Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fun to Finish!

Well, I finally did it! I finished a bag that was giving me greif! We IT wasn't actually doing anything, just sitting pretty...waiting for me to come up with some fabulous idea to finish it up. It took awhile, but I finally came up with a plan. A great big creamy woolen daisy brooch was just what it needed and I kind'a feel like making more. The thrifted 1950s cover your own button kit was fun to use...and way less work than the covered buttons I have made in the past.

finished the pin..and was really excited about the looks on this bag! Sunlight was fading so hurried & took this shot.


Here it is handing on the dummy...ok, I do know its a dress form, but I don't get to call anyone dummy now that I'm supposedly a grown-up...so she is my dummy!
Tomorrow....perhaps another bag!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Muddling Through

I don't know what my problem is, but I just can't seem to get anything done. I know part of it is that my workspace needs serious organizing...but there's big plans for that.
I am really good at making piles of matching fabrics...I can cut out bags with themes that make sense to me given my fabric choices and I can cut out woolen shapes till the cows come home. I have enjoyed hours of listening to my audio books while appliqueing my designs onto the bag parts. But I just can't do the serious assembly stuff. The finishing up... the putting it all together.
I am asking myself why...
Is it the bad weather? Do I know the pictures won't come out well anyway so subconsciously I am making it so I don't have to try to take pictures?
Is it that Crescent Country...(my favorite little gift shop) is opening on the 15th and many locals are counting me to have a nice selection of bags for sale?
Is it that I feel a need to come up with something NEW, and I think my time will be better spent on something else?
Ahhhh.... Who knows what's going on in this brain of mine!
I have taken pictures on some of my favorite started things... Seeing them on the screen might get me going again!

Waiting for daisy centers... Vintage or covered buttons... I am trying to decide...also considering some embroidered tendrals... I need to connect that flower but to the rest somehow... this could be fun!

The button cented here is covered button form the actual ladies suit this checkbook cover was cut from.

This is a cool linen blend suit with stripes of tan & blue running through. The appliqué is inspired bu this pretty vintage floral...I wanted to get the flowers as close as possible from wool... I am pretty pleased with what I have done. And thrilled to use this fabric! I purchased it after I received my 1st order of labels...that came in (gasp) Yellow! instead of the tan I had ordered...I have been forced to add color to many of my projects...which actually turned out to be a really good thing.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Please Take a Moment

I am taking a breather from my sewing to ask that you take a moment to consider...

The usda is accepting public comment about GM alfalfa until this Wednesday.
Here is the USDA email page.

Here is some wording from credo:

I am writing in regard to Docket APHIS-2007-0044, and I demand that the USDA reject Monsanto's application to market genetically engineered alfalfa. The USDA may not believe it matters if GE alfalfa contaminates organic and other non-GE crops, but I certainly do.

Consumers must be able to avoid genetically engineered products. Farmers must be free of the threat of contamination and the USDA must not put organic farmers' livelihoods at risk. The USDA admits that approval of GE alfalfa will make transgenic contamination inevitable. This is unacceptable.

Therefore, I urge you to reject Monsanto's application to sell genetically engineered alfalfa.

Here is a documentary on Monsanto's "Round-Up Ready" Products, and how it relates to our food supply.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I can give up now...Right?

I think 3 tries at a recipe is enough.
These pans actually had more cake in them when I put them in the oven... instead of rising, they actually shrunk!
I guess there is a lesson to be learned here. "It's a piece of cake"...must have been referring to a boxed mix...or some dreamy bakery confection that you lay some cash on the counter and walk away with something tasty & yummy.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a piece of cake...yeah right!

At my "old job" We all get together for birthdays and have a pretty party. We do cake and prettily wrapped gifts for all the girls. The economy has kept us from getting together to work much anymore... but we still meet for the parties.
At my party in January, I received as a gift, a cookbook Luscious Creamy Desserts by Lori Longbotham http://www.lorilongbotham.com/creamy.html I love cookbooks with pretty pictures that explore techniques I find mysterious. This one shows how to make caramels...something I have been wanting to try.
I was so happy to receive this lovely book that I jokingly mentioned..."Looks like I can do dessert next time." And now, it's me. I get to make a picture perfect dessert by tomorrow.
I don't really like cake. I like chewy. I like chocolaty. I like wet and creamy. I really don't like the over sweetness of buttercream frosting either...so I have never really tried to do cakes well. A box mix is good enough for something I don't really care for.
Sunday night I decided to treat the kids to a practice cake. As much as I hate it...I read and reread the instructions, the tutorials, had my ingredients ready and got going.

Here's a picture of what it should look like.

The recipe resembles an angel food cake. 6 eggs beaten for 10 or so minutes, only 1/4 c and 2 tbs. of sugar, and 1 1/4c. of super sifted flour....yes, I sifted.
The flour and a stick of butter are just folded into the fluffy egg mixture.
I mixed the flour in too much and killed the bubbles in my batter, so the cake was dense and crumbly, Sundays cake was a dismal failure.
I overmixed the whipped cream frosting, so it was buttery...and, I thought cream would be a good addition to the caramel sauce, but the mixture was so hot that the cream scalded when I added it to the uber hot syrup mixture.
My son was a good sport and had a piece, but most of it went to the compost pile...where some fox or raccoon will surely be happy to find it.

Happily I did learn something here I made Caramel Sauce. I ran my supposed mistake through a strainer and strained out most of the cream (It just kind'a globbed together) The syrup is actually syrupy....and tastes like caramel!
Last night I tried again.
I was careful to mix as little as possible to save my cake bubbles. The batter filled the pans better and made a nicer looking cake, but still not good as i want it. The finished cakes still crumbly, and the ones in the pictured in the book aren't, so I must be doing something wrong. The recipe for the caramel sauce made enough for a year of cake drizzle, so it was nice to use that again, and I minded my Kitchen Aid better this time and whipped the cream topping to (almost) perfection.

My cake, 2nd try.

I will make one again for the party. Hopefully it won't come out crumbly. If it comes out well, I will let you know.