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I love stitching these little gifts!



I traced the pattern from a little book called Embroidery pour le Jardinier by Sylvie Blondeau that my son gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.



I used Kaffe Fassett fabric on the backs.



Quick and pretty!

Posted in Beauty, Crafts, Creativity, Embroidery, fabric | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

I don’t need a bread maker – I AM a bread maker!

We spent some time staying with Mr. C’s parents when we were in Whitehorse a couple of weeks ago and they have a bread making machine. I was instantly bitten by the “gotta have it” bug. You know the one…that bug that tells you you need this, that or the other thing? I know you know what I’m talking about, lol!

It happens to me a lot. For instance, my friend Cynde got a Janome Memorycraft 7700 last month. Man o Man, was I ever bitten hard! I thought I was going to die if I didn’t have one, too! Well, I didn’t die. And the urge to spend $2000 faded away pretty quickly, thank god!

But that bread making machine….man, wouldn’t that be nice? And then I remembered the last time I had a bread machine.

I am going to stop right here and give kudos to Black & Decker because their machine survived ME! Or, my meddling with it, to be more exact. I could not, for the life of me, leave that machine alone to do it’s business! I was in there every chance I got, taking the dough out to give it extra kneading by hand, adjusting the water:flour ratio, nipping and tucking and generally making a nuisance of myself. That machine probably cursed the day it was bought and delivered to my house, lol!

That’s because I’m a bread maker. Ask anybody who makes bread from scratch and they’ll probably tell you a similar story. Bread making machines are great. Unless you’re a bread maker yourself. In which case, they become shear frustration-making machines!

So this morning, after reminding myself that that I AM a bread maker and don’t need to buy one, I set about making some. First I fed the sourdough starter. I divided it and put half back in the fridge for another day.

Then I fed it again and set half aside to ferment for a couple of days. This will make an awesome loaf of authentic tangy sourdough bread probably on Thursday or Friday.

I added yeast to the rest and mixed up a batch of faux-sourdough. Two freshly kneaded and shaped loaves are rising as I type. :) Mr. C and I will be fighting over the heel ends of the loaf at dinner. Good thing a loaf has two heels, eh?

My sourdough even has a genealogy. It’s an interesting story. Read it here! It came over the Chilkoot Pass in the late 1800s with the Christiansen family. It came to me from Millie Jones. Thanks, Millie! We’re sure enjoying it!

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailTo feed your starter, mix 2 cups of warm water with 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp sugar. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Lumps are okay. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Posted in baking, Blog Categories, Cooking, food, recipe, Yukon | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Vintage New Look 6510: are you kidding me?

Well, what can I say?

007It was Valentine’s Day and for the very first time I was going to a Big Band dance as a general audience member and not as the bari player! A gal needs a new dress for such a monumental occasion, don’t you agree? I mean…I held down the bottom end for what…17+ years… and never heard ‘em out front! Not once! Calls for a new dress, don’t ‘cha think?

003And reason #2 (as if I need a reason #2 to sew a dress): the Big Band is in Whitehorse, duh! Which meant that I was going home back to my beloved Yukon for a whole week! In February! Whoot whoot!

Valentines Day 2015I had a fabulous time! My in-laws were there. My sisters-in-law & brother-in-law was there, my niece was there. My number-one-son was there. My girlfriends were there!

006Yes, these photos are taken on the deck of our little cabin in the woods at Fox Lake. In the Yukon! On a very balmy day, I might add! Excuse the wrinkles…suitcase, you know. And while I do have an antique iron at the cabin and can heat it up on the wood stove, I don’t have an ironing board there anymore. (note to Whitehorse friends…if you see a cheep ironing board at the Sally Ann, grab for me!)

014Why yet another version of the vintage New Look 6510 shift dress? Because I only decided to sew the dress the day my flight left. Yup! You read that right. I woke up in the morning and said to myself, “Nita, you have 3 hours. You should sew a Valentine’s Day dress.” And of course the only dress I have ever sewn is this one, and I knew I could do it fast.

