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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: White (Red and Blue) Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's always good to have a trusty white cake recipe in your arsenal, especially for special occasions and holidays.  I saw Lauren's Latest post about her red, white, and blue cupcakes and wanted to give them a try.  I've wanted to try multi colored batters for a while, and the only thing holding me back (because they're certainly not difficult) is the extra mess and general laziness.  This recipe wasn't too messy as I was able to utilize other bowls that I had already used in putting together the recipe to hold my various batter colors.  The only problem I had (as always) is never using enough red food coloring.  But the general idea is there, and topped with some color themed sprinkles, I had festive 4th of July cupcakes.

The cupcakes are delicious, and the multi-colored center is a fun twist.  These will be a hit at my 4th of July events!

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
Recipe from Lauren's Latest
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Ingredients for the cupcakes:
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
(optional) food coloring

Ingredients for the frosting:
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(optional) food coloring or sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with paper liners and set aside

2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

3.  In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients.  Alternate stirring in the dry ingredients with the milk until none remain and the batter is well incorporated, scraping down the sides to ensure even mixing.  Fold in egg whites.

Optional: If you will be coloring the batter, separate it into several bowls, adding the appropriate food coloring to each.

4.  Alternating batter colors, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin.  Once the tins are filled 3/4 of the day, bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

5.  For the frosting, heath the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Scrape sides and beat about 3 minutes until the frosting thickens.  Frost cooled cupcakes and decorate.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest Posting at Miss Crayola Creepy

Hey everyone! I'm guest posting over at Miss Crayola Creepy's blog today!  I'm sharing my Modern Garden Party dress as part of Sew Colette 2's first pattern sew-along: Hazel.  Check out the post. I took some new pictures in the dress, just for the occasion.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The 'Summer Paisley' Dress

I think I’ve made a new record in my sewing times, in being able to whip this dress up in just under 3 hours.  Having a serger has made all the difference, but it also helps that I had just recently made this dress, so the pieces were all cut and ready to go.
This dress is on the brighter side of my Spring/Summer sewing palette, but fit perfectly with the colors that I was seeing in summer trends. In particular, Pantone’s spring and summer colors.  And I love the modern paisley print.
The Facts
Fabric: 2.5 yards floral printed cotton, $20, on sale
Pattern: Colette Hazel, $0, second time making
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Invisible zipper, $3
Time to complete: 3 hours!
First worn: This past week, in Las Vegas.
Wear again? Yes!
Total cost: $23 
I considered extending the bodice for this dress, as that seems to be my new trend, but I remember reading in the Sew Colette 2 sewalong that Sarai specifically made this dress to have a higher waist.  One change that I did make since first making this dress, was to extend the width of the arm straps by 2” each.  While I really like the arm straps as they are, I have to wear my other version with a strapless bra because the straps and where they connected to the front of the dress made a section of my regular bras constantly visible.  This change definitely solved the problem, though in the future I might just give the arm straps a little more shape, similar to the Cambie dress.
I love wearing this dress.  It’s so comfortable and instantly makes me think of summer.  The colors are so bright and the design is perfect for hot weather.
And with that, my trip to Vegas is over!  
What I Watched:  Part of Black Sheep (1996) and listened to the hubby watch Batman Begins (2005) in the other room. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

While I know it's going to be hard to top the last banana bread that I made, I constantly have bananas on hand that I just can't seem to eat fast enough.  I was about to go to that previous recipe, but decided to try this one out - just for the cinnamon swirl title alone.  This would be the perfect bread for a brunch or just a yummy breakfast treat.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
Recipe from Lovin the Oven
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3 over-ripe bananas, mashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.
2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt around the top of the banana mixture, then gently stir in the flour until just combined.
3.  In a small bowl, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon.
4.  Add half of the banana batter to the load pan.  Then sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter in the pan.  Repeat with the rest of the batter, covering the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The ‘Copycat’ Dress

The first Cambie was so good to me, I just had to make another one.  Not only that, but in keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, I wanted a functional, work-appropriate dress.  Not that my other dresses aren’t functional, but I definitely make a lot of frosting.
The Facts

Fabric: 5 yards Grey Kona Cotton, $20, on sale
Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie, $0, second time making
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Black invisible zipper, $3
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: Out to dinner, while in Vegas (but not before I took pictures by the pool area)
Wear it again? This will be a work staple
Total cost: $23

I thought this second version would go a lot faster than the first, but halfway through I seemed to lose my sewing mojo.  Summer had finally arrived and my sewing room was toasty.  Not only that, but work has been chaotic, which left me with little free time where I didn’t want to just veg or melt into my couch.

