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Bringing lots of rain. Hopefully that will translate into lots of tasty greens in a few weeks but it is putting a damper on my digging out the worm bin project.
So many projects lined up. Tonight I spent some time readying a chest of drawers for my daughter’s room. Secondhand and the staples and a few knobs were loose, so I got out the wood glue, a screwdriver, and a hammer to tighten it all back up. I have drawers sprawled across my living room drying tonight; hopefully tomorrow they’ll be ready because I’d really like to get the dresser moved into one of my daughter’s closets to give her more floor space and further the organization of her room. She wants a big girl room and I told her that the only way she’s going to get it is if we can get the clutter under control on an ongoing basis. Her room is the victim of generosity from family and friends. We just don’t have enough storage space for everything she’s been given.
I was hoping to carve out time tonight to do some cutting and sewing. I have some old sheets that I’d like to turn into circle skirts and shorts for her before summer. I also have to cut and sew new insoles for my favorite pair of scuffs. The soles and uppers are still good, but the insoles are a tattered mess. I’ve been looking at fabrics trying to figure out what would be cushiony on my feet yet durable. I’m thinking that I might layer some fabrics to get the effect I want. I have some thick, soft felted wool scraps and an end of upholstery fabric. The upholstery fabric would probably adhere nicely to the interior of the shoe with a layer of strong glue and the wool would be comfortable on my feet. I really love my scuffs, I don’t want to replace them if I can repair them.
I also need to get my canning jars out and prewashed since the farmers’ markets are opening again and I can get cheap produce to can. I didn’t can hardly anything last year because of my eye surgery and such. Definitely can’t let that happen again this year. I need to at least put up several quarts of bean soup for convenience eating all year long.
Sounds strange, I know, but I had 1.5 lbs. of honey that had started to crystallize and needed to do something with it, so I decided to brew some cough syrup. I scooped the honey out into an enamel pot, added one chopped, strong white onion, and two cold care tea bags from my ample tea supply. It’s been cooking over low heat for the past four hours. I’ll check it again before bed to see if enough of the juice from the onions has reduced for it to be strained and ready for bottling. Once it’s cooled, I’ll add some echinacea/goldenseal extract to it. I find the syrup to be handy for coughs and that under-the-weather feeling during cold season. You can make it with just onion and honey or even garlic and honey for a soothing simple syrup, or you can add more herbal ingredients for whatever cold symptoms plague you most. If you cook it down to a very thick syrup, you can either pour it into candy molds or pour it out on a silicone mat, let it cool, score it into pieces after half an hour, and have your own homemade lozenges. I may go down and add some fennel fronds to mine just for flavor here in a bit.
There was a local produce sale at my neighborhood store, so I went over to check it out and came home with some nice hot and sweet peppers, onions, and corn. I made some salsa with the peppers and onions and some tomatoes I had on hand from the CSA delivery. Tomorrow I’m taking some to share with a friend when I go to visit her. I might make and can some fennel onion relish in the morning before I leave. I haven’t done nearly as much canning as I’d have liked this summer and I’m feeling inspired after my parents brought several jars of home-canned salmon to me when they came to pick up my daughter for the week.
I plan to do a lot of cooking and preserving while she’s away. Mostly to keep myself from missing her so much, but also to have a head-start on easy meals for when she goes back to school. I’m going to prepare muffin batter and freeze it in the paper liners so that I can bake them the night before for an easy homemade breakfast when served with sliced fruit and a glass of milk. I also want to stuff potatoes to freeze for quick and easy dinners, as well as freezing plenty of soups, stocks, and pesto. I’ve also had more apples drying so that we have plenty for school snacks. I might do some pears as well for variety.
I’ve spent much of today pondering my attraction to the slow lifestyle. What makes a woman with ready access to all manner of urban conveniences go out of her way to make as much of her own stuff as possible? A large part of it is quality. I can be a quality snob and yet I’m still a pennypincher, so it’s always made the most sense to me to do as many things as I was capable of myself so that I would be pleased with both quality and price. I’m also a perpetual student. I love to learn new things and, since science and history are two of my favorite subjects, learning how to do things the old-fashioned way or knowing why it is that a certain process works is very satisfying. I’m also not someone who has an easy time sitting still, so the handicrafts give me a way to sit a spell and still get something done. Do a granny square a day on the bus and pretty soon you have a blanket. I prefer to use my time doing things that are either very useful or make me very happy, even better when I can combine the two. Last, and one that has become so important to me since becoming a mother, the projects that I do relax me and give me a creative outlet. Sure, it can be a pain to have to come home after a long day to make a loaf of bread for the next day’s lunches, but once I start working the dough and get into that rhythm, it seems like so many of my cares just fall away and, by the time I’m pulling the loaf out of the oven, I’m calm and happy again.
