Friday, July 30, 2010

Sun, Sand, Surf

Back from surfing and playing in Westport.
We had a fun time and wish we could have stayed longer.

Its difficult to get good surfing pictures so here are a few from before and after.

Laying by the pool.

Getting a fire ready for s'mores.

Shark attack!

Watching the surfers at The Groins.  Not confident enough to surf here yet.  Some day though.  One day.

If you haven't been to Westport and you like to be near the shore, you should check it out.  It has a marina so there is fishing, crabbing, and lots of boats too.  We surf in the morning and hang out the rest of the day.  Its a great place to bring bikes or take hikes.  You can visit and climb the lighthouse.  We find neat treasure on the beaches and its an excellent place to fly kites.  Westport is kid and dog friendly and a couple places have outdoor pools for summertime swim fun.  If you want a weekend get away, check it out.  It's just three hours from our neck of the woods outside Seattle.

Off to enjoy the heat of Lake Chelan by floating around on my gator,
ttfn sweetie pies,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Striped (vintage looking) Pants

Here are the finished Oliver + S striped pants for J.

They were made using the same pattern from this post.  Its the Oliver +S Sandbox Pants Pattern & Starfish Stencil.  This time I layed out the pattern, pinned it and cut it in one sitting. That only took about .5 hours or so.   And then did all the sewing, start to finish, in one evening.  That took about 2.5 hours.  So 3 hours or so all together.  Not bad.  It took a lot less time, this time around, since I had used the pattern once before.  Reusing patterns helps you get faster!

back view

This fabric is not near as hefty as the last fabric I used.  Its a little more flowy.  It was also curtain panels and I have a lot of this material left.  I did the pockets so that the stripes are crosswise.  I like the contrast of the vertical and horizontal lines.  Shows off the pockets a bit.

Jasper loves to model for me,

can't you tell,
he wants to be a star.

Love that boy
and he wears awesome pants!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Food

Summer's wild and elusive native strawberries!
I got my sources, people!
See how tiny they are?  They taste like the best candy in the world!

Pixie berries, I like to call them.

"I wish it is a good day today"
I had to show you this new container from Maruta Shoten that I keep the berries in.

Bought some of this purple cauliflower from the Carnation Farmers Market to use in a pasta salad.

Look at the color of this cabbage!  I used it to make my FAVORITE dish from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg (a fabulous book!), Cream-Braised (Green) Cabbage.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it....

Look at all these Heirloom tomatoes from Eastern Washington.  I used my own in my pasta salad this time:

These are my cherry tomatoes.  One hanging basket of red, one hanging basket of yellow.  Lovely, sweet, delicious and

ready for pasta.

Some pasta salad ingredients.  See the bright green fava beans?  This is what they look like after you pick them from the shell but before you remove the outer bean skin:

Both the beans and the cauliflower are blanched before adding them to the salad, leaving them with just the right amount of crunch.

Yellow carrots from the market are the perfect summer snack.


We have several bushed here, at our house, but they are a bit shaded and so aren't ripe yet.  Soon though!

These are our raspberries though.  We combined them with fruitstand ones to make jam:

We also made strawberry jam with fruitstand berries:

My jam cupboard is jam packed!

These are our currants from our bush.  They are in the freezer now until I decide what to do with them. 

Here are some Banana Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins.  I baked them in these sweet little silver foil cups, also from Maruta Shoten:

You know how I love shiny silver things!

What delicious things are you eating or cooking?  Make sure to enjoy the bounty while its here,  while it lasts.  Can, preserve and freeze what you can so you can have a taste of summer this coming Winter.  You'll be happy you did!

Love that girl!  Hilarious!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Caught on Cot!

Found this seemingly never used cot at a rummage sale last week. 
I didn't need a cot.
But I bought a cot.
Now I am caught on cots.

Here is the frame unfolded and with the mattress pad off. 
Its in excellent shape.
Looks brand new.

Here is J. modeling the cot for me.
Sweet helper boy.

Why is this something I would buy, you might ask?  I am asking myself too.  And I think it's a couple reasons. 
One: My regular readers know that I have a sickness that requires me to amass as much silvery, metal, galvanized, wiry, metal things as possible.  I don't know what to name this sickness except the crow/raven disease.  Those creatures collect and amass shiny objects like the world might end unless they do so.  That's me, I guess.  I have the crow disease.
Two: Any time I see something, in this case the cot mattress, that I think I can recover or make pretty, I have to do it.  As seen in my ever evolving home.  Things must be aesthetically pleasing.  They must induce joy, wonder, curiosity, and a hip coolness yet timelessness, if I do say so myself.  Aren't these items more lovely to look at?  For me they are.  If something can be beautified, then it must be so.  When I saw this cot I just automatically thought cot/daybed/settee/summer-lounging-place.  SimpleSimon.  So a new cover it had to have.
I had thrifted a Ralph Lauren bed sheet at Goodwill with the intention of using it for my outdoor umbrellas (more on that later)(you know, hipster beautification and all).  Anyhow, it is flowery and shabby chic-ish, and summery, and I though it would make a nice simple cover for the cot mattress.  And it did.
I forgot to take pictures of the process but essentially it's just a huge pillow case.  The back has a three foot long overlap, like on the back of a pillow sham, and you just twist and manipulate the mattress into it until it all smooths out.  Do you know what I mean?  I am trying to think of how else I can explain it.  It starts out as three pieces of material, all the same width, but you cut the back pieces extra long.  Then before you sew it all together you just hem the edges of the back opening, overlap the back pieces to make them line up with your top piece, and sew a big rectangle.  SimpleSimon. 
Looks a little flat and uninviting?  It's actually quite comfortable and relaxing.  A great place to lounge around for the summer.  Check it out...
Don't you want to take a nap?!

