fashionable

I've got fashion on my mind this week, what with Project Runway, New York Fashion Week, and my recent viewing of The September Issue (Grace Coddington is a genius! The spreads she styles are beautiful.) all happening recently. As I slowly become less blobby and more nicely shaped, I also find that I want to wear pretty things again. Couture is never going to fit into my lifestyle, but I am starting to sew for myself a little bit here and there after a long absence from my sewing machine. I've also been saving images to a fashion inspiration board on my Pinterest. I thought I'd do a post now and then where I imagine how I could take these images and let them inspire me to make them a reality. I may or may not follow through on these, but just searching out fabrics and patterns and imagining how I could wear something is fueling my creative fire. 

Here's what I love this week:

Kimono2
If there was enough of this fabric available, I could make it using this pattern, with minor modifications. 

Patternfabric

I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for vintage kimono fabrics. I love how pretty and fresh and a little dramatic this is!

another simple thing

I am not a jewelry maker. I don't even wear much jewelry beyond earrings and my wedding ring. Still, sometimes it's nice to add just a little something something to an outfit. And sometimes you just want to make something that won't take hours and hours or loud power tools. I've noticed little leather bracelets every where lately, worn in multiples. The lightness of them appealed to me, so I decided to whip up my own little girly take on them. 

image from www.flickr.comI also had some fabric scraps laying around, as one often does when one likes to play with fabric. Somewhere in my internet crawling I saw some cute leather bracelets wrapped with stripes of floss, so I decided to try something similar with fabric. Once the fabric was on there (with just a dot of Fabri-tak at each end to hold it in place), I dug through my big jar of pearl buttons and pulled out some of the smallest ones I could find. It was easy enough to just stitch them in place. 

image from www.flickr.comI had some cord ends, so I glued them in place and crimped the ends a bit to fit closer to the flat leather. I need to find some of those end crimpy thingies that are actually made for this sort of project, I'll have to find a bead store for that I think. I also used giant jump rings, but it's what I had. I want to do a few more, and maybe try some knotted closures so I don't end up with a whole bunch of metal bits. 

image from www.flickr.comThey are very sweet and I think I need three or four more. 

some links

I want to do better with this whole blog thing, so I’m playing around with some ideas and design and improving my photography, and just generally figuring out how to make time to do more here. So please don’t mind random changes in the look of things around here, and I hope I don’t get too rambly with my posts while I figure all this out.

Today I give you some random links:

Why have I never heard of this before? Art Project by Google. High-resolution images of prominent works of art from the best museums in the world. You can even walk around the galleries, Google street-view style. When I lived in Northern Virginia, I spent as many of my days off as possible visiting the museums on the National Mall and all around town. I was pleased to see that one of my favorites, the Freer Gallery, was included! Although the National Gallery is missing, which was another favorite. The Sunday night concerts there were one of my favorite D.C. events.

Princess

The Princess from the Land of Porcelain, by James McNeill Whistler, The Freer Gallery

I think I need to start saving up for one of these bags. Is that yellow one not just perfect?

I just got this book (by this blogger/photographer/chef), and I love it. I can’t wait to work on my food styling and photographing. It’s a challenge, since during the week I’m not home during daylight hours long enough to spend any time taking pictures, and I do most of my eating at work. While I enjoy the spontenatity of iphone photography, I’d like to improve my regular photography (not to mention my food-stying skills, which are currently non-existent).

The first words out of my mouth when I saw this were HOLY COW. And then I bought the pattern. Three of my favorite things-quilts, knitting, and bees (or at least honeycomb), all colliding in one, enormous, clever, beautiful project. It may take the rest of my life, but I am going to start making hexipuffs whenever and wherever I can.

QuiltPhoto by Tiny Owl Knits

summer, a list

A list (this post is brought to you by Instagram (and Magic Hour)):

1.Summer hair. I'm growing mine out, but when it's hot I hate it on my neck. I've been doing this a lot, although I obviously need to work on my bobby pin placement:

image from www.flickr.com

2.Summer nail color. I'm pretending I'm trendy and wearing this lavendar on my fingers and toes. I've only just discovered Essie, so obviously I'm not really up on any trends. It's formaldahyde-free (as well as missing some other yucky chemicals found in most nail polish), and there are so many great colors. You can get some at Target.

