Easy and Inexpensive Shoe Storage

Sometimes you have to go for the easy win... in this case the easy project to make you feel like you are making some sort of freaking progress in getting organized!

I have a lot of big projects in the works right now but while they are all going well it does feel chaotic for sure and much less than restful!

For that reason  I am extra thrilled with tonight's "easy win" of getting my over flow of shoes organized!

Yep just call me Imelda, I love shoes and had run out of places to keep them in my closet. After weeding out those that were ready to go to donation I set up possibly the easiest way to make extra shoe room in a bookcase or cabinet.

As luck would have it the large wall in my bedroom is lined with built in bookshelves that have doors  on the bottoms. These were holding an odd ball assortment of junk but not really being USED in a effective manner.. but now they are!

While not very deep they were just fine even for my size 10 shoes but there was a lot of wasted space when the shoes were just on the shelves or I ended up piling them up and then they tumbled out and on to my bedroom floor... no good.

Enter a stroke of brilliance which was lit as I trolled through Pinterest ( who says I waste time there!) where I saw a pin using a tension rod to hold up rolls of wrapping paper and that got me thinking...


So a quick run to the home center and 4 tension rods later I mounted the rods in the cabinet and this made extra "shelves" on each level for more shoes!

I was not able to find my preferred heavy-duty rods ( they are more oval as opposed to round) but so far the bronze regular duty are working fine..

1 cabinet + 4 tension rods = 24 pairs of shoes organized!

Matte Eyeshadow - And Now We Are 45

With the celebration of my 45th birthday I also took the time to clean out my makeup drawer of all the colors and types of make up that no longer flatter my face.

While over all I am " holding up" pretty well I can see and feel my aging around my eyes. Skin that was once firm is now getting softer and we wee bit crepey ( is that even a word?)... you know.. thinner and it sort of moves when you push it...eeewwwww

This is NOT skin for which frosted eye shadow is a friend. Frosted eye shadow is for the young and firm.. do not let them tell you otherwise. Eye shadow with any amount of shine or sparkle is like a spotlight on what you would rather hide!

Matte eyeshadow with good pigmentation is what you are looking for.  I happen to currently love L'Oreal  Infallible in Sultry Smoke since it is very smooth and the price is right at $6.. although oddly I think they might have changed it to a shimmer.. so check before you buy!

and who knew.. I am not the only crazy out there talking about this!

We have some winners!

We have 3 winners to the drawing for the wonderful thread card from Fil-Tec!!..

 Mandy Applebee




If you are on FB you can see the video of the drawing :)

Congrats ladies and please contact me at maddie6@bellsouth.net  so I can get your address and send you your goodies!

And Now We Are 45

Happy Birthday to me!

I was super excited to turn 40 and by all indications 45 is going to be even more amazing so bring it on baby!

Thread Color Cards- Why you need them!

One of the first question most quilters have when getting a new machine either  domestic or Longarm has to do with thread.  What thread is the best? who has the best price and  most of all..


I suspect less heated conversations have been had about just about any topic than when you get a bunch of quilters in a room to talk about thread.. everyone has their favorite and  lets just get it out of the way to say that we are not all going to agree about which thread to buy.

Without inciting a riot I think we can be safe in saying that for all sewing you should avoid cheap thread. Stick with name brands and take the advice of those around you and try out a couple of types first before going whole hog and buying the whole color collection.

But once you DO find the thread you love or at least one of the brands you love go ahead and spring for a color card that has real thread wraps on it not just printed dots of the colors in that thread line. Real thread cards make matching selecting or just dreaming about new thread a much more fruitful experience.

Now I am not going to lie, I am pretty much over the moon with Fil-Tec threads. They run like butter in all my machines so rather than fuss with anything else I have stuck with them and not been disappointed.

