Friday, February 24, 2012

I like many of the unique items featured at the Anthropologie site. No way will I be purchasing any of their goods because:
1. It doesn't come in my size.
2. It's out of my budget.
Thankfully I don't have to join their site just to look. A lot of other sites are snobby that way. Their handbags are impressive. I saw  this one and admired it. It was on sale for ~$80.
They also have another tote style that runs close to $400.

I got to work trying to figure out how I could make something similar to the envelope clutch.

Holding the rolled print in place with cans from the pantry.
White canvas fabric  before staining.

The fabric and print were stained with  several coats of brown acrylic paint mixed with decoupage medium. I still wasn't pleased and so I added a little strongly brewed coffee to the decoupage.  The weather was pleasant and so I hung it outside on the fence to dry between coats.

I could leave it as is but I decided to put in a lining.
Before putting in the lining I  attached a pocket. I know it's shabby but I wasn't that interested in making it perfect. This is a test. All of the materials used except the art print were scraps or pieces I had in the closet that were either left over from other projects or never used and part of my stash.

These pictures are a little out of sync. This should have been above. I should have put the pocket on before
sewing the lining to the top. After attaching the pocket , I attached the lining with fusible web. It worked like a charm. 

This was the hardest part, sewing in the gusset. When it came to the curve of the purse, I was unable to position things so that I could sew it so I ended up gluing the curved area down from the inside.
The open purse
No, the stitches aren't straight and uniform but I'm still pleased with it.

Purse closed with  stained canvas flap

Not perfect but I'm pleased with it. The bead at the closure was made with scrap from the print.  I have been experimenting with paper bead making.

Velcro is used to close it.
There are flaws which I expected. Overall I succeeded in what I wanted to accomplish.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Cell Phone Pouch

Since I have a lot of scrap fabric, I was trying to determine what could I do with it. I don't like throwing anything away if it looks like it even has just a little bit of hope.

You'll remember from a previous post that I'd gotten a new phone and had dropped it and cracked the screen. After that I would put it inside a sock and keep it in my purse. Well, pulling a cell from a sock can look pretty darn country. You may ask why I didn't buy a case for the phone? If you'll remember, I am cheap frugal.
For my first attempt I tried to get sassy and use real suede (I cut it from a jacket I bought at the Thrift store  for the purpose of making a wristlet).  When I got ready to sew, the machine needle wouldn't go throught it. Instead of  fight with it, I tossed it.
Attempt # 2 involved scraps from a brown woolen embossed with silver and black swirly stitching. I'd bought the fabric for a jacket*. I decided that the strap was too thick as well as the fabric. I'd double layered it to give it some cushion in case I dropped the phone.  Just in case you haven't noticed I'm not using a pattern so what should I expect? I'm the type of person who swings by the seat of her panties pants with a lot of things.
I'm not sure what kind of animal this is but it serves the purpose.

* The jacket I was working on with the scraps from attempt #2.

As you can see, I do a lot of FAILS.
If at first, second or third, you don't succeed, QUIT trying!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Noun: A young person in the 1950s and early 1960s belonging to a subculture associated with the beat generation.

A play on words with beet and beat. In this case it has to do with a cake.  I'd seen  it first at Tiger in a Jar. Intrigued, I had to try it.   There are many recipes that use veggies in an unusual way. Zucchini bread, bean pie, banana bread, carrot cake, sweet potato pie (my favorite) and the list goes on.

I used the recipe at Southern Food About.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoons soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•1/2 cup cocoa powder
•3 large eggs, beaten
•1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, Canola or corn oil
•1 1/2 cups grated cooked beets
•2 teaspoons vanilla
•powdered sugar, optional


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine flour, soda, salt, sugar and cocoa in a bowl; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and oil. Beat in vanilla and continue beating until well blended. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until well mixed; stir in beets. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake bounces back when touched lightly with finger.

Cool in pan on a rack. Frost cooled cake or dust with powdered sugar.

As usual, I gathered the crew so I'd make sure I had all I needed before getting started. 
In a bowl I placed the dry ingredients: sifted flour,soda,salt and cocoa powder. I put it aside.
I bought two cans of beets and needed both.
The pureed beets are  such a pretty color.

After combining and mixing everything thoroughly I poured it into a 9x13 inch greased and floured pan. The batter has just a slight pinkish tinge to it.

After baking at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes I had a wonderful cake. I wish I could show you the cake before I cut it but, the aroma, anxiousness and salivating took over.
This cake was scrumptous. There was no taste of beets. This might be a good way to get in those veggies that some of us aren't that fond of.

I was so proud of myself because I'd actually made a cake from SCRATCH!


I didn't eat the whole thing. I shared a couple of slices with my nephew whom I didn't tell that it contained beets until after he'd eaten it. He too said it was delicious and said he was glad I didn't tell him ahead of time that it had been made with beets. 

 The rest of the cake has been cut in squares, wrapped and placed in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

I understand that there is also an alternate recipe where beets take the place of carrots in the cake and some of the beet juice is used to color the cream cheese frosting.
That's It***

Monday, February 13, 2012

WHAT'S FOR DINNER? Raccoon, Bear, Porcupine. Opossum

I'M GIVING YOU FAIR WARNING. If you are a vegan, vegetarian, PETA or any other animal rights person, don't read this. From my Pear Crisp post I told you about a cook book  I have that gives  the preparation and recipes for all kinds of foods. Among them being; buffalo,raccoon, porcupine, opossum and others.Just to prove what I said, I've scanned the cook book pages with said recipes as well as others. 
Click to enlarge the page below so that you can read the preparation techniques for game meats.

