Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunflowers are delicious...

We had several tiny sunflower plants pop up in the past week. I strategically planted them to hide our aging above ground jacuzzi, how classy is that, I ask you?

Anyhow, I went out to check on the garden this morning and I noticed that ALL of the sunflowers, that were at least and inch and a half tall, were GONE! Was is the skunk that lives under the jacuzzi? classy skunk. Was is the rogue gang of bunnies that terrorize passers by on the river bed behind our house? Was is Ryan thinking they were weeds come to thwart maximum giant pumpkin growth? The answer is I DON"T KNOW! Except Ryan, he did not do it, I called him at work to ask. I really did, and it was really that important. really.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


...and when you're done with that table cloth, you can make a smart frock out of it for any occasion.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

May's Sewing Projects...

Hmmmmmm, May is just around the corner and you know what that means...A new bunch of sewing projects for you my lovlies.

Stay tuned for a preview to arrive sometime within the next couple of days.

That is all for now, until tomorrow please enjoy your daily Dorothy Parker.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Potato Eyes

Here are some of our potatoes from the garden. Needless to say, it was a sparse breakfast. Hopefully the other plants have a larger yield, if not, Ryan suggested that we host a super fancy dinner where there are teeny tiny portions presented in very artsy ways. artsy. artsy. artsy.

Our potatoes are watching your every move.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sweet Peas

The long awaited Sweet peas have slowly but surely began to arrive. I grew these darlings from seeds if you can believe it. You can't? Well, let me show you what the process looked like. Ha, see? I even talked to them when they were little inch high stems and ...sang a little. You would too and you know it.

I really love Sweet peas. My motherinlaw Joyce did all of the flower arranging for our wedding and made all of the a-ma-zing bouquet's with Sweet peas and roses. See above. And this was no easy feat. Sweet peas are picky little buggers who don't wait around for anyone. So thank you thank thank you again Joyce, you are an excellent flower arranger and Sweet pea rangler.

Another thing about Sweet peas is that they have the most intoxicating scent. Maybe you knew this already, in that case I reminded you of it and you can thank me later. You are welcome.

Here comes the week, prefilled with tasks to complete and many many minutes to try a little harder and do a little bit better at whatever it is you are doing. How's that for a pep talk? Pretty good right? Okay, now get to work and I don't want to hear a peep out of you think you would like to comment on a post or you might be singing to your Sweet peas.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

You Know What!?

We had a garage sale today and we got rid of the television in our living room. This is big...Huge! Mostly because we eat all of our meals in front of the tv...geez, I felt fat even typing that. I think we might eat at the kitchen table for meals...have you ever heard of this? I have to make some cushions for the table bench seats if this is indeed the case. No need to torture ourselves with wooden bench seats and no tv.

Off to Los Angeles for today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

50th Post Hooray!

This is my fiftieth post. I am not sure what the appropriate topic would be for such and occasion, paper? silver? etc.

Here's to 50 more.

Poor Barbie. She looks like she escaped from an awful beach party where everyone ate bad marshmallows and gave each other terrible haircuts in the dark.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I love this...

I have some cooking, baking and sewing to do today. Like June Lockhart.

I have also done 150 burpees (insane squat push-up jumping hybrid exercise)this morning in 29minutes. Probably more like the Incredible Hulk than June Lockhart.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

To my sewing ladies in training...

You are all my favorite people.

Even when it gets loud and the decibel of your voices rises far above that of the six singing sewing machines, you are all still my favorite people.

And even still after the second sewing needle of the night snaps under the pressure of the thickest of bunny slippers and this sends you all into a fit high pitched disbelief, you are all still my favorite.

You are all just as excited as I am to start and finish projects and I cannot think of another situation in life where this have ever been true. Thank you for being genuinely excited and ready to work each time to come to class and genuinely sad when class is over.

I especially love that I you are all part of my dream job (job seems like such a small insignificant word to describe the fun we all have) but you are all part of it and it could not be with out all of you.

