Friday, December 21, 2012

Zipper Pouch Sewing Swap

Awhile back, I participated in a sewing swap that was put on by Heather of The Sewing Loft. We could make any kind of purse, pouch, or bag as long as it had a zipper. I used the Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial from Anna of Noodlehead. It was so easy to make and there are three different sizes to choose from. I have made a couple other zipper pouches using this same tutorial. My partner's favorite color is red, so I decided to use that color in her bag.

I made the small size, which is about 9 x 6 inches tall when finished. It is very roomy too.
My partner made me this adorable coin purse! I love the colors and it is the perfect size. Now I won't lose all my coins in my purse!

 Here's the inside - the lining is very pretty.  
I had so much fun participating in this swap! It is just as fun making something for someone as it is receiving something especially if it is a surprise package coming in the mail!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nicholas Day Surprise

Today, is the feast of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in the third century. He was a very kind and wealthy man, giving much of what he had to the poor and needy. He is the real Santa Claus.

As one story goes, there was a man who had three daughters. In order to get married, they had to have money - a dowry. The man was very poor and did not have any money, so it seemed as though his daughters would be sold into slavery. However, one night a they found a bag of gold by their fireplace. The next night, a second bag of gold was found and then a third. The three daughters had their dowries and would not be sold into slavery. Nicholas was the one who had given the gold to the man and his daughters. That is how the tradition of putting your shoes out on the eve of St. Nicholas Day came about.

Over my Thanksgiving break, I made three zippered pouches for my roommates. I wanted it to be a Christmas gift for them because they are such wonderful roommates! We leave for break before Christmas, so I decided to surprise them with their gifts for St. Nicholas Day. I wrapped their gifts up in pretty paper and decorative gift bags.

Here they are, all packaged up!
Once they leave for school, I will put them in their rooms, and they will have a surprise waiting for them when they get home later today!

Roommate #1 will get this lovely Girlfriend Zipper Pouch. It is just the right size and it even has pockets inside! If you want to make one, you can find the tutorial at Blue Susan Makes. It was super easy and fun too! I love the ruffle detail on the front.

Roommate #2 will get this awesome pencil pouch! It is perfect for her since she wants to be a teacher. The numbers are perfect too, because she loves math! It is super easy to follow and you can find the tutorial at Gwenny Penny. I will be making several more of these!
Roommate #3 is from South Korea, and she loves anything I sew. She has watched me sew and wants me to teach her! I decided to make her this open wide zipper pouch from Noodlehead. The fun thing about this tutorial is you can choose from 3 different sizes to make. I was going to make a medium but I made a mistake when cutting, so I had to make a small. This is another great tutorial that I will be using again!
 My crafty and thoughtful sister wanted to make something for all of my roommates too. She made these felt Christmas tree ornaments. Aren't they so cute? She did a great job!
I know my roommates will love their surprises! Have you been sewing any Christmas gifts lately?
Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet N Sour Meat Loaf

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a recipe swap hosted by Ashley, of Chevron Stitches. I was really excited for this swap because I'm always looking for new recipes and I love cooking/baking. I was paired up with Holly from NY (check out her blog here!). She sent me a recipe for Sweet N Sour Meat Loaf, which I was really excited about because meat loaf is one of my favorite things! It's so yummy. However, I have never made it myself. I have only eaten it when my mom makes it for dinner, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to try something new in the kitchen!

The recipe was very easy to make and easy to follow. I just followed everything it said. I did leave out Soy Sauce, however, because I didn't have any. I also used apple cider vinegar instead of plain vinegar, because that's all I had on hand.

Here's the recipe:

Sweet N Sour Meat Loaf

2 cups water
5 TBS brown sugar
5 TBS Vinegar
2 TBS Cornstarch
2 TBS Corn Syrup
2 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TSP Salt

Meat Loaf:
2 eggs
2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lbs ground beef

In a saucepan combine the first seven ingredients: bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the first six meat loaf ingredients: add 2/3 of the reserved sauce and mix well. Add ground beef and mix well. Pat into two greased loaf pans. Pour the remaining sauce over the loaves. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

The meat loaf was so delicious!! My roommates came home as it was cooking in the oven and they said it smelled so good! They both tried it and really liked it too.
Thanks for the recipe Holly! I will definetely be making this again. It was so delicious and easy to make!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Giveaway Day is Here! {Closed}

This giveaway is now closed! Thank you to everyone who participated! I was amazed at all the response I got and I enjoyed reading every comment.
Congratulations to Leigh and Carol, the two giveaway winners! I have sent you both an email.

Today is Giveaway Day at the Sew Mama Sew blog. I am so excited to be participating this year, as this is also my very first blog giveaway! For my giveaway, I have two rice bags for two lucky winners. Rice bags are great for keeping warm, or for aches and pains. You can warm them up in the microwave to use as heating pads, or you can freeze them for ice packs. I like using them at night to warm my bed up so my feet don't get cold. They are functional and pretty!

The big one is 10 by 7 inches and the small one is 6 by 6 inches.

This is the other side of the small rice bag.

You can see the size difference here.


-Giveaway open to US residents only.  
-Giveaway open until Friday, December 7th at 7 p.m. CST.  
-I will choose two winners - one will win the big rice bag, the other will win the small one.
-Winners will be selected randomly and announced here on Sunday, December 9th.
-To enter, simply leave a comment answering this question: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
-Also, make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.
Don't forget to check out all the other awesome giveaways at Sew Mama Sew today!