Thursday, July 31, 2008

birthday birdie sling

this one is going together much faster!
can I brag on my gussets? can I?
I swear I haven't sewn much. Mostly crafty things - a few tote bags. That's it.
interior double pocket
And the outside pleats. I'm beginning to get the hang of this!
All I have left is the handle. This one is for girl-child's 22 birthday.
Happy Birthday, Roo.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Indigo for a day

One of my daily stops on the web is That's My Answer . Today, I get to ask the questions rather than just answer them.

These were my queries:
  • What is your most compulsive habit?
  • If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?
  • Wild Bill had Scout’s Rest. Scarlett had her Tara. What name would your homestead bear?

Answer here or there but do play along, won't you?

freshcut laundry

Funny how the mundane suddenly becomes delicious when Heather Bailey's Freshcut fabrics are involved. Somehow, today, I don't mind my laundry so much. And I find ironing enjoyable, watching the fabric smooth out crisply in front of me, smelling fresh and clean. Add sleeves and suddenly it's a chore. Not so today. Today I'm actually looking forward to the ironing.

You know what's coming next!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TWD Summer Fruit Galette

I just finished this week's Tuesday's with Dorie. Mine was a peach galette.
Michelle from Michelle in Colorado Springs selected this summer treat. Surf on over to her blog for the recipe.

I blanched the peaches to easily remove the skins. First time blancher. It worked like a dream!

I halved and pitted the fruit then prepared the crust. I elected to use my no-fail crust recipe rather than Dorie's. I'm sure hers is good but I know mine well.

perfectly combined flour shortening and salt, ready for a few tablespoons of cold water. that's the secret to a good crust, you know? Everything cold, cold, cold. I've even started storing my shortening in the fridge.

Spread the preserves onto the rolled out crust. I elected not to use the graham cracker crumbs. I'm not sure of their purpose. It just seems strange to me. So on top of the preserves, I placed the peaches, cut side down and folded the edges over. Good thing this dessert is supposed to look rustic.

My favorite part was the custard. I could (and did) drink this stuff! After the galette has cooked enough to soften the fruit, you pour in a prepared custard (sugar, butter, egg and vanilla). I liked the custard so much I took the galette out, poured the rest of the custard on top and cooked it some more. De-lish!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

final sling report

This is the Birdie Sling by Amy Butler. This bag is HUGE! Perfect for a diaper bag. A project bag or a weekender. It's that big.

Amy is an excellent pattern writer - her directions are clear and so easy to follow. It was like having Amy herself in my sewing room, walking me through each step. It was challenging (too strong a word, maybe) negotiating the pleats but once I got going, the hours flew and I was building a Birdie. So fun. Poor Ken thought he was going to starve to death as I kept on sewing right through the dinner hour.
I think the fabric is by Heather Bailey. The polka dot may be Amy's but the bold exterior print and the stripey interior is definitely Freshcut. I've already procured my next birdie sling fabrics in freshcut. Just you wait.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

sling report

we have pleats!

and we have pockets!

and we have a headache. sewing machine keeps acting up. i think it's tired. me too.
more later. . .
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This is a new feeder this year. The syrup solution I had was not new. I happily filled the new feeder with the old solution and waitied for the hummers to come. They'd come and sniff around but never eat. Seems these little birds are picky eaters. Or not. What they really seem to like is a simple syrup of sugar and water in a one to two ratio. Boil till the sugar dissolves and cool. Cami said I have to credit her with the recipe. Whatever. ;)

Today when I told her I now have three females constantly eating at my feeder since I changed from that icky red stuff to her recipe she simply said, "You're welcome." :)

Thanks Cami. I heart the humpigs.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

sling report

The first stages of any project seems to be a rearranging of sorts. My neat folded piles from earlier have been rearranged into these new piles, all interfaced and waiting for my stitchery.

After a brief, albeit powerful nervous breakdown I came to the realization that interfacing is not of the devil and I -do- know how to sew. I did not require medication and progress ensued.

I tried calling Cami first but her phone was out of order. I told her when I reached her by cell that it was sort of like calling the suicide hot line and being asked to hold. I need help now, damnit! So I bit the bullet and called my mom's house. No big deal one might think. Well, my mother has been visiting in Washington State for the past almost two weeks. Her husband, left behind with only a little wiener-type dog for company kept me on the phone for THIRTY minutes. I had to call HIM to get my mom's cell number so I could ask her for help. She laughed rather maniacally when I told her the length of our conversation. She needs to go home. I think her man is getting a little lonely.

Turns out I just needed someone to listen as I talked my way through my first time with interfacing. That's all anyone really needs for their first time, a willing ear to listen to how horrible it was. Are we still talking interfacing? I digress. . .

I won't get any sewing done until maybe Sunday so all you crafty vixens will have to wait till next week for another sling report. Till then, carry on.

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I'll be in the sewing room

trying to create a birdie sling with this:

wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie

I love the idea of this group - a cook along. But so many of the recipes aren't practical for my family. I live with Mr. picky eater and son. I'm the only one who will eat any sort of fruit thing so all these wonderful cobblers, pies and such I didn't get to bake.
I'm thinking I need to combine this group with my weekly visits to Clementine's . Knitters get hungry. And they'll pretty much eat anything. :)
So I'll be catching up next week with the Summer Fruit Galette. Stay Tuned!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pretty Darn Good Banana Cream Pie

For those who asked:

Gram's Banana Cream Pie

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly (save whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons margarine

Mix sugar, flour, salt, milk and egg yolks in saucepan. Boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat, add margarine and vanilla. Spoon over 2 sliced bananas in baked pie shell. If topping with meringue, spoon meringue over warm pudding and bake until golden, or allow pie to cool completely and top with whipped topping.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

bloggers aren't all crazy

I had the deep pleasure of meeting Anna of Thimbleanna yesterday at Clementine's.
What a great day! There was the aforementioned pie, plus yummy sweet rhubarb custard plus the amazing chocolate croissants that Cami makes with her own hands. From scratch.You can just taste the love.

