Monthly Archives: October 2011

Apron(s) of the Day (Week)

Hoo boy, what a week! We’ve got a new roof and new soffits and fascia, so I can now pull into my driveway without feeling as if I’ve been transplanted into a Steinbeck novel. (The Polish gentleman who did the installation didn’t kiss my hand, as Polish gentlemen of a certain age almost always do, but he bowed low over it instead of shaking it. It, no kidding, made me feel like a princess, for the first time in a few years — the last time a Polish gentleman kissed my hand.)

My right index finger met the spinning blades of an immersion blender; pure carelessness on my part. (It could have been much worse. Much worse.)

And I cranked those holiday aprons! I tried a time and motion study, an apron assembly line, to see it I could speed up production. One apron takes me a day to make, which includes doing laundry, checking Facebook, watching Jeopardy, running errands, reading and cooking. I wondered if I cut out several aprons, then trimmed all the pockets in one step, sewed all the neck straps in another step, and assembled the aprons one after one I might shave some time off the process.

Detroit methods don’t work. I made five and a half aprons in five and a half days, and I was bored. I missed the satisfaction of having a finished product to admire during cocktail hour, and I didn’t get as attached to any particular product as I always do. I’ll be back to artisanal, not assembly line aprons.

Technical issues aside, I think these are swell aprons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a closeup of the print, which I love:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the Hallowe’en/Thanksgiving side, modeled by the lovely Christina Simpson, since I’ve known, no kidding, since she was a babe in arms. Baby, look at her now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the fabric. To me it whispers farmhouse kitchens, candy corn and a big bird in the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s the same fabric I used on the reverse of this Christmas beauty — it might be my favorite:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mean, how could I resist a yard of this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a shot of the other fall holiday print. It or “candy corn”  was the reverse of most of the holiday aprons. Like this one:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a sad day at the Kenmore — I used up the last of my super-duper-pooper jumbo rickrack. The prezzies have a sort of mid-century vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll find the punkins backing up this oh-so-Christmassy print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are Dale Jr. and his lovely sister modelling the apron and a half. Dale looks as if he’s wearing a bib, but it’s actually a tot-sized apron. The fabrics are both red, but this side could be worn any season of the year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, youth and beauty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew! I need a computer that uploads pix faster for posts like this. Needless to say, they’re for sale, and I have enough yardage of most of the fabrics to construct a custom item for you.

Time to don an apron and rustle up dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Home, Reversible Aprons, Site of the Day

Object of the Day: Tisket! Taskit! Check Out My New Basket

Some goofball once said something like: “Pleasure postponed is pleasure doubled.” I’m not all about instant gratification; that two day UPS hang time is about perfect. The fine folks at L L Bean backordered my bike basket for a friggin’ month and a half.  Shipping, as always, was free.

Oh, I love it. I regret that I can’t photo style it with a baguette and a bunch of bluebells — my package of English muffins and bouquet of rogue goldenrod doesn’t hit that hip lady in Amsterdam vibe. Or the Miss Marple vibe. Or the wife of an investment banker in Nantucket vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thirty bucks isn’t too much to pay (free shipping!) for a rich fantasy life and a vehicle in which I can return library books, is it? It’s so much prettier than the woven  pink plastic woven dealio that carried my textbooks home from high school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love its retro convergence with my air horn. I love that it attaches to the handlebars with doll-sized leather belts : no screwdriver required. I love that I can remove it in a snap, and it’ll become my farmer’s market shopping bag.

Mostly I love that I’ve constructed the bike of my dreams. No gears. A comfortable saddle. The ability to sit up straight and watch the world, not the road. Serious exercise for legs and butt.  A Keystone Cop kinda air horn. And a basket I’ll take to TJ’s and load up with flowers, wine, and cheap snack food.

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Filed under Body, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, How Cool is That?, On the Street Where I Live, Worth it anyway

Apron of the Day: Pumpkins and Reindeer

I’m in production mode.

