Friday, April 30, 2010

Apron Finished

I finally finished up the Kaleidoscope apron that I talked about earlier. It was an interesting project, and even though I used the corrected pattern and directions, I still had to fiddle with the project a lot to get it right. I am not sure if some of this came from my using the opaque projector for the first time or not. I would say that if I was to do this project over again, I would make sure that the image I was copying using the opaque projector was small enough to fit into the 3.5 inch viewer. Moving it around an image was rather challenging and involved a lot of patience. If it were not for the small size of the projector, I would go and buy an old overhead projector instead due to its convenient image projection size. They are just so large to store in our small space. I really liked how the project turned out though. The pin tucks on the obi like top piece are a wonderful design touch. I also feel like this apron hides any tummy that I am currently trying to battle. While I would not say that this project was particularly challenging, I would say that it is an intermediate project as I had to play around with enlarging the pattern as well as deciding how large to make the side seams since there were no indications in the pattern directions. I ended up doing them twice because the first time I made them too short and the red part of the apron did not fit the black top. I still have to add buttons to the ties. That is going to be something reserved for later today as I would like to find four matching buttons out of the button boxes, no small feat to be sure. This project was in keeping with working out of the stash, so the fabrics were from the box of stashed pieces. That means I would love to use buttons from the random button box to have a total stash buster success! I even used up black cone thread ends from the serger to sew it up!

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a really fun day. I received these wonderful flowers from one of my best friends. They arrived just as I was getting ready to go out to my big birthday dinner. Dan took me to Fleur de Lys in San Francisco. It was a wonderful meal. I will review it in more detail Monday once I get my pictures off the phones. Needless to say, I enjoyed myself. I also feel the need to take a long walk around the neighborhood to burn off some of those calories.

I also got some awesomely thoughtful presents from Dan. He went back to the antique store and picked up one of the cake stands that I really liked. While it has a distinctive lean, I still love it. I want to make a cake right away to use it, but I have to wait until we finish up those rocky ledge bars. That recipe made just too many for two people. Next time I am definitely doing a half batch of those. I also received some books that I had wanted for some time. One of them is Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hays. I am always trying to define exactly what it is that I am to people, and hopefully this book will give me more things to tell people about what I do. I know that homemaking is not exactly the most glamorous to many people, but I surely enjoy it.

I also received two of Pete Reinhart's books, Artisan Breads Every Day and The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. I am looking forward to reading these books and studying up on the art of bread. I love making bread, and while I am not that great at it, I hope to improve with these two texts. Look for pictures and updates here as to my progress. I have already made the pretzels with Annie out of one of the books, and she served us a luscious loaf during a dinner party last weekend. I hope I can reach her level of bread baking through these new instructions.

So much inspiration and reading, but for now I am off to laundry and some sewing. I still have inspiring projects for both myself and Fabulous Pants to work on. I wish, like many people, that there were more hours in a day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Truly Content

Today is one of those days where I feel truly content with life. I am currently sitting on the couch watching wave after wave of gentle rain come into Oakland from over the bay. I love grey rainy days. I suppose I would be better fit for the Pacific Northwest because of this, but I think overall the sun is better for my mood. Too many rainy days like this in a row, and I get incredibly brooding and down to match the weather. I am reveling in these later than normal storms this season, and I am also thankful for the water. It will be appreciated later this summer when we get into our usual pattern of months without rain.

I bought myself these lilacs yesterday during my busy day out. Nothing speaks of spring to me quite like lilacs. I have a close association with their scent and spring, especially when their perfume and the smells of fresh rain mix. We had lilac bushes at our house where I grew up, and the best lilacs were a huge tree that had gone wild on the neighbor's yard behind our house. Mr. Hahn was not someone you wanted to cross, as he was a "get off my lawn" type of adult. As a child he scared me, but I always would try to creep close to his wild lilac bush that had turned into a tree. When I could, I would steal smells from the tree, but I would never dare take any of the flowers. I would, however beg my mom to cut me some off our little bushes. It was quite sad when the trees were taken out of the yard to be replaced by some other landscaping when I was a teen. That is why, when I saw these at a flower stand in the city yesterday I simply had to have them. I have been sitting next to them to be enveloped in their perfume. It brings me such wonderful happy thoughts and memories.

