Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I decided (I also change my mind about every couple of days, so don't be surprised when this lingers. I get back to things eventually, but attention span is for other people.), but I decided that early period is just unflattering on me. It doesn't make me feel pretty, I prefer a bit more structure in my clothing, and so late period appeals.

Venetian will come, but for now I'm settled at mutt middle class Elizabethan. There's more hand holdy info for Elizabethan, and my sewing confidence is fairly terrible at the moment, so hand holding is important. If I was sane, I'd shell out the money for patterns, which would only need tweaking, I'm not good at sane. (I generally need to do it DIY the hard way first and /then/ enjoy the fruits of others' labours and wonder why I didn't do it this way in the first place!)

To this aim, I figure I need some basic layers. Chemise/smock. Petticoat (skirt). Bodice (pair of bodies, corset). Sleeves. Coif. Those are, as best as I can determine, the absolute bare bones of dressed enough to be seen in public. 

Then we get into the nice to haves. Doublet or Kirtle or Petticoat bodies to go over that whole shebang. Knit stockings (or sewn hose, but I'm a knitter). A loose coat to further go over that previous whole shebang. Hat. 

I keep having delusions about how fast I make things. (hint: Not at all). 

So I might be wearing the poor old brown tunic for some time to come. I do, however, have the chemise (basically) finished! Just hemming, and I'm 1/3rd done that! 

Look! A cuff!
I also have started swatching for stockings. I haven't entirely decided on yarn / needles or design, but I'm giving this combo a try. 

If all goes well, I might have stockings to enter in Spring A&S. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


If you can't do it right, you shouldn't do it at all.

That's that mantra that my brain runs through on a constant basis. It changes, fairly frequently, what 'right' is. Perfect, for a fluctuating and nebulous version of perfect. Perfect materials, perfect fit, perfect execution. Perfect.

I plan out projects, I write out details. I start (sometimes), and it doesn't look right, feel right and then I ball it up and stick it in the closet for months (years.)

This has to stop. I have to embrace imperfection, live with it, accept it as the learning experience that it is. Enjoy the fruits of my labour even flawed as they are. It's the only way to progress.

And perhaps, just maybe, quit it with being so damn stubborn. :)

Up next, the blue dress from hell gets a remodel. (Blue dress, not previously mentioned, as it wasn't perfect. Well, tough, it gets to live /anyhow/.)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Down the rabbit hole...

Somehow, I end up thinking more about posting than actually posting. Or settling down to do things rather than type here. I really do need to remember that quick little updates are /fine/.

So what have I been up to? I'm glad you asked.

Weaving and knitting and eventing and baking, oh my! With some embroidery and basically an attempt to do ALL THE THINGS, and failing.

There's a loom in my life now.
45" Leclerc Fanny
And looms make cloth.

I went to an event in Toronto (Feast of the Bear) and finally started to feel like I was almost mostly sort of getting the hang of relaxing into the social, not feeling completely overwhelmed with new people and things, and perhaps even enjoying myself. I did a dozen embroidered pincushions for the largesse derby there.

Next up, a sextet of things for the largesse at the barn party, and making some final choices on my QPT. More on that later.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a spice blend that is very commonly used in Indian cooking. Which I'm very fond of, and can't often eat at restaurants because of my severe dairy intolerance. (Ghee practically is its own food group, as it should be, cause it's delicious, but even clarified butter is still butter.)

While you can buy garam masala at the grocery store, it's also the sort of thing that nice to tweak to your own tastes. So after surveying the options elsewhere on the intertubes, this is the combo I tried for my first pass at making my personal blend.

Garam Masala Take 1

In a skillet over medium heat:

2 tbsp cardamom
2 tbsp peppercorns
2 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp fennel seeds
3 small star anise
2" cinnamon stick (broken up a bit)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds

Toast until they start to pop and smell amazing. Pour into spice grinder with 2 bay leaves, grind well. Pour into jar along with 2 tbsp coriander (I have ground, but not whole atm, use what I've got!)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chutney Chocolate Cake

I realized that I've a bunch of recipes that were in my dog eared and stained notebook that I will end up losing if I don't put them somewhere else, so I'm going to toss them here. This recipe doesn't do you much good if you don't have a jar of overly sweet apple tomato chutney laying around that you're trying to use up, but I expect any jar of preserves or chutney that you're trying to get rid of might work.

Chutney Chocolate Cake

100g AP flour
100g wheat flour
200g sugar
50g cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Combine dry together in a bowl. In another bowl (often in my house, a large measuring cup)

80g vegetable oil
140g overly sweet tomato apple chutney
3/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and then combine with dry. Pour into a 9" x 9" pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 mins. Dust lightly with powdered sugar to make it look pretty.