Monday, August 30, 2010
I was going for the Mennonite-simplicity, that so many of the baby dresses have that were mine, (I do originate from Lancaster County) when I was a baby (kudoos to Mom for saving the best ones for me to use someday, which has come, for my own little girl :) ).
It's simple, though it took a long time to pull the patterns together. Some changes for next time: I'd prefer a slightly higher, more old-fashioned neckline and incorporate a fuller skirt, for the ideal image that I had in my mind. And that ideal image being, a slightly grubby little girl with tanned bare feet toddling around while stuffing who-knows-what in the pocket. Maybe riding our older-than-dirt pony through the field...
I kind of dig the pocket. It's from a doily, that I deconstructed, that my Mema had made. And the back is button-up for easy in and out.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
At any rate, today I finally threw together a little dress for the Little Miss (won't fit til next year). This is the apron tutorial I used, but I made a few adaptations to the dress I made (tie ribbon back, mine less apron/more dress). With the slight changes I made from the tutorial, this will be nice over little panty-shorts, leggings, or even pants.
I really enjoy this lady's blog, check it out. I've made one of these before, and the most annoying part for me is trying to figure out the measurements...since I simply wanted to make the dresses a generic size 12 months, 2T, and so on.
So if you have an afternoon to play, this is a simple little project to jump into.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I guilelessly commented one day, during such an en route critique, that "wouldn't it be great if we were independently wealthy, and I could just take a little pet project, such as a little weekender cottage plan, and run with it and see what happens?! I could really hammer a project out..." (Keep in mind, Hubby successfully has coordinated his own his-job-depends-on-it building projects)
At which point, Hubby suggested the following timeline of highlights for my project because "come hell or high water", I am a get-it-done and don't-sweat-the-details kind of a gal:
Day 2: DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) shuts down the construction site b/c I started excavating a wetland.
Day 16: Finally got engineer to finish design to fix wetland and secure appropriate permits. DEP now off my case and building may commence after paying thousands of dollars in fines and wetland restoration costs.
Day 17: Wetland is restored to DEP's specifications.
Day 18: Work resumed on excavating for new building site.
Day 19: Find and purchase Italian clay roofing tile online.
Day 20: Excavator re-digs footings for the 2nd time, b/c I failed to square up the footing trenches.
Day 22: Poured concrete footings.
Day 23: Jack hammered concrete footings out. (Forgot to set grade stakes to ensure that they'd be level.)
Day 26: Re-poured level footings.
Day 37: Cut trenches in concrete slab. (Forgot to plan for electrical/plumbing.)
Day 42: Jack hammered plumbing lines out. (Forgot to glue PVC together.)
Day 80: Set built-on-site roof trusses.
Day 87: Roof collapsed while installing special-order Italian roofing tile, due to inadequate home-made truss design. Re-ordered special Italian tile.
Day 88: Employed reputable lawyer to defend me in lawsuit from roofers.
Day 115: Pre-manufactured trusses arrived on site. Newly-hired contractor informs me that he's unsure if they can be set due to the building being out of square.
Day 126: Contractor finished adjusting the plumb and squareness of walls in preparation for setting the new trusses.
Day 135: Roof has been finished. Special imported tile is stunning.
Day 156: Finally finished installing doors and windows after customizing to fit incorrectly-built studded openings.
Day 157: Plumbing/electrical fixtures arrive. Realized forgot to run electrical/plumbing within the walls.
Day 178: Just finished patching holes from running electrical/plumbing lines.
Day 185: Power hooked to building.
Day 186: Building pet project burnt down. Suspected cause: Improper wiring.
Day 187: Begged Hubby to bail me out of complications from said pet project.
Huh. So much for the profitable entrepreneurial scheme, I do, however, think that it may be quite suited for our own reality TV show. We're still looking for sponsors...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
At its peak, the morning effervescing was almost more than we could bear. Being used to one dog (my black mutt), who would get out of bed when she was good and ready, after I had already risen, adjusting to a grand total of three dogs this winter was a change. They all sleep in our loft bedroom which has hardwood floors.
At the slightest sign of my or Hubby stirring from sleep in the morning, what we call the "clacking", would begin. Clacking is the sound produced from enthusiastic doggy paws dancing with the uncontainable fervor regarding a new day, on a hardwood floor. Between peer pressure and group thinking, 3 sets of doggy paws (that is, 12 individual paws...12 individual clacking producers) went "clack, clack, clack". Over joyful. Exuberant. Delighted. Zealous. Clack, clack, clack.One of us (Hubby or I), would drag ourselves from the warm bed and struggle downstairs with the three clackers in order to hustle the clamorous joy directly out the front door, before the exuberance had a chance to awaken our young son, whose bedroom is directly below ours. I must say, it is impossible to hold a grudge against such guileless greeting of a new day, though the clacking throughout the process was a tad grating, if not bordering on thunderous.
Fortunately, now with the passage of some time, we have encouraged our clackers to keep things down to a low hum (or roar, perhaps), until the entire household is ready to rise. Now, they (the said clackers) merely sigh and perhaps switch positions on their "luxe" home-made/made-with-love doggy beds, and stretch a little, while I throw on some clothes and dab on make up. One or two may stroll over to the stairs and regally contemplate a leisurely descent... And when I whisper, "Come!", they rise as one and descend calmly to the first floor where they exit via the front door serenely to begin their morning constitutionals...
Monday, August 9, 2010
When the water is boiling, throw in corn in the amount that your pot can handle. Allow to return to a boil, and cook for 4-6 minutes. Supposedly if it takes more than 1 minute for the water to return to boiling, than you don't have enough water, or you're putting too much corn in the pot. But in a perfect world...
Once you have a pile of creamed corn, transfer it to the bagging station, where willing hands should be waiting to bag and mark it for the freezer. Measuring it doesn't take that much longer, because you must scoop with something and it may as well be a measuring cup. And it's nice to know how much is in the freezer bags for use later in recipes. Pack, date, and freeze as soon as possible.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I was overwhelmingly pleased by this simple recipe. It tastes as good as, or better than, the expensive herbal (and organic) teas bought at the supermarket. My son chugs his (when it cools enough to do so) and requests more. And I'd much rather treat his cold symptons naturally than with drugs
In the past, I've had sporadic success with my own home-grown concoctions (I've been known to serve my mother "mint tea" brewed from some random weed, while I was working and living at our family cabin..it's a wonder, I didn't kill us all.), but the tea was so good and so easy to make, I'm drying some spearmint and lemon balm for the winter. Drying is simple, just wash and hang in bunches, somewhere with good air flow preferably.Also, chamomile is a nice addition to any tea (about 1T per cup), and easy to dry, if your husband doesn't, um, decide to deadhead your chamomile plant for you (Hubby, I love you!). For those of you who may not know, the flower head is the useable part of the chamomile plant, just add it fresh/dried to the tea during the steeping process. Dry it by hanging in bunches, or spreading the flower heads out in one layer on a paper towel.
Oh and if you'd like a spearmint or lemon balm "start"...I share. :)
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Something pesky was taking out the sunflowers one by one and had nailed at least 3/4 of the morning glories, but we rallied with rat poison and the remaining planted survivors still form some semblance of a house for the young man of our household. At the very least, it is still acceptable for truck parking.