Tuesday, August 30, 2011

If I could knit...

...I would make this sweater. Isn't it beautiful?

The summer days are dwindling down, and some leaves are already floating in the air here in the south. Not that it is cold enough yet for them to turn, but apparently there is a type of tree here that looses its leaves around the last few days of August.

My sister said that back home that the nights have turned chilly, and that Pumpkin Spice Lattes will be available a day after Labor Day, which means the Pumpkin Spice Frappacinos will be available too. That makes me smile. :)

Mentioning "home," today while in conversation with a girl in a class of mine, she interrupts me in mid sentence and states rather than asks, "Wait. You're from the north, aren't you?" That made me smile too, and I like it. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Greetings from the South!

While I've only been here for one week, it seems more like a month; it has been that crazy and busy! :) School started on Wednesday, and I'm in seven classes this semester, not counting the one in which I'm auditing. It feels like eight classes, since I am technically in eight, but just will not receive the credit hours for it. Even if I WAS registered for it, the 3 credit class does not count toward any degree.

My current living situation is with a family who lives not to far from the campus, but out in the country enough to step outside and hear nothing but nature and nearby cattle. Perfect for evening walks. A more permanent lodging is being looked into, and I'd be able to move in about 2-3 weeks. I'm praying that it will work out, Lord willing, of course.

Over the weekend I was able to visit some health food stores to pick up some things, and afterwards stopped at a Goodwill that I would go to when I lived in the area last semester. My visit was not wasted either. I came out with a soft and oh-so-comfy dressy black turtleneck sweater by Ann Taylor Loft, and then a green cotton Banana Republic skirt.
But this isn't an ordinary skirt! It has the c.u.t.e.s.t pleated hemline you ever did see. It goes around the entire hem of the skirt. It's (very) roughly 8" in length (just my wild guess) with even sections of 6 pleats sewn down about 2 1/2" or thereabouts. It is very retro looking. Think "Jane of Lantern Hill," "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken," "The Magic of Ordinary Days," or any other 30ish era movie.
Sorry ladies. This one is not going up in the shop. Eventually a pattern will be made off of it, and reproductions made. It just might be awhile. Hopefully once I can get established in a room, I can pull out my sewing machines, and provided I have enough time to sew. :)
Until next time...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Going in Circles!

My mind is going in a million different circular directions with officially packing for the trip southward this weekend. Its seems like all of the little things are popping up that I completely forgot, and now have a few hours to do it all before I turn out the light.
In other circular fashion, I added one more skirt to the shop tonight as it will probably be several weeks before I can add any more gently used skirts or reproductions.

( and yes, if you didn't pick up on that hint, I've decided to make room in my car for my sewing machine and serger.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ruffled Silk

Dainty and elegant pintucks, two ruffles with "modern" smocking ...sigh... I'm really wishing I were a size six right here right now.
But at least the vintage style aprons I sew can accommodate several sizes! I added a Shabby Chic Stripe yesterday afternoon. If you like pink and green, you'll love it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Prairie Linen

Skirts are a staple in my closet. I have a maxi dress in my closet, and then a "going away" dress that I'm saving for when I'll be able to wear it. :) The rest are skirts. Well, and of course, shirts/blouses, and sweaters. When one wears skirts 99.99% of the time, it is easy to get into a rut of wearing the same skirt, or style of skirt.
When I saw my friend's "Emily Rose" skirt, I simply fell in love with the tiered style. Instead of the usual abundance of gathers, this was without and still retained graceful and winsome appearance of a tiered skirt. My friend was gracious to lend me information as to how she made it off of a friends skirt.
Just a few days later, a friend from church handed me a bag with a skirt parallel to the one I was wanting to recreate. This was the original source of these duplicates. I happily took measurements off of the original, grabbed my sister who modeled the skirt for me (I'm not quite down to her size, but I'm trying!) and was more excited about wearing my heels for the photo shoot than anything else. ;)

Just yesterday I was able to obtain fabric and sewed like a crazy lady to finish it. It went together so nicely, and must say that I am very happy with the way it turned out. My only reason for not keeping it myself would be that I think I'd like a brown like the original rather than a blue - I already own four denim skirts!

Take a look at it, and perhaps you'd like it for yourself?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Selling used skirts!

Somone mentioned to me a while back that I should consider selling some of my thrift store finds, and at the time it wasn't so appealing (why would I want to sell them if I liked them so much?). :) I got to thinking how I wouldn't just have to sell my clothing, but offer other cute skirts that may not be my style or size. Of course they must be modest, modern, (no "old ladyish" pleated skirts from the 70s and 80s!) feminine, high quality name brands, and only in like-new, gently worn condition.
Just today I added two skirts and will be putting more up in the near future. Yes, the free shipping code can be used on them until mid-night tonight!

Summer's Bounty

One thing for certain: I've been enjoying summer's bounty these last few days at home. There is a huge patch of sweet peas nearby that are in several delicious shades of pinks and purples.

