Monday, February 16, 2009



I bought these boots on etsy with a bit of money sent to me by my grandmother for the holidays. I suspect they are new old stock from the late 80s, as their thin crepe soles show no wear whatsoever. They are really slim, which is great: for once, it'll be a good thing when the leather stretches/relaxes a bit.

... but I thought they could use a few minor changes...

I had a shoe repair man take the back seam in a little (easy to do, since they are exposed, and there's no lining) so they would fit my ankles and not flop around.

I polished them with cordovan shoe polish - a rich purply brown, that I knew would get into the leather's texture.

I replaced the original laces (one was torn, anyway!) with the last bit of leather thong I had leftover from an old Halloween costume.

ta-da! better, no?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

he's my valentine

and he does things like make beautiful greek salad, bringing it to me while I work through a pile of books and readers. This one has tomatoes, cucumber slices, olives, and a little feta on greens, with a lemon dressing. It's from Field of Greens, the second Greens restaurant cookbook. So nice and fresh, though it feels like cheating to eat this in winter, as it's definitely a summer salad.

I couldn't help but think, as I failed to even make it through half of this, that Sal probably could have managed it easily.

In thanks, I made sure that he finally got the haircut he's been asking for, even if I had to do it at midnight. It's kind of a low-key romance, but I think these are the things that matter most of all.

Monday, February 2, 2009

turning turning turning

Depending on your calendar, february 2nd is the start of spring. In our northen clime, it's when we turn the garden, feed the soil, prepare to start the cycle over again.

This is when we clear the house of any remaining vestiges of winter, and prepare for the onset of spring! We also cleared out the over-wintering garden: carrot soup and roasted beets with kale and spinach salad for dinner, we feed ourselves with the legacy of last year, bringing to light the roots that have been hidden under snow and under wet black earth, growing in the secret dark of winter.

Next weekend (I had papers this weekend, ack!) I'll finish weeding the garden and turn it, and add coffee grounds. Then we'll plant peas. Just like that.

Tonight we have candles, but before too long we'll have lingering sunsets painting a summer sky; tonight we dream of green budding sprouting growing things, but before too long we'll have a harvest.
What plans are you laying?


let's start with a suitably dramatic shot, shall we? I got a button-up crinkled silk blouse in a clothing swap in November or December (can't quite remember), and reconstructed it over break. Well, I changed some of the trimmings, really. It's not like I fundamentally altered the structure of it all that much.

The original blouse had long sleeves, a collar in the same fabric, ruffles on either side of the front placket, and a single ruffle trimming each sleeve hem.

(love that colour, no? glorious! - the winter sunshine doesn't hurt, either)

So I removed the placket-ruffles first. Then I removed the fold-down collar by using my seam ripper to open the top of the collar's band. I took in the sides a little (just a little), and shortened the sleeves (just cut them off).

I used some sari fabric my aunt gave me (it has three different patterns in it, I just used two so that I wouldn't have to cut right through the middle to get at the third pattern) for my trims.

I made a little tube of fabric and pleated it. I stitched down the pleats and then hand-stitched it over the button-placket, only tacking it on one side where the buttons were (so that I could still get at the buttons, yeah?).

I took another strip and pleated it and tucked it into the collar band, and hand sewed the band shut, so that I had a ruffled stand-up collar.
Last but not least, I used the ruffles from the sides of the placket to trim the new sleeve hems. I hand stitched another band of sari fabric over the seam, pleating it as I went.

ya dig?