Sunday, June 19, 2011

blog #472 >> White Lacy Skirt

Yesterday, my sisters and I got together for a sewing day, and I finally had a chance to finish a sewing project. I used a little of my new fabric stash and made this white lacy skirt. I love how it turned out. And I can't wait to start my sea-foam dress next.
Here's a close up of the texture and lace.

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And here are a few pictures of the garden.

Most everything is up now, and there are even a few little baby zucchinis coming up.

I'm not sure how the corn will do, but the turnips are doing fantastic!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

blog #471 >> My New Specs

At last! They're here!
Originally, when I got my eyes checked, I hadn't planed on getting a second pair of glasses. I knew I wanted to use my grandma's old frames again for my primary pair, and then I thought I'd use my old prescription for my second pair. But it turned out that in the last three years, my vision had gone downhill fast! When I went in, I couldn't even read the third line on the chart. I honestly had no idea I was that blind. I've known for awhile that I needed new glasses. I noticed I couldn't read street signs unless I was right on top of them. And I noticed I couldn't read the clock in the lunch room from where I always sit anymore. But now I realize, I should have gotten my eyes re-checked three years ago. Last time I went in, they told me I didn't need glasses at all! I knew that was wrong at the time. I was wearing a really light prescription for nearsightedness then, so I thought I'd give it a try. I went without them for about a day, and soon realized they were wrong. I needed those glasses. Right then, I should have made an appointment elsewhere, but I didn't. Instead I waited three years, and now there's a huge difference between my old glasses and my new glasses. When I got my grandma's old frames back with the new lenses I walked all the way home shouting, "wow... Wow... WOW! WOW!!! WOOOOWWWW!!!!" People must have though I was mad, and maybe I was momentarily. But mostly I was just amazed at how detailed the world really is, I had forgotten how clear everything is suppose to be.

Anyhow, my original plan for using my old pair as a second pair was soon vanquished. And it was soon time to pick out a new pair of frames. I thought about using one of my many vintage cat eye frames, but I kinda wanted something different. I've worn thick plastic vintage frames since high school, and I sort of wanted my second pair to be completely different from my usual. That's when I saw these in the case at Asterix Eyewear.* It was love at first sight. I tired on a few other pair of wire rims. But I knew these were the ones I wanted. My mind just kept on turning back to them. I loved the shape, the size, the way they fit on my head. But most of all I loved how the wire curves around at the ear. It reminds me of glasses from the 20's. Then I noticed the price tag... EEEKK!!! I have to admit, that it did quench the fires of my heart for a time. But then I saw them again when I picked up my old pair, and remembered how wonderful they were. I would say I am too poor, and could never afford them... but that wouldn't exactly be true. It's true that I don't make much money, and there have been times when things have been extremely crunched, but I'm an excellent saver. The truth would be to say that I am frugal, and don't like to spend money on unnecessary things. I also don't like to buy expensive things. The cheap version is (in most cases) good enough for me. I have lots of nice things, it's true, but I didn't pay a lot for them. I search and dig, I stalk the second hands stores, and rarely buy anything new. That's why these glasses were such a jump for me. It's not normally something I would do. I cringe to think that I could have bought this or this for about the same price. I think I'm still getting over the sticker shock of it all. But it was love. And there's no use fighting against it. Right now I want to wear them. But I can't really see them when they are on my head, so instead I have them sitting next to the laptop so I can admire their beauty. Wow, I love these glasses.

*Asterix Eyewear has some of the best frames in Portland! They are also awesome about fixes and repairs. I highly recommend them. My family and I have been using them for years.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

blog #470 >> All Things Bright and Beautiful:
Day 3

And next we come to Day 3 of The All Things Bright & Beautiful Blog Party hosted by Grace at Puddles of Memories. Today's post will be a...

::Summer Reading List::
Now this list is extremely optimistic. I realize I have a few extra thick ones in the mix, so in reality I know I won't get through all these... but I like to think that I could. But the first one is required, and since I'm reading it right now, I know I'll finish it before the end of summer... Actually, I know I'll finish the first three, it's the rest I'm unsure of.

