Sunday, July 29, 2007

How I spent my summer vacation

I didn't really disappear. Traveling and vacation took me away from home for two weeks. And when I returned, there was some family turmoil. Sometimes life is hard.

To lighten my mood, I decided to post some scenes from our vacation. It was a low-key vacation. We visited my family in Delaware. My parents have a house on the Indian River and my brother has a house on the beach, south of Dewey Beach. Lots of sitting, chatting, knitting, reading. The view from my parents deck and some goodies from the river (I spent every morning on the deck drinking coffee, knitting, reading, chatting with my mom.)

Beach photos of the kids and dogs - I don't have many because I kept forgetting to bring my camera to the beach.

Gotta love the no sales-tax outlet shopping in Delaware!

Knitting Progress - I finished the second Fiber Trends clog. I am not happy with how they turned out. Part of it I blame on allowing so much time in between the two and part of it on poor felting due to my inattentiveness. I also finished the front of a top (Latoya pattern by Berrocco, Pineapple CottonEase yarn; photo taken before I finished.) And another dishcloth.

And when I arrived home, I had ripe tomatoes in my garden and a few peppers. This became Insalata Caprese for my dinner last night:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New Look 6468

Hooray! I finished the dress. I'm very pleased with it. Outside photo is a little blurry so I took one in my sewing room.

Pattern: New Look 6468, View B. (Yeah, i know, the pattern shows a hot pink fabric, too. I didn't do that intentionally; I just loved the fabric I found - it happened to be pink!)

Fabric: Woven stretch embossed from JoAnn's. Black lace with ribbon trim. Now that I'm looking at the photo, a black tulle under skirt barely peeking out the bottom would be cute!

Close up of the bodice below. Obviously, I omitted the rick rack from the pattern and trimmed it a little differently.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Invisible Zippers - Take 2 (and 3 and 4)

My second attempt to insert an invisible zipper wasn't as successful as the first one. See how lumpy and wavy it is? And not exactly invisible!!

So I ripped it out and re-read some of the tips I've found recently. The fabric is a woven but it has a bit of stretch to it. I fused some interfacing to the seam allowances and WOW! Complete difference. However, the second time, I realized the left side and right side were not properly aligned. So I ripped it again. (BTW, one of the best tips I read was to NOT anchor down your stitching by backstitching until completely done. Good for ripping!)

Third time was a charm. I zipped up the zipper before sewing down the second side and pin basted it in place. Then I opened the zipper and re-sewed the second side.

It's not completely invisible. Obviously, it's more noticeable because I used a black zipper on a fuschia fabric but I did that intentionally as the dress has some black trim (not shown in the photo). It's a side zipper so it won't be all that noticeable. But for you experienced sewers, should it be MORE invisible than it appears in the above right photo?

BTW, click on the photos for a close up of the cool embossing on the fabric! I love this fabric.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

How I spent my weekend

It was a busy one but quite fun. Attended a graduation party Friday night and played Euchre with our bi-monthly group last night. The food was awesome! Everyone brings heavy appetizers and last night there was quite a spread. The hosts grilled tenderloin, flank steak and chicken for mini sandwiches. Other people brought bacon wrapped mushrooms, artichoke-sun dried tomato feta pizza, beautiful arrangement (yes arrangement!) of vegetables, mini reubens (great idea to make them on party rye bread for apps) and I can't remember what else. I made a smoked turkey cheese spread on baguettes based on a recipe I found at

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup coarsely chopped fully cooked smoked turkey (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise in processor; blend until smooth. Add turkey and process, using on/off turns, until coarse paste forms. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans and 4 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into small serving bowl. Sprinkle top with remaining 2 tablespoons pecans and 2 tablespoons parsley. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)

[My changes: I didn't turn the mixture into a paste. I chopped the turkey fairly finely and then folded in the cream cheese mixture, pecans and parsley. After I spread it on the baguette slice, I topped it with a tablespoon of jalapeño pepper jelly and sprinkled with pecans. ]

Bon Appétit

September 1997

I finished up the washcloth. I know Beth pointed me to the pattern but I can't remember where it was. I used Bernat's Cotton Tots intending for this to be a washcloth, rather than a dishcloth. The pattern is very clever but I definitely needed to pay better attention to the pattern. I screwed up in a couple places because I lost track. If I make this as a dishcloth, I will cast on less stitches. This cloth is approximately 12" in diameter - too big for a dishcloth in my opinion.

I have been thinking all week about homemade ice cream and purchased the ingredients to make some yesterday. Other people have been having the same idea - check out this recipe and picture for Rocky Road Ice Cream. This is the recipe I received from a friend years ago and let me tell ya, it is DELISH!! It looks a little melty but I couldn't find my camera!

Cheesecake Ice Cream

1 pint half and half
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup sugar
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T vanilla
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t grated lemon rind
1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs.

In a blender, mix half and half, cream and sugar. Blend in cream cheese and vanilla. Refrigerate for a few hours. Then stir in lemon juice and rind and process in your ice cream freezer. Add the graham cracker crumbs during the last five minutes. Serve with fresh fruit or other toppings.

And finally.... a conversation with my good friend Saturday morning as I was headed out to run errands.

Friend: "Bon, did you hear about the great shoe bargain I got yesterday at DSW?"
Me: "Shoe.... bargain.... You've got my attention."
Friend: "DSW is having a summer clearance shoes and I got a pair of shoes that had been marked down to $80 for only $16."
Me: "I'm stopping there on the way to Costco."

Phone call on the way home to my now BAD friend.
Me: "I hate you."
Here is why:

BUT!!! I purchased all those shoes and the little purse for $125!!! Most of them were 80% off their original prices. They don't look nearly as cute in this picture as they do in person. The ones on the bottom row, far right are ADORABLE!!! And the little strappy sandals next to them in front of the purse are very hot on. The purse goes so well with them and I intend to wear them with the dress that I am just about finished making. I wish I was a better photographer 'cuz these shoes are CUUUUTTTE!!