Monday, January 31, 2011

Wait a minute, Mr Postman

Lookie what came to my door this morning.

Isn't that the cutest fabric ever!

Here's a close up.

Thank you to Vintage Sugar Fabrics on etsy for the quick shipping. It's perfect for the Seamstress Apron I blogged about a few days ago, don't you think?

Ina Gadda Davida, baby

Anyone know crap about container gardening??

I've always wanted a garden. I tried when I was about 16 or so in my parents backyard from seeds I found at the dollar general. We don't talk about it. But, it's been a few years so why not try again, yes?

While I really like the cute little garden plots in the header picture, I don't have that kind of time and energy. It just so happens, however, that my landlord has plopped a bunch of containers on my lawn. I suppose one could make an argument that a good 50's housewife grows some useful things. I'm thinking maybe an herb garden in one, some strawberries in another since pinky keeps asking, and tomatoes in another.

Please say a prayer for the souls of these soon to be dead plants.

Or maybe a housewife is always optimistic.

Optimism it shall be!

I am a grower of living things . . . including LSD.

Can you grow LSD?


This is the plague that never ends

How many days has it been?

And can anyone explain to me why this was left off the warning list when you talk about the decision to have children?

I took a four hour nap today and I still feel like crap. So I'll be turning in early today. Before I go, let's talk about what I accomplished today . . . NOTHING! Actually, I did get out of bed at quarter til seven and hung out with the kiddie beans until the school bus came. Then I did nothing.

It's a start.

I leave you with an easy crock pot recipe.

Tomato Beef

2-3lbs beef roast
1 can of stewed tomatoes
2 cloves of minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 tsp each basil, oregano, and tarragon
1 bay leaf

Pour into the crock pot and cook on high, covered for 6-8 hours or until the beef falls apart. Discard the bay leaf and serve over rice.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blame it on the girls

Not really. It's just the song stuck in my head right now.

I finished ONE APRON! I know, I know. Took me long enough right? Well, it's Sunday so not only do you get to view my finished apron but you can also see what I wore to church this morning. Ignore the hair. It was not up to cooperating.

This is my birthday dress and I cannot say enough good things about it. I was wearing a navy silk sheath dress I made from a vintage pattern but the dupioni kept climbing my legs and I couldn't find my only slip. Boo to the silk dupioni but yay to this awesome fall back. What I love about this dress is that it's always ready to wear. It would be a great dress for traveling, dresses up or down, and fits any weather. If you love it too, check out Lirola on Etsy and you could have one made just for you.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Namely, the scissors. I swear to you, I put them somewhere and then when I get up, they are gone. And I know exactly who to blame. See this 20lbs of deceptive cute? DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. DANGER! I know she's hiding them on me.

And so, to save me from choking her out on the regular, I have pattern in my stash that should cure all, The Seamstress Apron. Cute, no? I also tend to lose track of my seam ripper, the small scissors, the size 6 double point knitting needle I use to hold down the ends of fabric while ironing, etc. This handy thing should keep everything in place.

I'm an absent minded sewist as you probably gathered and I could use all the help I can get keeping crap straight.

You think they have a sanity apron?

Back in the Saddle Again

Or for the first time really.

I'm on the last vestiges of the first Child Plague of 2011 and well enough to launch my happy ass out of bed at 6:30 in the morning . . . okay, more like 6:53. Hey, at least I'm up. I am happy to report that I made actual conversation with the plaguelings beyond grunts and growls and participated in the act of getting them out of the house. At 7 and 9, the plaguelings are fully capable of getting themselves dressed and out the door with only a quick once over to make sure they didn't pull sh*t out of the dirty clothes pile. But it was kind of nice to talk to them in the morning beyond yelling at them to stop bickering every five minues. Pete was even nice enough to mix me up my morning shot of hot chocolate.

I could get used to this, I think.

So, what to do with my day . . . finish the aprons perhaps?

Yes, I'm still working on those pesky ass things. The extra purple fabric for take one arrived yesterday and I picked up another half yard of the owl fabric for take two to compensate for my own personal stupidity in cutting out a side piece backwards. I also finally won the war with my stubborn ruffler. (See picture above)

Let the housewifery begin!

Monday, January 24, 2011

You give me fever!


The one thing they never tell you before you have kids is what germy little gross things they are. Oh sure, you hear about how they get sick and you have to spend years in the doctor's office while they get poked and prodded and diagnosed with various illnesses. What they don't tell you is nine times out of ten, your kid will get the sniffles but pass onto you some kind of raging monster that leaves you comotose in your bed for three days straight.

I'm thinking I should spray them down with Lysol before they enter my house, no?

