Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vintage Fall Dress

A few years ago I found a few old, cut up patterns for 99¢. I had to get them, regardless of sizes. They might come in handy one day, right? I especially liked this one from the sixties:

It was a child's size six, which is my daughter's size now. See, it was worth the wait. :o) I planned to cut up an old lightweight gray wool skirt of mine to make the middle style dress, trimmed with magenta velvet ribbon. I would of course modify the length to fall somewhere between the impractical maxi skirt and the indecent mini. Seriously, girls of the sixties, what did you wear under those things? It looks like you'd flash somebody with every step.
The tissue pattern pieces were very fragile, so I covered them all, including the envelope and instructions, in clear contact paper. That took an entire afternoon and a whole roll of contact paper!
When I laid out the pattern pieces on the gray wool, I discovered I didn't have enough fabric. I went to my fabric stash, ready to scrap the gray wool idea completely. Happily, I found a dress shirt of my husband's that was white with tiny gray and pink stripes. Perfect match! I went back to the drawing board (literally - I traced the figure in the middle of the envelope picture, adjusted the length, and colored it in like the two fabrics) and came up with a design of a striped bodice with a gray skirt. I added light pink velvet ribbon trim.
I love how it turned out. I could have taken the waist in a bit more to account for my daughter being a skinny minny, but I think she looks adorable in it anyway.

She wanted to show off the rose hair bow we made:

She got a little goofy after a few pictures:

And then snuggly. Love my girl! She may have a few more dresses from this pattern coming her way!

The Southern Institute

Friday, September 21, 2012

In Which I Completely Shame My Dog....

Living in a city, I can't allow my dog to do her business wherever nature demands. Nope, I have to clean it up. I had never picked up dog poop before, having grown up in the country. Our dogs were outside creatures, and we never made much ado about their potty habits. I don't remember my parents picking it up. They likely never gave it much thought, but if they did, they probably thought if their children were careless enough to step in it, then they deserved what they got - as long as we didn't track it into the house!
Now that picking up poop is a daily exercise in the suppression of disgust, I tried to make it more pleasant. I made a cute bow-shaped doggie bag holder. Don't ask me why I thought that would make steaming dog poo less gross, it just seemed like it might help to have a little cuteness around the whole process.
The first time I put it on Bibi, she hung her head in shame. She just slunked around on her walk, seemingly embarrassed of what the other dogs might think of her.
The bow was easy enough to make. It's is a simple rectangle with an envelope closure in the back. It gets a nice puffy shape when I stuff it with plastic bags.
Hanging her head in shame:

I like her grim-faced resignation in this picture:

Nate refuses to put it on her when he's walking her. I can't imagine why.
The Southern Institute

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes

Last month, or was it two months ago...time kind of got away from me this summer...anyway, at some point this summer our pastor went to preach at a conference in Mexico City. I wanted to bring dinner over to his wife one night while he was away. I asked my family for suggestions about a dessert. Suzy was very gung-ho for strawberry cupcakes, but I don't really like strawberry cake from a mix. I decided to make Sprinkle's Strawberry Cupcakes.
Here they are, fresh out of the oven. You can tell Suzy insisted that I double the pink food coloring:

Here are the cupcakes all dressed up to go out:

It took me most of the afternoon to make these, but it was worth it. I was also trying to make fajitas and salsa at the same time, do that probably slowed down the process.
These cupcakes were so good! I made them later in the summer with peaches, and that was REALLY good, even if they overflowed the muffin tins. I'm still making adjustments in the flour/baking soda ratio to get it just right. The altitude in Grand Junction is over 4,500 feet, so that affects most of my baking recipes. I'm pretty sure the recipe could be adjusted for other fruit. So many possibilities - raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, mango, pineapple, kiwi, banana....oh, and combos! Strawberry banana, blueberry pineapple, raspberry mango...I'm feeling a baking spree coming on. I think I'll just go to bed and wait for it to pass.