Thank you for making me laugh and having truly surprising things to share with me every class and usually all at once.

See you next Wednesday and don't forget your blankets...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I have discovered that Tuesday is the one day of the week, the one chance I have all week to get things done for sewing on Wednesday. It seems I cannot concern myself Friday through Sunday, as I am usually knee deep in the garden or off on some adventure with Ryan.

It took some time for me to realise that Tuesday is the day that I need to harness some supreme concentration in order to accomplish what there is to be done. No dilly dallying at the fabric store. In fact, a lady in line asked me how to make the blanket that I was holding and I rattled off the directions like an auctioneer and sped out of the store leaving a cloud of dust in my wake. Nope, no time. Look it up on the Internet if you didn't hear me. I am a woman determined to finish every.item.on.her.list.

Like I was saying, I used to wait until around noon to begin my prep on Tuesdays. Now I shoot out of bed and land somewhere near my sewing machine. I whip out a few projects...just for practice and then I start into my list making. Blah, blah....blah. This is really just a long story about having finished everything I set out to do today and I am proud.

I would, however, like to suggest that the duration of Tuesday be changed to 48 rather than 24 hours. I realise that this may foul things up a little, being that 2010 calendars have already been printed and such. But think about it, extend Tuesday by one day, let's call it Twoosday, therefore adding another day to the week and bam! Friday can offfically become part of the weekend.

In other news, I made a loaf of french bread to go with soup for dinner. I am not so good at the bread making yet...unless my bread machine is involved. I did not take a picture because it would have fogged up the lens...or because if you saw it you'd tell me to try again or better luck next time Mac (because we are in New York in the forties).

p.s. the cake above features a hotdog wearing a sombrero, no need to clean your computer screen, it is exactly what you though you saw.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Judy Mary

When I was little my Grandma Judy had a farm. She had geese that bit if you put your finger in their pen and goats, chickens and sheep that liked to follow her in a parade when she walked down to get the mail. My Grandma liked to make things. She could make anything. She said that I could make anything. So I do.

My Grandma Judy is not here anymore. In fact, she's been gone a little over two years and I miss her. I still forget sometimes and go to dial her number to see how hot the oven needs to be before I put in the cheese and rice and then I remember and I do my best without her.

She taught me how to sew and crochet and most importantly she taught me that there was no piece of furniture that we couldn't move together. A lesson once demonstrated around midnight during an engagement party while we were both in dresses and heels unloading a five piece art deco hulk-of-a bedroom set from the back of her truck. We did it and we returned to the party with the healthy glow of ladies who move enormous furniture during a social event...are you familiar with this glow? If not, you probably didn't know my Grandma Judy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peas and Carrots, pants for carrots and other uses for peas...

On Sunday we harvested enough peas for dinner with the family. Well almost enough, I threw in a few of our carrots just for good measure and I have to say...the combination was pretty good, not that I came up with the combination of peas and carrots...who can we thank for that? Erma Rohmbauer?

Check out these carrots...I was so tempted to make some pants for them...have it be known that if another one of these carrots happens to show up I will be making pants for it and enrolling it in school. Don't try and stop me.

Say "Peeaaaaasssss"

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This has been a week of baby showers for the ladies sewing circle. Two to be exact. Tiny clothes, tiny shoes, tiny sandwiches (for the ladies).

Bear Grills is building a raft on a beach and collecting water from a home made still on television. He yells everything that he says, I wonder if he ever relaxes.

I am sitting on the couch writing this to you all, attempting to relax but I just had too many cups of tea today.

Today I am going to cook my very first batch of homegrown peas... for people other than just me. I hope they are good.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Done and Done

I really really really dislike going to the grocery store. Time seems to move so much slower within the walls of the grocery store. Simple tasks such as writing a check(not me) seem to drag on and on and on until I have really considered buying one of those horoscope roles just to see if ANYTHING is going to happen next, or if this is it. I can only hear Mr. Bojangles Instrumental so many times before I want to run a muck with a cleaver. I make out a list and then panic and end up with a box of white cheddar cheezits, 1/4lb of butter and some bendie straws and I leave anyway because I am just so relieved to have gotten anything at all. I can still make a mean caserole out of this...take that Martha, Julia, Paula, Giada, Guy and Alton.

