Saturday, August 29, 2009

Preserving Frenzy

I have been in a bit of a preserving frenzy this summer now that I have all this free time on my hands. So far I have made cherry and strawberry preserves, canned plum tomatoes and made two batches of bread and butter pickles. Yesterday I weeded out my garden, made lush by the abundant and unusual summer rains, and brought in an enormous bunch of dizzyingly aromatic basil with gigantic leaves.
It inspired me to break out the food processor that my brother gave me two years ago and finally figure out how to use it to make four batches of lovely pesto that are now safely in the freezer for enjoyment in frostier months.

Then, on Friday we got a call from the Finnens who had a box of peaches that they had just picked, so I now have a huge amount that I have to cook up, freeze, eat or give away in the next few days.

So this morning, I made a batch of peach ginger jam.

What you can't see is that I have also had a basket of plum tomatoes sitting in the kitchen for two days, along with an abundance of green peppers and jalepenos.

So now we have lots of lovely salsa.

I am getting a bit worn out, but I still want to make some hot pepper jelly - maybe later next week.

Friday, August 28, 2009


The new issue of Threads came yesterday with a whole section on making gloves......Getting the size right will be a bit tricky, so I will have to make a sample first. They suggest the faux knit suede and I have some left over from AJ's birthday pillow, so I think I will do a test run with that. Then I can graduate to plum.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dylan and Teapots

Very depressing. I just read that Bob Dylan is putting out a Christmas album and he will be "singing traditional favorites like Winter Wonderland". It is for the benefit of a charity, but what a way to raise money. I can't even imagine who would want to buy it. What happened to all the creativity of the 60's counterculture? Did we use it all up or blow our minds out on the drugs? Getting old is so strange. Watching all these old former hipsters and idealists either totally sell out or be continually trying to resurrect their moment of glory. But I can always enjoy a Liberty Teapot.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cole Haan Handbag

It is really not fair. I just got this in my email - beautiful zinfandel colored handbag for a mere $428.

Fall Fashions

I got the new fall fashion issues of Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire and the contents were pretty appallingly unwearable. To give you an idea, the cover of Harpers is inspired by Michael Jackson and there are four pages of quasi military getup a la Thriller complete with white socks. The shoes are also so 70's - gag. Maybe when I get to the UK the UK editions will be a bit better. There were a few things that I liked though. Nice, simple and elegant.
Love the colors - almost bought a pair of ballet flats in this mauve a week ago.

And, of course the quintinessional expensive purple bag by Mulberry.
I did get ideas about what I can save/resurrect from my current wardrobe, however. The bigger coat with shoulder pads just saved my 10 year old black coat. More about that next time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zuccinni Bread
Making Zuccinni bread, listening to Sam and Ruby.

Monday, August 10, 2009


It is 96 degrees F today with about 95 % humidity and I just got a new Pendleton catalog. I am spending an extremely boring evening watching the Help Desk try to get rid of a Trojan Horse on my computer ( we are now initiating a scan of 185,000 files for the third time, yawn), so it has provided the ideal entertainment. There are dozens of other lovely items - I have been very self-c0ntrolled and limited myself to a few coats and boots......Rim Rock Duster - a bargain at $458 - and the handcrafted Sinchos boots are only $498!

Then there is the Desert Brights Duster at the same price....

........ and the Navaho Water Blanket coat worn with Five- Fringe boots (these are a real bargain at $98) Sales of the Water Blanket coat benefit the American Indian College Fund - a very worthy cause. Sadly I cannot justify spending this kind of money when I don't have a job. I tell myself that since none come in XS that they would be too large anyway.
(now we are at 173,768 files on the third scan - please god may the virus be gone!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

So here is the completed project. Total investment $3 men's xxl flannel shirt on sale at Walmart, some 35 year old velveteen and a bit of frustration. I am still deciding whether I want to sew the cute pockets on.
I first knew I was in trouble after I cut off the sleeves and started to cut off the front and back yolks (following instructions). Think about it - what happens to the armholes when the yolk is cut off ? They get a lot smaller, right? I have no idea how the woman in the picture got hers on after she cut the yolk off unless her yolk was about 2" deep - and I had a really big shirt to work with. So I had to recut the armholes, which meant I had to rebind them - a little more work. After I finished the pleats, which was just tedious, I sewed the fronts to the back and realized that I had way too much material on the sides, so I also took the sides in - a little more work.

Almost done now and I started to realize that without some stabilization, the back neck was stretching and the edges would fray unacceptably if I left them unfinished with just a couple of rows of stitches. The whole neckline would probably withstand about 2 washings before it would be unacceptably frayed. So I surveyed my fabric inventory and found some very old velveteen to finish the edges off.
So now it is done. I am going to be careful before I try any of the other projects in the book. Too bad - I had been eyeing a 30 year purple sweater that I was going to try to felt into a purse.

So here it is

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coat, Fish

Love the havana sweater coat from Anthropologie. Like most of their clothes, it probably won't fit me as nicely as it looks in the catalog so I won't be tempted to spend $198.
It also look like their buyers are getting ideas from Martha Stewart too - got to get to work on my fish prints with my rubber fishies.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wasp 1: Carol 0

I am not feeling too good about collecting the mail these days. As a result of an encounter with a wasp Monday afternoon I am now in posession of an EpiPen. On my way to do some errands in my car, I got stung by this nasty insect who had decided to build its nest under the mailbox and wasn't too happy about my approach. As I pulled the mail out, it stung me on the arm. I went back to the house because it hurt like the dickens and put some benedryl on the area, then proceeded to the drugstore which is 5 minutes away.
By the time I got to CVS I was beginning to feel quite itchy, so after I checked out, I looked under my arms and my stomach and saw that I was totally covered with little red dots like measles (yes I am old enough to know what measles look like). Feeling a bit nervous about how quick it had happened, I decided to drive to the doctor's office - also 5 minutes away. By the time I got to the office I was starting to feel my esophagus constricting painfully and the red dots were now large red hives. They took my blood pressure and found it was crashing so they quickly shot me up with prednisone and benedryl which made me feel totally soporific and started to clear up the symptoms. My husband came to pick me up, since I could barely walk, and filled prescriptions.
It has all cleared up now, but I am still on the prednisone which makes me feel incredibly energetic - but not too interested in collecting the mail. And now I have an EpiPen