Yesterday I also broke out of the normal routine and started my exercise program again. I am back to square one. I ran and walked, but mostly walked, the stairs in the building. I am not sure how many times I went up and down, but it felt like a lot. I was going for time and did a whopping total of ten minutes. It is a pathetic start, but it is a start. I am hoping to add a minute or two tomorrow. Today I am going to do some yoga. My calves probably could not take stairs again today. I need some deep stretching.

I then headed into the city for a fun lunch with Dan. Then I was off to buy myself an opaque projector. I have always wanted one of these for those situations when you get a pattern in a book that needs to be enlarged. For all of those fun occasions, I have had to either try to enlarge it by hand or head off to the copy shop. While at the copy shops, I usually spent most of my time frustrated that I could not get the enlarger to work well. You would think after my short teaching career I would be good at this skill, but I am horrible. The opaque projector is supposed to fix all of these problems. I am going to try it out today since it is so nice and dark due to the rainstorms. I want to copy the Kaleidoscope Apron that was posted to Etsy's Storque a while ago. Luckily I waited to work on this project because in going back to that posting I found out there were pattern and direction problems with the copy supplied. If you are interested, the corrections can be found Lark Book's corrections page. Now I will hopefully be able to get the projector working and in correct ratios to enlarge the pattern the 400% necessary.

I also made cookies yesterday. Sweets are my definite downfall, and I have just come to the decision that I cannot cut them out, so I need to add exercise instead. These were a wonderfully rich cookie, so I don't need much of them to get my fill. Hopefully this makes them last. If you are looking for the recipe, it can be found at Martha Stewart's website They are called rocky ledge bars, and they really remind me of rocky road ice cream in cookie form. Definitely a delight for those with a sweet tooth.

In news of the balcony garden, my whining about wanting more new plants to show up must have worked. There are a ton of radish shoots that have pushed through. I also have spotted a beet shoot and a few red sails lettuce shoots. The green onions, pansies, and herbs that I planted have yet to do anything. I am going to try both patience and pleading again. I am not sure what worked last time, but I would like to think my anticipation somehow spurred Mother Nature into giving me some more instant gratification. Well off to enjoy this rainy day with some pattern copying, sewing, and tea!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Garden Update

Last weekend I finished up planing the balcony garden, and this weekend I am already saw dividends paid out. These are some small radishes that have pushed their way up through the dirt just yesterday. They are looking really healthy, and I hope to have some good, full radishes this year. Last year's were very small and also not all that round. I always love the crimson color of radishes, and their early clover like foliage is also a favorite of mine. None of the other seeds I planted a week ago have appeared. I still am awaiting action from cilantro, parsley, scallions, beets, and lettuce. Hopefully I will see some new shoots pushing through the dirt in those containers. I know that in gardening you must have patience, and that patience is a virtue, but I would love to see some results now.

The peas seem to be rather happy, and while they are not as tall as I thought they were going to get, they have already flowered. I will have to settle for peas from the farmer's market for now as these are just in the pretty stage and not in the food stage. The beans have just stalled, and I have no idea why or what to do. My speculation is that thing have been so chilly, especially over night, and also so wet with all the late season rain, that the beans are just not happy. Two weeks ago, I took out some of the rather sad plants that were never going to make it and replaced them with new seeds and inoculate. I have not seen any action from those seeds either, but they are also no where near their usual incubation time. I am just hoping that the rain that is going to come this week is not too soaking, so the soil can finally dry out.

I have to say that one of the things I am most proud of this year is my from seed tomato plants. I usually bought my tomatoes in ready to plant seedling form. I just never really wanted to try my hand at starting from seed until this year. My father, mother, and grandmother are phenomenal gardeners. My dad's tomato starts are so good, he had to have extra every year to give to the people he worked with. They were in high demand. I was so excited to see my tomatoes grow up to be this big. I did baby them quite a bit at the beginning, especially due to the windy conditions on the balcony. It was hard to let them go. I finally cut them loose, though, and have quit taking them indoors whenever I thought the wind was too much. They are now on their own.The other plants that I have recently cut loose are my peppers. Last year the pepper plant I bought never got very big, and these are almost as big as the plant I bought last year, only these were more from seed plants. I should have been a bit more vigilant with them as they lost a few leaves in some of the wind storms we have had lately. I hope that they recover the loss. After looking at them this weekend, they seem to be growing and not too bothered by the leaf loss.

