Saturday, June 27, 2015

Popping in, Wearing Aprons

Tonight my youngest sister and I are trying a new-to-us recipe (thanks to Pinterest) using some all-natural bison that she bought. We both donned aprons and then it was my idea to get a picture to post for the blog. So yes, I really do wear aprons, not just make and sell them. :)

I'm wearing my favorite vintage original "Ethel" apron, and Molly is wearing a vintage original "Gracie" apron (same as the Grace style, but for ladies who wear an extra small/small).

Yay for sisters who like to cook with you and is catching onto the idea of wearing vintage aprons. ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Their Last Name is Rose

This year was the year for planting roses, thanks to my local greenhouse having fantastic sales and membercard savings. Having fallen in love with English-bred roses from David Austin, I chose different varieties and colors. They deserved to be properly introduced and I have two pictures of each variety with a link for each one for more details if you wish to know more about them.

"...She wanted a quiet place where she could be alone when she wanted to be; to listen to the wind telling her strange tales, or hold the big spotted shell that murmured of the sea to her ear, or talk to the roses in the garden.” ~ L.M. Montgomery

"Thou visitest the earth and waterest it…Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof." ~Psalm 65:9,10

“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.” ~L. M. Montgomery

This is my first David Austin rose that I bought last year, but I couldn't post pictures of all the others and leave this one out. :)

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." ~Anne Frank

Friday, June 05, 2015

Back in the Sewing Room (with some Humble Pie)

Now that the vegetable garden is in, the flower beds are finished, and three new English roses found their way into my bench garden, I've had some time for sewing. I finished up another apron this week and will hopefully finish up a dress for my mom before Sunday. Once that is completed, I'm anxious to start on some vintage dresses from patterns that I bought last year. The plan is to make them for the shop, but I sort of fell in love with the designs and fabrics as I was cutting them out. We'll see.

With being home for the summer, I've been looking around for a summer job and the other day a lady from church told me of the local bridal shop that she works for and how they were looking for another seamstress. It sounded a bit daunting, but I got brave and went in to talk to the store owner. The conversation went like this (after introductions):

Owner: You are going to have to be extremely OCD with sewing, because brides can be super finicky about seams that are unseen. Every seam you sew will have to be checked by me for awhile.
Church friend: Oh, Cheri is a better seamstress than me. (She boosted my confidence when it was beginning to melt)
Owner: Can you do a roll hem?
Me: As in on a serger?
Owner: No, like this. (And then showed an example of a 1/8" hem on the edge of a satin wedding gown)
Me: Oh. No, I don't know how to do that.
Owner: Well, it's the one thing a seamstress must do if they work for me.
Owner: Have you done a bustle before?
(Me thinking dryly: never needed one before…haha!)

And then she proceeded on with other things, but it became rather clear that I am not skilled in areas needed to be a bridal seamstress/alteration person. It was humbling for me since I thought I knew how to do most things. Even though I've been mostly self-taught, I've been sewing for others and running a small online etsy shop for several years and while not perfect, 99.99% of my customers have been happy and have returned.

But it's all good. Some seamstresses are cut out to work in a bridal shop and some are for working in a small basement sewing room pulling out vintage patterns, fabrics, and trims.

And I like it.

One of the vintage dresses that I intended to make last year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Queen Anne's Lace


The delicateness and old fashioned romance of Queen Anne's Lace takes me back to my childhood days of when it grew prevalently alongside the road or when I'd be stuck playing dolls with my friend while my older sister and her best friend would go out into the woods and neighboring fields to gather armfuls of wildflowers. (My friend and I were to young to go out rambling by ourselves.)

There is a bright and cheery green dotted swiss fabric on my sewing table that is waiting to be made up into an apron. I just need to look through my laces to find just the right piece to embellish the fabric to remind the wearer of the beauty of Queen Anne's Lace. Once it's sewn up, it will be placed into my poor neglected etsy shop.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cranberry Orange Scones

You know how over the years you collect recipes, but you have no clue where it came from, how you found it, or who shared it? Such is the case with a few recipes in my recipe binder that I've printed off from websites and blogs.

I've had this recipe for a long time, but never made it up until last weekend when I was in the mood for scones. Actually, I was hungry for scones all semester, but never made any on my Friday night baking whims. My roommate was most likely entertained by my sudden creative bursts in the kitchen on the weekends.

So today on the blog I present you with the recipe I used (but tweaked from the original). If you have something similar and know of a source, I'd be more than happy to revise this blog post and give credit where credit is due. The scones are soft and moist, and are not heavy or dense. Neither are they dry and crumbly. Perfection to me, but I know everyone has different scone preferences.

Cranberry Orange Scones

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
2 1/2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
6 T. of cold butter
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 t. freshly grated orange zest
1 large egg
1/3 c. heavy cream

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender/cutter and then finish off with pinching the remaining pieces of butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in cranberries and orange zest.

In a small bowl, beat together egg and cream. Add to the flour mixture; stir gently until everything comes together and dough is somewhat sticky. My dough seemed a bit to firm so I poured in a few tablespoons of almond milk from the fridge, but any milk or more cream would certainly work.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and transfer to a floured surface. Shape and pat down dough into imperfect circular shapes and cut it into 4 wedges. Place each triangle close by the others in a circular fashion onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake @ 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden.

While baking, prepare the Orange Glaze:

1 1/2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice.
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. freshly grated orange zest

Mix together, and add enough sugar to have a glaze to your liking. I poured in a bit more sugar in mine since it seemed a bit to thin. Scoop it into a plastic bag (if you don't have any fancy decorating gadgets) and cut off a corner to squeeze glaze onto scones.

They taste especially good if enjoyed with a cup of coffee and in the company of a sister or friend.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Spring Semester is Underway!

"We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; IT IS WHAT JESUS IS, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul." — Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Before the semester began, I found myself in a coffee shop downton and was able to do some reading and journaling. Sometimes it's good to "come away and rest" as you re-group and prepare for another semester.

So thankful for the soul-rest that only Christ can provide in the busyness of studying, practicing, quizzes, tests, and just general college life. While it certainly is satisying getting good grades and progressing in musical pursuits, true happiness is found in Christ and that is what I need to continually be reminded of.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Downton Breakfast

My last morning at home before I left for another college semester, I put together a Downton-inspired breakfast for my sisters and I. A friend of my sister's had given her a box of scone mix and a some orange marmalade prior to Christmas, and it was such a hit at our house that I picked up a box of scone mix at the store to make again. :) True, I suppose I could have just made my own like I usually do, but decided to splurge. :)

I liked how simple they were to put together (shape into balls, flatten them down, cut into fourths, and bake!) and they turned out perfectly.

Ahh, so yummy with orange marmalade, but I think any other jam or jelly would do when there is no marmalade to be had. If my gooseberry bush produces enough this summer, I'm thinking gooseberry jam would be perfectly delicious.

That morning we savored and sipped the English Rose tea that was one of my gifts for Christmas. It's a lovely floral and berry flavored tea. It's similar to Tazo's "Passion" tea, but the tea container is a great deal prettier. :)

I brought a scone box with me to the Carolina's and am thinking of doing a Downton breakfast for my roommate's birthday in the spring. She'll be 30, and it will be fun to do something for her that is up her alley.