16 May 2010

Please Help Do Your Part-Oil Spill-Updated

You may or may not have noticed-or if you're reading my blog in a reader-that I now have a "Donate" button on the right sidebar at the top. Please consider donating a dollar or more. It's thru Paypal, so it's easy for you.


Edited to add: once you've donated, please leave a comment with your total donation amount (anonymous, if you prefer). I will keep track on the blog-maybe I'll install one of those fun doodads.

14 May 2010

Please Help Do Your Part-Oil Spill

I'm posting this on my Facebook, and other blog as well-as well as emailing everyone on my contact list. It is THAT important.

You may not have heard, but there is a MASSIVE oil leak going on just off the Gulf coast right now. British Petroleum drilled far too deep, and basically hit a load of oil that is simply SPEWING thousands of barrels of oil into the ocean DAILY. They are unsuccessful thus far in containing it.

This is catastrophic. Not only to local wildlife, but to entire ecosystems, the environment, economy, and ultimately-humanity. This is POTENTIALLY the end of humanity, if they don't stop it soon and clean it up. Yes, it's that bad.

Having said that, I've been paralyzed with overwhelming dismay and dread regarding this environmental disaster as it unfolded. I felt, since it's so far away, there's not much I can do. Well, I was wrong. Matter of Trust is a non-profit organization that collects natural fibre (hair, fur, alpaca/sheep/etc wool, old nylons, dog fur) and makes mats and booms that they use to soak up the oil. Not only are they doing this for the BP spill ongoing right now, but they do it for all sorts of oil spills that happen every year.

Basically, all you have to do is collect a bag of hair, put that in a box, and ship it to a pre-arranged location (you have to sign up to get the address). Clean hair, of course-people have to handle it! They then turn it into the booms.

So. Here's what I'm doing. I'm going to start collecting hair. I'll start off with 2 boxes-one of human hair and one of dog fur. I am trying to gather cash/Paypal/email money transfer donations to help pay for shipping. This is the LEAST of what we can do.

So please, be generous. This oil needs to get cleaned up. Millions of animals are dying. Give a dollar, two dollars, 20 dollars, 200 dollars. It will ALL be used for shipping. I even plan on scavenging boxes so 100% of the money given goes towards shipping.

In case you doubt the impact this spill has, go here and read about it. Then come back here and give generously. The future of the life of humanity depends on it.

I'll be setting up donation buttons on the blog in the next couple of days.

Thank you.

13 May 2010

Rhubarb and Lavender Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

So, in case people forget that this blog is also about my cooking adventures, here's a post about some of my forays into using my new ice cream machine.

I found a tub of vanilla yogurt in the chest freezer the other day. I've found that the texture of yogurt is not very desirable once it has been frozen and thawed-at least not for eating just as-is. So I decided today to put it to use and make some frozen yogurt.

I didn't really use a recipe, per se-I just threw together a couple different recipes I found/had in my stash. I had a recipe for a delicious rhubarb/lavender compote that I used as filling for some meringue-topped cupcakes I made for my friend's baby shower. It takes 1.5 c diced rhubarb, half a cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of lavender buds. Throw it all into a pot, and simmer gently on med or med-low until it's all broken down and shiny. Stir occasionally, and don't let it burn.

Once that was done, I put it into a med. sized bowl and put it into the freezer for 20 minutes then the fridge for an hour.

I probably wouldn't have used that much sugar but I actually thought that the yogurt I had was unsweetened plain-but it's actually sweetened vanilla. Oops. So this might be overly sweet. We'll see.

Once the hour was up, I poured the yogurt into the rhubarb mixture and mixed it all up. I set up and turned on my ice cream machine (I keep the bowl in the freezer when not in use, so it's always ready) and poured in the mixture. It didn't come close to filling the bowl, so I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of raw milk.

The yogurt/rhubarb mixture that was left in the mixing bowl after I scraped it into the machine tasted pretty darned good. That rhubarb/lavender marriage is so unexpected but SO delicious. The vanilla from the yogurt should blend nicely with it, too. I'll write about how it turns out.