That being said, I did love making this dress again.  I made one minor change since the first time, just because I was interested to see how it would change the look and fit.  I extended the bodice by 1” which was easily done with the cut lines provided by Tasia.
I think because this dress doesn’t have the full, gathered skirt, the lengthened bodice was a more comfortable adjustment.  I wanted a dress that fulfilled the ‘business’ dress code at work – big meeting days, etc.  Sometimes my frilly blouses and dresses, while work appropriate for business casual days, may not work for meetings with management.  It was only fitting then that putting this dress together was postponed by work being crazy-busy.

Oh, and why is this the copycat dress?  Well if you saw Tasia’s announcements for the Cambie dress when she first released it, she featured a grey dress of exactly this version.  When I saw it I thought to myself ‘that is exactly what I need in my wardrobe!’  So, I made one too.
What I Watched:  Josie and the Pussycats (2001), completed the last season of Scrubs. If you haven't seen Josie and the Pussycats... well, I wouldn't say it's the best movie, but the ending makes me crack up.  There's some funny moments throughout, but I really just wanted to watch it for the finale laughs.  Oh, and I'm FINALLY done with Scrubs! I had never made it as far as the last two seasons, so it was interesting to see if close out.  It could definitely have ended a season earlier, but the final one wasn't as bad as it originally started out to seem.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The ‘Pinwheels Holiday’ Dress

This challenge coincided perfectly with part of my summer vacation plans. I’m currently in Las Vegas enjoying the sweltering hot, 106 degree F weather. This called for packing a lot of summer dresses. Luckily I was finally able to get a decent amount of sewing time in over the last few days.
I purchased this pinwheel fabric as it fit my summer sewing palette and was a simple, whimsical print. One of my local independent sewing stores was having a massive sale in May and I was able to buy myself a few treats, this being one. However, when it came time to make it into something, I was so indecisive. My Simplicity pattern collection exploded recently due to their big sale, so I had a few new patterns to choose from. I spent about an hour going through all of my patterns – new, old, and already made – trying to find the right pattern for the fabric. In the end, my decision was made when I realized that I had two buttons that would be perfect with this fabric, and thus, this pattern was selected.

The Facts
Fabric: ~3 yards cotton fabric with pinwheel print $15, on sale
Pattern: Simplicity 1873, Version C, $1, on sale
Notions: Blue invisible zipper, $3, 2 pink buttons from stash
Time to make: 4 hours
First worn: This week, June, 2012.
Wear it again? Yup, I think.
Total cost: $20
Last summer, I lived in my sleeveless dresses and realized that I wanted to add a few more to my collection this year. I didn’t make any changes to this pattern, though I did debate lining it fully – the pattern only calls for a lined bodice. The only thing that stopped me was the pleats in the skirt. They were actually very easy to put together, but I did have to consult one of my sewing books for a reminder in how to do them. But I was wary of having to repeat the process with the lining, and if it would create unnecessary bulk. Ultimately, I’m happy with the unlined dress, though for as hot as it was in Vegas, it was also incredibly windy so there were some moments that could have been construed as scandalous… though maybe not by much in Vegas standards.

Oh, and I went with the longer skirt length from version A & B, but it was the same pattern piece so I don’t consider that a modification.
Overall, I’m happy with the dress. I don’t know if it’s the most flattering shape on me, but the dress is so comfortable. I might try one of the other variations like the sleeve version… and I love the little cape jacket that's part of the pattern.

What I Watched: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and Notting Hill (1999). Was TMNT really out that long ago? I loved the ninja turtles when I was a kid, and my college roommate and I went to the premier of the last animated movie. Or wait, have there been more since? I don't know, the last I heard was that they were going to make a movie with the turtles being from space. Blasphemy!  And to make up for the fact that I watched the ninja turtles, I watched Notting Hill.  Eh, it's alright. I think I liked the concept of it more when I first saw it, but sometimes it's just nice to revisit movies like that.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Cream Cheese Almond Bars

I had some leftover almonds in my pantry and needed a dessert that was neat and easy to transport.  Oh, simple and quick would be a plus too! I made a lot of desserts for a party filled weekend and needed some quick solutions.  This recipe was one of them.

