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Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary.  I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes; I was a child bride.

This was obviously a difficult anniversary with Chris being so far away but we’ll try to reflect on our marriage and stare lovelingly into each other’s eyes when I visit in three weeks!

I put together a package for Chris with some currant scones, store bought goods and handknit socks.

A short time ago Chris learned that it was possible to knit socks with contrasting heels and toes and he was enthused.  So, a week or so after he left I picked up some yarn (the brown is Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Tweed and the cream is Scheepjes Invicta Extra) and set to work.

He seems to like them.

I also found a great card at Paper Papier:

I’m not quite sure what’s going on here but it seems crafty.

I love you so much sweetie!

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Erin is here all the way from Halifax for one night only and then she’s off to Montreal for a wedding.  But I think the real reason she came was to get her own Handmade by Whistlepea Simplicity 4077.

And it fits!

This is the same fabric I used for Simplicity 3750 but in blue and brown.  I think she likes it!

First, a few bits and bobs once again:

  • I have signed up for Wardrobe Refashion.

 

I had been aiming to stay away from malls and make / mend my own clothes anyway so I’m very excited.

  • I have cancelled my cable.  I still have it for a few weeks and I’m already panicking a bit about losing The Movie Network and Mad Men on Bravo but I’m sure I’ll cope and maybe even lose some ass fat in the process.
  • I am suddenly obsessed with crossword puzzles.  I went from commiserating with my co-worker on Tuesday about how much we hated crossword puzzles and the people who do them to doing three a day; one in the Citizen, one in 24 Hours, and one on the Readers Digest website.  I formally apologize to crossword puzzles for hating them my whole life.  You are, in fact, awesome.
  • I have found a local organic CSA that I am super psyched about.  They let you choose which foods you never want to receive (down with turnips and mushrooms!) and which you wish to receive often (up with pineapple and asparagus!).  They also have an a la cart menu to order from.  And the delivery to your home is free.  I signed up within minutes of stumbling upon their site.
  • It looks like I will be starting a fun part time job soon.  More details to come as they are made available.
  • Some jerk caught me in an e-mail scam and busted into my ebay account.  All is well now but be smarter than me and avoid e-mails that look like they’re from ebay but aren’t.
  • I still have nothing crafty to show you so here is a meme in it’s place:

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was seventeen and about to leave for Ireland for a one month stay.  I had gotten my first official job about seven months before at a chocolate factory which was totally not magical in any way and I saved every single penny so I could go on the trip.  It was a study abroad program in which I studied Anglo-Irish literature under one of my favourite high school teachers from home.  I didn’t have to take OAC (Ontario’s now defunct grade 13) English the following year as a result.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
1. Make it through the last few hours of work.
2. Do laundry so I have clean underwear tomorrow.
3. Talk to Erin and arrange the details of her visit next week (yay!)
4. Possibly continue working on the McCalls blouse I started a while ago but ran out of fabric for as my fabric arrived yesterday.
5. Have my daily chat with Chris in which I mention every mundane thing I did today but forget to share important news.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Way too many.  Banana yogurt, kettle corn (damn you Americans and your combining of the salty and the sweet), fresh pineapple, all manner of cookies, Kashi Ranch Crackers and swiss cheese.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay for my brother and sister’s post-secondary education.  Pay for my post-secondary education after the fact (and Chris’s).  Travel all over Europe for years on end soaking in pretty much every city in every country they’ve got to offer.  Live in New York for as long as I wanted; shopping in the garment district every single day.  Quit my jobs.  Open a yarn store that I would only work in when I really felt like it.  Buy a sunny older home by the ocean somewhere and install the greatest craft studio ever.  Hire David Bowie to play my living room every night.  Stalk Jake Gyllenhaal.

5) Places I have lived:
Main-a-Dieu Cape Breton, Gander Newfoundland, San Diego California, Kingston Ontario, Ottawa Ontario, Obihiro Japan.

6) Jobs I have had:
babysitter, chocolate factory worker, Eatons shoe department sales associate, Sears sales associate in the Traditions (=old lady cat sweater) department (so not fun), bridal store clerk (also not fun), receptionist, supply teacher, long term occasional teacher, ESL teacher, tutor,  temp worker, employment counsellor.  Of all these jobs supply teacher is hands down the worst.   I am happy to announce, though,  that I have unofficially quit.  I haven’t taught a day since a hellish afternoon spent in a class of third grade a-holes back in January.  I did not ask that my name be included on the ’08-’09 supply list.  I am happier than you could know about my decision.

7) Bloggers I am tagging who I will enjoy getting to know better:
Um…I know it’s become tradition to duck out of this requirement so I will just say if you’ve been working lots and obligated to attend family functions ad nauseam and, like me, don’t have anything to show for it feel free to go to town.

Certain parties have been chiding me for my lack of posting.  I haven’t posted because I have been working lots and therefore have nothing much to show you, but I am a slave to my public so here are some things I’ve been up to.

  • making one of my favourite childhood cookies, slightly tweaked to accommodate my deep seated love of coconut.  They look sort of like this:

Non Bake Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 tbsp. cocoa
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
Melt first three ingredients in a medium pot.  Boil and stir one minute.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Drop by tablespoons on to waxed paper.

  •  shopping for leggings for my stupid dress.  I look like this:

I’m still not crazy about it and might rework it.  Thanks a bunch to everyone who shared their opinions (I just typed onions – please don’t share onions with me).

  • Trying to figure out how to make this out of some beautiful wool I bought at Darrell Thomas.  Once again I rely on your humbling collective knowledge.

I need you to tell me how to feel about this dress.

I kind of hate it (and I really hate that I forgot to press it before taking photos).

