a little more sewing…..

       Can you feel the love I have for that darn kat round neck pattern I just love it. It is hard to find clothes that are to me symbolic of “girl” clothes, meaning clothes that are not too old for young girls. It is easy enough to find sweet clothes for babies, and small toddlers, but somewhere around 4 to 6x, things begin to change. At least that is my experience. So, thus explains my joy to find this pattern. I know there are lots of choices out there, but this one just speaks to me… I want to try the Oliver + S patterns, but I am not sure about the size… Em would be a size 5t..
I believe in the fall the sizes will go up to 8? I know that would work. Talk about classic patterns! Love these.

   I love the neckline the best I think!

     ~just a little blue paisley top…

    ~getting a little bored with mom!

Green Polka dot’s….

  I finally got a little sewing done for Em…

I found the cutest pattern ever from Katie at that darn kat blog.
Here is my version, and I must say it has been awhile since I have sewn anything.. I am rusty and my machine is the pits… my buttonhole was acting up, but more importantly my machine makes the worst stitches…
The pattern however is wonderful, easy and fast.  The directions are fantastic.  I love not having to cut out tissue paper patterns~ that is the worst.  This just flowed very well.   What is great is the pattern gives you the option to turn the top into a dress and it is super super easy and it comes in sizes 2/3 thru 6/7. That is nice as well and a good value!
The bottoms are McCall’s 5510.   I also took advantage of some thrift store finds, the green polka dot sheet and a white vintage sheet.  Very Springy indeed!

   These pictures are not good, she moves so fast, and I had to use my old camera, it is like a dinosaur compared to my daughter’s Nikon.  I just couldn’t find it, or the battery is chaging or some such thing.. :+(



Then came the Strawberry Jam…..


 ~fresh strawberries from the Farmer’s Market.

 I used this recipe   I had 8 quarts of berries, I used 5.  I increased the sugar to 6 or 7 cups of sugar, I can not remember.  I think 8 seemed like too  much.  I also increased the lemon juice to 1/2 cup.  I had a little extra that I just poured into a jelly jar and I am using as a topping to my homemade yogurt.


 ~berries washed and hulled, simmering with sugar and fresh lemon juice..


 ~ 10 jelly jar’s full of strawberry jam!


 ~ yum!!



I had a little extra that I just poured into a jelly jar and I am using as a topping to my homemade yogurt.

That is a subject all to itself, but let me just say Wow!  I love it.  Very different from all the other yogurts I have had.  This is so different, in ways that I am still trying to put words to.. but it is good.  I used this recipe  and it worked exactly as it should. 

 I find it slightly sour and with the right additions you can balance the sour with a sweet, then mix in a crunch and  it rocks!  I have spent a lot of time reading about the health benefits of real yogurt  here and here  so, I thought I would give it a try.  I am so glad I did an my family loves it.

more bread~

  ~ I have enjoyed my no knead bread. It is so good.  The thing that I love about this bread is that each new bread has a different taste.  It never comes out the same way twice.  Of course I have been playing around with the ingredients some as well.

This loaf is   is comprised of white flour, salt, yeast and water as indicated in the original recipe    with the addition of  oats (about a cup) and also milled flax seed (also a cup).  For the crust I used wheat.  I think it turned out great.   We all seem to love this bread. It can not be any easier to make, once you get the timing figured out.  As long as I get the dough mixed, then the next day I can shape the bread and let it rise an additional two hours, then it is time to bake.    You can see how crispy and crunchy the crust is.   The secret of that is preheating the baking dish, I use a le cruset, for 30 minutes, then baking  for 30 minutes, covered, then uncovered for 15. That is all there is too it.

Friday flowers….

    ~Marie d’Orleans, tea rose, I love the quill blooms..

    ~Blush Noisette Rose, a Noisette rose, this is the 3rd year, it is showing its beauty. Very fragrant.


   ~ Maggie, a Bourbon rose, this is a beautiful rose. It repeat blooms, very fragrant.

   ~ Skyrocket another Hybrid Musk rose.

   ~Pagoda Clematis. Cute.

   ~Mock Orange flowering shrub, this is a very fragrant shrub. It does get large, but you can prune to size. This Spring it held it’s blooms for a rather long time.  A month long if I am remembering correctly.

   ~Perle d’ Or, a polyantha rose.  Lovely apricot color, very fragrant. I have this one a pot, and it is happy there.  Very fast rebloomer.

Have a lovely weekend!


