Tag Archives: winter

‘fessing up!

starry nights - another photo from the hols
starry nights – another photo from the hols

Thought I’d have me sewing machine back by now, but it hasn’t left yet.  Suddenly got cold feet about shipping it. Decided to bring it over myself, but haven’t had time yet.

What changed my mind?  Finding out how other things were shipped. Only 1 box was packed as I’d requested.  Thank goodness only 1 item was damaged.  But I didn’t want to chance it with my machine!

The internet problems seem to have disappeared, so I’ll be turning some things back on again. Hurray!

One check on the endless To Do list!


cocoa sludge

jar of sludge

Know this might not be the most appetizing name for an instant sweeten-to-taste hot cocoa mix, but it’s original!

Firstly, know that I like my cocoa dark.  Very dark.  And not sweet.  As in no sugar at all.  (With good cocoa, that’s definitely an option.)

One day, thinking that I’d like to be able to mix up a mug of the stuff, either hot or cold, got me thinking.

Cocoa doesn’t mix with milk too well.  It does best in hot water, which is why the traditional recipes for cocoa start with boiling water.  But that takes too long, leaves a pan to wash, and waters down the cocoa too much for my taste.

Persnickety, ain’t I!

One day I tried equal parts of hot water and cocoa, mixed together more or less without lumps, and put it in the frig to cool.


Now I can microwave a mug of milk, add a spoon of sludge, and be off enjoying my cocoa in minutes, without a pan to wash.

Give it a go – you might enjoy each family member having exactly what they prefer, and no pan to wash afterwards.


another view…

drawing courtesy of Vogue/McCall's web site
drawing courtesy of Vogue/McCall’s web site

This line drawing is easier to look at and see the pieces of the pattern.  It’s from the Vogue/McCall’s web site.  Just click the pattern photo in the previous entry or this one & scroll down the page to see it.

Sometimes photos and/or drawings just don’t show clearly what’s what, so I find I usually go to these drawings before buying a pattern.  Wonder how the pattern companies evolved these?  Might be interesting marketing history!

being brave…


Or trying to visualise what these fabrics would look like together.

Am thinking a princess-seamed blouse, with darker on the outside & lighter on the inside, if there’s enough of the blue for skinny-sleeved version.

Blue is supposed to be rayon, but feels like very soft flannel.  Rayon flannel remnant. maybe?

Teeny plaid is soft 100% cotton from my fabulous CA stash.  Really fringes beautifully, so want to incorporate that feature, too.  And maybe some lovely red button down the front…

V8598: one of my choices, bought last summer on sale.  art courtesy McCall's-Vogue site
V8598: one of my choices, bought last summer on sale.
art courtesy McCall’s-Vogue site

What do you think?

blouse fabric!


Fabric from post holiday sales above.  All are 100% cotton, soft and breathable… except that solid red might become a skirt.  Hm.  Have to think about that one.  Cherries & berries are plentiful, and how appropriate will that be for Washington’s birthday next month.  Might even find cute buttons somewhere.  As long as that’s not gilding the lily.


Sweet & soft, this blue & whiter cotton might make a cool set for warm summer nights.

What I really couldn’t resist for summer was something green!


Plus half a dozen Vogue patterns at veeery low price – hehe!!!

Was very bad, but that sale was so good.

photo challenge: happy – dreaming while working…

oops – forgot to reference the WordPress page


and thanks for all you lovely folk who’ve liked this – can’t figure out why you’re not showing up here – everything’s checked & in its proper place… except your gravatars… must be a temporary hiccup on the system… gotta go back to work –


winter black hat
winter black hat
started it all

I’ve been working on my closet… tossing out a lot of things and deciding what’s needed vs. wanted.  Tough, isn’t it?!

Got to the top plastic bag, with the gorgeous extravagant winter hat I’ve never worn… I started looking up how to care for it, how to clean/dust it… and that got me further interested.  But I’ve always loved hats!  So this has been more of a reintroduction and education.  Thus my raid on library books and web wanderings.

Hats have a very ancient tradition, which several books brought out.  Since that’s not my interest, I glanced through and got to more contemporary styles. It’s surprising how many styles used in the 20’s and 30’s are still used today.  The winter black hat is a cloche (French for hat bell), which adds to its cachet as far as I’m concerned.

Russian veiling on
black winter hat

I also love the veil, which I discovered is called Russian veiling, and always has the little squares & triangles.  It seems readily available, at least in black and white.

I realized the hat pin is genuine but alas, not vintage.  Silver’s not my color, so I’ll look for gold or brass (preferred).

Because I generally wear glasses, I’ve always been concerned about combining them with hats.  Seems as long as your eyebrows show sufficiently between glasses & brim, you’r fine.  Considering so many wear hats & sunglasses, don’t know why I worried, but I did…

Facial shape also affects which hat might or might not look suitable.  But there’s so much variety between shapes and proportions, and so many different acceptable “looks” that I’d leave it to the wearer to decide if s/he likes the hat in question.

I did learn the proper way to try on a hat – and you MUST try it on before purchasing!!!  With 2 hands, take the front & the back (generally the label is there) of the hat and slide it onto your head from forehead back.  That’s also the easiest on the coiffure.

But the important step is the second one: working the hat.  Move it backward, forward, tilt it slightly to either side.  You can even try in on backward! If something works, it works.  If not, keep trying on other hats.

The extra benefits of wearing hats, besides keeping warmer in winter and shadier in summer, are wonderful!  If you’ve not been a hat-wearer, I urge you to give it a go!

hat books
hat books