I almost feel bad for them though. I made potato soup but between the congestion, the fever, and the cepacol I have no idea what the stuff tastes like.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I was wrong

In the bad news category, I didn't have enough fabric to finish the apron I mentioned in my "Snarktastical sucks at daily goals" post. So now there is a sad, half done apron lying across my ironing board waiting for the fat quarter of purple fabric I need to finish it.

In the good news category, I have enough of the fabric on the right to start anew. YAY! So let's try this next 24 hours thing again.

In the next twenty four hours I will:

  1. Cut out and complete one apron.
  2. Cut out two child sized aprons.
  3. Frog the legwarmer. (No, I still haven't done that. Shaddup.)
  4. Read over the pattern directions for Heather's Hello Kitty bag.
  5. Figure out what to do with the chicken thighs and mushrooms in my refrigerator.

Some kind of wonderful

My beautiful silk chiffon jcrew dress arrived this morning, perfectly packaged in its sweet box. I just love those flat dress boxes. They remind me of old movies where the dapper gent has a new dress wrapped and delivered to his lady love. This probably goes a long way towards explaining my UPS addiction.

BTW, if you don't know, jcrew keeps their clearance rack humming with gorgeous lifetime wardrobe dresses at a great prices. Quite honestly, I'm entirely too cheap for jcrew's socks, much less their dresses. But if you sign up for their email list, they will send you coupon codes for the sales rack. And this is how I came to own a $195 dress for the bargain basement price of thirty-five smackaroos.

I always wondered why there was a snap in the shoulders of their dresses though. Now I feel like an idiot. Today I realized that it came apart making it useful for keeping bra straps in their place. I'm so doing this on my next dress project.

p.s. Can I wear these shoes with it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Next Twenty-Four

In the next twenty four hours, I aim to:

  1. Frog the ruffle on pinky's legwarmers as she's decided she wants them longer (For all you non-knitters, frogging is when you undo rows of stitching. Rip it, rip it, rip it, you get the picture.)
  2. Finish the main body of the baby sweater I've been working on (For someone else's baby, I promise.)
  3. Go to the post office
  4. Finish Apron Number 1
  5. Cut out Apron Number 2
**Leg warmers pictured above. Don't give me that look. They are for pinky's ballet class.

On the Wings of Love!

Ottobre, Ottobre, how I love thee!

Another one of my New Year's resolutions was to stop buying patterns. As I was packing up after all the Christmas sewing, I realized my ass has a problem. Okay, so more like 170 problems. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This is how many patterns I own. Sad but true.

Doesn't look like 170 patterns, does it? Those little envelopes can be deceptive.

As one last pattern hurrah, I subscribed to the very adorable, very versatile, Ottobre Design Magazine. Six issues a year, four children's, two women's. This is very useful as finding cute boy patterns worth sewing for pete is quite the difficult task. And so, I have a lovely pattern subscription to act as the methodone to my pattern addiction.

My first issue came in the mail today. SQUEE!!!!!

The infant patterns are enough to make my ovaries ache but I quickly glossed past those chubby cheeked little barf monsters to the relevant portions.

She's Standing in her Underwear

I wish I could remember where I read it so I could give proper credit. But someone mentioned that only in the last twenty or thirty years or so have people relied more on diet and exercise than undergarments to deal with perceived flaws in their figure.

This could definately work to my advantage in the coming year. The simple fact is just as the lovely ladies in Steel Magnolias discussed, there was a time when no well bred lady left the house without the proper undergarments. I'm not sure I can commit to a full on girdle as I'm a cheap heifer and it's hot as hell in Georgia 75% of the year. But I do believe I can incorporate more nice underpinnings into my wardrobe.

Have you seen What Katie Did? The prices, while likely well worth it, are making the little baby jeebus who lives in my pocket weep sad tears of misery. And so, in frugal retro housewife fashion, I shall have to make do.

A little trip around the wonderful world of Etsy is in order, don't you think? After a quick look, I do believe this is a front runner. Though it doesn't seem like it, there's quite a bit I can do with this pattern. I could elongate the top to make a cute little cami or leave off the top for a half slip. The pattern on the right is the perfect size for my little pinky, I think.

P.S. Amy, I'm not buying them. I already have a couple patterns I can adapt.

Fly Like an Eagle

Ever notice how the UPS man always takes his slow sweet time when you're waiting for something?


And boy was I waiting for something. Interestingly enough, I ordered this little gem before I had my grand idea but it's quite appropriate for my new venture. I perused a copy in Barnes and Noble then went right home and ordered it from What can I say? Amazon has better pricing.

And here she is: A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu.

