Tag Archives: books

Late for Textile Tuesday 🙈

My piece of DeGama ceedee pumpkin Shewshwe ~ Thank You, Anne!

First off, my apologies to Sandra (Wild Daffodil) for not getting this up Tuesday.

Her Textile Tuesday is the first Tuesday of the month, and all are welcome to join in.

How are you?? I hope you’re all safe and well and bearing up under our worldwide extremities. There’s so much good going on I try to focus on that. It helps put the other junk into perspective.

This is a little long, so you might want to collect your favourite brew and settle in for a bit. Hope you enjoy. 😉

June included Sewing Weekender 2020, online for the first time this year, and available to sewers across the globe.

Close to 2,000 people bought tickets, and over £26,500 (UK) was contributed to charities.

There were numerous videos for us to watch, and a Zoom chat session at the end of both days (Saturday and Sunday).

All-in-all, it was a wonderful experience that is still benefiting many of us!

For my part, I didn’t get much sewing done, and I understand that’s not unusual.  It can be a time for making new friends, learning new techniques, listening to favourite designers or meeting new ones ~ all things sewing!

This is the heavier or the two pieces.

There was also a HUGE virtual goodie bag. How they managed to pull it all  together in such a short time I’ll never know. Mind-boggling. Seriously.

Word is the online version may continue next year, so if you’re interested keep checking English Girl at Home and The Fold Line.

Also in June I finally ordered fabric I’d been wanting since 2018, and am now the proud possessor of two additional pieces of Ankara fabric.

About the weight of quilting cotton fabric.

Yes, I ordered two pieces from AKN Fabrics in New York, each are 6 yards. That’s a lotta fabric!

Both are 100% cotton, with the orange (above)  slightly less weighty than my Shweshwe (top photo), and the red (on left) about the weight of quilting cotton.

Both have almost no differentiation between  right and wrong sides. I decided to wash each (separately) in cold water in my machine, and they came out beautifully.

The Shweshwe that Anne (Compulsive Seamstress) sent me (top photo) is in daily use as a stole when I’m sitting at the computer under an air con vent. It just doesn’t seem to want to be anything else at the moment, so I’m not arguing.

Given all the happenings here in the U.S., I’ve been doing my research to find out more about what’s appropriate usage for this fabric, and what’s not.

In case this gorgeous fabric has also caught your eye, but you’ve not had time to get your questions answered, I’ve made a little list… 😉

Here’s the very instructive video Juliet’s done —

Phew! Still with me?  I’m gonna continue with books I’ve read/am reading and current sewing projects in another post.

Thank you sooo much for sticking with me. I do hope you’ll take another look at Ankara fabrics for your wardrobe, and put some sunshine into your closet!

😘     😘     😘

 

P.S./ Yes, you can also use it for quilts!

Virtual Tea Party

Welcome, dear ones! So glad to “see” you this month!

A word before we begin . . .

I know many parts of my  country are in varying stages of reopening, but my city’s mayor, concerned about rising numbers, has mandated mask wearing. And social distancing. All of which makes it a bit diffy to eat and converse.

So let me welcome you  to this virtual feast, and let’s pretend our conversations are in person instead of in the Comments section.

What a month it’s been over here.

I thought twice about this tea party, but decided everyone might need a moment to gather together and enjoy the singular pleasure of a cup of their favourite hot or cold beverage, and a bite of something decadent to go with.

I’ve mixed up a slight variation on the Wacky Cake recipe, and I think I like it better that my family’s recipe. (It has more cocoa. 🤣)

Alas, I’ve scraped the bottom of the whole wheat barrel, and wasn’t able to do our usual bread & butter, but there’s always scones!

Had difficulty deciding what recipe to make, but in the end, since there was already a sweet, decided on a savory recipe. I’ve made these olive oil and herb scones before, and they’re delightful, especially with a hunk of cheddar on the side.

Chatter on amongst yourselves. In my little world, it’s been difficult to decide who to pay attention to. However, there’s no doubt as to what I shall ignore.  Honestly! Anyone who insists on spouting outrageous lies doesn’t deserve anyone’s time.

