All posts by CurlsnSkirls

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

macro Monday

Am I the only one waiting for Wednesday, praying for peace and quiet everywhere?  Hm. Thought not.

Meanwhile . . . . . wish I could say I’ve been sewing or crocheting, but haven’t had time. 🤨  Well, I made time to go through Vogue Fabric‘s latest drop — their Early Spring catalog.

There’s a lovely terra cotta ponte I could use for pants, shorts, or culottes. But since I’ve still got a mountain of fleece to sew up am restraining meself.  It’s just these autumnal colours are so rarely “in” I hate to pass them by. Know wha’a mean? 😫

Lots of familial communication lately.  Love ’em all to bits and appreciate hearing from them. A good zoom meeting instead of half a zillion emails would do the trick, but not for them.  C’est la vie. 😉

So this is short but sweet today – love you & leave you. May everyone’s week be quiet and calm and full of inspired creativity!

🧶     🎨     🪡     ✂️

Friday’s Virtual Tea Party

A lovely, well-aged New York cheddar — not too sharp — that compliments the ritzy crackers as well as Jacob’s more neutral flavours. Add grapes for a palate cleanser. Just right for those interested in something light!

Welcome, everyone, and Happy New Year!

I’m delighted to welcome you all to our first Virtual Tea Party of 2021.

And special thanks to Su for continuing our monthly get-togethers.

Could someone please settle a question I’ve had ever since hearing John Thaw remark he needed some water after “too many crisps?” (Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence mini-series.)

Are crisps what Americans call chips? Those ultra-thin, deep-fried  slivers of potato slathered in a bazillion different flavours?

Then do I have it right:  Crackers are crackers on both sides of the pond, but chips are crisps in Blighty?

Thank you! This won’t give us world peace or dissolve that pesky pandemic, but it will ease my personal anxiety.

As you saw in the photo above, I’ve got some light snacks for those who’d prefer them.

And for those yearning for something more substantial, I’ve carefully thin-sliced some of my homemade whole wheat bread, and topped it with chicken salad.

And, she announced with a flourish, for those with a sweet tooth, please enjoy this triple chocolate cake.

I’d love to welcome you all over for a rousing party, but since that’s not gonna happen, please join in with a comment or post of your own, perhaps with a piccie of your cuppa or nibbles. I’ll list your post below.

🫖     🫖     🍰     🫖     🫖

Dear Deb from up north in Canada has grasped the nettle to deliver the most astoundingly delicious trifle for our enjoyment. (I’ve got dibs on licking the bowl.)

Jen at #ffynant has baked a delicious Welsh Bara brit for us to enjoy, using her traditional family recipe! If you’re on IG, join in the spice discussion.

I have it on good authority that Anne has made chocolate chip cookies, and will be posting/joining us. Find her also on IG as #compulsive_seamstress.

Meanwhile, please enjoy the virtual feast — guaranteed calorie-free!

❤️     🫖    Thank you for coming!     🫖     ❤️

If you fancy yours being a bit melty inside, we’ll pop it into the microwave – guaranteed to be gooey!

 

 

 

 

 

2021, continued — or, Can I stop career dressing?

Diaries by paperblanks – my latest now in use.

I knew during the 2019-2020 winter that I needed to sew up some winter clothes a basic winter wardrobe, but I had an intuition to put it on hold. (It was a short, warm winter 😉.)

After decades of dressing professionally — whatever that means — my fabric and pattern collections mirrored that style. Meanwhile, I was working from home, trying to ramp up on-line diction & coaching sessions, and living a more relaxed life style.

Last March the rest of the world reluctantly joined me.  My resistance to more casual styles started to crumble. So did everyone else’s.

By November the wonderful world of indie pattern designers were churning out more appropriate patterns, and smart U.S. fabric stores were bypassing the post office for UPS or FedEx. BUT: Would I go the PDF route?

