Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Quick Note

I finished this skirt this morning, it uses the same pattern as the green skirt I posted earlier. It's so easy to make and comfortable to wear, I don't think this will be the last one you see. The fabric is an Amy Butler I bought on eBay. I'm not sure I like the T-shirt with it, but it was the only thing I could find that even halfway matched. Ms. Daisy insisted on a top and who could blame her!

I think I'm posting this just under the wire - our daily afternoon thunderstorms are about to begin! Hope your day is drier than mine!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Introducing Miss Daisy. . .

Please meet Miss Daisy, the newest member of my family! Isn't she lovely? She arrived last Thursday in a most undignified way, in a trash bag with her removable parts tucked inside her and then stuck in a pool box! She did have a safe trip from Washington and really, that's all that mattered. My husband named her before she even arrived, Miss Daisy, as in Pinning Miss Daisy!

Miss Daisy is showing off the apron I finished yesterday. It's a McCall's pattern, 2947, that I bought probably more than a year ago when StudioRose and I were thinking about sewing. It's really easy to put together. I found the pie print at and knew I had to have it. The red print (click on the photo to enlarge - it's a red with a small black floral design) came from Joann's. Buying fabric online is lots of fun and there is a much larger selection, but you can't always tell what will work with it, at least I can't - not yet.

I had hoped to finish this last week to share with you, along with another sewing project, but we had thunderstorms most every day. In our neighborhood, we usually lose power during thunderstorms. Last week was no exception. Slows down the sewing!

Enjoy your Monday!

EDITED TO ADD: Miss Daisy did help me with the apron, she wore it while I made sure the pocket was centered evenly. Pretty cool!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Notes on Pies

What do all these ingredients make? Excluding the bowl of plums and nectarines?

How about an Old Fashioned Chocolate Meringue pie. I've never made meringue before, so I think this turned out pretty good. We haven't tried it yet, but I admit I did lick the spatula after I put the chocolate filling in the pie! Oh, it was good! I'm sure the pie will be wonderful.

When I finished the Chocolate Meringue, it was almost time for Murph to come home from golfing so I decided to try another skillet pie and made this one. It's eggs, milk, onion and cheese, but doesn't it look impressive? Check out what it looked like before I baked it.

You separate the eggs, mix the yolks, milk, cheese and onion. The whites are whipped up nice and fluffy, then folded into the egg yolk mix. It cooks on top of the stove for a few minutes, then in the oven for 8 minutes.

For much of nothing, it's pretty filling and really good. I like these skillet pies.

Hope you're having a nice weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Notes On New Things

Somerset Life is hands down my most favorite magazine. I count down the days to each new issue release and then haunt the bookstores. The first thing that caught my eye in the newest issue, Summer 2008, was a simple, lovely book on page 46. There really aren't any instructions, so I was on my own! The first book I tried was a journal I bought on sale at Books A Million. It had a printed cover and took many coats of gesso to cover it. It looked nothing like the journal in Somerset. I painted a shipping tag with gesso and it was perfect! I was on to something.

Next I dug out a Rusty Pickle chipboard book. I was on the right track, but you could see the brush strokes in the gesso and it wasn't a warm color, it was stark gesso white. I sanded the brush strokes away, learning as I went that a circular motion gave a nicer feel.

It still wasn't right though, it was too white, it didn't have the warm glow or the lovely soft look of the one in the photo. I thought about this for a while and decided to try a paint wash. I mixed a soft yellow and a soft pink acrylic paint, watered it down and brushed it on. Through trial and error, I learned to let it almost dry and then go over it softly with a paper towel to pick up extra paint and smooth away the brush strokes. If you take up too much paint, you can just paint it again, that's not a problem. I even sprayed it with water once and took up all the paint as it was too dark.

Here's a close up for you. I think it has a nice warm glow now, it reminds me of pie crust actually! As you can see it's "The Pie Book", a place to keep all my pie recipes, pictures of pies I've baked, pie stories - all things pie! The words on the book are gesso'd over and hard to read, but it's the pie song from the movie "Michael" with John Travolta (my all time favorite actor, btw). Here are the words:

Pie, Pie, Me oh My
Nothing tastes better, wet salty and dry
Apple and pumpkin and mince and black bottom
I'll come to your place every day if you've got 'em
Pie, me oh My
I love Piiiiiieeeeee

Silly, but cute. Have you seen the movie? You should! It's very good.