I feel like the best way to describe this would be to picture lemon bars, but with a almond custard-like topping instead.  You still get a delicious, shortbread-like base, but a creamy almond filling.  These bars were wiped out at a recent party! Seriously, the plate was practically licked clean.  This would be a great option for someone who's not a huge fan of lemon, or just really loves subtle flavors of almonds.  It's a very delicious treat, and an easy dessert to make.

Cream Cheese Almond Bars
Recipe from Cooking.com
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Ingredients for the crust:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

Ingredients for the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract

Ingredients for the frosting:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13" pan.  Prepare the crust by mixing the butter and dry crust ingredients together. I used my hands until I was able to form the dough into a ball.  Press the dough into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.

2.  Begin to prepare the filling, mixing the sugar and cream cheese until creamed.  Beat in eggs and almond extract until fluffy.  Pour over crust while it's still hot.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until top has set.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

3.  Cream sugar and butter.  Add milk and almond extract and mix well.  Spread evenly on the baked, cooled filling.  Sprinkle toasted almonds on top.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The 'Blue Lace' Blouse

Sometimes I'll go fabric shopping with a little scrap of paper or print outs of my pattern requirements, for patterns that I have in my stash that have been 'calling' to me.  I knew I wanted to make another blouse so I brought the details for Colette's Violet blouse with me... ya know, just in case I found the right fabric.  I knew I wanted something neutral that would go with a lot and also be wearable for the summer.

I had never been to Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz, but the hubby and I had decided to spend a day 'over the hill' (as South Bay locals refer to it) and spend some time paddle boarding and playing tourist.  I had seen Harts' online store and thought it was amazing, so I was super excited to check out their storefront.

It did not disappoint.

It's a decent size fabric store that was broken up into two main sections: home decor and apparel fabrics.  I spent my whole time either in the apparel section, or in front of their wall of buttons.  They had a great selection of fabric that I haven't been able to find locally.  Liberty of London, nice linens and apparel cottons, Japanese prints, and so much more.  I really had to reign in and luckily had my little folder of potential projects.  This blue fabric was one of my first finds and I pretty much wandered around the store with it the entire time.

The Facts

Fabric: A lightweight cotton swiss dot fabric that also had lace/eyelet type stripes running through it.  I really can't describe it better than the pictures show it, but it's nice and lightweight - perfect for the summer.  It almost has a linen feel to it.  I got it from Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz during my first visit to the retail store. ~$20
Pattern: Colette's Violet, $0.  Second time using it.
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Buttons! From Hart's. I think I paid about $2 for all of them.
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: Over the weekend to a birthday bbq.
Wear again? Oh yeah! This'll be a summer staple.
Total cost: $22

I love how casual this blouse feels, but I think the quality of the fabric dresses it up a bit more.  So I could wear it with shorts or khaki's, or maybe a little fancier... to work perhaps?  I definitely have to wear a tank under it, due to the eyelet stripes.

The blouse was still easy the second time around, though I was tempted to omit the collar facings after working with the Banksia pattern.  I ended up making the pattern the same as before, but I added an inch in length.  I want the option to wear it tucked in without it coming out too easy, and to be able to raise my arms without giving a show of my non-flat abs.  I also tried to give the waist just a bit more shape.  I didn't want it snug but I do think this blouse tends to look a bit boxy. I love seeing how so many bloggers are modifying the waist to make it more fitted and feminine.

Anyways, it's a great blouse and I'm so happy to add yet another separate to my closet.  More like another blouse - I just don't have nearly enough.  But I'm slowly working on it!

What I Watched: The Three Musketeers (1993) and more Scrubs
The Three Musketeers was one of my favorite movies as a young teen.  It came out when I was still in grade school and I remember playing in the schoolyard with my girlfriends, pretending that we were sword fighting musketeers.  Yeah, I was a big goober.  I actually briefly took fencing in high school and have four years of French under my belt.  Do I attribute it to this movie?  Well, maybe only the first part.  The rest was just my teen crush on Chris O'Donnell.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Burnt Almond Cupcakes

In my area, we have two bakeries that battle it out for the best burnt almond cake.  You either love one, or  the other, but it seems that even once you leave the area, you still crave their cake.  I love this burnt almond cake, made up (the traditional way) with a white cake, a almond buttercream filling and frosting, and caramelized or toasted almonds pressed into the sides of the cake.  It's the cake that, even though I typically bake for any and all occasions, will order when I just need that fix and have the proper excuse.
So as I was researching how to make my own, I found many people have the same feeling.  And one recipe in particular seemed pretty close to what the two bakeries make.  Now, personally, I don't feel that the cakes came out exactly the same, but it was close.  I brought the cupcakes into work and everyone was raving about them. So, I'll definitely make them again.  I might try Girl Gone Grits' frosting recipe next time, but I didn't have the creamer on hand and didn't want to run out to get some.  One thing I did add was the caramelized almonds.  I took the recipe from the almond brittle ice cream and made a small batch.

