Archive for August, 2007

Tea Towels

Sewing Machine Cover

Quilted Tea Towel

I’m always drooling over the tea towels at Anthropologie. They are so gorgeous, but I can’t justify spending nearly $20 on something that’s used to dry dishes and hands. They inevitably get stained and look ratty. But my mom decided to purchase two to use as covers for her sewing and serger machines. A couple nips, tucks, and seams later and she had two beautiful covers. I love the quilted butterfly with the rick rack. So pretty.

We plan to spend our holiday weekend visiting friends and maybe a trip to the sunny side of Washington. There’s an amazing glacier lake about two hours from here that is nearly always sunny and warm in the summer. There are camping spots and even a horse rental with trails to ride in the forest. I’m not sure I’ve convinced Ryan just yet, but I have my fingers crossed.

8 comments August 30th, 2007

More Canning Goodness

Canning

Pepper Jelly

A friend and I spent eight hours canning on Sunday. My feet hurt from standing in the kitchen that long, but there is something inherently satisfying working like that, something inherently satisfying in domestic chores. The recipe yielded far more than we expected, almost double, so we had to make a quick run for more jars. All in all, we had 20 jars of pepper jelly and 20 jars of giardiniera… each! I think I’m going to thrift some small tea spoons and pickle forks to attach to each parcel, and maybe whip up some of these towels for the extra special ones.

The sad news is that the pepper jelly has yet to set, over 24 hours later. The directions said that it could take up to three weeks before the jelly sets, but I’m wondering what could change between now and then. I’m hesitant to post the recipe if it’s not a successful venture. If it really doesn’t set, I’m labeling it as sweet-hot pepper syrup and calling it a day. It’s very delicious and would be heavenly on corn fritters or as a spread mixed with cream cheese on crackers. I’ve got my fingers crossed though. Does anyone have jelly experience? Troubleshooting ideas for next time? I know they say to do a trial batch, but I cut corners all the way.

10 comments August 28th, 2007

Imagery

Japanese Craft Book Embroidery

Japanese Craft Book Circle Purse

I know I’ve been a bad blogger. Oh, the shame. The truth is I started working a lot more three weeks ago. Add to this some snippets of nice weather (despite my complaining) and that makes for one bad blogger. But how cute are these? I just love the felt/embroidery combination on the top one. These images were both pulled from the amazing group on Flickr, Inspiring Images from Craft Books. Expect to clean up drool from your desk after viewing.

In other news, I put a list of my Top 99 Movies over there on the right, in case you’re in need of some good recommendations. I didn’t aim to pick out 99, but that’s where the number ended up (or so I counted). And, if you haven’t seen this fabulous bookmaking idea, go look. I’m all in a tizzy to get started. Happy weekend, all!

6 comments August 24th, 2007

Pink Lap Quilt

Pink Lap Quilt

Pink Lap Quilt

I started this lap quilt for my grandma who recently had a stroke. She’s fine, just shaken and feeling old, so I wanted to make something comforting–something that wraps around her and makes her feel hugged by me, even though we’re so far apart. It’s certainly the most complicated pattern I’ve tried thus far in my quilting forays. I’m only making six squares, so I thought I could manage it. The cutting, as always, takes forever. I’ve got it all cut and nearly three squares pieced, so I’m on my way. I managed to spill sticky, green apple martini (drinking while quilting, who, me?) and iron a stain in from the ironing board cover I didn’t know was there, but that’s the miracle of making something white: bleach.

We had a busy weekend, running errands and piddling around. I spent Sunday cooking vegetables from my mom’s garden and making popovers to keep in the freezer for lunches. I slow-cooked eggplant, potatoes, red peppers, and green beans with olive oil, thyme, fresh basil, and some red wine vinegar, added brie cheese or pepper gouda and wrapped them up in store-bought crescent roll dough. They’re delicious!

5 comments August 22nd, 2007

Activity Book of Yore

My Handmade Activity Book ca. 1982

My Handmade Activity Book ca. 1982

My Handmade Activity Book ca. 1982

My Handmade Activity Book ca. 1982

This book was mine and kept at my grandma’s house for my visits there. I always remember it being there and have no idea where it came from. It’s got my name and birth date embroidered on the binding, so it must have been made with me in mind. I have very vivid memories of my grandma teaching me how to braid and how to unbutton the train wheels. It’s a great learning toy and one I loved. It looks like it took eons to make, though. It’s got about 14 pages and each is impeccably finished and has stood the test of time. A few more of the pages are posted on my Flickr page if you’re interested.

17 comments August 17th, 2007

Winners

Sachets

Packaged Goodies

I did pick winners for the Clean Up Giveaway and I actually sent the packages out a week ago; I’m just now posting about it. Usually it’s the complete opposite of that, but I had my priorities in order this time around. The winners were The Absent Knitter, Buggabu, and Future Girl. Thank you all for signing up! I didn’t realize that was the ticket to delurking all of you readers. I’ll have to plan another giveaway so you have another shot at it. Included in the package were: ten or so different fabrics, a bag of scraps, and a little Chinese lantern box with lavendar sachets and some trims.

I’ve decided to start early on Christmas this year. I didn’t have a chance to do everything that I wanted last year and with me working full-time now I figured I’d better get started. I’m going to give canned goods as Christmas this year. Right now, I’m thinking fancy condiments: pepper jelly, antipasto, and some sort of salsa. Does anyone have any fantastic recipes I can’t live without? I’d love to hear them. Posie Gets Cozy talked about this hot chocolate recipe. I can’t see how hot chocolate and salsa would work in the same basket…

6 comments August 13th, 2007

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