Overblog
Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog

tips

An all time favorite for Romanians - Polenta

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

I'm not sure I was supposed to post anything today, but I realized this recipe wasn't moved from my old cooking blog. I thought it might be time I moved it. 

Quite honestly, I almost forgot I still had recipes on that old blog. 

As you'll see, the pics are very bad, undated, but they're from at least 2015. That's why they're bad and I don't have a visual step-by-step of the process. 

Ok, below you'll see the "original" post. Enjoy your reading!

Coming to Romania you'll want to try some traditional food, even though I don't believe there is any dish that is exclusively "traditional Romanian." What you'll eat instead is food almost every Romanian knows how to make, especially in the countryside. Sadly, eating this in the capital, might not taste the same as it would in some forsaken village, but this doesn't mean it won't be tasty.

From my old blog. i need new pics.

Polenta seems to be every peasant's replacement for bread and therefore eaten mostly with other foods. However polenta is so popular it can be eaten by itself as well.. well sort of by itself. Mixing it with butter and some type of salty cheese will make it delicious and a dish that can be served as a stand-alone.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 liter of water (or less)
  • some cornflour, better known as polenta in some countries. [all i know its that it's dry, yellow, rough, and made of corn]
  • some salt
  • between 1 and 3 spoons of butter - margarine also works
  • some cheese - feta cheese is just an example. Make sure the cheese melts, you'll thank me later.
  • Optional:
    • black pepper
    • boiled egg
    • bacon or sausages
from my old blog. i need new pics.
METHOD
  • Place the water with salt on fire and bring it to a boil.
  • When it starts to boil, start slowly adding the polenta-corn flour. Make sure to mix in a circular motion with a wooden spoon. You're better off at mixing with its handle - it mixes better, trust me on this one. Make sure it boils well!
  • Cut the cheese into small cubes. Best size? about half your thumb finger.
  • Add the cornflour until the mixture thickens and sticks to your spoon. It is done when you have the impression you can form balls with it, without them falling apart. You'll want it rather thick and sticky than runny or soft.
  • Add the butter and mix well. The butter will soften the mixture - this is what you want.
  • Add the cheese and mix. The cheese will start melting - this is what you want to happen. ;)
  • Add some black pepper on top after you serve on a dish or in a bowl.

This dish is best served hot, especially in winter, but having it cold in summer is just fine too.

I like it warm regardless of the season, lol. You could say this is a type of comfort food for me.

Here I had it with some fried soy pieces and some bell pepper. You can have it with sauerkraut, sausages, fish, and almost any other food that has sauce.

Bon Apettit!

PS: yes, all these failed pics are mine -_-' I need to make polenta again and to take better pics of the process. 


© Charly Cross 2013 - present.

Voir les commentaires

Very late Blog-march: Last 4 challenges

Publié le par Charly C.

Well, hello there.

We are well into the month of April and I know I haven't finished the March challenge. However, due to how this platform works, I can post this in March. ;) 

The thing is - I won't finish this challenge. Below we can see the remaining challenges.

March 27 - National cheese day

This is a French platform, run by French people. I suppose the stereotype that the French love their cheese is true if they dedicated a day to celebrate it. 

Personally, I don't live in France, so I have no idea if there is such a day celebrated, or if Cheese Day is every day. 

So, what is my favorite type of cheese? I do like cheese, so I have a favorite. 

I ate blue cheese a few times - I didn't find it bad, but also not something to eat daily, or even very often. I used to really like the Romanian telemea cheese, but not so much anymore. 

Of course, you may not or don't know what telemea is, so here is more about this cheese, from Wikipedia

Lately, I like Italian mozzarella cheese. Smoked yellow cheese is another type of cheese I like. This type of cheese is called Kashkaval and I can't recall seeing any that is white in color. Most of these are off-white or some shade of yellow.  

This type of cheese melts nicely on pizza, and any other dish you may want melted cheese on. 

March 28 - World day against endometriosis

I wish all women dealing with this problem, a lot of health. 

I wish everyone else who is not aware of this health problem, to learn about it. Also, please stop asking women "When will you get married?" "When will you have children?". 

It's none of your business. Unless YOU plan on being the 3rd wheel in the relationship or taking care of the baby with your own money and time. Not all women want to be wives or mothers. 

