Thursday, August 17, 2017

A New Thing: Cottage Living

I officially accepted a strings teacher position at a school (K4 through 12th grade) that was offered to me back in February of this year. That meant a move across the country to the beautiful Midwest. All I could fit in my car was what came with me, and sadly, there was no way that my sewing machines and supplies would fit, so they have to stay put in my parents home until Christmas.

While it isn't a true cottage, my new place of living will be "the cottage" here on the blog, and I'm looking forward to setting up house, figuring out real adulting, and learning the new and very wide gamut of teaching in a private school.

Any tips are welcomed for this newbie! :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Thread in a Vintage Milkglass Bowl

Organizing my sewing recently led me to my monstrous bag of crochet thread that I use for tatting. These are variegated colors that I will probably not use, only because the smaller spools have a longer distance until the color repeats itself. This would be perfect for those who tat or crochet larger bookmarks, dollies, and lace.

There are eleven spools of size 30 thread, all in various lengths, and most likely have been used at some point so I can not guarantee or estimate the yardage on these. If you're interested, I put them up in the shop last night!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Having a discount grocery store nearby that will often carry lots of organic produce, we thought that for $1.79 a package we could afford to make a small batch of strawberry jam. If you use organic strawberries and organic sugar, then the strawberry jam is good for you, right? ;)

It was just a small batch of 4 pints and 4 half pints, but then our family doesn't go through peanut butter and jelly as much as we used to.  One of my favorite uses for jam is on Laura's scones. What are some of your favorite uses for jams and jellies?

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.