Lookie What I Made {Pants into Skirt}

Once upon a time, I had a pair of gray dress pants that were my favorite.  Very comfortable, great material, good fit, pockets.... as time went on I wore them all the time, feeling great each and every time.  Then one dark day a big splot of red marker ink found it's way on to the right leg (below the knee) of my favorite pants....and....wouldn't wash out.   

This is the story of how I saved them and turned those pants into a skirt!

Start by undoing the inseam of each leg.  You can see in the back I went nearly all the way up to the waist.  In the front, I went about an inch below the zipper. 

Once you have your opening, try on the garment and decide what shape you would like to achieve.  Less triangle gives you more of a fitted pencil skirt, while more triangle (pictured below) gives more of an a-line skirt shape.  I also saw one idea that you could simply sew the back together with no triangle inserted.

I used a piece of white tissue paper to make a pattern for the shape of the triangle and then used that to cut out my material.  I decided to be daring and went with light blue dots on gray as the triangle material.

The coffee pictured is optional, although it certainly helped me out!

I then pinned the triangle into the opening with the right side of the fabrics toward each other and sewed the seams.  Repeat for the other side.... I used the same polka dot material for the front and back openings.

And voila.... your old favorite is reborn into your new favorite.  And I was tickled to find a turquoise top that coordinated with the dot color. 

I'd say I'm pretty smitten with how this turned out and I can see more fashion re-makes in my future!

Have you re-fashioned any clothing?  What else can you alter with ease?

Sharing at {Sew}Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday along with others from my left blog bar.


CT: Birds of a Feather (#71)

Happy Creative Tuesday

The most recent challenge was to work with the theme Birds of a Feather.  What a fun one considering my new crush on red tail hawks.  I love the idea of getting familar with the way their feathers look and how they carry their feet when they fly.

I just played with pencil this time.  It's soothing, meditative.  And upon further reading I saw somewhere that among Native Americans traditions, hawks are considered the messenger of change.  And couldn't be more appropriate as things, they 'a changing. 

Hawks reminded the people they needed to be awake and aware and can achieve great things through persistence and sheer strength of will.  I love that!


Baked Apple Cider Donuts {baking notes}

I saw a pin on Pinterest for Apple Cider Donut Holes recently, and pretty much dropped everything and made a batch.  You know... for testing purposes.  The recipe originally comes from Feastie, however, I'd like to share the baking notes I've made after two batches. 

These donuts are totally tasty and baked... so healthy, right?  Plus, they give me an excuse to use my mini cupcake pan.  Love that!

{recipe from Feastie -- link here -- but re-posted so we can talk about small changes I made}

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon  {I also added pumpkin pie spices to kick the taste up a notch}
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple butter  {I successfully replaced apple butter with apple sauce}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider  {I successfully also made these with apple juice}
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt  {I was able to skip this ingredient and use 1/3 cup more apple sauce}
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • canola cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a mini muffin cupcake pan with cooking spray. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. 
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, vanilla extract, honey, apple cider, yogurt, and canola oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Don't over-mix - a few lumps are okay. 
  4. Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, fill a 24-hole mini muffin pan with the batter; fill each hole only 3/4 of the way, or you'll end up with huge mini muffins (maxi muffins?). Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack. 
  5. While donut holes are still warm, melt butter in a microwave safe dish. Combine cinnamon and sugar in another dish. Using a pastry brush, very lightly brush a tiny bit of melted butter onto the top of each donut hole, then dip the top of the muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the donut hole in the cinnamon sugar to coat the sides and top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The instructions (#2 and #3) say to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl... and I actually followed this suggestion and it worked out really well.  I encourage you to do the same!  I'm saying this because I'm the type of person to usually skip the second bowl parts of recipes.

A cookie scooper worked out really well to get the batter in the tiny baking pan wells.

Here are the donut holes fresh out of the oven and piping hot.  I used a tooth pick to test if they were done.

Did I mention these are stinkin' hot?  My Tip... use the tooth pick to also get each donut hole out of the pan.  Sticking the tooth pick in the center allowed me to simply pluck each one out and put on a cooling rack.

I know the recipe says it makes 24 donut holes.  I made more.  I think I came out with nearly double that.  It's all about how much you fill the wells with batter.  I found that about half way full made a good bite size donut.

I did cover my donuts with the cinnamon and sugar mix.  A short cut for this part is to melt the butter in a small bowl -- you can see my small blue one below.  Then I took each donut and dunked the top in the melted butter, then rolled around in the cinnamon and sugar mix. 