While this recipe may look like it has a lot of components, it actually is pretty fast to put together.  The brittle only takes a few minutes and both the cupcakes and frosting are standard.  If you like almonds, even a little, you should make this cake.

Oh, and I made mini's.  Because I was bringing them to a work event, I didn't think a dozen would be enough.  And this way people wouldn't have to commit to a full cupcake.  I find that at most potlucks, by the time you get to dessert, you just want a little of everything.

Burnt Almond Cupcakes
Recipe from various sources.
Cupcake from Girl Gone Grits, Frosting from Gale Gand, Brittle from A Spoonful of Sugar
Makes about 12 full-size or 30 mini cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Frosting Ingredients:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 tsp almond extract
1 to 2 tbsp whipping cream

Brittle Ingredients:
1 cup slithered almonds
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cupcake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9x9 cake pan or line a muffin pan with a dozen liners.
2.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk until all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth.  Put batter into the prepared pan.
3.  For a cake, bake 30-40 minutes, cupcakes for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven.  The cake is done when it springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Frosting Directions:
1.  In a medium bowl, blend the butter until creamy.    Slowly add the confectioner's sugar (don't add this too fast as it will fly everywhere.  Then add the almond extract.  Mix, adding the whipping cream until your preferred consistency is achieved.

Brittle Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.    Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat nuts.
3.    Spread out on baking sheet lined with baking paper, and bake for 8 mins. Stir, and bake for another 5 mins, stirring a couple of times. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To assemble:
Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.  Top with a chunk of the almond brittle. Serve
and enjoy!

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Giveaway! Tartan Hearts Jewelry Winner

I apologize for being a day late in this post, but I'm happy to announce the winner of the Tartan Hearts Jewelry giveaway!

The winner is:
Susan!  Her winning entry was: 'Oh, and I do also follow Tartan Hearts on Facebook as well! (Or 'like', or whatever they call it nowadays.) Either way, I love both your ladies' posts! :-)'

Susan, send me a note at craftycupcakeblog@gmail.com with your info and the jewelry piece that you'd like.

And on to other winning updates, I won that workout challenge I was telling you about.  Woohoo!  

Also, I plan to keep good to my promise on a global giveaway, coming soon.  So stay tuned!  Thank you to everyone who participated in this one!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, and Pecan Cookies

One of my favorite types of cookies is the oatmeal cookies.

But not with raisins.

Never with raisins!

In fact, one of my closest friends and I met when she was the manager of the cafe at the bookstore that I worked at.  I used to complain about the fact that the oatmeal cookies they received ready to be baked came with raisins.  On days when I worked, she would pick out the raisins from the dough of one cookie so I would get my oatmeal cookie without raisins.  She's still one of my best friends to this day.

Nowadays, I just make sure that when I make oatmeal cookies, raisins are never involved.  So when I got my daily cookie recipe from Martha Stewart's mailing list, I was intrigued. Chocolate chip, oatmeal, and pecan cookies.  Not a raisin in sight!  Even the hubby gave these his stamp of approval.  He's a chocolate chip cookie purist, but he was going back for seconds.  These cookies have just the right amount of each of the title ingredients.  They're chewy and a little flaky, and oh so buttery and delicious.  Try them out!

Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, and Pecan Cookies
Recipe from Martha Stewart

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (I didn't toast mine and they were still delicious)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

2.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on high until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).  Add vanilla and egg, beat to combine.  With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.

3.  Drop by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on a parchment lined, or greased, baking sheet.  Bake cookies until puffed and golden around the edges, 12-15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Friday, June 01, 2012

Me Made May: Days 25-31 and Reflections


Ok, Me Made May wasn't really that bad. But, as they say, when it rains it pours, and a lot of stuff happened this month.  Not all bad, but it was definitely a roller coaster in the middle of the month.

Day 25
What I Wore: My gingham violet blouse with jeans
What I Did: Worked from home. Wallace wanted to join me for the picture.

