Monday, May 31, 2010

Shelf of the Week - Gray

Some people will be relieved (my sister, Barb) that next week will be my last shelf-of-the-week feature.  Yep, my fabric shelves will all be reorganized with white next week.  This week's color is gray.

Disheveled grays.

New and improved, organized grays.  YAY!

A vibrant, large scale barkcloth with an unusual texture - almost like a fused knit.
Those flowers are at least 10" across.

A nice medium weight woven.

A plain weave floral with a big 30" repeat.

A stylized geometric barkcloth in chartreuse, green and rose.

A barkcloth with a scene showing a fence, well and bucket/jar.

Another scenic barkcloth disguised as a floral.  This print features Grecian statues, architecture and the red seems to give it a touch of Asian.  That will do it for my gray highlights - hope you enjoyed them. 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!  I'm off to make Belgian waffles for the fam and then we walk a block to watch our little local Memorial Day Parade.  Have to see the clown on the bike with uneven wheels, the musket-toting mountain men, and the Shriners on go-carts... and of course, my son in the marching band on trumpet!

Later that same day...
Chelsea, Nate, Trent, Lars and Spring at the parade.  Trent found a big piece of chalk in the grass and directed the paraders where to throw their candy.  It worked.  They pulled in quite a haul this year!

Keaton (center), Daniel(left) and Devon (2nd left) on trumpet.
The following picture needs no explanation.
 Hope you had an inspiring Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cookie of the Month - Dino Sugar Cookies

I asked the Nelsons (the people who bought my cookies at the scholarship auction) if they had a preference for this month's cookie.  They said they'd like dinosaur cookies for their grandsons who would be visiting over Memorial Day.  I saw these big mouth chompers made with a heart shaped cookie cutter several places online.  By the way, if you want to see some beautiful cookies check out Sweet SugarBelle's blog.  Amazing!  She's a cookie artist if there ever was one.

Usually I like my sugar cookies with a nice butter cream frosting - tasty, fluffy and soft.  However, with butter cream I wouldn't have been able to get a clear design and I can never stack them - so this time I decided to use a corn syrup frosting that actually semi-hardens in a couple of hours.  It worked just as I hoped.  Let me walk you through the design, but first let's talk recipes.  The recipe I use for the cookies (by the way, it's the best sugar cookie I've ever eaten) can be found in a post from last September.  The new shiny frosting recipe follows:

Corn Syrup Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

To thin, add a little more corn syrup or drops of milk.  This yummy frosting can be piped on for borders as well as filling in.  It doesn't get too hard and stays nice and shiny.  I mixed this amount up several times and tinted as needed.  I doubled this recipe for the green icing on these cookies - about 36 cookies. 

Start with the heart on it's side and outline the dinosaur's mouth.  I use paste food colorings and just add a bit of several colors to get black.  If it's reddish, add green to kill the red.  If it's too green, add red to kill the green... pretty soon you'll have black.  I piped this on with a pastry bag fitted with a #3 tip.

Squeeze a bit more frosting inside the mouth.

Smooth it out with a tapered spatula or another pointed tool.

Here's your mouth so far.

Fill in red for the tongue.

With green frosting, outline the rest of the cookie.

Fill in with more green.  I think I like this green for dinosaurs because somewhere in the back of my head I think they all should be green like the old Sinclair Gas Station dinosaur.

Last, add the teeth and eyes.  To get a nice opaque white, I used a small amount of royal frosting for the eyeballs and the teeth using a #2 tip for the teeth and #3 for the eyes.  Here's the royal frosting recipe I use:  

Royal Frosting
(small amount)

1 egg white
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar  
 (Whip for five minutes on high)

Add a dot of black glaze to complete the eyes and you are finished with your fearsome and scary dinosaur cookies.  They'll harden enough to stack in about 90 minutes.  Go ahead and chomp the chompers.  Oooh, yummy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ruby Lemons?

Sometimes I get asked where the name RubyLemons came from.
Honestly?  It was inspired by a dress.

A 60s A-line dress with front zipper and patch pockets.
The belt is missing.

...with red lemons on it.  Clearly red and clearly lemons.
Unusual and unexpected, but cheerful and fun.

Kinda looks homemade, but it isn't.  Step-'n-Go was a line of zip front dresses in the 60s with a slogan something like:  Step in - Zip up - Go.  I like it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sewer vs. Sewist

I've been seeing a new word creep into the sewing world vocabulary - "Sewist."
It intrigues me. 

OK, it's true.
For the first 15 pages of Google images (at least)
this was the only kind of "sewer" depicted. 

Perhaps we more creative types don't want to be associated with that type of sewer.  Word Spy has some interesting history on the use of "sewist."  There is also an entertaining column in the Bangor Daily News about the term.  So, what do you think?  Tailor?  Seamstress?  Sempstress?  Sewer?  Stitchologist?  Sewist?  Does it matter?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shelf of the Week - Brown

We are nearing the end of my "Shelf of the Week" series with the brown shelf.  I've already blogged about the reorganization of my pink, blue, yellow, red & purple, black, green, and cream vintage fabrics.  The only remaining groups are gray and white, but today I will highlight some of the fabrics on my brown shelf.

My browns were getting mixed in with the nearby grays and greens.  I actually got rid of a couple old and decrepit pieces - which proves I can part with my fabric... some of it, anyway.

 Ahh, take a breath -- so much better!

There were still some interesting pieces like this old narrow yardage with bursts of turquoise and pink roses over larger silver shadowy outlines of flowers.

A heavy chintz.

A 50s cowboy print cotton.

This is an unusual eyelet with 2" amoeba shapes.

A fun 50s barkcloth with touches of gold and turquoise.

A crisp, heavy cotton featuring a Jacobean style print rounds out some of the fabrics on my brown shelf.  Two weeks left of "Shelf of the Week."  After that I have drawers, bins and boxes full of hankies, laces, trims, ribbons and buttons - but don't worry, I won't go on and on.  It's time to start showing you what I'm makin' with this stuff!  Happy sewing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yellow shade blooming flowers seem rare... but I'm no expert.

That's why I love my little trolius  or globe flower.

The little blooms are sunny and brighten up the shade
in my lily-of-the-valley garden.

p.s.  Yes, the title of this post is a nod to the Tro-lo-lo guy on YouTube.  Now that the entire family  (including 5 people between the ages of 15 and 25) is back under the same roof, I'm surrounded by youth and they think this guy is funny.

And when you're done watching him, watch the Tro-lo-lo cat

Laughter -- the best medicine. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shelf of the Week - Green

The green shelf was mixed up with the grays and the browns and half the fabrics were dumped down behind, but now all is well again.

The greens are nicely folded and separated on the top two shelves of my crummy particle board unit.  The greens yielded some interesting treasures.

36" cotton

Forest green, teal and rose barkcloth from the early 40s.

A crepe, satiny, rayon - I'm guessing from the 40s.

Giant feather plume barkcloth.

The coolest, crunchy crisp, cotton with gold splotches.

A barkcloth featuring odd English scenes...

and furniture.

Love this medium weight woven from the 60s.  This is the one that I previously mentioned reminds me of the dress fabric worn by Betty Draper in Mad Men.  See below.

A loud medium weight from the late 60s -- early 70s?
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