Don't let the cover fool you. It's chockabock full of cute little apron ideas fom the half apron pictured on the cover to smock style aprons that will cover you up like Jim Bob's eighth wife.

If I'm going to be getting dressed every morning and doing stuff like cleaning, baking, and other nice housewifey things, I'll be needing a couple aprons to keep my clothes from looking like something my dog shat on after playing tug of war with the kids. I already have some fabric in mind, a couple recent purchases from Connecting Threads.

I'd show you which ones but they appear to be sold out. I'll just have to sew up one or two and post tomorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Get Ready 'Cause Here I Come!

So what's the plan, Stan?

Welp, Rome wasn't built in a day, people so I'll start off small with a handful of easily accomplished goals. The way I see it, sticking to said goals will be the real test. So here's what I have so far.

"Dress for the Day"

If you're anything like me, you probably don't bother getting dressed until you have somewhere to be. And since I rarely have anywhere to be, I generally sit around in my pajamas for the majority of the day. This would apparently be a major no no for a Fifties housewife. For the next year, I shall pull myself from bed at a decent time, don a presentable outfit, a dab of make up and maybe even some jewelry, even if I'm just planning to clean. I will not, however, be wearing heels to vaccuum.

"Early to Bed, Early to Rise"

I can feel myself having the shakes already. But if I'm going to be a productive little busy bee, I'll no longer have time to lay in bed watching the People's Court or stay up all night watching Highlander. (Don't judge.) And lookie here, the People's Court comes on at nine am, just about when I should be done in the kitchen and settling down for some sewing time.

"Organization is the key to a happy home."

Okay so I totally made that up. But it sounds nice, yes? I won't be a schedule nazi or a neat freak but a good portion of this experiment is dedicated to being less of a slob. Organization seems to be the place to start.

Well, that's it for now. After all, if I tell you everything today, what else am I going to have to blog about?
"Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed."

That little gem was taken from a 1955 article in an issue of "Housekeeping Weekly." I'll give you a moment to stop laughing hysterically.

Need more time?

At first glance, you kind of sort of want to punch the man who wrote this in the face. And really, it had to be a man, yes? But let's ignore the part where they paint the wife as man's only salvation after a grueling day at the office and focus on the actual advice. While I might not agree that mr man's day was so immeasurably more difficult than mine, I do think that having a plan in mind and serving dinner at the same time every day is a really good idea.

So, that's goal one. Eat dinner by 6:00.

Speaking of dinner, want a simple recipe for potato soup?

4 strips of bacon. cut into small pieces
1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced
4-5 medium potatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 cup half and half
1 tbsp butter
3 oz shredded cheese

1. Cook the bacon in a heavy sauce pan on high heat, stirring often until brown. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Turn off the heat and try not to nibble too much of the saved bacon like my fat ass usually does.

2. Drop the minced garlic into the bacon fat and turn the heat to very, very low. While that sits, cut your potatoes into 1-2 inch cubes. Turn the heat up to high again and add the potatoes. Make sure you stir it fairly often so the garlic doesn't burn.

3. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and a couple shakes of garlic powder. When the potatoes are all golden crispy, pour in the chicken broth and water. Add the bay leaf. Cover and let cook over medium heat.

4. After about ten minutes, taste the broth and add salt and pepper if necessary. Replace the cover and continue cooking on medium heat. Once the potatoes are fork tender, use the back of the spoon to mash them against the sides of the pot.

5. Remove the bay leaf. Then, stir in the cream, butter, cheese, and bacon.

6. Try not to die of happiness.

A Whole New World!

Late one night, while perusing Etsy for vintage patterns I don't need and avoiding cleaning my house, a random thought occured to me.

"Damn I wish I'd been born and raised one of those people with the innate need to be orderly, neat, and well put togther."

It wasn't the first time I've had that thought, trust. But it was the first time I've had this little idea. What would it be like to live as a dedicated housewife? To be one of those women who puts dinner on the table by 6:30 every night? Who greets the day all cheerful and ready to organize something? To make orderly little grocery lists, let out seams, find a use and a place for everything, and generally be well ordered, frugal, productive and resourceful.

And so an idea was born. Perhaps if I swung the pendulum in the complete opposite direction for an entire year, it would fall to something within an acceptable range. As it stands, living one traumatic event or major injury from an episode of Hoarders is not working for me.

In one last hurrah to my old, procrastinating nature, I won't be starting until Sunday, January 23. For the entire year following, I will try my best to live in the spirit of those perky little housewives of yore, without the assistance of valium. Judging by that little picture up there, I'll be lucky if I make it a week.

So mix yourself up a Manhattan and enjoy the ride.

Made by Lena