Sunday, October 31, 2010

Easy Skirt -- No Pattern!

I found this fabulous fabric at Jo-Ann's over the weekend; it has a burnt orange background with a cream flower print and is perfect for fall.  It was in the clearance section for $3/yard and there was only a yard left, so I snatched it up.  I had intended to make the 20 Minute Skirt using the tutorial at Grosgrain, but one of the sealed edges on my fabric had printing on it, so it wasn't going to work.  I decided to make a basic gathered skirt instead.  It was so easy and took me about an hour (it would have been less if my machine hadn't jammed so much).  Best of all, I didn't even need a pattern!  I don't have a step-by-step tutorial for it, but it's really simple.

Please excuse the blinding whiteness of my legs :)

After washing and ironing my fabric, I hemmed the bottom.  I used the raw edges for the top and bottom of the skirt and the sealed edges for the side seam; the fabric was 45 inches wide, so it was able to wrap around me and still have a little bit of fullness.  I held up the hemmed fabric to my body and decided how long I wanted the skirt to be, then marked where I wanted the waist to sit; I cut the fabric about an inch above this point.  I folded the top over and made a casing for my 1/4-inch elastic, and then wrapped the elastic around my waist to see how much I needed; I subtracted about 4 inches from that so that the skirt would be sure to fit snugly at the waist and not fall off.  I threaded the elastic through and stitched it in place at both ends of the casing.  The last step was to fold the skirt in half with right sides together, sew the side seam, and press it.  Voila!  A quick and easy skirt for $3!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Cider Doughnuts

I found this recipe in my Food Network Magazine and fell in love - who couldn't love a doughnut? I immediately put it on my mental To Cook list and got around to it this year (yep, it took me a year to get to this recipe!).  My advice: Make them now while you are still young and can enjoy the apple-cinnamon goodness!
2 Red apples
2 1/2 C. Apple Cider
3 1/2 C. Flour, extra for dusting
4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
3 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 2/3 C. Sugar
3 TBS Vegetable shortening
1 Large Egg plus 1 Egg Yolk
1/4 C. Buttermilk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 C. Confectioners Sugar
Vegetable oil for frying

 1. Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 C. Cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and let cook until softened, about  8 minutes. Uncover & continue cooking until the apples are tender & the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have one cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.  If you want to skip this step just get 1 cup of apple sauce!

 2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, salt & nutmeg (I didn't have nutmeg so I used apple pie spice) in a medium bowl. Beat 2/3 cup sugar & the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg & yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk (Don't have buttermilk on hand? Just put a teaspoon of vinegar in 1 cup of milk and let sit for a few minutes -presto! buttermilk) & vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; Do Not Over Mix!

 3. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper (Parchment paper is VERY different from Wax Paper which is what I used - Don't Use it! The dough will stick & when you try to get it off it peels the paper with it. You really do need parchment paper!) and pat into a 7 by 11 inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. The dough is VERY sticky. I lightly dusted my hands with flour and it helped in patting this down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. This is when I learned that doughnuts are not a one evening process - plan on the whole weekend when you make these babies.

4. To make the glaze: simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small sauce pan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. This is when I learned there is a difference between apple cider and apple juice (which I used). If you use apple juice plan on letting it simmer for AWHILE there is a lot of juice that needs to be reduced. Whisk in the confectioner's sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 C. sugar and 2 tsp Cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.
5. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers
350 degrees.  I have made doughnuts before and when I did I used a candy thermometer and left it in the oil and then wondered what that redish liquid floating in the oil was (it had popped) don't leave your candy thermometer in there and don't use silicone tools (I melted one the last time I made doughnuts too!) Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2 - 3 inch biscuit cutter (or use a doughnut cutter) or you can do what I did found a mason jar with the mouth 3 inches wide and a small cookie cutter, I chose a maple leaf shape, you really can't tell, to make the hole in the middle. Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.

 6. Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; In the pictures you see my fingers, after getting burned from the hot glaze I switched to tongs....much nicer!

 7. EAT! EAT! EAT! EAT! EAT! feel a bit guilty and then EAT some more! I {heart} this recipe because it makes the perfect sized doughnut batch. Enough to eat some and share some (ya gotta share!) I'm glad I finally got around to making this recipe, but I think I'll let PW continue the tradition of pictures every step of the way - I just want to make it and eat it!!
 Happy Doughnut Making! & HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Young one

Welcome to our new friends on facebook & following us here! We are happy to have you.
So, this conversation was prompted by my purchase of these:

 My adorable little witch clips that I bought at our childrens store here in town - how could I resist!?! And if I take a fine tip sharpie to them and draw glasses on, they would look just like me! My friend that works there kinda teased me a bit for getting these and it made me think, not only about some of the T-shirts that I have from middle school (do you remember my lobster bake T-shirt? Yeah still around), but if this is the only youth oriented item I have purchased....which made me remember this -

My High School Musical shirt I bought on my way to taking some girls to camp. I am not ashamed of my love of HSM or the fact that I know many of the songs by heart, but there aren't many places (other than girls camp or for pj's) that a 28 year old could get away with wearing this in public. Unless I become a Harajuku girl and I could walk the streets of Japan dressed up like live doll.
So, my purchase:
A. Totally fine wear them everyday
B. A little young, but fine in the right circumstances
C. I hope you bought those for your nieces

Have you bought anything a little "younger" or what do you still have in your closet?

