Tuesday, September 26, 2006

reversible bag!

This has been my project off on and on for the past couple of days. I either broke or really, really jammed my toe, and I haven't been able to be up and about much. Oh well; I wear my jammies too much anyway. Now I have an excuse! (I won't post a picture of the toe; it's kind of gross.)

Anyway, this little baby is a reversible bag I designed. It's my first reversible bag, and I love it! I plan to do many more. This is also my first purse with covered buttons. They are so much fun to do (very satisfying to pop out that perfectly made button) and very inexpensive to make.

I hand-dyed this purple silk with the butterfly design so that it would look like splashy watercolor.

Yes, there are buttons on each side!

See the little pocket? It perfectly fits a driver's license and two credit cards-- or a couple of hair clips and some keys. (I only recommend the cards if one is using it as the lining, not the exterior. A pickpocket might find that just a little too alluring. ;) )

Inside! It's roomy enough for the things I consider "essentials" (yes, it'll fit a couple of Tampons), but can still qualify as an evening bag. I had never done the button loop before either. I used some thin suede, and I like it a lot.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

a southerner's predicament

One thing I find endlessly frustrating about living in (small-town) Alabama is that:
A) The educational system is the second lowest in the nation, making a large amount of people, well, uneducated.
B) Hardly anyone is Episcopalian.
There are many ( and I mean MANY) ramifications to the aforementioned points, but one of them is very simple: it is incredibly difficult to find greeting cards. "What?" You might say.

Well, take example A). If one goes to the card section of Wal-Mart(Ah! And you thought all Wal-Marts were the same!) looking for a graduation card for one's brother-in-law, who just graduated from law school, there will be one (1) card. In fact, if one is looking for any post-B.A. graduation card, there will probably be one (1). What about example B)? Well, say your friend's daughter is about to be baptized. That was the case for me recently. Today was the baptism of the nine-week-old daughter of a couple in our church. So, what did I do? I (foolishly) went to Wal-Mart for a card. There was one (1). Girls, do you know the chance that the one non-small-town-Alabama-ideology-friendly card in Wal-Mart will be the card you actually want to give that special person? Well, for me so far, it has been 0%.

So, what did I do? I bought a "normal" baby card that ended in "Congratulations" instead of "Congratulations on Your New Baby," and I added my own message to the end. I did the same thing when my brother-in-law graduated law school. And I'm sure I'll do the same thing when the next person in our church gets confirmed. What is a woman to do? It's a southerner's predicament.

Do you think that I pull this off? Or does it just look tacky? The other thing that I've discovered is that it's very hard to find a baby card without a cutsey little "poem" in it. I guess babies just bring out the cutsey in everyone. Don't get me wrong. I have no problems with cutsey-- just bad poetry.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

a tie, a vest, and a kilt

Hey, chickies! I talked a bit ago about a tie I made for my hubs out of Chinese satin. Several people said they wanted to see the tie; so here it is.

Hubby, being a true Canadian of British decent, is quite a sucker for tartans and tweeds (like any true English gentleman would be). ;) He wants me to make him one of these vests in a tweed to wear with his kilt instead of a jacket. I have the pattern cut out. Now, we just have to go pick out some fabric together. He is going to look a lot sexier than the generic-looking dude in this photo, though.

Just for kicks ;), this is my hubby and I on our wedding day. G's kilt is made from Maple Leaf Tartan.

Friday, September 22, 2006

rin ran (mediterranean tuna salad)

I had to post this recipe because it is so easy you won't even believe it, and it is absolutely DIVINE. No one will ever know you made it in about 20 minutes, and it is very cheap to make, too.

Rin Ran



1/2 pound potatoes (I like red best)
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (the Vlassic Stackers ones are perfect)
1/2 cup sliced green olives or Mediterranean olives
1-3 cans white Albacore tuna (This depends on how meaty you like things. Hubs REALLY likes meat. I put two cans last time, which was fine for me, but I think I'll put three next time to make him happy. My mum only puts one. With three cans of tuna, you might want to double the dressing.)


2 T. olive oil
1 T. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, and it was quite nice.)
1 T. parsley
1/4 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper


Peel potatoes (if using white), cube, and boil until tender, about ten minutes. Drain off water and place potatoes in a bowl with peppers, olives, and tuna. Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over veggies and tuna. Toss until well-blended. Chill and serve.

Barely serves one 6'4" hungry man and one 5'4" hungry woman. ;) No, really, this does not make very much if it is going to be your main dish. I might double the recipe next time for just the two of us. We really like to eat, though. I also didn't make any side dishes because I was in a hurry.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

a blue and white fetish

I'm so proud of our new bed(ding). I did a wedding gift switcheroo to get the comforter, and my mum's friend Mrs. Bean gave us the lovely sheets. This is a Ralph Lauren set called "Catalina," and I just love it. I'm really such a sucker for blue and white. I have to get the accent pillows next.