Noemi and I were grilling the youngest Becher girl-child, convinced Cami uses store bought pastry crust but alas, either the child is sworn to secrecy or these delectable treats are indeed made from scratch. They are indescribably good. And I wish I could remember their french name - it's petite something or other and the name alone makes you aware you're about to have something really special.

I took my camera with me yesterday but didn't even take it out of the bag. It was ascared to come out after seeing Anna's big-girl camera. Hers made my Cannon look like a disposable point and shoot. :) But I did take some pictures here this morning:
The beautiful flowers Robin thought to grab so we had something smelly and pretty to look at. I was the lucky one who got to take them home. They're making me smile today, Robin. Thank you.
This is a little gift from Anna. I -love- it. She was so oh-it's-no-big-deal. But Anna, I'm saying it here and in print. It -is- a big deal. It's perfectly lovely and already filled with all those little necessary things I carry in my knitting bag but seem to find their way to the nether reigons when I need them. So thank you. It was so nice to meet you and just sit and knit like old friends. Can't wait till next time.

Speaking of sitting and knitting. I asked Cami today if she was getting tired of hearing me say, "I should have listened to you." I seem to say it a lot. A. LOT. She tried telling me last week or so, maybe I should just start a simple project, maybe a basic sock. That ribbed lace pattern totally kicked my ass and will soon be something lovely I can wear about my neck. I decided the yarn is much too nice for feet.
So, I took Cami's advice and cast on some Vinca yarn that has been waiting patiently in my stash. I opened the box and heard a little, "pick me! pick me!" and so I did.

Friday, July 18, 2008

now this is a beautiful sight

perfectly peaked

nicely golden

banana cream pies.

one for friends and one for my own man-of-the-house. ;)

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weaving a web

I seriously feel like I'm knitting a spiderweb here. While it may not look like much, this little slice of heaven is a mere two inch square. Ken asked last night, "And how long did that take you?" Silly, silly man.

When this little bit grows up it will be this. one down, half a million to go.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

how to make someone cry

the surest way to make someone cry is to say, "don't cry, lil lady." right before you do something totally sweet. ya'll know who you are. thank you. thank you. THANK. YOU.

this is the perfect time to share some art that boy-child did on his computer. i think it's pretty spiffy, but i'm his momma. it does capture how i feel at this moment knowing i have the best. friends. ever.

see you saturday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

machine love

When I read Thimbleanna's post and felt the love she had for her sewing machine I felt sad that I didn't have that sort of love for my own. But then I remembered this little treasure I had hiding in my office. I forget it's there because it sleeps inside it's unassuming cabinet, holding our mail basket and keys.
Now, while it may not look like much of a treasure here, just you wait. When I opened the case (which hasn't been done in years) I found this:
But, after evicting the dust bunnies, I beheld this:

I used a gold reflector to give it that heavenly glow. heh heh But seriously, isn't it lovely? THIS is a machine you can feel some love for. It's a 1929 White sewing machine Ken's grandmother gave us.

I think Ken was actually the last person to use it. He made a set of scrubs for a teddy bear I used as a focal point when I delivered Ashley. Sadly, we don't have the bear any longer but I do think the scrubs are around here somewhere. That's love, I tell you. Ken loving me and me loving this sewing machine. It's got memories. That's where the love is.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

what's for dinner?

Parmesan Chicken
Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

SO good! Even the picky man liked it.

Recipe cut and pasted from javagirlkt's cookin' . Excellent blog I came across today.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

my husband is freakishly clever

Not unlike me in my crafty and cooking adventures I must say. Before we get to his creative genius, behold, my favorite salad EVER:

It's a copy cat recipe based on the village salad at Max & Ermas restaurants. Nice leafy lettuce(s), red onion rings, sliced roma tomatoes, crispy, crumbled bacon and blue cheese. Finish it off with fresh ground pepper and Marzetti's sweet italian dressing. It's a little bit of heaven. As heavenly as a salad can be, anyway.

I thought I'd share a favorite kitchen gadget with you too. This here is my second one, just acquired today at Target. My first octopus met an untimely demise in my garbage disposal. Yikes. I know.

You fill his head with soap and he scrubs your dishes for you!

And behold, my husband's creative genius. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that:

He needed some sort of vacuum pump thing to get the old fluids out of the engine parts. He had the hand-held squeez-ee outy thing but needed a bigger container. I'm sure he thought of this as he finished the last swig of his cola. A-HA! was heard around the world. I gots me a clever one to be certain.

He's been half inside the engine compartment of his truck since Thursday. I toss him some sustenance now and again but for the most part I haven't seen anything but his backside in three days (that ain't ALL bad). He's doing some major engine repair. Again. He thinks he's got it figured out this time. FOR. SURE.

We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

spaghetti dinner

this is some freaky kind of genius.

you can see more here. i think the candy corn is my favorite.

Friday, July 11, 2008

tomato trouble

First the good news:
I've got five little maters!
but the bad news - something is happening to the foliage.
anyone recognize this malady?
Help save the tomatoes!
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