Sunday, January 31, 2016

Third Annual GCGSW

It's officially a wrap; we had another great Gulf Coast Girls' Sewing Weekend! We added yet another sewist, Nancy, who was previously a costumer with a background in fashion design, though she actually taught finance using her doctorate in Economics (correct me if I'm wrong, there, Nancy), so that does bring the tally to 2 engineers and 4 doctors - what a crew! Here's Nancy consulting with Robbie on a sewing issue.

And here's Yaffa cutting out a Mozart-style coat from upholstery material. She's the grand prize winner again this year, because she had to cut and tape those pattern pieces together from a computer printout before even getting to this stage. Hope your back's okay, Yaffa!

Here's the whole crew before Katrina had to leave for her Mardi Gras ball. (Note to self: no more GCGSW's during Mardi Gras season!)

And here's some of the output: Nancy introduced us to Kanzashi, which is fashioning flowers from fabric, and involved a little bit of hand-sewing and a little bit of burning the edges with a candle - cool!

This is Yaffa's Mozart jacket with gold braid and lacy cuffs...

and check out that collar - fancy!

Becky cranked out a Hot Patterns top before whipping up these flannel pajama pants...for her son, not her!

And I didn't get a shot of Katrina's shoe bag or Robbie's Betzina Vogue skinny pants, but needless to say, everyone was remarkably productive, given that we started Saturday off with pina coladas and ended it pomegranate-blackberry cocktails! I even made progress on my mesh knitted sweater, since my sewing mojo was lagging.

Lastly, I'll leave you with the very rare "Super Blood Moon" which God graced me with Friday night while I was unsuspectingly sitting on the porch. At first I thought the orange glow over the trees was from the Mexican restaurant, but it kept getting higher in the sky, then I realized it was the moon, and check out the reflection in the water, too. Never a good camera around when you need one.....

Thank you ladies so much for the awesome weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Now Commencing Shoe Flog...I Mean Blog

I have to say a word about John Fluevog shoes.

I stumbled across the store in New Orleans last weekend (just a block from the knitting store - how convenient!) and almost took a bunch of pictures inside because of the crazy shoe eye candy. I actually tried on 2 pairs of shoes, that sadly didn't come in my exact size, but the lady told me to call her next time I knew I was coming to town and she'd hold anything I liked for 24 hours. What?! I took a card and went online, and what a quirky website! So if you've seen the music video for Groove is in the Heart, Lady Miss Keir is wearing Fluevogs, and apparently Madonna wore them back in the 90's, etc. Now these things are expensive, but I found the sale page and ordered a pair for half-price. Behold the pointy yet boxy beauty:

Please forgive the blue socks, I just had to put these on right away. People, that is velvet piping, and it makes a velvet ribbon that you tie!

They even have a saying etched on the bottom, "Take time, be whole, be free." So hippy.

Every email they sent me about confirmation, shipping, etc., said stuff like, "We want to thank you for your awesomeness. You're good-looking!" The box they came in said the usual stuff about being recyclable, then said "Other uses for this box include chinchilla house, arts & crafts, and very temporary fish bowl." It included 2 postcards with the Fluevog icon and a little paragraph about the history of the company with the last line being, "No, YOU'RE weird!" (Because their shoes and website are very weird...get it?) And they even included a canvas shoe bag to store the shoes and 3 pieces of flair to wear on your clothes! I am definitely looking for another pair next time I'm in New Orleans...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mesh Sweater Progress?

Weelllllll....I was deliriously happy to have finished the second sleeve of my mesh sweater (I paid for this pattern - only one I've ever bought) after SO many restarts because I'd lose track of the lace pattern. I was also happy because this mesh looked uniform, and the first sleeve was just pitifully uneven. So I held it up to admire it....and realized there was a problem. Can you see it?

I also noticed that one cuff rolled out and the other rolled in...

I very calmly realized that I apparently knit one sleeve inside out. Now they're done on circular needles, and I guess I should've paid closer attention to how I was holding the sweater when I started. Oh well, I think I'll go ahead with the body, then go back and redo that sleeve afterwards. And I'll be sure to leave a note on Ravelry warning other knitters to be careful. I have a feeling I may be working on this during the upcoming 3rd annual GCGSW, which is in 2.5 short weeks! Hey, what are you GCGSW'ers planning on working on?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Now Commencing Cooking Blog....

Psych! I was just kidding, but something amazing has happened since Christmas day. We went to Christmas dinner at a friend's house, where there were 28 people eating, and it was the most hospitable event I've been to. My friend gave me a Pioneer Woman cookbook as a gift, which I was totally not expecting. In fact, they gave every person there a Christmas gift, which was incredible. (Thank goodness I knitted her 2 dishcloths and wrapped them up fancy, or it could've been awkward!)

Well, I've read Pioneer Woman's blog when my sister sends me a funny post, but I'd never thought about cooking anything till I got this book. She's hilarious! I knew she had a sense of humor from the blog, but the cookbook is off the chain wacky. She has a very self-deprecating attitude, and when I hit the paragraph about how she hates going to the grocery store, I was sold. This woman is like me, except she cooks. Behold my first creation, Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce.

Sadly, Dean was on call and Drew was out, so Lucas was the only one to join me in the delectability. He ate it all and used the sauce for the corn even! The next day I gave Drew a bite of the leftovers, and he said he would definitely order that in a restaurant. (You have to understand that they have never enjoyed my cooking, thus my ecstatic-ness.)

Next up was Orange Chicken, which is based on a Chinese dish she loves. Let me just say the sauce involves orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange zest, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and white vinegar. It also involves cubing chicken thighs, dipping them in egg whites with cornstarch, and deep frying them. Guess what I realized while I was cooking? I've never deep-fried a thing in my life! What 48-year-old woman from Alabama has not deep-fried something? Shocking; and so I was nervous about committing errors, but Dean thankfully left the kitchen to do something else while I cooked. (He was probably hiding behind a door with a fire extinguisher waiting for tragedy to strike, as it inevitably does when I'm in the kitchen. Have I mentioned baking a dessert and using wax paper instead of parchment paper, which subsequently filled the house with smoke but thankfully didn't catch on fire?) To everyone's amazement, though, there was not a single mishap.

And so I give you the most delicious, orangey, perfectly-cooked chicken dish I've ever made! Lucas ate three helpings, Drew went back for seconds, and Dean declared it was tasty - I can die a happy woman now!

Back to reading more of the cookbook...