All posts by CurlsnSkirls

... a rusty sewer of some years, working to better those skills.

silly saturday ~ soft furnishings

The fronts

A minor achievement this week: 2 small pillows stuffed, sewn up and completed.

Ta-dah ! ! !

These are the fronts.

Love that hat, but ain’t too keen on the corset. But it’s red, so that’s okay.

A bit of searching round t’internet and I found this panel is actually part of an entire quilting series.   Hmmm .   .   .    .     .       🤔

A bit more thinking about it, as we know we do with something we really want to enjoy to its’ fullest potential  .   .   .    .     .       🤨

Taking a deep breath, ignoring my fierce promise-to-self not to buy any more fabric, I decided to acquire just a teeny bit more.

But only so’s the whole rest of the original purchase could be used and enjoyed to the full, instead of always regretting I hadn’t used x or y instead — y’know what I mean?   🙄

Next week a small squidgy package is due .   .   .    .     .

 There’s more to come, Lovelies!  🤣   😆   🤣

Silly Saturday

A pile of Oatmeal Chews

Also Known As  the Virtual Tea Party continues!

For several reasons.  First off ~~~

I forgot to thank Cathy (nanacathy2) for her suggestion from several posts ago that I look for the telly program Heartbeat.

BritBox carries it, but only the first season.  😡  However, there are more episodes listed on YouTube.

Huge Thank You’s, Cathy — I loved it! Both for the scenery and for the look back at how restrictive the 1960’s were for women. For instance, there’s no mention of the brave Dagenham sewing machinist women at the Ford plant, and their strike for equal pay for equal work.

For those who don’t know about Heartbeat, Wiki says, “Heartbeat is a British police drama series set in 1960s North Riding of Yorkshire based on the “Constable” series of novels written by ex-policeman Peter N. Walker, under the pseudonym Nicholas Rhea, and broadcast on ITV in 18 series between 1992 and 2010.”

The other reason to celebrate is New Zealand’s re-election of their Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, who’s been a shining light through the C-19 crisis. So many of us outside New Zealand are delighted for her, and for all New Zealanders!

October’s Virtual Tea Party

Nothing beats a hot cuppa & a bickie on a rainy morning!

Tautimai! (Welcome!)

Today may be dark & dank outside, but inside it’s bright and cheerful, with the kettle steaming quietly in the background as friends drop by virtually for a cuppa, a nibble and a natter.

After visiting Su’s glorious tea party yesterday down in New Zealand, it’s nice to share some of that conversation with friends up here, and catch my breath, so to speak. 😉

Toast & apricot puree ~ yummy, if I say it meself. 🤣

We seem to have a “normalising” in the whole wheat flour production industry up here, so I’ve splurged a bit and made an extra wholemeal loaf for everyone to enjoy. Also on hand is an apricot spread I pureed as part of an experiment. 🤫

The homemade digestives are in the tin, and there’s also a plate of oatmeal chews for those with a sweet tooth (the recipe is here.)

Yummy, chewy, with almost a caramel flavour.

Visiting with Su (Zimmerbitch) creator of our virtual tea parties, I learnt Americans aren’t the only peeps worried about elections.

The NZ election for their Prime Minister is this Saturday (our Friday, so today), and they’re sounding a great deal like many of us up here.

But we’ve got three more weeks before our official election day. (Although several million of us voted early).

How’m I coping? By almost totally not watching telly. I do check several online newspapers each day (headlines only), local online news (mostly for weather), etc. And for entertainment, I’m leaning more and more on BritBox shows with absolutely no mention of anything political.

For example: Has anyone seen a current program, Shakespeare and Hathaway? If you haven’t you can read about it on Wiki here, and do a bit of watching over here. I like the actor playing Hathaway and that led me to watch the first episode.

Then I became intrigued with the other main cast members, not the least of which is the town (city?) of Stratford. I haven’t seen much architecture from Shakespeare’s time, so I’m watching more than just imaginative costuming. (Why do the British love dressing up so much?!)

