Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Archive for July, 2011

Winner of the Traveling Stash Giveaway

Posted by supermom on July 30, 2011

All the names went into a jar:

Dave drew one of the slips of paper:

And the winner is:

Congratulations Monica!   I’ve sent you an e-mail requesting your snail mail address.

Monica blogs over at Diary of a Quilt Maven.    So for any of you who want to continue to follow The Traveling Stash, be sure to watch her blog.

Posted in Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Make and Freeze Panini Kit

Posted by supermom on July 27, 2011

A little over a month ago, I wrote a post about how to make homemade paninis without a panini press.  Well, the loaf of tomato basil bread from Panera was quite large and we had part of it left over.  We also had some meat, cheese and sliced peppers leftover, but not enough for another entire meal for the three of us.

So I decided to make up a Panini kit and freeze it to have ready for a night when there were just two of us home for dinner.   I just packaged them up individually as you see above and then I put everything into a one gallon zip bag and popped the whole thing in the deep freeze.

I didn’t post about it at the time, because I wasn’t sure how the sliced peppers would taste on the sandwich after they’d been frozen.  Now I often freeze diced peppers to have on hand to use in soups and chilis so I wasn’t worried that the peppers wouldn’t freeze well, just how they’d work out on the paninis as opposed to fresh sliced peppers.

After supper this evening, I can now tell you that this make and freeze panini kit worked like a charm.  The peppers added almost the same crunch as fresh sliced peppers do.

Once our son goes back to college in the fall, it will be just Dave and I for suppers most nights, so these would be great to have on hand for those evenings when neither of us feels like cooking something more elaborate.

Posted in Recipes | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Christmas on a Budget Series – Two No-Sew Christmas Ideas

Posted by supermom on July 25, 2011


My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Christmas on a Budget Series – Two No-Sew Christmas Ideas


Posted in Budget Savers, Christmas on a Budget Series, Conserving Resources, Creative Repurposing, Gift Ideas, Thrifting | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Friday Night Sew In Results

Posted by supermom on July 23, 2011

Last night, we’d just finished supper and I was about to head to the spare bedroom to settle in for FNSI when our neighbours from across the street stopped over for a visit.  I got to show off our newly recovered lawn chair cushions and we spent a pleasant evening chatting on the front porch until it got dark.

By the time Dave and I came back into the house, I decided that rather than start on something new at 10 o’clock at night, I’d do some crochet.

I don’t know if you’ve been following my progress on my various projects on my Unfinished Projects list, but if you have, you know that I ran into a bit of a glitch when working on the crocheted beaded garland.  In trying to use up what I had on hand, I ended up running out of the South Maid crochet cotton thread that I was using and then wasn’t able to find more locally.  When I checked out ordering some on-line, the shipping would have cost more than the crochet thread itself.

So earlier this week, I made the tough decision and took apart the one and a half very long rows I had already completed and started over with a new ball of Aunt Lydia’s crochet cotton.  Last night, I finished row two and made a start on row three.

Then tired, but not enough to go to sleep, I decided to cut out the paper pattern pieces for this vintage apron pattern.

This pattern was one of the treasures that I found in the bench seat that came with the Art Deco cabinet we bought for my Singer 15-91.  It had the same awful smell as the cabinet did when we first brought it home, so it, along with other bits and bobs, has spent the past several weeks in a bag covered with kitty litter to absorb the odour.  The kitty litter worked great!

That’s the sum total of my FNSI.  No actual sewing, but progress on a UFO and a pattern prepped and ready to use.  Not what I had planned but a very pleasant evening nonetheless.

Note:  Don’t forget to leave a comment on my previous post to be entered into the giveaway for The Traveling Stash.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Traveling Stash Giveaway

Posted by supermom on July 22, 2011

The Traveling Stash Giveaway is Now Closed



On Wednesday, when I got back from swimming laps at the Y, I had a surprise waiting for me.   The Traveling Stash had arrived.   USPS was lightning fast this time as Natasha only mailed it on Monday.

