Previous month:
September 2008
Next month:
November 2008

October 2008

No more neon, I promise. And a baby quilt.

Think I overreacted a bit about the neon tights?  I do.  I think we're going to just say Whatever and get on with things.  Honestly, I don't think Fidget will care a smidge.  She has asked me every day since October 1st, "is it Halloween day today?" and I think she'll just be thrilled to celebrate.  Why get wrapped up in details like the right shade of pink?

baby quilt from vintage favorites

( But can I just say what a clever and helpful bunch you all are, at the rescue with your electrical tape and rit dye and sharpies?!  I love it.  I especially liked the idea of over-dying the sweater to match the tights instead.  Brilliant.  Thank you again, everyone!)

Hopefully these photos of a recent baby quilt for a long distance friend will help soothe your eyes after yesterday's assault with the neon.  I do apologize to your retinas.  I mean, my eyes are still red.

so snuggly soft...

I used a couple favorite vintage pillowcases and cut all the seams, pressed them open and cut strips of varying widths. The patterns of the cases were so pretty that I didn't really want to cut them up too much. I sewed them together like stripes, quilted a half inch on either side of the ditch all the way around, and then at varying intervals cross-wise. 

I hadn't started and finished a quilt in a while.  Boy did it feel good.


Ee Fidget is going as Emily Elizabeth from "Clifford the Big Red Dog" for Halloween.  Easy-peasy costume, right? 

Pink cardigan with black buttons.  Check. 
White Collared shirt.  Check. 
Black Shoes.  Check.
Black Skirt.  Check.


Cute little blondie?  Check. 
And and black striped footwear.

I thought I had this last -- and what I believe is the most important -- element of the costume checked off weeks ago when I ordered it. I latched on to the striped stockings because, really, they make this outfit.  Otherwise, old EE is just hanging out in a pink and black outfit every day. I could not find socks anywhere, but pink and black striped stockings, were ripe for the picking.

This is the picture of what I ordered:



Perfect, right?  I'm doing a little dance in the kitchen, because I am ROCKING the Emily Elizabeth costume challenge this year.  The second-hand cardigan will be festooned with thrifted black buttons.  She's got a little bitty Clifford to take along.  And now, stockings!  Go me!

And all that celebration was uncalled for.  Because, you see, the stockings are NEON.


Like super bright pink you can see for miles.  Not bubble gum pink to match the cardigan. 

So, does anyone have a great idea for toning it down?  I've tried 10 minutes in bleach and no change... Should I tea-stain them?  Anyone?  Beuller?

Now, more than ever, I wish I could knit.

Monday Ketchup

Seems that last week decided to come in and bully us around here at Chez PFF.  Fidget danced with the Croup from Wednesday on, and then I came down with some wacky stomach thing that knocked me off my keester as well.  Things seem to be back to normal for now.  Although I am so slow and tired.  And behind, good grief, am I behind!

mini pumpkins in my window

I do have to brag about how Lori and I met up for dinner last week down on the Plaza.  It was so good to see her.  We had the sweetest waiter who decided that we had "spill your whole life story" on our foreheads, so we were treated to all sorts of 5-10 minute monologues on his family life in Morocco, school, dating, finding a wife, life in India, religion, you name it.  We were there for at least 4 hours, so I guess we owed him something for squatting in his section for so long. 

And that sneaky little laeroport brought presents. The tiniest little egg cup pincushion:

egg cup pincushion

And my own designer grocery bag:

grocery bag

I wish it didn't seem like we had to move the moon and stars to spend time with our friends sometimes.  Because it is so very good for the soul.

Thanks, L.  You're a doll. 

oh, hello.


I guess I took an unintended break for a few days.  The thing is, kids get sick, and work gets busy and, well...something has to give. 

Looking forward to dinner with a friend tonight, though.  :)

Thank you for all the sweet comments on the green and white longish top.  The fabric is a Robert Kaufmann Nature Cut-outs in the green colorway.  I purchased it earlier this year from Sew Mama Sew, but I can't find it anywhere now.  Sorry. I seriously wish I had bought more than the one yard I stretched to make her top.  Ack.  So cute.

Green Day.

I did not set out last Friday looking for particular treasures of the verdigris persuasion.  However...

green floral sheet

green hankie

owl towel

cannister set

Yes.  All in one day.  Erin, it made me think of you.

Later that day I sat here:

reading spot

in my comfy reading chair (with thrifted green afghan from another trip earlier this year).

I don't think it is a mere coincidence that I was suddenly inspired to use some fabric I had bought months ago on a little tunic-y version of a shirt I made for Fidge in March.

new fidget top

before school, loading her purse with puzzle pieces

Tomorrow morning I head out again.  I wonder what color it will be?

Chicken veggie soup. (Worth licking the bowl)

my favorite chicken and veggie soup... ahhh

Back in December 1995 when I was a grad student in the bitter cold winter of West Lafayette, Indiana, my dear friend made soup one night.  I ate three bowls in one sitting.  Partly because we were all very poor, and didn't often eat anything that tasted this good.  Partly because I was pregnant and it tasted like manna from heaven.  But mostly because it was incredibly good, and different than any chicken soup I'd ever had.

Since then I've tried lots of soups.  My pocketbook isn't quite as bare, so I do treat myself to some yummy concoctions brewed in restaurant kitchens.  Soup, I have discovered as an adult, is really good.

