Thursday, January 26, 2017

perfect little present bag for teens

Lately Miss C. had a few of her friends turning 13!
I cannot believe these cute little girls are now teenagers....
still a few months before it happens to my baby!
While I used to make them all doll clothes a few years ago,
like this winter doll outfit or this spring doll outfit,
now they are way too cool for that!
Most of them love drawing and painting,
so Miss C. decided to get them sketch books,
and for old time sake, I sewed a bag to carry them.

These little bags are quite easy to make,

I followed the same tutorial from S.O.T.A.K Handmade.
Once again I changed the size so it could accommodate the sketch book.
For the first young lady, I chose a mermaid/narwhal print,
"into the reef "by Rae Ritchie for Dear Stella,
a fat quarter is enough for the top.
She is apparently a huge fan of narwhals, the unicorns of the ocean!

I did buy a little coordinate print for the top, a very soft blue.
But for the inside I used a sea print from last year.

For the second lady, I chose a dog print.
Just like me, she is a big fan!

The print is "dawg thoughts" by Sally Ball Sharp for Ink and Arrow fabric,

I just like that collection "Dawg" so much that I bought a fat quarter of each
 (without any plan an how I was going to use it,
 it happens more than I would like to admit...)

So of course I used more prints for the top and lining.
who cannot like "taking my human for a walk"?
I feel like Malou speaks that way!

The name of the print is "things Dawgs say", just perfect!

Miss C. informed me the presents were very well received,
and that she would like one for herself too!

I am wondering which fat quarter I can use....

Happy sewing!

Monday, January 23, 2017

what to do when stuck on the couch?

Well, cross stitched your dog's name of course!

As I previously mentioned, I was immobilized for a few days.
It was OK for the few hours, just laying on the couch, watching TV, catching up.
But pretty fast, I was seriously bored.
So I started a new embroidery project, perfect to keep my hands busy and my foot up!
Luckily I ad some fabric left from my advent calendar,
and about half the threads I needed.
The next day Mon Cheri took Miss C. to Michaels to purchase the remaining colors.
The pattern is again from "Les Brodeuses Parisiennes",
they are really becoming my favorite!
My sister gave me this pattern "Jolis Toutous" a couple of Christmas ago.

 It is an alphabet with a puppy on each letter, totally cheesy,
but the right way, at least my kind of cheese!

The linen was not big enough to "write" the complete name
so I just embroidered her nickname Lou
(misspelled wolf in French) and an extra little dog, just because!

Of course it took me a lot longer than those 4 days to finish the embroidery,
but my ankle is still tired at night, so it is a good way to get some rest.

Now I just need to figure out what I am going to do with it...
it is long and narrow...any suggestions?

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

brioche des rois

This year, I am a little later than usual to celebrate the new year with la galette des rois,
I managed to twist my ankle while walking Miss C. to school with Malou!
Not only did I twist my ankle (hard enough to think it was broken),
but then I fell on the ground skinning my knee and making a hole in my fun at all.
So I spent the next 4 days on the couch with my leg up!
Going back to work was a little challenging as I work mostly standing 
with a fair amount of walking....I am now crutch-free, just slow going!

But this week end, I felt well enough to prepare this year treat:
a brioche des rois.

Beautiful and so tasty, it made the house smell so good!

Last year, I made une galette des rois with salted caramel

which looks like the original one with frangipane
(delicious too, but it is almond base, and so not doable at home!)

Brioche is also quite traditional,
it is a nice treat, quite rich with a lot of eggs and butter
but very little sugar.
It is also time consuming, with 3 rises (one of them overnight),
so it requires some planning.

Here is the recipe from my French Patisserie class:

 2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
16 oz AP flour
2 oz sugar
1 tsp salt
5 eggs
8 oz butter, room temp, not melted

Basically it is like regular bread but without water!
First dissolve the yeast in the warm water, wait a few minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.
Add the yeast, then add one egg at a time while mixing with a dough hook.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes (I had to add more flour as it was not behaving...)
Do a gluten window test.
Add the butter a piece a time, then again knead for 10 minutes (I added more flour again)

Cover the dough and let it rise until double in size (1 1/2 to 2h)

a cool trick: turn on the oven until it reaches 120, then turn it off, 
place a container with water, and let your dough rise there!

Punch the dough and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the dough from the fridge and shape as desired.

I would recommend a scale when cutting some dough pieces
just to make sure everything is consistent.
Beside the crown cake I also made some small brioche a tete,
a large brioche a tete and a loaf.

The loaf is made of 10 little balls, just above 1 oz each.
For the crown, they were about 2 to 2.2 oz,
which is why is slightly uneven....

After shaping, let it rise in a warm place until double (1 1/2 to 2 h)
Egg wash the surface of the dough.
I sprinkle some rough sugar on the crown for interest and extra sweetness.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes for the small ones
and about 25 minutes for the larger ones.

Remove the brioche from the pans and let cool.

Eat warm or cool,
eat it just as is or with extra butter, 
or honey (Brick Master's favorite),
or with some jam!

It is best the first day, the next day it can be toasted to renew the freshness.

Happy day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

lighthearted placemats

Here are some cute patchwork placemats I sewed for my sister for Christmas.
A few years ago I had made her some,
so she expressed some interests in getting a new set.

I used a pattern from the book "Patchwork, please" of Ayumi (aka Pink Penguin).

This is my second project from the book,
I previously made the pepper coasters.

I also used Ayumi's fabric line: Lighthearted,
which I also used on the pepper coasters and a fabric book.

These placemats are not a fast project, there is a lot of fussy cutting,
but the sewing itself is not too bad.

I managed to keep the point nice and clean, so a decent patchwork.

Since I had a bundle of fat quarters in most of the color ways,
I made each placemat a different color, but pretty much the same print.
I chose a white linen /cotton fabric to balance of the colors.

The rickrack is also different for each one of them.
I think they look quite cute all together.
I did not do a binding, I felt it would have make it too busy.
The back is a red and white picnic print, perfect in case people are scared to eat on the white side!

They are the perfect touch of color in the coldness of the Scandinavian North!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

tea mats, or more mug rugs

For Christmas I received some sewing books,
and one of them is "Sew Illustrated" by Mini Kim.
Her blog Minki's Work Table is such as inspiration.

Of course I had to make something right away.
So I sewed 2 cute mug rugs, or tea mats as they are called in the book!

I could not help myself : I used Liberty of London with my linen!

They are pretty fast and easy: trace, iron, cut, iron, stitch...

Then a little hand stitch around the perimeter with embroidery floss,
and voila: ready for tea!

I think the macarons are my favorite.

I need to make a few more, luckily I have lots of little pieces of Liberty of London fabrics,
begging to be stitched into cute little things...

Happy sewing!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...