Sunday, February 7, 2016

Something Sweet On Sunday/Nutella-Pecan Chocolate Cake with Nutella Frosting

There's something I am quite famous for...catching my stove on fire!!!! I am not exaggerating. As much as I love to cook, I have caught my stove on fire more times than I would like to admit. My favorite item to burn is pinenuts. I put them under the broiler to toast, start doing something else, turn around and they are on fire. As calm and cool as I am in most emergency situations, for some reason a stove fire sends me over the edge. I now have a fire extinguisher near by and I now toast my pinenuts on top of the stove in an iron skillet.
I now have a new item to add to my burning stove repertoire, cake batter. I found the recipe that I am sharing today and thought it sounded so good. Super sinful, but so good. So I decided to give it a try. Now to my benefit, the recipe says to bake the cake in a loaf pan or a 9" round pan, but only 1 pan. When I put the batter in the round pan, I thought it was an awful lot of batter, but what do I know? So in the oven it went. The cake was supposed to bake for 40 minutes, so off I went to do something else. I could smell the cake, but you're supposed to smell the cake when it's cooking, right? Believe it or not, my dog Gracie came and started barking and was quite excited. Just like a Lassie story, she turned and ran to the kitchen, so I followed and found cake batter burning in the stove. Not just smoking, but flames shooting up. The cake was ruined, but Gracie saved the day!
Now with all of that, you would think I might give up on the cake, but the bits and pieces that I could salvage from the first cake tasted so good, so I just had to give it another try.
I've been following Dust Jacket Attic, pretty much since I first started my own blog. She is just a great source of inspiration. Not only does she post some interesting fashion items, she also links to great recipes. And that's how I found this recipe for;

Nutella-Pecan Chocolate Cake with Nutella Frosting

Doesn't that cake look amazing?!! As long as you don't catch your stove on fire, it is!
Rather than me copying the recipe here, just pop over to THIS website and check it out. You won't be sorry. The cake is truly amazing.
Had I read to the end of the post, I would have seen that not only did she have enough batter for a loaf pan, she also made 12 muffins. Ohhh, now I know :)
So as you can see, the second time around, I divided the batter between 2, 9" round pans. I did a layer of icing in between the 2 layers and then iced the entire cake. 
Take note that the pecans are toasted. Mine were toasted in an iron skillet on top of the stove ;)
Enjoy the recipe and just be careful to not set your stove on fire!!!

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Light Up Your World/Light Up Your Machine and a Giveaway!!!

A few months back, I was contacted by a company called Inspired LED Lighting. I was told that they had an LED light kit especially designed for sewing machines that they thought I would love and asked me to give it a try without obligation. If I liked it, I could blog about it, and if I didn't, well that was fine too.
I wasn't sure exactly which machine I would like to test it out on, but finally decided on my little Baby Lock Anna as it's the machine I use when I travel. A little extra lighting sounded wonderful, especially if I left my extra lighting at home. To be honest, I thought that a little extra light would be nice, but I really didn't think it would make that much of a difference. Guess what!!!, it does.
The kit arrived with an LED strip that has an adhesive backing, clips, and a power cord.   
Before I attached the LED strip to my machine, I decided to just plug in the strip and see what it looked like. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised with how much light came from these teeny tiny lights.
The attaching process is done on the backside of the machine. The clip holds the cord in place on the back of the machine.
The on/off switch is attached to the side of the machine. 
I decided to use the extra clip to hold the cord on the side as well.
Below is a picture prior to adding the LED light strip. 
And here's after. You can see how lit up the surface area is. Like I said, I was absolutely amazed...and happy :) In the future, if I forget my extra lighting, it won't be an issue. 
Here's a video from Inspired LED that shows the entire process of attaching the LED strip, and better pictures than mine of the difference with and without the extra light. 

Now for the good news!!! I installed the LED strip on my machine yesterday afternoon. I immediately contacted the company and told them how much I liked the product and asked if I would be able to host a giveaway. They got back to me right away with a resounding YES!!!! The only downside is that this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. The reason being that our electrical system is different than that in other countries. So sorry. 

So, if you would like a chance to win an Inspired LED lighting kit for your machine,
1. You must be a U.S. resident
2. You must be a follower of this blog
3. Leave a message on this blog and let me know how you follow, Bloglovin, Feedly, email, etc. 

I will announce the winner next Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Now that I have the strip on my little Baby Lock Anna, I want the strip on my Bernina too! 
Good Luck!   

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The Winner of The Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat

Wow, what a response we had to the Pepernoot Coat  pattern give away!!! It's a great pattern, and lots of fun to make. And like I said previously, although it's a downloadable pattern, there's a copy shop version, so no need to tape sheets together. Personally, I find taping the sheets together rather therapeutic(I guess I'm a little strange!), and something to keep me busy and feeling a little less guilty when I spend the evening watching television. 
I also love the fact that Yuki's patterns are layered, so you can choose just the size you want rather than printing out each and every size. Prior to the sew along, I'll do a special post on how the layered sizing works.  

So what you've all been waiting for...
The winner of the Pepernoot Coat pattern is;

Congratulations Angela Fernihough!!!!!

Please email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your email address so I can pass it along to Yuki. She will be sending the files for your new pattern.