I like this slower pace. Americans spend so much time dashing around that we forget about the small pleasures of life, the little things that make a big impact and bring us happiness and contentment – that’s why so many of us are sick and stressed out. An hour in my little garden or in my kitchen is worth a dozen psychiatrists and personal trainers. And now that I’ve done some research on various DIY topics and put them into practice, I’m more conscious of my impact on the world around me, how the choices I make affect others not only in my immediate neighborhood, but around the world. Sometimes I make it a game to see how I can reduce my impact even more. What else can I make or do differently?
Believe it or not, for all of my ambitious tendencies, I’ve spent much of today relaxing with a crochet project and a selection of documentaries, getting up to stir a pot or move dishes and clothes around, then back to my yarn. I love days like these. I made a big, delicious glass of apple/carrot/beet/spinach juice about midday with some yogurt on the side, then had a delicious dinner of soft polenta with fresh tomatoes, mixed mushrooms, fresh basil, and roasted garlic while I listened to Haydn on the radio. It’s like a vacation without leaving home.
The other day I got an email from Sara Star over at Spirits Craft telling me that I’d been selected as a winner of the Domestic Witch Blog Award. I’m touched to have my writing so honored.
Today has been a difficult one. Last night I tried taking an L-tryptophan capsule to help with my ongoing insomnia and it worked too well, I’ve been exhausted all day and my stomach has also felt very off. So, of course, what do I do but come home and find myself in the middle of a whirlwind of projects before I can rest? But they were necessary, so I gritted my teeth and hurried through as best I could so that I could get to right here and right now, relaxing in bed with my feet elevated and a big bowl of rice dressed with garlic, Bragg’s, and butter (my palliative for every ailment) cooling so that I can eat.
When I picked my daughter up from summer camp today, her face wobbled when she saw me and she got teary. I asked what was wrong and she sobbed that they had been promised popsicles later that afternoon. She can’t take a popsicle on the bus, so I picked her up and carried her inside, thinking, thinking, thinking. Then I said, “I bet we can make a better popsicle at home.” Her tears stopped, then she looked at me, and said, “Really, mama?” Of course, now that I’ve made this suggestion, I must deliver on it if at all possible, so I started thinking of what we might have to make popsicles with at home. She was very specific that she wanted “fancy” popsicles, meaning she wanted something analogous to store-bought pops, not our usual juice or applesauce popsicles. I started digging through her snack cupboard and found a box of strawberry gelatin and a packet of unsweetened grape soft drink mix. I poured half of each packet into a big pyrex measure along with a half-cup of sugar and a cup of boiling water, stirred it until all of the powders dissolved, added a cup of cold water, then poured the liquid through a small funnel into our popsicle mold (it makes eight; if you have two molds, you could easily double this recipe for delighting many, many kids). They’re now chilling in the freezer, so she’ll have popsicles tomorrow and, given how good the solution smelled while I was mixing it up, I’m betting that they’ll be a winner with my daughter.
She also reminded me that we’d used up the last of the bread this morning, so I put the ingredients for a small loaf of honey oatmeal bread into the bread machine. I usually only use the machine for mixing dough while I’m busy with other things but since I’m not feeling 100% today, I decided to sacrifice quality for convenience this time. I’m having a craving for a loaf of jalapeno bread, something with a nice corn and pepper flavor that will make great, savory toast or grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato. I’m going to tinker with a recipe for cubano bread that I really enjoy, and maybe I’ll roast the peppers to bring out their sweetness and spice.
My lower back continues to bother me as well after straining it awhile ago, tonight I’m thinking of making a castor oil pack to break up any adhesions in the muscles. To make a castor oil pack, you wet a flannel cloth with enough castor oil to soak the cloth but not be a drippy mess, then you place it over the affected area, bind it with some plastic wrap or a strip of old sheet, then lay a heating pad or hot water bottle over the wrap and rest awhile. Once you remove the compress, wash the skin that was covered and do some gentle massage to further relax the area. The flannel can be saved in a container in the fridge and reused many times.
I should make some rice packs for myself, too, mine are about at the end of their useful lives. Using cotton or cotton flannel, sew a square, rectangle, or roll and fill it with rice or rice and herbs – lavender is really nice – then you can heat the packs in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and place them on sprains, strains, or aching tummies. Sometimes when it’s very cold out, I’ll warm them up and put them in bed so we can slip between pre-warmed sheets that feel so cozy.