For that reason the first color cards I grab for when starting any project are from Fil-Tec. No matter if I am looking for something with a nice soft sheen like Glide or the look of cotton like Premo- Soft or even 100% cotton like Cairo-quilt they are my first choices when it comes to thread.

Luckily all thread companies provide thread cards for their line but most come with a price tag that I do find it well worth paying, after all it takes time and manpower to wind all those little pieces of thread around those sample boards don't you know! This price often makes people hesitant to get the cards..but please do.. you will not regret it..

But maybe you can win it!

Lucky lucky duckies.... I asked the fine folks at Fil-Tec to send me some cards that I could send to a couple of my lucky readers and they said yes!   So here is the deal..  Between now and Friday leave your name and a way to contact you in the comments and you will be in the drawing for one of the the real thread color cards from Fil-Tec and well as a surprise from Fil-Tec and myself...  Very fun!

p.s. I don't work for Fil-Tec but they have been super marvy about supporting and giving swag to my readers so go show them some love or if you don't know much about them learn more over at their Facebook page or their website. 

Dairy Free Ice Cream - A Scoopable Dream

Pioneer Woman would have taken a much better picture, but it was 9pm and this was the best I could do! 

Honestly I never intended Domestic Anarchy to be a food blog.. so if food is not your thing check back early next week since I am painting our study this weekend and will be showing off that project.

For the rest of you.. come close..closer... I have found the secret to amazing Ice Cream that is not only sugar free but also egg free and dairy free.. oh and also Gluten free.

It all starts with a can of coconut milk. You will find this in the Asian food section of your grocery.. NOT in the section with drink mixes ( that is coconut cream and it has added sugar and thickeners including dairy and gluten!)

Tonight we made Chocolate Almond Coconut IceDream ( because there is no CREAM in there!)

This is all really easy and really quick if you are just making enough for 4 people. This stuff is so rich that you will be serving it in really little bowls.. even teacup would be the right size for a serving!

Chocolate Almond Coconut IceDream
1 can  coconut milk ( put in fridge for about an hour is you remember.. if not no worries)
2 tsp freeze dried coffee ( boosts the chocolate flavor which can be dull when cold)
2 Tablespoon extra dark coco powder
1/4 cup Xylitol ( or other sugar substitute such as MonkFruit powder)
1/8 cup dried coconut flakes - from the health food store, not the Angle Flake stuff.
1/4-1/2 cup crushed roasted almonds
1 tsp Vanilla extract

In a small bowl mix together the  freeze dried coffee, the coco powder the coconut flakes, to that add just enough  coconut water to mix, dissolve and reconstitute the flakes Let this sit for up to 20 minutes, test a small flake it should plump up and not be crunchy..- now add the vanilla.  

Now add the can of the rest of the coconut milk, and non-sugar to the  chocolate mixture.. mix and then dump into your ice cream mixer add the nuts and let it go until ready!

Please note I have revised this recipe.. if you let the chocolate and coconut flake mixture sit long enough it will  get soft so no need for the boiling water I used before.  AMAZING!!!

* with this size portion it only took 15 minutes and it was at soft serve stage
**For grins I checked my blood sugar afterwards..  at 1 hour it was 140 which if this had been real Icecream it would have been well over 300 for me. 

Pickled Red Onions

OMG!  I am totally having a love affair with pickled onions.. a hot tawdry romp through the kitchen which will most likely be thrown over some other food soon enough but for now... I am in love! and best ever is that they are just fine to have even on my current elimination schedule! wooo hoooo!

Want to make some?  There are lots and lots of recipes out there and mine is sort of a mash up of the "hot" versions. Hot- meaning they are brined in hot liquid not cold.  I like the the softer flavor you get with a hot brine.. turns them into something so much more than just red onions!

