Living The Sweet Life: 10/1/09 - 11/1/09

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vintage Dress Heaven

There has been a huge mistake because I am living in the wrong era.

It's just not fair.
You can find glorious Vintage dresses, suits and more at
the Etsy Store Calendar Girl Clothing

I love, love, LOVE this dress.
Simple Elegance

Friday, October 30, 2009

Julia Child, Beef Bourginon

I couldn't find a pin up of Julia Child so I had to go with this picture of her with her dead duck. I loved the movie Julie and Julia. It was so cute. The first thing I wanted to do after watching it was move to Paris.  Since that wasn't in the cards I decided to do some cooking. I wanted to make Julia's version of Beef Bourginon.  They talked about how great it was in the movie. It would be served for family dinner on Sunday night. In the movie this recipe sounded like something that you whipped together and let cook for hours and it would be ready to serve. I started the "boof" as we call it here at about 1:00 in the afternoon and I was going strong peeling this or sauteing that until almost 5:00 pm.

I love Julia Child, she's a tell it like it is kinda gal.  If she says those mushrooms are going to sweat, then dry, then leak, then brown in ten minutes, that's exactly what's going to happen. Just for the record, I have never cut my mushrooms the way she suggested and mine have never sauteed as beautifully as her technique.  Her first book, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking is a classic and has been tested, and you can tell because her directions are accurate down to the minute. So I used the recipe right out of her book without any changes.

Yes, that is in fact bacon fat and rind - that's what you brown the meat in. It's the French that people always say are thin - right?

Saute pearl onions and a batch of mushrooms.
They're in butter and olive oil of course, that's what you do
when you're pretending to be French.

Bake that "boof" in wine for a few hours, add your pearl
onions and perfectly sauteed mushrooms and there you have it.
It was wonderful with fresh baked buns.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vintage Aprons To Sew

When I see a pattern for Vintage Aprons like this one, I think of my friend Mary Mulari. She was designing patterns for aprons way before anyone was. I think they're the perfect gift. 

I wish someone would make me some cute aprons.  They're fast, you can personalize the fabric and what cook doesn't love to have a great apron. 

Last Christmas I made my Mom a new one from the Mary Mulari Collection called the Church Ladies' Apron - she loves it because it's reversible and looks vintage.  I made another one called The Clothes Pin Apron for a friend and was able to shorten it for her because she's all of 5' tall if that.  She was so happy to have an apron that didn't hit her mid thigh.   That's whats so great about sewing, you can make things that fit with simple adjustments. 

If you haven't seen the aprons Mary designs, you have to go and see them at Mary's Productions.

These are the two I've used so far.
Both are reversible and use only 1 yard of fabric for each side.

Brain Cupcakes

Spencer is going to a Halloween party on Saturday. We are making "Brain" cupcakes for him to take to the party. They're definitely not what I gravitate towards in the cupcake department but he loved them and wants to the baking and decorating himself. I'm proud that he's got the same cupcake thing as me, just in a more manly way. We found black cupcake liners at Target in Bellingham so they're going to look awesome.

Surprisingly both of my boys are pretty good with a pastry bag since they've been doing Gingerbread Houses every Christmas since they were little. I will post actual pictures of Spencer's cupcakes when they're done but I want to share the link with you now because it's not too late for you to bake up a batch.

Picture and Idea From The One and Only Martha Stewart

I love you Martha, I don't care what anyone says!

This is how Spencer's cupcakes turned out.

He coloured the icing light pink so it would be more like brain.
That's my boy...he did an awesome job.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Best Hawaiian Fabric

This time last year, I had just gotten back from Hawaii. It's getting cold here and I'm reminiscing, wishing I was there. As much as I love to soak up the sun and enjoy the water, there were fabric shops on the island. I was on the hunt for some fabric to make the Amy Butler halter top to wear with my cargo pants. I love the pattern even though it called for way too much fabric, and you have make a muslin to take it in under the arms and also to curve the now straight ties, so your bust doesn't fall out - trust me if I had that problem, most ladies will have more of a problem.

The fabric store I visited Hawaiian Fabrics was wonderful. They had great vintage style cotton prints for only $5.95 yd. and poly/cottons for $4.95 yd. You could get understated wonderful prints that had that tropical feel that you really could wear here on the mainland in the summer. As soon as I walked in and saw all the bolts I got that really excited, overwhelmed feeling that you get in a really good fabric shop. They had prints for adults and kids, Oriental prints and even traditional coconut and shell buttons. This is the part where I ask what time they close. The selection was awesome and you could find all sorts of prints to love, in fact too many prints to love. Now I'm thinking about the baggage allowance on the airline or how much I could carry on in a big tote bag.

I have great news! They have a web site and the fabric is the same price there as it is in the store so you can buy right off of their web site. They have great photo's and they also do custom sewing for next to nothing. If you're visiting Hawaii you have to check it out, I know you'll love it! This is what I bought.

Old Time Hawaii, nice guys shirt.

For the halter to go with my Army Green cargo's.

This is for a ladies, simple, sleeveless, zip up the back dress.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Evolution of Underwear

I came across a short but sweet picture by picture narrative on The Evolution Of Underwear. I think you'll enjoy it.

It starts with the famous S-Shape silhouette of the 1900's and ends with the 2000's bra wardrobe.

Click the numbers 1 - 10 at the top of the page when you get there.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vintage Mother Of Pearl Buttons

Now that you're addicted to Etsy and have been up all night looking at Vintage Sewing Patterns, there's more...

In the drop down box select "Vintage". In the search box type "mother of pearl buttons".