And women suffering from endometriosis may even have a hard time conceiving, even if they want to have babies. So, again, I repeat: Not your body, not your problem! You can ask questions and give advice only when you're very close to the person and you're concerned about their health and overall wellbeing. 

March 29 - Cinema spring

I have no idea what this means or what am I supposed to write about. 

In any case, keep an eye open and stalk my other site for at least one movie review, The Taming of the Shrew, an Italian movie. ;) I think it's a good movie for spring.

March 31 - World day of personal data protection

I think this is what it means. If this is what it means, I'll have to remind you to change your passwords often, keep them written down -in an agenda, diary, cookie jar, whatever. Do not share them with anyone under any circumstance. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

Making Victorian-inspired pantaloons - Sewing with a vintage Burda

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello.

In November I had some time to make something and to even finish it. YAY!

Disclaimer: Well, I'm not sure they're really called "pantaloons" but this is what I'll call them in this article. I say they're Victorian-inspired because they have frills and lace. 

INSPIRATION

My inspiration came from 2 places if I can call them that. 

The first place is Subeta's (that is a referral link to this online pet and dress-up game) Magical Pirate Pantaloons of Sweet Love - you can see them here (This is a fan-made and helpful site for those playing Subeta).

The above image belongs to Subeta - used for informational purposes.

The second place is Bernadette Banner's video in which she makes a pair of Victorian underwear or combinations. You can watch the video here. She uses historically accurate fabrics and methods, including or especially hand-sewing. 

The end result is closer to the Pantaloons of Sweet Love mentioned above, as you'll see from the pictures. 

WHAT DID I USE

Fabric: As for fabric, I used some blue and very thin polyester fabric I had. Despite it being polyester, it feels quite nice against the skin. 

Pattern: For the pattern, I had nothing "historical" or something made for a (Halloween) costume. I had this May 1996 Burda magazine that had a pattern I could use. 

I needed some loose trousers with the simplest pattern possible. This one had just 2 pieces and was very loose. What else can I ask for?!

Other supplies: a pair of shears, matching thread, sewing machine, some elastic (not included in the picture), hand-made lace, and chord that i just had on hand. The lace and chord were either given to me or i may have found them at the trash

The white lace is the remaining piece from what i had. Because it didn't occur to me to take pictures BEFORE i use it. Click here to see a close-up of the lace and the chord thing. 

WHAT DID I DO

As you could imagine, first I had to trace out my pattern pieces and to cut the fabric. As a matter of fact, i wanted to make these Burda trousers for Anna, a while back. So i had the pattern already traced out and cut. 

I only needed to cut the fabric. I folded the fabric in half, placed the paper on it, and cut with no seam allowance. This design is quite loose, therefore cutting with no seam allowance is fine. Otherwise, Burda patterns require you to add 1 cm (about half an inch?) of the seam allowance. 

The next step was to sew 1 front piece to a back piece, then to sew the crotch. And at this point, you have a pair of trousers. I made a channel for the elastic at the waist, out of the pants - the design has a quite long crotch area, and therefore, you have plenty of fabric to just roll the top inwards twice for this purpose.  

As you can see, my seam allowance is pretty small, but enough.

You can use elastic or a chord. This depends on whether you just want to pull the pants on or you want to bother to knot the chord, as the line drawing suggests. For me, the elastic was just SO easy! 

And now comes the part where i made my first mistake which made things a bit more difficult for me. I constructed the trousers BEFORE i added the lace or formed those ruffles or channel for the knee elastic.  

If you ever sew something, you would know it's easier to put ruffles on something when the item is flat/2D and not in a 3D shape. I think i would have been more accurate as well. 

My next steps were as follows:

I measured about the place where i want the elastic to be, made the channel for it, eyeballed the place of the first ruffle, eyeballed the location of the hem, and completed the first leg. 

I assumed that finishing 1 leg and then doing the second one would be easier. I'm not sure if it was or not, but it did feel that way.  

Another mistake was not to measure the white lace, to ensure i have enough. From my eyeballing, it looked as if i did have enough. By now, you already know my guess was correct.

However, while I was working on the project, i had my doubts when time came for me to complete the second leg. I suggest you measure everything ahead of time, unless you trust your eyeballing guess. I'm pretty good at guessing, and this is why i didn't do the sensible thing of measuring. But I shall in the future. 