I do small batches of them since this is not true canning since I am not doing a water bath for the cans.. which means these can live in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks with ease but NOT in the pantry cabinet.
How to Make Pickled Red Onions

Taking 1 super large red onion peel and slice into rings, thick or thin your choice. Mean while in a pan bring to a boil 1 cut regular vinegar and 1 cup apple cider vinegar.  If you do real sugar add 1/8 of a cup now, if you use any other type add it at the end. If you want a more south of the border flavor ditch the sugar and add orange juice.

Drop about 1/3 of the rings from one large onion into the brine and let it come back to boil.. let it boil for about 20 seconds and then remove the rings to a clean jar.. keep doing this until the rings all all blanched in this way. When done (add small amount of alternative sugar if needed) and then pour leftover brine into jar(s) of the onions.

Put on lids and let them cool a bit and then place in the refrigerator to cool and mellow.. they are ready to eat/use at any time.

How to Serve Pickled Red Onions

I have been loving these onions in many ways and luckily the pickling process make them very easily digestible for almost everyone - just this week we had them:

Served on pulled pork tacos - AMAZING

In a Blood Orange and pickled Red Onion salad with spinach and almonds - OMG!

All right.. so that is it.. you MUST try these and tell me what you think!

The Deluxe Dainty Ditcher - My New Love.

Sometimes a girl just needs a little more control.. and that is just what I am getting with my new little  Deluxe Danity Ditcher  for use with my Longarm quilting machine.

This fantastic little gem of a ruler was part of my Christmas swag from the handsome husband himself ( he is really rather amazing if I do say so myself!) and I could not be more excited to get to use it!

This ruler is small but mighty with 1/4 inch lines and a slanted tab that make it easy to grip when you have lots of pesky little bits you need to finesses but don't need or want something big getting in the way of your quilting.

For me this ruler fits the bill when I am mostly doing free motion work but need to hit  small sections of straight line and am too lazy to put on my extended base. Being so small you are actually working in the area that is supported by the arm of the machine so there is not an issue with tipping, skipping or jumping or lord forbid cracking the ruler by running the machine onto it!

For added non-slip assurance I spray my rulers with 505 spray so the light tack keeps them in place without worry. ( You can also do this with flat glue dots)

Since I am famous for modification of just about everything ( recipes, patterns, plans) the DDD was no different. As it turns out the way I grip the DDD presses the  corners of the ruler into the palm of my hand but this is a problem that was easily solved. 

All that was needed was a couple swipes with a sponge block sander and then edges were rounded off and then comfy in the palm of my hand. 

Just small thing really but when you will have a tool in your hand for possibly hours a week it is  best that it fits just right!

Really I could not be more thrilled with this ruler and  should it ever go missing it is one I would replace in a heartbeat!  If you are a longarm quilter who does custom work I suspect you would love it too.. so go take a look!  ..while you are there I will also say that I sort of have a crush on the Apple a Day ruler as well.. so don't miss that if you are going to place an order!

ps.  This is an uncompensated post.. I just happen to really like this ruler. and it is good karma to share!

Virginal Chicken Wraps

Yes, they were as good as they look!

So back home from vacation and into the kitchen...  learning yet another new way to cook with foods that do not cause sensitivities. I learned early last year that wheat was not my friend but I suspect there is more to it so now I am getting rid of diary, eggs, soy, peanuts, sugar (and fake sugars) also soy as well as gluten.  As a jumping off point I am starting with JJVirgins newest book.

I am going to admit it.. I had been avoiding looking at this book totally based on the title..   The Virgin Diet:  I had heard some good stuff about it but the title... yeh I know  rather shallow, judging a book by it's cover and all that but if you saw a book called The HornDog Diet would you pick it up ?... well anyway.. shame on me!

So.. as the story goes I was stuck in the airport for 2 hours with nothing more I wanted to do and my hands were aching and swollen making knitting and sewing hard so I wandered over to the book store looking for a magazine.. no luck..but I saw this damn book again so I thought I would at least pick it up and skim it.. well a few minutes later I was coughing up my money and settling in to give it a read.

