Monday, March 24, 2014

Pin it & Spin it: Paper bag ribbon

The main reason I bought a sewing machine was to be able to make these paper bag and lace ribbons I found ages ago on Pinterest. Paper bags, thread, ruffles.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Not so much.  At least for this girl.  I think it was user error concerning the machine and invisible thread, though-something to do with the tension setting and maybe a little goo build up on the arm that holds the spool of thread.  I was able to get only half of a ribbon made before frustration set in and I had to ask Thom for help with the sewing machine. After he got it straightened it out for me I just sort of gave up.

I like the final result. I used thin paper lunch bags and some thrifted lace trim. I definitely think the invisible thread would look much nicer and eventually I'll try this pin again. You're probably wondering what exactly will I use paper bag ribbons for? I plan on decorating the front of a gift bag or some white tags with them. Have you completed any of the projects you've pinned lately? I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Girls Who Craft

I spent Tuesday night with a couple of friends: Eggs & Herbs and Southern Fried Gal. Okay, they have real names: Julie and Carmella. We met up for a craft night.  Both of these gals were my first friends here in Arkansas ( hug!) and we all met through blogging.  Such fun.  Can't wait to do it again!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pin it & Spin it: Fried Pickles

Normally, I'm not a fan of fried foods.  I mean I like them and all but if I'm going to be totally unhealthy I'd much rather it be with cupcakes and frosting. Total honesty, friends.  I know I'm a mess.

But when a girl gets a hankerin' there's nothing to be done but to give in.

We've tried fried pickles in the past without success.  I've had my eye on these two pins for awhile. After a quick consult with the resident Cove chef {Thom} we thought we could do better with the basic recipes.

Here's what we came up with:

The spin: kick up the basic recipe with more garlic and cayenne. Add a milk/egg wash and double dredge. We also added a bit of Slap Ya Mama to the egg wash mixture {no hot sauce in the house-a travesty for which i am most regretful.}

 Fried Pickles

For the coating:

dry ingredients
1/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne

wet ingredients
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
splash of hot sauce or about 1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning {we use this}, optional

Note: for a whole jar of pickles you will need to double the dry ingredients for the coating.  I made ours in two batches as to not get too much egg/coating gunk in my dredge bowl.

1 jar of dill pickle slices, drained
Oil for frying {we used canola-about 3 inches deep}

Gather: cookie sheet; parchment or wax paper; plate & paper bag for draining {or use paper towel, baking rack, etc}


Heat oil to 350 degrees. We used a  deep fry pot with a basket but a frying pan with deep sides will work as well.  Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or wax paper. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In another bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add hot sauce or Cajun seasoning if desired.

Place a handful of pickles into the egg wash mixture and then into the dry ingredient mixture. Toss to coat.  Taking two pickles at a time, re-submerge them into the egg wash, re-dredge in cornmeal/flour mixture and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Fry the pickles in small batches for 3-5 minutes.  If using a fry pot with a basket it should not be necessary to turn the pickles.  If using a fry pan, turn the pickles halfway through for even frying.

Remove pickles and drain on paper bag lined plates.  Salt immediately.  Continue working in small batches. About halfway through I made up another bowl of dry ingredients to finish dredging the last half of pickles.

Enjoy while warm with ranch dressing or dill sauce.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Straight lines | Straight talk

I'm turning.


This year.

I'm turning forty this year. While I've always said that age is just a number, you're only as old as you feel, I'll grow old gracefully damn it, blah, blah, blah...I think I'm heading toward it being more difficult than I'd care for it to be. Not that I feel old.  I just. Don't feel very accomplished for being that age. I'm certainly not where I thought I would be; but also-I certainly can not fathom having a fifteen year old {because I was certain I would have children by the time I was twenty five}. I'm not saying that I don't like where I am, I do, really. It's just not where I wanted to be.

And I'm not talking about being married with children.  There are things I've wanted to learn, do, see. The truth is that I've become lazy. I've not actively set out with purpose to learn, do, see and I've spent the last few years chasing things and trying to grow things that maybe weren't meant to be-at least not until I've grown the correct "thing:" me.  So, I'm working on that.

I'd planned on unveiling a list of forty things I wanted to learn, do, see before I turn the big four-0 (in December) but in true Gina fashion, I've been lazy and haven't put it together so I'll share bits and pieces now and then and perhaps someday I'll get it all tidied up and into a post for you to follow along if I haven't already lost you {follow #dsg40before40}.

To start, I'm teaching myself to sew!  With the help of Thom {only when I get so frustrated that I have to ask} and some very helpful tutorials I'm getting it-finally!

Here's what I've accomplished so far.  I couldn't be more thrilled.  Each piece has obvious flaws and imperfections but I finished them and I kept going.  It's all about practicing straight lines, y'all.

 Never mind that he was actually supposed to have looked like the pattern I made. Hahaha.  I still think he turned out kind of cute.

And?  This!!  I have a slight obsession with bags, and pouches, and storage containers of any kind.  So imagine my elation with being able to sew my own. I could end this whole 40before40 right now and feel more accomplished that I have my entire life.  I sewed this, you guys!

So. That's where I'm at these days. Desperately seeking the girl I always wanted to be. What are you searching for?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

News from the DotCom.

Life lately. Work. Nap. Sleep. Repeat.

Not much else going on except a little life planning thrown in there in little spurts. I've been making plans or least planning to make plans for this year-blogging related, creativity related, long term life related. I'm bored with myself, frankly. And scared a bit, too, I suppose. Change is scary. Stepping outside my comfort zone is scary.

Take typing this post as an example. I'm old school and put two spaces after the period that ends a sentence. Apparently this is now incorrect. My thumbs just want to double space, y'all! I keep having to delete. It's so unnatural....but I guess that means I'm growing, right?

New this week?  Desperately Seeking Gina became a dot com!  Update your bookmarks!  {you should be redirected, however}  Next up on the scary list?  Moving to a new platform. It will probably be awhile but I'm prepping-mentally and physically {finger exercises, yo!}.

What's new in your world?