Also in the very first picture is a vintage pie bird that I found. If I'm going to bake pies, I'll need a pie bird, don't you think?

It's all resting on a yard of vintage fabric I bought along with the pie bird.

Stay tuned - I have a fun apron in the works!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Note to Self: Bake More Pies!

This is a skillet pie, something I just recently discovered. This particular skillet pie is "Delores's Apple Puff Pancake Pie". How could it not be good - it's a pancake, it's a pie and it has apples, cinnamon and sugar! It was not only good, it was delicious! And really easy to make, too. Just in case you'd like to try it, here's the recipe.

Delores's Apple Puff Pancake Pie
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3 Lrg Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp Grated Lemon Zest
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Divided
2 Tart Apples, I used Granny Smith, peeled, quartered and sliced 1/4" thick
Sifted Confectioner's Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450, set out a 10" cast iron skillet

2. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon, set aside

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and lemon zest. Blend in the flour until just mixed - the batter will be slightly lumpy

4. In the skillet, melt 1/4 cup of the butter over medium heat. Add the apples and saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Pour the egg batter over the apples and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples are tender and the pie puffs up high.

5. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter. Remove the skillet from the oven, drizzle the puff pie with the butter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Return the pie to the oven for 5 minutes or until the sugar mix is bubbly. Sprinkle with a little confectioner's sugar and serve immediately, right from the skillet. Yummy!!

(My husband thought it would be good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! We didn't have any vanilla, maybe next time.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Skirt Note

I promised to post a picture of the skirt I finished earlier this week for you today. Lisa has already reminded me. I thought I would wait for my husband to take the picture, but he has a busy morning and I know Lisa can't wait that long, so here is a self-portrait!

The skirt is Amy Butler's Barcelona pattern. It's lined and has a hidden zipper, the pattern is very true to size - I made no adjustments, not even to the length. I have to admit the hidden zipper was interesting, not sure I liked that, but I'll try it one more time before I make up my mind. Other than that the skirt was easy to put together. The fabric is also Amy Butler, I can't remember the name of it, but I bought it at, where I also got the pattern.

It's been a while since I've worn a skirt, but this one is really comfortable.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A No Posting Note

I know it's been a while since I last posted and I apologize for that. It's not that I haven't been doing anything, it's just that I don't have anything finished to share with you. There is plenty in the works! Last week with Bryn home, I didn't get any studio time, which was fine - I'd much rather visit with him and Amanda! They are so much fun and I really missed them. (Yes, the photo is a little blurry, but they were laughing and I love it so - it's so typical of them!)

It's always hard for me to get back into the swing of things after Bryn goes back to his base, and this time was no exception. Luckily for me, I had an inspiring Wednesday shopping with Lisa. That's always lots of fun and I have new ideas for new projects. (And lots of sugar-free syrup in Vanilla, French Vanilla and Black Cherry to add to my diet coke, iced tea, club soda - you get the idea!)

Speaking of Lisa, she's got me swapping on! She started a Magic Wand Swap - did you see the new issue of Somerset Studio? Then she sent me a link to a vintage apron swap, which the hostess was kind enough to let me join, even though I am a newbie to the site. (Thank you Amanda! A different Amanda than Bryn's Amanda. You know, I don't think I've ever met an Amanda that I didn't like.) Then Ms. Lisa told me about a handmade apron swap, but that one was not for newbies - so I joined a Recipe Postcard swap! I guess I was just in a joining mood and I love new recipe's, so why not?

I did finish the skirt I was working on and I hope to have a picture to share with you tomorrow. So until tomorrow. . .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two Notes In One Day!

I joined a quilties swap with Lisa (that is her creation in the center - I don't think she'll mind me sharing it here) hosted by Lenna Andrews at The theme of the quilties was 'Shades of Spring' to be done in robin's egg blue and brown. (The other side of mine is brown.) I had never made a quiltie before, I didn't even know there was such a thing! Once I got started it was really fun, oddly enough I enjoyed the hand stitching the most. Here's a closeup so you can see it better.

They are packaged up and will be winging their way to Lenna in tomorrow's post. (Except the one I kept, and the one I made for Lisa.)