For me, everything started to coalesce when Love to Sew aired an October podcast, Sewing Loungewear. Then Vogue Fabrics had a quick fleece sale, PDFPlotting announced a big PDF pattern printing sale, and several indie pattern companies also announced sales.

Resistance fled.

3 of 4, washed (brown’s drying). The top navy (& brown) are for pants, gold & green (below gold) are for tops.

Thus, I find myself with 4 pieces of nice, soft and cuddly fleece for pyjama-style tops & bottoms, and a couple other pieces for spring makes. Heaven knows I’ve already got enough rayon for hot weather wear.

Now I’ve gotta run . . . there’s an LB Pullover pattern needing glue stick attention, and a Talvikki, and I need to consult my jacket pdf pattern pile . . . oh, and get those muffins done for Friday’s Virtual Tea Party. You’re all invited!

See you then . . . . . I hope! 😘

 

 

Virtual Tea 2021

This week’s loaf.

Wednesday morning I started writing out my next post, a  sequel to the previous, and decided to pause for a late lunch. . .

. . . and an online meeting. “Chatting” afterwards someone said rioters were storming the U.S. Capitol.      WHAT? ? ?

You know what I saw when I turned on the TV.

Nevertheless, Su and I managed to exchange a few words about our virtual tea party and you’re all invited to my portion on Friday, 15 January.

I’ve been drinking a lot more tea and eating spice cake like it’s going outta style since Wednesday, so expect them to be on the menu.  And maybe something chocolate.

Please plan to stop by any time round about 3 P.M. New York time, which is 5 hours behind London.  (When Big Ben chimes  8 PM, it’s 3 P.M. over here.)

If you’re an Instagram person, we’ll be shifting over to #virtualteaparty2021.

No doubt there’ll be lots to chat about, so I hope you’ll all feel comfortable dropping by.

🫖     ❤️     ❤️     🫖     ❤️     ❤️     🫖

2021

Diaries by paperblanks – my latest now in use.

Well, it’s here and frankly, I don’t feel much difference, do you?

I mean, apart from the daily dreadful health news and (here across the pond) increasingly bizarre political news.

Is it any wonder my (and many others) have seen their sewjo gone walkabout, and in my case taken blogging with it?

But I keep thinking about blogging, and making notes of interesting-to-me things to share so at least I can collect a few of them into a post or two. Got your cuppa handy? Okay, here goes ~

Always a shot in the positive energy department is Marcy Harriell of Oonaballoona. She’s started a YouTube channel along with her husband, Rob, and I like it.

Here’s a recent interview I found particularly interesting because she explains why she and Rob are living in his hometown (Arkansas) instead of their home base in NYC’s theatre world.

While we’re on YT … I must thank whoever it was that mentioned Kate of The Last Homely House. She’s a crafting retiree living in Northumberland, and a real treasure. I’ve “passed her on” to friends & relatives, who agree.

My long-absent sewjo snuck in just long enough for me to take advantage of a few pre-holiday sales for fleece, patterns, and a couple other additions to The Collection (aka, my stash).

One major reason nothing has been touched involves my printer.

Think PDF pattern printing. A 3D face mask pattern, to be precise. I’d decided to gift myself a couple more and found a seasonal scrap. Couldn’t find the pattern I’d used, so printed off another – only a page! Fussy cut two masks plus linings and had one sewn up, the other 3/4’s sewn. Then I tried it on.

It was toooo small. 🙀 🙈 😫 Comparing it to one that fit I saw it was ¾ of what it should have been. Wrong size, I thought. But after checking I discovered it was the right size.   🤨

Sitting in front of the computer, wondering what had gone wrong and about to hit the Print key I looked at the screen. Normally I see options for printing, but (algorithm?) gremlins had changed it to a generic Print-without-options screen. I changed it back.

Then I could see the scale had been auto-set for 96% instead of 100%.  The light dawned.  A quick look at that what shoulda been a  2″square on the pattern and that was the problem. Mystery solved and 2 non-seasonal masks  made.

That reminds me of another “discovery,” but I’ll save that for another day. . . he-hee!

