Archive for January, 2008

Vera

Vera Linens

Vera Linens

A very dear friend showed up at my door with this collection of Vera tea towel linens, which she gave to me. Gave! I have a few vintage Vera silk scarves that I picked up at a vintage shop in Brooklyn. I poked around the internet to try and find some information on her and all I came up with were eBay auctions, a 25-word Encyclopedia Britannica reference, and these pages from Daily Candy and Angry Chicken.

I love her colors and the sweet drawings on these linens. What surprises me is that only a few of the designs/colors appear dated or vintage looking—the elephants and the red and green flowers. Timeless design is a feat few can create. I have no idea what to do with these precious textiles. All but one is in perfect condition, so I can hardly warrant drying dishes with them or cutting them to use in projects. I did consider framing them, but they would require made-to-size frames, which sounds a little costly right now. I also thought about stitching them together as-is to form a tablecloth, but that could be ruinous. Anyone have any genius ideas? I suppose for now, they’ve been washed and ironed and will be tucked away in a safe spot.

The bedroom redo is well on its way. I purchased a gray wool couch and ottoman from 11 comments January 31st, 2008

New Quilt

New Quilt

New Quilt

Thanks for all of your kind comments on the bird quilt. I just love having it on the bed and snuggling up in it every night. Since it’s finished, though, I needed a new long-term project. I’ve cut out nearly all the pieces for a bricklayer’s quilt, using lots of cream and the greens, blues, and browns from the Katie Jump Rope line of fabric. I plan on hand quilting again. Although it takes a significant amount of time, I think it turns out better and just looks more like a quilt. I’m hoping that since there’s no embroidery to be found in this quilt, that I can cut my production time down–at least by a little.

I woke up this morning to snow-covered roofs and my husband brewing coffee. It’s a lovely way to wake up, if one has to on a snow day. We spent the weekend shopping for a new couch and living room furniture. It’s well past time to rid ourselves of furniture that folds up or disassembles; we’re planning on staying put! I just love this room courtesy of Decor8′s blog (minus the deer head of course). I’m thinking grey, lilac, fuschia, and lots of white and lucite.

11 comments January 28th, 2008

Bird Quilt–C’est Fini!

Bird Quilt

Bird Quilt

Bird Quilt

Well, here it is. The infamous bird quilt, all bound up and on the bed. I started this in Fall of 2004, according to that post, so in three years (plus a few months, but who’s counting?) I finished a hand-embroidered, hand-quilted, hand-bound quilt. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many hours it takes to make a quilt exactly? If I had to guess, I’d say this one took about 260 hours. It’s been interesting working on a project for years. I’m still happy with the color choices, although a little worried about how the white will wear. I don’t think I’ll be able to keep it on the bed for years and years without some permanent stain or ripped bird or whathaveyou. But after three years with it, angered by it, and feeling hopelessly in over my head, I’m thrilled and ready to start on a new quilt!

Pattern from Martha Stewart Note: I did alter the design of the quilt itself to include the thin pieces between the blocks, just to break it up a little and make the quilt larger.

27 comments January 21st, 2008

Japanese One-Pot Soup

Serves 4
Total Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Broth:
5 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. mirin
1 tbsp. sugar
4 two-inch long slices of ginger
1 small onion, sliced

Toppings:
1/2 package bean thread noodles
8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 c. cubed extra firm tofu
1 c. cubed fake chicken

Place noodles in a large mixing bowl. Fill two inches above noodles with almost boiling water, gently stir, and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles.

While noodles are cooking, place all ingredients for broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let sit on medium-low for 5 minutes. Strain out onions and ginger.

Meanwhile, wash and prepare vegetables and tofu/chicken.

In individual bowls, place a quarter of the noodles, mushrooms, red peppers, and tofu/chicken. Ladle broth over the fillings until the bowl is full. Serve with chopsticks and a soup spoon.

Add comment January 21st, 2008

Around the House

Martha and Snowflakes

Bowl and Plate Set

Owl and Porcupine Hooks

These are a selection of gifts I got for Christmas. Aren’t they cute? I just love the Martha baking book and the pan. I made a delicious almond cake with lemon curd for Christmas in it. I also tried out her recipe for blueberry muffins–using blueberries that I froze after picking them this summer. I added a handful of dried cranberries and a dash of almond extract (yes, I do like almond baked goods). Boy, were those delicious. A surprisingly simple recipe that worked perfectly. And I just love the design of the book. Orange is not a color you typically expect of Martha Stewart, nor are the bold lines. But, it’s gorgeous, and so far I’m 100 percent happy with the recipes.

3 comments January 16th, 2008

Clutch and Clutched

Clutch

Clutch

I wasn’t expecting to take a blogging break, but here I am, ages after my last post, finally writing. I had a business trip and just a busy week in general. Not to mention, it is SO very difficult to take pictures of anything when the sun doesn’t ever shine. We’ve had so many gray days after gray days. The sun finally came out yesterday for the whole entire day, and I jumped at the opportunity to snap some photos of things I’ve been wanting to share.

A friend of mine gave me the beginnings of this clutch. She had started to make it, and for whatever reason never finished. I turned it inside out and used her lining for my outside fabric. I added a zipper and made it a bracelet clutch with the prettiest shell circle trimmings–I’ve been holding onto those for a spell now. I’ve seen a few of these bracelet purses around town–have you? It’s a great idea to have something to slip on your arm if you can’t always have a hand free to hold it. I used a white bracelet I had around the house.

We’ve been watching the first two seasons of Desperate Housewives, which is a lot more enthralling than I thought it would be. I’ve also been reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I highly recommend it. It’s so beautifully written and the art book-style pages scattered throughout add more than I thought they would.

5 comments January 14th, 2008

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