On another note, somewhere around late Spring I discovered, from one of my lovely blogging mates whose name I don’t remember (sorry, luv!), Kate from The Last Homely House. Do you know her? She’s a crafty, gardeny, cooking sort of person living up on a Northumberland farm.

I find her YouTube videos calming, humourous. and thoroughly addictive. If you don’t know Kate, sit yourself down, click over to her YT channel, pick out a subject and begin watching. (I’d recommend this one , which is a charming introduction to herself and her videos.)

Thank you for coming round today for our little tea party. Sit yourselves down, have a hot cuppa, we’ll toast you some bread and pass down the digestive tin and the oatmeal chews. They’re virtual, so no calories or allergies, and no worries about indulging yourself at the end of the week.

#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images over there.

And so, on with the conversations! Any good programs to suggest? What do you think about the ones I watch? D’you think the chews are too sweet? I shorted the sugar, but don’t trust my un-sweet tooth which thinks they’re still too sweet. (Remember, I drink my cocoa without sugar, so . . . 🙄)

Thank you all for coming and being such delightful guests! Until next month, everyone please be safe, take care, and come back soon! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(not so) Silent Sunday

It’s been one of those weeks.
Again…

Hello, Lovely Readers!

An unexpected hardware glitch last Monday took me off-line for the rest of the week. . . and I’m not talking about any “conversion” by WordPress to their new editor, either. Speaking of which . . .

(The Widow BadAss has written an encouraging post all about that.)

Anyhoo, I’m back today with a tardy invitation to our monthly Tea Party this coming Friday, 16th October.  EVERY ONE of you wonderful peeps are invited!

I’ve tried keeping in touch visually with as many of you as possible, and IG has been usable. But this is scooping even IG.  It will be loverly getting back in touch, dear friends!

Yummy, chewy, with almost a caramel flavour.

I’ve been trying out new recipes, and think you might like this one, from Marion Cunningham’s The Fannie Farmer Baking Book.

Pardon my brevity ~  will try to return later today.

Until then, toddle pip and Cheerio!  💋  💋

PS/ Here’s the recipe:

🍂🍁 weekend remnants 🍁🍂

Found this hand towel ages ago in Chicago and it certainly fits the weather we’ve been having lately.

Hello. Lovelies!

Autumn has officially arrived up here in the Northern Hemisphere, although temps and humidity are resisting. It’s not as severe as last year’s 90-100℉ September-October revolt, for which I’m most grateful!

All last week telly peeps kept talking about “remnants” of Hurricane this-or-that, and I kept thinking, That’s a fabric term! Use another word, like ‘dying’ or ‘remains of.’

It was like salt in a wound… but maybe that’s because it’s been so long since I’ve been anywhere near a remnants bin. Wonder if that’s why I’ve been diving into my scrap drawer so often. 🤭 Hmmm . . .

Speaking of which, I’ve been favouring a free multi-sized 3-dimensional pattern from Japanese Sewing Books.

You might want to watch her video. Where to fold & sew wasn’t intuitive for me, but easy once you’ve done one it’s easy-peasy.

Speaking of scraps, I’ve given myself permission to use some old cotton fat quarters. I’m definitely not a quilter, but I can whip up a pillow or a bag, so am taking a little break from refashioning to play around with “soft furnishings,” as posh folk might say.

Reminds me! P.O.S.H. is a shop in Chicago I used to pop into regularly. Wonder if they’re surviving . . . Well, I’ve just had a mooch through their website, they’re definitely still there, and online is as cheerful as the store. 😉 Almost.

Have stopped watching telly for several reasons, primarily because the picture blacks out as soon as it turns on and cable comes up.  Or doesn’t right now.  Maybe the set has something against cable. Someone’s coming out in a few days to check everything out.

I set the schedule because I wanted a week to detox. Admittedly, I wasn’t watching much telly anyway, as local, state and national political parties’ adverts are non-stop. Mind you, some of them only slowed down after the last election a couple years ago.