I’ve been doing lots of research-style reading, and will write a bit more about that later this month. Su (Zimmerbitch) sent interesting links to a New Zealand virtual film festival! But everything I wanted to see is not available in this country. Pooh! I understand why, but am still disappointed.

There is a short about one of the films that I found fascinating. If you’re feeling sad and would like a change of perspective, take a look.

Oh! Lynn (Tialys) mentioned The Clangers this week. Anybody  heard of them? Adorable episodes are available on YouTube!

Su will be out of town next month, but I plan on being here, so everyone is invited up here. I warn you, it’ll probably be hot! And might be rainy. But we shall let the good times and conversations roll on!

Cheers, everyone! Please go gently with all, especially your own lovely selves.

xx

Sunday Sevens 2020 #3

Courtesy of BBC One. Please click to go to web site.

(aka, Great British Sewing Bee Season 6)

Frequently referred to simply as GBSB, most every sewer across the pond (and a few of us over here and elsewhere) have been waiting with bated breath for this year’s season to arrive. Next Wednesday, 22 April, it will.

I’m pleased to know one of this year’s participants, Ali, over at Thimberlina.  (She’s front row, second from left, sporting her usual big smile.) We’ve been sewing buddies for a few years and I’m sooo delighted for her.

Now, a question for anyone who might know the answer: How can I (in the U.S.) watch GBSB??? Puh-leeeese, I hope there’s some way.

Anybody wanna hold their phone up to their telly for an hour with  me on t’other end watching?!  (If Ali isn’t working she’ll be doing that with her family.)

The official announcement came at 12:02 Tuesday morning, and has eclipsed whatever else happened—or didn’t—last week.

(Except I’m still trying to get a roll or two of t.p.  I’m down to my last one, and trying not to use it up.) 😬

Wednesday (tomorrow) is our monthly Virtual Tea Party and I hope you’ll all drop by for a cuppa and some of my spicy Moosehead Gingerbread, from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book (by Cunningham).

I usually heap up the spices, adding whatever’s in the spice cupboard, so it should be an eye-opener. 😉

Lest I forget, reading has continued. Am finding myself really enjoying Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Am quite surprised to rather be reading it than Jane Austen’s Emma. Both are available for free from Project Gutenberg because they’re out of copyright.

Very scenic, ain’t it? Not!

A special thanks to everyone who posts lovely photos of their walks. I don’t have scenic spaces here and really appreciate your photos. For anyone like myself, here’s an article with additional suggestions (in the “Deep Read” selection) of ways to get our Nature fix each day.

Those who would like to participate in Natalie’s Sunday Sevens should take a peek at her blog, Threads and Bobbins, for details. It’s very simple, and you don’t even have to post on Sunday. Which in my case is a good thing. 😆

Lots of retaining walls to hold back the hills around here. This is the other side of the walkway and the parked cars.

Hope everyone is staying (somewhat) sane and safely inside.

its thursday alreaaady?

If you notice any difference, I’ve been playing with piccies since publishing this.

 

Firstly, here’s the recipe for making your own version of Monday’s photo —

War, Raisin Spice, or Depression Cake

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I always use dark brown as it has more flavour)
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use whatever spices I like and am apt to double them.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Place all of the above in a pot, bring to a boil, and boil gently whilst stirring, for 5 minutes.
  • Make sure your pot is large enough to add the flour, and you’ve saved a bit of washing up. 😉
  • When above wet mixture is thoroughly cool it will slightly resemble glue. That’s a good thing.
  • SIFT and measure out 2 cups of flour.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon EACH of baking powder AND baking soda.
  • Thoroughly incorporate these into your 2 cups of SIFTED flour.
  • Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and thoroughly mix together.
  • Turn out this still slightly gluey mixture into a thoroughly greased loaf pan approx. 9x5x3.
  • Bake about 60 minutes at 350 degrees F., until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. A crack along the top of the cake is normal.
  • Cool in the pan, then turn out onto a plate, slice, and enjoy.

If you have to have icing, go for it. Your choice. My family didn’t.

Hope you enjoy it!

On to some sewing!