013I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the dress as one piece. So I split it at the “adjust length here” line. In retrospect, that was the wrong place. I should have split it at the natural waist. Because when I wear a belt, it sits up on the bottom of my ribcage. Not the most comfortable spot to wear a belt…

008And because I am Thrifty Retirement Girl (♫ insert super-heroine music ♫)… guess what? The dress .25. YES!!! I made this dress for twenty-five cents. Out of three pillowcases. Yes, pillowcases. From the thrift store. Ha Ha!

004Gotcha!

(this post is dedicated to my friend Cynde who just can’t get over it, lol!)

Posted in Fox Lake, Made by Me Clothing, me-made clothing, sewing, Thrifty | 9 Comments

Tall and Flaky Baking Powder Biscuits to Die For

Every once in awhile my son will ask me how to make a favourite food that he remembers from childhood. Over Christmas he requested my baking powder biscuit recipe. So I did up a quick tutorial for him on my iPad and sent it to him in a message. The pictures aren’t great, but you get the idea.

(null)Today I am making them to go with homemade soup. Maybe you would like to make some too?

2 cups flour
1 rounded Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp sugar
4 rounded Tbsp Shortening
3/4 cup milk.

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir them up with a fork. Next, add the shortening and cut it into the dry ingredients until it is blended:

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Add the milk and stir until it is all mixed together:

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Put a bit of flour on the counter:

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Put your biscuit dough on the flour and pat into a circle:

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Cut out with a biscuit cutter or a water glass:

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I usually get nine. I like them to rise up tall , so I cut them thick:

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Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20 minutes.
These are so good!! Honestly, you won’t be able to eat just one.
If you want to add a handful of grated cheese and make cheese biscuits, you’ll need to cut back a little bit on the shortening. If you don’t, they’ll be heavy. Something to do with the fat to flour ratio.

(null) Enjoy!

Posted in Cooking, recipe | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Thankful for Rick Rack: The Simple Woman’s Day Book, January Edition

Today I am taking part in The Simple Woman’s Daybook. I haven’t done it for awhile. Today seems like a good day for it. Check out the link to see what other simple women are up to today. And if you’re a blogger, join in! :)
simple-woman-daybook-smallOutside my window… The sky and the lake are both the same colour. Fog obscures the far shore. Everything is shrouded and still.
I am thinking… about how I am procrastinating this morning. I mean to wash the floors but keep finding other things to do first. Like this blog entry. And how I couldn’t do anything (even get dressed!) until I sewed a bag. And my fiction story is waiting for me. I would prefer to devote the majority of my day today to it. And I just might do that! Who needs clean floors, anyway? (insert shifty-eyed emoticon here)
I am thankful…for the love of my husband and the care of my friends and my laptop and the web. And for pink shoes. And rick rack. Definitely thankful for rick rack this morning!
In the kitchen…no mess! Nothing baking, nothing cooking. Just the kettle waiting to be filled.
I am wearing…leggings and my funky green baby-doll top, my favourite brown sweater that could really stand to be new (but maybe that’s why it’s my favourite – well used/loved), beige & brown polka dot socks and my birks.  and a good collection of loose threads. Insulation, you know!
I am creating… a bag! I needed a bag for the Friendship Garden Quilt that I finished (click the link to see it) and just happened to have some happy denim-like sunflower fabric that I got at the thrift store that actually kind of matches the quilt! But I had some bobbin tension issues…
002Ta da! Rick rack to the rescue!
003The bag looked kind of small. Would the quilt fit?
007008The pattern is from The Green Bag Lady. I changed up the pattern a bit…4″ straps instead of 3″ and I used French seams.
I am going…to the Big Band Valentine’s Day dance in Whitehorse on Saturday! Pink shoes, you know. Just sayin’.
I am wondering…who of my old friends will be there to dance with me? :) …And also what it would be like to write a song. My friend Fawn Fritzen, who is an awesome singer, is taking part in FAWM (sort of like NaNoWriMo except it’s February Album Writing Month) where she has to write 15 songs during the month of February. It would be fun to write a song together, except maybe more fun for me than for Fawn, lol! since I have never written a song in my life and can’t sing a note to save it!
I am reading…Festive in Death by J.D.Robb. I checked it out from the library and it is due tomorrow!
I am hoping…that I can  finish this book tonight! Shouldn’t be a problem…I love J.D.Robb’s Eve Dallas stories. :) (did you know that J.D.Robb is actually Nora Roberts? Such a versatile author! And prolific…eee gads, that gal can write!)
I am looking forward to…spending time at the Fox Lake cabin. Really looking forward to it. I want to walk in the door and not walk out again for days and days. I love it there so much!
I am learning…always.
Around the house…dust bunnies to sweep. kitty and doggy footprints to mop, a rug to vacuum, a bathroom to polish.
I am pondering…whether I should sign up for a free Open University Future Learn course called Start Writing Fiction, which focuses on the central skill of creating characters. It’s 8 weeks long and starts at the end of April. Only 3 hours per week, but I am so slow, I know I will  need to devote more time than that to it.  I should sign up for this. Yes, I should.  But I’ve never taken one of these free Open University courses before. Have you?
A favorite quote for today…“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
One of my favorite things…cold left over pizza and tea, earl grey, hot – for breakfast! Served with a good book in a corner of the couch and don’t talk to me until I’m done!
A few plans for the rest of the week…Spend time writing on my fiction piece. I need to get another couple of chapters ready to send to my two critique partners, Holly and Lisa. And I’ve got Holly’s chapters to read and make comments on. Plus, I am determined to make 14 (yes, I said fourteen) baby elephants for the elephant-a-long that I’m participating in. :) Here are the momma and daddy elephants:
013A peek into my day…because no matter else what I may or may not do today, writing is at the top of the list. :)
012and this:
045with a good dose of this little guy who will need to go for a walk.
IMG_1174What are you doing today?
Posted in Books, Crafts, Creativity, Dancing, Fox Lake, Friendship, Gifts, Philosophy, sewing, The Simple Woman's Daybook, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Slow Stitching Sunday