Once the ruffles and the lace were installed, the pantaloons were done! YAY! Now (as I type this), they're packed and hidden, as they're a gift for Anna. You'll be reading this after she gets her present, sorry. 

 

Previous Experience

What i want to also mention is that i actually worked with this pattern once before. 

I made a pair of trousers for myself, last year in October. Back then, i used this pinkish silk fabric, that only later i realized it could be silk and i nearly fainted. I was either brave or decided to just go for it, and make myself some trousers. 

That being said, this is how my pair turned out. There are many mistakes to be seen up-close. From further away, you can't tell. 

For Anna, I used size 36 -the smallest available and for myself size 44, the largest available. I chose the sizes based on our measurements, but i didn't measure the pattern pieces themselves to see how large the finished garment would be. 

For my pair, i tried leaving 1 cm of the seam allowance. My pair is a bit too roomy. It's because of this previous experience with the pattern that i knew not to cut with a seam allowance this time around. 

As you can see, the expectation VS reality hits again, hahaha. Don't ask about what i'm wearing - at the time i thought it looked OK. The top is also hand/home-made, but it's a hand-me-down, so i don't know the pattern nor fabric. 

Yes, sadly, the picture with me is not complete, therefore you can't see these pants are a tiny bit short on me. But this is because I'm taller than most and the pattern is for regular-height persons. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

Overblog Challenge day 2 - Planning

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello.

I complete today's OverBlog challenge almost at the end of the day. Better later than never, I like to say.

The challenge is talking about planning the posts for the blog. I had a hard time writing about this until now because I don't plan anything. Or hardly anything. 

The thing is, when I try to plan stuff in advance, something always comes up that is somehow more important, more urgent. 

This means that my plans get delayed. Well, ok, if it was for blogging, all I have to do is to set a day aside and just write a few entries, and then schedule them.

However, it's not like I'm a stranger to planning. I started bullet journaling back in 2017. My proof? This entry right here

Then, I wrote about more plans in this entry right here

In real life, I tried using a bullet journal, but it didn't really work out for me. I still continued to use what i'd call more of a planner rather than a bullet journal. See the pics below. 

In 2017, i started mid-way. Then when 2018 started, I started a new agenda. I used the same one for 3 years, with a few pages to spare. 

various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.

various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.

Now, when 2021 starts, i'll have another agenda to use. 

These agendas are the type you find in any stationery store. They are not for the current year. 

I don't really care about the lines or dates printed on the pages because, as you can see, I don't use the whole page for a single day. 

I draw my own layout. And I had quite the handful of layouts in these past 3.5 years that I used a planner. 

So, if I don't plan out stuff, what do I use the planner for? Why do I even bother? 

There are a few reasons, and I'll list them in no particular order: 

  • To remember what happened - my memory is pretty bad, and tend to forget things very easily. I mean, I even burn water. 
  • To keep track -
    • of my sleeping hours/pattern,
    • of my workout (hardly any workout this year, but I did walk a lot),
    • of health-related stuff.

I hope that in the new year, i'll make more and better use of this agenda/planner thing. But we shall see.

Originally i wanted more discipline in my life, to help me be more productive. 

I didn't use the planner so far because i'm a freelance writer, so my job comes first. But there are times when I don't feel inspired to work, and i could at least work on this blog or on my site. 

I hope the planner will help me achieve my goals. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

Expectation VS Reality - DIY edition

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

Did you expect to see me? neither did I. 

Do you know how people order things online hoping they'll receive something cool, something they think will look good, will make them feel better, and so on and so forth? 

I have done that. But i didn't expect things to be THAT amazing, to begin with. You can read more about that experience in this entry

So this entry is not about my expectations being ruined by a bad online shopping spree. Instead, I want to talk about a DIY project a did over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Well, i finished it last week.

I didn't plan on writing about it. However I shared it to this FB group and 87 people liked it and congratulated me for the result. 

The story goes something like this: 

When the stores finally opened back at the beginning of summer, fiance bought a small white Guess bag from an outlet. 

It was in a decent shape, with the only flaws being the several visible stains. On both sides. Unfortunately i don't have a picture of the bag :( 

I thought we can clean it. [FIRST EXPECTATION!]

[FIRST REALITY] hit when after several attempts, and several products, we realized that taking those stains out won't work. 

The DIY project begins!

THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM

The solution we came up with, was to paint the bag. At least on the front.

