Archive for the 'Fall' Category

Preserving Autumn

Yesterday’s adventure in the kitchen was canning applesauce. 

On Monday I picked up a big box of apples from one of our local orchards.  They were having a sale, so the box of red delicious apples (over 25 pounds!) was only $5.  Being a bargain shopper, I fell for it, thinking I’d can it into applesauce.  Never mind the fact that I’ve never canned anything before.  With the wonder of the internet, you can go from novice to expert in just a few clicks.  After reading up for a bit, and begging the loan of a canner from my friend Melissa, I got out some pots and pans and set to work.

First, I peeled and chopped the apples and put them in my biggest pot.  After a dozen apples, I could hardly see a dent in the box, and the pot was getting pretty full.  I added a few more apples for good measure, then put in about a cup and a half of water and turned on the heat.  Meanwhile, I filled the canner with hot water from the tap and put it on the stove, and stuck my jars into the dishwasher to sanitize and stay hot while I was cooking.  The lids went into a little pan of water on the third of my four burners where they heated up at a low simmer.  As the applesauce cooked, I added a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon.  When the apples were soft, I used my immersion blender to blend the applesauce to a smooth consistency.  At this point, I found I needed to add a bit more water to make it look just right.  Time for a check:  Hot water in the canner?  Hot jars in the dishwasher?  Hot lids on the stove?  Hot applesauce in the pot?  Yep!  Ready to go.  Now I filled the hot jars with hot applesauce, placed a hot lid on each and secured it with a (not hot) ring.  Then I placed the jars into the hot water canner, crossed my fingers and waited.  After sitting for 20 minutes in boiling water, the jars were ready to be removed to a towel on the counter to cool.  About two minutes after I took the jars out of the canner, I started hearing the ping of the lids sealing, and felt the pride of accomplishment.

Oh, you want to know how it tastes?  Nu-uh!  I canned those babies to last through the winter, so there’s no way I’m cracking the seal today.  But I do have about 15 pounds of apples left, so it’s pretty likely I’ll make another batch today.

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Fall Fashion Trend: Corduroy.

This is the time of year when I feel inspired to sew for the upcoming season.  So, even though the weather has been swelteringly hot, I’ve been  sewing with corduroy.  The first project, a “round neck dress” in corduroy coordinates.  I love the colors in these fabrics, perfect on my blue-eyed-blondes.  Thanks to Mary for the inspiration to use this summery pattern for Fall sewing, it worked out perfectly! 

Actually, I have to let you know, this is the sample for the next size range of my round neck top/dress pattern.  I had so many requests to make this style available for older girls, I drafted three more sizes, which fit girls approximately size 8 to 14.  Look for it coming to my Etsy shop soon!

I also faced one of my sewing fears: the zipper fly.  I’m really proud of the way these pants turned out, even though they’re not perfect, I know what I should do differently next time.

Long-Awaited Pictures.

No, I still haven’t made an appointment to have family pictures done.  Yes, the last time I had family pictures done was….well, do wedding pictures count?  I did have pictures taken of my girls when they were about 2 and 4…they’re 5 and 7 now.  And they have a little brother who has never seen the inside of a real photo studio in his entire 20 months.  Enough of my maternal shortcomings, I’ll make an appointment next week.  And, I’m really more of a snapshot kind of gal.

What I was talking about, is pictures of the latest product of my craftiness.  And here it is, my newest bag.

Moda Blossom Charm Tote

I made this bag out of a Charm Pack of Moda’s Blossom fabrics.  I think the colors are lovely for this time of year.  The lining is brown like the straps, which are attached using d-rings.  This is a simple square bag, the size was determined by the number of fabrics in the pack (two were left and used on the small interior pocket).  I added a little snap to each of the outside edges to help give the bag a little shape.  You can see what I’m talking about in these pictures:

 

A few new things…

I have done some sewing this week, but I haven’t had much chance to blog about it.   The biggest news of the week is that I’m working on overcoming my fear of zippers.  Now, I consider myself a pretty confident seamstress, there’s not too much that I’m afraid to try (although it may end up in the trash when I decide I’m done trying it) but zippers have been one of those things for me.  This week, I made a little zipper pouch.  And it turned out good!  I’m so proud of me.

 Here it is!


I did this little Fall inspired tree embroidery freehand.


And there’s the zipper! 


And on the inside, I used this little brown dot fabric.  I actually finished the edges by the zipper nicely on the inside, but the side seams are just turned to the inside and serged.  I’m only explaining, because I feel a little guilty about not doing a proper lining, but hey…who’s gonna know?

I used the little wristlet today when I went to church and to do some shopping.  It’s great to not have to haul around a large purse in addition to the three children I always seem to have in tow.  It fit some cash, my debit card and driver’s license, my cell phone and my car keys; pretty much all the necessities.

And, the other project this week was a second pair of Gauchos to match Gymboree’s Harvest Leaves line.  Here they are:

These Fall colors and soft corduroys were dreamy to work with.  The weather here is finally cooling down so it feels like Fall now.  And I love the way the waistband went in on these, it’s rib knit with encased elastic, so it’s super comfy to wear!  And the orange topstitching, and the applique….well, I’m just happy with how these turned out.