Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sewing Project: Pretty business card case

 Thanks to the lovely Pamela over at Dayton Time, I was suddenly in possession of 500 wonderful business cards. It makes it so much easier to share my fancy new google voice phone number and my work e-mail when its all on a handy dandy little card!  One teensy weensy little problem. For those of you who have been following the game here, my name is set to change in t-minus 205 days, so I had to get those babies out the door! My solution, make the cutest ever business card holder so I can convince people to take my card. So far, its gone something like this...

Me: Oh! Let me show you my latest sewing project that I completed in all the time that I have free.

Unsuspecting parent/teacher/specialist:Wow! That's super cute! But what could be inside? I must know!

Me: Why, I'm glad you asked. I have right here some handy dandy business cards so you have no excuse not to call me back my information easily accessible.

Unsuspecting parent/teacher/specialist: Oh! Wonderful! I'll take 5!

Or something along those lines....

Anyway, I found a great pattern which, as with the best projects, took about 30 minutes, including the time I spent rummaging though my crazy stash of random fabrics and clothes that will someday be awesome projects. The finial product was a combination of pretty print fabric left over from my days of making sorority shirts, some terry cloth remnants from baby bibs I made this past spring, a ribbon that was decoration on the package of some gift given to me, and a metal spare button that came with a piece of clothing I'm pretty sure I no longer own.  After gathering those things up, and a few cuts, pins and stitches, I ended up with this!

Even better, when I showed it to my cousin, she requested one for a Christmas gift. Wonderful! I love an excuse to make things for people, but its tough sometimes to know how they'll react to a homemade gift.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sewing Projects- The lunch box

 As I mentioned in my previous post, there hasn't been a whole lot of free time built in to my schedule. Somehow, I've managed to complete two sewing projects lately that I have been very happy about the results. Okay, so maybe I finished the first one in September and am just getting around to posting about it now... but you're still happy to see it, right?

It all started this summer when I finally opened my eyes to the fact that Mike was going though paper lunch bags, while I was happily using my nice fabric lunch bag. When they finally ran out, I offered to make him a fabric lunch bag of his very own and surprisingly, he accepted! (score for my big green purse!) Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

For those of you who don't know my dear Michael, he is both a Virgo and an engineer... which means very specific ideas about how some things must be. Because that's the only logical way they could be, right? Right. Mike's lunch box requirements were as follows:
1. Must not have corners, because food always gets stuck there and its gross.
2. Must close and have a handle.
3. Must not be feminine.
4. Must have a place for putting silverware.

So after drawing out several designs, I finally had the bright idea of looking to my sandwich wrapper. Its a large diamond shaped piece of fabric that folds into a square. By folding it a slightly different way, I could make a rectangle, just the shape of a typical lunch  box. It unfolds to lay flat, so no corners for yucky food!

After raiding my mom's fabric stash, I decided on heavy duty outdoor canvas, dark navy blue for the outside and navy, yellow and white striped for the inside.

I made a pattern first out of newspaper, then out of construction paper, carefully trying them out with Mike's typical lunch to make sure it would fit inside, measuring where to put the handle holes, etc. The hardest part of the whole process was sewing on the snaps to keep it closed. I had to estimate each time I put them on, and ended up ripping out and resewing most snaps at least twice. I also used bias tape around the handles holes, which I have never done before. It ended up being a bit of a process, but it worked out in the end.

The final result was a success! Mike is happy with it, and he's gotten compliments from several male co-workers, so it passes the manly-enough test. The only thing that may be changed is the snap that keeps the top flap closed. Its not quite strong enough to hold the weight of the lunch, so I may replace it with a heavier duty one.

Next up, my 500 business cards and the sewing project that will hopefully help me give them away before my last name changes...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kitchen Genius, Via Aunt Gina

Mike and I really like fresh bagels from Wegmans. I try to avoid the prepackaged ones, because it just doesn't seem right that they're soft all the time. Plus, I fins the texture weird, too squishy. Real bagels get hard after a few days, which up til now has been a problem. We would only buy six at a time (missing the discount you get if you buy them by the dozen) and still couldn't eat them quite fast enough.

Luckily, we have been saved by Mike's Aunt Gina's genius.

She taught us this great idea to keep the bagels fresh. At first I thought that everyone knew this, but somehow Mike and I missed out on this day in school. I shared it with my mom, but she was amazed by it too! Aunt Gina lives in MD, so maybe this information hasn't spread this far north yet.

I have taken it upon myself to spread the word of bagel freshness!

Step 1: Buy a dozen bagels. Enjoy the discount!

Step 2: Slice bagels. Then stick them back together.

Step 3: Place sliced bagels in a gallon sized freezer bag.

Step 4: Toss joyously into the freezer, knowing you are going to have some amazing bagels next time you want them.

When ready to eat, simply remove one from the bag and put it in the toaster! It comes out like you just bought it and sliced it that day! Amazing!