This was a pretty easy idea to put into practice. All i needed was:

  • acrylic paints - done!
  • paintbrushes - done!
  • inspiration 

The inspiration came from a google image search. I searched for "an easy acrylic painting" or something along that line.

And I found this picture: [EXPECTATION 2]

I thought it's a decently easy image to reproduce. So i started working. 

First, i used a pencil to draw the circle in the middle, and 2 vertical lines in the middle to "split" the background into the night/day halves. I also drew the curved line for the crescent moon and the "flames" around the sun. 

This part was THE easiest to complete. 

I then started painting and i used the lightest colors first. 

I don't have much to say about the painting process. I tried to make sure i don't leave white spots as the surface of the bag is textured, not smooth, as you'll see from the pics below. 

So, this is what I got. [REALITY 2] it's not AS pretty as the inspiration photo, but it's alright. I think. 

And when you open it, you get almost the same image. I didn't want the image to be split or incomplete when open. I also have the impression it looks more "intended this way by the designer" and not "oh, I painted this and did the shittiest job."

It had 2 loops for a shoulder chain. My fiance said they'll use it more like a wallet than a purse, therefore, I thought that keeping the chain would be in the way, in a bag. 

I hope this entry inspires you to find a solution when your favorite bag gets dirty and you can't clean it, and you also don't want to get rid of it. 

I didn't use a sealant, but I should, and I'll be looking for some sort of sealant. The light blue side is a bit sticky to the touch even though so much time passed since I finished this project. So, if you do this, make sure to use a sealant. 

See you in the next one!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

Good thrift store finds (summer 2020)

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

As you guys know, this year started off on a meh side.. well, at first, Australia was on fire. Then the 'Rona happened, and now everyone is more or less confused about things. 

In Romania, the stores, restaurants, and other places have been closed for 2 months. Once they opened, we went shopping again. Of course, I feel like we went a bit overboard with some stuff, but let me tell you that 2 months is a long time. And some other places around the world were closed for longer, or had to reclose. And that's sad. Depending on when in time you read this, you most likely already know all this.

So, back to today's topic. If you don't already know, a thrift store is also called a second hand store; it's a shop where people buy items that have generally been already owned and used by other people. In some cases, the items can be in a 'like-new' condition, may even have the original tags attached, or simply broken or well-used, and i have no idea why they're being re-sold. 

With all of that to be kept in mind, you can find some really good deals or treasures in these shops, and today i want to brag about a few of the things we found. 

Two Pairs of Shoes

Personally, i try not to buy used shoes. I recently realized that i feel a bit icky about people's feet in general - especially touching them (i imagined a situation in which i'd have to give a pedicure to a stranger). My partner's feet are the only ones (besides my own) that i feel comfortable enough to touch. 

As you can see from these pictures, these shoes are in quite good or very good condition. The sandals look as if they haven't been worn at all. The shoes have been worn a little bit, but the top and the heels look very good. 

These shoes are not my purchases but given their condition and since they're under the same roof with me, I thought i'd share them. Let's just say these cost much less than what they would sell for on eBay or other sites. 

The pumps are leather all around, and this means that they can easily be repaired if needed. And if we find a good place that offers such services. 

I will not be wearing these as they don't fit me and aren't my style, but Anna will. And she says they're very comfortable and easy to walk in. 

Vintage Pyrex (approx. 1977)

These casseroles (?) are made by Pyrex England. This pattern is the JAJ Sunflower pattern. When looking it up, you'll see there are at least 2 designs called Sunflower. This is the "less popular" one? 

I blame the MadGirlsVintage youtube channel for this purchase. She has an impressive Pyrex collection, in generally 2 colors only: pink and aqua. She has a few pieces in other colors as well, as she tries to "complete" her sets. 

Well, I don't want to reach that level of collecting Pyrex items, but these 2 pieces made me pretty happy. They are also pretty useful in the kitchen as I actually cooked in them, in the oven. 

These Pyrex casseroles are round. I probably wouldn't have bought them if they were oblong. Most likely because I already have a heat-resistant glass oblong casserole, from the Borcam brand. 

Decorative Plate

I'm not sure what color you see, but this is a rather pale pink or pale red? I'm not sure. The plate itself is rather thick. Its design is clearly supposed to be in the style of the well known Spode Blue Room china sets. 

