Sunday, June 27, 2010

Skirting the Issue

You might not think it if you passed me on the street, since my normal "uniform" is a denim jacket, slacks, and Chuck Taylors, but I'm kind of a girly-girl. I enjoy reading fashion magazines, playing with makeup and shopping for clothes. Then there's hair--don't even get me started on hair! 

I wanna talk about skirts. I love skirts. They can be dressed up or they can go casual, they can be fun and girly or classic and sophisticated. A skirt, provided it's the right length, is nearly always an appropriate choice. They're the perfect spring and summer staple(think cool and breezy) and equally fabulous in fall and winter when paired with tights or great boots. You can't go wrong with a great skirt.

The sad thing...even though I'm a confessed skirt lover, I rarely wear them anymore. In fact, I wore a skirt exactly one time during the past school year.  Once upon a time I wore them often. When I returned home from Europe(where everyone seemed to be in skirts all the time), I went skirt crazy and wore them constantly. And then I gained a little weight...OK, at least ten pounds...and I stopped wearing them. 

It's funny, but my desire to wear skirts seems to go hand in hand with myself self-esteem. If I'm feeling like I look OK, you'll see me wearing skirts more often. If I'm feeling that I look like Jabba the Hutt's sister, you won't. And for a while now, I've been feeling more Hutt-like than OK.  And that's not OK.

I'm too old to be worried about everyone else is thinking. And it's high time I got comfortable in my own skin, tree trunk legs and all. I think it's time I start wearing skirts again!

Although never one to pass up a shopping spree, I'd like to make some new skirts rather than run out and buy them. I love the idea that they can be custom fit and made from fun, funky prints. Considering I get it right. I have made a skirt before. Twice, actually! This is the first one and I go into mind numbing detail about the experience here if you're interested in that sort of thing.
My second attempt at a skirt is below. It's made from a vintage sheet(and yes, I have worn it in public). The details of that one are here.
 I have an embarrassing number of skirt patterns in my stash. I won't tell you how many, but I will say it's more than five. I'm thinking about using one of these three for my next attempt. They're all rumored to be easy patterns. I don't believe that for a second, but I'm willing to try.

And just because I have 500 skirt patterns in my stash(I exaggerate) does not mean that I'm above ordering yet another. This one got a nice review on SewMamaSew and it looks like it might be flattering--I love the simple lines and the length on this one. Lots of fun fabric possibilities. July 7 edit: I just bought this pattern too! I seriously need help for my addictions.
Any opinions on these patterns? Take into consideration that I'm 5'4"ish and NOT a size 8...or get the idea.

And while I'm asking questions...what's your favorite thing to wear? Least favorite? Do you think what you wear affects how you feel about yourself or is it the other way around?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Sewing Machine Hates Me

Remember the time I Killed My Iron? Well, I think I may have seriously injured--or at the very least infuriated my sewing machine last night in an effort to learn to do a random meandering/stipple design. I think I pushed her past her limits. In addition to going 100MPH because my machine has no speed control, I was relentless with the sewing!  First I went crazy on a small quilt sandwich, then on countless sheets of paper, next back to the quilt sandwiches until finally she coughed, sputtered, and slowed down to a crawl. The bulb even gave up and burnt out on me!  I have so much I want to finish before school starts back...a couple quilts, a Toy Society project, aprons for the etsy shop, and a secret project that I'd hoped to get done before my Chicago trip next week. And now, nothing is going to get done for a while. Nothing but a trip to the repair shop, that is. I'm hoping that a good cleaning and oiling will do the trick and have ole' Katie Kenmore(and me) whistling a happy tune instead of crying the blues.

In the meantime. I suppose I can finally photograph and list the aprons that are ready to go into my etsy shop. I can read that stack of books I planned on being halfway through that I've only just begun to read. I could cook...I could even try out some of the recipes(for Mark) from this great  blog that Val sent me. There's plenty that I could do to keep busy. But y'all know I'd rather be sitting at the sewing machine listening to showtunes on Pandora!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

To my dad.
He is most excellent and much loved.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kellie Cooks(and eats) A Vegan Dish...And Lives to Tell About It!

