Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sewing Endeavor

I've done it again, gone way over my head. Dove in too fast, too deep. I designed a coat for myself. A late era Victorian style coat with lace ruffles, a high neck, a swooping princess cut, made of pseudo-suede, with fleece interfacing and a silky lining.

Did I mention I haven't sewn in years and that the limit of that was making theatre costumes for a Junior high or for Comic-Con? No joke. Much like this:
That's me and a good friend of mine who've I used to be with me in theatre in jr. High. We're at the Con. I made both my costume and his hat, though the hat was last minute because he lost the one I made for him last year that was much better.
Anyhow, As you can see, the costumes are over the top, nothing's pressed, there's no lining. Pretty stitch and go type things. A little creativity, to be sure, but not much.
So, I started it a week ago and put on the sleeves and collar tonight. Here are some images of tonight's work. Sorry for the crappy full body shot. It's through this warped, cheap, crappy son of a gun mirror hanging on our bathroom door.

Wish me luck. It's almost time for the lining, hemming and button holes. >.<

[Above] Knuckles (the black one): We're watching her and Thomas (Orange and furry) for Boyo's 'Rents while they're in London on Holiday. She's made me her new buddy and always wants to play. Constantly following me and laying on me... or whatever I'm working on. Thwarting my efforts by her mewing and batting at the string I'm basting through the jacket. Thinking every piece of pattern paper is something to play with and I'm on the floor to love her. *sigh*.[Above] I find myself doing this a lot. Go figure. -.-;

[Above] The rough design. I still need to tailor it in a bit. Made it too large thinking the fleece interface would be fluffier... [Above] Putting the finished collar on.

[Above] I'm done for the night after that! The collar and the sleeves, (plus one sleeve cuff, but it's temporary anyway.). =D

Please, if you're out there. Give me some advice. =[

Since then;

Let me begin by apologizing for the absence. We don't have internet at our home and the last attempt to post at another cafe failed as my laptop was the only one that couldn't connect to the internet. (Don't ask, it's not a Mac).

Alright! On the cooking angle, the first time using the KitchenAid Ultra Power (late model from the 50's) I entered into a cooking frenzy. Starting with making a late lunch-early dinner (not on the K.Aid) of my famous Coconut Rice. It's full of aromatic ginger and cinnamon sticks, a few good sized cloves of fresh garlic, butter, jasmine rice, toasted coconut, lime zests... Delicious. Even I agree!

Then I dove into the K.Aid. >] I whipped up Almond Cookies, Mixed Fruit Biscotti, Vanilla Dusted Cheesecake with a Chocolate Ganache with a hint of orange, 2 loaves of Honey Butter Beer French bread, then cooled off and made my boyo (aka my love, my boyfriend/best friend) homemade tomato sauce with meat, fresh tomatoes and basil, and whatever else my I could throw into the dish (without tasting!) to make it scrumptious for him. (The only thing he'd really asked me to make was the biscotti.)

To start off with, I feel I must inform you, dear reader, that I am a vegetarian and sometimes dabble on the vegan end. I'll indulge with fish every now and again, but that's the extent of my "Pushing the limits" on that one.

I'm an anxious baker. Cooking I'm fine with, but I need a set of guidelines for baking. I alter and modify without hesitation. Actually, I can't follow a recipe exactly. Something in me HAS to change it. See if I can make it better. The few recipes I have followed to the T never impressed me.
I don't know where the line is when cookies become cakes or breads. I'm beginning to have an inkling, but not enough to dabble. Until yesterday.
Once upon a time Boyo came home from Henry's with a bag of cereal (I'm an addict). It was a cinnamon Muesli. We'd just gone on a big Muesli kick and it'd been a surprise for me. We poured it into our bowls and coughed. Wearily, we drowned the dark brown oats and strange looking clumps in soymilk and took a bite.
We nearly expired. There was so much cinnamon as we poured clouds of dust flew up into our lungs, clung to our clothes and the backs of our throats. Upon inspection of the bag, it's almost all pure ground cinnamon. I can fill my empty cinnamon bottle with it and stop grinding the sticks.
I was resolved to make the remaining 1/2 lb and do something with it. Cookies? Cake? Pie crust?
I opted for cookies. Realizing that I didn't actually have a cookie dough recipe I nearly threw in the towel.
Then thought, what the hell. If I waste it, then I waste it.
And set to work.
I added butter, then the oats all in the K.Aid. I added sugar and flour, an egg, a little pure vanilla extract. And prayed. I took out a cookie sheet and (since the oven was already running at 325* because there was another version of Honey Bread in the oven) I seperated the dough into half. It was sticky, way too sticky to handle. I laid out powdered sugar, coated my hands with it and tried to form cookies. They all stuck to my hands. After managing to get them on the sheet and popped into the oven, I looked at the brown mess of my hands. At the dark splotchy spots on the counters. This was destined for failure.
Then I got a strange urge and licked my hand.
Yes, lovies, I know all about the dangers of salmonella poisoning, how it is more predominant in eggs and more people DIE because of undercooked eggs per year than any disease or accident.
But yes, I eat eggs. Organic, cage free, humanely treated eggs. Sometimes, the common white, but let's not get into this. It already irks me that this boarders the line and I may as well throw in the vegetarian towel. I know. Yes, I know. It's my constant internal debate.
I couldn't stop eating the dough. When the cookies came out, I dusted them with more powdered sugar. And couldn't stop eating them. They were wonderful! After 2 or 3... or 4. Okay, let's be honest. 4 or 5. I'm in love. I managed not to eat them all by telling myself I was going to bring a hot batch over to the coffee shop for Boyo, when he walked in the door.
He took these pictures of them today while I was at work:

My love eating what I made with love. =}

Am definitely going to make it into a pie crust.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Discovering a lack of passion outside of photography.

The love of my life told me recently that I'm missing my passion. I sort of agree with him. I have a deep interest in photography, but is it a passion? Becoming, perhaps. I've an interest in cooking and baking. Passion? Maybe. An interest in designing and making vintage late-era victorian-modern blend clothing for my everyday wardrobe. Passion? We'll see. A passion for writing? Is mild an answer?

I love riding my bicycle, but is that a passion? I don't want to race...

The only thing I've been able to put fully to the word "Passion" (outside of the bedroom) is reading. I've always been an avid and dedicated reader. But it's not doing anything but "zoning out". I'm interested in historical fictions which border on non-fictions based on the historical truths the books follow. But it's not practical information and there is no end product from these readings. Thus, a productive passion.

To pursue upon the previously listed interests further is going to be the point of this blog. Hopefully.

I'm already getting wrist deep in chemicals for B&W photography (Medium format, a love of mine). I've recently purchased an older KitchenAide in relatively good condition to pursue cooking/baking. I'm also acquiring a sewing machine and have "designed" a coat for myself. The time line for the coat? Christmas.

In time, through all of the stumbling, the grumbling about misaligned stitching, tearing seams, bland cakes, cracking fondant and under or overexposed images, I will find what in the world I'm good at. What I'd like to continue doing! And what I'm going to throw out the window. Literally.

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