To be honest, I always liked those plates, I never knew who made them, nor did I know their price. I did think they are ancient plates and vases from China, which are very expensive. I just didn't know that companies reproduced and reinterpreted them. I was much younger, and now I do know those things. 

I purchased this plate because I thought it might be valuable for resale or something. Well, I don't plan on re-selling this plate any time soon, but use it instead. In any case, if I do decide to re-sell it, I would make a bit of money off of it. 

I want to buy more plates in this style. I'm hoping to find them in black or green, preferably blue. This pink doesn't look appealing enough to me. I find pink to be a difficult color. To match, wear, use...  In any case, I will have to see if I still find anything at all, as well as if I like the design and the color. 

These plates were sold in a book outlet. And I didn't buy any. I wish I did get a few. But In a way, I thought it's a bit ... hmmm ... offensive in a weird way.  

All in all, I'm happy with these finds. I will keep on searching for such treasures in the second-hand stores. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

How To Enlarge a Tshirt - DIY, Upcycling, Color-blocking

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello!

Today I have a solution for old clothes that don't fit anymore, and thus they sit in the closet, collecting dust. This solution will save your wallet, give a new life to both your clothes and wardrobe, and create a unique personal style, because YOU ARE unique!  

Most clothes that we buy come in standard sizes. They assume that if your hips measure 100cm, then perhaps your waist is around 80 or 90 cm. This is not always the case. they make clothes in standard proportion, but our bodies are not always proportionate. 

My body for instance, is as much as an hourglass as it can, hence there's a significant difference between my waist and bust, and waist and hips. However, if it wasn't for my chest, i could fit into tops that are sized Small because my rib cage is pretty small. 

So, back to topic. I had these 2 tshirts you can see below, but i can't wear them. The light green one is too transparent for my tastes :( The other one was extremely tight. 

How To Enlarge a Tshirt - DIY, Upcycling, Color-blocking

I liked the beige one more than the greenish one, so i wanted to wear that one But i had to be larger.

I measured it against a tshirt with a fit that I liked. In my case, i needed about 32cm more fabric.

The idea was to find strips of fabric that were 16cm wide, cut the side seam on the beige tshirt, and attach the strips to the new edges. 

This is where the greenish tshirt came in handy. It provided it side seam, already had hems, and was a very similar fabric to the other one. At least in weight -very light weight, and feel - very soft and comfortable, breathable. 

I measured, marked, cut and proceeded to sew. the pieces in. I measured 8cm on each side of the greenish top. Since it's already folded, 8x2=16, 16x2=32. 

I think i should have used straight strips of fabric, and not the seam sides of another tshirt with a different cut. It turns out, the greenish fabric was somehow loner than the beige tshirt. I had to create some pleats, to make them match. 

How To Enlarge a Tshirt - DIY, Upcycling, Color-blocking

When laid flat, the new tshirt looks off, but on me, it looks ok. 

So, to make it easier, the steps are:

1. find out how much room you need - measure your top and measure your body, and see the difference. OR, measure the smaller top against another one that fits good. substract the smaller from the bigger, and that's how much fabric you need (it's width). 

2. the easiest method would be to insert strips at the side seams. divide the width from above by 2, since there are 2 side seams in a top - the ones going from the armpits down to the waist and to the elbow/wrist. 

3. find a similar weight fabric or texture, and cut 2 strips equal in width - the value from point 2. Add some extra for seam allowance. Ideally, these strips would be the same length as your top, but feel free to be creative here. Don't forget about the hem on the lower part and at the sleeve, so they might need to be longer than your top. 

4. cut the side seams of your tshirt. 

5. sew the strips of fabric to the open edges of your top. And you're done!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

Changing a jacket' sleeves

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

I had a thin Zara jacket with faux leather sleeves. I bought it several years back during the summer sales, if I'm not mistaken. But as it goes, faux leather started peeling and I don't like that. I don't know who likes peeling leatherette, to be honest.  So, I thought to myself that I won't be wearing the jacket anymore though I could try to change its sleeves now that I have some good fabric shears and a decent sewing machine. I also have a few books that teach how to make sleeves and attach them to the garment. The only downside was that I would be ruining the pretty (and very cheap) fabric A got me (from a second hand store. It was there because someone cut it twice on bias, and it probably wasn't enough for their project.) 

