Tag Archives: autumn

holiday hiatus

Temporarily losing the time to blog, Dear Readers, and not having much to impart as there’s not much selfish sewing going on over here. However, am keeping up with everyone else.

Meanwhile, here’s a few photos . . . but do remember that I’m across the sea about level with Gibraltar, so there’s not likely to be much snow. All these flowers were still around 10 days ago….

This year’s tree & leaf colour wasn’t much, but I did manage to get these few pictures, during a very red sunset. (Good lighting for added colour.)

at least half of these leaves are gone now, and the evergreens look bare

at least half of these leaves are gone now, and the evergreens look bare

 

can you tell how much is reflected & how much is real?

can you tell how much is reflected & how much is real?

And here’s a little puzzle for you: What’s this? A hint? I’ve been looking for it for some years, but found it after Stir Up Sunday.  😉

Stay comfy!

guess

might not look the same as what some of you are used to seeing

sunday sevens #42

Sunday Sevens was created by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins. Click to see the guidelines.

last-weeks-comfortable-read

my comfort read for the week, to catch up with my agatha reading… now i should re-read the sequel because i’ll understand all the references to “last year’s case”

The big news for America’s Agatha fans is the Agatha Raisin series, currently only available on Acorn TV, will be on PBS sometime in 2017.

the rest of last week's books. didn't cook a thing from the nigella books, but enjoyed looking through them again

the rest of last week’s library pile. didn’t cook a thing from the nigella books, but enjoyed looking through them again

 

it was one of those weeks when only a pot was enough..., thank goodness it's been cool enough to enjoy a full pot.

it was one of those weeks when only a pot was enough…, thank goodness it’s been cool enough to enjoy a full pot.

am i the only sewer who collects these for small things, like snaps & pins?

am i the only sewer who collects these for small things, like snaps & pins?

 

friday was leftovers night-beans & egg & a bit o'cut up apple... i think that's what this conglomeration was

friday was leftovers night-beans & egg & a bit o’cut up apple… i think that’s what this conglomeration was

click one of these 2 photos to see all the captions

 

My final photo isn’t mine – it’s from friend Scott’s blog, Furrowed Middlebrow. Let me explain…

my last picture isn't mine, but courtesy of Scott and Dean Street Press. you can click to go to all of dean street's furrowed middle brow books

my last picture isn’t mine, but courtesy of Scott and Dean Street Press. you can click to go to all of dean street’s furrowed middlebrow books

In honour of Remembrance Day and our equivalent, Veteran’s Day, I downloaded a new reprint of a wonderful British woman’s first-hand account of London during World War II: A Chelsea Concerto, by Frances Faviell.  It’s written with an artist’s eye to detail. It’s harrowing. And I can hardly stop reading it.

I should explain that my San Francisco acquaintance and publisher (oooh, that’s so nice to type!) Scott is the instigator. His blog, Furrowed Middlebrow, has been a continuing source of new authors for me to read.

Now, Scott’s dream of reprinting many of the wonderful out of print (OOP) books he’s found so difficult to locate has come true, and there are NINE in his first group. If this one is any indication of the quality of the rest, and I’m confident it is, I’ll be devouring them all. At which point, I hope another batch will be ready.

If you enjoy reading, and want to discover forgotten British women authors, click on over to Scott’s post of the initial nine here. He’s included both UK and US Amazon locations for all of them. He wrote, “… You can easily find all nine of the Furrowed Middlebrow books by simply searching “Furrowed Middlebrow” on Amazon.”

This is his 2013 review of the book I’m now reading, during which he wishes he could get it reprinted. And now he has.

🎉🎈HUGE Congratulations, Scott! 🎈🎉

 

 

sunday sevens #40

camellia-blossoming-nowIt’s been a busy, warm week here. Nevertheless, some cooler weather gear has been brought out right quick, to take advantage of days when the mercury dips below 70℉/20-ish℃.

In between I’ve been laundering said cooler weather garments, trying on, starting a small mend pile… the usual seasonal wardrobe shuffle.

Don’t know if it’s the warmer Autumn or what, but there’s another camellia bush or two in bloom, which wasn’t blooming in Spring. meatloaf

Somewhere around the middle of the week I decided to make meat loaf. I read through several suggestions and recipes from Joy of Cooking and then decided to improvise. The result was tasty, and I froze half for another time.

