Monday, August 29, 2011

Making An Effort Monday: Organizing, Cooking, and Sewing, Oh My!

In an effort to make more of the things I love -- good food, pretty things, and organized spaces -- I bring you Making An Effort Monday!  It's not a huge effort, but it's an effort nonetheless!

It was an effort-filled week my friends, let me tell you.  Of all the efforts this week, the three that topped the charts were taking over the office closet for my crafts (!), trying out a new recipe, and a sewing project.

Okay, so the closet might not be all that much to look at, considering the awesome organized spaces I see, but before it became my craft closet, it was the official "dumping ground" in our house, and looked a lot like a closet you would see on Hoarders. 

Now it looks like THIS:
The cleaning was spurred by a generous donation of fabric from my mom, which made me sort and organize all my fabric.  My stash now looks like this:

Makes me tear up every time I see it.

I also tried a new recipe, which earned RAVE reviews.  However, my camera was being wonky, and I didn't get a picture.  I'll give you the one from the original source, but please know they look so much better in real life.  Yummmmm.

I found this recipe on Pinterest via M3.  Here is the original recipe from Chicho's Kitchen:

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
4 medium red potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Cut the potatoes in wedges.
2.  In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, garlic, and paprika and set aside. Next, toss the potatoes and oil together in a mixing bowl then add the bowl of cheese and seasonings and stir to coat.
3.  Arrange them on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
4.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes then remove from oven and turn over all the potatoes. Bake for another few minutes until crispy and golden.

I made a few changes to this.  I used more parm (maybe an extra quarter cup), more Paprika, (probably another 1/2 tsp.), I added some Cayenne Pepper (probably about a 1/4 tsp.) and used garlic salt instead of garlic powder and salt to taste.  

I cannot say yum enough about this recipe.  My only regret is I used up the rest of our parm making this recipe, because I would have made it every night this week.  When I go to the store on Wednesday, you better believe I will be getting lots of potatoes and Parmesan cheese!

Finally, my organized craft closet inspired me to whip up a little sewing project last night after Josephine went to sleep.  I was going to make Josephine some shoes, but looking at the patterns I found, I decided I wanted to find a different material for the soles than I already had on hand, so I used some lovely fabric I found on clearance a few months ago to make a purse!  Something for myself?  Shocking.

I followed the Buttercup Bag pattern from Made By Rae, and (aside from a few minor things), I am very happy with the results.  

 Lovely bag!
Lovely little pleats!
Not-so-lovely interior fraying ... but lovely little pocket!

The pattern was relatively easy to follow, which is why I was pretty disappointed that I must have made a mistake at the end (even though I tried so dang hard) and the seam at the top on the inside is all unfinished and fraying.  Yuck.  Also, if I had been a more skilled sewer, I would have looked at the pattern and realized it would be better to have put the strap in between the purse exterior and the lining instead of just sewing it on at the end like the pattern calls for.

The purse is small (because I am bad at estimating what the end size will be from looking at patterns online), but I am sure I could enlarge the pattern, put some interface on to sturdy up the purse, and try it again. At any rate, I am proud of being able to whip this up in an hour.  It even has a pocket! :)

Brag about your efforts in the comments, and if you try the purse pattern, try not to brag to me about how you didn't make the same mistake I did. 


  1. That purse is super cute!! I love purses you can throw into the washing machine.. so nice. ;)

  2. I am very impressed by your purse! Also, where can you find patterns to make baby shoes?!

  3. I know! I gave up on my "real" diaper bag and started using a big hobo bag from Old Navy that I can throw in the wash. Not as many useful pockets, but worth it!

  4. Branwen, are you on Pinterest? If so, I am pinning lots of them to my Crafts board. If not, these are the two patterns I am trying first:

  5. I love the buttercup bag! I whipped one up in 2 hours after not touching my sewing machine in months. Such a feel good project! I think maybe you skipped step 14, putting the bag inside the lining, sewing, and then turning through the bottom of the lining. :)

  6. Marilee Brooks-GilliesSeptember 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    I also love the buttercup bag! I've made three of them this summer. And, I have two more cut out to sew up. So cute and fun!

  7. I figured that was the step where I messed up, but I really thought I was doing everything right! I think part of my problem is that I printed the tutorial out and followed that, and the pictures were smaller and gray scale -- I didn't realize how much harder it would be to see all the details I needed to see. Next time!


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