In a few more minutes, my pick-me-up tea should be ready: kombu (a seaweed easily found in Asian groceries), adzuki beans, and a shiitake mushroom steeped together, tightly covered, for 30 minutes; then you drink the broth and, if you like, eat the kombu and the mushroom – the beans can be composted. I discovered the kombu and adzuki tea in a whole foods cookbook awhile back. The mushroom was my own addition and I think it really adds to the overall nutritional value of the brew. I’m not sure exactly why it works, but it always make me feel better when I’m under the weather. A bit of an acquired taste, though, sometimes I toss in a bit of ginger or tamari for flavor.
My daughter is going away for a week to visit her grandparents before school starts. While she’s gone, I’m planning to split my time between work, projects, and relaxation, probably with plenty of spa treatments thrown in. One of my projects will be making a schultute (literally, school horn) for her first day of first grade. It’s a German tradition. You make a big cone out of posterboard and tissue paper, fill it with their school supplies and some treats or small gifts, then, when class starts on their first day, they get to open them, then display them on the classroom wall for the rest of the year. I think it’s a very sweet tradition and one that my daughter is very excited about. She wants me to make her a red schultute with sharks on it, so I need red posterboard, a bunch of shark stickers or gray paper to make cut-out sharks, then some tissue paper. I have all of her school supplies for next year, so I just need to come up with some treats, preferably homemade.
But, for tonight, I’m going to take it easy in the hopes of feeling much better tomorrow.
It’s like Christmas without the crowded stores!
A few weeks ago, I made some online catalog requests to a few seed companies that claimed to have heirlooms and almost all of them arrived at once. I’ve only lightly flipped through, but the array of baby greens alone is staggering. So much variety! I use my speed reading skills to locate key words such as “dwarf” and “container”, then mark those to go back and read more about later.
Now that I’ve worked some of the knots out of growing baby greens in pots on my deck, buying larger seed packets to mix custom blends by season seems like a good expenditure. We both love baby greens as salads or on sandwiches. One of my favorite sandwiches ever is a whole-grain bun with a veggie patty, spicy baby greens, and horseradish mustard – it’s so good!
I’ve also seen a few mixes touted as “braising/stir-fry” seed mixes and those would be great, too. We love lightly sauteed greens with garlic and lemon or garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil, and tamari with a splash of ume plum vinegar. It makes me hungry just to think about it. A big mess of tangy, spicy greens on top of a bowl of brown rice or soba noodles with some lentils or adzuki beans to complete the protein. Delicious.
So I have something to occupy my nights for awhile as I design the garden, trying to fit as much good stuff as possible into my little space.
Now if I could just figure out how to incorporate a discreet rainwater harvesting system into the deck garden without my HOA getting their collective panties in a bunch. Any future home purchases, I will be avoiding HOAs and neighborhood associations like they have a pox. They mostly seem to be full of environmentally unfriendly zealots who don’t want you to install solar panels or sky lights but are perfectly happy to have tons of chemicals dumped on the lawn every week and they’re very, very concerned that your storm door be the appropriate shade of almond. So annoying.
But someday, hopefully in the next few years, we’ll have a piece of land to call our own and we will be able to work it and tend it without the interference of others. We could make our already fairly small eco footprint even smaller if we were able to produce almost all of our own food, some fibers, and other useful goods.
Since I was already working from home today, I looked at the morning forecast and, after consulting with my daughter, decided that it would be nice if she stayed home from her summer program today, both so I could spend time with her and to have a break from the heat. We got to have a leisurely breakfast of whole-grain toast with peanut butter, fresh fruit, and herbal tea before I started my workday. She watched some educational children’s programming on public broadcasting but after a little over an hour, started clamoring for my attention. I handed her a pile of felt, fabric scraps, and a fabric marker, then told her to design some clothes and accessories for her favorite dolls. She set to work and spent most of the day engrossed in designing purses, backpacks, aprons, guitars, and more. She’s very artistic and I like to encourage not only her particular talent for drawing, but her ability to entertain herself. I think it also helps her not to think as a constant consumer when she actively can create her own playthings (with some help from Mom). Tonight I sewed the backpack she designed and, while I sewed the body together and the straps, she sewed on the small, decorative pocket herself while I coached her. It was only the second time she’s sewn with a running stitch but she did a really good job. I think that basic hand sewing skills are so vital, even if you only ever use them to do minor repairs.
