Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas !

Monday, December 24, 2012

December - in pictures

I baked cookies recently ... HA - a master of understatement, me LOL
After the packages were all wrapped for our party...I thought I was done. See ? Doesn't that look like more than enough?
Um, nope - I needed boxes for work, both DH's and mine - more baking.
Done. yet ?
Nope - this morning I'm in Toronto. Anyone want to hazard a guess how I spend my morning ? You only get one guess !...

Marjie - I can't thank you enough for the visual of deformed hot dogs ! Too funny :-)
These are now all baked and probably won't last long. but NOW I'm done. Thank goodness.

Every year some asks me how many cookies I make. This year I started to keep track. I gave up but a conservative estimate would be in the range of about 135 dozen - it's official - I'm nuts ! LOL

The big Christmas dinner was a couple of weeks ago and was a success. Here are a few shots of the day. One of these years, I'm going to remember I want a group shot.

Just look what they did to my little boy - he only tried to shake it off once  LOL
it was a tough day !

Have you ever seen a dog sit like this ? He actually sits back on the edge of the bed and then lies forward 

don't remember what it was, but whatever trouble we'd gotten into, neither one of us was taking blame LOL

Our friends' tree - isn't it gorgeous ?

Montreal has snow  - a white Christmas :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The new one...

Each year I try to make a new recipe - just so the boxes are not 'exactly' the same every year. I remember Mom making these bar cookies but I never had a recipe for them. I found this one online the other day and made 'em last night. Of course, I had to triple it ! ...and changed the raspberry jam to strawberry. That's what I had on hand. I ended up with about 15 dozen.

...and that's a wrap for cookie baking this year...I hope.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

All cookied out !

oh boy, another round of baking this weekend. The cookies for the diabetic houses are done - ribbon, candy cane, red spritz and green spritz. The candy cane and spritz were all done today as well as a cheesecake.

Can't believe they all made it to the freezer before I realized I hadn't taken pictures. 'course, at this point, you've all seen them before :-)

I still need/want to do the almond cookies and possibly cherry loaves. Maybe I can get some done in the evenings this coming week.

The list is slowly getting checked off.

How was your weekend ?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

'tis the season & I'm tired !

It was a busy, wonderful weekend ! My birthday was yesterday and it all started Thursday night - had to cook for our department breakfast on Friday morning. Completely forgot pictures but I made 2 pans of Egg Bread Pudding - This one from food52.com. So, Friday morning was the breaky, Friday afternoon, 3 girls from work and I went for lunch and to see Breaking Dawn, part 2. After we went for a coffee and a gabfest. Saturday, hubby & I went out in the morning - regular errands, the afternoon was spent with a girlfriend and hubby took me out for supper. A new Chinese buffet we've been wanting to try. Today, it was back in the kitchen for more Christmas baking. Another girlfriend came over and I put her to work chopping and sprinkling. We had a great time.

I lost a lot of Christmas baking time in Sep/Oct while I was sick so I've had to make up time !
The to-do lists are underway and I noticed there are a lot of items that get done at the last minute but could be done in advance. This year I'm going to try to get more done ahead of time. So far the ribbon (20 doz), candy cane (12 doz) and spritz (13 doz of each color) are started. Started because I've got a few boxes that need cookies using Splenda instead of sugar - I'll do those batches last to keep them separate. Ribbon and candy cane were done in the last couple weekends. Spritz today, as well as the ice cream, French Vanilla and Eggnog. I'll process the ice cream tomorrow and they'll go into the freezer all done. I may do the cheesecake early too and freeze it.

Here are the cookies so far...

The bowls in the back are the ice cream

Whew, I'm done for today !
How was YOUR weekend ?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. May 3, 1915

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What have I been doing ?

A little bit of different things. Got a couple more bread recipes tested. Like the others, they were a good bread, not a great toast. They froze and thawed well. Still looking.

4th recipe, a 3-loaf batch

5th - this one started with multigrain hot cereal mix rather than multigrain flour

I finished and blocked my Holden shawl for the Espace Tricot September KAL. It's gotten colder lately, fall is in the air. I wore it as a kerchief this week and really liked it. Soft and cozy.

