Monday, July 09, 2018

July-the mending and making edition

The professor was invited to give a talk (lecture) at a conference in Naples, Italy.  For a variety of reasons--the cost of airfare, finding stuff to do with twins alone in Naples while he was at the conference, and well, the fact that I speak no Italian, among other things...I chose to stay home with twins and dogs this time while our professor did a very speedy trip to Europe.  He came home with treats for everyone.  For us though, one of the tastiest treats was the 10 Euro he spent in the duty-free shop on real Buffalo Mozzarella.  He carried it, in a little cooler, through many airports.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it!  (See above for the tomato and basil, plain, and dressed with Italian herbs versions...balsamic vinegar and olive oil were optional, too!)
When he got home, we took a walk in the neighborhood to do some errands, and this bag was on sale at a boutique.  It's made of recycled fabric and made with fair trade workers in India.  I love it-- (I kind of have a bag thing...) but it needs some more pockets and a closure.  I haven't figured that out yet.

Also this past weekend, we had other projects going on.  The twins and the professor picked our cherry bushes completely clean of ripe cherries-and those are now sitting in the frig, waiting for me to make cherry jam.  First though, came strawberry picking.  Usually this is a family trip, but Sadie the new dog is not quite ready yet for long stretches on her own.  So, I hung out at home and they went off to pick berries yesterday.

When they came back, one twin's lightweight gray pants were, umm, trashed.  Mending needs to happen, but when we thought on it, we all concluded that really, he just needed more warm weather trousers that he would agree to wear.

After some discussion, we decided that his most comfortable, holey, patched jeans would make good "long" shorts--essentially surfer length, if not longer.  Three pairs of pants rushed up to my office sewing machine last night.  50 minutes later...2 pairs for the kid with the urgent need...and 1 pair for the other twin.  (Maintaining parity is always good!)  We will see how these work.  In any case, the cut-offs look slightly nicer than some of the patches at this point. :)

Over the weekend, I took a quick trip to a fabric store I love, and I found this Marimekko-style remnant.  It was slinky and a weird shape.  Definitely not super useful, but I had to have it--and at $2.60 CAD, it was a cheap splurge.  While I made cut-off shorts, I pondered.  I had a linen tank top that never fit right.  It was sitting in a pile to be mended.

I hemmed the remnant and attached it to the tank top in a sort of handkerchief pinafore style.  We'll see if it stays assembled when I wear it...but at least now I can look at this pretty block print flower style some more.  The fabric was so sheer and slippery that pins made holes in it.  It was hard to work with--and I am not sure I'd like to try sewing something bigger with it.

Today though, it was all about strawberry jam.  17 cups of jam later, we still have two flats of strawberries left in the refrigerator.  There is one fabulous thing about seven year olds though.  Hand them a cutting board and a butter knife?  And the whole family hulled strawberries at once.  This saved me hours of prep work on my own.
I love making homemade, local "fast food" that goes on my pantry shelves for winter...but it also takes work and a chunk of kid-free time. (I find boiling water baths and kids do not mix, especially when trying out their new palm sized Italian race cars...)

Tomorrow, I start doing the cherries...wish me patience...I might need it!

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