💕 Thanks for wading through reading! 💕

☃️ 🥂 To be continued 🥂 ☃️

Season of Light

Finding sewing friends online has brought me great inspiration and joy for which I am eternally grateful.

An additional pleasure has been learning more about customs in other parts of the world, and one of them is the Winter Solstice.

This year I remembered and made up my own little solstice wreath. No log fire to curl up in front of, and I don’t generally do a tree, but candle light is always magical for me.  Which reminds me ~

Thursday at 10 A.M. (U.S. East Coast time) I’ll be listening to the annual Kings’ College (Cambridge) Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Another shared custom that will be a bit different this year, but still wonderful to hear.

“One feature of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that is especially important to the College has always been the participation of the congregation of College members and members of the public. We regret to say that this year we are not able to have a congregation in the Chapel.

“We are sorry to disappoint those who were thinking that they might like to attend. We hope that you will be able to enjoy the broadcast and to assist with this we will be publishing the order of service on this website.”

Stephen Cherry
Dean of Chapel
26 November 2020

I generally listen online via BBC World. All the details are in the link above.

Borrowing a tradition and adding an American twist – An old theatre buff and friend from Washington (D.C.) sent me a link to an hour-long radio-style rendering of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

It’s from the historic Ford’s Theatre downtown. (Yes, that Ford’s Theatre, as in Lincoln’s … you know.) I thought some of you might be interested.

Fair Warning: It’s only available through 1st of January 2021. Scroll down for a 6-minute description of how they made the program, and  several downloadable colouring pages.

Wishing you all a wealth of Happiness

Filled with Love & Joy & Light

xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx

2020’s Last Virtual Tea Party

Welcome, Dear Readers!

When Su and I first discussed a virtual tea party a year ago, neither of us knew how it would resonate with our followers. We certainly wouldn’t have believed what the world was about to experience.

A most extraordinary year later, still in the midst of pandemic and societal injustices it’s helped expose, I’m not feeling very analytical.

But I do recognise that some things haven’t changed — the need to eat, to communicate, to enjoy the company of others — and these things can be shared electronically. New interests can develop, new life paths can be found.

The humanity of mankind can and does flourish, especially in hard times — in pot banging to support first responders, in childrens’ rainbow pictures in windows, in communities banding together to give a single mom a car…

And we can all enjoy the comfort of a warm (or cool in summer) cuppa, with a bit of a nosh along side.

Cranachan ingredients: Whipped sweetened cream, toasted oatmeal and raspberries or fruit of choice

For this month’s Tea Party I decided to try making — or prepping things so you can make your own — Cranachan.

Cranachan is a traditional festive Scottish pudding of whipped cream, toasted oatmeal, raspberries, and whiskey.

Alas, my kitchen doesn’t run to the last, but if you’ve got your own wee flask, suit yourself. 😉

As is also traditional, I’ve got plates and bowls of the ingredients so you can mix your own – in layers or all mixed together. And if we run out of raspberries, I’ve blueberries, raisins, cranberries – but this is virtual cranachan, so there’s no fear of running out!

It wouldn’t be a holiday for me without an extra spicey Raisin Spice Cake, and some digestives for those without a sweet tooth.

If you’d like something more substantial with your tea, I’ve Mrs. Beeton’s scones – a delicate, plain variety to offset a mustard chicken & grape filling, with some sunflower seeds to give it extra crunch.

Not being much for champers, I usually toast in the New Year with either a good seltzer & fruit mix, or hot chocolate.

Whatever your tipple, enjoy it as we look forward to the beginning of 2021!

Your invitation
Please feel free to celebrate with us with a post of your own, a recipe, or a piccie of your own cuppa.

I’ll update this post with a ping back to your post. If you’re an IG person, we’re at  #virtualteaparty2020.

The Lovely Canadian, Deb (The Widow Badass), has posted a most delectable  tea, and you will not believe the ornament at the top of her post!

From this past year’s tea parties ~

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