A lovely surprise also arrived mid-week. A large envelope and note from Yorkshire, enclosing two pieces of beautiful silk dupioni (or dupion) from Margaret over at The Crafty Creek. Dupioni is…

“… is a plain weave crisp type of silk fabric, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. This creates tightly-woven yardage with a highly-lustrous surface. It is similar to shantung, but slightly thicker, heavier” Wikipedia

We’d been chatting about the gorgeous embroidery she does, and some of the exhibits she’s written and photographed for her blog. I mentioned I’d gotten out my holiday ribbon embroidery booklets and was wondering what and where to get some fabric. Next thing I knew she was asking if I’d like something from her silk stash!

Goodness! Here I was thinking about some sort of linen or even cotton, and suddenly this lovely lady was offering silk. Eeeee!!  Aren’t sewing friends the bestest?! Above is both an ivory and a warmer dupioni, one of which has been in Margaret’s stash since 1990. You’d never know it from looking at the fabrics!

As a lovely courtesy, Margaret included a scrap of the magnificent Avoca wool she’s gotten from Fabworks Mill Shop, “… just in case you’re tempted!” . . . Oh. Dear. Meee . . . . . . (where’s the emoji of flushed face with tongue hanging out??)

some interesting twists in this one

some interesting twists in this one

The latest Agatha Raisin arrived at the library as requested, and I immediately picked it up and read it that night.

Enjoyed it so much I’m reading it again, but more slowly. I also managed to locate 2 new-to-me books by Debbie Shore, Half-Yard Home and Gifts. There are several projects I’d like to try, when time permits.

If you’d like to join in with your own Sunday Sevens, just click over to Natalie’s page and have a peek at the very forgiving guidelines.

Hope everyone has an enjoyably spooky Monday, and a lovely rest of the week!     🎃       🎃       🎃

linen #2: different kinds

Why am I still banging on about linen? Because it’s still hot enough to wear it round here: Sunday it’ll be above 80℉/28℃. ‘Nuff said.

Besides, the Southern half of our world is going into Summer. 😎  First, some piccies from my collection.

Puh-lease click a pic so you can read all the captions ’cause you’ll miss words if you’re only hovering.

 

Linen is described by different terms:

  • gauze – light weight, very loose weave, and see-through (think sheer curtains)
  • handkerchief – light colours might be sheer, but generally very good for dresses and blouses; Threads article suggests 2.8 to 3.5 ounces per square yard
  • medium – firm enough for lightweight jackets and trousers, also possibly some home décor; Threads’ article lists 5 to 7 ounces per square yard
  • heavy – think coats, handbags, home décor (including wallpaper!); Threads’ article suggests over 7 ounces per square yard.

Then there are linen blends, which should always be noted if the fabric isn’t 100% linen:

  • linen and cotton
  • linen and rayon
  • linen and wool
  • linen and silk
  • linen and wool and silk, etc.

If you’re getting the idea that all linens are not created equal you’d be spot on.

How to tell the difference between good and not-so good? Know the fabric and the supplier:

  • read the fabric description carefully
  • if in doubt, order a sample piece
  • look at the weave
  • look at the weight (ounces per yard or metre)
  • purchase from a company you’ve learned to trust!

Slubs: What the heck are they and are they good or bad? Neither! You see them in just about any fabric woven from individual fibres of wool, silk, hemp, cotton, etc. It’s the place where each piece has been joined together to form a longer thread, which is then woven into cloth. Obviously, the longer the original pieces, the fewer slubs, but remember that slubs don’t weaken the fabric.

According to the Threads‘ article, “Slubs are more likely to be a sign that the flax fibers were cut shorter in order to process them with equipment designed to process cotton, which is less expensive.”

Visible lint:

  • indicates either the presence of another fibre (such as cotton), or
  • lower quality linen

Ready to run screaming back to easier fabrics?

RESIST! Just an ickle bit more and you’ll feel better. Promise. Think SILK!

Huh? It has slubs too, right? (Silk fibres joined together, just like linen.) Think of the luxurious feel of a heavy silk – the lustre, the smoothness!

