Wednesday, 2 April 2014

12 month challenge ~ march

Sewing One Project Each Month

It’s been overcast and wintry for the past week. March winds were blowing and rain falling when I took the following pictures. One step backward and I would have been standing in a melting 3 foot snow drift!

Here is my March sewing project; a black, wool blend, A-line skirt sans waistband. Everything during this project went really well from inserting the lapped zipper in the back to double top-stitching the side and front seams. Even the bar tacks on the pockets went without a hitch. I was really pleased with how easily it went together.

And then I wore it. It slipped off my bum…two times. Oi!

One thing is sure when sewing your own clothes: you become an expert on your body shape, understanding pretty quickly what will work and what won’t. The trouble with my shape is that it keeps changing and it seems to have changed a lot in the New Year.

Since my stroke I've lost 47 pounds and expect to continue losing because, minus a few slip-ups now and again, my eating habits have changed. Constantly losing weight makes sewing well-fitted clothes a challenge. Impossible, I think. 

With that in mind, I am now on the lookout for styles that are less structured so that shedding a few pounds won’t matter to the fit. Spending time at the sewing machine and ironing board seems a waste if you only get to wear the finished garment a few times...or in the March project's case, once.

This means I'll be changing the focus of my challenge from 12 skirts to the more liberal, 12 projects. 

Designer Tina Givens creates what looks like comfortable, loose fitting clothes. A reader told me about Tina when I first announced this sewing challenge. I love, love, LOVE her romantic, bohemian style and may try some of her patterns. 

First though, I need to make a new apron.

Remember to visit my friend Jackie to see the sweet girly dress she sewed for her challenge.

How about you? How did your March projects go? 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

a breather

Friends, I’m writing today to say that for personal reasons I am taking a break from blogging. It's one of my favourite things in the world to do, but I need a breather. I’ll be using the time away from writing to process some things.

It’s been a struggle at times these past few months to stay focused on what I want to do here for you. There have been some really wonderful people who have helped with that, staying focused I mean, and I am grateful to you, but I need to have a little rest and time to figure a few things out on my own.

I do intend to continue posting on the last Monday of each month with photos of my sewing projects. I hope you will be working on your sewing and other project goals too.

If you need to get in touch with me my email is Sue at thelittleacrethatcould(at)Hotmail(dot)com. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

homemade chicken soup

Requested by a reader, this is the homemade chicken soup that has evolved in my kitchen over the years. It is so nourishing and we love it, especially when it's paired with buttered biscuits and molasses.

3-4 lb frozen whole chicken
½ cup 9-bean mixture
1-3 tsp. sea salt with minerals
parsley, free hand
½ tsp each of ground sage, rosemary and thyme
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1/8 cup dehydrated diced sweet red pepper or ½ fresh red pepper, diced
dried kale flakes, free hand
1 cup frozen bone broth or left-over gravy, or a combination of the two, defrosted
¼ cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp. rice flour to thicken if desired

Put frozen chicken in soup pot. Half cover with cold water. Cover pot, turn on high and bring to boil.

Turn to low (I use #3 out of 10 on my stove). Simmer until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, or a leg turns loosely in its socket.

Remove chicken from pot. Add bean mix. Simmer until tender. Keep an eye on it. You will have to add water to cover the beans as they cook so they don’t boil dry.

When the beans are soft, add sea salt (I do not use very much salt, adjust to your taste), parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  

Add onion, carrot, celery and sweet red pepper and cook until just under desired tenderness.

{While the vegetables are cooking pick meat off chicken.}

When the vegetables are just under desired tenderness, add kale flakes, bone broth and gravy, picked chicken meat, peas and rice flour. Simmer until veggies have finished cooking.

Serve with our favourite gluten-free biscuits fresh from the oven for a tasty meal.

Friday, 7 March 2014

random 5 friday

Random 5 Friday  
is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Nancy Claeys
5 random facts about life at my little acre
1. Good news this week! I had a clean bill of health at the multiple sclerosis clinic. No visible changes in the past year. Yay! I told my neurologist and the nurse practitioner that I felt like I had wasted their time. Grinning he said, we like having our time wasted.
2. Every year around this time my 3 sisters, mother and I get together for a pot luck and some girl talk. We eat, they drink wine and we share our joys and burdens, renewing the valuable ties of family and womanhood. Tonight is the night! 

Anna, me, Mum, Kate, Beth ~ 9 years ago

3. Lavender continues to entertain with her bunny performances. Her newest silliness is free-form 360s under her wicker shelf (a wicker breakfast tray I found at a thrift shop).

4. The AquaFarm I bought last month stands empty. I don’t know why Renoman is hemming and hawing about going to the pet shop to pick out a fish, but one thing I've learned from being dependent on others these past few years is to be gracious and patient. The fish will arrive eventually. If you aren't in my facebook community maybe you haven't have heard of an AquaFarm.

5. I went to pick Lavender up the other day to put her on her grooming table (a mat on top of the dryer) and she whimpered like a puppy. I think I heard my heart break. I had no idea that my single handed grasp was hurting her ~ it didn't when she was a baby. I promised to never to pick her up like that again. So, I'm turning to you, my friends. Any ideas how I can get her to the grooming table without picking her up by hand?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

wordless wednesday

two Sundays ago

this beach, 20 minutes from home, is one of mine and Renoman’s favourite places

sun sinks toward horizon in the pale, midwinter sky

sea grass is collected to nourish the soil in many coastal backyard gardens

too cold for a long stay, we didn't get to see the sunset that evening,
but left the beach feeling renewed