The zucchini and cucumbers that I started from scratch are doing okay. One of the zucchini plants has many blooms, but they seem to be missing the interior structures of the flowers for the making of the vegetables. Also, all of the flowers that have opened have appeared to be female flowers only, so even if the plant structures were in place, there would be no way for me to fertilize them. I also am thinking that the cucumber plant is not going to make it. Recently it has been turning brown, and it also tried to bloom with a very small flower that fell off quite early on. The other cucumber seeds I tried to start did not make it, so I direct seeded another plant into the pot. It has also not shown through the dirt yet either. Another place where time will tell and the patience that I need to have is wearing thin. I want to see something soon.

The lemon tree is still kicking around. I am worried about it as the leaves are still dropping off of the tree at a somewhat alarming rate for me. I tried some fertilizer this past weekend, so I will have to see if that helps. I also keep spraying for the two types of pests that it may have. I really hope that the spider mites and potential scale are eradicated soon. I really enjoy the lemon tree and hope that the food does the trick. I know that it does not get nearly enough sun during the winter and late fall months. I am thinking about wintering it indoors in Dan's office this winter, so it can get more sun than it would on the balcony alone. Hopefully Dan and I can learn to tolerate the moths that come out of the soil. We were unable to do that last winter, but knowing the potential harm to the lemon tree, perhaps we can get over it this time. That, however is a long way off.

Today I am hoping to kick back into gear with getting into shape again. Since the move from the old apartment building, there has been little exercise for me. The current place we live does not have a place to exercise, so I am going to try running the stair cases. At least, I am going to try walking them today. I am also hoping to finish the deep cleaning of the kitchen. I need to get all the dust off of the top of the cabinets and wipe down the rest of the cabinet facings that I did not get to last week. There are also some belts that I am working on getting to the finished stage. Soon... I know I keep saying that, but soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Personal Projects Completed

It is always nice to get some personal projects completed in a somewhat timely manner. Usually I start a personal project and kick it around for a few months while I work on things for other people or Fabulous Pants. This, however, seemed to defy the odds. I guess part of it was that I really have loved this particular fabric for a long time. I bought it when Dan and I were trying to see if we should move out to California from Illinois. I purchased this wonderful piece of batik at a fabric shop and carried it home with me. It was a well traveled piece of cloth as it came back to California when we moved, still uncut. Packed away, I had forgotten about it for at least three years until a recent dig through my stash for the tiny little dresses project.

This particular piece of fabric was a little over a yard and a half in length. It consisted of two different patterns. One is the darker background with the blue and green flower motif that you see in this choli. It made up a third of the total cloth piece. The other motif is the lighter color for the background with the darker tan on top along with the blue and green flowers and vines. I loved the entire piece of fabric, but the darker tan section seemed to really want to be turned into something beautiful.

It took me the good part of an afternoon playing with the pieces of the pattern before I found a way to get it all harmoniously arranged in the small section of the fabric I had to work with. I then let it sit and marinate for a while. I was too intimidated to cut into it. I did not want to mar the fabric and find that I miscalculated somewhere, leaving out a piece for instance, to only find that I could not complete the project. The bad part of working with old stashed away fabrics like this is the small margin of error. If you miss the mark, there is no running out for a new section of fabric. It does not exist at a store any longer.

Once the project was fully finished yesterday, I realized just how much I love what I did with that small section of that beautiful fabric. I think my favorite thing I achieved is the row of roses that run down the back side of the choli as well as the cuffs of the sleeves. The lining of the choli is made out of scraps of muslin from the first thing I ever sewed, a peasant top for an outfit for my first events in Belegarth. It was a full circle moment for me being able to use that fabric from my first project and integrate it into a project that I put together so well, including splicing the bottom band together out of the sides of the original piece of fabric.

Seeing at it is Earth Day today, I wanted to recommend a great program that I watched last night. It was an American Experience episode called Earth Days. It was a great program and was also a really interesting look at how the observance of Earth Day began. I am already a big fan of American Experience, and this was yet another winner. I thought I would add this picture of last night's sunset with this recommendation for viewing today. The picture does not do the actual sunset justice. The colors were much deeper and darker, and the reds were more fiery. I never can seem to get a good photograph of sunsets like this. I guess that is what your memory is for. Happy Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Canning Projects

The last few days have been filled with spring cleaning and the beginning of a new canning season. It all kicked off on Monday with a trip out to Brentwood for a canning and baking session with Annie. We have both been busy, and she is currently wrapped up in research and moving plans, so the girl day was just what we both needed. We worked on the strawberry and rhubarb jam that is pictured here. It was a recipe that called for pectin, and while no longer my favorite jam method, it was nice to do a quick batch over the long cook method. I have to say, though, that I enjoy the flavor of a cooked to the jelly point jam over the commercial pectin flavors. I also like the looser texture of the jam over the pectin. I feel that the powdered pectin makes a jam that is a bit too stiff.

