Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Apron Inspiration

My mom wasn't an apron mom. We had a couple in the closet but they came out VERY rarely. She's just a clean baker :) Aprons were a thing of mystery; I saw them at the church suppers, and in old movies and photographs. But they were unnecessary to my way of life.

But I soon came to realize that I, on the other hand, am not a clean baker. And I seriously lack in the household motivation department.

It was a few years ago, when I was really starting to set up my own home, that I stumbled upon a blog that I've come back to time and time again: The Hillbilly Housewife. At the time, my main interest was the low-budget, real food meals. But one day, I found an article that changed the way I think entitled Apron Evangelism. She talks about how her boys were being insubordinate (of course, this was before Grace was even imagined) and how she just couldn't get motivated to clean her house. Until she made an apron:

Boy howdy, was I in for a surprise. In the mirror I saw a vision of the homemaker I have always strived to become staring back at me. Her cheery face glistened in the sunshine. Her hair tied up neatly in bun looked authoritative, and compassionate all at the same time. The apron covered several figure flaws and accentuated the fertile curves of the woman I saw in the mirror. This woman had purpose. She had status. She had clout. I stood there, contemplating the wonder of the homemaker that shone through my image in the mirror. “This is who I want to be” I told myself. “This is the Keeper of the home, with a capital ‘K’. ”

Well, then. If a simple piece of fabric could make me actually WANT to clean my house, it's worth a shot. And so began my love affair with aprons. Since then I've made a drawer full and even bought a book on the subject. But it's been a while. My "best" apron (functionality wise, at least) is really starting to show some wear. Time for a new one!

So... full skirt, deep pockets, pretty print... comfy, functionally, and best of all - upcycled! This material was a shower curtain that I loved. When we redid the bathroom, though, we went to one of those curved "hotel" rods that requires 2 curtains to get good coverage. This one was retired to my craft storage in wait for the perfect use. I have just enough to make an apron for Gracie that matches! Of course, she's too little now, but... someday... I've been having all kinds of crazy matching/coordinating outfit plans lately. Which is probably a really bad idea but kind of fun to think about all the same.

Blue birds with brown flowers. It makes me smile
Are you an apron lover? I don't think I'll ever go back!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Introducing Gabi Sunshine

I've sewn as long as I can remember. And for years now, I've been looking for a way to combine my love of sewing with my joy in seeing others use a hand-sewn product. I've been thinking, planning, balancing budgets, and buying fabric (!) in preparation for my big announcement:

I'm finally ready to open my store! (And yes, those of you on Facebook, I technically "opened" last week). The name is based on my daughter's: Grace Abigail, called Gabi among other nicknames. She's my sunshine!

I'm focusing on cloth diapers....

one-size swim diapers....

and wet bags to collect cloth diapers and other wet items in....

These are all products I love and use on a regular basis, and am now offering to sew for others. I'm hoping to add other reusable life items (mama pads, unpaper towels, even some clothing) as I see the opportunity. I'm open to ideas and suggestions, and I'm also working to finalize my prices - so if something interests you, please contact me for more information!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From "Pinning" to Producing: Recipes

Let's just pretend I haven't been missing for a month, shall we? Everything's fine, we've just been crazy busy over here with the end of school year activities and the beginning of summer. Glorious things like a booming garden and the opening of the local farmer's market, in addition to several graduations, birthdays, and family visits. All is well :)

Have you found Pinterest?  It's probably the most addicting thing I've ever found on the web. It's like a bulletin board or my magazine notebooks - you know, where you tear out the pages with ideas you like and file them away for "someday"? Except this is online. But one of the major problems with Pinterest (and magazines, to be honest) is that there are far too many ideas for a real person to accomplish. Lately I've been making a point of actually DOING what I pin; as a gift (lol) I'm going to share with you a small selection of ideas actually worth trying. Today, recipes!

Apple Cinnamon & Quinoa Muffin Top Cookies

Part muffin, part cookie, entirely delicious, with a good deal of health to boot. I made up a batch of these and stored them in the freezer (separated by parchment paper) to dole out whenever breakfast is running late or Grace and I need a mid-afternoon snack. I'm making another batch tomorrow.

Crispy Rosemary-Lemon chicken nuggets, Giada De Laurentis I actually saw these on TV first when we were traveling, but pinned them when I got home so I could have the recipe. AMAZING. I made a double batch to freeze for easy meals... but they never made it in the freezer. Definitely a "do again" recipe.
Goldfish/Cheese-it Crackers: I'm never buying cheese crackers again. Enough said!

Oh my word. This is killer in an excellent way. I'm in love! We've actually made this several times now. The only thing that will make it better is when our own tomatoes come in the garden. Soon...

And last but not least, THIS is dinner tonight:

Roasted green beans and mushrooms in a balsamic vinaigrette. I think we'll add a handful of beans and some cheese, too, and serve it with a loaf of fresh bread. yummmm...

So, thanks to my faithful friends for not ditching me over the past month. I'm here. I'm back. And I'm actually feeling inspired to write again! Until then, happy pinning!