t-shirt tote

You know when you see something so simple and you think why didn't I think of that? Yeah. Case in point.

I must be secretly wanting to rip apart my wardrobe and make stuff because I usually think projects that use worn-out threads are nifty -- like those baby onesies or any of the refashioning projects in this lady's fun archive. It appeals to my reduce and reuse mantra.

Do you know of any good ideas for reinventing tired clothes?


cozy chenille for sofa bed

I actually finished this chenille throw a couple of weeks ago. There's not much time for sewing or creative cooking these days, because we're in the throws of home renovations. We're ripping out the 15-year old white carpet (yuck!) that came with our new place and putting down laminate -- it's looking and feeling great, but it's kind of chaotic around here and will be for the next couple of weeks... at which point we'll start painting. =)

When we moved, we got a cool sofa bed for Jeff's study/our den/to-be baby's room, but it needed more than a patchwork pillow. This throw will be perfect for when we need a corner to curl up in, but also it doubles as a coverlet for when the sofa is disguised as a bed. It kind of bugs me that it's not quite long enough to be a proper quilt, but I'm hoping no one really notices. I love the warmth of it -- the chenille and cotton combo is a great weight.

This is the first time I used such big pieces of fabric for my quilt top -- it came together so quickly!


zucchini fennel soup

Here's another recipe to utilize the great zucchini crop of '09.

The fennel and lemon are very subtle and lovely in this. I even added a bit of the lemon water that the fennel is cooked in back into the pot with the broth (original recipe just said to toss it) and it was just lemony enough.

zucchini fennel soup
(from Food and Wine)

1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced 1/2-1/4" thick
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
4-5 zucchini, sliced crosswise 1-4" thick
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
4 C chicken or veggie stock
Salt and pepper

In large saucepan, put fennel, lemon juice, pinch of salt, and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until fennel is tender when pierced (about 10-15 mins). Drain off water. (Reserve a bit of the lemon water if you'd like.)

In same pot, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add zucchini, season with salt, and saute over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until just softened (10 mins or so.) Add stock, lemon water if using, and cooked fennel and bring to a boil. Simmer until vegetables have softened completely (another 10 mins.)

Remove from heat. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return soup to the pot, reheat/season if necessary. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with croutons, a bit of sour cream or creme fraiche, or fennel fronds.

*I'm trying to see how freezing zucchini works for me this year -- I have some grated for zucchini bread, but I'm thinking I should slice some as well to have at the ready for this soup.