Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The First and Second Gooseberry Picking

Like everything else that grew while we were away, the gooseberries were ready to be picked. It wasn't until a couple of days ago that I actually made time to pick the sunripened ones and picked what I could until the sun went down behind the mountains.

Today I did a second picking, and decided to hull them before supper. Actually, with gooseberries, you most often times will hull both ends. When picking them, a short stem comes with it, and the deadened spring flower on the other side never drops off in growing season.

I checked the bush more more time tonight, and there are a few green ones left that I'll add to my bag (now in the freezer) for a small pie for later. I'll be sure to share the recipe at some point! It's so delicious, and I actually prefer to eat it cold.

On a side note, I'm wearing one of my Ginnie aprons today and had to smile at a recent conversation that I've had this summer (maybe it has happened twice, now that I think about it...). When something about sewing, etsy, or aprons get brought up, I'll casually mention that I love to sew aprons and have sold many online over the last 10 years or so. Some people think it's awesome, and other people just look at me funny and ask, "And do you actually wear one yourself?" :) That's not even a question, but they don't know that, so I reply with yes and let them know that I have about a half a dozen of them and will wear them when I'm in the kitchen or out harvesting something from the garden.

P.S. Just so you know: Thankfully, I have only shown up at the grocery store wearing an apron just once. I think. ;)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Harvesting Lavender

Three years ago I planted some English Lavender while still hopeful that my first patch would make it. It never did. I now have two patches and it looks like they would have been in a glorious full bloom while we were on vacation.

Today I got started on harvesting it. According to some websites, I'm to late, but oh well. It still smells good! :) The two piles on the left still have some blossoms, while the one on the right contains the ones that are fully done.

There is still more to cut from the first patch and an abundance on my second patch. When ever I bring in the lavender, I just tie them into bunches and hang dry them for dried bouquets later. Browsing on Pinterest for ideas, there is a whole bunch more you can make with dried lavender. I'm thinking maybe a wreath? Down in South Carolina, there was a small coffee shop that made the best Lavender Mocha's, but I've been leery to try using it in any culinary dishes here at home.

If anyone wants to pass on their ideas for dried lavender, I'd be happy to hear them!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Yes, I'm Still Sewing!

On the occasion when I have time to think, (such as when I was on a two week vacation to Michigan recently!) I remember when blogging and sewing up items for my etsy shop was quite often. Indeed, this summer has already proven to be quite busy, eventful, and productive however.

And yes, I am still sewing. :) I've been blessed to be able to work for/with the same local bridal alteration business as last summer. One of the biggest projects was working on a bridal gown (took it from a size 10 to a size 0), though the business owner did the major stuff while I worked on smaller details. There was a flower girl dress to alter, as well as four out of seven bridesmaid dresses; I did all of those.

I don't have any professional pictures for you yet, but here are a few small snapshots that I took along the way using my "new" iPhone. Yes, I have been using one of my Dad's first cellphone's (a flip phone, mind you) and I told myself that I was allowed to buy an iPhone when I graduated from college. Per typica of me, I bought a used iPhone 6s, but it was in next to new condition and a beautiful rose gold color. 

Oh yes, you're not here to read about technology...ahem.

The flower girl dress was darling! I took the picture more for myself to remember the company name for the future. :)
Love being surrounded by beautiful textures, fabrics, lace, and tulle!
I put this gorgeous lace on the hem to make it a smidgen longer, and it gave the dress an overall completed look. 

The bride wanted a custom veil (finger tip length) and once we made it using fine tulle netting and a hair comb, I added the lace appliques to an otherwise simple veil.

Outside of bridal sewing, I have two aprons to make for some friends of mine who are getting married this summer. One of them I'll be attending next month up in Maine (can't wait!!) and she's planning a coffee shop themed kitchen. The fabric I found for her will work perfectly. I'll post pictures when it's finished.

If you were hoping to read that I'd be making aprons for the shop, don't lose heart! I have three fabrics on my sewing table that were just cut into aprons this evening. I'd sneak in a little sewing yet this evening, but alas, I'm out of bias tape. Quite rare for someone who has made hundreds of aprons, isn't it?