Here it is in a very simple nut-shell.  There are foods that as a population many of us are becoming more sensitive to. These foods are affecting out moods, our bodies and our weight. And while these are not outright allergies ( like those who stop breathing around peanuts) they are causing many adverse symptoms such as joint pain, foggy thinking, back pain, swelling and more.. and by more I am taking the type of tummy trouble that we don't talk about in polite company!

This laundry list of obscure pains was my own personal checklist of complaints for the past 6-7 years, getting worse all the time and yet while I would test very high for auto immune issues ( like Lupus) nothing was a perfect fit so doctors would just shake their head at me.. give me pain pills or think I was crazy/lazy.

This book and the author JJ. Virgin  put forth the idea that but pulling 7 of the biggest food culprits out of your own diet you can then start  you on the path to figure out why you hurt and why you can't lose weight.

Of course when you are removing diary, eggs, soy, peanuts, sugar (and fake sugars) gluten it can feel like you have nothing left to eat so my new challenge is to make meals my family wants to eat and that will help in my healing process.

The book does have a starter guide for foods to eat as well as a helpful shopping list since honestly, gluten, eggs and soy are in EVERYTHING we eat these days.. so lots of label reading is called for.

On my part I like this sort of challenge so am embracing this as a chance to learn even more about how my body works as well as making some amazingly healthy meals.

Today I made what I am calling Virginal Chicken Wraps.   I cooked the chicken last night so it all went together really fast today and they were amazing and quite filling.  I made enough for another lunch so that will also save time!

Want to make this as well?... if so..

Organic chicken breasts cooked in the oven with 2 cloves of garlic,  some Ghee and some Coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce.  ( I did this the night before) - chop up in Food processor
2 carrots- diced very fine
5 scallions - diced
2 large handfulls of Cilantro diced.
1 can chopped water chestnuts
Handful of chopped cashews

Using coconut oil  saute carrots until a bit softer but not mushy.. Throw in chicken, scallions, nuts, chesnuts and a splash more of the coconut aminos.. stir until hot.. then add the cilantro. Serve in lettuce wraps with or without rice noodles.


End of Days Fanny Pack

Please say I am not the only one who does this...  mere hours or days before some big event I decide that I need to make something for it..  Totally makes no sense and yet today finds me making a Fanny Pack!

Yes, jump in your time machine and come back with me to when fanny packs were cool and not called "hip bags" with an equally organic price attached!

Actually price and style is what drove me to make my own.. given that I decided I needed one at the last moment the only place to get one was the local high-end outdoor place..

 HOLY CRAP.. $100 for an all weather waterproof fanny pack??.. I was going to frolic with a big mouse not scale Mt. Everest!

So a quick Google search ended me up at the page of Daisy Jane who had walked this path before me and  had developed a nifty little pattern that looked like a great jumping off spot.

Of course I could not leave well enough alone ( I am like that), and I had to use what I had on hand per my 3365 Challenge rules for this year,  so while not exactly like Daisy Jane's I am loving what I came up with.

I used 3 types of Flea Market Fancy Fabric from my stash, some left over webbing from making dog collars, a parachute  buckle and the lucky find of an orange and a grey zipper in my stash. ( Alas the orange zipper was of the "invisible" variety but I made it work)

I added a bit of padding and structure to mine with some craft felt between the back layers and on the side tabs.

I did a partially exposed zipper on the inside pocket just for fun and I gathered the front instead of pleating it just for the hell of it.

How's this for a craptastic in a rush photo??

The fit curves really well over my own curves.. so I think we have a winner??  I *might* be forced to make another...

What about you... fanny pack or no???

New Year, New Hair, Fringe in 2013

Creative camera angles to hid mammoth zit on right side of chin!

So I did it.. no more fakies, I finally got my bangs cut for real!  I am loving them and all the new potential I have with my hair.

This is a good thing since honestly today could have really sucked. I stepped on the scale today to find that a month of being sick has brought with it 10 pounds of gained weight..

