Friday, March 25, 2011

Beauty is a whole lot of popcorn!

Ah...the benefits of having a daughter that is the manager of a movie theater. Left-over popcorn! And a big smile from the insurance man.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

1st Day of Spring?

We woke this morning to a fresh coat of snow over everything, even the tulips.

Is it late winter, or early spring? I choose early spring! Actually, Central Oregon has very little or no spring. It is the season that doesn't much exist here. We somehow slip from cold and frosty to hot and sunny about the middle of June. Fortunately, we can drive a couple of hours to where there is spring, glorious spring.
Our 'spring' consists of looking out the window at 8 am to find snow blowing, 10 am rain, noon might find a good hail storm, 3 pm a strong wind blowing the trees and whistling around the eaves, and some very welcome sunshine about 5 pm. All weather in one day!

So, on our early spring days, it is a good time to get some inside things done. Like sewing for instance.

I have been very busy sewing up two spring/Easter dresses for two little granddaughters. Millie's birthday comes at the beginning of April (she was born on Easter day that year), and it seemed like a good time for something new. Shhh, don't tell though, as it's supposed to be a surprise!

I had a very hard time finding a pattern and fabric though. Little girl dresses are all sleeveless these days. I wanted a long dress, with collar and sleeves, and this was the ONLY pattern I found. JoAnn Fabrics was all out of this pattern (of course, it's the only one with sleeves..) and I went to the only other store in Bend with patterns and they had 1 left. Whew! Fabrics are on the dark side of pastels (think tutti-frutti colors) and nothing much light for spring. I managed though, and now have them almost done and will be shipping them off. Hopefully, Julie will show us the dresses on the models after birthday is over.

Sewing can't be done without ironing, so I have been doing a lot of that. It's nice to have my Mrs. Tiggywinkle ironing cupboard that makes it easy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

My new book:I heard this recommended enough times that I finally got it.

I had to take a picture of my first loaf. I need to improve my technique, but the bread was approved by all the family. We're excited to experiment with the many options we can try with the dough, which is stored in the refrigerator and can be pulled out to make fresh bread at any time. Anyone else tried this yet?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head in silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullabye. Langston Hughes
I love a rainy day...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A New/Old Apron

For a very long time now, I have wanted to replicate a favorite apron that was my Mother's. She made it in Home Economics in High School, sometime about 1938-39. I have used it for years now too, and it has held together wonderfully well. I have blogged about it before, in a Thanksgiving post.
I didn't want to tear it apart to make pattern pieces, so my wish remained just that...a wish only. Until a year ago, when a friend of a friend was visiting and noticed the apron on it's hook. She asked about it, and when I expressed my wish for it, she told me she could make me the pattern. So the three of us stayed up to midnight with some tissue and pencils, and lo and behold I had myself a pattern to try. As things go (and with me it's usually the gardening season) I hadn't got around to doing more than purchasing some fabric and rick-rack. So, last month I decided to make up a new apron for Julie's birthday on the 1st of March, using my 'old' pattern.
I had found some vintage looking fabric in small sunflowers on a cream background, and decided to trim it in light blue, Julie's favorite color.

Here it is, all finished and hanging by my ironing board, before being wrapped up and sent off to West Virginia. That back 'strap' across the shoulders is really the secret to the comfort of this apron, as it never wants to slip down or off the shoulders, like so many do.

It has the requisite pockets, that every good apron should have, and miles of rick rack, my mom-in-law says. We found in making the pattern that this little simple looking apron is much more difficult than it looks. It has a princess neckline, where the pretty shape is repeated in the waistline. (None of that really shows in the photos) My original has bust darts, but my pattern maker was able to adjust those out of the pattern. It was one of my first projects with no instructions at all, but that went fine. I did have to interrupt my sewing to go and buy a new sewing machine during this project. I had been fighting with my original 1973 Kenmore for a while now, and it was time. As I shopped, the tweenie salesgirl looked at me with concern when I asked for a machine without a computer. She told me she didn't think one could sew a garment without a computer sewing machine!
Anyway, this was a fun project, and I'm so glad I was able to finish it before getting sick. Julie received it in time for her birthday, along with a new cookbook she had been wanting from King Arthur's. She has promised to model it there, and post a few photos of it being worn. When I feel better, I will be back to making a few more of these aprons.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sketch of Mom

Not a perfect likeness, but I'm amazed that my 11 year old son even attempted to draw a realistic sketch of me. I love it that he loves to draw. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter at Crabapple Home

Welcome today to Crab Apple Home....come into our cozy nest and rest awhile.
Our Crab Apple home is still in the icy grip of winter, but with some blue sky and sunshine, things are cheerful inside here by the fire. Mr and Mrs Hedgehog are a bit prickly these days, as they wrestle with a cold bug that doesn't want to go away. One of their nestlings also has the bug, and each of us is busy trying to help the other.

Fortunately, we have a good stock of food on hand, made and gathered in the autumn months. And hot cups of tea sipped, while toasting our toes is always helpful.

The view from our windows shows many inches of snow still beautifully covering our roofs and fields. Last years crab apples hang onto the barren branches, stubbornly clinging...adding delightful color to the landscape.

Our four-legged friends come to visit, and forage for a winters' meal.

Winter has so many delights. The barren branch of a crab apple, showing its strength and form as it waits with the promise of spring. A story in the making,
one not seen...yet.

As we are rather still and housebound for yet a while, there is much activity outside to observe. Crab apples provide good food for our feathered friends. Winter storms have been frequent, with the winds howling. But inside it is cozy, with warm quilts on the bed, and phone calls from our grown nestlings. Today, our middle nestling is celebrating a birthday over at Plum Tree Cottage, so there is rejoicing at our Crab Apple Home. Happy Birthday, dear one!

Storms have brought down some juniper branches, and provided fresh green food, and enjoyment for us hedgehogs as we watch.

One day not too far off, these branches will again be green, and swollen with new buds. Just like us. But for today, we will rest in our Creator's wisdom, of a winter's rest.