But this soup, my friend Chris' (yes, same name same spelling...) family recipe remains one of my faves.  So I'll share.  Because, while it makes a lot, shipping you each a bowl just isn't practical.

comfort lunch

Super Yummy Chicken Veggie (and noodle if you like) Soup

2-4 chicken breasts, boiled and cubed
3 potatoes, cubed
4 14 oz cans chicken broth (keep one)
2 cans ready cut Italian style tomatoes
Cut veggies of your choice. 
(I use mushrooms, carrots, onions, zucchini)
optional: pasta of your choice
garlic (couple cloves pressed or minced)
1 t each, basil and oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes (or some pasta of your choice) until done.  If potatoes, make sure a fork goes into them easily.  Drain.

In a big pot (really big, I tell you, this makes at least 10 servings), add 3 cans of chicken broth,  undrained canned tomatoes and veggies.  Add chicken and potatoes.  Add the garlic, basil and oregano.  I don't really know how much I use, but I am heavy with the spices.  Add salt and pepper to taste -- I like it pepperier, so I don't add much salt.  Simmer everything until the veggies are tender and the flavors blend.  If you decide to use pasta, add it at the end.  Sometimes I make a little pasta each time I reheat this and add it before serving.  I just don't like mushy pasta.  That's why the potatoes are in there.


I like to add a bit of Parmesan to the top before eating, too.  Enjoy.

note to self

While life continues to bustle, continues to rush, continues to challenge and push and pry, pause to see the beauty in everyday things.  Life is short.  Don't spend it cranky.

Really yummy soup recipe tomorrow.  Lick-the-bowl yummy.

Grosgrain Goodness

I'm sure you've seen this gal already.  Kathleen makes an outfit a week and gives them away... She's brilliant, I think.... creating quite a name for herself.  Anyway, if you want a chance to win this little number:

head on over to her blog, Grosgrain, and follow her easy-peasy instructions. 

I mean, it's crazy good stuff.  Wow. 

Fields of sunshine

Every morning, Fidget and I drive to preschool.  she likes to take the 'tree tunnel' roads, which she has named for the places at which the trees meet up overhead and the sun filters through the leaves.  This is the one we usually take, because it is the one that goes by the horses.  The 'tunnel' part is up ahead, and very pretty, but didn't have a good place to pull over.

morning drive.

Instead, there is a great view of soybean fields.  We have lots of them out where we live.  The Mormon church owns hundreds of acres out here and has steadfastly refused to think of selling the land for at least another 15 years.  So, even though parts of town are becoming over-developed for my taste, we have a pretty good feeling this part of town will stay as-is for some time.    

soyfields in the morning.

Most of the land is leased out to farmers to work the fields.  Wheat, corn, soybeans, whatever.  It is fascinating to watch it happen over the summer.  

But the soybeans amaze me.  During the summer -- even in the hottest months -- they are a deep green field of short lush leafy stalks pressed closely together.  And then, suddenly, in October this happens.   Most of the beans grown in these parts are not grown for eating, but for manufacturing, so they let the beans dry out before bringing the combine in to harvest.  But instead of looking dry and dull like the corn does, across the way, the soybean fields glow.  The leaves must be so thin that they pick up the sunlight or something.  Whatever it is, it's beautiful.


Photos don't really do them justice.  In the morning when we drive to school, the sun is still low enough that there is a surreal quality to them.  

I've always loved October in Missouri.  The weather is gorgeous and perfect right up to Halloween night, when it magically drops 10 degrees and everyone has to figure out how to work winter coats into their costumes...The sky is bluer than it is any other time of year.  Color comes out in the trees and the fields.  Calves play alongside their mommas in the pastures.  The food tastes better somehow.  And the soybean fields put on a show. 


I've been quilting, but it's a gift for someone who will peek.... and I have a little shirt in progress for Fidge... and some fun thrifting finds from last week... hopefully the computer gods will have mercy on me and let me back into my groove.... I've missed you guys. 

oh wow

Geez you guys.  You are really the best.   

You can tell from that last post that I'm having trouble keeping my chin up this week.  My work computer went from bad to worse, then all the data was lost in a reformatting fiasco and then the new drives were bad, too.... and it all culminated in a giant admission of defeat, when I walked into Best Buy last night and ponied up for a new computer.  Which I now have to set up with all my work software all over again.

3 yards vintage floral fabric
(3 yards vintage floral fabric, $1.50)

The twelve year old is trying hard this week, to earn that mall trip with her friend, and we have had fewer arguments.  I cannot say how much it meant to me to hear all of your own experiences and support and suggestions.  You know, sometimes it is just nice to hear that this is normal.  So thank you.  Every email I got was like a little hug, some from people I've never even 'met' before, and, well...  Just, wow.  It's been said a hundred times before, this is really the sweetest community.

thrifted towels
(scalloped linen hand towels, $1.50 ea.  I love these, but they might make good gifts, too.)

I know some blogs and online groups and communities are a hotbed of snarky bitterness, not to say illicit activity.  It is that negativity that a lot of people associate with the idea of going online, but that hasn't been my experience at all.  If anything, mine has been the complete opposite.  There are so many wonderful people, people who inspire and share, people who make things or just write stuff that makes you laugh so hard you wet yourself.  People who can become friends, with whom you make a connection you might not find in your own neighborhood.

So I'm just a little thankful today.  Thanks for being there and listening and not calling me a whiny baby.

afternoon glow

The light in my kitchen has been totally surreal the last few days, just around dinner time.  These photos are exactly what it looks like, all glowy and gold.  The sun warms up the space, but for once that is ok because it's Fall and not the hot summertime, so it's like a warm, soothing hug at the end of the day.  I hope you can feel that here.  It's my hug to you.

glowy light in the kitchen