Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stop Pinning and Make Something April 2015

Link Party at A Focused Journey

If you are like me, you LOVE the variety of recipes, craft ideas and do-it-yourself tutorials to be found on Pinterest. Sometimes, it is easy to lose so much time finding and pinning those ideas that we do not have time to actually make any of them.  

Last month, Diane at A Focused Journey began a new monthly link party, encouraging readers to stop pinning and make something.  If you have made something from Pinterest this month, I encourage you to read about the link party here and link up to the April party here.

I have already shared several items I made on Pinterest this month in previous posts. There are a few new ones here, too.

Hearty Beef Soup (Click here to go to the pin.) 

Friday, I tried out this AMAZING soup recipe from The Slow Roasted Italian. Okay... mine was more of a stew because I made a big-time oops. But if it tasted this great (even though I forgot to lower the temp back to a simmer for the final 40 minutes), then it must be out of this world cooked correctly! It will definitely be a "make again meal" in our home.

Things I substituted to make this dairy and gluten free, and to use items in my pantry:
I used Chianti instead of Entwine Cabernet Sauvignon.
Substituted three-fourths of a white onion for the shallot.
Substituted Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour for flour.
Substituted Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread (it is vegan (no dairy) and gluten-free) for butter.
Substituted russet potatoes for red potatoes.
Sliced and peeled regular carrots for baby carrots. (I have stomach issues and prefer to avoid baby carrots - which require a chlorine bath to prevent food-borne illness - even the organic ones.)

Notes: It took me more than 5 minutes to trim fat and such from the meat. And I was not sure if the final 40 minutes were to be covered or not. (Luckily, I left it covered because I forgot to turn the heat back down after I added the potatoes and carrots and brought it back to a boil.)

Maple Orange Thyme Cranberry Sauce (Click here to go to the pin.)

I made this to go with a turkey we smoked and cooked on our Traeger grill. (This was all that was left when I remembered to take a picture!)

Things I changed: I omitted the thyme, fearing my youngest son would not eat it that way. And, I only had 1/4-cup of maple syrup so I used that and 1/2-cup of sugar (half the amount of sweetener called for in other recipes.) 

My youngest thought it was too tart. My husband declared, "I don't know what you did different with this cranberry sauce, but it's great!" He normally avoids left-over cranberry sauce, but he took the left-overs in his lunch the next day. I plan to make it again with only maple syrup as the sweetener.

Grab Bag (Click here to go to the pin.)

Last month, I saw a couple of Japanese Grab Bags showcased on blogs. After seeing this gorgeous bag at Oldbury Cottage, I was intrigued. About a week later, I could not remember where I had seen the bags or if they included tutorials or not. So, I decided to do a search on Pinterest and found this free Better Homes and Gardens pattern. I decided it would be a perfect project for the Have a Latte Blog Hop arranged by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt (which I believe is now Sew We Stitch). I love this Clothworks line of fabric designed by Dan DiPaolo.  You may see my blog hop post here and the full schedule here.

This is my first grab bag, and I love it! 

Challenges I faced: I oopsed the first time sewing the handles. I did not fully understand the image in the pattern and sewed all 4 layers of the lining and outer fabric together, rather than the front to the lining on both sides. (Seam rippers can be wonderful tools!)

Things I would change: I would make the pockets larger - running from mid bag to the bottom of the lining. I have a small (not smart) phone that will fit in the middle pocket section on it's side, but if I slide it in upright, it flips over because the pockets are so short. My license and debit card do the same thing.

Tissue-Pack Cover (Click here to go to the pin.)

This Better Homes and Garden pattern was SO quick and easy, that I made one for the Have a Latte Blog Hop and three more for my 1 X-mas Item A Month projects. 

Things I changed: Following the directions would have left raw edges exposed within the case. I worried with lots of use, inserting and removing tissue-packs might cause the fabric to fray. 
So, I folded under 1/4-inch of the inside fabric, ironed it flat and then stitched the case together.
These were SO quick and easy. I love mine! If you want to see a couple more, my friend, Kim, at Wisdom with Needle and Thread made a couple that are absolutely adorable!

Quick and Easy Sunglasses Case (Click here to go to the pin.)

This pattern from Crazy Little Projects was SO incredibly fast and easy. I love it! The size is large enough for a much larger pair of sunglasses. If you have a small pair of glasses, like me, you could take a suggestion made by Tink's Mom on my Have a Latte Blog Hop post. She made one of these cases, but sewed a seam down the length about one-third of the way in. She can now carry her pen and her glasses in the same case. Genius!

Did I mention that I love Pinterest?!  Thank you, Diane, for creating this link party. I hope to see it grow in future months!



Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Renee! Love all your pinterest makes.... you did a really good job with them all! :) x

Anonymous said...

what a great idea,well done Renee xx

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Wow - you've been one busy girl (all this, and writing too, as well as being the list mama). You must have managed to find those ever-elusive extra hours in the day!!

Createology said...

Renee this post nails how much time we spend wishing we would create something and yet you have actually DONE IT! Congratulations! I know I spend too much time lurking instead of making! Thank you for sharing. Creative Bliss...