Friday, June 18, 2010

Blessings Friday: Vacation

It’s time for a much-needed vacation. We’re packed and heading off for a summer adventure.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (The Paris Traveler bag I made in 2009.)

Trip details will be shared upon my return. Stay cool and I’ll see you soon!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sangria Pie

Kristie came over Monday evening, bringing my favorite Chinese food and her effervescent cheerfulness. We like to get together now and then to catch up on all the happenings in each other’s life.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Since she brought supper, I made dessert in the form of Williams-Sonoma’s Sangria Pie. I’ve been looking for an excuse to try this recipe after having enjoyed it at Paula’s a couple of weeks ago. I added bits of fruit to make it pretty. Note to self: practice patience and let the pie chill/set in the fridge longer and then it wouldn’t be mushy causing the pretty fruit arrangement to slide off.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Yesterday I went to Williams-Sonoma to get something I needed and was telling the manager about the great Sangria Pie recipe I tried from their store. She got really excited and told me she was the one who actually invented the recipe by mistake when the store ran out of Margarita mix for a demo pie and she substituted Sangria Blanca.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I made a recipe card to share with you and added the instructions for making a homemade graham cracker pie shell. Right-click on the picture to save to your computer for printing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pleated iPad Sleeve

Initially I was going to design a case for my iPad but found a tutorial at Moda Bake Shop I really like.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

They actually offer three different style options; my choice was the downward-facing pleated version. Hoffman Fabrics’ Bali Pops fabric strips were used for my project.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Two modifications were made to the original tutorial. First, and most important to me, was using heavy-duty Pellon interfacing (similar to the now-defunct Timtex product Amy Butler used to recommend) in addition to the quilt batting called for in the instructions. I wanted extra protection for my iPad. Now the sleeve seems sturdier which relieves my mind.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I basted the quilt batting to the exterior pleated fabric and stitched in the ditch on the pleat rows as directed. The Pellon was applied to the lining fabric (periwinkle-colored Minky).

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

My other modification was again with equipment safety in mind. I added a small flap so my iPad doesn’t inadvertently slip out of the sleeve.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

A decorative button was made out of a piece of scrap fabric. I love making covered buttons; something about them makes me smile.

I really like the way Moda Bake Shop used solid white pieces interspersed with brightly-colored strips in their projects, so I’ll try that the next time I make another iPad sleeve.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hawaiian Shirt Cake

My friend Janel and I collaborated on last year’s flip-flop cakes for my annual pool party. We had such a good time we decided to try it again this year. She asked me what cake I was planning and my immediate response was a gaudy Hawaiian shirt.

© Dub Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Janel suggested a pina colada recipe which I thought was a great idea. She offered to bake it for me which I thought was an equally great idea. I’d share the recipe, but she departed for vacation yesterday and I forgot to get it from her.

The cake was originally a rectangle.  I cut a section off the bottom (short side), then cut again to echo sleeve shapes which were attached to the shirt body with icing. I made a big batch of white buttercream icing which I subdivided into various batches and added food coloring, saving some of the white. Janel did the actual icing of the cake Friday night at my house as my hands were having a shaky day and I couldn’t make a straight line.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I made sugar cookie buttons and used a bamboo skewer to poke the buttonholes immediately after removing the little cookies from the oven
Everyone had fun Saturday and they all got a kick out of the cake—so I count our pool party a success.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blessings Friday: Friendship

All of my friends are creative. Some say they aren’t, but it isn’t true as they come up with wonderfully clever ideas on a regular basis. My friend Cindy’s birthday gift to me this year is a prime example.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Cindy put together a huge gaily-colored gift containing every single ingredient needed to make a Baileys Banana Split.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Along with a copy of the recipe, I found carefully tucked inside a perfect piece of crystal stemware from Cindy’s personal collection in which to create the concoction. Talk about style! Enjoying the dessert in such a beautiful way makes the experience extraordinary.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Here’s the story behind her crystal she shared with me (and gave me permission to share with you):

My uncle (my mother's brother) was very proud of his Czech heritage. When I became engaged he sent me a set of china and crystal glasses all made in Czechoslovakia. This meant a lot to me and is something I have kept close to my heart. I will always remember him every time I use the china and glasses. I hope this glass will bring to mind all the fun we had together and a friendship that will never end.

