Friday, August 30, 2013

Vintage Dress, 1967

Now that the weather is cooling, and the garden and bees are wrapping up for the season, I am starting to think about my next sewing project. I have been itching to sew a vintage style dress. I recently bartered for 2.5 yards of a navy blue crepe suiting which led me to dig out this dress pattern.

The fabric is a poly crepe. Nothing fancy or expensive. This will be an experiment to see if I can resize this vintage pattern to fit me. I'll need to size it up a bit. The zipper and self-cover buttons were already in my stash. I picked up the contrasting crepe for the yoke, and the white lining, at Jo-Ann fabrics, along with some matching thread.
I'll need to do some adjustments to the pattern, and sew up a muslin or two, before I cut into the fashion fabric.

Nasty Wax Moths

Earlier this summer I had pulled some un-needed frames from my hives. I wrapped them in plastic sheeting and stored them in my garage. I hoped the plastic would keep the wax moths at bay. Sadly, it did not. A few days ago I went to retrieve them and was dismayed to find wax moth larva cavorting all over 5 of them.

The way you kill the larva and eggs is to place them in a freezer overnight. This is not an easy task if all you have is a side by side freezer/fridge. I removed a couple of shelves from the freezer, placed the 5 frames into a tall kitchen garbage bag and stood it upright in the freezer. The next day I removed the frames from the freezer, shook off as many of the dead larva as I could, and placed the yucky frames back into my strongest hive. The bees are supposed to be able to clean the frames and save the wax. We'll see.

Potato Chips & Newly Gluten Free

There have been some minor changes here at the urban homestead. First, I have made the decision to make some dietary changes. I have a chronic autoimmune disorder since I was 20. Well over 30 years. It's not life threatening but it is a nuisance. It's one of those maladies that doctors can't cure.

Recently I stumbled upon some forums and read posts from others with my same illness that had benefited from going gluten free. On August 16th I cut out all wheat, rye and barley and immediately began feeling better. On August 26th I decided to eliminate processed sugar from my diet. It is also a trigger for my autoimmune disorder. I understand it takes a month to see most results and a full 6 months to get it completely out of your system. However I have already seen these changes:

*As of today I have lost 1.5" from my hips and a full 2" from my waist. No, I am not exercising.
*My skin is clearing up. Even the skin on my face has improved.
*My joints feel much better. My knees no longer hurt.
*My gums are in much better shape.
*I have more energy.
*Food tastes better.

The only real hardship? I miss beer. Yes, I know there if GF beer out there but I am used to drinking my husband's delicious home brew.

I also need to find a good salad dressing without added sugar. Or learn to make my own. I am a beekeeper so I am going to use raw, unpasteurized honey, from my bees, as my only sweetener.

The immediate weight loss was a happy revelation. I wasn't expecting it. I always wondered why I kept gaining so much weight when I really don't overeat. Apparently my body couldn't process the gluten. I look forward to getting my skinny body back. Stay tuned as I chronicle my GF/SF journey. Meanwhile, here is a nice snack you can whip up if you find yourself with an abundance of potatoes. I used sweet potatoes for this batch.
Baked Potato Chips 
Potatoes, any kind.
Olive oil
Slice the potatoes thin. I used a mandoline. Soak the potato slices in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Drain well and blot dry. Place in a bowl, drizzle with some olive oil (just enough to coat them) and mix them with your hands. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt and bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Watch them the last few minutes to make sure they don't burn. You want them crispy and slightly golden. You may have to adjust the temperature as all ovens vary. Enjoy!
NOTE: I can't report on how well these store since they didn't last that long. ;-P

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Honey Harvest 2013....Thus Far

I harvested these 3 medium frames on Monday of this week. I estimate that will give me approx. 12 jars. I anticipate getting at least this much, again, in a week. The bees aren't quite finished capping all the honey in the super. I am going to hold these 3 frames aside (probably sealed in an Igloo cooler) until I have more. I'd rather only extract once.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Vintage Linens Found Today

These are the vintage hand embroidered items I found at a yard sale this morning. Some also feature crochet or applique. I appreciate these because I know how much work went into them.

A pair of pillowcases with embroidered roses.
These have lace hand sewn to the edges.

A single pillowcase with embroidered calla lilies.
This has a green crocheted edging.

An embroidered dresser scarf with a crocheted edging.

A dish towel with appliqued dress and embroidered details.

I paid $4 for the lot.  

Late Season Yard Sales

I haven't been going to many yard sales this summer. I am trying to downsize and pack for my upcoming move to a homestead property. I really need to concentrate on giving things away, not dragging more home. Today my love of garage sales won out over common sense and I ventured out to a few sales in the near by neighborhoods. This was my haul. Or most of it. I also picked up some nice pinking shears and some vintage linens but those didn't make it into the photos.

MAD MEN style vintage red patent leather purse. Probably from the 50's. It's in very good condition, structurally, but it does have some black dye transfer....mostly on the back. Heck, it was only $1. I still love it and plan to actually carry it out in public. I want to collect more vintage purses.

A pristine harvest gold Grind O Mat from the 70's. With all the pieces. It clamps down onto the counter with suction. I have a fancy motorized grinder/sausage stuffer but this will come in handy for grinding something quickly. I have a recipe for Italian sausage I want to try out. This grinder was $2.

Set of 3 nesting baskets with lids. $1 for the set. These will be great for using in my sewing room.

And a few books on self sufficiency, gardening and upholstering. $.50 each. These will be useful on the homestead.

All that for under $5.50! You gotta love yard sales.