Candace Couse

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Have a Little Heart

This seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I just want to have it on the wall...

This, on the other hand, makes a great shirt and I do not regret it.

And last:

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato

Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato

This fantastic recipe comes from Bon Appetit:


  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch kale, stem cut from each leaf, leaves thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)
  • 1 small red-skinned sweet potato (yam; about 8 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • Cut tofu into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange on paper towels; drain 10 minutes. Spread both sides of each slice with mustard.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger; sauté 1 minute. Add kale, sweet potato, and lime juice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until potato is tender and kale is wilted, about 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu; cover and cook until heated through and crisp, about 2 minutes per side (some mustard seeds may fall off tofu).
  • Arrange kale and sweet potato mixture on plate. Overlap tofu slices atop vegetables and serve.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Off-The-Shoulder Pullover DIY

 Like this and want to make your own? You can! This sweater's free pattern comes from Vogue Knitting and while you do need to register, you don't need to pay for it.

This is the photo from Vogue 

I used that raw silk I picked up and blogged about a few weeks ago, in combination with the coral coloured hemp-bamboo-cotton blend I used (in different colours) to make this

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Simple Sewn Tote

This simple tote was made entirely using remnant fabric. I used vinyl for the lining so that I could use this tote for groceries if needed.

But Candace, how can I make this tote?

Glad you asked! Here's how it's done:

I chose a grey blue remnant I purchased  for $2.00 and some left over (came by honestly) remnant vinyl in grey-blue with a white pattern. For the handles I chose some scraps of linen I had lying around in a darker, contrasting colour. I had to sew these handle scraps together to get the length I needed. 

All cuts include a 1 inch seam allowance.

Front/Back: 20 x 15 (cut four times, two exteriors and two interiors).
Sides: 8 x 15  (cut four times, two exteriors and two interiors).
Bottom: 20 x 8  (cut two times, one exterior and one interior) I did my interior and exterior in vinyl.
Handles: go nuts, whatever you want, however you want

Once you have cut everything you need, sew you interiors to their matching exteriors and trim edges neatly. Now you have five pieces (excluding handles). Set aside the bottom, and prepare to sew a fold over on the top edge of each side and front/back. The fold will eat up two inches of fabric: fold over one inch, and then fold another, pin. 

Sewn down the edge twice for good measure, as seen in the above photo. 

Once you have all of your top edges folded and sewn prepare your handles. You will need two. You can play around with the length and where they will be attached, or how thick you want them.

I folded them in half and then tucked in the edges, pinned and sewed them up with just one off-centre seam. No need to worry about symmetry, you will have better seam balance when they are attached to the bag.

Placing your fabric front to front begin to join front to side to back to side, and finally, bottom. Trim your seams as small as you can and turn your bag inside-right. 

Pin your handles the way you like them and sew them on. If you have them attaching much closer to the top than mine are, you may just want to reinforce the ends with some X stitching.

All done!

Simple Sewn Tote

Friday, 14 October 2011

Leaf Flower Centerpiece DIY

Leaf Flower Centerpiece DIY

Perfect for fall! 

I had this baby on my table at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Dog Sweaters

It's getting to be sweater season! Best not to forget my dog Charlie's affinity for fine crafted knitwear. 

Dog Sweaters

Monday, 10 October 2011

Farmhouse Dining Table and Bench

Farmhouse Dining Table and Bench

For plans see:

Staining the wood before assembling is best. A second coat afterwards and then finishing does the trick.

Constructing the notches is really the hardest part. After that it's all smooth sailing.

I worked on both the kitchen table, the dining table as well as the bench seat and all eight parson chairs together, so it took over a week to make this. I think if you were just doing the table you would be looking at a weekend project. Go hard or go home, unless you are home...

This is really a lot like building canvas stretchers. same rules apply for squaring off. 

I distressed the underbits of the table before assembling them because the violent nature of chaining the table until it screams our safe word would only make it unstable (physically and emotionally) after the fact. 


End Result:

And When Put Together (Super Table):