Any present given from the heart is a creative treasure. As such, it has immeasurable value—and so does the exquisite gift of friendship.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Many, Many, Many Bags

After my last venture teaching a few friends how to make reversible Japanese Knot Bags, more friends have asked to learn.

Paula made a couple to give her granddaughters when she visited them in California. They were enthralled as their Nintendo DS games fit in the bags perfectly and asked their grandmother to make some for their classmates, the kids at their dance studio, and end-of-year teacher gifts. The girls made a “shopping” list and sent it to Paula.

So we’ve been meeting a couple of times a week over the last three weeks teaching friends and making bags for the girls.

© Paula Flores, All Rights Reserved

This is part of the production line for the kids’ gifts project. I wish I’d thought to ask Paula to photograph the massive pile of finished bags she shipped to her grandchildren.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Side 1 of one reversible bag. Tissue holders were also made to match each bag. Paula did the brunt of the work as I couldn’t go to her house every day.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Side 2 of the same bag; other than these two fabrics, all the bags for the kids were bright colors. We’ve lost count, but over 80 bags were made. Our friends are happy and the kids have beautiful gifts for their friends and teachers—making our aching fingers worth all the effort.

We’re over the Japanese Knot Bag experience for now. We had a great time, but other creative projects beg to be tried.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Flip-Flops Bling Tutorial

It’s time to host our annual pool party, so things are revving up at my house for Saturday’s merriment. To get in the party spirit, I thought a little summer bling would be fun.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

You can create numerous decorative elements, but I’m easing my way into the whole bling experience by using a simple flower design. My friend Paula taught me how to do this and let me play with her Swarovski crystals yesterday.

  • Flip-flops
  • Swarovski crystals (flat-back, foiled)
  • E6000 adhesive
  • Bead Buddy tool
  • Toothpicks
  1. Put a small dollop of adhesive on a flip-flop using a toothpick and spread it out a bit. The glue dries fast (and clear) so only do one section at a time.
  2. Very lightly touch the top of one of the crystals (colored side, not flat side) with your Bead Buddy and place it where you want it on the adhesive. The glue will hold it in place when you pull back the Bead Buddy. If needed, reposition the crystal using another toothpick.
  3. After completing each section, press gently with your fingers to make sure the crystals are embedded in the glue. My small flower design counted as one section for me.
  4. Repeat for other sections of your flip-flops if you’re doing a more elaborate design.
  5. Don’t get excited and start wearing your newly-embellished flip-flops right away, let them cure overnight.
© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Now I’m ready for our pool party.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crafting with the iPad

You know how a lot of men are into techie toys? At our house, it’s me. My birthday gift from my husband this year was Apple’s iPad.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I’ll be making a cover for it very soon. In the meantime, I’m learning what my new iPad can do for me and what useful applications (apps) are available. The latter are emerging like fecund rabbits on super-potent fertility drugs.

For me, the iPad is a useful tool in any number of ways. I can watch YouTube videos teaching me how to do most anything in the world I want to try. Also, instead of printing tutorials, I can follow them step-by-step right on my iPad (you can do the same with your laptop, but I replaced mine with a desktop this time around which makes it not very portable).

There are a myriad number of applications available for the iPad, here are but just a few.

Crafty iPad Apps

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Digital scrapbooking, photography, knitting, and so on are easily accessed.

Cooking iPad Apps

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Trying new recipes is a craft on its own. Propping my iPad on a cookbook stand makes it easy for me to follow a recipe.