My husband is a vegan. I am sooo not a vegan. He is thin, I am chubby fat extra-large not thin. I'm certain I could point out more health related differences between us and chalk it up to his vegan-ism, but I'll stop at the thin/not thin thing. Since that's where I always end up...Weight. Sigh.

I tried to do the no meat/no dairy for a while not too long ago. It didn't last long...almost made it three weeks. Surprisingly, I didn't miss the meat that much, but those of you who know me know that I'm not a big fan of veggies(or beans) and I will go out of my way to avoid eating them. Instead of replacing meat and dairy with vegetables, I was replacing it with Cheetos and Little Debbie cakes. So I stopped that little experiment before the weight gain got out of hand. Yeah, I know. Pathetic.

Despite my failure as a vegan, I have begun to become more interested in trying to eat healthier {{{hides M&M's wrapper and half empty glass of Coke}}} and think it's about time I started cooking(if only occasionally) for my husband of 23 years. I'm going to try a bit harder to prepare food that Mark will eat not only because it fits his vegan diet, but because it tastes good. And hopefully I can tolerate it...change is hard, people! My mother keeps telling my taste will change. Um, Mom, I'm still waiting for cauliflower and cabbage to taste like Cheetos and Little Debbie cakes.

My Grandma Doris got us this cookbook for Christmas two years ago and yesterday I blew the dust off, and cracked it open. How sad that it took me two years to use it! There are some recipes that Mark wouldn't touch due to the dairy/egg ingredients, but I have come across several that either omit those things or could be easily altered.I made a dish called Southwestern Fettuccine Bowl. It turned out to be a great recipe! Mark absolutely loved it and I will admit that I liked it too, despite my preconceived notion to the contrary. A quick and easy dish, loaded with good stuff...I'm sure it would be just as good with a whole wheat pasta of some sort substituted for the fettuccine noodles if you wanted to make it even healthier.

Southwestern Fettuccine Bowl

What You'll Need:

8 oz uncooked fettuccine
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 cup chunky salsa
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

What You'll Do:
1. Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package. Spray fettuccine 2 or 3 times with cooking spray, tossing after each spray. Remove from saucepan; cover to keep warm.

2. In same saucepan, mix remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender.

3. Divide fettuccine among 4 bowls. Top each with about 3/4 cup sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Photo brought to you by Betty Crocker. We ate ours much too quickly to get a photo!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I don't know how, but somehow my feeds were not updating. Y'all who follow may have just gotten bombarded with feeds in random order! So sorry! But at least I'm updating now, right? Now if I can figure out how to get FB's Feedburner app to work, I'll be square.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

indecisive Much?

I didn't decide what to do with these fabrics from my previous post. OK...I did decide.

I decided to do the zig zag quilt.

And then realized I didn't have enough of the gray solid to do it the way I wanted to, which was alternate rows of print & solid. My second choice is a disappearing nine patch. I still think zig zag is the way to go with those fabrics but I really don't want to shell out any more money on that particular project since the prints were on the expensive side. So I've moved that quilt to the UFO pile until I decide once and for all.

In other quilty fronts, I went to my first retreat as a new member of my local quilt club. The club is called Piecemakers...cute, huh? The ladies who are members have been quilting forever and they have sooo much knowledge and expertise. I'm thoroughly enjoying being a part of it and I think I'll become a real quilter yet, if only by association with this great group!

At the retreat I took a class on how to make a half log cabin quilt. SO much fun! And so addicting! The log cabin is one of my all time favorite quilts, and this block allows you to use a log cabin layout but takes less fabric and about half the time for the blocks.

Here are the layouts I'm thinking of doing with my finished blocks. Will be small...think lap sized.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To Zig Zag or Not to Zig Zag?

