Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ribbon Cookies are done

Here they are - 21 dozen cookies destined for the freezer.
Except the ends and the ones I cut too thin (those have been eaten already !)

Quantity always depends on how big you make your bricks - I think I made 'em smaller this year LOL - this was way more cookies than usual for 3 batches.

I started with this:

Assembly line - always 2 trays waiting for the oven

First couple of trays just out of the oven:

And the grand finale !!!

Next up - Spritz, I think, hmmm, maybe Candy Cane Cookies or Almond Sticks, I'll decide once I get back upstairs :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

My house is gonna smell soooooo good tomorrow !

This is half of the result of my afternoon today. There are 6 of these Ribbon Cookie logs in my fridge chillin' be sliced & baked tomorrow.

These are my absolute FAVORITE Christmas cookies ! My Mom made 'em every year and both my sister and I make them now. If I don't make any others, I always make these without fail.

And can I just say I LOVE my KitchenAids (yes 2, my DH is a great one for tools, for him and for me, he bought me an Artisan a few years ago for Christmas (yes I like appliances for gifts!) and then once he saw the Pro600, he figure I needed one and that was last year's present - more power dontcha know, LOL!

So today, I had them both going. I tripled my recipe and put 2 batches in the large mixer and 1 in the smaller mixer. Divided all of it into 3 pieces for the colors, and even let the mixers do the red coloring/cherries and the chocolate.

OMG ! up til this year 1 batch from beginning to end by hand took 1 hour to get to the fridge. Today, I did 3 batches, making 6 logs in 1hr 10min...Bonuses, my hands are not red from the food coloring and the arthritic finger joints are not bothering me from all that mixing. It's all good.

If anyone is interested in the recipe:

Christmas Ribbon Cookies

2½ cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup margarine (it works with margarine but Christmas baking in my house is Butter!)
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup chopped candied cherries, red
1 sq. unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup chopped nuts (I don't use the nuts, but they're better with them)
red food coloring

Sift flour, salt & baking powder.
Cream margarine & sugar, add egg & vanilla.
Stir in flour, mix well.

Divide into 3 parts:
1 part – mix with chocolate & nuts
1 part – mix with cherries & red food coloring
1 part – leave as is

Cut each color into 2 pieces - this will give you 2 nice sized blocks
I roll my logs the width of a piece of waxed paper

On an approximately square piece of waxed paper...
Shape each color into a log and flatten it out a bit.
Layer each color on top of each other to form a block.

Roll the waxed paper around the block and refrigerate.
Chill til firm (or overnight)
Slice into ¼ inch slices.

Bake on ungreased sheets, 10 minutes, 350° oven

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks...and Thanksgiving

I would like to acknowledge everyone who has been commenting on my coat. This encouragment is appreciated more than you know. You are not letting me give up on it. The accomplishment of getting it done will not be all my own - so I thank you.

I would also like to wish all of our neighbours in the U.S. a very Happy Thanksgiving !

Have a great holiday...we have much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Buttons, buttons .... and more buttons

Otherwise known as 'avoiding deciding about bound buttonholes'

As I was catching up with some blog reading yesterday, I came across Cidell's post about her FabricMart buttons. I ordered a bag of these as well (way back in March). $5 for 4 lbs of buttons is great bang for your buck !

I also purchased (way back in April) a few plastic storage containers that can be subdivided to smaller sections as required. Both the containers and the buttons have since been sitting on my table ... waiting.

While avoiding the 'dreaded buttonholes' I decided this was the perfect time to sort the buttons. Good lord, the amount of buttons in a 4lb bag !!! It took a couple hours, but it's done now.

As usual, I was not thinking about the camera so don't have a 'before' picture. I do have a halfway done picture though. The bag is still almost 1/2 full.

All that's left to do is shave a few more dividers to fit for the last few buttons.

This does have some bearing on said 'avoidance of buttonholes'.

I have been looking for buttons & haven't seen anything yet I want. I don't want to wait too much longer as I actually want to finish the coat sometime in my lifetime !

So, today I decided to go with the snaps, my excuse being...(look at the left hand pic, top right hand side), I like these blue anchor buttons but don't know if I like them well enough that I won't want to change them out later. And they're HUGE, so if I make buttonholes I'm stuck with that size later.

Hmmmm, I just checked, these buttons are 1-1/4" - 'exactly' what the pattern calls for - my excuse just went down the toilet...tomorrow I'm going to make that 1st practice buttonhole (the one I was going to do Friday, LOL)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The continuing saga

First - Gry, Diana, Trena, Marjie & Ann, thanks all of you for the Birthday wishes - it WAS a good day ! :-)

SEWING - So, exactly how many ways can I say 'moving along' or 'making progress' - I'm going to have to dig out a Thesaurus - LOL

I have to remember exactly how slow I am at this. Attaching the hair canvas to the back shoulder area took 2 full evenings ! Looking at it now, I think I 'may' have overdone the catchstitching along the edges - all the pictures I've looked at show many less stitches MUCH further apart. Oh well, it won't fall apart (I hope!)

So here for your viewing pleasure are the next couple of pictures.

I'm glad this handstitching is all going to be covered up with a lining. I definitely need more practice to get my stitches even.

