12.06.2009

Tote-a-licious

Finished up three more totes for a Christmas order, including this vibrant fabric one with red and black flowers, suited for a 17” laptop.  It is by far one of my favorites.  I still don’t have embroidery capabilities but was pleased to find such cute iron-on appliqu├ęs. 

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I also decided to try out a new cake recipe on my husband tonight.  His birthday was last week and he requests the same thing every year……chocolate cake.  Well, while searching for chocolate cake recipes made by other than Ms. Crocker, I stumbled across this Golden Rum Cake recipe that was highly recommended.  I decided to make it this week’s venture.  The glazing is cooling as I type so I hope the wait is well worth it. 

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.  (or pour half of glaze into pan and put cake back in, pour rest of the glaze on the bottom of cake and let fully absorb.)
  4. To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.  

11.22.2009

Christmas Orders Are In…..

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And I’m quickly wrapping up another order of totes.  One including a tote for a Breast Cancer Survivor, which I am honored to create a design for.  This should wrap up most the totes for the season and now I’ll be onto children’s craft aprons, which I cannot wait to design.

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11.16.2009

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup I’m a huge soup lover, but have had my fair share of failed butternut squash soups either off the shelf or from the market.  I planned for a section in my garden for this invasive gourd just to try my shot of making my own version.  After harvesting the baby squash (before the first freeze) I was so excited and roasted them with butter and brown sugar….the house smelled incredible.  The rest of the steps of my journey are below, and boy it is a filling meal in a cup.  I couldn’t get over the aromas and flavors of every bit from a visually simple soup.  It’ll be hard to buy this off the shelf again, when I know how good it can be homemade.

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

11.15.2009

Winter Tails

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“Winter?” you say?  I am staring at 10” of snow outside our window resting on our fence.  Yup, it's here…..ah well time to get out the scarves and mittens again.  Copper has had quite the eventful season, starting it off with surgery to remove an obstruction of a combination of toys, rug and stuffing from his bed.  Although this guy is heavily monitored and constantly gets things taken away from him when he’s up to no good, we were shocked to see how large this mass actually was.  Stitches are removed and the cone is gone, so now we’re back to a normal schedule of romping around on the weekends and he doesn’t know any different.  I am working on Christmas stockings for all 3 KitchStitch furry animals, will post pics soon.

10.10.2009

Happy Halloween

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I know it’s not here….yet, but it’s still my favorite holiday. I think it’s the combination of scary movies, creative entertaining, sweet treats, spooky tricks, pumpkin seeds, 3’ high ghouls and gobblins on their first expedition…..I love it all.  A few festive fabrics have made their way into the shop which made spooktacular shawls for entertaining this month.

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Our pumpkin patch is full and a few of the big boys are still ripening.  We received our first SNOW last night so the rest of the veggies (tomatoes and squash) are safe to cut down, but not without making some chow-chow first.

I experimented with a fantastic zucchini recipe that was husband approved:

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt and nuts; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.

Well back to the shop, Christmas orders are in ….so expect some posts of works-in-progress…..

8.16.2009

Finally….an August Post

After a couple of Texas weddings and a stiff order for more totes, I have finally been able to take a breather from a crazy summer.  Oh, and we have a new addition to the family, a yellow/red lab named, Copper.  But first, check out the final totes for my friend’s wedding.  I made a medium sized tote for the bridal party and a small cinch purse for the flower girls.  I love the name of the fabric for the mid-size totes, Clementine, reminds me of my sweet Nana.  IMG_9735 IMG_9653

The bride ordered additional totes for her and the mothers.  I made half out of brown/pink tones and half out of black/grey tones hopefully hitting all personalities.

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And finally, pics of our new lab, Copper.  He is 11 weeks old and is all legs.  He is such a sweet heart and I’m sure as all dog owner’s say about their own, he’s going to be a good dog and friend with the kitties.  It is definitely a well-worth lifestyle change for us and at the end of the day when we come home to wet kisses and a tail wagging….everything else melts away.

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7.21.2009

Socket Deer

I saw these in the Modern in Denver magazine the other day and had to blog about them, they are for storing your cell phone/gadget while charging…super cute idea.  I’ve been reading mixed reviews that people would run into them and that they need LED’s for night.  But, you wouldn’t put these in a main corridor of your house so they would be exposed, I would think, and having an LED is one less plug you get to use.  This would be very ideal for guest bedrooms to avoid having them plug into the hard-to-get-to socket behind the nightstand just to set their gadget on a table.  They are by Nendo, but I haven’t seen them sold in the U.S. or with a grounded socket…yet.