Is there some way to never have to go again besides slowly starving to death or randomly showing up at my mother's dinner table?


Ryan and I are in the process of growing quite a bit of food in our garden. I am hoping that we can subsist on this for a while. This is our second time around with a garden so we know just a little bit more than last time and that is still very little. Did we grow enough for the winter Pa? How do we store this food Ma? There are many questions that I cannot answer yet. Luckily we can always go to the dreaded grocery store if we do happen to need food. The Duggar's make their own laundry soap for goodness sake I think I can figure out a way to at least not have to go to the grocery store so often.

So the garden is part of the solution. I would also like to purchase a lot of meat. Legally people, please do not email me if you 'know a guy.' Also, I have some chickens coming to me as last year's birthday gift from my husband. So, eggs, check. Bread, got it covered. What else? Listen, I am not going to go bananas and stop using soap or shaving my legs just so I don't have to go to the grocery store, perhaps a few well times trips to Costco are in order. And we don't really drink milk and powdered is ok by me.

By the way, I am serious about this just so you know. Do not expect to see me knocking on watermelons, or harrassing the lobsters in the tank anymore...well not very often anymore.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fondue Pot Bird Feeders

Around here on the Clark Farm (slightly short of animals at the moment) we have been making some bird feeders out of old fondue pots because we rule. The birds seem to enjoy them but you never really know with them, they are such an anxious bunch. They scatter when I approach the kitchen sink to fill the teakettle or drop off some dishes. I keep hoping for a really good looking bird to stop by so that I can get a photo but this would involve standing frozen in the kitchen window with the camera to my eye ready to shoot. This could be time intensive and I have not frozen for long periods of time since I left my desk job

These fondue pots and aluminum pan were rescued from various thrift stores and swap meets for pennies. I really like the colors and I did not have this in mind when I bought them, but I started messing around with the design and Ryan added the wooden spoon and figured out the hanging apparatuses and viola.

Dear giant killer doves who take over the bird feeders with their enormous bird bodies,

Please stop dive bombing the feeder and causing a frenzy amongst the other reasonably sided birds, huh? You are making a mess and seriously reducing the chances of one of those really cool blue birds stopping by.

Sincerely -


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Zesty Bean Dip

I love these posts that I write late at night just before I go to sleep and right after I have taught sewing for 10 hours. The topics are weak and the grammar is terrible, but I love these posts. Why? Thank you for asking. It is because they have titles like 'Zesty Bean Dip' and I am under no obligation to actually talk about zesty bean dip.

I spoke to my sister today who recounted an entire episode of Jerry Springer to me over the phone and I have to say, I am never one to watch that show. It has to look partially authentic for me to enjoy it and well, do I really need to explain to you all that it wrong with Jerry Springer?...I didn't think so. Anyhoo...I let her go on for a while about a lady talking to her chickens and playing a harmonica (all on the show BTW) and our phones disconnected. I didn't want her to think that I hung up so I called right back and she didn't pick up. Then she called me back and I couldn't hear her. Finally after about 10 minutes of back and forth we were finally able to get through to each other and when we did...what did we do?...We finished the conversation about the lady with the chickens and the harmonica for another 10 minutes. Colossal waste of time? Perhaps. But at least I am polite.

Yikes, I better go to bed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Things are quite around here today....

I got to thinking about a movie that my Dad and I used to watch all the time. Primrose Path with Joel McCrea and Ginger Rogers in roles not typical to their acting careers (no cowboys or dancing or laughing really).

It's not a comedy at all, but there are quite a few moments where you smile at the innocense of it all and wish you could do things like tip someone sideways in a motorcycle sidecar just to "get a rise out of them." Or ask your father to tell you 'all about 'them ancient greeks."