Wrong side of fabric is showing

Oddly, speaking about food, I’ve another quick project in mind involving rather a large amount of rice. I’ve done some preliminary tests and know the project needs to be larger than first assumed, and I dug up some cotton to recycle for the project. More in a few days. 😉 (No, it not a door stop, although I should be making one.)

I also have an old, very solid cotton twill shower curtain that’s about to get chopped up and made into 2 curtains, whenever I can get to the store for another curtain rod and more of those sets of clips I can never remember the name of. You know–the ones that clip to the top of the fabric with a ring attached that then goes onto the curtain rod.

That fabric is from Chicago days, and was slightly dyed to offset the bright white background. If I can locate that post  . . .  Well, here’s one with a nice photo, and showing some additional fabric. Wonder where it is . . . .

Aren’t we glad fabric lasts and lasts and lasts?

🤣     😂     🤣

books

As part of my holiday prezzies, I ordered the three new D. E. Stevenson books reprinted by Furrowed Middlebrow, Vittoria Cottage, Music in the Hills, and Winter and Rough Weather, and have finished them.

Together they comprise the lives of several members of a single family. The variety of characters and situations are interesting to me, being set in Scotland’s Lowlands just as World War II is over.

Next on my To Be Read list is another from F.M., a rare early book from Miss Read, Fresh from the Country. I downloaded the preview the other night, and it sounds like a great story for any Miss Read fan.

thanksgiving–cont’d.

 

For some reason I always think of this passage at this time of year…

“November 1978

“Before the days of James the First, a group of English farmers disagreed with the Church of England. “They will conform,” said King James, “or I will harry them out of the kingdom.” They didn’t confirm, and he harried them out of the kingdom. They got on a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to the New World, and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and established a colony. And since they called themselves “pilgrims” they became known to American history as the Pilgrim Fathers…

“…the Pilgrims were befriended by the native Americans… who taught them how to fertilize the land with eels, how to grow Indian corn and eat it off the cob, and how to cook and eat an American bird called a turkey. And the next autumn, when the Pilgrims reaped a bountiful harvest, they invited the Indians to a feast where everyone gave thanks to God for the harvest. That feast was the first American Thanksgiving…

“…the real hallmark of Thanksgiving is the homecoming of family members… So every Thursday in November, I lift a martini glass in salute to Samoset and the Pilgrims, who gave us the warmest homecoming holiday ever Made in America.”

Letter from New York: BBC Woman’s Hour Broadcasts by Helene Hanff, 1992.

🍂 it’s friday ❣️ 🍂

Lots of reading/listening and a bit of sewing going on here at Chez CnS, with colder weather (YEAH!!!) ushering in last weekend’s time change, and again this weekend.

Results of my thimble experiments are in and not good. The Medium is too big for my finger. Whaaaaaaaa! 😣 However, I’m hoping they will not be unused for long. . . .

FYI: A Size Medium thimble may fly off your finger if a tape measure wrapped snuggly around your thimble finger’s digit is smaller than my 1-7/8″ digit. Not written in stone, because fingers are different with different amounts of taper, and differing styles in hand sewing. Just saying Mediums flew off my finger. 😉

The new “ergonomic” seam ripper is fine, but I’ll probably wrap something around its’ too-slippery handle as my hand slides down it towards the metal. I keep having to move it back up into my hand. The handle is longer and thicker than others, but other than that, ergonomic it ain’t.

An updating project to change the pockets on my only denim skirt was completed. The skirt got lots of winter wear when I lived farther north. (Be aware that if you’re out and about in snow in a skirt this long, the bottom of your skirt may get wet.)

Snow isn’t a problem down here so I left the length for now, but those pockets bothered me. I took them off, adjusted the linings so the white didn’t outline them, removed the cute buttons, and discovered my phone fits with room to spare. Unfortunately, boots won’t get worn with this skirt in this climate. Not cold enough. 😪

A huge Thank You to whomever recommended the Louise Penny books, and my apologies for not remembering who it was. I’ve listened to the first, Still Life, and the 13th, Glass Houses. I listened to the third, The Cruelest Month, the week of Hallowe’en. Perfect timing. 👻 🙀

It is wise to start with the first book, as a Lovely Reader suggested—whose name I also don’t recall so please forgive me. Although I was fascinated and horrified by the subject of the more recent Glass Houses, there were a few things I didn’t understand because I didn’t know past history; however, that did not detract as far as I could tell.

