Sunday, May 31, 2009

new shirt...Simplicity 3692

~I cut this fabric for this pattern, from the built by you series from Wendy Mullin ,
Simplicity 3692, over a year ago and just now decided to put it together.... I am not so into the fabric choices now but I like the eyelet trim and the mismatched white buttons I came up with when I went to make it early Saturday morning(3Am insomnia)

~It is a fun, versatile pattern and helps you practice some good fundamental sewing techniques. Wendy gives great tips for sewing with knits( even more so in her book The Home Stretch ) and can help you overcome the fear of knits(if you succumb). The shirt is a great first knit project because the fit is forgiving. I had completely forgotten until this post that I made the 3/4 sleeve look when I first got the pattern almost 3 years ago(I gave it to a friend, sorry no photo). That was my first patterned (not my own) knit project and though it looked lovely it was at least one size to large( I soon realized patterns run a little large for me)... and looked quite lovely on my gal, Houston.
~ I am contemplating the shift look but I think I will opt for sleeveless( Texas heat) and maybe woven cotton instead of knit. I have seen the shirt in woven and I think it turned out very nice.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Watermelon Agua Fresca

~I have had some really terrible luck with water melon purchases this year so far. If my dad was around he would harp on me for buying those overpriced seedless(tasteless) watermelons. However he was not dealing with a 7 month old that loved watermelon( or was he) And seedless water melons have come a long way in the last decade( maybe).

....Well my 7 month old is going on 3 now and I can probably give him the grown up kind but I have been dazzled by cheap seedless prices 3 times in the last month. All 3 times each water melon left much to be desired. Even Burger wasn't really going for it. Not even kosher salt was helping the tasteless melons. So I made a few batches of Popsicles(later post)which were quite yummy but in abundance.

~I started day dreaming about this little place I used to frequent in Tucson called Little Cafe Poca Cosa. They had terrific food and always a packed house and always 4-5 fresh Agua frescas that would be sucked up quickly by their sun soaked patrons. These refreshing beverages were the type of thing that drew you into an eatery. Quite addictive.

So I began trying salvage something from my tasteless water melons and here is what I have finalized after repeating it now 4 or 5 times. The recipe makes enough for a nice afternoon refresher for 2 . If you are making the drink for a meal or group of thirsty beasts; I would double it, or make several batches. It is not really something I would keep for more that a few hours in the fridge. The beauty of these drinks is their freshness

Water melon Agua fresca

2 cups cold water melon
1/8 -1/4 c sugar
big pinch kosher salt
1/2 c cold water
*mint leaves for garnish

This is a pretty loose recipe. I put my melon in the blender. Then the Sugar( more or less to how unsweet your melon is). The salt and then I add just enough water to make it go .
The mint was an accidental treat! I was trying to make it pretty for the photo shoot and then I drank it with the mint and it add an amazingly fresh finish. I am sure lime would also go really well in this beverage and now I am thinking some rum might be nice too...sort of a watermelon mojito thingy. OK I will stop ...happy lazy summer

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Belle and Burger in Marie Claire Spain

I am just thrilled to be in the July 2009 issue of Marie Claire Spain!

(I am sharing the scanned images 'cause all could I find online was the American cover.)
Linkhere is my original photo, this little apron is actually in my shop right now for sale

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New apron design, and Some Custom Looks

~I designed a new apron for a client back in early April. She simply wanted one of my aprons in a larger size with a fuller coverage design. I had already been working on KG's apron,
So I drafted a pattern from the one I made for him that met the measurements I took from the client.She set me free with the design just requested it be Bright and sunny.I found the lower skirt fabric in my stash and created the design around that fabric . The flower applique's on the bib are from a tiny vintage eyelet kerchief that had a damaged edge.

~I took it the market for her to pick up and my next client saw the apron and just loved it! She wanted 3 , exactly the same size. One for her , her daughter, and her daughter en law. She really liked one I had with a red polka dot chick and requested that chic on hers, but gave me freedom with everything else. I found this apple fabric and thought it would be perfect for her and look lovely with the red chick.

~The second apron design I decided to build around this vintage star quilt piece I had.

~I really like the pocket on the final apron. I think I might do some wall pieces in this vein.

~I had made this custom Texas apron for another friend right before I started the 3 custom order.