Here is our china, just in case you didn't believe me about my blue and white fetish. ;) This pattern is called "Finlandia" and is made by Churchill China. The picture is a not-too-great one I took right after the big shower. I was just so excited to finally have a matching set!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a fluffy diversion

I recently organized my new bookcase, and Cubby (our cat; his real name is Gustav) has really taken to it. Apart from his awful shedding, I don't mind it. The case is right by my desk; so he's good company. My husband and cat both have names that start with g; so I call them Big G and Little G to differentiate. Hubs is 6'4"; so the name works in that respect as well.

a sale!

"Chocolate Sky" got sold today on Etsy! *Pops Champagne* My first Internet sale!

This is a burgandy bag I made out of Chinese satin. When I was in university, one of my friends was from Nanjing, China. Her mother found out that I liked to sew and sent me about five or six different fabrics from China. (She also sent my mum a beautiful crocheted tablecloth!) This is a bag I made from two of the fabrics (the second of the two I used as the lining).

I also made a tie for my hubby out of one of the fabrics. I should post a picture of it, too.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

a yummy diversion

I'm sorry, but today you just have to go see my friend Rebekka's apple tart tatin. It looks delish! I have to go eat now.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

chocolate sky

This is a reinterpretation of the "baby blue and chocolate brown" bag. I am calling it "Chocolate Sky," and it is for sale in my Etsy store right now. I just love polka dots, and I couldn't resist this brown and blue dotted ribbon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

a logo?

I had a dickens of a time with Photoshop today, but I learned some new things. What do you think of this as a logo? I like the focus on the swirl of the rose because it evokes images of frosting-covered pastries.

(copyright 2006)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

cookies and cream

This bag is for sale in my Etsy store, too! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

peach confection

This handbag is for sale on Etsy! Visit my store: www.pursepatisserie.etsy.com.

This dainty little number always makes me think of frosting. I think anything has the ability to remind me of food. Thus, the blog name. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

baby blue and chocolate brown

Saturday, September 09, 2006

fresh perspective

Hello, sweeties! I spent yesterday in Montgomery, a city with a little bit of class. It is by no means my favorite Alabama city, but it is the biggest one closest to us. I did a few wedding gift switcheroos (I already had a hand mixer) and got some cool stuff. I bought G (my hubby) a heathered green shirt that says Ireland Rugby League. For those who don't know, G has Irish roots and played rugby for years in boarding school. G never wears shirts like this, but he was a very good sport and tried it on for me. He looked SO GREAT. And the bonus: he actually liked the shirt! This is no small feat, because G can be a pretty picky dresser. Then, later that day, he told me, "You can dress me if you want to." I like married life so far. :)

Anyway, my initial talk about Montgomery had a point. Last night, when hubs and I were watching Sex and the City, I realized that I did not want a cocktail like I usually do. Granted, I do not usually make one (That's too expensive.); I just crave one.

"Why is this?" I thought. Then I realized: the reason I like Sex in the City so much is that it lets me forget I live in the anal crevice of the South. And the reason I want to drink cocktails when I watch it is that I am craving novelty. But yesterday, I spent my hours wandering through my favorite gourmet food store (Fresh Market), I went to Target (which is NOTHING like Wal-Mart!), and I shopped at Dillard's and another of my favorite stores. I came home with sushi, Jarlsberg cheese, maple blueberry sausage, a Ralph Lauren bedspread, and organic potato chips. I had had a very small world-broadening experience that had transported me temporarily out of our small, ignorant town.

It was a wonderful day, but those days always make me sad, too, because I realize they are the exception-- not the rule. Even if I had the time to take frequent trips to Montgomery (which I actually do this semester because I am only teaching one class), there is no way that we could afford it. However, I don't want to poke my head out of the ground just yet; so I will just go make my frittata and design a new handbag and escape for a little while longer.

A vegetable stand at one of my favorite haunts (before they told me to put my camera away). I might be a spy from another store, ya know.

Coup de grace:
A dark chocolate lavendar torte mix. I've never tried this, but doesn't it sound divine? I think I might just add lavendar to my own favorite chocolate torte recipe, though.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

three's company

I recently made these evening bags for a bride for her bridesmaids, to match their dresses. The bridesmaids' dresses came from David's Bridal; so I bought matching fabric from David's. We ordered the dresses and fabric all at once so that everything would be cut from the same bolt and match perfectly. She gave the bags as part of her gift to her "maids."

This was the bridesmaids' dress:

(© 2002-2006 David's Bridal. All Rights Reserved.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

here goes something

I need to try this out; so here's a bridal evening bag for starts. I originally made it for a sweet waitress at this restaurant/martini bar in Montgomery that my husband and I love (We got engaged there!). The waitress, named Claire, was going to a black and white formal and was actually going to wear a wedding dress that was not overtly bride-ish. She sent me pictures of her in the dress, which I used as inspiration for the bag. However, after I finished the bag, I went to the restaurant to find her, and she had left for another job. Very strange. A few months later, Rachel, a new friend of mine, was getting married; so I showed her the bag. She bought it from me and actually carried it at her wedding reception. I was tickled. :D

I still call this the "Claire bag," since it was inspired by Claire's pretty dress. Here is Claire in her dress, and here is the Claire bag. (The whites matched in real life.) Maybe I'll see if Rachel (the owner of the bag) has a picture of herself in her wedding dress carring it.