Edited to add: we just tasted this straight out of the machine, and it is AMAZING! It's a soft-serve consistency at this point, so it could be a little harder for my liking, but it's so good. Just the right amount of rhubarb and lavender taste. Next time I think I'll pulverize the lavender in my mortar and pestle.

Giant Tiger has Astro yogurt on sale for 97 cents a tub. I am going to get some strawberry to make some strawberry rhubarb frozen yogurt. How I love rhubarb season! I better freeze some so I can use it all year!

Edited AGAIN to add:  go check out my HubPage that I wrote on making ice cream and frozen yogurt.
If you think HubPages look fun to make, go HERE and sign up as a writer.  It's FREE.


I LOVE this new background. What do you think? I found it at Designs by Dani.

05 May 2010

New Look 6470 Pattern Review

Pattern Description: Misses' Skirt and Knit Tops-I sewed "View B", a sleeveless top with cowl neck.

Pattern Sizing: 8-18, I sewed Size 16 (I'm an 8-10 in RTW)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Mostly, except the back neck droops-which may have been caused by me pulling it as I sewed.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Except for the part where you are supposed to attach the front flap to the shoulder-I wasn't too sure about that. But that's a problem of my inexperience, not the pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: Only 2 pieces!
Dislikes: none

Fabric Used: Jersey knit, grey with red, black, grey and pink flower pattern

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and Yes. I would make it longer next time.

Conclusion: Overall, a very simple pattern. Not sure I like the front cowl part, but I will definitely try out "View D" in the sleeveless and sleeved versions.

Photos of the Completed Grey Sleeveless T-shirt

Please ignore my purple plaid pj bottoms!!!

All in all, I'm not really happy with this shirt. But seeing as it is my first one, I'll let go of the pursuit of perfection this one time. Things I don't like about it: the back of the neckline gapes a bit. The bottom hem isn't straight, and the front neckline style doesn't really match the casualness of the print. I think the back neckline gapes because I pulled on it while I was hemming it.

I really don't love working with this jersey knit, but I think I will get used to it. I'd love to get a roller presser foot for working with stretchy materials. It sews while avoiding stretching out the material.

Next post will be my review of the pattern.

03 May 2010

#6470 Shirt Update

Just a quick post to show progress, with the best of a bunch of horrible photos. The lighting was terrible, and I was standing crooked-the shirt isn't crooked!

I still have the armhole and bottom hems to finish.

I think this fabric is too casual for the neckline style. Oh well, we'll call this my practice run. I think I would have preferred to do the V-neck, but I didn't have enough fabric (although, I likely would have, as I have lots left over!!!)

The width of the torso fits me quite well, but the back neck droops. I'll see if I can fix it somehow. The length is a LITTLE short, considering I have to hem it still. I will do a scant hem.

02 May 2010

New Look # 6470-Women's Shirt

I'm making View B, the sleeveless top with no gather, and draped neck. This shirt can be casual or dressy, depending on the fabric you use. I found a fun stretch jersey in the remnant bin: .8 metres for under $2. I wanted to make View D-the wrap-style with gathered side, but that requires more fabric. This was a case of finding the fabric and THEN the pattern, which is usually not how I operate. But when you find awesome fabric in the remnant bin, you can't let it go to waste! And I figured, if I bomb this shirt, I won't be out much money, and it will be good practice!

This is my first adult shirt from a pattern project, and I hope it turns out. It's also my first foray into using stretch knit/jerseys, so I'm a little nervous. More pics and an eventual review of the pattern will come.

01 May 2010

Very Late Maternity or Not Frock

I've finally started moving along on my Maternity or Not Frock. Obviously, in my case, it's NOT...

I decided to use a silky, dark blue paisley/floral print. Hard to describe, but it's nice. Lots of blue in between the paisley bits.

I did a boat neck, but wish I had done a v-neck. I was following the tutorial exactly though. Next time I will make some changes. I like how the sleeves are set up. I MIGHT turn this into a tunic-length shirt, as this material has zero give, and likely won't make a good dress without a serious slit for leg movement.

I really REALLY dislike working with this fabric, whatever it is. It's slippery and slides all over the place. It's hard to cut pattern pieces properly, too. We'll see.

So far I've done everything but the waist and hem. So pictures might come tomorrow, depending on the weather.

My Weightloss Progress