In Batch #One, I replaced the apple butter and yogurt with apple sauce and also used apple juice in place of apple cider.  This batch was so light and fluffy.  Not heavy and they browned nicely.

In Batch #Two, I again replaced the apple butter with apple sauce (simple an ingredient I didn't have handy either time), but followed the rest of the recipe.  This batch was really good too.  I didn't notice much difference between the apple juice vs. apple cider.  However, in this batch the donuts were a little denser, a little tougher.  Still incredible.  I'm not sure if it's the addition of yogurt or that I over stirred the batter this time. 

I swear these little bites turn invisible before your eyes and I can certainly see making these again really soon.  Enjoy!


Weekending {Welcome Fall!}

What a nice weekend.  Fall is really starting to settle into the area, the sun was plentiful, and we certainly got outside to take advantage of it!

::  Morning coffee was taken on the couch in the sun rays.
::  Finished off the drive-in movie season by taking Sammy to her first ever drive-in.  It wasn't as bad as we thought with two dogs in the back seat.  In fact, at one point they were both curled up and sleeping!
::  I cleaned up and organized my sewing desk a bit.  Loving the piece of white birch floating around until it finds just the right project.  Truth is, I really want to paint on it.
::  I got a bit of sewing in, although I still haven't quite figured out what to do with Prism's.  Which is turning into Shattered Prism's.
::  I realized I have a ton of lip chap tubes in my purse and around the house.  Found about 4 or 5 more since I took this snap.
::  We must have tired out the dogs well with a bunch of walks, playing in the yards, and doggie get togethers -- since they slept every chance they got.
::   And we went sneaker shopping.  I couldn't believe how pretty running shoes have gotten!  Too bad I wasn't in need of a new pair.  But I can drool, right?

Hope you also had a wonderful weekend!  Can't wait to visit and see what you've been up too!


I'm a Finalist -- help by voting for me?

I put together a fabric mosaic to represent the theme "Softly Against Black" over at Stitched in Color recently ... and just found out I'm a finalist. 

As in, if you vote for my fabric mosaic ... I win the fabric bundle!!  Eeep!!  You can read more about my entry here and we'd be BFF's forever if you'd consider voting for me. 

You can find the voting page here.

When I heard the theme, "Softly Against Black," and mulled it over in my head a picture of a wolf howling at a soft yellow moon in the dark of night, with a light snow falling filled my head. 

Here are the colors I choose to represent my imagination.  The gray and silvers are for the wolfs fur, the blues might be the fading night sky or the blue eyes of the wolf, the yellows are for the pale moon rising high above the wolf's head, and the pop of orange and black for contrast.  I also noticed that I kept to a theme of circles in some of the prints.  Must be that moon stuck in my imagination.

Thank you so much and Katie, Sammy, and I are wishing you a wonderful weekend full of sewing and sunshine!


Insta-Catch Up

Yes, I'm still mostly addicted to Instagram (@cwiltex).  It's a funny little habit to remember to snap pictures of what's going on, but I do enjoy looking back and remembering all the little funny moments.

I would also like to say a really big big big thank you to Rita a fellow art creative, goldie lover, and enjoyer of sunsets!  She has bestowed an award called "One Lovely Blog" on this space.  I'm tickled and smiling.  Seriously, thank you Rita!

In order to accept the award, I am to share Seven Little Known Facts about me.... let's see:

1. I claim to originally be from the desserts of Texas and therefore am usually always cold.  Unless it's nearly 90 and sunny.  But stick me in air conditioning and you will see me in sweaters and ear muffs.  Ok, the ear muffs are going too far, but I have a great scarf collection.

2. I love spicy food.  Like volcano spicy.  The kind of heat that you can feel in your toes.  And yes, even for breakfast! 

3.  I saw a llama at our local library over the weekend.  Sammy was in the car with me and I went to park her in the shade away from most of the cars and we saw a thing move next to a van... yup, a llama.  Apparently, they were having a meet the llama day to go with a kiddo reading program.  Too cool!  (see picture below)

4.  I'm a sucker for fabric.  Ok, that's pretty well known.  How about.... I enjoy watching movies over and over again.  I'm not even sure any more how many times I've see movies like 300, Troy, Braveheart, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, or Center Stage.  Luckily, the Mister embraces this habit.  My most recent ones have been Robin Hood, and The Eagle.

5.  I am leading an Art Quilting special interest group at my local quilting guild this year.  So excited to find ways to inspire the group and encourage us all to try new things.

6.  My favorite ice cream flavors are Pumpkin, Birthday Cake, and French Vanilla.  I had my first pumpkin-butterscotch of the season and have to say that I missed pumpkin so very much.  There is a stand that has the very best homemade stuff.  Going to have to find a way to drive over there and obtain some!!

