Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Something Sweet to Knit and Eat!

Do you ever take a long, hard look at your wardrobe and realize that something needs to be done? Well, I recently looked at my spring/summer wardrobe and it looked tired and in need of some fun new pieces. 

I subscribe to the Webs Yarn Store website. About a month ago, they showcased a yarn from Berroco called Medina, along with the knitted pullover you see below. I liked the pullover, so I decided to take a look and see what other colors the yarn came in. I love peaches, greens, blues, so the Rabat colorway was right up my alley. 

The video below shows the full top. The piece is really nothing more than rectangles. It's worked entirely in garter stitch, so although the pattern states that it's for an intermediate knitter, it's really quite easy. The pattern is free if you purchase 4 skeins of the Berroco Medina. To knit this tunic, you will need 4 or more skeins. You can find the information on getting the free pattern booklet HERE.  

My front and back are finished. I need to purchase a circular needle to do the sides. That's on my agenda for today :) I just can't wait to get this piece finished. I absolutely love the yarn. It has such a gorgeous drape, and it feels so soft against the skin. 

I added the picture below so you can see the fiber makeup of the yarn. 

Now for a little something sweet:)

I enjoy a cookie from time to time in the afternoon along with a cup of tea. In my book, there's nothing better than a homemade cookie. The cookie below is dark, rich and satisfying, so one will do the trick...usually!

I'm having a little fun with the name of the cookie as you can see below. It's really just a basic cookie dough recipe with the addition of cocoa powder, with chocolate and butterscotch morsels.  

Moose Drop Cookies
printable recipe

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate morsels
1 cup butterscotch morsels

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in chocolate and butterscotch morsels.

Drop by rounded tablespoon full onto ungreased cookie sheet, 2" apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8-11 minutes. Allow to cool. 
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies. 

**If you would like, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts may be added to the dough before baking. 

Hope you enjoy the cookies!!!

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/Movies, Escape and Fashion

This past weekend, I was not feeling well, so I decided to do something kinda fun. I rented 3 movies and had a movie watching marathon. When the movie "Murder on the Orient Express" came out, I so wanted to see it, but life got in the way, and I missed my opportunity to see it on the big screen. Although it was on a much smaller screen, I  was not disappointed. The scenery is spectacular, the costumes gorgeous, and the story was well told. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. For me, it was a true Hollywood movie, rather larger than life, a bit of an escape.

"The Florida Project" peeked my interest as I like the actor Willem Dafoe(he was also in Murder on the Orient Express). I can't say that I enjoyed the movie, but I did find it quite interesting, and I'm happy that I rented it. In the shadow of the make believe world of Disney lies a real world that is all too hard to believe. The movie is sad, disturbing, and yet there is a sweetness, especially in the character played by Willem Dafoe. He displayed the ability to be compassionate to people whom most of us would only judge.

The final movie was "Lady Bird." Here again, I rented the movie as I really enjoy the actress, Laurie Metcalf(the sister in Rosanne, and the mother of Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory). The title of the movie comes from the name that the daughter decided to give herself. I had to laugh a little as a friend of mine has a 4 year old son who insists that his name is Tiny Tree Frog. If by chance I slip and call him by his name, the name his parents gave him, he quickly reminds me that his name is Tiny Tree Frog. The character in this movie does exactly the same whenever someone calls her by her given name. Ironically, one of the most touching scenes for me was when the priest from the school that Lady Bird attended was admitted into the mental hospital where her mother worked. I thought it was an interesting look at how we look at our parents as well as those who are in authority. We want to see them as somehow perfect, and yet they are every bit as human, every bit as fallible as anyone else. Not an excuse, but a reason nonetheless.  

As I'm sure you know, Hubert de Givenchy died this past week. I must admit that I didn't know he was still alive!!! Shame on me :/ When I worked at the Chicago History Museum, I had the opportunity to catalog a couple of his designs into the costume collection. They were simple in design, but extravagantly made. Such a treat to have the opportunity to look at them inside and out. As most of us know, Audrey Hepburn was his muse. They developed a beautiful relationship that lasted until Ms. Hepburn died in 1993. She was the face of Givenchy.