~I think alot it's design elements affected the design of the last 3 custom pieces Including these pieced ties. I was inspired by the ties on an apron in this book. I did not actually make the apron on Zakka sewing and I had been piecing together the neck straps on my aprons... but for some reason I had not done this with the ties(? )To this extent . I really love them and it frees me up to use more of my scraps. The ties and strap are always the last thing I make for an apron, and that is when I have all my scraps from the body just lying around. Ta DA!
This post has been piling up in my I photo for almost 2 months so it is LONG .But I needed to purge. Thanks for looking and listening!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the garden after the rain...

~We had some beautiful rain followed but a rare cool front in central Texas over the past week and it has made the garden a wondrous place the last few days.

....We have started harvesting cucumbers ,
~I love a budding cucumber plant they can be so ferocious
~We will probably be eating our own green beans by next Wednesday.

~I am still struggling with something chopping off my tomato flowers?? GRRRR
....and I think squash is on this weekends menu.
~I have quite a few more flowers this year than last , we planted zinnias, red sunflowers marigolds, and nasturtiums from seeds. These mums are hold outs from last year. I have found that in central Texas my mums are that how they are everywhere?

I wonder....moo

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Borrowed Squash Blossom Soup

~I was admiring a friends squash blossoms on FB the other week and mentioned I had a good recipe for Squash Blossom soup. Well I finally retrieved it out of the depths of my recipe box and found it was just scribbled on a yellowed scrap of paper with no info on where it came from. It is pretty simple, and probably a common recipe but I love it so I will share it!

Squash Blossom soup

3 tb butter

1 small onion
1 clove garlic
3 dozen squash flowers
3c chx broth
1 c 1/2 and 1/2

In large pan saute onion and garlic in butter till soft
add blossoms
add broth
bring to a boil and simmer for 10 min
puree the soup( let cool or be very careful)!!!!
return to pan and add 1/2 and 1/2 heat back to a simmer and serve

~I think this is a perfect summer soup, and it is such a pretty soup as well! From the looks of our squash plants I hope to make us some in the next few weeks!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

salt playdough sculpture

~I thrifted this fun book, Mud Works a few weeks ago and we decided to try out one of the recipes when we were all couped up here with the sickies last week.We made some cookie cut out painted dough sculptures for mother's day last week. It was a very fun and easy project for burger. We changed it up a bit by drying them in the oven(step 8). We were in a hurry because one was a gift for Paps's birthday.

salt play dough
1 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1 cup salt


1. mix all ingredients in saucepan
2. add food coloring if desired
3. stir over low heat
4. when thick and rubbery, remove from heat
5. spoon clay onto a floured sheet of wax paper
6. roll out
7.cut out or model
8. cook in 200 degree oven for at least an hour until very hard or air dry over a few days
9. let cool and paint with any acrylic paint

~We poked holes in ours with straws to make hanging sculptures.
I glued one of Burger's to a framed picture of him.
~It was a fun project that we got to return to several times and create layers and teach burger about process and maybe even a little patience...

Friday, May 8, 2009

This weeks garden photos

~Just a quick look at the garden. Things are looking good but I am starting to see a few problems mainly aphids and maybe fungus? ....We got some garden safe fungicide 3. I know it works on the fungus if you catch it in time. I think that is what this is on my bush beans........ do you?

~We are also going to get a little group of lady bugs to take up residence here. Probably stop into eco-wise and pick some up today. And if my tomato flowers keep getting clipped I will pull out the big guns.~ The dill is flowering nicely ...and so is last years basil. I usually try to avoid going to seed this early in my basil but this is not early at all for this plant so I am letting it slide(plus all the basil seed I can get).~ Burger is so gentle with the little plants and here he helps me look for bugs under squash leaves. ~We are growing two types of okra this year(yum yum) the regular green kind(is that what you call them) and red okra these are the latter.~ The zinnia's are sweet even just as foliage ...and not all the bush beans are showing signs of fungus.
I am happy to see the little cukes and the tomatoes fruiting out because last year it got so hot so quickly in central Texas that we got no tomatoes from our 15+ plants. Last years garden was almost completely dedicated to tomatoes. The few cucumbers were bitter from all the heat.And the squash succumbed very quickly to the heat. It was a depressing year for our little garden hearts. But I have faith in this years summer veggies