The 13th, Glass Houses, includes an interview with Ms. Penny and the voice and stage actor Robert Bathurst, who took over reading after voice and stage actor Ralph Cosham’s death. More on their creative approaches to writing and acting in another post.

Any Elizabeth Peters fans amongst you, Lovely Readers? Does famed Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson ring any bells? The last of that series, The Painted Queen, read by the incomparable Barbara Rosenblat, also came home for a rollicking listen. (click the pic to link to site)

Author Barbara Mertz has herself gone to that Great Pyramid in the Sky, so this story was completed by Joan Hess, as mentioned at the start of the audio book. As Ms. Rosenblat came to the end, I must admit regretting there will be no more.

The first recorded book I ever listened to was read by Ms. Rosenblatt, and she’s thoroughly spoilt me for anyone not up to her standards. If you like to listen whilst you sew/crochet/whatever, you can’t go wrong with something she’s done.

Today’s Friday and I hope everyone has great things planned for their weekend. I know I do… fingers crossed… 🍂 🤣 😂 🤣 🍂

a winter purge ?

We left off with crossed appendages and plans for non-electricity-needing projects. My neck of the woods fared well—many thank-you’s for everyone’s good thoughts. 😘😘

Not so for other folk, and if any of you spot organizations accepting clothing for them, please let me know. I’d be delighted to send things along to those who need literally everything.

Have spend time both increasing and working on The Mend/Refashion Pile whilst listening to P.D. James’ Murder Room on cd. Excellent story, and am so impressed with the author!

I seem to remember Adam Dalgleish being on TV years ago, but cannot remember the name of the series. Does anyone else remember? Roy Marsden in “The Sandbaggers” comes to mind, but I’m not sure that was P.D. James.

Going back to the M/R Pile… Finally decided to add the second pocket to these, and only had to rip one side out once. An improvement!

Am having a heck of a time with my wardrobe planning, chiefly because I cannot figure out what descriptive words to use. As I am no longer office-bound that professional suit stuff can finally be ditched… except for maybe one navy pants suit. Just in case. 😉

The rest of my Dream Wardrobe is nebulous. The heat down here lasts about nine months of the twelve, so I’m trying to accomodate that. But my heart has always belonged to “a good piece if wool” as mum used to say.

Deep sigh…

I think more trousers are needed, but weight and style is very undecided, as are tops to go with. And dresses, for some reason, which I am finding difficult to even consider. Veddy strange for moi.

Am considering trying a pattern with different cup sizing, just to see if there’s a difference, as I seem to be on the lower edge of all that. Just to try something different.

Above A.L.L., everything has to be comfortable. After spending too many years in offices wearing things a little too tight and heels with pointy toes, have had it with anything not totally comfortable.

So, how to express that in two or three words eludes me at the mo. But am trying not to allow that to stop me from going through the three rather large containers of cold weather clothes.

A good sort out is definitely in order. Give me strength! And maybe additional dark chocolate rations… hehehee! 🤣 🥰 🤪

what i didn’t do on my summer vacation

A couple of days into my impromptu Labor Day Week of vacation somebody decided it was time to pay a visit. Perhaps you’ve heard? A little thing called Dorian.

This is one dangerous, dithery dame. Definitely not to be taken lightly. Certainly not a dame to be invited into a sewing circle. So I had to drop a few plans to start prepping.

Thus, vacation is being “extended” until she decides to “make that turn” away from the coastline and hopefully into the total oblivion she so richly deserves.

My ickle sewing spot is positioned far enough off the coast to avoid a direct visit, if she makes that turn. Everybody cross your extremities, pleeze!

So. What have I planned to keep me occupied Thursday and Friday?

Those thoughtful Canadians, Caroline & Helen of Love to Sew had a great podcast last week about planning your dream wardrobe. If anybody needs that, I do.

