casing the joint

Well I’m done with chickpeas. Sorry, I lost interest. There’s a few more chickpea things I might show you, so don’t worry, but I’d much rather sew.

I cancelled my fat quarter club subscription from Earthly Goods. The shop is lovely, but the fabrics I was getting weren’t really my bag. So I joined the Color Your Stash club with Fabric Shoppe instead. 12 fat quarters a month plus a spool of Aurifil. However, my stash is pretty, ahem, “colourful” already so I don’t need any more fabric. I had to commit to making one thing a month from the package. Although I did get the Christmas package, I didn’t really feel like making Christmas stuff mid December. There is a plan for that fabric next Christmas, so I think that counts.

January’s pink package arrived yesterday and thanks to hubbo making my children disappear all morning, I made something already. Behold the I’m Obsessed with Bunnies Pillowcase!

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Now, I’m going to link to this pattern because it is a cute design and FQ friendly. However, the instructions are duff! I have no clue what kind of witchcraft they employed to get the trim on to this pillowcase, but it cannot be done. Dunno, maybe I’m just addled. If you can work it out, do let me know. I could have made this in less than a morning had I not had to work out a new way of attaching the trim. If you decide to use this pattern, here’s what I did.

Make the 40 inch tube but don’t press in half or fold over. Put the right side of the trim inside the pillowcase on the wrong side and sew a scant 1/4 inch seam.

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Press this seam towards the trim side of the pillowcase.

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Now fold the other raw edge over a 1/2 inch and press.

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Flip the raw edge around to the outside of the pillowcase and topstitch all around.

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I see many more pillowcases in my future.

I don’t know what the kids do with these hashtags, but here’s one anyway. #coloryourstashclub

day 3: soaked

Tonight I’m getting out the big orange bowls to soak me some chickpeas.

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While I love the convenience of opening a can, I am also quite cheap. Canned beans are expensive! But I also find them to be a little mushy. So I soak my own. The general rule is that they double in volume, but I suspect it’s a little more than that. No worries. If there’s extras, you just get a big ole freezer bag and throw them in the freezer. Make sure they’re nice and cool first, otherwise you will end up with a big lump that you will have to chip away at with a knife.

Anyway. I have honed chickpea boiling to an art and I have discovered that 40 minutes is the perfect time for a firm yet yielding chickpea.

I always worry that they will take on so much water, that the kitchen will be covered in beachball sized chickpeas when I come down in the morning. Hasn’t happened yet….

day 2: chickpeas for veganuary

Have you heard about Veganuary? What could be better for this than chickpeas?

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That’s right, nothing. Now, I’m not going to make this today because I’ve already had leftover hummus for lunch, but I love this idea.

Deconstructed Falafel Bowls!

It is on my list of recipes to try because while I love falafel, it seems like a lot of work. And I don’t even make my own!

There is another recipe for falafel bowls on that page, which I think I like better. Why don’t you make one and let me know how it goes…

day 1: mezze

Welcome to 31 Days of Chickpeas! I love them. They are cheap, nutritious and versatile. When I mentioned this series to Mr. Craftybites, he said “so you’re going to make me eat chickpeas for 31 days?!” Although that would bring me joy, no. Stay tuned for fun ways to play with and also eat the noble garbanzo.

MezzeToday we start off with our New Year’s Day Feast. This is our version of a mezze. The star of this meal is the marinated fish, but the hummus and ful are the glue that holds it together. We also have (slightly over) grilled halloumi, dolmades, baba ghanoush, olives, crudites, and baguette.

Chickpeas1On New Year’s Eve, I was at home soaking chickpeas and fava beans. You?

Marinated Fish

Today I made the fish from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. It’s pretty similar if not the same to this recipe. I’d go look for you, but I’ve got a baby attached to me. Make this fish and make sure to have extra bread for sopping up the juices.

There was also wine.

Mezze PlateAnd this is a what it looked like when it all came together.

Stick with me for 30 more days of chickpea chicanery. I can’t promise they will be consecutive, but there will be 31 at some point…

skull fashion

My daughter’s Hallowe’en dress lent itself well to a crafty bite. Because it is so small, I found it easy to do a little bit after dinner most nights. I usually broke it down into similarly flavoured pieces. One evening I would cut, or sew, another I would press. Some nights I did nothing, but it was ok-I could strategize for the next bite.

The pattern was McCalls 4351. This is what it should look like.

Aw. Isn’t that one angelic looking little baby? All pink with a little bow?

Here’s my girl, the Demon Horde.

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I also made a little bag for trick or treating. Pretty sure I got this pattern from bhg.com but I can’t find it right now. I made the straps too long somehow.

ETA: This is a pattern from All People Quilt. You may have to sign up for this one.

Skull BagThis post is long, long overdue. The little bean in this photo is just over a year old. She has since worn this dress on the subsequent Hallowe’en and this year my big preschooler was a kitty. Her then 3 month old sister was Supergirl. Next year, the dress will make a comeback. And it glows in the dark.

The crafty bites have been more like crumbs the last year….

totally tote

Remember that fat quarter club I joined? Well here’s what this Amy Butler fabric inspired me to do.DSCN3454That’s right. I made this tote bag, courtesy of Happy Zombie. I received and used three fat quarters within two weeks. This is unprecedented.

I can also say that I am not the worst top-stitcher in the world.

A few changes:

I made only one pocket.

I sewed the straps on a little closer because I wasn’t sure if I would catch the sides of the pocket otherwise.

I reinforced the strap by backstitiching before going down the other side.

It turned out the perfect size for magazines. Luckily, the recipient is a great fan of travelling with magazines.

saving through indignance

After we moved in here and I used the dryer a few times, I decided that it didn’t dry great and maybe needed a duct cleaning. So I called the man whose sticker on the was on the front. Easy. I was at work when he came, but the message relayed to me by Hubbo was that the dryer was fine and dandy. I was just putting in too much stuff. Too much stuff. Because I had only just taken a class in how to do laundry and was working on my practicum.

I started hanging all the laundry on a rack out of spite. That’s right, spite, of a man I’d never met.

It wasn’t really much of a change. I already had a rack going because many of my shirts don’t go in the dryer. The only things I didn’t hang were diapers, towels, and bedding. Until summer came along. The Loftorium is like an oven come 5PM so that most things will dry within 24 hours. Not so much in the rainy winter.

Anyway, I got $75 out of the deal.

The power company will give you $75 if you save 10% over a year. I signed up last July and a few weeks ago they cut me a cheque because I saved 21%! It was mistakenly addressed to Man.

Guess what I spent it on?DSCN3455This lot came from Raspberry Creek.

DSCN3458And this one came from Fabric Shoppe.

DSCN3462 DSCN3459And these two lots came from Bee Yourself Fabrics.

I can’t resist the mystery scrap package. Now all I need is a plan…..