3. Summer reading. What are you reading? I've got a stack of books to enjoy, but I'm re-reading Harry Potter just for the fun of it, and I just finished listening to A Game of Thrones, which was epic and brutal, and kept me entertained on my drive to and from work for nearly three weeks (it was 34 hours long!). I'm not quite up for the second book in the series yet, so I took a break and listened to a Stephanie Plum novel, which is definitely a guilty pleasure. In the stack on my nightstand I've got a copy of Centuries of June, which the publisher sent, so I need to get on that soon. It sounds highly entertaining, so I'm looking forward to that one. Also there is a gift from my sister-in-law, called Enslaved by Ducks, which I suspect will hit very close to home, as it is the story of a couple who adopt various animals and the hijinks that ensue. I can't tell you how many times I've watched all the little creatures in our yard, and thought about the comedies (and tragedies) I see and what great stories they would make. 

4. Summer farm. My garden has not materialized as I hoped, as we have had some crazy weather (frost, in June, triple-digit tempuratures earlier this month, followed by another frosty night last weekend), so I have to be content with nurturing the two new little hens I brought home last week. They are month-old Buff Orpingtons. My buffs were all stolen in the Great Chicken Robbery of 2009, and I've missed having some in my flock. These two are sweet as can be, with that same mellow buff personality that I love. 

image from www.flickr.com
5. Summer crafts. I have been cleaning out our disaster area of a shed in the hopes of doing some more wood-working type projects, but until that gargantuan task is finished, I am contenting myself with some smaller crafts. I may even put a few things in my etsy shop again soon, who knows! Last weekend I made some tiny mushrooms for some tiny terrariums, because what could be better than a terrarium? A teeny, tiny terrarium, of course! I've got some moss to add to these, and hopefully enough chain to make them into necklaces. 

image from www.flickr.com

6a. Summer food. Do you know what season it is right now? Fig season! They are one of my favorites. This is a good way to make them: slice in half, and wrap each half with prosciutto. Then drizzle with good olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Grind a little pepper on top, and enjoy!

image from www.flickr.com6b. More summer food. There was also some yellowtail tuna caught by some co-workers who went on a three-day fishing trip and graciously shared their haul. I sliced up a piece and coated the slices in olive oil and herbs and just seared the outside. Served with agrodolce relish (tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, minced garlic, all saute├ęd in olive oil and finished with a spoonful of red wine vinegar and a spoonful of sugar), coconut basmati rice, and arugula. 
image from www.flickr.com
What's on your summer list? 

birthday week, day four

This is fun! It's a little stressful making enough time to blog every day, but now I have a whole list of fun beauty products to try, so it's definitely worth it. I think I need to get some dirt and spackle, just because of the names, not to mention the Be Fine Food skin care line, which all sounds completely delicious.

Flower photos seem to becoming a habit for me, but I did say I was obsessed. I brought home the Lily of the Valley that has been on my desk since Monday so I could be sure and get some good pictures. I wish I could capture the scent for you, it's so wonderful.
Lilyofthevalley

I love how they curl up like little fairy bells.

On to a completely different subject, not related in any way to anything else here tonight, I made a fun discovery this weekend. Our house was built in 1939 and a previous owner had a welding shop on the property. We have found all sorts of odd metal bits here and there, including a few horse shoes. I decided to clean one up to hang over my studio door, and as I was scrubbing off the dirt and rust I made a very fun discovery. It was once painted the nicest shade of blue!
Found2

Also, it was made for an enormous horse. I don't know why, but it's just so appealing to me. I expect to have enormously good luck now.
Found1

All right, on to the giveaway. I thought it would be quite appropriate to share a gussied up t-shirt for one of my presents. I hope you like orange!
Tshirt2

I still have to actually stitch the appliques in place, but that will happen before I send it to the lucky winner. It's a lightweight cotton knit, very nice for layering, and a size medium. The long sleeves make it nice for these chilly Spring days.

