Thursday, May 26, 2011

Violet Jam. Fail. Lemon Tart. Not Fail.

About a month ago J gathered a packed cup of violets from the yard for me. I really really wanted to like this idea from SouleMama. The color is divine. I may not have read the pectin package right, but it never jelled into jelly and stayed syrup-y - and tasted like spicy grass smells, with lots of citrus from the lemon juice. Not very pleasant, and not really anything we wanted to eat. So I started to think, if I did this again I might make a lemon curd recipe but add some violets for color. Next spring, will have to try that. J had fun gathering the violets, after all!

While I was thinking about lemons, I happened across this recipe on Epicurious. I cannot tell you how yum it was. Very tangy, and I switched out the pastry crust called for with a chocolate/oat press-in crust - the hint of chocolate was just the right counterpoint to the rich custard. In addition to being so luscious, this is one of the easiest desserts I think I've ever made, next to jello. So thank you, violet jam, for leading me to lemon tart.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mitred Squares Blanket from Mason-Dixon

Reader, I cast on.

I've been debating what to do with this partially felted blue wool from my stash. 7 skeins. Too warm and potentially rough for kid sweaters. Only enough for a vest for me. I love many of the patterns in the spring Interweave but I did about 3 swatches and none of them was feeling like something I'd wear once I got it done. Hardly inspiring.

Then I saw this post and thought of the llama wool from Scott Farms as a contrasting color. The only question remaining is, blue or oatmeal crosses? Some of each? I'm going to finish this block then reverse them to see. I have a vision of this blanket with one contrasting block ... you know when you get excited about a pattern? The only drawback so far is the difficulty in remembering which row to knit and which to mitre (every other row. or so)

All funds raised from this pattern ($5 on Mason Dixon through Ravelry) go to Mercy Corps for Japan Earthquake relief if purchased this year, to their general funds after 2011. Go get it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Color Wheel Activity for Toddlers

This was a quick rainy day activity perfect for a 4 year old who loves cutting with scissors, and a two year old working on color names.

I spread out a bunch of magazines - catalogs were some of the best sources - and had J trace a plate on the page to create the circle. Then we started looking for colors to fill it in. I drew a circle a bit larger than a quarter and J cut them out. Sweet P was a "spotter" turning pages to look for the color we asked for.

We started with primary colors in a triangle, then the secondary colors, then we had a lot of fun looking for "in-between" colors and discussing their names (greeny-blue, pinky purple, etc). J wondered where black and white were supposed to go on the wheel and I didn't know, so we made four corner colors also including brown and grey. You can also find a color wheel explanation here, so you can be better prepared for questions!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blackboard Hallway

We've had a transformation.

From this ..... to this. I'm like many in blogland and have longed for a blackboard wall for a while. This triangular section of our hallway seemed like a perfect spot for murals, drawings, doodlings, and writing practice. I painted on white lines and plan to paint in the alphabet along the bottom edge - when I get the time to print out and create stencils. For now, I'm practicing, practicing, practicing - and I think I'm getting pretty good at lower case!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

KCWC Day 8? - Pretty Dress Now With Rose

But without sash. Objections were raised, though it is unclear why. Pockets to the rescue!

Friday, May 13, 2011

KCWC Day 4 - Guayabera Shirt

Ok, this is not a Guayabera pattern, but all I need is pin tucks and pockets and it *WILL* be. To match Poppa for the wedding... Now, to cut it out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

KCWC Day 3 - Pretty Dress part 2

So I got this far. I made the top of the dress for a three year old, for my long-torsoed toddler, but had to gather at the neck to make it fit. Even though I measured on her, the skirt still needs to be about 2 in shorter. Something to spend an hour on tomorrow!

And, so far it is winning the toddler beaming smile of approval. She didn't want to take it off until I pointed out that without buttons, it was only held on by pins. Ouch.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KCWC Day 2 - Pretty Dress

A See and Sew pattern - usually I would just put together a pattern but that *sometimes* leads to redoing the whole thing over, so in the interest of time (the wedding is at the end of the month) here is a pattern for a princess dress - I'm sure will get lots of use. The fabric, back in the mists of time, was supposed to be for a summer nightgown when I was preggers, that never got made and then, you know, I didn't need a muu muu anymore (hooray!).

Yesterday I cut it out - but let's see how far I get. With beautiful weather here today this will wait until bedtime probably!
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Monday, May 9, 2011

KCWC Day 1 - Skirt from Shirt

If you haven't checked out Kids Clothing Week Challenge over on Elsie Marley yet, go look. Last week lots of designers and pattern links and interviews. This kind of snuck up on me this year so I'm just going to stick to the idea of spending an hour or so a day on whatever sewing you are planning for your kids - you know, the piles just sitting around for you to have a minute free - instead of creating a full blown item per day.

So this is what I had - a shirt I don't know where came from and never wore. And you see, I have this little girl who loves - of all things! - PINK. And skirts. So I chose a skirt of hers that fits, lined it up on the bottom hem of the shirt, cut straight across, created a tunnel for the elastic, and lookie there.

A new skirt in under an hour - about 30 minutes including trying it on to fit the elastic. AND she's been wearing it all day! I know many of you know the feeling, but some of the cutest things I've made for her have gained nothing but Queen Victorian disapproval. Howling even.

AND, with the extra time I cut out the next kid sewing project - a dress to attend our first ever wedding at the end of the month. See you here tomorrow with my progress on that.
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Needlepoint Bluebird Finished

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Toddler Dragon or Dinosaur Costume

From three different tutorials! Thank you, the Internets!

Dinosaur sweatshirt was pretty easy and very quick. Take an existing zip-up hoodie and cut straight up the back to the hood. Create your spikes from felt or fleece pin the whole thing together and stitch it back up.

(see Rae's tutorial for the dino shoes here - must make those to complete the look, right?)

The tail (from this Celebrate the Boy flickr pic) was just an oblong tube from an old grey sweater sleeve, with fleece spikes at the end. The spikes came out kind of twisty - I want a horn hat from these for Halloween! Instead of making it a belt as in the tutorial, I attached it to the back of the hoodie.

The wings were party favors from turning 4, also spotted on Celebrate the Boy. These were the most time-intensive, you bend wing shapes from wire hangers (scored for free from a local thrift store - when I walked up to the counter to see if she'd sell them she asked me to please just take them and did I want more), and sew fleece around the frames. Elastic hold them on at the shoulders.

To be clear, J knows that Stegosaurus did not have wings. He knows lots of dinosaur facts. But he likes the wings as part of the ensemble. Slippers next.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring Greens III

From the Spring Interweave Knits - the Rose Lace Stole - knit up as a scarf since I have only one skein. Smitten with the beautiful pattern. Really pleased how this is coming along, and it is a lovely light weight for summer knitting.

Update: I finished!!!

I suppose I should read up on how to get Amaryllis to bloom at Christmas. These beauties came out last week and make me feel all tropical - just gorgeous. Thanks again Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bob!

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