SLEEVE TUTORIAL- Setting Sleeves in the Round Method, SEWING

SLEEVE TUTORIAL- Setting Sleeves in the Round Method, SEWING

I said I would blog once a week so here I am again. Today’s post is a quickie “sleeve tutorial” with mainly pictures and few words. I’m using the “setting the sleeves in the round” method. This is just a refresher course for me when I need to sew sleeves again.

  1. Your sleeve will look kind of like this when you cut one of them out and sew an additional sleeve/lining onto it with right sides together. You’ll get an instant hem that you won’t have to sew later!

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Next, fold the sleeve in half like this:

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Pin your sleeve where you folded it in half. You will sew roughly along where you have placed the pin.

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Sew it with your sewing machine like so:

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Once sewn, it will look like this:

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You get the picture. Sew your other sleeve. They will look kinda like this when finished:

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For some reason, this was the part where I always got all mixed up (spatially).

You will take the bodice part of your shirt/dress and turn it inside out. Next, take the RIGHT SIDE of one of your sleeves and slide them in the armhole, like this:

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You will put it in all the way and then pin it to bodice like this: (yes, I know you’re supposed to “align the notches” but I didn’t have notches here, so doing my best without them):

It should look like this when you’ve finished pinning the sleeve to the bodice:

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Then you’ll sew it like this with your sewing machine:

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Here is another pic of sewing the sleeve to the bodice. You’ll sew all the way around:

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You will turn your dress right side out and here is what the sleeve will look like.

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All done.

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I sewed 2 GREEN Dresses for under $6.00! HAPPY GREEN MONTH!

I sewed 2 GREEN Dresses for under $6.00! HAPPY GREEN MONTH!

Blogging is difficult for most of us because you have to come up with different things to post, REGULARLY. Blogging favors people who are constantly inspired and effortlessly creative. Those are the blogs that more frequently pop up on Google’s first page. These are the ones that we return to again and again to see “what’s new”. I’ve been too infrequent lately.

Lately I’ve hit a low point in my sewing ambitions. In my attempt to sew leggings/yoga pants/gym pants (whatever you call them), there was a big fail. I didn’t use a pattern. I tried to use an old pair of pants as a template and that didn’t quite work. Let’s just say that a bunch of black knit fabric (which tends to be expensive) ended up being wasted due to my ineptitude. I know.  I’ll find a way to incorporate it into something else.

On the bright side, it’s green month. I’ve found some green things that I’ve made and sewn and I’d like to share them with you here on my blog.

One of the things I’ve been doing lately is scouring thrift stores for old sewing patterns. Most of the time I can find them half off of .49 cents, which means I can find old sewing patterns for .25 cents each! 

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With the pattern above, I was able to make something I’m calling “Renee’s Lime Dress”, for less than $5.00 (this includes the fabric I bought at Walmart and the zipper that I got on sale at Joann’s.) Yes, I thought up the color scheme and added the limes. Below you’ll find a picture without the limes (it might be too loud for some of you). I thought the belt and necklace were nice additions.

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And here is the “less loud” version of the dress, sans limes. I like both of them and very pleased with the CHEAP, EASY pattern I found!

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What does the back of my green dress look like? I’m still working on zipper installation techniques.

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But what to do with the leftover pieces of green and lime green fabric?????? I sewed it all together almost like a quilt sheet. I used every single scrap of leftover green material from my dress above and sewed it into one big, random block. Now I will use this material to make a little girl’s dress.

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And here goes:

And the finished result with pink sleeves and a pink peter pan collar? Well it can’t be perfect when you’re using a block of randomly sewn leftover fabric together. But hey, it’s fun! And here is a “setting sleeves in the round” tutorial, if you’re a visual learner and would like to see how I made and “set in” the sleeves. (Note, this tutorial is actually for me to refer to).

 

CABBAGE STEW RECIPE

And how about some Liberian Cabbage stew, since it’s green month?

