wk56: drawn to life

Yesyes, I’m behind. I actually did craft something this week while watching the new Sherlock episodes on netflix.

So I just ordered these welding goggles b/c I just saw a steampunk rendition of Jekyll and Hyde, and now must have a pair of steampunk goggles. Perusing the interwebs, it is pretty clear that they are the base for this pair, maybe this pair (possibly my favorite), these pairs, and this pair. I debated just buying a refurbished set as such listed (b/c of course I would want leather straps), but decided it would be more fun as a DIY project.

Something to look forward to, aside from the husband’s return.

wk52: not as done as i’d like to be

Really this should be my last week, and my husband should be driving home this weekend. Instead he’s going on to Art Farm in Nebraska. More solo crafting for me in the interim.

So I’m not as done with my solo time as I’d like to be, like I’m not quite sure this dress is as finished as it could be.

A tall male friend got this dress for the annual Sun Dress Fest this year and I liked the pattern so kept it afterwards. Plaid’s in this year, right?

It took me a few months but now I’ve gotten around to upcycling this, right before the summer ends.

Of course I used another dress to size it, although I also did the pin-while-on-me thing as well to take in the sides. I finally figured out how to make basting-stitch-frills with some of the bottom scraps. I even added tucks to the front to fit it better (maybe I should do this for the back too). If I really want to make it better, I’d probably add a zipper enclosure so I can make the dress more fitted and still get it on (right now it’s a struggle). I cut it short b/c that looks better on me anyway as a short person, and it is admittedly a lot of plaid.

frills and ribbons and buttons too (belt not included)

I do like the back though, but maybe I should tighten it up.

And with plenty of leftovers, I made my Whatnot a nice hip vest too.

But yeah, not sure how flattering it is on me actually, or how well-made it looks. Maybe it should be shorter? Maybe even one of those asymmetrical deals where the front is a bit shorter. Maybe I should suck it up and insert a zipper. That would be a new thing to do. I do still have a whole month to entertain myself through.

wk51: baked and org-ed

I’m working on a dress hack but doing it slowly b/c I’m not quite sure what I want to do with it.

Working slowly in general this week, doing that procrastination that involves doing non-essential tedious tasks instead of new and exciting ones.

ie. I spent a night watching TV and reorganizing my newspaper-clipped recipes which I’d had in a file box. I got a giant accordion file, added tabs to it, and sorted the recipes into the tabs (COOKIES etc. [surprised it’s cookies and not pie? The WaPo has a wonderful cookie collections every winter, which are the core of my collection], Breakfast, Soup, Veg & Small Plates, Meat & dinner, Drinks). I tossed some of the things I was pretty sure I was not actually going to attempt.

I did find a “I should make this right now!” one: the Whole-Wheat Date Bread from the NYT.

Peeps, it is delicious. I may or may not reduce the olive oil a smidge, or even to 1/2c. It’s got a wonderful crumb (better than one would expect with even partial whole-wheat), and the dates are so naturally sweet so it’s just great and tasty.

I baked a banana caramel bread at the same time too. An old banana bread recipe that I’ve had, and replaced the oil with caramel sauce that’s been languishing around. It’s RICH.

ALSO have you seen the new spinach and kale greek yogurt dip at Trader Joe’s? I found a few recipes on the web to recreate it, but none really caught my eye so I made something up. (and you can too!) I cooked down some fresh kale in a dollop of olive oil (do it with high heat and get a nice little burn for extra flavor), thawed frozen chopped spinach, added chopped carrots for color and crunch, zipped them in my favorite kitchen helper the food processor with smoked salt, mixed it up w a bit of mayo and fat free greek yogurt with trusty Old Bay. Took it to a board-game-nite w/ chips, and yum yum yum. The kale really ups the ante vs plain old spinach dip.

wk50: hauptsache haut

I’ve piled on shorts and a shirt to my chopping block of modding things.

So I took these Liz Clairborne khaki? trousers off my mother’s hands because they fit at the waist. They were vaguely skinny, and high-waisted. Totally in right? Right, not quite skinny enough.

Instead of doing the weird, semi-successful pants narrowing thing I’d been doing a lot of lately, so took inspiration from pinterest for DIY cut-off shorts! The key is apparently to cut at an angle.

cutting on the conservative side

I rolled them up once, used hemming tape, then rolled them in again. We’ll see how they hold up in the wash. I may or may not want to add an accent button on the side of each cuff to 1) hide the slightly wonky crimp at the side-seam, and 2) keep the fold tucked.

High-waist pants tend to bunch funny at the crotch, but maybe it’s not too bad?

It’s best to stay on a roll with these projects, so I kept on. I’d gotten this big button-down at a clothing swap because I liked the pattern and knew what I wanted to do with it.