Oh my Bread!

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” Robert Browning (1812-1889) English poet.


Oh Bread! I love you warm and toasty bread.   Lately I have been reading a lot about the vast wasteland that store bought bread has become.  The additives and preservatives that have been added to prolong the shelf life is the supposed cause of many conditons, and the robber of nutrients and taste.  The cost however is what got my attention, the cost of bread has risen dramatically over the past few months.

So, I came across this article and had to give it a go.

So, here is the recipe ~

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

First thing to note, is that the four  ingredients listed are things you have not only heard of,  they are easy to pronounce and you more then likely have them around your house.   It is only 4 items and come on, could it be any easier then that??  I don’t think so.  Ok, so you throw flour, yeast and salt into a bowl, add water cover and let rise for 12-18 hours.  Turn it out and flour it with cornmeal, wheat bran or use whatever you have on hand, I used ground flax seed.  Form a ball place back into a bowl covered with two towels, let rise for two more hours. Heat up your pan, I used my little Le Crueset (thanks Mom) baked covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 15, and then done!

  ~ I did use organic whole wheat flour, because I love whole wheat bread, I also dusted my towels with a bit of the whole wheat flour,  to prevent sticking.  So, it is rustic, dense, and full of great flavor. The smell in the house was fantastic. It makes great toast, good for turkey sandwhiches, good with jam.  I can pronounce all the key ingredients and it is really healthy.  We loved it and have some more dough rising as we speak.  

Will this be the end to store bought bread?  Hmmm, maybe!

Happy Mother’s Day~ home grown flower’s for Mom!

    ~ Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Fresh from the garden after yet another storm.. There have been some bad ones this Spring. 

  ~ I can see I need to add more flowers for companions.  The roses are good to go, but I can use some companion plants..

     ~for some reason, I am really into white, yellow and orange. I find it very Springish!



  ~I am very happy with my Confederate Jasmine. This year it has really taken off. Very fragrant, evergreen and fresh.  I am not sure of the orange flower, it was a Lowe’s special… $0.99 cents. I think.  It has come back for the second year. Love it!  The roses are The Gift (Hybrid Musk), the bee’s love this rose, it is a vigorous grower, Crown Princess Margareta and Teasing Georgia both of those are David Austin roses.  The multi- orange flower is called Blood Flower and was from the Lichterman Plant sale.  
This Spring has been really good for roses, I really can’t get over that fact. Either that or they are finally hitting their 3 year stride.   Either way, it brings me joy to share the beauty from my little plot.

before and after…..

    ~in the beginning 2003 or 2004

  ~Spring of 2008

think it’s too much?

   ~at least there is no lawn to mow!

  ~minus the old oak tree it opened  up a large amount of sun growing area..

  ~filled with roses and perennials..


Update: I am a lover of all tree’s, plants and animals. I would never be able to willing cut down a good tree, however our oak tree was planted way too close  to the house and we were getting into trouble with the roots. Also, it was showing signs of decline and suffered a rather severe lightening strike.  We saved the stump and made a planter out of it. And we use the logs left from the trunk as garden stools and accents for a rustic feel through out our garden. It was a difficult decision but unfortunately one we felt we had to make.        ~ here I am using a a piece for a fern stand.


     ~ here is our cat utilizing a stump for a perch.   I feel we have incorporated our oak into our home and garden even though it was a good tree and it had just run it’s course and was too close to our home.  Unfortunately….



dreaming of roses….

Living in the south, it is a well known fact that Gallica roses do not do all that well here.  Typically we go from a few days of lovely weather called “Spring” to all out hot Summer.  Gallica roses bloom one time for supposedly a long time. Well worth the space they take up in the garden. This is a risky rose for the South due to the shortened bloom cycle due to heat. I have had 2 gallica’s that have been less then stellar in my garden. This one below was supposedly “Tuscany Superb” but it is not. I had like 2 blooms on it last year. This is the 3 year in my garden and I finally have some Wow going on. I just don’t know if it is because of all of the rain post drought. Or the cool long Spring we are having. Not sure, but I am happy. I was going to shovel prune this one if it didn’t give me something.



  ~ a budded type view

   ~ combo view and it is very fragrant!


  ~ Marchesa Bocella it is a winner all the way.  Here is a bud view ~

  ~ and an open bloom. Very very fragrant and so pretty!

  ~ Field of the Woods, climbing rose.   The photo has it in a pinkish tint, but it is red, will need more time to study it, but looks like a winner!