Mmmm… I didn’t cook much on Thanksgiving, just some delicious pumpkin pie from scratch! O, and some fresh cranberries. I ate a big meal with my brother at his house in LA. I had a really relaxing day. Here’s my pie:

Pumpkin Pie and seeds

I baked a couple pumpkins leftover from October Halloween. Then I scraped the pumpkins and pureed the yummy pulp. Mmmm so savory. I had a smaller sugar pumpkin which is better for pie. Save the seeds, clean and bake them with your favorite spices and salt. I mixed 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, some nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger to add to the pumpkin puree. Then just add some creamy milk and fill up your pie. O, my pie crust- I mixed butter and whole wheat graham crackers with a bit of sugar with my hands and just pressed into, yes, my square pan.

pumpikin pie and seeds

What was your favorite thing to make on Thanksgiving? Always, AMY

I’m loving my rooftop patio garden, especially now that my tomatoes are ripening! I would recommend to grow tomatoes. The fruit has so much flavor and they are now ready whenever I feel like one or two. I took a picture of my pots the day I planted the two small tomato plants. One is a blackish red heirloom tomato and the other is a juicy big beef tomato. The organic soil I used comes with food that lasts about 4 weeks. Then I just feed with a handful of organic tomato food every 3-4 weeks. I’ve been watering every day or two since they are in a pretty sunny spot. Growing tomatoes with designer Amy Hall from amykathryn handbags.

Watching the tomatoes ripen each day has been fun but I think it looks better when the progression is all together in these pictures! It was about 60 days until my first tomato ripened. The heirloom tomatoes haven’t ripened yet- and it’s been about 70 days, but it’ll be soon! They are a bit bigger and the plant is bushier. I also planted some basil and lettuce around the tomato vines.  I was always curious on how to grow tomatoes, but it’s just fun and easy.

See the progression of ripening tomatoes

Mmm! I’m having mozzarella, basil and tomato tonight- my favorite! Do you grow tomatoes? Always, AMY

I wasn’t feeling so great yesterday, and I couldn’t think of anything better than cookie dough to make those achy pains go away.

I found a stash of these in the cupboard and put them in the freezer for a half hour.

 

It makes it easier to cut into pieces and stir into the dough when that delicious, melty gooeyness of caramel isn’t all over the place.

I’ve always preferred the old school wooden spoon method over the mixer. This is the butter and sugar step. Start making your cookies when your butter and eggs are room temperature. An extra shake of salt, tablespoon of sugar and a dash of almond extract has never hurt a chocolate chip cookie batch.

Yum! Very sugary with the caramel and milk chocolate.

Yes, I have mint tile kitchen counter tops in my apartment from 1929. Love ‘em! Always, AMY

You can grow your own lettuce garden super easy! I picked up this old crate box from the Rose Bowl Flea Market a bit ago. Then I waxed the wood to preserve it. Use any container or box you think is cool. Line the sides and bottom with plastic garbage bags. Then put a few big rocks in the bottom for easier drainage. Fill with soil. Plant your lettuce a few inches apart from each other and watch them grow… super fast. They like shade and a bit of sun. Pick them a lot and eat your greens!

I just moved into a new place and am so excited to create this succulent wall for my balcony! Here’s the pallet I’ll reuse from our Spring 12 shipment that came in about a month ago. I put it on my balcony where I want the wall to be. (Right now it’s upside down)I got the materials needed at the lumberyard. I used the cut plywood boards for the inside ‘shelving’ for dirt to not settle all the way to the bottom once it stands. I nailed a board to the bottom of the pallet for it to stand up.The small boards go in the the middle, towards the top and towards the bottom. Hammer them in with nails. Then lay the pallet facing down. Hammer in the large board for the backing of the wall. Turn the pallet right side up flat on the ground. Use an all natural palm and cactus soil to fill the pallet. Spread evenly and fill enough knowing soil will settle slightly.Use green moss to stuff any holes on the sides so dirt is secure.The pallet is almost full of dirt, but needs some more after planting. Place your succulents where you want to plant them.Water thoroughly after planting. The picture on the right shows the top of the pallet where there is room for a planter box. Plant more succulents once the pallet stands up. Prop up your pallet wall about a foot. Let the succulents take root and soil settle before you stand the succulent wall up vertically. Every week I will prop up the wall a foot or two more. I’ll keep you posted on the progress and the growth of the succulents! Always, AMY

First I have to say, I really don’t recommend this project. Unless you’re crazy & neurotic like me. This project takes a long time, and then longer than you think is long. I loved Christmas calendars when I was young, so I started out to make one for my niece. My style is very free form, and no rules, and usually no plans, just an idea in my head. Just basically start sewing and cutting and sewing some more – 25 little ‘pillow’ like squarish panels and sew them on to a green or red fabric panel – I used duck cloth so it’s sturdy.

I’m staying with my niece and nephew for a few days right now. It makes all the effort of making this calendar worth it, when Gigi and Charlie wake up and the first thing they do is look for what Santa’s elves left them in their pocket for the day. Merry Christmas! Always, AMY

How to Screen Print Fabric… amykathryn Style! Here’s a simple and quick way I screen printed a piece of micro suede to make my grocery handbag tote. I used this material in my How to Make a Handbag video tutorials.

Do you screen print?  Share your printed work with me. If not, do you want help in getting started? Comment below. Thanks! Always, AMY

How to Make a Handbag

Sewing a purse

Here’s the final step! I really want to see the bag you make – so email me amy@amykathryn.com.

Happy Halloweeny! Always, AMY

See Step 1

See Step 2

See Step 3

How to Make a Handbag

Step Three is Assembling Materials. This is important to think about how your materials will help you get the results you want in your handbag. Have you ever thought about if your fabric is sturdy enough for what you want to use your handbag for? What about the print pattern? Will it go the right way once you cut and sew together your handbag tote? Do you want more structure to your bag or do you want it to be floppy and loose? How long do you want your handles to be to fit comfortably on your shoulder? IS the thread you are using the color you want? Is your thread thick enough for the fabric you are using?

Get your stuff together! Always, AMY

See Step 1

See Step 2

How to Sew a Handbag

Step 2 is my favorite part! (Aside from when the project is complete!)

Click here to see Step 1. Can’t wait to see Your design, pattern and handbag once we are finished! Always, AMY

See Step 3