Saturday, October 31, 2015

Selling: So Many Patterns

I just put SO MANY sewing patterns in my etsy shop, including the bowling dress, a hooverette, and bungalow aprons. They're all in big lots, so please look around!

I have some modern patterns to sell too, but they can't go in etsy, so I'm offering them here. 

Lot # 1
Ninety-three sewing patterns for women, all modern, if you don't count the reproduction reprints. Includes two Amy Butlers--Barcelona skirt and Lotus tunic. This photo is just the tip of the ice berg. 93 patterns, many unused. Can't vouch that every single piece is in every pattern though. $50 including shipping.

Lot # 2
Seven Colette patterns--Macaron, Ceylon, Lady Grey, Cinnamon, Beignet, Peony, Sencha.
Some have been used, some have pencilled notes, all are complete. $40 including shipping.

Email me through my profile if you want to buy, and it will be first come first served. Please leave me the email you use for paypal, also.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Alchemy, The Jersey & Velvet Edition

Months ago I pieced this quilt from jersey scraps cut into strips. I wasn't that fond of it, but I passed it on to my mother to quilt. She just gave it back to me . . . 

 . . . having worked some kind of alchemy on it. Jersey--quilted--looks and feels like velvet. It's crazy! This is the softest thing ever. I've pieced jersey quilt tops before and left them unquilted, no back or batting, and it's not the same. This has the whole batting and muslin back treatment, and it is SO VELVETY.

Much as I love it, I do plan to sell it (too many quilts, and more coming down the pike!). It'll be in the shop this weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Last Hydrangeas

This may be the last bouquet of hydrangeas for the year. Rusty red and deep blue.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Log Cabin Quilt Top: Cabin in the Clouds

Clara and I pieced this long-imagined log cabin quilt top on Saturday--pale blue center squares set in pale neutrals set in all kinds of white. Cabin in the Clouds!

Fifty-six squares, set off by strips (don't ask me why, it took forever). Soon to be backed by pale blue sateen and hand-quilted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Reliable Soup

I make this soup about once a week, relying on its deliciousness, ease, large yield, clean ingredients, and the fact that I can keep all the ingredients on hand--something that's hard to do when you eat mostly poultry and fish and fresh vegetables.

*Reliable Soup*

In a large stockpot drizzle a good amount of olive oil.
Heat it up, then add 1 package frozen mirepoix mix.
Saute for a few minutes, then squeeze in a fresh garlic clove.
Add a package of ground turkey, and continue to sauté and stir until the meat is cooked through.

Add a box of good chicken broth, or (preferably) some homemade broth from your stash.
Stir in some kind of tomato--I prefer my homemade and frozen stewed tomatoes, but a can of stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes of any kind will also work.

Bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper.
Now you'll start adding vegetables, keeping the soup covered and simmering gently. All of this can be done ahead of time and the soup can sit (a good thing), but I'm giving the amount of time the veggies need to cook in the pot.

Add a bag of chopped frozen okra at least an hour before serving time.
Thirty minutes before you want to eat, add a bag of frozen green beans.
Twenty minutes til, add a small thinly sliced cabbage.
Ten minutes til, add a few sliced zucchini (optional but good).

Maybe it's just us and our super clean palates :) but we all really love this soup. For those who eat dairy, a cheese plate is a nice accompaniment. Otherwise, you're successfully dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, and red-meat free. Whew.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Saving the Pocket

A raspberry wool ladies' blazer was perfect for turning into a tote--the functioning pocket was an easy save and creates a perfect spot for a phone.

The blazer was big enough for a second tote which I gave to Daisy. There I used a buttonhole to create the opening for a pencil slot--I just stitched it to the lining to create a pencil-shaped pocket.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Small Pile of Granny Squares

It's been a while since I did any crocheting, but last week I bought some yarn and I've started making a pile of these granny squares. They're a sort of sunburst pattern that I found a picture of and had Clara reverse-engineer. It's amazing to me how her mind can just take a pattern apart and then spit out clear instructions. 

It's a really dense square, with puff stitches in the inner rings. Too dense to be a blanket, so I'm either working on a throw cushion cover or a tote bag--not sure yet.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dolly in the Stall

She's not the same donkey she was in the spring when we got her. When she hears the front door of the house open, she gives out her well-meaning but appalling bray. She's just excited that she may have friends coming down to see her. 