Tshirt1

I think this time I'm going to ask for help spending a shiny little Nordstrom gift card. I'm thinking shoes, probably in the sandal family, for Summer. I have some black sandals that I like (click the link to see them), but they are very casual, and don't go with everything, so I think I could use either a dressier pair of black sandals, or sandals that I could wear with black that aren't necessarily black. Or maybe some fun, Summery black flats, preferably in the $100 range. Help me out please! 

And don't forget, you can still enter any of the previous posts still too, so scroll down so you don't miss anything!          

birthday week, day two

As promised, it's time for the next birthday present here at Hey Lucy! Remember my blue scarf? Made with my new favorite fabric? Here's a little refresher:
Shotcottonscarf1
 Shotcottonscarf2

It turns out that I have enough fabric left for another scarf, so that is today's giveaway gift. Apparently the top five albums thing was really hard, so this one will be a little easier. Since we just about all love fabric around here, tell me what fabric you are loving at the moment, with a link to it, if you can find one. Even if you're not a sew-er, you can probably find an article of clothing that you love because of the fabric. So share! I'm always up for finding pretty new prints and patterns.

Oh, and today is the actual birthday day, and I think I might have overdone it with the celebratory eating. We had some delicious Thai food tonight, but even my spicy-loving self had a little trouble with the spice levels. I think I can finally feel my gums again. When they give you a range of 1-5, don't you think spicy level 3 should be medium and not burn-a-layer-of-skin-off-the-roof-of-your-mouth?

Also, because I am the birthday girl, I get to make up giveaway rules as we go along. Here's what I've got so far: 1. You can win more than one gift, so enter every day. 2. You can win if you are family or a real-life friend, but I truly am going to draw random winners, so your chances are not increased just because I know you. 3. I think those are the only rules so far, but I reserve the right to change them at any time. 

less blah

Thanks for commiserating with my blahs, I’m feeling a little better. It helps that it was sunny this weekend, although not very warm. I did go swimming a couple times this week, and walked on my lunch hour a couple times too. I’m sure that helped. I snapped out of my funk enough to sew my skirt this weekend, although I think I look decidedly fluffy in it, which is fine, it’s that much more motivation to keep up with the swimming this week.
Skirt4

I also framed some art, as you can see, and picked still more daffodils. I think we have a week or two left. One of my favorites is blooming right now, a small cream one with an apricot center. You might be sick of seeing daffodils, but I may have to get some close-up pictures of those anyway.

Lest you think it’s all as peaceful and pretty as the photo above around here, I though I’d share a behind-the-scenes reality shot as well:
Reality

Half the pictures I took look like this one. There’s no such thing as personal space around here. As I type there is a cat licking my arm. I do not know why.

Sally didn’t visit me in the studio this weekend, but I have to share a story, which is just about the saddest ever. When I painted my studio I removed a big, cheap, ugly mirror, and just had it leaning against the wall outside while I decided what to do with it. I tried putting it in my car to take to Goodwill, but it didn’t fit, so I thought I’d just take it out and leave it on the curb. Meanwhile, I moved it to the front of the yard, by the trash cans, next to the gate. When I went outside later that day, there was Sally, sitting down next to the mirror, talking to her reflection. Poor, lonely Sally! She had to find herself a buddy in a mirror! I don’t know quite what to do for her. Shortly after all this, the wind picked up and blew the mirror over and broke it, so now she really doesn’t have a friend. Luckily, the glass was glued to a backing, so it held together, but it was still badly cracked, and I put it out with the trash the next day. Mr. HeyLucy said he saw a big grey goose hanging around early one morning this week, so maybe she has a suitor. I think I will look for a plastic mirror for her, in case things don’t work out with the grey gentleman.

gussied up

I got this purple-y cotton cardigan at Old Navy (of course!) a few weeks ago. It's comfy and basic and cozy, but it was lacking a little something something. So I cut a bias strip of cotton calico and gussied it up.