I was stunned to realize, as I pulled my apron inventory from my warehouse (that would be the linen closet) that I didn’t have one stinkin’ holiday apron  on hand. I blew whatever money that came from my last apron sale on Christmassy fabric (oooooh, I have some cool yardage!”) and pondered the possibilities of the reversible apron.

For The Season, I’m expanding into mother/daughter, grandmother/granddaughter, doll aprons — even wine bottle aprons. But value is important, so I’m thinking: one side can be holiday based but the verso should be a print that can be worn year-round. What do you think?

As it happened, I found a yard of fabric from my stash that handles the two fall holidays that feature pumpkins — plus the print is so terrific that it could handle twelve months a year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The life-sized reveal:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(If you crave some Asian pears, c’mon over and strip the tree.)

This is the witty Christmas side — I love these reindeers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willow put in an appearance, but didn’t climb into the shoot — note the windfall pears. Sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

I love this apron, red rickrack and reindeer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s crowd source this. If you’re buying a Christmas cookie- baking, gravy- stirring, hors d’ouevres -passing  Christmas apron, would you like the reverse to be a pretty print you could wear year-round?

 

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Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Holidays, Needlework, On the Street Where I Live, Reversible Aprons, Sewing

Bye Bye, Big White

Today I waved good-bye to my favorite car, ever. All those of you remembering that Sprite or Mustang or ’67 Chevy will guffaw when I do the big reveal.

Please chuckle  — don’t guffaw!  The car I’ll miss the most is a 2001 Ford Focus.

Why? Well, for starters I was ten years younger, and the last decade has been the most challenging of my life. After years of Escorts and Mirages, the Focus felt big and luxurious. For the first time in my life I had power windows, air conditioning  a CD player and one of those clickety things. I drove it on icy roads at midnight returning from work, so warm and so trusting of my front wheel drive. We traveled to Ottawa dozens of times, a book on CD whiling away endless hours on the 401.

What I’ll always remember the Focus for is providing one of those too rare moments of transcendence. I was driving home alone in a snowstorm after a convivial evening with friends. The windshield wipers thwapped, the snow drifted down in fat flakes like the flocking on a Christmas card, and Vladimir Horowitz was blasting a Chopin Ballade from the radio. Apart from Vlad, the night was silent, as most snowy nights are. I was in my warm capsule of peace and joy, and I don’t mention words like peace and joy unless I mean it.

Six months ago Big White’s battery started to give us problems, Lou’s cool Tiburon decided to swim to that eternal junkyard and we bought our peppy Little Blue Toyota. As neither of us has what you might call a Day Job, the Focus sat in the driveway because we couldn’t start it and we didn’t need it.

On a rainy day late last week Lou came back from the mailbox with an note enclosed in a baggy. It read : “I was wondering if you would be interested in selling this car? If so, call or text me. Kevin.”

I called Kevin. He has a friend two streets over and — good grief! — he had fond memories of his own old Focus. He was thinking about giving it to his sixteen-year-old brother for the kid’s first car. Of course he asked “Do you have the title?” Yipes.

We spent ten hours on Saturday tearing through every cursed piece of paper we’ve accumulated for the last five years. I mean every single damned piece. The veins in Lou’s temples throbbed. I’d checked the Secretary of State’s site for the form to get a new title, and I offered up the idea of the 95 buck fee. Note: We finally cleaned up that stack of mail.

Lou had gone to the grocery store to pick up the two indespensibles: toilet paper and cat food. Kevin rang. He was forty-five minutes from a viewing and he asked again: “Do you have the title?” Nope, Kevin, but we’ll take care of it.

Lor love a duck. As I was sweeping the stacks of redundant paper from the dining room table (AKA Mission Control) the Great Being cut me a break. We’d been through the stack ten times, but there it was in plain sight: the title.

I was thrilled to tell Kevin I’d found it  when he came over and tried to start Big White. Big White wasn’t cooperative. We lowered the price. He said he’d get back to me.

Today Kevin and his charming  father arrived with a stack of bills and a trailer.  Bye bye, Big White.

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Filed under Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, History, On the Street Where I Live