Other Apps

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Just living is a craft activity, don’t you think? We need apps for that, too. And books rank up there as a major priority for my life.

Techie toys are the best—I love them. Now I’m wondering whether buying stock in companies that make batteries for all these things is a good investment.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Optimistic Doughnut

Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole! ~ Oscar Wilde

© Paula Flores, All Rights Reserved

A couple of times a year, my friend Janel holds a cooking party at her house. This past Saturday eight of us gathered to make various types of pastries while enjoying Janel’s homemade root beer and yummy dishes contributed by all the attendees for our lunch.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Judy (Janel’s mother) came from Idaho to share her pastry recipes and techniques with us. We made glazed doughnuts.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

And we made maple bars

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Even Oscar Wilde’s pessimistic doughnut holes were made.

Although I forgot to photograph them in my enthusiasm for testing the results of our labor, we also made ever-so-delicious Parker House rolls. Each person took home a big container full of goodies to share with our families.

Eight women working simultaneously in one kitchen would daunt a lot of people, but not us. Cooking with friends is such a hoot and we're already looking forward to our next adventure making pasta in July.

Thank you Janel and Judy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Then and Now

Today’s Then and Now theme is a result of some online (and offline) conversations a few of my friends have been having. We were discussing the changes in ourselves over the years. Kristie organized a day where we’d post a picture from the past (the parameter being 18 to 22) and then one now (within the last 6 months). Today is the day.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (scanned from my college freshman yearbook)

So here I am at age 18. During high school, I was terribly shy. If a teacher called on me in class, I’d panic and literally start choking. Determined to overcome my shyness, I tried out and became a cheerleader during my senior year. It was so much fun I also joined the cheerleading squad in college. This picture was taken my freshman year of college in 1970 (I’m in the middle on the bottom).

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (taken by my friend Dee using my camera)

I avoid the camera religiously as I hate to have my picture taken. So this Christmas photo will have to work for the “Now” portion of the challenge. I attended a holiday luncheon where everyone brought a copy of the One Yard Wonders book and insisted I autograph the section in which my projects were featured. They had me pose individually with each person; in this case, it’s with my friend Paula.

I’m now 58 and the changes over the years have never been more evident than those I’m experiencing lately. I cannot do my cheerleading jumps anymore, my tiny little self has now morphed into more “generous” proportions, and my hair is short and gray. But what I’m noticing are only the physical differences.

Inside I’m still me—wacky, impetuous, and willing to try most anything (except bungee cord jumping), my heart continues to love easily, sharing is still part of my nature, and I continue to thrive by living a creative life.

It’s the essence of me I hope serves as my legacy when my end-time comes, not how I look.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pattern Weights

Various types of homemade pattern weights are showing up on a number of sewing blogs, so I thought I’d give some a try myself.

Using pattern weights instead of pins is supposed to be a time saver and prevent any undue holes appearing in some fabrics. Some people use them only for rotary cutting; some can happily maneuver their scissors around them.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I’m trying the metal washer version to see how it goes; here’s my process in making a set (I made 10):
  1. Wash the washers to remove any oily residue from the manufacturing process.
  2. Inscribe initials using metal dye stamps.
  3. Prime with Rust-Oleum Automobile Primer.
  4. Spray paint with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss (I chose the color Blue Ocean Breeze).
  5. Go over the initials with a Sharpie pen (I used the color Berry) to make them easier to see.
  6. Give the weights two coats of Miniwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane as a sealant.
© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

You can see pattern weights in action at the Sew Inspired blog as she teaches us how to make a t-shirt. If you just want to buy a set of pattern weights, you can find them at such places as Nancy’s Notions.

  • A machine embroidery project set may be found for purchase at DigiStitches
  • After the Dressthoughts about pattern weights
  • Fabric-wrapped pattern weights at Sew Chic blog
  • Metal washer weights at Noile
  • Pattern weights tutorials (two versions, one sewn and one from the hardware store) at Five Green Acres blog