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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Creative Kids Camp Summer Sessions 2016

Now accepting reservations for five day summer sewing camp. Sessions are for boys and girls ages 7-16. First session is June 20-24, 2016,  Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until noon. Bring your own machine or use one of mine. I will only be accepting 8 students per session. The cost is only $129 for the full week.

Just put your name (not the child's) in the box below and click the "pay now" button to reserve your child's space. It's that simple!

HURRY!!! Space is limited!!!

Enter parent/ guardian name:
Visit my Facebook pages (see links below pictures) to learn more about me and to get recommendations from parents and students. I'm the top sewing instructor in the Clear Lake Bay Area.


Project: Pillowcase with two coordinating fabrics

Skills: Learn to use and thread a sewing machine, pin, measure, cut, sew straight and zig zag stitches, how to read a pattern envelope

Tuesday and Wednesday:

Project: Elastic Waist Pajama Pants using a pattern
Skills:  Learn how to read a pattern, how to take your measurements, how to use a pattern, how to mark fabrics, how to cut out a pattern, how to sew a casing, how to make a hem, how to insert elastic into a casing.


Project: Drawstring Backpack *
Skills: Learn how to read a tutorial, learn how to design your project, how to make and attach a pocket, how to design projects without a pattern, measuring, cutting, pinning, sizing.


Project: Lined Zipper Pouch/ Pencil Case *
Skills: How to insert a zipper, how to change the size of a zipper, how to line a project, how to sew and trim corners, topstitching for functionality and decoration, how to use a zipper foot, how to change the feet on a sewing machine.

Once you pay to reserve your spot by paying via the Pay Now button above, I will email you a supply list, registration form, address and directions. If you prefer to buy a supply pack from me, please let me know.  If less than 5 sign up for this session, it will be canceled and you will receive a refund.

If you are unable to keep your reservation, you will receive a full refund if you cancel by June 10. If you cancel after June 10, you will be refunded 50% through June 15. Cancellations after June 15 will not receive refunds. Please feel free to email me with any questions.

*Not all students work at the same pace. Accommodations are made so students work at a comfortable pace and finish as many projects as they like. Some students will not finish all projects.

Look at these Creative Kids having fun and making all kinds of things!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sewing Lessons in the Clear Lake, Houston, Galveston, Bay Area 2016

With the holidays in our rear view mirrors, people are taking the time to get back to life and that includes signing up for sewing lessons for kids and adults. Check out the "Sewing Lessons" tab near the top of this page or click this link for details. Please note that prices, which have remained constant for the last five years will be going up March 1. Book your lesson before then to lock in current prices.

If you have any questions, please email Maureen

I would love for you to join me on Facebook!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas when cranberries are easier to find, consider buying a few extra bags to keep in the freezer to use throughout the year. It's nice to have them on hand on mornings like today when I'm craving a cranberry scone.

 My scones are much lighter than what I often find at places like Starbucks and I like them that way. If you don't have fresh cranberries, I bet they'd be great with dried cranberries, too,

Maureen's Cranberry Orange Scones

2 c all purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c sugar
6 Tbs cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 c half and half (reserve 2-3 Tbs to brush before baking)
1 c whole cranberries, roughly chopped
zest of one orange

Optional glaze:
3/4 c confectioners sugar
3-4 Tbs orange juice

Preheat oven to 400º, Sift dry ingredients together in bowl, then cut in butter with pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles course crumbs. Make well in center and add half and half, stirring just until incorporated. Gently fold zest and cranberries into dough. Dough will be very soft and sticky.

Lightly flour surface and place dough on it, then lightly dust surface of dough with flour. Pat dough into a rectangle about 12 inches long by 3 inches wide and cut into four equal rectangles. Cut an X across the diagonal of each of the four pieces, creating four triangles from each one, for a total of 16 triangles. Using spatula or other tool dusted with flour, lift each triangle from surface onto parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Brush each with additional half and half. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

I like to drizzle a glaze on these as soon as they come out of the oven. You can make it in a bowl and drizzle with a spoon. I mix it in a sandwich sized ziplock- type bag, cut a tiny piece out of the corner and let it pour in a nice thin stream from that bag, going back and forth to drizzle the glaze over the scones. Just mix the confectioners sugar with 3 Tbs of orange juice. Add a little more orange juice if it seems to thick to drizzle. That's it. Enjoy!

I also make a raspberry version of these scones. Omit cranberries and zest and substitute 1 cup of frozen raspberries. For glaze, use half and half or milk instead of the orange juice.

Enjoy! Let me know how you like them.

Ridiculously Easy Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread

Have you ever used the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix? At less than 50¢ a box, how can you go wrong? I like jalapeño cornbread. Eric likes anything with cheese. Enter this little box.
Preheat the over to 400. Combine the mix, 1 cup of milk, and 1 egg, stirring briefly with a fork until combined. Stir in about a cup of shredded cheddar and 1/4- 1/2 cup of sliced, pickled jalpeños. Pour batter into greased muffin pans or a brownie pan or whatever you prefer. I melted enough butter to coat the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet and poured my batter in. Sprinkle with more cheddar. Bake for about 15 minutes. That's it! Omit the jalapeños and just use cheese if you prefer.