I worked all day with a break for lunch, leftover whole grain pilaf with black beans, roasted peppers, and corn topped with a dollop of yogurt, and a short walk around the cul-de-sac with child and dog. It was too hot to go far, none of us like this kind of intense heat. Once we were back, I juiced some apples with beets and the last carrots for a quick refresher before tackling the take-home work again. I ended up having to work late to finish it all, so we had a quick dinner of quesadillas with fresh, chopped tomatoes and finely diced onion with a plate of cut fresh vegetables on the side. It was good and left us with plenty of time to get out to the garden.
We planted more basil because I really want a basil plant to bring indoors for the winter. They rarely produce enough for pesto but it is so nice to have a few fresh leaves to shred and sprinkle over pasta or soup. We also planted a bowl with red oakleaf lettuce for cut-and-come-again baby greens and a few more chives sprinkled between for companion planting. I planted two of the four broccoli plants that I plan on over-wintering.
The chamomile I was trying to start for an indoor plant seemingly got burned to a crisp today even though I’d been watering it evenly and moved it into the shade of a larger planter this morning. I’ll keep at it for a bit longer to see if anything survived, but I may just have to wait until spring to have a lovely window box full of German chamomile. It’s my daughter’s favorite herbal tea and I definitely want enough of it to harvest for tea and medicinal purposes. Several years ago I was introduced to an herbal syrup made from boiling down organic apple juice and chamomile or mint; it was fantastic diluted with water or sparkling water over ice. I would love to make and bottle my own versions. I bet rosemary or lavender syrup would be excellent as well.
I have more fall and winter seeds on the way. I’ve set aside a large pot for seeding with easter egg radishes and thumbelina carrots. I know that I can do successive seedings of the radishes all the way through to severe winter weather, perhaps a double crop of the carrots as well. I think my daughter will like the carrots, they’re natural small globes, also called French market carrots.
The compost that we’re getting from the worm bin is just of such excellent quality. Black and rich. I need to figure out a way to sift it, though, to remove larger particulates and the worms. Honestly, I’m thinking of just buying a child’s beach toy with a sifter bottom and using that. It seems like my least expensive and time-consuming option. I need another brick of coconut fiber or peat to help retard clumping in the compost because it can be really dense and holds a lot of moisture. I also need to keep my eyes open for more downed branches from the maple trees to use as leaf mulch in my layered containers.
I have a large jar of honey that is starting to crystallize. My plan is to pour off the honey that is still liquid, then scoop out the crystallized honey into a saucepan with some strong chopped onion and garlic to make cough syrup. Too bad I don’t have a source for coltsfoot, which is also good for coughs. Maybe I can find some slippery elm, echinacea, and goldenseal to add to it, though, to make it a more broad-spectrum syrup. I need to restock our supply of elderberry syrup, too, it was so helpful during last winter’s flu season.
Another busy day drawing to an end, but I feel so good about the things we’re doing right now that it gives me energy. The gardening, the projects, the cooking, the healthier mostly whole foods diet. I feel good. I feel positive about the much bigger steps ahead. Those steps back to the land.
The weather was very mild today, the perfect day to do heavy work in the garden. I clipped the dead stems from the bunching onions, top-dressed them with compost from the worm bin, and re-seeded the soil since only one flower was produced this summer and there were bare spots between. We really love our green onions, they’re so nice to have and so easy to maintain all year long.
I have a hanging terra cotta pot sculpted to resemble a face. It used to have a thyme plant in it, but the finches laid waste to that earlier this year when they were looking for nesting materials. I decided to try it as a planter for chives, so I removed the soil that was in it and worked in some compost, then refilled the pot and seeded it before moving on to prepare a pot for bush basil that I’m planning to start outside in this nice weather and bring in as a window plant when the weather turns cold. Fresh basil in November would be a treat.
After puttering around out there a bit more, I washed up and went to the store to get dog food, check the clearance bins, and purchase a beautiful mint plant that I’d seen while walking by the day before. It’s nothing fancy, just common mint, but it’s big and abundant and needed a home with me – it was calling to me. I’m trying to decide which planter to put it in. Once it’s established it needs some trimming because it was allowed to get very leggy and unkempt; besides, trimming it should make it bush out a bit and fill a pot. It has some lovely flower spikes on it.