While the number was a bit bracing it was not a big surprise. Comfort eating including grains has  been the equivalent  of pulling the rip cord on my personal flotation devise ~sigh~

This could mean sulking around looking like crap but I have decided to go in the other direction.. a bit more attention to what I wear, my hair and my make-up as I also clean up my diet and get back to our grain free lifestyle. ( My gut and joints will also be thanking me, since while I love the taste of bread nothing else about my body loves it)

 To feel better I pulled on my Cinnamon Cookie sweater and got busy doing my new hair.  I am one lucky mama, my daughter cut in my fringe ( such a nicer word than bangs- don't you agree??) and now I am having fun trying out hair styles that I was not able to do before.

Today I went with an updo, that involves a teased bump and braids... I found it on the Keiko Lynn blog.

As I find them and try them I am going to posting up tutorials I love and that WORK. If you want to see those feel free to follow my Hair I love board on Pinterest  or feel free pin my post to your own board for future reference.

So.. doing anything fun with your hair these days??

Mason Jar Lighting

A quick troll through Pinterest while searching for Mason Jar lighting will bring back a lot of pretty pictures but many of the links are dead and those that do lead somewhere often are rather sketchy about what they did to make their lighting happen.  Or worse yet use some dangerous short cuts and dubious cutting technique to make things work. 

First rule of DIY when you are talking Electricity- KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

I did not have my heart set on a mason jar fixture when I started on the hunt for new lighting for my crafting studio. I wanted just about anything that was not the totally fugly florescent fixture that was in this space back from about 1980.

 I first hunted at my local Re-Store but holy crap.. $80-$100 for an UGLY brass fixture?? hello I could buy new for that price.  So while trolling around Lowes with nothing really striking my fancy I took a spin back to the area in my Lowes where they dump the returns and discontinued items as well as sesonal markdowns. 

This is a hit and miss section at best.. but on this day it was a hit.  I found this  3-light Round Mini Pendant fixture..   

 It is normally $50 but had been returned and  they said it had missing parts so it was marked to $20.  I opened it up.. laid it all out and could not find anything missing ( pays to know what you are looking for!) - SOLD

Now this fixture was made so that you can then add any of their blown glass shades at between $10 and $30 each and some were quite nice but not what I was going for.. that is when I flashed back on Mason Jar lighting. 3 large Mason Jars  later I was ready to get to work!

Making the connection between the jar and the fixture is the most baffling part for most people but with a bit of crafty know how it was not hard at all.

You will need the jars you want to use ( with tops and rings) and a metal punch. Mine is the We R Memory Keepers - Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite  I would never craft without this thing.. hands down one of my top 5 tools.

This is where you will be making the connection to hook the jar to the fixture.  Unscrew this white nut, you will be using it to mark the hole you need to make on the top of your jar.

Using a Sharpie mark the INSIDE of the ring..you don't want this too big! 

Now punch around the ring.. skipping spots as you go around.. aim to be making your hole a bit but not a lot bigger.  After the first round of punches then do it again cutting the center part free. By doing it this way you will not distort the top of the lid!!

 Now you have an opening that looks like a very strong mouse has nibbled it away.. it will be sharp.. so be careful!  While punching, add smaller holes around the  edge to release heat from the  jar. 

Slip the  mason jar RING onto the fixture then the top with the hole punched in it and secure with the white nut you used to draw the circle. You can see here that the holes are to the outside so they will allow heat exchange.

Check things out by slipping the ring down and screwing it on the jar.. perfect!  ( do not hang it with the jar attached.. re-attach the  bulbs and jars after you mount the  ceiling  pendant part of the fixture. )

Possibly the easiest project I have done in a while.. and it casts happy sparkling light around the room and I love that!

Are you thinking about a Mason Jar lighting project??  If so remember to Pin this so you will know here to find it when you are ready!