Well, toodles for now and I hope to be back writing more often in the next few weeks!

Monday, May 15, 2017


A Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Sounds pretty official, but that's because it really is. And I own it! :)

Not many people know that I never finished high school, or that I sat out for nearly 10 years before timidly applying for college. NEVER ever believe the lie that you're not smart enough, or that you're to old to pursue your dreams when God places a desire on your heart and opens the door!! 

"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Saturday, January 07, 2017

I'm Taking One Book With Me


Only because there is so much reading to do for classes, I generally try to keep my book count under five per semester that I bring from home. This time around, I think it will be just my Bible and this little nugget by Frances Ridley Havergal. Either I have never read it (need to confirm with my yearly book lists...) or it has been many years. Leafing through its pages as I began packing this afternoon, it looks as though it will not disappoint.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Blueberry Buckle

The forecasters said that our area could see up to a foot of snow by this morning, and I would say that it came pretty close. I wasn't ready to get out of bed, but I love quiet mornings before anyone is up.

A morning ritual is to turn on a string of lights (or two), fix a cup of tea and read Scripture. As daylight began to seep through the low hanging, empty clouds it was obvious that I wasn't the only one up early.

Before heading outside to help shovel the snow and brush of cars, I whipped up and put in the oven a special morning treat; a recipe I hadn't fixed in ages. It turned out well considering I used a pan that was a wee bit smaller than what the recipe called for. But here's a hint: if you cut everything into small pieces you won't feel to guilty for eating two. ::ahem::  Oh, and don't let the title be deceiving - it's a fancy (or otherwise?) way of saying coffeecake.

Blueberry Buckle

3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. soft butter
1 egg

Stir in:
1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. blueberries

Crumb Topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. soft butter

Spread batter in a 9x13 greased pan. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top (I used a fork to mix and slide the crumbs out of the bowl and onto the batter). Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Greetings!

Making it to the President's List (ie., having a 3.75 or higher GPA for the semester) may have something to do with my silence on my blog in the last several weeks. Reflecting on the four plus weeks that we have come through are somewhat of a blur. It must be either my caffeine is wearing off, or my body is still sleep deprived, or both. :)

But I do remember that the string quartet I was in this last semester had the great honor of playing Christmas carols in the university's widely acclaimed Museum & Gallery when it was open to the public early on in the month. Discarding the traditional black for the evening, we chose to wear festive colors.

Growing in friendships and musically with these girls this semester was great fun! For our chamber recital we played
Glazunov's AllaSpagnola and All’ Ungherese from his 5 Novelettes. Check out the links for an idea of what we were playing, played by real pro's...)
The rest of the semester was a whirlwind of completing classes, passing my senior recital note check, and taking eight finals. One of the weekends a couple friends and I went to watch the Nutcracker live, played by  the city's symphony. I think I would enjoy it more if I were to experience it again, since that night I was so, so tired. What I do remember was that I enjoyed it. :)

Prior to driving home for Christmas Break I went up to a surprise birthday party that was being put together for my Grandma's 85th birthday. It was the weekend right after finals, so it worked out perfectly to make the drive up north. She was completely surprised, and it was such a joy to spend a weekend with her. Michigan had lots of snow, too, which was a delight.

And now I've been at home for just under two weeks. What have I been doing? Mostly sticking very close to home and resting alot. Being a college student is exhausting (but oh so rewarding!!) and this semester was no exception. There have been a few occasions where I've gone out with my sisters, or up to the mountains for a morning in a coffee shop, or spent some time making Christmas treats in the kitchen, so I haven't been a complete lazy bum. ::winks::

With less than a week now before I head back for my last semester of undergrad, it is doubtful that I'll get anything added to my etsy shop (so sorry!). My priorities lie in some more rest and keeping up my senior recital repertoire. I'll spare you those juicy details, since most of you have had your fill of musical dialogue for one post! But I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas season and will have a joyous new year!

(If you love the delights of this season as much as I do, check out this wonderful new blog that will keep you occupied with lovely writings and pictures! I still have many more posts to catch up on, which I'm off to now after I fix myself another cup of TWG's vanilla caramel tea.)