7.  And last one.... I have fallen head over heels for hawks.  I can't stop looking to the sky to see them soaring and swooping.  I turn every which way when I hear one calling in the wee hours of the morning, and I am getting really darn good spotting them in the trees.  I think they are going to dominate my creative stuff for the near future. 

And seriously, if you haven't seen Rita's golden, Obi, prepare for a cute attack and then dash over and see the cute fella!  If they were closer I bet Sammy and Obi would be BFF!

Wishing you a lovely week!


Softly into the Night

There is a neat contest going on over at Stitched in Color where you pick a mosaic of 12 fabrics from Fresh Modern Fabric to represent the theme of "Softly Against Black." 

And... two lucky winners are going to get their bundles.  Pretty incredible, right?

Please dash over to this post to get the details in case you want to play along. 

When I heard the theme, Softly Against Black," and mulled it over in my head a picture of a wolf howling at a soft yellow moon in the dark of night, with a light snow falling filled my head. 

Here are the colors I choose to represent my imagination.  The gray and silvers are for the wolfs fur, the blues might be the fading night sky or the blue eyes of the wolf, the yellows are for the pale moon rising high above the wolf's head, and the pop of orange and black for contrast.  I also noticed that I kept to a theme of circles in some of the prints.  Must be that moon stuck in my imagination. 

Fun, right?  You can make up to three mosaics... and I'm totally tempted to try another one. 

Sometimes planning a project and picking the fabrics is my favorite part.  Happy sewing!

Edited to add:

I knew I wouldn't be able to resist just one more mosaic. 

This one embodies a silly tale of animals going to storm the castle through the early morning light.  I warned you it was silly, but I also love the combination of grays and blues.  And the pops of pink and red really push this bundle to the limits.  Just think of the fun you could have with this!


Just Creating

I have a piece I've started that I'm not sure what it's meant to be.  You see, I had the need to be in my sewing room.  My de-stress room.  And sew. 

I started by taking two remnants from a very soft sheet and sewing them together.  Then I took some brightly colored red and pink scraps and began arranging them in a circle-swoosh.  I used a dab of glue stick to hold these in place.

The next layer added was fabric paint.  Swirls and swishes added with big chunky brushes.  Dots and circles. 

Feels like it shows the harmony of my normal.  I see my normal as my days filled with bright and cheery bits and pieces which are just so to compliment each other.  I crave my normal these days.  These last feel weeks have been filled with worry and have been darker, less harmonious.

I instagramed this a while ago.  The framing of the image just begs for me to continue on.  It begs for me to fill in the focal point in the middle. 

What's to come and where's this going?  I don't know.  And I'm ok with that. 

This is turning a bit in a mental dump or artist diary of the time.  Perhaps to finally become an art quilt?  Right now it feels a bit like security.  Like my safety blanket.  Like things will be ok as long I keep dumping out the stress into this container. 

The lesson I am taking from this?  Fiber, fabric, and paint are my therapy.  They help me make sense of things and ground myself so that I can be strong. 

I have a feeling you are going to see a lot more of this scrap as I grow and change it. 


Reflecting on 9/11

I feel like 9/11 snuck up on me a little this year.  I know days are turning into weeks as I focus on the immediate, but geez.  So in my own reflection and moments of silence, I'm sharing a few ground zero photos I took on a walk by back in February.  We were in NYC for the Parade of Champions to celebrate the Giants winning the Superbowl. 

As the parade ended and the crowd began to disperse we walked through shut down streets.  At one point, I also remember being surprised to look up and see the new tower rising.  I was surprised to be that close to it.  I was surprised to see the steel workers with somber faces doing their thing and hooting for the Giants. 

I remember feeling very warm in my heart remembering all the courage of that day and the actions of strangers with nothing but love for their fellow man.  The selflessness. 

It's that burst of pride that I will carry with me very purposely today. 

We will never forget.  I will never forget.


Three Cheers!

I'm not really sure where to start, but things have been busy, stressful, tiring, and have needed my attention lately.  I am slowly stretching out my arms to feel what this space feels like again.  I was reminded over the weekend that it's a good place to cheer on that little happy thing in my life and embrace the positive. 

You see I have a bad habit of worrying... which simply put is spending energy on things you can't control.  I need to remember to spend my energy in better ways. 

::  So, let's cheer for fluffy puppies who know when to nuzzle you to make you feel amazing. 
::  Let's cheer for gardens with abundant harvests... even if you burned the salsa.
::  And cheer for spare sewing moments that calm every nerve and fiber of me.
What are you cheering today?
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