Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Every year, I eagerly await the return of fresh fruit and veggies at the market. You see, we try our best to eat locally, but through the winter months it's not always easy. I'm tired of cabbage. And potatoes and carrots and squash. Did I mention cabbage? So while I'd often rather have cooler weather, summer means delicious, off-the-plant tomatoes, freshly shelled peas, and red, red watermelon. Yum! Since moving to Toronto, I've even had my own little balcony garden, growing herbs, lettuce, and hot peppers.
But this year, inspired by my friend Jodi, I'm hoping to teach myself how to can and preserve my way to year-round summer goodness. Each summer, Jodi turns out jellies, jams, canned veggies, and other preserves that make me envious for her cupboards through the winter. Sure, our storage space is limited (and filled with fabric) but I'm determined to find even one shelf for homemade pickles this year. Hmm ... maybe I'll start with these garlic dill pickles from Food in Jars (found through Jodi!).
P.S. I know there haven't been very many crafty projects on this blog recently, but I swear they're in the works. Back soon with a new dress and more quilt-y projects. I promise!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
How amazing are these?
When I was home, my dad dug out these old SLR cameras. Not long ago I mentioned that I was keen to learn more about photography: as it turns out, the interest runs in my family. After a small adventure with airport security, I came home with my dad's old Nikon and my Uncle Mervyn's vintage Minolta. They need a bit of TLC, but I can't wait to buy some film (!) and see what sorts of pictures I can capture with my new old cameras.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I've been missing from my blog lately. I'm sorry, but you see I've been a little distracted.
There's nothing to say really, except that Isabella is absolutely perfect. It's difficult to put into words how much I already love her; she's such a tiny (growing!) bundle of pure happiness, and everything she does seems amazing. What an incredible week I've just had, cuddling with Isabella while lounging with my sister and brother-in-law in small-town Manitoba. Sigh.
Also, how cool will Isabella be?
Maybe she's got a bit of me in her, too.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I learned some things this weekend:
1. Making tiny dresses is actually not easy like I thought it would be. Quite the opposite, in fact.
2. Tiny dresses for little girls named Isabella are adorable. Like, really adorable.
3. Hand stitching small garments is so much easier than using a regular sewing machine. They should make wee little sewing machines for children's things. Seriously.
I made a few adjustments to the Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress (which can also be made as a tunic and shorts); first, I used snaps in the back instead of buttons. Because I'm making the dress for a newborn, I didn't want to put anything on the back that would hurt Isabella.
Also, the pattern instructs you to sew the side seams and set the sleeves in. I wish I could tell you that I had the foresight to see that this would be problematic; alas, I didn't. I followed the pattern directions exactly as described without thinking about how tiny this dress really was. After attempting one sleeve, I tore it out, along with the side seams, and sewed the sleeve in first, stitching the side and underarm sleeves as one continuous seam. It worked much better doing it that way; I'm sure that if one was sewing the dress for a larger girl, the pattern directions would work just fine.
Lastly, I did a simple double-fold hem instead of a hem-facing as the pattern instructed. It worked just as well.
The pattern was easy to follow, with simple,clear instructions and helpful diagrams. Oliver + S has a handy difficulty rating (this pattern is three scissors out of four), which is particularly helpful for beginner sewers. And the dress is super cute: I'm in love with the tiny collar especially.
Sadly, I found out that this pattern is now out of print, although there are still some places that will have stock left (I got mine at the workroom). There is no shortage of adorable patterns from Oliver + S, though, and I'm looking forward to making more!