Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekly Wednesday and Annivrsary Madness

So, yes I know you haven't heard from me in two weeks, and I apologize profusely.  I started the 5-Day Projects only not to post another thing for 10 days.  Unbeknown to me, last week, my husband planned activities every  night to celebrate our wedding anniversary since we both had to work on the day of our anniversary:

♥  We went to dinner at the Cheese cake factory and saw "Despicable Me" on Monday

♥  Tuesday we both got into bed really early to snuggle and watch movies all night together.
♥  Wednesday we just went out on a Drive and went shopping together and talked
♥  Thursday we went to the Jordan River LDS temple and did some proxy sealings for my maternal biological great-grandfather and some of his nieces and nephews (that was really cool!)
♥  Friday we had a really nice dinner at Takashi, our favorite sushi restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City
♥  Saturday (I did have to work at my second job, and we had breakfast with my mother-in-law) but after all that we curled up in bed, ate our leftover sushi and the new "Red Dragon with Mustard Seeds" cheese and baguette I got at Harmons and watched Star Trek the Next Generation.

 It was so fun!  Because of this you can probably guess that I didn't get a chance to blog, exercise, or sew anything.   I was lucky however, I like to do things while I watch TV and my boss at the Community College store doesn't mind if we bring a book or a hand project to work on when business is slow.  So I brought my knitting and on Friday night I finished a hat I've been working on for a friend's 15 year old daughter.

It's a cable knit beanie with a detatchable corsage that was inspired somewhat by the work of Sachiko at Tea Rose Home, and Disney at Ruffles and Stuff.

I'm really proud of how it turned out, since this was the first corsage I've ever made.  I used three crocheted flowers, an old button from my collection and some beads.  You can sort of see it in these photos but there are also small green shiny beads that were sewn sporadically all over the smallest green flower kinda like the spots on a Star-gazer Lilly.  I wanted to go for low key sparkle.

Anyway I hope your week was marvelous, as was mine.  Over-all last week I exercised 1 day and this week I exercised 1 day.  Well that's at least some progress.

~ Fraise

P.S. This post was in Tea Rose Home's weekly Wednesday "Link Party".

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 1: Repair Dog Pillow

 This pillow belongs to my father-in-law's dog.  At one point he must have chewed a corner of it and my father-in-law attempted to repair it with the limited sewing knowledge that he had.  Unfortunately it affected the way the filling distributed in the pillow.  I decided to repair the damage and the original loft of the pillow by restoring the box corners on the three affected corners.

1.  First I used my seam ripper to undo the make-do patch-up job my father in law did.

Press it.  Then trim off the excess fabric and the damaged area to make the seams straight.

2. Then after sewing the sides together, leaving a hole to turn it right-side-out later,  I followed a tutorial in the book by Martha Stewart: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts for box corners.  

  a. With "bag" still inside out, open up one corner so that the bottom seam is aligned with the adjacent side seam.  Pin along the seam to keep the alignment in place. (Seams should be pressed open).  Mark a point 2½ inches from the corner point,then draw line perpendicular to the seam at that point.

  b. Machine-stitch along the perpendicular line. 

  c. Then trim off the resulting corner and zigzag to keep from fraying.

3. I then finished up by re-inserting the pillow-form and blind-stitch the remaining opening closed.

Hurray!  I did it, one down and four more to go.  And though I know that I am submitting this outside of the 24-hour time period, I still finished the sewing project within the allotted time.  I'm very pleased with my work.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weekly Wednesday Ramblings

Well, you all should be proud of me!  My husband finally finished clearing away his boxes and I was able to use the stationary bike for the first time in ages today.  ☺  I didn't weigh myself yet though I suppose I should to have a new starting point.  Buuut, since it's late I think that will definitely have to wait until tomorrow.  So as far as this subject goes to report this week: exercise 1 day this week.