For the record, I think those clips are super cute.  Draw on glasses!  And since they're hair accessories and relatively small, I think you could get away with wearing them every day.

One of the first things I thought of in the "young" clothing category was a Curious George T-shirt I had in middle school -- do you remember that?  I think I found it at Big Lots, and it was one of those shirts where you got to color it.  So I colored it and wore it, even though it was little too juvenile (and probably way too tight!).  I don't have that shirt anymore, but I still have clothes from middle and high school and I still actually wear them on a regular basis, too.  I have a flowered skirt that I got in 9th grade, a black skirt from high school, a shirt from high school, and a couple of other things.  Let's not forget the girls' camp sweatshirt that I got when I was 11 and still wear around the house when it's cold.  I still periodically wear a beaded necklace that Anne gave me for Christmas in 8th or 9th grade, too.  One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is a silver necklace, which I wore for a picture that was taken when I was three.  It was really long on me then, but now it's the perfect length.

One of the "youngest" type things that I do is I still put my hair in pigtails.  I don't know if you remember, but I went through quite a pigtail stage in middle school.  Even though most pigtail-wearers seem to be under the age of 5, I still love pigtails at 27.  They're cute, quick, and easy to do with my bobbed haircut.

I think it's important to dress your age to a certain extent, but you also need to have some fun and whimsy in your wardrobe, too!  Even Audrey Hepburn wore a few things that made other people shake theirs heads, but she loved them. :)

What about the rest of you?  Are witch hair clips and pigtails too childish for grown women, or do you think they're still perfectly acceptable?  What kinds of things are still in your closet?

Friday, October 15, 2010

A SPOOK-tacular Giveaway! WINNER

CONGRATS LEAH! You are the lucky winner of the Witch Spit bottle
e-mail or message us your contact info.
Thanks to all that entered. More giveaways will be happening!!
Me and Nan have been excited for this for WEEKS!  I have an ultra-super-talented (and gorgeous to boot) crafty friend here that created this AdOrAbLe bottle. She loves Halloween and loves creating decor for it. The minute I saw it I knew that I wanted one and could bet that you would want one too. So, I made you one.
Witch Spit...don't leave home without it!
 This bottle actually contains spit from a witch...or at least looks like it
 Goes along elegantly with Halloween decor
And adds a bit of whimsy for your trick-or-treaters!
The prime spot to put your bottle is front and center. Where all your friends can look, comment (be a bit jealous that they don't have one) and ask "where did you get this aDORable Halloween decoration? and you can say,
"I won it off of She Said!"
How To Win This: There are 5 chances to enter!! Leave a seperate entry for EACH thing you do!
1. Become a Follower. If you are already a Follower - good. Leave a comment that you are or have just joined us (* If your name is drawn and you aren't a follower it will be discarded*)
2.  Become a Friend of She Said on Facebook and come back and tell us! (sorry Tweeters)
3.  Share this giveaway on Facebook & come back and tell us!
4  Share this giveaway on your blog (and leave me a link so I can see too!)
5. Tell us what you like about She Said, tell us what you want to see on She Said or Ask us a question (it might become a post!)
Giveaway ends SUNDAY OCT. 17th at midnight PST
Winner announced Monday morning!
*Sorry the Trick-or-Treat basket full of candy is not part of the giveaway*

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a little Face & a Book

She Said has now joined Facebook! Be sure to friend us and keep up to date with our posts and a soon-to-be giveaway! (I'm so excited about it!)