Now the delay tactics are all used up, I have to decide.....snaps (easy) or the dreaded bound buttonholes (NOT so easy)...I think I'll sleep on it and take a wild stab a a practice buttonhole tomorrow afternoon and see what happens.

Pretty much what I thought

A book nerd ! Mom would be so proud !

Earlier today I came across this over at Gorgeous Things and couldn't resist. Results 1 & 2 'could' have been reversed but this is what I expected. I ALWAYS have a book (or 2) on the go.

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Science/Math Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Birthday !

No sewing today - it's my birthday !!!

We don't usually make a fuss, birthdays are pretty quiet around here. But last week DH asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner on Monday. With my brain being not quite awake, my answer was 'what's Monday ?' LOL

This morning on the way to work he says 'call Sue & invite her to come with us' - ok, not unusual Sue & I have been friends since I moved to Montreal - OMG 22 years ago !, so I called & invited her. We arrived at the restaurant (a very good Chinese buffet which we both like alot and which we haven't been to in a long time) to find another couple of friends waiting for us. DH called to invite them and didn't tell me - I haven't had any kind of surprise birthday since I was a kid, so it was a really nice evening.

Now, my boss at work is something else, he emails our whole department (14 people) as soon as he comes in, in order to give them lots of time to send birthday wishes. He will also tell everyone he sees throughout the day if you're around. Your age is not a safe number for him to know (mine increased by 5 years today as he was telling people ). It's not a good department if you want your birthday secret or low-key ! LOL! Every month he also brings bagels & cream cheese one Friday for all of us to celebrate whichever birthdays fall in that month. He and I are this month (me today, him on the 23rd) - BAGELS ON FRIDAY !!!

All in all - a great day !

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend update

Only sewing on Sunday this weekend. Yesterday I started my Christmas baking. I've got to make enough cookies for 8 tins for gifts, plus the required batch for work (a large batch - once they know you can bake, there's no escape ! :-) ) plus cookies for the house - 11 dozen shortbread cookies now in the freezer - 5 more kinds to go ........ (yes, I forgot to take a picture, once I remembered, they were packed for the freezer & the filled plastic container is nowhere near as impressive as my kitchen table full of cookies).

SEWING - I'm waffling between the snaps that my coat calls for and learning yet another new thing - bound buttonholes. Since I can't put the interfacing on the front until I decide, I started on the back pieces today. The hair canvas piece is cut out and ready to be attached. The back and the side back pieces are sewn together.

I thought the seam allowances needed to be finished. Although I don't think the wool will fray, the flannel underlining needed something. I checked around the sewalong blog and found someone who'd catch-stitched her S.A's down. That sounded like a good plan, so here I am - Almost done but not quite ! LOL. I'm starting to understand some of the ladies who start a simple project and end up with hours of changes, adjustments, tweaks, etc.

You'd think I'd be happy just to get this thing done, but noooo, already I'm making choices that add lots of time to this project. I suspect that probably means by the time I'm done, there will be buttonholes and not snaps on this coat !

I'll post a pic of the completed back once I've got the last seam catch-stitched and the interfacing added.
Probably only Tuesday. Tomorrow's my birthday and DH is taking me out to no sewing tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Movin' Right Along...

I just want to start by saying Thank You to Summerset of Pins and Needles ! She was giving away some of her old patterns recently and on Friday this arrived for me :-). All I have to do is decide which one I want to make. I like 'em all, LOL.

And the underlining of my coat is done...doing a bit here and there, it took all week. I just finished. These are all the pieces, each showing the underlining side and the wool.

On to the interfacing................

Monday, November 3, 2008

The proof is in the pictures

I absolutely could not figure out how come the first pic is so blurry - but it is definitely a photographer error - I couldn't take a decent pic to save my life...LOL

Anyway, blurry or not, these are the 2 under sleeve pieces with the underlining tacked to the wool fabric. The pin cushion held 10 or so pre-threaded needles before I started (THAT was a good plan !) The top of the pic shows the stack of coat pieces waiting their's actually not that bad, if I do a couple each night, I could be done by the weekend.

Couldn't you just kick yourself after you see a potential problem AFTER the fact ?

1) Seam lines are basted in white - just lovely against the wool...not so much against the white flannel background which is what will be showing when I sew these RS together - DUH - I will manage with it though. This exercise is going to take a LOT of thread, I have a large spool of the white cotton and that rayon thread was NOT cheap !

2) I just ran the the black inner basting threads from top to bottom. No knots at either end, VERY slippery rayon thread. Hello ? What did I think would stop this from just slipping out ? DUH No. 2

So, before I move on to the next piece, I'll knot each end of the black thread - better to figure it out now rather than later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm working on it

No company, no migraine, no flu, energy is coming back ('tho slowly) and I'm working on my coat. Life is good !

I'd already cut out the wool and the flannel underlining and have just started tacking them all together per Ann's (I think) instructions on the coat sewalong blog.

I've started one sleeve and have figured out that by the time I'm done all the pieces it will be 2010 ! LOL really though, it's going to take quite a bit longer than I thought - so I will just plug away til it's done. Multiple threaded needles, ready to go, will be a great timesaver, I think.

And once I do have a few pieces done, I'll post a picture - at this stage I figure I probably need to show some proof that I'm actually working on this...I last real coat post was Sep 21 when I cut the muslin apart. Last actual pic was on Sep 14 -- time to get a move on.