We also worked on some pickled asparagus. It was pretty easy after doing the dill pickles last year. The method is pretty easy, and our skill at properly packing jars has increased immensely. Seven pounds of asparagus is quite a bit, but cooked down into six pint jars. We pickled the spears with some green and red pepper, jalapeno, and garlic as well as dill and mustard seed. I am wondering how these are going to taste, but I have to wait for a month before I can find out. Pickling takes time, and I would like to make sure they are mellowed and fully pickled through before I try them. I am not sure how to use them other than adding to a salad or in a Bloody Mary or eating straight from the jar, so any suggestions for cooking with these would be welcome.

Yesterday, Annie came over to work on some sewing lessons, as it was too rainy for her to check traps. It was fun getting together two days in a row to work on things. After she left, I took to canning up some oranges that I bought on Friday. I made an orange dessert sauce. I sliced the oranges up as thin as I could on the mandolin, and then they were heated through in a syrup of water, sugar, Grand Marnier, and white wine that was spiced with cinnamon sticks and cloves. I got a bit gun shy after seven oranges were cut out of the nine that the recipe called for, so I quit early. That was a bit of a mistake as I would have been at the called for eight half pints. Instead, I canned up the remaining syrup in the empty two half pints. I figure I can boil them down into a glaze for an angel food or pound cake sometime for a quick dessert. The orange slices can be used for cake, or as my recipe suggests, for an ice cream topping. They turned out a little more yellow than I expected, but I figure it is more of the syrup's doing that than the oranges themselves.

All in all, it has been a busy last few days. I am looking forward to finally getting to sit down and finish off that personal choli. There is so little left to do that it is kind of embarrassing that it is not done yet. Then I am going to work on the new fabrics I have gotten in to make up a prototype of the new products. Hopefully I can round out the day with some deep kitchen cleaning. It isn't that I want to do it necessarily, but it has been put off for too long and just needs to get done. Right now though, the rainy day outside is screaming for some hot tea and sewing at the machines.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Hairfalls - Lime Green and Black

After long last, I am finished with the lime green and black hairfalls. I have been slowly working on them since October, and recently found them again in the yarn drawer. I got them out and began working on finishing them while watching movies and television over the past few evenings. The are now up for sale in the Etsy Shop. They are a really fun set, and one of my most full sets that I have ever made. A total of one-hundred strands of braids are in the pair. I am thinking about making one-hundred per pair a goal of mine from here on out. It seems like they are fuller than the average pair and look spectacular. They looked so good that I have already started a new pair to work on, a short set in red tones and black accents. I find them quite calming to work on while spending time watching my favorite shows.

Finding this lost project and finishing it up makes me want to finish up the belts that have been languishing in the shop for a while. I want to dig into the new products and fabrics I just bought so bad, but I think that finishing up the belts should be a priority. Part of me wonders if I drag my feet on these because secretly I want them to stay here forever. Perhaps deep down I want them to be my own and to not actually sell them. I am going to try to satiate this need for something of my own by finishing up a personal choli then setting to work on finishing up a belt today. After yesterday's house cleaning craziness, I want to sit at the machine and wind down. Perhaps the deep clean of the kitchen can wait until tonight or tomorrow. Crafting inspiration is here, and I intend to capitalize on it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Having Your Cake...

This weekend was all about having my cake and eating it too. I wanted a pretty quiet and domestic centered weekend, and I was able to achieve it for the majority of the time. Saturday was filled with a walk around the vast neighborhood to pick up some needed things and luxuries from the local stores. We picked up coffee and mustard, kitchen supplies from the commercial kitchen supply store, and some Nutella for crepes. We worked on various hobby projects and watched some television that we had on the dvr.

