Friday, September 26, 2008

Mmmmm. Good.

We're in the middle of a September N'oreaster. It's cold, gray and rainy and the perfect day for some baked goodness. These coconut chocolate chip bars hit the spot.

Here's the recipe I used. It is adapted from this version:

2/3 c. butter, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. white sugar, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp. water, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 c. all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 pkg. chocolate chips, 1/2 c. chopped pecans.

Mix in order given. Pour in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut in bars while warm.

They are best when eaten with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

T-shirt trial

I have to admit I have a fear of sewing with knit fabrics but I'm interested in attempting apparel sewing so I figured it was time to face my fears. I thought it was best to start with something classic so I attempted a simple t-shirt (the "muslin" was made from an old jersy sheet). It was much easier than I anticipated and I'm particularly happy with how the sleeves look.

I had the walking foot on my machine from a previous project and because I was too lazy to change it I just left it on for this project. It worked really well and the next time I'm sewing with knits I will specifically put the walking foot on. I also used a ball point needle which was helpful.

Of course the shirt is far from perfect. The bottom hem is clearly wonky, but I'm at least feeling more confident and maybe ready to give it a shot with some nicer fabric.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

No More A.C. Moore For Me

Sometimes a coupon just isn't worth it. If you been following my blog, you may remember this crosstitch piece adapted from Charley Harper's work.

Sadly, this picture is all that remains after I took it, along with two other pieces, to A.C. Moore for framing. Of the three pieces I took in only one was returned in acceptable condition. The second piece was damaged (a thread was pulled out) and then "repaired" without my permission (the offending thread was cut from the front of the piece!!!) after I was advised to leave it at the store so a manager could review the damage. The third piece was lost entirely.

Despite repeated promises, I was never once called by the store regarding my order. I had to initiate all phone calls, even after leaving home, cell and work contact numbers. On a positive note I will say the store manager did immediately refund my entire framing order and offer free framing on any item of my choice --clearly, not an acceptable option. I choose instead to accept $250, the maximum allowable amount, for my missing artwork.

What I found most disturbing about the entire experience was that when I went to pick up my order the clerks at the framing desk were sympathetic and said my experience was not uncommon and that they have had a number of similar problems with the company they send artwork to for framing. Gee, if you keep losing/damaging your customers' artwork, perhaps it's time to find another vendor.

Anyway, just a heads up in case you are planning on having anything framed. If it's worth more than $250 to you, you probably don't want to take it to A.C. Moore.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Project Storage

I seem to have a lot of projects in progress so I decided to make some bags to store them.

I cut up an old sheet and made a couple of simple drawstring bags in different sizes and, just for fun, decorated them with my logo using a simple freezer paper stencil.

Freezer paper is fast becoming one of my favorite craft items. If you are not familiar with it, one side is plain paper and the other is wax coated. The waxy side adheres to fabric when you iron it. It forms a firm bond, firm enough to keep a sharp edge when stenciling, but easily pulls away without leaving a mark when you are done. I've also recently started tracing pattern pieces onto freezer paper and ironing them to the fabric instead of pinning.

Here are the finished bags filled with my unfinished projects...

Now I suppose I should try to finish something!