I cut off the sleeves to start, of course, then (using another shirt as a template of course) tightened up the sides. Then, using another sleeveless collared dress as a template, I cut off the shoulders. Then did it another one up and cut off the back.

i always forget to take a “before” picture, but you know what a short sleeved shirt looks like.

Then I actually finished the edges. OMG I never do that! So, it’s quite nice. It would be better if I had elastic for the back to make sure it stayed up, but the bodice is actually rather snug, so I think it’s probably ok.


I am ready for a nice cook out party, oh yes.

wk49: spicy yet sweet summer goes meat free!

I don’t really remember the last time I cooked meat for myself. Especially in the summer, it’s just not much fun (unless it’s s/thing really quick cooking like bacon). I like meat and I heart BBQ, but I’m old-fashioned and believe cooking meat proper is men-folk work. So I’ve been one of those annoying quasi-vegetarians who likes to talk about the carbon footprint of meat eating, but will do it anyway if it’s organic, or actually if you cooked it for me so I didn’t have to bother, etc.

I picked up grapes at the store the other day, but just cannot get in the mood to eat them in the normal way.

So I found a recipe for sausage-grape pasta. I used veggie chorizo and omitted most of the rest of the seasonings, and used some sweet white wine in place of the broth. This recipe went super quick because I chopped the grapes in the food processor first, cooked the onion which I chopped rather fine first, added the veggie chorizo which just needed to heat a bit, then added the grapes and wine, and it all came together. Of course topped it with basil from the window garden.

Hello, new pasta recipe for the summer, and maybe, probably, forever.

With a nice cool glass of my summer drink of the summer, Campari and soda, and OH MY. The spicy spicy chorizo (actually it bordered on too spicy for me, next time I’ll be slightly more judicious with it) and the sweetness of the grapes with the bit of soft crunch from the mildly sauteed onions…. and it all came together so quick.

Next day, I went to the other hemisphere: I don’t much like eggplant, but I love it with miso (or baba ghanoush). I nuked a pierced eggplant in the microwave for 6min, stripped the skin, zapped it in the food processor. I sauteed the onion again, added the veggie chorizo, then the eggplant mush. I seasoned it with a mix of miso and mirin (sweet wine would do) and some sugar. The chorizo of course overpowered the miso taste! I didn’t want to add too much more though, but good to know for next time. Or maybe I should have let the miso cook longer to bring out more of its flavors? Still, delicious. I ate it over more pasta, but I’m having the leftover sauce with crackers tomorrow.

This would actually made a great dip for a party, fyi.

wk48: beans, beans, the muffiny fruit

Had a lovely time in New Mexico!!

We had a wonderful reception at the Anderson Museum: heartfelt thank you! It was so so so nice to see my husband again. We had a great little trip to Santa Fe as well. Two more months until we’re really reunited!!


So, came back and cleaned out the fridge. And made banana/yogurt/OJ muffins. And created BEAN & KALE MUFFINS.

OK, they are way more tasty than they sound.

Essentially they are savory quick breads in muffin-form. I pureed a couple cups of beans. I wilted some kale in a pan with a lot of olive oil and whirred that a bit in the food processor w the beans too. I used that in place of the amt of bananas in a banana bread recipe (sans the sugar, upped some salt and seasonings, half/half whole/white flour). Added more olive oil and some balsamic vinegar to make it a little wetter, and pop! into the oven.


The kale burnt a little so had this lovely almost kelp-like umami to it.

Sage would be a great addition, but I thought it was amazing as it was too.

Totally my new favorite savory muffins.

(I left the banana yogurt OJ ones in the oven too long so they got a little dry, but were good with milk)

wk47: breezing back in the stone jungle

(I’m going to go see my husband on Friday!!!!!!!! Just saying.)

Soo, nobody told me that Threadless shirts shrink like it’s their business. I really like them, but can’t wear the ones I’ve gotten b/c well, they’ve shrunk.

The last time I tried to wear this one, I was uncomfortable, self-conscious, and sad b/c it was so tight and ill-fitting. But I love the design.

Attempt to widen said shirt! I wanted to make something with an open back. Those seem to be in these days, keyholes and stuff.

I cut off the sleeves, which is usually a good place to start.

Then cut off the back, and cut the rectangle in half diagonally. I trimmed them down a bit so they were neater-looking.

Flipped them so the corners met, which added a few inches to the original width, resewed the sides up and reclosed the sleeves, then sewed down the flaps as they overlapped naturally:

the asymmetrical geometrical thing that’s in right now, right?

The shirt is not done but I’m stuck. I am not sure what to do with the front/collar, which I haven’t modded yet. Am not even quite sure I’m happy with the back, it’s not what I originally had in mind, as it’s now too wide at bottom, but maybe that’s a fun boho look? Thoughts? Debating just adding an elastic band and making it a tube top.