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:

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. 

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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.

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:

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.

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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.


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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.


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:


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



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!


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


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.

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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 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.



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.


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


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.


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


And the lilacs are getting their big fat 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!

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