I was also able to make some progress in the gardens today as well, though unfortunately I may have to wait until next week to post the after shot, due to this impressive pile of branches we cut today:

I was also able to plant the zucchini sprouts today.  They were getting tall enough to lift the clear top to the seeder tray up off of the base on one side.  The beets, carrots and brussel-sprouts are all sprouting too.  Unfortunately I have yet to see evidence of the chives though.  We have been trimming and eating the loose lettuces, spinach and radish greens.  I have even gone so far as to cut a few leaves off of the Boston Butter Leaf stalks (since so far they have not developed as heads).  I can't figure out why they are still stalks though, guess that's going to have to be one I research.  I think our strawberry season has officially ended.  I know that two of them are supposed to be ever-bearers but I've also been told that they have to grow for a few years before they  have a well established fruit production.  I guess it's like lavender, which doesn't start blooming until it's second to third year.  I can't wait until my lavender is that established, my porch will smell so heavenly! *^^*

On a side note, I'm proud to announce that I successfully made two japanese dishes: Chicken Katsu and Beef Teriyaki.  The katsu was inspired by Sachiko's blog post (as well as my husband's want for a meat lover's meal).  Here are the recipes I used for the Chicken Katsu and the tonkatsu sauce.  I was pleasantly pleased to find a 1980's cooking show from Japan for english speakers called "Cooking Japanesque" on making beef teriyaki.  However I had neither the Mirin or the sake lying around the house, I didn't even have rice vinegar, so I substituted white vinegar for the sake and ended up just using Sutter Home Chardonnay for the mirin (since it too is a japanese cooking alcohol).  What I ended up with was more than likely more a western beef dish than true teriyaki, but I followed the same process outlined in the video, and the out come was very tasty.

Anyway, I hope your week was as eventful as mine.  Good luck and happy discovering!


Monday, July 5, 2010

One of my other hobbies....

I felt impressed over the weekend to share with you another one of my hobbies.  You may not have guessed but I love art and books, as a consequence I also collect childrens' books.  In fact I still shelter a dream of one day being able to illustrate childrens' books.  I have been off and on attempting to complete a bachelor's degree in illustration since about the year 2000.  I know pretty sad that ten years later I still haven't finished it, but as well as taking time off to serve a full time mission for the LDS/Mormon church I also got married back in 2006 and a decision had to made of who would continue on with school and who would put their education on hold in favor of earning money to live by in the mean time.  As you can also guess I was the one that ended up stopping school.

However, thanks to darling friends, like Becky, who kept me apprised of and sometimes even dragged me along to forums and conferences on literature for young readers and childrens' book illustration. Also thanks to my mother and co-workers who gave me projects to help me hone my skills.  I have been able to limp along in hopes of finally retuning to finish my degree.

At one of these conferences that I went to, with both Becky and my mother, I was fortunate enough to be able to meet and listen to lectures by both the writer and illustrator for the book I want to share today: Sarah Stewart and David Small

They were wonderful, both very different and interesting people, who also happen to be married.  I learned an immense amount from them, especially David (as he is the illustrator) and have been inspired in more ways than one.

Funnily, the book I had pop into my mind this weekend to share with you is called The Gardener.  I know you're probably saying to yourself that it isn't really that much of a coincidence considering most of what I post on this blog is about my adventures in gardening, but this book isn't really about gardening.  Here is the small blurb from the publishers printed on the inside of the book jacket:

"Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds, plenty of stationary, and a passion for gardening to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker.  There she initiates a gradual transformation, brightening the bakery and bringing smiles to customers' faces with the flowers she grows.  But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece, which she hopes will be powerful enough to make even Uncle Jake smile.
Colored by a Depression-era setting,
The Gardener introduces readers to a winsome and determined young heroine, whose generosity will reward all who meet her."

This delightful book is one that I especially fell in love with, both for the story and the pictures (no wonder it won the Caldecott).  It shows how any talent or gift you may have can be used to bless and bring light and joy into the lives of others as well as yourself.  I think it shows why I love art and creating so much.  Anyway here are some scans in the book (compliments of "look Inside" feature):

Some fun things to point out that I learned when I heard them speak, that the pets living at the Small and Stewart home almost always make cameos in the books that they publish together.

Also it's fun to go through the book and find the teddy bear that Sarah has had since she was a small child (she even had him with her in her pocket at the conference), David always likes to include him hidden somewhere in the books they publish together, in honor of his wife.

If you haven't read this book or any of the others they have put out, you really should.  The artwork is fun and both of their writing styles are entertaining (yes David Small has not only illustrated books by other authors, but had also written a few himself).  Hope you have a happy trip to the library.  Happy Monday!

~ Fraise