Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January sewing, baking, and going

I'm back. Having the girls home was a very busy and good time. They went back to school on 1/21. I had a cold the entire last week that they were home, and still managed to do quite a bit. Last week was a chance to catch up and survey the landscape. I'm making sewing plans and yard plans and work plans.

Here are some things I recently finished....

Pajamas for Jenna.
(True Bias Hudson pants and Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt.)

Sweatshirt for Jenna.
(Another Linden Sweatshirt from beautiful, soft, Japanese knit. The fabric from a line called Echino, by Etsuko Furuya, and was purchased at Momen+, a wonderful fabric store in Torrance. The store has an incredible selection of Japanese fabrics.)

True Bias Ogden Camis for Dana and Jenna, from rayon.

Next up is another Ogden Cami for Dana from this silky shibori fabric.

And, I am still working on the Spools quilt.


Dana and I also visited the BROAD museum downtown. This new modern art museum is a space so full of light and has plenty of room to allow the viewer to step back and really take in the art. Many pieces are quite large, even wall-size,  canvases.   I loved it. I want to visit again soon. I often find museums to be the antidote to shopping, or to consumerism in general. I'm free to enjoy. No purchase pressure or compulsion. Art in museums is not for sale. Taking time to just look and think is very relaxing and clears my head.
At the stair landings, heading up to the second and then third floors, there are windows into the storage warehouse (for the paintings not currently on display).

Finally, there is currently an exhibit called INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM-THE SOULS OF MILLIONS OF LIGHT YEARS AWAY by Yayoi Kusama. It's a tiny room that you enter for only 45 seconds, one person at a time. You can request an entry time by iPad after you enter the museum.
It was interesting and worth waiting for.


Dana and I took a sourdough bread baking class at BLVD Kitchen in Sherman Oaks, and so far I have made two beautiful sourdough loaves of my own:

I also came up with a tasty new salad that I like.

Kale and Oranges with a simple dijon lemon vinaigrette.

1 bunch Kale (any type) cleaned, stemmed, and chopped

1-2 oranges, tangelos, or tangerines, peeled and seeded and separated into segments
(If orange is large, cut segments in 1/2)

1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste (1/8-1/4 tsp)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, pressed

Mix dressing ingredients, then pour over chopped kale and massage dressing into greens well.
Top with orange segments and serve.

Maybe I should write these posts more frequently, and then they wouldn't need to be so long.
Until next time, 
Beth Ellen

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New year, new me, new blog post

It's been about 1 week since I decided to log out of Facebook on all of my devices. I was feeling stuck, and also felt I was spending far too much time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I want to read more (books, the daily paper) and scroll less. My account is still active, but I will not check it frequently. Initially I am planning to go a month without it.

I was driving on the freeway yesterday and realized that I actually feel calmer without Facebook as my constant companion. I still have an Instagram account, because it doesn't seem to take hold of my brain in the same way.

I am making time to read the paper in the morning instead of checking FB, and I don't miss the constant anxiety over the state of our country (especially over all of the anti-Trump posts). I can hear my own thoughts again.

So far, all good.

J and I are seeing "Amelie" tonight at the Ahmanson Theatre. I have plenty of sewing on my plate, and the girls have about 10 days before they go back to NYC for school. We have plans to go to the Broad Museum, and D and I are taking a bread-baking class at BLVD Kitchen.

I'm also going back to work 2 days per week, and after some initial nerves about how different it would be from my usual routine,  I am excited about it.

Here's a smattering of what I'm working on in the sewing room:

 True Bias Ogden Cami, one each for D and J, in these fabrics, both fluid, draped rayons

Pajamas for J from this cute waffle knit, which will consist of a pair of True Bias Hudson Pants, and a Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt.

This quilt, in Liberty of London cotton prints,

Those are just a few of the sewing projects on the horizon. More soon.

Monday, February 23, 2015

End of the year catch up for 2014.

Here is what I have been up to, besides cooking, driving, and general domestic engineering.

Moda LOVE Layercake Quilt, in Denyse Schmidt Fabrics.

This post will include most of the things I sewed but did not blog about. I hope this will mean a fresh start for 2015, with more consistent posts.

I am signing up for a blog education online forum that I hope will improve my blogging and the timing of posts. It's called  the 2015 Next Level Blog Challenge, and you can find it at is the link to sign up....2015 Next Level Blog Challenge

2-23-15 Edit: HA! Not so fast! So far behind on the challenge.....Starting from today, just trying to get this post (written 6 weeks ago) up on my blog now....

The Lou Box Top, by Sew DIY. I was lucky enough to be selected to test this pattern-a first for me!

Edit: Gave it to Jenna, will make more.


Pot holders for Jennifer B. I made these to replace some I made for Jennifer more than 25 years ago as a wedding gift.