Clock the remnant underneath the scarf, did’ja? 😉

Meanwhile, I’ve rummaged through my crochet bag and finished a red washable wool scarf, and resurrected that turquoise acrylic blanket I started a couple of years ago. Putting all those pieces together is going slowly — I’m half way through the first two. 🙄

A second chance on that remnant… he-he-hee!

Am quite a fan of Lucy at Attic 24, but haven’t tried any of her blankets— can’t figure out how to substitute colours.  Do I order the pack plus my substitutions? This could be a mote point if Wool Warehouse again stops shipping internationally. Deep sigh. . . . .

Hate to leave you on that note, but the shower and my BritBox subscription are calling. I’m having fun catching up on all the “Midsomer Murders” and “Vera” episodes, and have already watched every “Jonathan Creek”.

Thursday will start October and Hallowe’en, so I’ll start diving into everything with Autumn colours or appropriate holiday mentions. Any recommendations?

Meanwhile, puh-leeese be safe and take good care ’cause you’re worth it. You’re special!

❣️     😘     😘     😘     ❣️

A Scraphappy Virtual Tea Party

(In an earlier post’s comments, someone mentioned tea & sewing, which I thought would be a great idea, so I’m combining them. Tea first!)

Kia ora whānau! (Welcome, friends!)  He kapu tī māu? (Would you like a cup of tea?)

Visiting New Zealand for originator Su’s virtual tea party earlier in the week, I learnt it was Maori Language Week. So I had a special treat, seeing Su and enjoying her delicious tea whilst learning a bit of Maori.

Su is the originator of these monthly teas, but had been a bit poorly, so some of us brought along contributions for all to enjoy. I brought some of my crispy digestives as Su is a dunker, and I wanted her opinion.

Su’s crispy crackers with cheese were fabulous! (I love crisps & cheese and these were sooo delicious!) I’m not much for sweets, but I know Su’s brownie isn’t too sweet, so had to enjoy a bit of that, too. Rich, dark chocolate & beetroot = a chocky lover’s heaven on earth! 😇

Back on my home turf to welcome my Northern Hemisphere friends, I’d made a coconut cake to go underneath fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Using the Foundation Cake recipe, I added about half a cup of desiccated coconut. Will do this again, as I think the chewiness of the coconut lifts the combination above a traditional shortcake.

I also have my latest bake of digestives biscuits (cookies). This batch is crunchy, and perfect for dunking. As I have no cookie cutters,  these are in a different shape, but I’m sure they taste the same. 😉

Here’s the recipe I use, from King Arthur Flour.  King Arthur uses both American and British measurements, so you don’t have to convert.

My variation:  I skimp on the sugar.  After rolling out the dough to about 3 mm (¼”) I left them to cook a good 6-7 minutes longer. They definitely didn’t burn, just got wonderfully crisp after thorough cooling.

And now to Scraphappy sewing ~

Chiming in rather tardily with Kate’s band of scrap happy peeps, I finally got several large-ish pieces of cotton fabric out of stash and onto hangers this month. Everything can be worn with either fabric to the front, providing versatility.

You might think making tops from different fabrics is totally bonkers, and you’d be well within your rights to do so! However, in this wacko country I’m considering myself in quarantine, so am not out except for very local walk abouts.  When I’m out I’m always wearing a duster over whatever top I’m wearing, so nobody sees my back anyway.

The vintage red that I thought would become a bag refused, and has become a top instead.  Ditto the blue combination. I’ve worn each over top of my scrap denim shorts.

Good news has been that Hurricane Sally came & went without doing tremendous damage to this little part of the world. My rellies on both coasts are in good shape, but for the horrible air out West.

Still, there’s lots to be thankful for as everyone is safe. Hope all you lovely peeps are in good shape, being well in yourselves, and able to enjoy your weekend safely.

Haere tū atu, hoki tū mai.

(Go safely and return in good health.)

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️