Off to sew some leather, Jennette

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vintage Curtain Pants!

Jasper got some new pants!  I sewed this Oliver + S pattern for him using a vintage curtain panel!

Lucky Jasper!  His nice Mama sewed him some new/old pants!  I used the Oliver + S pattern, Sandbox Pants Pattern & Starfish Stencil, bought at Ben Franklin, on sale, many many months ago.  This pattern goes up to size 8, which is great, since he is wearing size 8 in jeans, mostly for the length, since he is a tall 7 year old.    I found after cutting out the pattern that the length sizing was generous so I cut the pattern out on size 8 but folded up the bottom edge to the size 7 and still had more than enough fabric to hem.  Oliver + S rates the sewing difficulty of the patterns by number of scissors images.  They gave this a one scissor out of four, and it was super easy.  I think this pattern will be useful for a long time to come, if he continues to enjoy homemade pants!

I know he is my kid, but how cute is he in these pants?!  Uber Cute! 

This fabric is like heavy cotton canvas, almost.  Not stiff, but definitely with some heft to it.  I will show you some details of the pockets, which I think help them look not so much like pajama pants, but are hard to see in some of these photos.  You could easily make these more like pajama bottoms by leaving the pockets off and using a thinner material.  I think one reason Jasper is so fond of these pants is because people keep telling him they look like really cool camo!  Its a bit hard to tell but they are covered with all kinds of game birds!
These have become the perfect summer pants.  They can be worn with slippers, as seen here, and you can roll them up for a cropped, capri look.  The pants allow plenty of room for stretching, running, tree climbing, forest exploring, fish catching, etc.   They got a lotta give! 
This pattern would totally work for a girl too and I can just imagine them in some of my favorite Heather Ross prints!
Here is a closeup of  a front pocket.  These are fully lined and have double top stitching for an added lil' sumpin, sumpin!  I didn't change anything about the front pockets.  Just followed the pattern directions.
Here is a back pocket, fully lined and double top stitched as well.  I did change the back pocket only in that it did call for a button closure but  I left that out.  Back pocket buttons would just get in the way for my guy.  And be an added unnecessary step for me!
Trying to show you a picture of the casing here.  The elastic in the casing is just across the back, attached at the sides, and then the draw string is used to cinch up the front.  I hadn't used this method before but I am liking how it works.  Yes, those are button holes, and they were very easy to do on my new machine once I got off my lazy bum and tried!  These pants did sit unfinished for a couple weeks because I was not wanting to fuss with button holes.  It was done in less then 5 minutes when I actually just did it!  EasyPeasy! 
Upcycle, repurpose, sew, sew, sew!  I got the bug and I can't shake it!  Must craft, gotta make, will sew for food!  What are you crafting, sewing, knitting, making?  What are you reusing, repurposing, upcycling?  Do tell.  Share, share, share! 
Working on the next pair of pants for J. Vintage stripes!  Will post photos when completed.  It's cut out.  Just gotta sew it!

Off to pick blueberries with The Crafty Aunties,
xox- Jennette

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Woodblock Stamps

So I have told you all now that you should be using Google Reader to gather your information, remember?  And since I follow my own advice, and I use Google Reader, I get to be bombarded with all the great goodness in blogland every. single. day.   And I love it!  I get new info and new blog posts at my fingertips without having to go check every single blog I love.  So easy.  So do it!

A few days ago in my Google Reader inbox was a post over at Design*Sponge about woodblock stamps.  I have woodblock stamps!  And I forgot all about them until I saw that post.  So I tracked mine down and took some sunny photos.

Even though these are meant to be used on fabric, with paint or dye, these remind me of the Henna designs I love to have created on me by Julie.  She is rather talented at Mehndi and when we are together I always want her to give me a henna blessing.

I bought all of these, years and years ago, before children, so over 16 years ago, from antique dealers.  Back in the day large shopping malls like Alderwood and Northgate would host antique shows.  So all the vendors would be set up in the middle of the mall and I would go to the mall just to shop these sales.  I have not been a "mall person" since junior high but boy howdy would I high tail it to the shopping mall when they were filled with antiques!

This is a large one compared to the first two.  I like the flower design.  But what I really love, and have always loved, as long as I can remember, is Paisley!

I lurve me some paisley!  Maybe it was when I was a teenager and my Auntie started collecting wool paisley shawls, that I began falling in love.  Since fine wool paisley shawls and spreads are FAR out of my reach financially, I will settle for some nice wood paisley for now.

I have used a few of these, again, years and years ago, to make some block stamped silk scarves.  I used the paisleys and fabric dye and fabric paint and long white silk scarves.  I liked how they turned out then.  Not perfect and a little primitive looking.  Love the not perfect and primitive.

Last but not least, another big block stamp.  Now that I have these all out I think I will come up with a summer project for the kids and I to do.  Maybe we can block stamp a beach blanket.  I'll report back later and let you know how that all works out. 

Stamp, sew and create!

Off to pick tomatoes,