Purplesweater2

I cut the strip about 2 3/4" wide, and slightly longer than the neckline. I cut one of the short side straight across and turned it under. I ran a gathering stitch in the fold and then stitched it down, even with the center edge of the sweater. From there, each section is sewn individually, about 2" apart. I just stitched around the calico strip a couple times and then knotted it off on the wrong side.

Purplesweater1

It took just minutes, and I think my sweater isn't so basic any more!

Thank goodness for Photoshop, I used it to make several cat hairs magically disappear! If only I could use it on my sofa. Note to self: use a lint roller before taking photos of your clothes.

I also have to point out my cute earrings, purchased recently from SpoolDesign on etsy! I especially like them since getting my hair trimmed on Friday so they could dangle down below the edges of my bob.

pioneer weekend

I pretended to be a pioneer this weekend, except for the electricity and indoor plumbing, oh, and the washer and dryer and gas stove, but other than those little conveniences, it was just like being a pioneer.

I haven't been cooking much more than dinner lately, so I decided to spend a little more time in the kitchen this weekend. When the Angry Chicken mentioned making butter, and 70-some comment-ors shared their enthusiasm, I had to jump on the bandwagon and try it too. I did it in a more pioneer-like way, and shook a pint of cream in a quart-sized mason jar. It was fascinating how the texture changed. First it just got all thick and frothy, and I was worried my jar was too small. Then I could hear it sort of thunk-ing around, and then suddenly it was a solid mass and finally, it turned pale yellow and there was a chunk of butter sitting in a pool of milk. This would be a great home-school science lesson! I recently scored a bunch of mini jello molds, which will soon be turned into pincushions, so I pressed the butter into one of them and let it harden in the fridge for a while and then turned it out on a plate.

Butter

The pint of cream made that-which I would estimate is 3/4 to 1 cup, plus another half a stick. I salted it very lightly, really just a couple shakes of kosher salt, and when I tasted it right after it was finished I was worried that I put way too much in, but today it's much better. And I have been eating a lot of slices of bread and butter.

So that was my weekend to-do list up there, and I didn't get it completely finished, but I did make quite a lot of progress. Make Butter: check!

Next up was Make Pickles. I will not be able to tell you how successful that venture was for two or three months, however. Here's a little more pickle backstory: Mr. HeyLucy loves a good antipasto salad, and the last time we had pizza the salad was a little disappointing. We are also trying to be more thrifty and not eating out, so this will be a good thing to try and make ourselves at home. Summer garden plans are in the works, so if the homemade pickling thing works out, we'll plant lots of pickle-friendly vegetables. Also, I was talking to a couple Persian friends at work who told me all about torshi, Persian pickles. One of found this recipe and sent it to me. I modified it a little, and made it a bit more Italian style (because I'm such an Italian cuisine expert). Here are all my vegetables, ready to be mixed and put in jars. The bowl is full of herbs and vinegar, and it smelled delicious, although now I need a break from the smell of vinegar for at least a couple days.

Pickles1 

Vegetables are pretty! Clockwise, from the top left we have green pepper, cucumbers (the little persian ones), herb-y vinegar, cauliflower, carrots, cooked eggplant (not too much of that, I wasn't sure if we would like it), whole garlic cloves, and celery. I ended up with five quarts and one pint. Now it has to sit for a couple months and then we can enjoy it! Make Pickles: check!

Next up, Sew Skirt. Didn't happen. I have some pretty grey linen for a Summer skirt, and I want to sew lots of rick-rack around the bottom, but the fabric store I went to on Friday only had purple, so I will have to go on a rick-rack hunt next week. Sew Skirt will move to the top of the list for next weekend.

Gather Moss. I don't think I'm ready to take the dogs out again, my hand should be healed by next weekend, however, so that stays on the list. The dogs each got a little brushing, and therefore quality one-on-one time with me instead, and it's not like there was a moss emergency. My terrarium in the little house studio is doing quite well, I will have to take a progress picture so you can see how pretty and green it is.