The clearance bins yielded canned salmon, diced green chilies, and whole grain pilaf – not a bad little haul. I bought a few other essentials, then carried my loot home. The people at the grocery store always look at me like I’m crazy when I ask them to try to divide things up evenly between the bags because I’m on foot. “But this is so heavy!,” the courtesy clerk said as he was handing me my reusable bags today. It really wasn’t bad, probably 30 lbs. divided between two bags. Are people really so soft that carrying 30 lbs. a few blocks is considered near-impossible? That just seems strange to me. I mean, I was happy to set it down when I walked through the door but I wasn’t in pain or gasping for air or anything like that.
We ate leftover lentils and rice for dinner with banana-orange-pineapple smoothies for dessert. Yum! Since then I’ve been sitting, nursing a bit of a low back ache from bending and stooping so much today. I’m making an afghan for my clerk because she got married a few weeks ago. A lovely scrap afghan made from Lion Brand Homespun in a variety of colors. I like how it’s shaping up; it looks nice and it’s so soft. I recently finished an embroidered dresser scarf for my daughter and I’m now making one for myself. The same daisy pattern but in different color schemes to match our personalities: her daisies in variegated purples with vivid yellow, green, and blue; mine in white with softer yellow, green, and red. Not sure what my next projects will be, but I’m trying to make a serious dent in my embroidery thread and yarn collections. It’s kind of a challenge to see what I can do with what I have here already. I may end up making more home decor items to gift in an effort to use up the low-end acrylic yarns I have in abundance from my thrift store purchases. I should do some more charity crochet, too, because I have some baby yarns. Make hats and booties for the pediatric hospital that saved my daughter when she had pneumonia a few years ago.
Productive today and more to do tomorrow. Hopefully my back cooperates.
I’ve had my backpack for about two years now. I carry it almost every single day and it takes a beating. Recently two large holes opened up in one of the side pockets. I stitched the long, thin one closed but there was a second, round hole that needed a patch, so I cut a corner from a piece of thrift store fabric, cut it into a heart shape, and sewed it over the hole. My shoulder straps also need repairs. I’m out of fray check, so I found nail polish in matching black and painted the fraying areas to that I can try stitching them later, though, honestly, it may be a duct tape job. The wall between two inside pockets is also coming apart. I know that I could get another day pack for $10-20 but I really hate to toss something that still has a useful lifespan, so I’ll try to repair that this weekend.
For dinner we had pasta with the whole foods pesto I made yesterday. It was delicious and there’s enough left over for our lunches tomorrow. I served it with sliced tomatoes and fresh blueberries on the side for a great, nutritious summer meal.
After dinner I planted peas in the container I prepped yesterday. I’d had them marinating overnight in legume inoculant. It would be nice to have some more fresh sugar snaps before winter. There were a few leftover seeds; I tossed them in the outdoor compost to see if they’d volunteer. We already have volunteer cherry tomatoes ripening in the compost – far be it from me to turn down free food where I can find it. Hopefully my other seeds will get here soon so that I can tinker further with my tiny garden.
I was so excited after playing in the garden today that I went to the Nichols Nursery website to order some seeds. I got chives, borage, german chamomile, leaf lettuce, green onions, top-setting bulb onions, purple broccoli, and a compact basil for winter window box gardening.
Today I made a vegan, whole-grain vanilla cake from Christina Pirello’s excellent cookbook Cooking the Whole Foods Way: Your Complete, Everyday Guide to Healthy Eating and, to be extra eco-friendly, we baked it in our solar oven (pictures below).[caption id="attachment_300" align="aligncenter" width="289" caption="Whole-grain vanilla cake baking in the solar oven."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_301" align="aligncenter" width="289" caption="The sun-baked cake cooling before frosting."][/caption]
Once the cake has cooled, we’re going to make a peanut butter frosting for it, maybe even chocolate peanut butter, I’ll see how the Little Miss feels about that idea.
We’ve been indulging in other healthy luxuries today. I made my whole foods version of coleslaw by shredding a green cabbage and dressing it with the juice of one lemon and a few shots of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which I then let marinate for three hours. It is so tasty, even my daughter loves it. And, to avoid waste, I took the squeezed lemon halves and dropped them into a big pitcher of filtered water and let that cold steep while the coleslaw was marinating. Now we’re sipping lemon water over ice with a garnish of basil sprigs for a nice summer cooler. I sometimes make this with limes and cucumber slices with basil or mint for garnish. It’s delicious and really refreshing.
I’m going to sit down and redesign my garden plan tonight. So exciting!