We used this recipe but omitted the maggi bouillon cubes (used our own seasoning combo as seen below) and only used chicken instead of the 3 forms of meat typically required for this African recipe.

Liberian Cabbage Stew Recipe

Always cook a pot of rice to go with your stew. And for the love of god, don’t use a rice cooker!! This isn’t rocket science, all you need is a pot.

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When the stew is all cooked it will look red because of the tomato paste. It tastes really delicious and is fairly healthy, all things considered.

 

HAPPY GREEN MONTH! HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Other Healthy Ingredients!)

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Other Healthy Ingredients!)

Do you ever have a craving for something sweet, has a decent amount of protein, and is (kinda) healthy too? Well, I’ve been making these healthy cookies for over a decade and I just can’t stop. They satisfy all my requirements of sweet, protein, and satisfying.

Warning: These chocolate chip cookies may not be for everyone, I’ve never known anyone who wants to try my cookies. But I love them, and so do my children.  And that’s all that really matters to me. Since they’re pretty healthy, I tend to overeat them.

Between 2006 and 2010 I worked at a little health food store. I learned all about a variety of interesting ingredients. That’s when I invented this recipe, except then I was using hazelnuts and walnuts with the other ingredients and no quinoa. I’ve always loved their nutty, earthy flavor that pairs nicely with the taste of semi-sweet (or dark chocolate) chocolate chips.

I often use random leftovers like cooked quinoa which goes right into the batter.

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Or, if I have a few crumbs left in a bag like this, I toss them in before throwing out the bag:

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White flour too! No matter what, my chocolate chip cookies will ALWAYS have my favorites: flax seed meal, wheat germ and at least 1 cup of finely chopped up walnuts. Also, finely ground up hazelnuts are AMAZING in this recipe! WAY better than almonds! 

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And throw everything into your chocolate chip cookie batter.

Healthy Cookie Batter:

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Always have your helper boy beside you, he can offer suggestions and tips during the cookie making process.

 

The finished result:

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MY RECIPE

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Tasty Spinach Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa Leftovers!

Tasty Spinach Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa Leftovers!

Earlier this morning I was feeling frenzied and unhappy about all the clean-up and labor that comes with having small children. My wrists hurt and my back hurts.

It occurred to me that the only thing you ever really “have” is the moment you’re in, so why not be happy about it? Why not make the most of it and fully own it?

Like everyone else, I’m chasing after that “final product”, that “accomplishment” and because I’m not there, ever, I find myself unhappy. The cleaning is never finished, the laundry is never done, the kid’s hair is always smeared with food, and all of my side projects are being ripped apart by my children.

I had to finally accept that “I’m never really there, because I’m always in the middle of some project or some cleaning rampage”. And, I’m ALWAYS BEHIND!

What if there was a way to take this moment and turn it into something better? Pretend like it’s glorious and surreal and have that eventually become my reality? Easier said than done.

Speaking of my accomplishments, I’d like to present you with a salad that I made. This salad is an inspiration (and variation) from a salad I saw on the Alaska Airlines menu (mine doesn’t contain chicken, has cherry tomatoes, avocado, arugula and a different dressing). I really like the combination of flavors and it’s great if you already have some of the ingredients on hand and want to use these leftovers in your salad.

So without further ado, may I share with you some pics of my healthy salad adventure?

Start with the sweet potatoes:

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Chop your sweet potatoes into cubes, put some tin foil on a cookie sheet, spray that foil with cooking spray and set your oven to 400 degrees. You can make an olive oil marinade and drizzle it over the potatoes before baking. You’ll roast the sweet potatoes for 20-25 minutes (turn them over with a fork half way through).

I like to drizzle my pre-roasted sweet potatoes with a mix of: olive oil, chopped up garlic, garlic salt, garlic powder and dried parsley flakes.

Once your potatoes are done, cool them in the fridge!