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7.19.2009

2 More to Go!

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I have finished 4 totes for the bridal party and I have 2 more to go in this size. I hope each fabric style finds the equivalent personality!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: 2 thimbles up from KitchStitch

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I am by no means a Harry Potter expert (or "prefect") but if you want to cool off from the heat, this 6th movie of the series is definitely a source of entertainment for all ages. This movie seemed to carry the darkness, romance and comical aspects of the ‘Half Blood Prince’, all in a lighthearted manner. Please beware that there are mild spoilers ahead in this review....

harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince-11 There are a few new characters (Prof. Slughorn and Lavender), and a few that are missed, but the 3 main heroes and heroine continue to refine their characters and are enjoyable to watch. The set design, cinematography, special effects and music are intertwined beautifully and never seize to amaze me. For the critics out there,the few discrepancies from the book, i.e. Luna finding Harry on the train in lieu of Tonks, the lack of a fight scene from the Death Eaters, and a glazed over funeral at the end, would not go missed if you didn’t read the book, but the fans may desire more.

However, I do feel like there were some key memories of TPHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTIONom Riddle that will be missed to transition into the next two Hallows movies. Maybe these will be covered in flash-backs? Nonetheless, it was great to see the characters growing up, in their love quarrels, and fighting the evil doers with their refined wizardry. Two thumbs up……and I must say my favorite character: Alan Rickman ‘Prof. Snape’, he is fantastic (as always).

As an aside, I think the creators of the movie series are still aiming at adolescents, while the books reach a broader spectrum with the layers of emotions from J.K. Rowling. I will be interested to see how they translate the Deathly Hallows onto the screen. There are alot of loved characters that are taken away, death & destruction of the wizarding world, and Harry fights for his life. Will it still be PG? We shall see!!

7.12.2009

First Tomatoes of the Season

While perusing the garden and sipping my coffee this morning I noticed we have our first tomatoes of the season. The big beef, early girl & lemon boy did so well (almost too well) last year, I narrowed down our species to yellow & red cherries and I have an early girl in our side yard. They ALL have green tomatoes, so I’m looking forward to this week’s harvest. Our basil and been doing great as well, so I’ve been scouring good pesto recipes to thin down our plants a bit.

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Our dwarf cherry tree (Little Cherry Seinfeld) has a few more cherries, but I think it really won’t produce until next year.

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7.11.2009

Summertime in the Studio

I am in the midst of an uninterrupted weekend, so there is no excuse…..time to start on my friend’s order of totes.  I have 6 different color combinations and to my surprise it’s quite challenging….a lot of mix matching in different lights while squinting, head turning, getting the husband’s opinion, then sometimes changing fabric after cutting.  BUT I think I have at least 5 of them set, the 6th color combo may be too contemporary….so I think that one will need to go back to the shop.

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6.28.2009

Books for the Summertime

July is just a few days away and I still have not put any books behind me this summer.  I guess it’s hard with these long days, keeping the garden going, bbq’s and many projects under way, but I just put my order in on some used books that are quick reads for this summer’s entertainment.

1.) Big Fish by Daniel Wallace – I just watched Tim Burton’s film version the other night, and I truly love this story of father and son.  I can’t help but compare this tall-tale-character to my own Dad.  He has since passed, but he certainly lives on through the many life lessons, philosophies, folk tales & opinions that he shared with us kids.  Many of these teachings were done on camping trips, long family car rides, at his work bench or at the the dinner table.  I plan on this read being a tear jerker, but none the less aid in some reflection time of my family.7f04e03ae7a0dd72d2a8f110.L

2.) Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll – again stemming off the aforementioned Tim Burton (do you see a reoccurring theme with me??) and getting ready for his next movie….I thought I would go back to an old childhood favorite.  I never read the original novels, but I think I played the Disney movie on VHS until I broke the tape.  I thought that these volumes would be a nice whimsical read for the summer.

3.) Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neil Gabler – having just traveled to Disneyland for the first time with my husband this past June, I was so curious on the production and history of the theme park….and not just that but what was involved in the makings of it’s creator?  I fully understand today’s view of Disney and it’s over sensitized marketing efforts to our children.  BUT, what was Disney in the beginning and how did this giant evolve to what it is today?  Amazon’s interview with the author captivated me and I hope the book lives up to my expectations.

