Friday, April 23, 2010

Flash Back Friday #4

I was one of those babies born so bald they don't need a haircut until their 3rd birthday. My brother was the same, although he did have little whispy ringlets at the back of his head. I had nothing! My mom had to stick frilly bonnets on me and always had me in pretty dresses when we went out, otherwise the cooing strangers would call me fella. I'm always amazed when I see a baby with a full hair of hair, especially babies born with the same amount of hair that I have in this picture.

I'm probably around 18 months here. This was taken in our backyard during the summer of 1980 - although in black and white you would swear it was the 50s. That old shed has been torn down now but the houses & the fence are still there. Oh & I have a lot more hair now, thankfully.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I've been working on some new things for OSR and I hope to have a blog entry announcing them on Monday.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Surprisingly Delicious Gluten Free Lasagna

The one thing I've missed most since being diagnosed with celiac is a good lasagna. Nothing fancy, no vegetables disguised as noodles. Just meat, cheese, sauce and noodles. And more cheese. Lots of cheese.

I was a bit skeptical when I came across a recipe for lasagna using rice instead of noodles. There was no way that could taste good I thought. But the reviews, along with my pasta craving, convinced me that it was worth a try. How bad could it be anyway? Tons of casserole recipes use hamburger, tomatoes and rice.

I changed up the recipe a bit just to make it more like my moms lasagna and to make sure it was gluten free. The results? Success! I loved it. It had just the right amount of gooey cheesiness and the rice held together really well. Randy wasn't as crazy about it, although he said it was a 6.5/10. He's not a tomato fan though, and really doesn't like tomatoes with rice. (I know right, what's not to like?!)

Surprisingly Delicious Gluten Free Lasagna


Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups Minute Rice, uncooked
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 container Ricotta cheese
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1 jar Catelli Garden Select garlic & onion spaghetti sauce


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool slightly. Combine rice, eggs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Mix well; set aside.
3. Combine 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese and Ricotta cheese in separate bowl. Mix well; set aside.
4. Add meat and brown over medium heat; drain off excess fat. Add spaghetti sauce and minced garlic; continue cooking until thoroughly heated.
5. Spoon one-half rice mixture into baking dish. Cover with one-half of cheese mixture. Top with one-half of meat sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Click here for the original recipe from Minute Rice.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday #3

In the summer of 2005 Randy and I decided to go on our first road trip together. We were just going a couple hours north to stay at my parents camp for the weekend but it was one of the first really big things that I did once I started overcoming my agoraphobia. Back in those days I had a hard time travelling in cars because I was phobic of being stranded somewhere, even if it was just the mall or grocery store. I was nervous but I remember being really excited too. I made us a lunch so we could have a picnic and we packed up our things and the dog & away we went.

Of course what happens? We ran over a bag full of nails and got a flat tire! I remember getting out of the car in the middle of nowhere and telling Randy that I was going to walk to my parents camp! A couple minutes later I realized I was being ridiculous and calmed right down. We flagged someone down to help us change the tire and all was fine. That's me waiting for help, you can see our doggie sitting in the back seat and (yuck) I'm smoking! (I quit smoking that September.) We had a great weekend & slept under the stars. :)

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Shipping Wednesday!

I've been going through my stack of not-quite-finished and not-quite-started sewing, trying to remember what all these pieces of cut fabric were supposed to end up as. Before I start anything new I want to finish up these projects. I previously used to sew items as I sold them but part of my restructuring plan is to make the stock and then sell it - no more midnight binge sewing sessions for me.

I was pretty excited to find 4 cut and ready brown leaf bamboo pillows just waiting for their zippers. I have one in my living room and it's my favourite pillow. I think this fabric is out of stock now but I wish I had bought more, I would love to make myself placemats out of it. Anyway, to celebrate me getting off my butt and finishing these pillows after they sat in the to-do pile for over a year I'm happy to offer free shipping on them! Hooray for small accomplishments. :)

See the listing for theGreen Leaf Bamboo Cotton pillow slips or the Chocolate Brown Bamboo Cotton pillow slip!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcome to the new Oh So Retro Accessories! It will be very much like the old Oh So Retro except it will be updated regularly and kept organized. At least that's the plan.

You might have noticed that I've dropped the "Design" and replaced it with "Accessories". This is because I have renewed my business license and realized that my work is less about design and more about .. accessories. Less fashion & more function, as it were. I'm also hoping to do more local shows and thought that Oh So Retro Accessories was a better way to describe myself.

While working on my blog I went through my old photos to find an image for my header. I was really struck with how abruptly my photos stopped in the spring of 2008. There's still pictures but they're not the same, there's no flowers or trees or artsy fartsy macro shots. This is also around the time that I stopped sewing anything new - I'm still selling the same items in the same fabrics as I was in the spring of 2008. I was always aware of my depression, it was kind of a low level static that hung over me like gauze but I had no idea how deep it went.