He was there when Ms. Hepburn won the Oscar for her role in Roman Holiday.

He designed exquisite pieces for her to wear in the movie Sabrina.

This little outfit that Givenchy designed and she also wore in Sabrina, is just as cute and wearable now as it was then.

The two of them made us all want to have breakfast at Tiffany's. And, the little black dress became a staple in every wardrobe.  

Givenchy designed this alluring outfit that Ms. Hepburn wore in How To Steel a Million.

A few more pieces that were not in the movies, but beautiful.

I love this picture. You can see the deep love and admiration that the two had for each other. And I wonder, would either of them have been who they became without the other?

The sun is shining, and I am feeling much, much better :) 
Have a wonderful week, and if you can, take a break and escape with a movie that you've wanted to see. Or, revisit and old movie. Sometimes the old movies that I've seen time and again have something new to say.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sleeves, Sleeves, Sleeves...It's a Workshop

Getting "back on the horse" can apply to so many aspects of our lives. I went skiing on Monday. It was a gorgeous day. The mountain was jammed with people as it is spring break for many across the country. I was coming down an intermediate run, and in the distance I saw a ski instructor with a very large class traversing the hill from a beginner run. I slowed up to give them time to pass. Evidently, there were some stragglers who had not been paying attention and suddenly realized that the class had left them behind. With that, one of the members of the class made a sudden turn, right in front of me. In avoiding her, I went off of the trail and flew into the trees. I knew I was going to hit hard, but luckily for me, the snow was deep, I was caught just inches from my head slamming into the tree. As it was, I had to dig myself out of a hole that was over knee deep. I must have fallen 5 more times just trying to dig myself out. I'm heading out today to get back on that proverbial horse :/


I am so very excited about a class that I will be teaching in Chicago on Saturday, April 21, 2018. It will be an entire day of drafting sleeves!!! My favorite thing :)

Here's all of the information; 

As you can see, you do not need to be an American Sewing Guild member to join the class, but it's a great group of ladies, so why not join? :) 

Supplies needed for the class;

*1 roll of white paper
*18” clear ruler
*1 black pen
*1 red pen ( a Sharpie will be fine. It just needs to have a fine point)
*Paper scissors
*Front and back bodice from a t-shirt pattern
*Sleeve from a t-shirt pattern
*scotch tape

I purchase my paper from an office supply store. It's called banner paper and it comes in a 30" wide, by 52 ft. long roll. I am a big fan of drafting with white paper as it's easy to see through when layering 1 pattern piece over another. 

It's important that the t-shirt pattern be a basic pattern. You can find a great pattern at Londa's Creative Sewing. The pattern used for drafting should have the basic round neckline, and a straight sleeve. For the drafting exercises, the sleeve, as well as the front and back bodice patterns need to have all seam allowances removed, and the pattern transferred to poster board. Having a hard pattern to trace around makes all the difference in the world.  

If you are interested in taking the class, you can find all of the info as well as links to the registration form HERE

Hope to see you in Chicago!!!

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/To Make of Not Make Your Own Gown

I am a Frontline junkie. For those of you who may not know, Frontline is a wonderful program that airs on the Public Broadcasting station. I find the program to be especially informative, and always interesting. Last week, I watched a piece on Harvey Weinstein. It's a piece that I think everyone should see, as it shows how important it is to speak up about abuse as well as injustice. I think that you will find that it's 55 minutes well spent.

Now, I am a week late with this post, but pretty dresses are always fun to look at :)

After the Oscar's aired last week, I decided to Google, "the best Oscar gowns of all time." It's rather interesting what popped up, and was most prominent, the gown that Joanne Woodward wore when she won Best Actress for Three Faces of Eve. And here's the best part, she made her dress!!! Not only did she make it, she also designed it. The fabric cost $100.00, and it took her 2 weeks to complete the gown. This was not about saving money as she and her husband, Paul Newman had already reached a point of being Hollywood stars. 

I think she looks stunning in her gown.