One of my most favorite things to do on days like this is look around antique stores. I am not a fan of the nicely organized ones with all hand picked items. I like ones that are kind of a jumble of many different things with completely no organization to them. It is fun to scan around like you are in a gigantic "I spy" game come to life and find something truly great that you want to take home with you. We headed out to my favorite place for this as I am currently on the hunt for a great cake stand. I found quite a few in different places tucked away for safe keeping, hopefully, until such a time as I can buy one. Dan had his eyes on a particular coffee set that seems to have finally found a home. He was a little disappointed. I did, however, help out with cheering him up. I found a basket of various glass percolator tops from long forgotten coffee pots. I have an odd love for percolated coffee, even though I know it is not the best way to make coffee, nor is it considered the best tasting by coffee aficionados. When we got married, we registered for the coffee percolator, but we were sad to find, at the time, that there were no glass domed ones. We received our somewhat boring plastic knob one and thought that someday we would get a replacement. While I do have my now beloved 1940's Silex glass domed lid for the stove top, the electric one is our go to coffee pot. We decided to take on a few of the orphaned tops and modify our current percolator. After quite a few drill bits being destroyed from our starter bit set, we called it a night. The next day, new bits and a specialty bit later, we had a perfectly modified and working glass topped percolator!

During the Sunday hardware store run in the rain, I decided to go into the garden center for a tomato cage for the now cage-less plant, I found a very flooded rosemary plant to take the place of my now rather defunct one. While I love the thought of trying to nurse the old plant back, it is rather deflating to look out the window and see the brown evergreen there with just a few green spots on a couple of branches. I think I am ready to let it go and replace, so I rescued this plant from the drips through the canopy.

After completing the coffee project, it was time for a good cleaning of the kitchen and some baking. I decided to make the yellow cake that I had always wanted to make out of my Cook's magazine. I had been reminded of it while watching America's Test Kitchen the day before. It turned out really well. While my attempt at the frosting was a bit disastrous due to my butter being too warm, it still tasted great despite the off texture. I have to admit that I am becoming more and more a convert to from scratch cakes. Although my Devil's food attempt a few weeks ago was not so great, the cake was really dense, this one was rather light and delightful in flavor. It also does not take that much longer to make a cake from scratch as it does from the box. I also like the fact that I can make my mini cakes for the two of us, so we do not have a big cake knocking around for a week getting stale as we try to responsibly eat it with proper portions. With a cake mix, this becomes less possible as you have to halve eggs, which is never an easy thing to do. While I think the cake would have looked prettier on a cake stand, it tasted quite good on its own. I guess I will have to see what my up coming birthday yields for cake stands, but overall this weekend I was quite able to have my cake and eat it too!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pineapple Sauce

Yesterday I somehow managed to get up early and get down to work on some projects before heading into the city for tutoring at 826 and dance class at Fat Chance. One of the projects I got finished was making a pineapple sauce out of the remaining pineapple from our Easter brunch. One thing that I have always loved is banana splits. My Grandma always made them for me when I would stay over at her house during the summers. They were one of my favorites next to her incredible chocolate malts! I decided recently after looking at the toxic yellow offerings for pineapple topping at the grocery store that I should try to make my own. Luckily I had some recipe guidance to go off, and after a long 30 minutes of stirring the mix at a boil. I had three half pints of pineapple sauce to my name. I am going to have to resist opening them until I get the strawberry sauce made later this spring or early summer when the strawberries are better. Needless to say, the ice cream maker is going to be running full tilt once the sauces are in place and bananas will be a weekly purchase.

I also have been slowly finishing up a set of long lime and black hairfalls. I have been kicking these around for a while now and wanted to finish them up. They should be completed soon, and I hope to get them listed in the Fabulous Pants shop early next week. While my falls still pale in comparison with those of Bastet, I try my best to live up to her craftsmanship and style. I also received my fabric shipment. The fabrics are even better than I thought! I cannot wait to dig into them on Monday. I may have to start on the weekend though since they are just so stunning. Right now my floor is filled with a beautiful piece of batik from Indonesia from which I am making a personal choli. There are two distinct sections to the fabric, and I would like a choli out of both the dark and the light section. The light section is a good three fourths of the fabric piece, and the dark section is the other fourth. It has taken a long afternoon of fiddling with the pattern pieces, but I think I finally have a plan that I can agree with that uses this small piece the most efficient. In other words, the pieces actually fit. I hope to get that mostly cut and ready to go as well as working on learning some new skills on the serger today. I am trying to do the "medicine" of learning in between the "sugar" of projects I want to work on. Hopefully it motivates me to take this serger task on full force this time.