6.27.2009

New Summertime Totes

Okay I promise not to just keep posting totes on my blog.  But I had to get these two out of my system.  They are the same style as the travel totes with the excessive pockets but WAY more fun fabric.  I am trying a little experiment to see how the floral fabric does in the shop.  I have leaned more towards the modern patterns in the past and I’m afraid that is only aiming at the small population.  We will photograph these and post them in the shop tomorrow…we’ll see how they do, but here’s a sneak peak.

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6.19.2009

Inspirations from So-Cal

After a week of sun on my face, sand between my toes, beautiful landscape, incredible mexican food, fresh sushi, perfect weather and great company with family….it was hard to board the plane and come back to reality.  Needless to say our trip to southern California was superb, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to those who have not ventured to the west coast (like myself). 

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I’m assuming as you travel north to Santa Monica and LA the fashion is ever-changing by the second and designers are scraping to invent themselves, but towards the south I found the couture to be relaxed, italian-spainish fused (but not pretentious), with an additional beach front flair.  I found it fascinating.  It was interesting how electric some of the styles are compared to the very subdued backgrounds of greys, blues and greens. 

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We were able to catch a couple of sunsets which were absolutely amazing.  It was “June Gloom” with alot of moisture in the air, which you can see in the above pic, but the sun dropped out of the clouds for just about 5 minutes to die into the waves, incredible.

IMG_8979 The landscaping left me speechless, wherever you turn was another beautiful creation.  I noticed species have been pulled into this climate from other parts of the U.S., even world. 

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6.06.2009

Finally coffee & beer koozies for the male-folk

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I know you’re thinking finally…..a koozie for a beer.  Wait, what?  Didn’t koozies start with the beer?  That’s right, KitchStitch has come full circle with camo-clad koozies for coffee for the trendy, and beer bottles for the bbq’s.  Now I personally have my fair share of camouflage, so these are definitely not gender specific.  But, these styles are simplified, button-free and in a male-friendly fabric.

New Netbook – Asus Eee 1000ha

I recently splurged on my very first laptop, well it’s technically at netbook due to the size and capability, but now I can transport my blogging, emailing, etsy shop management, & of course chatting with ease.  I haven’t quite excepted the whole iphone craze, even though every time someone shows me a new app. I’m just amazed, but I’m not ready to be THAT connected.  So I thought this would be a good medium, not an iphone, not a laptop but something juuuuust right.  It’s super light weight, only 10”w x 7”d and it has done everything I have told it to do.  Now I can be connected when I want to…..here’s a few pics with morning coffee, the birds & kit-kats.

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6.05.2009

Upcycled Kitty Beds

I was just in a resale shop the other day admiring the old craftsmanship of yesteryear’s hard-cased luggage.  It’s amazing that these simple traveling containers looked better with scrapes and dings as if to tell a story that they’ve been somewhere.  However, these trusty archival pieces would not stand a chance to the current age’s “neoprene”, “aircraft metal” , “shock absorbent wheels” , “universal zippered” , “breathable gortex” suitcases that you see flying up and down the terminals.  What is going to happen to them?  Well this crafty artist, VintageRenaissance, has brought life back to these luggage pieces in their ‘Upcycled Mid-Century Modern Pet Beds’.  Below is one of many of their retro products, if you have a craving for vintage, check out their etsy shop…..it’s definitely bookmark worthy!

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5.31.2009

Getting Ready for Cali

I stitched the tote together this morning, just have to finish off the straps.  It will be perfect for the plane AND the beach for our southern California trip coming up next month.  I will add a little scotch guard just for extra protection.  I also made some JaKoozies for the girls on the trip they they can sport their drinks in style.  I found the iron on lettering which adds some personalization. 

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5.28.2009

Pretty in Pink

I got a little carried away with the pink for a travel tote, but tried to tone it down with some brown accents. I have had my eye on the pink & white hounds tooth fabric for a while and wondered what I could marry it with. There’s no question that this is a summer accessory, perfect for those who like to change it up season to season. I’ve also added a larger interior pocket to support an average size netbook laptop and also small pockets for ipods, cell phones and that handy pen. More finished pics to come soon.

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