Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Belated Rhubarb Tarts in Jars Photos!

It has been brought to my attention that I neglected to post the pictures of the rhubarb tarts that I made for the BBQ last week. So, with much delay, here they are! (In case you are wondering, they were a huge hit! So try this today!)

Just the crust in the jars. Because I'm using 15 oz. PB jars, and that's a wee bit difficult to get the dough in, I cut a circle to put on the bottom, and then rolled the jar along a rectangle of dough to create that shape.

Some corn flakes crumbled in the bottom to attempt to mop up any excess liquid.

A close up of the rhubarb compote cooling, with the extra raw pieces thrown in for texture.

Both jars filled prior to baking and sprinkled with sugar. I just took a bigger piece of dough and attempted to crimp it. Semi-successful.

After baking!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Saving Food Links

Infused Vinegars from Yum in Tum. I'm currently making Chive Vinegar and Spicy Fig Vinegar.

Butternut Squash and Potato Gratin from Hungry Cravings. I think I'll make this tonight.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake from Hungry Cravings. This looks amazing.

Frozen Meyer Lemon Mousse from Hungry Cravings. This looks delicious, and reminds me that I have Mojito Granita in my freezer right now...

Applemoyse from Medieval Cookery. It should be served with...

Snowe from Medieval Cookery as well.

Roasted Turnips from Medieval Cookery look delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake from Bitter Sweet (a vegan blog) -- I'd probably make a real cheesecake inside there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rhubarb Tarts in Jars :-D

Using this simple recipe for using rhubarb and using a basic pie crust (2 c. flour, 1/2 c. butter, 1/3-1/2 c. olive oil, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, water) I've made little rhubarb tarts in PB jars.

I searched high and low for the pint or half pint jelly jars. (I saw some on the side of the road two weeks ago, and did Mister let me take them home? "Wait until you have a use for them" grrr) But, I pretty much always have PB jars, so instead of four cute little tarts for the picnic tonight, I have two big tarts. (There will be pictures later.)

What I am bringing to the picnic:

-- jug of mojitos
-- pulled pork from this recipe, only slow cooked
-- buns
-- pickles
-- BBQ sauce
-- tarts
-- cups and plates

First Farmer's Market!

The first farmer's market of the year is today. I bought:

-- local BBQ sauce
-- local blue onion sauce
-- rhubarb
-- a gooseberry plant
-- two cucumber plants
-- a summer squash plant
-- a zucchini plant
-- oregano (to plant where my seeds failed to grow)

All in all, a happy farmer's market shopping trip!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Silliness and Links

Candy Witcher: I like her still life work.
Catherine Kernan: I like her work, period.
Crochet star with napkin holder that looks darling.
Make Up Your Mind: a knitted racer-back that I would love to make
Pies Baked in Tiny Jars: 'nuff said.
Wedding Cookie Jar in lieu of a wedding cake. Served with pudding or something.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Costuming Round Up

So, the project is over, the con is done. I made two corsets, a vest and skirt combo, and four bustle skirts based upon this incredibly easy pattern.

The one thing that I would say about the instructions is this: don't worry about it. The designer is apparently overly fussy. That, and I didn't bother to pin the bustle flat -- I pinned it on a form, as any sensible person should do (rather than pin it flat, put it on a form/person, and futz with it for a while).

K -- could we have you and/or mom put on the bustle and just take a snap shot of the back and side views? That'll be quick and easy. Thanks!

Kitchen Thoughts

While I was away in NJ with family this past weekend, Mister cleaned the entire kitchen. Needless to say, this is not just a little bit exciting and rather novel. However, as I walked in to look at his fine work, I realized that (having moved my stereo) the room looked incredibly empty and bare.

I need something along that wall shown above. This is a rental, so tiles or that lovely detailed metal sheeting is out of the question. Trivets? Decorative cutting boards? Mugs? I have no idea.

N.B. Also, looking at that picture again, you can see both of my little ducks! The ducky tea strainer from my sis, and the rounded belly of my ducky tea kettle from my mom. :-P

Friday, May 13, 2011

Corset Part II

Where we last saw the corset, I had put prussian tape on all of the seams and satin stitched the edges.

Next is drawing in the guides for the bones. The bones will wind up following the curve of the body.

Pin the bone casing along the bone guides drawn in chalk.

Bone casing is a little neatly made tube -- perfect for boning to slide through. Note how there is a little bit stitched together on either side. That's where you stitch.

Stitch, and press!

Attach all of the bone casing in a similar manner.

Here's a lovely little coil of spiral steel boning.

A cute little pile of bone tips. Do you see where this is going?

You're going to want to cut the boning to the length that you want, and snip pointy bits off so that it's vaguely rounded.