I tried another batch of tomatoes - this time I used Italian tomatoes, much meatier and pureed them. I don't use the blender often but boy, for some things it's just fabulous - 20 lbs tomatoes pureed in less than 5 minutes ! 7 quart bottles for my troubles (now I know just how long it takes to prepare 20 lbs of tomatoes - man !)

What else ? I tried out the Jalie 2005 and 2327
First attempt at the tee was a wadder - but it only needs a bit more room in the upper arm to work, I think.
The underwear was a good first draft - they fit and I managed to get DH to give feedback. Basically, a size smaller, a bit more length on the legs and the waistband a bit higher. Not bad for a first attempt - I had to learn how to do a flatlock stitch and I fought to get my serger switched over to a coverstitch, an acceptable coverstitch, that is (...and that leads to another post...)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My t-shirt dresses

Yes Sewing - can you believe it ? LOL

At the beginning of the summer, hubby & I had a day out to a local flea market. It was hot, so I dressed for the 30° weather of the day. That's me in that teeny, tiny short dress ! Hubby had his camera - OY, this dress was short when I bought it but not THIS short !!!!! Now that I've seen the pic it now gets worn with a pair of shorts underneath. 100% cotton and it shrunk a LOT. The hazards of RTW - no preshrinking. It is really comfy though and I decided to try to make a pattern and copy it in a work appropriate length. I made a knee length and maxi length pattern. Only much later did I realize there was some resemblance to the M6559 that was all over Pattern Review this summer.

This was my first version - finished sometime in June. The dress itself was a really easy sew of course, only 4 seams and the hem. The binding was another story. My first time - I tried to copy a few techniques I found online but messed them up. Got them on finally but the stitching is really wonky.

You can see the front is shorter than the back. I copied the original exactly, but am going to have to add an FBA, I think. It'll add a bit of looseness across the bust and a bit of front length. In these pics the dress isn't hemmed. I've since taken an inch off the back to even it out and hemmed it.

Second version was cut out almost right away. Before I decided I needed to adjust for FBA so this one has the cheater fix of just evening out the bottom as well. This time I lowered the front neckline about, an inch, I think. Tightened up the top of the side seam under the arm - it was stretched out a bit in the first version (maybe from the binding, but I wasn't sure - so I took it in about ½-inch right at the top). What else ? Ah, I tried the Jalie binding. It turned out pretty well. I need to work on my topstitching. More of these dresses will give me more practice.

Both are Poly/Lycra blends - no idea if they are ITY or not. The blue was a Fabricville purchase in Toronto back in May, the pink I picked up in Montreal (St Hubert St) in June or July. Bought 2 cuts that day but haven't decided if the 2nd piece will be one of these or another pattern altogether.
At the end of the day, I really like them both, wore them a lot during August and would like more.

During my websurfing in August, I found a local fabric store that carries Jalie patterns as well as patterns from BraMakers Supply. Interesting, very interesting. I went with a list - Jalie 2327, 2908 and 2794 all came home with me (not my whole list, but I'll be going again, for sure - the 45 minute drive means not often, but definitely going back).

Yesterday, I pulled out the 2327, decided on the size, traced it and cut out. Now trying to figure out the flatlock on the serger. After WAY to much time examining both DH and DB's underwear, LOL, I'm pretty sure that's the seam I'm supposed to be using. If it works out, that the end of horrendously expensive underwear for DH. It's awful what they charge for such a little bit of fabric and an elastic. Sorry, Marjie, this is another one you may not want your dearly beloved to know about. :-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

More Mish and More Mash

It has been a fabulous long weekend ! On Saturday I had a 'want to do' list as long as my arm but only got some laundry done - we were supposed to have beautiful weather and I made the most of using the clothesline. The rest of the day DH & I spent in front of the telly watching movies and knitting (well, me knitting, not him LOL)

My homemade coat hanger swift was put together and I started in on the 14 hanks of wool I picked up recently at a local thrift store.