When I show up at the gate she hustles into the barn so she can stick her head out over the fence (like this) and we can hang out together.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Farm to Table

We took a couple of golden hours off in the middle of the day and drove up to a farm-to-table restaurant. Besides the chicken and salad, the plate offered fried okra--better than home! Fried in grapeseed oil, with the faintest dusting of cornmeal: I'm trying it myself as soon as possible.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

After the Weekend

Wow! That was a weekend and a half. The retreat went wonderfully, and I came home Sunday at lunch to a house full of delightful people--the usual suspects, plus Felix and a guest, plus a couple of musicians I won't name but who were the source of great excitement and pinching myself (are they really here?!?!) And the concert that night: magical.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sister, Really Not Helping

She is death to patterns. 


I'll be back on Monday or so. Between now and then I have to do my regular work, run a two-night retreat an hour away, prep for house guests I've never met, get over having crushed my index finger in the car door, get the house ready for a large musical event, and mix up homemade ice cream for fifty people. Later!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

That Birthday Dinner

Most years we prepare a birthday feast for the Composer's dad. This year I cooked straight through the recipes for Nigella Lawson's Georgian Feast* (in the aptly named cookbook Feast).

The foods were unusual but still accessible and we all loved the menu--from the melon with hot pepper relish to the mountain of stuffed cheese bread, the stuffed chickens, the pungent beet puree, and the green beans in herbed yogurt.

Not being a chocolate man, Grandpa appreciated the walnut cookies, grapes, and homemade vanilla ice cream at the end, too.

Then we all played cards, and Daisy won!

*That's the Georgia that's in Europe, not the one with peach cobbler. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Saturday Morning Book Cull

Clara and I attacked the upstairs Saturday morning (company's coming). Stacks and stacks of books on the floor meant we had to winnow. That's so hard for Daisy, but she did let us take out this pile--it's back to the thrift store for them, as part of our "thrift-store rental" program. Buy for a quarter, keep for a year, then redonate.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Thirty-Seven Feet of Garland

Last year, after making all the garland we needed and more, I still had a basket of wool circles left over. In a fit of finishing up old projects tonight, I strung thirty-seven more feet of garland. Look in the shop if you can face thinking about Christmas already.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Mink, I Think

This is what I found at the thrift store today. It's in absolutely perfect condition. I did a moment of internet research and am guessing it's blonde mink.

The original owner's full name is embroidered inside.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

One Purple Pansy

Daisy picked out the pansies for the fall pots.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Cleaning the Kitchen: A Breakthrough

Tuesdays have long been my days for giving the kitchen its weekly once-over. I've just had a couple of problems with this task: 1. starting it, and 2. finishing it.

Today though I had a breakthrough. The job "Cleaning the Kitchen" is not actually a task: it's a series of short tasks! Each less than five minutes. I can do these one at a time, without stopping in between, and end up with a Clean Kitchen, and without feeling overwhelmed.

Here's my list, arranged in an order that works for me, so that I don't get clean things dirty (note that I start with a *tidied* kitchen--dishwasher emptied, dirty dishes washed or put in the dishwasher, food put away, and countertops generally cleared):

Dust the ceiling fan and light fixtures.
Wipe down the vent hood and warming shelf.
Clean the stovetops and fronts of the ovens.
Wipe out the microwave and wash the glass plate inside.
Wipe out the compost cupboard and change the paper liner under the bucket.
Clean the tile shelf behind the sink.
Quickly wipe the cabinet doors.
Wipe all the countertops and pop the soap dish and scrubber holder in the dishwasher.
Clean the sinks.

All of these things take less than five minutes and are *so* much easier to make it through than starting to Clean the Kitchen.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Pampas Grass, October

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Wild Beastess

Friday, October 02, 2015

Patching the Linen Quilt

I cut out various sized rectangles of random fabrics still in this color family, and turned the two short ends down on the machine. Then pinned the patch in place and machine-stitched it down on all four sides.

I made no attempt to disguise the fact that these were patches, because I like the way the blocks look appliqued on unexpectedly. Afterwards I did a few running stitches in red perle cotton just for fun--they're not functional. 

For some reason, patching this quilt was such a happy job. I rarely get to sew for my boys.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

A Visit from the Farrier

Dolly is on an every-six-weeks schedule of hoof-trimming and it has been so interesting seeing the farrier students come through the program. They are here from all over the country, as training opportunities are thin on the ground. Last time we had a burly man from New York. Today a slip of a girl from Alaska.

It's also been a huge satisfaction to see Dolly progress from horrified hysterics (her first trimming) to calm co-operation (today). She was so patient through the first two hoofs, and didn't get testy at all until it was time for the last two. 

I also got the farriers to get her bulky halter off her (she's had one on ever since we got her), and put on her new delicate plum-colored one. Then, at dusk, I took that one off! And for the first time in her adult life, she's got nothing on her head. That makes me happy! At least until I try to put the halter back on her tomorrow. No, I know it will go well. We love each other now.

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