another try on bear scat

I would rather be sitting in front of a fire crocheting right this minute.  It is where I am feeling the most creative.  I have a shawl in my head I am trying to translate into reality.  But the boyos need snacks.  I tried another version of bear scat.  This is more bear bark then scat but still not quite right.  

It starts with a layer of bittersweet chocolate.

Then a layer of peanut butter mixed with white chocolate.

The peanut butter layer and the chocolate layer really worked.

Then, I chopped gluten free pretzels and salted cashews for the scat.  I doubled the amount of these the recipe I was following called for.  I should of doubled it again maybe.  Or added more salt.

I dropped the cashews and pretzels on top of the chocolate layer.  Drizzled more chocolate and peanut butter mixture over it.  It still needed more stuff.  So either another cereal or double the pretzels and cashews.  With the cashews, I might add a touch of salt as well.  The flavor was not quite strong enough. 

The boyos are eating this but because it is not as easy to grab a handful, it is not being eaten as fast.  I will get to the right combination and have a recipe at some point!  But the boyos like the variety of trying different things.


teak table

What can I say about last week?  It is over.  I am healing.  I got some rest and I continue to try to not over do.  That is so hard for me!  I did finish one of the projects that was taking so long. 

I have dining room table that I love.  But sixteen years of life, it needs some care and attention.  I have never refinished anything in my life.  I found the above teak table on the side of the road.  Someone wished to get rid of it.

This is how it looked in the beginning.  Scratched but not gouged.  There is one place in the top with a divot.  It looks almost like a bb was pressed into it.  It was made in India but it is solid teak.  I decided if I was going to learn to refinish this was a good place to start.

I took about eight hours to sand the table.  Even as I was sanding it, I realized that the original finish hid the beauty of the wood.  I did go back and work on the legs more from here.  I also went back and resanded everything again after the table sat overnight.  The humidity in the air brought up more of the grain.

Then I stained it.  The top is a Jacobean and the legs are a New Colonial.  The top stain color gives some black without it being black to it.  I thought this might hide dirt and crumbs a bit better.  The New Colonial stain actually makes the wood look very similar to what it looks like naturally when covered in finish but you can see the wood.  I really think the original creators used a colored polyurethane to finish the table.

Four coats of polyurethane went on the top.  Three on the bottom.  I sanded between layers. 

It is just a beautiful thing.  And the top is so smooth.  My Beloved told me I did a wonderful job.

I really enjoyed refinishing this.  I now know I can refinish the dining room table.  A Pottery Barn table that was purchased for about half off.  Actually more.  If I were ever to replace it, it would be because it dies a gruesome death somehow.  In this house, that is not out of the question.  Next time, I am building my own table.  It will be probably the same shape and size.  Maybe a touch larger.  

This table?  I do not have a place for it.  I am going to sell it.  It is four feet long, 18 inches high, and 14 inches wide if anyone is interested.  If you are interested, email me.


me time

I came to this space to write today and felt badly.  What am I going to write?  Most of the projects I am working on are taking time.  My works in progress are many!  And the food I am creating is a lot of requested food.  Like today, I am going to make blackberry buckle because it was requested.  I laugh at how many times I use my own recipes.  The recipe list here will always be around in some form because I use it weekly.  

The picture is of a shawl I am making.  It is one of two new crochet techniques I am learning.  Which is incredible in itself but it does not mean I have a lot of pictures of done projects.  The other technique is using a slip stitch for the whole body of the crochet work.  Just learning that one took a couple months!  And it was for a Christmas present!  It might get to my Mom for Mother's Day.  At least she may still wear it where she lives.

I am also learning how to refinish furniture.  I found a teak coffee or side table (it could also be a bench) that someone had left to be taken away.  In our neighborhood, that means it is left on the side of the street and either someone leaves with it or it goes to the landfill.  Which every comes first.   A free solid teak table to learn new things on.  I have been having a blast.  My dining room table needs to be refinished and I am looking for other free or cheap furniture to do the same with.  I may sell it.

I also need to create some new plates for letterpress work.  I start writing out all I am doing here and no wonder I look up at 7:45 pm and go crap.  That was what I did last night and dinner was going to be an hour later then that.  But it was good bread with stuff on top.  It is amazing how many meals are just truly bread and cheese.  And along the lines of things I am planning, I have not even added the six sewing projects that are in my head.  I just found out a friend is pregnant.  

