Baby Shower

November brought us a lot of planning and need for creative expression. It was baby shower time! We had the nautical themed shower at a beautifully rustic venue (right up my alley!!) I bought a few things from Etsy, but I also made a few things myself.

Diaper Cake
I didn’t like any of the diaper cake ideas I found online, or the rolling of the diapers technique… so in true Palak fashion, I just did it my own way. I like it better. I painted a few wooden letters and hot glued them to the ribbon/burlap.

Welcome Aboard Sign
I am horrible at scrapbooking, it is just NOT my thing. But I really want to make a few things for the shower that could be used in the baby’s room as well. This was one of them. I framed it and we had it out at the shower and now it hangs on a wall in the baby’s room :)

Glued pretty paper to wooden anchors and then tied them together with rope.

Bib and Burp Cloth
Along with the faux chenille baby blanket I made, I also made these bibs as a shower gift.

Other Pics

Faux Chenille Baby Blanket

It has been awhile since I posted, but I haven’t been completely abandoning my sewing machine. Back in October/November I made a baby blanket for my nephew (who was born in January), and followed the Aesthetic Nest’s tutorial for a faux chenille technique. This took a long time and a lot of work, and my hands were definitely sore from the all the cutting, but it was well worth it. The blanket turned out better than I had expected and my sister and brother-in-law absolutely loved it. (It was also a huge hit at the shower!)

Mango Pineapple Salsa

I made this in May and never posted it…. but this was the best mango salsa I’ve ever made! I don’t remember the amounts, but the key unique ingredient was mint!! Very delicious, very summer. We ended up using it in pulled pork tacos! So good.


Pineapple (I used canned)
Red Pepper
Lemon Juice

Chicken and Gnocchi in a Sweet Tomato Basil Sauce

Crockpot chicken and gnocchi with onion and mushroom in a sweet red sauce. :)

No recipe used, just threw everything in the crockpot (salt/pepper seasoned chicken, onion, mushroom, garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, brown sugar, tomato sauce) and made the store-bought gnocchi separately before serving.

A Little Cultural Flair

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, I kind of went through a sewing lull and then had some set backs, but am now settled into a new apartment and feel ready to get comfortable sewing again! Today, I pulled out my fabric and hated all of it! Times have changed in the last 8 months, and I need new fabric. I did, however, find this scarf that we bought from India in Jan/Feb 2013 when we were last there that turned out to be poorly stitched and kinda wonky-looking… so it’s now fabric for my sewing pleasure!

I temporarily cannot find my DSLR camera, so my apologies- these iPhone photos will have to do for today.

I chose to work with just the green side, wanted to keep it kind of simple. Here’s the finished product. I’m not a huge fan of it as it’s just not my style, but I’m happy with the way it turned out, and it was a good start to get back into sewing mode. Except- I used a zipper foot for the first time ever, and I sewed right through my finger… ouch! That hurt.


I have been meaning to make pillows for my couch for quite some time but never got around to it. Finally, I just decided to use the fabric I had and finally just make them because I didn’t have anything for the couch.

Both pillows are a bit different, each pic is the front of back of each pillow.


Real Burlap!

The most exciting thing I’ve done lately is working with some REAL burlap. I originally bought yards of burlap from a fabric store, but have since been excited about my new endeavor with some real, serious, burlap. I purchased burlap coffee sacks from Etsy and went to town! Was much fun. As I opened up the seams of one of the bags, a few coffee beans fell out.

I covered my coffee table/bench with one bag, I did need to extend it by sewing additional onto the sides (I took extra from the back of the bag), and it turned out fine, you can’t see it on the sides at all. I have a very small apartment, so the bench serves as a coffee table or I turn it perpendicular to the couch and it serves as extra seating. It also can be used as extra seating at the dining table.
I also had three little stools that I chose to cover as well, they serve as additional seating for my dining table or living room and look great now!
I have my butcher block in the dining area and decided to make a little table runner for it. I used the burlap from the store that I had leftover and added my favorite girly fabric, which I also used in the pillows I made for the couch that you can see in these pics, and I will add another blog post for those pillows.

Offers some variety, necessary for small spaces:

I also purchased about 8 additionall, smaller, coffee sacks which are all pretty awesome and have cool designs on them. I plan to frame them and use for decorating the walls.

Barbuzzo’s Salted Caramel Budino

I recently had lunch with a friend at Barbuzzo’s and tasted this delicious dessert that they sell in small individual jars. I immediately knew I wanted to make it for my sister and dad’s birthdays because my sister is obsessed with salted caramel anything and knew she’d love it. So… I found Barbuzzo’s actual recipe from Bon Appetit magazine online: found HERE.

The process of making these in individual containers was fun.

Here was the final result – though quite hard to photograph due to a cold jar.

If I make them again, I’ll do better with photographing it. I made them but had to add the caramel and whipped cream just prior to eating, so I took it all with me, and after the birthday boat ride and dinner, we had a bit of a dessert tailgate in the dark parking lot (I made dessert, my mom made a cake and brought some other desserts as well), so we didn’t do much in the way of photographing everything.

Burlap Clutch

I’ve been wanting to work with burlap for a LONG LONG time, but never got around to trying. I finally bought some recently and tonight decided to play.

I have to say, burlap is a tough material to work with. It’s not that hard physically, but mentally for a Virgo it is. I am a perfectionist, and it was extremely hard for me to just let this material be as it is. That is precisely what I love about it- now that it’s finished.. but the process is challenging.

The imperfections in my work are always very calculated. This time, I decided that for the strip across the top of the clutch, I wasn’t going to cut it to make it perfect, nor was I going to cut a perfectly imperfect diagonal piece. I just used what I had laying right next to me. And I like it… I think.

Edges are raw.
Velcro closure.
Simple. Easy.
Can’t wait to use it.

Napkin Holders

I just recently took a trip to India (after 15 years!) and I happened to have found these little gems in a random shop.

The problem with finding things you love when you’re in another country is that you HAVE to get them, or you’ll think about it forever and never EVER have the chance to get them later. So I made sure to buy everything I fell in love with while I was there :)

These will go perfect with the napkins I bought from Anthropologie! All I need is a dining table- and I have big plans to build my own farm table soon! :)