I feel in a way as if I'm picking up where I left off. I won't ever be able to get those two years back but at least I can move forward from here. I don't ever want another year to go by with no pictures to add to the photo album. Or no money in my pocket, as is the case of not doing my sewing! It's all uphill from here & it feels good to finally be looking up.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Finally, Facebook Fans

Randy & I had both been saying that we needed to make Fan pages for our respective businesses so we sat down together on Saturday afternoon and got to work. It was much simpler than I anticipated and I really feel organized now, especially since I had stopped using Flickr last year when my pro account ran out and had no where to store my pictures. At one time I would have said that Flickr was your best promotion online but now I think Facebook is the necessity.

One thing I noticed when uploading my photos is that I haven't made anything new in ages.. Really it's almost been a full year since I did any real work besides wholesale orders. No wonder my store has stagnated! On one hand I'm mad at myself for getting lazy and falling so far behind but on the other I think maybe I just needed the break. It feels good to feel good again & be excited about something. But I still need to kick my bum when I'm feeling lazy!

My next project is to redo my blog template to make it more personalized. I don't think I'm going to get too crazy with it, mostly because I don't have the skills. I have an idea of what I want in my head and hopefully I'll be able to make it appear on the screen! I see so many beautiful customized blogs and I know I need something prettier and less default template. Wish me luck!

If you'd like to become an Oh So Retro fan on Facebook you can find me at
& if you want to check out Randys art he's at

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter Eggs by Torsten Reuschling

I hope everyone had a great Easter or long weekend if you're not the Easter celebrating kind!

We decided to do away with a traditional meal and headed to my parents place for a barbecue instead. It looked like rain all week but at the last moment the weather cooperated. I was even able enjoy a cup of tea out on the patio with my mom, which is unheard of for an Easter weekend. I hope this weather keeps up, I want to get out for a bit of a walk every day and can't wait to use my balcony.

We had a really nice time hanging out with family. The Easter bunny even stopped by with some chocolate for me, which was rather nice of him considering I'm 31 years old and should not be eating a six pack of Cadbury eggs. (I won't complain though!)

I love a holiday weekend but I'm looking forward to getting back on track, especially since I have so much to do this week -- but more about that tomorrow. I'm going to be attempting to personalize my blog template so hopefully I won't mess it up!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Flashblack Friday #3

Looking at Tias pictures of her & her husband I decided to dig out an old hard drive backup in search of my 2003 photos

Randy & I met in the spring of 2003.. he was a friend of the boy I was dating (I use the term dating loosely here) and we had talked to each a few times over the internet. The boy I was dating had warned me that Randy was "weird" but we seemed to get along pretty well so when Randy needed a new roommate in a hurry, I offered to move in with him. We hung out a few times, found the cutest little house and moved in together on June 1, 2003. Less than two weeks later Randy had stolen me away from his friend and the rest is history.

In case you're wondering, no ones feelings were ever hurt. The boy I was dating was happy for me & Randy & we're all still good friends. This story has a very happy ending. :)

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Spring Cleaning

I have fallen sadly behind on the shop front scene. I really got thrown off by our move (which was in Decemeber and is no longer a valid excuse!!) and I think now would be a great time to do an Oh So Retro overhaul. There's so much that I need to do, clean, organize, revamp, etc that I usually just put it off because it's so overwhelming. I only had 1 sale in March and that was for a $2.00 fabric destash so I know I need to pull up my socks now or else my business is going to be sunk. It's like starting over from scratch almost.

I didn't want to admit it but I had lost the passion for sewing/selling/everything. The thought of sitting down to work almost felt like torture to me and I did anything I could to avoid it. Everyone close to me has expressed concern about it, Randy because I wasn't working or making money, my mom because I appeared depressed. When friends would ask me how my work was going I'd say it was slow because it was easier to blame Etsy than admit that I'd given up. I can't compete, I'd say. It's too hard. There's too much. (Followed by: I'm overwhelmed. I'm going to bed.)

Slowly though I've been getting back into it. I started a new ideas binder that I've been saving fashion pictures in, which is fun and reminds me of being a teenager. I've got a whole line of patterns planned out and my first one completed. I've got some new supplies to inspire me, some new headbands and totes to make and maybe I'll do a couple skirts this summer too. Just for me.

It's hard work and a big commitment to make but I'm ready to get back into the long days and longer nights of being a one woman sewing empire. I need a little help & motivation though in the form of a public to do list.

The Great Oh So Retro Accessories Revival of Spring 2010

- Create new logo & Etsy banner
- Customize blog with new logo, colours, etc
- Re-do website with new designs
- Incorporate shopping cart into website (or look into big cartel?)
- Create and list at least 1 new pattern per month
- Sell off old stock
- Photograph and list all completed items in storage
- Destash excess fabric and supplies
- Relaunch monthly mailing list
- Create a Facebook fan page
- Sew every day, even if just for an hour

I'll probably have more things to add to this list as I think of them. There's nothing that motivates me more than crossing off an item on my to-do list so hopefully this list will be the little push I need to get back to work.