March 2011

I have a love hate relationship with Anthropologie. I’m going to assume I’m not alone in that. Their store is designed by evil geniuses that spend their days and nights coming up with ways to lure poor girls like me into their stores. Helpless against their plotting ways. It’s always my sidekick, Amex, that ends up suffering the most. I see those cute sundresses, imagine myself being fabulous somewhere in that dress and then the cold sweat starts. I know I shouldn’t buy it, but then suddenly there I am at the counter, making small talk with a fabulous looking girl who is now holding Amex. I wait…Approved! Amex came through. Feeling like a champ I take the bag and rush out. Then comes the crushing remorse.

Awful, awful people.

Really though, anyone else noticing they’re raising the prices a little bit? $328 is a plane ticket, not a beach cover-up.

I’m getting WAY off track here and there is a point to this all, I swear. If you’re creative (and I know you are) and a little bored (I know I am) you can make some Anthro inspired stuff yourself!

The lovely ladies over at Kojo Designs came up with a way to make the knotted comforter the Anthro is currently selling for $288. Really, it’s pretty spectacular.

I’m speechless at how creative they are. Stop by and see some of their other projects.

Here’s their tutorial:

To make the squares for the knotted ‘quilt,’ you’ll need:
-18″x18″ squares of jersey (I used 56 of these for my king sized quilt)… I got the jersey from two flat king sized sheets and a pile of white t-shirts.
-a 6″ plate
-a fabric pen
-needle and embroidery thread that coordinates with your jerse

*A tip before you start. Make the knotted squares assembly line style. Do all of your cutting, then all of your tracing, then all of your gathering, etc. It’ll make this move a little more quickly.

1. Cut out your 18″x18″ jersey squares. I used two flat t-shirt sheets and a stack of white t-shirts for my jersey. I cut out a sample square, labeled it as such with my fabric pen and then used it as a template to cut around for all of my other squares. One note- with all of the gathering that comes later, the 18″x18″ can be approximate- don’t worry about making perfectly uniform squares.

2. Center your 6″ plate in the middle of your square. Trace with a fabric pen. Repeat (and repeat and repeat).

3. Using embroidery thread, stitch inside the perimeter of your traced circle. Use very long stitches.

4. Pull your thread taut, resulting in a little pooch of fabric. Don’t remove your needle or tie off your thread yet.

5. This next part is a bit tricky to explain, but I tried to get good pictures. You might even find a better way (if so, let me know!) to make the knots.

This is what I did- I pulled the pooch of fabric to a point, Then, I poked down through the top center until the point was back down through the pulled-taut circle of thread.

Then I twisted the whole poked-down mess until it looked knot-like.

Then I secured the fabric with a stitch through the poked down point.

I continued to run the needle back and forth through the ‘knot’ until it seemed secure (usually three or four stitches through the middle of the ‘knot’).

6. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Fifty six times if you’re making a king sized quilt like I was.

To put your ‘quilt’ together, you’ll need:
-56 knotted squares from part 1 (for a king sized quilt)
-a king sized duvet (I got the thinnest one I could find at Ikea… it was $29… fabulous!)
-sewing machine and supplies
-TONS of pins

1. Start by piecing one row of squares together at a time. Your finished product will have eight rows of seven squares. Here’s the thing- in order to achieve that wonderful, gathered look, you have to create the gathers as you go. I did this by pinning little pleats in place before sewing squares together. To be more specific, I pinned five pleats along the length of each square (one tip- if you pleat both squares and pin, this will go more quickly). So, pleat, pin (right sides together) and sew.

2. Repeat and repeat and repeat until you have eight rows of seven knotted squares.

3. Now, you’re going to sew the rows together to make a big square-ish mass of knotted squares. It was easiest for me to pin first where the edges between squares met up and then pin more pleats in place. Remember, every time you sew two squares together, you have to ‘create’ little gathers. As you’re sewing the rows together, this means that you have a lot of pinning to do before you sew. Also, be sure to pin the sides right sides together. When you’re finished you’ll have the top part of your ‘quilt.’

4. Lay out your duvet. Place your quilt with the right side (the side with all of the knots) facing down on top of the duvet. Be sure to match so that the longer side of the duvet is lined up with the row of eight squares and the shorter side of the duvet is lined up with seven squares.

Pin all the way around the edges, again, pinning pleats in place. Lucky for me, my duvet was divided into seven sections that matched up with my squares, so that was a good guideline on the short edge to make sure I was pinning evenly. On the long edges, I folded my duvet in half and marked where the middle would fall then folded it in half again and marked the quarters (on both long edges). This became my guide for even pinning on those edges.

Sew around the entire perimeter, leaving one square open. Pull the duvet through the one open square, turning the whole thing right side in. Sew your one square opening shut.

*Note- I can’t say this enough, go over the ENTIRE quilt and make sure you got all of your pins out. Once you sew this baby shut, you don’t want little pins pricking you. And they like to hide in the pleats, so check thoroughly!

5. Fluff your almost quilt. It almost looks right, doesn’t it? Almost done! Now you’re going to pin your rows in place and ‘stitch in the ditch’ (I followed this tutorial on youtube- haha!) so that your squares stay put and don’t shift all over the place. I sewed down every other row, but feel free to do as many as you please.

