Monday, May 24, 2010

New Books!

I'm getting my craft on. I have a few pictures to show of a skirt I made, but it's not all ready yet.

Michael bought me this sewing book for my birthday.... and I finally got it. Seriously, I was lucky because the estimated delivery date was May 26, and he ordered it May 6. Gotta Love Free Shipping on Amazon.

But I love it! The pictures are great! And she has lots of good instruction for basic sewing. Some things I can skip ove and some things, like how to make bias tape, I get all giddy about because I don't know how.

When I made Landen's car tote, I didn't know how to use piping and corner it. She has instructions! Wahoo!

There are some cute patterns I'm going to have to try out too. Like her decorative pillows, but since that's on my list of things to make this summer-- I'm definately on that one!

While I was perusing The Sewing Bible at Barnes and Noble, my mom said she had a sewing book from her college days that she would just give me. Guess what? It's pretty good too. In fact, it's one that homemadebyjill has blogged about before.
It's got great clothes-making, pattern following instructions. While I'm not sure I'm going to dive into making clothes, I think it will come in handy. It also goes into more detail about pressure foots, and types of needles, threads, and other notions and when to use them. Which, I could use a little help one.
And now I'm a sewing encyclopedia.
Which is good, because I want to sew more and better. But it's bad because I can't find my universal pressure foot.... and therefore can't go try some of these out!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My KitchenAid

So, I made braided bread with my activity day girls. Yes, it was lots of fun and I have extra bread the neighbors are enjoying to prove it.

But my KitchenAid DIED!!

I have the Professional 5 Series, so we're not talking about the whimpy artisan trying to knead some dough. I got the artisan for a wedding present and I upgraded because I wanted the Pro. I wanted it to make bread, cookies, frosting, or whatever else I want to make. I wanted the big bowl to accomodate a big family. I wanted to make bread. I wanted a KA to last forever and by my favorite appliance. I know I don't use it nearly as much today as I plan on using it in the future. I predominatly use my hand mixer by GE that does the trick for my family of 3 size batches. (minus the bread of course)

My KitchenAid has a good life. It gets used, but not aggressively. It gets wiped down really well after every use. It gets used for fun things like meringue, and worked for things like bread. It has the best seat in the kitchen. I follow all the rules, I don't push my luck. But my mixer has always sounded a little funny and had a funny smell, and when I asked about it when it was under warranty, I was assured it was just because it was a Pro series and has all metal parts.

So here we are, in my kitchen. I'm kneading a good size batch of bread- not huge but not small. It's on speed 2 and working on it's 5-7 minutes of kneading. After 5min and 30 seconds, the KitchenAid starts to smoke. And then it came to a complete hault. Just stops.

I felt like weeping. I felt like throwing a temper-tantrum, laying on the grounds and kicking and screaming. I wanted to throw it out the window. Or in the street, and run over it with my big truck. I've kneaded a few time before, but I've never had any problems. Why? Why now? What about my bread-making for my future family?

I'm a little upset. These things are suppose to last FOREVER. I'm just breaking mine in! My daughter was suppose to learn to make cookies with it. My mom's lasted like 10 years before it needed a part fixed-- and it's still going. And she doesn't have the professional model. I have recently been surfing the blogs... and the rumor is no using the dough hook. WHAT? I paid how much for my machine and the dough hook isn't suppose to be used? This is awful. My dream for my KA is ruined. I guess I should have stuck with the cheaper model then!

So, I called Kitchen Aid. The nearest repair center is Boise, Salt Lake or Orem. You have to bring it to them. Or it costs $32 to get a package to ship the 30lb machine. And you have to pay for labor and parts. I felt like screaming... but I didn't I tried to be sweet. It didn't work. I still have to pay for what I feel like is a nearly new machine to get fixed. What happened to warranties? Why do I feel so let down?

Probably because when I usually call about an appliance or other purchase- I get it fixed for free or just shipping. Sometimes, I get really lucky and it's been recalled and I get a new one altogether.

So Michael promised to look at it. I don't know how I feel about it.
Things never go well when he tries to fix things.

There are pages online about fixing it yourself. Mine isn't the obivous fail-safe gear, so I'm a little leary about it. If it was the gear, I'd just do it.

So what to do? My KA is just sitting there on the counter, mocking me, and begging to be fixed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I started cleaning and ended up baking

How many times do you start on project and end up doing another? I seem to find myself doing this much more often than I'd like. Today, I started out cleaning my laundry area and bedroom. Somehow it got about halfway done -- I slammed my finger in the washing maching lid and that HURT. Anyway, I sat down and the next thing I know a friend is facebooking about her baking and I discover a MADE post about braided bread. Then I'm baking. I made chocolate zucchini bread and the braided bread. You can read MADE's post and get the recipe... we'll just say it was easy and really good! Especially the cinnamon loaf! We will have to make this recipe again.

For the chocolate zucchini bread I used my dad's recipe, with a few modifications.

In a mixing bowl, combine the following:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil (or 1 cup oil and skip the applesauce)
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla

Sift dry ingredients and add to above:
2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Then stir in the following:
2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Place mixture in 2 greased loaf pans.
Bake 350 for 1 hour

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Summer List

I'm making a list of my summer projects. I have some great ideas and am excited to get started! I figured since I'm done with the semester I should have some more free time.

So, here's what I want to do -- and in no particular order.

- Finish my skirt I started. I just have to figure out how.
- Make Landen a quilt for his "big boy bed."
- Make Landen a play mat/rug. I don't know if you remember those, you can buy them and they are like a whole city to drive your cars on and through. I had a creative revelation and have a great idea on what to do!!
- Organize my sewing stuff-- and get my machine here!
- Make a scrap quilt for my bed.
- Make some decor pillows

And that's all I'm determined to do. I guess we'll see if I add some more.