1. The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens

2. The Miss. Marple Collection
Agatha Christie
I want to be just like Miss. Marple when I grow up.

3. The Gathering Storm
Winston Churchill

4. A Swiftly Tilting Plant
Madeleine L'Engle

5. The Catcher and The Rye
J. D. Salinger

6. Wives and Daughters
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

7. The Old Man and The Sea
Ernest Hemingway
I read it years ago in high school, but I think I'll like it better now.

8. Tess of The D'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy

9. Up From Slavery
Booker T. Washington

10. The Remains of The Day
Kazuo Ishiguro

2009 Reading List
2010 Reading List
2011 Reading List: see side bar on lower left.

blog #469 >> All Things Bright and Beautiful:
Days 1 & 2

Good Morning! least it was still morning when I started this post.

Here I am at last "fashionably late" to The All Things Bright & Beautiful Blog Party hosted by Grace at Puddles of Memories. I need to do some make up posts, so I'm simply combining Day 1 & Day 2. This particular theme is SUMMER! Which is hard, since it seems summer has been always just out of reach this year. We'll have an almost warm and sunny stretch, but then the weather just sinks back into the 60 degrees and overcast rut. Oh, elusive summer, when will you finally show your face?

Day 1: Summer Bucket List!
Is it sad that I don't really have any summer plans yet? I think that means I'm getting old. I work the same hours summer and winter... I miss summer vacation. Well, I think it's time I got into the spirit of summer and made a list!

Day 2: Summer Photo Post: What does summer look like to you?
Well, this is perfect! Summer is going to look a lot like my list of things to do.

So here they are... Days 1 & 2

Things I want to do this summer:

1. Stay cool! This shouldn't be too hard, since it hasn't been even a "warm" summer yet. Plus, I'm so cold blooded, I'll wear sweaters and socks up until it hits 80 degrees!

picture found here.

2. I'd also like to try making some of these colorful popsicles or maybe some fruity frozen Jell-O things!

3. I'm definitely planning on spending lots of time in the garden...

this isn't my garden... but I'd like to spend lots of time in it.
image from Better Homes and Gardens.

4. And I think I'll take advantage of the non-rainy weather to do some aimless wandering. Just pack a bag full of random objects and start off in no particular direction. That sounds right up my alley. I'll be sure to pack a camera as well so I can document all of my non-adventures along the way.

image found here.

5. A trip to the beach is also a summer classic. I'd love to go at least once this summer, even if it was just for the day.

6. And of course I have a summer reading list, even though I doubt I'll have much extra time for reading this summer. But I can always pack a chair and head down to the creek in the evening after work and eat a camp fire dinner while curling up with a good book.

image found here.

7. Once the weather clears up, I'll be able to get the telescope out again. I had such high hopes for this spring, but the sky thought it would be better to rain each night instead.

8. I want to get a LOT of sewing and crafting finished. I'm all backed up on projects, and I'd like to get my etsy shop back up and running again. I'm taking a break while I try to decide what I want to do with it. I'm good at making everything and anything, but I really don't care if I make any money. I also don't like to make the same thing twice. Which is bad, since that means if I sell out of something right away, I don't very often make more. I also like to spend a lot of time on one project and make it quite detailed. Which isn't good if you've got an etsy store, then the goal becomes quantity over quality. I'm starting to realize I'm not cut-out for a high-profit etsy store. I think I'll just populate it with a few odds and ends that I've enjoyed making instead.

9. I'd also like to finish the coloring books I've been working on. I have the roughs all sketched out, and I've started to vectorize them. But I'm not liking how the super clean lines are looking. I think I'm going to pen and ink them instead.

10. Do lots of canning! With that giant garden this year, I can already see, I'm going to do a LOT of canning this summer. And this pickle recipe will certainly be one of the things I'm making!

recipe and photo from here.

11. Practice the accordion as much as possible! One thing summer does mean, is more accordion time! The window air conditioner does a great job masking the noise and for a few brief months I can play at home!

Edith Piaf and her accordion, image found here.

Until the next posting,

Saturday, June 11, 2011

blog #468 >> New Stash

Today, I had a chance to stop by Fabric Depot's outdoor sale. They had so much great fabric! Most of it was around $5/yd. I got some vintage style pig fabric to make into pig potholders, and a few other vintage 30's prints as well. I got a white cotton that has a vintage, lacy, off-white pattern on it, along with some wide eyelet lace to make into a new summer skirt. I also got some 50's occupations themed fabric. I think I'm going to make that into bags. But best of all I got the loveliest, sea-green, light-weight, satiny-matte, fabric... I got five yards of it, for only $2 a yard! It's what I've been looking for, for a very long time. I'm going to make a dress with it that looks a little bit like this one below.