Next, look for last night’s leftover quinoa in your fridge (It needs to be cooked and chilled):

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Other ingredients you may want to include in your salad are as follows. Just use as much or as little arugula or baby spinach as you see fit (that will be your salad base).

Make sure to cut a piece of garlic in half and smear your entire salad bowl (especially the bottom) before inserting any salad ingredients. Like many other novice salad makers, I make salad dressing with these ingredients here. Don’t forget a splash of sea salt!

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And here it is! Just cut up the veggies however and how much you want. Mix up your entire salad with the homemade olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sea salt dressing your made. You get the picture.

Voila! Very simple healthy salad using leftover ingredients.

My Acne Scar Subcision Video

My Acne Scar Subcision Video

I had acne scar subcision on my forehead and temples yesterday and I wanted to show you the video! I’ve been trying to upload these, but as always, my issue with making anything online is ALWAYS THE TECHNOLOGICAL PART, not the motivation to do so. I’m struggling to figure out how to get these here on my blog.

Acne scar subcision is an important, yet less known technique for significantly reducing the appearance of atrophic acne scars.

No portion of these videos may be copied or used without my consent. These videos are a bit graphic (at least by my taste).

If you have acne scars, forget microdermabrasion, forget LASERS, forget peels and most certainly forget any and every topical cream/gel/lotion/concoction on the market!

The BEST THING FOR deeper acne scars is ACNE SCAR SUBCISION. Hands down. I cannot emphasize this enough. Fraxel laser will certainly help smooth out your skin, but that comes with a cost: For me it was a “thinner, over-all look” to my face; a more “gaunt look”, if you will. Many of us with numerous and deep acne scars had thicker skin with more volume—especially when we were teenagers! Once you have a few laser treatments (I had Fraxel) you’ll see a slight change in the thickness of your skin—and you might not be happy with it!

The first time I learned about subcision for acne scars was in 2000. I read about the technique online. I was living in Seattle then and I remember calling every dermatology and medispa clinic I could find asking “Whether they performed subcision for acne scars” and “how much it cost”.

The response, even in a thriving metro like Seattle was pretty much the same, “We suggest you try LASER treatment.” Or, “Maybe if you have one or two scars the doc can subcise them, but she’s not going to want to spend all day addressing acne scars all over your face in a piecemeal fashion.” They must have not been performing very many subcisions in those days so the technique was not yet really developed or refined.

If you’ve endured the brutal agony (both physical and mental) of nodular-cystic acne and the subsequent scars, find someone competent in acne scar subcision. This could be a plastic surgeon, a general MD, a nurse, or, in my case, an Esthetician-turned medical assistant.

The medical assistant I had was AMAZING! I’ve looked everywhere for this kind of treatment but have had difficulty finding anyone who knows how to effectively wield a needle or blunt-tip cannula underneath the surface of the skin to break up the scar tissue HORIZONTALLY.

Remember, dermal rollers/needles and LASERS all work vertically. You need to address acne scars horizontally TOO because fibrous bands of scar tissue attach and pull from all directions which add to the distortion and disfigurement of the skin! This fact is often overlooked in the esthetics world.

Acne scars have thick bands of fibrous tissue that tether them to the deeper regions of the dermis. This, combined with tissue loss from inflammation creates the indentations, depressions, rolling, boxcar and ice pick scars on the surface of the skin.

Deep rolling and boxcar acne scars respond wonderfully to subcision because the underlying bands of scar tissue are being slashed apart, broken down and “subcised”.

The body will initiate a healing response where the scar tissue has been subcised. The skin that was once pulled down by fibrous tissue can lift itself up, reducing the appearance of the depression. Clotting factors will arrive on the scene, a hematoma will form and then matrix remodeling can occur. Collagen and elastin tissue will form like scaffolding where the scar has been subcised. It will not be perfect—but the scar will not be quite as deep.

In this video I’m having my medical assistant perform acne scar subcision on my forehead and temples.

It was a very painful experience (at least for me) because I had really deep bands of scar tissue in my face that needed to be broken up. Thankfully, she did inject a lidocaine numbing agent in each area prior to subcision.

