Saturday, November 30, 2013

working on presents

With a low key Thanksgiving, I have been able to start working
on my list of Christmas presents.

I am so glad I finished my tree skirt early,
work has changed for the better: I work for a bigger biotech and full time
which leaves me very little time for the fun stuff,
like sewing and crafting!

I need to simplify and adapt my sewing and my expectations to my time.
On top of that, Mon Cheri was injured last week end while cutting some wood with a chop-saw!
He had seen me admiring some projects with wood slices,
and wanted to surprise me with some delicate slices of branches to play with.
I have them and I also spent 5h in the ER with him and a bloody thumb!
I can barely look at those slices, and we do not know how the finger thing is going to turn out....
I guess it is a wait and see game.

Happy sewing!

Monday, November 18, 2013

tree skirt: finished!

I started working early on a tree skirt this year,
and surprisingly it is finished, weeks before it is needed,
it is so amazing....I am one of those people that do 90% of the work ahead of time
and then have to rush to complete everything!
Well......"not today, Zurg!"

I used fabrics from Moda Winter's lane and Blitzen from Basic Grey
(left over from last year project: Reindeer pillow)
and some quilting linen, a mix of linen and cotton
(it is more expensive than 100% linen, but keeps it shape beautiful, perfect for quilting!)

The back is an mix of animal prints (left over from Miss. C.'s safari birthday party),
a little unusual, but it looks great with the binding,
and it goes on the floor so nobody should see it...

The binding is a lot wider than traditional binding,
considering the scale of the piecing, I thought it would balance nicely.

Now I only need to wait a few more weeks to get the tree
and really try it,
I am thinking of a woodsy/nature Noel for this year,
we shall see if it really happens....
so many ornaments, so little time!

Happy sewing!

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

learning French pastry

Over the past 2 months, I have spent a lot of time cooking,
learning the secrets of French pastry.
You would think that being French I would know,
but it is not a requirement when you leave the country! :)
(you do not get an Eiffel tower either!)

So I went to L'Academie de Cuisine, a French cooking school,
and learned the proper techniques.
 You might have heard of it through Top Chef,
Carla Hall graduated from this culinary school.

There were 9 students in the class and we worked hard
and ate a lot of good desserts that we sometimes shared with our family...
Our instructor was Chef Samantha Weigand,
she made it all seem so easy....which it is not really!

So here some of the pastry we made:

In case you are wondering, yes there is a lot of butter in all these!

the apple tart was my favorite dessert,
and Mon Cheri enjoyed the cheese straws.

The cake was Miss C.'s favorite!

The lemon tart was also a favorite of the adults,
but Brick Master's least favorite,
he ate everything else, I mean, he ate most of the croissants and brioches!
He was most helpful in making my homework disappear....

Thank you Chef Sam!

I remade a lot of the desserts at home,
but I am not sure I will make my own croissant or puff pastry from scratch,
it is so much work and there is so much butter.....
it does taste like the real thing!

Happy day!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Little sister's Bday

Late spring, my sister left the US for Paris.
We do not get to see each other as often,
but we did get to spend some time together during our August trip.

It was fun to discover her life there
and crashed at her place!

Bon anniversaire, ma soeur!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

a little drawstring bag for a present

Earlier this summer we received a great news:
Toddler K (previously know as Baby K!) is going to be a big sister!
I am going to be an aunt for the second time!

So while we were in France, we purchased a little PJ from a nice boutique,
since we did not know the baby's gender, we went with a classic grey color and a soft cloud collar.
We just found out it will be a little boy, the PJ will be perfect.

I could not send this little PJ just by itself,
so I sewed a little drawstring bag, using this pattern from In Color Order.
Over the last couple of years, I made quite a few of them,
they are perfect for gift-giving or laundry bags!

For this occasion, Peter Rabbit fabric was my first choice!
But I chose to not choose the part of the fabric with Peter,
instead I used the other characters like Benjamin Bunny and Squirrel Nutkin.
To complement the pictures, I also used some aqua gingham, some white on white cotton for the inside,
and a satin ribbon that perfectly matches Benjamin Bunny's hat.

Happy sewing!

a snowy mantel with a new deer embroidery

After the New Year, I removed most of the Christmas d├ęcor, but I missed so much all the lights that I decided to leave the garland on the fi...