Today is one of those honest, old-fashioned lazy days. The kind we always wish we could have. The kind we imagine we used to have, back in the good old days, whenever those were. Of course, we can’t actually remember any specific lazy Sundays. But they must have existed, right? Because we remember them.

Maybe they don’t happen very often. Maybe that’s why they’re so special. Like today.

Outside my window the snow is falling and everything is covered in drifting white. The wind is ringing the chimes outside the front door.  I have a cup of tea at my elbow and Mr. C is snoozing reading on the couch while our fur babies enjoy a group snuggle in front of the fire.

010Today I did not get up with any particular agenda in mind. I may spend some time with my latest hand quilting project. This little quilt is so sweet. I’m quilting white-on-white because I want the quilt to look embossed when finished.

003If you’re interested in quilting by hand, I’m using 40 weight YLI quilting thread in “natural” and John James size 10 hand quilting needles. I’m also quilting it directly in my hands instead of using a hoop or a frame. I’m also using a product called Thimble Pads on my pushing finger: little sticky leather dots. I love them.

007I’m really enjoying quilting directly in my hands this way. I don’t know if I’ll go back to using a hoop after this. My stitches are a bit coarser, but they’ll improve with practice.

006Other news: my critiques are all in from my little critique group. I will probably spend some time looking at them. Or maybe not.Maybe I’ll save those for tomorrow, because I know that once I open them I’m going to want to get busy with edits. I won’t be able to help myself. And that sounds like work. Not worthy for such a deliciously lazy day.

Later on my friend Cynde is coming over and we’re going to eat some of the apple cake that I made yesterday (recipe here), drink tea and watch a Craftsy class together.

013Oh dear. I’m sorry I disturbed you, Sam!

Today I’m linking in with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy’s Quilts, and at Lily’s Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet. And that’s all the work I’m going to do.

I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as much as I am enjoying mine. Are you being lazy, too?

Posted in Balance, Cats, food, Friendship, furry helpers, Hand Quilting, Quilting, Samson, Winter | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments