the goods: fifteen years

Kristi and I met fifteen years ago when we were both counselors at a camp in the mountains north of Santa Fe. Surprisingly, neither of us were “art” counselors. From what I remember, we met on the first day and quickly became friends. We coordinated our day off so that we had it on the same day and would spend our time traipsing around Santa Fe, eating at the Shed and the Cowgirl Cafe, having breakfast Blizzards from Dairy Queen and taking one ridiculous road trip to Denver to see an Indigo Girls concert.

babyfaces in the summer of 1997

It is so hard for me to believe that that much time has passed and that Kristi and I have managed to maintain a friendship despite the fact that since the summer of 1997, we have never lived in the same town.

kristi and i back in june of 2011 (back when I was blonde)

We also recently celebrated our six months anniversary here at modern dry goods. I know we’ve been posting less frequently lately and we have no excuse except for the fact that it is summer time. It’s just so hard to sit inside and sew when its 80 and sunny until 9pm everyday. But don’t worry, we are working on it and have plenty of good projects to come in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.



whisk: chocolate covered cinnamon bears

going, going, gone.
Chocolate covered cinnamon bears are my absolute favorite candy in the world. But I hate that I can only find milk chocolate covered in the stores. So the other night, on sugar craving whim, I decided to make my own using a combination of bittersweet and milk chocolate. After tasting these bad boys, I know I’ll never go back to store bought again.

Here’s what you’ll need:
+ 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao)
+ 4 oz. milk chocolate
+ store-bought cinnamon bears
The key to this is tempering the chocolate, which essentially means, controlling the temperatures. So to do this, start by filling a pot with about 2 inches of water. Heat over medium heat until it just simmering. While the water is heating, take 4 oz. of bittersweet and 4 oz. of milk chocolate chop/break into pieces and place in a glass or metal heatproof bowl. Next, take a sheetpan/cookie sheet line it with parchment paper and place a cooling rack on top. Set aside.

When the water is simmering, remove from heat and place the bowl on top and stir with a spatula or metal spoon until it is just melted. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the remaining 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate. Stir until all the pieces are melted and then place back on top of the pot for about 30 seconds. If there are chunks, remove using your spatula or metal spoon.
Then about 10-15 at a time, add the cinnamon bears to the chocolate, roll them around until they are covered. With a pair of tongs gently shake the excess chocolate from them and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the chocolate is used and/or you are out of gummy bears.

Let the chocolate dry for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove from the rack, serve and/or store. Consider yourself warned, these won’t last for long.

They are such a great combination of spicy with a hint of chocolate from the outer thin layer, I’m almost tempted to buy an enrobbing machine and open a sweet shop. I made about 4 dozen of these in 30 minutes on Tuesday night and 24 hours later, they were gone. I will admit that I took down my fair share of these bears and I’m nervous psyched to try others. I’m wondering if Sour Patch Kids can stand up to the heat of the chocolate and red swedish fish. I’m sure I’ll be back to share those results. In the meantime, melt some chocolate and share these with someone you love.


stitch: pillowcase dress tutorial

One of my favorite kids is turning two next week and for her birthday, I decided to make her a pillowcase dress. This simple pattern is so fun because it doesn’t require any special materials and is washable, because its cotton — a must for any active girl and her parents!

This sweet birthday girl has the biggest blue eyes, so I decided to go with a green and white Lisette fabric and my favorite blue and white polka dot ribbon. The following tutorial fits a size 2T little girl.

Here’s what you’ll need:
+ 1 yard of cotton fabric
+ 2 1/2 yards of 3/4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon
+ Rotary Cutter & mat
+ Ruler
+ Sewing Machine, pins, scissors

Start by washing, drying and ironing your fabric. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise (with the selvages together). Using your ruler remove the selvage. Then using the following measurements, cut your fabric:

Since you will need two identical pieces, a shortcut is to fold the fabric twice. So after your first fold (matching the selvages, fold your fabric again widthwise.) The original fold should be lined up against the 20 1/4 inch cut and the second along the 10 inch or bottom of the dress. I’m a visual person, so here is the process (using different fabric). Click the image to enlarge.

So once you have everything folded and lined up, use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut according the measurements listed above. The armholes should be 6 inches down from the neck and 3 inches out.

Once you have cut the pieces out, make one last cut along the bottom (10 inches folded) to make two separate matching pieces. If you are using a patterned or striped fabric, you will want to take extra care in cutting your fabrics so that your stripes or pattern line up. If this is the case, make a template using copier paper and lay it out on the fabric before cutting. And you may need more than 1 yard of fabric to make sure your patterns match.

Once you have cut the two pieces, lay them flat on your table. Cut two 20 inch pieces of your grosgrain ribbon, place the top of the ribbon two inches from the bottom of the dress (the 10 inch cut, 20 inches long if unfolded) on the right side of the dress. Pin and sew ONLY the top of the ribbon in place.

Then, place the two pieces wrong sides together down on your table. Pin from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the dress and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Remove the pins and press the seam to one side using your iron. Make sure that it is on the appropriate setting for your fabric so that you do not damage it. Do not press the seam open! Repeat on the other side. Then turn the dress inside out. Again, pin from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the dress. Sew again, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. This is called a french seam and eliminates the need to surge or zigzag the edges.

Next, with the dress inside out, fold and pin the armholes in using a 1/4 inch seam. Carefully sew in place. Cut the remaining ribbon in half, you should have two 25 inch pieces. Find the center of the ribbon and pin the wrong side of the ribbon to the wrong side of the neck at the center. You will want to pin the ribbon 1/4 inch from the edge. Sew in place the width of the ribbon. This will hold the ribbon in place but will still allow you to gather the fabric on it later to form the neckline.

Once the ribbon is sewn in place, fold both the ribbon and the fabric down 1 1/4 inch to create the casing at the neckline. Pin in place and sew. Be careful not to sew the ribbon during this process. This will prevent you from being able to gather the fabric on the ribbon for the neckline.

Lastly, finish the dress by sewing the bottom hem. Fold the raw edge of the fabric up 1 inch and pin in place. Turn the dress right side out and make sure that the bottom of the ribbon is pinned in place. Make adjustments if necessary. Then turn the dress inside out and sew the hem in place.

Once you are finished, turn the dress right side out and gather the fabric on the ribbons at the neckline and tie the ribbons into bows. There you have it, the pillowcase dress. I can’t wait to see her in it! I imagine, it will look a little something like this:

Blurry (because two-year olds are very busy…) but loved. Happy Birthday WEW!



the goods: how-to pinterest

By now, someone you know has told you about their newest online obsession, something called Pinterest. In fact, there is a good chance that Kristi or I were the ones to tell you. So you’ve heard a lot about this new website but you can’t figure out what exactly it is. We’re here to help.

After forcing inviting friends to join and then subsequently explaining why the site is so wonderful (again and again) to them, I decided to do a quick post on it.

So what exactly is Pinterest?

In technical terms, Pinterest is a digital, image driven bookmarking site. Which means what exactly?! Get ready to clear some shelves, it’s time to recycle all those old issues of Martha Stewart you’ve been saving. Pinterest is a website where you can now save and catalog links to inspirational images, quotes, recipes, craft projects, gadgets, clothing and much much more. This is a site that will allow you to stop keeping a binder filled with torn out magazine pages and pages of ideas printed from the internet. Because you can now keep a digital binder/catalog/file of anything you find interesting.

One of the best perks of Pinterest is that it also moonlights as a social network. So you can find people who inspire you and follow what they post so that you can get ideas from them. These can be people you know or people who’s taste you like. It’s like going to a dinner party, eating an amazing dessert and you happen to be sitting next to the person who made it, who conveniently printed out a recipe card for you and hands it to you right there. Like I said, Pinterest is dreamy…

How do I get started?

Pinterest is currently an invite only service. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Email us at and we will invite you to the party.

Ok, so I have an account, now what?

1). Download the Pin It Bookmarklet (aka the pinmarklet)

First things first, download the pinmarklet. Here is a very informational video on how to do this:

So as you can see, the pinmarklet allows you to pin anything to your account without having to go to the site. So if you are on say, and spot a sweater you like, you can click on the “Pin It” bookmark select the image of the sweater that you like and pin it to your boards. All without leaving

2). Set Up Your Boards

Then, you want to start by creating a boards. You’ll want to organize these according to similar topics so that they are easy to search. Pinterest does not currently limit the number of boards that you can have so the sky’s the limit. In my opinion, I’ve found that because I like to go back and find things that I’ve pinned that it works best for me to have 8-9 categories that I file things under. Things like house, craft projects, recipe ideas, clothing I want, etc. But this is entirely up to you, I’ve seen people who have entire board devoted to the color navy blue or around a specific concept (like halloween). Also, you’ll want to categorize your boards within Pinterest. At the top of each board, there should be a drop down menu prompting you to do this. Doing so, will allow your pins to show up in those different category boards. I’ll explain more about those later.

3). Start Pinning

Once you have boards, it’s time to start adding things to them. When I first joined Pinterest, this meant going through email to find the links that I had emailed myself. You’ll find that in no-time you’ll be pinning things all day long.

4). Start following others

Like I mentioned earlier, Pinterest is also a social network. So it allows you to connect and follow what other people are putting on their boards. Probably the best part of this is that you don’t have to follow all of a users boards, you can pick and choose the boards you like best. It’s up to you.

You can follow us here!

To get you started, here are a few of my favorites (along with favorite boards):

Rex & Regina — favorite board — party party party
Style Me Pretty — favorite board — beautiful brides

Elements of Style — favorite board — for the home
sfgirlbybay* — favorite boards — living rooms, sleep here & dining style
westelm — favorite board — chevron
Hammocks & High Tea — favorite board — home studio
Lonny Mag — favorite board — Lonny Kitchens
Christine Martinez — favorite board — interiors I dream of…
Erin Loechner — favorite board — black and white
Simple Song — favorite board (love them all) — fonts
Oh Joy! — favorite boards — for the home & graphic design
Bonnie Tsang — favorite board — b’s style

The Beauty Department — favorite board — hair color

Nina Garcia — favorite board — interiors & dapper men
Michael Kors — favorite board — spaces
Refinery 29 — favorite board — street style
lemlem — favorite board — love lemlem

Food & Drinks
That’s so Michelle — favorite board — michelleoshots
Susan Leahy — favorite board — Comfort Food
Real Simple — favorite board — weeknight meals
Whole Foods Market — favorite board — sweet tooth

Once you are following others, you can repin things that they’ve posted. To repin something simply hold your mouse over the upper left hand corner of the image. Two boxes will appear, click on the one that says repin to add it to one your boards. Follow the prompts (change the captions if you’d like) and voila, you’ve saved that project for later.

So how do I get the recipe or instructions for something I’ve pinned?

Pinterest uses the images to store the links. To go to the source of the image for the recipe, instructions, etc. you simply need to click on the image so that you are on the pin’s page, then click on the image again. You should be redirected to the source. Couple of things about this, hopefully someone pins something with instructions/source details but a lot of time images come from google search and/or tumblr so it can be hard to find out more. Here’s where you can tap the social network aspect of Pinterest. Comment on something and ask if anyone knows where it is from. You may just find the answer.

What else do I need to know?

* it’s addictive to watch a pin of yours get repinned. Everyone loves to be a trendsetter, Pinterest is no exception to this rule.

* Use search, it’s a great resource both for searching your own catalog and for finding projects, ideas and inspiration

* Bored and looking for some visual stimulation. Explore by category. If you look at the top of the page, underneath the Pinterest logo, there are the following: Everything, Pinners you Follow, Categories, Popular & Gifts. These are all categories to help you see what people are pinning in specific categories. (this is why it’s important to categorize your own boards)

* Last but not least, if you have a Facebook account and you log into Pinterest using it, Pinterest activity will be published there. I prefer to keep those things separate but it is up to you. Consider yourself warned.

That’s it! Go forth and pin! Let us know if there is anyone we should be following!