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Archive for July, 2009

I Eat Alone - And I Like It

July 20th, 2009

310bv74n3l_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_I don’t mean to play the single girl card, but what is the big deal about eating alone?  I’m listening to The Splendid Table, and Lynn has on Deborah Madison and her husband talking about their new book, “What We Eat When We Eat Alone.” Good Food on KCRW was even asking listeners to call in with their weird menu items when eating solo.  I get it, the social custom is for people to eat in groups - like wolves. I don’t know if this is really true for most folks or it it’s just what I see on tv, because I only eat with people at restaurants or on special occasions.

Just now, many of you made a sad, pitiful noise thinking of me and my Lean Cuisine in front of the television. But your pity is misplaced. Most nights, I come home and cook something lovely and eat on a table, with a placemat and a complete set of cutlery. It’s true that I don’t have a wickedly large repertoire and that I rarely make large bunches of food (because, if that chicken I found that was dated 2003 is any indication, my freezer is a wasteland), but it’s healthy and nobody ever argues with the chef. There are hardly ever any coarse words at all, since it’s just me.

51psz4be1fl_sl500_aa240_You may now be saying to yourself, “She would be so much happier cooking for someone else.” Maybe - I do like to cook and I don’t experiment with soup as much as I would like (because it’s hard to make soup for one effectively). But my way is ok, too. To the list of people on Facebook that thought a cookbook on Vegan cooking for one was sad I answer - I would rather cook for one happy single person than two people that feel forced to eat together.

And, when I am very lazy, my single gal meal consists of tea (always), pepperoni, cheese, olives and pickles. Then I get a headache from all of the salt. Bon appetit!

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Craft Project for June - the Flower Purse

July 2nd, 2009

Purse with matching wallet

Purse with matching wallet

I know it’s July, but I made this project three weeks ago (as my facebook profile pic can attest) so it certainly counts.  It was inspired by a purse I saw in an exhibit of handbags at the Canton Museum of Art.  The artist was inspired in turn by something her Grandmother brought back from Mexico.  The purse in Canton was a doll’s upper torso connected to a skirt of flowers, created on a cage that opened.

I decided to take the idea of a flower covered bag and make it a soft form on a fabric base.  I made it to match a tank I wore under a dress to a party at the Akron Art Museum.  And, it went together surprisingly quickly.  I was only going to carry it to the party - but it turns out to be a very convenient size and I haven’t switched back to my other purse yet.

I started with a base of green tapestry fabric, so that the flowers would look like they were on a field of grass.  I wanted it to have texture and I looked at velvet and corduroy and settled on a woven paisley.  The lining is green taffeta (also home dec).  For the pattern, the circle bottom was the shape of a CD and I measured around to come up with the body rectangle.  When doing drawstring bags, I have a tendency to make them too short so that the top doesn’t splay open enough.  In the end, I added two more inches and then made a sample out of pink satin (I plan on using the sample as a gift bag).  I also made a matching coin purse.

Flower bits and pieces

Flower bits and pieces

To make the bag, I sewed the rectangle into a tube (leaving open about 4 inches in the lining and a half inch open in the outer fabric where I wanted my drawstring) and then sewed on the circle bottom.  I put one inside the other and sewed around the top.  Then, I flipped the entire piece inside out and stuffed the lining back into the outer fabric.  I stitched a line 3 inches from the top and another 1/2 inch higher.  Drawstring in and voila - bag!

For the flowers, I bought a variety of stems with fabric flowers.  I pulled the flower part off the stem, discarded leaves, center bits, etc and sewed the petals onto the bag with buttons I bought at a church rummage sale.  I tried to use a mix of sizes and colors - both of petals and buttons.  I didn’t want to use hot glue because it stiffens the fabric, it can come off with heat or use and I just don’t like it.  I used cord that I bought on clearance years ago and was deep in my stash.

For the wallet, I cut two rectangles with points, folded up the envelop and stitched.  Then, I put right sides together, stitched around the top, flipped it, tucked the lining into the outer fabric, top stitched across the lip of the envelope and found a button.  I made a buttonhole with my lovely sewing machine.

Sample bag with ribbon drawstring

Sample bag with ribbon drawstring

The bag went together so easily, that I’m considering making more out of holiday fabric with ribbon as drawstring and turning them into reusable gift bags.  My craft project for July (a situpon for music festivals) is already started, so you should see it here before long.

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