Friday, September 19, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || One of My Favorite Photos

It's true, there was no Tuesday post this week. So don't worry, you didn't miss anything and now Friday has come around again.

Photography has been a hobby of mine off and on over the years. I do it mainly for the memories and not so much for the artistic side of it. Once in a while I will take a picture and it really surprises me how it turns out. It may not be vibrant and colorful, and it may not be perfectly in focus, but there's something that is slightly out of the ordinary. 
Almost being able to relate to a snail's perspective might be what I find out of the ordinary in this picture. They move so slowly and this one had already been traveling for quite some time. It was fun getting this shot. I almost walked past the tiny creature but saw it inching it's way along the sand with a long trail behind it so I put my camera low to the ground to capture the moment and the memory.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

-Cecil F. Alexander

Friday, September 12, 2014

Making Tea

A few years ago I used to have a blog about tea. We had an abundance of tea in one of the kitchen cabinets in a wide variety of flavors. I would make a cup of tea and then give a short review on it. I did some research on each tea I tried like where it originated, how it would traditionally be served, and the way the leaves were cut, etc. Needless to say, I got tired of drinking tea pretty quickly and found out that I can't stand berry flavored herbal tea. Blech!

 This post isn't about that though. This post is just an observation on the very basics of making tea.

You've made a cup of tea before, right? Maybe you're drinking one while reading this post. It's September 12th. Perhaps that's still a little early for tea drinking weather. At any rate, when the weather gets chilly nothing can top a warm cup of tea.

My heating method of choice is the microwave. I bought a mini kettle last year with the intention of boiling water on the stove top for my tea, but I was never patient enough for that. If I'm in a rush I'll put the teabag in before I put the water in the microwave and if I time I'll heat the water first and then watch the tea seep out of the bag as it brews to perfection.

Then you wait.

If I had to wait for water to boil, then for tea to cool, I probably will have gotten some milk and cookies in the meantime and not be thirsty anymore. But, here's the catch with waiting for tea to cool.

Tea only has a peak drinking time of about 10 minutes. This 10 minutes is never completely enjoyed because you can never catch a few of those elusive moments of temperature perfection either because you sipped to soon and then feel, but don't taste, the slightly cooler tea washing over your tongue only moments later or, you got too into a movie, conversation, work, etc. that you missed the final moment when the last few sips of your tea could have been thoroughly enjoyed and you could feel it's warmth radiate to your fingers and toes. Instead you get a bitter mouthful of cold watered down flavor of cow pasture.

So many things have peaks; foliage, songs, careers, life all of which should be through enjoyed.

I never any good at writing conclusions to English compositions and I'm just rambling now anyway. I hope you enjoyed the somewhat satirical post about making tea.

Please, if you're a tea drinker, let me know your favorite kind of tea! I still like to try new flavors now and then. My favorite is Trader Joe's Ginger Pear White Tea.

This is sassafras tea. Homemade from boiling tree roots picked from the yard.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Cables / Handmade Wardrobe Series: Blue and Yellow

Thank you VERY MUCH to those who voted last week! I love the input! It looks like outfit 2 was the favorite last week! I was pleasantly surprised!

One color combination that I have always liked is blue and yellow. A few years ago when my mom repainted the bathroom she also took down the yellow shower curtain which quickly made it's way into my fabric stash awaiting it's fate to be found in a plethora of pinterest patterns. 

It wasn't very long before I found a circle skirt pattern just perfect for the light, well draping fabric!  

I didn't add a zipper to this skirt, just an elastic waistband that is installed in a very funky way. I hadn't been sewing for very long prior to making this, so it's got a few quirks and  odds mistakes that just make it mine. The other major quirk besides the elastic is the very uneven hem. I just tell myself it gives the skirt a little more of a bohemian look.

1. For a casual look I paired it with my chambray shirt. I tried it tucked in with a wide belt but decided I liked it better untucked which looks more casual and is SO comfortable anyway. I put on my off white flats because I felt like any of my dark shoes would look odd with the rest of the very light colored outfit.

2. I dressed up the skirt with a work outfit. The yellows in the cowl neck tee I'm wearing aren't the same shade as the skirt, but the skirt still makes them stand out well without clashing and the royal blue cardigan is already one of my favorite pairings with this skirt! I put on the only high heeled sandals I own to add to the formal look. 

3. While trying on different combos I put together a third outfit with this skirt! 
You could say this outfit sort of kills two birds with one stone because I sewed the shirt too! I used Simplicity 1692, Vintage 1940s tops, top C. The 'making of' story behind this shirt will be in a later post. I think this particular outfit may be a new favorite of mine. But don't let that sway your vote! 

Sorry they're a little blurry this week. Especially the first set. My camera was just not into cooperating a couple of days ago! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || Audio Books and Crochet

After finishing thirty hours in three days between both jobs, I am finally relaxing listening to Heidi by Johanna Spyri and crocheting. Enjoying books this way has become one of my favorite pastimes recently. 

I love "reading" books that movies I have seen are based on. I am also currently reading, print version, An English Governess at the Siamese Court: Being Recollections of Six Years in the Royal Palace at Bangkok by Anna Harriette Leonowens. The autobiographical version of The King and I. My favorite part so far was finding out that when the king asked Anna how old she is she really answered that she's 150 years old! She writes a lot about the history of Siam as well as her own experiences in teaching the royal children and some of the king's wives. It's very interesting!

Crocheting Cables. I've got quite a bit more to do, but it should move along quickly. I'll post some more once everything is finished and hopefully there will be an etsy update too, :)

What are your favorite books that you've also seen the movie version of?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday Cables / Handmade Wardrobe Series: Stripes

Welcome to my new Handmade Wardrobe Series. Each week I'm going to pick an article of clothing that I have made and try to come up with at least 2 outfits for each then ask you, lovely readers, to pick which outfit you like better. Sound fun? Let's get started!

In the break room at work we have a "free bin" if you have something you don't want, clothes, jewelry, kitchenware, light bulbs...anything! can leave it in the free bin. I check it every now and then to see if there is something in there that I can restyle. Recently I found a brown/multi colored halter neck sundress with a smocked waist. I picked it up, looked it over and my brain said, "Ah! Skirt! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!" So I stuffed it in my tote, brought it home and let it sit, nicely folded, on my floor for a few weeks. 

When I finally go around to sewing all I did was cut off the fabric above the smocked waistband, fold the waist band over, and sew. I left about two inches open so I could put in the elastic that I had measure around my waist. I should mention here that the smocking was made with elastic thread, but it was very over stretched already. So, elastic in, ends sewn, slit sewn. Boom- skirt!

Now, what to wear it with. Sigh. This was challenging and part of the reason why I chose this piece for the first post in the series. I'm not too sure about either of these outfits. I may decide to narrow the skirt at some point to make it more pencily and not so flowy but that project is not on my radar right now, so I'm working with what I've got here. What do you think? Outfit A or Outfit B?

A. I knew I wanted one dressier look for work, this is what I came up with. The colors in the stripes proved to be pretty difficult to match with anything in my closet! This isn't too formal looking at all but is definitely nice enough to be work appropriate for the library.

B. Graphic tees and skirts is a combo that I have never tried. I was actually looking for a red sweater to wear, but I couldn't find it. When I saw this red shirt I thought I might as well try it on. While he red is not an exact match, the colors of the cars really make some of the other stripes stand out really well!

Let me know what you think of this series. (And, of course, which outfit you like best!) Do you think I should include my own thoughts on my outfits? Would you like me to list where I got the other pieces of each outfit from?