Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Everybody sews!

Although I love blogging, it really is a time sucker.  Unfortunately real life and work keep taking precedent, so it's been about three weeks since I have gotten around to this blog.  Even now I can hear the kids screaming and feel a little guilty for taking this time to download pictures and write frivolous things.
A few weeks ago, I had a bee in my bonnet to to sew.  
How can I get the machine out and sew and keep the boys entertained all at the same time?
My kids love technology and motors.  I sometimes forget that at the heart of this beautiful little Singer is a motor with pistons and moving parts and a an honest to goodness motor.  All I needed to do was get them interested in the machine (that took no time at all) ,  let them pick projects and promise to let them actually use it.  Viola! 

Asher picked a little pillow made from one of the few pieces of scrap fabric I have.  He loved pushing the pedal and watching the needle pump up and down.  He really loved the finished product! 

Fin wasn't happy just sewing, he needed to take the lid off and see all the inner machination, that I had not even dreamed existed under there.  He decided on a quiver for his bows and I decided that I didn't need a pattern.  I used the left over fabric from my Amy Butler tunic.  It took a little longer than I would have liked, lots of modifications, with Fin insisting it didn't fit right, (this is the same kid who can only wear one pair of socks because the seems on every pair bug him)) but eventually we finished and he is using his quiver daily and showing off his archery skills.
I waited until everyone was in bed and got out the same fabric. I knew I wanted a tunic, but since i can't seem to follow patterns I decided to make it up as I went.  I used a favorite top as a guide.  I can see how having a form would have been very helpful.  It is a real pain to try on a top 25 times with pins sticking you in the sides and head. 
I finished it that night and have been wearing it faithfully since!  Not as cute as the Amy Butler tunic, but it fits a lot better and now I feel like I got a lot more use out of the fabric. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tomatoes Peppers and Chicks

First Brandy wine tomato of the season.  Unfortunately it got battered in the storm but still had the most exquisite taste ever.

Fairy Tale eggplant
San Maranzano tomato

Asher helping with the daily chicken maneuvers.

Things around Blackett Farm have been busy to say the least. My husband went out of town for the weekend, I worked some extra shifts, and the rain that I have been secretly praying for finally came.  
Boy did it come. Here in Colorado, weather does not joke around.  When it is dry, it is so dry the whole states practically self- combusts.  When it rains, the skies open up and the streets turn to raging rivers.  It is a great time to find out how well your raised beds drain.  Judging by the standing pools of water a day later, not very well.
The rains also brought those magical weeds that grow at an accelerated rate that no other plant on earth could ever achieve.
They also come out of the ground a heck of a lot easier than when it's bone dry, so we have been weeding like mad and cutting back the wild borage. That is one hardy plant.
We picked our first tomato, a little messy but incredible. My rite of summer is a succulent Brandy wine tomato thickly sliced with mayonnaise on fresh Italian or French bread bread. Other hardy whites will do but whole wheat doesn't seem to do them justice. Since I am of Italian Heritage, I wonder if I naturally don't tolerate whole wheat? That's what I tell myself anyway.
I found a beautiful cookbook from sunset Edible Garden Cookbook!  I can't wait for the eggplant.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beating the heat

To avoid the heat we have been taking our walks early and stick to only the shadiest of routes. 
Our local pool which is conveniently situated 8 quiet blocks from our house, inconveniently doesn't open until 1 pm. This summer with temps near or above 100 for the last several weeks, I have been hard pressed to even leave the house, let alone take a long hike. 

We call these pretty ivory discs "moon plates", but I don't think that is the correct name.


 Well, I have finally finished my Amy Butler tunic.  It is way too small but for what it ended up costing I will squeeze myself into it if it suffocates me in the process. If I add in the cost of repairing my old Singer machine, 3 yards of this lovely fabric, an Amy Butler tunic pattern and 6 hours of lessons, (which was really money well spent) and these adorable vintage buttons, this little top is one of the most expensive things I own, next to my car and mountain bike.  I just might ask to be buried in it.

The staff from A Verb for Keeping Warm have vowed to try and make 25% of their wardrobe and I see from many blogs it is really catching on.  Ahh a new goal and reason to keep sewing!  Or I could donate all my tops but this and three others and be done with it!

On the bee front....
It has been so hot the bees have been bearding like mad.  I am concerned they might try and swarm again, which is supposedly certain death for them this late in the year.  I will take pictures tomorrow.