Monday, January 3, 2011

A few moments to spare in this whirlwind of life

Happy New Year!  It has been a long time since the last post.  For a few more weeks I have true leisure time, the last I will have until after the wedding in October.  My last semester of graduate school will start in a few weeks, and I can't wait for it to begin so it can finally end!  This has been the longest three years trying to finish up my Master's piece by piece.  One of my best friends is getting married the week before my graduation, so I will enjoy a nice quick trip out to Washington State, and will finally get to show hubby-to-be how beautiful it is out there, and why I long to return.  Then there will be a blowout graduation bash, followed by Memorial Day at the beach house, and madness will ensue.  We are getting married in October, and already I have a bit of a Dad-zilla, who is inviting guests right and left and hounding me for blocks of hotel rooms.  I never thought it would be my dear Pops who would push me over the wedding planning edge, but Daddy-O, our venue can only hold 130 people and we'd like to invite some of our friends!  xoxo!

Anyway, with a bit of free time on my hands right now I've been cooking and sewing and reading, thumbing through gardening catalogs and dreaming of spring.  I have also been spending MUCH too much time online playing silly Facebook games.  I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs, Little House in the Suburbs, about TL's Grandmother's embroidery and it made me really wish for my supplies I had back when I was 10 and learning needlepoint in 4-H.  I emailed my Mom to see if she still had any of my old projects.  The point of this whole ramble is that people used to have time to sit in a chair and do fine needlepoint, even though they had to make their bread without a machine and had to slaughter a few chickens to cook them up for the big family (I have no idea if TL's Grandmother did this, but I know mine did).  Sometimes when I cry about not having enough free time, I have to stop and count up all those hours I spent on silly things, like Farmville...

Enough about that.  Here are my current projects:
The Yard Sale Wrap Skirt, pattern from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.  I've never made a garment before, and I'm self-taught when it comes to sewing with a machine.  I learned how to make a beautiful French seam, but when I had put all the panels together, the skirt didn't even begin to wrap around my hips...hello seamripper, my old friend...

Garden Apron from One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker.  I just cut out the pieces today from a wonderfully fun print I've had for a year and didn't know what to make with.  It is a nice heavy quilting weight cotton by Michael Miller: Giraffe Garden in Grey.  It calls for making three yards of seam binding, so I'll be giving that a shot with a scrap of unknown but matchy stripey material.  I made a quilted oven mitt (again from the One Yard Wonders book) right before Christmas, which was my first attempt at quilting anything, and at sewing anything with a binding.  It went okay, especially for the first time. 

I have an ugly blue laminate dresser from IKEA that was either free or extremely cheap, and I read somewhere where you could refinish this using spray paint.  I'm going to give that a try when the weather is nice enough to take the piece outside and sand and spray.  I would love to cover the top in a self-healing mat so I could buy a rotary cutter and have a surface to cut on.  I will be putting the dresser in my little sewing room to hold the ever increasing bundles of fabric. 

Next up on the list are some gardening tunics that I just love in the Weekend Sewing book, along with some fabric headbands.  I got some beautiful cotton lawn fabric that washed up so soft and nice, in 4 different colors and patterns.  My intention was to make several of the Yard Sale Wrap Skirts and several tunics, but seeing how I've already stalled out on the wrap skirt due to a sizing issue, I'm not sure I'll accomplish all of that before the gardening season begins.  That's why I asked for these for my birthday (coming up in March).  I've always wanted a pair of gardening overalls, and how cute are these where the pant legs zip off to make shorts?  And padded inserts in the knees?  That eliminates the need for me to make a kneeling cushion (except that the laminated fabric section has so many delightful patterns, I might have to make one or two anyway!).

Tonight I made my first ever loaf of pumpernickel bread with rye flour grown right outside the town where I went to college.  I ordered a supply of Cream of the West from Green Barn Organics, and picked up a sack of rye flour and pearl barley while I was at it.  The bread was amazing, especially when dunked in my savory Hubbard squash soup seasoned with cardamom and cayenne pepper.  I love that we are still eating from the garden in January!