It goes great with chili or by itself. Enjoy! Let me know if you try it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Drink Up Witches Wine Glasses On SALE now!!!!

You asked and I listened so I'm extending the sale on this "Drink Up Witches" wine glass through Sunday, 10/4. Just $12.95 then they go back to $18.95. Hurry and order!! Just email me with your email address and let me know if you need shipping. That's it. I'll send you an invoice and you'll be good to go. 

For all of the latest sales and offerings, join my new facebook group. It's a closed group which means I have to add you and you are free to order, post, and comment without everyone outside the group seeing what you posted.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Maureen Makes It Marketplace on Facebook

I have a new Facebook page where you can view and purchase the things I make. It's a closed group which simply means that only members can see the page and the posts. Just join and I'll automatically add you. Check out some of my new items.
Maureen Makes It Marketplace

Sewing Lessons 2015 Fall

The schedule for fall lessons is beginning to fill up. Reserve your time as soon as possible. Click on the "Sewing Lessons" tab near the top of the page for details. Lessons offered in the Clear Lake/League City, TX area for all ages and skill levels.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Buying Sewing Supplies: Getting Started Kits

For machine sewing, don't be enticed by pre-packaged sewing kits like these. This are fine for hand sewing.

You will be stuck with products that are of no use to you, mixed in with some you will use.  While you'll use the pin cushion, seam ripper (although you probably got one with your machine), seam gauge, and tape measure, the scissors will be a complete disappointment, the pins are too small, the thread is completely useless for machine sewing, and the needle threader is for hand sewing needles. 

You're better off waiting for a sale or using a coupon and buying your products individually. Buy the best dressmakers shears your budget will allow. Fiskars makes decent sewing scissors at a low price. My favorite scissors are Gingher. They're expensive but fairly reasonable with a sale and/or coupon. They stay sharp and cut beautifully. You don't need to spend much on seam rippers, tape measures, pin cushions, seam gauges, nor pins (although I stongly encourage starting out will ball head pins). They'll all work just fine and are very inexpensive to buy, especially with sales and/or coupons. 

Again, buy individual items, not packaged ones if you can avoid it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Recipe: Mexican Quinoa Bake

Once the mystery of what quinoa is was revealed to me, I was in hot pursuit of recipe ideas. I like to read recipes for inspiration and then do my own thing with them. That's how this recipe came to me and now it's a regular dish in my repertoire.

I'm not going to bore you with a lot of cutesy talk here. This recipe is fantastic, easy, and can be made in one pan in about 30-40 minutes. Just try it. Yeah. It's good!

Maureen's Mexican Quinoa Bake (about 8 servings)

Pam or enough olive oil to coat skillet
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbs  garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, minced (remove seeds if you don't like heat)
1 1/2 c. water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 10 oz can tomatoes with chilis (Rotel, for instance)
1 1/4 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: chopped cilantro and sour cream as toppings

Heat oil/Pam in skillet over medium high heat and add cut up chicken pieces, cooking until browned and nearly cooked through. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add quinoa, water or broth, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Add black beans and cook another 5-8 minutes until quinoa is cooked. Reduce heat to low, cover all ingredients in skillet with cheese, then cover skillet and heat until cheese is melted. (I sometimes put the ingredients in a casserole dish, then add the cheese, bake at 350 for about 10 minutes to melt and brown the cheese).

Serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro on top-- or any other toppings you might like: avocado, pico de gallo, additional cheese, etc.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Product of the Day-- Applique must haves

I couldn't do appliques without a double sided fusible medium. These are the two I like and recommend. I use the Lite Steam a Seam 2 most often.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Product of the Day: Brother XL2600i Sewing Machine

You can get this machine for just $79 on Amazon. It's basic in price but a bit more than basic in features. I has a one step automatic buttonhole feature-- which I always recommend if you can get it. It has a threader and a fairly decent selection of stitches as well, including stretch stitches. There isn't a lot a home sewer, especially a beginner, isn't going to be able to do on this machine. If you want to try sewing but don't want to drop a lot of money, this will get you sewing right away for just a small investment. I have numerous students who have used this machine and they have made everything from children's clothes, to adult clothing, to jackets, Halloween costumes, window treatments, quilts, and more. It even hems jeans with ease, no hesitation getting through that thick denim. Definitely worth a look if you want a budget machine.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product of the Day: Serger

Once you start using a serger, it becomes a sewing essential and you wonder how you ever sewed without it before. It make sewing so much easier and opens the door to do so many new things. I love my serger. This is the one I have. It's not the most high tech serger out there. I don't use the most high tech sewing machines, either. For the price and functionality, I can't say enough good things about this serger. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you want to get started with a serger.

Cleverly Disguised Spammers

I have never done this but it's time to fight back. There are people out there like one named Angela Jackson who leave comments all over the blogosphere and youtube, commenting on bibs in this case, so they can include a link to a product they are trying to push in their seemingly harmless comment. Am I the only one who thinks this is unscrupulous? Beware! I'm OK with people who happen to have a link to their page in their signatures but when you see someone spent the day trolling all over youtube and blogs, posting comments over and over again to deliberately get their link out there, well, I wouldn't do business with them if they paid ME. This is one of the reasons I screen comments on my blog to keep my readers from being exploited.


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