finished table with cutting and ironing tools

Fabric cutting and ironing station (Ikea Hack)

I’ve been reading lots of sewing books lately, and one common theme is to have a cutting station that’s counter-height to ease back strain. This makes sense — my back has been pretty achy from leaning over my desk to cut fabric. And my ironing board is rather wobbly and really un-fun to use, so I wanted to incorporate a pressing station into the cutting station. A quick search online for ideas led me to craft room Ikea hacks and lots of promise. Since we already had two Expedit (now Kallax) 2×2 cubes, that sounded like a good direction. I particularly liked this…

Seasoned cast iron skillet

Seasoning the cast iron skillets

We bought two cast iron skillets for camping a few years back, and I had basically relegated them to “not good enough for the kitchen”, except for cooking homemade corn tortillas. But then I got a double-burner griddle which took over tortilla duty. During a kitchen deep-clean last week (which started with an oven window that was completely caked with gunk and useless) I did some investigating and learned that a properly seasoned and cared-for cast iron skillet can be a wonderful thing. Some cooks rank it at the top of their equipment lineup, so I wanted to see if I could get mine…

Simple canvas ticking apron project

Canvas Ticking Apron

Sewing is one of those things I come back to every now and again. And after recently watching a wonderful class on Craftsy.com called “Sew Ready: Machine Basics” it got me amped up to sew something, specifically something useful. I’ve had to bust out the stain remover lately because of the way I like to make pizza sauce — by squeezing out the seeds and juice from canned tomatoes before breaking them into small pieces. Inevitably some of that juice ends up on my clothes, making an apron the perfect sewing project. When searching for good pattern options, I came across…

Basil and oregano in pots

Indoor herb garden

I’m starting my indoor herb garden with basil and oregano. I love fresh basil on Italian dishes but hate paying the high cost of a little clamshell of fresh basil at the store. And while I’ve never cooked with fresh oregano, I find myself reaching for the dried oregano often for salad dressings and sandwiches. We already enjoyed a few leaves of each on last night’s pizza. They’re situated near a south-facing window that’s been letting lots of light in as we get into autumn. I just hope I can keep these little guys alive despite my lack of a…