Using two pairs of pliers, you'll want to crimp the bone tip over the edge of the bone. If you can manage this with one pair of pliers, you're a magician. And yes, I took that picture myself. :-P

Double check to make sure that the bone is the right length -- too long and you'll have problems, too short and it'll wiggle.

Slide the boning into the bone casing. Make sure that it's actually in the channel, and not between the coutil and the casing -- an easy mistake to make.

Stitch along the "stitch outline" (where you've already stitched along the coutil where you want the edge of your corset to be) to keep the boning in it's little case. Please be extra care to NOT stitch on the bone, as that's a sure-fire way to snap a needle. Ask me how I know.

Now would be a good time to cut, file to rounded edges and cover with nail polish (or tip dip) any spring steel that you're using.

A quick note about the different steel boning: spiral steel is like a spring that's been laid flat. Because it's a spiral, it'll bend side to side -- which is why it's excellent for curving along the body. But where it fails in corsetry is where you require rigidity: along the grommets and your opening (either busk or hooks). I'm using spring steel for along the grommets. It's thin, and flexes along it's length (so can follow your spine) but does not bend side to side (so tight lacing will not warp the shape of your corset). A busk is the traditional opening for corsets: it's like a wide spring steel with hooks and eyes attached to it. I do not have extra busks lying around, so I've opted for another method which I'll explain.

This is plastic boning. It comes in it's own bone casing, and you can buy it by the yard in most fabric stores (at least in the US). (The steel bones I order online.)

You're going to want to stitch two lengths of it together -- again being careful not to stitch on the bone.

You're then going to attach this doubled bone along the line where your corset closes in the front. If I had more spring steel, I might have used that here. Now comes the fun part -- putting in the hook and eyes!

Here are the hook and eyes that I will be using. Note that they are already attached to a tape, premeasured so that I don't have to do any math to make them match up. Yay for less math!

My cast of characters: dressmaker's awl, oboe-reed-maker's mandrel (not everyone has this one... :-P), and my little snips.

I start the hole for where I want either my hook or eye with the awl. The reason why we're doing it this way is to cut fewer threads and keep the fabric stronger.

It's not big enough, so I use the mandrel to make the hole bigger. If I was putting the hooks in, I'd stop here.

For the eyes I needed a slightly bigger hole, and used my snips.

A couple of eyes poking through!

Before the eyes even start to think about breaking for freedom, you're going to want to stitch them in tight. Because you'll be sewing over bones, handsewing is really the only way to go. I'm just doing a simple whip stitch, but you can feel free to be fancy.

All of the eyes installed.

All of the hooks and eyes are now poked through and stitched in place.

Now would be a good time to pretend that you've been working on the lining this whole time.

You'll want prussian tape along all of the seams here as well. This is a good time to check that all of the boning is in your corset and secure -- don't forget the spring steel that had to dry!

Stitch the lining and the corset together. right sides facing, along the top and the side where the grommets will go -- leave two sides unstitched (but fold the lining fabric to where it'll need to be along the hook and eyes). Again, be careful of the bones.

Bring the satin stitched side in a little, so that the satin stitch is a mere 1/4" from the bone.

Trim the seam between the corset and the lining down to 1/4" all around (coming as close to the satin stitch as you dare). If you can trust your fabric to go closer than 1/4" go for it!

Turn right-side out and press well. It'll want to fight you, because the lining doesn't have nearly the weight of the corset. But convince it.

All that remains now is handstitching along the remaining two edges and installing grommets! And then you'll be done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Corset Update!

So I took photos of the entire process of making the corset, bar drafting the pattern (sorry R!). Warning: massive use of an iron ahead!

Having chalked on the pattern onto the fashion fabric with 1/2" seam allowances.

The coutil (black) and the lining (blue) cut out.

A close up of the coutil fabric. Coutil is a super tightly woven canvas-like fabric that is used as the foundation of corsets.

Attaching the coutil to the fashion fabric along the seamline (where I want the seams to be). After sewing, press flat.

After cutting out and adding coutil to two pieces, I sewed them together. Note the fun in pinning opposing curves!

After removing all of those pins, press the seam open.

You'll then want to trim the seam down to 1/4". Note the difference between before and after. :-P

You're then going to cover each seam with prussian tape, and stitch along each side of the tape to tack it down. Press after sewing.

A close up of the prussian tape: this is 1" wide softly woven tape, that has the flexibility of bias tape, but is far sturdier and doesn't ravel.

At the ends of each chain of pattern pieces (5 per side of the corset) I satin stitched the edge. I would have serged it if I had a serger, but that's how it goes.

A long shot of all that I completed before work. Not bad for about 4.5 hours of work!

Still to be completed: putting together the lining, attaching the bone casing, putting in the bones (perhaps cutting and tipping bones as well), attaching lining to the corset, putting on the hooks and eyes, and adding grommets. It looks like I'll have time to make myself a shiny new corset as well!