This is what was in the box when it arrived:

Included in the box was a list of all the people who received the box before me.   The Traveling Stash got its start back in January of this year by the lovely lady Nan from Pots and Pins.  After making several stopovers for destashing and refilling the stash box had gotten so packed with goodies that Kelly from Charming Chatter split the stash into two boxes.   The Traveling Stash that I received is Box #2.

Here’s what I chose from the box:

I also cut enough fabric for three WoF strips at 2 1/2” and two at 5” from this fabric as I’ve started to collect white on black background/black on white background fabrics after being inspired by this D9P and this jelly roll 1600 that Corina from CW Quilts… Sometimes made.

The rest of that piece of fabric went back into the box.

Here’s what I added to the box:

A quilting ruler, two fat quarters, machine quilting thread, some Winnie the Pooh ornament fabric leftover from another project and a sewing companion that includes a small scissors and a matching needle book.

I also added these 6 1/2″ squares to the I-Spy kit that Natasha started.

And since I’m collecting bug fabric for a Bug Jar Quilt, I started a bug jar quilt kit.  There are only four squares in it but I thought that perhaps others might add to it as the box makes its travels and eventually someone will have enough squares to make a quilt.

After I took this photo, I added the word starter to the bag so that it now reads Bug Jar Starter Quilt Kit

You'll notice I also included one of each of these in with the squares I added to the I-Spy Kit.

Another thing I discovered after opening the box was that there were more goodies than just those related to quilting, so if there’s any room left to fit more in the box, I’m going to go through some of my craft supplies and see what little treasures I can find to add.

Now down to what you’ve been waiting for… the giveaway.

These are the rules:

  1. You must have a blog. (I will check)
  1. After you have taken what you want from the box and refilled it, you must be willing to send the stash on its way by hosting your own giveaway.
  1. This giveaway will be open until Friday, July 29th.   I will choose a winner on Saturday and mail the Traveling Stash out the following Monday.
  1. Because of the weight of this box, entries are open only to the US.  (I took the box to the post office this morning to check on international mailing prices.  The box weighs almost 12 lbs and anywhere outside the US the price starts at $35 and goes up from there.)
  1. Entering is simple… leave a comment on this post.  It can be anything (within the bounds of politeness) from how you’re surviving the heat wave to what projects you’re currently working on.

Good Luck to Everyone!

Posted in Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

I Won the Traveling Stash and FNSI Reminder

Posted by supermom on July 18, 2011

Saturday morning when I logged in, I found an e-mail from Natasha over at Scraps-A-Plenty saying that I’d won the traveling stash.  Yeah!!!

For anyone not familiar with the idea of the traveling stash; it’s a box of quilt fabrics that is mailed from person to person.  Due to mailing costs this particular one only travels around the US.

If you’re the lucky winner, when the box arrives at your place, you open it and pick out some fabrics that you’d like to add to your stash.   And then you fill the box back up with fabrics from your own stash; fabrics leftover from quilts you’ve made or perhaps fabric that you bought and never got around to using or fabric that you bought and loved at the time but now your tastes have changed.  You can also add quilt patterns or notions.

And then once you’ve made your choices and refilled the box, you hold a giveaway to determine who gets the box next.

Yes, that means I’ll be hosting a giveaway in the near future.  So if you’ve been following the traveling stash in the hopes of winning it or if you’re new to the idea (like I was) and would like a chance to win, be sure to check back in the next week or so for my giveaway post.

Natasha posted photos of some of the lovely things she added to the stash and let me tell you if that’s any indication of what I’ll find in the rest of the box,  I’m going to really enjoy just browsing through all that fabric goodness.

I’ve already started searching through some of my stash to see what things I can add to replace anything that I might take out.

This is going to be such fun!

