"Faites que le reve devore votre vie afin que la vie ne devore pas votre reve"
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thursday, December 8, 2016

stitching body parts

It is the time of the year when sewing as to remain
kind of secretive....
but for this part, I can share:

legs and arms of upcoming deer!
(not as scary as the title may let you to believe)

This year I am making again some Dandelion doe,
just like last year.

Here are the four deer I made last Christmas:

the one on the left was for my mom (here),
the one on the right was for my sister (here).

the one on the left was for my niece K (here)

and this last deer was for my mother in law (here).

So if you wanted one last year and did not get one,
may be this year is your year!

This season, they do not need to travel,
so I am taking my time sewing them.
There is a fair amount of hand sewing,
and since I am done with my intense cross stitching advent calendar,
it has become my new evening activity.
I will share them as I finish them,
but I am planning on keeping one for me!

Happy sewing!

Monday, December 5, 2016

a new soft tree skirt

Since I decided to use a different color scheme this year for Christmas,
I would like it to be a "Champagne" Christmas,
I needed a new tree skirt.
Here is what I sewed:

a cotton velvet with a faux fur border.

(it is hard to take some pics, the dog really likes to lay down on it...yep it is soft!)

My inspiration for this tree skirt was :

 the Pottery Barn velvet tree skirt.

I think it is a pretty good copy!
I started with a velvet curtain panel from IKEA,
I had purchased a pair and only did one panel for Brick Master's room
(we are working on it, slowly!).

I did the classic trick of folding the fabric diagonally to have a square,and cut it out,
then fold it into quarters, draw part of a circle and cut it out.

I made a mini version out of felt to better show you how I made it:

I made and sewed some bias binding (out of the velvet)
for the small cut-out circle.
Then I refolded the tree skirt into quarters and use it as a pattern
to cut out 4 pieces faux sheepskin (for the bottom part)
and about 6 inch wide,

Then I stitched the 4 pieces into a continuous band
that I finally attached to the bottom of the skirt (the longest part).

The tricky part is pinning it the right way: wrong side of the velvet to right side of the fur,
so that when the fur is flipped on the right side of the velvet,
it is also on the right side.

For the shorter side of the fur, I just turned under a 1/4 ish inch , 
and top-stitched all around.
Finally I attached some binding on the opening,
leaving no raw edges.
Before attaching the binding, I added some loops
to secure the edges later on with buttons.

We purchased our tree this week end,
and started decorating it,
it is really coming along!

Come back later to see my version of a Champagne Christmas!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

cross stitched advent calendar

Here it is:
my cross stitched advent calendar!

I love it!
It turned out just as I had hoped.
The pics are a little dark, I finished it last night.
It also seats in my little reading corner in the master bedroom, a tight space!

I even reused the frame that was already there:

which seems very fitting since it was previously Miss C's American Doll advent calendar:

But right now, it is all mine!

Previously, I shared the cross stitched numbers here (for the first trough 9)
and here (for 10-18).
Here are the last few:

(18 is back, since 17 was not finished for the previous post!)

After all the numbers were embroidered,
I made 24 little bags with box corners
and 24 more out of white on white lining fabric.

here is the pile with the lined bags over the cross stitched ones,
yep this took a while!

But it makes for a clean finish bag,

I did take a short cut and machine stitched
 the side opening of the lining bag
(usually I hand stitched those...!)

But here they all are,
and they make me happy....

Now this calendar might be too cute to stay in the master bedroom,
it might need to come downstairs...
or at least I need to decorate that reading nook more.

Remember at the beginning when I said it was mine,
here are the calendars the kids have:

Miss C. chose a TsumTsum one,
and Brick Master a chocolate one (from IKEA)

They were quite happy to get out of bed this morning,
not bad for a tween and a teen!

Happy sewing!


the creative circle

the inspiration gallery

Monday, November 28, 2016

cross stitching advent calendar progress

I worked hard this week end on trying to finish my cross stitched project.
And I am almost there...
As some of you have totally guested,
I am making an advent calendar,
cross stitching a pattern for each day:

one of my favorites, so far!

Here are the latest ones:

You can check here to see the previous ones (1 through 9)

The pattern is from "La Magie de Noel" de Veronique Enginger.

After embroidering all the numbers, I need to make little bags out of them,
I still have 3 more days...

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

a sweet lemon meringue pie

This is one of my favorite desserts,
since it takes a long time to make,
I do not bake it as often as my family would like....
so it is perfect to make for Thanksgiving.
(I do not do the turkey thing...!)

Lemon meringue pie, 

Didn't just look so yummy?

I do not use a lot of meringue, I like to see some of the lemon.

There are 3 components to this pie:
the pate sucree,
the lemon curd
and the Swiss Meringue.

For the pate sucree, I use the same recipe than the tarte aux fraises,
except that I add some lemon zest,

There is enough dough for a regular size pie 
and 6 mini pies.
You need to blind bake the dough just like for the strawberry pie.

Next the lemon curd:
4 lemons, zest and juice
8 oz butter
12 oz sugar
4 eggs

Bring the lemon juice, lemon zest and butter to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar.
Slowly pour the boiling lemon butter mixture over the eggs, whisking constantly.
Return the mixture to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Keep cooking for another 3-5 minutes after the curd has come to a boil.
Pass the lemon curd through a sieve and cool over an ice bath.
Finish cooling it in the fridge before covering the pie crust.

There is enough lemon curd for all the pies (2 larges, or 1 large, 6 small)

And finally the Swiss meringue:
6 oz egg white (6 eggs)
9 oz sugar

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Place the bowl over a simmering water bath (big pot) and heat until the eggs whites thin
and the mixture reach at least 140 degrees.
Place the bowl on the mixer and whip on medium-high speed until the bowl is cool to the touch
and the meringue hols a stiff peak.
Use the meringue right away.

 I like to pipe the meringue to keep it light,
it is always an option to layer it on,
but the blow torch is a necessity as you can see below:

so much prettier with the meringue slightly burned!

While it is fun to make tartelettes, it is also good 
to make a large pie to serve a crowd.

It can easily serve 12 people, it is pretty rich dessert
with nice and strong lemon test.

I wish you and your family 
Happy Thanksgiving!

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