Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New crafty friend = finished project!

So I've been sewing a dress for my little girl for about, um, three plus weeks now (ahem, cough cough...). I'm not exactly a prolific crafter. It's very cute, it's not too hard, and she is very excited about it. Why it was taking me so long...who knows?

Last week, my girls were invited to play at a new friend's house. It turns out that mom is a crafty minx, and she had spent the entire afternoon sewing linen bread bags, knocking out prototypes for the "France table" she'd been assigned at her church fete. I shamefully admitted my lack of progress on the dress, which is apparently all I needed to do to make me finish it. That night, it was no excuses, take no prisoners sewing (involving one minor error close to the finish line and a smattering of swearing).

This is the Oliver + S ice cream dress (rather appropriate fabric choice, no?). The pattern is marked for beginners, and it was pretty straightforward. Liesl writes fantastic patterns. I did get hung up when attaching the main dress fabric to the back yoke where it divides for the button. Ultimately, I made a hole which I then hand-sewed shut. No one can see it, so no biggie (though I still don't know how to avoid this on the next dress).

I'm feeling the mojo now! One sewing project done, one knitted baby vest completed (then washed and gifted without photo, sigh), and I optimistically washed and dried three more fabrics that afternoon. Let's see what this mama can do!

Which leads me to the question: what to do with this fabric?

I had intended to cut it up for large cushion covers for child lounging. Then, I spread it out on the floor to cut it this afternoon, and a little naked person jumped on it and proclaimed it a picnic blanket. Given that its current form is a duvet cover for a twin bed, it would be big enough to open out as a blanket, backing it with something plain. It would be awfully fun, but is it too busy? What say you?

Cushion covers?
Picnic blanket?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some TLC

Two items I have just printed out to tape to my bathroom mirror...

The first is good at the end of a bad day, but the second should just stay on my bathroom mirror all the time. If that's true for you too, it's a free download here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual with soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here comes the storm

I wish I could capture for you the strength of the wind. It was hard to stand still enough to take the photo. Incredible. Should be an interesting evening...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Houseguest prep

I have (almost) completely emptied out the sewing room for purpose of guest room creation. I vacuumed and dusted it top to bottom. I lugged mattresses in there and set them up as a big bed. Now, I'm out of steam.
Is it wrong to leave all the shifted stuff piled in the hallway?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Breakfast haiku

Multigrain pancakes
Even non-eater ate lots
Thank you, Heidi Swanson!

*Pancake recipe from super natural every day (excellent!)
**Foodie poem inspired by Domesticali. Want to join in?

Monday, August 8, 2011

New project

When I finished the Tiny Tea Leaves, I had a backlog of knitting projects waiting. The next in line was to be a vest for a friend. She requested it over a year ago and is very patient, so I thought it was high time I got it started. She bought the wool and handed it over last week but insisted that she "get back to me" on her measurements. Several reminders later, I shrugged and smiled and started this...

It's coming along quite quickly, though I have grave suspicions the sizing isn't right (and no, I didn't check my gauge first either). The good news is kids grow pretty fast. At least the error is on the large side, so it should fit eventually...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mexican flair

Last month, I was invited to join a girlfriend's book group. The group was nearly through The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, but instead of waiting for the next book, I decided to jump in with both feet. While I find Kingsolver's fiction gets rather (tediously?) obsessed with detail, I did enjoy the visuals prompted by the initial storyline involving Frida Kahlo. Thinking of those gorgeous Mexican colors reminded me of this site. Deep in the throes of Mexican lore within The Lacuna, I placed my order. Several weeks later (well into the next book, not about Mexico), a tiny brown package was discovered in my postbox.

It had been posted in a thin brown paper bag, taped shut with Magic Tape. The bag ripped wide open when I tried to carefully pry the tape loose. I have no idea how it survived intact from Mexico to Western Australia, but I was tickled pink that it did. Inside, my order was simply but beautifully packaged, with a little handwritten note (love!).

I admit I feel a bit silly about it this order now, no longer reading of Mexico and in the depths of wild winter storms here, but it certainly is a dash of colorful and unexpected in my day. I am hoping that wearing these dresses will repeat that feeling at some point down the line. Who could object to that?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tiny Tea Leaves #2

At last, I finished the Tiny Tea Leaves for my Sweet E.

I'm feeling very sheepish about the hibernation period, but we're both very pleased with the final product! The sleeves are exactly as she dictated. She showed me just where she wanted them to hit on her arms, and they somehow magically hit that spot! When it was nearly done, we went button-shopping together. It is her sweater, design adapted by her, so I told her the button choice was hers. She chose some hot pink rhinestone-type buttons, and she could not be any more chuffed. Alas, one broke before I could even sew it on, but do you think that made one bit of difference to her?

That grin is why this mama knits.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sweet potato, spinach, & bleu cheese frittata

I'd forgotten how yummy (and fast!) frittata can be!

To make the frittata:

Preheat broiler (that's in your oven).
At medium heat on the stovetop, melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a pan that will go from stove to oven (I use a cast iron skillet)

In a bowl, beat together:
6 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk (or water)
salt and pepper to taste

Pour egg mixture into hot pan on stove. Cook until eggs are mostly set (sides are firm but center is still a bit runny).

Toss on top of the eggs in whatever amount seems most appealing to you:
sweet potato (mine was leftover, pre-cooked)
fresh spinach, chopped
crumbled bleu cheese

Place in oven under broiler and cook until eggs are set. My oven is small, so I set the rack two spaces below the top level to prevent burning. It was all done in the time it took to prepare the two other meals required to keep the peace this evening...(don't get me started; at least my meal was delicious too!).