Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sourdough French Bread

Artisan Breads

My first attempt to make sourdough bread at home using the starter that I made! I think it turned out well though I wanted the crusts darker but was afraid of overcooking. I think next time I might use a hotter oven. The recipe called for 450, 500 might have been a better choice.


Artisan Bread

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Stippled Patchwork
Stippled Patchwork

I love the look of stippling on a quilt. I've been working on perfecting this technique and had some instructions from a sewing machine shop and I think I'm starting to get it!

Here is my latest project.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Wish...


...I could do something that would change the world in a positive way.
...I had many more hours in the day.
...Babies, kittens and puppies would stay little longer.
...It didn't hurt to watch people get old.
...Work was more fun.
...Everyone could realize the beauty of snow falling in the moonlight.
...Life were simpler.
...Loved ones died at the exact moment they, and you, were ready.
...I would only have to learn hard lessons once.
...There was a list of instructions for life. In English, not pictures.
...Everyone valued creativity.
...Pets died exactly when we did.
...Money really did grow on trees.
...Nobody went to bed hungry.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Freshcut Tunic
Freshcut Tunic

I really love Heather Bailey's Freshcut line and now it's going out of print! I've been buying it up like crazy. These two prints are some of my favorites so I made this tunic from both of them. I usually put everything in my Etsy shop but I might keep this one. It reminds me of a walk on the beach, doesn't it? Now if I could just find a beach...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I LOVE Charm Packs!

Moda Urban Chiks Sweet Charm Pack

In my last post I mentioned the Urban Chiks charm packs? WOW, I love them! First of all, after cutting my own squares, having them already cut perfectly and pinked is quite a luxury! No worrying about different sizes when you sew them together! It took me a very short time to put this together with one pack (40, 5" squares). I was going to make it a baby quilt but am now wavering whether or not to use the second pack to make it a larger lap quilt. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmmm.

Garden Glory Apron

And, speaking of Spring in my last post, a Garden Apron! Michael Miller is discontinuing this fabric so I bought a bunch on sale and plan to sew up a storm, one that will water the garden! So here is my first one. These will be for sale in my shop.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring, please!

Fresh Cut Mums Blouse
I am ready for Spring! It seems like the recession/depression has made things so dank and dark, I want Spring to come, Spring in the weather and the economy and the world! OK, maybe that's pushing it but just a thought.

Here are some pretty things to get you thinking of SPRING. Starting with another peasant blouse, made from Heather Bailey's soon-to-be-discontinued Fresh Cut line! I love this one. I especially love the grosgrain elastic. YES grosgrain elastic! Genius for something like this.

Charm Pack SWEETCharm Pack SWEET
Next, Charm Packs from Urban Chiks SWEET line. Yummy. I got two packs of 40, 5" squares today from Fancy Tiger. There are so many things you can do with these. I love these little pockets by Happy Zombie

Memoire a Paris by Lecien
I also picked this up from the SALE rack at Fancy Tiger, it's the softest cotton fabric ever and has this gorgeous flower print and it's called "Memoire a Paris" how much better could it get? This will be for moi. Probably a peasant blouse, how original.

And then some photos from my garden, past Springs and Summers. Ahhhhh.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Peasant BlousePeasant Blouse

Fold Over Elastic

FOE Example

Most sewers have by now seen the Angry Chicken video on FOE (aka Fold Over Elastic). Once I saw the video, I just had to try it and ordered some up from one of the very few places that sell it, and they are online, Sewzanne's. There are also FOE sellers on Etsy. This was last year. FINALLY I decided to try it on a new blouse I'm working on for the shop. I love it! I can't live without it! I want to make everything with FOE!

Yes, I had a dull life, elastic makes me HAPPY. So here's my little blouse. It looks different from the elastic that you thread through but I like this look. I haven't finished the neckline but will use regular elastic in a casing because it's a large area and the FOE might look kind of odd.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Artisan Bread

Bread Class
I took a break from sewing this weekend to take the first of three Artisan Bread Baking classes I received as a Christmas gift from my parents! It was a wonderful class and I came home with a French baguette, a sourdough boule, a half loaf of cinnamon swirl bread as well as dough for another baguette, another boule and 1/4 cup of sourdough starter! And all the recipes. We had lunch halfway through the class, with wine. Mmmmmm. Next week's breads are: Brioche Rolls, Challah, Pain de Campagna, Foccacia, and American Dinner Rolls.