A Background Note

As Lisa mentioned on her blog,, she and I took Teresa McFayden's "Write Place Write Time" summer journal e-zine. When the month was over, we both wanted to keep working in our summer journals. We decided we would take turns coming up with a technique and a topic to keep us motivated. Following is my first contribution.

You will need Vaseline, two colors of acrylic paint, a paint brush, Q-tips, paper towels, a glue stick and some collage bits.

I glued the pieces around the edges, being careful to make sure the edges were down well. I also used some waxed paper between the pages of my journal as this can get messy. Once the images were glued in place, I added some blue paint, not carefully, I just slapped some on.

When the paint and glue were dry, I added Vaseline to the parts I wanted to show through. I used my finger in the larger areas (the girls face) and Q-tips for smaller areas.

I did some samples to show how much gives you what effect.

With this sample I used my finger to apply the Vaseline.

With this sample, I used a Q-tip. You can play around with that to find what you like best, actually a combination of the two is nice.

After I had the Vaseline where I wanted it, I painted the entire thing with white paint, covering everything! Again, not carefully, just getting it on the page. Gesso also works well. It's very important to let the paint dry completely before going on to the next step.

Once the paint is dry, take a paper towel and rub the entire piece. The white paint will lift from the resist areas - where you applied the Vaseline. I used a second paper towel to get as much of the Vaseline up as I could, once the paint was removed.

One thing about this technique, the Vaseline leaves enough of a residue so that writing on the paper isn't easy. I journaled on some old calendar pages, then edged them with the same blue paint to blend them into the background.

There it is! Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Some Notes From Yesterday

I mentioned that my son was home on leave for three days, since yesterday was his last day with us for a while, I spent the day with him. I did manage to sneak into Southern Crossings for a quick minute to check on some silver vases I'd seen tucked away on shelf in May. They were still there and had been marked down! On the way to the register, I found this lovely little plate holder. Not bad for under 10 minutes!

Wonder what I'm going to do with the plate holder? Not hold plates! I use them to hold journals and other artwork. I've found 3 others, but they are larger - like this!

With starting to sew again, I checked eBay for vintage fabrics. They have a lot! If you are patient enough to wade through them all, you can find some nice deals. I've purchased two pieces, both shown above on the ladder. The blue floral has the nicest hand. I'm thinking I may use it to make a skirt. I recently bought the pattern and Amy Butler fabric below:

I'll make up this first and see how it goes. Here's a better picture of the blue floral, too.

I think that would make up into the prettiest skirt! Of course, my husband thought it was a tablecloth - a very nice tablecloth, but still!

Enjoy your Saturday and thanks for checking in! I'm going to get better at this, I promise.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Note About Napkins

Several years ago my son and stepdaughter went on a recycling crusade. To encourage them we made many of the changes they suggested. One that has lasted through the years is that we don't use paper napkins. In their place we've used everything from colorful cottons bought at Pier 1 to bulk washcloths from Sam's Club! Recently it was once again time to replenish the napkin supply. Since I have been working my way back to sewing on a more regular basis (read more than a couple times a year) I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to sew something easy, but useful.

The next time I was in Joann's I bought fat quarters in blue prints, but only five, because that's all they had that I loved. They went together so nicely - I wanted to make more! Back to Joann's where I found nine more that I loved.

I've now retired all the previous napkins to the rag bin and put these lovely new ones in to place. We used them for the first time last night at dinner. I actually believe my guys (Bryn is home for 3 days on leave.) tried to be neater. Seriously. I know it's hard to believe, but they ate more carefully, sat up straight and used all their manners, even the ones they normally save for special! It was a proud moment for me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My First Note. . .

I've always kept a journal, a hand written journal. I use an engagement calendar, one with photos of Italy or the photography of Ansel Adams, this year I have the Greek Isles. While I love this hand written journal and will continue to keep it, it's begun to feel not quite enough. My two best friends, both named Lisa, both with blogs, both enjoy them very much. I enjoy them both very much. So much so that I thought it was time to start my own and here I am.

I have so many ideas floating around in my head, so many projects I want to do and so many I've done that I want to share with you here on my own little blog. I hope you will share your ideas and stories with me, too. Be sure and check back!