Day 26
Eek!! I didn't even realize I had missed a day until I was compiling this post.  I didn't even do anything exciting that day, just a lot of working out (see recap at the end of the post). Oops!

Day 27
What I Wore: My new Cambie dress. I wore it for the first time. 
What I Did: Took pictures in it then went out with the hubby. Nothing super exciting but it was a fun dress to wear.

Day 28
What I Wore: My irish dance dress! I didn't make the whole dress but I did do a minor refashion to it with my mom's help.
What I Did: I was at a competition allllll day! Like my new wig? ;)

Day 29
What I Wore: The California Winter Tunic
What I Did: Nada. Worked during the day. Had a ridiculously early meeting in the morning (seriously, the sun was no where to be seen and it's been getting light here around 6ish). When I got home, I changed into something more comfortable.

Day 30
What I Wore: Pajama Party pants... I know. Again.
What I Did: I did some tedious tasks in the sewing room in the evening. Pre-washing fabrics and having to iron them is a necessary evil and I don't do it nearly enough.

Day 31
What I Wore: The Cambie dress again!
What I Did: I wore it to work. I ended up going to a work event that mainly consisted of women and got so many compliments on the dress. One person told me it was very 'Adele.' Hm, I'll take it.

Reflections on Me Made May 2012

Aside from missing the one day, I would still call it a success.  It was a month of many challenges and there were several points where I almost quit, just from outside stresses.  In the end I convinced myself to stick with it. I do love a good challenge.

1.  Doing Me Made anything is tough when you take on a workout challenge.  Again, due to my competitive nature, I did go more into this workout challenge than I probably needed to... but I really want to win.  I mentioned before that my local fitness class studio, the Dailey Method, has a challenge each month.  The client who attends the most in any one month period wins a free class for themselves and 22 friends.  I probably didn't need to take this on in May but I knew that my June and July availability would be iffy due to vacation schedules, work craziness, etc.  And the person who won last month only had to go 21 times... that's only like 5 times a week.  I could totally do that.

Ok, well, by the end of the day today, I hope to have gone 30 times in May.  This doesn't necessarily mean I went every day - I took some days off.  But I did several double up days to make up for that.  So when you're constantly wearing workout clothes, none of which you made, it can be a challenge.  But now that I have a serger... who knows?  Maybe the next Me Made challenge will be easier?  Anyways, I don't know if I won or not.  Wish me luck! It was supposed to end yesterday but we had a bomb threat (crazy, right??) down the street from the studio a couple of weekends ago so they added one more day to the challenge to make up for it.

2.  Another challenge (as you see, when I go all out, I go ALL OUT), is that I got a little more involved in standup paddle boarding this month.  I first tried it in Hawaii but as we're so close to the ocean I wanted to see if I could keep it up over here.  Well, wearing a swimsuit, or even a wet suit due to freezing ocean weather in Northern California, is not conducive to a sewing challenge.  But it was only for a couple of weekends and only for a few hours each day.

Ok, the day wasn't as cold as it looks, but the water sure was...
My rental board, paddle, and me looking like a seal.

3. On to the actual clothes I wore.  While my separates are still growing, I tended to favor a few pieces - mainly newer pieces that I made.  I think I need to weed through my closet to figure out the wearability of some of the older pieces.  Mainly because I wasn't finishing seams back when I first started sewing, and I need to clean them up a bit.  Having this serger is going to be such a godsend for the quality of my clothes! I can already see it from the couple of pieces that I've made.  It actually makes me cringe to see some of my old finishing (or lack thereof).

Some of my dresses don't get enough wear, but mainly because they're more formal or for a night on the town (which I rarely do).  I'm hoping they'll get some love during the summer when I'm going places and doing things.  But it makes me realize I need more work-friendly dresses and casual options.

One last thing that I accomplished during the month of May, that doesn't affect my Me Made May status.  I finally opened my Etsy shop!  Right now it just has a few vintage patterns listed, but I'm hoping to add some other handmade items during the summer.  I'll also be adding a lot more great patterns that I've picked up in my travels, but I just need to spend some time going through and checking the quality and completeness of each before I'm ready to list them.  I'm hoping to get a few more listed this weekend.

Oh, and a lot of readers have been asking about my thoughts on my serger.  I'll write a separate post about that soon! I've been using it a lot but still haven't run out of all of the pre-supplied thread.  I figure that once that has run out, I can say that I've given it enough use to write a review of it.  I'm halfway there so stay tuned!

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