Sewing Project: 20 minute grocery bag holder

Recently, I was bitten by the sewing bug.  I think it happened around October 2012 when my daughter came home from school with a flyer announcing a kindergarden 50th day of school sock hop.  The girls were encouraged to wear poodle skirts and bobby socks, while the boys were encouraged to wear jeans, white t-shirts, and grease in their hair.  Seriously.  Deciding firmly that there was no way this crafty mama would be paying a fellow crafter on Etsy to make my daughter a poodle skirt, I set out to find a decent pattern.  Afterall, I’m fairly handy with a sewing needle and thread- I could totally do this, right?  After perusing Pinterest for a bit, I came across the no-sew Poodle Skirt pattern by obSEUSSed.  It seemed simple enough, and I was sold on the whole ‘no sew’ thing.  So I set out for supplies.  First we headed to Michaels, then to Wal-Mart (shudders) when we did not find the right felt at Michaels.  The pattern was pretty simple, and my daughters skirt turned out pretty great!

Hopscotch!

Hopscotch!

Well, needless to say, after browsing sewing patterns on Pinterest for as long as I did, I quickly fell in love with all of the patterns and fabrics that I was seeing.  So Hubs and I saved up a bit of money and I invested in my very first sewing machine.  She is a very basic Singer model, but perfect for learning on.  I quickly dubbed her Martha.  Not THAT Martha.  Just Martha.  My lovely Martha.

One of the sewing patterns that I recently found on Pinterest was the 20 Minute Grocery Bag Holder from Craftiness Is Not Optional. I’m one of those people who buy reusable grocery bags with good intent, but end up leaving them at home when I need them the most, leaving me with too many plastic bags to think about.  I try to recycle them at the stores when I can, but more often than not they end up balled up in my laundry room to be used when I need a quick trash bag.  What can I say, folks?  I’m only human.  So this particular pattern could really be of some use in my house.  Deciding to use what I have on hand, my sweet 3 year old helped me go through the fabric stash to find a nice fat quarter to use for the holder.  She picked this one, and I LOVE it!

Our chosen fabric!

Our chosen fabric!

And our finished plastic bag holder:

Functional beauty

Functional beauty

It took a bit longer than the 20 minutes, but again, I’m a beginner.  It was still quick- I finished it in about 45 minutes!  The only mod that I made was rather than using ribbon as the hanger, I used about 4″ of elastic.  Again, used what I had.  I love it, and it is now hanging proudly and stuffed to the brim with plastic bags that will be recycled or repurposed!

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Banana Bread

I have to admit that when it comes to banana bread, I am not a fan.  I have a certain standard when it comes to eating bananas, and very rarely stray from it.  They must be firm and still slightly greenish.  Once they start getting slightly brown I know that the only one in the house that will be eating them will be my husband.  I do, however, have fond memories of running into my grandmothers house and smelling the delicious aroma of fresh baked banana bread cooling on the kitchen table.  She was always baking something wonderful.  Her norwegian-german heart just was not content unless she was blessing our family with delicious cookies, breads, and meals.  And Lord do I miss her everyday.  So when my darling daughter looked wistfully at the 4 bananas at the counter becoming more brown every day and proclaimed that her classmate had had some bread that smelt like bananas in her lunch that day, I was reminded of my beautiful grandmother, and the smile on her face as she pulled open the over, took a deep whiff, and pulled out loaf upon loaf of sweet banana bread.  I found this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (I love her!), and used it as a base recipe to play with.  Personally I don’t care for walnuts in my bread, so instead I chopped them up and sprinkled them on top of a powdered sugar glaze that I brushed on top of the bread.

So sweet and delicious!

So sweet and delicious!

I made the recipe as written, omitting the walnuts in the mix.  The recipe says to bake them for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees F, and I probably could have pulled them out after 35.  Rather, still getting used to cooking in an electric oven, I allowed them to bake for 40 minutes, which resulted in a slightly crispy edge which I loved.  After allowing them to cool while I prepared dinner, I mixed up a simple glaze using 1 cup of powdered sugar + 2 TBSP milk.  The glaze was slightly thick, but it was the perfect consistency to me.  I poured it straight from the bowl onto the loaves, using the back of a wooden spoon to spread it evenly over the loaves.  I then sprinkled the chopped walnuts over the glaze and allowed the glaze to harden slightly before serving.  OHMYGOSH.  It was amazing.

Pure deliciousness.

Pure deliciousness.

My kids LOVED it.

bbslice

The bread itself was the perfect combination of dense and moist, with a slight crisp on the edges as a result of a slight over-baking.  The glaze was the perfect finish to this bread, making it the perfect dessert.  Overall, I think I may be finally be a banana bread fan.

Skånsom

Introducing my newest pattern, Skånsom!

Skånsom Cowl

Skånsom, norwegian for ‘gentle’, is a perfect blend of the things that I love; big, squooshy cables, gentle garter ridges, and delightfully surprising yarn.  It’s so big and comfortable, I’ve worn it everyday since finishing it.  It helps that it’s been in the 20’s and 30’s the past week or so!  I am also working on mitts to compliment the cowl, so be on the look out!

You can purchase Skånsom on Ravelry by clicking HERE.

Wishing you all a year full of inspiration, love, and knitting!