A HUGE Thank You to you both!

As the eagle-eyed amongst you may observe, there’s also a PDF in that piccie, ready to be assembled and tried out. You know, in case one should have nothing to do.

🤣 L.O.L.!!! 🤣

Fingers & tootsies crossed, will be back with you shortly with a wardrobe report. Meanwhile, be safe, Lovely Ones. 😘 ❣️ 😘

PS/Mystery lovers, did you see this article? I can vouch for Tey as being extremely enjoyable… 😁

PPS/(My thanks to she-knows-who for printing. 😉)

remember this?

This is Version Two. The centre hole has two slightly smaller holes sort of north east of centre. See ’em? They’re not supposed to be there. 😩

Version one had the same problem, but the holes were bigger. 😣

After weeks of faffing about trying to avoid the inevitable I finally faced fact, and did what needed to be done.

🐸 rip-it 🐸 rip-it 🐸

I was worried that the yarn would be too worn from all the ripping out sessions, but it seems to have held up, thank goodness.

Changing subjects, did a bit of reading over the last heat wave. . . 😅

Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow had just released nine more long-unavailable British women authors’ books. He’s been reviewing them on his blog since they were published August 5th.

So far I’ve read Spam Tomorrow (Verily Anderson, 1956), and totally cannot decide what to read next.

Spam was excellent, after a doubtful start. It’s autobiographical and starts in the English countryside before the war began in 1939.

Initially I was a bit put off by Anderson’s unconventional family, and didn’t know if I would enjoy the rest of the book, but I did. In fact, I was sorry there wasn’t another whole book to get us further into her experiences.

All of Scott’s volumes are published by Dean Street Press, under the Furrowed Middlebrow name, and are available in paperback or electronic copies via Amazon U.S. and U.K. I downloaded a copy to save shelf space, the environment and a little dosh (for more books 😉). I’m not affiliated with any of the above, and if I don’t like a book I’ll say so!

I’ve not decided what to read next, but am thinking about one of Carola Oman’s two books, Nothing to Report, or Somewhere in England. Has anybody read either of them?

All for now, Lovely Readers . . . toodles ❣️😘

life

this is the RIGHT green!

Hey-ho, how is everybody? It’s been busy hereabouts, but not so much with sewing.

More like reporting phone outages, then wifi outages, then everything outages, deliveries made to the wrong building and ruined in the heat, et cetera.

Such stuff as life is made of, seasoned with lots of extreme heat along with all the usual baking and laundry and such like.

How’s it been around your place? Read any good books lately?

I finally finished Arrest the Bishop and Bewildering Cares, both by Winifred Peck. The Bishop seemed interminable until more than half way through, when I stayed up faaar too late finishing it because it suddenly got interesting. Now I’m reading Peck’s Warrielaw Jewel, which is good from the get-go.

And speaking of books, did I never show you what Karen Ball’s review inspired me to get? No?? Well, here it is, and I must say it’s a great book. Don’t know that I’d make any of the Laura Ashley inspired pieces, but all the patterns are included. Just in case. 😉

I think that Table of Contents looks interesting. And there’s also my Yank’s fascination with Liberty fabrics. . .

I remember the first time I saw and handled some Liberty cotton lawn. I was being generally overwhelmed by San Francisco’s Britex Fabrics—floors of fabulous fabrics stacked everywhere.

Cottons, I thought. Surely they’ll have some cottons under $50 a yard. And then I spotted Liberty, which I’d never heard of, couldn’t afford and never forgot. (dreamy look)

Anyway, it’s an interesting book.

Oh!

By-the-by, have any of you Tremendously Inventive Lovelies an idea of how I might repair this green linen knit? (The top photo is the right green.)

The dastardly washer I had in my Virginia place did this, and I’ve been loath to Kondo it. Too much joy in the greeness.

Everyone please send cooling thoughts for all the millions across the globe sweltering in extreme heat. (Canada, send down some cooler air, pretty pleeese.*)

Thaaank you, Dear Ones!

🌞 🌞 🌞 🌞

🍦 🍦 🍦 🍦

*Ice cream would be nice, too. 😍