But I love it compared to what it looked like before I ripped it apart and sewed it all again.

Seriously. The original was painfully ugly.

It was about five sizes too big all around and about five inches too long. It looked like this:

did it with this:

I just wanted to throw it in my Goodwill pile and never think about it again. But, after a good night’s rest I decided to detach the skirt from the bodice, remove two panels, cut five inches off the top and attach it all together again. I also had to remove some of the neck band and resew it because it was bunching even more than it is now.

Now I think it’s too short and kind of costumey. But I’m not sure.

At least I have bread pudding to eat while I think about it.

Here’s the “recipe” in the Elizabeth Zimmerman sense of the word, not in the Julia Child sense.

Cube some dry bread. I used the remnants of my homemade loaf, perhaps a third of a loaf. Pour milk or soy milk or cream or a mixture of any three over the bread. Wetter is better than dry but I would say you should cover it by about three quarters. Beat an egg and throw it in there too. Add a little sugar, just a tablespoon or two. Throw in some blueberries and raspberries and the zest of a half a lemon. If you’re not serving it with ice cream, shame on you, and add vanilla. Bake it at 350 for about half an hour, until it is golden brown and bubbly. Serve it hot with good vanilla ice cream. I used Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean.

  • Summer Knitty is up.
  • I’m flying to see Chris on July 18th – my birthday weekend! My mood has lightened considerably.
  • I got my first ever Burda World of Fashion magazine and I am in love.
  • The weather is finally bearable.
  • Life is a pretty sweet fruit.

As promised it has been miserably hot and sticky here over the last few days.   Did I fly to the Hamptons or hire a reggae band to play my living room?  No, I baked and cooked like a mofo.  I blame Michael Pollan.  I read In Defense of Food and I was completely inspired.  Just ask my friends.  I won’t shut up about it.  I went to the market and I made pico de gallo, refried beans (I cooked the beans too) and a quesadilla:

(don’t worry – I didn’t eat all that food)

Homemade oat bread from The New Vegetarian Epicure which became cucumber sandwiches:

and manicotti:

I even cleared and set the table.   And I wrote a recipe for you, my dears.

Quick ‘n Tasty Veggie Manicotti

filling:

1 container ricotta cheese

3 cups fresh spinach

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 roasted red pepper (I stick the half in my toaster oven until it’s soft)

1 egg

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

4 rounds fresh (bocconcini) mozzarella – shredded

pepper to taste

a handful chopped fresh basil


4 fresh lasagna noodles (I used Olivieri whole wheat noodles)

3 cups spaghetti sauce

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

4 rounds fresh (bocconcini) mozerella


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all filling ingredients. Pour 1 cup of spaghetti sauce evenly on bottom of 3 quart casserole. Cut lasagna noodles in half. Put about a half cup of filling in centre of lasagna noodle and roll up. Place in casserole. Fill all noodles and spread remaining sauce on top. Slice remaining bocconcini and place on top of sauce. Top with remaining parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for five more minutes.

Remember back in February when I went to Value Village with my mum and I found this beautiful fabric? I loved the fabric so much that I spent many many hours considering what to make of it. Which is kind of funny since it’s the cheapest fabric ever, but I knew if I screwed it up I wouldn’t be able to find more.

It was pretty sheer, almost gauzy. I was thinking a wrap skirt but I didn’t want it to look too beachy. I finally decided on a tiered skirt. Perhaps a little outmoded but I knew it would be pretty and comfortable and fun, so the decision was made.

Erin also requested pictures of my torture shoes with outfits so this is a twofer.

I love the colour so damned much.

I used the directions for the tiered skirt from Sew What? Skirts! but I made it much shorter instead of boho / hippy length. It’s supposed to be forty degrees with the humidex this weekend so I may just live in this for a few days.

Crappy things:

  • I burned my arm pretty badly on the oven last week and it left a nasty red mark
  • the weather is cloudy and rainy and not at all helping to improve my mood
  • yesterday I started making a blouse out of my favourite stashed fabric (Birds on a Wire by Kim Schaefer for Andover fabrics) only to find that I did something wrong (I still don’t know what) and didn’t have enough fabric for the back piece:

Relatively pleasant things:

  • Down Shadow Lane had more of the fabric, which is a miracle since I bought it in March, so more is on its way
  • this evening Nat and I are going out to a free dinner and then to see the Sex and the City movie
  • I won awesome shoes for an awesome price on Ebay and they are here and they fit:

(Campers Twins which I don’t think are available anymore)

  • my ironing board isn’t ugly anymore:

(traced the ugly version with way too bright {seriously eye searing in real life} Denise Schmidt fabric from Ebay, added about 3 inches all around, folded edge under twice, sewed in drawstring, made two buttonholes to pull the drawstring through.)

Sagan at five months has a bit of an incontinence problem. To save her and her suffering parents the embarrassment of a public pants wetening I decided to make her some soakers. I figured they were about as large as an adult hat so it should take me a few hours to complete. I started on Friday with the intention of surprising Alex and Michelle with them when they picked the lady up from our weekly babysitting session on Saturday afternoon. Long story short, I almost broke my wrists trying to finish them in time.
Here they are from the back.

I was tempted to embroider “juicy” or “bootylicious” across the butt because we enjoy making fun of girls who feel the need to have slogans plastered across their asses but I feared no one else would think it was a joke.

And here they are in action with me trying to entertain Sagan and her trying to get as far away from me as possible.

I used leftover Ella Rae Classic and Cascade 220 from my Bird in Hand mittens and Road to Golden and this pattern.

More video and pictures on my Flickr page.

*Chris insisted on this title.