named our line of Camilla aprons after, which she found very touching.
Grandma's Sewing To-Do Pile
 As you can see her age is certainly not holding back her sewing ambitions, also evidenced by the wall and a half of hats she's made.
My personal favorite is the top right, complete with netting and butterflies.
Since she is obviously not at a loss for fabric she let us look through her collection of the some of the fabric that gotten lost as the years went by. One of the items we found were these awesome vintage applique squares.
Kermit approves!
We, of course, had to turn these babies into an apron. Combines with some other vintage red and white star print we came up with this awesome new addition to our shop.
Up-cycled Strawberry Shortcake II Apron
So.. I'm glad to be back and I apologize for the hiatus. Keep an eye out for new aprons as we prepare for the Bazaar at Maple Valley Community Center on May 1st. Yikes! Only a week away!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Filler From Florida

The Drapes of Wrath team, Cami and myself, are on a mini vacation this week to Florida with our mom to visit our Grandparents and Aunt. It is hot, hot, hot and we are trying to keep in the shade so we don't get heat stroke. In absense of any original posts about cooking or sewing here are a handful of the treasuries we've been featured in this week.

The first is a lovely collection of gift ideas for Mother's Day put together by Lesley over at The Fabric Vinyard, featureing our Garden Greens Cross-Stitch Apron.

Our Up-Cycled Knitter's Dream apron was featured in a showcasing of spring fashion by Kerri at Cup Of Grace Studio, where you can find her beatuiful original paintings.

And Susan who runs the Etsy shop Suzi's Corner Boutique also featured the Up-Cycled Knitter's Dream apron in this beautiful batch of blues.

We'll have a nice post about our trip with lots of pictures when we get back to the wet cold Northwest, that is if we don't melt first....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Goodwill to Good Lookin': Lions Club Blazer

One of our popular items lately are the men's up-cycled suit aprons, like the Fry Another Day apron which only lasted a few hours in our Etsy shop before selling. We recently got quite a steal on some suit jackets and shirts to make these aprons at St. Vincent de Paul, so we wanted to share the process of making them with you. One of our finds was this neat powder blue Lions Club International blazer.
This was such a cool vintage discovery, I loved the color, and the Lions Club patch added an extra retro charm to the jacket. We paired it up with a white dress shirt to complete the look.
 The first thing we do to make these aprons is deconstruct the jacket and trim the front down to an apron shape.
To make the lower half of the apron we use the bottom back of the jacket and extend the length of the jacket front. Here you can see this piece being hemmed before getting attached to the jacket front.
Once the shirt piece is fitted and tacked into the apron front, we finish it off by adding the waist strap. The final product is a dashing apron that will make any man look like a 5 Star chef!
License To Grill Mens Apron

April Showers...

According to that old saying we all know, and considering how much it's been raining here in Seattle, I'd say that those May flowers have their work cut out for them this year. They better be working over time. On that note, it was this thought that inspired our theme for this weeks Treasury NonTeam Challenge.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mandy's Bytes: Linsen, Spätzle und Saitenwürstle

Thanks to our followers on Facebook who voted in the poll the recipe I made yesterday was Spätzle. I did some googling to get ideas on what to make with it, since noodles on their own are a little plain, and came up with a traditional German dish Linsen, Spätzle and Saitenwürstle which is spätzle served with a lentil stew and frankfurter like sausages. We'll start with the Spätzle recipe, which I got from the Smitten Kitchen blog:
Dang, that's a lot of eggs!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, flour, and milk. If you have a mixer, I would recommend using it, I mixed my batter by hand and it got very sticky and hard to stir. After it's all mixed together, cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
After the dough has rested for an hour you can get ready to make the noodles. Start by setting a large pot of generously salted water to boil. You will also need to prepare an ice bath to put the noodles into when they come out of the boiling water. You can make the noodles a few different ways, of course if you have a Spätzle press you can use that, you can make lines of dough on a cutting board and use a knife to cut pieces into the pot, or the way I made them is to press the dough through a colander set on top of the pot.
Wear over mitts for this! Steam is hot!
Put about a quarter of the dough into your colander and use a spoon or spatula to press it gently through the holes. Don't put too much in the pot at once or they will all stick together in a big blob. Once in the water let the noodles boil until they float to the top, then scoop them our with a slotted spoon and drop them into the ice bath.
Once you've made all the Spätzle you can drain them out of the ice bath and serve them however you want. I adapted the recipe for the lentil stew from this recipe and you'll need the following ingredients.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked, rinsed lentils
- 4 1/4 cups meat or vegetable stock
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 2 slices bacon cut into small pieces
- Vegetable oil for fyring
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- Saitenwürstle sausages
I wasn't able to find any Saitenwürstle, but the recipe described them as fairly similar for frankfurters so I settled for some good beef franks instead. I started out by starting the lentils to boil in the stock.
In a large skillet heat up the oil and fry the bacon pieces, carrot and onion until the carrot and onion start to soften. Once the lentils have boiled until they are tender, add the lentils and stock to the skillet and combine with the carrot, onion and bacon mixture. Next you can take the franks and add them to the skillet to heat up. I also put the Spätzle in another pot to warm them back up after the ice bath.
As you can see this recipe makes a LOT of food, so if you plan on making it, have some friends over to share. Once the Spätzle are warmed up, serve the lentil stew and franks over the Spätzle and enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Flowers and Spring Greens

Today I'll be making the Spaetzle that was voted as the next Mandy's Bytes recipe, so you can look forward to that post tomorrow. I've also been working on adapting a recipe for the S'mores Bars that is entirely from scratch instead of using the store bought sugar cookie mix, but it still needs some work before it's just right. In the mean time I wanted to share a couple treasuries that we've been featured in this week.