Oh and speaking of fun… don’t forget that July 22nd is the monthly Friday Night Sew-In co-hosted by Heidi over at Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi from Crafty Vegas Mom.  They should have the sign-up post for FNSI up soon.

Handmade by Heidi

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Baking When the Temperatures Soar

Posted by supermom on July 17, 2011

The past couple of days, our area has gotten a bit of a reprieve from the excessive heat that the Southern States have been experiencing.  But the temperatures are due to head back into the 90s later this week though hopefully not the high 90s we had been enduring.

Usually when the summer heat hits, I take a break from baking and settle for buying bread and the occasional baked goods, but with a loaf of good quality whole grain bread starting at $3/loaf, this summer I’ve decided to continue baking all our bread.

But we wouldn’t see much savings if instead of paying for expensive bread we paid extra on our power bill for air conditioning a house heated up even further by having the oven turned on.

My solution is to use the roaster oven that is usually reserved for cooking the holiday turkey or ham or when cooking down large batches of sauce prior to canning.   I simply plug it in outside on the front porch.

I place a rack in the bottom to lift the loaf pans and prevent the bottom of the loaves from baking too fast.

Ours is an 18 quart oven so I can fit between two and three loaves in at one time depending on the size of loaf pan I’m using.

My recipe for mult-grain bread makes five 1.4 lb loaves baked in 8” X 4” pans.  So I do one batch with 3 as pictured above.

And one batch with 2.

It does take between 5 and 10 minutes longer for each batch to bake in the roaster oven as compared to our regular oven so I’ve had to experiment a bit to find the best baking time.

The oven does a wonderful job of producing nicely browned, freshly baked loaves at a fraction of the cost of store bought.

Oh and as a bonus, I can also fit one of my twelve cup cupcake pans in the oven, as well.

Posted in Budget Savers | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Getting Things Done – 5 Lawn Chair Cushions Completed

Posted by supermom on July 13, 2011

Last week, for WIP Wednesday, I posted pictures of the lawn chair cushions that I was in the process of making.  Well this Wednesday, I can report that the lawn chair cushions have been moved to the 2011 – Projects Completed list.

Here’s a before picture.

We'd already removed the buttons from these two before I thought to get the camera to take a picture of them.

Of the 5, the one on the left was in the best condition and the one on the right was in the worst.  The others were in varying condition between those two extremes.

A comparison picture… before and after.

When I was editing that picture to downsize it, I realized that we’d put the cushion in the chair backwards, but as the cushions are all finished now, it’s too late to take another before and after, so here’s a better picture of one of the finished cushions in the chair with the cushion facing the way its supposed to.

To keep this project as economical as possible we reused the batting (after washing it) from all but the seat of the worst cushion and I also covered the old buttons with the main upholstery fabric so that we could reuse those.

I’m working on a how-to post detailing the steps I took when recovering the lawn chair cushions… from making the pattern to cutting the fabric to sewing the cushions together.

And here are the lawn chairs with their newly recovered cushions.

We can once again use all 5 of our lawn chairs.  I may have to invite the neighbours over for a cold drink and a visit on the front porch, just so that I can to show them off.

Posted in Budget Savers, Conserving Resources, Sewing | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

The Singer Art Deco Cabinet is Finished

Posted by supermom on July 10, 2011

I mentioned in my post last Wednesday that Dave completed refinishing the Art Deco Cabinet for my Singer 15-91 and as promised the following post is loaded with photos.

It’s been challenging to get good pictures of the cabinet and I’m not sure that these do it justice.  Dave did an amazing refinishing job and the cabinet is really stunning when seen in person.

There remain a few “imperfections” where the years had taken it’s toll on the cabinet; a chip in the veneer under the left hand drawer, a dent in the wood of the left hand extending leaf where someone had tried to close it while the machine was still in the upright position… little things like that Dave decided to leave untouched because to attempt to repair them might have caused irreparable damage to the cabinet itself.