So, my thoughts were:

  • I wanted to make something with the fabric
  • I HAD to use it (the fabric) in the end, somehow
  • the fabric was cheap - about $1 for a yard or so? I didn't measure it, sadly. 
  • I wasn't going to wear the jacket anymore
  • I would be learning something
  • I received encouragement to "just go for it!"

I don't think I needed more excuses. So I started with ripping the seams apart because I wanted to use the existing sleeve as pattern for the new sleeve. 

  • the sizing was the right one, especially the arm-hole
  • the length was ok - i could always cut a few extra cm if needed, which I did anyway.
  • I wasn't in the mood to learn how to make a sleeve pattern from scratch. That day will come, but it wasn't this day. 

Sadly, I don't have pictures for all the steps :( I thought of taking pictures when it was too late. Some steps don't even need pictures because anyone can do those with the right tool.

the process

I started by removing the sleeves from the body of the jacket using the seam ripper. My sleeves also had zippers, so I also removed those after. 

Once I had my sleeves, I took one and I placed it flat on some newspaper to make a sleeve pattern, so I can cut the new sleeve from some fabric. I placed the fabric folded over.  When I cut the fabric, I included more seam allowance vertically, but not for the width. 

I didn' like what the fabric felt against the skin, as I knew I would wear this jacket over a tshirt as well. This meant I had to find some fabric to make a lining. The fabric I found is brown and ugly, but serves the purpose just fine. 

You can't really tell from the picture, but first I sew the sleeve to the lining (former sleep wear i believe) at the wrist-end. I then pinned down the sleeve to the rest of the fabric, and then I cut the lining. (note 1)

I also sew the lining to the tartan, before assembling the sleeve together. I figured that shiny and slippery fabric would be difficult to work with if it's not attached. I also ran a zig-zag stitch. (note 2)

Originally, the previous sleeves did have lining as well. I couldn't use it though. The seam allowance was fraying badly. Additionally it was shorter, because the leatherette was folded over some, like the sleeves on suits and coats. 

As I said, I wasn't going to learn how to make such sleeves. This means that the brown lining can be seen at the wrist level, on my sleeves. It also looked ugly. I decided to run a top stitch to see if it looks any better, and it did! See the picture below.

If you do a sleeve like I did here, I highly recommend you do the same. In my opinion, the piece looks 'done more professionally.' You can do this top stitch AFTER sewing the sleeve, so that  the seams would lay flat against your wrist, and rub less. If I ever do this again, I'll know what I need to improve :)

 After my sleeves were complete, it was time I attached them to the body of the jacket. The sleeves I made were a bit larger than the arm holes of the jacket. I started pinning the sleeves starting at the armpit seams going to the top. At the shoulder part, I needed to create 2 pleats. Gathering the fabric is an option, but not for this lined tartan. The pleats give the sleeves a more structured, put-together, "professionally done" look, in my opinion.

And this is the final result! What do you think? 

extra step

However, before attaching the sleeves, I decided I wanted some lining for the back part of the jacket as well. I used the same ugly brown one as for the sleeves. The jacket is very thin, and the spring was cold this year. I wanted some protection from the wind, and the lining would provide just that. 

I used the back of the jacket to serve as guide for a pattern, drew it on paper, cut the brown fabric, and sew it onto the seams of the jacket. I don't have more pictures, sorry. :( 

 That's about it! Don't skip reading the notes below to learn what I wish I did differently.

See you soon! 

Note 1: The funny thing is that while I tried to sew the right side of the tartan fabric to the lining, i only managed with one sleeve. The other one, the tartan is on the wrong-side. I obviously saw too late. I didn't and won't go back to fix it. 

Note 2: I wish I assembled the tartan first into a sleeve, then the lining, and then attach the tartan to the lining at the wrist. I thought of this too late. 

Note 3: This project is from April 2019. I didn't get to watermark the images. Now with my arm in a cast, doing so is more difficult. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

Homemade vegetarian pizza -recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all~~

I have no idea who doesn't like pizza. But there are people out there that have dietary restrictions, and so ordering pizza can be difficult. For us, it is a little overpriced, depending on where you oder it from and it's not always good either. 

A's mom started making pizza at home, and it's a really good one too. spicy, with lots of ingredients, and several of them. one is big enough to fill you up, especially if you don't eat a crazy amount of food at once. But A's mom moved out of city, and it's difficult or us to go there to get pizza if we were to ask her to make some. Also getting the ingredients is difficult for A's parents because they don't own a car, so they have to either call a cab (it can get expensive) or rely on the public transportation that is not always reliable. 