I'm so sorry to do this to you but when you find something wonderful, sharing is the right thing to do!

The Lovely Image is from seller "Lynnaddison"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vintage Sewing Patterns

If I had a little girl, I would make her this coat about fifty times!

For a vast array of Vintage Patterns that you can buy,  head on over to Etsy - you will love, love, LOVE it!

Set yourself up with snacks and refreshements because you'll be there a while.

In the drop down box select "Vintage". In the search box type "sewing patterns".  Have fun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lace Cupcake

It's beautiful isn't it?

This would be perfect treat for tea time when you're sewing you're heirlooms.

We can call it "themed sewing" and
make it manditory.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Pint Sized Inspiration

I've learned something really great the last few months.  My son's girl Tanya decided she wanted to workout and drop a few pounds.  So at the beginning of summer we started working out together.  With her work schedule, we would meet up once a week on Monday's and do a run and work out.  She reminds me so much of me twenty years, ok (whatever) thirty years ago.  She just learned about calories - it was so fun watching her learn to read labels ... she thought that was the greatest thing.  There was some shock of course.  She has learned alot in the calorie department - and completely changed what they eat and how she cooks.  My son loves her cooking and even gets excited about oatmeal these days.  I guess I've been doing calories for so long that it's takes something really special for me to get excited - 6 cups of cheezies for 100 calories - would excite me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How To Cook A Turkey

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and for my American friends a great Columbus Day!  I thought this was cute considering the frenzy of cooking the perfect turkey dinner!

1.) Go buy a turkey.
2.) Have a glass of wine.
3.) Put turkey in the oven.
4.) Pour another glass and have a few sips.
5.) Set the degree at 375 ovens.
6.) Have a few more sips.
7.) Turk the bastey.

8.) Wine another glass of get .
9.) Ponder the meat thermometer .
10.) Sip yourself a pour of wine.
11.) Bake the wine for 4 hours.
12.) Take the oven out of the turkey.
13.) Floor the turkey up off of the pick.
14.) Turk the carvey.
15.) Get yourself and guest another wine of bottle.
16.) Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey.
17.) Bless the dinner and pass out.

I love the recipe for Turkey on Martha Stewart's web site.  I've used it about three or four times now.  I call it "Cheesecloth Turkey" ... she calls it "Perfect Roast Turkey".  Try it, I know you'll love it.  What's not to like about a bird basted with butter and wine?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts

This is a page out of a volume of The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences Book, Published in Scranton, PA, with a copyright of 1936. I have eight volumes and just love them.  They are on all sorts of sewing and were used as text books. This particular page is from the volume on Children's and Maternity Garments. I don't know about you, but my maternity body didn't look anything like these girls.

I don't know how many volumes are in the whole set but the ones I do have are:  Ribbon and Fabric Trimmings, Cutting and Fitting, Principles of Tailoring, Sewing For Profit, Dressmaking - Trimming - Finishing, Children's and Maternity Garments, Harmony in Dress, Tailored Garments and Decorative Stitches and Trimmings.

If you wanted to track them down I would think a search in google with the key words of  "Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences" would be a good place to start.

This is a sample page is from the volume on
Ribbon and Fabric Trimmings.
This would be the perfect type of rose to trim
The Garter I wrote about in September

Yoga - Down Dog

Well I've been waiting all summer to get back into yoga. Between an injury and switching gyms it wasn't until now that I could get back at it. So at 6:15 this morning I kept the promise I made to myself - and it felt great. That said, my "down dog" isn't what it used to be. A few more weeks and I'll be all stretchy and zen like. I'm expecting great things this month as you know.

I love the yoga teacher, she's such a tiny little thing, she likes pink and wears those plastic crocks, in pink of course. She showed up with her pink yoga bag I made her last year. She had a sad bag from a very famous yoga clothing company that she couldn't even get her mat into. It didn't matter how tight you rolled that mat, it was not going into that bag/tube without a fight. Needless to say, being the sewing gal that I am, I saw the problem, figured out a solution (a zipper) and surprised her the next week with a beautiful pink Chinese brocade bag with a zipper! Us sewing girls can do anything we put our mind to! We are a special breed. So, another gal (Monique) in our class saw that bag, and she loved it - so I made her one too! In fact the girls in the yoga classes think I should start a little yoga bag business ... I told them I appreciated their confidence, but I have my hands full with another little business that I'm running at the moment.

This is the bag I made for Monique, she is one of those hippie birkenstock types, so I got some Indian fabric with a gold border print for hers. She loved it. I also made one for Spencer, his print was army camouflage and a big hit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Booty Boot Camp

Summer is over and I'm not travelling again on business until the new year. The health and fitness thing has been up and down. I've been doing it but haven't really been "into" it. So, now is the time to come up with a plan on that front.

The October Plan:

Eat healthy and count calories - 1500 a day is healthy. (No Indian or Italian food!)

Finally get back into yoga, Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Run (30 minutes) and weight train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Run with Spencer on Saturday mornings to help him work up to running his 1 mile for gym.

I'm hoping having this is print, will help with the process. All the self help books tell you to write your goals down. I didn't mention my true feelings about running, because I don't want to jinx myself! I'm excited for Monday, I'll keep you posted on the ups and downs...because I know they will be coming!

My Dream Car

I could not believe my eyes when I saw this - I'm doing the happy dance! It's little, it's pink, it's a convertible and it's "going green". It's perfect for running down to "7-11" for a dozen eggs and pound of butter. It's so cute I think I would just drive around town and look at my reflection in windows. I'm not quite sure how I would make it work at Costco though - two or three trips maybe? This would look awesome parked next to my bra planter.