I think I know now where the phrase "hungry as a bear," came from. It may have originally been, "hungry for a bear."

No doubt Granny Clampett from the 60's sit-com, The Beverly Hillbillies has a prized recipe for Opossum, affectionately called 'possum. 


The dressing for porcupine is above. After such a hearty meal maybe the quills can be used to pick the meat from your teeth.

I've never had any of these exotic meats and don't have a desire to try them. Cultures have their own foods, beliefs and traditions. Some American foods are strictly forbidden in other cultures. Some of the foods eaten in other countries, Americans turn their nose up to.  By keeping an open mind people learn about each other and how to live together.

That's It ***(BTW there's a recipe for rabbit up top)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A rETuRn tO RoYaLtY

CBS Sunday Morning is one of my favorite TV shows.  The stories are unique, classy and informative. This past Sunday Bill Geist did a feature on the renaissance of the typewriter. He interviewed one man who is still making a living from repairing typewriters. It also seems that there has been a resurgence of interest in this machine and there are Type-Ins that are held around the U.S.

Seeing  this piece reminded me of the Royal Safari manual typewriter my Grandaddy bought for me. In the beginning its purpose was to type up the specs for various jobs he would be presenting to clients. Since there wasn't a printer or copy machine in the home, carbon paper was used to make a number of copies at one time.

Carbon paper (originally carbonic paper) is paper coated on one side with a layer of a loosely bound dry ink or pigmented coating, usually bound with wax. It is used for making one or more copies simultaneous with the creation of an original document. (wikipedia)

The  problem with carbon paper was that it could be messy staining the fingertips with black ink.
The way it worked was:
Carbon paper is placed between the original and a the second sheet to be copied onto. As the user writes or types on the original, the pressure from the pen or typeface deposits the ink on the blank sheet, thus creating a "carbon copy" of the original document. This technique is generally limited to four or five copies.

As the ink is transferred from the carbon paper to the underlying paper, an impression of the corresponding text is left on the "carbon" where the ink was removed. A single piece of carbon paper can be repeatedly reused until the impression grows too light. (wikipedia)

After Grandaddy retired I took the typewriter off to college with me. It would be needed to type the numerous papers assigned. I was even able to make a little money by typing papers for people. Most typists charged by the page. Though I wouldn't conform to the correct way of typing, I was pretty fast for a hunt-and-peck. It's the same as what I do now.

Royal Safari model typewriter in case
Copied from

This typewriter is a twin to the Safari I have.Copied from  

This is my Royal Safari. Notice the red dot ?  I had given it away for a church bazaar. The asking price was $5.00. So, you may be asking, why do I still have it? After the bazaar, those items that didn't sell were stored in the rectory.  Summer before last, the rectory was being transformed into a Community Resource Center. All of the junk and unnecessaries would need to be removed. I was part of the clean up committee. While purging I came across my old Safari. Since it hadn't sold and had been sitting there among other non sells for about three years, I took it home.  The handle came off long ago so it had to be carried in the arms like the vintage baby it is.

BTW I used Piknik's Ortonish effect for the photos below
The dented impression you see to the left came from storing it close to a gas heater where it became too warm.
You may find this hard to believe but when I got ready to open it, it was locked. Would I be able to get it open without a key? After  close to 40 years where
 would I find a key?
Look a little closer to the right of the ribbon cover
( I looked that up because I didn't know what it was called LOL)  and you will see two keys which I found living inside the jewelry box I have had since I graduated from high school (but that's another story)

I twisted them around in the key hole and Voila! open Sesame!

The typewriter is a little banged up from when I allowed it to be checked
into the baggage department when I traveled by Greyhound one weekend
going home from college. Forgive me. I was young and knew not what I was doing.

Though the typewriter went through some rough times, it still works. I took it to school once and the 5th graders had never seen one before. They were fascinated by it.  The first thing they asked was, "How do you turn it on?" I explained to them that it was a manual typewriter and what the word manual meant.  Each one was allowed to type their name in either red or black since there was a choice of two colors. (Ooohs and aaahs)

Just My Type is a book about various fonts and how they came to be. I'd heard a review of the book on public radio and place my name on the reserve list at the library so that I could view it.

It tells of the most popular and least popular fonts as well as those that have become extinct. There were rivalries among printsetters  and stealing of others fonts tweaking them just enough to make them their own.

Who knew type design could be so brutal?
Though there isn't much difference in the fonts for Blogger I'll tell you a little about two of the ones I've used in the sentence above.
Arial- considered a cheat. It was designed in the early 1980's as an alternative to Helvetica
Courier- said to be similar to the old fashioned typewriter fonts. Some users feel that it is too crowded making  reading difficult. Also known as American Typewriter and Toxica
My personal favorite is Times Roman
That's It ***

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wacky Mac

Needed some comfort food and so mac & cheese was the answer.  I had these colorful spirals left from making pasta salad a while back.
I cooked the pasta according to the directions.

This recipe was in a previous post under "Loose Ends."

Maybe I should call it wheat sauce since I used whole wheat flour.

This is the good part. Two cups of cheese. Mix well to make a creamy cheese sauce.
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and gently mix.

Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Add the pasta cheese mix.

The other good part, adding the bread crumbs.
Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of the pasta mixture.
 Bake about 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

The dots on the crust are from the pats of margarine. I should have melted  and  drizzled the margarine before placing it on top
It was still very good and hit the spot. BTW, I didn't eat the whole casserole. I divided it into servings, placed in Press  and  Seal   and put it in the freezer.