 

Long story short, we decided to make our own pizza. A asked for the recipe, and she said she's going to make it. I said "fine" because I think there's a trick to making pizza that I'm not aware of. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • pizza dough -or base, or whatever you want to call it. We can find it already made in stores over here. At Carrefour it's really cheap too. we got 2 packs, with 2 pizza dough in each.
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes 
  • mozarella cheese - ALL the cheese you want or like. make sure it melts, like mozarella cheese does.  
  • 200 grams olives - get the pitted ones or the already sliced ones, you'll save time. 
  • mushrooms - as much as you want, i guess. The pizza in these pictures didn't have mushrooms. :(
  • 1 bell pepper - red would be best
  • corn - we like corn on the pizza. 
  • tomato sauce - you can use pizza sauce, but regular tomato sauce is fine too
  • aromatic herbs -basil, thyme, parsley, whatever you like
  • some ground black pepper
  • some salt
Homemade vegetarian pizza -recipe

NOTES:

You should know there's no set amount of anything when it comes to the ingredients. A just adds "as much as it fits on the pizza dough."

If you're eating meat, you can add salami, sausages,maybe bacon.  Basically any type of meat you like. A says it's a "trial and error" until you find the balance you like.  Of course you can replace some of the ingredients with others, but the pizza made with these ones was by far the best. 

METHOD:

  • Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza dough.
  • Sprinkle with the condiments - or the aromatic herbs you chose.
  • Add cheese. The more the merrier. ;) It's better to slice it before putting it on the pizza
  • Then add everything else. Make sure to slice the tomatoes, mushrooms and anything that is either too big or has a shape preventing it from staying put on the pizza. Chopped also works.
  • Add more condiments on top. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes, on a really high heat setting, on baking paper. Our oven has a special "pizza" setting, and anymore than 15 minutes in the oven can burn it. NOBODY likes burnt pizza. 

Now you can enjoy it straight from the oven, though leaving it for the next day is perfectly acceptable too. 

Bon appetit~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

6 Tips for a beginner seamster or seamstress

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World~~~

As you probably know already, I recently started my journey into the DIY and sewing world. I was gifted a sewing machine for Christmas by my mother and a pair of tailor's shears last month, by someone else. The shears i linked are very similar in appearance to mine. 

DISCLAIMER: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I used these affiliate links to give you the option to check the book out, for yourself, if you so wish, through a well-trusted seller. While I will be very glad if you buy any of the linked items, the decision to do so or not, belongs to you. Thank you for reading!  

Aren't they beautiful? To me, they're beautiful. And they're also heavy. 

Well, they were cheap and made in China - the box was covered in Chinese writing, and although I started studying this language, I'm still a beginner (read that, as in I made no more progress since this post) and hence, I cannot read what it said. I also threw the box away. What matters more is that they cut what I need them to cut.

While 4 months are definitely not enough to say "I know things," I did learn quite a bit. Here are my few tips if you just start this journey and you feel overwhelmed.

Fair warning though: some of these tips are for those who consider making a living out of their skill, hence they need to appear professional. Other tips are more like a warning, details I didn't think of when I decided to take on this hobby/journey.

1. learn the right names of the tools

I'll talk about 3 different tools, as examples. 

a) For instance, I was saying "my scissors" when in reality I own a pair of shears. In all honesty, I thought these two words refer to the same item, but they're used in different parts of the world. In a similar fashion to how some people say "trousers" and "pants" when referring to the garment covering the body from the waist down, with 2 hoses, one for each leg. 

When it comes to shears and scissors, the difference is in the holes through which your fingers go in order to manipulate the tool. The shears have a larger lower hole, while the scissors have equal holes. 

b) Similarly, if you're into sewing or making (your own) clothes (or for your family), you also have to learn the proper names of the fabrics. If you're interested in up-cycling or refashioning clothes, this aspect might not be as important. 