The first was compiled by Bonnie and her daughter Abbie who own the shop AidforAbby, where they sell artwork by Abby who is autistic.

The other treasury we were featured in is by Susan who sells awesome jewelry made from vintage buttons, as well as other vintage items, in her shop CalloohCallay.

Enjoy these treasuries and keep an eye out for my adventure with Spaetzle tomorrow as well as a new apron on the horizon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Goodwill to Good Lookin': Cross Stitch Table Cloth

Many of our aprons are up-cycled from vintage and re-purposed materials and we wanted to show you guys a little more insight into our process. Our latest apron started out as a sage green vintage table cloth with a hand cross-stitched floral design, in green and white, in the middle and at the corners of the table cloth. We cut the table cloth in half to use one half as the skirt of the apron.
The wavy table cloth edge adds a flirty touch to the hem.
From the remaining half we used one corner of the table cloth to make a pocket, with a folded down top that we embellished with a re-purposed button. The pocket is edged with a decorative stitch which compliments the original stitching of the fabric.
The flower shaped button is the cherry on top of this apron.
We finished the piece with a waistband of sage and cream polka dot cotton which is attached to the skirt with the same decorative stitch used on the pockets. The final result is a very cute, flirty apron that speaks to this springs farmhouse, shabby chic trends.
Garden Greens Cross-Stitched Apron

Monday, April 4, 2011

Go Team(s)!

This week we've been featured in a couple team lovin' treasuries that are just gorgeous. The first is made by our fellow Retro Handmade Team member, meaicp. Meaicp sells some awesome vintage style corsages, along with some downright stunning fabrics.

We were also featured in a treasury showcasing members of the EtsyRAIN Team by Andrea over at Beadmask. Andrea's shop is full of beautiful masks, jewelry and hair accessories.

And last but certainly not least we were featured in a treasury that isn't for a team, but celebrates our favorite accessory: the apron! This collection is by Etsy user 2TomorrowsTreaures who sells quilts, aprons and other crafts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mandy's Bytes: No Fry Crab Rangoons

I don't know about you guys, but whenever I attempt making fried food, I always end up getting oil burns and those aren't fun. So I was pretty excited when Cami and I found this great recipe on Allrecipes.com for baked Crab Rangoons. Not only is it a healthier option, it's also much safer for those of us with a fear of frying.

- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 (6 ounce) can crabmeat, drained and flaked
- 2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 48 wonton wrappers

Since these are baked instead of fried, the first step you can take is to preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Get out a decent sized bowl to mix the filling in and after you've drained the crab put it into your mixing bowl. You can use a fork to flake the crab into small bits.
Next you want to add to the mixing bowl the cream cheese, chopped green onions, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. Don't make the same mistake we did, adding 2 tsp soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, ours came out a wee bit salty (but still delicious). We also had to substitute about a teaspoon of garlic powder for the fresh garlic, which worked just as well.
We tried mixing the filling together with a whisk, but it just ended up getting all stuck inside the whisk, so a fork or spoon is really all you need. Or if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, just squish it all together with your fingers.
When you're filling the wrappers, you can make them pretty much any shape you want, a purse or a triangle like the original recipe, we chose to do a wonton type pinched triangle shape. Drop about a heaping teaspoon of filling onto each wrapper, wet the edges with water and pinch together with a fork or your fingers. Make sure to get a really good seal or the filling can make quite a mess on the baking sheet.
Get a baking sheet ready and spray it with cooking spray, then you can line up your rangoons, they can be fairly close together on the sheet, and we managed to fit the whole batch on one sheet. The recipe calls for 48 wrapper, but we only ended up with 31 rangoons.
After you have them all on the sheet give them another good coating of cooking spray, and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes. Take them out when the edges of the wrappers are golden brown. You can serve these with any sauce you want, my personal favorite is a Sweet Chili Sauce, and they are shown here with Black Bean Garlic Sauce.
These were a delicious treat, and a healthier alternative to their greasy take-out counterparts.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Organization and Inspiration

To celebrate the end of Cami's perpetual busyness (Pharmacy rotations) we spent some time cleaning out our workspace and re-organizing our fabric stash to get some inspiration. Here are a few of the sets of fabric we paired together.
Vintage Floral Linens, Sage Polka Dot, and Yellow Floral Print
Violet Floral Print, Lavender and Yellow Up-Cycled Linens
Up-Cycled Linens in Circle Print, Yellow and Green
Vintage Floral Fabric, Yellow and Green Up-Cycled Linens
Green and Red Floral, Cream Linen-look Cotton, and Green Up-Cycled Linens
Jenny, who runs the Etsy shop A Bird in the Hand Art, has also used this fabric in some beautiful fabric decoupage jewelry. I guess great minds think alike at the fabric store.
Striped Canvas, Sage Polka Dot, and Up-Cycled Aqua Linens
Our Black and White Collection

Up-cycled Aqua and Lime Linens, and Yarn Skein Print Cotton
The last is what really caught our eye as the project to take on for the day. So we set to work with the help of Cami's cats Kermit, who watched over the work table, keeping us on task.
Kermit, Productivity Manager
We also had the assistance of Calypso, who makes sure our scraps and thread clippings are properly disposed of.
Calypso, Head of Waste Management
I managed to get photographs of the finished product today in a tiny window of good weather, before the rain started up again.
Knitter's Dream in Aqua and Green

We hope you enjoyed the sneak peak into our stash, which combination is your favorite?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Marie Antionette Meets Martha Stewart

This weeks inspiration item over at the Treasury NonTeam Challenge was a very cute cake stand, which got me thinking about cake, and how tasty it is, and the result is this fun treasury which is our entry for this weeks challenge.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...