The me time on the shawl last night was needed.  Quiet where I could work more on learning the new skill.  I did order more yarn for it though.  The skeins I had in the first place were not the size that I really needed.  It is okay because this is a learning process and I just keep going forward.  And I will not be able to wear this shawl until next autumn unless I am traveling probably.  It is giving me ideas for leftover yarn though.  Always a bad thing.  More projects!


shirt from a dress

When Koda Bear was very small, I was wearing a lot of dress that had skirts to the floor.  I still love this length but there is a bit of impracticality about it.  Especially when there is a small boy you are trying to keep up with.  I kept tripping over the skirt of that style.

I have always liked the camp shirt style.  Very 1940's and 1950's.  I have also been watching the Dr. Blake Mysteries on Netflix.  The styles there are 1950's.  I love them.  Since I have a very old Folkwear pattern for the shirt I wanted to wear and a dress with enough yardage in it to make the shirt, especially since I was not wearing the dress, I thought why not!

This green print is quite old fashioned itself.  Very sublte.  I thought I had not cut the purple dress into something else but I was wrong and there was not enough fabric in the new dress to make a new shirt.  It is truly how I think.  I can I remake what I have into something I want.  Especially, if what I have I am not wearing.  Though the vertical storage of fabric in the closet is nice.

I still have not got the collar down quite right.  I need to reread the pattern a few more times to actually feel comfortable with the collar.  After making so many men's collars on shirts, it is a little counterintuitive.

The buttons were actually cut off another shirt.  It was a work shirt that had holes in it.  The thread was an eBay purchase.  Someone was trying to get rid of old thread.  It matched perfectly.

I really like this shirt.  I was pleased with how comfortable it was.  I was also pleased with the sizing.  When a pattern is that old, it is hard to tell if it will fit the way you think it should at the size it it.  The shirt is actually tucked up here because the picture was taken for the skirt.  I am double dipping.

I have worn this shirt a handful of times already.  It is already a go to in my closet.  I have a couple more dresses I could see myself making into shirts.  The red one I may keep long.  It is a nice traveling dress but it is a more of I will see when I get there.  


skating skirt

That trying to slow down is really not going very well.  I have only walked about 27 miles this week.  And put these skates on to coach two Basic 1 ice skating classes.  The Old Man had only tried to get me to coach for about 15 years.  It was a quiet push but he always wanted me to have another skill to fall back on as a just in case.  He would be pleased.  He would be chortling!  I realized as well that he did not ever wish to go to another funeral of one of his "kids."  The One he talked about was enough for him. 

Funny thing is I can just see him looking over his glasses and smiling at me.  With that smug look.  I would call him on crap and that was the look he would give me when I was right.  I would be getting that look today.

Bert's "kids" have been getting together a couple times a month.  Again, if the Old Man knew this was what it would take to get some of us back on the ice, he would have said, "Here, hold my coffee.  I got this."  His coffee was usually not just coffee unless I brought it to him from home.  But skating a few times a month, I noticed that the skating skirt I wore the most was starting to fall apart. 

Now, I loved the length of this skirt but I never truly liked how transparent it was.  I was going to get some black chiffon and make a new one but I liked the softness of the navy blue metallic lace better.  Soft is always good.  If I could have found the black, I would have bought black.

I laid the old skirt out as a pattern.  Cut.  Hemmed every side.  Three edges were a rolled hem and one was just a simple fold over so I could cover it with a ribbon tie.

It was really simple.  I started the sewing of the skirt just over two hours before the public skate started.  I got there as the skate started.

I like that it is not so transparent.

And it moves well.  This was a really crappy one foot spin I did for the photos.  But it shows the movement of the skirt.  I have enough supplies to make another which I may make up to sell.  

Not too long afer the picture was taken, I tried a sit spin.  A normal sit spin.  My foot said no more!  The sit spin stretch things in the foot too much and my balance was off.  I asked a friend who was there if when she was dealing with the same thing if she could do sit spins.  She said not work.  I bet a camel would have but I did not need to push my foot anymore.