Personally, I'm in the process of learning about fabrics:

  • fibers (how the name of the fiber was used to name the fabric, though in some cases it's another type of fiber used. Take for instance "linen" used for "linens" made of cotton), 
  • origin, or where you're more likely to find certain types of fabrics. As an example, lacebark originates in Jamaica, and is as fine as muslin.
  • how they're obtained - knitting or waving, natural, synthetic, man-made.

c) Still related to tools, you'll find 2 types of sewing machines: domestic and industrial. You should learn the differences between them! This video explains better, and even shows an industrial one. There's also this other video better showing the differences between sewing machines at different price levels, though all of those are for domestic use. I learned the following from the 2nd video:

  • sewing machines with a front loading bobbin are faster than the ones with a drop-in bobbin. 
  • some machines have 2 lights instead of one, and the difference that makes is quite something.  
  • industrial machines will only have 1 type of stitch - for instance, just running stitch. They can also load a bobbin at the same time you're sewing, whereas a domestic one can't. 

 

2. learn how to correctly use them

If you learn what differentiates one tool from the other (say, shears and scissors), you can also learn how to use them. Usually this happens at the same time.  

This page opened my eyes to how I'm supposed to hold and use my shears. This other page has more types of such tools, and names some of the best you can find. 

Maintenance is important and part of correctly using the tool, if you want it to last for years to come. Not long ago I learned that I'm supposed to clean and oil my sewing machine every week, if I use it often. If i use it now and then, I'm supposed to clean and oil it every time I plan on using it. 

In my experience with my machine, it needed cleaning and especially oiling after about a month since I got it. I can't say I used it a lot in January, but in February it already started to be rather noisy. Once I oiled it, it started purring again, like when I got it.  

Learning about textiles, you'll learn that some fabrics simply are not good for certain projects. You also learn how to care for the end product without destroying it, say through bleaching or simply washing.

3. find some sort of mentor and/or muse

Or at least a person with whom you can connect, or inspires you to go through with your project. As a beginner in any trade, actually doing the task can be a bit scary, right? "What if I cut this fabric wrongly?" "what if it turns out really ugly?" 

Well, I'm lucky and happy to say that I found at least 1 person to support me when I feel scared, or when I'm not sure of what I do. They are A, and they also inspire me with things - mostly with the written stuff. But A can also give great advice when it comes to color combination, or gives an honest opinion if asked "how does THIS look?" 

I'm pretty lucky to have discovered someone I could call a mentor - Angelina, the lady behind BlueprintDIY (her Youtube channel, and her Instagram). /shoutout! She actually gave me the push I needed to enlarge a pair of jeans so that I could wear them. Let's get real, I wouldn't have lost the extra 5kg I needed to get in these pants. I will post another blog entry about this process. ;) 

Someone telling you "just do it!" or "go for it!" is all it takes at times, to actually get over the "what if ..." fear. Instead, you could get the excited "what if this turns out great?!" Which is what happened with a 2nd project about which I will write soon enough, but I will offer a spoiler for it right here:

 

4. don't be scared of making mistakes

As a beginner you'll definitely make mistakes - everyone makes them. And you know what? Even those with experience in the field will make mistakes. Luckily, when you sew, a mistake will not cost someone their life, like it would happen with a doctor for instance. However it can prove more time consuming and more expensive. 

Remember that you don't really learn anything until you try things out and make mistakes. One of the things you'll learn is what you could improve, what technique to stay away from because it's incorrect, and so on.  

5. fabric IS real fabric - no matter its origin

This point was triggered by a video I watched - I forgot which one. The lady speaking (giving advice) was saying to go to thrift stores to buy sheets and curtains to use for your projects, especially as a beginner. This way, you avoid ruining "real fabric" and waste money. I suspect she meant brand new (virgin, if you will) fabric, that was never used for anything else before. 

But, in my book, when you take an item and cut away its seams, it turns into "real fabric." It still cost some money, even it was just 50 cents yesterday, or 100 dollars 10 years back. As long as the material is in a good shape and big enough to make something out of, I call it "real fabric." 

6. it takes time and more actions than what you thought

Let's just say you can't just take a needle and some thread and start sewing: you need a plan first, or a goal. This can be - fixing a hole, applying a button, re-doing a hem, and so on. 

But before you get there, you might have to measure some stuff, draw a pattern or two, cut it, cut fabric, and then sew pieces together in a certain sequence. Depending on what you're making, you might have to try the item on from time to time. Depending on the item and number of pieces you have to sew together, and details you want to add, you'll be spending a few good hours "sewing."

But don't worry: the end result might be worth all the effort. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Voir les commentaires

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>