Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pies Pies Pies Yeah!

I know.  Thanksgiving was last week.  I did make these before Thanksgiving but didn't get the pictures uploaded in time.  Better late than never right?

The crust recipe is from King Arthur Flour.  I love their site.  So much good stuff.  I used to use Martha Stewart's recipe all the time for crust, but I think I like KAF's better.

You will need:
2 1/2 cups unbleached pastry flour, or all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
Sift together or use pastry blender to combine flour and salt.

Cut in:
1/3 cup shortening (if you rinse the measuring cup with cold water first, it will help the shortening to come out easier)
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus a few tablespoons more of 
ice water

 I keep a glass of ice water ready as I cut the butter into small cubes.
 Blend together flour mixture, butter and shortening.  Add ice water 2-3 tablespoons at a time until dough holds together but is still a little dry.  I think I added a total of about 8-9 tablespoons of ice water.

 Pour batter onto parchment paper.  Sprinkle with water if still to dry.
 Fold parchment over and press.  Rotate and repeat about 7-8 times to get a nice ball of dough.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and shape into a circle.  Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  NOTE: this is a must!  It makes the dough so much easier to work with.

 After dough has rested turn out onto well floured parchment paper. Turn to coat dough for easy rolling.  add another sheet of parchment and roll out.

 Place pie dish on crust and flip over to put crust in pan. Gently press in place and trim edges with a little extra dough on the edge.
 Turn top edge under as shown.  This gives a thicker nicer edge.
 Flute edges as desired.
 I cut little leaves and added a stem line with a knife to each leaf.
 I used a 2 quart jars of apple pie filling from here, minus a little of the syrup.
Arrainge the leaves on top and brush with egg whites.
 Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Let cool slightly and enjoy!

 This was a blackberry pie I had to put in a sqare pan since I ran out of round pie pans.  Still super good though!
MMMMmmmmm warm Apple or Blackberry Pie.  Delish!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Did you know you could make your own soap dispenser in a matter of minutes?  Yep.  I did. And with stuff you probably already have.

I used a spagetti sauce jar and the pump from a shampoo bottle.

Drill a hole in the lid. (I was a little nervous about drilling but it worked pretty well.  Just be careful.)  I spray painted mine before drilling, but when I do it again I'll wait until after drilling.

 Cut the end off the pump to fit the jar.  I used a hair band around the pump to secure it in place.  A large rubber-band would work too.  Fill the jar with soap and you are done.  So easy!

 Super cute!  I love it on my counter!

I made another one for my bathroom.  The cotton ball jar has a regular glass votive cup in the top.  It fits perfectly!  The jar in the middle is a vintage one I had.  So nice and easy!  Love it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Petticoat Skirt Tutorial

So it's time for family pictures again and I wanted something super cute for my daughter to wear.  I've been looking for a while and still didn't find anything.  I decided I needed to make the skirt I wanted for her and it only took less than an hour and a half.  Here's how.

I used a twin size bedsheet in tan.  Trim the seamed edges off.  I used 3 strips lengthwise.  Cut a little at the end and tear the rest of the way.  So quick and easy.  Each strip was about 4 inches wide.  

I tore another strip about 3 inches wide for the flower.  Fold the 3 inch strip in half and gather.  I love my gathering foot for my sewing machine!

It's not one continuous strip but you could sew it that way if you wanted.

Make a simple A-line skirt to fit your little girl. Seam the sides of the front and back together.

Next I pinned the ruffles in place.
 One goes all the way around the back and makes kind of a V in front.  I added a small piece of ruffle under the V.  Stitch the ruffles down.
 After you have added all the ruffle, I used a cereal bowl to loosely mark a large circle to use as a guide for the flower.

 Here's the flower loosely placed to make sure I had enough ruffle for the space.
 After the flower is sewn down, cut a casing for the waistband.
 Cut a piece of elastic to fit and pin the four corners.
Pin the elastic in place and serge or zig-zag.

 Fold over the casing and stitch down.  And Done!

It's so  stinkin' cute,
I want one too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Fresh Bed

Is there company coming?
Or do you just want to freshen up your bed as we head straight in to winter?
Here's a quick and easy way to do that.

 Get 1 cup Baking soda and a few drops of essential oil.  I used peppermint because it's my favorite.  One blog I saw used Lavender.  I think it smells like Old Lady.  Not for me.

Place ingredients in a mason jar. Close and shake to distributed the essential oil.

Using the sifter, sprinkle the baking soda mix on your mattress.  Let sit for about an hour.  Then use your upolstery piece for your vacuum to remove all the baking soda. This will also help collect all the dust mites, and dead skin that is hiding in your mattress.

Here's to a fresh night's sleep!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shirred Pillow Tutorial

 I love fabric.  The way it feels, the different ways you can manipulate it to create something wonderful.

Here's a tutorial on how to make your own shirred pillow.

You will need 1 yard of fabric.  I'm using a super soft chocolate brown courdoroy.
Cut two panels that are 
18 inches by 42 inches.
Cut one of them in to pieces, one 18 inches by 15 inches, and the other 18 by 10 inches.  That will be the envelope closure on the back side.
I am lucky enough to have a gathering foot for my sewing machine.  If you don't have one, gather as you normally would.  I started on one side and gathered about 1/2 inches from the edge.

Go all the way down the edge.

 Turn the fabric and gather down the opposite side.  It's OK that they are gathered in different directions.  You won't know when it's done.

Turn it again and gather about 2 inches from the previous seam.
 Here's the top piece finished.  You could pin the edges to mark where the shirring lines will go.  I just eyeballed it.

Change your stitch length to a regular stitch and top stitch each shirred line to add strength and stability.

 Now get the two pieces for the back side and fold hem one side.

 Lay them on top of each other to create the envelope opening. Pin in place.
 Pin the top piece to the back, right sides together.  I usually pin a ton to prevent shifting when sewing.

When you get to a corner, stop with the needle down, lift the foot and turn the fabric to ensure a clean corner.  After it is sewn, I usually clip the corner fabric to prevent bulk in the corner.
But in this case I surged the edges.  Either way is OK.

 Turn the pillow right side out and stuff with an 18 inch pillow form.  I always cut the pillow fabric to the same width as the pillow form.  This keeps the egdes nice and full.
And you're done!  Love it!

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