I am planning a quiet weekend at home working on personal projects and relaxing a bit. Things have been such a whirlwind lately that I think a weekend spent stitching on a project or braiding some more falls would be a welcomed change. While I love being social with friends and going out on the town, I am truly a homebody at heart. I think I need to honor that a bit more this weekend and avoid the lure of more high impact social activities. I hope you all have a great weekend whatever the tone you decide to take is!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tiny Little Dresses

Lately the sewing machines have been busy working on my niece Claudia's birthday presents. While I worked hard, I yet again underestimated this project. It was a fun project, and I used a pattern from Butterick for the clothes and dolls. I, however, did not follow the directions for making the dolls from this pattern. They wanted you to use buckram for the dolls and clothes, and I just did not feel like getting involved with buckram again so soon after the bra project. I instead just used heavy duty interfacing as much as I could to make the dolls and clothes stiff like the paper dolls they emulate. I loved putting all the outfits together from past costumes of my own. There are pieces from my Belegarth outfits as well as many of my dance costumes on those cute little dresses. In keeping with the theme of using up things from my stash of left over fabrics, the only thing I purchased for this was the jewels for the crowns and the fabric for the Dorthy style dress. That one was too cute to not do, so I had to go and buy some blue and white checked fabric.

The dolls have stands to make them stand up, and the clothes attach to hook and loop tape that is located on both the outfits and the back sides of the dolls. The only thing I was not too happy about what how the one doll's face turned out. The lighter felt was less dense, so the markers bled a bit more than I liked. That resulted in me needing to "even out" the lines which meant a more heavy eyeliner and larger lips than I had planned. I hope that she enjoys them as much as I enjoyed digging through the stash and finding beloved fabrics to use and pass on in this way. Each one let me reminisce about past sewing projects and just how far my skills have come.

Today I am awaiting the fabric shipment that I have made for Fabulous Pants I am going to have some new items in the shop hopefully in the next few weeks. I am embarking on a new product line, so wish me luck and check back here for details. Now, I am off to do some personal sewing. I am getting tired of the same old cholis that I wear to class. I think it is time that I whipped up some new ones! Personal sewing can be so fun! Also, it helps to keep me occupied enough that I will not be waiting by the door for the post to drop off my hopefully large box of cloth!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010 Census

I took the 2010 Census today... no not the government one but the canning one! I went through the pantry and took a count of all the things I still have and how many empty jars I currently have on stock. I have a listing of all that I want to make this year, but I also wanted to make sure that I was running low on the things on that list. There would be nothing worse than to glut myself, for example, with one kind of jam. Then you feel bound to eat only that kind for a long time to decrease the over run of that particular product. It makes for a less enjoyable canning experience. I found that overall we have been pretty evenly eating all of the jams and canned items that I made from the canning sessions last year. We also have not totally run out of any flavors yet either! This makes me extremely happy about my moderation. Some flavors, as we all know, are simply more yummy than other ones. We all have our favorites, and one of mine was definitely the pear and pinot noir jam! That is hanging in there with one half pint left!

Overall, I think that I made good estimations for the amount that I needed for us to enjoy and gift to other people. There are still some recipes that I would like to perfect or start over with all together, i.e. that not so successful salsa. I am running surprisingly lower than I thought on things like tomatoes, so I should make sure to can a few extra pints of those. (I only have two left until the tomato season.)I also learned that I am short on jars for this year. I will have to buy a flat or two to accommodate all the new items I will be canning this year rather than buying from the store. I also have to get some replacements for all the gifted jars that will not return home for reuse. I am pretty pleased at our restraint and good planning for how much I needed to put up. Hopefully this year will be just as well thought out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Wrap-Up

This spring has been incredibly busy for me for some reason that I cannot put a finger on. I am working on lots of abstract things right now, business plans, dance practices, and design work. Needless to say there are not many concrete items that I can hold onto to show all that I am working on things. It makes it a bit tough. I did take some time out this week and weekend to enjoy myself and stop working on so many things. I went out for a wonderful lunch with a friend on Thursday. It spilled well into the evening. Friday we went to see a play, and Saturday was an improv show for another friend. Both were quite divergent from each other, but both were so fun. It is always nice to see live performances.

I did manage to pull off a good brunch for Dan and I on Easter morning. I made homemade hot cross buns and a fresh fruit salad. Dan made a wonderful omelet. We got out the wedding china and silver and ate as though we were at a restaurant. It was rather fun with all the parts of the coffee service out and some new silver acquisitions being present to complete certain elements of the "fine dining" experience. Dinner was a glazed ham and of course some Deviled eggs from the hard boiled ones we dyed. It was a fun and relaxed day spent with each other in front of the television with movies. Today I am working on finishing up that now very late birthday gift.... speaking of which... I see the sewing machine calling now!