Friday, July 17, 2015

Best Summer Cake EVER!

I love to bake, but my pies and scones are my specialty.  My cookies used to be good until we moved to Seattle.  Not sure why, but every cookie I have made here has been sawdust.

However, I just made the best cake EVER, in my life.  We had a bunch of plums from my CSA at the farmer's market.  They were a bit overripe for eating, but I couldn't throw them out and wasn't up for making jam.  I searched and found:

Plum Tatin!

This bit of heaven has a tender vanilla cake covered by sweet/tart plums.  I used Ina Garten's recipe with a couple of minor changes.  I used my 9 inch cast iron skillet.  Made the sugar and water syrup in that, then placed the plums in the skillet, covered it with the cake batter and baked.

It came easily out of the pan onto the plate.  Can't eat it all right away?  No worries, just wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator.   Cut a slice, microwave for 13-15 seconds and eat.  Still amazingly delicious after two days, especially with french roast coffee.  Now that I am all sugared up, I have to get sewing!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sewing My Heart Out ?

The Bainbridge Island Studio Tour is coming up quickly:  August 7, 8, and 9th.  I have been pretty well chained to my dark studio under an ott light sewing my coats.  At first my goal was to have 20 coats for sale, then my number revised down to 15 as family circumstances had me elsewhere for a few days.  (Here is a view from the ferry as I make my way to the airport.  This is rush hour on Thursday evening at Eliot Bay.  And on this ferry trip I got to see 3 orcas and two dolphins, no kidding!  It was amazing.  My husband was flabbergasted.  I rarely take the ferry, he commutes to and from work on it every day, and he still can't believe that I got to see orcas before him.  Must have been a sign of good things to come!)

Then camps started, and I started driving hither and yon.  Fourth of July arrived and we spent the day watching the parade and hanging out (Cute parade with the hit of the parade being Tiny the Lamb, she even has her own Facebook page.)  Then drove down to the harbor to watch the fireworks.  The harbor was filled with sailboats.  It was twice the fun (pun intended) as the lights were reflected in the Sound.

Then we had guests for the weekend. They were our first since moving here in December, and it was great to have them and a real motivator to get those last few boxes unpacked and get the guest room set up.  Now we are ready for more visitors!)  

Now my goal is to have 12 coats/vests with at least two of each size (XS, S, M, L).

Each coat or vest is made of some recycled piece of clothing be it a pair of pants, wool slacks or a men's coat.

I then make up the rest in new fabric that complements the old, and then each piece is lined with beautiful new fabric.  Each coat or vest has something unique be it ribbons (my favorites are from LFN (Laura Foster Nicholson, and if you haven't found her yet, click now and don't wait!), but sometimes something a little plainer works), wool appliqué pieced from leftovers from another coat, or embroidery.

Hopefully, people will be so intrigued that they will order their own coat using unused items out of their closet they can't bear to part with?  You know those items, like the first tailored blazer that I made in my twenties with awesome Italian wool, and lovely Japanese fabric lining, but sewn in with gold thread (really?  Yes, what was I thinking?)  It has sat in my closet for years but I just can't part with it, but I will NEVER wear it again.

I have been so busy sewing that I have not updated the blog in ages.  Just wanted to take a quick moment to update.  I having been listening to old podcasts about crafting and one woman talked of her documentation of her process of making yarn from sheared wool on Instagram.  So, I am trying to document the process of making some of my coats and vests.  Take a look at Instagram and see the men's wool cashmere coat being cut apart and remade.

If you are near Seattle, come to the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour and look for With Needle and Stick!