Sadly, there was only 1 pattern, but this year is off to a fabulous start and I have another exciting give away that I will be announcing a little later today, so be sure to pop back by and check it out :) 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Need To Do Something Just For Me

Sometimes we get caught up in doing, doing, doing. Doing for our spouse, doing for commitments, be it work or charitable commitments, doing for friends, and the list can go on and on. Then we come to a point that we just need to do something for ourselves, just for fun.  
A number of years ago, I talked about working through The Artist's Way. A fabulous experience and well worth your time. One of the commitments that you make while working through the book is to take a weekly artist's date. It can be just for an hour, but doing something that you really want to do and doing it alone. It can be something as simple as taking an hour long soaking bath, or something a little more extravagant like taking a horseback riding lesson. For those of us who sew, taking a little time to make something just because we want to can be an artist's date. And that's what I'm about to do :)
I recently saw the Sydney Jacket from Tessuti Fabrics, and loved it.
The line drawing is what will either suck me in or make me turn the other way. The Sydney Jacket sucked me in :) What did it for me was the yoke shaping.

Other than the side seams, the seams are actually overlapped and then stitched, so the fabric needs to be one that will not ravel, like a melton wool, boiled wool, fleece, etc. The jacket also features a pocket with a faux welt, so super easy to do. Also take note that this is an unlined jacket, so you need a fabric that is either double sided, reversible or has a nice back.  
I purchased the fabric pictured below a while back. It was a piece that I ordered online. I wasn't exactly pleased when it arrived. The fabric is fine, just not exactly what it looked like online. The fabric is more blood red than cherry red, and as it turns out, it will work perfectly with the Sydney Jacket pattern, so all is not lost. 
The pattern has been downloaded, printed, taped together and cut out, so now I just need to cut my fabric and get started. I'm so excited as I think this will be a super fun project.
And before I go, I wanted to share with you a fabric that I recently purchased. It's swirly!!!! The fabric is wool. I actually found it in the home dec department. It was marked down, but still expensive, so I purchased just enough for a skirt. I laid it over the red fabric above for the photograph, but I think I might underline it in black. We'll see. When the fabric is held up, the little swirly discs hang down and bounce. I think this is going to be a hoot to wear!
I can't wait to get my jacket together, so stay tuned for the final result. 
Be sure to take a little time for yourself. It really is so important.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/Victor & Rolf Summer 2016 and Dior and I

Sometimes we just need a little fun in our day! The summer 2016 collection from Victor & Rolf is over the top wacky, but so much fun! 
As the fashion show began, all I could see was what looked like a simple white shirt dress. My thought was, "how lovely." Once I could see the dress a little better, I thought, "well, that's different!" There's a definite Picasso influence. 
The show begins with the first piece that is pictured below, and then follows with the next 2 that you see. 

From this point on, the collection becomes all the more over the top, incredible and wacky, but fun!
The video is worth watching, just a little over 5 minutes long.

I really don't think that any of us will be copying the designs, but then again, you never know what will spark a little inspiration!!!

Last week, I watched the movie, "Dior and I." I especially enjoyed seeing Raf Simons visit art museums in search of inspiration, and then seeing how that inspiration translated into his first collection for Dior. I also enjoyed seeing how the seamstresses were celebrated for their abilities and the important part that they play in bringing the collection to life. The trailer that I've included is just a little less than 2 minutes long and gives you a great glimpse into the movie. For anyone who loves fashion, the movie makes for an enjoyable evening and a special look behind the scenes. 
Have a wonderful week. Keep your eyes open, you never know where that next little bit of inspiration will come from!

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections

It was one of those weeks when everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. To finish off the week, I had made an early morning appointment that required a 45 minute drive out of town. Once I arrived, no one was in the office. How could this be? After waiting around and knocking on the door, I finally looked at the email confirmation...the appointment was for the following Saturday!!! Perfect ending to a perfect week I thought through gritted teeth. So back in the car and off I went for the 45 minute drive back home. 
About half way into the drive, the car in front of me began going slower and slower. The speed limit was 65 mph, why was he going so slow? Then I caught a glimpse of the old truck in front of the car. The road was a 2 lane road and the traffic coming at us was heavy. The car in front of me had a chance to pass the old truck, but there was no other opportunity, so there I sat, stuck, along with the 20 cars behind me.
As I drove along, frustrated, I noticed that the man was totally oblivious to the line of cars behind him. He drove along, turning his head from one side to the other enjoying the scenery, and it seemed, just the act of driving. Then I noticed his dog happily sitting by his side. As the man would look from side to side, the dog did as well.  
I drove along, thinking of all that had happened that week and how upset I had been when someone had thoughtlessly taken advantage of my time. Then I realized that this person had no idea that I was upset. They had gone about their merry way. I was the only one that was allowing the situation to continue to affect my life. Then I looked at the truck in front of me and began to smile. Here was the same situation right in front of me. This man was enjoying his day, his drive. I was the only one who was upset. Well, me and the drivers of the 20 cars behind me! 
I had no where that I really needed to be, and even if I did, there was nothing I could do about the situation, so I might as well enjoy the ride. And that's exactly what I did. I changed my perspective, and suddenly what seemed like such a huge imposition was a source of joy. The man and his dog made me smile.
We came into town and the truck turned into the parking lot of the grocery store. I thought that this is probably a weekly occurrence. As I drove on my way, I had to laugh about how I was taught a lesson by an old man and his dog. Life is far too short to harbor angry feelings. It's better to slow down and enjoy the journey. And that journey can be all the better with a faithful companion by our side. 

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The Beret/A Video

Last November, I made this beret pattern available and so many of you have asked for the pattern. Berets are easy to make and fun to wear.
I found this picture and thought I would include it to give you an idea of the comparison of how I wear my beret and how this model is wearing her hat. Her's has not been pulled down quite as far as I have mine. In the video, you'll see why I pull mine down a little more. Both look to be the same size.  
In the video, I also show you a beret that I made out of fur, the real thing. It was left over from a coat that I repurposed. 

Like I said in the video, if you have any other questions, be sure to ask. I'll do my best to answer. 
If you would like the pattern, just email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and I'll send it your way.
You can find the post I did on fur HERE. There will be more :)

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