6. Can you believe it? You’re done! Put this vision of loveliness on your bed and admire!

***Tutorial and photos from Kojodesigns.blogspot.com

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Daily Inspiration: 3.29.11

by J.S. on March 28, 2011

in Daily Inspiration

Now you don’t have to wait for someone to give you permission. Go. Be awesome.

via pinterest.

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Monday Cake: Banana Cake

by J.S. on March 28, 2011

in Monday Cake,Recipes

Howdy. It’s been a while, sorry about that. To make up for my absence I bring you cake. Well at least the idea of cake. Also, I missed Monday Cakes and this one has brown sugar butter cream, so  it was fate. This comes from How to Cook Like Your Grandmother and besides being an adorable name they have some pretty fab recipes so stop by and say helllooo.

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 egg yolks
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 crushed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites, beaten

Directions

Combine the sugar and butter and beat on low speed until completely combined. Add the egg yolks and beat on high speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt — and whisk thoroughly. You’ll want the baking soda to be well distributed throughout the flour before adding to the wet ingredients. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients (milk), beating each time until it is just incorporated. Start and end with dry. When you’re done, you should have a nice, soft, fluffy batter.

Now mash the bananas and add them to the batter. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, but not so much you dry them out. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter, trying not to deflate them too much. Pour the batter into three greased and floured round pans. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
Stir the milk and flour together and mix over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until it thickens.
Set the milk aside to cool, and combine the sugar, butter and vanilla in a mixer. Beat on
medium speed for 5-10 minutes — colder butter will take longer — until the sugar is dissolved
and you don’t taste the graininess of it any more.
Add the milk mixture to the butter mixture and stir until smooth.

All photos and recipe from Howtocooklikeyourgranmother.com

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I’ll admit this looks a bit much, but Sunday is the first day of Spring and who doesn’t love a well placed Peep?

Photo and recipe from Feastoffun.com

Rim a martini glass with thick simple syrup and then dip into dyed green coconut flakes, then adorn with a little marshmallow peep.

For the cocktail:

* 1 1/2 ounces Cherry Vodka
* 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
* 3 ounces Half and Half or Milk
* Dash Grenadine

Shake with ice until chilled. Pour into decorated glasses and serve.

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And they’re here!Stop by my new Etsy shop! I’m so excited to have my first hand made items up for sale. I’ll be adding more hand made and vintage items over the next few months. Subscribe to this blog and enter the code “subscriber” at checkout for FREE shipping! I’d love to hear what you think of the clutches. Happy shopping!

Visit The Poor Girl Etsy Shop

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Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups Cucumber Gin (or 2 oz.), how-to follows
  • 2 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (or 1 oz.)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Mint Simple Syrup (or 1/2 oz.), how-to follows
  • Cucumber peels, for garnish
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
  • CUCUMBER GIN
  • Steep 2 1/2 cups diced, peeled cucumber in 4 1/2 cups gin, covered and chilled, 8 hours to 4 days (or 1/2 cup cucumber in 1 cup gin). Strain; store indefinitely in the refrigerator.
  • MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
  • Heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Add 1 cup mint leaves; remove from heat. Cover; steep 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain; discard mint. Refrigerate up to 2 months.

Directions

  1. In a 2-quart pitcher, stir gin, lime juice, and syrup. Refrigerate. To serve, pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and divide among ice-filled 10-ounce glasses. (For a single drink, mix in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake.) Garnish each with cucumber peel and mint.

Happy Friday!!!

From Marthastewartweddings.com: Cucumber Mint Gimlet

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Coconut Keylime Cupcakes

by J.S. on March 10, 2011

in Parties,Recipes

I made these for a friends birthday. I’m from Florida and Key Limes are like a religion but fear not, you can probably find them anywhere or just use regular old limes. If your west coast, I found mine at Fresh n’ Easy. A bag of them was under a $1.

I decided to make life easy and doctor up a box cake mix. You can make these from scratch if you’re feeling feisty.

1 box of yellow or white cake mix

1 cup of buttermilk

3 eggs

Oil – use the amount called for on the box.

1/4 cup Key lime juice

1/8 cup key lime zest

For the frosting:

1 8oz pack of cream cheese – room temperature

2 sticks of room temperature butter

1 box of powdered sugar

1/8 cup key lime juice

1/2 shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 milk (add as needed to thin the frosting)

Bake as directed on the box. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

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by J.S. on March 9, 2011

in Diets,Inspiration,Random Musings

Sorry I’ve been MIA. It’s actually been for a good reason. I was promoted at work and things just started happening. But now, I’m BACK! I hope everyone has been well and behaving themselves. In other news, I have another giveaway coming up, the email subscription service is back up, please sign up if you haven’t already. Also, drum roll please, I’m going on (another) diet! {insert your gasps here} In honor of lent (which I never really participated in) I’m doing 40 days of the Carb Lovers Diet. Between working and my constant consumption of all things frosting I’ve added some lbs to the scale. Why the Carb Lovers?

1. the food is cheap and you probably already have it in your house.

2. no horrible headaches from lack of food

3. you can eat a burger and pasta

4. if you need more than that, you’re impossible to please.

Want to join me? You can buy the book here. I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. I’ll even try to include some of my own carb lover recipes here, so check back.

poster here.

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