Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

I’ve mostly been revising my syllabus recently, but I still have two things to show you today.

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Handmade present:

Denim clutch (upcycled from the leg of an old pair of jeans I'd cut into shorts).

Details. Hand-stitched because I am horrible with a sewing machine.

Doubles as its own gift envelope!

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And something edible:

Caramel Apple Galette

The recipe is sort of a mix of the pastry technique from Chez Pim’s rustic fruit tart, and the way my French (now former) roommate M does the filling for her delicious caramel apple tart. I used a thinly sliced pink lady apple and drizzled hot caramel sauce all over the top once the galette had finished baking.  The caramel doesn’t make it taste extremely caramel-y, but it adds moisture and shine and a nice note of flavor. M usually uses store-bought pastry, but I decided to make my own this time; it turned out pretty good — nice and flaky — and was easy enough to make that I was encouraged to try making my own crust again a few days later when I made quiche for a lunch date. I think I’ve finally begun to conquer my fear of ruining delicate pastry doughs!  Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the quiche (I used a variation of this recipe from Tartine Gourmande, with ham, spinach, scallions, and swiss cheese for filling instead of her kale, zucchini, & spices), or of the chocolate mousse I made (which was also inspired by M, though the recipe I found online was a little too rich; I’ll have to ask M for her recipe, which is much lighter).  Whatever was left over was consumed very quickly by my family in the ensuing 24 hours.  Which I’m not complaining about — it’s always a good sign when a new dish you’ve tried out disappears really fast!


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Who’s this?

Someone poised for a long postal journey to California . . .

Bearing a little heart and a message.  He even has a matching card!

(He’s an owl, by the way; even though I know he looks kind of like a penguin with ears.  I misjudged the shape of the face this time heh).  I was originally going to send my new little friend off with a packet of cookies, but snow prevented me from getting to the grocery store on time that week, so my messenger went solo (well, except for his card).  He’s made from a singleton, felted wool sock, acrylic craft felt, and stuffed with fabric scraps (including much of the rest of the sock) and rice in the butt to keep him sitting upright.  I say “him” but I guess it could really be a “her,” too.  I left the gender up to D to decide upon receipt.  I’m pleased with my handiwork, though I could definitely have done a better job with making him look more like an owl. Thankfully the card looked a little more recognizably like an owl than the original; D did say he was a bit confused at first, but the reference drawing and verbal hints inside helped! [Update: D has informed me that the owl is a boy, and that his name is “Glimfeather,” after the owl who helped Eustace and Jill in The Silver Chair].

And look what I received in return! (Well, actually, his gift arrived first)

Orchids, D told me, not just for Valentine’s Day, but also for Chinese New Year’s day, which coincided with Valentine’s this year.  I loved that he thought to send me something a little different than the standard roses.  The orchids were beautiful and delicate and are only just now (a week later) beginning to droop.  Speaking of Chinese New Year, since I always like to do a little something for my girl friends on Valentine’s Day, this year I made my roommates hybrid valentine-hong bao cards that consisted of little yellow cards with tigers on them inside little handmade red paper envelopes, and served them up with a big New Year’s dinner of dumplings and fried noodles.  I eventually wrote their names on the origami hearts, but that wasn’t until after I’d already taken the picture:

Last but not least, a little Wonderland whimsy; one of my classmates’ birthdays is on the 14th of February, so someone hosted a Wonderland-themed tea party for her.  I went dressed as the white rabbit (unfortunately I haven’t got a picture of my costume but I was pretty proud of it, since — with the exception of paper ears, white gloves, and a felt heart pin — I put it together almost entirely from things that were already in my closet), and brought the birthday girl (whom they dressed up as Alice) a little corsage of white paper roses painted red:

Unfortunately, the stem portion proved to be a little too scratchy and the curling ribbon would not hold the heavy corsage fast to her wrist.  If I were to attempt this craft again, I think I’d use fabric (jersey from old t-shirts for the roses, perhaps, felt for the leaves, and satin ribbon for the tie) instead of stiff paper and tape!

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