Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School

Monday was Coleen's first day of school. I usually make her an outfit, but this year she made it herself and did a great job! Both of the patterns are from Ottobre Magazine out of Finland. She loves these pants - she now has five different renditions of them! I like the way they look and she says they are really comfortable. Next time we make pants, we'll try something new...maybe. How much is too much of a good thing?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Farewell Swifts

We moved into our house a couple of years ago in February. Right across the street is an old brick factory building with a large chimney. We thought nothing of it except that it would be great to buy and renovate into a studio space. Then May came and the chimney swifts. There is a whole colony living right across the street and every night right at dusk they come home to the chimney and sleep.

Swifts don't land during the day. They spend the whole day swooping after insects. At night, they roost in the chimney. To get in there they swoop over the chimney until they get in the right position and then they sort of free fall. In the spring when there are a lot of them, it sort of looks like smoke going back down the chimney.

As summer commences, they have their babies and it is lots of fun to watch them all figure out how to get back in the chimney. Now that summer is ending, they have left. They go in fits and spurts to start their journey back to Peru, where they spend the winter. There have been three or four that hung out after the others, but I haven't seen them in the last couple of days, so I think they have left too.

Hope you have a safe journey.

See you next spring.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bridesmaid's Dresses

I just received pictures of the bridesmaid's in their dresses. I made all of the dresses except the bride's and the maid of honor's. This was what a large part of my spare time from January to June was spent on. At times, I really thought they would never end - all of my dreams were in brown and pink. I would fall asleep thinking about the dresses and wake up thinking about them.

What a great time! Rarely do I let myself get so wrapped up in a project - no fudging on the details because not only were they for someone else, but for a paying customer.
I think they turned out really well. One of these days I'll sit down and write pattern reviews for all of them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Coat Muslin

I am making a winter coat for Coleen. The first step was a muslin to make sure I had the right size. I want there to be growing room, but on the other hand I don't want her to be swimming in it. My main quandry, is the length of the sleeves. They are about 3" too long. Can I just hide that in the seam allowance and resew them when they need to be longer or is it better to leave them a little long and cut the seam allowances properly? In the bottom picture she is pointing to where her shoulder actually hits. The shoulders are wide, but overall I don't think it looks gigantic on her. So what do you think?

Up, Up and Away

Coleen is taking rocketry in summer school this year. Everyone in the class gets to build at least one model rocket and then launch it. Today was the first launching day! I managed to get this photo when it was her turn to launch (it is one of those - I can't believe I caught that shots)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Knitting Needle holder

One of the first Christmas presents I made my husband was a knitting needle holder for circular and double pointed needles. After 10 years and marked improvement in my sewing skills, he asked for a replacement. He found the pattern for this in a knitting book called Sweater Workshop (which is a really great book for knitting by the way, especially if you want to design your own sweater). It folds up and ties when you want to take it somewhere or when it is hanging around the house you can stand it up in a basket and have access to all of your needles. She has her pictured in a really cool tall square basket. Not having access to that, we improvised. William searched our house and came up with an oatmeal container. I then covered it in matching fabric.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This week in food

Our dinner Saturday came entirely from our garden. Sauteed zucchini, steamed new potatoes and green beans with dill and swiss chard. We each had a cherry tomato too! Love it when we've produced everything.

We also made pickles on Saturday. We picked up 6 pounds of cucumbers at the local farmer's market. William uses a recipe from the book 'Wild Fermentation' by Sandor Katz.

This is all of the other ingredients: dill, garlic, chili peppers, peppercorns...
and here's the pickles ready to pickle. They will sit out for probably a couple of weeks fermenting until they've reached the right sourness and then they will be refrigerated. They are delicious!