On to the book...
What do : Cracker Jack, Shredded wheat, a ferris wheel and a serial killer have in common?
                                                        The Chicago Worlds Fair

I just finished reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I had heard about this book earlier from a few friends of mine that had read it, but didn't really catch on to really wanting to read it until my Dad was reading it and kept telling me about it. I really enjoy an author that makes history fun and that has done his research and you really find that with this book. He talks about the construction (and the destruction) of the Chicago Worlds fair along side the story of America's first serial killer, H.H. Holmes. It's intense, fun, exciting, creepy (I'm a big scaredy cat so I chose to skip a few chapters that he focused on Holmes) and hard to put down. I found it AMAZING how much was put into the building of the worlds fair and all the things that we still have today that came from it: electric lights, cracker jack, shredded wheat, the pledge of allegence was written for the opening ceremonies of the fair and the Effiel Tower, that was built for Frances world's fair, America tried to beat it out by building ...the ferris wheel (which was alot different then what we have today).
It makes me wish that the buildings and structures were still around today - what an amazing fair!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hand-Painted Decor

When I was growing up, tole painting seemed to be "the thing" if you were into crafting.  Everyone's homes were accessorized with cutesy tole-painted signs, figurines, and other knickknacks; some of my friends even included tole painting in their birthday party activities.  I, however, was not very skilled in this area; my tole painting projects usually ended up in the reject pile while I scrubbed paint off of my fingers and clothes.  So when I made this little decorative sign a few weeks ago, I truly was shocked that A) I thought of it in the first place, and B) I liked the way it turned out!  It's by no means perfect, but I can't help but smile when I look at it.


I had been perusing various craft blogs and had seen a lot of "subway art" signs that people had made, when suddenly this design popped into my head.  The inspiration comes from the hymn "Love at Home".  I don't have step-by-step pictures of how I created this, but it was pretty easy.  Mr. W and I bought a sheet of MDF from the hardware store and had them cut it to a 1-foot square.  I painted the background and then freehand-painted the house and heart.  The text was the most time-consuming part, but it went better than I thought it would.  I found a font that I liked and typed up the words, enlarging them to the size I wanted, then printed them off (I used the text "outline" option to save on ink).  I traced the letters on the back side of the paper as darkly as I could with a pencil, then arranged the words on the board and traced over the top of them, which transferred the pencil lead from the back side of the paper to the board.  I used a really thin paintbrush to fill in the letters, then once it was dry, I sprayed the whole thing with a clear sealant.  It only took me a couple of hours, including drying times, and was inexpensive, too; the MDF was only a couple of bucks and the paints were on sale.  For the first time ever, I can be proud of a tole painting project! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


From an Associated Press interview with Yoko Ono (widow of Beatle John Lennon):

AP: One hundred years from now, what do you want people to know about John Lennon?
Ono: First of all, I'm not sure if I'm not going to be there. Things are changing in this world so much and it might be like we're all going to live as long as we want to. And also John might come back. We don't know anything. So I'm not going to answer that question.
Um, if you say so, Yoko... (Read the full article here:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

You're on a Desert Island...

During a recent trip to visit Mr. W's family, we got into a discussion about which one book and movie we would take if we were going to be stranded alone on a desert island.  I think these kinds of conversations are really fun and interesting, but at the same time, I struggle a little bit with my answers.  Even though I know it's supposed to just be a fun "What if?" game, I always feel like I should say that I'd take a religious book and movie or some sort of how-to book; if I am going to be stranded alone, I'd want to be able to nourish my spirit or figure out how to survive, right?  But isn't this game just supposed to be for fun, too?  A chance to find out what types of entertainment other people like?  I know I can't be the only person who thinks like that, so here's how this is going to work: Assuming that you are already taking all of the religious/how-to/whatever materials that you'd need, what three books and three movies would you take purely for entertainment purposes?

Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster -- I've read it so many times that  it's like an old friend
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- Ditto on the number of times read.  Plus, it's really long and would take awhile to read
Anne of Green Gables -- I love Anne; always have, always will
Anne of Green Gables, parts 1 and 2 -- This counts as one movie because it's my game and I get to make up the rules :)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers -- "Goin' courtin', goin' courtin'..."
A Christmas Story OR Christmas in Connecticut (The old one with Barbara Stanwyck) -- The two best Christmas movies ever made!

Michelle: Oh my, I had to really think about this one. I remember when I was younger and played this game (on really long car rides) that I would always say I would bring War & Peace by Tolstoy reasoning, "because it's the longest book ever written." Now that I'm older I know that A) It's not the longest book (according to wikipedia: written in the English language Marienbad My Love by Mark Leach is the longest with 17 million words) and B) I'm really not that interested in reading it.
So here I go with my hard to just pick three of each!!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Maybe in a later post I'll explain why I care for this book so much, but in short I love that it make you ponder about if what you may want might not be the best thing for you.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Bette Smith - Read it when I was young and it has really stuck with me. Would love to have the time to read it again!
Physicians Desk Reference...hollowed out - Just kidding!!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer & Annie Barrows fun and sweet. It reminds me alot of Daddy Long Legs.
Moulin Rouge -  I think ....well know that before long I would be acting it out on that desert island
Pride & Prejudice- I would take the BBC version because I would have the time to watch the whole thing
You've Got Mail - I just watch this one over and over (and over according to Mr. S) I just find it completely charming!

Now the game is open to you all! What books & movies would you bring?
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