Good linen’s the same. But without the slippery factor ~ a-ha and he-he!

 

If you’ve watched the Fabworks video above, you’ll see the examples Dawn gives of linens available from their mill store. And while you don’t see close-ups of weave, seeing how the fabrics handle is very important. Dawn writes the descriptions of fabrics for their online store, and I’ve found them accurate. (Close-ups are on their web site.)

Julianne Bramson, author of the Threads article, suggests Fabrics-Store.com as another good online source. She councils if in doubt, order a minimum amount of the linen, look at the fabric and launder it before making a large purchase.

HUGE thank you’s for getting to The End! (Chocolate, anyone?)

 ❤     ❤     ❤

Next up, after you’ve chosen your linen, you can read how to launder and care for it.

Note that the Threads‘ article referenced here is not available online at this time.

For the record: Nobody mentioned here or elsewhere on this blog contributes anything to me or my blog. My opinions are my own!

Edited to add: linen #1: learning about linen 

linen #3: boring? no way!

 

sunday sevens #39

curried pork & wild rice

curried pork & wild rice

Golly, another week is gone! Hols are starting to creep closer… And my Sunday Sevens are mounting up. Would never have thought I’d still be doing them. If you’d like to join, wander over to Natalie’s explanation, and have a go!

This past week has been a bit hectic over on this side the pond, but nicely so. If you’re hungry, have a snack before viewing as there are several food photos. Just a suggestion . . . 😉

Monday I was off to get hair done, but forgot the camera. Everyone in the salon crochets, so I took a recent magazine along for them to look at.

My lovely stylist and I discussed knitting. She was intrigued by arm knitting, which I’d never heard of, so she located a video on her phone for us to watch & discuss. We decided it looked too much like having both arms tied by heavy, hot, thick yarn.

Next thing I spy is Ali, aka Thimberlina, arm knitted a prezzie Saturday in 30 minutes, and it looked great! Click the link to see her Sunday Sevens, which have all the deets – thank you, Lovely! 😘 Hope she includes some deets, as I can’t figure out what sort of yarn she was using!

Tuesday I made a lovely curried pork recipe mum used to make. I used uncooked wild rice, lots of candied ginger, cubed apple and raisins, and chicken stock. After browning the chop on both sides I dumped everything into a glass dish and popped it into the oven at about 350℉ with a sheet of foil laid over top so rice wouldn’t dry out.

happy hallowe'en!

happy hallowe’en!

The rest of the week sort of whizzed by whilst I tried to ignore the heavy politics. Early voting began Thursday and lines were around the block all over the state. Is that unusual? Sorry, haven’t a clue.

Here’s another favourite Hallowe’en card, framed and on bath counter (hence the mirror).

Did sit down over several days and do some decorative stitch discovering. I took several doubled pieces of a cotton/linen blend and started numerically and have gone through almost all of the stitches.

It’s proving several things – that I do have a proper chart (thanks to Rainbow Junkie), and this exercise is helpful because sometimes the chart only shows 1 of the pattern. That 1 can be a bit enigmatic if there’s just the one. If I can begin concentrating on purchasing solid colour fabrics for basics, these samples will come in quite handy.

Taking it easier on Saturday, had take away delivered from the local pizza place – manicotti and salad. Yum!

And Sunday have popped another batch of double chocolate bran muffins in the oven. When I made the last batch I measured out for 2, and left the leavening out of the second batch. Then I put the second batch (dry ingredients only) into a bag and popped it into the freezer until needed. A quick mix of the wet ingredients, plus baking powder, and into the oven. Now I’m supplied for another few weeks. 😀

It’s finally turned a bit cooler here, with temps in the 60-70℉ range instead of 70-90℉. However, leaves aren’t changing yet, so I’ve switched my computer desktop photo and this blog background to photos from last November. Guess it’ll be closer to Thanksgiving before we see colour around here. Please keep taking those luscious piccies of the glorious colours elsewhere, Lovelies!

The buttons? Oh, Am spending time staring at them, deciding which one to add to the very top of my Folkwear Middy jacket, in cotton & linen, which is now in season. Pattern is here, and super easy to construct.

May your week bring delightful surprises and happy sewing!