Cape for Dana, based on the Burberry cape that is so popular this year.

Edit-Made another-will post this week.

Cross body bag for me, to take to hockey games. Pattern is the Hazel Hipster from Two Peas in a Pod Designs.

Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic Patterns. I need to do some adjustments to the shoulders and bust next time I make this. The fit is slightly off, but I like the pattern. I just need to find some time to sew up a few more of these for summer!

Laminate zip pouches. Fun to make and give!

Simple quilt for a friend, Laura.

Quilts for my nieces, Krystal and Lexi. More on these in another post.


Boxy pouches made in laminated fabric. These aren't the only ones I made, just a few of the many.

Stuffed Israel, made with daughter Jenna for Jaime. I printed the map on fabric, cut it out, and made a pillow out of it. Sorry photo is sideways-hard top photograph this oblong thing.

Jenna's stuffed Abraham Lincoln, also made by printing a picture on fabric.

Detail of my Ticker Tape quilt, idea from blogger Amanda Jean Nyberg at Crazy Mom Quilts . The instructions are in the book she co-authored, Sunday Morning Quilts.

Another shot of my Ticker Tape quilt. 

This post is too long already, so I will save the rest for another day. Thanks for reading my catch-up, catch-all post.

Edit: I waited so long that it is time for another few catch up posts...look for them later this week.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm so far behind on blog posts....

Today will be the beginning of catching up! Here is a boxy pouch I made recently Both the outside and the lining are made of laminated cotton. Would you buy it if I were selling? How much would you pay for it? Inching closer to opening an Etsy shop.

(I wrote the note above many months ago. In the interest of catching up, I am publishing as part of my catch up and start again plan for blogging in 2015!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Welcome Home Banner

When the kids were much younger, Scott usually traveled to China and other parts of Asia once a year to buy merchandise, and he was usually gone for 10-14 days. One year I had the idea of making a Welcome Home banner for him. The kids and I drew on it and wrote notes and colored in the letters. It was 18" wide and probably 6-8 feet long, and it was the first thing he saw when he came in the door upon arriving home. We did this several times over the years, until they outgrew the idea and were busy with their own activities.

I guess that memory stuck with my daughter Dana longer than I expected.

Dana asked me before she left NYU Paris if I was going to make her a Welcome Home banner. I was surprised by the request, but thought it would be fun to make some sort of banner for her. This is the banner I made recently to welcome her home after her freshman year of college.  I think it turned out to be very cute, and it is still hanging in her room 2 weeks after she arrived home.

I have seen tutorials for banners like this all over the web for a few years, and I have always wanted to make one, and a sign to welcome Dana home was the perfect excuse. The pennant triangles are 2 pieces of fabric sewn together, and are approximately 7" wide x 8" long. The letters and other motifs were handmade by me from felt and then glued on to the triangles. (That thing that looks like a modified letter A is supposed to be the Eiffel Tower.) Here is a closer look at the banner:

These are not my best photos, but they will have to do.

I want to make more of these! They are fun and easy, and I have a few ideas I want to try. Here is a link to the tutorial I used: pennant-banner-tutorial (Riley Blake Designs)

Trust me, you haven't seen the last of the custom pennant banner on this blog.

And here she is at the airport with her dad, and with the signs we made to greet her there.
Her flight from NY-LA was delayed, and she arrived home about 12:30 am on a Saturday night.
The signs were the first thing she saw when she got to baggage claim.

Welcome home, Dana!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Handmade Napkins

A set of 8 handmade napkins that I made for a friend.

Here is another look at the 4 different fabrics.

They are about 17" square, reversible, and washable. I have a huge stack of my own that we use all of the time, and no two are alike. I thought the friend who received these might like something a little bit more matched, so I made these in various blue prints.  I don't like things to be too matchy though....I like a lot of mixed pattern and color.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Quilt for Brian and Patrick

My first finished quilt of 2014 is a riot of colorful batik fabric rectangles.

Patrick requested a colorful quilt. It took me a long time to finish this quilt, and I am very satisfied with the beautiful result. It measures about 75 x 90 after washing. 
I quilted this with straight lines and diagonals (the diagonal quilting lines are visible in the picture if you look carefully).
They were surprised and (I think) delighted.

A few more photos (below) taken in the sunshine in my backyard, make the quilt look more faded. In person it looks more like the above image.

A bit of the multicolor batik backing fabric is visible in this photo.

I'm not sure what to sew next. I have been interested in sewing clothes for myself this spring, but I have been too busy, and probably too impatient, to slowly learn how to do what I want to do. I need time to make mistakes with patterns and fabric and then try again. I have quilts I want to make, and hope to make some for my nieces before September.

Maybe I should move my sewing machine outside?!