My Acne Scar Videos

 

SIMPLE MINI CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

SIMPLE MINI CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

I’ve found myself so busy with everyday life that I decided to stop doing Facebook. What do I mean? I mean, I decided I needed a break. No. I wouldn’t use it that much, just when breastfeeding. I would stop scrolling through all the posts and reading comments and getting agitated or curious.

I really do like any post that makes me think or inspires some sort of thoughtful cognitive application. I love being involved in clarifying discourse.  I like the smart people on Facebook who fight battles with their intellect and knowledge. I like being the spectator. I enjoy posts that prick at me, or bother me, and I like ones that inspire me too. I really love them all–(except memes with cute animals or any uncreative “reshare” post.)

BUT….this was taking WAY too much time and removing me from things that I wanted to accomplish, like blog, write, sew, bake, paint… work on my online course–anything more productive that Facebook.

The list of things I want to try grows by the day and I find myself overwhelmed with ideas and unable to tackle any of them. Having two children is great because it really gets you thinking of all the things you could be doing or learning–meanwhile, I’ve got a bucking bronco and I’m trying to change his diaper as he runs off screaming mid-diaper change EVERY SINGLE TIME.

On this blog I like to post what I’m doing; what I just whipped up–even if it’s a bit boring or “imperfect”. What else are you going to blog about if you can’t fit it into your “everyday happenings”, right?

With Valentine’s Day coming up very soon, I thought I’d share a pic of a cake I recently made.

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This is a simple little Valentine’s Day Cake. I thought this one up but I’m sure there are a million similar versions out there.

Instead of using a big cake pan (like the big one pictured below) I used the two little ones.

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I used the recipe off the back of this Hershey’s Cocoa powder box:

Very easy.

Once the chocolate cake was baked and cooled in the fridge, I whipped up a chocolate ganache (there are a million recipes on the internet). I just used the ones with heavy whipping cream, chocolate chips and light corn syrup.

I made a raspberry filling. I cooked up red raspberries in a little pot with a squeeze of lemon juice and some sugar and corn starch.

Then I made a little raspberry heart shape on the top of the ganache (once the ganache had hardened).

 

Let your imagination take you away this Valentine’s Day!

 

 

FELT IS SO FUN!!!! HOW TO USE IT?

FELT IS SO FUN!!!! HOW TO USE IT?

For a while now I have been experimenting with felt and its sundry uses. You know, that plush, soft, fuzzy stuff that is made from PLASTIC BAGS??!! YES! RECYCLED PLASTIC BAGS! You can get it in sheets at your local fabric store or even places like Michaels, Walmart or Hobby Lobby–usually $1-$1.50 per sheet. I buy a ton when it goes down to 50 cents a sheet at Joann Fabrics.

It looks kind of like this. Always keep a bag of cut-up scraps. Also, have your glue gun handy. This is how I attach cut felt pieces together.

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Felt is bright and colorful. It’s durable and fun to cut up and use! You can sew it on things. (I cut up my husband’s old shirts and turn them into boy shirts). I finish them off with felt appliques that I design, cut out and sew on. Here are 3 (toddler) boy shirts I made from scratch this week.  2 of them have felt applications. You can see my felt elephant and palm tree.

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You can also make a FELT BOARD as I like to call it. It reminds me of the flannel graph board that was used by missionaries and in Sunday schools in the 70’s and 80’s. I took an old canvas and covered it with the non-slip stuff that you put under rugs. This non-slip material was being stored in a closet and not being used….so why not?

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Then you staple it on a canvas or board and put a bunch of velcro pieces on it. Children who haven’t watched a ton of television like to stick the felt pieces on the board and make up stories.

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Like this:

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You can also make your own fun felt books as I have here:

Felt is so much fun! Cutting it out and making your own creations with a glue gun is one of my favorite things to do. Bonus: the kids get a new thing to play with!