inbox inquiry: sewing patterns

| inbox inquiry

inbox inquiry
time for an inbox inquiry! this one comes from my good friend, tammie. make sure to share your suggestions in the comments section!

easy sewing patterns

hi tammie! i am so happy to hear you're getting into sewing! i think you'll love it. :) i don't often use traditional 'patterns' but i do have several favorite pattern books, here they are!

lotta jandotter

simple sewing by lotta jansdotter. this was one of my first ever sewing books, and i loved every pattern in it! it holds a collection of 24 of her most popular sewing patterns with each pattern neatly tucked into a folder inside. you can use them over and over!
weekend sewingweekend sewing by heather ross. creative projects for clothing, accessories, and home items that can be made in a weekend or less. the sewing instructions are beautifully illustrated, and patterns for the projects are included on pullout sheets.
in stitchesin stitches by amy butler. my all time favorite designer! in this pattern book amy brings her fresh, modern style to the timeless craft of sewing. she presents more than 25 charming projects ranging from cushy floor cushions to smart aprons to stylish handbags.
bend the rules sewingbend the rules sewing by amy karol. a great book for novice sewers who are seeking something a little more modern. this book has a clear, down-to-earth sewing guidebook that includes 30 great projects.
seams to meseams to me by anna maria horner. illustrated in glorious color and sprinkled with her vibrant energetic fabric designs, this book explains sewing fundamentals in a refreshing style.
sew & stowsew and stow by betty oppenheimer. 30 exciting sewing projects - including grocery totes, lunch bags, aprons, dog beds, laundry bags, and yoga mat totes. these projects will help you get organized and help the planet with a wide assortment of reusable totes, carry-alls, and shopping bags.
readers: do you have any favorite sewing patterns or books? we would love to hear about them!

sponsor welcome: ahoy! graphics

| sponsor welcome

sponsor welcome: ahoy graphics
ready to take your business to the next step? kristen hodges is a creative graphic designer that can help bring the vision you have for your online shop to life. her graphic design business, ahoy! graphics concentrates on the handmade community and offers business branding and design for everything from your blog to your etsy shop. aren't her designs adorable? with affordable rates, quick turnarounds and beautiful designs, it's time to take your biz concepts to the next level!

visit ahoy! graphics: {shop}{blog}{site}

interested in advertising on going home to roost? click here to download the sparkly new media kit!

skip the paper towels

| simple living

i haven't bought a roll of paper towels in 5 years. many years ago when i started learning about our environment and what effect we have on it, i quickly felt a personal responsibility to reduce my impact. first on the list was to cut out any unnecessary items. what was first? paper towels! they are a convenience we simply can't afford. we just don't need 'em. here are some quick statistics:

- americans send 3,000 tons of paper towels to landfills each day.

- 51,000 trees per day are required to replace the number of paper towels that are discarded every day.

- the paper industry is the third largest contributor to global warming.

ready for the solution? switch to cute cloth napkins and dish towels!

vintage napkins
if your household uses one roll of paper towels per week, you could save more than $100 per year by switching to dishcloths, tea towels and napkins. plus, how darling is it to hand out cute vintage napkins to your guests rather than paper towels?!

think you can make the switch?

vintage napkins:

{row 1: 60's neon splash napkins, gray and burgundy napkins, vintage napkins}
{row 2: rust rose circa 1950, lime green linen dinner napkins, mod rust and brown linen napkins}
{row 3: turquoise and fruit napkins, vintage earthtoned colored napkins, linen harvest dinner napkins}

simple living
resources: 1800recycling, a lighter footprint

{the best} chocolate chip cookies

| seasonal recipes

i'm pretty sure i married the cookie monster. personally, i'm a brownie kinda gal, but one thing's for sure- i definitely married into a cookie family. and i count that as a good thing, as i've grown to appreciate the scrumptious rounds tremendously.

best chocolate chip cookies

this is my mom-in-law (aka cookie queen)'s recipe, and it's tried, true, and totally delicious. at her house, they are made at least 2-3x a week, and though it's much less at our house (sorry, dave!) they are definitely our favorite dessert.

of course, we were a bit frightened about what our latest vegan adventure would mean for this favorite recipe, but i'm happy to say that with a few vegan substitutes they turned out just as good- honestly! i couldn't believe it.. below, i'll give you the original recipe as well as our vegan substitutes. yum yum!


- 1 cup butter {vegan sub: earth balance butter}
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
mix above ingredients in an electric mixer.

- 2 eggs {vegan sub: 1/2 cup of apple sauce OR 2 flax eggs}
mix again!

- 2-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt

- 12 oz vegan chocolate chips and mix

spoon out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 12-15 mins- enjoy!

little brown pen

| photography

little brown penthis morning i feel as though i've strolled the streets of paris, visted market after market and filled my bicycle basket to the rim with fresh cut flowers- all from the comfort of my own desk! little brown pen is a creative studio by evan and nichole robertson in paris, france, and i think the way they capture the country's beauty is stunning. with an eye for pops of color, you can follow their paris color project where they tell stories of color in the city of light.
elsewhere: {shop}{site}{blog}{facebook}

DIY Vanilla Extract with Ashley Pahl

| cooking ideas | DIY projects

a note from bonnie! happy monday, lovelies! since ashley pahl's drink recipes have been such a huge hit, i'm very excited to share with you today that she's coming on board as a weekly contributor- this time for a weekly diy project! to learn more about her (and just how adorably-sweet she is) make sure to head on over to her blog, indie pretty projects and check out her lovely etsy shop as well. now, won't you join me in a big warm welcome for her?


lemon poppy seeds

I've been cooking a lot more lately, and I've just started to realize how expensive real vanilla extract is - almost $4.00 for one ounce! Long ago I saw a recipe for DIY vanilla extract, and it's amazing how easy and cost effective it is - it came out to $1.01 per ounce! This would be even cheaper if you bought ingredients in bulk.


1 vanilla bean

3 ounces of vodka

air-tight container


Starting 1/2" from top of vanilla bean, slice length-wise down the bean, and stop 1/2" from bottom of bean. fold bean in half, and place in air-tight container. Fill the container to the top with vodka. Store in a dark place for two months, when it is ready to use. Shake occasionally.

Glass containers with corks would work perfectly - I used a plastic, screw-top bottle I picked up at Hobby Lobby. Handmade vanilla extract makes a fantastic gift - even after the extract is used up, the bottle with the bean still in it can be re-filled with vodka to make extract again.

My extract started out clear as vodka, but within two days it has already darkened some - I can't wait to try it out in a couple of months.

Have you tried making your own vanilla extract before? How did it turn out? Have you tried making any other kinds of extract for cooking?

ashley paul indie pretty projectOut to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

sponsor welcome: starshaped press

| sponsor welcome

starshaped press
starshaped press takes me back to a simpler time. all of their work is letterpress the old school way, as they use beautiful antique metal and wood typefaces and ornaments. no computers here! and the results are both timeless and outstanding.

starshaped press
this every heart beat print is extra-special. all of the proceeds from this $10 print will be going to the stella b foundation in buffalo, ny where two of the starshaped press ladies will be participating in a 5k this may. the foundation helps families with children fighting long term or terminal medical conditions. in fact, it's helped jen's little niece who has heart disease travel to get to one of her pediatric cardiologists. what a wonderful foundation to support!