This morning I started the major project of revamping my container garden. It fell into terrible disrepair after my ruptured cornea and some personal troubles. Until recently I just didn’t care about my usually vibrant deck and now that I’m feeling better, I miss having that space full of useful plant life. My strawberries, green onions, and parsley survived my rampant neglect, but everything else went the way of the dodo but this does give me the opportunity to correct some mistakes I made the first time around and hopefully to revamp my containers for more efficiency. I would love to create a tiered box system along the back wall so that I could do a miniature version of crop rotation for optimal plant health and productivity. I’d also like to re-dedicate some of my half-barrels to naturally dwarfed fruit plants.
I need to reread my book about lasagne gardening for some inspiration. All I did today was mulch the strawberries and parsley with dead leaves that had blown onto the deck and the remains of the plants that died in the heat, then emptied some of the smaller, unproductive pots into a double-layered garbage bag. It started getting warmer out after about an hour, so we stopped there and maybe I’ll go back out after dinner to start refreshing the dirt with worm castings and “tea”. Sieving out the worms is going to be a project since I don’t have any screen to fashion a sifter
I finally finished the pillowcase dress a few days ago (pictures below); I think it turned out really well and I’d like to make a few more.
[caption id="attachment_295" align="aligncenter" width="215" caption="Hand-sewn pillowcase dress"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_296" align="aligncenter" width="289" caption="Hand-embroidered hem of pillowcase dress"][/caption]
Today I made homemade pesto, hard-boiled eggs, and rice pilaf. I have a lovely head of cabbage that I’m trying to find culinary inspiration for. I wish I had a fermenting crock, some homemade sauerkraut would be so good. Maybe a stir-fry or some coleslaw with an interesting twist.
All of this despite a serious bout of the lazies making me want to kick back and do very little.
After going through my daughter’s clothing while cleaning her room, I realized that we were giving over half of it to the thrift stores because she has grown so much over the summer. I plan to do some more sewing for her but the need for pants and shirts was truly more than I could sew since I’m still learning machine sewing. Then I remembered that I had a coupon for Value Village that gave me $50 off of a $100 purchase. That’s a deal, especially considering that I can usually buy at least three times as much children’s clothing at a thrift store than I can at a chain department store for the same amount of money. Today was no exception, I was able to buy several pairs of pants, tops, and an insulated vest for her – every piece of it from high quality labels. Now all she needs are school supplies, a winter coat, and maybe a pair of gym shoes to be school-ready.
I was also able to buy a few lightweight tops and a skirt for myself, two large pieces of fabric (one a light flannel perfect for lining winter clothes or patch quilting, the other a medium-weight stretch knit for pajamas, shirts, or sports wear), and some books for my daughter and I. And we got all of that for $60. I wonder how much non-thrifty parents spend on their children’s school wardrobes each year. I really have no idea because it’s so rare for me to buy something that isn’t secondhand or on sale. I tend to shop ahead, too, buying clothes out of season and a bit larger than she currently wears so that she can grow into them in the right season. About the only things I buy new for her are socks, underwear, shoes, and coats – but even those I tend to buy on sale whenever possible. I try not to pay full retail price for anything if I can help it.
Still working away at the pillowcase dress. I might cheat and use strips of fusible bonding material to attach the hem decoration instead of stitching so that she can wear it sooner than not. The weather is quite hot here and I know she’d be comfortable in her cool, cotton pillowcase dress. I just need to finish the second bias tape ribbon tie.
I also had a chance to stop at a fabric store to pick up some machine thread for future projects. I had a 20% off an entire purchase coupon (I’m willing to sign up for newsletters if they yield such bargains) so I was able to save $13.00 on six large spools of thread, more tailor’s pencils (including a pencil that marks on dark fabrics, a decorative iron-on for a blank t-shirt my daughter has, a remnant of polar fleece that is large enough to make a hat, vest, and scarf, maybe even some mittens for my daughter, and an ironing mat since I have yet to figure out where I could hang an ironing board around here without it being in the way.
If I finish the dress tomorrow, I may spend some time cutting pieces for the capri pants and tank top pattern I have for my daughter. I forgot to buy lining fabric at the craft store because I was a bit bedraggled from heat and hunger or I’d start in on the vest and shorts set she’s in love with. I’ve never tried making a lined garment before; I think it will be an interesting challenge. I hope to keep improving my sewing skills because my daughter is eager to learn as well and I would love to teach her and learn more with her. She and I need to work at our knitting skills some more, too, we’re at about the same level there still.
Tomorrow is about cooking and laundry. But tonight is about snuggling, sewing, and watching movies with a bowl of air-popped popcorn together.