Seen here on etsy! Buy it because it's lovely!

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And I've gotten tired of always losing, and forgetting who has, my 9x13 pan. My last one was actually stolen! Yes!!! You know who you are, you 9x13 pan thief you! But you bought me a new one! So all is forgiven... Although, I engraved my name on this one to avoid all future confrontation. Thanks for the new pan!


blog #467 >> Mossy Cottage

Here is the Mossy Cottage planter I made Trina for her birthday! I love how it turned out! I got the fern and little green plant at the nursery and the moss and rocks from the creek. I wish I had taken pictures down there, but I forgot my camera. I also don't want you to think I'm so clever that I got the idea all on my own. This is what inspired me.


blog #466 >> Wide Open Spaces

This year has been a gardening dilemma. As much as I love to garden. I know with working full time, I cannot keep up a garden all on my own. Last year, I spent waaaaayyy too much time out there, and although it is nice, I realize I need some help. The apartment garden is technically a community garden... but I always have a really hard time finding help. Last year and part of the year before, I had to keep it up all on my own. People move and come and go, plus it's hard work. Most people like the idea of a community garden, but not the work of actually keeping up a community garden. This year my parents also started a VERY large garden that they wanted extra help with. And last year I was having a hard time just taking care of the littler one! So I was very thrilled when some of the neighbors wanted to help out in the community apartment garden this year. They're actually the neighbors who started it five years ago. They moved back to Portland and are ready to start anew. I now realize I may have overstated the fact that I REALLY needed some help in the garden. I did this mainly due to the fact that in the past anyone who wants to help either: a) Wants to help late in the fall... and in actuality, only wants to help eat the produce, even though they haven't helped grow any of it. or b) They say they want to help with the garden and drop out as soon as the weather turns nice. What can I say? People are flakes! Therefore I have stooped to practically begging for help, "You can do pretty much whatever you want with the garden, I don't mind... just please don't flake out on me!" If I were a better judge of character, I probably wouldn't have taken that approach. I think I overdid the "I don't really care," and "do whatever you want to," part. Because now I realize that not only did they sincerely want to help, but I think they didn't really want my help. I really just wanted a little patch of my own over by my strawberries and herbs to plant some lettuce, but they seemed against that. They said I could plant wherever I wanted, but they didn't want to give me a small allotment, which was actually all I wanted. They truly are very friendly and good neighbors, but they're a bit bossy. I think they still see it as their garden that they started five years ago. Unfortunately, I lack the inner resolve to stand up for myself in any way. Or at least I won't be doing so this time, since I did say they could do whatever they wanted with it... and they're taking me at my word. So therefore I'll be pretty much taking a break from the community apartment garden this year and letting the other couple care for it. I'm sure they'll do a great job and I'll just keep one foot in the mud so to speak, and help with the watering a bit. Instead I think I'm going to focus my gardening skills on more wide open sp a c..e...s . . ........... . ..........

As you can see my parent's garden is sprawling with space. There's room for pretty much anything in here and LOTS of it. It's been a cold, rainy, yucky year, but I'm hoping for a nice long warm fall. There's even a little garden bunny who's continually getting into the tomatoes. I've named him Peter. I helped my parents get the last of it into the ground last weekend.

There's going to be potatoes in this section.

Charlie my four year old nephew was helping me plant some seeds... well a four year old doesn't really help, it's more work for them to help than to just do it yourself, but they think it's really fun, and it's a good education. I remember one of the kids came out when I was in the community garden and asked what my tomato plant was... "Well, it's a tomato plant." I said, "Oh, I thought those grew on trees!" said the neighbor kid... This is why we need to keep gardens! Anyhow, Charlie was very good at putting the seeds in the little holes, sprinkling the dirt on top, and giving them a little drink with his tiny watering can. Later we went into the house for dinner and when he came back out he noticed the starts I had planted earlier and said, "WOW, Those seeds really growd fast!" he he! Did I correct him? Nah, you're only four once. The world only seems that wonderful for such a short time. Enjoy it while you can! Now, let's run up and down the rows barefoot through the mud! weeee!!!

This is where the radishes are.

And here are the onions.

And a tomato tree.

And here's a few quick pics of the apartment garden this year.

The strawberries...

And the chives are looking lovely as well.

Happy Gardening!