I really like to cook. My first job out of college was working in gourmet shop and school called The Pampered Pantry, in St. Louis, MO, which sadly, went out of business long ago. I was required to read an inch thick book on cooks tools which is where I first began my cookware snobbery. I may not have a big kitchen or a lot of cookware but what I have is high quality, most of it at least.

My absolute dream trip would be this European Tour through Cook Street School of Fine Cooking where I'm taking this class. It's part of the professional chef program, but for a mere $6,495, not including airfare, anyone can join the tour! This movie shows the Italian part of the tour (WARNING: food porn)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The American Look 1958

WOW, this movie is amazing! A blast from the past. Incredible marketing movie for American design of the 1950s. You have to watch the whole thing, it's 28 minutes long but worth it. A much simpler time in life.

I especially enjoyed, of course, the woman in her kitchen prancing in a typical 1950's sheer apron over her bell shaped dress (around minute 6), the brag about American technology around minute 8:50 (showing a weird panel of computer type keys, later is a rotary pencil sharpener and other gems), the massive pesticide spraying on fruit trees with voiceover about progress (hack, hack) and the last quarter of the movie shows how a Chevrolet is designed, staring at the concept of drawing (pastels on paper) to prototypes (made of clay, full-size! and exacted using plywood templates). The movie was produced by General Motors but the images and music are sooo classic 50s. And don't miss the very end where they attempt to predict what cars we'll be driving in the future, hehe. A gem. Enjoy!

Original movie link on Google Video
You can also see this in a better quality on YouTube, digitally enhanced, but it's been split into 3 parts. Just do a search on The American Look 1958.

Apron Apron

Mama's Feedsack Apron BACK
I found this fabric last year and just loved it, finally was inspired to make something with it! It's a very simple little smock apron. I think the pinks in the fabrics and trim compliment the simple design of the smock. It just looks like it's ready to help someone bake a cake!

It really looked terrible on my dress form, though. So in lieu of a model, I asked my husband to photograph me wearing it. But he was so comfy on the couch so this is the result. I have a cute neighbor who looks great in anything and I'm hoping to convince her to model some of these for me when we both have time.

I really love the back and the sweet little tie at the neck.

Mama's Feedsack Apron BACK

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Nod to Fellow Etsy Sellers

All by my little self, I am out to save the economy! OK, not really but...

I'm amazed how many great products there are on Etsy and I have never yet had a bad experience! I ordered a few things recently and for some reason, they all arrived today, yippee! The mailman had to make a special trip to make the delivery, what a guy!

First is this little fabric mini from Etsy seller yaelfran who designs these adorable girls on lots of other surfaces and this is her first fabric and I got some, yay for me! All the way from Argentina.

Next is this shea butter moisturizer from Etsy seller SweetPetula, made from 75% shea butter. I actually got two of them, one in the fragrance Ginger Blossom and the other in Sweet P. They are a welcome relief to my winter weary hands.

Then from CuteAbility, these adorable cupcake earrings and a matching mixer bowl necklace. These are for my 13 year old niece's birthday later this month. She might just faint that she is getting them ON her birthday as I am notorious for sending gifts after the fact, sigh.

I HAD to have this Alexander Henry fabric called Granville with matching Fleur de Granville. It also comes in blues and a few other patterns but I was good and only stuck to these 2 yards. From FabricSupplies shop on Etsy!

And while we're on the topic of fabric I had to have... one more order arrived from FabricWorm, I'm really loving the Joel Dewberry woodgrain fabrics in bright colors and when I saw the combo of the orange woodgrain and the Alexander Henry Birdseed fabric, well, I think it was a match made in heaven. OK, maybe I'm going a little too far.
New Fabric