Friday, September 27, 2013

New month new budget

Recently, we had a discussion on food bills in a Facebook group I am a part of. 

It was really interesting to see the numbers everyone came forward with. The differences in family sizes, ethnic backgrounds, eating & cooking habits/preferences, geographic location, shopping styles ... all seemed to make a difference. But the average came out to around $600-$800/month. 

So over the next month, I will catalog all the meals I prepare - breakfast, lunch, dinner- any snacks, any beverages, take outs, dine-out, everything. I will break down the cost and post how much each serving cost. Let's see how much it really costs (me, personally) in food bills per month. This way, it's a serving cost comparison as opposed to a family cost comparison. That might be a better way to look at things since some families consist of 6 members while others only consist of 3. 

I will, ofcourse, be posting about meals I specifically eat with my dietary restrictions. So they will be gluten/ soy/ peanut/ egg /dairy free, and vegetarian. 
For those of you wondering why I don't just say "vegan", I do consume butter and honey on occasion :)

What I will include in my costing:
All major ingredients - fresh produce, frozen ingredients, canned items, flours, grains, lentils, coffee beans, creamer, herbs, juices, and so on. 

What I will not include in my costing:
Condiments, spices, oils/fats, seasonings, sugar, water, etc. 

Feel free to follow along with your own food bill tracking, or share where you are vs where you want to be on your food bills, and any tips or ideas to help other readers. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Project recaps, ups and downs.

We had a lazy morning - which is a good thing! I am editing and putting together some photos for a recipe post that I will put up this week.

Other than that, I am also chugging along on my order list :

1. Pincushion for swap: done!! I mailed it out last week and am waiting to hear that it's been received!

2. Pincushion order: I got an order for a patchwork tomato pincushion for an "Alice in wonderland" themed sewing room! Here's what I made --- I quite like how it turned out. What do you think?

3. Pincushion order: I did another pincushion order - a patchwork turtle. He is just too cute! Here he is "at work". Looks like he's getting an acupuncture session. ;)

4.Mug Rugs x  4: quilting done, needs hand binding

5. Doll: parts are done. Need to sew them together and embroider the face. Then the hair!

6. Doll outfit: made some good progress on the knit skirtie. I had to restart it yesterday as the yarn I had picked was just nasty. It was destroying my needles! Let alone the nightmare that it was to knit with. I don't think it was cotton like I initially thought. Going with some squishy soft washable wool now.

I need to make another run to the post office this week. I have about 5 packages to send out! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday morning, and a guest post!

Morning all!

I've been away for a whole week here, and didn't even realize it. I've been busy behind the scenes with some orders and personal projects. 

For the blog, I've decided to dedicate one day a week to posting recipes. There will be appetizers, entrees, soups, salads, desserts... some Indian, some non-Indian, but all will be based on my diet which is vegetarian, and free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, and corn. 

For this week, I am sharing a recipe over at my friend Carla's blog as my first guest post. Please check it out and I hope you try making it yourself. Let me know what you think, and if you have any questions or suggestions, leave me a comment :)

Here's the link to the recipe guest post:

What recipes would you like to see in the coming weeks? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fabric Mail!

I've been really good about sticking to my budget this month. Since I bought this fabric more than a month ago, it doesn't really count in my month's budget ;)

I found this gorgeous linen fabric on Etsy while browsing one day, bookmarked it and left it at that. A week later, I found myself still wanting it so I went ahead with the purchase. It arrived this morning and I couldn't be happier with it! It is absolutely gorgeous...even prettier in person.

The seller even included a set of sweet butterfly wooden buttons in complimentary colors. Very thoughtful! 

This gorgeous fabric is going in my stash and will available for custom orders. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Scottie's OTB!

As much as I love sewing, I also love to knit. I don't do as much since it takes me quite a bit longer per project. 

Recently, a really sweet online friend of mine asked if I would knit a soaker for her newborn baby boy. Of course I could! How could I say no? :) 

So we got to chatting, and came up with a cute little idea for the soaker. A simple grey and white combination, with a drawstring at the waist and rolled cuffs that will be gentle on his thighs. Then for some fun, an embroidered 'Scottie' on the bum! 

I got sketching on my graph paper and came up with this. I had help from another knitting (grand)mama in perfecting the sketch on paper. 

It took me a couple of weeks to knit the actual soaker, and then another weekend to embroider the design onto it. I used 'duplicate stitch'  - a technique in knitting where you mimic the knit stitches in the desired shape, with another strand of yarn. Thus, "duplicating" the stitches.

Over all, I was quite happy with how it turned out.

Steamed it, set it, packaged and sent it off to its new owner.

Then a few days ago, I got a message from her. With a photo. Of her baby wearing my creation. It is so much cuter on him! I just about squealed, I was so happy it fits him so well :) 

Now I can't wait to make another one...with a different design ofcourse ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A couple of finished orders, WIP Wednesday, and a *Giveaway* winner!

It's been a wonderful long weekend here, and just getting back into the swing of things. I had a pretty productive weekend somehow, and managed to get one order completed. 

Two mugrug/coffee sleeve sets for a lovely lady and her mama! This first set uses fabrics from the Riley Blake line called "Happy Sunshine". Love the cheerful birds and the spring-y colors. It's sure to perk up any morning / coffee break / snack time. The mug rug is a generous size and will easily hold a biscotti or scone or muffin alongside your beverage. 

 The second set - for the mama - uses some batik prints and coordinating solids. I asked about what kind of colors or patterns she liked. She collects Fenton Glass, so that gave me the idea to do a star quilt block. The watery effect of the batik fabrics is very reminiscent of some of the glasswork done by Fenton. I hope she likes it!

Here is the set together. They're on their way to their new homes, and hopefully arrive soon.

 Next up is the giveaway winner's prize! She asked for a coffee sleeve and picked the Dr.Seuss fabric I had in stock.
The fabric has some really large prints on it, so I tried to get a good *cut* and get some of the characters actually on the sleeve! I think it came out pretty cute! :)

With all these awesome fabrics, it's no wonder I *love* doing what I do :)

Now for *WIP* part of this post .... 
I'm knitting myself a pair of socks for the winter. My first time ever knitting socks. So far so good...they seem pretty easy. I am just not used to knitting with fingering weight yarn, so it seems to be taking me forever! 

I'm using this lovely yarn from Family Pendragon (she closed up shop on December 31st, 2012...and I was lucky to snag some in time!). The colorway is called "Winter". How appropriate :)

Think I'll be done by winter? ;)

I'm off to start my day. Hope everyone has a great day :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Mail!

I love buying online for a few reasons. Number ONE being, convenience.

I get to window shop, browse, compare prices, change my mind, all from the comfort and convenience of my home. Ofcourse, there's the added cost of shipping but when you factor in the cheaper price per item online, the cost of hunting for something specific in the local shops, etc, online shopping is way cheaper!

Sometimes, I'll make a purchase online, then forget about it in the next day or so. When the package comes in the mail, its such a happy surprise! It's an even better surprise when it comes beautifully packaged!!

This is my recent purchase of some zipper charms from an Etsy store called Tonic and Lime Designs.

All I specified for my order was what I did not like, and my order was *perfect*! I could not have imagined a more perfect selection of charms to match my fabrics.

I can't wait to add these to a couple of new projects :) I will definitely be buying more from them!