Not too long ago I made a baby zig zag quilt for a gal at work. It was my first attempt at a zig zag quilt and my first "non-pattern" attempt at a quilt, period. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out, considering my lack of quilting experience. Before I'd ever completed it, I decided I wanted to make another one that didn't scream "BABY". I thought about using 30's fabrics, but what I really wanted was something a bit more modern...I thought these fabrics fit the bill. They're from a line called Timber by Jessica Levit.I don't usually go for deep pinks, but I thought I'd step outta my turquoise/brown and 30's boxes for a change. Although that blue is a bit turquoise-y, huh?

As it always is with me, it was hard cutting into that first piece of gorgeous fabric! Somehow I managed, and for the last few nights I've been cutting everything into 5 inch squares. Once I had all my squares cut I started playing around with them.

I think they'll work well for a zig zag quilt! Imagine it's wider, longer and has more prints.BUT...what if I just do simple nine patch blocks? Oooh, that could be really nice. I like it!OK, now what if I make the nine patch blocks more random? Blech. Don't like that.And now I can't decide. This is what I get for playing! What do you think? Stick with my original plan? Go with the nine patch? Make a bunch of half square triangles and play with that layout? I'm just avoiding getting down to business with it, aren't I?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goin' to Jockey

It's been a while since our last trip to a flea market, hasn't it? Now that summer is right around the corner, I think it's the perfect time! In the summer months, this flea market, also known as Jockey, is held every Tuesday morning in the buzzing metropolis of Greenville, Ky. It has been for as long as I can remember. As a kid I went to Jockey with my Aunt Rosemary and my cousins Keely and Sandy a time or two. We'd eat junk food and wander around the grounds(being silly, no doubt). I'd marvel at all the junk, not to mention the goats, chickens, ducks, and other small animals that were sold and traded. This was before my love of all things vintage kicked in, mind you, and I can't help but wonder what kind of wonderful treasures I walked right past back in the mid 70's and early 80's that I'd be drooling over today.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Mark and I hit up the Greenville flea market, er, Jockey. It was uber hot so I lost interest in taking photos after the first 30min. or so! But I do have a few to share. So, let's see what they've got today...Is it just me, or does something evil seem to be lurking behind those eyes?Favorite photo of the day.
You can't really see them in the photo but there were also GOONIES , GREMLINS and PAC MAN lunchboxes! Ridiculously expensive, however.
That little tiger...I wanted it....badly. And that Little People A Frame house? Totally had one.Wondering if the vendor meant to be funny by putting the elephant on the tickled me.I'm strangely drawn to rusty old junk like this. Apparently ET will talk to you when you get close enough. Thank the Lord his batteries were dead.This was actually pretty darn cool...can someone convince my husband to clean out our garage and fill the walls with these old signs?More rusty junk.Mark haggling with a vendor.This quilt was was everything in this little booth.
Only at Jockey. What's sad is that someone probably used this cookbook. blech.
And even more rusty old junk. En Masse.

I bought several things. Two sets of vintage pillowcases, a set of vintage sheets, two vintage aprons, some pin up girl playing cards from 1955--they've been mailed to a swap partner, so no photo. I did take photos of two of my favorite finds of the day.

This lovely little candy dish.
And this fabulous picnic set for which I will be making matching placemats and napkins! Perhaps we'll have a picnic on our next flea market outing!

And that concludes our trip to Jockey, folks. Hope you had a good time and will come back and join me for my next flea market adventure!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where Kellie Sees the (near) Future

Today was the last day of school for our students! This means I have four more work days until I am free until the first week of August! FREE! To do absolutely nothing that I don't want to do! Oooh how I like the sound of that! What, you ask, do I have planned? I'll tell ya!
  • sleeping late
  • playing with the Miss Mya Claire, more widely know as "Goat-Dog"
  • catching up on plenty of reading
  • Cooking...yes, you read it correctly. I will cook this summer. Me. Mmm Hmm. Someone might want to notify the news media about this. Just sayin'
  • Sewing...aprons, lunch bags, clothing(gasp!), monsters, etc.
  • Couch time & movies
  • quilting, hopefully lots of it!
  • a train ride to Chicago and a 5 day stay with my kid sister
  • Not Working!
The (near) future is looking mighty good, y'all!