Monday, June 29, 2009

Grand Opening


Welcome to Casa de Pollo!
It's done, the coop is officially open for guests of the feathered variety. We had a bluebird weekend and made the final big push to get construction finished. We had stalled some due to weather and busy schedules. This weekend we pulled out all the stops, proving once again that my husband and I make quite a team.


So chick chicks, what do you think of your new accommodations? Oh happy chickens indeed. I have to say, after long days, sore muscles, and my shoulders burnt to a warm red glow (I was on my way to put on sun screen at one point and must have been interrupted), I sat back as evening was coming on and admired our handy work. I really am quite pleased and proud of this little hen house.

Yes, that's a little window box you see there, ready for some cheery flowers. My man has managed to dissuade me from sewing curtains for the window, up till now...but I may not be able to help myself.


Hmmm...what's this, a curious cat? Wondering perhaps if chicken is on the menu.


Nope. Kona, the Buddha cat, would rather nap. Fran however, is keeping an eye on him just in case.

After dark, the chicks all cozy in their house, my man and I sat down to enjoy the summer night and the satisfaction of a job well done. We brought out the guitar and made up a little tune about our coop adventure. We call it Chicken Folk.

I hope you all enjoyed the nickle tour, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One Begets Another


A little while ago I had a custom order for some baby clothes. The woman who ordered them showed them around to her co-workers. One of her co-workers then commissioned me to make up a similar set.


I have been wanting to try free motion machine embroidery for a while now but, I don't have the proper presser foot for my machine. Well, I decided to wing it and make an attempt with what I had. I drew a picture free hand with a fabric marker then made my practice run. I was a bit unsteady at first, filled with trepidation but, I kept on. The result turned out much better than I expected and that first practice piece ended up as a pocket on the new outfit! Yay, a new skill. Now I am ready to machine embroider anything and everything. Watch out, no clothing item is safe!

If you click on the photo, you can better see the pocket.
Now, I would love to own one of those fancy embroidery machines that they have now but, they are so expensive. It will be years before I invest in one. In the meantime, I can play around with this method and see what other things I can create.

There has been a flurry of activity at the cottage lately and so much I need to catch up on here on the blog. I need to update my lovely readers on the state of our garden, the progress of the chick chicks and their abode, the latest Lola Nova creations and much more. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sweet


Are you ready to jam?
Mt. Hood strawberries are a Northwest variety; small, flavorful and incredibly sweet.
I only add enough sugar to help preserve the jam. I am not a huge fan of store bought strawberry jam, it is usually much too sweet for my taste but, our homemade jam is my favorite. Oh goodness, is it delicious!
The start of jam day begins with a good cup of coffee, then the preparations begin. I pull out my grandmothers old cold pack canner, fill it with water and set it on the burner to boil.


Then we wash, de-stem and mash up the berries. They go into my big soup kettle along with the sugar, lemon juice and natural fruit pectin. Only one double batch at a time - for quality control. Our tiny kitchen steams up with a hot foggy humidity and the sweet smell of freshly made strawberry jam fills the air. The jam goes into the jars, the jars go into the canner and come out hot and sealed up tight.
This year we managed 31 jars of ruby red loveliness.


Later this summer we will go pick wild blackberries out on beautiful Sauvie Island and turn them into gorgeous purplely black jars of jam. Oh how I love the berries!

Later that day we get to build great towers out of the strawberry pint boxes, hurray!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Happy Father's Day!

This Father's Day Eve, we were blessed with a brand new nephew. Congratulations D & M!
To my own sweet man, father of our girl, I promise you breakfast and my continued love and sillyness. You Rock!
To my 99 year old grandpa, you are legend and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To my dear friend Arlo, who is pacing the floor waiting for the new baby, I send you all the good thoughts I can muster.
To all you baby daddies, I wish you a fine holiday, keep on keepin' on.

And to my own Dad...



XO

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's a Wrap


I finished another custom order. A wrap skirt for a friend who rides her bike everywhere. She wanted a skirt that made pedaling a breeze while keeping her ladylike.


I ran across the free pattern in the Spring 2009 issue of Stitch magazine.


The pattern, while easy to put together, has some major flaws. The ties are ridiculously long, it calls for belt loops but then gives no direction or mention of openings in the waistband to make the tie up practical. I improvised and ended up miscalculating a bit. In the end I don't know if it will work. I will give it to her anyway as a birthday gift and perhaps design my own version with hopefully a happier ending.

My favorite part of making it was painting the pocket with fabric paint. I love that little bee!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jump!



This is the most amazing, beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. It's almost mystical. Check it out.

If gymnastics looked like this I would watch the sport all the time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

One Down


I've been down in the basement working my little fingers into a frenzy. I have completed the first of four custom orders and have just a moment before I am on to the next.
I thought I would share this project since I adore these fabrics. I had just enough to make a sweet baby outfit.



A short dress with ruffle and embroidered flower detail and matching bloomers. It is such a joy to sew for the wee babies.
This outfit is off to New Mexico at the end of the week. I hope it will be enjoyed and worn happily by the little one.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

By the Bay

Wow. Hard to believe it is June already. I have been taking a break from the computer to spend time with my family and enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having. I even got to take a trip to the coast and get my toes in the sand. Ahh.


If I haven't stopped by to say hi, forgive me. I will try to catch up soon.

In other news, I have received 4 custom orders in the last week and will be busy racing my sewing machine towards the finish line. It's exciting and nerve racking at the same time. My posts here may suffer a bit but, I will have lots to show you in the coming weeks.

Until next time, have a lovely first week of June!