It is impossible to find this on DVD. Our copy was taped off of AMC onto VHS years ago. I wish that I could watch this right now, but alas, I must go forth into the wide world and tackle sewing, one student at at time (or seven) and that is more that all right with me.

p.s. if you ever get a chance to see this - do it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garden News - Sewing Seeds

Here are some of the foods that we have been growing over here in every possible square inch of available dirt. We even bought extra dirt, just in case. Isn't it funny that you have to purchase dirt?...for money? This is really good dirt though, the best. Which is why quite a bit of our garden came up from seeds that we planted last year.

Morning Glory (This came up from some seeds that I planted last year...One even made it all the way through the peas and out the other side.

Rogue Lettuce.

Grapes. Well. the leaves anyway. Grapes still to come.

Here are those peas from an earlier post still.not.ready. When they are ready, there will be a week long feast of peas, there are enough to feed you, your family, your extended family, your Aunt Edna and your bowling team excluding Ralph.

The effect of gamma rays on the man in the moon marigolds. Natural insect repellent.

Baby bell peppers

Pumpkin? blossom. I am thinking this might be a squash, we planted this last who knows. I guess we'll find out.

The first jalapeno of the season.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dolores Getting Things Done

Hello Monday -

Let's try this again, shall we?

Many, many sewing projects to do this curtains (finish the hem darn it), buying/cutting/organizing class project fabric, a gift project that I cannot mention out loud just yet and a whole bunch of those hats that I made for my mother.

I would like to get all these tasks done by Tuesday Night...please stop laughing so loudly, I can hear you. If I do not happen to finish this list, ahem, I will be satisfied to have everything done for classes on Wed. But I am aiming high.

Ryan and I got a lot done this weekend despite the fact that I was working on my trapeze act. All of which I will list now because I want to brag a little.

1. We reinforced the peas that were trying to lay flat across the bell peppers with fishing line just like McGyver would if he was faced with this challenge. Remember that episode when he grew peas?
2. We planted a bazillion marigolds for insect repelling purposes and to fancify the garden.
3. We laid bark down on a dirt path on the side of our house. We did not plan to do this, but we are extremely spontaneous when it comes to bark and paths.
4. Ryan cut down a palm tree and broke our shovel in the process. This probably happens to pro wrestlers all the time while they are gardening. Note: Ryan is not a pro wrestler.
4. I planted some cacti, chamomile, $1.00 wildflowers,an herb garden, more tomatoes, and some fancy plants to cover the hose apparatus and I did I mention I swung on a trapeze? Note: I really did swing on a trapeze.
5.We made some bird feeders that you will be jealous of. But don't be, I will show you how to make them and I will post pictures sometime this week.
6. Picked weeds. Picked some more weeds. Ate some lunch and got back to the weeds.
7. Hung a morning glory plant in my kitchen. This is against what most professional gardeners would recommend, but I am doing it anyway. So there. I will take pictures when I looks like I want it too. Science.

More about the trapeze later this week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Cannot talk about sewing today, I am on a trapeze. No, really. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pattern Talk

The model in green is trying to sneak off of the cover so as not to be associated with that hat behind her...just passing through...don't mind me.

Is the hat too much? Well, what do you wear to the grocery store?

When I see these jumpers, I start to itch and choke and I wonder how I made it through kindergarten wearing these without commiting a crime out of restrictive clothing frustration. Must have been the sweet relief of nap time.

Rhonda, Sharleen and Barbara were all shocked to see that they chosen to wear near the exact same outfit to the barbeque. They spent the rest of the barbeque circling one another giving eachother looks that could kill. Barbara took a break for some three-bean salad and bocci ball, but returned promptly to continue circling.

"Oh, am I stylish?...well, I suppose I am. How kind of you to notice."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Handmade by me

I have sewed for so long today that I cannot muster the strength of mind to put together a coherent post. Do you see where this is going? Yep, I'm gonna ramble...

I am sure that you have heard the term 'handmade' used when it comes to quilts clothing or crafts. It is usually said with some emphasis on handmade or said with a hushed tone and often followed by a gasp of admiration or disbeleif. I always took it to mean exactly what it claims 'something made with the use of only your two hands' right? Well that is all fine and good, but I would like to argue the point that though I use a machine, my hands are still very much in use. I would like to amend the definition, who do I call? Not a big deal, just sayin'

That is the long and short of it.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Surely you know...

...that the fair is coming back to town! I know exactly what you are going to say, you can't stand those terrible rides. Well, me either, for the most part. But what I love about the fair are the competitions, for cooking, fine arts, canning, farming and what am I forgetting? Oh SEWING! yes! I am just so excited, did I say that already, can you tell?

Last year I entered a table setting along with my friend/former co-worker Heather. We used our work time to create a pretty sucessful table setting (if I do say so myself) complete with handmade table cloth, napkins and centerpiece. Perhaps I need to explain this particular set a table. I am serious. There is a specific way it needs to be done, no joke. We received 3rd place (applause). Table setting to the fair is like curling to the Oympics, it really excludes most of its audience and makes people laugh. Also, no matter how silly it seems you cannot look away. Here is the only reliable source for proper table setting.

Emily Post

I did not have time to enter any sewing last year, but I am making up for it this year. Adult and children original designs...I have something in mind, but I don't want to jinx it so more about that when it's finished.

If you would like to see what other catagories there are to enter or read in greater detail about here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Sewing Class Project Preview

Hello Ladies -

As I promised...several times, here is the April Sewing Class Project Preview... So exciting...can you stand it!?

Young Ladies Sewing Classes: Theme - Super Straight Lines (and a few squiggles...just a few)

First, after many many many requests from the young ladies to make a blanket, I have decided that now is the time. This particular blanket is a light weight throw that will be perfect for the rainy days ahead. It will be another chance for the girls to perfect their straight line sewing accuracy. This straight line practice will be a welcomed relief after last month's seemingly endless marathon of sewing curves, arcs and circles. I am still dizzy and considering naming those projects the vertigo series. This project will begin after this week and will take 3 weeks, with time to spare for a secret project...sorry Moms, you'll have to wait and see what that is. This is our largest project to date as far as size and our first true sewing project in that it will take time and patience to complete.

Adult Sewing Classes - The theme for April is Dress-up Your Kitchen!(literally in some cases)

Wednesday, April 7th:

Dress up your dish soap bottle with a mini apron. Why are we doing this? Because you know you've always wanted to.

Wednesday, April 14th:

Place mats and cloth napkins in a cinch. It is unbelievably easy to change up your dining table with the addition of custom made place mats and cloth napkins. You will no longer be limited to what is available in the stores and next time you run into Martha Stewart in line at target, you can give her a smug smile with the knowledge that you can do exactly what she does...sort of. Just kidding Martha if you are reading this you know you are untouchable. Can't be too careful.

note: these are rectangular place mats and napkins. Bunny folded napkins is just for fun and made out of a regular rectangular napkin...though I can totally show you how to fold it this way if you like.

Wednesday, April 21st and April 28th:

A reusable grocery bag. Imagine casually tossing one of these bags on the check out counter...oo la la! the checker will gasp at its beauty and all of the shoppers behind you will lean in for a look. The bagger will stand on the check out counter waving the sac over his head declaring it the most wonderful grocery sac he's ever seen.'ll have a reusable grocery bag that is cuter than most. Either way, you win.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hello Monday - Spring Break and Sew! Sew! Sew! Three things about sewing you know but need to be reminded of...

All of the young ladies of the Ladies Sewing Circle are on Spring Break from school this week sooooo we'll be missing a few young ladies classes on Wednesday due to super fantastic and exciting spring break vacation activities. We won't be starting anything new, just finishing up the bunny slippers. And April stuff that will be posted for your Tuesday viewing pleasure.

Until then here are a few quick points I have about sewing that I would like to share with you:

1. If you sew something once, you made one and it may or may not have been fun. If you sew two of that something, you will know how to do it a little bit faster and better based on what you did the first time around. If you sew something three times, it will probably stick and you can crank this 'something' out, like nobody's business from here on in and it will look better each time. In short, do not be discouraged by your first attempt at any sewing project because it will most definitely look like you made it with your left foot in the dark. It will take at least three times to look as though you made it and four or more times to make it look like it was manufactured in a fancy-shmancy high-falutin factory. Isn't that what we are all aiming for?

2. Sewing takes time, so enjoy the process. Put on some music or some television in the background and go to it. Or if you are part of the sewing circle, engage in some conversation that is likely to take you from angry biting geese to possible names for future pet bunnies and then back again in a matter of seconds. It is important that you realise this fact before you begin your project. Do not expect to complete and entire project each time you sit down to sew. I love to instead concentrate on making super straight sewing lines and ironing between each step. I also like to estimate the time it will take in total and try to stick to a schedule to finish. Sewing is a process, not a race. Sewing is war.

3. Start early. This means several things. Age - I started sewing when I was fiveish' and look at me now, just look, I can make anything. No brag, just fact. And I love it.
In terms of project completion however, if you have a sewing project in mind, and you need it by next month, for goodness sake start now. Poofy hair flowers are cute now, but if you need twenty by Tuesday and it's 9:00pm on Monday, you will hate yourself and those poofy hair flowers before you are done and where is the joy in that? I'm just singin' the same old tune you've heard before, it's called Procrastination and it's by Nancy and the To-Do List Avoiders.

Look at me imparting wisdom like I have any to spare, I swear, I totally searched for my phone today and I found it in my hand. And look at me sharing that story.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I was never entirely comfortable with the Easter Bunny coming into my home and leaving me a basket of goodies. I was, in fact, extremely uncomfortable with the thought of a giant rabbit sneaking into my home in the dead of night...breathing his giant rabbit breath. I really had to psych myself out to sleep the night before, listening for those huge feet to come creaking through the house and in the morning, no matter how prepared I thought I was, I was always really horrified to see that he had left a basket...he was there...shiver. Is he still here? watching? Did this ever bother anyone else? No amount of chocolate or colored eggs in shining grass could warm me up to the thought of a huge rabbit, all those things were only evidence that he really existed. I had forgotten all about my rabbit-phobia until today when someone mentioned that the Easter bunny had left behind something or other and I felt this strong sense of relief, I am an adult now, the Easter bunny won't visit me...until I have children. This is definitely something to consider.

I can't help but think that watching this movie had something to do with all of this.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This Week in Sewing Class: Reflecting on Bunny Slippers and Spring Cleaning

This week in sewing class the girls and I tackled the much talked about bunny slipper project. I have to say that I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure how difficult this would be for the girls who were newer to sewing. There are not a lot of steps and really very little actual sewing but, boy! is there a lot of cutting and in order for the sewing to be correct the cutting must be very precise. The girls really impressed me with their cutting skills, they took their time and made sure that all of their cut pieces matched one another. We are aiming to finish these guys next class - but if you are not here due to spring not worry, we'll catch you up when you return.

Uh oh...

I'll be cleaning the house from top to bottom tomorrow and there will be a mini-break in the middle for Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. Yes, I break for chicken and waffles, it may not may not be healthier than breaking for coffee. I don't drink coffee, so what choice do I have?

And Happy Easter!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Frugal Frau Friday: Dozens and dozens

So here are the Secret Pocket Easter Eggs that I made using this tutorial.

I really really really really really like how they turned out. In fact, I liked them so much that I made a trillion of them, not so frugal right?...Wrong!There is so little fabric involved that I was able to purchase 1/2 yards of fabrics that I wouldn't otherwise purchase due to cost and still had fabric left over, I even threw in some $1.00 per yard fabric, 'cause it was cute and cheap.

The tutorial suggests candies like jelly beans or quarters to accommodate the small pocket but I was totally able to jam mini candy bars in. And what is more, these eggs can be reused next year! How's that for frugal...hmmmmmm?

Have a lovely Friday...