Sew Blouse. Well, it's cut out, so that one gets a partial check. I hope to work on it this week, so expect to hear more about this later.

Sweep Driveway. We have a big driveway. Between dogs digging and chickens scratching, and wind blowing, it gets messy. I got a lot swept, so I'm giving myself a check mark, but there is one more corner to do, so it will be back on the list next week too.

Do laundry. Done! Although not yet put away, at least it's all folded. Maybe tomorrow I will finish putting it away, and then I will get my check mark.

Make Pincushions. Well, I tried, but more experimenting is needed. I did make a strawberry with emory sand, so I'm kind of excited about that. I made one attempt with the aforementioned mini jello molds, but I have to try again. No check mark, back on the list.

Strawberry 

I'm excited to make some new little sets, with wool-stuffed pincushions and emory-filled strawberries, and maybe even matching needlebooks.

Bake a Cake. Specifically, Nigella's Clementine Cake. I've been wanting to make this forever, or at least for the last three months. So forever might be an exageration, but I finally did it today. And it's good, but not quite as outstanding as I was expecting. She does say that she prefers it the next day, so maybe my opinion will change tomorrow. I think I might like it more with a simple orange glaze. It's flourless, so it might be a good recipe to add to your reportoire if you need a gluten-free cake. Also, it's not all that exciting to look at:

Clementinecake 

So that was my weekend to-do list. I should have included Pick Flowers, because that would have earned me another check mark.

Flowerbasker

 

I hope you won't mind just a few more pictures of daffodils and grape hyacinth, but we have to enjoy them while we can!

Daffodilbokeh 

I love that bright orange center, and how about that extreme bokeh, eh? 

Grapehyacinth2 

I just love these tiny things. That photo is worth looking at full-sized. This version is straight out of the camera, but I played with some Photoshop actions and added those versions to flickr.

it’s beginning to look a lot like springtime

Spring is my favorite time of year. My birthday is in the Spring, my favorite flowers bloom in the Spring, things turn green, the sky is bluer, it's just the best. Tomorrow the pool opens after being closed for 3 months and my swimming stuff is already packed and ready to take along to work for a lunch hour swim.

Saturday I declared an official pajama day, and I spent the morning with the bedroom window open, and enjoyed the fresh Spring air along with a little breakfast in bed, followed by a little knitting and hulu.com watching (while still in bed). I would have just stayed in my pajamas all day, but around 1:30 I decided I had better get dressed and go to the feed store, or I was going to have to deal with some grumpy, hungry chickens.

I've worked some more on my skirt, although I have to finish off the yoke facing, and I may sew another row or maybe even two of ruffles. Two might be too much, but I think I really will do one more. I'm wearing my boots, obviously, but once it's a little warmer, I think these cute shoes will work well with this skirt.

Skirt2

Froth2

The skirt is made of a cotton bamboo fabric I got at JoAnn, of all places, and the ruffle is bias-cut silk dupioni. I like the cotton bamboo a lot, it's very nice to sew with.

I was also working on the mushroom tutorial, as promised, and Sally came for her usual visit. I took some pictures and then played around with them in Photoshop, using some Pioneer Woman Actions.

Sally70s

I like this 70's action. The sunshine one is fun too:

Sallysunshine

And then I went out and tried to take photos of flowers without dogs or a goose in them. I am trying to teach them to respect my personal space, but it's not sinking in. Still, I got a few flower photos without any animals in the frames.

Daffodillssq

I love all the bulb flowers, but grape hyacinth are one of my most favorites:

Grapehyacinthsq

And the lilacs are getting their big fat buds:

Buds

I hope you don't mind all the pictures! But did I mention that I love Spring?

P.S. Mushrooms winner will be posted by tomorrow, if not later tonight, and the tutorial will be up soon too! I'll also have a few mushrooms for the shop, if you don't feel like making your own. Now I'm going to go make some soup!