The refinishing was done in the garage so before we brought the cabinet in the house we took some pictures of it out on the driveway to try to catch the early morning sun.

In this picture you can see how even the brass hinges have been cleaned and returned to their original beauty.

Dave also replaced all the felt pads with new ones as the originals had gotten hard and worn with time and weren’t providing any cushioning when the leafs were open.

I’ve been using the machine in it’s new cabinet for a week now but we couldn’t get good photos as it was positioned in the room, so Dave moved it temporarily so that we could have the light from the one window in that room.  One thing is for sure, we don’t want to have to move the cabinet too often now, because with the machine in it, it is really heavy.

Another shot of the front of the Art Deco cabinet.

And here is my Singer 15-91 in her new home.

Excuse the blue low tack painters tape you see on the needle plate.  I’m using it as a temporary seam guide until the new Adhesive Needle Throat Plate markings arrive that I’ve ordered from Sew Classic.

And we can’t forget that Dave also refinished the bench seat that came with the cabinet.

He even recovered the cushion with fabric from my stash.

In this picture and the one above, we turned the flash off so that you could see a truer representation of the fabric on the cushion and in this second one…  a bit more clearly the detail of the black strip at the bottom.

Another unique touch that Dave added, at my request, are the spool holders he inserted into the middle drawer on the right hand side of the cabinet.  Each spool rod holds a tall spool with room for its matching bobbin on top.

And before someone notices and mentions it, yes, I know that two of the bobbins are plastic bobbins and can’t be used in the 15-91.   I popped them in there just for demonstration purposes.    The Simplicity Sidewinder Bobbin Winder that our son gave me for Christmas is going to come in handy for rewinding bobbins as I change thread back and forth between my two machines.

One final picture of the cabinet where it now sits ready for me to finish sewing the lawn chair cushions and countless other projects I have planned for the future.



Before pictures of the cabinet can be seen in my post Art Deco Cabinet for My Singer 15-91. 

For an in-progress picture check out Art Deco Cabinet – Some Dis-Assembly Required.


This post has been added to Furniture Feature Friday over at Miss Mustard Seed

Posted in Sewing | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

WIP Wednesday – New Lawn Chair Cushions

Posted by supermom on July 6, 2011

Another of the major projects that I wanted to get done this year was recovering the cushions for our lawn chairs.  We bought the set of 5 chairs in the fall of the year 2000 when we first moved to Maui to give us something to sit on (both out on the lanai and inside the house) while we waited for our furniture to arrive from Alberta, Canada.  They’ve been through two moves since, all sorts of weather conditions and were looking much the worse for wear.

This past weekend, I carefully unpicked the seams on one of the cushions so that I could use the pieces to make a pattern.  Once I had that done, it was time to start cutting and sewing.

So far, I’ve got one completed except for replacing the buttons on the back of the cushion and two more seats and backs waiting to be sewn together.

I’m reusing the batting (after giving it a wash) from all but one of the cushions as that one was in the worst condition of the lot.  Each cushion had four buttons, front and back so I’ll also be covering all those with new matching fabric before reinstalling them.

This is the first major project for which I’ve been using my Singer 15-91.  Which means, that yes, Dave has completed refinishing the Art Deco cabinet and you can look for a photo laden post later this week.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the 15-91 sews.   While my modern Singer would have been able to handle sewing the cushions covers, there’s no way I would have even attempted to then sew those cushions together using it.   However, the 15-91 handled the four layers of upholstery fabric without any hesitation.  Due to the bulk of the cushions it was awkward getting them in position to sew and that did become a two person job.   Dave held the cushions in position while I guided the ends through the sewing machine.

I’m hoping to have this project finished by the end of this week.  Now that I’ve seen how beautifully the 15-91 handles this kind of project, I can’t wait to try her out on the other projects I’ve got on my 2011 list.

This post has been added to WIP Wednesday #34 over at Freshly Pieced

Posted in Budget Savers, Conserving Resources, Sewing | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »