Monday, April 21, 2014

"R" is for Rubs

I have been home sick for the last couple of days with a head cold that is sapping all of my energy. It's totally aggravating. But it will not stop me from plowing ahead. I will finish the A to Z Challenge!

So far, a good majority of my projects have been presents for little girls, but today it's more of a manly project. Because to be honest, no one is harder to figure out a gift for than my dad...or Collin's dad. Dads are just tough. And no way am I sticking them both with the traditional "Dad gift" of a tie at every birthday, Father's Day or Christmas.

So when it came time to make presents for last Christmas, I did what any self-respecting crafter would do...I hit the boards. The Pinterest boards, that is.

And that's how we wind up with today's project: R is for Rubs. Don't get too excited's just the spice kind. You know, like for meat. Now knock it off. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I started out this endeavor with a trip to Cost Plus World Market. I love that store. There's just way too much fun stuff in there.

I found these cute little spice canisters for a steal. It ended up costing me less than a dollar per jar.

I like that not only can they rest on either their sides or their bottoms, but they have the adjustable shaker lid. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

As for recipes, I had a nice little pile to choose from. I picked and chose to get the ones I wanted, and ended up with six different varieties.

1. Barbecue Rub from Real Simple
2. Brown Sugar Rub from Kojo Designs
3. Greek Rub from Kojo Designs
4. Mediterranean Rub from Real Simple
5. Cajun Rub from Real Simple
6. Smoky BBQ Rub that no longer apparently exists online, but is very similar to this one over at Epicurious.

I bought my needed ingredients in bulk from our local Winco (a much more economical way to go than to buy individually bottled spices) and mixed all of my rubs up in big batches in the kitchen one night. I had my eyes and nose watering profusely thanks to the pile of spices I was using.

Once everything was nicely contained, I designed a simple label on Publisher and printed them out. I used a circle punch to cut them and ran them through a laminating sticker cartridge. Easy peasy.

Directions for use? Also simple. Apply 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to the meat to be seasoned, then coat with 1-2 tsp. of the mix, to taste. After that, just cook away. Tada!

Thanks to all of you stopping by from A-to-Z Challenge! I love new readers. Make sure to leave me a comment below (including your blog address) so that I can return the favor by visiting you. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Summary Sunday: Easter Edition

Happy Easter everyone! We just got back from Easter dinner at my parents' house and I'm nice and stuffed. It was a good day.

I'm moments away from heading back into the crop room to sew, but first let's do a quick wrap up of what happened around here this week!

Posts I Posted: This week I continued the A to Z Challenge with letters L-Q.

I shared my biggest project of the challenge (and one of my most favorite projects ever), Miss Marley's Little Kitchen.

On "M" day, I shared my method for making Monogrammed Plates (and talked about what I've found doesn't work as well).

Next up were appliqued Name Quilts for the girls.

Followed by some Custom Iron-On Onesies (with my tongue-in-cheek "Suck It" design included).

There was a tutorial on making Pajama Pants based on my hodgepodge of several different tutorials out there. (I'm always looking for the easiest methods.)

and lastly, an all-inclusive A-to-Z project with my Alphabet Soup Quilt for letter "Q".

It's been a busy week!

Recipes I Tried: I managed to catch a cold and was sick for the majority of the week, so there wasn't a lot of cooking happening in this house (unless you count Ramen Noodles). Luckily, I appear to be on the mend now. It was horrible.

Books I Read: Hey! Guess what? I finished a book! I wrapped up An Undiscovered Goddess by Michelle Colston and posted an abbreviated review on Goodreads. Since it was my first ARC (Advance Reviewer Copy) from NetGalley, I'll be posting a full review of it here on the blog. That will happen in the first part of May when I kick of the first of two book-themed months for the year.

I'm now working on Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares. It's the third in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.

Projects I Worked On/Finished: I'm actively working on the projects for letter "W" and "Y" at the moment. Not too much left until the A to Z Challenge is complete! It's been fun so far.

I'm also working on a project that I'll be announcing in May. It's going to be a big one.

And...I'm in the midst of getting things ready for a meal planning run. I'm trying something new this time. We'll see how it goes. If it's successful and saves me the time that I think it will, I'll be happy to share it here on the blog. (Here's hoping!)

Favorite Pin of the Week: Holy crap. I went a little bit overboard on the Pinterest this week. That's what happens when you're sick and in bed for nearly three days straight. I even went through all of my boards and checked to make sure things were in the right places. It was ridiculous.

SO many good things this week, you guys! This one was tough.

It's a little weird, but this week's favorite is a Christmas post. Yup. In April.

It's the flower pots from Jo-Anna's front porch over on A Pretty Life in the Suburbs! How awesome is that?!? I totally want to do something like that in the winter time. My flower pots look horrible most of the year (partially because I tend to kill all plants).

And I think that does it! I'm out of here and hitting the sewing. It'll take some hours this week to get everything ready for the last few posts. This week I'll be featuring posts for letters "R" through the in-the-works "W" one. Have a great week everybody!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Q" is for Quilt

In EPJ land, Q is very often for Quilt. It was an obvious choice for "Q" in my A to Z Challenge posts. There are a few of them already on the And this won't be the last one that you see before the 2014 A to Z is finished.

Today's featured project is a little A to Z for the A to Z. It's an Alphabet Soup quilt that I made for my sister-in-law, Emily. It was based off the original Alphabet Soup quilt that I found from Rachel at Stitched in Color. It was this project that made me want to follow her blog. She makes some amazing quilts.

No step-by-step tutorial on this one...just a bit of a feature post.

I copied her design pretty closely and kept the colors kind of earthy. I wasn't really sure what I was doing at first, but then I found the fabric that I used on the "H" block.

I loved this butterfly print and it just reminded me of Emily's style, so I matched up the rest of the fabric in the quilt to the colors in that one. It worked out pretty well.

To do the letters, I initially printed them out on cardstock and then cut them out with scissors and an X-Acto knife. Just like I did for the Name Quilts I used for "N" day, I then flipped these over on the wrong sides of my fabrics and traced them. This let me cut the letters out in fabric. Each letter was appliqued on its corresponding square with a zigzag stitch.

The squares were stitched together in rows and then bound with the backing fabric (a brown striped pattern similar to the one Rachel used in her project). 

The shape turned out a little narrow and long, but the quilt is actually designed for a twin-sized bed, so the proportions work out well in that way.

Thanks to all of you stopping by from A-to-Z Challenge! I love new readers. Make sure to leave me a comment below (including your blog address) so that I can return the favor by visiting you. 

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