There are 7 hanks of each. Said thrift store had them bundled up in bags 3orange/3green plus one with one of each. If you wanted one you had to buy 'em all. 'eh, for $15 total it was ok with me. It's pretty scratchy yarn. The green is labeled and it's an OLD company, closed now. The yarn is probably 30 years old. The orange wasn't labeled anywhere - I'm working under the assumption that it's the same stuff. The green's a bit thicker. Winding's going to be a pain. The orange ball I wound stuck on itself like velcro. It'll give me plenty of time to decide what to do with them.

My LYS Espace Tricot is having a knit-along (KAL) for the month of September. I decided to join in and see if I could finish a project in a month. There was a vote of 3 choices and the Holden Shawlette won. I cast on and have made quite a bit of progress so far. Using one of the yarns DH bought me for Christmas - Sweet Georgia Yarns CashLuxe Fine. It's really soft.

A couple weeks ago, I made my first loaf of multigrain bread. It was ok but I want a soft, airy, soft crust, freezable, good for sandwiches and good for toast bread. Not asking for much, huh ? This was my second recipe. Much denser and not as nice for either sandwiches or toast.

After doing nuttin' on Saturday, Sunday and today were much more productive. This was bread recipe #3. Bonus, it was a 2 loaf recipe. Whoa - light (check), airy (check), soft crust (check), freezable (2nd loaf is in the freezer - will find out later how well it thaws), toast was passable - soft but a bit crumbly. So far, this one is way ahead of the curve. The only issue is the sugar - it calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 CUP ! I don't think so, the bread has a sugary taste and the sugar is definitely coming out (or at least cut way down) if I make this one again.

More cooking...for the past few years, I've thought about buying a bushel of tomatoes and making tomato sauce. Out for groceries yesterday, I stopped in a a local farmer's stall and picked up a 1/2 bushel, about 14 lbs for $8

Today I blanched, peeled, cooked and canned my little heart out and ended up with...

6 quarts of crushed tomatoes. They seem fine, sealing properly. But I wasn't expecting this. I didn't puree the cooked tomatoes so there is liquid in the jars but the tomatoes are floating on top of liquid at the bottom of each bottle. Is that normal - do any of you know ?

So that was the sum total of my weekend. I had sewing on the list but never got to the sewing room. I've had 2 dresses (oh and a skirt, too) done for a while but completely forgot to have DH get pics, duh.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A mish-mash of a day

We had to stay home today - our last day of vacation. Bell was sending a techie to see why one of our satellite receivers wasn't working. You know if you've ever waited for a service call, they could come at any time - so, you don't make other plans.

My in-house plan included sewing, but it hasn't happened quite yet.
It also included baking. Yesterday saw a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies done up and today I tried a loaf of multi grain bread.

Last year I switched to multi grain and have been looking to find a recipe to make it myself. This week's visit to Bulk Barn netted me some 12 grain flour and a recipe. The result is below...

DB likes it too :-)

Sometime Friday, I was having a devil of a time getting the laptop to myself. See...

...and just in case you think she's not REALLY laying right on the computer, look again...

Little dogs, it really is all about them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

3 Seams

Seam #1 - the neckband of DH's tee Kwik Sew 3299.
It was cut sometime before the end of 2011 but never sewn. I sewed it all but the neckband a couple weeks ago and finished it a few days ago. He likes it and I'll make him more - only need to add some inches to the length so it can be used as an undershirt with his work uniform and stay tucked in.

Seams #2 and 3 - the armholes of my HotPatterns Fringe Tee - free download from fabric.com.
This one too, was cut ages ago, but it was all sewn up except for the armholes. Now it's done and wearable, but I haven't quite decided if I like enough to try again. Really don't like the neckband of the tie, it's too wide and floppy on the back of my neck.

Links to the actual PR reviews are over on the sidebar.

A couple more seams will finish a couple more items. Good for another post. :-)

Still working on the Haruni shawl the FREAKING i-cord bind off is taking longer than I thought !!!