Of course the gown did not go without notice. Joan Crawford made a very snide remark, "Joanne Woodward is setting Hollywood glamour back 20 years by making her own clothes."Sounds more like sour grapes to me. The best revenge for a comment like that is just to proudly raise that Academy Award ;)

No other actress has worn a gown of her own making since Joanne Woodward. In 1966, Julie Christie won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Darling. A friend made her gold dress, using a commercial pattern. 

The still pictures do not do the dress justice. I found this video of her accepting her award. 

I pulled out a few other gowns that were either gorgeous, or memorable.

Always lovely, Audrey Hepburn.

I love this gown worn by Marilyn Monroe.

This gown worn by Halle Berry has to be one of the best all time Oscar gowns.

Julia Roberts in a vintage Valentino gown. 

While many didn't like this, I love the ease of pairing a white shirt with a gorgeous Vera Wang skirt. 

Of course Cher and Bob Mackie always left us with something to talk about :)

Nicole Kidman always personifies grace. This gown was such a change in what we usually see on the red carpet.

Who could forget this gorgeous beaded gown worn by Lupita Nyong'o, designed by Calvin Klein? 

My favorite gowns from this year's Oscars were,

This simple, yet elegant gown worn by Laura Dern. I especially love the sleeve! 

And this beautifully structured gown worn by Nicole Kidman. The blue is magnificent on her.

What a dream it would be to slide in to these gowns (sigh!), but...if by chance I ever make it to the Oscar's, I will be making my own gown! Hey, ya never know, it just might happen!!!

Have a fabulous day, and do a little dreaming :)

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

I'm an Ambassador for Olfa!

Now this is not something you've seen from me in a while...2 blog posts in a row, WOOHOO!!!!

I had the most amazing day yesterday. It began with a note to a former exchange student who wanted my advice on some life issues. Then, I received a text message from a favorite little gal who shared with me that she had been accepted in the master's degree program that she had applied for. I decided that a return message would not do, so I gave her a call. She told me that I was one of the very first to know the news. Finally, another young woman did a lovely post on Instagram in honor of International Women's Day, talking about the amazing women who have made a difference in her life, and low and behold, my picture was in the mix. Such an honor.

It goes without saying, but I have had some very low moments over the past few months. A few weeks ago, I happened upon this scripture verse,

He gives a home to the woman who could not give birth, and makes her the mother of children. 
Psalms 113:9

The verse felt like a promise, a gift, at least to me. I wrote it down in my book of quotes, and I was reminded of it yesterday. Isn't it interesting how something rather insignificant to one can mean so much to another? :)

So....my big news!!!!

I was chosen to be an ambassador for Olfa products. Amazing!!! 

I was sent a gift of their brand new products, turquoise and pink cutting mats, along with a fun pink rotary cutter. The new line is called Splash. Hey, we can all use a little color and fun in our days. I'm a little partial to the turquoise mat as it is my favorite color!!!

The new rotary cutters come in 3 fun colors, pink as you see below, purple and turquoise. You can see them all HERE

One of my favorite Olfa products is my great big 24"x36" cutting mat. I'm hoping to add the 35"x70" mat to my collection. Both mats are fabulous for cutting out larger projects.

I am not becoming a quilter, but from time to time I will do a quilting project. Although, for all of you amazing quilters out there, I can hardly call this project a quilting project. 

A number of years ago, I came across this great panel piece, but it was in a light mint green. I made it up and gave it to a couple of friends who were having babies. They LOVED them and used them as a way to teach the alphabet. Three friends are having babies, and I wanted to do something special. As luck would have it, I came across the same panel print, but in red. If by chance you are interested, I found it HERE on Fabric.com.

I was in Colorado and had the chance to pop into one of my favorite little stores, The Fabric Nook. You may remember the interview I did with Tina, the owner. Such a delightful lady :) Anyway, she helped me with the backing and the binding for my project. This will be my first project using my new Olfa mat and cutter. 

Olfa has a wonderful new blog. You can find it HERE. Each month they will be featuring a different designer as well as a special project. If you would like to check out the list of designers and ambassadors, you can find that post HERE. I have some fun things planned, one will incorporate the airplane. Should be fun!

Happy Friday!

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