Some kind of flowering bush that makes its flora known only in August.Shasta daisies blooming in the front flower bed.

Johnny-Jump-Ups are growing in places that I never sowed seed.

Garden Peas are in abundance!
My basil has turned into a bush, and this is after I made pesto enough for a family of nine!
Tomatoes are ripening in the garden. This is from the Black Krim heirloom plant.
My raspberries are finally growing, but sadly will be ripe when I'm off in college.
For one last plug: today is the last day to receive free shipping in my shops! If you missed the announcement, go here for details!

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Lessons from a Failed Attempt at Pie Baking

Church picnics are fun. Believe it or not, I've only been to three or four of them in my lifetime. Over the weekend I had picked up some fresh organic blackberries for 50 cents a pint. "A blackberry pie!" was what I was going to contribute for it, since there was little else I could fix or bring.
Saturday was a very busy day of errands, work, and a lovely outdoor wedding and reception of a friend of mine. The only time to bake the pie was shortly before midnight. It smelled heavenly and looked divine as I pulled it out of the oven. I went to bed content and happy that it seemed to have turn out just fine after baking some not-so-fine pies in the recent past.

Sunday afternoon came around, and as I quickly returned home to change, grabbed an old quilt, and the pie, there was gasp of displeasure and disappointment as I opened the Tupperware container. A knife was timidly inserted into the pie and my nightmare had come true.

The inside resembled some kind of an attempt of soup.

Several years ago I could make pies not to far from Grandma's perfect quality, (this side of heaven, that is) and then about three years ago there was one evening of a ruined cherry pie (same soupy results) which has repeated itself nearly a half a dozen times. Yesterday I was struck with the doom of coming to face the fact: Cheri cannot make good pies.

Leaving the disaster at home, I arrived at the park where the church picnic was held empty handed. My discouraged mind was somewhat relieved when the dessert table was covered with all sorts of good things, and the pie would not have been needed after all.

But I was not satisfied with just accepting the title of a disastrous pie baker - I want to know why they aren't turning out. Grandma will be consulted this very day, and hopefully then she can point out the error in which I can learn from. A spiritual lesson can be learned from this, too, as God brought to my attention last night.

Just like my pie, my life can look "perfect" on the outside: I can do all the the right things, say all of the right things, go to all of the right places. It can be so easily to "look the part" of a good Christian woman. I can even follow or obey the Word of God, just as I followed the pie recipe, to the tee - but if I'm doing everything in my own strength or my own wisdom, or follow man's ideas or wisdom, my life will be a complete failure. We need Christ. We need to be Holy Spirit filled and controlled. The verse in John 15:5 comes to mind: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (emphasis mine)

May this spiritual lesson continue to ring in my heart, and may Grandma have some insight into the failures of my pie baking!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fried Eggplant

It's funny to think of the first time I was introduced to eggplant. I always considered it one of those "odd" vegetables like artichokes or kohlrabi. My sister and I were visiting a newly-married friend of ours many years ago, and along with her dinner one evening, she was fixing fried eggplant. It did not sound appealing, but as our mother always taught us from a young age - always take a little bit from what it being served - even if you're certain that it will be gross.

Both of us couldn't believe how delicious it was and we were anxious to introduce it to our family. Now every summer, it is requested by all of our family members (minus one) that we fix it when it's available fresh from the farmers market. Tonight with our fettuccine noodles, homemade pesto using fresh basil from the garden, and homegrown green beans via farmers market, we fixed:

♥ Fried Eggplant ♥

Eggplant (the smaller/skinnier the better)

Peel and slice eggplant to about 1/4" thick. Place in water to help avoid oxidation while cutting up the rest of your eggplants. Dip in whisked egg (you may need more than one if you have more than one eggplant) and then in flour, making sure both sides are adequately covered.

Place in well buttered skillet (tonight I used SmartBalance and coconut oil) and cook until soft and lightly brown on both sides.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

One week SALE!

I had great hopes in sewing up some more things for my shops before I started my trek down south for another semester of college, but I can see now that it just won't happen. Much cleaning, sorting, packing, buying for school still needs to take place (sure wish they had a health food stores and thrift stores like what we have here!), reading to do, separate my thriving aloe vera plants into pots of their own, work at the store, attending a friends wedding this weekend (and buy a wedding gift for the couple!), be calm for playing in a violin trio at church, and ... oh wait. You probably aren't wishing what is on my to-do-list, but rather are wondering what all this has to do with the blog title. Am I right? :)

It has remained undecided to this day as to whether I'll be taking any sewing stuff along with me this semester, and in the event that everything gets left behind to collect dust for 4 months, I decided to offer free shipping for the next 7 days. It applies for all of my shops:

Peasant Cottage
Tally Skirts
Threads of Colors
The checkout code: SHIPFREE